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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
One of the plays in the 1916 Oxford University Press edition of all of Shakespeare’s plays and poems.
The text is in the public domain.
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
|DUNCAN,||King of Scotland.|
|MALCOLM, }||his Sons.|
|MACBETH, }||Generals of the King’s Army.|
|MACDUFF, }||Noblemen of Scotland.|
|FLEANCE,||Son to Banquo.|
|SIWARD,||Earl of Northumberland, General of the English Forces.|
|YOUNG SIWARD,||his Son.|
|SEYTON,||an Officer attending Macbeth.|
|Boy, Son to Macduff.|
|An English Doctor.|
|A Scotch Doctor.|
|An Old Man.|
|Gentlewoman attending on Lady Macbeth.|
|HECATE and Three Witches.|
|Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers. The Ghost of Banquo, and other Apparitions.|
Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches.
When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
When the hurlyburly’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.
That will be ere the set of sun.
Where the place?
Upon the heath.
There to meet with Macbeth.
I come, Graymalkin!
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
Alarum within. EnterKing Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox,with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Sergeant.
What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.
This is the sergeant
Who, like a good and hardy soldier fought
’Gainst my captivity. Hail, brave friend!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil
As thou didst leave it.
Doubtful it stood;
As two spent swimmers, that do cling together
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald—
Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him—from the western isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied;
And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Show’d like a rebel’s whore: but all’s too weak;
For brave Macbeth,—well he deserves that name,—
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish’d steel,
Which smok’d with bloody execution,
Like valour’s minion carv’d out his passage
Till he fac’d the slave;
Which ne’er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam’d him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix’d his head upon our battlements.
O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!
As whence the sun ’gins his reflection
Shipwracking storms and direful thunders break,
So from that spring whence comfort seem’d to come
Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark:
No sooner justice had with valour arm’d
Compell’d these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord surveying vantage,
With furbish’d arms and new supplies of men
Began a fresh assault.
Dismay’d not this
Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?
As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons overcharg’d with double cracks;
Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell—
But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.
So well thy words become thee as thy wounds;
They smack of honour both. Go, get him surgeons.
[Exit Sergeant, attended.
Who comes here?
The worthy Thane of Ross.
What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look
That seems to speak things strange.
God save the king!
Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane?
From Fife, great king;
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky
And fan our people cold. Norway himself,
With terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor,
The Thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;
Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapp’d in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point, rebellious arm ’gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit: and, to conclude,
The victory fell on us.—
Sweno, the Norways’ king, craves composition;
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursed, at Saint Colme’s Inch,
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest. Go pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth.
I’ll see it done.
What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
Where hast thou been, sister?
Sister, where thou?
A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap,
And munch’d, and munch’d, and munch’d: ‘Give me,’ quoth I:
‘Aroint thee, witch!’ the rump-fed ronyon cries.
Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ the Tiger:
But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,
And, like a rat without a tail,
I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
I’ll give thee a wind.
And I another.
I myself have all the other;
And the very ports they blow,
All the quarters that they know
I’ the shipman’s card.
I’ll drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid.
Weary se’nnights nine times nine
Shall he dwindle, peak and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tost.
Look what I have.
Show me, show me.
Here I have a pilot’s thumb,
Wrack’d as homeward he did come.
A drum! a drum!
Macbeth doth come.
The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about:
Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm’s wound up.
So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
How far is ’t call’d to Forres? What are these,
So wither’d and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th’ inhabitants o’ the earth,
And yet are on ’t? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips: you should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.
Speak, if you can: what are you?
All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis!
All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!
All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter.
Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear
Things that do sound so fair? I’ the name of truth,
Are ye fantastical, or that indeed
Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner
You greet with present grace and great prediction
Of noble having and of royal hope,
That he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not.
If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favours nor your hate.
Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
Not so happy, yet much happier.
Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none:
So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
Banquo and Macbeth, all hail!
Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Sinel’s death I know I am Thane of Glamis;
But how of Cawdor? the Thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman; and to be king
Stands not within the prospect of belief
No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence
You owe this strange intelligence? or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetic greeting? Speak, I charge you.
The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them. Whither are they vanish’d?
Into the air, and what seem’d corporal melted
As breath into the wind. Would they had stay’d!
Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?
Your children shall be kings.
You shall be king.
And Thane of Cawdor too; went it not so?
To the self-same tune and words. Who’s here?
The king hath happily receiv’d, Macbeth,
The news of thy success; and when he reads
Thy personal venture in the rebels’ fight,
His wonders and his praises do contend
Which should be thine or his. Silenc’d with that,
In viewing o’er the rest o’ the self-same day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail
Came post with post, and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom’s great defence,
And pour’d them down before him.
We are sent
To give thee from our royal master thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.
And, for an earnest of a greater honour,
He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor:
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane!
For it is thine.
What! can the devil speak true?
The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me
In borrow’d robes?
Who was the thane lives yet;
But under heavy judgment bears that life
Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combin’d
With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
With hidden help or vantage, or that with both
He labour’d in his country’s wrack, I know not;
But treasons capital, confess’d and prov’d,
Have overthrown him.
[Aside.] Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor:
The greatest is behind. [ToRossandAngus.] Thanks for your pains.
[ToBanquo.] Do you not hope your children shall be kings,
When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me
Promis’d no less to them?
That, trusted home,
Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But ’tis strange:
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
Win us with honest trifles, to betray’s
In deepest consequence.
