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DR JOHNSON thought it necessary to prefix to this threaten danger... However much we may abhor
his play an apology for Shakspeare's magic ;-in which actions, we cannot altogether refuse to sympathize with he says, ' A poet who should now make the whole ac. the state of his mind; we lament the ruin of so many tion of his tragedy depend upon enchantment, and pro noble qualities; and, even in his last defence, we are duce the chief events by the assistance of supernatural compelled to admire in him the struggle of a brave will agents, would be censured as transgressing ihe hounds with a cowardly conscience.-The poet wishes to show of probability, be banished from the theatre to the nur that the conflict of good and evil in this world can only sery, and condemned to write fairy tales instead of tra. take place by the permission of Providence, which con. gedies.' He then proceeds to defend this transgression verts the curse that individual mortals draw down on upon the ground of the credulity of the poet's age; when their heads into a blessing to others. Lady Macbeth,
the scenes of enchantment, however ihey may be now who of all the human beings is the most guilty participator ridiculed, were both by himself and his audience thought in the murder of the king, falls, through the horrors of awful and affecting. By whom, or when (always ex. her conscience, into a state of incurable bodily and cepting French criticism,) these sublime conceptions mental disease ; she dies, unlamented by her husband, were in danger of ridiculc, he has not told us; and I with all the symptoms of reprobation. Macbeth is still sadly fear that this superfluous apology arose from the found worthy of dying the death of a hero on the field of misgivings of the great critic's mind. Schlegel has battle. Banquo atones for the ambitious curiosity which justly remarked thai, · Whether the age of Shakspeare prompted him to wish to know his glorious descendants still believed in witchcraft and ghosts, is a matter of per by an early death, as he thereby rouses Macbeth's fect indifference for the justification of the use which, in jealousy; but he preserved his mind pure from the bub. Hamlet and Macbeth, he has made of preexisting ira: bles of the witches ; his name is blessed in his race, ditions. No superstition can ever be prevalent and destined to enjoy for a long succession of ages that royal widely diffused through ages and nations without having dignity which Macbeth could only hold during siis own a foundation in human nature : on this foundation the lite. In the progress of the action, this piece is alto. poet builds ; he calls up from their hidden abysses that gether the reverse of Hamlet : it strides forward with dread of the unknown, that presage of a dark side amazing rapidity from the first catastrophe (for Dunof nature, and a world of spirits which philosophy now can's murder may be called a catastrophe) to the last imagines it has altogether exploded. In this manner Thought, and done! is the general molio; for, as Mache is in some degree both the portrayer and the philoso. beth says, pher of a superstition ; that is, not the philosopher who 'The flighty purpose never is o'ertook (lenies and turns into ridicole, but, which is still more
Unless the deed go with it.' ult, who distinctly exhibits its origin to us in ap In every feature we see a vigorous heroic age in the parently irrational and yet natural opinions.'—in hardy North, which steels every nerve. The precise another place the same admirable critic says-Since duration of the action cannot be ascertained,--years, The Furies of Æschylus, nothing so grand and terrible perhaps, according to the story; but we know that to the has ever been composed : The Witches, it is true, are imagination the most crowded time appears always the nol divine Eumenides, and are not intended to be so; shortest. Here we can hardly conceive how $0 very they are ignoble and vulgar instruments of hell. They much can be compressed into so narrow a space ; not discourse with one another like women of the very merely external events-the very innermost recesses of lowest class ; for this was the class to which witches the minds of the persons of the drama are laid open to were supposed to belong. When, however, they ad. us. It is as if the drags were taken from the wheels of dress Macbeth, their lone assumes more elevation: their time, and they rolled along without interruption in their predictions have all the obscure brevity, the majestic descent. Nothing can equal the power of this picture in solemnity, by which oracles have in all times contri. the excitation of horror. We need only allude to the ved to inspire mortals with reverential awe. We here circumstance attending the murder of Duncan, the dag. see that the witches are merely instruments ; they are ger that hovers before the eyes of Macbeth, the vision governed by an invisible spirit, or the operation of such of Banquo at the seast, the madness of Lady Macbeth; great and dreadful events would be above their sphere.? what can we possibly say on the subject ihat will not Their agency was necessary; for natural motives alone rather weakenthe impression? Such scenes stand alone, would have seemed inadequate to effect such a change and are to be found only in this poel ; otherwise the as takes place in the nature and dispositions of Macbeth. tragic muse might exchange her mask for the head of By this means the poet'has exhibited a more sublime Medusa."