Macbeth

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Banquo.

Banq.
Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weyard Women promis'd, and I feare
Thou playd'st most fowly for't: yet it was saide
It should not stand in thy Posterity,
But that my selfe should be the Roote, and Father
Of many Kings. If there come truth from them,
As vpon thee Macbeth, their Speeches shine,
Why by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my Oracles as well,
And set me vp in hope. But hush, no more.
Senit sounded. Enter Macbeth as King, Lady
Lenox, Rosse, Lords, and Attendants

Macb.
Heere's our chiefe Guest.

La.
If he had beene forgotten,
It had bene as a gap in our great Feast,
And all-thing vnbecomming.

Macb.
To night we hold a solemne Supper sir,
And Ile request your presence.

Banq.
Let your Highnesse
Command vpon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tye
For euer knit.

Macb.
Ride you this afternoone?

Ban.
I, my good Lord.

Macb.
We should haue else desir'd your good aduice
(Which still hath been both graue, and prosperous)
In this dayes Councell: but wee'le take to morrow.
Is't farre you ride?

Ban.
As farre, my Lord, as will fill vp the time
'Twixt this, and Supper. Goe not my Horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the Night,
For a darke houre, or twaine.

Macb.
Faile not our Feast.

Ban.
My Lord, I will not.

Macb.
We heare our bloody Cozens are bestow'd
In England, and in Ireland, not confessing
Their cruell Parricide, filling their hearers
With strange inuention. But of that to morrow,
When therewithall, we shall haue cause of State,
Crauing vs ioyntly. Hye you to Horse: Adieu,
till you returne at Night. Goes Fleance with you?

Ban.
I, my good Lord: our time does call vpon's.

Macb.
I wish your Horses swift, and sure of foot:
And so I doe commend you to their backs.
Farwell.
Exit Banquo.
Let euery man be master of his time,
Till seuen at Night,
to make societie / The sweeter welcome:
We will keepe our selfe till Supper time alone:
While then, God be with you.
Exeunt Lords.
Sirrha,
a word with you: Attend those men / Our pleasure?

Seruant.
They are, my Lord, without the Pallace Gate.

Macb.
Bring them before vs.
Exit Seruant.
To be thus, is nothing,
but to be safely thus / Our feares in Banquo
sticke deepe, / And in his Royaltie of Nature
reignes that / Which would be fear'd. 'Tis much he dares,
And to that dauntlesse temper of his Minde,
He hath a Wisdome, that doth guide his Valour,
To act in safetie. There is none but he,
Whose being I doe feare: and vnder him,
My Genius is rebuk'd, as it is said
Mark Anthonies was by Caesar. He chid the Sisters,
When first they put the Name of King vpon me,
And bad them speake to him. Then Prophet-like,
They hayl'd him Father to a Line of Kings.
Vpon my Head they plac'd a fruitlesse Crowne,
And put a barren Scepter in my Gripe,
Thence to be wrencht with an vnlineall Hand,
No Sonne of mine succeeding: if't be so,
For Banquo's Issue haue I fil'd my Minde,
For them, the gracious Duncan haue I murther'd,
Put Rancours in the Vessell of my Peace
Onely for them, and mine eternall Iewell
Giuen to the common Enemie of Man,
To make them Kings, the Seedes of Banquo Kings.
Rather then so, come Fate into the Lyst,
And champion me to th' vtterance. Who's there?
Enter Seruant, and two Murtherers.
Now goe to the Doore, and stay there till we call.
Exit Seruant.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?

Murth.
It was, so please your Highnesse.

Macb.
Well then, Now
haue you consider'd of my speeches: / Know,
that it was he, in the times past, / Which held you
so vnder fortune, / Which you thought had been
our innocent selfe. / This I made good to you,
in our last conference, / Past in probation with you:
How you were borne in hand, how crost: / The Instruments:
who wrought with them: / And all things else, that might
To halfe a Soule, and to a Notion craz'd,
Say, Thus did Banquo.

1.Murth.
You made it knowne to vs.

