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I am the best of them that speak this speech,
How ! the best?
Fer. A simple thing, as I am now, that wonders
Alack for mercy !
The Duke of Milan,
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. now, France ?” says King John to King Philip. “ I'm dying, Egypt!" says Antony to Cleopatra.
MACBETH AND THE WITCHES.
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,
In the poison'd entrails throw
Boil thou first i’ the charmèd pot!
Fire, burn; and, caldron, bubble. 2nd Wi. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake :
Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble.
Fire, burn; and, caldron, bubble. 3rd Wi. Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf ;
Witches' mummy; maw, and gulf,
Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse;
For the ingredients of our caldron.
Fire burn; and, caldron, bubble. 2nd Wi. Cool it with a baboon's blood.
Enter HECATE and the three other WITCHES.
Hec. 0, well done! I commend your pains ;
(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? All.
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 Co found 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 gérmins tumble all together,
Speak 2nd Wi.
Demand. 3rd Wi.
Call them, let me see them.
Come, high, or low;
Thunder. An Apparition of an armed Head rises. Mac. Tell me, thou unknown power, 1st Wi.
He knows thy thought ; Hear his speech, but say thou nought.
App. Macbeth ! Macbeth ! Macbeth! beware Macduff ; Beware the Thane of Fife.-Dismiss me ;-Enough.
(Descends.) 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
Had I three ears, I'd hear thee
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;
Thunder, An Apparition of a Child crowned, with a tree in his
Listen, but speak not to 't.
That will never be ;
Seek to know no more.
Come like shadows, so depart.