Macbeth

Select or Print the text

Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

1
Thrice the brinded Cat hath mew'd.

2
Thrice, and once the Hedge-Pigge whin'd.

3
Harpier cries, 'tis time, 'tis time.

1
Round about the Caldron go:
In the poysond Entrailes throw
Toad, that vnder cold stone,
Dayes and Nights, ha's thirty one:
Sweltred Venom sleeping got,
Boyle thou first i'th' charmed pot.

All.
Double, double, toile and trouble;
Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble.

2
Fillet of a Fenny Snake,
In the Cauldron boyle and bake:
Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frogge,
Wooll of Bat, and Tongue of Dogge:
Adders Forke, and Blinde-wormes Sting,
Lizards legge, and Howlets wing:
For a Charme of powrefull trouble,
Like a Hell-broth, boyle and bubble.

All.
Double, double, toyle and trouble,
Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble.

3
Scale of Dragon, Tooth of Wolfe,
Witches Mummey, Maw, and Gulfe
Of the rauin'd salt Sea sharke:
Roote of Hemlocke, digg'd i'th' darke:
Liuer of Blaspheming Iew,
Gall of Goate, and Slippes of Yew,
Sliuer'd in the Moones Ecclipse:
Nose of Turke, and Tartars lips:
Finger of Birth-strangled Babe,
Ditch-deliuer'd by a Drab,
Make the Grewell thicke, and slab.
Adde thereto a Tigers Chawdron,
For th' Ingredience of our Cawdron.

All.
Double, double, toyle and trouble,
Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble.

2
Coole it with a Baboones blood,
Then the Charme is firme and good.
Enter Hecat, and the other three Witches.

Hec.
O well done: I commend your paines,
And euery one shall share i'th' gaines:
And now about the Cauldron sing
Like Elues and Fairies in a Ring,
Inchanting all that you put in.
Musicke and a Song. Blacke Spirits, &c.

2
By the pricking of my Thumbes,
Something wicked this way comes:
Open Lockes, who euer knockes.
Enter Macbeth.

Macb.
How now you secret, black, & midnight Hags?
What is't you do?

All.
A deed without a name.

Macb.
I coniure you, by that which you Professe,
(How ere you come to know it) answer me:
Though you vntye the Windes, and let them fight
Against the Churches: Though the yesty Waues
Confound and swallow Nauigation vp:
Though bladed Corne be lodg'd, & Trees blown downe,
Though Castles topple on their Warders heads:
Though Pallaces, and Pyramids do slope
Their heads to their Foundations: Though the treasure
Of Natures Germaine, tumble altogether,
Euen till destruction sicken: Answer me
To what I aske you.

1
Speake.

2
Demand.

3
Wee'l answer.

1
Say, if th'hadst rather heare it from our mouthes,
Or from our Masters.

Macb.
Call 'em: let me see 'em.

1
Powre in Sowes blood, that hath eaten
Her nine Farrow: Greaze that's sweaten
From the Murderers Gibbet, throw
Into the Flame.

All.
Come high or low:
Thy Selfe and Office deaftly show.
Thunder. 1. Apparation, an Armed Head

Macb.
Tell me, thou vnknowne power.

1
He knowes thy thought:
Heare his speech, but say thou nought.

1 Appar.
Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth: / Beware Macduffe,
Beware the Thane of Fife: dismisse me. Enough.
He Descends.

Macb.
What ere thou art, for thy good caution, thanks
Thou hast harp'd my feare aright. But one word more.

1
He will not be commanded: heere's another
More potent then the first.
Thunder. 2 Apparition, a Bloody Childe

2 Appar.
Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth.

Macb.
Had I three eares, Il'd heare thee.

Appar.
Be bloody, bold, & resolute: / Laugh to scorne
The powre of man: For none of woman borne
Shall harme Macbeth.
Descends.

Mac.
Then liue Macduffe: what need I feare of thee?
But yet Ile make assurance: double sure,
And take a Bond of Fate: thou shalt not liue,
That I may tell pale-hearted Feare, it lies;
And sleepe in spight of Thunder.
Thunder 3 Apparation, a Childe Crowned, with a
Tree in his hand
What is this,
that rises like the issue of a King,
And weares vpon his Baby-brow, the round
And top of Soueraignty?

All.
Listen, but speake not too't.

3 Appar.
Be Lyon metled, proud, and take no care:
Who chafes, who frets, or where Conspirers are:
Macbeth shall neuer vanquish'd be, vntill
Great Byrnam Wood, to high Dunsmane Hill
Shall come against him.
Descend.

