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Macbeth Act IV Scene I

William Shakespeare

This is the first half of Shakespeare's Macbeth Act IV Scene I containing the classic Witch's, "Double, double toil and trouble" incantation up to the timeless, "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes" portent. The scene opens in a cavern with a bubbling cauldron. There is a mighty a clap of thunder, then the three witch sisters enter...

 

Witch 1: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd

Witch 2: Thrice and once the hedge-pig whin'd

Witch 3: Harper cries: 'Tis time, 'tis time.

 

Witch 1: Round about the cauldron 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 charmed pot.

 

All: Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 

Witch 2: Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron 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 howlet's wing,

For a charm of powerful trouble,

Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

 

All: Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 

Witch 3: 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 cauldron.

 

All: Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

 

Witch 2: Cool it with a baboon's blood,

Then the charm is firm and good.

 

Hectate: O! well done! I commend your pains,

And every one shall share i' the gains.

And now about the cauldron sing,

Like elves and fairies in a ring,

Enchanting all that you put in.

 

Witch 2: By the pricking of my thumbs,

Something wicked this way comes.

 
   

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