Page images

Compell’d these skipping kernes to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbish'd arms, and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.
Dun. Dismay'd not this our captains, Macbeth and

Sold. Yes : As sparrows, eagles; or the hare, the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks;
So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe :
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell :
But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.

Dun. So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; They smack of honour both :-Go, get him surgeons.

(Exit Soldier, attended.

Enter Rosse.
Who comes here?

The worthy thane of Rosse.
Len. What a haste looks through his eyes !
So should he look that seems to speak things strange.

Rosse. God save the king!
Dun. Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane ?

Rosse. From Fife, great king,
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky,
And fan our people cold.
Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor
The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict :
Till that Bellona's bridegroom,a lapp'd in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point, rebellious arm 'gainst arm,
& Bellona's bridegroom is here undoubtedly Macbeth.

This is the original punctuation, which we think, with Tieck, is better than

“ Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm.''


[ocr errors]

Curbing his lavish spirit: And, to conclude,
The victory fell on us ;-

Great happiness!
Rosse. That now
Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition;
Nor would we deign him burial of his men,
Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes' inch,
Ten thous dollars to our general use.

Dun. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom interest :-Go, pronounce his present death,
And with his former title greet Macbeth.

Rosse. I 'll see it done.
Dun. What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won.


SCENE III.-A Heath. 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 chesnuts in her lap, And mounch'd, and mounch’d, and mounch'd :—“Give

me," quoth I:
“ Aroint thee, witch !" the rump-fed ronyon b 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. Th' 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

& Aroint thee.-See King Lear, Act III. Scene 4.
b Ronyon.-See As You Like It, Act II, Scene 2.

l’ the shipman's card.
I 'll drain him dry as hay :
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid ;
He shall live a man forbid :
Weary sev'n-nights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine :
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-toss'd.
Look what I have.

2 Witch. Show me, show me.

I Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wrack'd, as homeward he did come. [Drum within.

3 Witch. A drum, a drum : Macbeth doth come.

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.

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,
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,
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.

a Weird. There can be no doubt that this term is derived from the Anglo-Saxon wyrd, word spoken; and in the way that the word fate is anything spoken, weird and fatal are synonymous, and equally applicable to such mysterious beings as Macbeth's witches.


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

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,a or that indeed
Which outwardly 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.

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, 1 charge you.

[Witches vanish. a Fantastical—belonging to fantasy-imaginary.

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 staid !

Ban. Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root, a

hat 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


Enter Rosse and Angus.
Rosse. 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 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 tale
Can 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.

Rosse. 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. . What, can the devil speak true? a Henbane is called insana in an old book of medicine, which Shakspere might have consulted.

« PreviousContinue »