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Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 1


  *        Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE with a torch
           before him.

      BANQUO
  1   How goes the night, boy?

      FLEANCE
  2   The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.

      BANQUO
  3   And she goes down at twelve.

      FLEANCE
                                                      I take't, 'tis later, sir.

      BANQUO
  4   Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry in heaven;
  5   Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
  6   A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
  7   And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
  8   Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
  9   Gives way to in repose!

            Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch.

                                        Give me my sword.
 10   Who's there?

      MACBETH
 11   A friend.

      BANQUO
 12   What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's a-bed:
 13   He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
 14   Sent forth great largess to your offices.
 15   This diamond he greets your wife withal,
 16   By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
 17   In measureless content.

      MACBETH
                                               Being unprepared,
 18   Our will became the servant to defect;
 19   Which else should free have wrought.

      BANQUO
                                                                 All's well.
 20   I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:
 21   To you they have show'd some truth.

      MACBETH
                                                       I think not of them;
 22   Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
 23   We would spend it in some words upon that business,
 24   If you would grant the time.

      BANQUO
                                             At your kind'st leisure.

      MACBETH
 25   If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis,
 26   It shall make honour for you.

      BANQUO
                                                 So I lose none
 27   In seeking to augment it, but still keep
 28   My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,
 29   I shall be counsell'd.

      MACBETH
                                       Good repose the while!

      BANQUO
 30   Thanks, sir: the like to you!

            Exit Banquo [with Fleance].

      MACBETH
 31   Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
 32   She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

            Exit [Servant].

 33   Is this a dagger which I see before me,
 34   The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
 35   I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
 36   Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
 37   To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
 38   A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
 39   Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
 40   I see thee yet, in form as palpable
 41   As this which now I draw.
 42   Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
 43   And such an instrument I was to use.
 44   Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
 45   Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,
 46   And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
 47   Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
 48   It is the bloody business which informs
 49   Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one half-world
 50   Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
 51   The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
 52   Pale Hecat's off'rings; and wither'd Murder,
 53   Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
 54   Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
 55   With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
 56   Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
 57   Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
 58   Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
 59   And take the present horror from the time,
 60   Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:
 61   Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

            A bell rings.

 62   I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
 63   Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
 64   That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

           Exit.