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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.
Macb. Speak, if ye can :- What are you?
1st Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of
Glamis ! 2d Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of
Cawdor! 3d Witch. All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter.
[Macbeth starts, confused. Ban. Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair —[To Witches. I'the name
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 wrapt 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.
1st Ilitch. Hail !
2d Witch. Hail!
3d Witch. Hail!
1st Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, though greater.
2d Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier.
3d Witch. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none.
All. So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo! Banquo and Macbeth, all hail !
[Going. Macb. | Crossing toward Witches. 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 ?
[Thunder and Lightning— Witches vanish, R. Speak, I charge you.
Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them :- Whither are they vanished ?
Macb, Into the air ; and what seemed corporal, melted 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.
Ban. You shall be king.
Macb. And Thane of Cawdor, too; went it not so ?
Ban. To the self-same tune and words.—[Flourish, R.]
Enter Macduff and Lenox, R.
Macd. The King hath happily received, 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 : Silenced with that,
In viewing o'er the rest o' the self-same day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as tale,
post with post :
every one did bear Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence, And poured them down before him.
Len. We are sent
To give thee, from our royal master, thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Macd. 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 true ?
Macb. The 'Thane of Cawdor lives; why do you
In borrowed robes ?
Macd. Who was the Thane, lives yet ; But under heavy judgment bears that life,
Which he deserves to lose ;
For treasons capital, confessed, and proved,
Have overthrown him.
Macb. Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind.—Thanks for your pains.-
[To Ban.] Do you not hope your children shall be kings,
When those that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me,
Promised no less to them ?
Ban. 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 In deepest consequences.—Cousin, a word, I pray you.
[They retire up the Stage. Macb. [In front.] 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'm 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 smothered in surmise; and nothing is, But what is not. Ban. [To Macduff and Lenox.] Look, how our partner's
rapt. Macb. If chance will have me king, why, chance may
crown me, Without my stir.
Ban. 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
With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains
Are registered where every day I turn
The leaf to read them.—Let us toward the King.--
[Aside to Banquo. Think upon
what hath chanced; and, at more time,
The interim having weighed it, let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.
Ban. Very gladly.
Macb. Till then, enough.—Come, friends.
[March.—Exeunt, R. SCENE IV.--The Palace at Fores.—Flourish of Trumpets
Enter King Duncan, Donalbain, Malcolm, Rosse, and
two Chamberlains, L. King. Is execution done on Cawdor ?
Those in commission yet returned ?
Mal. 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 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,
To throw away the dearest thing he owed,
As 'twere a careless trifle.
King. 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 Macduff, Macbeth, Banquo, and Lenox, L.
Oh, worthiest cousin,
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me: Thou art so far before,
Thatswiftest wing of recompense is slow
To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserved,
That the proportion, both of thanks and payment,
Might have been mine ! only I've 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 everything
Safe toward your love and honour.
King. Welcome hither :
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing.--Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserved, nor must be known
No less to have done so: let me enfold thee,
And hold thee to my heart.
Ban. There, if I grow,
The harvest is your own.
King. 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 used for you ;
I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful
The hearing of my wife with your approach;
So humbly take my leave.
[Aside, and crossing, R.] The Prince of Cumberland !-
That is a step,
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your
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. [Exit, R.
King. True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant,