Macbeth: Act 1, Scene 7



  *        Hoboys, torches. Enter a SEWER, and divers
           SERVANTS with dishes and service, and pass
           over the stage. Then enter MACBETH.

      MACBETH
  1   If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
  2   It were done quickly: if th' assassination
  3   Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
  4   With his surcease success; that but this blow
  5   Might be the be-all and the end-all — here,
  6   But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
  7   We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
  8   We still have judgment here, that we but teach
  9   Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
 10   To plague the inventor.This even-handed justice
 11   Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
 12   To our own lips. He's here in double trust;
 13   First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
 14   Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
 15   Who should against his murderer shut the door,
 16   Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
 17   Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
 18   So clear in his great office, that his virtues
 19   Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
 20   The deep damnation of his taking-off;
 21   And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
 22   Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubins, horsed
 23   Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
 24   Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
 25   That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
 26   To prick the sides of my intent, but only
 27   Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
 28   And falls on the other —

           Enter LADY [MACBETH].

                                  How now? what news?

      LADY MACBETH
 29   He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber?

      MACBETH
 30   Hath he ask'd for me?

      LADY MACBETH
                                           Know you not he has?

      MACBETH
 31   We will proceed no further in this business:
 32   He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought
 33   Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
 34   Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
 35   Not cast aside so soon.

      LADY MACBETH
                                           Was the hope drunk
 36   Wherein you dress'd yourself? Hath it slept since?
 37   And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
 38   At what it did so freely? From this time
 39   Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
 40   To be the same in thine own act and valour
 41   As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
 42   Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
 43   And live a coward in thine own esteem,
 44   Letting "I dare not" wait upon "I would,"
 45   Like the poor cat i' the adage?

      MACBETH
                                                     Prithee, peace!
 46   I dare do all that may become a man;
 47   Who dares do more is none.

      LADY MACBETH
                                         What beast was't, then,
 48   That made you break this enterprise to me?
 49   When you durst do it, then you were a man;
 50   And, to be more than what you were, you would
 51   Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
 52   Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
 53   They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
 54   Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
 55   How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
 56   I would, while it was smiling in my face,
 57   Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
 58   And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
 59   Have done to this.

      MACBETH
                                   If we should fail?

      LADY MACBETH
                                                             We fail!
 60   But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
 61   And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep —
 62   Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
 63   Soundly invite him — his two chamberlains
 64   Will I with wine and wassail so convince
 65   That memory, the warder of the brain,
 66   Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
 67   A limbeck only. When in swinish sleep
 68   Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
 69   What cannot you and I perform upon
 70   The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
 71   His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
 72   Of our great quell?

      MACBETH
                                         Bring forth men-children only;
 73   For thy undaunted mettle should compose
 74   Nothing but males. Will it not be receiv'd,
 75   When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
 76   Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
 77   That they have done't?

      LADY MACBETH
                                             Who dares receive it other,
 78   As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
 79   Upon his death?

      MACBETH
                               I am settled, and bend up
 80   Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
 81   Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
 82   False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

     Exeunt.