ACT II

SCENE 1

Court of Macbeth's castle.

[Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE bearing a torch before him]

BANQUO

How goes the night, boy?

FLEANCE

The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.

BANQUO

And she goes down at twelve.

FLEANCE

I take't, 'tis later, sir.

BANQUO

Hold, take my sword. There's husbandry in heaven;          economy

Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.                stars        

A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,

And yet I would not sleep: merciful powers,

Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature

Gives way to in repose!                                        rest

[Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch]

Give me my sword.

Who's there?

MACBETH

A friend.

BANQUO

What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's a-bed:

He hath been in unusual pleasure, and

Sent forth great largess to your offices.                        treasure

This diamond he greets your wife withal,

By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up

In measureless content.

MACBETH

Being unprepared,

Our will became the servant to defect;

Which else should free have wrought.

BANQUO

All's well.

I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters:        wyrd: fate

To you they have show'd some truth.

MACBETH

I think not of them:

Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,

We would spend it in some words upon that business,

If you would grant the time.

BANQUO

At your kind'st leisure.

MACBETH

If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis,

It shall make honour for you.

BANQUO

So I lose none

In seeking to augment it, but still keep                add to

My bosom franchised and allegiance clear,         heart  /  loyal

I shall be counsell'd.

MACBETH

Good repose the while!                                rest

BANQUO

Thanks, sir: the like to you!

[Exeunt BANQUO and FLEANCE]

MACBETH

Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,

She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

[Exit Servant]

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation,

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?                originating

I see thee yet, in form as palpable                        physical

As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;                urge

And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,

Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,

And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,                hilt

Which was not so before. There's no such thing:

It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one-half world

Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse

The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates

Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,                Roman goddess of witches

Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,                        watchman

Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.

With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design        famous Roman who murdered his way to the throne

Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,

Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear

Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,                        talk on and on

And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:                threaten

Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

[A bell rings]

I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.

Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell

That summons thee to heaven or to hell.

[Exit]

SCENE 2

Enter LADY MACBETH

LADY MACBETH

That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold;        the guards

What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.

Hark! Peace!

It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,                prison guard who rings a bell before an execution

Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it:        Macbeth

The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms                fat, overindulged

Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd

their possets,                                                drinks

That death and nature do contend about them,

Whether they live or die.

MACBETH

[Within] Who's there? what, ho!

LADY MACBETH

Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,

And 'tis not done. The attempt and not the deed

Confounds us. Hark! I laid their daggers ready;

He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled

My father as he slept, I had done't.

[Enter MACBETH]

My husband!

MACBETH

I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?

LADY MACBETH

I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.

Did not you speak?

MACBETH

When?

LADY MACBETH

Now.

MACBETH

As I descended?

LADY MACBETH

Ay.

MACBETH

Hark!

Who lies i' the second chamber?

LADY MACBETH

Donalbain.

MACBETH

This is a sorry sight.

[Looking on his hands]

LADY MACBETH

A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

MACBETH

There's one did laugh in's sleep, and one cried

'Murder!'

That they did wake each other: I stood and heard them:

But they did say their prayers, and address'd them

Again to sleep.

LADY MACBETH

There are two lodged together.

MACBETH

One cried 'God bless us!' and 'Amen' the other;

As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.

Listening their fear, I could not say 'Amen,'

When they did say 'God bless us!'

LADY MACBETH

Consider it not so deeply.

MACBETH

But wherefore could not I pronounce 'Amen'?                why

I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen'

Stuck in my throat.

LADY MACBETH

These deeds must not be thought

After these ways; so, it will make us mad.

MACBETH

Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!

Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep,

Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,

The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,

Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,                soothing herb

Chief nourisher in life's feast,--

LADY MACBETH

What do you mean?

MACBETH

Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the house:

'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor

Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'

LADY MACBETH

Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,

You do unbend your noble strength, to think

So brainsickly of things. Go get some water,

And wash this filthy witness from your hand.

Why did you bring these daggers from the place?

They must lie there: go carry them; and smear

The sleepy grooms with blood.                                guards

MACBETH

I'll go no more:

I am afraid to think what I have done;

Look on't again I dare not.

LADY MACBETH

Infirm of purpose!

Give me the daggers: the sleeping and the dead

Are but as pictures: 'tis the eye of childhood

That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,

I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal;

For it must seem their guilt.

[Exit.]

[Knocking within]

MACBETH

Whence is that knocking?

How is't with me, when every noise appals me?

What hands are here? ha! they pluck out mine eyes.

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood

Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather

The multitudinous seas incarnadine,                        vast  /   turn red

Making the green one red.

[Re-enter LADY MACBETH]

LADY MACBETH

My hands are of your colour; but I shame

To wear a heart so white.

[Knocking within]

I hear a knocking

At the south entry: retire we to our chamber;

A little water clears us of this deed:

How easy is it, then! Your constancy

Hath left you unattended.

[Knocking within]

Hark! more knocking.

Get on your nightgown, lest occasion call us,

And show us to be watchers. Be not lost

So poorly in your thoughts.

MACBETH

To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.

[Knocking within]

Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!

[Exeunt]

SCENE 3

[Knocking within.]

[Enter a Porter]

Porter

Here's a knocking indeed! If a

man were porter of hell-gate, he should have

old turning the key.

[Knocking within]

Knock,

knock, knock! Who's there, i' the name of

Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hanged

himself on the expectation of plenty: come in

time; have napkins enow about you; here                        enough

you'll sweat for't.

[Knocking within]

Knock,

knock! Who's there, in the other devil's

name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could                liar

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.

[Knocking within]

Knock,

knock, 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                bundle of cloth

roast your goose.                                        iron        

[Knocking within]

Knock,

knock; never at quiet! What are you? But

this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter

it no further: I had thought to have let in

some of all professions that go the primrose                 road leading to hell

way to the everlasting bonfire.

[Knocking within]

Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.                (the porter asks for a tip)

[Opens the gate]

[Enter MACDUFF and LENNOX]

MACDUFF

Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,

That 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?

Porter

Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and

urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes;                sexual misconduct

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, and 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.                        made you pass out

Porter

That it did, sir, i' the very throat on

me: but I requited him for his lie; and, I                        paid him back

think, being too strong for him, though he took

up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast                 puke

him.

MACDUFF

Is thy master stirring?

[Enter MACBETH]

Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.

LENNOX

Good morrow, noble sir.

MACBETH

Good morrow, both.

MACDUFF

Is the king stirring, worthy thane?

MACBETH

Not yet.

MACDUFF

He did command me to call timely on him:

I have almost slipp'd the hour.

MACBETH

I'll bring you to him.

MACDUFF

I know this is a joyful trouble to you;

But yet 'tis one.

MACBETH

The labour we delight in physics pain.                        alleviates

This is the door.

MACDUFF

I'll make so bold to call,

For 'tis my limited service.

[Exit]

LENNOX

Goes the king hence to-day?

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' the air; strange screams of death,        sad cries

And prophesying with accents terrible

Of dire combustion and confused events                        explosions

New hatch'd to the woeful time: the obscure bird                owl

Clamour'd the livelong night: some say, the earth

Was feverous and did shake.

MACBETH

'Twas a rough night.

LENNOX

My young remembrance cannot parallel

A fellow to it.

[Re-enter 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!

Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope                        unholy  /  open

The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence                chosen

The life o' the building!

MACBETH

What is 't you say? the life?

LENNOX

Mean you his majesty?

MACDUFF

Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight

With a new Gorgon: do not bid me speak;                        mythical creature said to turn people to stone

See, and then speak yourselves.

[Exeunt MACBETH and LENNOX]

Awake, awake!

Ring the alarum-bell. Murder and treason!

Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake!

Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,                sleep

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,                spirits

To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.                        look upon

[Bell rings]

[Enter LADY MACBETH]

LADY MACBETH

What's the business,

That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley                  conference

The sleepers of the house? speak, speak!

