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Stad. There was a bat hung at my lips three times
As we came through the woods, and drank her fill.
Old Puckle saw her.
The very screech-owl lights upon your shoulder,
I'll overtake you swiftly.
betimes. Hec. I'll reach you quickly. [The other Witches mount. Fire. They are all going a-birding to-night. They talk of
fowls in the air, that fly by day: I am sure, they 'll
spies me now.
too good for me.
and three serpentine eggs.
[sure Hec. And Selago,
Hedge hyssop too: how near he goes my cuttings !
Were they all cropt by moonlight ?
Look well to the house to-night: I am for aloft.
once, that I might have all quickly. Hark, hark,
over your head with a noise of musicians.
1 Probably the true reading is after't.
Song in the Air.
Hecate, Hecate, come away.
With all the speed I may,
Where's Stadsin ?
And Hoppo too, and Hellwain too:
[A Spirit like a Cat descends. [Above.] -There's one come down to fetch his dues ;
A kiss, a coll, a sip of blood :
Since the air 's so sweet and good.
Either come, or else
I go, now I fly, [language.
Or cannon's throat, our height can reach.
Fire. I know as well as can be when my mother's mad, and
our Great cat angry; for one spits French then, and the
other spits Latin. Duch. I did not doubt you, mother, Hec. No! what, did you ?
My power's so firm, it is not to be question’d. Duch. Forgive what's past; and now I know the offensive
That vexes art, I'll shun the occasion ever. [ness Hec. Leave all to me and my five sisters, daughter.
It shall be convey'd in at howlet-time.
We are no niggard. -
ate up as much the other night as would have
made me a good conscionable pudding. Hec. Give me some lizard's brain, quickly, Firestone.
Where's grannam Stadlin, and all the rest of the sisters ? Fire. All at hand, forsooth. [The other Witches appear. Hec. Give me Marmaritin; some Bear-breech: when ? Fire. Here's Bear-breech and lizard's-brain, forsooth. Hec. Into the vessel ;
And fetch three ounces of the red-hair'd girl
I kill'd last midnight.
A Charm Song about a Vessel.
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.
All Ill come running in, all Good keep out.
Hec. Put in that, O, put in that.
The juice of toad; the oil of adder.
There; 't hath the true perfection: I am so light'
But is a tune methinks.
[you, Hec. Come, my sweet sisters, let the air strike our tune; Whilst we show reverence to yon peeping moon.
[The Witches dance, et Exeunt. [Though some resemblance may be traced between the Charms in Macbeth and the Incantations in this Play, which is supposed to have preceded it, this coincidence will not detract much from the originality of Shakspeare. His witches are distinguished from the witches of Middleton by essential differences. These are creatures to whom man or woman plotting some dire mischief might resort for occasional consultation. Those originate deeds of blood, and begin bad impulses to men. From the moment that their eyes first meet with Macbeth's, he is spell-bound. That meeting sways his destiny. He can never break the fascination. These witches can hurt the body: those have power over the soul.—Hecate in Middleton has a Son, a low buffoon: the hags of Shakspeare have neither child of their own, nor seem to be descended from any parent. They are foul Anomalies, of whom we know not whence they are sprung, nor whe. ther they have beginning or ending. As they are without human passions, so they seem to be without human relations. They come with thunder and lightning, and vanish to airy music. This is all we know of them.Except Hecate, they have no names; which heightens their mysterious
Their names, and some of the properties, which Middleton has given to his hags, excite smiles. The Weird Sisters are serious things. Their presence cannot co-exist with mirth. But in a lesser degree, the Witches of Middleton are fine creations. Their power too is, in some measure, over the mind. They raise jars, jealousies, strifes, like a thick scurf o'er life.]