Shakespeare in the Digital Age

Act II

Actus Secundus. Scena Prima.

Enter Banquo, and Fleance, with a Torch before him.

Banq. How goes the Night, Boy?
Fleance. The Moone is downe: I haue not heard the

Banq. And she goes downe at Twelue

Fleance. I take't, 'tis later, Sir

Banq. Hold, take my Sword:
There's Husbandry in Heauen,
Their Candles are all out: take thee that too.
A heauie Summons lyes like Lead vpon me,
And yet I would not sleepe:
Mercifull Powers, restraine in me the cursed thoughts
That Nature giues way to in repose.
Enter Macbeth, and a Seruant with a Torch.

Giue me my Sword: who's there?
Macb. A Friend

Banq. What Sir, not yet at rest? the King's a bed.
He hath beene in vnusuall Pleasure,
And sent forth great Largesse to your Offices.

This Diamond he greetes your Wife withall,
By the name of most kind Hostesse,
And shut vp in measurelesse content

Mac. Being vnprepar'd,
Our will became the seruant to defect,
Which else should free haue wrought

Banq. All's well.
I dreamt last Night of the three weyward Sisters:
To you they haue shew'd some truth

Macb. I thinke not of them:
Yet when we can entreat an houre to serue,
We would spend it in some words vpon that Businesse,
If you would graunt the time

Banq. At your kind'st leysure

Macb. If you shall cleaue to my consent,
When 'tis, it shall make Honor for you

Banq. So I lose none,
In seeking to augment it, but still keepe
My Bosome franchis'd, and Allegeance cleare,
I shall be counsail'd

Macb. Good repose the while

Banq. Thankes Sir: the like to you.

Exit Banquo.

Macb. Goe bid thy Mistresse, when my drinke is ready,
She strike vpon the Bell. Get thee to bed.

Is this a Dagger, which I see before me,
The Handle toward my Hand? Come, let me clutch thee:
I haue thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not fatall Vision, sensible
To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but
A Dagger of the Minde, a false Creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed Braine?

I see thee yet, in forme as palpable,
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going,
And such an Instrument I was to vse.
Mine Eyes are made the fooles o'th' other Sences,
Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still;
And on thy Blade, and Dudgeon, Gouts of Blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the bloody Businesse, which informes
Thus to mine Eyes. Now o're the one halfe World
Nature seemes dead, and wicked Dreames abuse
The Curtain'd sleepe: Witchcraft celebrates
Pale Heccats Offrings: and wither'd Murther,
Alarum'd by his Centinell, the Wolfe,
Whose howle's his Watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquins rauishing sides, towards his designe
Moues like a Ghost. Thou sowre and firme-set Earth
Heare not my steps, which they may walke, for feare
Thy very stones prate of my where-about,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now sutes with it. Whiles I threat, he liues:
Words to the heat of deedes too cold breath giues.

A Bell rings.

I goe, and it is done: the Bell inuites me.
Heare it not, Duncan, for it is a Knell,
That summons thee to Heauen, or to Hell.

Scena Secunda.

Enter Lady.

La. That which hath made the[m] drunk, hath made me bold:
What hath quench'd them, hath giuen me fire.
Hearke, peace: it was the Owle that shriek'd,
The fatall Bell-man, which giues the stern'st good-night.
He is about it, the Doores are open:
And the surfeted Groomes doe mock their charge
With Snores. I haue drugg'd their Possets,
That Death and Nature doe contend about them,
Whether they liue, or dye.

Enter Macbeth.

Macb. Who's there? what hoa?
Lady. Alack, I am afraid they haue awak'd,
And 'tis not done: th' attempt, and not the deed,
Confounds vs: hearke: I lay'd their Daggers ready,
He could not misse 'em. Had he not resembled
My Father as he slept, I had don't.
My Husband?
Macb. I haue done the deed:
Didst thou not heare a noyse?
Lady. I heard the Owle schreame, and the Crickets cry.
Did not you speake?
Macb. When?
Lady. Now

Macb. As I descended?
Lady. I

Macb. Hearke, who lyes i'th' second Chamber?
Lady. Donalbaine

Mac. This is a sorry sight

Lady. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight

Macb. There's one did laugh in's sleepe,
And one cry'd Murther, that they did wake each other:
I stood, and heard them: But they did say their Prayers,
And addrest them againe to sleepe

