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Though bladed corn be lodg'd and trees blown

Though castles topple on their warders' heads;
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations; though the


Of nature's germens tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken; answer me
To what I ask you.

First Witch.

Second Witch.

Third Witch.

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Rebellion's head, rise never till the wood
Of Birnam rise, and our high-plac'd Macbeth
Shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath
To time and mortal custom. Yet my heart
Throbs to know one thing: tell me, if your art
Can tell so much, shall Banquo's issue ever
60 Reign in this kingdom?
Seek to know no more.
Macb. I will be satisfied: deny me this,
And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know.
Why sinks that cauldron and what noise is


We'll answer.

First Witch. Say if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths,

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First Witch. Show!
Second Witch. Show!

Third Witch. Show!

All. Show his eyes, and grieve his heart; 110
Come like shadows, so depart.

A show of Eight Kings, the last with a glass in
his hand; BANQUO's Ghost following.
Macb. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo;

Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls: and thy

Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first:
A third is like the former. Filthy hags!
Why do you show me this? A fourth! Start,

What will the line stretch out to the crack of

Another yet! A seventh! I'll see no more:
And yet the eighth appears, who bears a glass
Which shows me many more; and some I see

That two-fold balls and treble sceptres carry.
Horrible sight! Now, I see, 'tis true; 122
For the blood-bolter'd Banquo smiles upon me,
And points at them for his. Apparitions vanish.
What is this so?
First Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so; but why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,
And show the best of our delights.
I'll charm the air to give a sound,
While you perform your antick round,
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.

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I pray you, school yourself: but for your husband,
He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows
The fits o' the season, I dare not speak much

But cruel are the times, when we are traitors
130 And do not know ourselves, when we hold

Music. The Witches dance, and then vanish with HECATE. Macb. Where are they? Gone? Let this pernicious hour

Stand aye accursed in the calendar!
Come in, without there!

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SCENE II.-Fife. MACDUFF's Castle. Enter Lady MACDUFF, her Son, and Ross.

L. Macd. What had he done, to make him fly
the land?

Ross. You must have patience, madam.
L. Macd.

He had none :
His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.


You know not

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The pitfall nor the gin.

Son. Why should I, mother? Poor birds they
are not set for.

My father is not dead, for all your saying.
L. Macd. Yes, he is dead: how wilt thou do
for a father?

Son. Nay, how will you do for a husband?
L. Macd. Why, I can buy me twenty at any

Son. Then you'll buy 'em to sell again.
L. Macd. Thou speak'st with all thy wit; and
yet, i' faith,

With wit enough for thee.

Son. Was my father a traitor, mother?
L. Macd. Ay, that he was.

Son. What is a traitor?

L. Macd. Why, one that swears and lies.
Son. And be all traitors that do so?

L. Macd. Every one that does so is a traitor, and must be hanged.

Son. And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

L. Macd. Every one.

Son. Who must hang them?

L. Macd. Why, the honest men.

Son. Then the liars and swearers are fools, for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men and hang up them.

L. Macd. Now God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt thou do for a father!

Son. If he were dead, you'd weep for him: if you would not, it were a good sign that I should

Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.
L. Macd. Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave quickly have a new father.
his babes,

His mansion and his titles in a place
From whence himself does fly? He loves us not;
He wants the natural touch; for the poor wren,
The most diminutive of birds, will fight,


L. Macd. Poor prattler, how thou talk'st!

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,

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First Mur. Where is your husband?
L. Macd. I hope in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou may'st find him.
First Mur.
He's a traitor.
Son. Thou liest, thou shag-hair'd villain !
First Mur.
What! you egg.
Stabbing him.

Young fry of treachery!

He has kill'd me, mother: Run away, I pray you. Dies. Exit Lady MACDUFF, crying Murder,' and pursued by the Murderers.

SCENE III.-England. Before the King's Palace.


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Be not offended: I speak not as in absolute fear of you. I think our country sinks beneath the yoke; It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash Is added to her wounds; I think withal There would be hands uplifted in my right; And here from gracious England have I offer Of goodly thousands: but for all this, When I shall tread upon the tyrant's head, Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country Shall have more vices than it had before, More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever, By him that shall succeed. Macd.


