Act 2, Scene 3

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[The same location. Knocking within. Enter a Porter.]

Porter

Here's a knocking indeed. If a man were porter of 
Hell gate, he should have old turning the key.
[Knocking within]
Knock, knock, knock. Who's there i' the name of
Beelzebub? Here's a farmer that hanged himself on 
the expectation of plenty – come in time. Have napkins
enough about you; here you'll sweat for't.
[Knocking within]
Knock, knock. Who's there, in the other devil's name? 
Faith, here's an equivocator, that could swear in both 
the scales against either scale, who committed treason 
enough for God's sake, yet could not equivocate to 
heaven. O, come in, equivocator.
[Knocking within]
Knock, knock, knock. Who's there? Faith, here's an 
English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French 
hose. Come in, tailor, here you may roast your goose.    
[Knocking within]
Knock, knock; never at quiet. What are you? But this 
place is too cold for hell; I'll devil-porter it no further.
I had thought to have let in some of all professions that 
go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.
[Knocking within]
Anon, anon. I pray you, remember the porter.
[Opens the gate. Enter Macduff and Lennox]

Macduff

Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?

Porter

'Faith sir, we were carousing till the second cock;
and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.

Macduff

What three things does drink especially provoke?

Porter

Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. 
Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes. It provokes 
the desire, but it takes away the performance. 
Therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator 
with lechery. It makes him, and it mars him; it sets
him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him;
makes him stand to, and not stand to – in conclusion, equivocates him
in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves him.

Macduff

I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.

Porter

That it did, sir, i' the very throat on me. But I requited
him for his lie; and, I think, being too strong for him, 
though he took up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift
to cast him.

Macduff

Is thy master stirring?
[Enter Macbeth]
Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.

Lennox

Good morrow, noble sir.

Macbeth

                                            Good morrow, both.

Macduff

Is the king stirring, worthy thane?

Macbeth

                                                            Not yet.

Macduff

He did command me to call timely on him.
I have almost slipped the hour.

Macbeth

I'll bring you to him.

Macduff

I know this is a joyful trouble to you; but yet 'tis one.

Macbeth

The labour we delight in physics pain. This is the door.

Macduff

I'll make so bold to call, for 'tis my limited service.
[Exit]

Lennox

Goes the king hence to-day?

Macbeth

He does – he did appoint so.

Lennox

The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i' the air – strange screams of death –
And prophesying, with accents terrible,
Of dire combustion and confused events
New hatched to the woeful time. The obscure bird
Clamored the livelong night. Some say, the earth
Was feverous and did shake.

Macbeth

                                                  'Twas a rough night.

Lennox

My young remembrance cannot parallel
A fellow to it.
[Re-enter Macduff]

Macduff

O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart
Cannot conceive nor name thee.

Macbeth and Lennox

What's the matter?

Macduff

Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.
Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope
The Lord's anointed temple, and stole thence
The life o' the building.

Macbeth

What is 't you say, the life?

Lennox

                                               Mean you his majesty?

Macduff

Approach the chamber, and destroy your sight
With a new Gorgon. Do not bid me speak;
See, and then speak yourselves.
[Exit Macbeth and Lennox]
                                                      Awake, awake.
Ring the alarum-bell. Murder and treason.
Banquo and Donalbain, Malcolm, awake.
Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit,
And look on death itself. Up, up, and see
The great doom's image. Malcolm, Banquo,
As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprites,
To countenance this horror. Ring the bell.
[Bell rings. Enter Lady Macbeth]

Lady Macbeth

What's the business, that such a hideous trumpet
Calls to parley the sleepers of the house?
Speak, speak.

Macduff

                         O gentle lady,
'Tis not for you to hear what I can speak.
The repetition, in a woman's ear,
Would murder as it fell.
[Enter Banquo]
                                           O Banquo, Banquo,
Our royal master 's murdered.

Lady Macbeth

                                                     Woe, alas.
What, in our house?

Banquo

                                  Too cruel anywhere.
Dear Duff, I prithee, contradict thyself,
And say it is not so.
[Re-enter Macbeth and Lennox, with Ross]

Macbeth

Had I but died an hour before this chance,
I had lived a blessed time; for from this instant,
There 's nothing serious in mortality.
All is but toys; renown and grace is dead.
The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees
Is left this vault to brag of.
[Enter Malcolm and Donalbain]

Donalbain

What is amiss?

Macbeth

                         You are, and do not know't.
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopped. The very source of it is stopped.

Macduff

Your royal father 's murdered.

Malcolm

                                                    O, by whom?

Lennox

Those of his chamber, as it seemed, had done 't.
Their hands and faces were all badged with blood;
So were their daggers which, unwiped, we found
Upon their pillows. They stared, and were distracted.
No man's life was to be trusted with them.

Macbeth

O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
That I did kill them.

Macduff

                                      Wherefore did you so?

Macbeth

Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,
Loyal and neutral, in a moment? No man.
The expedition of my violent love
Outran the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan,
His silver skin laced with his golden blood;
And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature
For ruin's wasteful entrance – there, the murderers,
Steeped in the colors of their trade, their daggers
Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain
That had a heart to love, and in that heart
Courage to make's love known?

Lady Macbeth

                                                         Help me hence, ho.
[Lady Macbeth faints]

Macduff

Look to the lady.

Malcolm

[Aside to Donalbain] Why do we hold our tongues, that most may claim
This argument for ours?

Donalbain

                        [Aside to Malcolm] What should be spoken here,
where our fate, hid in an auger-hole, may rush
and seize us? Let's away; our tears are not yet brewed.

Malcolm

[Aside to Donalbain] Nor our strong sorrow
Upon the foot of motion.

Banquo

Look to the lady;
[Lady Macbeth is carried out]
And when we have our naked frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure, let us meet,
And question this most bloody piece of work,
To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us.
In the great hand of God I stand; and thence,
Against the undivulged pretense, I fight
Of treasonous malice.

Macduff

                                         And so do I.

All

                                                              So all.

Macbeth

Let's briefly put on manly readiness,
And meet i' the hall together.

All

                                                    Well contented.
[Exit all but Malcolm and Donalbain.]

Malcolm

What will you do? Let's not consort with them –
To show an unfelt sorrow is an office
Which the false man does easy. I'll to England.

Donalbain

To Ireland, I. Our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer. Where we are,
There's daggers in men's smiles. The near in blood,
The nearer bloody.

Malcolm

                                   This murderous shaft that's shot
Hath not yet lighted, and our safest way
Is to avoid the aim. Therefore, to horse;
And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
But shift away. There's warrant in that theft
Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.
[Exit]