Cousins, a word, I pray you.
[Aside.] Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme. I thank you, gentlemen.
[Aside.] This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good; if ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor:
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings;
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man that function
Is smother’d in surmise, and nothing is
But what is not.
Look, how our partner’s rapt.
[Aside] If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me,
Without my stir.
New honours come upon him,
Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould
But with the aid of use.
[Aside.] Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.
Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
Give me your favour: my dull brain was wrought
With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains
Are register’d where every day I turn
The leaf to read them. Let us toward the king.
Think upon what hath chanc’d; and, at more time,
The interim having weigh’d it, let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.
Till then, enough. Come, friends.
Flourish. EnterDuncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox,and Attendants.
Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
Those in commission yet return’d?
They are not yet come back; but I have spoke
With one that saw him die; who did report
That very frankly he confess’d his treasons,
Implor’d your highness’ pardon and set forth
A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he ow’d,
As ’twere a careless trifle.
There’s no art
To find the mind’s construction in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.
EnterMacbeth, Banquo, RossandAngus.
O worthiest cousin!
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me. Thou art so far before
That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
To overtake thee; would thou hadst less deserv’d,
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine! only I have left to say,
More is thy due than more than all can pay.
The service and the loyalty I owe,
In doing it, pays itself. Your highness’ part
Is to receive our duties: and our duties
Are to your throne and state, children and servants;
Which do but what they should, by doing everything
Safe toward your love and honour.
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing. Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserv’d, nor must be known
No less to have done so, let me infold thee
And hold thee to my heart.
There if I grow,
The harvest is your own.
My plenteous joys
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow. Sons, kinsmen, thanes,
And you whose places are the nearest, know
We will establish our estate upon
Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter
The Prince of Cumberland; which honour must
Not unaccompanied invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers. From hence to Inverness,
And bind us further to you.
The rest is labour, which is not us’d for you:
I’ll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful
The hearing of my wife with your approach;
So, humbly take my leave.
My worthy Cawdor!
[Aside.] The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step
On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!
Let not light see my black and deep desires;
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.
True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant,
And in his commendations I am fed;
It is a banquet to me. Let’s after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome:
It is a peerless kinsman.
EnterLady Macbeth,reading a letter.
They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me, ‘Thane of Cawdor;’ by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with, ‘Hail, king that shall be!’ This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promis’d. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way; thou wouldst be great,
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it; what thou wouldst highly,
That thou wouldst holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win; thou’dst have, great Glamis,
That which cries, ‘Thus thou must do, if thou have it;’
And that which rather thou dost fear to do
Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear,
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crown’d withal.
Enter a Messenger.
What is your tidings?
The king comes here to-night.
Thou’rt mad to say it.
Is not thy master with him? who, were’t so,
Would have inform’d for preparation.
So please you, it is true: our thane is coming;
One of my fellows had the speed of him,
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.
Give him tending;
He brings great news.—[Exit Messenger.] The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts! unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top full
Of direst cruelty; make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry, ‘Hold, hold!’
Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.
My dearest love,
Duncan comes here to-night.
And when goes hence?
To-morrow, as he purposes.
Shall sun that morrow see.
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under’t. He that’s coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night’s great business into my dispatch;
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
We will speak further.
Only look up clear;
To alter favour ever is to fear.
Leave all the rest to me.
Hautboys and torches. EnterDuncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo, Lennox, Macduff, Ross, Angus,and Attendants.
This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.
This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve
By his lov’d mansionry that the heaven’s breath
Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle:
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observ’d
The air is delicate.
See, see, our honour’d hostess!
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you
How you shall bid God ’eyld us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.
All our service,
In every point twice done, and then done double,
Were poor and single business, to contend
Against those honours deep and broad wherewith
Your majesty loads our house: for those of old,
And the late dignities heap’d up to them,
We rest your hermits.
Where’s the Thane of Cawdor?
We cours’d him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor; but he rides well,
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.
Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness’ pleasure,
Still to return your own.
Give me your hand;
Conduct me to mine host: we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.
Hautboys and torches. Enter, and pass over the stage, a Sewer, and divers Servants with dishes and service. Then, enterMacbeth.
If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly; if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor; this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels trumpet-tongu’d against
The deep damnation of his taking-off;
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin, hors’d
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’er-leaps itself
And falls on the other.—
How now! what news?
He has almost supp’d: why have you left the chamber?
Hath he ask’d for me?
Know you not he has?
We will proceed no further in this business:
He hath honour’d me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
Was the hope drunk,
Wherein you dress’d yourself? hath it slept since,
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would,’
Like the poor cat i’ the adage?
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.
What beast was’t, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it then you were a man;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.
If we should fail,—
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep,
Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey
Soundly invite him, his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassail so convince
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only; 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 receiv’d,
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?
Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
Upon his death?
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.
EnterBanquoandFleance,with a Servant bearing a torch before him
How goes the night, boy?
The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
And she goes down at twelve.
I take’t, ’tis later, sir.
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!
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose.
EnterMacbeth,and a Servant with a torch.
Give me my sword.—
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.
Our will became the servant to defect,
Which else should free have wrought.
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.
If you shall cleave to my consent, when ’tis,
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!
Thanks, sir: the like to you.
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:
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?
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 murder,
Alarum’d by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, toward 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.
That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold,
What hath quench’d them hath given me fire. Hark!
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.
[Within.] Who’s there? what, ho!