MACDUFF

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]

O Banquo, Banquo,

Our royal master 's murder'd!

LADY MACBETH

Woe, alas!

What, in our house?

BANQUO

Too cruel anywhere.

Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,

And say it is not so.

[Re-enter MACBETH and LENNOX, with ROSS]

MACBETH

Had I but died an hour before this chance,

I had lived a blessed time; for, from this instant,

There 's nothing serious in mortality:

All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees          stuff left at the bottom of the cup

Is left this vault to brag of.

[Enter MALCOLM and DONALBAIN]

DONALBAIN

What is amiss?

MACBETH

You are, and do not know't:

The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood

Is stopp'd; the very source of it is stopp'd.

MACDUFF

Your royal father 's murder'd.

MALCOLM

O, by whom?

LENNOX

Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done 't:

Their hands and faces were an 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.

MACBETH

O, yet I do repent me of my fury,                                regret

That I did kill them.

MACDUFF

Wherefore did you so?                                        why

MACBETH

Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,        self-controlled

Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man:

The expedition my violent love                                release

Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,

His silver skin laced with his golden blood;

And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature        corruption

For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,

Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers

Unmannerly breech'd with gore: who could refrain,        covered

That had a heart to love, and in that heart

Courage to make 's love known?

LADY MACBETH

Help me hence, ho!

MACDUFF

Look to the lady.

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, may rush, and seize us?

Let 's away;

Our tears are not yet brew'd.

MALCOLM

[Aside to DONALBAIN] Nor our strong sorrow

Upon the foot of motion.

BANQUO

Look to the lady:

(LADY MACBETH is carried out)

And 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:                morals

In the great hand of God I stand; and thence

Against the undivulged pretence I fight

Of treasonous malice.

MACDUFF

And so do I.

ALL

So all.

MACBETH

Let's briefly put on manly readiness,

And meet i' the hall together.

ALL

Well contented.

[Exeunt all but Malcolm and Donalbain.]

MALCOLM

What will you do? Let's not consort with them:                involve ourselves

To show an unfelt sorrow is an office

Which 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: the near in blood,

The nearer bloody.

MALCOLM

This murderous shaft that's shot                                arrow

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,

But shift away: there's warrant in that theft

Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.

[Exeunt]

SCENE 4 Outside Macbeth's castle.

Enter ROSS and an old Man

Old Man

Threescore and ten I can remember well:                        seventy years

Within the volume of which time I have seen

Hours dreadful and things strange; but this sore night

Hath trifled former knowings.

ROSS

Ah, good father,

Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,

Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day,

And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp:

Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,                overpowering

That darkness does the face of earth entomb,

When living light should kiss it?

Old Man

'Tis unnatural,

Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last,

A falcon, towering in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd.

ROSS

And Duncan's horses--a thing most strange and certain--

Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race,                best

Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,

Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make

War with mankind.

Old Man

'Tis said they eat each other.                                ate

ROSS

They did so, to the amazement of mine eyes

That look'd upon't. Here comes the good Macduff.

[Enter MACDUFF]

How goes the world, sir, now?

MACDUFF

Why, see you not?

ROSS

Is't known who did this more than bloody deed?

MACDUFF

Those that Macbeth hath slain.

ROSS

Alas, the day!

What good could they pretend?                                expect

MACDUFF

They were suborn'd:                                        bribed

Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,

Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them

Suspicion of the deed.

ROSS

'Gainst nature still!

Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up                        eat greedily

Thine own life's means! Then 'tis most like

The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.                        monarchy

MACDUFF

He is already named, and gone to Scone

To be invested.                                                crowned

ROSS

Where is Duncan's body?

MACDUFF

Carried to Colmekill,

The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,                forefathers

And guardian of their bones.

ROSS

Will you to Scone?

MACDUFF

No, cousin, I'll to Fife.

ROSS

Well, I will thither.

MACDUFF

Well, may you see things well done there: adieu!

Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!

ROSS

Farewell, father.

Old Man

God's benison go with you; and with those                blessing

That would make good of bad, and friends of foes!

[Exeunt]