Thursday, October 21, 2010

By the pricking of my thumbs,/ Something wicked this way comes!

Nothing eerier than these three lovely ladies:

And one of Shakespeare’s most famous scenes, "The Song of the Witches" (Macbeth, Act 4, scene i):

[A Cavern. In the middle, a boiling Cauldron.]

[Thunder. Enter the three Witches.]

First Witch
Thrice the brinded Cat hath mew'd.

Second Witch
Thrice and once the Hedge-Pig whined.

Third Witch
Harpier cries: 'Tis time, 'tis time.

First Witch
Round about the Cauldron go;
In the poison'd Entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and Nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd Venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and Cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Fillet of a Fenny Snake,
In the Cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of Newt, and Toe of Frogge,
Wool of Bat, and Tongue of Dogge,
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.

Double, double, toil and trouble,
Fire burn and Cauldron bubble.

Third Witch
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
Silver'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.

Double, double, toil and trouble
Fire burn and Cauldron bubble.

Second Witch
Cool it with a Baboon's blood,
Then the Charm is firm and good.

[Enter Hecate.]

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.

[Music, and a song, 'Black Spirits,' and company.]

Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray;
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.

[Exit Hecate.]

Second Witch
By the pricking of my Thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
Open, Locks,
Whoever knocks.

[Enter Macbeth.]

How now, you secret, black, and midnight Hags?
What is't you do?

A deed without a name.

"The Shakespeare Code" (season 3, episode 2 of Doctor Who) provides sufficient "inspiration" for this scene:

Happy Thursday!

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