Ministering to Lady Macbeth

Macbeth, Act 5 Scene 1

Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentlewoman.

Doctor

1 I have two nights watched with you, but can
2 perceive no truth in your report. When was it
3 she last walked?

Gentlewoman

4 Since his majesty went into the field, I have
5 seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown
6 upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold
7 it, write upon’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again
8 return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

Doctor

9 A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once
10 the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of
11 watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her
12 walking and other actual performances, what, at any
13 time, have you heard her say?

Gentlewoman

14 That, sir, which I will not report after her.

Doctor

15 You may to me, and ’tis most meet you
16 should.

Gentlewoman

17 Neither to you nor any one; having no witness
18 to confirm my speech.

Enter LADY [MACBETH], with a taper.

19 Lo you, here she comes! This is her very guise; and,
20 upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.

Doctor

21 How came she by that light?

Gentlewoman

22 Why, it stood by her. She has light by her
23 continually; ’tis her command.

Doctor

24 You see, her eyes are open.

Gentlewoman

25 Ay, but their sense is shut.

Doctor

26 What is it she does now? Look, how she rubs
27 her hands.

Gentlewoman

28 It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus
29 washing her hands. I have known her continue in
30 this a quarter of an hour.

LADY MACBETH

31 Yet here’s a spot.

Doctor

32 Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes
33 from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more
34 strongly.

LADY MACBETH

35 Out, damned spot! out, I say!—One: two: why,
36 then, ’tis time to do’t.—Hell is murky!—Fie, my
37 lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we
38 fear who knows it, when none can call our power
39 to account?—Yet who would have thought the old
40 man to have had so much blood in him?

Doctor

41 Do you mark that?

LADY MACBETH

42 The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now?—
43 What, will these hands ne’er be clean?—No more o’
44 that, my lord, no more o’ that: you mar all with
45 this starting.

Doctor

46 Go to, go to; you have known what you should
47 not.

Gentlewoman

48 She has spoke what she should not, I am sure
49 of that; heaven knows what she has known.

LADY MACBETH

50 Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the
51 perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this
52 little hand. O, O, O!

Doctor

53 What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely
54 charg’d.

Gentlewoman

55 I would not have such a heart in my bosom
56 for the dignity of the whole body.

Doctor

57 Well, well, well.

Gentlewoman

58 Pray God it be, sir.

Doctor

59 This disease is beyond my practise; yet I
60 have known those which have walked in
61 their sleep who have died holily in their beds.

LADY MACBETH

62 Wash your hands, put on your nightgown;
63 look not so pale.—I tell you yet again, Banquo’s
64 buried; he cannot come out on’s grave.

Doctor

65 Even so?

LADY MACBETH

66 To bed, to bed! there’s knocking at the gate:
67 come, come, come, come, give me your hand. What’s
68 done cannot be undone.—To bed, to bed, to bed!

Exit Lady.

Doctor

69 Will she go now to bed?

Gentlewoman

70 Directly.

Doctor

71 Foul whisperings are abroad. Unnatural deeds
72 Do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds
73 To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
74 More needs she the divine than the physician.
75 God, God forgive us all! Look after her;
76 Remove from her the means of all annoyance,
77 And still keep eyes upon her. So, good night:
78 My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
79 I think, but dare not speak.

Gentlewoman

Good night, good doctor.

Exeunt.

MacBeth, Act 5 Scene 3, Lines 37-62

MACBETH

37 …How does your patient, doctor?

Doctor

            Not so sick, my lord,
38 As she is troubled with thick coming fancies,
39 That keep her from her rest.

MACBETH

           Cure her of that.
40 Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased,
41 Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
42 Raze out the written troubles of the brain
43 And with some sweet oblivious antidote
44 Cleanse the stuff’d bosom of that perilous stuff
45 Which weighs upon the heart?

Doctor

           Therein the patient
46 Must minister to himself.

MACBETH

47 Throw physic to the dogs; I’ll none of it.
48 Come, put mine armour on; give me my staff.
49 Seyton, send out. Doctor, the thanes fly from me.
50 Come, sir, dispatch. If thou couldst, doctor, cast
51 The water of my land, find her disease,
52 And purge it to a sound and pristine health,
53 I would applaud thee to the very echo,
54 That should applaud again.—Pull’t off, I say.—
55 What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug,
56 Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of them?

Doctor

57 Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation
58 Makes us hear something.

MACBETH

            Bring it after me.—
59 I will not be afraid of death and bane,
60 Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.

[Exeunt all but the Doctor.]

Doctor

61 Were I from Dunsinane away and clear,
62 Profit again should hardly draw me here.

Exit.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: