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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, (64)
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 o' the whole table,
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss;
Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
And all to all.
Lords. Our duties, and the pledge.
Macb. Avaunt ! and quit my sight! let the earth hide
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold ;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!
Think of this, good peers,
But as a thing of custom : 'tis no other ;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.
Macb. What man dare, I dare :
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger;
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble: or be alive again,
And dare me to the desert with thy sword;
If trembling I inhibit thee, protest me(65)
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow !
Unreal mockery, hence !
Why, so ;-being gone, I am a man again.—Pray you, sit still. Lady M. You have displac'd the mirth, broke the good
With most admir'd disorder.
Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
Without our special wonder? You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe,
When now I think you cari behold such sights,
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine are blanch'd with fear. (66)
What sights, my lord ?
Lady M. I pray you, speak not; he grows worse and
Question enrages him: at once, good night :
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.
Good night; and better health
Attend his majesty!
A kind good night to all!
[Exeunt all except Macbeth and Lady M. Macb. It will have blood; they say blood will have blood: Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak; Augurs, and understood relations, (67) have By magot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret'st man of blood.—What is the night?
Lady M. Almost at odds with morning, which is which.
Macb. How say'st thou, that Macduff denies his At our great bidding?
you send to him, sir?
Macb. I hear it by the way; but I will send :
There's not a one of them but in his house
I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow-
And betimes I will—to the weird sisters :(68)
More shall they speak; for now I'm bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp'd in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er:
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted ere they may be scann'd.
Lady M. You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
Macb. Come, we'll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
Is the initiate fear, that wants hard use :
We are yet but young in deed.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting HECATE.
First Witch. Why, how now, Hecate! you look angerly.
Hec. Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
Saucy and overbold ? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth
In riddles and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never call’d to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?
And, which is worse, all you have done
Hath been but for a wayward son,
Spiteful and wrathful; who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for
But make amends now: get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron
Meet me i' the morning: thither he
Will come to know his destiny :
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms, and every thing beside.
I am for th' air ; this night I'll spend
Unto a dismal and a fatal end :
Great business must be wrought ere noon:
Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vaporous drop profound;
I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that, distill’d by magic sleights,
Shall raise such artificial sprites,
As, by the strength of their illusion,
Shall draw him on to his confusion :
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear :
And you all know security
Is mortals' chiefest enemy.
[Music and song within, “ Come away, come away,” &c. (69) Hark! I am call’d; my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.
[Exit. First Witch. Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again.
SCENE VI. Forres. A room in the palace.
Enter Lennox and another Lord.(70)
Len. My former speeches have but hit your thoughts,
Which can interpret further : only, I say,
Things have been strangely borne. The gracious Duncan
Was pitied of Macbeth :-marry, he was dead :-(71)
And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late ;(72)
Whom, you may say, if 't please you, Fleance kill'd,
For Fleance fled : men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought,(73) how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father? damnèd fact !
How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight,
In pious rage, the two delinquents tear,
That were the slaves of drink and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done ? Ay, and wisely too;
For ’twould have anger'd any heart alive
To hear the men deny 't. So that, I say,
He has borne all things well: and I do think
That, had he Duncan's sons under his key,-
As, an't please heaven, he shall not,--they should find
What 'twere to kill a father ; so should Fleance.
But, peace !—for from broad words, and 'cause he fail'd
His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear,
Macduff lives in disgrace: sir, can you tell
Where he bestows himself?
The son(74) of Duncan,
From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court; and is receiv'd
Of the most pious Edward with such grace,
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect : thither Macduft
Is gone to pray the holy king, upon his aid(75)
To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward :
That, by the help of these—with Him above
To ratify the work—we may again
Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights;
Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives;
Do faithful homage, and receive free honours ;—(76)
All which we pine for now: and this report
Hath so exasperate the(77) king, that he
Prepares for some attempt of war.
Sent he to Macduff ?
Lord. He did : and with an absolute “ Sir, not I,"
The cloudy messenger turns me his back,
And hums, as who should say, “ You'll rue the time
That clogs me with this answer."
And that well might
Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England, and unfold
His message ere he come; that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accurs'd!
I'll send my prayers with him. (78)
SCENE I. A cavern. In the middle, a caldron boiling.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
First Witch. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Sec. Witch. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin’d.
Third Witch. Harpy(79) cries :—'tis time, 'tis time.
First Witch. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison d entrails throw.-
Toad, that under the cold stone(80)
Days and nights hast thirty-one