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But shift away: there's warrant in that theft
Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.


SCENE IV. Outside Macbeth's castle.

Enter Ross and an old Man.

Old M. Threescore and ten I can remember


Within the volume of which time I have seen Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore


Hath trifled former knowings.


Ah, good father, Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's


Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp:
Is 't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?

Old M.

Even like the deed that 's done.

"Tis unnatural,

On Tuesday last,

A falcon, towering in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.
Ross. And Duncan's horses-a thing most
strange and certain-

4. trifled, reduced to insignificance.

6 f. Some of these details are borrowed from Holinshed's account of the murder of King Duff. He relates:-'For the space of vi moneths together after the haynous murder was committed, there appeared no Sunne by day, nor Moone by


night in any parte of the realme, but stil was the skie couered with continual clowdes.'

12. towering. In falconry, to 'rise spirally to a height' (Harting).

12. place, 'pitch,' i.e. the height reached by the falcon before swooping.

Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,
Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.

Old M.

'Tis said they eat each other. Ross. They did so, to the amazement of mine

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Ross. Is't known who did this more than bloody

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Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,

Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.


'Gainst nature still!

Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up

Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

Macd. He is already named, and gone to Scone

To be invested.


Where is Duncan's body?

Macd, Carried to Colmekill,

The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.


15. minions, choicest specimens, 'pearl,' or 'flower.' 31. Scone. The town, near

Will you to Scone?


Perth, at which the Scottish kings were crowned.

Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.


Well, I will thither. Macd. Well, may you see things well done

there adieu !

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!

Ross. Farewell, father.

Old M. God's benison go with you; and with those

That would make good of bad, and friends of [Exeunt.




SCENE I. Forres. The palace.


Ban. Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis,

As the weird women promised, and, I fear,
Thou play'dst most foully for 't: yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity,

But that myself should be the root and father

Of many kings. If there come truth from them-
As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine-
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,

And set me up in hope? But hush! no more.

Sennet sounded.

Enter MACBETH, as king, LADY MACBETH, as queen, LENNOX, Ross, Lords, Ladies, and Attendants.

Macb. Here's our chief guest.


10. Sennet, a set of notes cing the approach or departure played on the trumpet, announ- of a procession.

Lady M.

If he had been forgotten,

It had been as a gap in our great feast,

And all-thing unbecoming.

Mach. To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir, And I'll request your presence.


Let your highness

Command upon me; to the which my duties

Are with a most indissoluble tie

For ever knit.

Mach. Ride you this afternoon?

Ban. Ay, my good lord.

Macb. We should have else desired your good

Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,
In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow.
Is 't far you ride?

Ban. As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
'Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better,
I must become a borrower of the night

For a dark hour or twain.


Ban. My lord, I will not.

Fail not our feast.


Macb. We hear our bloody cousins are bestow'd 30 In England and in Ireland, not confessing

Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers

With strange invention: but of that to-morrow,
When therewithal we shall have cause of state
Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse: adieu,
Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you
Ban. Ay, my good lord: our time does call


Macb. I wish your horses swift and sure of foot; And so I do commend you to their backs.


Let every man be master of his time

13. all-thing, wholly

[Exit Banquo. 40

Till seven at night: to make society

The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself

Till supper-time alone: while then, God be with you!

[Exeunt all but Macbeth, and an Attendant. Sirrah, a word with you: attend those men

Our pleasure?

Atten. They are, my lord, without the palace

Macb. Bring them before us. [Exit Attendant.
To be thus is nothing;

But to be safely thus.-Our fears in Banquo

Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature

Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he

dares ;

And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,

He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
To act in safety. There is none but he
Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said,

Mark Antony's was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters
When first they put the name of king upon me,
And bade them speak to him: then prophet-like
They hail'd him father to a line of kings:
Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
No son of mine succeeding. If't be so,
For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind;
For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd ;
Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel

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soul. Cf. Rich. II. i. 1. 180:


A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest

Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.

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