Act 1, Scene 7
A room in Macbeth’s castle.
- Hoboys, torches. Enter a Sewer and divers Servants with
- dishes and service over the stage. Then enter Macbeth.
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- If it were done, when ’tis done, then ’twere well
- It were done quickly. If th’ assassination
- Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
- With his surcease, success; that but this blow
- Might be the be-all and the end-all—here,
- But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
- We’ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
- We still have judgment here, that we but teach
- Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
- To plague th’ inventor. This even-handed justice
- Commends th’ ingredience of our poison’d chalice
- To our own lips. He’s here in double trust:
- First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
- Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
- Who should against his murderer shut the door,
- Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
- Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
- So clear in his great office, that his virtues
- Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongu’d, against
- The deep damnation of his taking-off;
- And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
- Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin, hors’d
- Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
- Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
- That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur
- To prick the sides of my intent, but only
- Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
- And falls on th’ other—
- Enter Lady Macbeth.
- How now? What news?
- He has almost supp’d. Why have you left the chamber?
- Hath he ask’d for me?
- Know you not he has?
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- We will proceed no further in this business:
- He hath honor’d me of late, and I have bought
- Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
- Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
- Not cast aside so soon.
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- Was the hope drunk
- Wherein you dress’d yourself? Hath it slept since?
- And wakes it now to look so green and pale
- At what it did so freely? From this time
- Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
- To be the same in thine own act and valor
- As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
- Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
- And live a coward in thine own esteem,
- Letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,”
- Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?
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- Prithee peace!
- I dare do all that may become a man;
- Who dares do more is none.
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- What beast was’t then
- That made you break this enterprise to me?
- When you durst do it, then you were a man;
- And to be more than what you were, you would
- Be so much more the man. Nor time, nor place,
- Did then adhere, and yet you would make both:
- They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
- Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know
- How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me;
- I would, while it was smiling in my face,
- Have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums,
- And dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you
- Have done to this.
- If we should fail?
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- We fail?
- But screw your courage to the sticking place,
- And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep
- (Whereto the rather shall his day’s hard journey
- Soundly invite him), his two chamberlains
- Will I with wine and wassail so convince,
- That memory, the warder of the brain,
- Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
- A limbeck only. When in swinish sleep
- Their drenched natures lies as in a death,
- What cannot you and I perform upon
- Th’ unguarded Duncan? What not put upon
- His spungy officers, who shall bear the guilt
- Of our great quell?
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- Bring forth men-children only!
- For thy undaunted mettle should compose
- Nothing but males. Will it not be receiv’d,
- When we have mark’d with blood those sleepy two
- Of his own chamber, and us’d their very daggers,
- That they have done’t?
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- Who dares receive it other,
- As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar
- Upon his death?
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- I am settled, and bend up
- Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.
- Away, and mock the time with fairest show:
- False face must hide what the false heart doth know.