Fiction > Harvard Classics > William Shakespeare > Macbeth
William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
Act I
Scene VI
[Before Macbeth’s castle]
Hautboys and torches. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, BANQUO, LENNOX, MACDUFF, ROSS, ANGUS, and Attendants

  Dun.  This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle 1 senses.
  Ban.        This guest of summer,        4
The temple-haunting martlet, 2 does approve,
By his loved masonry, that the heaven’s breath
Smells wooingly here; no jutty, 3 frieze,
Buttress, nor coign 4 of vantage, but this bird        8
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle.
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observ’d
The air is delicate.

  Dun.        See, see, our honour’d hostess!
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you
How you shall bid God ’eild 5 us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.        16
  Lady M.        All our service
In every point twice done and then done double
Were poor and single 6 business to contend
Against those honours deep and broad wherewith        20
Your Majesty loads our house. For those of old,
And the late dignities heap’d up to them,
We rest your hermits. 7
  Dun.        Where’s the thane of Cawdor?        24
We cours’d him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor; 8 but he rides well,
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,        28
We are your guest to-night.
  Lady M.        Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt, 9
To make their audit at your Highness’ pleasure,        32
Still to return your own.
  Dun.        Give me your hand;
Conduct me to mine host. We love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.        36
By your leave, hostess.  Exeunt.
Note 1. Soothed. [back]
Note 2. Martin. [back]
Note 3. Forerunner. [back]
Note 4. Corner. [back]
Note 5. Reward. [back]
Note 6. Weak. [back]
Note 7. I. e., We will pray for you. [back]
Note 8. Forerunner. [back]
Note 9. Subject to account. [back]


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