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Dun. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds; They smack of honour both :-Go, get him surgeons.
Exit Soldier, attended.
The worthy thane of Rosse.
he look, That seems to speak things strange. Rosse.
God save the king! Dun. Whence cam’st thou, worthy thane ? Rosse.
From Fife, great king,
flout the sky,] The banners may be poetically described as waving in mockery or defiance of the sky. The sense of the passage, however, collectively taken, is this : Where the triumphant flutter of the Norweyan standards ventilates or cools the soldiers who had been heated through their efforts to secure such numerous trophies of victory.
& Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,] Lapt in proof, is defended by armour of proof. By Bellona’s bridegroom we may understand Macbeth, but why, the critics have not told us.
Saint Colmes' inch] Colmes' inch, now called Inchcomb, is a small island lying in the Firth of Edinburgh, with an abbey
Dun. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest :-Go, pronounce his deatht, And with his former title greet Macbeth.
Rosse. I'll see it done.
[Exeunt. SCENE III.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches. 1 Witch. Where hast thou been, sister? 2 Witch. Killing swine. 3 Witch. Sister, where thou?
1 Witch. A sailor's wife had chesnuts in her lap, And mounch’d, and mounch’d, and mounch'd :--Give
me, quoth I:
2 Witch. I'll give thee a wind.
upon it, dedicated to St. Columb; called by Camden Inch Colm, or The Isle of Columba.
+ “his present death,”—Malone.
the rump-fed ronyon —] The chief cooks in noblemen's families, colleges, religious houses, hospitals, &c. anciently claimed the emoluments or kitchen fees of kidneys, fat, trotters, rumps, &c., which they sold to the poor. The weird sister in this scene, as an insult on the poverty of the woman who had called her witch, reproaches her poor abject state, as not being able to procure better provision than offals. Ronyon means scabby or mangy-woman. Fr. rogneux. VOL. IV.
And the very ports they blow,
2 Witch. Show me, show me.
1 Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wreck’d, as homeward he did come. [Drum within.
3 Witch. A drum, a drum ; Macbeth doth come. All. The weird sisters, hand in hand”,
the shipman's card.] The card is the paper on which the winds are marked under the pilot's needle; or perhaps the seachart, so called in our author's age.
4 He shall live a man forbid :) i. e. as one under a curse, an interdiction. To bid is originally to pray. As to forbid therefore implies to prohibit, in opposition to the word bid in its present sense, it signifies by the same kind of opposition to curse, when it is derived from the same word in its primitive meaning.
5 The weird sisters, hand in hand,] These weird sisters, were the Fates of the northern nations ; the three hand-maids of Odin. Hæ nominantur Valkyriæ, quas quodvis ad prælium Odinus mittit. Hæ viros morti destinant, et victoriam gubernant. Gunna, et Rota, et Parcarum minima Skullda : per aëra et maria equitant semper ad morituros eligendos ; et cædes in potestate habent. Bartholinus de Causis contemptæ à Danis adhuc Gentilibus mortis. It is for this reason that Shakspeare makes them three ; and calls them,
Posters of the sea and land ; and intent only upon death and mischief. However, to give this part of his work the more dignity, he intermixes, with this Northern, the Greek and Roman superstitions ; and puts Hecate at the head of their enchantments. And to make it still more familiar to the common audience (which was always his point) he adds, for another ingredient, a sufficient quantity of our own country super
Posters of the sea and land,
Enter MACBETH and BANQUO.
Ban. How far is't call’d to Fores?—What are these,
Speak, if you can ; What are you? 1 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of
stitions concerning witches ; their beards, their cats, and their broomsticks. So that his witch-scenes are like the charm they prepare in one of them ; where the ingredients are gathered from every thing shocking in the natural world, as here, from every thing absurd in the moral. But as extravagant as all this is, the play has had the power to charm and bewitch every audience, from that time to this. WARBURTON,
The Valkyriæ, or Valkyriur, were not barely three in number. The learned critic might have found, in Bartholinus, not only Gunna, Rota, et Skullda, but also Scogula, Hilda, Gondula, and Geiroscogula. Bartholinus adds, that their number is yet greater, according to other writers who speak of them. They were the cupbearers of Odin, and conductors of the dead. They were distinguished by the elegance of their forms ; and it would be as just to compare youth and beauty with age and deformity, as the Valkyria of the North, with the Witches of Shakspeare. Steevens.
thane of Glamis !] The thaneship of Glamis was the ancient in! ance of Macbeth's family. The ca where they lived is still standing, and was lately the magnificent residence of the earl of Strathmore.
2 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of
Cawdor?! 3 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king here.
1 Witch. Hail!
3 Witch. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none: So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo !
1 Witch. Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail !
Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more:
thane of Cawdor!] Dr. Johnson observes, in bis Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, that part of Calder Castle, from which Macbeth drew his second title, is still remaining.
8 Are ye fantastical,] By fantastical, he means creatures of fantasy or imagination : the question is, Are these real beings before us, or are we deceived by illusions of fancy? Johnson.
Of noble having,] Having, is estate, possession, fortune. ? That he seems rapt withal ;] Rapt is rapturously affected, extra se raptus.
By Sinel's death,] The father of Macbeth.