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That memory, the warder of the brain,
Bring forth men-children only,
Who dares receive it other,
Macb. I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show: False face must hide what the false heart doth know. [Exeunt.
ACT II. SCENE I. The same. Court within the Castle. Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, and a Servant with a torch before
Ban. How goes the night, boy?
I take't, 'tis later, sir.
(1) The receipt of reason a limbeck only-i.e. the receptacle of reason(the head) shall be like a distilling vessel, emitting only fumes and vapours.
(2) There's husbandry in heaven. By this we must understand that there were so few stars appearing that they seemed to be sparing of, or to husband their light.
(3) Merciful powers, &c. It would appear that Banquo, like Macbeth, remembers the accursed prophecies of the witches, and by them is also tempted to commit some wickedness in their furtherance. But his character is beautifully set in contrast to Macbeth's; the one yields to, the other resists manfully, the evil suggestions. Banquo prays against being tempted to wicked thoughts even in his sleep; Macbeth is hurrying into temptation, and revolving in his wakeful hours every scheme whereby he may commit the murder.
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch.
Ban. What, sir, not yet at rest? The king 's a-bed :
I think not of them :
At your kind'st leisure.
So I lose none,
Good repose, the while!
Exit BANQUO. Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. [Exit Serv. Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
(1) Shut up in measureless content. This is very obscure. It would seem that the passage is defective. Were it complete it might run thus:--"The king is so pleased with what you, as his host, have done for him, that he is shut up in measureless content;" he is overwhelmed with happiness and contentment.
(2) If you shall cleave to my consent, &c., i.e. if you shall still agree with me when I determine to accept the crown, when 'lis, when the right time comes, it shall be all the better for you.
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
[A bell rings.
SCENE II.—The same.
Enter LADY MACBETH. Lady M. That which hath made them drunk hath made me
bold: What hath quench'd them hath given me fire :Hark! Peace! It was the owl that shriek’d, The fatal bellman which gives the stern'st good night. He is about it: the doors are open; And the surfeited grooms do mock their charge with snores : I have drugg'd their possets, That death and nature do contend about them, Whether they live, or die.
Macb. [Within. 7 Who's there?-what, hoa!
Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd, And 'tis not done :--the attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us :-Hark!-I laid their daggers ready, He could not miss them.—Had he not resembled My father as he slept I had done't-My husband !
Lady M. I heard the owls scream, and the crickets cry.
As I descended?
Looking on his hands. Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.
Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, And one cried “Murther!" that they did wake each other; I stood and heard them: but they did say their prayers, And address'd them again to sleep.
Lady M. There are two lodg'd together.
Macb. One cried “God bless us !” and : Amen,” the other; As they had seen me, with these hangman's hands. Listening their fear, I could not say, amen, When they did say, God bless us. Lady M.
Consider it not so deeply. Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, amen? I had most need of blessing, and amen Stuck in my throat.
Lady M. These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, “Sleep no more! Macbeth does murther sleep, the innocent sleep; Sleep, that knits up the raveli'd sleave of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast.” Lady M.
What do you mean? Macb. Still it cried, “ Sleep no more !" to all the house: “ Glamis hath murther'd sleep: and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more !”
Lady M. Who was it that thus cried ? Why, worthy thane, You do unbend your noble strength, to think So brainsickly of things :-Go, get some water, And wash this filthy witness from your hand. Why did you bring these daggers from the place ? They must lie there : Go, carry them; and smear The sleepy grooms with blood.
(1) As they had seen me, i.e. as if they had seen me.
I'll go no more :
Infirm of purpose!
Whence is that knocking?
Re-enter LADY MACBETH.
[Knoek. Wake Duncan with thy knocking; I would thou couldst!
(Exeunt. SCENE III.—The same.
Enter a Porter. [Knocking within. Porter. Here's a knocking, indeed! [Knocking.) Knock, knock, knock: Who's there? Who's there? (Knocking 1 Knock, knock, knock: Who's there? [Knocking.] Knock, knock: Never at quiet! What are you? Knocking. Anon, anon; I pray you, remember the porter (Opens the gate.
Enter MACDUFF and LENOX.
Port. Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock.
iacd. Is thy master stirring ?Our knocking has awak'd him; here he comes.