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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! Who's there?

Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers.
Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.
[Exit Attendant.

Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
First Mur. It was, so please your highness.
Well then, now
Have you consider'd of my speeches? Know
That it was he in the times past which held you
So under fortune, which you thought had been
Our innocent self: this I made good to you
In our last conference, pass'd in probation with


How you were borne in hand, how cross'd, the instruments,

Who wrought with them, and all things else that might

To half a soul and to a notion crazed

Say 'Thus did Banquo.'

First Mur.

You made it known to us.

Macb. I did so, and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature
That you can let this go? Are you so gospell'd
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bow'd you to the grave
And beggar'd yours for ever?

First Mur.

We are men, my liege.

Mach. Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men ; As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,

72. to the utterance, to the uttermost (O. Fr. 'à outrance').




Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
All by the name of dogs: the valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed, 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 't;
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.

Sec. Mur.

I am one, my liege,

Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world

Have so incensed that I am reckless what

I do to spite the world.

First Mur.

And I another

So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,

To mend it, or be rid on 't.


Both of you

True, my lord

Know Banquo was your enemy.

Both Mur.

Macb. So is he mine, and in such bloody distance,

That every minute of his being thrusts

Against my near'st of life: and though I could

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(of hounds) graded according to their relative value.

100. addition, attribute.

IOI. writes them all alike, includes all their varieties under the same generic name of 'dog.'

With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
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.

Sec. Mur.

We shall, my lord,

Perform what you command us.

First Mur.

Though our lives—

Mach. Your spirits shine through you.

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 to-night,
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.

Both Mur.

We are resolved, my lord.



Mach. I'll call upon you straight: abide within. [Exeunt Murderers. 140

It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul's flight,

If it find heaven, must find it out to-night. [Exit.

121. For, on account of. 130. perfect spy o' the time; probably the result of 'perfect spying,' the fit moment


determined by the closest scrutiny.

132. always thought, it being always remembered.

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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

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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.

Mach. 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,

Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep

In the affliction of these terrible dreams

That shake us nightly: better be with the dead,

13. scotch'd, made narrow incisions, as with a riding-whip.


'scutcher' or

Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie

In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well;

Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,

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Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks;
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.
Macb. So shall I, love; and

So, I pray, be you:

Let your remembrance apply to Banquo;

Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue :
Unsafe the while that we


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Must lave our honours in these flattering streams,
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,

Disguising what they are.

Lady M.

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You must leave this.

Macb. O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear

wife !

Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.
Lady M. But in them nature's copy 's not eterne.
Mach. There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown
His cloister'd flight, ere to black Hecate's summons
The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be

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heard dots

hold,' a form of land tenure
which differed from freehold in
being terminable.

42. shard-borne; with allusion
to the beetle's hard wing-case.


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