SCENE V. [Inverness. Macbeth’s castle]

Enter LADY MACBETH, alone, with a letter

LADY M. [Reads.] “They met me in the day of success; and I have learn’d by the perfect’st report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burn’d in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanish’d. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the King, who all-hail’d me ‘Thane of Cawdor;’ by which title, before, these weird sisters〖The three Fates.〗 saluted me, and referr’d me to the coming on of time, with ‘Hail, King that shalt be!’ This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promis’d thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.”

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be

What thou art promis’d. Yet do I fear thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness〖Wickedness.〗 should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,

That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,

And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou ’dst have, great Glamis,

That which cries, “Thus thou must do, if thou have it;”

And that which rather thou dost fear to do

Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither

That I may pour my spirits in thine ear,

And chastise with the valour of my tongue

All that impedes thee from the golden round〖Crown.〗

Which fate and metaphsical〖Supernatural.〗 aid doth seem

To have thee crown’d withal.


What is your tidings?

MESS. The King comes here to-night.

LADY M. Thou ’rt mad to say it!

Is not thy master with him? who, were ’t so,

Would have inform’d for preparation.

MESS. So please you, it is true; our thane is coming.

One of my fellows had the speed of him,

Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more

Than would make up his message.

LADY M. Give him tending;

He brings great news. Exit MESSENGER.

The raven himself is hoarse

That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements. Come, you spirits

That tend on mortal〖Murderous.〗 thoughts, unsex me here,

And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full

Of direst cruelty! Make thick my blood;

Stop up the access and passage to remorse,〖Pity.〗

That no compunctious visitings of nature〖Natural feelings of compunction.〗

Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between

The effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts

And take〖Change.〗 my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,

Wherever in your sightless〖Invisible.〗 substances

You wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,

And pall〖Wrap.〗 thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,

That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,

Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark

To cry, “Hold, hold!”


Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!

Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!

Thy letters have transported me beyond

This ignorant present, and I feel now

The future in the instant.

MACB. My dearest love,

Duncan comes here to-night.

LADY M. And when goes hence?

MACB. To-morrow, as he purposes.

LADY M. O, never

Shall sun that morrow see!

Your face, my thane, is as a book where men

May read strange matters. To beguile the time,〖Deceive onlookers.〗

Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,

Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower,

But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming

Must be provided for; and you shall put

This night’s great business into my dispatch,

Which shall to all our nights and days to come

Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

MACB. We will speak further.

LADY M. Only look up clear;

To alter favour〖Countenance.〗 ever is to fear.

Leave all the rest to me. Exeunt.

All Directories