• Flourish. Enter KING DUNCAN, LENNOX, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, and attendants

    DUNCAN

    Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not
    Those in commission yet returned?

    MALCOLM

         My liege,
    They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
    With one that saw him die, who did report
    5That very frankly he confessed his treasons,
    Implored 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
    10To throw away the dearest thing he owed
    As ’twere a careless trifle.

    DUNCAN

         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
    15 (to MACBETH) 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 deserved,
    20That 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.
  • A trumpet fanfare sounds. KING DUNCAN, LENNOX, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, and their attendants enter.

    DUNCAN

    Has the former thane of Cawdor been executed yet? Haven’t the people in charge of that come back?

    MALCOLM

    My king, they haven’t come back yet. But I spoke with someone who saw Cawdor die, and he said that Cawdor openly confessed his treasons, begged your highness’s forgiveness, and repented deeply. He never did anything in his whole life that looked as good as the way he died. He died like someone who had practiced how to toss away his most cherished possession as if it were a worthless a piece of garbage.

    DUNCAN

    There’s no way to read a man’s mind by looking at his face. I trusted Cawdor completely.
    MACBETH, BANQUO, ROSS, and ANGUS enter.
    (to MACBETH) My worthiest kinsman! Just this moment I was feeling guilty for not having thanked you enough. You have done so much for me so fast that it has been impossible to reward you properly. If you deserved less, then perhaps my payment would have matched your deeds! All I can say is that I owe you more than I can ever repay.