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Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.

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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 it. He that's coming
Must be provided for: and you shall put
This night's great business into my despatch:
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
Macb. We will speak further.
Lady M.

To alter favour ever is to fear:

Leave all the rest to me.

Only look up clear;


SCENE VI.-The same.

Before the castle.

Hautboys. Servants of Macbeth attending.


Dun. 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 coigne of vantage,' but this bird hath made

convenient corner.

His pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where they Most breed and haunt, I have observ'd, the air

Is delicate.


Enter Lady МАСВЕТН.

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 yield us for your pains, And thank us for your trouble. Lady M.

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.

Lady M.

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.

1i. e. as hermits shall always pray for you.


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subject to account.

SCENE VII.-The same. A room in the castle.

Hautboys and torches. Enter, and pass over the stage, a Sewer, and divers Servants with dishes and service. Then enter MACBETH.

Macb. If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere
It were done quickly: If the assassination [well
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 th' inventor: This3 even-handed justice
Commends th' 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 faculties1 so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off:

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,5
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

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3 We might more advantageously read-thus, even-handed

justice, &c.-STEEVENS.

faculties, for dignities.

5 the winds.

6 Alluding to the remission of the wind in a shower.

Vaulting ambition, which o'er-leaps itself,
And falls on the other.-How now, what news?

Enter Lady MАСВЕТН.

Lady M. He has almost supp'd; Why have you Macb. Hath he ask'd for me? [left the chamber? Lady M. Know you not, he has? Macb. 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.

Lady M.

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 esteems't 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' th' adage?1


Pr'ythee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more, is none.
Lady M.
What beast was't then,
That made you break this enterprize 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,

The proverb alluded to is," The cat loves fish, but dares not

wet her feet."

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.


Lady M.

If we should fail,

We 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 wassel so convince,'
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt3 of reason
A limbeck only: When in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lie, as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
Th' unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
spongy officers; who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?5


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 don't?

Lady M.

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.

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2 guard, sentinel.


3 receptacle.

4 The limbeck is the vessel through which the distilled liquors pass into the recipient. So shall it be with memory, through which every thing shall pass, and nothing remain.

5 quell is murder.

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