Act 3, Scene 1
Forres. The palace.
- Enter Banquo.
Banquo2 - 11
- Thou hast it now: King, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
- 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.
- Sennet sounded. Enter Macbeth as King, Lady Macbeth as
- Queen, Lennox, Rosse, Lords, and Attendants.
- Here’s our chief guest.
Lady Macbeth15 - 17
- If he had been forgotten,
- It had been as a gap in our great feast,
- And all-thing unbecoming.
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- Tonight we hold a solemn supper, sir,
- And I’ll request your presence.
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- Let your Highness
- Command upon me, to the which my duties
- Are with a most indissoluble tie
- Forever knit.
- Ride you this afternoon?
- Ay, my good lord.
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- We should have else desir’d your good advice
- (Which still hath been both grave and prosperous)
- In this day’s council; but we’ll take tomorrow.
- Is’t far you ride?
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- 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.
- Fail not our feast.
- My lord, I will not.
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- 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 tomorrow,
- 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?
- Ay, my good lord. Our time does call upon’s.
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- I wish your horses swift and sure of foot;
- And so I do commend you to their backs.
- 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 Lords with Lady Macbeth and others. Manent Macbeth
- and a Servant.
- Sirrah, a word with you. Attend those men
- Our pleasure?
- They are, my lord, without the palace gate.
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- Bring them before us.
- Exit Servant.
- 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 valor
- To act in safety. There is none but he
- Whose being I do fear; and under him
- My Genius is rebuk’d, 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 plac’d 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 fil’d my mind,
- For them the gracious Duncan have I murder’d,
- Put rancors 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 seeds of Banquo kings!
- Rather than so, come fate into the list,
- And champion me to th’ utterance! Who’s there?
- Enter Servant and two Murderers.
- Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.
- Exit Servant.
- Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
Both First and Second Murderers88
- It was, so please your Highness.
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- 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 craz’d
- Say, “Thus did Banquo.”
- You made it known to us.
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- 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 forever?
- We are men, my liege.
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- Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
- As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
- Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clipt
- All by the name of dogs; the valued file
- Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
- The house-keeper, the hunter, every one,
- According to the gift which bounteous nature
- Hath in him clos’d; 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’ th’ 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 Murderer125 - 128
- I am one, my liege,
- Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
- Hath so incens’d that I am reckless what
- I do to spite the world.
First Murderer129 - 132
- And I another,
- So weary with disasters, tugg’d with fortune,
- That I would set my life on any chance,
- To mend it, or be rid on’t.
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- Both of you
- Know Banquo was your enemy.
Both First and Second Murderers135
- True, my lord.
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- 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 barefac’d 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 Murderer147 - 148
- We shall, my lord,
- Perform what you command us.
- Though our lives—
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- 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’ th’ time,
- The moment on’t, for’t must be done tonight,
- 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 First and Second Murderers162
- We are resolv’d, my lord.
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- 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 tonight.