* picture to us : an ambitious but noble hero, who yields Shakspeare followed the chronicle of Holinched, and in a deep laid hellish temptation : and all the crimes to Holinshed borrowed his narration from the which he is impelled by necessity, to secure the fruits of Scotland, translated by John Bellenden, 11 the of his first crime, cannot altogether eradicate in him the Latin of Hector Boethius, and first published at Edin. stamp of native heroism. He has therefore given a burgh in 1541. threefold division to the guilt of that crime. The first Malcolm the Second, king of Scotland, had two idea comes from that being whose whole activity is gui. daughters. The eldest was married to Crynin, the fa. ded by a lust of wickedyess. The weird sisters surprise ther of Duncan, Thane of the isles, and western parts Macbeth in the moment of intoxication after his viciory, of Scotland : and on the death of Malcolm without male when his love of glory has been gratified ; they cheat issue Duncan succeeded to the throne. Malcolm his eyes by exhibiting to him as the work of faie what second daughter was married to Sinel, Thane on can only in reality be accomplished by his own deed, Glamis, the father of Macbeth, Duncan, who married and gain credence for their words by the immediate ful. the sister of Siward, Earl of Northumberland, was mur. filment of the first prediction. The opportunity for dered by his cousin german Macbeth, in the castle of murdering the king immediately offers itself; Lady Inverness, about the year 1040 or 1045. Macbeth was Macbeth conjures him not to let it slip; she urges him himself slain by Macduff, according to Boethius in 1061, on with a fiery eloquence, which has all those sophisms according to Buchanan in 1057, at which time Edward at command that serve to throw a false grandeur over the Contessor reigned in England. crime. Little more than the mere execution falls to the In the reign of Duncan, Banquo having been plun. share of Macbeth; he is driven to it as it were in a state dered by the people of Lochaber of some of the king's of commotion, in which his mind is bewildered. Re- revenues, which he had collected, and being danger. pentance immediately follows; nay, even precedes the ously wounded in the affray, the persons concerned in deed; and the stings of his conscience leave him no rest this outrage were summoned to appear at a certain day; either night or day. But he is now fairly entangled in But they slew the serjeant at arms who summoned the snares of hell, it is truly frightful to behold that Mac-them, and chose one Macdonwald as their captain. beth, who once as a warrior could spurn at death, now Macdonwald speedily collected a considerable body that he dreads the prospect of the life to come, clinging with growing anxiety to his earthly existence, the inore * Lectures on Dramatic Literature, by A. W Schle miserable it becomes, and pitilessly removing out of his gel, translated by John Black, London, 1315, vol. i. way whatever to his dark and suspicious mind seems to p. 200
forces from Ireland and the Western Isles, and in one aut Milesiis fabulis sunt aptiora quam historiæ, ex action gained a victory over the king's army. In this omitto.'-Rerum Scot. Hist. Lib. vii. battle Malcolm, a Scottish nobleman (who was lieuten. Millon also enumerates the subject among those he ant to Duncan in Luchaber) was slain. Afterwards considered well suited for tragedy, but it appears that Macbeth and Banquo were appointed to the command he would have attempted to preserve the unity of time of the army; and Macdonwald, being obliged to take by placing the relation of the murder of Duncan in the refuge in a castle in Lochaber, first slew his wife and mouth of his ghost. children, and then himself. Macbeth, on entering the Macbeth is one of the latest, and unquestionably one castle, finding his dead body, ordered his head to be cut of the noblest efforts of Shakspeare's genius. Equally off and carried to the king, at the castle of Bertha, and impressive in the closet and on the stage, where to wii
. his body to be hung on a high tree.