Macb.
That will neuer bee:
Who can impresse the Forrest, bid the Tree
Vnfixe his earth-bound Root? Sweet boadments, good:
Rebellious dead, rise neuer till the Wood
Of Byrnan rise, and our high plac'd Macbeth
Shall liue the Lease of Nature, pay his breath
To time, and mortall Custome. Yet my Hart
Throbs to know one thing: Tell me, if your Art
Can tell so much: Shall Banquo's issue euer
Reigne in this Kingdome?

All.
Seeke to know no more.

Macb.
I will be satisfied. Deny me this,
And an eternall Curse fall on you: Let me know.
Why sinkes that Caldron?
Hoboyes
& what noise is this?

1
Shew.

2
Shew.

3
Shew.

All.
Shew his Eyes, and greeue his Hart,
Come like shadowes, so depart.
A shew of eight Kings, and Banquo last, with
a glasse in his hand

Macb.
Thou art too like the Spirit of Banquo: Down:
Thy Crowne do's seare mine Eye-bals. And thy haire
Thou other Gold-bound-brow, is like the first:
A third, is like the former. Filthy Hagges,
Why do you shew me this? --- A fourth? Start eyes!
What will the Line stretch out to'th' cracke of Doome?
Another yet? A seauenth? Ile see no more:
And yet the eighth appeares, who beares a glasse,
Which shewes me many more: and some I see,
That two-fold Balles, and trebble Scepters carry.
Horrible sight: Now I see 'tis true,
For the Blood-bolter'd Banquo smiles vpon me,
And points at them for his. What? is this so?

1
I Sir, all this is so. But why
Stands Macbeth thus amazedly?
Come Sisters, cheere we vp his sprights,
And shew the best of our delights.
Ile Charme the Ayre to giue a sound,
While you performe your Antique round:
That this great King may kindly say,
Our duties, did his welcome pay.
Musicke. The Witches Dance, and vanish

Macb.
Where are they? Gone? / Let this pernitious houre,
Stand aye accursed in the Kalender.
Come in, without there.
Enter Lenox.

Lenox.
What's your Graces will.

Macb.
Saw you the Weyard Sisters?

Lenox.
No my Lord.

Macb.
Came they not by you?

Lenox.
No indeed my Lord.

Macb.
Infected be the Ayre whereon they ride,
And damn'd all those that trust them. I did heare
The gallopping of Horse. Who was't came by?

Len.
'Tis two or three my Lord, that bring you word:
Macduff is fled to England.

Macb.
Fled to England?

Len.
I, my good Lord.

Macb.
Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits:
The flighty purpose neuer is o're-tooke
Vnlesse the deed go with it. From this moment,
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And euen now
To Crown my thoughts with Acts: be it thoght & done:
The Castle of Macduff, I will surprize.
Seize vpon Fife; giue to th' edge o'th' Sword
His Wife, his Babes, and all vnfortunate Soules
That trace him in his Line. No boasting like a Foole,
This deed Ile do, before this purpose coole,
But no more sights. Where are these Gentlemen?
Come bring me where they are.
Exeunt
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Macduffes Wife, her Son, and Rosse.

Wife.
What had he done, to make him fly the Land?

Rosse.
You must haue patience Madam.

Wife.
He had none:
His flight was madnesse: when our Actions do not,
Our feares do make vs Traitors.

Rosse.
You know not
Whether it was his wisedome, or his feare.

Wife.
Wisedom? to leaue his wife, to leaue his Babes,
His Mansion, and his Titles, in a place
From whence himselfe do's flye? He loues vs not,
He wants the naturall touch. For the poore Wren
(The most diminitiue of Birds) will fight,
Her yong ones in her Nest, against the Owle:
All is the Feare, and nothing is the Loue;
As little is the Wisedome, where the flight
So runnes against all reason.

Rosse.
My deerest Cooz,
I pray you schoole your selfe. But for your Husband,
He is Noble, Wise, Iudicious, and best knowes
The fits o'th' Season. I dare not speake much further,
But cruell are the times, when we are Traitors
And do not know our selues: when we hold Rumor
From what we feare, yet know not what we feare,
But floate vpon a wilde and violent Sea
Each way, and moue. I take my leaue of you:
Shall not be long but Ile be heere againe:
Things at the worst will cease, or else climbe vpward,
To what they were before. My pretty Cosine,
Blessing vpon you.

Wife.
Father'd he is, / And yet hee's Father-lesse.

Rosse.
I am so much a Foole, should I stay longer
It would be my disgrace, and your discomfort.
I take my leaue at once.
Exit Rosse.

Wife.
Sirra, your Fathers dead,
And what will you do now? How will you liue?

Son.
As Birds do Mother.

Wife.
What with Wormes, and Flyes?

Son.
With what I get I meane, and so do they.

Wife.
Poore Bird, / Thou'dst neuer Feare
the Net, nor Lime, / The Pitfall, nor the Gin.

Son.
Why should I Mother? / Poore Birds they are not set for:
My Father is not dead for all your saying.

Wife.
Yes, he is dead: / How wilt thou do for a Father?

Son.
Nay how will you do for a Husband?

Wife.
Why I can buy me twenty at any Market.

Son.
Then you'l by 'em to sell againe.

Wife.
Thou speak'st with all thy wit,
And yet I'faith with wit enough for thee.

Son.
Was my Father a Traitor, Mother?

Wife.
I, that he was.

Son.
What is a Traitor?

Wife.
Why one that sweares, and lyes.

Son.
And be all Traitors, that do so.

Wife.
Euery one that do's so, is a Traitor,
And must be hang'd.

Son.
And must they all be hang'd, that swear and lye?

Wife.
Euery one.

Son.
Who must hang them?

Wife.
Why, the honest men.

Son.
Then the Liars and Swearers are Fools: for there are
Lyars and Swearers enow, to beate the honest men, and hang
vp them.

Wife.
Now God helpe thee, poore Monkie: / But how wilt
thou do for a Father?

Son.
If he were dead, youl'd weepe for him: if you would not,
it were a good signe, that I should quickely haue a new
Father.

Wife.
Poore pratler, how thou talk'st?
Enter a Messenger.

Mes.
Blesse you faire Dame: I am not to you known,
Though in your state of Honor I am perfect;
I doubt some danger do's approach you neerely.
If you will take a homely mans aduice,
Be not found heere: Hence with your little ones
To fright you thus. Me thinkes I am too sauage:
To do worse to you, were fell Cruelty,
Which is too nie your person. Heauen preserue you,
I dare abide no longer.
Exit Messenger

Wife.
Whether should I flye?
I haue done no harme. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world: where to do harme
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. Why then (alas)
Do I put vp that womanly defence,
To say I haue done no harme?
Enter Murtherers.
What are these faces?

Mur.
Where is your Husband?

Wife.
I hope in no place so vnsanctified,
Where such as thou may'st finde him.

Mur.
He's a Traitor.

Son.
Thou ly'st thou shagge-ear'd Villaine.

Mur.
What you Egge?
Yong fry of Treachery?

Son.
He ha's kill'd me Mother,
Run away I pray you.
Exit crying Murther.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Malcolme and Macduffe.

Mal.
Let vs seeke out some desolate shade,
& there / Weepe our sad bosomes empty.

Macd.
Let vs rather
Hold fast the mortall Sword: and like good men,
Bestride our downfall Birthdome: each new Morne,
New Widdowes howle, new Orphans cry, new sorowes
Strike heauen on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yell'd out
Like Syllable of Dolour.

Mal.
What I beleeue, Ile waile;
What know, beleeue; and what I can redresse,
As I shall finde the time to friend: I wil.
What you haue spoke, it may be so perchance.
This Tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongues,
Was once thought honest: you haue lou'd him well,
He hath not touch'd you yet. I am yong, but something
You may discerne of him through me, and wisedome
To offer vp a weake, poore innocent Lambe
T' appease an angry God.

Macd.
I am not treacherous.

Malc.
But Macbeth is.
A good and vertuous Nature may recoyle
In an Imperiall charge. But I shall craue your pardon:
That which you are, my thoughts cannot transpose;
Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell.
Though all things foule, would wear the brows of grace
Yet Grace must still looke so.

Macd.
I haue lost my Hopes.

Malc.
Perchance euen there / Where I did finde my doubts.
Why in that rawnesse left you Wife, and Childe?
Those precious Motiues, those strong knots of Loue,
Without leaue-taking. I pray you,
Let not my Iealousies, be your Dishonors,
But mine owne Safeties: you may be rightly iust,
What euer I shall thinke.

Macd.
Bleed, bleed poore Country,
Great Tyrrany, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodnesse dare not check thee: wear y thy wrongs,
The Title, is affear'd. Far thee well Lord,
I would not be the Villaine that thou think'st,
For the whole Space that's in the Tyrants Graspe,
And the rich East to boot.

Mal.
Be not offended:
I speake not as in absolute feare of you:
I thinke our Country sinkes beneath the yoake,
It weepes, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds. I thinke withall,
There would be hands vplifted in my right:
And heere from gracious England haue I offer
Of goodly thousands. But for all this,
When I shall treade vpon the Tyrants head,
Or weare it on my Sword; yet my poore Country
Shall haue more vices then it had before,
More suffer, and more sundry wayes then euer,
By him that shall succeede.

Macd.
What should he be?

