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Home > Macbeth > ACT III - SCENE IV. The same. Hall in the palace.

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ACT III - SCENE IV. The same. Hall in the palace.
MACBETH
1    You know your own degrees; sit down: at first
2    And last the hearty welcome.
Lords
3    Thanks to your majesty.
MACBETH
4    Ourself will mingle with society,
5    And play the humble host.
6    Our hostess keeps her state, but in best time
7    We will require her welcome.
LADY MACBETH
8    Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends;
9    For my heart speaks they are welcome.
First Murderer appears at the door

MACBETH
10   See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks.
11   Both sides are even: here I'll sit i' the midst:
12   Be large in mirth; anon we'll drink a measure
13   The table round.
Approaching the door
14   There's blood on thy face.
First Murderer
15   'Tis Banquo's then.
MACBETH
16   'Tis better thee without than he within.
17   Is he dispatch'd?
First Murderer
18   My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for him.
MACBETH
19   Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's good
20   That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
21   Thou art the nonpareil.
First Murderer
22   Most royal sir,
23   Fleance is 'scaped.
MACBETH
24   Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect,
25   Whole as the marble, founded as the rock,
26   As broad and general as the casing air:
27   But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, bound in
28   To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe?
First Murderer
29   Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
30   With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
31   The least a death to nature.
MACBETH
32   Thanks for that:
33   There the grown serpent lies; the worm that's fled
34   Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
35   No teeth for the present. Get thee gone: to-morrow
36   We'll hear, ourselves, again.
Exit Murderer

LADY MACBETH
37   My royal lord,
38   You do not give the cheer: the feast is sold
39   That is not often vouch'd, while 'tis a-making,
40   'Tis given with welcome: to feed were best at home;
41   From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
42   Meeting were bare without it.
MACBETH
43   Sweet remembrancer!
44   Now, good digestion wait on appetite,
45   And health on both!
LENNOX
46   May't please your highness sit.
MACBETH
47   Here had we now our country's honour roof'd,
48   Were the graced person of our Banquo present;
49   Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
50   Than pity for mischance!
ROSS
51   His absence, sir,
52   Lays blame upon his promise. Please't your highness
53   To grace us with your royal company.
MACBETH
54   The table's full.
LENNOX
55   Here is a place reserved, sir.
MACBETH
56   Where?
LENNOX
57   Here, my good lord. What is't that moves your highness?
MACBETH
58   Which of you have done this?
Lords
59   What, my good lord?
MACBETH
60   Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
61   Thy gory locks at me.
ROSS
62   Gentlemen, rise: his highness is not well.
LADY MACBETH
63   Sit, worthy friends: my lord is often thus,
64   And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep seat;
65   The fit is momentary; upon a thought
66   He will again be well: if much you note him,
67   You shall offend him and extend his passion:
68   Feed, and regard him not. Are you a man?
MACBETH
69   Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
70   Which might appal the devil.
LADY MACBETH
71   O proper stuff!
72   This is the very painting of your fear:
73   This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,
74   Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
75   Impostors to true fear, would well become
76   A woman's story at a winter's fire,
77   Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
78   Why do you make such faces? When all's done,
79   You look but on a stool.
MACBETH
80   Prithee, see there! behold! look! lo!
81   how say you?
82   Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.
83   If charnel-houses and our graves must send
84   Those that we bury back, our monuments
85   Shall be the maws of kites.
GHOST OF BANQUO vanishes

LADY MACBETH
86   What, quite unmann'd in folly?
MACBETH
87   If I stand here, I saw him.
LADY MACBETH
88   Fie, for shame!
MACBETH
89   Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
90   Ere human statute purged the gentle weal;
91   Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
92   Too terrible for the ear: the times have been,
93   That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
94   And there an end; but now they rise again,
95   With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
96   And push us from our stools: this is more strange
97   Than such a murder is.
LADY MACBETH
98   My worthy lord,
99   Your noble friends do lack you.
MACBETH
100  I do forget.
101  Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends,
102  I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
103  To those that know me. Come, love and health to all;
104  Then I'll sit down. Give me some wine; fill full.
105  I drink to the general joy o' the whole table,
106  And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss;
107  Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
108  And all to all.
Lords
109  Our duties, and the pledge.
Re-enter GHOST OF BANQUO

MACBETH
110  Avaunt! and quit my sight! let the earth hide thee!
111  Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
112  Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
113  Which thou dost glare with!
LADY MACBETH
114  Think of this, good peers,
115  But as a thing of custom: 'tis no other;
116  Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.
MACBETH
117  What man dare, I dare:
118  Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
119  The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger;
120  Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
121  Shall never tremble: or be alive again,
122  And dare me to the desert with thy sword;
123  If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
124  The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow!
125  Unreal mockery, hence!
GHOST OF BANQUO vanishes
126  Why, so: being gone,
127  I am a man again. Pray you, sit still.
LADY MACBETH
128  You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting,
129  With most admired disorder.
MACBETH
130  Can such things be,
131  And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
132  Without our special wonder? You make me strange
133  Even to the disposition that I owe,
134  When now I think you can behold such sights,
135  And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
136  When mine is blanched with fear.
ROSS
137  What sights, my lord?
LADY MACBETH
138  I pray you, speak not; he grows worse and worse;
139  Question enrages him. At once, good night:
140  Stand not upon the order of your going,
141  But go at once.
LENNOX
142  Good night; and better health
143  Attend his majesty!
LADY MACBETH
144  A kind good night to all!
Exeunt all but MACBETH and LADY MACBETH

MACBETH
145  It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood:
146  Stones have been known to move and trees to speak;
147  Augurs and understood relations have
148  By magot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth
149  The secret'st man of blood. What is the night?
LADY MACBETH
150  Almost at odds with morning, which is which.
MACBETH
151  How say'st thou, that Macduff denies his person
152  At our great bidding?
LADY MACBETH
153  Did you send to him, sir?
MACBETH
154  I hear it by the way; but I will send:
155  There's not a one of them but in his house
156  I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow,
157  And betimes I will, to the weird sisters:
158  More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know,
159  By the worst means, the worst. For mine own good,
160  All causes shall give way: I am in blood
161  Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,
162  Returning were as tedious as go o'er:
163  Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
164  Which must be acted ere they may be scann'd.
LADY MACBETH
165  You lack the season of all natures, sleep.
MACBETH
166  Come, we'll to sleep. My strange and self-abuse
167  Is the initiate fear that wants hard use:
168  We are yet but young in deed.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IIIACT III, SCENE V (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII

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