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SCENE I.-The same. Court within the castle.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, and a Servant, with a torch before them.

Ban. How goes the night, boy?

Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the clock. Ban. And she goes down at twelve.


I take't, 'tis later, sir. Ban. 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!-Give me my sword ;—

Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch.
Who's there?

Macb. A friend.

Ban. 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 up2
In measureless content.


Being unprepar'd,

All's well.

Our will became the servant to defect;
Which3 else should free have wrought.

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

'thrift, frugality.

2 to shut up is to conclude.

Which, referring to the first antecedent, will.


I think not of them :

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
Would spend it in some words upon that business,

If you would grant the time.
Macb. If you shall cleave to
It shall make honour for you.
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchis'd, and allegiance clear,
I shall be counsel'd.

At your kind'st leisure.
my consent,—when'tis,'


So I lose none,

Good repose, the while! Ban. Thanks, sir; The like to you!

[Exit BANQUO. Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

Is this a dagger, which I see before me,

[Exit Servant.


The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch
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 marshal'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o'th'other senses,
Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon,2 gouts3 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

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The curtain'd sleep; now witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,

Whose howI's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.- -Thou sure and firm-set earth,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my where-about,

And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives; Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.


go, and it is done; the bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell

[A bell rings.

That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.


SCENE II.-The same.

Enter Lady МАСВЕТН.

Lady M. That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold:

What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire:-
Hark! Peace!

It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it:
The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd
their possets,'

That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live, or die.

Macb. [Within.] Who's there?-what, ho!
Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd,
And 'tis not done :-th' attempt, and not the deed,
Confounds us:-Hark!—I laid their daggers ready,

' posset, milk curdled with wine. This was usually taken just before bed-time.

He could not miss them.-Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't.-My husband?

Enter MACBeth.

Macb. I have done the deed:-Didst thou not hear a noise?

Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets

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Macb. This is a sorry sight.


[Looking on his hands. Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight. Macb. There's one did laugh in'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.

Lady M.

There are two lodg'd together. Macb. One cried, God bless us! and, Amen, the


As' they had seen me, with these hangman's hands. Listening their fear, I could not say, amen,

When they did say, God bless us.

Lady M.

Consider it not so deeply.

pronounce, amen?

Macb. But wherefore could not I
I had most need of blessing, and amen
Stuck in my throat.

'As if.

Lady M.

These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no


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;—

Lady M.

What do you mean? Macb. Still it cried, Sleep no more! to all the


Glamis hath murder'd sleep; and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!

Lady M. Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy You do unbend your noble strength, to think [thane, 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.

Lady M.

Infirm of purpose!

Give me the daggers: The sleeping, and the dead,
Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood,
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,

I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,

For it must seem their guilt. [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


sleave, the ravelled knotty part of the silk.

The end of each day's labour.

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