Act 4, Scene 1

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[A cavern. In the middle, a boiling cauldron.
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 blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet'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,
Witches' 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 ingredients 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 Hecate to the other three Witches]

Hecate

O well done. I commend your pains,
And every one shall share i' the gains.
And now about the cauldron sing,
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.
[Music and a song, Hecate retires]

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 yeasty 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 th’hadst 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 nought.

First Apparition

Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth, beware Macduff;
Beware the Thane of Fife. Dismiss me, enough.
[Descends]

Macbeth

Whatever 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'ld hear thee.

Second Apparition

Be bloody, bold, and resolute. Laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.
[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 Birnam wood, to high Dunsinane hill,
Shall come against him.
[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 Birnam 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, and what noise is this?
[Hautboys (oboes) play]

First Witch

Show.

Second Witch

Show.

Third Witch

Show.

All

Show his eyes, and grieve his heart;
Come like shadows, so depart.
[A parade of Eight Kings, the last with a mirror in his hand; Ghost of Banquo following]

Macbeth

[To the first image] 
Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo. Down!
[To the second ] 
Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls. And thy hair,
Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first.
[To the third] 
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 two-fold balls and treble scepters carry.
Horrible sight. Now, I see, 'tis true;
For the blood-boltered 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 antic round,
That this great king may kindly say,
Our duties did his welcome pay.
[Music. The witches dance and then vanish, with Hecate]

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 anticipatest 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.
[Exit]