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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
Act III
 
Scene V
 
 
[A heath] 1
Thunder. Enter the three Witches, meeting HECATE

  1. Witch.  Why, how now, Hecate! you look angerly.
  Hec. Have I not reason, beldams 2 as you are,
Saucy and overbold? How did you dare
To trade and traffic with Macbeth        4
In riddles and affairs of death;
And I, the mistress of your charms,
The close 3 contriver of all harms,
Was never call’d to bear my part,        8
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,        12
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        16
Will come to know his destiny.
Your vessels and your spells provide,
Your charms and everything beside.
I am for the air; this night I’ll spend        20
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 profound;        24
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        28
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 4        32
Is mortals’ chiefest enemy.  Music, and a song
Hark! I am call’d; my little spirit, see,
Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.  [Exit.]  (Sing within: “Come away, come away,” etc.
  1. Witch.  Come, let’s make haste; she’ll soon be back again.  Exeunt.        36
 
Note 1. This scene is probably the interpolation of a later dramatist. [back]
Note 2. Hags. [back]
Note 3. Secret. [back]
Note 4. Over-confidence. [back]
 

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