Page images

I am the best of them that speak this speech,

Were I but where 't is spoken.

How! the best?
What wert thou, if the King of Naples heard thee?
Fer. A simple thing, as I am now, that wonders
To hear thee speak of Naples; he does hear me ;
And, that he does, I weep; myself am Naples;2
Who with mine eyes, ne'er since at ebb, beheld
The king my father wreck'd.


Alack for mercy!

Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords; the Duke of Milan,
And his brave son, being twain.

Pro. (aside.)
The Duke Milan,
And his more braver daughter, could controul thee,
If now 'twere fit to do 't.-At the first sight
They have chang'd eyes!-Delicate Ariel, (aside.)
I'll set thee free for this!

1 The fringed curtains of thine eye advance. Why Shakspeare should have condescended to the elaborate nothingness, not to say nonsense of this metaphor (for what is meant by advancing "curtains"?) I cannot conceive; that is to say, if he did condescend; for it looks very like the interpolation of some pompous, declamatory player Pope has put it into his treatise on the Bathos.

2" Myself am Naples."-This is a very summary and kingly style. Shakspeare is fond of it. "How, now, France?" says King John to King Philip. "I'm dying, Egypt!" says Antony to Cleopatra.


This scene fortunately comprises a summary of the whole subsequent history of Macbeth.


A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder. Enter three Witches.

1st Wi. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd,
2nd Wi. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd,
3rd Wi. Harper cries:-'Tis time, 'tis time.
1st Wi. Round about the caldron go;

In the poison'd entrails throw
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast, thirty-one,
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmèd pot!
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and, caldron, bubble.
2nd Wi. Fillet of a fenny snake,


In the caldron 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.
Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire, burn; and, caldron, bubble.
3rd Wi. 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,

Sliver'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 caldron.
All. Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn; and, caldron, bubble.
2nd Wi. Cool it with a baboon's blood.

Enter HECATE and the three other WITCHES. Hec. O, well done! I commend your pains; And every one shall share i' the gains, And now about the caldron sing, Like elves and fairies in a ring, Enchanting all that you put in.

(Music and a Song, Black spirits, &c.)

2nd Wi. By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes ;— Open, locks, whoever knocks.


Mac. How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags, What is't you do?


A deed without a name.

Mac. 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 lodg'd, 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 germins tumble all together,
Even till destruction sicken, answer me
To what I ask you.


1st Wi.

2nd Wi.

3rd Wi.

We'll answer.

1st Wi. Say, if thou'dst rather hear it from our mouths,

Or from our masters'?


Call them, let me see them. 1st Wi. Pour in sow's blood, that hath eaten Her nine farrow; grease, that's sweaten

From the murderer's gibbet, throw
Into the flame.



Come, high, or low; Thyself, and office, deftly show.

Thunder. An Apparition of an armed Head rises.

Mac. Tell me, thou unknown power,

1st Wi.

Hear his speech, but say thou nought.

App. Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff; Beware the Thane of Fife.-Dismiss me ;-Enough.

He knows thy thought;


Mac. Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution thanks; Thou hast harp'd my fear aright:-But one word more ;1st Wi. He will not be commanded: Here's another, More potent than the first.

Thunder. An Apparition of a bloody Child rises.3

App. Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth !—


Had I three ears, I'd hear thee App. Be bloody, bold, and resolute; laugh to scorn The power of man, for none of woman born

Shall harm Macbeth.

Mac. Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee?.

But yet I'll make assurance doubly 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.-What is this?


An Apparition of a Child crowned, with a tree in his hand, rises.

That rises like the issue of a king;

And wears upon his baby-brow the round

And top of sovereignty!

Listen, but speak not to 't.
App. 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.

That will never be ;
Who can impress the forest; bid the tree

Unfix his earth-bound root? sweet bodements! good!
Rebellious head, rise never, till the wood

Of Birnam rise, and our high-plac'd 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 the kingdom?

Seek to know no more.
Mac. I will be satisfied; deny me this

And an eternal curse fall on you! Let me know :-
Why sinks that caldron? and what noise is this?

1st Wi. Show!

2nd Wi.

3rd Wi.


All. Show his eyes and grieve his heart,
Come like shadows, so depart.




« EelmineJätka »