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The moment on't; for't must be done to-night,
We are resolv’d, my lord.
[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. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
[Erit. Lady M.
Nought's had, all's spent,
medy, Should be without regard : what's done, is done.
Macb. We have scotch'd the snakes, not kill'd it :
Macb. So shall I, love; and so, I pray, be you.
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
What's to be done?
The Same. A Park, with a road leading to the Palace.
Enter Three Murderers.
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.
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,
Hark! I hear horses.
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?.
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.
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;
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,