ACT II, SCENE III. Court of Macbeth’s castle.
[Knocking within. Enter a Porter.]
Porter Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key.
Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ the name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer, that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty:
come in time; have napkins enow about you; here you’ll sweat for’t.
Knock, knock! Who’s there, in the other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against
either scale; who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come in, equivocator.
Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither, for stealing
out of a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may roast your goose.
Knock, knock; never at quiet! What are you? But this place is too cold for hell. I’ll devil-porter it no further: I had thought to have
let in some of all professions that go the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire.
Anon, anon! I pray you, remember the porter.
[Opens the gate.]
[Enter MACDUFF and LENNOX.]
MACDUFF Was it so late, friend, ere you went to bed,
That you do lie so late?
Porter ‘Faith sir, we were carousing till the second cock: and drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things.
MACDUFF What three things does drink especially provoke?
Porter Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and
urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes;
it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance: therefore, much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes
him, and it mars him; it sets him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him, and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and not stand to;
in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.
MACDUFF I believe drink gave thee the lie last night.
Porter That it did, sir, i’ the very throat on
me: but I requited him for his lie; and, I
think, being too strong for him, though he took
up my legs sometime, yet I made a shift to cast
MACDUFF Is thy master stirring?
Our knocking has awaked him; here he comes.