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Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal 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 the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned 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-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off:
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
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 goad the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.—How now, what news?
Enter Lady MACBETH. Lady M. He has almost supped. Why have you left the
Macb. Hath he asked for me?
Lady M. Know you not, he has ?
Macb. We will proceed no further in this business :
Ale hath honored me of late; and I have boughè
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.
Was the hope drunk,
Wherein you dressed 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 valor,
As thou art in desire ? Would'st 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' the adage ?
Pr’ythee, peace :
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more, is none.
What beast was it then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When 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 have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you.
If we should fail, Lady M.
We fail ! But screw your courage to the sticking place, And we'll not fail. 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, Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason A limbeck* only: When in swinish sleep, Their drenched natures lie, as in a death, What can not you and I perform upon The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon His spongy officers; who shall bear the guilt Of our great quell? +
Will it not be received,
When we have marked with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber, and used their very daggers,
That they have done it?
Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar
Upon his death ?
Macb. I am settled, and bend up
Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show :
False face must hide what the false heart doth know. [Esceunt
Court within the Castle. Enter MACBETH and a Servant with
a torch. Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. [Exit Scoon Is this a dagger, which I see before me, The handle toward my hand ? Come, let me clutch thee : I have thce not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but A dagger of the mind; a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain ? I see thee yet, in form as palpable As this which now I draw. Thou marshal’st me the way that I was going; And such an instrument I was to use. Mine eyes are made the fools of the other senses, Or else worth all the rest : I see thee still; And on thy blade, and dudgeon, gouts of blood, Which was not so before.—There's no such thing : It is the bloody business which informs Thus to mine eyes.- 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 sow 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.
The merciless monarch whose character is portrayed in the play of Richard III., was born in the year 1452. The story of the savage means by which he reached the throne is one of the blackest in all history. In the scene below he appears just after waking out of a frightful dream. In that dream had appeared to him severally the ghosts of all those whom he had murdered. Each, in terrible terms, announces the doom that awaited him on the following day; on which (August 22d, 1485) he was slain in the celebrated battle of Bosworth Field.
SCENE FROM RICHARD III.
KING RICHARD starting out of his dream.
Rich. Give me another horse, --bind up my wounds,
Have mercy, Heaven !-Soft; I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold, fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? Myself? There's none else by :
Richard loves Richard ; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No;-Yes; I am.
Then fly.—What, from myself? Great reason! Why?
Lest I revenge. What? Myself on myself ?
I love myself. Wherefore ? For any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
0, no: alas, I rather hate myself,
For hateful deeds committed by myself !
[ am a villain ; yet I lie, -I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well :—Fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury in the high’st degree,
Murder, stern murder, in the dir’st degree,
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all — Guilty! Guilty!
I shall despair.—There is no creature loves me;
Anc, if I die, no soul will pity me:
Nay, wherefore should they? since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself.
Methought the souls of all that I had murdered,
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.
Perhaps, my dear boy, you may never have heard
Of that wicked old monarch, KING RICHARD THE THIRD, —
Whose actions were often extremely absurd;
And who led such a sad life,
Such a wanton and mad life;
Indeed, I may say, such a wretchedly bad life,
I suppose I am perfectly safe in declaring,
There was ne'er such a monster of infamous daring;
In all sorts of crime he was wholly unsparing;
In pride and ambition was quite beyond bearing,
And had a bad habit of cursing and swearing.
* See Note on Exercise IX.