Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Macbeth > Act II, scene III

	[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! 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
	you'll sweat for't.

	[Knocking within]
	knock! Who's there, in the 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.

	[Knocking within]
	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
	roast your goose.

	[Knocking within]
	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
	way to the everlasting bonfire.

	[Knocking within]

	Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.

	[Opens the gate]


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;
	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.

Porter: 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

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.
	This is the door.

MACDUFF:                   I'll make so bold to call,
	For 'tis my limited service.


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,
	And prophesying with accents terrible
	Of dire combustion and confused events
	New hatch'd to the woeful time: the obscure bird
	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!

	|	What's the matter.

MACDUFF: Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!
	Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
	The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence
	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;
	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,
	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,
	To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.

	[Bell rings]


LADY MACBETH: What's the business,
	That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
	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 any where.
	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
	Is left this vault to brag of.


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,
	That I did kill them.

MACDUFF: Wherefore did you so?

MACBETH: Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
	Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man:
	The expedition my violent love
	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
	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,
	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:
	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:
	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
	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.



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