Lady. There are two lodg'd together

Macb. One cry'd God blesse vs, and Amen the other,
As they had seene me with these Hangmans hands:
Listning their feare, I could not say Amen,
When they did say God blesse vs

Lady. Consider it not so deepely

Mac. But wherefore could not I pronounce Amen?
I had most need of Blessing, and Amen stuck in my throat

Lady. These deeds must not be thought
After these wayes: so, it will make vs mad

Macb. Me thought I heard a voyce cry, Sleep no more:
Macbeth does murther Sleepe, the innocent Sleepe,
Sleepe that knits vp the rauel'd Sleeue of Care,
The death of each dayes Life, sore Labors Bath,
Balme of hurt Mindes, great Natures second Course,
Chiefe nourisher in Life's Feast

Lady. What doe you meane?
Macb. Still it cry'd, Sleepe no more to all the House:
Glamis hath murther'd Sleepe, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleepe no more: Macbeth shall sleepe no more 

Lady. Who was it, that thus cry'd? why worthy Thane,
You doe vnbend your Noble strength, to thinke
So braine-sickly of things: Goe get some Water,
And wash this filthie Witnesse from your Hand.
Why did you bring these Daggers from the place?
They must lye there: goe carry them, and smeare
The sleepie Groomes with blood

Macb. Ile goe no more:
I am afraid, to thinke what I haue done:
Looke on't againe, I dare not

Lady. Infirme of purpose:
Giue me the Daggers: the sleeping, and the dead,
Are but as Pictures: 'tis the Eye of Childhood,
That feares a painted Deuill. If he doe bleed,
Ile guild the Faces of the Groomes withall,
For it must seeme their Guilt.

Knocke within.

Macb. Whence is that knocking?
How is't with me, when euery noyse appalls me?
What Hands are here? hah: they pluck out mine Eyes.
Will all great Neptunes Ocean wash this blood
Cleane from my Hand? no: this my Hand will rather
The multitudinous Seas incarnardine,
Making the Greene one, Red.
Enter Lady.

Lady. My Hands are of your colour: but I shame
To weare a Heart so white.


I heare a knocking at the South entry:
Retyre we to our Chamber:

A little Water cleares vs of this deed.
How easie is it then? your Constancie
Hath left you vnattended.


Hearke, more knocking.
Get on your Night-Gowne, least occasion call vs,
And shew vs to be Watchers: be not lost
So poorely in your thoughts

Macb. To know my deed,


'Twere best not know my selfe.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking:
I would thou could'st.


Scena Tertia.

Enter a Porter. Knocking within.

Porter. Here's a knocking indeede: if a man were
Porter of Hell Gate, hee should haue old turning the


Knock, Knock, Knock. Who's there
i'th' name of Belzebub? Here's a Farmer, that hang'd
himselfe on th' expectation of Plentie: Come in time, haue
Napkins enow about you, here you'le sweat for't.


Knock, knock. Who's there in th' other Deuils Name?
Faith here's an Equiuocator, that could sweare in both
the Scales against eyther Scale, who committed Treason
enough for Gods sake, yet could not equiuocate to Heauen:
oh come in, Equiuocator.


Knock, Knock, Knock. Who's there? 'Faith here's an English
Taylor come hither, for stealing out of a French Hose:
Come in Taylor, here you may rost your Goose.

Knock, Knock. Neuer at quiet: What are you? but this
place is too cold for Hell. Ile Deuill-Porter it no further:
I had thought to haue let in some of all Professions, that
goe the Primrose way to th' euerlasting Bonfire.


Anon, anon, I pray you remember the Porter.
Enter Macduff, and Lenox.

