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sisters saluted me, and referred 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 mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell."

Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be


What thou art promised :— Yet do I fear thy nature ;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness

To catch the nearest way.

Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition; but without

The 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 do,

Than wishest should be undone." Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical' aid doth seem
To have thee crowned withal.

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here;
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood,
Stop up the access and passage to remorse;
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
The effect, and it!2 Come to my woman's breasts,

1 Supernatural.

2 "If fear, compassion, or any other compunctious visitings, stand between a cruel purpose and its realisation, they may be said to keep peace between them, as one who interferes between a violent man and the object of his wrath keeps peace."-CHARLES Knight.

And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances

You 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 dark,
To cry, "Hold, hold!"



If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly. If the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal' of time,
We'd jump the life to come.
But in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed: then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek-hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off :

And pity, like a naked new-born babe,

The shallow ford of life.

Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,

That tears shall drown the wind.—I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,'
And falls on the other.-How now, what news?




Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. [Exit Serv.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee:
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind,—a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

"It has been proposed to read, instead of itself, its sell, its saddle. However clever may be the notion, we can scarcely admit the necessity for the change of the original. A person (and vaulting ambition is personified) might be said to overleap himself, as well as overbalance himself, or overcharge himself, or overlabour himself, or overmeasure himself, or overreach himself. The word over in all these cases is used in the sense of too much."-CHARLES KNIGHT.

2 "After other Hanmer introduced side. The commentators say that the addition is unnecessary, inasmuch as the plural noun, sides, occurs just before. But surely this notion is to produce a jumble of the metaphor. Macbeth compares his intent to a courser : I have no spur to urge him on. Unprepared I am about to vault into my seat, but I overleap myself and fall. It appears to us that the sentence is broken by the entrance of the messenger; that it is not complete in itself; and would not have been completed with side."-Ibid.

I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.

Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.

Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon,' gouts of blood,
Which was not so before.-There's no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs

Thus to mine eyes.-Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtained sleep: witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and withered murder,
Alarumed by his sentinel, the wolf,

Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
Moves like a ghost.-Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,

Which now suits with it.-Whiles I threat he lives:
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell.



You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men

That do corrupt my air, I banish you;

1 The handle of the dagger.

And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till, at length,
Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels,)
Making not reservation of yourselves,
(Still your own foes,) deliver you,

As most abated captives, to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back :
There is a world elsewhere.


Julius Cæsar.

WHEREFORE rejoice? What conquest brings he home? What tributaries follow him to Rome,

To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels?

You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
O, you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
Have you climbed up to walls and battlements,
To towers and windows,—yea, to chimney-tops,
Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
The livelong day, with patient expectation,
To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
And when you saw his chariot but appear,
Have you not made an universal shout,
That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
To hear the replication of your sounds,
Made in her concave shores ?

And do you now put on your best attire ?
And do you now cull out a holiday?

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