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[Exit.

Nought's had, all's spent,

Madam, I will.

Servant.
Lady Macbeth.
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy,
Than, by destruction, dwell in doubtful joy.
Enter MACBETH.

How now, my lord? why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making?

Using those thoughts, which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without remedy,
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.

Macbeth. 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 place, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie

7

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 domestick, foreign levy, nothing,

Can touch him further!

Lady Macbeth. Come on;

Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks;
Be bright and jovial 'mong your guests to-night.
Macbeth. So shall I, love; and so, I pray, be you:

Let your remembrance apply to Banquo;

Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue:
Unsafe the while, that we

Must lave our honours in these flattering streams;
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,

Disguising what they are.

Most melancholy.

Do him the highest honours.

1 Agony.

Lady Macbeth.

You must leave this. Macbeth. O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know'st, that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives. Lady Macbeth. But in them nature's copy's not eterne.9

Macbeth. 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.

Lady Macbeth.

What's to be done?

Macbeth. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling2 night, Skarf 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 prey do rouse.
Thou marvell'st at my words; but hold thee still;
Things, bad begun, make strong themselves by ill:
So, pr'ythee, go with me,

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.-A Park or Lawn, with a Gate leading to the Palace.

Enter Three MURDERERS.

1 Murderer. But who did bid thee join with us ?

3 Murderer.

Macbeth.

2 Murderer. He needs not our mistrust: since he

delivers

Our offices, and what we have to do,

To the direction just.

1 Murderer.

Then stand with us.

i. e. The copy, the lease, by which they hold their lives, is not cternal The beetle horne in the air by its shards or scaly wings.

2 Blinding,

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.

3 Murderer.

Hark! I hear horses.

Then it is he; the rest

Banquo. [Within.] Give us a light there, ho!
2 Murderer.

That are within the note of expectation,
Already are i' the court.

1 Murderer.

His horses go about.

3 Murderer. Almost a mile: but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, a SERVANT with a torch preceding them.

[blocks in formation]

[Assaults BANQUO.

Banquo. It will be rain to-night.

Banquo. O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly; Thou mayst revenge. O slave!

[Dies. FLEANCE and SERVANT escape. 3 Murderer. Who did strike out the light?

1 Murderer.

Was't not the way?

3 Murderer. There's but one down; the son has fled. 2 Murderer. We have lost best half of our affair. 1 Murderer. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-A Room of State in the Palace.

▲ Banquet prepared. Enter MACBETH, LADY MACBETH, ROSSE, LENOX, LORDS, and ATTENDANTS.

Macbeth. You know your own degrees, sit down : at first

And last, the hearty welcome.

Lords.

Thanks to your majesty.

Macbeth. Ourself will mingle with society,

And play the humble host.

Our hostess keeps her state; but, in best time,

We will require her welcome.

Lady Macbeth. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends;

For my heart speaks, they are welcome.

Enter First MURDERER, to the door.

Macbeth. See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks:

Both sides are even: Here I'll sit i' the midst:
Be large in mirth; anon, we'll drink a measure
The table round.-There's blood upon thy face.
Murderer. 'Tis Banquo's then.

Macbeth. 'Tis better thee without, than he within. Is he despatch'd?

Murderer. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.

Macbeth. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: Yet he's good,

That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,

Thou art the nonpareil.

Murderer.

Fleance is 'scap'd.

Most royal sir,

Macbeth. Then comes my fit again: I had else been

perfect;

Whole as the marble, founded as the rock;

As broad, and general, as the casing air:

But now, I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confin'd, bound in

To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe? Murderer. Ay, my good lord, safe in a ditch he bides, With twenty trenched gashes on his head;

The least a death to nature.

Macbeth.

Thanks for that:

There the grown serpent lies; the worm, that's fled,
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,

Her chair of state.

No teeth for the present.-Get thee gone; to-morrow We'll hear ourselves again.

Lady Macbeth.

[Exit MURDERER.

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.

Macbeth.

Sweet remembrancer!

Now good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!

Lenox.

May it please your highness sit? [The GHOST of BANQUO rises, and sits in MACBETH'S place.

Macbeth. 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!

Rosse.

Lays blame upon his promise.

To grace us with your royal company?
Macbeth. The table's full.

Lenox.

Macbeth. Where?

Lenox.

His absence, sir,

Please it your highness,

Here's a place reserv'd, sir.

Here my lord. What is't that

moves your highness.

Macbeth. Which of you have done this?

Lords.

What, my good lord? Macbeth. Thou canst not say, I did it: never shake Thy gory locks at me.

Rosse. Gentlemen, rise; his highness is not well. Lady Macbeth. 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?

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