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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 inhabitants o' the 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?
FIRST WITCH. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of
Glamis !

SEC. WITCH. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of

THIRD 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' the name of truth,
Are ye fantastical,' or that in deed
Which outwardly ye shew? 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.





So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

FIRST 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

1 bodied of fancy.



FIRST WITCH. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
SEC. WITCH. Not so happy, yet much happier.
THIRD WITCH. Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be





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 81
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 insane1 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 the selfsame tune and words. Who's here?

Enter Ross and ANGUS.

Ross. 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 selfsame day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail
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;
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.

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.

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MACB. The Thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress ACT I Sc. III


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 combin'd
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 wrack, I know not;
But treasons capital, confess'd and prov'd,

Have overthrown him.

MACB. [aside.]
Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind. [to Ross and ANGUS.] Thanks
for your pains.

[to BANQUO.] Do you not hope your children shall be

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's
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, 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 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 single2 state of man, that function

1 furnish.

2 feeble.


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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,

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, let us speak

Our free hearts each to other.


MACB. Till then, enough.

Very gladly.
Come, Friends.


SCENE IV. Forres. The Palace.

LENNOX, 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

1 See Brutus' description of the same state of mind, Julius Cæsar, 11. i. 63.


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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.


There if I grow,

The harvest is your own.
My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow. Sons, Kinsmen, Thanes,
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




Sc. IV

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