Page images

Have so incens'd, 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
Know Banquo was your enemy.
Both Mur.

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 barefac'd 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-
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.

Both Mur. We are resolv'd, my lord.
Macb. I'll call upon you straight: abide within.

[Exeunt Murderers.

It is concluded:-Banquo, thy soul's flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.


[ocr errors]

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.
Serv. Madam, I will.

[Exit. Lady M.

Naught'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 MacBETн.
How now, my lord! why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making;
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done is done.

Macb. We have scotch'd (36) 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,(37)
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 peace,(38) 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,
Can touch him further.
Lady M.

Come on;

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

Let your remembrance apply to Banquo;
Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue:
Unsafe the while, that we (39)
Must lave our honours in these flattering streams;
And make our faces visards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.
Lady M.

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.

Macb. 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 done
A deed of dreadful note.
Lady M.

What's to be done?
Macb. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed.—Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day;
And with thy bloody and invisible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
Which keeps me pale !-Light thickens; and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky (40) wood:
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
Whiles night's black agents to their
Thou marvell'st at my words: but hold thee still ;
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill :
So, prithee, go with me.


preys do


Scene III.

The same. A park, with a gate leading

to the palace.

Enter three Murderers.

First Mur. But who did bid thee join with us?

Third Mur.

Sec. Mur. He needs not our mistrust; since he delivers
Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.

First Mur. Then stand with us.
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day:
Now spurs the lated traveller apace
To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
The subject of our watch.
Third Mur.

Hark! I hear horses.
Ban. [within] Give us a light there, ho!
Sec. Mur.

Then 'tis he: the rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i’ the court.
First Mur.

His horses go about.
Third Mur. Almost a mile: but he does usually,
So all men do, from hence to the palace-gate
Make it their walk.

Sec. Mur. A light, a light!
Third Mur.

'Tis be. First Mur. Stand to 't.

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE with a torch.(41)
Ban. It will be rain to-night.
First Mur.

Let it come down.

[Assaults Banquo. Ban. O, treachery!-Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou mayst revenge.- slave!

[Dies. Fleance escapes. Third Mur. Who did strike out the light? First Mur.

Was't not the way?
Third Mur. There's but one down; the son is fled.
Sec. Mur.

We have lost
Best half of our affair.
First Mur. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.


Scene IV. The same. A room of state in the palace.

A banquet prepared. Enter MACBETH, Lady Macbeth, Ross,

LENNOX, Lords, and Attendants.
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,
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.
Macb. See, they encounter thee with their hearts'

Both sides are even : here I'll sit i' the midst:

Enter first Murderer to the door.
Be large in mirth ; anon we'll drink a measure
The table round. 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. Mur.

Most royal sir, Fleance is scap'd.

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 bides,
With twenty trenchèd gashes on his head;
The least a death to nature.

Thanks for that:

« PreviousContinue »