Page images

'Gainst my captivity.-Hail, brave friend! Say to the king thy knowledge of the broil 3) As thou didst leave it.


Doubtful it stood;

As two spent swimmers, that do cling together
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald-

Worthy to be a rebel, for, to that,

The multiplying villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him-from the western isles

Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied ;(4)
And fortune, on his damnèd quarrel smiling,
Show'd like a rebel's whore: but all's too weak :(5)
For brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name,-
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smok'd with bloody execution,

Like valour's minion,

Carv'd out his passage till he fac'd the slave;
And ne'er shook hands,(6) nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.

Dun. O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!
Serg. As whence the sun gins his reflection
Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;(7)
So from that spring, whence comfort seem'd to come,
Discomfort swells. (8) Mark, king of Scotland, mark :
No sooner justice had, with valour arm'd,
Compell'd these skipping kerns 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 Banquo ?(9) Serg.


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 (10) 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 Sergeant, attended. Who comes here? Mal.

The worthy thane of Ross.
Len. What haste looks through his eyes !(11) So should

he look
That seems to speak things strange. (12)

Enter Ross.(13)

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

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(14) a dismal conflict;
Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit : and, to conclude,
The victory fell on us.

Great happiness !
Ross. That now
Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition;
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursèd, at Saint Colme's-inch,
Ten thousand 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.

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


SCENE III. A heath.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
First Witch. Where hast thou been, sister?
Sec. Witch. Killing swine.
Third Witch. Sister, where thou?

First Witch. A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,
And mounch’d, and mounch’d, and mounch'd :-"Give me,”

quoth I:
« Aroint thee, witch !" the ruinp-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.

Sec. Witch. I'll give thee a wind.
First Witch. Thou art kind.
Third Witch. And I another.

First Witch. I myself have all the other ;
And the very ports they blow,
All the quarters that they know
I'the shipman's card. (15)
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 :
Weary seven-nights nine times nine
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tost.-
Look what I have.

Sec. Witch. Show me, show me.

First Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wreck'd as homeward he did come.

[Drum within Third 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.

Enter MACBETH and BANQUO; Soldiers at some distance.
Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

Ban. How far is't call'd to Forres ?(16) What are these
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o' th' 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 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?
First Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of

Glamis !
Sec. Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of

Third Witch. All hail, Macbeth, that 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 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.

First Witch. Hail !
Sec. Witch. Hail !
Third Witch. Hail !
First Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.
Sec. Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier.

Third Witch. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none : So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo !

First Witch. Banquo and Macbeth, all hail !(17)

Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Sinel's death I know I'm 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 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 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
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 selfsame 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
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 selfsame day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afеard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail
Came post with post ;(18) 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


Ross. And, for an earnest of a greater honour,

« PreviousContinue »