William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
[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? 4 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 1 cries. Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o’ the Tiger; 8 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. 12 1. Witch. Thou’rt kind.
3. Witch. And I another. 1. Witch. I myself have all the other, And the very ports they blow, 16 All the quarters that they know
I’ the shipman’s card. 2 I’ll drain him dry as hay. Sleep shall neither night nor day 20 Hang upon his pent-house 3 lid;
He shall live a man forbid. 4 Weary sevennights nine times nine Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine. 24 Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tost. Look what I have. 2. Witch. Show me, show me. 28 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.
32 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, 36 And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm’s wound up.
Enter MACBETH and BANQUO
Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
Ban. How far is ’t call’d to Forres? What are these 40 So 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 aught That man may question? You seem to understand me, 44 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. 48 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! 52 Ban. Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair? [To the Witches.] I’ the name of truth, Are ye fantastical, 5 or that indeed Which outwardly ye show? 6 My noble partner 56 You greet with present grace and great prediction Of noble having 7 and of royal hope, That he seems rapt withal; to me you speak not. If you can look into the seeds of time, 60 And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear Your favours nor your hate. 1. Witch. Hail! 64 2. Witch. Hail!
3. Witch. Hail! 1. Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. 2. Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier. 68 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. 72 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 76 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. 80 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 As breath into the wind. Would they had stay’d! 84 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. 88 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,
92 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, 96 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 hail 100 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 104 To give thee from our royal master thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight, Not pay thee. Ross. And, for an earnest 8 of a greater honour, 108 He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor; In which addition, 9 hail, most worthy thane!
For it is thine. Ban. [Aside.] What, can the devil speak true? 112 Macb. The thane of Cawdor lives; why do you dress me
In borrowed robes?
Note 1. A contemptuous term for a woman. Note 2. Chart, or dial of the compass. Note 3. Like a lean-to.
Note 4. Accursed.
Note 5. Imaginary.
Note 6. Seem.
Note 7. Present possession.
Note 8. Installment in advance.
Note 9. Title.