Act I, Scene IV

Forres. A Room in the Palace.

[Flourish. Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lennox, and



Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not

Those in commission yet return'd?


My liege,

They are not yet come back. But I have spoke

With one that saw him die: who did report,

That very frankly he confess'd his treasons;

Implor'd your highness' pardon; and set forth

A deep repentance: nothing in his life

Became him like the leaving it; he died

As one that had been studied in his death,

To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd

As 'twere a careless trifle.


There's no art

To find the mind's construction in the face:

He was a gentleman on whom I built

An absolute trust.--

[Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Ross, and Angus.]

O worthiest cousin!

The sin of my ingratitude even now

Was heavy on me: thou art so far before,

That swiftest wing of recompense is slow

To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserv'd;

That the proportion both of thanks and payment

Might have been mine! only I have left to say,

More is thy due than more than all can pay.


The service and the loyalty I owe,

In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part

Is to receive our duties: and our duties

Are to your throne and state, children and servants;

Which do but what they should, by doing everything

Safe toward your love and honor.


Welcome hither:

I have begun to plant thee, and will labor

To make thee full of growing.--Noble Banquo,

That hast no less deserv'd, nor must be known

No less to have done so,let me infold thee

And hold thee to my heart.


There if I grow,

The harvest is your own.


My plenteous joys,

Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves

In drops of sorrow.--Sons, kinsmen, thanes,

And you whose places are the nearest, know,

We will establish our estate upon

Our eldest, Malcolm; whom we name hereafter

The Prince of Cumberland: which honor must

Not unaccompanied invest him only,

But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine

On all deservers.--From hence to Inverness,

And bind us further to you.


The rest is labor, which is not us'd for you:

I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful

The hearing of my wife with your approach;

So, humbly take my leave.


My worthy Cawdor!


[Aside.] The Prince of Cumberland!--That is a step,

On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,

For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!

Let not light see my black and deep desires:

The eye wink at the hand! yet let that be,

Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.



True, worthy Banquo!--he is full so valiant;

And in his commendations I am fed,--

It is a banquet to me. Let us after him,

Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome:

It is a peerless kinsman.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]