Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Macbeth > Act IV, scene I

Jump to: the first appearance of by_the_pricking_of_my_thumbs,

	[Thunder. Enter the three Witches]

First Witch: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.

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 poison'd entrails throw.
	Toad, that under cold 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.

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 ravin'd salt-sea shark,
	Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
	Liver of blaspheming Jew,
	Gall of goat, and slips of yew
	Silver'd 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.

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,
	Live elves and fairies in a ring,
	Enchanting all that you put in.

	[Music and a song: 'Black spirits,' &c]

	[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 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 nought.

First Apparition: Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff;
	Beware the thane of Fife. Dismiss me. Enough.


MACBETH: Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution, thanks;
	Thou hast harp'd 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.


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 vanquish'd be until
	Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
	Shall come against him.


MACBETH: That will never be
	Who can impress the forest, bid the tree
	Unfix his earth-bound root? Sweet bodements! good!
	Rebellion's head, 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?


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, the last with a glass in
	his hand; GHOST OF BANQUO following]

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 two-fold balls and treble scepters carry:
	Horrible sight! Now, I see, 'tis true;
	For the blood-bolter'd 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 damn'd 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.



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