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Ban. Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promis'd; and, I fear,
Thou play'dst most foully for 't; yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,
But that myself should be the root and father
Of many kings. If there come truth from them,
As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine,
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,
And set me up in hope? But, hush! no more.
Sennet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as king; Lady
MACBETH, as queen; LENNOX, Ross, Lords,
Ladies, and Attendants.
Macb. Here's our chief guest.
If he had been forgotten 11
It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all-thing unbecoming.
Mach. To night we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I'll request your presence.
Let your highness
Command upon me; to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
For ever knit.
Macb. Ride you this afternoon?
Ay, my good lord.
Mach. We should have else desir'd your good
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse; adieu, Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you? Ban. Ay, my good lord: our time does call upon 's.
Macb. I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs.
Let every man be master of his time
Till seven at night, to make society
The sweeter welcome; we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone; while then, God be
Exeunt all but MACBETH and an Attendant. Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men Our pleasure?
Atten. They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
Macb. Bring them before us. Exit Attendant.
To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear; and under him
My genius is rebuk'd, as it is said
Mark Antony's was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him; then, prophet-like,
They hail'd him father to a line of kings.
Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand.
No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list,
And champion me to the utterance!
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are clept
All by the name of dogs: the valu'd file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him clos'd; whereby he does receive
Particular addition, from the bill
That writes them all alike: and so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i' the worst rank of manhood, say it;
And I will put that business in your bosoms,
Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.
I am one, my liege, Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world Have so incens'd that I am reckless what
Know Banquo was your enemy.
True, my lord.
Macb. So is he mine; and in such bloody
That every minute of his being thrusts
Against my near'st of life: and though I could
With bare-fac'd power sweep him from my
And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down; and thence it is
That I to your assistance do make love,
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.
We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.
Though our lives-
Mach. Your spirits shine through you. Within
this hour at most
I will advise you where to plant yourselves, Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time, The moment on 't; for 't must be done tonight,
And something from the palace; always thought
That I require a clearness: and with him,
To leave no rubs nor botches in the work,
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart;
I'll come to you anon.
We are resolv'd, my lord.
Mach. I'll call upon you straight: abide
It is concluded: Banquo, thy soul's flight, 140
If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.
SCENE II-The Same. Another Room in the Palace.
Enter Lady MACBETH and a Servant. Lady M. Is Banquo gone from court? Serv. Ay, madam, but returns again to-night. Lady M. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
For a few words.
Nought 's had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
How now, my lord! why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done is done. Macb. We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it:
She'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,
And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
We will require her welcome.
Lady M. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends';
For my heart speaks they are welcome.
Enter First Murderer, to the door,
Macb. See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks.
Both sides are even: here I'll sit i' the midst: 10 Be large in mirth; anon we 'll drink a measure The table round. Approaching the door. There's blood upon thy face.
Mur. 'Tis Banquo's then.
Macb. 'Tis better thee without than he within. Is he dispatch'd?
Mur. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.
Macb. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats; yet he's good
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it, Thou art the nonpareil.
Macb. Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect;
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
As broad and general as the casing air:
But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe!
Mur. Ay, my good lord; safe in a ditch he
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a death to nature.
May't please your highness sit. The Ghost of BANQUO enters, and sits in MACBETH'S place.
Macb. Here had we now our country's honour roof'd,
Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!
A banquet prepared. Enter MACBETH, Lady
MACBETH, ROSS, LENNOX, Lords, and Attend-Lays blame upon his promise. Please 't your
Macb. You know your own degrees; sit down :
at first and last
The hearty welcome.
Thanks to your majesty. Macb. Ourself will mingle with society
To grace us with your royal company.
Macb. The table's full.
Here is a place reserv'd, sir.
Len. Here, my good lord. What is't that moves your highness?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
If charnel-houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.
Lady M. What! quite unmann'd in folly
Macb. If I stand here, I saw him.
Fie, for shame! Mach. Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
Too terrible for the ear: the time has been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end; but now they rise again, 80
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools: this is more strange
Than such a murder is.
My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.
I do forget.
Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends;
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, love and health
Then, I'll sit down. Give me some wine; fill full:
I drink to the general joy o' the whole table,
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss;
Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
And all to all.
Our duties, and the pledge.
Macb. Avaunt! and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee !
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold; Thou hast no speculation in those eyes Which thou dost glare with.
Lady M. Think of this, good peers, But as a thing of custom : 'tis no other; Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.
Macb. What man dare, I dare: Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear, 100 The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger; Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
At our great bidding? Lady M.
Did you send to him, sir? Macb. I hear it by the way; but I will send. There's not a one of them but in his house I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow, And betimes I will, to the weird sisters: More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
Strange things I have in head that will to hand,
Which must be acted ere they may be scann'd.
Lady M. You lack the season of all natures,
Macb. Come, we'll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear that wants hard use :
We are yet but young in deed.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting
First Witch. Why, how now, Hecate you look angerly.
Hec. Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
Saucy and overbold? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never call'd to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?
And, which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful; who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now: get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i' the morning: thither he
Will come to know his destiny:
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and every thing beside.
I am for the air; this night I'll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end:
Great business must be wrought ere noon :
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vaporous drop profound;
I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that distill'd by magic sleights
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion:
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear;
And you all know security
Is mortals' chiefest enemy.
Of the most pious Edward with such grace
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid
To wake Northumberland and war-like Siward;
That, by the help of these, with him above
To ratify the work, we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
Do faithful homage and receive free honours;
All which we pine for now. And this report
Hath so exasperate the king that he
20 Prepares for some attempt of war.
Sent he to Macduff!
Lord. He did: and with an absolute 'Sir, not I,'
The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
And hums, as who should say, 'You'll rue the
That clogs me with this answer.'
And that well might
Advise him to a cantion to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
30 Fly to the court of England and unfold
His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accurs'd!
Music and a song within: Come away, come
Enter LENNOX and another Lord.
Len. My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret further: only, I say, Things have been strangely borne. The gracious Duncan
Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead : And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late; Whom, you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd,
For Fleance fled: men must not walk too late. Who cannot want the thought how monstrous It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? damned fact!
How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight
In pious rage the two delinquents tear,
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive
To hear the men deny 't. So that, I say,
He has borne all things well; and I do think
That had he Duncan's sons under his key,
As, an 't please heaven, he shall not, they should
What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance. But, peace! for from broad words, and 'cause he fail'd
His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear
First Witch. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Second Witch. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd.
Third Witch. Harpier cries: 'Tis time, 'tis time.
First Witch. Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.
All. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Second Witch. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
All. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.
Third Witch. Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, Witches' mummy, maw and gulf Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark, Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark, Liver of blaspheming Jew,