Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Macbeth > Act I, scene V

Jump to: the first appearance of that_tend_on_mortal_thoughts,_unsex_me_here,

	[Enter LADY MACBETH, reading a letter]

LADY MACBETH: 'They met me in the day of success: and I have
	learned by the perfectest report, they have more in
	them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire
	to question them further, they made themselves air,
	into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in
	the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who
	all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor;' by which title,
	before, these weird 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
	mightst 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'ldst 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 crown'd withal.

	[Enter a Messenger]

		       What is your tidings?

Messenger: The king comes here to-night.

LADY MACBETH: Thou'rt mad to say it:
	Is not thy master with him? who, were't so,
	Would have inform'd for preparation.

Messenger: So please you, it is true: our thane is coming:
	One of my fellows had the speed of him,
	Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
	Than would make up his message.

LADY MACBETH: Give him tending;
	He brings great news.

	[Exit Messenger]

		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! Come to my woman's breasts,
	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!'

	[Enter MACBETH]

		Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!
	Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!
	Thy letters have transported me beyond
	This ignorant present, and I feel now
	The future in the instant.

MACBETH: My dearest love,
	Duncan comes here to-night.

LADY MACBETH: And when goes hence?

MACBETH: To-morrow, as he purposes.

	Shall sun that morrow see!
	Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
	May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
	Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
	Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
	But be the serpent under't. He that's coming
	Must be provided for: and you shall put
	This night's great business into my dispatch;
	Which shall to all our nights and days to come
	Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

MACBETH: We will speak further.

LADY MACBETH: Only look up clear;
	To alter favour ever is to fear:
	Leave all the rest to me.



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