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Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself

And falls on the other

Enter LADY MACBETH

How now! what news?

Lady Macbeth. He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber?

Macbeth. Hath he ask'd for me?

Lady Macbeth.

Know you not he has? 30

Macbeth. We will proceed no further in this business :
He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,

Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.

Lady Macbeth.

Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely?
Such I account thy love.

To be the same in thine

From this time

Art thou afeard own act and valour

As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
Like the poor cat i' the adage?

Macbeth.

Prithee, peace:

I dare do all that may become a man ;
Who dares do more is none.

29. supp'd, finished supper. 32. bought, gained.

40

Lady Macbeth.

What beast was't then

That made
you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man ;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place

Did then adhere, and yet you would make both :
They have made themselves, and that their fitness

now

Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.

Macbeth.

Lady Macbeth.

If we should fail?

We fail!

But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep—
Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
Soundly invite him his two chamberlains

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Will I with wine and wassail so convince,
That memory, the warder of the brain,
Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbec only: when in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lies as in a death,

50

60

48. break, disclose. 52. adhere, suit. 62. the rather, the earlier. 63. chamberlains, grooms of the chamber, attendants. 64. wassail, revelry. 64. convince, overpower. 66. receipt, receptacle. 67. limbec, alembic, distilling vessel.

What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell?

Macbeth.

Bring forth men-children only;

For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber, and used their very daggers,
That they have done't?

Lady Macbeth.

Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
Upon his death?

Macbeth.

I am settled, and bend up

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
False face must hide what the false heart doth

70

80

know./

[Exeunt.

ACT II

SCENE I. Inverness. Court of Macbeth's castle

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE with a torch before him

Banquo. How goes the night, boy?

Fleance. The moon is down; I have not heard the

clock.

72. quell, murder. 73. mettle, temper. 73. compose, form, give birth to. 74. received, accepted as true.

79. settled, resolved. 81. time, world.

77. other, otherwise.

Banquo. And she goes down at twelve.

Fleance.

I take't, 'tis later, sir.

Banquo. Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry

in heaven,

Their candles are all out.

Take thee that too.

lead upon me,

A heavy summons lies like

And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose!

Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch

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Banquo. What, sir, not yet at rest?

The king's

a-bed:

He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
Sent forth great largess to your offices:
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
In measureless content.

Macbeth.

Being unprepared,

Our will became the servant to defect,

Which else should free have wrought.

Banquo.

All's well.

20

I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:
To you they have show'd some truth.

4. husbandry, frugality, economy. 14. largess, gifts. 14. offices, servants' quarters.

Macbeth.

I think not of them:

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,

We would spend it in some words upon that

business,

If you would grant the time.

Banquo.

At your kind'st leisure. Macbeth. If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis,

It shall make honour for you.

Banquo.

So I lose none

In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,

I shall be counsell'd.

Macbeth.

Good repose the while!

30

Banquo. Thanks, sir: the like to you!

[Exeunt Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth. Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is

ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

[Exit Servant.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me
clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

25. cleave to, join. 28. clear, unstained. tible.

25. consent, counsel.
36. fatal, ominous.

28. franchised, free. 36. sensible, percep

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