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So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
That I would set my life on any chance,

To mend it or be rid on 't.


Both of you

True, my lord.

Know Banquo was your enemy.

Both Murderers.

Macbeth. So is he mine, and in such bloody distance
That every minute of his being thrusts

Against my near'st of life: and though I could
With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
For certain friends that are both his and mine,
Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Who I myself struck down: and thence it is,
That I to your assistance do make love,
Masking the business from the common eye
For sundry weighty reasons.

Second Murderer.

We shall, my lord,

Though our lives

Perform what you command us.

First Murderer.



Macbeth. Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour

at most

I will advise you where to plant yourselves,
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
The moment on 't; for 't must be done to-night,
And something from the palace; always thought
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.

Both Murderers.

We are resolved, my lord.

Macbeth. 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.


SCENE II. The palace.

Enter LADY MACBETH and a Servant.

Lady Macbeth. Is Banquo gone from court? Servant. Ay, madam, but returns again to-night. Lady Macbeth. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure For a few words.


Lady Macbeth.

Madam, I will.


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.


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.

Macbeth. 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.

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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;

Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further.


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Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks;
Be bright and jovial among your guests to-night.
Macbeth. 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 visards to our hearts,

Disguising what they are.

Lady Macbeth.

You must leave this.


Macbeth. O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.
Lady Macbeth. But in them nature's copy's not eterne.
Macbeth. 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 Macbeth.

What's to be done?


Macbeth. 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 50

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, prithee, go with me.


SCENE III. A park near the palace.

Enter three Murderers.

First Murd. But who did bid thee join with us?

Third Murderer.


Sec. Murd. He needs not our mistrust, since he delivers Our offices and what we have to do

To the direction just.

First Murderer.

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 Murderer.

Hark! I hear horses.

Banquo. [Within.] Give us a light there, ho!

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Third Murderer. Almost a mile: but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate

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Banquo. O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!

Thou mayst revenge. O slave!

[Dies. Fleance escapes.

Was't not the way?

Third Murderer. Who did strike out the light?

First Murderer.

Third Murd. There's but one down; the son is fled.

Second Murderer.

Best half of our affair.

We have lost


First Murd. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.


SCENE IV. Hall in the palace.

A banquet prepared. Enter MACBETH, LADY MACBETH, Ross, LENNOXx, Lords, and Attendants.

Macbeth. You know your own degrees; sit down: at first And last the hearty welcome.


Thanks to your majesty.

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

First Murderer appears at the door.

Macbeth. 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


The table round. [Approaching the door.] There's blood upon thy face.

Murderer. 'Tis Banquo's then.

Macbeth. 'Tis better thee without than he within.

Is he dispatch'd?

Murderer. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.

Macb. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's good That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,

Thou art the nonpareil.


Fleance is 'scaped.

Most royal sir,


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