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Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen. Ban. How far is't call'd to Fores?'-What are So wither'd, and so wild in their attire;

That look not like the inhabitants o' th' earth,


And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying

Upon her skinny lips: You should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.


Speak, if you can:-What are you? 1 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane

of Glamis !?

2 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of


3 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter.

Ban. Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair? I' th' name of truth, Are ye fantastical, or that indeed

Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner

You greet with present grace, and great prediction Of noble having, and of royal hope,


That he seems rapt withal; to me you speak not:
If you can look into the seeds of time,

And say, which grain will grow, and which will not;
Speak then to me, who neither beg, nor fear,
Your favours, nor your hate.

1 Witch. Hail! 2 Witch. Hail!

3 Witch. Hail!

1 Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.

A town near Inverness, where the king resided.

The thaneship of Glamis was the ancient inheritance of Macbeth's family.

3 estate, possession, fortune.

2 Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier. 3 Witch. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none : So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

1 Witch. Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail!


Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Sinel's death, I know, I am thane of Glamis;
But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives,
A prosperous gentleman; and, to be king,
Stands not within the prospect of belief,

No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence
You owe this strange intelligence? or why
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way
With such prophetick greeting ?-Speak, I charge you.
[Witches vanish.
Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them :-Whither are they vanish'd?
Macb. Into the air; and what seem'd corporal,

As breath into the wind.-'Would they had staid!
Ban. Were such things here, as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten of the insane root,

That takes the reason prisoner??

Macb. Your children shall be kings.
You shall be king.
Macb. And thane of Cawdor too; went it not so?
Ban. To th' self-same tune, and words. Who's

Enter Rosse and ANGUS.

Rosse. The king hath happily receiv'd, Macbeth, The news of thy success: and when he reads Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight, His wonders and his praises do contend, Which should be thine, or his; Silenc'd with that, In viewing o'er the rest o' th' self-same day,

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Alluding to the qualities anciently ascribed to hemlock.

He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as tale,1
Came post with post; and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence,
And pour'd them down before him.

We are sent,

To give thee, from our royal master, thanks;
To herald thee into his sight, not pay thee.

Rosse. And, for an earnest of a greater honour, He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor: In which addition, hail, most worthy thane!

For it is thine.


What, can the devil speak true? Macb. The thane of Cawdor lives; Why do you In borrow'd robes?


[dress me

Who was the thane, lives yet;

But under heavy judgment bears that life
Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was
Combin'd with Norway: or did line the rebel
With hidden help and vantage; or that with both
He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not;
But treasons capital, confess'd, and prov'd,
Have overthrown him.

Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind. Thanks for your pains.-
Do you not hope your children shall be kings,
When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me,
Promis'd no less to them?


That, trusted home,"

Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,

Besides the thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange;
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us

i. e. posts arrived as fast as they could be counted. • Perhaps thrusted home, i. e. carried as far as it will go.

In deepest consequence.—
Cousins, a word, I pray you.


Two truths are told,

As happy prologues to the swelling act

Of the imperial theme.-I thank you, gentlemen.-
This supernatural soliciting

Cannot be ill; cannot be good:-If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor:
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings:

My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, that function'
Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is,

But what is not.


Look, how our partner's rapt.

Macb. If chance will have me king, why, chance

Without my stir.


[may crown me, New honours come upon him

Like our strange garments; cleave not to their mould, But with the aid of use.

Macb. Come what come may; Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure. Macb. Give me your favour:-my dull brain was wrought

With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains
Are register'd where every day I turn

The leaf to read them. Let us toward the king.-
Think upon what hath chanc'd: and, at more time,
The interim having weigh'd it,3 let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.

Meaning, the active powers.

2 i. e. in the table-book of his heart. 3 having weighed it in the interim.


Very gladly.

Macb. Till then, enough.-Come friends. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. Fores. A room in the palace.


LENOX, and Attendants.

Dun. 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.-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.
Macb. 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;

instructed in the art of dying.

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