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Augurs, and understood relations, have

By magot-pies, and choughs, and rocks, brought forth The secret'st man of blood.-What is the night?

Lady M. Almost at odds with morning, which is


Macb. How say'st thou, that Macduff denies his


At our great bidding*?

Lady M.

Did you send to him, sir?

Macb. I hear it by the way; but I will send: There's not a one of them, but in his house

I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow,
(Betimes I will,) unto the weird sisters:

More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst: for mine own good,
All causes shall give way; I am in blood
Stept in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er:

Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted, ere they may be scann'd3.


Lady M. You lack the season of all natures, sleep.

Augurs, and understood relations, &c.] Perhaps we should read auguries, i. e. prognostications by means of omens and prodigies. These, together with the connexion of effects with causes, being understood, (says he,) have been instrumental in divulging the most secret murders. Magot-pie is the original name of the bird; Magot being the familiar appellation given to pies, of which the modern mag is the abbreviation.

How say'st thou, &c.] i. e. What do you think of this circumstance, that Macduff denies to come at our great bidding? What do you infer from thence? What is your opinion of the matter? The circumstance on which this question is founded, took its rise from the old history. Macbeth sent to Macduff to assist in building the castle of Dunsinane. Macduff sent workmen, &c. but did not choose to trust his person in the tyrant's power. From that time he resolved on his death. STEEVENS.


be scann'd.] To scan is to examine nicely.

• You lack the season of all natures, sleep.] i. e. you stand in need of the time or season of sleep, which all natures require.

Macb. Come, we'll to sleep: My strange and self-abuse Is the initiate fear, that wants hard use:

We are yet but young in deed.



The Heath.

Thunder. Enter HECATE, meeting the three Witches.

1 Witch. Why, how now, Hecate? you look angerly.
Hec. Have I not reason, beldams, as you are,
Saucy, and over-bold? How did you dare
To trade and traffick with Macbeth,

In riddles, and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close contriver of all harms,
Was never call'd to bear my part,
Or show the glory of our art?

And, which is worse, all you have done,
Hath been but for a wayward son,

Spiteful, and wrathful; who, as others do,
Loves for his own ends, not for you.
But make amends now: Get you gone,
And at the pit of Acheron

Meet me i'the morning; thither he
Will come to know his destiny.

Your vessels, and your spells, provide,
Your charms, and every thing beside :
I am for the air; this night I'll spend
Unto a dismal-fatal end†.

Great business must be wrought ere noon:
Upon the corner of the moon

There hangs a vaporous drop profound';


"Unto a dismal and a fatal end."-MALOne.

vaporous drop profound;] This vaporous drop seems

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I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that, distill'd by magick slights",
Shall raise such artificial sprights,
As, by the strength of their illusion,
Shall draw him on to his confusion:
He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear
His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear:
And you all know, security

Is mortal's chiefest enemy.

SONG. [within.] Come away, come away, &c.

Hark, I am call'd; my little spirit, see,

Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.


1 Witch. Come, let's make haste: she'll soon be

back again.



Fores. A Room in the Palace.

Enter LENOX, and another Lord.

Len. My former speeches have but hit your thoughts, Which can interpret further: only, I say,

Things have been strangely borne: The gracious

Was pitied of Macbeth:-marry, he was dead:-
And the right valiant Banquo walk'd too late;
Whom, you may say, if it please you, Fleance kill'd,
For Fleance fled. Men must not walk too late.
Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous
It was for Malcolm, and for Donalbain,
To kill their gracious father? damned fact!

to have been meant for the same as the virus lunare of the ancients, being a foam which the moon was supposed to have shed on particular herbs, or other objects, when strongly solicited by enchantment.

8 slights,] Arts; subtle practices.

How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight,
In pious rage, the two delinquents tear,

That were the slaves of drink, and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too;
For 'twould have anger'd any heart alive,
To hear the men deny it. So that, I say,
He has borne all things well: and I do think,
That, had he Duncan's son under his key,

(As, an't please heaven, he shall not,) they should find What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance.

But, peace-for from broad words, and 'cause he fail'd His presence at the tyrant's feast, I hear,

Macduff lives in disgrace: Sir, can you tell

Where he bestows himself?


The son of Duncan,

From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,
Lives in the English court; and is receiv'd
Of the most pious Edward with such grace,
That the malevolence of fortune nothing
Takes from his high respect: Thither Macduff
Is gone to pray the holy king, on his aid +
To wake Northumberland, and warlike Siward:
That, by the help of these, (with Him above
To ratify the work,) we may again

Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights;

Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives';
Do faithful homage, and receive free honours',
All which we pine for now: And this report
Hath so exasperate the king, that he

Prepares for some attempt of war.

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• Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives;] The construction is-Free our feasts and banquets from bloody knives.

1 and receive free honours,] Free may be either honours freely bestowed, not purchased by crimes; or honours without slavery, without dread of a tyrant. JOHNSON.

2 the king,] i. e. Macbeth.

Lord. He did: and with an absolute, Sir, not I,
The cloudy messenger turns me his back,

And hums; as who should say, You'll rue the time
That clogs me with this answer.

And that well might

Advise him to a caution, to hold what distance
His wisdom can provide. Some holy angel
Fly to the court of England, and unfold

His message ere he come; that a swift blessing
May soon return to this our suffering country
Under a hand accurs'd!


My prayers with him † !



SCENE I.-A dark Cave. In the middle, a Cauldron


Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

1 Witch. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
2 Witch. Thrice; and once the hedge-pig whin'd.
3 Witch. Harper cries :-'Tis time, 'tis time.
1 Witch. Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.

Toad, that under coldest stone.
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i'the charmed pot!
All. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and, cauldron, bubble.

+"I'll send my prayers with him." MALONE.

8 Harper, cries:] Harper may be a mis-spelling, or misprint for harpy. The word cries likewise seems to countenance this supposition. Crying is one of the technical terms appropriated to the noise made by birds of prey.

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