Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 5



           Enter Macbeth's Wife, alone, with a letter.

      LADY MACBETH  [Reads.]
 1        "They met me in the day of success: and I have
 2        learned by the perfect'st report, they have more in
 3        them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire
 4        to question them further, they made themselves air,
 5        into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in
 6        the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who
 7        all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor'; by which title,
 8        before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred
 9        me to the coming on of time, with 'Hail, king that
10        shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver
11        thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou
12        mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being
13        ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it
14        to thy heart, and farewell."

15   Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
16   What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
17   It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
18   To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great;
19   Art not without ambition, but without
20   The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,
21   That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
22   And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou dost have, great Glamis,   
23   That which cries "Thus thou must do, if thou have it";
24   And that which rather thou dost fear to do
25   Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,
26   That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
27   And chastise with the valour of my tongue
28   All that impedes thee from the golden round,
29   Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
30   To have thee crown'd withal.

           Enter Messenger.

                                             What is your tidings?

     Messenger
31   The king comes here to-night.

     LADY MACBETH
                                                Thou'rt mad to say it!
32   Is not thy master with him? who, were't so,
33   Would have inform'd for preparation.

     Messenger
34   So please you, it is true: our thane is coming:
35   One of my fellows had the speed of him,
36   Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
37   Than would make up his message.

     LADY MACBETH
                                                  Give him tending;
38   He brings great news.

          Exit Messenger.

                                  The raven himself is hoarse
39   That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
40   Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
41   That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
42   And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
43   Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
44   Stop up the access and passage to remorse,
45   That no compunctious visitings of nature
46   Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
47   The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,
48   And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring ministers,
49   Wherever in your sightless substances
50   You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
51   And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,
52   That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,
53   Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
54   To cry "Hold, hold!"

          Enter MACBETH.

                                Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!
55   Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
56   Thy letters have transported me beyond
57   This ignorant present, and I feel now
58   The future in the instant.

     MACBETH
                                              My dearest love,
59   Duncan comes here to-night.

     LADY MACBETH
                                                And when goes hence?

     MACBETH
60   To-morrow, as he purposes.

     LADY MACBETH
                                            O, never
61   Shall sun that morrow see!
62   Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
63   May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
64   Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
65   Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
66   But be the serpent under't. He that's coming
67   Must be provided for: and you shall put
68   This night's great business into my dispatch;
69   Which shall to all our nights and days to come
70   Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

     MACBETH
71   We will speak further.

     LADY MACBETH
                                      Only look up clear;
72   To alter favour ever is to fear:
73   Leave all the rest to me.

          Exeunt.