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Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark ;
AU. Double, double toil and trouble;
2 Witch. Cool it with a baboon's blood;
Enter HECATE, and other Witches'.
And now about the cauldron sing,
[Music and a Song. “ Black spirits*,” &c. 2 Witch. By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes.
[Knocking. Open, locks, whoever knocks.
? Add thereto a tiger's CHAUDRON,) i, e, a tiger's entrails.
: Enter Hecate and other Witches.] The old stage-direction is, “ Enter Hecate, and the other three Witches." What “ other three Witches” are intended does not appear: perhaps we ought to read only, “ Enter Hecate, and other three Witches;" but that some addition was meant to the three Witches who had been engaged in the incantation is highly probable, if only for the purpose of the song which is given immediately afterwards.
+ Music and a Song. “Black spirits,” &c.] The following, taken from “ The Witch," by Thomas Middleton, (Works, by the Rev. A. Dyce, vol. iii. p. 328,) is probably the song intended :
“ Black spirits, and white,
Red spirits and grey ;
You that mingle may." Doubtless, it does not belong to Middleton more than to Shakespeare ; but it was inserted in both dramas, because it was appropriate to the occasion.
Enter MACBETH. Macb. How now, you secret, black, and midnight
hags! What is't you do? AU.
A deed without a name. Macb. 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 germinstumble all together, Even till destruction sicken, answer me To what I ask you. 1 Witch.
Speak. 2 Witch.
Demand. 3 Witch.
We'll answer. 1 Witch. Say, if thou’dst rather hear it from our
Call 'em : let me see 'em.
Come high, or low;
5 Of nature's GERMINS—] “Germins " are seeds which have begun to germinate or sprout. Shakespeare uses the word again in “ King Lear," A. iii. sc. 2.
6 Call 'Em : let me see 'Em.] Thus it stands in the old copy, in opposition to the practice of some modern actors who lay a peculiar emphasis on them, which could not be meant by the poet, if he wrote the contraction of “ 'em" for them in both instances, as it is printed in the folios.
7 — DEFTLY show.] i. e, Dexterously, or fittingly, from the Sax, dæft.
Thunder. 1 Apparition, an armed Head®. Macb. Tell me, thou unknown power,2 Witch.
He knows thy thought : Hear his speech, but say thou nought. 1 App. Macbeth! Macbeth ! Macbeth! beware
[Descends. Macb. Whate'er thou art, for thy good caution
thanks : Thou hast harp'd my fear aright. — But one word
more : 1 Witch. He will not be commanded. Here's ano
ther, More potent than the first.
Thunder. 2 Apparition, a bloody Child. App.
Macbeth! Macbeth ! Macbeth Macb. 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.
[Descends. Macb. Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of
Thunder. 3 Apparition, a Child crowned, with a Tree
in his Hand. That rises like the issue of a king ;
& Apparition, an armed Head.] In the old copies, the Apparitions are distinguished by the figures 1, 2, and 3, meaning the first, second, and third Apparition; and there seems every reason to continue to observe this practice, for the sake of distinctness.
And wears upon bis baby brow the round
Listen, but speak not to't.
That will never be:
Seek to know no more.
[Hautboys. 1 Witch. Show! 2 Witch. Show! 3 Witch, Show!
All. Show his eyes, and grieve his heart; Come like shadows, so depart. A show of eight Kings, and BANQUo last, with a Glass in
his Hand?. Macb. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo: down!
9 Who can IMPRESS the forest ;] i.e. Who can “ impress” the forest into his service ?
1 Rebellious HEAD, rise never,] “ Rebellious dead” runs through the folios : the emendation was first made by Theobald.
2 – and Banquo last, with a Glass in his Hand.) Such is the old stagedirection, which, being complete in itself, and applicable to what follows, there is no sufficient reason for altering, as has been done in the modern editions. The first of the show of kings must have resembled “the spirit of Banquo," as one of his immediate descendants. The crown seared the eye-balls of Macbeth, because it fulfilled the prediction of the Witches respecting Banquo's issue.
Which she fold balls ang. I see, 'tis
Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls :—and thy hair,
1 Witch. Ay, sir, all this is so : but why
[Music. The Witches dance, and vanish. Macb. Where are they? Gone ?-Let this pernicious
hour Stand aye accursed in the calendar — Come in! without there!
3 – and thy HAIR,] Mr. Amyot, with Monck Mason, prefers “hair" to air, which was Warburton's change from the old copies, which all have haire. The likeness was in the “hair," to which Macbeth's attention was directed by the crown surmounting it. Besides, had air been intended, the pronoun before it would probably have been printed thine, and not “thy :" thine is generally used before words beginning with vowels, or with an h when not aspirated.
+ - the BLOOD-BOLTER'D Banquom] The epithet “ blood-bolter'd” (says Malone) is a provincial term, well known in Warwickshire. When a horse, sheep, or other animal, perspires much, and any of the hair or wool, in consequence of such perspiration, or any redundant humour, becomes matted in tufts with grime and sweat, he is said to be boltered ; and whenever the blood issues out, and coagulates, forming the locks into hard clotted bunches, the beast is said to be a blood-bolter'd.” To this note we may add, that in “ Arden of Faversham” the word bolstered is used much in the same sense: Michael says,
“ Methinkes I see them with their bolstered haire,
Staring and grinning in thy gentle face."