1606 The Tragedy Of Macbeth
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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.
MACBETH. O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.
MACDUFF. Wherefore did you so?
MACBETH. Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
The expedition of my violent love
Outrun the pauser reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature
For ruin's wasteful entrance; there, the murtherers,
Steep'd in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breech'd with gore. Who could refrain,
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make 's love known?
LADY MACBETH. Help me hence, ho!
MACDUFF. Look to the lady.
MALCOLM. [Aside to Donalbain.] Why do we hold our tongues,
That most may claim this argument for ours?
DONALBAIN. [Aside to Malcolm.] What should be spoken here, where
Hid in an auger hole, may rush and seize us?
Our tears are not yet brew'd.
MALCOLM. [Aside to Donalbain.] Nor our strong sorrow
Upon the foot of motion.
BANQUO. Look to the lady.
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 pretense I fight
Of treasonous malice.
MACDUFF. And so do I.
ALL. So all.
MACBETH. Let's briefly put on manly readiness
And meet i' the hall together.
ALL. Well contented.
Exeunt all but Malcolm and Donalbain.
MALCOLM. 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.
DONALBAIN. 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.
MALCOLM. This murtherous shaft that's shot
Hath not yet lighted, 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.
Outside Macbeth's castle.
Enter Ross with 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.
ROSS. Ah, good father,
Thou seest the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage. By the clock 'tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp.
Is't 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 hawk'd at and kill'd.
ROSS. And Duncan's horses-a thing most strange and certain-
Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.
OLD MAN. 'Tis said they eat each other.
ROSS. They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes
That look'd upon't.
Here comes the good Macduff.
How goes the world, sir, now?
MACDUFF. Why, see you not?
ROSS. Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?
MACDUFF. Those that Macbeth hath slain.
ROSS. Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend?
MACDUFF. 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.
ROSS. 'Gainst nature still!
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.
MACDUFF. He is already named, and gone to Scone
To be invested.
ROSS. Where is Duncan's body?
MACDUFF. Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors
And guardian of their bones.
ROSS. Will you to Scone?
MACDUFF. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.
ROSS. Well, I will thither.
MACDUFF. Well, may you see things well done there.
Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!
ROSS. Farewell, father.
OLD MAN. God's benison go with you and with those
That would make good of bad and friends of foes!
ACT III. SCENE I.
Forres. The palace.
BANQUO. Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promised, 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
Of 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.
Sennet sounds. Enter Macbeth as King, Lady Macbeth
as Queen, Lennox, Ross, Lords, Ladies, and Attendants.
MACBETH. Here's our chief guest.
LADY MACBETH. If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast
And all thing unbecoming.
MACBETH. Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I'll request your presence.
BANQUO. Let your Highness
Command upon me, to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
MACBETH. Ride you this afternoon?
BANQUO. Ay, my good lord.
MACBETH. We should have else desired your good advice,
Which still hath been both grave and prosperous
In this day's council; but we'll take tomorrow.
Is't far you ride'!
BANQUO. 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.
MACBETH. Fail not our feast.
BANQUO. My lord, I will not.
MACBETH. 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 tomorrow,
When therewithal we shall have cause of state
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse; adieu,
Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?
BANQUO. Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon 's.
MACBETH. I wish your horses swift and sure of foot,
And so I do commend you to their backs.
Farewell. Exit Banquo.
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!
Exeunt all but Macbeth and an Attendant.
Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
ATTENDANT. They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
MACBETH. Bring them before us. Exit Attendant.
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 dares,
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear; and under him
My genius is rebuked, as it is said
Mark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of King upon me
And bade them speak to him; then prophet-like