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The Tragedy of Macbeth

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Act III, Scene 5

A Heath.


[Thunder. Enter the three Witches meeting HECATE]

  • Hecate. Have I not reason, beldams as you are,
    Saucy and overbold? How did you dare
    To trade and traffic with Macbeth
    In riddles and affairs of death; 1455
    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 1460
    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 1465
    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 1470
    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;
    I'll catch it ere it come to ground: 1475
    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 1480
    He 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]
    Hark! I am call'd; my little spirit, see, 1485
    Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.


  • First Witch. Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again.