Mal.
It is my selfe I meane: in whom I know
All the particulars of Vice so grafted,
That when they shall be open'd, blacke Macbeth
Will seeme as pure as Snow, and the poore State
Esteeme him as a Lambe, being compar'd
With my confinelesse harmes.

Macd.
Not in the Legions
Of horrid Hell, can come a Diuell more damn'd
In euils, to top Macbeth.

Mal.
I grant him Bloody,
Luxurious, Auaricious, False, Deceitfull,
Sodaine, Malicious, smacking of euery sinne
That ha's a name. But there's no bottome, none
In my Voluptuousnesse: Your Wiues, your Daughters,
Your Matrons, and your Maides, could not fill vp
The Cesterne of my Lust, and my Desire
All continent Impediments would ore-beare
That did oppose my will. Better Macbeth,
Then such an one to reigne.

Macd.
Boundlesse intemperance
In Nature is a Tyranny: It hath beene
Th' vntimely emptying of the happy Throne,
And fall of many Kings. But feare not yet
To take vpon you what is yours: you may
Conuey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,
And yet seeme cold. The time you may so hoodwinke:
We haue willing Dames enough: there cannot be
That Vulture in you, to deuoure so many
As will to Greatnesse dedicate themselues,
Finding it so inclinde.

Mal.
With this, there growes
In my most ill-composd Affection, such
A stanchlesse Auarice, that were I King,
I should cut off the Nobles for their Lands,
Desire his Iewels, and this others House,
And my more-hauing, would be as a Sawce
To make me hunger more, that I should forge
Quarrels vniust against the Good and Loyall,
Destroying them for wealth.

Macd.
This Auarice
stickes deeper: growes with more pernicious roote
Then Summer-seeming Lust: and it hath bin
The Sword of our slaine Kings: yet do not feare,
Scotland hath Foysons, to fill vp your will
Of your meere Owne. All these are portable,
With other Graces weigh'd.

Mal.
But I haue none.
The King-becoming Graces,
As Iustice, Verity, Temp'rance, Stablenesse,
Bounty, Perseuerance, Mercy, Lowlinesse,
Deuotion, Patience, Courage, Fortitude,
I haue no rellish of them, but abound
In the diuision of each seuerall Crime,
Acting it many wayes. Nay, had I powre, I should
Poure the sweet Milke of Concord, into Hell,
Vprore the vniuersall peace, confound
All vnity on earth.

Macd.
O Scotland, Scotland.

Mal.
If such a one be fit to gouerne, speake:
I am as I haue spoken.

Mac.
Fit to gouern?
No not to liue. O Natiõ miserable!
With an vntitled Tyrant, bloody Sceptred,
When shalt thou see thy wholsome dayes againe?
Since that the truest Issue of thy Throne
By his owne Interdiction stands accust,
And do's blaspheme his breed? Thy Royall Father
Was a most Sainted-King: the Queene that bore thee,
Oftner vpon her knees, then on her feet,
Dy'de euery day she liu'd. Fare thee well,
These Euils thou repeat'st vpon thy selfe,
Hath banish'd me from Scotland. O my Brest,
Thy hope ends heere.

Mal.
Macduff, this Noble passion
Childe of integrity, hath from my soule
Wip'd the blacke Scruples, reconcil'd my thoughts
To thy good Truth, and Honor. Diuellish Macbeth,
By many of these traines, hath sought to win me
Into his power: and modest Wisedome pluckes me
From ouer-credulous hast: but God aboue
Deale betweene thee and me; For euen now
I put my selfe to thy Direction, and
Vnspeake mine owne detraction. Heere abiure
The taints, and blames I laide vpon my selfe,
For strangers to my Nature. I am yet
Vnknowne to Woman, neuer was forsworne,
Scarsely haue coueted what was mine owne.
At no time broke my Faith, would not betray
The Deuill to his Fellow, and delight
No lesse in truth then life. My first false speaking
Was this vpon my selfe. What I am truly
Is thine, and my poore Countries to command:
Whither indeed, before they heere approach
Old Seyward with ten thousand warlike men
Already at a point, was setting foorth:
Now wee'l together, and the chance of goodnesse
Be like our warranted Quarrell. Why are you silent?

Macd.
Such welcome, and vnwelcom things at once
'Tis hard to reconcile.
Enter a Doctor.

Mal.
Well, more anon.
Comes the King forth / I pray you?

Doct.
I Sir: there are a crew of wretched Soules
That stay his Cure: their malady conuinces
The great assay of Art. But at his touch,
Such sanctity hath Heauen giuen his hand,
They presently amend. Exit.

Mal.
I thanke you Doctor.