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!
I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?
As I descended?
Who lies i’ the second chamber?
[Looking on his hands] This is a sorry sight.
A foolish thought to say a sorry sight.
There’s one did laugh in ’s 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.
There are two lodg’d together.
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!’
Consider it not so deeply.
But wherefore could not I pronounce ‘Amen?’
I had most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’
Stuck in my throat.
These deeds must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.
Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep,’ the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell’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,—
What do you mean?
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!’
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.
I’ll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on ’t again I dare not.
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.
[Exit. Knocking within.
Whence is that knocking?
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 incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
My hands are of your colour, but I shame
To wear a heart so white.—[Knocking within.] 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 within.] 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.
To know my deed ’twere best not know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!
Knocking within. Enter a Porter.
Here’s a knocking, indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate he should have old turning the key. [Knocking within.] Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty: come in time; have napkins enough about you; here you’ll sweat for ’t. [Knocking within.] Knock, knock! Who’s there i’ the other 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 within.] 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 within.] 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 within.] Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.
[Opens the gate.
Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?
Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock; and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.
What three things does drink especially provoke?
Marry, sir, mose-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.
I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.
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.
Is thy master stirring?
Our knocking has awak’d him; here he comes.
Good morrow, noble sir.
Good morrow, both.
Is the king stirring, worthy thane?
He did command me to call timely on him:
I have almost slipp’d the hour.
I’ll bring you to him.
I know this is a joyful trouble to you;
But yet ’tis one.
The labour we delight in physics pain.
This is the door.
I’ll make so bold to call,
For ’tis my limited service.
Goes the king hence to-day?
He does: he did appoint so.
The night has been unruly: where we lay,
Ourchimneys 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 confus’d events
New hatch’d to the woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamour’d the livelong night: some say the earth
Was feverous and did shake.
’Twas a rough night.
My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.
O horror! horror! horror! Tongue nor heart
Cannot conceive nor name thee!
What’s the matter?
What’s the matter?
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!
What is ’t you say? the life?
Mean you his majesty?
Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon: do not bid me speak;
See, and then speak yourselves.
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 sprites,
To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.
What’s the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? speak, speak!
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!
What! in our house?
Too cruel any where.
Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,
And say it is not so.
Had I but died an hour before this chance
I had liv’d a blessed time; for, from this instant,
There’s nothing serious in mortality,
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
What is amiss?
You are, and do not know ’t:
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp’d; the very source of it is stopp’d.
Your royal father’s murder’d.
O! by whom?
Those of his chamber, as it seem’d, had done ’t:
Their hands and faces were all badg’d with blood;
So were their daggers, which unwip’d we found
Upon their pillows: they star’d, and were distracted; no man’s life
Was to be trusted with them.
O! yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.
Wherefore did you so?
Who can be wise, amaz’d, temperate and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man:
The expedition of my violent love
Outran the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin lac’d with his golden blood;
And his gash’d stabs look’d like a breach in nature
For ruin’s wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,
Steep’d in the colours of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breech’d with gore: who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make ’s love known?
Help me hence, ho!
Look to the lady.
[Aside toDonalbain.] Why do we hold our tongues,
That most may claim this argument for ours:
[Aside toMalcolm.] What should be spoken
Here where our fate, hid in an auger-hole,
May rush and seize us? Let’s away: our tears
Are not yet brew’d.
[Aside toDonalbain.] Nor our strong sorrow
Upon the foot of motion.
Look to the lady:
[Lady Macbethis carried out.
And when we have our naked frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure, let us meet,
And question this most bloody piece of work,
To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us:
In the great hand of God I stand, and thence
Against the undivulg’d pretence I fight
Of treasonous malice.
And so do I.
Let’s briefly put on manly readiness,
And meet i’ the hall together.
[Exeunt all butMalcolmandDonalbain.
What will you do? Let’s not consort with them:
To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
Which the false man does easy. I’ll to England.
To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer: where we are,
There’s daggers in men’s smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody.
This murderous shaft that’s shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim: therefore, to horse;
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
But shift away: there’s warrant in that theft
Which steals itself when there’s no mercy left.
EnterRossand an Old Man.
Threescore and ten I can remember well;
Within the volume of which time I have seen
Hours dreadful and things strange, but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.
Ah! good father,
Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man’s act,
Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock ’tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp.
Is ’t night’s predominance, or the day’s shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d.
And Duncan’s horses,—a thing most strange and certain,—
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending ’gainst obedience, as they would
Make war with mankind.
’Tis said they eat each other.
They did so; to the amazement of mine eyes,
That look’d upon ’t. Here comes the good Macduff.
How goes the world, sir, now?
Why, see you not?
Is ’t known who did this more than bloody deed?
Those that Macbeth hath slain.
Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend?
They were suborn’d.
Malcolm and Donalbain, the king’s two sons,
Are stol’n away and fled, which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.
’Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life’s means! Then ’tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
He is already nam’d, and gone to Scone
To be invested.
Where is Duncan’s body?
Carried to Colmekill;
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
And guardian of their bones.
Will you to Scone?
No, cousin, I’ll to Fife.
Well, I will thither.
Well, may you see things well done there: adieu!
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!
God’s benison go with you; and with those
That would make good of bad, and friends of foes!
Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promis’d; and, I fear,
Thou play’dst 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. EnterMacbeth,as king;Lady Macbeth,as queen;Lennox, Ross, Lords, Ladies, 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.
