Macbeth

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

75Now go to the door and stay there till we call.
Now go to the door and stay there until I call for you.
Exit SERVANT
The SERVANT exits.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
Wasn’t it just yesterday that we spoke to each other?
FIRST MURDERER
It was, so please your highness.
FIRST MURDERER
It was yesterday, your highness.
MACBETH
     Well then, now
Have you considered of my speeches? Know
That it was he, in the times past, which held you
80So under fortune, which you thought had been
Our innocent self. This I made good to you
In our last conference, passed in probation with you,
How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the instruments,
Who wrought with them, and all things else that might
85To half a soul and to a notion crazed
Say, “Thus did Banquo.”
MACBETH
Well, did you think about what I said? You should know that it was Banquo who made your lives hell for so long, which you always thought was my fault. But I was innocent. I showed you the proof at our last meeting. I explained how you were deceived, how you were thwarted, the things that were used against you, who was working against you, and a lot of other things that would convince even a half-wit or a crazy person to say, “Banquo did it!”
FIRST MURDERER
     You made it known to us.
FIRST MURDERER
You explained it all.
MACBETH
I did so, and went further, which is now
Our point of second meeting. Do you find
Your patience so predominant in your nature
90That you can let this go? Are you so gospeled
To pray for this good man and for his issue,
Whose heavy hand hath bowed you to the grave
And beggared yours forever?
MACBETH
I did that and more, which brings me to the point of this second meeting. Are you so patient and forgiving that you’re going to let him off the hook? Are you so pious that you would pray for this man and his children, a man who has pushed you toward an early grave and put your family in poverty forever?
FIRST MURDERER
     We are men, my liege.
FIRST MURDERER
We are men, my lord.
MACBETH
Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men,
95As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
All by the name of dogs. The valued file
Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
100According to the gift which bounteous nature
Hath in him closed, whereby he does receive
Particular addition, from the bill
That writes them all alike. And so of men.
Now, if you have a station in the file,
105Not i' th' worst rank of manhood, say ’t,
And I will put that business in your bosoms,
Whose execution takes your enemy off,
Grapples you to the heart and love of us,
Who wear our health but sickly in his life,
110Which in his death were perfect.
MACBETH
Yes, you’re part of the species called men. Just as hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, mutts, shaggy lapdogs, swimming dogs, and wolf-dog crossbreeds are all dogs. But if you list the different kinds of dogs according to their qualities, you can distinguish which breeds are fast or slow, which ones are clever, which ones are watchdogs, and which ones hunters. You can classify each dog according to the natural gifts that separate it from all other dogs. It’s the same with men. Now, if you occupy some place in the list of men that isn’t down at the very bottom, tell me. Because if that’s the case, I will tell you a plan that will get rid of your enemy and bring you closer to me. As long as Banquo lives, I am sick. I’ll be healthy when he is dead.