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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Anthony Dawson
Not Peer Reviewed

Modern (Modern)

Enter a Porter. Knocking within.
Porter
Here's a knocking indeed. If a man were 745porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key. (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock. Who's there, i'th' name of Beelzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on th'expectation of plenty. Come in time, have napkins enow about you--here you'll sweat for't. (Knock.) 750Knock, knock. Who's there, in th'other devil's name? Faith, here's an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O come in, equivocator. (Knock.) Knock, 755knock, knock. Who's there? Faith, here's an English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French hose. Come in, tailor, here you may roast your goose. (Knock.) Knock, knock. Never at quiet. What are you? But this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further. 760I had thought to have let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to th'everlasting bonfire. (Knock.) Anon, anon. I pray you remember the porter.
Enter Macduff and Lennox.
Macduff
Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed 765that you do lie so late?
Porter
Faith, sir, we were carousing till the second cock. And drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.
Macduff
What three things does drink especially provoke?
770Porter
Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes: it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance. Therefore much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him and it mars him, it sets him on 775and it takes him off, it persuades him and disheartens him, makes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves him.
Macduff
I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.
780Porter
That it did, sir, i'the very throat on me. But I requited him for his lie and, I think, being too strong for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast him.
785Macduff
Is thy master stirring?
Enter Macbeth.
Our knocking has awaked him: here he comes.
[Exit Porter.]
Lennox
Good morrow, noble sir.
Macbeth
Good morrow, both.
Macduff
Is the King stirring, worthy thane?
790Macbeth
Not yet.
Macduff
He did command me to call timely on him;
I have almost slipped the hour.
Macbeth
I'll bring you to him.
Macduff
I know this is a joyful trouble to you, 795but yet 'tis one.
Macbeth
The labor we delight in physics pain. This is the door.
Macduff
I'll make so bold to call, for 'tis my limited service.
Exit.
800Lennox
Goes the King hence today?
Macbeth
He does; he did appoint so.
Lennox
The night has been unruly: where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down, and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i'th' air, 805strange screams of death,
And prophesying with accents terrible
Of dire combustion and confused events,
New hatched to th'woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamored the livelong night. 810Some say the earth
Was feverous and did shake.
Macbeth
'Twas a rough night.
Lennox
My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.
815Enter Macduff.
Macduff
O horror, horror, horror,
Tongue nor heart cannot conceive nor name thee.
Macbeth, Lennox
What's the matter?
Macduff
Confusion now hath made his masterpiece:
820Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord's anointed temple and stole thence
The life o'th' building.
Macbeth
What is't you say, the life?
Lennox
Mean you his majesty?
825Macduff
Approach the chamber and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak--
See, and then speak yourselves.
Exeunt Macbeth and Lennox.
Awake, awake!
Ring the alarum bell! Murder and treason!
830Banquo and Donalbain, Malcolm, awake,
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself. Up, up, and see
The great doom's image! Malcolm, Banquo,
As from your graves rise up and walk like sprites
835To countenance this horror.
Bell rings. Enter Lady [Macbeth and attendants].
Lady Macbeth
What's the business
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak.
840Macduff
O gentle lady,
'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak.
The repetition in a woman's ear
Would murder as it fell.
Enter Banquo.
845O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master's murdered.
Lady Macbeth
Woe, alas!
What, in our house?
Banquo
Too cruel anywhere.
Dear Duff, I prithee contradict thyself
850And say it is not so.
Enter Macbeth, Lennox.
Macbeth
Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessèd time, for from this instant
There's nothing serious in mortality.
855All is but toys, renown and grace is dead,
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
Enter Malcolm and Donalbain.
Donalbain
What is amiss?
860Macbeth
You are and do not know't:
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopped; the very source of it is stopped.
Macduff
Your royal father's murdered.
Malcolm
Oh, by whom?
865Lennox
Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done't:
Their hands and faces were all badged with blood,
So were their daggers which, unwiped, we found
Upon their pillows. They stared and were distracted;
No man's life was to be trusted with them.
870Macbeth
Oh, yet I do repent me of my fury
That I did kill them.
Macduff
Wherefore did you so?
Macbeth
Who can be wise, amazed, temp'rate and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
875Th'expedition of my violent love
Outran the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin's wasteful entrance; there the murderers,
880Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make's love known?
Lady Macbeth
Help me hence, ho!
885Macduff
Look to the lady.
[Attendants go to her.]
Malcolm
[Aside to Donalbain] Why do we hold our tongues
That most may claim this argument for ours?
Donalbain
[Aside to Malcolm] What should be spoken here where our fate,
Hid in an auger hole, 890 may rush and seize us?
Let's away. Our tears are not yet brewed.
Malcolm
[Aside to Donalbain] Nor our strong sorrow upon the foot of motion.
Banquo
Look to the lady.
[Lady Macbeth is helped off stage.]
895And when we have our naked frailties hid
That suffer in exposure, let us meet
And question this most bloody piece of work
To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us;
In the great hand of God I stand, and thence
900Against the undivulged pretense I fight
Of treasonous malice.
Macduff
And so do I.
All
So all.
Macbeth
Let's briefly put on manly readiness
905And meet i'th' hall together.
All
Well contented.
Exeunt [all but Malcolm and Donalbain].
Malcolm
What will you do? Let's not consort with them.
To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
910Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.
Donalbain
To Ireland, I. Our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
There's daggers in men's smiles. 915The nea'er in blood,
The nearer bloody.
Malcolm
This murderous shaft that's shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore to horse,
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
920But shift away. There's warrant in that theft
Which steals itself when there's no mercy left.
Exeunt.