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



	[Enter BANQUO]

BANQUO: Thou hast it now: king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
	As the weird women promised, and, I fear,
	Thou play'dst most foully for't: yet it was said
	It should not stand in thy posterity,
	But that myself should be the root and father
	Of many kings. If there come truth from them--
	As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine--
	Why, by the verities on thee made good,
	May they not be my oracles as well,
	And set me up in hope? But hush! no more.

	[Sennet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as king, LADY
	MACBETH, as queen, LENNOX, ROSS, Lords, Ladies, and
	Attendants]

MACBETH: Here's our chief guest.

LADY MACBETH: If he had been forgotten,
	It had been as a gap in our great feast,
	And all-thing unbecoming.

MACBETH: To-night we hold a solemn supper sir,
	And I'll request your presence.

BANQUO: Let your highness
	Command upon me; to the which my duties
	Are with a most indissoluble tie
	For ever knit.

MACBETH:                   Ride you this afternoon?

BANQUO: Ay, my good lord.

MACBETH: We should have else desired your good advice,
	Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,
	In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow.
	Is't far you ride?

BANQUO: As far, my lord, as will fill up the time
	'Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better,
	I must become a borrower of the night
	For a dark hour or twain.

MACBETH: Fail not our feast.

BANQUO: My lord, I will not.

MACBETH: We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd
	In England and in Ireland, not confessing
	Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers
	With strange invention: but of that to-morrow,
	When therewithal we shall have cause of state
	Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse: adieu,
	Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you?

BANQUO: Ay, my good lord: our time does call upon 's.

MACBETH: I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
	And so I do commend you to their backs. Farewell.

	[Exit BANQUO]

	Let every man be master of his time
	Till seven at night: to make society
	The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
	Till supper-time alone: while then, God be with you!

	[Exeunt all but MACBETH, and an attendant]

	Sirrah, a word with you: attend those men
	Our pleasure?

ATTENDANT: They are, my lord, without the palace gate.

MACBETH: Bring them before us.

	[Exit Attendant]

		To be thus is nothing;
	But to be safely thus.--Our fears in Banquo
	Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
	Reigns that which would be fear'd: 'tis much he dares;
	And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
	He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour
	To act in safety. There is none but he
	Whose being I do fear: and, under him,
	My Genius is rebuked; as, it is said,
	Mark Antony's was by Caesar. He chid the sisters
	When first they put the name of king upon me,
	And bade them speak to him: then prophet-like
	They hail'd him father to a line of kings:
	Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown,
	And put a barren sceptre in my gripe,
	Thence to be wrench'd with an unlineal hand,
	No son of mine succeeding. If 't be so,
	For Banquo's issue have I filed my mind;
	For them the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
	Put rancours in the vessel of my peace
	Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
	Given to the common enemy of man,
	To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
	Rather than so, come fate into the list.
	And champion me to the utterance! Who's there!

	[Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers]

	Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.

	[Exit Attendant]

	Was it not yesterday we spoke together?

First Murderer: It was, so please your highness.

MACBETH: Well then, now
	Have you consider'd of my speeches? Know
	That it was he in the times past which held you
	So under fortune, which you thought had been
	Our innocent self: this I made good to you
	In our last conference, pass'd in probation with you,
	How you were borne in hand, how cross'd,
	the instruments,
	Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
	To half a soul and to a notion crazed
	Say 'Thus did Banquo.'

First Murderer: You made it known to us.

MACBETH: I did so, and went further, which is now
	Our point of second meeting. Do you find
	Your patience so predominant in your nature
	That you can let this go? Are you so gospell'd
	To pray for this good man and for his issue,
	Whose heavy hand hath bow'd you to the grave
	And beggar'd yours for ever?

First Murderer: We are men, my liege.

MACBETH: Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men;
	As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
	Shoughs, water-rugs and demi-wolves, are clept
	All by the name of dogs: the valued file
	Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
	The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
	According to the gift which bounteous nature
	Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive
	Particular addition. from the bill
	That writes them all alike: and so of men.
	Now, if you have a station in the file,
	Not i' the worst rank of manhood, say 't;
	And I will put that business in your bosoms,
	Whose execution takes your enemy off,
	Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
	Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
	Which in his death were perfect.

Second Murderer: I am one, my liege,
	Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
	Have so incensed that I am reckless what
	I do to spite the world.

First Murderer: And I another
	So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
	That I would set my lie on any chance,
	To mend it, or be rid on't.

MACBETH: Both of you
	Know Banquo was your enemy.

Both Murderers: True, my lord.

MACBETH: So is he mine; and in such bloody distance,
	That every minute of his being thrusts
	Against my near'st of life: and though I could
	With barefaced power sweep him from my sight
	And bid my will avouch it, yet I must not,
	For certain friends that are both his and mine,
	Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
	Who I myself struck down; and thence it is,
	That I to your assistance do make love,
	Masking the business from the common eye
	For sundry weighty reasons.

Second Murderer: We shall, my lord,
	Perform what you command us.

First Murderer: Though our lives--

MACBETH: Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour at most
	I will advise you where to plant yourselves;
	Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
	The moment on't; for't must be done to-night,
	And something from the palace; always thought
	That I require a clearness: and with him--
	To leave no rubs nor botches in the work--
	Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
	Whose absence is no less material to me
	Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
	Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart:
	I'll come to you anon.

Both Murderers: We are resolved, my lord.

MACBETH: I'll call upon you straight: abide within.

	[Exeunt Murderers]

	It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul's flight,
	If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.

	[Exit]




	MACBETH






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