1 Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
2 As the weird women promised, and I fear
3 Thou play'dst most foully for't; yet it was said
4 It should not stand in thy posterity,
5 But that myself should be the root and father
6 Of many kings. If there come truth from them
7 As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine
8 Why, by the verities on thee made good,
9 May they not be my oracles as well,
10 And set me up in hope? But hush, no more.
** Sennet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as King,
LADY [MACBETH, as queen], LENNOX, ROSS,
Lords, and Attendants.
11 Here's our chief guest.
If he had been forgotten,
12 It had been as a gap in our great feast,
13 And all-thing unbecoming.
14 tonight we hold a solemn supper sir,
15 And I'll request your presence.
Let your Highness
16 Command upon me; to the which my duties
17 Are with a most indissoluble tie
18 For ever knit.
19 Ride you this afternoon?
Ay, my good lord.
20 We should have else desired your good advice,
21 Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,
22 In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow.
23 Is't far you ride?
24 As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
25 'Twixt this and supper. Go not my horse the better,
26 I must become a borrower of the night
27 For a dark hour or twain.
Fail not our feast.
28 My lord, I will not.
29 We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd
30 In England and in Ireland, not confessing
31 Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
32 With strange invention: but of that tomorrow,
33 When therewithal we shall have cause of state
34 Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse: adieu,
35 Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?
36 Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon's.
37 I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
38 And so I do commend you to their backs.
40 Let every man be master of his time
41 Till seven at night. To make society
42 The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
43 Till supper-time alone; while then, God be with you!
Exeunt Lords [and all but MACBETH and a servant].
44 Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
45 Our pleasure?
46 They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
47 Bring them before us.
To be thus is nothing,
48 But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo
49 Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
50 Reigns that which would be fear'd. 'Tis much he dares;
51 And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
52 He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
53 To act in safety. There is none but he
54 Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
55 My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said,
56 Mark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
57 When first they put the name of king upon me,
58 And bade them speak to him; then prophet-like
59 They hail'd him father to a line of kings:
60 Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
61 And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
62 Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
63 No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so,
64 For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind;
65 For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
66 Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
67 Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
68 Given to the common enemy of man,
69 To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
70 Rather than so, come fate into the list,
71 And champion me to the utterance! Who's there?
Enter SERVANT, and two MURDERERS.
72 Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.
73 Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
74 It was, so please your highness.
Well then, now
75 Have you consider'd of my speeches? Know
76 That it was he in the times past which held you
77 So under fortune, which you thought had been
78 Our innocent self: this I made good to you
79 In our last conference, pass'd in probation with you,
80 How you were borne in hand, how cross'd, the instruments,
81 Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
82 To half a soul and to a notion crazed
83 Say "Thus did Banquo."
You made it known to us.
84 I did so, and went further, which is now
85 Our point of second meeting. Do you find
86 Your patience so predominant in your nature
87 That you can let this go? Are you so gospell'd
88 To pray for this good man and for his issue,
89 Whose heavy hand hath bow'd you to the grave
90 And beggar'd yours for ever?
We are men, my liege.
91 Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men;
92 As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
93 Shoughs, water-rugs and demi-wolves, are clept
94 All by the name of dogs: the valued file
95 Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
96 The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
97 According to the gift which bounteous nature
98 Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
99 Particular addition, from the bill
100 That writes them all alike: and so of men.
101 Now, if you have a station in the file,
102 Not i' the worst rank of manhood, say 't;
103 And I will put that business in your bosoms,
104 Whose execution takes your enemy off,
105 Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
106 Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
107 Which in his death were perfect.
I am one, my liege,
108 Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
109 Have so incensed that I am reckless what
110 I do to spite the world.
And I another
111 So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
112 That I would set my life on any chance,
113 To mend it, or be rid on't.
Both of you
114 Know Banquo was your enemy.
True, my lord.
115 So is he mine; and in such bloody distance,
116 That every minute of his being thrusts
117 Against my near'st of life; and though I could
118 With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
119 And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
120 For certain friends that are both his and mine,
121 Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
122 Who I myself struck down; and thence it is,
123 That I to your assistance do make love,
124 Masking the business from the common eye
125 For sundry weighty reasons.
We shall, my lord,
126 Perform what you command us.
Though our lives
127 Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at most
128 I will advise you where to plant yourselves;
129 Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' th' time,
130 The moment on't; for't must be done tonight,
131 And something from the palace; always thought
132 That I require a clearness: and with him
133 To leave no rubs nor botches in the work
134 Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
135 Whose absence is no less material to me
136 Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
137 Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart,
138 I'll come to you anon.
We are resolved, my lord.
139 I'll call upon you straight; abide within.
140 It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul's flight,
141 If it find heaven, must find it out tonight.