Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 3

            Enter a PORTER.  Knocking within.

  1   Here's a knocking indeed! If a man were
  2   porter of Hell Gate, he should have old turning the
  3   key. (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who's there,
  4   i' the name of Beelzebub? Here's a farmer, that hang'd
  5   himself on th' expectation of plenty. Come in time!
  6   Have napkins enow about you; here you'll sweat for't.
  7   (Knock.) Knock, knock! Who's there, in the other
  8    devil's name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could
  9   swear in both the scales against either scale, who com-
 10   mitted treason enough for God's sake, yet could
 11   not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.
 12   (Knock.) Knock, knock, knock! Who's there? Faith,
 13   here's an English tailor come hither, for stealing
 14   out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may
 15   roast your goose. (Knock.) Knock, knock! Never
 16   at quiet! What are you? But this place is too
 17   cold for hell. I'll devil-porter it no further: I had
 18   thought to have let in some of all professions that go
 19   the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire. (Knock.)
 20   Anon, anon! [Opens the gate.] I pray you, remember
 21   the porter.

            Enter MACDUFF and LENNOX.

 22   Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
 23   That you do lie so late?

 24   'Faith sir, we were carousing till the second cock;
 25   and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

 26   What three things does drink especially pro-
 27   voke?

 28   Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine.
 29   Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes; it provokes
 30   the desire, but it takes away the performance. There-
 31   fore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator
 32   with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him; it sets him  
 33   on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and dis-
 34   heartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to; in
 35   conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him
 36   the lie, leaves him.

 37   I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.

 38   That it did, sir, i' the very throat on me; but I re-
 39   quited him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong
 40   for him, though he took up my legs sometime, yet I
 41   made a shift to cast him.

 42   Is thy master stirring?

            Enter MACBETH.

 43   Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.

 44   Good morrow, noble sir.

                                                 Good morrow, both.

 45   Is the king stirring, worthy thane?

                                                               Not yet.

 46   He did command me to call timely on him:
 47   I have almost slipp'd the hour.

                                               I'll bring you to him.

 48   I know this is a joyful trouble to you;
 49   But yet 'tis one.

 50   The labour we delight in physics pain.
 51   This is the door.

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

           Exit Macduff.

 53   Goes the king hence to-day?

                                                 He does; he did appoint so.

 54   The night has been unruly: where we lay,
 55   Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,
 56   Lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death,
 57   And prophesying with accents terrible
 58   Of dire combustion and confused events
 59   New hatch'd to the woeful time: the obscure bird
 60   Clamour'd the livelong night: some say, the earth
 61   Was feverous and did shake.

                                             'Twas a rough night.

 62   My young remembrance cannot parallel
 63   A fellow to it.

           Enter MACDUFF.

 64   O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart
 65   Cannot conceive nor name thee!

                                                       What's the matter?

 66   Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!
 67   Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
 68   The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence
 69   The life o' th' building!

                                             What is 't you say—the life?

 70    Mean you his Majesty?

 71   Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
 72   With a new Gorgon: do not bid me speak;
 73   See, and then speak yourselves.

            Exeunt Macbeth and Lennox.

                                                    Awake, awake!
 74   Ring the alarum-bell! Murder and treason!
 75   Banquo and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake!
 76   Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
 77   And look on death itself! Up, up, and see
 78   The great doom's image! Malcolm! Banquo!
 79   As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
 80   To countenance this horror! Ring the bell.

           Bell rings.

 81   What's the business,
 82   That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
 83   The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!

                                                                   O gentle lady,
 84   'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak:
 85   The repetition, in a woman's ear,
 86   Would murder as it fell.

           Enter BANQUO.

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

                                                   Woe, alas!
 88   What, in our house?

                                 Too cruel any where.
 89   Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,
 90   And say it is not so.

           Enter MACBETH, LENNOX, ROSS.

 91   Had I but died an hour before this chance,
 92   I had lived a blessed time; for, from this instant,
 93   There 's nothing serious in mortality:
 94   All is but toys: renown and grace is dead;
 95   The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
 96   Is left this vault to brag of.

            Enter MALCOLM and DONALBAIN.

 97   What is amiss?

                           You are, and do not know't:
 98   The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
 99   Is stopp'd; the very source of it is stopp'd.

100   Your royal father's murder'd.

                                                     O, by whom?

101   Those of his chamber, as it seem'd, had done 't:
102   Their hands and faces were all badged with blood;
103   So were their daggers, which unwiped we found
104   Upon their pillows. They stared, and were distracted;
105   No man's life was to be trusted with them.

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

                                     Wherefore did you so?

108   Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
109   Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
110   Th' expedition of my violent love
111   Outrun the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
112   His silver skin laced with his golden blood;
113   And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature
114   For ruin's wasteful entrance: there, the murderers,
115   Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers
116   Unmannerly breech'd with gore. Who could refrain,
117   That had a heart to love, and in that heart
118   Courage to make's love known?

                                                   Help me hence, ho!

119   Look to the lady.

      MALCOLM [Aside to DONALBAIN.]
                             Why do we hold our tongues,
120   That most may claim this argument for ours?

      DONALBAIN [Aside to MALCOLM.]
121    What should be spoken here, where our fate,
122   Hid in an auger-hole, may rush, and seize us?
123   Let's away;
124   Our tears are not yet brew'd.

      MALCOLM [Aside to DONALBAIN.]
                                                 Nor our strong sorrow
125   Upon the foot of motion.

                                           Look to the lady.

           [LADY MACBETH is carried out.]

126   And when we have our naked frailties hid,
127   That suffer in exposure, let us meet,
128   And question this most bloody piece of work,
129   To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us.
130   In the great hand of God I stand; and thence
131   Against the undivulged pretence I fight
132   Of treasonous malice.

                                     And so do I.

                                                         So all.

133   Let's briefly put on manly readiness,
134   And meet i' the hall together.

                                               Well contented.

           Exeunt [all but Malcolm and Donalbain].

135   What will you do? Let's not consort with them;
136   To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
137   Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.

138   To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
139   Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
140   There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood,
141   The nearer bloody.

                                       This murderous shaft that's shot
142   Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
143   Is to avoid the aim. Therefore, to horse;
144   And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
145   But shift away. There's warrant in that theft
146   Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.