Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Anthony Dawson
Not Peer Reviewed

Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)


Scæna Quarta.
Banquet prepar'd. Enter Macbeth, Lady, Rosse, Lenox,
1255Lords, and Attendants.
Macb. You know your owne degrees, sit downe:
At first and last, the hearty welcome.
Lords. Thankes to your Maiesty.
Macb. Our selfe will mingle with Society,
1260And play the humble Host:
Our Hostesse keepes her State, but in best time
We will require her welcome.
La. Pronounce it for me Sir, to all our Friends,
For my heart speakes, they are welcome.
1265
Enter first Murtherer.
Macb. See they encounter thee with their harts thanks
Both sides are euen: heere Ile sit i'th' mid'st,
Be large in mirth, anon wee'l drinke a Measure
The Table round. There's blood vpon thy face.
1270Mur. 'Tis Banquo's then.
Macb. 'Tis better thee without, then he within.
Is he dispatch'd?
Mur. My Lord his throat is cut, that I did for him.
Mac. Thou art the best o'th' Cut-throats,
1275Yet hee's good that did the like for Fleans:
If thou did'st it, thou art the Non-pareill.
Mur. Most Royall Sir
Fleans is scap'd.
Macb. Then comes my Fit againe:
1280I had else beene perfect;
Whole as the Marble, founded as the Rocke,
As broad, and generall, as the casing Ayre:
But now I am cabin'd, crib'd, confin'd, bound in
To sawcy doubts, and feares. But Banquo's safe?
1285Mur. I, my good Lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a Death to Nature.
Macb. Thankes for that:
There the growne Serpent lyes, the worme that's fled
1290Hath Nature that in time will Venom breed,
No teeth for th' present. Get thee gone, to morrow
Wee'l heare our selues againe.
Exit Murderer.
Lady. My Royall Lord,
You do not giue the Cheere, the Feast is sold
1295That is not often vouch'd, while 'tis a making:
'Tis giuen, with welcome: to feede were best at home:
From thence, the sawce to meate is Ceremony,
Meeting were bare without it.
Enter the Ghost of Banquo, and sits in Macbeths place.
1300Macb. Sweet Remembrancer:
Now good digestion waite on Appetite,
And health on both.
Lenox. May't please your Highnesse sit.
Macb. Here had we now our Countries Honor, roof'd,
1305Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present:
Who, may I rather challenge for vnkindnesse,
Then pitty for Mischance.
Rosse. His absence (Sir)
Layes blame vpon his promise. Pleas't your Highnesse
1310To grace vs with your Royall Company?
Macb. The Table's full.
Lenox. Heere is a place reseru'd Sir.
Macb. Where?
Lenox. Heere my good Lord.
1315What is't that moues your Highnesse?
Macb. Which of you haue done this?
Lords. What, my good Lord?
Macb. Thou canst not say I did it: neuer shake
Thy goary lockes at me.
1320Rosse. Gentlemen rise, his Highnesse is not well.
Lady. Sit worthy Friends: my Lord is often thus,
And hath beene from his youth. Pray you keepe Seat,
The fit is momentary, vpon a thought
He will againe be well. If much you note him
1325You shall offend him, and extend his Passion,
Feed, and regard him not. Are you a man?
Macb. I, and a bold one, that dare looke on that
Which might appall the Diuell.
La. O proper stuffe:
1330This is the very painting of your feare:
This is the Ayre-drawne-Dagger which you said
Led you to Duncan. O, these flawes and starts
(Impostors to true feare) would well become
A womans story, at a Winters fire
1335Authoriz'd by her Grandam: shame it selfe,
Why do you make such faces? When all's done
You looke but on a stoole.
Macb. Prythee see there:
Behold, looke, loe, how say you:
1340Why what care I, if thou canst nod, speake too.
If Charnell houses, and our Graues must send
Those that we bury, backe; our Monuments
Shall be the Mawes of Kytes.
La. What? quite vnmann'd in folly.
1345Macb. If I stand heere, I saw him.
La. Fie for shame.
Macb. Blood hath bene shed ere now, i'th' olden time
Ere humane Statute purg'd the gentle Weale:
I, and since too, Murthers haue bene perform'd
1350Too terrible for the eare. The times has bene,
That when the Braines were out, the man would dye,
And there an end: But now they rise againe
With twenty mortall murthers on their crownes,
And push vs from our stooles. This is more strange
1355Then such a murther is.
La. My worthy Lord
Your Noble Friends do lacke you.
Macb. I do forget:
Do not muse at me my most worthy Friends,
1360I haue a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, loue and health to all,
Then Ile sit downe: Giue me some Wine, fill full:
Enter Ghost.
I drinke to th' generall ioy o'th' whole Table,
1365And to our deere Friend Banquo, whom we misse:
Would he were heere: to all, and him we thirst,
And all to all.
Lords. Our duties, and the pledge.
Mac. Auant, & quit my sight, let the earth hide thee:
1370Thy bones are marrowlesse, thy blood is cold:
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with.
La. Thinke of this good Peeres
But as a thing of Custome: 'Tis no other,
1375Onely it spoyles the pleasure of the time.
Macb. What man dare, I dare:
Approach thou like the rugged Russian Beare,
The arm'd Rhinoceros, or th' Hircan Tiger,
Take any shape but that, and my firme Nerues
1380Shall neuer tremble. Or be aliue againe,
And dare me to the Desart with thy Sword:
If trembling I inhabit then, protest mee
The Baby of a Girle. Hence horrible shadow,
Vnreall mock'ry hence. Why so, being gone
1385I am a man againe: pray you sit still.
La. You haue displac'd the mirth,
Broke the good meeting, with most admir'd disorder.
Macb. Can such things be,
And ouercome vs like a Summers Clowd,
1390Without our speciall wonder? You make me strange
Euen to the disposition that I owe,
When now I thinke you can behold such sights,
And keepe the naturall Rubie of your Cheekes,
When mine is blanch'd with feare.
1395Rosse. What sights, my Lord?
La. I pray you speake not: he growes worse & worse
Question enrages him: at once, goodnight.
Stand not vpon the order of your going,
But go at once.
1400Len. Good night, and better health
Attend his Maiesty.
La. A kinde goodnight to all.
Exit Lords.
Macb. It will haue blood they say:
Blood will haue Blood:
1405Stones haue beene knowne to moue, & Trees to speake:
Augures, and vnderstood Relations, haue
By Maggot Pyes, & Choughes, & Rookes brought forth
The secret'st man of Blood. What is the night?
La. Almost at oddes with morning, which is which.
1410Macb. How say'st thou that Macduff denies his person
At our great bidding.
La: Did you send to him Sir?
Macb. I heare it by the way: But I will send:
There's not a one of them but in his house
1415I keepe a Seruant Feed. I will to morrow
(And betimes I will) to the weyard Sisters.
More shall they speake: for now I am bent to know
By the worst meanes, the worst, for mine owne good,
All causes shall giue way. I am in blood
1420Stept in so farre, that should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go ore:
Strange things I haue in head, that will to hand,
Which must be acted, ere they may be scand.
La. You lacke the season of all Natures, sleepe.
1425Macb. Come, wee'l to sleepe: My strange & self-abuse
Is the initiate feare, that wants hard vse:
We are yet but yong indeed.
Exeunt.