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Art not without ambition; but without

The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,

That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,

And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou'dst have, great Glamis,

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

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 an Attendant.

What is your tidings?

Atten. The king comes here to-night.
Lady M.

Is not thy master with him? who, were't so,

Would have inform'd for preparation.

Atten. 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 M.

He brings great news.
The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits (24)
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here;
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick i




Stop up
th' access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Th' effect and it !(25) Come to my woman's breasts,
purpose, nor keep peace between
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances

You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,

keen knife see not the wound it makes,


Thou'rt mad to say it:

Give him tending;

[Exit Attendant.

Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,(26)
To cry "Hold, hold !"

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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 flower,
But be the serpent under 't. He that's coming

Must be provided for: and you shall put

This night's great business into my dispatch;
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
Mach. We will speak further.
Lady M.

To alter favour ever is to fear:
Leave all the rest to me.

Only look up clear;

Dun. This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself

Unto our gentle senses.


This(28) guest of summer,


SCENE VI. The same. Before MACBETH's castle.

Hautboys. Servants of MACBETH attending, with torches. Enter
Ross, ANGUS, and Attendants.

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The temple-haunting martlet,(29) does approve,
By his lov'd mansionry, that the heavens' breath
Smells wooingly here :(30) no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle :
Where they most(31) breed and haunt, I have observ'd
The air is delicate.

Enter Lady MAСВЕТН.

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 God ild us for your pains,

And thank us for your trouble.
Lady M.

All our service


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 heap'd up to them,

We rest your hermits.


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,

Where's the thane of Cawdor?

Your servants ever

We are your guest to-night.
Lady M.
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,

Still to return

your own.



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



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SCENE VII. The same. A lobby in MACBETH'S castle.

Hautboys and torches. Enter, and pass over, a Sewer, and divers
Servants with dishes and service. Then enter MACBETH.

Macb. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if th' assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal(32) 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 th' inventor: this(33) even-handed justice
Commends th' 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';
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubin, hors'd
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,

Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.-I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on th' other. (34)

Enter Lady MACBETH.

How now! what news?

Lady M. He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber?

Macb. Hath he ask'd for me?
Lady M.

Know you not he has?


Macb. We will proceed no further in this business:
He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
Lady M.

Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would,"
Like the poor cat i' th' adage?


Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man ;
Who dares do more is none.(35)

Lady M.


That made you break this enterprise to me?
you durst do it, then you were a man;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They've made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I've given suck, and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me :
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.(37)

If we should fail?

We fail!

Lady M.
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail.(38) When Duncan is asleep,-
Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
Soundly invite him,-his two chamberlains
Will I with wine and wassail so convince,
That memory, the warder of the brain,

What beast was't, then,(36)

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