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Lady M. That which hath made them drunk
hath made me bold;

What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.


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 awaked, And 'tis not done. The attempt and not the deed Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready; He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done 't.



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Macb. This is a sorry sight.


[Looking on his hands. Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight. Mach. There's one did laugh in 's sleep, and one cried 'Murder!'

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 lodged together.

Mach. One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the other;

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. 30

Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce


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.

Macb. Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more !

Macbeth does murder sleep,' the innocent sleep,
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,
37. ravell'd sleave, tangled skein.

28. As, as if.

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not sweeten

Chief nourisher in life's feast,

Lady M.
What do you mean?
Mach. Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the
house :

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,
worthy 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: 50

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


Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,

60. Will all great Nep-
tune's ocean, etc. This is one
of the most remarkable remin-
iscences of Seneca in Shake-

this little on Making the green one red.


Quis eluet me Tanais? aut quae barbaris

Maeotis undis pontico incumbens mari?

non ipse toto magnus oceano pater tantum expiarit sceleris.

Hippolytus, 723.



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


To wear a heart so white. [Knocking within.] 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 within.]
Hark! more knocking.

Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers.

So poorly in your thoughts.

Be not lost

Mach. To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.

[Knocking within.

Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou

couldst !




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Porter. Here's a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning

Sc. 3. Knocking within. Some sentences from De Quincey's suggestive note on this interruption and the following scene may be quoted:-'When the deed is done, when the work of darkness is perfect, then the world of darkness passes away like a pageantry in the clouds: the knocking at the gate is heard, and it makes known audibly that the reaction has

commenced: the human has made its reflux upon the fiendish; the pulses of life are beginning to beat again; and the reestablishment of the goings-on of the world in which we live, first makes us profoundly sensible of the awful parenthesis that had suspended them.'

2. old, a colloquial epithet of emphasis; 'fine,' 'rare.'

the key. knock !

[Knocking within.] Knock, knock, Who's there, i' the name of Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hang'd himself on the expectation of plenty: come in time; have napkins enow about you; here you 'll sweat for 't. [Knocking within.] Knock, knock! Who's there, in the other devil's name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator. [Knocking within.] Knock, knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose. [Knocking within.] Knock, knock; never at quiet! What are you? But this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further: I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. [Knocking within.] Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.

[Opens the gate.


Macd. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed, That you do lie so late?

Port. 'Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

Macd. What three things does drink especially provoke ?

Port. Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes ; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance therefore, much drink may be said to

17. goose, the tailor's iron, so called from its shape.




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