SCENE II.The same. Another Room in the Palace.

Enter QUEEN and a Servant.
QUEEN. Is Banquo gone from court?
SERV. Ay, madam, but returns again to-night.

QUEEN. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
For a few words.

Madam, I will.

Nought ’s had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
'T is safer to be that which we destroy,
Than, by destruction, dwell in doubtful joy.

Enter King MACBETH.
How now, my lord ! why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making ;
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy,
Should be without regard: what's done is done.

K. MACB. We have scotch'd* the snake, not kill'd it;
She 'll close and be herself; whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,
Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams
That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our place, a have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further!

Come on;
Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks ;
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.

K. MACB. So shall I, love; and so, I pray, be you:
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo'; -
Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue:
Unsafe the while, that web
Must lave our honours in these flattering streams ;
And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
Disguising what they are.

You must leave this.

(*) Old text, scorch'd. Whom we, to gain our place,- ] So the second folio; the first reads,—" to gayne our peace.

Unsafe the while, that we-] Steevens conjectured that some words, which originally rendered the sentiment less obscure, had dropped out here.

K. MACB. O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

QUEEN. But in them Nature's copy 'ga not eterne.

K. MACB. There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocund: ere the bat hath flown
His cloister'd flight; ere, to black Hecate's summons,
The shard-borneb beetle, with his drowsy hums,
Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

What's to be done ?
K. MACB. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed.—Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day ; C
And, with thy bloody and invisible hand,
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
Which keeps me pale!-Light thickens; and the crow
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, priythee, go with me.


SCENE III.-The same. A Park with Gate leading to the Palace.

Enter three Murderers. 1 Mur. But who did bid thee join with us? 3 MUR.

2 MUR. He needs not our mistrust; since he delivers
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. [Without.] Give us a light there, ho!
2 MUR.

Then 't is he; the rest,
That are within the note of expectation,
Already are i’ the court.

His horses go about.


1 – Nature's copy's not eterne.] Nature's lease or copy of their lives is only tem

6 The shard-borne beetle,–] The shard-borne beetle, as Steevens has conclusively shown, is the beetle borne along the air by its shards or scaly wings.

- Come, seeling night,

Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day ;] The expression is derived from falconry. To scel up the eyes of a hawk was to sew the apper and under eyelids together; an operation always performed on a newly taken bird, that it might become accustomed to the hood.


3 MUR. Almost a mile: but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk. 2 MUR.

A light, a light! 3 MUR.

'Tis he. 1 MUR. Stand to't.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, the latter with a torch. 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.-0, slave!(1) [Dies. FLEANCE escapes.

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. 20 1 MUR. Well, let's away, and say how much is done. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-The same. A Room of State in the Palace.

A Banquet prepared.
Enter King MACBETH, QUEEN, Ross, LENNOX, Lords, and Attendants.

K. MACB. You know your own degrees, sit down: at first
And last the hearty welcome.

Thanks to your majesty.
K. MACB. Ourself will mingle with society,
And play the humble host.
Our hostess keeps her state ; b but, in best time,
We will require her welcome.

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

K. MACB. See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks;
Both sides are even: here I 'll sit i' the midst :

Enter First Murderer, to the door.
Be large in mirth ; anon, we 'll drink a measure
The table round.—There's blood upon thy face.
MUR. 'Tis Banquo's then.

K. MACB. 'T is better thee without than he within.
Is he despatch'd ?
MUR. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.

K. MACB. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's good,
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
Thou art the nonpareil.

* FLEANCE escapes.] “Fleance, after the assassination of his father, fed 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 Walter Steward. From hini, in a direct line, King James I. was descended; in compliment to whom our author has chosen to describe Banquo, who was equally concerned with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, as innocent of t

crime.—MALONE. b- her state ;] A state was a seat of dignity; usually surmounted with a canopy.


Most royal sir,
Fleance is 'scap'd.

K. Mace. 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 cabin'd, cribb’d, confin'd, 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.

Thanks for that:
There the grown serpent lies; the worm, that's fled,
Hath nature that in time will venom breed ; - - 30
No teeth for the present.—Get thee gone; to-morrow
We'll hear ourselves again.

[Exit Murderer. QUEEN.

My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer; the feast is sold
That is not often vouch'd, while 't is 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.

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

May 't please your highness sit ?
K. MACB. Here had we now our country's honour roof'd,
Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present.;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!

The Ghost of BANQUO rises, and sits in MACBETH's place.

His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please 't your highness
To grace us with your royal company?

K. MACB. The table's full!

Here is a place reserv'd, sir.
K. MACB. Where?
LEN. Here, my good lord. What is 't that moves your highness ?
K. MACB. Which of you have done this?

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

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

QUEEN. Sit, worthy friends :-my lord is often thus,
And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep seat ;
The fit is momentary; úpon a thoughta
He will again be well: if much you note him,

- upon a thought-] "As speedily as thought can be exerted," Steevens says. So, in Henry IV. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 4,“ — and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I


You shall offend him, and extend his passion;
Feed, and regard him not.-Are you a man?

K. MACB. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that.
Which might appal the devil.

O, proper stuff! - 60
This is the very painting of your fear:
This is the air-drawn dagger wbich, you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
(Impostors to true fear) a would well become
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authoriş'd by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all's done,
You look but on a stool.

K. MACB. Prythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how say you ?-
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. QUEEN.

What! quite unmann'd in folly?
K. MACB. If I stand here, I saw him.

Fie, for shame!
K. MACB. Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
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.

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;
Then I'll sit down.-Give me some wine, fill full:-
I drink to the general joy of the whole table
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss ; 90
Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
And all to all.
LORDS. Our duties, and the pledge.

Ghost again rises.
K. MACB. Avaunt ! and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;

(Impostors to true fear)–) Mr. Singer expresses astonishment "that none of the commentators should be aware that 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

in their notes on the present passage.

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