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Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
By Sinel's death I know I'm 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.
Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them :—whither are they vanish'd?
Macb. Into the air; and what seem'd corporal melted
As breath into the wind.-Would they had stay'd!
Ban. Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root
That takes the reason prisoner?
You shall be king.
Macb. Your children shall be kings.
Macb. And thane of Cawdor too,-went it not so?
Ban. To the selfsame tune and words.-Who's here?
Enter Ross and ANGUS.
Ross. The king hath happily receiv'd, Macbeth,
The news of thy success: and when he reads
Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,
His wonders and his praises do contend
Which should be thine or his: silenc'd with that,
In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail
Came post with post ;(18) and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence,
And pour'd them down before him.
We are sent
To give thee, from our royal master, thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.(19)
Ross. And, for an earnest of a greater honour,
He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane!
For it is thine.
Ban. [aside] What, can the devil speak true?
Macb. The thane of Cawdor lives: why do you dress me
In borrow'd robes?
Who was the thane lives yet;
But under heavy judgment bears that life
Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was combin'd
With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
With hidden help and vantage, or that with both
He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not;
But treasons capital, confess'd and prov'd,
Have overthrown him.
Glamis, and thane of Cawdor!
The greatest is behind.-[To Ross and Ang.] Thanks for your
[Aside to Ban.] Do you not hope your children shall be
When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me.
Promis'd no less to them?
Ban. [aside to Macb.] That, trusted home,
Might yet enkindle you unto the crown,
Besides the thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange:
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
The instruments of darkness tell us truths;
Win us with honest trifles, to betray's
In deepest consequence.—
Cousins, a word, I pray you.
Two truths are told,
As happy prologues to the swelling act
Of the imperial theme. I thank you, gentlemen.-
[Aside] This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill; cannot be good :-if ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Cawdor:
If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings:
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man, that function
Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is
But what is not.
Look, how our partner's rapt.
Macb. [aside] If chance will have me king, why, chance
New honours come upon him,
Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould.
But with the aid of use.
Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. (2
Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
Macb. Give me your favour :-my dull brain was wrought With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains
Are register'd where every day I turn
The leaf to read them.-Let us toward the king.[Aside to Ban.] Think upon what hath chanc'd; and, at more
The interim having weigh'd it, let us speak
Our free hearts each to other.
Ban. [aside to Macb.]
Macb. [aside to Ban.] Till then, enough.-Come, friends.
SCENE IV. Forres. A room in the palace.
Flourish. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, LENNOX, and
Dun. Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not(21)
Those in commission yet return'd?
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die: who did report,
That very frankly he confess'd his treasons;
Implor'd your highness' pardon; and set forth
A deep repentance: nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it; he died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
As 'twere a careless trifle.
There's no art
To find the mind's construction in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.
Enter MACBETH, BANQUO, Ross, and ANGUS.
O worthiest cousin!
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me: thou'rt so far before,
That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserv'd,
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine! only I've left to say,
More is thy due than more than all can pay.
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe,
In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part
Is to receive our duties; and our duties
Are to your
throne and state children and servants;
Which do but what they should by doing every thing
Safe toward your love and honour.
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing.-Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserv'd, nor must be known
No less to have done so; let me infold thee
And hold thee to my heart.
There if I grow,
The harvest is your own.
My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow.—Sons, kinsmen, thanes,(22)
And you whose places are the nearest, know,
We will establish our estate upon
Our eldest, Malcolm; whom we name hereafter
The Prince of Cumberland: which honour must
Not unaccompanied invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers. From hence to Inverness,
And bind us further to you.
Macb. The rest is labour, which is not us'd for you:(23)
I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful
The hearing of my wife with your approach:
So, humbly take my leave.
My worthy Cawdor!
Macb. [aside] The Prince of Cumberland! that is a step,
On which I must fall down, or else o'erleap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires:
The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be,
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.
Dun. True, worthy Banquo,-he is full so valiant;
And in his commendations I am fed,-
It is a banquet to me. Let's after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome:
It is a peerless kinsman.
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promis'd: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
SCENE V. Inverness. A room in MACBETH's castle.
Enter Lady MACBETH, reading a letter.
Lady M. "They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me 'Thane of Cawdor;' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with 'Hail, king that shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell."