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Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.-Thou sure and firm set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my where-about,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it.-Whiles I threat, he lives;
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
[A bell rings.

I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
Enter Lady MACBETH.



Lady M. That which hath made them drunk, hath

made me bold:

What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire:-
Hark! Peace!

It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good night. He is about it:
The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd
their possets,

That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live, or die.

Macb. [Within.] Who's there?—what, ho! Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak'd, And 'tis not done:-the attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us :-Hark!-I laid their daggers ready, He could not miss them.-Had he not resembled My father as he slept. I had done't.-My husband? Enter MACBETH.

a noise?

Macb. I have done the deed:-Didst thou not hear [cry. Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets Did not you speak?


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As I descended?

Who lies i' the second chamber?

Lady M.

Macb. This is a sorry sight.


[Looking on his Hands. Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight. Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, and one

cried, murder!

[them: That they did wake each other; I stood and heard But they did say their prayers, and address'd them Again to sleep.

Lady M. There are two lodg'd together.

Macb. One cried, God bless us! and, Amen, the


As they had seen me, with these hangman's hands. Listening their fear, I could not say, amen,

When they did say, God bless us.

Lady M.

Consider it not so deeply.

Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, amen?

I had most need of blessing, and amen

Stuck in my throat.

Lady M.

These deeds must not be thought

After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

* As if.


Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep; [more! Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave* of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast ;

Lady M.

What do you mean? Macb. Still it cried, Sleep no more! to all the


Glamis hath murder'd sleep; and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!
Lady M. Who was it that thus cried? Why, wor-
thy thane,

You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brainsickly of things:-Go, get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there: Go, carry them;
and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.


I'll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done;

Look on't again, I dare not.

Lady M.

Infirm of purpose?

Give me the daggers: The sleeping and the dead, Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood, That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,

I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,

For it must seem their guilt.


[Exit. Knocking within. Whence is that knocking?

How is't with me, when every noise appals me? What hands are here? Ha! they pluck out mine eyes! Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnardine †,

Making the green one red.

Re-enter Lady MACBETH.

Lady M. My hands are of your colour; but I shame

* Sleave is unwrought silk.

↑ To incarnardine is to stain of a flesh colour.

To wear a heart so white. [Knock.] I hear a knocking
At the south entry:-retire we to our chamber:
A little water clears us of this deed:

How easy is it then? Your constancy


Hath left you unattended. [Knocking.] Hark! more
Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers:-Be not lost

So poorly in your thoughts.

Macb. To know my deed,-'twere best not know



Wake Duncan with thy knocking! Ay, would thou





Lady M. 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 remedy Should be without regard: what's done, is done.

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, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie

In restless ecstasyt. Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well;

Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,

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Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further.

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O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know'st, that Banquo, and his Fleance lives.
Lady M. But in them nature's copy's not eterne*.
Macb. There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
Then be thou jocound: Ere the bat hath flown
His cloister'd flight; Ere to black Hecate's summons,
The shard-borne beetle +, with his drowsy hums,
Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

Lady M.

What's to be done!

Macb. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuckt,

Till thou applaud the deed. Come, sealing§ night,
Skarf up the tender eye of pitiful day;

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 prey do rouse.


Lady M. My royal lord, You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold, That is not often vouch'd, while 'tis a making, 'Tis given with welcome: To feed, were best at


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!

* i. e. The copy, the lease, by which they hold their lives from nature, has its time of termination.

+ The beetle borne in the air by its shards or scaly wings. § Blinding.

A term of endearment.

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