Page images
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

And the very ports they blow,

All the quarters that they know
I' the shipman's card.1]

I will drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid:2
Weary se'nnights nine times nine
Shall he dwindle, peak,3 and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tost.—
Look what I have.

Sec. Witch. Show me, show me.

First Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wreck'd as homeward he did come.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Ban. Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear

Things that do sound so fair? I' the 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


If you can look into the seeds of time,

And say which grain will grow and which will


Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear Your favours nor your hate.

First Witch. Hail!

Sec. Witch. Hail!

Third Witch. Hail!


Thus do go about, about:

Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,

And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm's wound up.


Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen. Ban. How far is 't call'd to Forres? What are these


So wither'd, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you

[blocks in formation]

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 prophetic 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?


That man may question? You seem to under-
stand 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.

Mach. Speak, if you can: what are you?
First Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee,
thane of Glamis!

Sec. Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

1 The shipman's card, ie. the card contained in the compass, on which the points are marked.

2 Forbid, i.e. under a curse.

Macb. Into the air; and what seem'd corporal melted

As breath into the wind.-Would they had stay'd!

3 Peak, grow thin.

+ Posters, quick travellers.

5 Fantastical, imaginary.

Owe, own, possess.

[blocks in formation]

Ross. 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.

Ban. [Aside] What, can the devil speak


Macb. The thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me

In borrowed robes?

Ang. Who was the thane lives yet; But under heavy judgment bears that life Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was



[blocks in formation]

Cousins, a word, I pray you. Macb. [Aside]


Two truths are told, As happy prologues to the swelling act Of the imperial theme.-[To Ross and Angus] I thank you, gentlemen. [Aside] 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 seated3 heart knock at my ribs, Against the use of nature? Present fears* Are less than horrible imaginings:

With those of Norway, or did line1 the rebel With hidden help and vantage, or that with both

He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not;

1 Line, support.

My thought, whose murder yet is but fantas


Shakes so my single state of man that function
Is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is 141
But what is not.

Ban. [To Ross and Angus] Look, how our
partner's rapt.

Macb. [Aside] If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me,

Without my stir.


New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould

But with the aid of use.

Macb. [Aside]

Come what come may,

2 Trusted home, ie. trusted to the utmost.

3 Seated, i.e. firmly fixed.

4 Fears, i.e. objects of fear.

Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.

Ban. [Advancing] Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.

Macb. Give me your favour:2 my dull brain was wrought3

With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains


That the proportions both of thanks and pay



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;

Which do but what they should by doing every thing

Safe toward your love and honour.


Welcome hither:

I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing.-Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserv'd, nor must be known
No less to have done so, let me infold thee
And hold thee to my heart.

The harvest is your own.

There if I grow,

My plenteous joys, Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves In drops of sorrow.-Sons, kinsmen, thanes, And you whose places are the nearest, know, We will establish our estate upon Our eldest, Malcolm; whom we name hereafter


The Prince of Cumberland: which honour must
Not unaccompanied invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers. From hence to Inverness,
And bind us further to you.

Macb. The rest is labour, which is not us'd

for you:

I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful
The hearing of my wife with your approach:
So, humbly take my leave.

My worthy Cawdor!
Macb. [Aside] The Prince of Cumberland!
-that is a step,


Are register'd where every day I turn
The leaf to read them.-Let us toward the king.
[Aside to Banquo] Think upon what has
chanc'd; and at more time,

The interim having weigh'd it, let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.

Ban. [Aside to Macbeth] Very gladly.
Macb. [Aside to Banquo] Till then, enough.
-Come, friends.
SCENE IV. Forres. A room in the palace.

BAIN, LENNOX, and Attendants.

Dun. Is execution done on Cawdor? Are

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'd1 10
As 't were 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

1 Stay upon, await.

2 Give me your favour, excuse me. 2 Wrought, agitated.

4 Ow'd, owned, possessed.

On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires:
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be,
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.


Dun. True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant;

5 The proportion, i.e. the due proportion.

And in his commendations I am fed;
It is a banquet to me. Let's after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome:
It is a peerless kinsman. [Flourish. Exeunt.

SCENE V. Inverness. A room in Macbeth's


55 have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burn'd in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanish'd. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hail'd me 'Thane of Cawdor;' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referr'd me to the coming on of time, with 'Hail, king that shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver3 thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou might'st not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promis'd thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell."

LADY MACBETH, reading a letter. Lady M. "They met me in the day of success; and I have learn'd by the perfect'st report,1 they

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small]

3 Deliver, report.


The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,

That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,

And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou 'dst have, great Glamis,

That which cries "Thus thou must do, if thou have it;"

1 The perfect'st report, i.e. the best intelligence. 2 Missives, messengers.

4 Illness, evil.


« PreviousContinue »