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Fer. The ditty does remember my drowned father,
Pro. The fringed curtains of thine eye advance,1
What is 't? a spirit?
Most sure, the goddess
No wonder, sir;
Lord, how it looks about! Believe, me, sir,
Pro. No, wench; it eats and sleeps, and hath such senses
Was in the wreck; and but he's something stain'd
And strays about to find them.
I ever saw so noble.
It goes on (aside),
As my soul prompts it :-Spirit, fine spirit! I'll free thee
But, certainly a maid.
My language! heavens!
Alack for mercy!
Fer. Yes, faith, and all his lords; the Duke of Milan, And his brave son, being twain.
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. "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.
1st Wi. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd,
2nd Wi. Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd,
In the caldron boil and bake:
Root of hemlock, digg'd i' the dark :
Enter HECATE and the three other WITCHES
(Music and a Song, Black Spirits, &c.)
2nd Wi. By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes :—
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 palaces and pyramids do slope
Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure
Of nature's germins tumble all together,
1st Wi. Say, if thou’dst rather hear it from our mouths, Or from our masters'?
Call them, let me see them.
Into the flame.
Thunder. An Apparition of an armed Head rises.
Mac. Tell me, thou unknown power,
He knows thy thought,
Hear his speech, but say thou naught.
App. Macbeth! Macbeth! Macbeth! beware Macduff;
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?
Thunder. An Apparition of a Child crowned, with a tree in his hand,
That rises like the issue of a king;
And wears upon his baby-brow the round
And top of sovereignty!
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Mac. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo; down!
Why do you show me this? a fourth? Start, eyes!
For the blood-bolter'd Banquo smiles upon me,
Eight Kings appear, and pass over the stage in order; the last with a glass in his hand; Banquo following.
Come, sisters, cheer we up his sprites,