Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Anthony Dawson
Not Peer Reviewed

Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)


1150
Scena Secunda.
Enter Macbeths Lady, and a Seruant.
Lady. Is Banquo gone from Court?
Seruant. I, Madame, but returnes againe to Night.
Lady. Say to the King, I would attend his leysure,
1155For a few words.
Seruant. Madame, I will.
Exit.
Lady. Nought's had, all's spent.
Where our desire is got without content:
'Tis safer, to be that which we destroy,
1160Then by destruction dwell in doubtfull ioy.
Enter Macbeth.
How now, my Lord, why doe you keepe alone?
Of sorryest Fancies your Companions making,
Vsing those Thoughts, which should indeed haue dy'd
1165With them they thinke on: things without all remedie
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.
Macb. We haue scorch'd the Snake, not kill'd it:
Shee'le close, and be her selfe, whilest our poore Mallice
Remaines in danger of her former Tooth.
1170But let the frame of things dis-ioynt,
Both the Worlds suffer,
Ere we will eate our Meale in feare, and sleepe
In the affliction of these terrible Dreames,
That shake vs Nightly: Better be with the dead,
1175Whom we, to gayne our peace, haue sent to peace,
Then on the torture of the Minde to lye
In restlesse extasie.
Duncane is in his Graue:
After Lifes fitfull Feuer, he sleepes well,
1180Treason ha's done his worst: nor Steele, nor Poyson,
Mallice domestique, forraine Leuie, nothing,
Can touch him further.
Lady. Come on:
Gentle my Lord, sleeke o're your rugged Lookes,
1185Be bright and Iouiall among your Guests to Night.
Macb. So shall I Loue, and so I pray be you:
Let your remembrance apply to Banquo,
Present him Eminence, both with Eye and Tongue:
Vnsafe the while, that wee must laue
1190Our Honors in these flattering streames,
And make our Faces Vizards to our Hearts,
Disguising what they are.
Lady. You must leaue this.
Macb. O, full of Scorpions is my Minde, deare Wife:
1195Thou know'st, that Banquo and his Fleans liues.
Lady. But in them, Natures Coppie's not eterne.
Macb. There's comfort yet, they are assaileable,
Then be thou iocund: ere the Bat hath flowne
His Cloyster'd flight, ere to black Heccats summons
1200The shard-borne Beetle, with his drowsie hums,
Hath rung Nights yawning Peale,
There shall be done a deed of dreadfull note.
Lady. What's to be done?
Macb. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest Chuck,
1205Till thou applaud the deed: Come, seeling Night,
Skarfe vp the tender Eye of pittifull Day,
And with thy bloodie and inuisible Hand
Cancell and teare to pieces that great Bond,
Which keepes me pale. Light thickens,
1210And the Crow makes Wing toth' Rookie Wood:
Good things of Day begin to droope, and drowse,
Whiles Nights black Agents to their Prey's doe rowse.
Thou maruell'st at my words: but hold thee still,
Things bad begun, make strong themselues by ill:
1215So prythee goe with me.
Exeunt.