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

Scene I

Act IV

[A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron]
Thunder. Enter the three Witches

1. Witch.Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.2. Witch.Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whin’d.3. Witch.Harpier cries; ’tis time, ’tis time.1. Witch.Round about the cauldron go;In the poison’d entrails throw.Toad, that under cold stoneDays and nights has thirty-oneSwelt’red venom sleeping got,Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.All.Double, double, toil and trouble;Fire burn and cauldron bubble.2. Witch.Fillet of a fenny snake,In the cauldron boil and bake;Eye of newt and toe of frog,Wool of bat and tongue of dog,Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,For a charm of powerful trouble,Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.All.Double, double, toil and trouble;Fire burn and cauldron bubble.3. Witch.Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,Witches’ mummy, maw and gulfOf the ravin’d salt-sea shark,Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,Liver of blaspheming Jew,Gall of goat, and slips of yewSliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,Nose of Turk and Tartar’s lips,Finger of birth-strangled babeDitch-deliver’d by a drab,Make the gruel thick and slab.Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,For the ingredients of our cauldron.All.Double, double, toil and trouble;Fire burn and cauldron bubble.2. Witch.Cool it with a baboon’s blood,Then the charm is firm and good.
Enter HECATE to the other three Witches

Hec.O, well done! I commend your pains;And every one shall share i’ the gains.And now about the cauldron sing,Like elves and fairies in a ring,Enchanting all that you put in.Music and a song: “Black spirits,” etc.[HECATE retires.]2. Witch.By the pricking of my thumbs,Something wicked this way comes.
  • Open, locks,
  • Whoever knocks!
  • Enter MACBETH

    Macb.How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!What is ’t you do?All.A deed without a name.Macb.I conjure you, by that which you profess,Howe’er you come to know it, answer me!Though you untie the winds and let them fightAgainst the churches; though the yesty wavesConfound and swallow navigation up;Though bladed corn be lodg’d and trees blown down;Though castles topple on their warders’ heads;Though palaces and pyramids do slopeTheir heads to their foundations; though the treasureOf nature’s germens tumble all together,Even till destruction sicken; answer meTo what I ask you.1. Witch.Speak.2. Witch.Demand.3. Witch.We’ll answer.1. Witch.Say, if thou ’dst rather hear it from our mouths,Or from our master’s?Macb.Call ’em; let me see ’em.1. Witch.Pour in sow’s blood, that hath eatenHer nine farrow; grease that’s sweatenFrom the murderer’s gibbet throwInto the flame.All.Come, high or low;Thyself and office deftly show!
    Thunder. First Apparition, an armed Head

    Macb.Tell me, thou unknown power,—1. Witch.He knows thy thought.Hear his speech, but say thou nought.1. App.Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff;Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.Descends.Macb.Whate’er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks;Thou hast harp’d my fear aright. But one word more,—1. Witch.He will not be commanded. Here’s another,More potent than the first.
    Thunder. Second Apparition, a bloody Child

    2. App.Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth!Macb.Had I three ears, I’d hear thee.2. App.Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scornThe power of man; for none of woman bornShall harm Macbeth.Descends.Macb.Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee?But yet I’ll make assurance double sure,And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live;That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,And sleep in spite of thunder.
    Thunder. Third Apparition, a Child crowned, with a tree in his hand

    What is thisThat rises like the issue of a king,And wears upon his baby-brow the roundAnd top of sovereignty?All.Listen, but speak not to ’t.3. App.Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no careWho chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are.Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be untilGreat Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hillShall come against him.Descends.Macb.That will never be.Who can impress the forest, bid the treeUnfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements! good!Rebellion’s head, rise never till the woodOf Birnam rise, and our high-plac’d MacbethShall live the lease of nature, pay his breathTo time and mortal custom. Yet my heartThrobs to know one thing: tell me, if your artCan tell so much, shall Banquo’s issue everReign in this kingdom?All.Seek to know no more.Macb.I will be satisfied! Deny me this,And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know.Why sinks that cauldron? And what noise is this?Hautboys.1. Witch.Show!2. Witch.Show!3. Witch.Show!All.Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;Come like shadows, so depart!
    A show of Eight Kings, the last with a glass in his hand; BANQUO’S Ghost following

    Macb.Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo; down!Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls. And thy hair,Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.A third is like the former. Filthy hags!Why do you show me this? A fourth! Start, eyes!What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?Another yet! A seventh! I’ll see no more.And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glassWhich shows me many more; and some I seeThat twofold balls and treble sceptres carry.Horrible sight! Now, I see, ’tis true;For the blood-bolter’d Banquo smiles upon me,And points at them for his. [Apparitions vanish.] What, is this so?1. Witch.Ay, sir, all this is so; but whyStands Macbeth thus amazedly?Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,And show the best of our delights.I’ll charm the air to give a sound,While you perform your antic round;That this great king may kindly say,Our duties did his welcome pay.Music. The Witches dance, and vanish [with HECATE].Macb.Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hourStand aye accursed in the calendar!Come in, without there!
    Enter LENNOX

    Len.What’s your Grace’s will?Macb.Saw you the weird sisters?Len.No, my lord.Macb.Came they not by you?Len.No, indeed, my lord.Macb.Infected be the air whereon they ride;And damn’d all those that trust them! I did hearThe galloping of horse; who was ’t came by?Len.’Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you wordMacduff is fled to England.Macb.Fled to England!Len.Ay, my good lord.Macb.Time, thou anticipat’st my dread exploits:The flighty purpose never is o’ertookUnless the deed go with it. From this momentThe very firstlings of my heart shall beThe firstlings of my hand. And even now,To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done.The castle of Macduff I will surprise;Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ the swordHis wife, his babes, and all unfortunate soulsThat trace him in his line. No boasting like a fool;This deed I’ll do before this purpose cool.But no more sights!—Where are these gentlemen?Come, bring me where they are.Exeunt.