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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Scene III

Act I

[A heath near Forres]
Thunder. Enter the three Witches

1. Witch.Where hast thou been, sister?2. Witch.Killing swine.3. Witch.Sister, where thou?1. Witch.A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap,And munch’d, and munch’d, and munch’d. “Give me!” quoth I.“Aroint thee, witch!” the rump-fed ronyon cries.Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ the Tiger;But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,And, like a rat without a tail,I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.2. Witch.I’ll give thee a wind.1. Witch.Thou’rt kind.3. Witch.And I another.1. Witch.I myself have all the other,And the very ports they blow,All the quarters that they knowI’ the shipman’s card.I’ll drain him dry as hay.Sleep shall neither night nor dayHang upon his pent-house lid;He shall live a man forbid.Weary sevennights nine times nineShall he dwindle, peak, and pine.Though his bark cannot be lost,Yet it shall be tempest-tost.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 Forres? What are theseSo 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 aughtThat man may question? You seem to understand me,By each at once her choppy finger layingUpon her skinny lips. You should be women,And yet your beards forbid me to interpretThat you are so.Macb.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 Cawdor!3. Witch.All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!Ban.Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fearThings that do sound so fair? [To the Witches.] I’ the name of truth,Are ye fantastical, or that indeedWhich outwardly ye show? My noble partnerYou greet with present grace and great predictionOf 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 fearYour 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!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 kingStands not within the prospect of beliefNo more than to be Cawdor. Say from whenceYou owe this strange intelligence, or whyUpon this blasted heath you stop our wayWith 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 meltedAs 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 rootThat 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 here?
Enter ROSS and ANGUS

Ross.The King hath happily receiv’d, Macbeth,The news of thy success; and when he readsThy personal venture in the rebels’ fight,His wonders and his praises do contendWhich 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 afeard of what thyself didst make,Strange images of death. As thick as hailCame post with post; and every one did bearThy praises in his kingdom’s great defence,And pour’d them down before him.Ang.We are sentTo 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.Ban.[Aside.]What, can the devil speak true?Macb.The thane of Cawdor lives; why do you dress meIn borrowed robes?Ang.Who was the thane lives yet;But under heavy judgement bears that lifeWhich he deserves to lose. Whether he was combin’dWith those of Norway, or did line the rebelWith hidden help and vantage, or that with bothHe labour’d in his country’s wreck, 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 BAN.]Do you not hope your children shall be kings,When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to mePromis’d no less to them?Ban.That trusted homeMight 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’sIn deepest consequence.Cousins, a word, I pray you.Macb.[Aside.]Two truths are told,As happy prologues to the swelling actOf the imperial theme.—I thank you, gentlemen.[Aside.] This supernatural solicitingCannot 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 suggestionWhose horrid image doth unfix my hairAnd make my seated heart knock at my ribs,Against the use of nature? Present fearsAre less than horrible imaginings.My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,Shakes so my single state of man that functionIs smother’d in surmise, and nothing isBut what is not.Ban.Look, how our partner’s rapt.Macb.[Aside.]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 mouldBut 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 wroughtWith things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your painsAre regist’red where every day I turnThe leaf to read them. Let us toward the King.[To BAN.] Think upon what hath chanc’d, and, at more time,The interim having weigh’d it, let us speakOur free hearts each to other.Ban.Very gladly.Macb.Till then, enough. Come, friends.Exeunt.