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Macbeth: Act 3, Scene 2


            Enter MACBETH'S LADY and a SERVANT.

       LADY MACBETH
  1    Is Banquo gone from court?

       Servant
  2    Ay, madam, but returns again to-night.

       LADY MACBETH
  3    Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
  4    For a few words.

       Servant
                                  Madam, I will.

            Exit.

       LADY MACBETH
                                                        Nought's had, all's spent,
  5    Where our desire is got without content;
  6    'Tis safer to be that which we destroy
  7    Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.

            Enter MACBETH.

  8    How now, my lord! why do you keep alone,
  9    Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
 10    Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
 11    With them they think on? Things without all remedy
 12    Should be without regard: what's done is done.

       MACBETH
 13    We have scorch'd the snake, not kill'd it:
 14    She'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice
 15    Remains in danger of her former tooth.
 16    But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,
 17    Ere we will eat our meal in fear and sleep
 18    In the affliction of these terrible dreams
 19    That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
 20    Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
 21    Than on the torture of the mind to lie
 22    In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
 23    After life's fitful fever he sleeps well;
 24    Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
 25    Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
 26    Can touch him further.

       LADY MACBETH
                                           Come on;
 27    Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks;
 28    Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.

       MACBETH
 29    So shall I, love; and so, I pray, be you:
 30    Let your remembrance apply to Banquo;
 31    Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue.
 32    Unsafe the while, that we
 33    Must lave our honours in these flattering streams,
 34    And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
 35    Disguising what they are.

       LADY MACBETH
                                               You must leave this.

       MACBETH
 36    O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
 37    Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.

       LADY MACBETH
 38    But in them nature's copy's not eterne.

       MACBETH
 39    There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
 40    Then be thou jocund; ere the bat hath flown
 41    His cloister'd flight, ere to black Hecate's summons
 42    The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
 43    Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done
 44    A deed of dreadful note.

       LADY MACBETH
                                             What's to be done?

       MACBETH
 45    Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
 46    Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,
 47    Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day;
 48    And with thy bloody and invisible hand
 49    Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
 50    Which keeps me pale! Light thickens; and the crow
 51    Makes wing to the rooky wood:
 52    Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
 53    While night's black agents to their preys do rouse.
 54    Thou marvell'st at my words, but hold thee still;
 55    Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
 56    So, prithee, go with me.

           Exeunt.