Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Anthony Dawson
Not Peer Reviewed

Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)


Actus Quintus. Scena Prima.
Enter a Doctor of Physicke, and a Wayting
Gentlewoman.
2095Doct. I haue too Nights watch'd with you, but can
perceiue no truth in your report. When was it shee last
walk'd?
Gent. Since his Maiesty went into the Field, I haue
seene her rise from her bed, throw her Night-Gown vp-
2100pon her, vnlocke her Closset, take foorth paper, folde it,
write vpon't, read it, afterwards Seale it, and againe re-
turne to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleepe.
Doct. A great perturbation in Nature, to receyue at
once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching.
2105In this slumbry agitation, besides her walking, and other
actuall performances, what (at any time) haue you heard
her say?
Gent. That Sir, which I will not report after her.
Doct. You may to me, and 'tis most meet you should.
2110Gent. Neither to you, nor any one, hauing no witnesse
to confirme my speech.
Enter Lady, with a Taper.
Lo you, heere she comes: This is her very guise, and vp-
on my life fast asleepe: obserue her, stand close.
Doct. How came she by that light?
2115Gent. Why it stood by her: she ha's light by her con-
tinually, 'tis her command.
Doct. You see her eyes are open.
Gent. I but their sense are shut.
Doct. What is it she do's now?
2120Looke how she rubbes her hands.
Gent. It is an accustom'd action with her, to seeme
thus washing her hands: I haue knowne her continue in
this a quarter of an houre.
Lad. Yet heere's a spot.
2125Doct. Heark, she speaks, I will set downe what comes
from her, to satisfie my remembrance the more strongly.
La. Out damned spot: out I say. One: Two: Why
then 'tis time to doo't: Hell is murky. Fye, my Lord, fie,
a Souldier, and affear'd? what need we feare? who knowes
2130it, when none can call our powre to accompt: yet who
would haue thought the olde man to haue had so much
blood in him.
Doct. Do you marke that?
Lad. The Thane of Fife, had a wife: where is she now?
2135What will these hands ne're be cleane? No more o'that
my Lord, no more o'that: you marre all with this star-
ting.
Doct. Go too, go too:
You haue knowne what you should not.
2140Gent. She ha's spoke what shee should not, I am sure
of that: Heauen knowes what she ha's knowne.
La. Heere's the smell of the blood still: all the per-
fumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.
Oh, oh, oh.
2145Doct. What a sigh is there? The hart is sorely charg'd.
Gent. I would not haue such a heart in my bosome,
for the dignity of the whole body.
Doct. Well, well, well.
Gent. Pray God it be sir.
2150Doct. This disease is beyond my practise: yet I haue
knowne those which haue walkt in their sleep, who haue
dyed holily in their beds.
Lad. Wash your hands, put on your Night-Gowne,
looke not so pale: I tell you yet againe Banquo's buried;
2155he cannot come out on's graue.
Doct. Euen so?
Lady. To bed, to bed: there's knocking at the gate:
Come, come, come, come, giue me your hand: What's
done, cannot be vndone. To bed, to bed, to bed.
2160
Exit Lady.
Doct. Will she go now to bed?
Gent. Directly.
Doct. Foule whisp'rings are abroad: vnnaturall deeds
Do breed vnnaturall troubles: infected mindes
2165To their deafe pillowes will discharge their Secrets:
More needs she the Diuine, then the Physitian:
God, God forgiue vs all. Looke after her,
Remoue from her the meanes of all annoyance,
And still keepe eyes vpon her: So goodnight,
2170My minde she ha's mated, and amaz'd my sight.
I thinke, but dare not speake.
Gent. Good night good Doctor.
Exeunt.