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3 Witch. And I another.

1 Witch. I myself have all the other;
And the very ports they blow,
All the quarters that they know
I’ the shipman's card.
I'll drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall, neither night nor day,
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid.
Weary sev’n-nights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-toss'd.
Look what I have.

2 Witch. Show me, show me.

1 Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wreck'd as homeward he did come. [Drum within.

3 Witch. A drum! a drum ! Macbeth doth come.

All. The weird sisters, hand in hand?,
Posters of the sea and land,
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 Fores?—What are these, So wither’d, and so wild in their attire,

2 The WEIRD sisters, hand in hand,] All authorities agree that “ weird ” (spelt ueyuard in the folio, 1623) is of Saxon origin, viz. from wyrd, which has the same meaning as the Latin fatum : “ weird” is therefore fatal. In the ballad of “ The Birth of St. George,” in Percy's “ Reliques," vol. iii. p. 275, edit, 1812, we meet with the expression of “ The weird lady of the woods ;” and the same word occurs twice in the old Scottish drama of “ Philotus,” printed in 1603 and 1612, and reprinted in 1835 for the Bannatyne Club, by John Whitefoord Mackenzie, Esq. As Steevens remarks, Gawin Douglas, in his translation of the Æneid, calls the Parcæ " the weird sisters."

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That look not like th’ inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand

By each at once her chappy 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

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 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.
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 !

3 Are ye FANTASTICAL,] i.e. Creatures of fantasy or imagination. In Holin• shed it is stated, that Macbeth and Banquo at first reputed the appearance of

the witches “some vain, fantastical illusion.”

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 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 ?

Macb. Into the air; and what seem'd corporal, melted As breath into the wind.—'Would they had stay'd!

Ban. Were such things here, as we do speak about, Or have we eaten on the insane root", That takes the reason prisoner ? Macb. Your children shall be kings. Ban.

You shall be king. Macb. And thane of Cawdor too: went it not so ? Ban. To the 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' the self-same day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afеard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as tale,
Came post with post'; and every one did bear

4 — eaten on the INSANE root,] The "insane root” is hemlock or henbane.

- As thick as TALE, Came post with post ;] The old copies read, “ Can post with post,” which

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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;
Only 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 dress

me In borrow'd robes ? Ang.

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

With those of 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 provid,
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:

seems a misprint. The meaning is evident, when we take tale in the sense, not of a narrative, but of an enumeration, from the Sax. telan, to count. Johnson explains the passage correctly in these words :-“ Posts arrived as fast as they could be counted.” Rowe read, “as thick as hail," which may be considered a needless alteration of the text; but it is to be observed, nevertheless, that Southern, in his copy of the folio, 1685, the property of Mr. Holgate, made the same change in manuscript.

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us

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

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.

Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.

Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
Macb. Give your favour : my dull brain was

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,


Macb. "coorthy Macbeth, Tough the rough

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