Macb.
I did so: / And went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. / Doe you finde
your patience so predominant, / In your nature,
that you can let this goe? / Are you so Gospell'd,
to pray for this good man, / And for his Issue,
whose heauie hand / Hath bow'd you to the Graue,
and begger'd / Yours for euer?

1.Murth.
We are men, my Liege.

Macb.
I, in the Catalogue ye goe for men,
As Hounds, and Greyhounds, Mungrels, Spaniels, Curres,
Showghes, Water-Rugs, and Demy-Wolues are clipt
All by the Name of Dogges: the valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The House-keeper, the Hunter, euery one
According to the gift, which bounteous Nature
Hath in him clos'd: whereby he does receiue
Particular addition, from the Bill,
That writes them all alike: and so of men.
Now, if you haue a station in the file,
Not i'th' worst ranke of Manhood, say't,
And I will put that Businesse in your Bosomes,
Whose execution takes your Enemie off,
Grapples you to the heart; and loue of vs,
Who weare our Health but sickly in his Life,
Which in his Death were perfect.

2.Murth.
I am one, my Liege,
Whom the vile Blowes and Buffets of the World
Hath so incens'd, that I am recklesse what I doe,
To spight the World.

1.Murth.
And I another,
So wearie with Disasters, tugg'd with Fortune,
That I would set my Life on any Chance,
To mend it, or be rid on't.

Macb.
Both of you
know Banquo was your Enemie.

Murth.
True, my Lord.

Macb.
So is he mine: and in such bloody distance,
That euery minute of his being, thrusts
Against my neer'st of Life: and though I could
With bare-fac'd power sweepe him from my sight,
And bid my will auouch it; yet I must not,
For certaine friends that are both his, and mine,
Whose loues I may not drop, but wayle his fall,
Who I my selfe struck downe: and thence it is,
That I to your assistance doe make loue,
Masking the Businesse from the common Eye,
For sundry weightie Reasons.

2.Murth.
We shall, my Lord,
Performe what you command vs.

1.Murth.
Though our Liues---

Macb.
Your Spirits shine through you. / Within this houre, at most,
I will aduise you where to plant your selues,
Acquaint you with the perfect Spy o'th' time,
The moment on't, for't must be done to Night,
And something from the Pallace: alwayes thought,
That I require a clearenesse; and with him,
To leaue no Rubs nor Botches in the Worke:
Fleans, his Sonne, that keepes him companie,
Whose absence is no lesse materiall to me,
Then is his Fathers, must embrace the fate
Of that darke houre: resolue your selues apart,
Ile come to you anon.

Murth.
We are resolu'd, my Lord.

Macb.
Ile call vpon you straight: abide within,
It is concluded: Banquo, thy Soules flight,
If it finde Heauen, must finde it out to Night.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Macbeths Lady, and a Seruant.

Lady.
Is Banquo gone from Court?

Seruant.
I, Madame, but returnes againe to Night.

Lady.
Say to the King, I would attend his leysure,
For a few words.

Seruant
Madame, I will.
Exit.

Lady.
Nought's had, all's spent.
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer, to be that which we destroy,
Then by destruction dwell in doubtfull ioy.
Enter Macbeth.
How now, my Lord, why doe you keepe alone?
Of sorryest Fancies your Companions making,
Vsing those Thoughts, which should indeed haue dy'd
With them they thinke on: things without all remedie
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.

Macb.
We haue scorch'd the Snake, not kill'd it:
Shee'le close, and be her selfe, whilest our poore Mallice
Remaines in danger of her former Tooth.
But let the frame of things dis-ioynt, / Both the Worlds suffer,
Ere we will eate our Meale in feare, and sleepe
In the affliction of these terrible Dreames,
That shake vs Nightly: Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gayne our peace, haue sent to peace,
Then on the torture of the Minde to lye
In restlesse extasie. Duncane is in his Graue:
After Lifes fitfull Feuer, he sleepes well,
Treason ha's done his worst: nor Steele, nor Poyson,
Mallice domestique, forraine Leuie, nothing,
Can touch him further.

