Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Anthony Dawson
Not Peer Reviewed

Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)


Scena Septima.
Ho-boyes. Torches.
Enter a Sewer, and diuers Seruants with Dishes and Seruice
ouer the Stage. Then enter Macbeth.
475Macb. If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twer well,
It were done quickly: If th' Assassination
Could trammell vp the Consequence, and catch
With his surcease, Successe: that but this blow
Might be the be all, and the end all. Heere,
480But heere, vpon this Banke and Schoole of time,
Wee'ld iumpe the life to come. But in these Cases,
We still haue iudgement heere, that we but teach
Bloody Instructions, which being taught, returne
To plague th' Inuenter. This euen-handed Iustice
485Commends th' Ingredience of our poyson'd Challice
To our owne lips. Hee's heere in double trust;
First, as I am his Kinsman, and his Subiect,
Strong both against the Deed: Then, as his Host,
Who should against his Murtherer shut the doore,
490Not beare the knife my selfe. Besides, this Duncane
Hath borne his Faculties so meeke; hath bin
So cleere in his great Office, that his Vertues
Will pleade like Angels, Trumpet-tongu'd against
The deepe damnation of his taking off:
495And Pitty, like a naked New-borne-Babe,
Striding the blast, or Heauens Cherubin, hors'd
Vpon the sightlesse Curriors of the Ayre,
Shall blow the horrid deed in euery eye,
That teares shall drowne the winde. I haue no Spurre
500To pricke the sides of my intent, but onely
Vaulting Ambition, which ore-leapes it selfe,
And falles on th' other.
Enter Lady.
How now? What Newes?
La. He has almost supt: why haue you left the chamber?
505Mac. Hath he ask'd for me?
La. Know you not, he ha's?
Mac. We will proceed no further in this Businesse:
He hath Honour'd me of late, and I haue bought
Golden Opinions from all sorts of people,
510Which would be worne now in their newest glosse,
Not cast aside so soone.
La. Was the hope drunke,
Wherein you drest your selfe? Hath it slept since?
And wakes it now to looke so greene, and pale,
515At what it did so freely? From this time,
Such I account thy loue. Art thou affear'd
To be the same in thine owne Act, and Valour,
As thou art in desire? Would'st thou haue that
Which thou esteem'st the Ornament of Life,
520And liue a Coward in thine owne Esteeme?
Letting I dare not, wait vpon I would,
Like the poore Cat i'th' Addage.
Macb. Prythee peace:
I dare do all that may become a man,
525Who dares no more, is none.
La. What Beast was't then
That made you breake this enterprize to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man:
And to be more then what you were, you would
530Be so much more the man. Nor time, nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
They haue made themselues, and that their fitnesse now
Do's vnmake you. I haue giuen Sucke, and know
How tender 'tis to loue the Babe that milkes me,
535I would, while it was smyling in my Face,
Haue pluckt my Nipple from his Bonelesse Gummes,
And dasht the Braines out, had I so sworne
As you haue done to this.
Macb. If we should faile?
540Lady. We faile?
But screw your courage to the sticking place,
And wee'le not fayle: when Duncan is asleepe,
(Whereto the rather shall his dayes hard Iourney
Soundly inuite him) his two Chamberlaines
545Will I with Wine, and Wassell, so conuince,
That Memorie, the Warder of the Braine,
Shall be a Fume, and the Receit of Reason
A Lymbeck onely: when in Swinish sleepe,
Their drenched Natures lyes as in a Death,
550What cannot you and I performe vpon
Th' vnguarded Duncan? What not put vpon
His spungie Officers? who shall beare the guilt
Of our great quell.
Macb. Bring forth Men-Children onely:
555For thy vndaunted Mettle should compose
Nothing but Males. Will it not be receiu'd,
When we haue mark'd with blood those sleepie two
Of his owne Chamber, and vs'd their very Daggers,
That they haue don't?
560Lady. Who dares receiue it other,
As we shall make our Griefes and Clamor rore,
Vpon his Death?
Macb. I am settled, and bend vp
Each corporall Agent to this terrible Feat.
565Away, and mock the time with fairest show,
False Face must hide what the false Heart doth know.
Exeunt.