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    Act 3. Scene I

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    Chapter 12
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    SCENE I. Forres. The palace.

    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
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