Macd. Was it so late, friend, ere you went to Bed,
That you doe lye so late?
Port. Faith Sir, we were carowsing till the second Cock:
And Drinke, Sir, is a great prouoker of three things

Macd. What three things does Drinke especially
Port. Marry, Sir, Nose-painting, Sleepe, and Vrine.
Lecherie, Sir, it prouokes, and vnprouokes: it prouokes
the desire, but it takes away the performance. Therefore
much Drinke may be said to be an Equiuocator with Lecherie:
it makes him, and it marres him; it sets him on,
and it takes him off; it perswades him, and dis-heartens
him; makes him stand too, and not stand too: in conclusion,
equiuocates him in a sleepe, and giuing him the Lye,
leaues him

Macd. I beleeue, Drinke gaue thee the Lye last Night

Port. That it did, Sir, i'the very Throat on me: but I
requited him for his Lye, and (I thinke) being too strong
for him, though he tooke vp my Legges sometime, yet I
made a Shift to cast him.
Enter Macbeth.

Macd. Is thy Master stirring?
Our knocking ha's awak'd him: here he comes

Lenox. Good morrow, Noble Sir

Macb. Good morrow both

Macd. Is the King stirring, worthy Thane?
Macb. Not yet

Macd. He did command me to call timely on him,
I haue almost slipt the houre

Macb. Ile bring you to him

Macd. I know this is a ioyfull trouble to you:
But yet 'tis one

Macb. The labour we delight in, Physicks paine:
This is the Doore

Macd. Ile make so bold to call, for 'tis my limitted

Exit Macduffe.

Lenox. Goes the King hence to day?
Macb. He does: he did appoint so

Lenox. The Night ha's been vnruly:
Where we lay, our Chimneys were blowne downe,
And (as they say) lamentings heard i'th' Ayre;
Strange Schreemes of Death,
And Prophecying, with Accents terrible,
Of dyre Combustion, and confus'd Euents,
New hatch'd toth' wofull time.
The obscure Bird clamor'd the liue-long Night.
Some say, the Earth was Feuorous,
And did shake

Macb. 'Twas a rough Night

Lenox. My young remembrance cannot paralell
A fellow to it.
Enter Macduff.

Macd. O horror, horror, horror,
Tongue nor Heart cannot conceiue, nor name thee

Macb. and Lenox. What's the matter?
Macd. Confusion now hath made his Master-peece:
Most sacrilegious Murther hath broke ope
The Lords anoynted Temple, and stole thence
The Life o'th' Building

Macb. What is't you say, the Life?
Lenox. Meane you his Maiestie?
Macd. Approch the Chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon. Doe not bid me speake:
See, and then speake your selues: awake, awake,

Exeunt. Macbeth and Lenox.

Ring the Alarum Bell: Murther, and Treason,
Banquo, and Donalbaine: Malcolme awake,
Shake off this Downey sleepe, Deaths counterfeit,
And looke on Death it selfe: vp, vp, and see
The great Doomes Image: Malcolme, Banquo,
As from your Graues rise vp, and walke like Sprights,
To countenance this horror. Ring the Bell.

Bell rings. Enter Lady.

Lady. What's the Businesse?
That such a hideous Trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the House? speake, speake

Macd. O gentle Lady,
'Tis not for you to heare what I can speake:
The repetition in a Womans eare,
Would murther as it fell.
Enter Banquo.

O Banquo, Banquo, Our Royall Master's murther'd

Lady. Woe, alas:
What, in our House?
Ban. Too cruell, any where.
Deare Duff, I prythee contradict thy selfe,
And say, it is not so.
Enter Macbeth, Lenox, and Rosse.

Macb. Had I but dy'd an houre before this chance,
I had liu'd a blessed time: for from this instant,
There's nothing serious in Mortalitie:
All is but Toyes: Renowne and Grace is dead,
The Wine of Life is drawne, and the meere Lees
Is left this Vault, to brag of.
Enter Malcolme and Donalbaine.

Donal. What is amisse?
Macb. You are, and doe not know't:
The Spring, the Head, the Fountaine of your Blood
Is stopt, the very Source of it is stopt

Macd. Your Royall Father's murther'd

Mal. Oh, by whom?
Lenox. Those of his Chamber, as it seem'd, had don't:
Their Hands and Faces were all badg'd with blood,
So were their Daggers, which vnwip'd, we found
Vpon their Pillowes: they star'd, and were distracted,
No mans Life was to be trusted with them

