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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 re-

That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage, to make his love known?

Lady M.

Macd. Look to the lady.


Help me hence, ho!

Why do we hold our tongues,

That most may claim this argument for ours?
Don. What should be spoken here,

Where our fate, hid within an augre-hole,

May rush, and seize us? Let's away; our tears
Are not yet brew'd.


The foot of motion.


Nor our strong sorrow on

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,

ion, to show the difference between the studied language of hypocrisy, and the natural outcries of sudden passion. This whole speech, so considered, is a remarkable instance of judgment, as it consists entirely of antithesis and metaphor. Yet some of these metaphors are to be found in old plays. JOHNSON.

7 Unmannerly breech'd with gore:] According to Mr. Steevens the expression may mean, that the daggers were covered with blood, quite to their breeches, i. e. their hilts or handles. The lower end of a cannon is called the breech of it; and it is known that both to breech and to unbreech a gun are common terms; but Dr. Farmer says that the sense is, in plain language, Daggers filthily-in a foul manner,--sheath'd with blood, and has given an example where sheaths are called breeches.

And when we have our naked frailties hid,

That suffer in exposure,] i. e. when we have clothed our halfdrest bodies, which may take cold from being exposed to the air. It is possible that, in such a cloud of words, the meaning might escape the reader. STEEVENS.

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To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us:
In the great hand of God I stand; and, thence,
Against the undivulg'd pretence I fight

Of treasonous malice.

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Mal. What will you do? Let's not consort with


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.1


Is, to avoid the aim.

This murderous shaft that's shot,
and our safest
Therefore, to horse;

Hath not yet lighted;


And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,

9 In the great hand of God I stand; and, thence,
Against the undivulg'd pretence I fight

Of treasonous malice.] Pretence is intention, design, a sense in which the word is often used by Shakspeare. Banquo's meaning is,-in our present state of doubt and uncertainty about this murder, I have nothing to do but to put myself under the direction of God; and, relying on his support, I here declare' myself an eternal enemy to this treason, and to all its further designs that have not yet come to light. STEEVENS.


the near in blood,

The nearer bloody.] Meaning, that he suspected Macbeth to be the murderer; for he was the nearest in blood to the two princes, being the cousin-german of Duncan. STEEVENS. 2 This murderous shaft that's shot,

Hath not yet lighted;] The design to fix the murder upon some innocent person has not yet taken effect; or, the end for which the murder was committed is not yet attained.

But shift away: There's warrant in that theft
Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.



Without the Castle.

Enter Rosse and an old Man.

Old 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.

Ah, good father,

Rosse. Thou see'st, 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 it night's predominance, or the day's shame, That darkness does the face of earth intomb, When living light should kiss it?

Old M. "Tis unnatural, Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last, A falcon, tow'ring in her pride of place,

Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at, and kill'd.

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

Old M.

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


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




Enter MACDuff.

How goes the world, sir, now?


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


Macd. Those that Macbeth hath slain.


What good could they pretend?3


Alas, the day!

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 own life's means!-Then 'tis most like,
The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth.

Macd. He is already nam'd; and gone to Scone, To be invested.


Where is Duncan's body?

Macd. Carried to Colmes-kill;4

The sacred storehouse of his predecessors,

And guardian of their bones.


Will you to Scone?

Well, I will thither.

Macd. No, cousin, I'll to Fife.


Macd. Well, may you see things well done there;


Lest our old robes sit easier than our new!


Rosse. Father, farewell.

they pretend?] i. e. intend, or design.

Colmes-kill;] Or Colm-kill, is the famous Iona, one of the western isles, which Dr. Johnson visited, and describes in his Tour. It is now called Icolmkill. Kill, in the Erse language, signifies a burying-place.

Old M. God's benison go with you; and with those That would make good of bad, and friends of foes!



SCENE I. Fores. A Room in the Palace.


Ban. Thou hast it now, King, Cawdor, Glamis,

As the weird women promis'd; 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.

Senet sounded. Enter MACBETH, as King; Lady MACBETH, as Queen; LENOX, Rosse, Lords, Ladies, and Attendants.

Macb. Here's our chief guest.

Lady M.

If he had been forgotten,

It had been as a gap in our great feast,

And all-things unbecoming.

Macb. To-night we hold a solemn supper, sir,

And I'll request your presence.


Let your highness

Command upon me; to the which, my duties
Are with a most indissoluble tie

For ever knit.

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