Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Macbeth: Modern (Modern)
  • Editor: Anthony Dawson
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • Research assistant: Katie Davion
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed

    Modern (Modern)

    Flourish. Enter King, Lennox, Malcolm, Donalbain, and Attendants.
    Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
    Those in commission yet returned?
    My liege,
    They are not yet come back; but I have spoke
    With one that saw him die, who did report
    That very frankly he 285confessed his treasons,
    Implored your highness' pardon, and set forth
    A deep repentance. Nothing in his life
    Became him like the leaving it: he died
    As one that had been studied in his death
    290To throw away the dearest thing he owed
    As 'twere a careless trifle.
    There's no art
    To find the mind's construction in the face.
    He was a gentleman on whom I built
    295An absolute trust.
    Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus.
    O worthiest cousin,
    The sin of my ingratitude even now
    Was heavy on me. Thou art so far before
    300That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
    To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved,
    That the proportion both of thanks and payment
    Might have been mine. Only I have left to say,
    More is thy due than more than all can pay.
    The service, and the loyalty I owe
    In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part
    Is to receive our duties, and our duties
    Are to your throne and state, children and servants,
    Which do but what they should 310by doing everything
    Safe toward your love and honor.
    Welcome hither:
    I have begun to plant thee, and will labor
    To make thee full of growing. Noble Banquo,
    315That hast no less deserved, nor must be known
    No less to have done so. Let me enfold thee
    And hold thee to my heart.
    There if I grow,
    The harvest is your own.
    My plenteous joys,
    Wanton in fullness, seek to hide themselves
    In drops of sorrow. Sons, kinsmen, thanes,
    And you whose places are the nearest, know
    We will establish our estate upon
    325Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter
    The Prince of Cumberland, which honor must
    Not unaccompanied invest him only,
    But signs of nobleness like stars shall shine
    On all deservers. [To Macbeth] From hence to Inverness
    330And bind us further to you.
    The rest is labor which is not used for you.
    I'll be myself the harbinger and make joyful
    The hearing of my wife with your approach.
    So humbly take my leave.
    My worthy Cawdor.
    [Aside] The Prince of Cumberland--that is a step
    On which I must fall down or else o'erleap,
    For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires,
    Let not light see my black and deep desires;
    340The eye wink at the hand--yet let that be
    Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.
    True, worthy Banquo, he is full so valiant,
    And in his commendations, I am fed;
    It is a banquet to me. Let's after him,
    345Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome.
    It is a peerless kinsman.
    Flourish. Exeunt.