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Len. Is 't known, who did this more than bloody deed?

Macd. Those that Macbeth hath slain.

Len. Alas, the day!

What good could they pretend?

Macd. They were suborn'd:

Malcolm and Donalbain, the King's two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled: which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.

Len. 'Gainst nature still;

Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up

Thine own life's means.—Then 'tis most like,
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

Macd. He is already named; and gone to Scone, To be invested.

Len. Where is Duncan's body?

Macd. Carried to Colmes-kill;

The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,

And guardian of his bones.

Len. Will you to Scone?

Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.

Len. Well, I will thither.

Macd. Well, may you see things well done there; —adieu !—

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new! [Exeunt.


The Palace at Fores.

Enter Banquo and Fleance.

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?—

[Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.

But, hush; no more.

Enter Macbeth, as King; Seyton, Lenox, Rosse, and Attendants.

Macb. Here's our chief guest:

If he had been forgotten,

It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all things unbecoming.—

To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir,

And I'll request your presence.

Ban. 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?

Ban. Ay, my good lord.

Macb. We should have else desir'd your good advice

(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,) In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow. Is't far you ride?

Ban. As far, my lord, as will fill up the time 'Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better, I must become a borrower of the night,

For a dark hour, or twain.

Macb. Fail not our feast.

Ban. My lord, I will not.

Macb. We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd In England, and in Ireland; not confessing Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers

With strange invention: But of that to-morrow;

When, therewithal, we shall have cause of state,
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 us.
Macb. I wish your horses swift, and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs.


[Exeunt Banquo and Fleance.

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, Heaven be with you!

Sirrah, a word: Attend those men our pleasure?
Sey. They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
Macb. Bring them before us.— [Exit Seyton.
To be thus, is nothing:—

But to be safely thus,—Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep:—

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 scepter in my gripe,

Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If it be so,
For Banquo's issue have I 'fil'd my mind;

For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
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!—Who's there?—

Enter Seyton, with Two Officers.

[Exit Seyton.

Was it not yesterday we spoke together?


1 Off. It was, so please your highness.
Macb. Well then, now

Have you consider'd of my speeches?
Do you find

Your patience so predominant in your nature,
That you can let this go? Are you so gospel'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?

2 Off. 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.

1 Of. 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.

Macb. Both of you

Know, Banquo was your enemy.

1 Off. True, my lord.

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

With bare-fac'd power sweep him from my sight,
And bid my will avouch it; yet I must not,
For sundry weighty reasons.

2 Off. We shall, my lord, Perform what you command us,

1 Off. Though our lives

Macb. 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 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.

1 Off. We are resolv'd, my lord.

Macb. I'll call upon you strait; abide within.

It is concluded:

[Exeunt OFFICErs.

-Banquo, thy soul's flight,

If it find Heaven, must find it out to-night.


Enter Lady Macbeth, as Queen; and Seyton.

Lady. Is Banquo gone from court?

Sey. Ay, madam; but returns again to-night. Lady. Say to the King, I would attend his leisure

For a few words.

Sey. Madam, I will.

Lady. 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.

Enter Macbeth.

How now, my lord? why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,—
Using those thoughts, which should indeed have dy'd
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,

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,
Whom we, to gain our place, have sent to peace,

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