Page images

But shift away: There's warrant in that theft
Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.



Without the Castle.

[ocr errors]

Enter Rosse and an old Man.
Old M. Threescore and ten I can remember well:
Within the volume of which time, I have seen
Hours dreadful, and things strange; but this sore

Hath trifled former knowings.

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 intomb,
When living light should kiss it?
Old M.

'Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at, and kill'd.
Rosse. And Duncan's horses, (a thing most strange

and certain,) Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, Turnod wild in nature, broke their stalls, Aung out, Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make War with mankind.

'Tis said, they eat each other.

Old M.

Rosse. They did so;, to the amazement of mine

eyes, That look'd upon't. Here comes the good Mac



[ocr errors]

How goes the world, sir, now?

Why, see you not? Rosse, Is't known who did this more than bloody

deed ? Macd. Those that Macbeth hath slain. Rosse.

Alas, the day! What good could they pretend ?" Macd.

They were suborn'd:
Malcolm, and Donalbain, the king's two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.

'Gainst nature still :
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means !-Then 'tis most like,
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

Macd. He is already nam'd; and gone to Scone,
To be invested.

Rosse. Where is Duncan's body?

Macd. Carried to Colmes-kill;
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.

Will you to Scone?
Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.

Well, I will thither.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Macd. Well, may you see things well done there;

adieu ! Lest our old robes sit easier than our new! | Rosse. Father, farewell. Old M. God's benison go with


and with those That would make good of bad, and friends of foes !




Fores. A Room in the Palace,

[ocr errors]

Ban. Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis,

. As the weird women promis'd; and, I fear,
Thou play’dst most foully for’t: yet it was said,
It should not stand in thy posterity;
But that myself should be the root, and father

many kings. If there come truth from them, (As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine,) Why, by the verities on thee made good, May they, not be my oracles as well, And set me up in hope? But, hush; no more. Senet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as King; Lady

MACBETH, as Queen; LENOX, Rosse, Lords,
Ladies, and Attendants.
Macb. Here's our chief guest.
Lady M.

If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all things unbecoming.

[ocr errors]

Macb, To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir, And I'll

request your presence. .

Let your highness
Command upon me; to the which, my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
For ever knit.

Macb. -Ride you this afternoon?

Ay, my good lord.
Macb. We should have else desir'd your good ad-

vice (Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,) In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow. Is't far


ride ?
Ban. As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
'Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the night,
For a dark hour, or twain.

Fail not our feast,
Ban. My lord, I will not.

Macb. We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd
In England, and in Ireland ; not confessing
Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
With strange invention : But of that to-morrow;
When, therewithal, we shall have cause of state,
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse : Adieu,

you return at night. Goes Fleance with you? Ban. Ay, my good lord: our time does call upon


Macb. I wish your horses swift; and sure of foot;
And so I do commend you to their backs.


7 Commita

[ocr errors]

Let every man be master of his time

Till seven at night;. to make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone : while then, God be with you.

[Ereunt Lady MACBETH, Lords, Ladies, &c. Sirrah, a word: Attend those men our pleasure ?

Atten. They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
Macb. Bring them before us.-[Exit Atten.] To

be thus, is nothing;
But to be safely thus:-Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty' of nature
Reigns that, which would be fear'd: 'Tis much he

And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none, but he
Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
My genius is rebuk'd; as, it is said,
Mark Antony's was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters,
When first they put the name of King upon me,
And bade them speak to him; then, prophet-like,
They hail'd him father to a line of kings :
Upon my head they plac'd a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If it be so,
For Banquo's issue have I fil'd9 my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »