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Which keeps me pale !-Light thickens; and the


Makes wing to the rooky wood:
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
Whiles night's black agents to their preys 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.


SCENE III. The same. A Park or Lawn, with a

Gate leading to the Palace.

Enter three Murderers.

1 Mur. But who did bid thee join with us? 3 Mur.

Macbeth. 2 Mur. He needs not our mistrust; since he de

Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.
1 Mur.

Then stand with us.
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 Mur.

Hark! I hear horses.
Ban. [Within.] Give us a light there, ho!
2 Mur.

Then it is he; the rest That are within the note of expectation, Already are i’ the court. 1 Mur.

His horses go about. 3 Mur. Almost a mile ; but he does usually, , So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk.


1 i. e. they who are set down in the list of guests, and expected to supper.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, a Servant with d torch

preceding them. 2 Mur.

A light, a light! 3 Mur.

'Tis he. 1 Mur. Stand to’t. Ban. It will be rain to-night. 1 Mur.

Let it come down.

[Assaults BANQUO. Ban. O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly,

fly; Thou mayst revenge. Oslave!

[Dies. FLEANCE and Servant escape. 3 Mur. Who did strike out the light? 1 Mur.

Was't not the way? 3 Mur. There's but one down; the son is fled. 2 Mur. We have lost best half of our affair. 1 Mur. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.


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

Banquet prepared.


Lords, and Attendants. Macb. You know your own degrees; sit down : at

first 2

And last, the hearty welcome.

Thanks to your majesty.
Macb. Ourself will mingle with society,
And play the humble host.

1 Fleance, after the assassination of his father, fled into Wales, where, by the daughter of the prince of that country, he had a son named Walter, who afterwards became lord high steward of Scotland, and from thence assumed the name of sir Walter Steward. From him, in a direct line, king James I. was descended; in compliment to whom, Shakspeare has chosen to describe Banquo, who was equally concerned with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, as innocent of that crime.

2 « At first and last.” Johnson, with great plausibility, proposes to read, 66 To first and last."

Our bostess keeps her state ;? but, in best time,
We will require her welcome.

Lady M. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends; For my heart speaks, they are welcome.

Enter first Murderer, to the door.
Macb. See, they encounter thee with their hearts?

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.

Mur. 'Tis Banquo's, then.

Macb. 'Tis better thee without, than he within.? Is he despatched ?

Mur. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.
Macb. Thou art the best o' the cutthroats. Yet

he's good,
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
Thou art the nonpareil.

Most royal sir,
Fleance is 'scaped.
Macb. 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 cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe?

Mur. Ay, my good lord; safe in a ditch he bides, With twenty trenched' gashes on his head; The least a death to nature. Macb.

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


1 “Keeps her state," continues in her chair of state. A state was a royal chair with a canopy over it.

2 6 'Tis better thee without, than he within;" that is, I am better pleased that the blood of Banquo should be on thy face than he in this room.

3 « With twenty trenched gashes on his head;" from the French trancher, to cut.

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

[Exit Murderer. Lady M.

My royal lord, You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold, That is not often vouched 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. Macb.

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

May it please your highness, sit? [The ghost of BANQUO rises, and sits in

MACBETH's place. Macb. Here had we now our country's honor roofed, Were the graced person of our Banquo present; Who may I rather challenge for unkindness, Than pity for mischance! Rosse.

His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please it your highness
To grace us with your royal company?

Macb. The table's full.

Here's a place reserved, sir. Macb.

Where? Len. Here, my good lord. What is't that moves

your highness! Macb. Which of you have done this? Lords.

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

. Rosse. Gentlemen, rise; his highness is not well.

Lady M. 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?


1 That which is not given cheerfully cannot be called a gift; it is something that must be paid for.

2 i. e. prolong his suffering, make his fit longer

Macb. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.
Lady M.

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,
Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all's done,
You look but on a stool.

Macb. Pr’ythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how

say you ??

Lady M.

Lady M.

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 unmanned in folly ? Macb. If I stand here, I saw him.

Fie, for shame! Macb. Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden

Ere human statute purged the general’ weal ;
Ay, and since, too, murders have been performed
Too terrible for the ear. The times have 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.
Lady M.

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;

1 This was a form of elliptic expression, commonly used even at this day, in the phrase "this is nothing to them," i. e. in comparison to them.


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