ness its representation has been justly pronounced the At a subsequent period, in the last year of Duncan's first of all dramatic enjoyments. Malone places the reign, Sueno, king of Norway, landed a powerful army date of its composition in 1606, and it has been supposed in Fife, for the purpose of invading Scotland. Duncan to convey a dexterous and delicate compliment to James immediately assembled an army to oppose him, and the first, who derived his lineage from Banquo, and first gave the command of two divisions of it to Macbeth and united the threefold sceptre of England, Scotland, and Banquo, putting himself at the head of a third. Sueno Ireland. At the same time the monarch's prejudices on was successful in one battle, but in a second was routed; the subject of demonology were flattered by the choice and, after a great slaughter of his troops, he escaped of the story. with ten persons only, and fled back to Norway. It was once thought that Shakspeare derived some Though there was an interval of time between the re. hints for his scenes of incantation from The Witch, a belline of Macdonwald and the invasion of Sueno, tragicomedy, by John Middleton, which, after lying Shakspeare has woven these two actions together, and long in manuscript, was published about thirty years immediately after Sueno's defeat the present play com. since by Isaac Reed; but Malone* has with consideramences.
ble ingenuity shown that Middleton's drama was most It is remarkable that Buchanan has pointed out Mac- probably written subsequently to Macbeth. beth's history as a subject for the stage. Multa hic tabuloso quidam nostrorum affingunt; sed quia theatris * See the chronological order of the plays in the late
Variorum Edition, by Mr. Boswell, vol. ii. p. 120.
Duncan, King of Scotland.
SEYTON, an Officer attending on Macbeth. MALCOLM,
Son to Macduff. his Sons. DONALBAIN,
An English Doctor. A Scotch Doctor,
A Soldier. A Porter. An old Man.
LADY MACDUFF. Lenox,
Gentlewoman attending on Lady Macbeth.
Hecate, and three Witches.?
Lords, Gentiemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, ANGUS,
Attendants, and Messengers.
The Ghost of Banquo, and several other Apparitions. SIWARD, Earl of Northumberland, General of the SCENE, in the end of the Fourth Act, lies in Engo English Forces.
land; through the rest of the play, in Scotland; Young SIWARD, his Son.
and chiefly at Macbeth's Castle,
Fair is foul, and foul is fair :
Hover through the fog and filthy air. SCENE I. An open Place. Thunder and Light
(Witches varist, ning. Enter three Witches,
SCENE II. A Camp near Fores. Alorum rithir. 1 Witch.
Enter King Duncan, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN WHEN shall we three meet again
Lenox, with Attendants, meeling a bleeding Sol In thunder, lightning, or in rain ?
dier, 2 Witch. When the hurlyburly's: done,
Dun. What bloody man is that? He can report, When the battle's lost and won.
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt 3 Witch. That will be ere set of sun.
The newest state. 1 Witch. Where the place ?
This is the sergeant, 2 Witch.
Upon the heath : Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought 3 Witch. There to meet with Macbeth.
'Gainst my captivity:-Hail, brave friend! I Wilch. I come, Graymalkin!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil, All. Paddock calls:-Anon.*
As thou didst leave it. I Lady Macbeth's name was Gruach filia Bodhe, ac. we invent, devise, fayne, and make a name imitating cording to Lord Hailes. Andrew of Wintown, in his the sound of that it signifyeth, as hurlyburly, for an up Cronykil, informs us that she was the widow of Dun rore and tumultuous stirre. So in Baret's Alvearie, can; a circumstance with which Shakspeare was of 1573:- But harke yor:der: what hurlyburly or noyse is course unacquainted.
yonde: whal sturie rujling or bruite is that The 2 As the play now stands, in Act iv. Sc. 1, three other witches could not mean when the storm was done, but witches make their appearance.
