Macbeth's Castle, at Inverness.

Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a Letter.

Lady. They met me in the day of success;

and I have learn'd by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselvesair, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all hailed me, "Thane of Cawdor;" by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with, "Hail, king that shalt be!" This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness; that thou might est not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promis'd thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be

What thou art promis'd :—Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o'the milk of human kindness,

To catch the nearest way: Thou would'st be great;

Art not without ambition; but without

The illness should attend it. What thou would'st

highly, That would'st thou holily; would'st not play false, And yet would'st wrongly win: thou'd'st have, great

That which cries, " Thus thou must do, if thou have

And that, which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;

And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crown'd withal.

Enter Seyton.

What is your tidings?

Sey. The king comes here to-night.

Lady. Thou'rt mad to say it:
Is not thy master with him? who, were't so,
Would have inform'd for preparation.

Sey. So please you, it is true: our thane is coming:
One of my fellows had the speed of him;
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.

Lady. Give him tending,
He brings great news. [Exit Seyton.

The raven himself is hoarse,
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, all you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here;
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse;
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose; nor keep pace between
The effect, and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell!
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes;
Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry, " Hold, hold!"

Enter Macbeth.

Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!

Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!

Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.

Macb. My dearest love,
Duncan comes here to-night.

Lady. And when goes hence?

Macb. To-morrow, as he purposes.

Lady. O, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men
May read strange matters:—To beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent

But be the serpent under it. He that's coming
Must be provided for: and you shall put
This night's great business into my despatch;
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

Macb. We will speak further.

Lady. Only look up clear; To alter favour ever is to fear: Leave all the rest to me. [Exeunt.


The Gates of Inverness Castle.

Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.

Enter King Duncan, Banquo, Malcolm, DoNalbain, Macduff, Lenox, Rosse, and AtTendants.

King. This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.

Ban. This guest of summer, The temple-haunting martlet, does approve, By his loved mansionry, that the Heaven's breath Smells wooingly here: no jutty frieze, Buttress, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird Hath made his pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed, The air is delicate.

Enter Lady Macbeth, Seyton, and Two Ladies.

King. See, see! our honour'd hostess!

The love, that follows us, sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you,
How you shall bid Heaven yield us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.

Lady. All our service
In every point twice done, and' then done double,
Were poor and single business, to contend
Against those honours deep and broad, wherewith
Your majesty loads our house: For those of old,
And the late dignities hcap'd up to them,
We rest your hermits.

King. Where's the Thane of Cawdor?
We cours'd him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor: but he rides well;
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us: Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.

Lady. Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Still to return your own.

King. Give me your hand;
Conduct me to mine host; we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.

[Flourish of Trumpets and Drums. Exeunt.


Macbeth's Castle at Inverness.

Enter Macbeth.

Macb. If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well' It were done quickly, if the assassination l Could trammel up the consequence, and catch, With his success, surcease,/—That but this blow Might be the be-all, and the end-all, here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of-time !— We'd jump the life to come.—But, in these cases, We still have judgment here, that we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague the inventor: This even-handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice To our own lips.—He's here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself.—Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongu'd, against The deep damnation of his taking-off:— .

I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'er-leaps itself,
And falls on the other—How now! what news?

Enter Lady Macbeth.

Lady. He has almost supp'd; Why have you left

the chamber? Macb. Hath he ask'd for me?

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