Lady.
Come on:
Gentle my Lord, sleeke o're your rugged Lookes,
Be bright and Iouiall among your Guests to Night.

Macb.
So shall I Loue, and so I pray be you:
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo,
Present him Eminence, both with Eye and Tongue:
Vnsafe the while, that wee
must laue / Our Honors in these flattering streames,
And make our Faces Vizards to our Hearts,
Disguising what they are.

Lady.
You must leaue this.

Macb.
O, full of Scorpions is my Minde, deare Wife:
Thou know'st, that Banquo and his Fleans liues.

Lady.
But in them, Natures Coppie's not eterne.

Macb.
There's comfort yet, they are assaileable,
Then be thou iocund: ere the Bat hath flowne
His Cloyster'd flight, ere to black Heccats summons
The shard-borne Beetle, with his drowsie hums,
Hath rung Nights yawning Peale, / There shall be done
a deed of dreadfull note.

Lady.
What's to be done?

Macb.
Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest Chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed: Come, seeling Night,
Skarfe vp the tender Eye of pittifull Day,
And with thy bloodie and inuisible Hand
Cancell and teare to pieces that great Bond,
Which keepes me pale. Light thickens,
And the Crow makes Wing toth' Rookie Wood:
Good things of Day begin to droope, and drowse,
Whiles Nights black Agents to their Prey's doe rowse.
Thou maruell'st at my words: but hold thee still,
Things bad begun, make strong themselues by ill:
So prythee goe with me.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene III
Enter three Murtherers.

1.
But who did bid thee ioyne with vs?

3.
Macbeth.

2.
He needes not our mistrust, since he deliuers
Our Offices, and what we haue to doe,
To the direction iust.

1.
Then stand with vs:
The West yet glimmers with some streakes of Day.
Now spurres the lated Traueller apace,
To gayne the timely Inne, and neere approches
The subiect of our Watch.

3.
Hearke, I heare Horses.

Banquo
within.
Giue vs a Light there, hoa.

2.
Then 'tis hee:
The rest, that are within the note of expectation,
Alreadie are i'th' Court.

1.
His Horses goe about.

3.
Almost a mile: but he does vsually,
So all men doe, from hence toth' Pallace Gate
Make it their Walke.
Enter Banquo and Fleans, with a Torch.

2.
A Light, a Light.

3.
'Tis hee.

1.
Stand too't.

Ban.
It will be Rayne to Night.

1.
Let it come downe.

Ban.
O, Trecherie!
Flye good Fleans, flye, flye, flye,
Thou may'st reuenge. O Slaue!

3.
Who did strike out the Light?

1.
Was't not the way?

3.
There's but one downe: the Sonne is fled.

2.
We haue lost
Best halfe of our Affaire.

1.
Well, let's away, and say how much is done.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene IV
Banquet prepar'd. Enter Macbeth, Lady,
Rosse, Lenox, Lords, and Attendants

Macb.
You know your owne degrees, sit downe: At first
and last, the hearty welcome.

Lords.
Thankes to your Maiesty.

Macb.
Our selfe will mingle with Society,
And play the humble Host:
Our Hostesse keepes her State, but in best time
We will require her welcome.

La.
Pronounce it for me Sir, to all our Friends,
For my heart speakes, they are welcome.
Enter first Murtherer.

Macb.
See they encounter thee with their harts thanks
Both sides are euen: heere Ile sit i'th' mid'st,
Be large in mirth, anon wee'l drinke a Measure
The Table round.
There's blood vpon thy face.

Mur.
'Tis Banquo's then.

Macb.
'Tis better thee without, then he within.
Is he dispatch'd?

Mur.
My Lord his throat is cut,
that I did for him.

Mac.
Thou art the best o'th' Cut-throats,
Yet hee's good that did the like for Fleans:
If thou did'st it, thou art the Non-pareill.

Mur.
Most Royall Sir / Fleans is scap'd.

Macb.
Then comes my Fit againe: I had else beene perfect;
Whole as the Marble, founded as the Rocke,
As broad, and generall, as the casing Ayre:
But now I am cabin'd, crib'd, confin'd, bound in
To sawcy doubts, and feares. But Banquo's safe?

Mur.
I, my good Lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a Death to Nature.

Macb.
Thankes for that:
There the growne Serpent lyes, the worme that's fled
Hath Nature that in time will Venom breed,
No teeth for th' present. Get thee gone, to morrow
Wee'l heare our selues againe.
Exit Murderer.

Lady.
My Royall Lord,
You do not giue the Cheere, the Feast is sold
That is not often vouch'd, while 'tis a making:
'Tis giuen, with welcome: to feede were best at home:
From thence, the sawce to meate is Ceremony,
Meeting were bare without it.

Macb.
Sweet Remembrancer:
Now good digestion waite on Appetite,
And health on both.

Lenox.
May't please your Highnesse sit.
Enter the Ghost of Banquo, and sits in Macbeths place.

Macb.
Here had we now our Countries Honor, roof'd,
Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present:
Who, may I rather challenge for vnkindnesse,
Then pitty for Mischance.

Rosse.
His absence (Sir)
Layes blame vpon his promise. Pleas't your Highnesse
To grace vs with your Royall Company?

Macb.
The Table's full.

Lenox.
Heere is a place reseru'd Sir.

Macb.
Where?

Lenox.
Heere my good Lord. What is't that moues your Highnesse?

Macb.
Which of you haue done this?

Lords.
What, my good Lord?

Macb.
Thou canst not say I did it: neuer shake
Thy goary lockes at me.

Rosse.
Gentlemen rise, his Highnesse is not well.

Lady.
Sit worthy Friends: my Lord is often thus,
And hath beene from his youth. Pray you keepe Seat,
The fit is momentary, vpon a thought
He will againe be well. If much you note him
You shall offend him, and extend his Passion,
Feed, and regard him not. Are you a man?

Macb.
I, and a bold one, that dare looke on that
Which might appall the Diuell.

La.
O proper stuffe:
This is the very painting of your feare:
This is the Ayre-drawne-Dagger which you said
Led you to Duncan. O, these flawes and starts
(Impostors to true feare) would well become
A womans story, at a Winters fire
Authoriz'd by her Grandam: shame it selfe,
Why do you make such faces? When all's done
You looke but on a stoole.

Macb.
Prythee see there:
Behold, looke, loe, how say you:
Why what care I, if thou canst nod, speake too.
If Charnell houses, and our Graues must send
Those that we bury, backe; our Monuments
Shall be the Mawes of Kytes.

La.
What? quite vnmann'd in folly.

Macb.
If I stand heere, I saw him.

La.
Fie for shame.

Macb.
Blood hath bene shed ere now, i'th' olden time
Ere humane Statute purg'd the gentle Weale:
I, and since too, Murthers haue bene perform'd
Too terrible for the eare. The times has bene,
That when the Braines were out, the man would dye,
And there an end: But now they rise againe
With twenty mortall murthers on their crownes,
And push vs from our stooles. This is more strange
Then such a murther is.

La.
My worthy Lord
Your Noble Friends do lacke you.

Macb.
I do forget:
Do not muse at me my most worthy Friends,
I haue a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, loue and health to all,
Then Ile sit downe: Giue me some Wine, fill full:
Enter Ghost.
I drinke to th' generall ioy o'th' whole Table,
And to our deere Friend Banquo, whom we misse:
Would he were heere: to all, and him we thirst,
And all to all.

Lords.
Our duties, and the pledge.

Mac.

Auant, & quit my sight, let the earth hide thee:
Thy bones are marrowlesse, thy blood is cold:
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with.

La.
Thinke of this good Peeres
But as a thing of Custome: 'Tis no other,
Onely it spoyles the pleasure of the time.

Macb.
What man dare, I dare:
Approach thou like the rugged Russian Beare,
The arm'd Rhinoceros, or th' Hircan Tiger,
Take any shape but that, and my firme Nerues
Shall neuer tremble. Or be aliue againe,
And dare me to the Desart with thy Sword:
If trembling I inhabit then, protest mee
The Baby of a Girle. Hence horrible shadow,
Vnreall mock'ry hence.
Why so, being gone
I am a man againe: pray you sit still.

