Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 3




            Enter a PORTER.  Knocking within.

      Porter
  1   Here's a knocking indeed! If a man were
  2   porter of Hell Gate, he should have old turning the
  3   key. (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who's there,
  4   i' the name of Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hang'd
  5   himself on th' expectation of plenty. Come in time!
  6   Have napkins enow about you; here you'll sweat for't.
  7   (Knock.) Knock, knock! Who's there, in the other
  8    devil's name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could
  9   swear in both the scales against either scale, who com-
 10   mitted treason enough for God's sake, yet could
 11   not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.
 12   (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who's there? Faith,
 13   here's an English tailor come hither, for stealing
 14   out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may
 15   roast your goose. (Knock.) Knock, knock! Never
 16   at quiet! What are you? But this place is too
 17   cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further: I had
 18   thought to have let in some of all professions that go
 19   the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. (Knock.)
 20   Anon, anon! [Opens the gate.] I pray you, remember
 21   the porter.

            Enter MACDUFF and LENNOX.

      MACDUFF
 22   Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
 23   That you do lie so late?

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

      MACDUFF
 26   What three things does drink especially pro-
 27   voke?

      Porter
 28   Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.
 29   Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes
 30   the desire, but it takes away the performance. There-
 31   fore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator
 32   with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him  
 33   on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and dis-
 34   heartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to; in
 35   conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him
 36   the lie, leaves him.

      MACDUFF
 37   I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.

      Porter
 38   That it did, sir, i' the very throat on me; but I re-
 39   quited him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong
 40   for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I
 41   made a shift to cast him.

      MACDUFF
 42   Is thy master stirring?

            Enter MACBETH.

 43   Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.

      LENNOX
 44   Good morrow, noble sir.

      MACBETH
                                                 Good morrow, both.

      MACDUFF
 45   Is the king stirring, worthy thane?

      MACBETH
                                                               Not yet.

      MACDUFF
 46   He did command me to call timely on him:
 47   I have almost slipp'd the hour.

      MACBETH
                                               I'll bring you to him.

      MACDUFF
 48   I know this is a joyful trouble to you;
 49   But yet 'tis one.

      MACBETH
 50   The labour we delight in physics pain.
 51   This is the door.

      MACDUFF
                             I'll make so bold to call,
 52   For 'tis my limited service.

           Exit Macduff.

      LENNOX
 53   Goes the king hence to-day?

      MACBETH
                                                 He does; he did appoint so.

      LENNOX
 54   The night has been unruly: where we lay,
 55   Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,
 56   Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death,
 57   And prophesying with accents terrible
 58   Of dire combustion and confused events
 59   New hatch'd to the woeful time: the obscure bird
 60   Clamour'd the livelong night: some say, the earth
 61   Was feverous and did shake.

       MACBETH
                                             'Twas a rough night.

      LENNOX
 62   My young remembrance cannot parallel
 63   A fellow to it.

           Enter MACDUFF.

       MACDUFF
 64   O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart
 65   Cannot conceive nor name thee!

      MACBETH and LENNOX
                                                       What's the matter?

       MACDUFF
 66   Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!
 67   Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
 68   The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence
 69   The life o' th' building!

      MACBETH
                                             What is 't you say—the life?

      LENNOX
 70    Mean you his Majesty?

       MACDUFF
 71   Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
 72   With a new Gorgon: do not bid me speak;
 73   See, and then speak yourselves.

            Exeunt Macbeth and Lennox.

                                                    Awake, awake!
 74   Ring the alarum-bell! Murder and treason!
 75   Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake!
 76   Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
 77   And look on death itself! Up, up, and see
 78   The great doom's image! Malcolm! Banquo!
 79   As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
 80   To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.

           Bell rings.
           Enter
LADY [MACBETH].

      LADY MACBETH
 81   What's the business,
 82   That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
 83   The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!

      MACDUFF
                                                                   O gentle lady,
 84   'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
 85   The repetition, in a woman's ear,
 86   Would murder as it fell.

           Enter BANQUO.

                                             O Banquo, Banquo,
 87   Our royal master's murder'd!

       LADY MACBETH
                                                   Woe, alas!
 88   What, in our house?

      BANQUO
                                 Too cruel any where.
 89   Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,
 90   And say it is not so.

           Enter MACBETH, LENNOX, ROSS.

      MACBETH
 91   Had I but died an hour before this chance,
 92   I had lived a blessed time; for, from this instant,
 93   There 's nothing serious in mortality:
 94   All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;
 95   The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
 96   Is left this vault to brag of.

            Enter MALCOLM and DONALBAIN.

      DONALBAIN
 97   What is amiss?

      MACBETH
                           You are, and do not know't:
 98   The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
 99   Is stopp'd; the very source of it is stopp'd.

      MACDUFF
100   Your royal father's murder'd.

      MALCOLM
                                                     O, by whom?

      LENNOX
101   Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done 't:
102   Their hands and faces were all badged with blood;
103   So were their daggers, which unwiped we found
104   Upon their pillows. They stared, and were distracted;
105   No man's life was to be trusted with them.

      MACBETH
106   O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
107   That I did kill them.

      MACDUFF
                                     Wherefore did you so?

       MACBETH
108   Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
109   Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
110   Th' expedition of my violent love
111   Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
112   His silver skin laced with his golden blood;
113   And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature
114   For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,
115   Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers
116   Unmannerly breech'd with gore. Who could refrain,
117   That had a heart to love, and in that heart
118   Courage to make's love known?

      LADY MACBETH
                                                   Help me hence, ho!

      MACDUFF
119   Look to the lady.

      MALCOLM [Aside to DONALBAIN.]
                             Why do we hold our tongues,
120   That most may claim this argument for ours?

      DONALBAIN [Aside to MALCOLM.]
121    What should be spoken here, where our fate,
122   Hid in an auger-hole, may rush, and seize us?
123   Let's away;
124   Our tears are not yet brew'd.

      MALCOLM [Aside to DONALBAIN.]
                                                 Nor our strong sorrow
125   Upon the foot of motion.

      BANQUO
                                           Look to the lady.

           [LADY MACBETH is carried out.]

126   And when we have our naked frailties hid,
127   That suffer in exposure, let us meet,
128   And question this most bloody piece of work,
129   To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us.
130   In the great hand of God I stand; and thence
131   Against the undivulged pretence I fight
132   Of treasonous malice.

      MACDUFF
                                     And so do I.

      ALL
                                                         So all.

      MACBETH
133   Let's briefly put on manly readiness,
134   And meet i' the hall together.

      ALL
                                               Well contented.

           Exeunt [all but Malcolm and Donalbain].

      MALCOLM
135   What will you do? Let's not consort with them;
136   To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
137   Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.

       DONALBAIN
138   To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
139   Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
140   There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
141   The nearer bloody.

      MALCOLM
                                       This murderous shaft that's shot
142   Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
143   Is to avoid the aim. Therefore, to horse;
144   And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
145   But shift away. There's warrant in that theft
146   Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.

           Exeunt.