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I Witch. Hail !

2 Witch.


3 Witch.


I 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!

I Witch. Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail ! Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me


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
[Witches vanish.
Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water


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.
You shall be king.
Mach. And thane of Cawdor too; went it
not so ?

Ban. To the self-same tune, and words. Who's here?

Enter ROSSE and ANGUS.

Rosse. 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


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 Came post with post; and every one did bear Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence, And pour'd them down before him.

Ang. 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.

Ban. [aside.] What, can the devil speak true? Macb. The thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me

In borrow'd robes ?

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

Whether he was combined 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 proved,
Have overthrown him.

Macb. [aside.] Glamis, and thane of Cawdor: The greatest is behind.-[To ROSSE and ANGUS.] 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 consequence.Cousins, a word, I pray you.

Macb. [aside.] Two truths are told, As happy prologues to the swelling act Of the imperial theme.-I thank you, gentle


[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 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. [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.

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

Macb. [aside.]


Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.

Mach. 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.[To BAN.] Think upon what hath chanced; and, at more time,

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


Very gladly. Macb. Till then, enough.-Come, friends.


SCENE IV.-Forres. A Room in the Palace.

Flourish. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, 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;
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.


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 MACBETH, BANQUO, ROSSE, and ANGUS. 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. deserved;

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


Which do but what they should, by doing every


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 deserved, nor must be known
No less to have done so, let me enfold thee,
And hold thee to my heart.

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