Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE, with a torch before him
BANQUO enters with FLEANCE, who lights the way with a torch.

BANQUO

How goes the night, boy?

BANQUO

How’s the night going, boy?

FLEANCE

The moon is down. I have not heard the clock.

FLEANCE

The moon has set. The clock hasn’t struck yet.

BANQUO

And she goes down at twelve.

BANQUO

The moon sets at twelve, right?

FLEANCE

     I take ’t ’tis later, sir.

FLEANCE

I think it’s later than that, sir.

BANQUO

Hold, take my sword. There’s husbandry in heaven;
5Their candles are all out. Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep. Merciful powers,
Restrain in me the cursèd thoughts that nature
Gives way to in repose.

BANQUO

Here, take my sword. The heavens are being stingy with their light. Take this, too. I’m tired and feeling heavy, but I can’t sleep. Merciful powers, keep away the nightmares that plague me when I rest!
Enter MACBETH and a SERVANT with a torch
MACBETH enters with a SERVANT, who carries a torch.
     Give me my sword. Who’s there?
Give me my sword. Who’s there?

MACBETH

10A friend.

MACBETH

A friend.

BANQUO

What, sir, not yet at rest? The king’s a-bed.
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
Sent forth great largess to your offices.
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
15By the name of most kind hostess, and shut up
In measureless content.

BANQUO

You’re not asleep yet, sir? The king’s in bed. He’s been in an unusually good mood and has granted many gifts to your household and servants. This diamond is a present from him to your wife for her boundless hospitality. (he hands MACBETH a diamond)

MACBETH

     Being unprepared,
Our will became the servant to defect,
Which else should free have wrought.

MACBETH

Because we were unprepared for the king’s visit, we weren’t able to entertain him as well as we would have wanted to.