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of Cawdor;" by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with "Hail, king that shalt be!" 10 This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell,'

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be

What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst


That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou 'ldst 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 a Messenger.

What is your tidings?

Thou 'rt mad to say it :

Mess. The king comes here to-night.

Lady M.

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

Would have inform'd for preparation.

21. illness, evil.

30. metaphysical, supernatural.



Mess. So please you, it is true: our thane is


One of my fellows had the speed of him,

Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more

Than would make up
Lady M.

He brings great news.

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The raven himself is hoarse

That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
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,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry 'Hold, hold!'


Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter !
Thy letters have transported me beyond

This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.

My dearest love,

Duncan comes here to-night.

42. mortal, probably 'murderous.' L.

50. sightless, invisible.



53. At the outset Lady Macbeth is ready to commit the murder with her own hands.

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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


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.

Only look up clear;

To alter favour ever is to fear:

Leave all the rest to me.



SCENE VI. Before Macbeth's castle.

Hautboys and torches. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, BANQUO, LENNOX, MACDUFF, Ross, Angus, and Attendants.

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

Unto our gentle senses.


This guest of summer,

The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,

By his loved mansionry, that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze,

Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle :
64. To beguile the time, to deceive the world. L.

Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed,
The air is delicate.



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

In 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.

Where's the thane of Cawdor?
We coursed 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,
We are your guest to-night.

Lady M.

Your servants ever

Have theirs, themselves and what is theirs, in


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.

13. 'ild, i.e. yield, repay.
20. your hermits, your bedes-




men, as bound to pray for you. 26. compt, account.

SCENE VII. Macbeth's castle.

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

the stage.

Macb. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere

It were done quickly: if the 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 of time,
We'ld jump the life to come.
But in these cases
We still have judgement here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the 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-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,

Sc. 7. a Sewer; an official who arranged the dishes and tasted the food.

3. trammel up, enmesh, in


7. jump, hazard.

8. that, so that.



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