La.
You haue displac'd the mirth, / Broke the good meeting,
with most admir'd disorder.

Macb.
Can such things be,
And ouercome vs like a Summers Clowd,
Without our speciall wonder? You make me strange
Euen to the disposition that I owe,
When now I thinke you can behold such sights,
And keepe the naturall Rubie of your Cheekes,
When mine is blanch'd with feare.

Rosse.
What sights, my Lord?

La.
I pray you speake not: he growes worse & worse
Question enrages him: at once, goodnight.
Stand not vpon the order of your going,
But go at once.

Len.
Good night, and better health
Attend his Maiesty.

La
A kinde goodnight to all.
Exit Lords.

Macb.
It will haue blood they say: Blood will haue Blood:
Stones haue beene knowne to moue, & Trees to speake:
Augures, and vnderstood Relations, haue
By Maggot Pyes, & Choughes, & Rookes brought forth
The secret'st man of Blood. What is the night?

La.
Almost at oddes with morning, which is which.

Macb.
How say'st thou that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding.

La.
Did you send to him Sir?

Macb.
I heare it by the way: But I will send:
There's not a one of them but in his house
I keepe a Seruant Feed. I will to morrow
(And betimes I will) to the weyard Sisters.
More shall they speake: for now I am bent to know
By the worst meanes, the worst, for mine owne good,
All causes shall giue way. I am in blood
Stept in so farre, that should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go ore:
Strange things I haue in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted, ere they may be scand.

La.
You lacke the season of all Natures, sleepe.

Macb.
Come, wee'l to sleepe: My strange & self-abuse
Is the initiate feare, that wants hard vse:
We are yet but yong indeed.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene V
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecat

1.
Why how now i, you looke angerly?

Hec.
Haue I not reason (Beldams) as you are?
Sawcy, and ouer-bold, how did you dare
To Trade, and Trafficke with Macbeth,
In Riddles, and Affaires of death;
And I the Mistris of your Charmes,
The close contriuer of all harmes,
Was neuer call'd to beare my part,
Or shew the glory of our Art?
And which is worse, all you haue done
Hath bene but for a wayward Sonne,
Spightfull, and wrathfull, who (as others do)
Loues for his owne ends, not for you.
But make amends now: Get you gon,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meete me i'th' Morning: thither he
Will come, to know his Destinie.
Your Vessels, and your Spels prouide,
Your Charmes, and euery thing beside;
I am for th' Ayre: This night Ile spend
Vnto a dismall, and a Fatall end.
Great businesse must be wrought ere Noone.
Vpon the Corner of the Moone
There hangs a vap'rous drop, profound,
Ile catch it ere it come to ground;
And that distill'd by Magicke slights,
Shall raise such Artificiall Sprights,
As by the strength of their illusion,
Shall draw him on to his Confusion.
He shall spurne Fate, scorne Death, and beare
His hopes 'boue Wisedome, Grace, and Feare:
And you all know, Security
Is Mortals cheefest Enemie.
Musicke, and a Song.
Hearke, I am call'd: my little Spirit see
Sits in Foggy cloud, and stayes for me.
Sing within. Come away, come away, &c.

1
Come, let's make hast, shee'l soone be / Backe againe.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene VI
Enter Lenox, and another Lord.

Lenox.
My former Speeches, / Haue but hit your Thoughts
Which can interpret farther: Onely I say
Things haue bin strangely borne. The gracious Duncan
Was pittied of Macbeth: marry he was dead:
And the right valiant Banquo walk'd too late,
Whom you may say (if't please you) Fleans kill'd,
For Fleans fled: Men must not walke too late.
Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous
It was for Malcolme, and for Donalbane
To kill their gracious Father? Damned Fact,
How it did greeue Macbeth? Did he not straight
In pious rage, the two delinquents teare,
That were the Slaues of drinke, and thralles of sleepe?
Was not that Nobly done? I, and wisely too:
For 'twould haue anger'd any heart aliue
To heare the men deny't. So that I say,
He ha's borne all things well, and I do thinke,
That had he Duncans Sonnes vnder his Key,
(As, and't please Heauen he shall not) they should finde
What 'twere to kill a Father: So should Fleans.
But peace; for from broad words, and cause he fayl'd
His presence at the Tyrants Feast, I heare
Macduffe liues in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
Where he bestowes himselfe?

