[Macbeth castle, near the bedrooms. Enter Lady Macbeth]
That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold;
What hath quenched them hath given me fire. Hark, peace.
It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it.
The doors are open and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores. I have drugged their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them
Whether they live or die.
[Offstage] Who's there? What, ho.
Alack, I am afraid they have awaked,
And 'tis not done. The attempt and not the deed
Confounds us. Hark. I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss 'em. Had he not resembled
My father as he slept, I had done't.
I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Hark. Who lies i' the second chamber?
[Looking at his hands]
There's one did laugh in's sleep
and one cried 'Murder' that they did wake each other.
I stood and heard them, but they did say their prayers
and addressed them again to sleep.
There are two lodged together?
One cried 'God bless us' and 'Amen' the other,
As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say 'Amen'
When they did say 'God bless us.'
Consider it not so deeply.
But wherefore could not I pronounce 'Amen'?
I had most need of blessing, and 'Amen'
These deeds must not be thought
After these ways so, it will make us mad.
Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more;
Macbeth does murder sleep' — the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
Still it cried 'Sleep no more' to all the house.
'Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.'
Who was it that thus cried? Why, worthy thane,
You do unbend your noble strength, to think
So brain-sickly of things. Go get some water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring these daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go, carry them and smear
The sleepy grooms with blood.
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on't again I dare not.
Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead
Are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.
[Exit. Knocking offstage.]
How is't with me, when every noise appalls me?
What hands are here? Ha, they pluck out mine eyes.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red.
[Re-enter Lady Macbeth]
My hands are of your colour, but I shame
To wear a heart so white.
At the south entry. Retire we to our chamber.
A little water clears us of this deed —
How easy is it then. Your constancy
Hath left you unattended.
Get on your nightgown lest occasion call us,
And show us to be watchers. Be not lost
So poorly in your thoughts.
To know my deed, 'twere best not know myself.
Wake Duncan with thy knocking. I would thou couldst.