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

Scene V

Act I

[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 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 beWhat thou art promis’d. Yet do I fear thy nature;It is too full o’ the milk of human kindnessTo catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,Art not without ambition, but withoutThe illness 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 doThan wishest should be undone. Hie thee hitherThat I may pour my spirits in thine ear,And chastise with the valour of my tongueAll that impedes thee from the golden roundWhich fate and metaphsical aid doth seemTo have thee crown’d withal.
Enter a Messenger

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 moreThan would make up his message.Lady M.Give him tending;Exit Messenger.He brings great news.The raven himself is hoarseThat croaks the fatal entrance of DuncanUnder my battlements. Come, you spiritsThat tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,And fill me from the crown to the toe top-fullOf direst cruelty! Make thick my blood;Stop up the access and passage to remorse,That no compunctious visitings of natureShake my fell purpose, nor keep peace betweenThe effect and it! Come to my woman’s breastsAnd take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers,Wherever in your sightless substancesYou wait on nature’s mischief! Come, thick night,And pall 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 darkTo cry, “Hold, hold!”

Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!Thy letters have transported me beyondThis ignorant present, and I feel nowThe 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, neverShall sun that morrow see!Your face, my thane, is as a book where menMay read strange matters. To beguile the time,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 comingMust be provided for; and you shall putThis night’s great business into my dispatch,Which shall to all our nights and days to comeGive solely sovereign sway and masterdom.Macb.We will speak further.Lady M.Only look up clear;To alter favour ever is to fear.Leave all the rest to me.Exeunt.