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    Not Peer Reviewed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.

    King. Where's the Thane of Cawdor?
    We courst him at the heeles, and had a purpose
    To be his Purueyor: But he rides well,
    460And his great Loue (sharpe as his Spurre) hath holp him
    To his home before vs: Faire and Noble Hostesse
    We are your guest to night.
    La. Your Seruants euer,
    Haue theirs, themselues, and what is theirs in compt,
    465To make their Audit at your Highnesse pleasure,
    Still to returne your owne.
    King. Giue me your hand:
    Conduct me to mine Host we loue him highly,
    And shall continue, our Graces towards him.
    470By your leaue Hostesse.

    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.

    Actus Secundus. Scena Prima.

    Enter Banquo, and Fleance, with a Torch
    570before him.
    Banq. How goes the Night, Boy?
    Fleance. The Moone is downe: I haue not heard the
    Banq. And she goes downe at Twelue.
    575Fleance. I take't, 'tis later, Sir.
    Banq. Hold, take my Sword:
    There's Husbandry in Heauen,
    Their Candles are all out: take thee that too.