Lord.
The Sonnes of Duncane
(From whom this Tyrant holds the due of Birth)
Liues in the English Court, and is receyu'd
Of the most Pious Edward, with such grace,
That the maleuolence of Fortune, nothing
Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduffe
Is gone, to pray the Holy King, vpon his ayd
To wake Northumberland, and warlike Seyward,
That by the helpe of these (with him aboue)
To ratifie the Worke) we may againe
Giue to our Tables meate, sleepe to our Nights:
Free from our Feasts, and Banquets bloody kniues;
Do faithfull Homage, and receiue free Honors,
All which we pine for now. And this report
Hath so exasperate their King, that hee
Prepares for some attempt of Warre.

Len.
Sent he to Macduffe?

Lord.
He did: and with an absolute Sir, not I
The clowdy Messenger turnes me his backe,
And hums; as who should say, you'l rue the time
That clogges me with this Answer.

Lenox.
And that well might
Aduise him to a Caution, t' hold what distance
His wisedome can prouide. Some holy Angell
Flye to the Court of England, and vnfold
His Message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soone returne to this our suffering Country,
Vnder a hand accurs'd.

Lord
Ile send my Prayers with him.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Banquo

BANQUO
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

MACBETH
Here's our chief guest.

LADY
If he had been forgotten
It had been as a gap in our great feast
And all-thing unbecoming.

MACBETH
Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I'll request your presence.

BANQUO
Let your highness
Command upon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
For ever knit.

MACBETH
Ride you this afternoon?

BANQUO
Ay, my good lord.

MACBETH
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?

BANQUO
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.

MACBETH
Fail not our feast.

BANQUO
My lord, I will not.

MACBETH
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?

BANQUO
Ay, my good lord; our time does call upon's.

MACBETH
I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs.
Farewell.
Exit Banquo
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
Sirrah!
A word with you. Attend those men our pleasure?

SERVANT
They are, my lord, without the palace gate.

MACBETH
Bring them before us.
Exit Servant
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
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.
Exit Servant
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?

MURDERERS
It was, so please your highness.

MACBETH
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.’

FIRST MURDERER
You made it known to us.

MACBETH
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?

FIRST MURDERER
We are men, my liege.

MACBETH
Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
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
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.

SECOND MURDERER
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.

FIRST MURDERER
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.

MACBETH
Both of you
Know Banquo was your enemy.

MURDERERS
True, my lord.

MACBETH
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.

SECOND MURDERER
We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.

FIRST MURDERER
Though our lives –

MACBETH
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 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.

MURDERERS
We are resolved, my lord.

MACBETH
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 tonight.
Exit
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Macbeth's Lady and a Servant

LADY
Is Banquo gone from court?

SERVANT
Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.

LADY
Say to the King I would attend his leisure
For a few words.

SERVANT
Madam, I will.
Exit

LADY
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 Macbeth
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.

MACBETH
We have scorched the snake, not killed 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
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, 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
Come on,
Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks,
Be bright and jovial among your guests tonight.

MACBETH
So shall I, love; and so I pray be you.
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo,
Present him eminence both with eye and tongue.
Unsafe the while that we
Must lave our honours in these flattering streams,
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.

LADY
You must leave this.

MACBETH
O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know'st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.

LADY
But in them nature's copy's not eterne.

MACBETH
There's comfort yet! They are assailable.
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecat'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
What's to be done?

MACBETH
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 wood;
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
While night's black agents to their preys do rouse.
Thou marvell'st at my words; but hold thee still.
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
So, prithee, go with me.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene III
Enter three Murderers

FIRST MURDERER
But who did bid thee join with us?

THIRD MURDERER
Macbeth.