What should he be ?
Mal. It is myself I mean; in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted,
That, when they shall be open'd, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow, and the poor state

Mal. Let us seek out some desolate shade, and Esteem him as a lamb, being compar'd

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Mal. What I believe I'll wail, What know believe, and what I can redress, As I shall find the time to friend, I will. What you have spoke, it may be so perchance. This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues, Was once thought honest: you have lov'd him well;

He hath not touch'd you yet. I am young; but something

You may deserve of him through me, and wisdom
To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb
To appease an angry god.

Macd. I am not treacherous.

But Macbeth is.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your


That which you are my thoughts cannot trans

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With my confineless harms.
Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn'd
In evils to top Macbeth.

I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name; but there's no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness: your wives, your



Your matrons, and your maids, could not fill up
The cistern of my lust; and my desire
All continent impediments would o'erbear
That did oppose my will; better Macbeth
Than such an one to reign.

Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been
The untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings. But fear not yet
To take upon you what is yours; you may 70
Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
And yet seem cold, the time you may so hoodwink.
We have willing dames enough; there cannot be
That vulture in you, to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclin'd.
With this there grows
In my most ill-compos'd affection such
A stanchless avarice that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands,
Desire his jewels and this other's house;
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more, that I should forge



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This avarice Sticks deeper, grows with more pernicious root Than summer-seeming lust, and it hath been The sword of our slain kings: yet do not fear; Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will, Of your mere own; all these are portable, With other graces weigh'd.


Mal. But I have none: the king-becoming graces,

As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them, but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on earth.

O Scotland, Scotland!
Mal. If such a one be fit to govern, speak:
I am as I have spoken.


Fit to govern!


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By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From over-credulous haste; but God above 120
Deal between thee and me! for even now
I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction, here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
For strangers to my nature. I am yet
Unknown to woman, never was forsworn,
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own,
At no time broke my faith, would not betray
The devil to his fellow, and delight

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Doct. Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls

That stay his cure; their malady convinces
The great assay of art; but at his touch,
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand,
They presently amend.

Mal. I thank you, doctor. Exit Doctor.
Macd. What's the disease he means?
'Tis call'd the evil:
A most miraculous work in this good king,
Which often, since my here-remain in England,
I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven,
Himself best knows; but strangely-visited

All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
The mere despair of surgery, he cures,
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
Put on with holy prayers; and 'tis spoken
To the succeeding royalty he leaves


The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,

He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,

And sundry blessings hang about his throne
That speak him full of grace.

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The means that makes us strangers!

Sir, amen.
Macd. Stands Scotland where it did?
Alas! poor country;
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
Be call'd our mother, but our grave; where

But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile; Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air

Are made, not mark'd; where violent sorrow

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What's the newest grief?

Ross. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker;

Each minute teems a new one.
Macd. How does my wife?



Ross. Well too.

Why, well.

And all my children!

Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their


Ross. No; they were well at peace when I did leave 'em.


Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech: how goes 't?

Ross. When I came hither to transport the tidings,

Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witness'd the rather

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What! man; ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;

Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak 210 Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

Macd. My children too?

Wife, children, servants, all

That could be found.


My wife kill'd too?

Ross. Mal.



A Room in the Castle. Enter a Doctor of Physic and a Waiting-Gentle


Doct. I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?

Gent. Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon 't, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.


Doct. A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep and do the effects of watching! In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?

Gent. That, sir, which I will not report after

her. Doct. You may to me, and 'tis most meet you should.

Gent. Neither to you nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.


Enter Lady MACBETH, with a taper. Lo you! here she comes. This is her very And I must be from thence! guise; and, upon my life, fast asleep. Observe her; stand close.

I have said.

Be comforted:

Let's make us medicines of our great revenge, To cure this deadly grief.

Macd. He has no children. All my pretty ones? Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?

What all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?

Mal. Dispute it like a man.


I shall do so; But I must also feel it as a man: I cannot but remember such things were, That were most precious to me. Did heaven

look on,

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Gent. It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour. Lady M. Yet here's a spot. Doct. Hark! she speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remem. brance the more strongly.

Lady M. Out, damned spot! out, I say! One; two: why, then 'tis time to do 't. Hell is murky! Fie, my lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?

Doct. Do you mark that?


Lady M. The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? What! will these hands ne'er be clean? No more o' that, my lord, no more o' that you mar all with this starting.

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