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So I lose none,
bosom franchis'd, and allegiance clear,
Good repose, the while ! Ban. Thanks, sir; The like to you !
[Exit BANQUO. Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is
ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.
[Exit Servant. Is this a dagger, which I see before me, The handle toward my hand ? Come, let me clutch
when I have determined of them, or when the time comes that I want your assistance. WARBURTON.
Mr. Malone thinks we should read content, and strengthens his opinion by various quotations.
? And on thy blade, and dudgeon, gouts of blood,] Though dudgeon sometimes signifies a dagger, it more properly means the haft, or handle of a dagger, and is used for that particular sort of handle which has some ornament carved on the top of it.
Nature seems dead', and wicked dreams abuse
[A bell rings.
All things are hush'd as Nature's self lay dead,
“ Even lust and envy sleep !"
Night is described by two great poets, but one describes a night of quiet, the other of perturbation. In the night of Dryden, all the disturbers of the world are laid asleep; in that of Shakspeare, nothing but sorcery, lust, and murder, is awake. He that reads Dryden, finds himself lulled with serenity, and disposed to solitude and contemplation. He that peruses Shakspeare, looks round alarmed, and starts to find himself alone. One is the night of a lover; the other, of a murderer. Johnson. 4 And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it.) i. e. lest the noise from the stones take away from this midnight season that present horror which suits so well with what is going to be acted in it. What was the horror he means ? Silence, than which nothing can be more horrid to the perpetrator of an atrocious design. This shows a great knowledge of human nature. WARBURTON.
Whiles I threat, he lives ;
and it is done ; the bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan ; for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven, or to hell.
Enter Lady MACBETH.
Lady M. That which hath made them drunk, hath
made me bold : What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire:
Hark !-Peace! It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman, Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it : The doors are open : and the surfeited grooms Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd their
possets, That death and nature do contend about them, Whether they live, or die.
Macb. [within.] Who's there?—what, ho?
Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak’d,
dently a false concord ; but it must not be corrected, for it is necessary to the rhyme. Nor is this the only place in which Shakspeare has sacrificed grammar to rhyme.
Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't.] This is very artful. For, as the poet has drawn the lady and her husband, it would be thought the act should have been done by her. It is likewise highly just ; for though ambition had subdued in her all the sentiments of nature towards present objects, yet the likeness of one past, which she had been accustomed to regard with reverence, made her unnatural passions, for a moment, give way to the sentiments of instinct and humanity. WARBURTON.
Macb. I have done the deed :-Didst thou not hear
a noise ? Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets
cry. Did not you speak ? Macb.
When ? Lady M.
As I descended ?
Macb. Hark !
There are two lodg'd together.
Consider it not so deeply.
These deeds must not be thought
Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep;
As they had seen me,] i. e. as if.
Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care®,
What do you mean?
I'll go no more:
Infirm of purpose !
Whence is that knocking ?
the ravelld sleave of care,] Sleave signifies the ravell’d knotty part of the silk, which gives great trouble and embarrassment to the knitter or weaver. 9 Glamis hath murder'd sleep ; and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more !] This triple menace, accommodated to the different titles of Macbeth, is too quaint to be received as the natural ebullition of a guilty mind. Introduce the adjuncts of a modern nobleman in the same manner, and the fault of the passage will become yet more conspicuous; as for instance
Norfolk hath murder'd sleep; and therefore Surrey