Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Anthony Dawson
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-528-5

    Copyright Anthony Dawson. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Anthony Dawson
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Macbeth (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Macbeth.
    Know, that it was he, in the times past,
    Which held you so vnder fortune,
    Which you thought had been our innocent selfe.
    This I made good to you, in our last conference,
    1075Past in probation with you:
    How you were borne in hand, how crost:
    The Instruments: who wrought with them:
    And all things else, that might
    To halfe a Soule, and to a Notion craz'd,
    1080Say, Thus did Banquo.
    1.Murth. You made it knowne to vs.
    Macb. I did so:
    And went further, which is now
    Our point of second meeting.
    1085Doe you finde your patience so predominant,
    In your nature, that you can let this goe?
    Are you so Gospell'd, to pray for this good man,
    And for his Issue, whose heauie hand
    Hath bow'd you to the Graue, and begger'd
    1090Yours for euer?
    1.Murth. We are men, my Liege.
    Macb. I, in the Catalogue ye goe for men,
    As Hounds, and Greyhounds, Mungrels, Spaniels, Curres,
    Showghes, Water-Rugs, and Demy-Wolues are clipt
    1095All by the Name of Dogges: the valued file
    Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
    The House-keeper, the Hunter, euery one
    According to the gift, which bounteous Nature
    Hath in him clos'd: whereby he does receiue
    1100Particular addition, from the Bill,
    That writes them all alike: and so of men.
    Now, if you haue a station in the file,
    Not i'th' worst ranke of Manhood, say't,
    And I will put that Businesse in your Bosomes,
    1105Whose execution takes your Enemie off,
    Grapples you to the heart; and loue of vs,
    Who weare our Health but sickly in his Life,
    Which in his Death were perfect.
    2.Murth. I am one, my Liege,
    1110Whom the vile Blowes and Buffets of the World
    Hath so incens'd, that I am recklesse what I doe,
    To spight the World.
    1.Murth. And I another,
    So wearie with Disasters, tugg'd with Fortune,
    1115That I would set my Life on any Chance,
    To mend it, or be rid on't.
    Macb. Both of you know Banquo was your Enemie.
    Murth. True, my Lord.
    Macb. So is he mine: and in such bloody distance,
    1120That euery minute of his being, thrusts
    Against my neer'st of Life: and though I could
    With bare-fac'd power sweepe him from my sight,
    And bid my will auouch it; yet I must not,
    For certaine friends that are both his, and mine,
    1125Whose loues I may not drop, but wayle his fall,
    Who I my selfe struck downe: and thence it is,
    That I to your assistance doe make loue,
    Masking the Businesse from the common Eye,
    For sundry weightie Reasons.
    11302.Murth. We shall, my Lord,
    Performe what you command vs.
    1.Murth. Though our Liues--
    Macb. Your Spirits shine through you.
    Within this houre, at most,
    1135I will aduise you where to plant your selues,
    Acquaint you with the perfect Spy o'th' time,

    The moment on't, for't must be done to Night,
    And something from the Pallace: alwayes thought,
    That I require a clearenesse; and with him,
    1140To leaue no Rubs nor Botches in the Worke:
    Fleans, his Sonne, that keepes him companie,
    Whose absence is no lesse materiall to me,
    Then is his Fathers, must embrace the fate
    Of that darke houre: resolue your selues apart,
    1145Ile come to you anon.
    Murth. We are resolu'd, my Lord.
    Macb. Ile call vpon you straight: abide within,
    It is concluded: Banquo, thy Soules flight,
    If it finde Heauen, must finde it out to Night.

    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.
    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