Macd.
What's the Disease he meanes?

Mal.
Tis call'd the Euill.
A most myraculous worke in this good King,
Which often since my heere remaine in England,
I haue seene him do: How he solicites heauen
Himselfe best knowes: but strangely visited people
All swolne and Vlcerous, pittifull to the eye,
The meere dispaire of Surgery, he cures,
Hanging a golden stampe about their neckes,
Put on with holy Prayers, and 'tis spoken
To the succeeding Royalty he leaues
The healing Benediction. With this strange vertue,
He hath a heauenly guift of Prophesie,
And sundry Blessings hang about his Throne,
That speake him full of Grace.
Enter Rosse.

Macd.
See who comes heere.

Malc.
My Countryman: but yet I know him not.

Macd.
My euer gentle Cozen, welcome hither.

Malc.
I know him now. Good God betimes remoue
The meanes that makes vs Strangers.

Rosse.
Sir, Amen.

Macd.
Stands Scotland where it did?

Rosse.
Alas poore Countrey,
Almost affraid to know it selfe. It cannot
Be call'd our Mother, but our Graue; where nothing
But who knowes nothing, is once seene to smile:
Where sighes, and groanes, and shrieks that rent the ayre
Are made, not mark'd: Where violent sorrow seemes
A Moderne extasie: The Deadmans knell,
Is there scarse ask'd for who, and good mens liues
Expire before the Flowers in their Caps,
Dying, or ere they sicken.

Macd.
Oh Relation;
too nice, and yet too true.

Malc.
What's the newest griefe?

Rosse.
That of an houres age, doth hisse the speaker,
Each minute teemes a new one.

Macd.
How do's my Wife?

Rosse.
Why well.

Macd.
And all my Children?

Rosse.
Well too.

Macd.
The Tyrant ha's not batter'd at their peace?

Rosse.
No, they were wel at peace, when I did leaue 'em

Macd.
Be not a niggard of your speech: How gos't?

Rosse.
When I came hither to transport the Tydings
Which I haue heauily borne, there ran a Rumour
Of many worthy Fellowes, that were out,
Which was to my beleefe witnest the rather,
For that I saw the Tyrants Power a-foot.
Now is the time of helpe: your eye in Scotland
Would create Soldiours, make our women fight,
To doffe their dire distresses.

Malc.
Bee't their comfort
We are comming thither: Gracious England hath
Lent vs good Seyward, and ten thousand men,
An older, and a better Souldier, none
That Christendome giues out.

Rosse.
Would I could answer
This comfort with the like. But I haue words
That would be howl'd out in the desert ayre,
Where hearing should not latch them.

Macd.
What concerne they,
The generall cause, or is it a Fee-griefe
Due to some single brest?

Rosse.
No minde that's honest
But in it shares some woe, though the maine part
Pertaines to you alone.

Macd.
If it be mine
Keepe it not from me, quickly let me haue it.

Rosse.
Let not your eares dispise my tongue for euer,
Which shall possesse them with the heauiest sound
that euer yet they heard.

Macd.
Humh: I guesse at it.

Rosse.
Your Castle is surpriz'd: your Wife, and Babes
Sauagely slaughter'd: To relate the manner
Were on the Quarry of these murther'd Deere
To adde the death of you.

Malc.
Mercifull Heauen:
What man, ne're pull your hat vpon your browes:
Giue sorrow words; the griefe that do's not speake,
Whispers the o're-fraught heart, and bids it breake.

Macd.
My Children too?

Ro.
Wife, Children, Seruants, all
that could be found.

Macd.
And I must be from thence?
My wife kil'd too?

Rosse.
I haue said.

Malc.
Be comforted.
Let's make vs Med'cines of our great Reuenge,
To cure this deadly greefe.

Macd.
He ha's no Children.
All my pretty ones? / Did you say All?
Oh Hell-Kite! All? / What, All my pretty Chickens,
and their Damme / At one fell swoope?

Malc.
Dispute it like a man.

Macd.
I shall do so:
But I must also feele it as a man;
I cannot but remember such things were
That were most precious to me: Did heauen looke on,
And would not take their part? Sinfull Macduff,
They were all strooke for thee: Naught that I am,
Not for their owne demerits, but for mine
Fell slaughter on their soules: Heauen rest them now.

Mal.
Be this the Whetstone of your sword, let griefe
Conuert to anger: blunt not the heart, enrage it.

Macd.
O I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And Braggart with my tongue. But gentle Heauens,
Cut short all intermission: Front to Front,
Bring thou this Fiend of Scotland, and my selfe
Within my Swords length set him, if he scape
Heauen forgiue him too.

