Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all
As the weird women promised; and I fear
Thou playedst 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? But hush! No more.
Sennet sounded. Enter Macbeth, as King, Lady Macbeth,
Lennox, Ross, Lords, and Attendants
Here's our chief guest.
If he had been forgotten
It had been as a gap in our great feast
And all-thing unbecoming.
Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I'll request your presence.
Let your highness
Command upon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
For ever knit.
Ride you this afternoon?
Ay, my good lord.
We should have else desired your good advice,
Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,
In this day's council; but we'll take tomorrow.
Is't far you ride?
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.
Fail not our feast.
My lord, I will not.
We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed
In England and in Ireland, not confessing
Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
With strange invention. But of that tomorrow,
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?
Ay, my good lord; our time does call upon's.
I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs.
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, God be with you!
Exeunt Lords and Lady Macbeth
A word with you. Attend those men our pleasure?
They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
Bring them before us.
To be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus! – Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that which would be feared. 'Tis much he dares,
And to that dauntless temper of his mind
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear; and under him
My genius is rebuked as, it is said,
Mark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him. Then prophet-like,
They hailed him father to a line of kings.
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown
And put a barren sceptre in my grip,
Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If it be so,
For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind,
For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered,
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace,
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list
list (n.) 1
(usually plural) combat arena at a tournament
And champion me to the utterance! Who's there?
Enter Servant and two Murderers
Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
It was, so please your highness.
Well then now,
Have you considered of my speeches? Know
That it was he in the times past which held you
So under fortune, which you thought had been
Our innocent self. This I made good to you
In our last conference; passed in probation with you
How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the instruments,
Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
To half a soul and to a notion crazed
Say, ‘ Thus did Banquo.’
You made it known to us.
I did so; and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature
That you can let this go? Are you so gospelled,
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave,
And beggared yours for ever?
We are men, my liege.
Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
dog, mastiff, watch-dog [without a contemptuous sense]
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
All by the name of dogs. The valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The house-keeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
Particular addition from the bill
addition (n.) 2
attribute, mark of honour, distinction [as if added to a coat of arms]
That writes them all alike. And so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i'the worst rank of manhood, say't,
And I will put that business in your bosoms,
Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.
I am one, my liege,
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Hath so incensed that I am reckless what I do
To spite the world.
And I another
So weary with disasters, tugged 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.
True, my lord.
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-faced 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.
We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.
Though our lives –
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,
spy (n.) 2
[unclear meaning] opportunity to spy, watch-keeping
The moment on't; for't must be done tonight;
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.
We are resolved, my lord.
I'll call upon you straight. Abide within.
It is concluded! Banquo, thy soul's flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.