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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 mounch'd, and mounch'd, and mounch’d:-Give me, quoth I:
Arointa thee, witch! the rump-fed ronyon cries.
Her husband 's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger:b
But in a sieve I'll thither sail, (1)
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 art 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 know
l' the shipman's card.
I will drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid :c
Weary sev'n-nights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:(2)
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 without. 3 WITCH. A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come.


• Aroint thee, witch!). It is strange that although the word "aroint,” supposed to signify avaunt ! away! begone! occurs again in Shakespeare, “ King Lear," Act III. Sc. 4,—"Aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!” no example of its employment by any other writer has yet been discovered. From this circumstance it has been supposed by some commentators to be only a misprint for anoint, a term consistent enough with the vulgar belief which represents witches sailing through the air on their infernal missions by the aid of unguents. Others have ingeniously suggested that “ aroint thee” may be a corruption of a rowan-tree, i.e. the mountain ash; a tree, time out of mind, believed to be of such sovereign efficacy against the spells of witchcraft, that any one armed with a slip of it may bid defiance to the machinations of a whole troop of evil spirits. We make no question, however, that " aroint" is the genuine word: it was not likely to be thrice misprinted. And besides, there is a North-country proverb, “ Rynt ye witch ! quoth Bessie Locket to her mother," which seems to have been formed upon the exclamation in the text.

bHer husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger :) Sir W. C. Trevelyan has noted that in Hakluyt's Voyages there are several letters and journals of a voyage made to Aleppo in the ship Tiger, of London, in the year 1583.

- forbid :) Forespoken, bewitched.

ALL. The weird a 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 these,
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire;
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't?(3)—Live you? or are you aught
That man may question ? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her chappy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips.—You should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That 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! thật 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 indeed
Which ontwardly ye show? 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.

1 WITCH. Hail!
2 WITCH. Hail !
3 WITCH. Hail !
1 WITCH. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
2 WITCH. Not so happy, yet much happier.


(*) Old text, Soris * The weird sisters,–] Weird (in the old text weyward) from the Sarcn wyrd= fatum, signifies prophetic or fatal. Holinshed, whom Shakespeare follows, speaking of the witches who met Macbeth, says, " — But afterwards the common opinion was that these women were either the weird sisters, that is (as ye would say) the goddesses of destinie, or else some nymphes or fairies."

And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

That you are so.] Witches, according to the popular belief, were always bearded. So, in “The Honest Man's Fortune," Act II. Sc. 1,

and the women that Come to us, for disguises must wear beards;

And that's, they say, a token of a witch." fantastical,-) Visionary; illusions of the fantasy.

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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 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 you.

[Witches ranish. 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!

BAN. Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on the insane root, a
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 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 reads 90
Thy personal venture in the rebel's 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 self-same day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afеard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. “As thick as taleb
Came* post with post ; and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence,
And pourd 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.

(*) Old text, Can. Corrected by Rowe. the insane root,— ] Shakespeare is supposed to have found the name of this root in Batman's Commentary on Bartholeme de Propriet. Rerum :-“Henbane is called Insana, mad, for the use thereof is perillous; for if it be eate or dronke, it breedeth madnesse, or slow lykenesse of sleepe. Therefore this hearb is called commoniy Mirilidium, for it taketh away wit and reason.”Lib. xvii. ch. 87.

6 as thick as tale--) That is-as rapid as counting. Rowe most unwarrantably changed “ tale" to "hail ;and this alteration has been adopted by many editors, for no other reason, it would appear, than that the former simile was unusual, and the latter common-place.

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. (A side.] 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. Whêr he was combin'd
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 prov’d,
Have overthrown him.

MACB. [Aside.] Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind.—Thanks for your pains.“
Do you not hope your children shall be kings,
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 't is 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 2130

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 suggestiona
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 singlec state of man, that function


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- suggestion--] Temptation. b Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,–] Query, upfix ? That temptation whose horrid image fixes my unstable hair, and shakes my seated heart.

my single state of man,-] "Single" here bears the sense of weak; my feeble government (or body-politic) of man. Shakespeare's atfluence of thought and language is so unbounded that he rarely repeats himself, but there is a remarkable affinity both in idea and expression between the present passage and one in Act II. Sc. 1, of " Julius Cæsar,'

“ Between the acting of a dreadful thing

And the first motion, all the interim is

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. Ban.

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.

Very gladly.
MACB. Till then, enough.—Come, friends.


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

and Attendants.
KING. Is execution done on Cawdor ? Areb 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;
Implord 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,


Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

The nature of an insurrection." • Time and the hour-) Examples of this phrase may readily be found in the early writers of England. Mr. Dyce has shown that it was familiar also to those of Italy: – “Ferminsi in un momento il tempo e l'ore."

Michelagnolo, -Son. xix. “Aspettar vuol ch' occasion gli dia, Come dar gli potrebbe, il tempo e ľhora."

Dolce, -Prime Impresse del Conte Orlando,

c. xvii. p. 145, ed. 1572. 6 - Are not-) So the second folio; that of 1623 has, " Or not,” &c


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