Macbeth By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 4

LENNOX.
May't please your highness sit.

[The Ghost of Banquo rises, and sits in Macbeth's place.]

MACBETH.
Here had we now our country's honor roof'd,
Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present;
Who may I rather challenge for unkindness
Than pity for mischance!

ROSS.
His absence, sir,
Lays blame upon his promise. Please't your highness
To grace us with your royal company?

MACBETH.
The table's full.

LENNOX.
Here is a place reserv'd, sir.

MACBETH.
Where?

LENNOX.
Here, my good lord. What is't that moves your highness?

MACBETH.
Which of you have done this?

LORDS.
What, my good lord?

MACBETH.
Thou canst not say I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

ROSS.
Gentlemen, rise; his highness is not well.

LADY MACBETH.
Sit, worthy friends: — my lord is often thus,
And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep seat;
The fit is momentary; upon a thought
He will again be well: if much you note him,
You shall offend him, and extend his passion:
Feed, and regard him not. — Are you a man?

MACBETH.
Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.

LADY MACBETH.
O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear:
This is the air-drawn dagger which, you said,
Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws, and starts, —
Impostors to true fear, — would well become
A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authoriz'd by her grandam. Shame itself!
Why do you make such faces? When all's done,
You look but on a stool.

MACBETH.
Pr'ythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how say you? —
Why, what care I? If thou canst nod, speak too. —
If charnel houses and our graves must send
Those that we bury back, our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.

[Ghost disappears.]

LADY MACBETH.
What, quite unmann'd in folly?

MACBETH.
If I stand here, I saw him.

LADY MACBETH.
Fie, for shame!

MACBETH.
Blood hath been shed ere now, i' the olden time,
Ere humane statute purg'd the gentle weal;
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform'd
Too terrible for the ear: the time has been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end; but now they rise again,
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools: this is more strange
Than such a murder is.

Continued on next page...

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