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That I require a clearness : and with him,
(To leave no rubs, nor botches, in the work)
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whose absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart :
I'll come to you anon.
Second Murd.

We are resolv'd, my lord.
Macb. I'll call upon you straight : abide within.

[Exeunt Murderers. It is concluded ! Banquo, thy soul's flight, If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.

[Exit.

SCENE II.- The Same. Another Room in the Palace.

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Enter Lady MACBETH and a Servant.
Lady M. Is Banquo gone from court?
Serv. Ay, madam ; but returns again to-night.

Lady M. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
For a few words.
Serv.
Madam, I will.

[Erit. Lady M.

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

Enter MACBETH.

How now, my lord ! why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making ?
Using those thoughts, which should indeed have died

With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard : what's done, is done.

Macb. We have scotch'd the snake,' not kill'd it :
She'll close, and be herself, whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let the frame of things disjoint,
Both the worlds suffer,
Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams,
That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
Whom we to gain our peace have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well ;
Trcason has done his worst : nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing
Can touch him farther!
Lady M.

Come on:
Gentle my lord, sleck o'er your rugged looks ;
Be bright and jovial ’mong your guests to-night.
Macb. So shall I love; and so, I pray, be you.
. ,

,
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo:
Present him eminence, both with eye and tongue:
Unsafe the while, that we must lave our honours
In these flattering streams, and make our faces

9

SCOTCH'D the snake,1 i. e., Wounded it. This word is well illustrated by a passage in Coriolanus, act iv, sc. 5, p. 104,

“He scotched him and notched him, like a carbonado.” -our PEACE] The second folio poorly substitutes place for peace in the first instance, perhaps by a misprint : "to gain our peace”, of course, means security in possession of the throne.

1

Vizards to our hearts, disguising what they are.

Lady M. You must leave this.

Macb. O! full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife. Thou know'st that Banquo and his Fleance live.

Lady M. But in them nature's copy's not eterne.

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

What's to be done?
Macb. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
Till thou applaud the deed.—Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
And with thy bloody and invisible hand,
Cancel, and tear to pieces, that great bond
Which keeps me pale !-Light thickens; and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood :
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
Whiles night's black agents to their preys do rouse.-
Thou marvell'st at my words; but hold thee still :
Things, bad begun, make strong themselves by ill.
So, pr’ythee, go with me.

[Exeunt.

3

? The SHARD-borne beetle,] Shard is synonymous with scale; and the allusion here is to the scaly wings of the beetle, which bear him through the air.

3 Come, SEELING night,] i. e., Blinding. “Seeling" is a term in falconry, meaning to close the eyes of a hawk, in order to make the bird tractable : it is probably the same word as sealFr. scellé.

SCENE III.-The Same. A Park, with a road leading to

the Palace.

Enter three Murderers.

First Mur. But who did bid thee join with us?
Third Mur.

Macbeth. Second Mur. He needs not our mistrust; since he de

livers
Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.
First Mur.

Then stand with us.
The west yet glimmers with some streaks of day:
Now spurs the lated traveller apace,
To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
The subject of our watch.
Third Mur.

Hark! I hear horses.
Ban. [Within.] Give us a light there, ho!
Second Mur.

Then 'tis he : the rest
That are within the note of expectation
Already are i' the court.
First Mur.

His horses go about.
Third Mur. Almost a mile; but he does usually,
So all men do, from hence to the palace gate
Make it their walk.
Second Mur.

A light, a light!
Third Mur.

'Tis he. First Mur. Stand to 't.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, who carries a torch. Ban. It will be rain to-night. First Mur. Let it come down. [Assaults BANQUO. Ban. O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou mayst revenge.- slave! [Dics. FLEANCE escapes.

Third Mur. Who did strike out the light?
First Mur.

Was 't not the way?
Third Mur. There's but one down : the son is fled.
Second Mur. We have lost best half of our affair.
First Mur. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-A Room of State in the Palace.

A banquet set out. Enter MACBETH, Lady MACBETH,

ROSSE, LENNOX, Lords, and Attendants.
Macb. You know your own degrees ; sit down : at first
And last, the hearty welcome.
Lords.

Thanks to your majesty.
Macb. Ourself will mingle with society,
And play the humble host :
Our hostess keeps her state; but in best time
We will require her welcome.

Lady M. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends ;
For my heart speaks they are welcome.

Enter first Murderer, to the door. Macb. See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks. Both sides are even : here I 'll sit i' the midst. Be large in mirth ; anon, we 'll drink a measure

1 The table round. There's blood upon thy face.

Mur. 'Tis Banquo's then.

Macb. 'Tis better thee without, than he within. Is he dispatch'd ?

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