Home  »  Macbeth  »  Act I

William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene IV

Act I

[Forres. The palace]
Flourish. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, LENNOX, and Attendants

Dun.Is execution done on Cawdor? Are notThose in commission yet return’d?Mal.My liege,They are not yet come back. But I have spokeWith one that saw him die; who did reportThat very frankly he confess’d his treasons,Implor’d your Highness’ pardon, and set forthA deep repentance. Nothing in his lifeBecame him like the leaving it. He diedAs one that had been studied in his deathTo throw away the dearest thing he ow’d,As ’twere a careless trifle.Dun.There’s no artTo find the mind’s construction in the face.He was a gentleman on whom I builtAn absolute trust.

O worthiest cousin!The sin of my ingratitude even nowWas heavy on me. Thou art so far beforeThat swiftest wing of recompense is slowTo overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserv’d,That the proportion both of thanks and paymentMight have been mine! Only I have left to say,More is thy due than more than all can pay.Macb.The service and the loyalty I owe,In doing it, pays itself. Your Highness’ partIs to receive our duties; and our dutiesAre to your throne and state children and servants,Which do but what they should, by doing everythingSafe toward your love and honour.Dun.Welcome hither!I have begun to plant thee, and will labourTo make thee full of growing. Noble Banquo,That hast no less deserv’d, nor must be knownNo less to have done so, let me infold theeAnd hold thee to my heart.Ban.There if I grow,The harvest is your own.Dun.My plenteous joys,Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselvesIn drops of sorrow. Sons, kinsmen, thanes,And you whose places are the nearest, knowWe will establish our estate uponOur eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafterThe Prince of Cumberland; which honour mustNot unaccompanied invest him only,But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shineOn all deservers. From hence to Inverness,And bind us further to you.Macb.The rest is labour, which is not us’d for you.I’ll be myself the harbinger and make joyfulThe hearing of my wife with your approach;So humbly take my leave.Dun.My worthy Cawdor!Macb.[Aside.]The Prince of Cumberland! That is a stepOn which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;Let not light see my black and deep desires;The eye wink at the hand; yet let that beWhich the eye fears, when it is done, to see.Exit.Dun.True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant,And in his commendations I am fed;It is a banquet to me. Let’s after him,Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome.It is a peerless kinsman.Flourish. Exeunt.