To-night 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 desir’d your good advice—
Which still hath been both grave and prosperous—
In this day’s council; but we’ll take to-morrow.
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 bestow’d
In England and in Ireland, not confessing
Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
With strange invention; but of that to-morrow,
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 all butMacbethand an Attendant.
Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
Bring them before us. [Exit Attendant.] 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 fear’d: ’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 rebuk’d, as it is said
Mark Antony’s was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him; then, prophet-like,
They hail’d him father to a line of kings.
Upon my head they plac’d a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench’d with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If ’t be so,
For Banquo’s issue have I fil’d my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder’d;
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 seed of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come fate into the list,
And champion me to the utterance! Who’s there?
Re-enter Attendant, with 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 consider’d 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, pass’d in probation with you,
How you were borne in hand, how cross’d, the instruments,
Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
To half a soul and to a notion craz’d
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 gospell’d
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bow’d you to the grave
And beggar’d yours for ever?
We are men, my liege.
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 valu’d file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him clos’d; 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 it;
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
Have so incens’d that I am reckless what
I do to spite the world.
And I another,
So weary with disasters, tugg’d 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-fac’d 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
Whom 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,
The moment on ’t; for ’t must be done to-night,
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 resolv’d, 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 to-night.
EnterLady Macbethand a Servant.
Is Banquo gone from court?
Ay, madam, but returns again to-night.
Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
For a few words.
Madam, I will.
Nought’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.
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.
We have scotch’d the snake, not kill’d 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.
Gentle my lord, sleek o’er your rugged looks;
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.
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.
You must leave this.
O! full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife;
Thou know’st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.
But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.
There’s comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
His cloister’d flight, ere, to black Hecate’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.
What’s to be done?
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,
Whiles 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.
Enter three Murderers.
But who did bid thee join with us?
He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers
Our offices and what we have to do
To the direction just.
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.
Hark! I hear horses.
[Within.] Give us a light there, ho!
Then ’tis he: the rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i’ the court.
His horses go about.
Almost a mile; but he does usually,
So all men do, from hence to the palace gate
Make it their walk.
A light, a light!
Stand to ’t.
EnterBanquoandFleance,with a torch.
It will be rain to-night.
Let it come down.
[They set uponBanquo.
O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou mayst revenge. O slave!
Who did strike out the light?
Was ’t not the way?
There’s but one down; the son is fled.
We have lost
Best half of our affair.
Well, let’s away, and say how much is done.
A Banquet prepared. EnterMacbeth, Lady Macbeth, Ross, Lennox, Lords, and Attendants.
You know your own degrees; sit down: at first and last,
The hearty welcome.
Thanks to your majesty.
Ourself will mingle with society
And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
We will require her welcome.
Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends;
For my heart speaks they are welcome.
Enter First Murderer, to the door.
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. [Approaching the door.] There’s blood upon thy face.
’Tis Banquo’s, then.
’Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he dispatch’d?
My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.
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.
Most royal sir,
Fleance is ’scap’d.
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 cabin’d, cribb’d, confin’d, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo’s safe?
Ay, my good lord; safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a death to nature.
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; to-morrow
We’ll hear ourselves again.
My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold
That is not often vouch’d, 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.
Now good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!
May it please your highness sit?
[The Ghost ofBanquoenters, and sits inMacbeth’splace.
Here had we now our country’s honour roof’d,
Were the grac’d person of our Banquo present;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!
His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please ’t your highness
To grace us with your royal company.
The table’s full.
Here is a place reserv’d, sir.
Here, my good lord. What is ’t that moves your highness?
Which of you have done this?
What, my good lord?
Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me.
Gentlemen, rise; his highness is not well.
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?
Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.
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,
Authoriz’d by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all’s done
You look but on a stool.
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.
What! quite unmann’d in folly?
If I stand here, I saw him.
Fie, for shame!
Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ the olden time,
Ere human statute purg’d the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform’d
Too terrible for the ear: the times have 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.
My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.
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.
I drink to the general joy of 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.
Our duties, and the pledge.
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.
Think of this, good peers,
But as a thing of custom: ’tis no other;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.
What man dare, I dare:
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The arm’d 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 desart with thy sword;
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mockery, hence!
Why, so; being gone,
I am a man again. Pray you, sit still.
You have displac’d the mirth, broke the good meeting,
With most admir’d disorder.
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 are blanch’d with fear.
What sights, my lord?
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.
Good-night; and better health
Attend his majesty!
A kind good-night to all!
[Exeunt Lords and Attendants.
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?
Almost at odds with morning, which is which.
How sayst thou, that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding?
Did you send to him, sir?
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 to-morrow—
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
Stepp’d 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 scann’d.
You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
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.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meetingHecate.
Why, how now, Hecate! you look angerly.
Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
Saucy and overbold? 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 call’d 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 every thing 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 distill’d 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.
[Song within, ‘Come away, come away,’ &c.
Hark! I am call’d; my little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.
Come, let’s make haste; she’ll soon be back again.
EnterLennoxand another Lord.
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 walk’d too late;
Whom, you may say, if ’t please you, Fleance kill’d,
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 anger’d 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 fail’d.
His presence at the tyrant’s feast, I hear,
Macduff lives in disgrace. Sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?
The son of Duncan,
From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court, and is receiv’d
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 war-like Siward:
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 at war.
Sent he to Macduff?
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.’
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 accurs’d!
I’ll send my prayers with him!
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin’d.
