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Ban. All's well.

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

Macb. I think not of them:

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,

Would spend it in some words upon that business,
If you would grant the time.

Ban. At your kind'st leisure.

Macb. If you shall cleave to my consent,-when 'tis, It shall make honour for you.

Ban. So I lose none,

In seeking to augment it, but still keep

My bosom franchised, and allegiance clear,

I shall be counsell❜d.

Macb. Good repose, the while!

Ban. Thanks, Sir, the like to you!


[Exit Servant.

Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:

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?
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; now witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murder,
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 where-about,

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. [Abell 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.

* Haft.



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]. Who's there?-what, ho!

Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awaked, 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?


Mach. I have done the deed:-Didst thou not hear a noise? Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry.

Did you not speak?

Macb. When?

Lady M. Now:

Macb. As I descended?

Lady M. Ay.

Macb. Hark!

Who lies i' the second chamber?

Lady M. Donalbain.

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 murder!

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 lodged 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 murder sleep, the innocent sleep;

Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleavet of care,

*As if.


† Unwrought silk.


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 murder'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.

Macb. I'll go no more:

I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on't again, I dare not.

Lady M. 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.

Macb. Whence is that knocking?

[Exit. Knocking within.

How is't with me, when every noise appals 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 incarnardine,*

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 night-gown, lest occasion call us,

And show us to be watchers:-Be not lost

So poorly in your thoughts.

Macb. To know my deed,-'twere best not know myself.

[Knock. Wake Duncan with thy knocking! Ay, would thou couldst ! [Exeunt.

Enter a PORTER.-[Knocking within.]

Port. Here's a knocking, indeed! If a man were porter of hellgate, he should have old turning the key. [Knocking.] Knock, knock, knock: Who's there, i' the name of Belzebub? Here's a farmer, that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty: Come

* Stain of a flesh colour.

+ Frequent.

in time; have napkins* enough about you; here you'll sweat for't. [Knocking.] Knock, knock: Who's there, i' the devil's name? 'Faith here's an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator. [Knocking.] Knock, knock, knock: Who's there? 'Faith here's an English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French hose: Come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. [Knocking.] Knock, knock: Never at quiet! What are you?-But this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further: I had thought to have let in some of all professions, that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. [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:† and drink, Sir, is a great provoker of three things.

Macd. What three things does drink especially provoke? Port. Marry, Sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, Sir, it provokes, and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance: Therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to: in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.

Macd. I believe, drink gave thee the lie last night.

Port. That it did, Sir, i' the very throat o' me: But I requited him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him. Macd. Is thy master stirring ?

Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.


Len. Good-morrow, noble Sir!

Macb. Good-morrow, both!

Macd. Is the king stirring, worthy thane?

Macb. Not yet.

Macd. He did command me to call timely on him;

I have almost slipp'd the hour.

Macb. I'll bring you to him.

Macd. I know, this is a joyful trouble to you;

But yet, 'tis one.

Macb. The labour we delight in, physics pain.

This is the door.

Macd. I'll make so bold to call,

For 'tis my limited service.

Len. Goes the king

From hence to-day?


† Cockcrowing.



Macb. He does:-He did appoint it so.

Len. The night has been unruly: Where we lay, Our chimneys were blown down: and, as they say, Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death; And prophesying, with accents terrible,

Of dire combustion, and confused events,

New hatch'd to the woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamour'd the live-long night: some say, the earth
Was feverous, and did shake.

Macb. "Twas a rough night.

Len. My young remembrance cannot parallel

A fellow to it.

Re-enter MACDUFF.

Macd. O horror! horror! horror! Tongue, nor heart, Cannot conceive nor name thee!

Macb. Len. What's the matter?

Macd. Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence

The life o' the building.

Macb. What is't you say? the life?

Len. Mean you his majesty?

Macd. Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight With a new Gorgon :-Do not bid me speak;

See, and then speak yourselves.-Awake! awake!—

[Exeunt MACBETH and LENOX.

Ring the alarum-bell :-Murder! and treason!
Banquo, and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake!
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself!-up, up, and see
The great doom's image?-

Malcolm! Banquo!

As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprights,
To countenance this horror!


Lady M. What's the business,

That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? speak, speak.-
Macd. O, gentle lady,

"Tis not for you to hear what I can speak :

The repetition, in a woman's ear,

Would murder as it fell.-O Banquo! Banquo!


Our royal master's murder'd!

Lady M. Woe, alas!

What, in our house?

Ban. Too cruel, anywhere.

Dear Duff, I pr'ythee, contradict thyself,
And say it is not so.

[Bell rings.

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