Act III, Scene 2
Forres. The palace.
- Enter Macbeth’s Lady and her Waiting Gentlewoman.
- Is Banquo gone from court?
- Ay, madam, but returns again tonight.
Lady Macbeth3 - 4
- Say to the King, I would attend his leisure
- For a few words.
- Madam, I will.
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- Nought’s had, all’s spent,
- Where our desire is got without content;
- ’Tis safer to be that which we destroy
- Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.
- Enter Macbeth.
- How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
- Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
- Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
- With them they think on? Things without all remedy
- Should be without regard: what’s done, is done.
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- We have scorch’d the snake, not kill’d it;
- She’ll close and be herself, whilest our poor malice
- Remains in danger of her former tooth.
- But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,
- Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
- In the affliction of these terrible dreams
- That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
- Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
- Than on the torture of the mind to lie
- In restless ecstasy. Duncan is in his grave;
- After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.
- Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison,
- Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing,
- Can touch him further.
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- Come on;
- Gentle my lord, sleek o’er your rugged looks,
- Be bright and jovial among your guests tonight.
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- So shall I, love, and so, I pray, be you.
- Let your remembrance apply to Banquo,
- Present him eminence both with eye and tongue:
- Unsafe the while, that we
- Must lave our honors in these flattering streams,
- And make our faces vizards to our hearts,
- Disguising what they are.
- You must leave this.
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- O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
- Thou know’st that Banquo and his Fleance lives.
- But in them nature’s copy’s not eterne.
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- There’s comfort yet, they are assailable.
- Then be thou jocund; ere the bat hath flown
- His cloister’d flight, ere to black Hecat’s summons
- The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums
- Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done
- A deed of dreadful note.
- What’s to be done?
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- Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck,
- Till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night,
- Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,
- And with thy bloody and invisible hand
- Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond
- Which keeps me pale! Light thickens, and the crow
- Makes wing to th’ rooky wood;
- Good things of day begin to droop and drowse,
- Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.
- Thou marvel’st at my words, but hold thee still:
- Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
- So prithee go with me.