Harper cries: ’Tis time, ’tis time.
How now, you secret, black, and mid-night hags!
What is ’t you do?
A deed without a name.
I conjure you, by that which you profess,—
Howe’er you come to know it,—answer me:
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches; though the yesty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up;
Though bladed corn be lodg’d and trees blown down;
Though castles topple on their warders’ heads;
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
Of Nature’s germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken; answer me
To what I ask you.
Say if thou’dst rather hear it from our mouths,
Or from our masters’?
Call ’em: let me see ’em.
Thunder. First Apparition of an armed Head.
Tell me, thou unknown power,—
He knows thy thought:
Hear his speech, but say thou nought.
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff;
Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.
Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution thanks;
Thou hast harp’d my fear aright. But one word more,—
He will not be commanded: here’s another,
More potent than the first.
Thunder. Second Apparition, a bloody Child.
Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!—
Had I three ears, I’d hear thee.
Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.
Thunder. Third Apparition, a Child crowned, with a tree in his hand.
What is this,
That rises like the issue of a king,
And wears upon his baby brow the round
And top of sovereignty?
Listen, but speak not to ’t.
Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
Who chafes, who frets or where conspirers are:
Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him.
That will never be:
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
Unfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements! good!
Rebellion’s head, rise never till the wood
Of Birnam rise, and our high-plac’d Macbeth
Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath
To time and mortal custom. Yet my heart
Throbs to know one thing: tell me—if your art
Can tell so much,—shall Banquo’s issue ever
Reign in this kingdom?
Seek to know no more.
I will be satisfied: deny me this,
And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know.
Why sinks that cauldron? and what noise is this?
Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart.
A show of Eight Kings; the last with a glass in his hand:Banquo’s Ghost following.
Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo; down!
Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs: and thy hair,
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first:
A third is like the former. Filthy hags!
Why do you show me this? A fourth! Start, eyes!
What! will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?
Another yet? A seventh! I’ll see no more:
And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass
Which shows me many more; and some I see
That two-fold balls and treble sceptres carry.
Horrible sight! Now, I see, ’tis true;
For the blood-bolter’d Banquo smiles upon me,
And points at them for his.
What! is this so?
Ay, sir, all this is so: but why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,
And show the best of our delights.
I’ll charm the air to give a sound,
While you perform your antick round,
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.
[Music. The Witches dance, and then vanish withHecate.
Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour
Stand aye accursed in the calendar!
Come in, without there!
What’s your Grace’s will?
Saw you the weird sisters?
No, my lord.
Came they not by you?
No indeed, my lord.
Infected be the air whereon they ride,
And damn’d all those that trust them! I did hear
The galloping of horse: who was ’t came by?
’Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word
Macduff is fled to England.
Fled to England!
Ay, my good lord.
Time, thou anticipat’st my dread exploits;
The flighty purpose never is o’ertook
Unless the deed go with it; from this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done:
The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
Seize upon Fife; give to the edge of the sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I’ll do, before this purpose cool:
But no moresights! Where are these gentlemen?
Come, bring me where they are.
EnterLady Macduff,her Son, andRoss.
What had he done to make him fly the land?
You must have patience, madam.
He had none:
His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.
You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.
Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his babes,
His mansion and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight—
Her young ones in her nest—against the owl.
All is the fear and nothing is the love;
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.
My dearest coz,
I pray you, school yourself: but, for your husband,
He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
The fits o’ the season. I dare not speak much further:
But cruel are the times, when we are traitors
And do not know ourselves, when we hold rumour
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and move. I take my leave of you:
Shall not be long but I’ll be here again.
Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upward
To what they were before. My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you!
Father’d he is, and yet he’s fatherless.
I am so much a fool, should I stay longer,
It would be my disgrace, and your discomfort:
I take my leave at once.
Sirrah, your father’s dead:
And what will you do now? How will you live?
As birds do, mother.
What! with worms and flies?
With what I get, I mean; and so do they.
Poor bird! thou’dst never fear the net nor lime,
The pit-fall nor the gin.
Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for.
My father is not dead, for all your saying.
Yes, he is dead: how wilt thou do for a father?
Nay, how will you do for a husband?
Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.
Then you’ll buy ’em to sell again.
Thou speak’st with all thy wit; and yet, i’ faith,
With wit enough for thee.
Was my father a traitor, mother?
Ay, that he was.
What is a traitor?
Why, one that swears and lies.
And be all traitors that do so?
Every one that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.
And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?
Who must hang them?
Why, the honest men.
Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men, and hang up them.
Now God help thee, poor monkey!
But how wilt thou do for a father?
If he were dead, you’d weep for him: if you would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father.
Poor prattler, how thou talk’st!
Enter a Messenger.
Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honour I am perfect.
I doubt some danger does approach you nearly:
If you will take a homely man’s advice,
Be not found here; hence, with your little ones.
To fright you thus, methinks, I am too savage;
To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you!
I dare abide no longer.
Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world, where, to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly; why then, alas!
Do I put up that womanly defence,
To say I have done no harm?
What are these faces?
Where is your husband?
I hope in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou mayst find him.
He’s a traitor.
Thou liest, thou shag-hair’d villain.
What! you egg.
Young fry of treachery!
He has killed me, mother:
Run away, I pray you!
[ExitLady Macduff,crying ‘Murder,’ and pursued by the Murderers.
Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.
Let us rather
Hold fast the mortal sword, and like good men
Bestride our down-fall’n birthdom; each new morn
New widowshowl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland and yell’d out
Like syllable of dolour.
What I believe I’ll wail,
What know believe, and what I can redress,
As I shall find the time to friend, I will.
What you have spoke, it may be so perchance.
This tyrant, whosesole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest: you have lov’d him well;
He hath not touch’d you yet. I am young; but something
You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
To appease an angry god.
I am not treacherous.
But Macbeth is.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon;
That which you are my thoughts cannot transpose;
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell;
Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace,
Yet grace must still look so.
I have lost my hopes.
Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
Why in that rawness left you wife and child—
Those precious motives, those strong knots of love—
Without leave-taking? I pray you,
Let not my jealousies be your dishonours,
But mine own safeties: you may be rightly just,
Whatever I shall think.
Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dares not check thee! wear thou thy wrongs;
The title is affeer’d! Fare thee well, lord:
I would not be the villain that thou think’st
For the whole space that’s in the tyrant’s grasp,
And the rich East to boot.
Be not offended:
I speak not as in absolute fear of you.
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;
It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds: I think withal,
There would be hands uplifted in my right;
And here from gracious England have I offer
Of goodly thousands: but, for all this,
When I shall tread upon the tyrant’s head,
Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever,
By him that shall succeed.
What should he be?
It is myself I mean; in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted,
That, when they shall be open’d, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compar’d
With my confineless harms.
Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn’d
In evils to top Macbeth.
I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name; but there’s no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness: your wives, your daughters,
Your matrons, and your maids, could not fill up
The cistern of my lust; and my desire
All continent impediments would o’erbear
That did oppose my will; better Macbeth
Than such an one to reign.
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
Th’ untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
To take upon you what is yours; you may
Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
And yet seem cold, the time you may so hoodwink.
We have willing dames enough; there cannot be
That vulture in you, to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclin’d.
With this there grows
In my most ill-compos’d affection such
A stanchless avarice that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands,
Desire his jewels and this other’s house;
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more, that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.
Sticks deeper, grows with more pernicious root
Than summer-seeming lust, and it hath been
The sword of our slain kings: yet do not fear;
Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will,
Of your mere own; all these are portable,
With other graces weigh’d.
But I have none: the king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them, but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.
O Scotland, Scotland!
If such a one be fit to govern, speak:
I am as I have spoken.
Fit to govern!
No, not to live. O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter’d,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accurs’d,
And does blaspheme his breed? Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king; the queen that bore thee,
Oft’ner upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she liv’d. Fare thee well!
These evils thou repeat’st upon thyself
Have banish’d me from Scotland. O my breast,
Thy hope ends here!
Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wip’d the black scruples, reconcil’d my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From over-credulous haste; but God above
Deal between thee and me! for even now
I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
For strangers to my nature. I am yet
Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own;
At no time broke my faith, would not betray
The devil to his fellow, and delight
No less in truth than life; my first false speaking
Was this upon myself. What I am truly,
Is thine and my poor country’s to command;
Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
Old Siward, with ten thousand war-like men,
Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now we’ll together, and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel. Why are you silent?
Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
’Tis hard to reconcile.
Enter a Doctor.
Well; more anon. Comes the king forth, I pray you?
Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
That stay his cure; their malady convinces
The great assay of art; but, at his touch,
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand,
They presently amend.
I thank you, doctor.
What’s the disease he means?
’Tis call’d the evil:
A most miraculous work in this good king,
Which often, since my here-remain in England,
I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven,
Himself best knows; but strangely-visited people,
All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
The mere despair of surgery, he cures;
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
Put on with holy prayers; and ’tis spoken
To the succeeding royalty he leaves
The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,
And sundry blessings hang about his throne
That speak him full of grace.
See, who comes here?
My countryman; but yet I know him not.
My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.
I know him now. Good God, betimes remove
The means that make us strangers!
Stands Scotland where it did?
Alas! poor country;
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
Be call’d our mother, but our grave; where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;
Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rent the air
Are made, not mark’d; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy; the dead man’s knell
Is there scarce ask’d for who; and good men’s lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying or ere they sicken.
Too nice, and yet too true!
What’s the newest grief?
That of an hour’s age doth hiss the speaker;
Each minute teems a new one.
How does my wife?
And all my children?
The tyrant has not batter’d at their peace?
No; they were well at peace when I did leave ’em.
Be not a niggard of your speech: how goes ’t?
When I came hither to transport the tidings,
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witness’d the rather
For that I saw the tyrant’s power a-foot.
Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland
Would create soldiers, make our women fight,
To doff their dire distresses.
Be ’t their comfort,
We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
Lent us good Siward and ten thousand men;
An older and a better soldier none
That Christendom gives out.
Would I could answer
This comfort with the like! But I have words
That would be howl’d out in the desert air,
Where hearing should not latch them.
What concern they?
The general cause? or is it a fee-grief
Due to some single breast?
No mind that’s honest
But in it shares some woe, though the main part
Pertains to you alone.
If it be mine
Keep it not from me; quickly let me have it.
Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.
Hum! I guess at it.
Your castle is surpris’d; your wife and babes
Savagely slaughter’d; to relate the manner,
Were, on the quarry of these murder’d deer,
To add the death of you.
What! man; ne’er pull your hat upon your brows;
Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.
My children too?
Wife, children, servants, all
That could be found.
And I must be from thence!
My wife kill’d too?
I have said.
Let’s make us medicine of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.
He has no children. All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?
What! all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?
