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A Room in Macbeth's Castle.
Enter LADY MACBETH, reading a letter. Lady M. They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me, Thane of Cawdor; by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with, Hail, king that shalt be! This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness ; that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell. Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised.—Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition; but without The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win; thou’dst have, great Glamis, That which cries, Thus thou must do, if thou have it ; And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; And chastise with the valor of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crowned withal.—What is your tidings?
Enter an Attendant. Attend. The king comes here to-night. Lady M.
Thou’rt mad to say it. Is not thy master with him ? who, wer't so, Would have informed for preparation.
Attend. So please you, it is true; our thane is coming. One of my fellows had the speed of him; Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more Than would make up his message. Lady M.
Give him tending; IIe brings great news. The raven himself is hoarse,
[Erit Attendant. That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here;
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse;
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect, and it. Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell!
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes ;
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry, Hold, hola!- -Great Glamis ! worthy Cawdor !
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.
My dearest love,
Duncan comes here to-night.
And when goes hence ? Macb. To-morrow,- as he purposes.
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men
May read strange matters.—To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it. He that's coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night's great business into my despatch ;
Which shall to all our nights and days to come,
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
Macb. We will speak further.
Only look up clear;
To alter favor ever is to fear.
Leave all the rest to me.
[Exeunt, SCENE VI.
The same. Before the Castle. Hautboys.
Servants of Macbeth attending. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, BANQUO, LENOX,
MACDUFF, Rosse, Angus, and Attendants. Dun. This castle hath a pleasant seat: the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.
This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
By his loved mansionry, that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here. No jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed, and procreant cradle:
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed,
The air is delicate.
Enter LADY MACBETII.
See, see! our honored hostess!
The love that follows us, sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you
How you shall bid God yield us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.
All our service,
In every point twice done, and then dono double,
Were poor and single business, to contend
Against those honors, deep and broad, wherewith
Your majesty loads our house. For those of old,
And the late dignities heaped up to them,
We rest your hermits.
Where's the thane of Cawdor ?
We coursed him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor: but he rides well:
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.
Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Still to return your own.
Give me your hand :
Conduct me to mine host; we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.
SCENE VII. The same. A Room in the Castle. Haut
boys and torches. Enter, and pass over the stage, a Sewer, and divers Servants
with dishes and service. Then enter MACBETH. Macb. If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly: if the assassination
VOL. II. - 14
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, –
We'd jump the life to come. - But, in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking off ;
And pity, like a naked, new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.— I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other — How now, what news ?
Enter LADY MACBETH.
Lady M. He has almost supped. Why have you left
the chamber? Macb. Hath he asked for me? Lady M.
Know you not, he has ?
Macb. We will proceed no further in this business.
He hath honored me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
Was the hope drunk,
Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since ? ?
And wakes it now to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time,
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valor,
As thou art in desire ? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem;
Letting I dare not, wait upon I would,
Like the poor cat i' the adage ?
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more, is none.
What beast was't then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere; and yet you would make both;
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck; and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn, as you
Have done to this.
If we should fail,
We fail !
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep,
(Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
Soundly invite him,) his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassel so convince,
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only. When in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lie, as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
Iis spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?
Bring forth men children only!
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
When we have marked with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber, and used their very daggers,
That they have done't?
Who dares receive it other?
As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar
Upon his death?
I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
A way, and mock the time with fairest show;
False face must hide what the false heart doth know.