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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    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.
    A heauie Summons lyes like Lead vpon me,
    580And yet I would not sleepe:
    Mercifull Powers, restraine in me the cursed thoughts
    That Nature giues way to in repose.
    Enter Macbeth, and a Seruant with a Torch.
    Giue me my Sword: who's there?
    585Macb. A Friend.
    Banq. What Sir, not yet at rest? the King's a bed.
    He hath beene in vnusuall Pleasure,
    And sent forth great Largesse to your Offices.
    This Diamond he greetes your Wife withall,
    590By the name of most kind Hostesse,
    And shut vp in measurelesse content.
    Mac. Being vnprepar'd,
    Our will became the seruant to defect,
    Which else should free haue wrought.
    595Banq. All's well.
    I dreamt last Night of the three weyward Sisters:
    To you they haue shew'd some truth.
    Macb. I thinke not of them:
    Yet when we can entreat an houre to serue,
    600We would spend it in some words vpon that Businesse,
    If you would graunt the time.
    Banq. At your kind'st leysure.
    Macb. If you shall cleaue to my consent,
    When 'tis, it shall make Honor for you.
    605Banq. So I lose none,
    In seeking to augment it, but still keepe
    My Bosome franchis'd, and Allegeance cleare,
    I shall be counsail'd.
    Macb. Good repose the while.
    610Banq. Thankes Sir: the like to you.
    Exit Banquo.
    Macb. Goe bid thy Mistresse, when my drinke is ready,
    She strike vpon the Bell. Get thee to bed.
    Is this a Dagger, which I see before me,
    The Handle toward my Hand? Come, let me clutch thee:
    615I haue thee not, and yet I see thee still.
    Art thou not fatall Vision, sensible
    To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but
    A Dagger of the Minde, a false Creation,
    Proceeding from the heat-oppressed Braine?
    620I see thee yet, in forme as palpable,
    As this which now I draw.
    Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going,
    And such an Instrument I was to vse.
    Mine Eyes are made the fooles o'th'other Sences,
    625Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still;
    And on thy Blade, and Dudgeon, Gouts of Blood,
    Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
    It is the bloody Businesse, which informes
    Thus to mine Eyes. Now o're the one halfe World
    630Nature seemes dead, and wicked Dreames abuse
    The Curtain'd sleepe: Witchcraft celebrates
    Pale Heccats Offrings: and wither'd Murther,
    Alarum'd by his Centinell, the Wolfe,
    Whose howle's his Watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
    635With Tarquins rauishing sides, towards his designe
    Moues like a Ghost. Thou sowre and firme-set Earth
    Heare not my steps, which they may walke, for feare
    Thy very stones prate of my where-about,
    And take the present horror from the time,
    640Which now sutes with it. Whiles I threat, he liues:
    Words to the heat of deedes too cold breath giues.
    A Bell rings.
    I goe, and it is done: the Bell inuites me.
    Heare it not, Duncan, for it is a Knell,
    645That summons thee to Heauen, or to Hell.