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Mur.

Most royal sir,
Fleance is 'scap'd.

Macb. Then comes my fit again : I had else been perfect;
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock:
As broad and general as the casing air:
But now, I am cabin’d, cribb’d, confin'd, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe?

Mur. Ay, my good lord : safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head ;
The least a death to nature.
Macb.

Thanks for that:
There the grown serpent lies; the worm, that's fled,
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for the present.—Get thee gone ; to-morrow
We'll hear, ourselves, again.

[Exit Murderer. Lady M.

My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer; the feast is sold
That is not often vouch’d, while 'tis a making,
'Tis given with welcome : To feed, were best at home;
From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony,
Meeting were bare without it.
Macb.

Sweet remembrancer!
Now good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both !
Len.

May it please your highness sit?
Enter the Ghost of Banquo and sits in MACBETH's place.
Macb. Here had we now our country's honour roofd,
Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present;'
Who

may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance !
Rosse.

His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please it your highness
To grace us with your royal company ?

Macb. The table's full.
Len. Here is a place reserv’d, sir.
Macb. Where?

[your highness ? Len.

Here, my good lord. What is't that moves Macb. Which of you have done this? Lords.

What, my good lord ?

BANQUET SCENE IN MACBETH.

95

O proper stuff!

Macb. Thou canst not say I did it: never shake Thy gory locks at me.

Rosse. Gentlemen, rise ; his highness is not well.

Lady M. Sit, worthy friends :—my lord is often thus,
And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep seat;
The fit is momentary ; upon a thought
He will again be well : If much you note him,
You shall offend him, and extend his passion;
Feed, and regard him not. Are you a man ?

Macb. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.

Lady M.
This is the very painting of your fear :
This is the air-drawn dagger, which, you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts,
(Impostors to true fear,) would well become
A woman's story, at a winter's fire,
Authoris'd by her grandam. Shame itself !
Why do you make such faces? When all's done,
You look but on a stool.

Macb. Prithee, see there ! behold ! look! lo! how say you ?
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too.-
If charnel-houses, and our graves, must send
Those that we bury, back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.

[Ghost disappears. Lady M.

What! quite unmann'd in folly?
Macb. If I stand here, I saw him.
Lady M.

Fie, for shame!
Macb. Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
Ere human statue purg'd the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murthers have been perform’d.
Too terrible for the ear: the times have been,
That when the brains were out the man would die,
And there an end: but now, they rise again,
With twenty mortal murthers on their crowns,
And push us from our stools : This is more strange
Than such a murther is.
Lady M.

My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.
Macb.

I do forget :-
Do not muse at me, my most worthy friends;

I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing
To those that know me. Come, love and health to all ;
Then I'll sit down :-Give me some wine, fill full :-
I drink to the general joy of the whole table, [Enter Ghost
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss :
Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
And all to all.

Lords. Our duties, and the pledge.

Macb. Avaunt ! and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold ;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
Which thou dost glare with!
Lady M.

Think of this, good peers,
But as a thing of custom : 'tis no other;
Only it spoils the pleasure of the time.

Macb. What man dare, I dare :
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger,
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble : Or, be alive again,
And dare me to the desert with thy sword;
If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow! [Ghost disappears.
Unreal mockery, hence !—Why, so ;-being gone,
I am a man again.—Pray you, sit still.

Lady M. You have displac'd the mirth, broke the good meeting,
With most admir'd disorder.
Macb.

Can such things be,
And overcome us like a summer's cloud,
Without our special wonder ? You make me strange
Even to the disposition that I owe,
When now I think you can behold such sights,
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine are blanch'd with fear.
Rosse.

What sights, my lord ?
Lady M. I pray you, speak not; he grows worse and worse;
Question enrages him : at once, good night:-
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But go at once.
Len.

Good night, and better health Attend his majesty!

BANQUET SCENE IN MACBETH.

97

Lady M.

A kind good night to all !

[Exeunt Lords and Attendants. Macb. It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood : Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak; Augurs, and understood relations, have By magot-pies, and choughs, and rooks, brought forth The secret'st man of blood.

Shakspeare (Macbeth.')

CLARENCE'S DREAM.
Brakenbury. Why looks your grace so heavily to-day?

Clarence. O, I have pass’d a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 't were to buy a world of happy days;
So full of dismal terror was the time.

Brak. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you, tell me.

Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tower,
And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy ;
And in my company my brother Gloster;
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches; thence we look'd toward England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befall'n us. As we pac'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloster stumbled ; and, in falling,
Struck

me, that sought to stay him, overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.
O Lord ! methought what pain it was to drown!
What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
What sights of ugly death within mine eyes !
Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued* jewels,
All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea.

* i. e. invaluable.

H

Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes
Where

eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 't were in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death To gaze upon these secrets of the deep ?

Clar. Methought I had ; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Stopt in my soul, and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wand'ring air ;
But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Brak. Awak'd you not in this sore agony ?

Clar. O, no, my dream was lengthen’d after life ; O, then began the tempest to my soul! I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger soul Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick; Who cried aloud,—What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?' And so he vanish'd : Then came wand'ring by A shadow * like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood; and he shriek'd out aloud, • Clarence is come,-false, fleeting, perjur'd Clarence, That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury ;Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments!'With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends Environ'd me, and howled in mine ears Such hideous cries, that, with the very

noise I trembling wak’d, and, for a season after, Could not believe but that I was in hell; Such terrible impression made my

dream. Brak. No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you ; I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. O, Brakenbury, I have done these things,That now give evidence against my soul, —

* Prince Edward, son of Henry VI.

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