Macb. O, yet I doe repent me of my furie,
That I did kill them 

Macd. Wherefore did you so?
Macb. Who can be wise, amaz'd, temp'rate, & furious,
Loyall, and Neutrall, in a moment? No man:
Th' expedition of my violent Loue
Out-run the pawser, Reason. Here lay Duncan,
His Siluer skinne, lac'd with His Golden Blood,
And his gash'd Stabs, look'd like a Breach in Nature,
For Ruines wastfull entrance: there the Murtherers,
Steep'd in the Colours of their Trade; their Daggers
Vnmannerly breech'd with gore: who could refraine,
That had a heart to loue; and in that heart,
Courage, to make's loue knowne?
Lady. Helpe me hence, hoa

Macd. Looke to the Lady

Mal. Why doe we hold our tongues,
That most may clayme this argument for ours?
Donal. What should be spoken here,
Where our Fate hid in an augure hole,
May rush, and seize vs? Let's away,
Our Teares are not yet brew'd

Mal. Nor our strong Sorrow
Vpon the foot of Motion

Banq. Looke to the Lady:
And when we haue our naked Frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure; let vs meet,
And question this most bloody piece of worke,
To know it further. Feares and scruples shake vs:
In the great Hand of God I stand, and thence,
Against the vndivulg'd pretence, I fight
Of Treasonous Mallice

Macd. And so doe I

All. So all

Macb. Let's briefely put on manly readinesse,
And meet i'th' Hall together

All. Well contented.


Malc. What will you doe?
Let's not consort with them:
To shew an vnfelt Sorrow, is an Office
Which the false man do's easie.
Ile to England

Don. To Ireland, I:
Our seperated fortune shall keepe vs both the safer:
Where we are, there's Daggers in mens smiles;
The neere in blood, the neerer bloody

Malc. This murtherous Shaft that's shot,
Hath not yet lighted: and our safest way,
Is to auoid the ayme. Therefore to Horse,
And let vs not be daintie of leaue-taking,
But shift away: there's warrant in that Theft,
Which steales it selfe, when there's no mercie left.


Scena Quarta.

Enter Rosse, with an Old man.

Old man. Threescore and ten I can remember well,
Within the Volume of which Time, I haue seene
Houres dreadfull, and things strange: but this sore Night
Hath trifled former knowings

Rosse. Ha, good Father,
Thou seest the Heauens, as troubled with mans Act,
Threatens his bloody Stage: byth' Clock 'tis Day,
And yet darke Night strangles the trauailing Lampe:
Is't Nights predominance, or the Dayes shame,
That Darknesse does the face of Earth intombe,
When liuing Light should kisse it?
Old man. 'Tis vnnaturall,
Euen like the deed that's done: On Tuesday last,
A Faulcon towring in her pride of place,
Was by a Mowsing Owle hawkt at, and kill'd

Rosse. And Duncans Horses,
(A thing most strange, and certaine)
Beauteous, and swift, the Minions of their Race,
Turn'd wilde in nature, broke their stalls, flong out,
Contending 'gainst Obedience, as they would
Make Warre with Mankinde

Old man. 'Tis said, they eate each other

Rosse. They did so:
To th' amazement of mine eyes that look'd vpon't.
Enter Macduffe.

Heere comes the good Macduffe.
How goes the world Sir, now?
Macd. Why see you not?
Ross. Is't known who did this more then bloody deed?
Macd. Those that Macbeth hath slaine

Ross. Alas the day,
What good could they pretend?
Macd. They were subborned,
Malcolme, and Donalbaine the Kings two Sonnes
Are stolne away and fled, which puts vpon them
Suspition of the deed

Rosse. 'Gainst Nature still,
Thriftlesse Ambition, that will rauen vp
Thine owne liues meanes: Then 'tis most like,
The Soueraignty will fall vpon Macbeth

Macd. He is already nam'd, and gone to Scone
To be inuested

Rosse. Where is Duncans body?
Macd. Carried to Colmekill,
The Sacred Store-house of his Predecessors,
And Guardian of their Bones

Rosse. Will you to Scone?
Macd. No Cosin, Ile to Fife

Rosse. Well, I will thither

Macd. Well may you see things wel done there: Adieu
Least our old Robes sit easier then our new

Rosse. Farewell, Father

Old M. Gods benyson go with you, and with those
That would make good of bad, and Friends of Foes.

Exeunt. omnes

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