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The moment on't; for't must be done to-night,
And something from the palace; always thought,
That I require a clearness: and with him,
(To leave no rubs, nor botches, in the work)
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart:
I'll come to you anon.
2 Mur.

We are resolv’d, my lord.
Macb. I'll call upon you straight: abide within.

[Exeunt Murderers. It is concluded : Banquo, thy soul's flight, If it find heaven, must find it out to-night. [Exit.


The Same. Another Room.


Enter Lady Macbeth and a Servant.
Lady M. Is Banquo gone from court ?
Serr. Ay, madam, but returns again to-night.

Lady M. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
For a few words.
Madam, I will.

[Erit. Lady M.

Nought's had, all's spent,
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer to be that which we destroy,
Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

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 re-

medy, Should be without regard : what's done, is done.

Macb. We have scotch'd the snakes, 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 peace 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 farther!
Lady M.

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

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 we must lave our honours
In these flattering streams, and make our faces
Vizards to our hearts, disguising what they are.

Lady M. You must leave this.

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

Lady M. But in them nature's copy's not eterne.

Macb. There's comfort yet; they are assailable: Then, be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown His cloister'd fight; ere to black IIecate's summons The shard-borne beetle', with his drowsy hums,

8 We have scotch'd the snake,] i. e. Wounded it. This word is best illustrated by a passage in “ Coriolanus," Vol. vi. p. 235,

“ He scotched him and notched him like a carbonado.” 9 Whom we to gain our peace have sent to peace,] The second folio poorly substitutes place for “ peace” in the first instance, perhaps by a misprint.

i The Shard-borne beetle,] “Shard” is synonymous with scale; and the

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 chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night”,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
And with thy bloody and invisible band,
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, pr’ythee, go with me.



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The Same. A Park, with a road leading to the Palace.

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

Macbeth. 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:

allusion, probably, is to the scaly wings of the beetle, which bear him through the air. Such is the construction of Steevens, who supports it by the following lines from Gower's Confessio Amantis :

“ She sigh, her thought, a dragon tho,

Whose scherdes shynen as the sonne.” On the other hand, Tollet argues that “ shard-borne ” ought to be printed “shard-born,” and that the epithet had reference to the dung or shard in which the beetle was born. Malone was as usual opposed to the construction of Steevens. Ben Jonson, in his “ Sad Shepherd,” speaks of “ scaly beetles with their habergeons.”

? Come, seeling night,] i. e. Blinding. “Seeling” is a term in falconry.

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. [Within.] Give us a light there, ho !
2 Mur.

Then, 'tis he: the rest That are within the note of expectation Already are i’ the court. 1 Mur.

His horses go about. 3 Mur. Almost a mile; but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, with a torch?.

2 Mur.

A light, a light! 3 Mur.

'Tis he. 1 Mur. Stand to't. 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 may'st revenge.-0 slave!

[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. 1 Mur. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.

[Exeunt. SCENE IV.

3 Enter Banquo and Fleance, with a torch.) Here again Fleance carries the torch to light his father; and in the old stage-direction nothing is said about a serrant, who would obviously be in the way, when his master was to be murdered. The sercant is a merely modern interpolation.

A Room of State in the Palace.

A Banquet prepared. Enter MACBETH, Lady MACBETH,

RossE, LENOX, Lords, and Attendants. Macb. You know your own degrees; sit down: at

first And last, the hearty welcome. Lords.

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

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

Enter first Murderer, to the door.
Macb. See, they encounter thee with their hearts'

Both sides are even: here I'll sit i’ the midst.
Be large in mirth; anon, we'll drink a measure
The table round. There's blood upon thy face.

Mur. 'Tis Banquo's then.

Macb. 'Tis better thee without, than he within. Is he despatch'd ?

Mur. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.

Macb. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats;
Yet he is good, that did the like for Fleance :
If thou didst it, thou art the nonpareil.

Most royal sir, Fleance is 'scap’d. Macb. Then comes my fit again: I had else been

perfect; Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,

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