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Speak then to me, who neither beg, nor fear,
1 Witch. Hail !
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 vanish. Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them.-Whither are they vanished ? Macb. Into the air; and what seemed corporal,
melted As breath into the wind.-—'Would they had staid !
Ban. Were such things here, as we do speak about?
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
1 « Sinel.” The late Dr. Beattie conjectured that the real name of this family was Sinane, and that Dunsinane, or the hill of Sinane, thence derived
2 The insane root was probably henbane. In Batman's Commentary on Bartholome de Propriet. Rerum, á book with which Shakspeare was familiar, is the following passage :—“ 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, commonly, mirilidium, for it taketh away wit and reason.”
Enter Rosse and ANGUS.
Rosse. The king hath happily received, Macbeth,
We are sent,
Rosse. And, for an earnest of a greater honor,
What, can the devil speak true?
dress me In borrowed robes ? Ang.
Who was the thane, lives yet; But under heavy judgment bears that life Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combined With those of Norway, or did line the rebel With hidden help and vantage; or that with both He labored in his country's wreck, I know not; But treasons capital, confessed, and proved, Have overthrown him.
1 i. e. admiration of your deeds, and a desire to do them justice by public commendation, contend in his mind for preëminence: he is silenced with wonder.
2 i. e. posts arrived as fast as they could be counted. Dr. Johnson explains the passage thus:-“The news came as thick as a tale can travel with the post." "Mr. Reeves reads " thick as hail.”
3 * Came post.” The old copy reads can. Rowe made the emendation.
Glamis, and thane of Cawdor;
That, trusted home,
Two truths are told
Look, how our partner's rapt. Macb. If chance will have me king, why, chance
may crown me, Without my stir. Ban.
New honors come upon him Like our strange garments; cleave not to their mould, But with the aid of use.
1 i. e. entirely, thoroughly relied on.
3 By his single state of man, Macbeth means his simple condition of human nature. VOL. III.
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 favor; -my dull brain was
wrought With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains Are registered where every day I turn The leaf to read them.-Let us toward the king.– Think upon what hath chanced; and, at more times, The interim having weighed it, let us speak Our free hearts each to other. Ban.
Very gladly. Macb. Till then, enough.—Come, friends.
Fores. A Room in the Palace.
Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, LENOx, and
There's no art,
1 Favor is countenance, good will, and not pardon, as it has been here interpreted. Vide Hamlet, Act v. Śc. 2.
2 Studied in his death, is instructed in the art of dying. 3 Owed, owned, possessed.
4 We cannot construe the disposition of the mind by the lineaments of the face.
He was a gentleman on whom I built
Enter MACBETH, BANQUO, Rosse, and Angus. The sin of my ingratitude even now Was heavy on me; thou art so far before, That swiftest wing of recompense is slow To overtake thee. 'Would thou hadst less deserved ; That the proportion both of thanks and payment Might have been mine! Only I have left to say, More is thy due than more than all can pay.
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe,
Dun. Welcome hither;
There if I grow,
My plenteous joys,
you whose places are the nearest, know,
1 Holinshed says, “ Duncan having two sons, &c. he made the elder of them, called Malcolm, prince of Cumberland, as it was thereby to appoint him his successor in his kingdome immediatelie after his decease. "Macbeth sorely troubled herewith, for that he saw by this means his hope sore hindered (where, by the old laws of the realme the ordinance was, that if he that should succeed were not of able age to take the charge upon himself, he that was next of blood unto him should be admitted), he began to take counsel how he might usurpe the kingdome by force, having a just