Dispute it like a man.
I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff!
They were all struck for thee. Naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!
Be this the whetstone of your sword: let grief
Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.
O! I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And braggart with my tongue. But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission; front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;
Within my sword’s length set him; if he ’scape,
Heaven forgive him too!
This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the king; our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may;
The night is long that never finds the day.
Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentle-woman.
I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?
Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon ’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.
A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?
That, sir, which I will not report after her.
You may to me, and ’tis most meet you should.
Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.
EnterLady Macbeth,with a taper.
Lo you! here she comes. This is her very guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.
How came she by that light?
Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually; ’tis her command.
You see, her eyes are open.
Ay, but their sense is shut.
What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs her hands.
It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her to continue in this a quarter of an hour.
Yet here’s a spot.
Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more strongly.
Out, damned spot! out, I say! One; two: why, then, ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky! Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
Do you mark that?
The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? What! will these hands ne’er be clean? No more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that: you mar all with this starting.
Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.
She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: Heaven knows what she has known.
Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!
What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.
I would not have such a heart in my bosom for the dignity of the whole body.
Well, well, well.
Pray God it be, sir.
This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep who have died holily in their beds.
Wash your hands, put on your night-gown; look not so pale. I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried; he cannot come out on ’s grave.
To bed, to bed: there’s knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s done cannot be undone.
To bed, to bed, to bed.
Will she go now to bed?
Foul whisperings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
Do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets;
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all! Look after her;
Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
And still keep eyes upon her. So, good-night:
My mind she has mated, and amaz’d my sight.
I think, but dare not speak.
Good-night, good doctor.
Enter, with drum and colours,Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox,and Soldiers.
The English power is near, led on by Malcolm,
His uncle Siward, and the good Macduff.
Revenges burn in them; for their dear causes
Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm
Excite the mortified man.
Near Birnam wood
Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming.
Who knows if Donalbain be with his brother?
For certain, sir, he is not: I have a file
Of all the gentry: there is Siward’s son,
And many unrough youths that even now
Protest their first of manhood.
What does the tyrant?
Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies.
Some say he’s mad; others that lesser hate him
Do call it valiant fury; but, for certain,
He cannot buckle his distemper’d cause
Within the belt of rule.
Now does he feel
His secret murders sticking on his hands;
Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;
Those he commands move only in command,
Nothing in love; now does he feel his title
Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.
Who then shall blame
His pester’d senses to recoil and start,
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself for being there?
Well, march we on,
To give obedience where ’tis truly ow’d;
Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal,
And with him pour we in our country’s purge
Each drop of us.
Or so much as it needs
To dew the sovereign flower and drown the weeds.
Make we our march towards Birnam.
EnterMacbeth, Doctor, and Attendants.
Bring me no more reports; let them fly all:
Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane
I cannot taint with fear. What’s the boy Malcolm?
Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know
All mortal consequences have pronounc’d me thus:
‘Fear not, Macbeth; no man that’s born of woman
Shall e’er have power upon thee.’ Then fly, false thanes,
And mingle with the English epicures:
The mind I sway by and the heart I bear
Shall never sag with doubt nor shake with fear.
Enter a Servant.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-fac’d loon!
Where gott’st thou that goose look?
There is ten thousand—
Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-liver’d boy. What soldiers, patch?
Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, wheyface?
The English force, so please you.
Take thy face hence. [Exit Servant.] Seyton!—I am sick at heart
When I behold—Seyton, I say!—This push
Will cheer me ever or disseat me now.
I have liv’d long enough: my way of life
Is fall’n into the sear, the yellow leaf;
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, and dare not.
What is your gracious pleasure?
What news more?
All is confirm’d, my lord, which was reported.
I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack’d.
Give me my armour.
’Tis not needed yet.
I’ll put it on.
Send out more horses, skirr the country round;
Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine armour.
How does your patient, doctor?
Not so sick, my lord,
As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies,
That keep her from her rest.
Cure her of that:
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas’d,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
Throw physic to the dogs; I’ll none of it.
Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff.
Seyton, send out.—Doctor, the thanes fly from me.—
Come, sir, dispatch.—If thou couldst, doctor, cast
The water of my land, find her disease,
And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
I would applaud thee to the very echo,
That should applaud again.—Pull ’t off, I say.—
What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug
Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of them?
Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
Makes us hear something.
Bring it after me.
I will not be afraid of death and bane
Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.
[Aside.] Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
Profit again should hardly draw me here.
Enter, with drum and colours,Malcolm,OldSiwardand his Son, Macduff, Menteith, Catthness, Angus, Lennox, Ross, and Soldiers marching.
Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand
That chambers will be safe.
We doubt it nothing.
What wood is this before us?
The wood of Birnam.
Let every soldier hew him down a bough
And bear ’t before him: thereby shall we shadow
The numbers of our host, and make discovery
Err in report of us.
It shall be done.
We learn no other but the confident tyrant
Keeps still in Dunsinane, and will endure
Our setting down before ’t.
’Tis his main hope;
For where there is advantage to be given,
Both more and less have given him the revolt,
And none serve with him but constrained things
Whose hearts are absent too.
Let our just censures
Attend the true event, and put we on
The time approaches
That will with due decision make us know
What we shall say we have and what we owe.
Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,
But certain issue strokes must arbitrate,
Towards which advance the war.
Enter, with drum and colours,Macbeth, Seyton,and Soldiers.
