Before Macbeth's castle.
Hautboys and torches. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, BANQUO, LENNOX, MACDUFF, ROSS, ANGUS, and Attendants
This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.
This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve,
By his loved mansionry, that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle:
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed,
The air is delicate.
Enter LADY MACBETH
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 'ild us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.
All our service
In every point twice done and then done double
Were poor and single business to contend
Against those honours deep and broad wherewith
Your majesty loads our house: for those of old,
And the late dignities heap'd up to them,
We rest your hermits.
Where's the thane of Cawdor?
We coursed him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor: but he rides well;
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.
Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Still to return your own.
Give me your hand;
Conduct me to mine host: we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.
As the royal party approached Macbeth’s castle King Duncan paused to take account of the view.
“This castle has a most pleasant location, the country air is nimble and sweet. It recommends itself to our gentle senses.”
“Yes, indeed, Your Majesty.” said Banquo, “In summer the swallow can be found around our churches but here, on the warmth of heaven's breath, they nest. There's not a suitable site for nesting they've overlooked. I've noticed before that the most reliable breeding grounds of the swallow are filled with delicate air.”
The watch had alerted Lady Macbeth of the King's approach.
“Ah, look,” said King Duncan, “our honoured hostess awaits us. Our subjects' love is sometimes trouble but we always appreciate it. You take pains to make us welcome and we thank you for your trouble.”
“If all our service to you was twice done and then doubled then it would still be paltry compared to the honours Your Majesty has conferred on the House of Macbeth. We are your servants, Lord,” Lady Macbeth said meekly.
“Lady Macbeth, where is your husband, the Thane of Cawdor? We followed his path and hoped to get here before him. But he rides well and you, his great love, obviously inspired him to arrive before us. Fair and noble hostess, we are your guests tonight.”
“Your Majesty, everything that is ours is yours. Everything is for your pleasure.”
“Give me your hand, madam. Take me to my host. We love him greatly and shall continue to grace him.”
The King's obvious confidence and trust in Macbeth was yet more evidence to Lady Macbeth that together they could achieve their aim.