« PreviousContinue »
I care not if thou dost for me as much.-
9 Till famine cling thee:] Clung, in the Northern counties, signifies any thing that is shrivelled or shrunk up. By famine, In The Roman the intestines are, as it were, stuck together. Actor, by Massinger, the same word, though differently spelt, appears to be used:
"Are clamm'd with keeping a continual fast.”
Again, in Pierce's Supererogation, or a New Praise of the Old Asse, &c. 1593: "Who should have thought, or could have imagined to have found the wit of Pierce so starved and clunged ?” Again, in George Whetstone's Castle of Delight, 1576:
"My wither'd corps with deadly cold is clung " Again, in Heywood's Pleasant Dialogues and Dramas, 1637; "His entrails with long fast and hunger clung Again, in Golding's version of Ovid's Metamorphosis, B. VII: 66 old Lacus also, cloong
Thus also, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 8th Book of Pliny's Natural History, ch. xxxvi: "The first thing that they doe [i. e. the famished bears] is to devoure a certaine herb named Aron; and that they doe to open their guts, which otherwise were clunged and growne together."
To cling likewise signifies, to gripe to compress, or embrace. So, in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1607: 66 slide from the mother,
"And cling the daughter."
Again, in Northward Hoe, 1607:
"I will never see a white flea, before I will cling you." Ben Jonson uses the word clem in the Poetaster, Act I, sc. ii: "I cannot eat stones and turfs; say, what will he clem me and my followers? ask him an he will clem me.' To be clemed is a
Staffordshire expression, which means, to be starved: and there is likewise a Cheshire proverb: "You been like Smithwick, either clem'd, or bursten." Again, in Antonio and Mellida: "Now lions' half-clem'd entrails roar for food."
In the following instances, the exact meaning of this word is very clear:
"Andrea slain! then weapon cling my breast."
First Part of Jeronimo, 1605. 66 Although my conscience hath my courage cleng'd, "And knows what valour was employ'd in vain."
Lord Sterline's Darius, 1603. Again, in The Sadler's Play, among the Chester Whitsun plays, MS. Harl. 1013, p. 154, where the burial of our Saviour is spoken of:
"That now is clongen under clay."
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend,
That lies like truth: Fear not, till Birnam wood
Comes toward Dunsinane.—Arm, arm, and out!—
And wish the estate o' the world were now undone.
I have given these varieties of the word, for the sake of any future lexicographer, or commentator on ancient authors.
Mr. Whalley, however, observes, that till famine cling thee, means-till it dry thee up, or exhaust all thy moisture. Clung wood is wood of which the sap is entirely dried or spent. Clung and clem, says he, are terms of very different meaning.
The same idea is well expressed by Pope, in his version of the 19th Iliad, 166:
"Shrunk with dry famine, and with toils declin'd —.” Steevens.
1 I pull in resolution; and begin
To doubt the equivocation of the fiend,
That lies like truth:] Though this is the reading of all the editions, yet, as it is a phrase without either example, elegance, or propriety, it is surely better to read:
I pall in resolution,—
I languish in my constancy, my confidence begins to forsake me. It is scarcely necessary to observe how easily pall might be changed into pull by a negligent writer, or mistaken for it by an unskilful printer. With this emendation Dr. Warburton and Mr. Heath concur. Johnson.
There is surely no need of change; for Shakspeare, who made Trinculo, in The Tempest, say—
"I will let loose my opinion."
might have written
I pull in my resolution.
He had permitted his courage (like a fiery horse) to carry him to the brink of a precipice, but, seeing his danger, resolves to check that confidence to which he had given the rein before.
Steevens. This reading is supported by a passage in Fletcher's Sea Voye age, where Aminta says:
and all my spirits,
"As if they heard my passing bell go for me,
"Mortem orat, tædet cali convexa tueri." Theobald.
Ring the alarum bell:-Blow, wind! come, wrack! At least we 'll die with harness3 on our back.
The same. A Plain before the Castle.
Enter, with Drums and Colours, MALCOLM, old SIWARD, MACDUFF, &c. and their Army, with Boughs.
Mal. Now near enough; your leavy screens throw
And show like those you are:-You, worthy uncle,
Fare you well.Do we but find the tyrant's power to-night, Let us be beaten, if we cannot fight.
Macd. Make all our trumpets speak; give them all
Macb. They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, But, bear-like, I must fight the course.
3 barness-] An old word for armour. So, in The Cobler's s Prophecy, 1594:
"His harness is converted to soft silke."
So, in the continuation of Hardyng's Chronicle, 1543: "—well perceyving that the intendours of such a purpose would rather have had their barnesse on their backs, than to have bound them up in barrelles." Maione.
4 I must fight the course.] A phrase taken from bear. baiting. So, in The Antipodes, by Brome, 1658:
That was not born of woman? Such a one
Am I to fear, or none.
Enter young SIWARD.
Yo. Siw. What is thy name?
Thou 'It be afraid to hear it.
Yo. Siw. No; though thou call'st thyself a hotter
Than any is in hell.
My name's Macbeth.
Yo. Siw. The devil himself could not pronounce a
More hateful to mine ear.
No, nor more fearful.
Yo. Siw. Thou liest abhorred tyrant; with my sword I'll prove the lie thou speak'st.
[They fight, and young Siward is slain.
But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Alarums. Enter MACDUFF.
Macd. That way the noise is:-Tyrant, show thy
If thou be'st slain, and with no stroke of mine,
"Also you shall see two ten-dog courses at the great bear." Steevens.
5 This short scene is injudiciously omitted on the stage. The poet designed Macbeth should appear invincible, till he encountered the object destined for his destruction. Steevens.
either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword, &c.] I suspect an intermediate line has been lost; perhaps of this import:
either thou, Macbeth,
Advance, and bravely meet an injur'd foe,
Or else my sword, with an unbatter'd edge,
Were any change in this line necessary, instead of either, we might read hither. "Hither, thou, Macbeth," would elliptically mean-" Come thou hither, Macbeth!" Lady Macbeth
I sheathe again undeeded. There thou should'st be;
And more I beg not.8
Enter MALCOLM and old SIWARD.
Siw. This way, my lord;-the castle 's gently ren-
The tyrant's people on both sides do fight;
We have met with foes
apostrophising her absent hushand, has used nearly the same phrase:
Hie thee hither,
"That I may pour my spirits in thine ear."
I cannot, however, persuade myself that any line is wanting to complete the sense of the passage. That abruptness which Mr. Malone regards as a blemish, (considering the present state of Macduff's mind) should be received as a beauty. Shakspeare (as Prior says of the author of Hudibras)—
66 sagacious master, knew
"When to leave off, and when pursue." Steevens.
My conjecture is, I believe, unfounded, In Cymbeline, we have a similar phraseology:
66 Let's see 't; I will pursue her
"Even to Augustus' throne: Or this, or perish.”
Seems bruited:] From bruit. Fr. To bruit is to report with clamour; to noise. So, in King Henry IV, P. II:
"One that rejoices in the common wreck,
Again, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: "Lais was one of the most bruited common women that clerkes do write of."
There thou should'st be;
By this great clatter, one of greatest note
Seems bruited. Let me find him, fortune!
And more I beg not] I suspect, from deficience of metre, that the latter part of this passage originally stood thus: Seems bruited there. Let me but find him, fortune! And more &c. Steevens,