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

FIRST MURDERER
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 MURDERER
Hark! I hear horses.

BANQUO
(within)
Give us a light there, ho!

SECOND MURDERER
Then 'tis he.
The rest that are within the note of expectation,
Already are i'the court.

FIRST MURDERER
His horses go about.

THIRD MURDERER
Almost a mile; but he does usually.
So all men do, from hence to the palace gate
Make it their walk.
Enter Banquo and Fleance, with a torch

SECOND MURDERER
A light, a light!

THIRD MURDERER
'Tis he.

FIRST MURDERER
Stand to't!

BANQUO
It will be rain tonight.

FIRST MURDERER
Let it come down!
They attack Banquo

BANQUO
O treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou mayst revenge – O slave!
Banquo falls. Fleance escapes

THIRD MURDERER
Who did strike out the light?

FIRST MURDERER
Was't not the way?

THIRD MURDERER
There's but one down; the son is fled.

SECOND MURDERER
We have lost
Best half of our affair.

FIRST MURDERER
Well, let's away and say how much is done.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene IV
Banquet prepared. Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth,
Ross, Lennox, Lords, and Attendants

MACBETH
You know your own degrees, sit down. At first
And last, the hearty welcome.

LORDS
Thanks to your majesty.

MACBETH
Ourself will mingle with society
And play the humble host.
He walks around the tables
Our hostess keeps her state; but in best time
We will require her welcome.

LADY
Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends,
For my heart speaks they are welcome.
Enter First Murderer

MACBETH
See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks;
Both sides are even. Here I'll sit i'the midst.
Be large in mirth. Anon we'll drink a measure
The table round.
He rises and goes to the Murderer
There's blood upon thy face!

FIRST MURDERER
'Tis Banquo's then.

MACBETH
'Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he dispatched?

FIRST MURDERER
My lord, his throat is cut;
That I did for him.

MACBETH
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.

FIRST MURDERER
Most royal sir – Fleance is scaped.

MACBETH
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 cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. – But Banquo's safe?

FIRST MURDERER
Ay, my good lord; safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head,
The least a death to nature.

MACBETH
Thanks for that.
There the grown serpent lies. The worm that's fled
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for the present. Get thee gone. Tomorrow
We'll hear ourselves again.
Exit Murderer

LADY
My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer. The feast is sold
That is not often vouched, while 'tis a-making,
'Tis given with welcome. To feed were best at home;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.

MACBETH
Sweet remembrancer!
Now good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!

LENNOX
May't please your highness sit.
Enter the Ghost of Banquo and sits in Macbeth's place

MACBETH
Here had we now our country's honour roofed,
Were the graced person of our Banquo present;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance.

ROSS
His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please't your highness
To grace us with your royal company?

MACBETH
The table's full.

LENNOX
Here is a place reserved, sir.

MACBETH
Where?

LENNOX
Here, my good lord. What is't that moves your highness?

MACBETH
Which of you have done this?

LORDS
What, my good lord?

MACBETH
Thou canst not say I did it; never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

ROSS
Gentlemen, rise. His highness is not well.

LADY
(descends from her throne)
Sit, worthy friends. My lord is often thus;
And hath been from his youth. Pray you keep seat.
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well. If much you note him,
You shall offend him and extend his passion.
Feed, and regard him not. – Are you a man?

MACBETH
Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.

LADY
O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear.
This is the air-drawn dagger which you said
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
Impostors to true fear, would well become
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all's done
You look but on a stool.

MACBETH
Prithee, see there!
Behold! Look! Lo! – How say you?
Why, what care I if thou canst nod! Speak, too!
If charnel-houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury, back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.
Exit Ghost

LADY
What, quite unmanned in folly?

MACBETH
If I stand here, I saw him.

LADY
Fie, for shame!

MACBETH
Blood hath been shed ere now, i'the olden time,
Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been performed
Too terrible for the ear. The times has been
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end. But now they rise again
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools. This is more strange
Than such a murder is.

LADY
My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.

