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Is 't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?
Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, touring in her pride or place, a
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.
Ross. And Duncan's horses, (a thing most strange and certain),
Beanteous 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.
'Tis said they eat each other. (1) 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?
Why, see you not?
Ross. Is 't known who did this more than bloody deed?
MACD. Those that Macbeth hath slain.
Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend ?
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 't is most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.b
30 MacD. He is already nam’d; and gone to Scone (2) To be invested.
Ross. Where is Duncan's body?
MACD. Carried to Colme-kill ; (3)
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.
Will you to Scone?
Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.
* A falcon, touring in her pride of place,-) That is, circling at her highest point of eleration. So in Massinger's play of "The Guardian,” Act I. Sc. 2,-
“Then, for an evening flight,
A tiercel gentle, which I call, my masters,
As he were sent a messenger to the moon,
In such a place flies, as he seems to say,
See me or see me not!”
See also note (1) p. 469, Vol. I.
Then 't is most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.] Macbeth by his birth stood next in succession to the crown after the sons of Duncan. King Malcolm, Duncan's predecessor, had two daughters, the eldest of whom, Beatrice, was the mother of Duncan; the younger, called Doada, the mother of Macbeth.
Well, I will thither. Macd. Well, may you see things well done there,-adieu,Lest our old robes sit easier than our new! ·
Ross. Farewell, father.
OLD-M. God's benison go with you, and with those That would make good of bad, and friends of foes ! [Exeunt.
SCENE 1.—Forres. A Room in the Palace.
BAN. Thou hast it now,-king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
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
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 sounded. Enter MACBETH, as King; LADY MACBETH, as
Queen ; LENNOX, Ross, Lords, Ladies, and Attendants.
K. Macb. Here's our chief guest.
If he had been forgotten,
It had been as a gap in our great feast,
And all-thingå unbecoming.
K. MACB. To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir,
And I'll request your presence.
Letb your highness
Command upon me; to the which my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie
For ever knit.
K. MACB. Ride you this afternoon?
Ay, my good lord.
K. MACB. We should have else desir'd your good advice
(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous)
In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow.
Is't far you ride?
* – all-thing—] Every-way.
- Let your highness
Command upon me;} This has been changed to, “ Lay your highness," &c., and “ Set your highness," &c. D'Avenant, in his alteration of the play, reads,
“Your Majesty layes your command on me,
To wbich my duty is to obey."
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.
K. MACB. We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd 30
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! adien,
Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?
BAN. Ay, my good lord: our time does call upon 's.
K. MACB. I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
And so do I commend you to their backs.
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 QUEEN, Lords, Ladies, &c. Sirrah, a word with you : attend those men our pleasure ? 'ATTEND. They are, my lord, without the palace gate. K. MACB. Bring them before us.
To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of natureb
Reigns that which would be feard: 't is much he dares;
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 hiin 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 't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I fild my mind;
To be thus is nothing,
But to be safely thus.] To be a king is nothing, unless to be safely one. This is out of doubt the meaning of the poet; but the modern punctuation, to be thus is nothing;
But to be safely thus :--" renders the passage quite incomprehensible.
b - royalty of nature ) A form of expression correspondent to, and confirmatory of. ** sovereignty of reason," and " nobility of love."
For them the gracious Duncan have I murderd :
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace,
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed * of Banquo kings!
Rather than so, come, Fate, into the list,
And champion me to the utterance ! &– Who's there?-
Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers.
Now go to the door, and stay there till we call. [Exit Attendant
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
1 MUR. It was, so please your highness.
Well then, now
Have you consider'd of my speeches ? Know
That it was he, in the times past, which held you
So under fortune; which you thought had been
Our innocent self: this I made good to you
In our last conference, pass'd in probation with you ;
How you were borne in hand, how cross'd, the instruments,
Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
To half a soul and to a notion craz'd
Say, Thus did Banquo.
You made it known to us. .
K. MACB. I did so: and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature,
That you can let this go? Are you so gospellid,
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bow'd you to the grave, - 90
And beggar'd yours for ever?
We are men, my liege.
K. MACB, Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men ;
As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are clep'de
All by the name of dogs: the valu'd file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him clos'd; whereby he does receive
Particular addition, from the bill
That writes them all alike: and so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
Not i' the worst rank of manhood, say it;
And I will put that business in your bosoms
Whose execution takes your enemy off;
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
(*) Old text, Seedes. a to the utterance!] From the French; se battre à l'oulrance, to fight to extremity, to the last gasp.
b-borne in hand,-] Encouraged by delusive promises. c- clep'd-] Called.
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
Which in his death were perfect.
I am one, my liege,
Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
Have so incens'd, that I am reckless what I do
To spite the world.
And I another,
So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,
To mend it, or be rid on 't.
Both of you know
Banquo was your enemy.
True, my lord.
K. MACB. So is he mine ; and in such bloody distance,
That every minute of his being thrusts
Against my near'st of life: and though I could
With bare-fac'd power sweep him from my sight,
And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down: and thence it is
That I to your assistance do make love;
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.
We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.
Though our lives-
K. MACB. Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at
I will advise you where to plant yourselves;
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
The moment on't; for 't must be done to-night,
And something from the palace; always thought
That I require a clearness :a and with him,
(To leave no rubs nor botches in the work)
Fleance, his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart;
I'll come to you anon.
We are resolvd, my lord.
K. MACB. I'll call upon you straight; abide within.
[Exeunt Murderers. It is concluded :-Banquo, thy soul's flight, If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.
— always thought
That I require a clearness :]
Never forgetting that I must stand clear of all suspicion.