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Hec. Have I not reason, beldams

as you are,

Saucy and over-bold? How did you dare

To trade and traffic 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 Acheron1.

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 and a fatal end:
Great business must be wrought ere

noon:

Upon the corner of the moon
There hangs a vaporous drop pro-
found;

I'll catch it ere it come to ground:
And that distill'd by magic sleights.
Shall raise such artificial sprites
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 mortals' chiefest enemy.

[Music and a song within:
"Come away, come away," &c.

1 Acheron (mourning): a river or a lake which served as a boundary to Hades.

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That, had he Duncan's sons 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?

Lord. From whom this tyrant holds the due of birth,

The son of Duncan,

Lives in the English court, and is re

ceived

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, upon 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.
Len.
Sent he to Macduff?

Lord. He did: and with an abso-
lute "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."
Len.
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 accursed!

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Sec. Witch. Fillet1 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 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,

Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd 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-deliver'd 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.

Sec. Witch. Cool it with a baboon's
blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

Enter HECATE to the other THREE WITCHES

Hec. 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: "Black spirits," &c. HECATE retires. Sec. Witch. By the pricking of my thumbs,

1 fillet, etc.: Note the power of dramatic suggestion in the grewsome ingredients chosen for the broth.

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