Mal.
This time goes manly:
Come go we to the King, our Power is ready,
Our lacke is nothing but our leaue. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the Powres aboue
Put on their Instruments: Receiue what cheere you may,
The Night is long, that neuer findes the Day.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Thunder. Enter the three Witches

FIRST WITCH
Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed.

SECOND WITCH
Thrice, and once the hedge-pig whined.

THIRD WITCH
Harpier cries! 'Tis time, 'tis time!.

FIRST WITCH
Round about the cauldron go;
In the poisoned entrails throw:
Toad that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one.
Sweltered venom, sleeping got,
Boil thou first i'the charmed pot.

ALL
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

SECOND WITCH
Fillet of a fenny snake
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blindworm's sting,
Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.

ALL
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

THIRD WITCH
Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witch's mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravined salt sea shark,
Root of hemlock digged i'the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Slivered in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk, and Tartar's lips,
Finger of birth-strangled babe,
Ditch-delivered by a drab,
Make the gruel thick and slab.
Add thereto a tiger's chaudron,
For the ingredience of our cauldron.

ALL
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

SECOND WITCH
Cool it with a baboon's blood;
Then the charm is firm and good.
Enter Hecat and the other three Witches

HECAT
O well done! I commend your pains;
And everyone shall share i'the gains.
And now about the cauldron sing
Live elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.
Music and a song: ‘ Black spirits,’ etc.
Exeunt Hecat and the other three Witches

SECOND WITCH
By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, locks, whoever knocks!
Enter Macbeth

MACBETH
How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!
What is't you do?

ALL
A deed without a name.

MACBETH
I conjure you, by that which you profess,
Howe'er you come to know it, answer me –
Though you untie the winds and let them fight
Against the churches; though the yesty waves
Confound and swallow navigation up;
Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down;
Though castles topple on their warders' heads;
Though palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
Of nature's germens tumble all together
Even till destruction sicken – answer me
To what I ask you.

FIRST WITCH
Speak.

SECOND WITCH
Demand.

THIRD WITCH
We'll answer.

FIRST WITCH
Say, if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths
Or from our masters.

MACBETH
Call 'em. Let me see 'em.

FIRST WITCH
Pour in sow's blood that hath eaten
Her nine farrow; grease that's sweaten
From the murderer's gibbet, throw
Into the flame.

ALL
Come high or low,
Thyself and office deftly show.
Thunder. First Apparition, an Armed Head

MACBETH
Tell me, thou unknown power –

FIRST WITCH
He knows thy thought.
Hear his speech, but say thou naught.

FIRST APPARITION
Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, beware Macduff!
Beware the Thane of Fife! Dismiss me. Enough.
He descends

MACBETH
Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks;
Thou hast harped my fear aright. But one word more –

FIRST WITCH
He will not be commanded. Here's another
More potent than the first.
Thunder. Second Apparition, a Bloody Child

SECOND APPARITION
Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth!

MACBETH
Had I three ears, I'd hear thee.

SECOND APPARITION
Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn
The power of man; for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.
He descends

MACBETH
Then live Macduff; what need I fear of thee?
But yet I'll make assurance double sure,
And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live;
That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,
And sleep in spite of thunder.
Thunder. Third Apparition, a Child crowned, with a
tree in his hand
What is this
That rises like the issue of a king,
And wears upon his baby brow the round
And top of sovereignty?

ALL
Listen, but speak not to't.

THIRD APPARITION
Be lion-mettled, proud, and take no care
Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are;
Macbeth shall never vanquished be, until
Great Birnan Wood to high Dunsinane Hill
Shall come against him.
He descends

MACBETH
That will never be.
Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
Unfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements! Good!
Rebellious dead rise never till the wood
Of Birnan rise, and our high-placed 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
Reign in this kingdom?

ALL
Seek to know no more.

MACBETH
I will be satisfied! Deny me this
And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know.
Why sinks that cauldron?
Hautboys
And what noise is this?

FIRST WITCH
Show!

SECOND WITCH
Show!

THIRD WITCH
Show!

ALL
Show his eyes and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart.
A show of eight kings, and Banquo; the last king with
a glass in his hand

MACBETH
Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo. Down!
Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls. And thy hair,
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, eyes!
What, will the line stretch out to the crack of doom?
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 twofold balls and treble sceptres carry.
Horrible sight! Now I see 'tis true,
For the blood-boltered Banquo smiles upon me,
And points at them for his. 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 antic round,
That this great king may kindly say
Our duties did his welcome pay.
Music. The Witches dance; and vanish

MACBETH
Where are they? Gone! Let this pernicious hour
Stand aye accursed in the calendar.
Come in, without there.
Enter Lennox

LENNOX
What's your grace's will?

MACBETH
Saw you the Weird Sisters?

LENNOX
No, my lord.

MACBETH
Came they not by you?

LENNOX
No, indeed, my lord.

MACBETH
Infected be the air whereon they ride,
And damned all those that trust them! I did hear
The galloping of horse. Who was't came by?

LENNOX
'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word
Macduff is fled to England.

MACBETH
Fled to England!

LENNOX
Ay, my good lord.

MACBETH
Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits.
The flighty purpose never is o'ertook
Unless the deed go with it. From this moment
The very firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now,
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done;
The castle of Macduff I will surprise,
Seize upon Fife, give to the edge o'the sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace him in his line. No boasting, like a fool;
This deed I'll do before this purpose cool.
But no more sights! – Where are these gentlemen?
Come, bring me where they are.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Macduff's Wife, her Son, and Ross

WIFE
What had he done to make him fly the land?

ROSS
You must have patience, madam.

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

ROSS
You know not
Whether it was his wisdom or his fear.

WIFE
Wisdom! To leave his wife, to leave 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,
Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
All is the fear and nothing is the love,
As little is the wisdom, where the flight
So runs against all reason.

ROSS
My dearest cuz,
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 further,
But cruel are the times when we are traitors
And do not know, ourselves; when we hold rumour
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea,
Each way and move. I take my leave of you;
Shall not be long but I'll be here again.
Things at the worst will cease or else climb upward
To what they were before. – My pretty cousin,
Blessing upon you!

WIFE
Fathered he is, and yet he's fatherless.

ROSS
I am so much a fool, should I stay longer
It would be my disgrace and your discomfort.
I take my leave at once.
Exit

WIFE
Sirrah, your father's dead.
And what will you do now? How will you live?

SON
As birds do, mother.

WIFE
What, with worms and flies?

SON
With what I get, I mean; and so do they.

WIFE
Poor bird! thou'dst never fear
The net nor lime, 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.

WIFE
Yes, he is dead. How wilt thou do for a father?

SON
Nay, how will you do for a husband?

WIFE
Why, I can buy me twenty at any market.

SON
Then you'll buy 'em to sell again.

WIFE
Thou speak'st with all thy wit;
And yet, i' faith, with wit enough for thee.

SON
Was my father a traitor, mother?

WIFE
Ay, that he was.

SON
What is a traitor?

WIFE
Why, one that swears and lies.

SON
And be all traitors that do so?

WIFE
Every one that does so is a traitor,
And must be hanged.

SON
And must they all be hanged that swear and lie?

WIFE
Every one.

SON
Who must hang them?

WIFE
Why, the honest men.

SON
Then the liars and swearers are fools; for there are
liars and swearers enow to beat the honest men and hang
up them.

WIFE
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 quickly have a new
father.

WIFE
Poor prattler, how thou talk'st!
Enter a Messenger

MESSENGER
Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known,
Though in your state of honour I am perfect.
I doubt some danger does approach you nearly.
If you will take a homely man's advice,
Be not found here. Hence with your little ones!
To fright you thus methinks I am too savage;
To do worse to you were fell cruelty,
Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you!
I dare abide no longer.
Exit

WIFE
Whither should I fly?
I have done no harm. But I remember now
I am in this earthly world, where to do harm
Is often laudable, to do good sometime
Accounted dangerous folly. Why then, alas,
Do I put up that womanly defence
To say I have done no harm?
Enter Murderers
What are these faces?

MURDERER
Where is your husband?

WIFE
I hope in no place so unsanctified
Where such as thou mayst find him.

MURDERER
He's a traitor.

SON
Thou liest, thou shag-haired villain!

MURDERER
What, you egg,
Young fry of treachery!
He stabs him

SON
He has killed me, mother!
Run away, I pray you.
Son dies. Exit Wife crying ‘ Murder ’
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Malcolm and Macduff

MALCOLM
Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there
Weep our sad bosoms empty.

MACDUFF
Let us rather
Hold fast the mortal sword; and like good men
Bestride our down-fallen birthdom. Each new morn
New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds
As if it felt with Scotland, and yelled out
Like syllable of dolour.

MALCOLM
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 loved him well;
He hath not touched you yet. I am young; but something
You may deserve of him, through me; and wisdom
To offer up a weak poor innocent lamb
T' appease an angry god.

MACDUFF
I am not treacherous.

MALCOLM
But Macbeth is.
A good and virtuous nature may recoil
In an imperial charge. But I shall crave your pardon:
That which you are my thoughts cannot transpose;
Angels are bright still though the brightest fell.
Though all things foul would wear the brows of grace,
Yet grace must still look so.

MACDUFF
I have lost my hopes.

