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SCENE III.- The same.

Enter a Porter.

[Knocking within.

Porter. Here's a knocking indeed! Knock, knock, knock. Who's there? Anon, anon; I pray you, remember the [Opens the gate.



Macd. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed, That you do lie so late?

Port. 'Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock. Macd. Is thy master stirring?

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Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.

Len. Good morrow, noble sir!



Good morrow, both!

Not yet.

Macd. Is the king stirring, worthy thane?

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

I have almost slipped the hour.


I'll bring you to him.

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

But yet 'tis one.

Macb. The labour we delight in physics1 pain.

This is the door.

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

Of dire combustion and confused events,

New hatched to the woeful time,

The obscure bird3 clamoured the livelong night:
Some say the earth was feverous, and did shake.
Macb. 'Twas a rough night.

Len. My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.

1 Cures.

2 Appointed office.

3 The owl.

Re-enter MACDUFF.

Macd. O horror! horror! horror!

Tongue, nor heart, cannot conceive, nor name thee!
Macb., Len. What's the matter?

Macd. Confusion now hath made his master-piece!
Most sacrilegious murther hath broke ope

The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence

The life of the building.


What is't you say? the life?

Len. Mean you his majesty?

Macd. Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon :- Do not bid me speak;
See, and then speak yourselves.-Awake! awake!—

[Exeunt MACBETH and LENOXx.

Ring the alarum-bell:- Murther! 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 2 this horror! Ring the bell.

Enter Lady MACBETH.

Lady Macb. What's the business,

That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? speak, speak!

'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
The repetition, in a woman's ear,

Would murther as it fell..


[Bell rings.

O gentle lady,

O Banquo! Banquo! our royal master's murthered!
Lady Macb. Woe, alas! what, in our house?


Too cruel, any where.

Dear Duff, I prithee contradict thyself,
And say, it is not so.

1 The Gorgons were three sisters, one of whom, Medusa, was, according to Hesiod, originally a beautiful maiden. For some crime, her hair was changed into serpents by Minerva,

after which, her head became of so
frightful an appearance, that it turned
the beholder into stone.
2 Behold.

Re-enter MACDUFF and LENOX.

Macb. Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived 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.


Don. What is amiss?


You are, and do not know it,

your blood

The spring, the head: the fountain of
Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.
Macd. Your royal father's murthered.

O, by whom?

Len. Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done it: Their hands and faces were all badged with blood, So were their daggers, which, unwiped, we found Upon their pillows: they stared and were distracted; No man's life was to be trusted with them.

Macb. O, yet I do repent me of my fury,

That I did kill them.


Wherefore did you so?

Macb. Who can be wise, amazed, 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 laced with his golden blood;

And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin's wasteful entrance: there the murtherers,
Steeped in the colours of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breeched with gore 2: who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make his love known?

Lady Macb.

Macd. Look to the lady.


Help me hence, ho!

Why do we hold our tongues,

That most may claim this argument for ours? 3
Don. What should be spoken here,

Where our fate, hid within an auger hole,

1 Daubed.

2 Covered with blood.

3 Who have most reason to speak in this matter.

May rush, and seize us? Let's away; our tears

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[Lady MACBETH is 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 undivulged pretence1 I fight

Of treasonous malice.


And so do I.

So all.

Macb. Let's briefly put on manly readiness, And meet in the hall together.


Well contented.

[Exeunt all but MAL. and DON.

Mal. 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.

Don. 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 murtherous shaft that's shot,

Hath not yet lighted 2; 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.

SCENE IV.- Without the Castle.

Enter ROSSE and an old Man.


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.

1 Design.

2 The whole object of this murder is not yet accomplished.

Ah, good father,

Thou see'st, 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 it night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?

Old Man.

'Tis unnatural,

Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last.

A falcon, towering in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawked at, and killed.

Rosse. And Duncan's horses, (a thing most strange and


Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,

Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would
Make war with mankind.

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Rosse. Is it known, who did this more than bloody deed? Macd. Those that Macbeth hath slain.


What good could they pretend?1


Alas, the day!

They were suborned:

Malcolm, and Donalbain, the king's two sons,

Are stolen away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.


'Gainst nature still:

Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up2

Thine own life's means! - Then 'tis most like,

The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.3

Macd. He is already named; and gone to Scone, To be invested.


1 Intend.

Where is Duncan's body?

2 Consume greedily. 3 Duncan and Macbeth were cousins; Malcolm II., Duncan's prede

cessor, had two daughters, the elder of whom was the mother of Duncan; the younger, the mother of Macbeth.

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