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though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him.
Macd. Is thy master stirring ?-
Our knocking has awak'd him; here he comes.
Len. Good morrow, noble sir.
Good morrow, both.
Macd. Is the king stirring, worthy thane ?
Macd. He did command me to call timely on him :
I've almost slipp'd the hour.
I'll bring you to him.
Macd. I know this is a joyful trouble to you ;
But yet ’tis one.
Macb. The labour we delight in physics pain.
This is the door.
Macd. I'll make so bold to call, For 'tis my limited service.
[Exit. Len. Goes the king hence to-day? Macb.
He does : he did appoint so. Len. The night has been unruly: where we lay, Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say, Lamentings heard i' th' air ; strange screams of death; And prophesying, with accents terrible, Of dire combustion and confus'd events New hatch'd to the woful time: the obscure bird(45) Clamour'd the livelong night: some say, the earth Was feverous and did shake. Macb.
'Twas a rough night.
Len. My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.
Macd. O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart
Cannot conceive nor name thee!
What's the matter?
Macd. Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence
The life o' the building!
What is't you say? the life?
Len. Mean you his majesty ?
Macd. Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon do not bid me speak;
See, and then speak yourselves. [Exeunt Macb. and Len.
Ring the alarum-bell :-murder and treason ! -
Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm ! awake!
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself! up, up,
The great doom's image! Malcolm! Banquo !(46)
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
To countenance this horror!
Re-enter Lady MACBETH.
What's the business, (47)
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house ? speak, speak !
O gentle lady,
'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak :
The repetition, in a woman's ear,
Would murder as it fell.
O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master's murder'd!
What, in our house?
Too cruel any where.-
Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,
And say it is not so.
Re-enter MACBETH and LENNOX.(48)
Macb. Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had liv'd a blessèd time; for, from this instant,
There's nothing serious in mortality :
All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
Enter MALCOLM and DONALBAIN.
Don. What is amiss ?
and do not know't:
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp'd,—the very source of it is stopp’d.
Macd. Your royal father's murder’d.
O, by whom?
Len. Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done 't:
Their hands and faces were all badg'd with blood ;
So were their daggers, which, unwip'd, we found
Upon their pillows:
They star'd, and were distracted; no man's life
Was to be trusted with them.
Macb. O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.
Wherefore did you so?
Macb. Who can be wise, amaz'd, 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 lac'd with his golden blood;
And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature
For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,
Steep'd in the colours 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?
Help me hence, ho!
Macd. Look to the lady.
Mal. [aside to Don.] Why do we hold our tongues,
That most may claim this argument for ours?
Don. [aside to Mal.] What should be spoken here, where
our fate, Hid in an auger-hole, may rush, and seize us?
Our tears are not yet brew'd.
Mal. [aside to Don.] Upon the foot of motion.
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 undivulg'd pretence I fight
Of treasonous malice.
And so do I.
Macb. Let's briefly put on manly readiness,
And meet i'th' hall together.
[Exeunt all except Malcolm and Donalbain.
Mal. 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.
Don. 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.
This murderous 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. [E.ceunt.
SCENE II. The same. Without MACBETH's castle.
Enter Ross and an Old Man.
Old M. Threescore and ten I can remember well :
Within the volume of which time I've seen
Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night
Hath trifled former knowings.
Ah, good father,
Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage :(49) by the clock ’tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp :(50)
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, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.
Ross. And Duncan's horse',(51)—a thing most strange and
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.
'Tis said they eat each other.
Ross. They did so,--to th' 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 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon
Macd. He is already nam'd; and gone to Scone
To be invested.
Ross. Where is Duncan's body?
Macd. Carried to Colme-kill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,