MALCOLM
Perchance even there where I did find my doubts.
Why in that rawness left you wife and child,
Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,
Without leave-taking? I pray you,
Let not my jealousies be your dishonours
But mine own safeties. You may be rightly just,
Whatever I shall think.

MACDUFF
Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dare not check thee; wear thou thy wrongs,
The title is affeered. Fare thee well, lord!
I would not be the villain that thou think'st
For the whole space that's in the tyrant's grasp,
And the rich East to boot.

MALCOLM
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.

MACDUFF
What should he be?

MALCOLM
It is myself I mean; in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted
That, when they shall be opened, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compared
With my confineless harms.

MACDUFF
Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damned
In evils to top Macbeth.

MALCOLM
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 daughters,
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 a one to reign.

MACDUFF
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
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 inclined.

MALCOLM
With this there grows
In my most ill-composed affection such
A staunchless 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
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.

MACDUFF
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 weighed.

MALCOLM
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.

MACDUFF
O Scotland, Scotland!

MALCOLM
If such a one be fit to govern, speak.
I am as I have spoken.

MACDUFF
Fit to govern!
No, not to live! O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant, bloody-sceptred,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accused
And does blaspheme his breed? Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king; the queen that bore thee,
Oftener upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. Fare thee well!
These evils thou repeat'st upon thyself
Have banished me from Scotland. O my breast,
Thy hope ends here!

MALCOLM
Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From overcredulous haste. But God above
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
No less in truth than life. My first false speaking
Was this upon myself. What I am truly
Is thine and my poor country's to command;
Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
Old Seyward with ten thousand warlike men,
Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now we'll together; and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?

MACDUFF
Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
'Tis hard to reconcile.
Enter a Doctor

MALCOLM
Well, more anon. –
Comes the King forth, I pray you?

DOCTOR
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.

MALCOLM
I thank you, doctor.
Exit Doctor

MACDUFF
What's the disease he means?

MALCOLM
'Tis called 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 people,
All swollen 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.
Enter Ross

MACDUFF
See who comes here.

MALCOLM
My countryman; but yet I know him not.

MACDUFF
My ever gentle cousin, welcome hither.

MALCOLM
I know him now. Good God betimes remove
The means that makes us strangers!

ROSS
Sir, amen.

MACDUFF
Stands Scotland where it did?

ROSS
Alas, poor country,
Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot
Be called our mother, but our grave; where nothing
But who knows nothing is once seen to smile;
Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rent the air
Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy. The dead man's knell
Is there scarce asked for who, and good men's lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying or ere they sicken.

MACDUFF
O relation
Too nice and yet too true.

MALCOLM
What's the newest grief?

ROSS
That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker;
Each minute teems a new one.

MACDUFF
How does my wife?

ROSS
Why, well.

MACDUFF
And all my children?

ROSS
Well too.

MACDUFF
The tyrant has not battered at their peace?

ROSS
No. They were well at peace when I did leave 'em.

MACDUFF
But 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 witnessed the rather
For that I saw the tyrant's power afoot.
Now is the time of help. (To Malcolm) Your eye in Scotland
Would create soldiers, make our women fight
To doff their dire distresses.

MALCOLM
Be't their comfort
We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
Lent us good Seyward and ten thousand men –
An older and a better soldier none
That Christendom gives out.

ROSS
Would I could answer
This comfort with the like. But I have words
That would be howled out in the desert air,
Where hearing should not latch them.

MACDUFF
What concern they?
The general cause, or is it a fee-grief
Due to some single breast?

ROSS
No mind that's honest
But in it shares some woe, though the main part
Pertains to you alone.

MACDUFF
If it be mine,
Keep it not from me; quickly let me have it.

ROSS
Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.

MACDUFF
Hum! I guess at it.

ROSS
Your castle is surprised, your wife and babes
Savagely slaughtered. To relate the manner
Were on the quarry of these murdered deer
To add the death of you.

MALCOLM
Merciful heaven!
What, man! Ne'er pull your hat upon your brows.
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break.

MACDUFF
My children too?

ROSS
Wife, children, servants, all
That could be found.

MACDUFF
And I must be from thence!
My wife killed too?

ROSS
I have said.

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

MACDUFF
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?

MALCOLM
Dispute it like a man.

MACDUFF
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
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff!
They were all struck for thee. Naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!

MALCOLM
Be this the whetstone of your sword; let grief
Convert to anger; blunt not the heart, enrage it.

MACDUFF
O, I could play the woman with mine eyes
And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle heavens,
Cut short all intermission. Front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself.
Within my sword's length set him; if he scape,
Heaven forgive him too.

MALCOLM
This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the King; our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may:
The night is long that never finds the day.
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL