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Macbeth by William Shakespeare [Collins edition]

Part 2 out of 3

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'Tis he.

Stand to't.

[Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch.]

It will be rain to-night.

Let it come down.

[Assaults Banquo.]

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

[Dies. Fleance escapes.]

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.


SCENE IV. The same. A Room of state in the Palace. A banquet

[Enter Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Ross, Lennox, Lords, and

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.

See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks.--
Both sides are even: here I'll sit i' the midst:

[Enter first Murderer to the door.]

Be large in mirth; anon we'll drink a measure
The table round.--There's blood upon thy face.

'Tis Banquo's then.

'Tis better thee without than he within.
Is he despatch'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.

[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.

Sweet remembrancer!--
Now, good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both!

May't please your highness sit.

[The Ghost of Banquo rises, and sits in Macbeth's place.]

Here had we now our country's honor 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.

Pr'ythee, 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.

[Ghost disappears.]

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 humane statute purg'd the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
Too terrible for the ear: the time has 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 o' 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.

[Ghost rises again.]

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 desert with thy sword;
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow!
Unreal mockery, hence!

[Ghost disappears.]

Why, so;--being gone,
I am a man again.--Pray you, sit still.

You have displaced 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 all Lords and Atendants.]

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 magot-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 say'st 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
Step't 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.


SCENE V. The heath.

[Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting Hecate.]

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 everything 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.

[Music and 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.


SCENE VI. Forres. A Room in the Palace.

[Enter Lennox and another Lord.]

My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret further: only, I say,
Thing's 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 warlike 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 of 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.



SCENE I. A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron Boiling.

[Thunder. Enter the three Witches.]

Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

Thrice; and once the hedge-pig whin'd.

Harpier cries:--"tis time, 'tis time.

Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.--
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangl'd babe
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab,--
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredients of our caldron.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and caldron, bubble.

Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

[Enter Hecate.]

O, well done! I commend your pains;
And everyone shall share i' the gains.
And now about the cauldron sing,
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.

Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray;
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.

[Exit Hecate.]

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes:--
Open, locks, whoever knocks!

[Enter Macbeth.]

How now, you secret, black, and midnight 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 germins tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken,--answer me
To what I ask you.



We'll answer.

Say, if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths,
Or from our masters?

Call 'em, let me see 'em.

Pour in sow's blood, that hath eaten
Her nine farrow; grease that's sweaten
From the murderer's gibbet throw
Into the flame.

Come, high or low;
Thyself and office deftly show!

[Thunder. An Apparition of an armed Head rises.]

Tell me, thou unknown power,--

He knows thy thought:
Hear his speech, but say thou naught.

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. An Apparition of a bloody Child rises.]

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.


Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee?
But yet I'll make assurance double sure,
And take a bond of fate: thou shalt not live;
That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
And sleep in spite of thunder.--What is this,

[Thunder. An Apparition of a Child crowned, with a tree in his
hand, rises.]

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!

[Eight kings appear, and pass over in order, the last with a
glass in his hand; Banquo following.]

Thou are 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 twofold 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 antic round;
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.

[Music. The Witches dance, and then vanish.]

Where are they? Gone?--Let this pernicious hour
Stand aye accursed in the calendar!--
Come in, without there!

[Enter Lennox.]

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 o' 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 more sights!--Where are these gentlemen?
Come, bring me where they are.


SCENE II. Fife. A Room in Macduff's Castle.

[Enter Lady Macduff, her Son, and Ross.]

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 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?

Everyone that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.

And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

Every one.

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'ld 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 honor 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?

[Enter Murderers.]

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-haar'd villain!

What, you egg!

[Stabbing him.]

Young fry of treachery!

He has kill'd me, mother:
Run away, I pray you!

[Dies. Exit Lady Macduff, crying Murder, and pursued by the

SCENE III. England. Before the King's Palace.

[Enter Malcolm and Macduff.]

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 widows howl; 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, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest: you have loved 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 dishonors,
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 dare 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.

Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
The 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.

This avarice
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 foysons 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,
Oftener upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. 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
Wiped 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 warlike 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.

[Exit 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.

[Enter Ross.]

My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.

I know him now. Good God, betimes remove
The means that makes us strangers!

Sir, amen.

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.

O, relation
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?

Why, well.

And all my children?

Well too.

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.

Humh! 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.

Merciful heaven!--
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.

Be comforted:
Let's make us medicines 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 eye,
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.



SCENE I. Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.

[Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman.]

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 nightgown upon her, unlock her
closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, 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. Lo you, here she comes!

[Enter Lady Macbeth, with a taper.]

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

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 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 nightgown; look not so
pale:--I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he cannot come
out on's grave.

Even so?

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.


SCENE II. The Country near Dunsinane.

[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.

[Exeunt, marching.]

SCENE III. Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.

[Enter Macbeth, 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--

Geese, villain?

Soldiers, sir.

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, whey-face?

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 chair 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.

[Enter Seyton.]

What's 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, despatch.--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.

[Exeunt all except Doctor.]

Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
Profit again should hardly draw me here.


SCENE IV. Country nearDunsinane: a Wood in view.

[Enter, with drum and colours, Malcolm, old Siward and his Son,
Macduff, Menteith, Caithness, Angus, Lennox, Ross, and Soldiers,

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
Industrious soldiership.

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.

[Exeunt, marching.]

SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the castle.

[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 slaught'rous thoughts,
Cannot once start me.

[Re-enter Seyton.]

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,
Signifying nothing.

[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 toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
The wood began to move.

Liar, and slave!

[Strikimg him.]

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 a-weary 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.


SCENE VI. The same. A Plain before the Castle.

[Enter, with drum and colours, Malcolm, old Siward, Macduff, &c.,
and their Army, with boughs.]

Now near enough; your leafy 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.


SCENE VII. The same. Another part of the Plain.

[Alarums. Enter Macbeth.]

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.

[Enter young Siward.]

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 young Seward is 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.


[Alarums. Enter Macduff.]

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 hired 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.

[Exit. Alarums.]

[Enter Malcolm and old Siward.]

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.

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