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To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.

[Bell rings.
Lady M. What's the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house ? speak, speak !

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.


O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master's murder'd !

Woe, alas!
What, in our house?

Too cruel


Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,

it is not so.
Re-enter MACBETH and LENNOX, with Ross.
Macb. 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.

Enter Malcolm and DONALBAIN.
Don. What is amiss ?
МАСв. .

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.

MacD. Your royal father's murder'd.

O, by whom?
LEN. Thoseof hischamber,asitseem'd, had done't:
Their hands and faces were all 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.

MACB. O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.

Wherefore did you so ? MACB. Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and

furious, Loyal and neutral, in a moment?

No man: The expedition of 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 M.

Help me hence, ho! Macd. Look to the lady. MAL. (Aside to Don.] Why do we hold our

tongues, That most may claim this argument for ours? Don. [ Aside to Mal.) 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.

Mal. (Aside to Don.] Nor our strong sorrow
Upon the foot of motion.

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.

And so do I.

So all.
Macb. Let's briefly put on manly readiness,
And meet i' the hall together.

Well contented.
[Exeunt all but Malcolm and DONALBAIN.
Mal. 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.

Don. 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. MAL.

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.


Outside MACBETH's castle.

Enter Ross and an Old Man.
Oid M. Threescore and ten I can remember

well: 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, That darkness does the face of earth entomb, When living light should kiss it? Old M.

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

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Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.
Old M.

'Tis said they eat each other. Ross. They did so, to the amazement of mine

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

Enter MacDUFF.
How goes the world, sir, now?

Why, see you not?
Ross. Is 't known who did this more than bloody

deed ?
MacD. Those that Macbeth hath slain.

Alas, the day!
What good could they pretend ?

They were suborn'd:
Malcolm and Donalbain, the king's two sons,
Are stol'n away and fled; which puts upon them
Suspicion of the deed.

'Gainst nature still !
Thriftless ambition, that wilt ravin up
Thine life's means! Then 'tis most like
The sovereignty will fall upon

Macd. He is already named, and gone to Scone
To be invested.

Where is Duncan's body?
Macd. Carried to Colmekill,
The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,
And guardian of their bones.

Will you to Scone?
Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.

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