The Tragedy of Macbeth

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Act I, Scene 7

Macbeth’s castle.

       
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[Hautboys and torches. Enter a Sewer, and divers] [p]Servants with dishes and service, and pass over the stage. Then enter MACBETH]

  • Macbeth. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
    It were done quickly: if the assassination 475
    Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
    With his surcease success; that but this blow
    Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
    But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
    We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases 480
    We still have judgment here; that we but teach
    Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
    To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
    Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
    To our own lips. He's here in double trust; 485
    First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
    Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
    Who should against his murderer shut the door,
    Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
    Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been 490
    So clear in his great office, that his virtues
    Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
    The deep damnation of his taking-off;
    And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
    Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed 495
    Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
    Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
    That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
    To prick the sides of my intent, but only
    Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself 500
    And falls on the other.
    [Enter LADY MACBETH]
    How now! what news?
  • Lady Macbeth. He has almost supp'd: why have you left the chamber?
  • Macbeth. We will proceed no further in this business:
    He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought
    Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
    Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, 510
    Not cast aside so soon.
  • Lady Macbeth. Was the hope drunk
    Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
    And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
    At what it did so freely? From this time 515
    Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
    To be the same in thine own act and valour
    As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
    Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
    And live a coward in thine own esteem, 520
    Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
    Like the poor cat i' the adage?
  • Macbeth. Prithee, peace:
    I dare do all that may become a man;
    Who dares do more is none. 525
  • Lady Macbeth. What beast was't, then,
    That made you break this enterprise to me?
    When you durst do it, then you were a man;
    And, to be more than what you were, you would
    Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place 530
    Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
    They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
    Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
    How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
    I would, while it was smiling in my face, 535
    Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
    And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you
    Have done to this.
  • Lady Macbeth. We fail! 540
    But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
    And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep—
    Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey
    Soundly invite him—his two chamberlains
    Will I with wine and wassail so convince 545
    That memory, the warder of the brain,
    Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
    A limbeck only: when in swinish sleep
    Their drenched natures lie as in a death,
    What cannot you and I perform upon 550
    The unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
    His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
    Of our great quell?
  • Macbeth. Bring forth men-children only;
    For thy undaunted mettle should compose 555
    Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
    When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
    Of his own chamber and used their very daggers,
    That they have done't?
  • Lady Macbeth. Who dares receive it other, 560
    As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
    Upon his death?
  • Macbeth. I am settled, and bend up
    Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
    Away, and mock the time with fairest show: 565
    False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

[Exeunt]

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