MACBETH
I do forget.
Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends:
I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, love and health to all!
Then I'll sit down. Give me some wine; fill full!
Enter Ghost
I drink to the general joy o'the whole table,
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss.
Would he were here! To all – and him – we thirst,
And all to all.

LORDS
Our duties and the pledge!

MACBETH
(sees the Ghost)
Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold.
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with.

LADY
Think of this, good peers,
But as a thing of custom; 'tis no other;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.

MACBETH
What man dare, I dare.
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The armed rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger,
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble. Or be alive again,
And dare me to the desert with thy sword:
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mockery, hence!
Exit Ghost
Why, so; being gone,
I am a man again. – Pray you sit still.

LADY
You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting
With most admired disorder.

MACBETH
Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
Without our special wonder? You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe
When now I think you can behold such sights
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine is blanched with fear.

ROSS
What sights, my lord?

LADY
I pray you speak not; he grows worse and worse.
Question enrages him. At once, good night.
Stand not upon the order of your going;
But go at once.

LENNOX
Good night; and better health
Attend his majesty!

LADY
A kind good-night to all!
Exeunt Lords

MACBETH
It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.
Stones have been known to move and trees to speak;
Augurs and understood relations have
By maggot-pies, and choughs, and rooks brought forth
The secret'st man of blood. What is the night?

LADY
Almost at odds with morning, which is which.

MACBETH
How sayst thou, that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding?

LADY
Did you send to him, sir?

MACBETH
I hear it by the way. But I will send.
There's not a one of them, but in his house
I keep a servant fee'd. I will tomorrow –
And betimes I will – to the Weird Sisters.
More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know
By the worst means the worst. For mine own good
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er.
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted ere they may be scanned.

LADY
You lack the season of all natures, sleep.

MACBETH
Come, we'll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear that wants hard use.
We are yet but young in deed.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene V
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecat

FIRST WITCH
Why, how now, Hecat? You look angerly.

HECAT
Have I not reason, beldams, as you are
Saucy and over-bold? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death,
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never called to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?
And, which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now: get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i'the morning. Thither he
Will come, to know his destiny.
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and everything beside.
I am for the air; this night I'll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end.
Great business must be wrought ere noon.
Upon the corner of the moon:
There hangs a vaporous drop profound;
I'll catch it ere it come to ground;
And that distilled by magic sleights
Shall raise such artificial sprites
As by the strength of their illusion
Shall draw him on to his confusion.
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear.
And you all know security
Is mortals' chiefest enemy.
Music and a song
Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud and stays for me.
Sing within: ‘ Come away, come away,’ etc,

FIRST WITCH
Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene VI
Enter Lennox and another Lord

LENNOX
My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret further. Only I say
Things have been strangely borne. The gracious Duncan
Was pitied of Macbeth: marry, he was dead!
And the right valiant Banquo walked too late;
Whom you may say, if't please you, Fleance killed,
For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? Damned fact,
How it did grieve Macbeth! Did he not straight –
In pious rage – the two delinquents tear,
That were the slaves of drink, and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For 'twould have angered any heart alive
To hear the men deny't. So that I say
He has borne all things well; and I do think
That had he Duncan's sons under his key –
As, an't please heaven, he shall not – they should find
What 'twere to kill a father – so should Fleance.
But, peace! For from broad words, and 'cause he failed
His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear
Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?

LORD
The son of Duncan,
From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court, and is received
Of the most pious Edward with such grace
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect. Thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid,
To wake Northumberland and warlike Seyward,
That by the help of these – with Him above
To ratify the work – we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives,
Do faithful homage and receive free honours –
All which we pine for now. And this report
Hath so exasperate the King that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.

LENNOX
Sent he to Macduff?

LORD
He did. And with an absolute ‘ Sir, not I!’
The cloudy messenger turns me his back
And hums, as who should say ‘ You'll rue the time
That clogs me with this answer.’

LENNOX
And that well might
Advise him to a caution to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England and unfold
His message ere he come, that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country,
Under a hand accursed!

LORD
I'll send my prayers with him.
Exeunt
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