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That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only:1 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
His 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 receivid,
When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber, and us’d their very daggers,
That they have done 't?
Lady M.

Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
Upon his death?

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?
Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
Ban. And she goes down at twelve.

I take't, 'tis later, sir.
Ban. Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry ? in heaven,
Their candles are all out.- Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep : Merciful powers !3

(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
Gives way to in repose;–Give me my sword ;-

Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch.
Who's there?
Macb. A friend.

Ban. What, sir, not yet at rest? The king 's a-bed :
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
Sent forth great largess to your offices :
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
In measureless content.

Being unprepar'd,
Our will became the servant to defect;
Which else should free have wrought.

All's well.
I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters :
To you they have show'd some truth.

I think not of them :
Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
We would spend it in some words upon that business,
If you would grant the time.

At your kind'st leisure.
Macb. If you shall cleave to my consent,—when ʼtis,
It shall make honour for you.

So I lose none,
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchis'd, and allegiance clear,
I shall be counsell’d.

Good repose, the while!
Ban. Thanks, sir; the like to you!

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
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going,
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o'the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest : I see thee still;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon, gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes.-Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain’d sleep: witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murther,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design,
Moves like a ghost.---Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat he lives :
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

[A bell rings.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan ; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.


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 !

Macb. I have done the deed :-Didst thou not hear a noise?

Lady M. I heard the owls scream, and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?

Lady M.


As I descended?
Lady M. Ay.
Macb. Hark!-
Who lies i' the second chamber?
Lady M.

Macb. This is a sorry sight.

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.

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I'll go no more :
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on 't again I dare not.
Lady Y.

Infirm of purpose!
Give me the daggers: The sleeping, and the dead,
Are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt. (Erit. Knocking within.

Whence is that knocking?
How is 't with me, when every noise appais me?
What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes!
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand ? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green-one red.

Lady M. My hands are of your colour; but I shame
To wear a heart so white. [Knock.] I hear a knocking
At the south entry :-retire we to our chamber:
A little water clears us of this deed :
How easy is it then! Your constancy
Hath left you unattended.-Knocking. ] Hark! more knocking:
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers :-Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.
Macb. To know my deed, 't were best not know myself.

[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.

Macd. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?

Port. Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock.

iacd. Is thy master stirring ?Our knocking has awak'd him; here he comes.

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