Hang out our banners on the outward walls;
The cry is still, ‘They come;’ our castle’s strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn; here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up;
Were they not forc’d with those that should be ours,
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home.
[A cry of women within.
What is that noise?
It is the cry of women, my good lord.
I have almost forgot the taste of fears.
The time has been my senses would have cool’d
To hear a night-shriek, and my fell of hair
Would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir
As life were in ’t. I have supp’d full with horrors;
Direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.
Wherefore was that cry?
The queen, my lord, is dead.
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Enter a Messenger.
Thou com’st to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.
Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.
Well, say, sir.
As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I look’d towards Birnam, and anon, methought,
The wood began to move.
Liar and slave!
Let me endure your wrath if’t be not so:
Within this three mile may you see it coming;
I say, a moving grove.
If thou speak’st false,
Upon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,
Till famine cling thee; if thy speech be sooth,
I care not if thou dost for me as much.
I pull in resolution and begin
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend
That lies like truth; ‘Fear not, till Birnam wood
Do come to Dunsinane;’ and now a wood
Comes toward Dunsinane. Arm, arm, and out!
If this which he avouches does appear,
There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.
I ’gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish the estate o’ the world were now undone.
Ring the alarum-bell! Blow, wind! come, wrack!
At least we’ll die with harness on our back.
Enter, with drum and colours,Malcolm,OldSiward, Macduff,&c., and their Army, with boughs.
Now near enough; your leavy screens throw down,
And show like those you are. You, worthy uncle,
Shall, with my cousin, your right-noble son,
Lead our first battle; worthy Macduff and we
Shall take upon ’s what else remains to do,
According to our order.
Fare you well.
Do we but find the tyrant’s power to-night,
Let us be beaten, if we cannot fight.
Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,
Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.
They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly,
But bear-like I must fight the course. What’s he
That was not born of woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.
What is thy name?
Thou’lt be afraid to hear it.
No; though thou call’st thyself a hotter name
Than any is in hell.
My name’s Macbeth.
The devil himself could not pronounce a title
More hateful to mine ear.
No, nor more fearful.
Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my sword
I’ll prove the lie thou speak’st.
[They fight and YoungSiwardis slain.
Thou wast born of woman:
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandish’d by man that’s of a woman born.
That way the noise is. Tyrant, show thy face:
If thou be’st slain and with no stroke of mine,
My wife and children’s ghosts will haunt me still.
I cannot strike at wretched kerns, whose arms
Are hir’d to bear their staves: either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword with an unbatter’d edge
I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be;
By this great clatter, one of greatest note
Seems bruited. Let me find him, fortune!
And more I beg not.
This way, my lord; the castle’s gently render’d:
The tyrant’s people on both sides do fight;
The noble thanes do bravely in the war;
The day almost itself professes yours,
And little is to do.
We have met with foes
That strike beside us.
Enter, sir, the castle.
Why should I play the Roman fool, and die
On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes
Do better upon them.
Turn, hell-hound, turn!
Of all men else I have avoided thee:
But get thee back, my soul is too much charg’d
With blood of thine already.
I have no words;
My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain
Than terms can give thee out!
Thou losest labour:
As easy mayst thou the intrenchant air
With thy keen sword impress as make me bleed:
Let fall thy blade on vulnerable crests;
I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
To one of woman born.
Despair thy charm;
And let the angel whom thou still hast serv’d
Tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb
Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
For it hath cow’d my better part of man:
And be these juggling fiends no more believ’d,
That palter with us in a double sense;
That keep the word of promise to our ear,
And break it to our hope. I’ll not fight with thee.
Then yield thee, coward,
And live to be the show and gaze o’ the time:
We’ll have thee, as our rarer monsters are,
Painted upon a pole, and underwrit,
‘Here may you see the tyrant.’
I will not yield,
To kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet,
And to be baited with the rabble’s curse.
Though Birnam wood be come to Dunsinane,
And thou oppos’d, being of no woman born,
Yet I will try the last: before my body
I throw my war-like shield. Lay on, Macduff,
And damn’d be him that first cries, ‘Hold, enough!’
Retreat. Flourish. Re-enter, with drum and colours,Malcolm,OldSiward, Ross, Thanes, and Soldiers.
I would the friends we miss were safe arriv’d.
Some must go off; and yet, by these I see,
So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt:
He only liv’d but till he was a man;
The which no sooner had his prowess confirm’d
In the unshrinking station where he fought,
But like a man he died.
Then he is dead?
Ay, and brought off the field. Your cause of sorrow
Must not be measur’d by his worth, for then
It hath no end.
Had he his hurts before?
Ay, on the front.
Why then, God’s soldier be he!
Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death:
And so, his knell is knoll’d.
He’s worth more sorrow,
And that I’ll spend for him.
He’s worth no more;
They say, he parted well, and paid his score:
And so, God be with him! Here comes newer comfort.
Hail, king! for so thou art. Behold, where stands
The usurper’s cursed head: the time is free:
I see thee compass’d with thy kingdom’s pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds;
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine;
Hail, King of Scotland!
Hail, King of Scotland!
We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves,
And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen,
Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland
In such an honour nam’d. What’s more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,
As calling home our exil’d friends abroad
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny;
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Of this dead butcher and his fiend-like queen,
Who, as ’tis thought, by self and violent hands
Took off her life; this, and what needful else
That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace
We will perform in measure, time, and place:
So, thanks to all at once and to each one,
Whom we invite to see us crown’d at Scone.