William Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI (1589-90; rev. 1594-95):
[Tal.] Pucelle, that witch, that damned sorceress,
Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares,
That hardly we escaped the pride of France. (3.2.38-40)
[Puc.] Now help, ye charming spells and periapts;
And ye choice spirits that admonish me
And give me signs of future accidents. Thunder.
You speedy helpers, that are substitutes
Under the lordly monarch of the north,
Appear and aid me in this enterprise.
This speedy and quick appearance argues proof
Of your accustom'd diligence to me.
Now, ye familiar spirits, that are cull'd
Out of the powerful regions under earth,
Help me this once, that France may get the field.
They walk, and speak not.
O, hold me not with silence over-long!
Where I was wont to feed you with my blood,
I'll lop a member off and give it you
In earnest of further benefit,
So you do condescend to help me now.
They hang their heads.
No hope to have redress? My body shall
Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit.
They shake their heads.
Cannot my body nor blood-sacrifice
Entreat you to your wonted furtherance?
Then take my soul, my body, soul and all,
Before that England give the French the foil.
See, they forsake me! Now the time is come
That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest
And let her head fall into England's lap.
My ancient incantations are too weak,
And hell too strong for me to buckle with:
Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust. (5.3.2-29)
Puc. You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders but by help of devils.
No, misconceived! (5.4.47-49)
William Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI (1590-91):
[Duch.] Hast thou as yet conferr'd
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer? (1.274-76)
[Boling.] It shall be convenient, Master Hume, that you be by her aloft, while we be busy below; and so, I pray you, go, in God's name, and leave us. (Exit Hume.) Mother Jourdan, be you prostrate and grovel on the earth. (She lies down upon her face.) John Southwell, read you; and let us to our work.
Enter Eleanor the Duchess aloft, Hume following.
Duch. Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this gear the sooner the better.
Boling. Patience, good lady, wizards know their times.
Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
The time of night when Troy was set on fire,
The time when screech-owls cry and ban-dogs howl,
And spirits walk, and ghosts break up their graves,
That time best fits the work we have in hand.
Madam, sit you and fear not: whom we raise,
We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.
Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle; Bolingbroke or Southwell reads, ‘Conjuro te, &c.’ It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth.
M. Jord. Asmath,
By the eternal God, whose name and power
Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask;
For, till thou speak, thou shalt not pass from hence.
Spir. Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!
Boling. 'First of the king: what shall of him become?' (Reading out of a paper.)
Spir. The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose;
But him outlive, and die a violent death.
As the Spirit speaks, Southwell writes the answer.
Boling. 'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'
Spir. By water shall he die, and take his end.
Boling. 'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'
Spir. Let him shun castles;
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand.
Have done, for more I hardly can endure.
Boling. Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
False fiend, avoid!
Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit sinking down again. (1.4.7-40)
[Suf.] The duchess, by his subornation,
Upon my life, began her devilish practises:
Or, if he were not privy to those faults,
Yet … Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess
By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall. (3.1.45-52)
William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1606):
Thunder and lightning. Enter three Witches.
1. Witch. When shall we three meet again
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
2. Witch. When the hurlyburly's done,
When the battle's lost and won.
3. Witch. That will be ere the set of sun.
1. Witch. Where the place?
2. Witch. Upon the heath.
3. Witch. There to meet with Macbeth.
1. Witch. I come, Graymalkin!
2. Witch. Paddock calls.
3. Witch. Anon.
All. Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air. Exeunt. (1.1.1-12)
All. The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about:
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm's wound up.
Enter Macbeth and Banquo.
Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
Ban. How far is’t call’d to Forres? What are these
So wither'd and so wild in their attire,
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips: you should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so. (1.3.32-47)
[Macb.] Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost. (2.1.49-56)
Macb. How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags! (4.1.48)
William Shakespeare, The Tempest (1611):
[Pros.] This damn'd witch Sycorax,
For mischiefs manifold and sorceries terrible
To enter human hearing, from Argier,
Thou know'st, was banish'd: for one thing she did
They would not take her life….
This blue-eyed hag was hither brought with child
And here was left by the sailors. Thou, my slave,
As thou report'st thyself, wast then her servant;
And, for thou wast a spirit too delicate
To act her earthy and abhorr'd commands,
Refusing her grand hests, she did confine thee,
By help of her more potent ministers
And in her most unmitigable rage,
Into a cloven pine; within which rift
Imprison'd thou didst painfully remain
A dozen years; within which space she died
And left thee there; where thou didst vent thy groans
As fast as mill-wheels strike. (1.2.263-81)
William Shakespeare, Richard III (1592-93):
Glou. Foul wrinkled witch, what makest thou in my sight? (1.3.163)
Glu. Look how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me. (3.4.68-72)
William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors (1592-94):
[S. Ant.] They say this town is full of cozenage,
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind,
Soul-killing witches that deform the body,
Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks,
And many such-like liberties of sin. (1.2.97-102)
William Shakespeare, The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597; rev. 1600-01):
[Ford.] Out of my door, you witch, you hag, you baggage, you polecat, you runyon! out, out! I'll conjure you, I'll fortune-tell you. (4.2.184-86)
William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599):
[Chorus] The cripple tardy-gaited night…
like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. (4.Ch.20-22)
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-01):
[Mar.] Some say that ever, 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
The bird of dawning singeth all night long;
And then, they say, no spirit dare stir abroad,
The nights are wholesome, then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallow'd and so gracious is the time. (1.1.158-64)
[Ham.] 'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn, and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. (3.2.388-90)
William Shakespeare, Othello (1604):
[Oth.] That handkerchief
Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
She was a charmer, and could almost read
The thoughts of people. (3.455-58)