when the tumult of the battle was over; for they are 3. When the hurlyburly's done.' In Adagia Scotica, to meet again in lightning, thunder, and rain : their eleor A Collection of Scouch Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases ; collected óy R. B.; very useful and delight 4 Upton observes, that, to understand this pageage, ful. Lond. 12mo. 1668:
we should suppose one familiar calling with the voice * Liule kens the wife that sits by the fire
of a cat, and another with the croaking of a toad. A How the wind blows cold in hurle burle swyre.'
paddock most generally seems to have signified a tad,
though it sometimes means a frog. What we now call *i. e. in the tempestuous mountain-top,' says Mr. a toadstool was anciently called a paddock-stool Todd, in a note on Spenser; to which Mr. Boswell gives 5 The first folio reads captain. his assent, and says, this sense seems agreeable to the witch's answer." But Peacham, in his Garden of Elo- officers now distinguished by that túle, but men perform
6 Sergeants, in ancient times, were not the petty quence, 1577, shows that this was not the ancient ac-ing one kind of feudal military service, in rank next to centauon of the word among us: Onomatopeia, when I esquires
ment was a storm.
Sold. Doubtful it stood;
The worthy thane of Rosse. (Worthy to be a rebel; for to that
Len, What a haste looks through his eyes! So The multiplying villanies of nature
should he look, Do swarm upon him), from the westem isles
That seems to speak things strange." Of Kernes and Gallowglasses is supplied ;*
God save the king! And fortune, on his damned quarrys smiling, Dun. Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane ? Show'd like a rebel's whore. But all's too weak : Rosse.
From Fife, great king. For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky," Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, And fan our people cold. Which smok'd with bloody execution
Norway himself, with terrible numbers, Like valour's minion,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor Carv'd out his passage, till he fac'd the slave;
The thane of Cawdor, 'gan a dismal conflict: And ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till that Bellona's bridegroom,"? lapp'd in proof Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, Confronted him with self-comparisons," And fix'd his head upon our battlements.
Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm, Dun. O, valiant cousin! worthy gentleman! Curbing his lavish spirit: And, to conclude, Sold. As whence the sun 'gins his reflection
The victory fell on us ;Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;
Great happiness! So from that spring, whenco comfort seem'd to come, Rosse. That now Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark: Sweno, 14 the Norways' king, craves composition, No sooner justice had, with valour arm'd, Nor would we deign him burial of his men, Compell’d these skipping Kernes to trust their heels, Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes' Inch, 15 But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage, Ten thousand dollars to our general use. With furbish'd arms, and new supplies of men, Dun. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Began a fresh assault.
Our bosom interest :-Go, pronounce his present Dun. Dismay'd not this
death, Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo ?
And with his former title greet Macbeth. Sold.
Rosse, I'll see it done, As sparrows, eagles; or the hare, the lion.
Dun. What he hath lost, noble. Macbeth hath If I say sooth," I must report, they were
(Exeunt. As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks ;
SCENE III. A Heath. Thunder. Enter the Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe:
three Witches. Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, Or memorize another Golgotha,
I Witch, Where hast thou been, sister? I cannot tell :
2 Wilch. Killing swine. But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.
3 Witch, Sister, where thou? Dun. So well thy words' become thee, as thy and mounch’d, and mounch'd, and mounch'd :
1 Witch. A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,
Give me, quoth I:
Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger :
But in a sieve I'll thither sail, is Į Vide Tyrwhitt's Glossary to Chaucer, v. for; and Pegge's Anecdotes of the English Language, p. 205. into the text by mistake, and that the line originally For to that means no more than for that, or cause that stood-The late editions erroneously point this passage, and as * That now the Norway's king craves composition." erroneously explain it I follow the punctuation of the It was surely not necessary for Rosse to tell Duncan the first folio.
name of his old enemy, the king of Norway. 2 i. e. supplied with armed troops so named. of 15 Colmes' is here a dissyllable. Colmes: Inch, now and with are indiscriminately used by our ancient called Inchcomh, is a sinali island, lying in the Firth of writers. Gallowglasses were heavy-armed foot-soldiers Edinburgh, with an abbey upon ii dedicated to Si. Coof Ireland and the western isles : Kernes were the lumb. Inch or inse, in Erse, signifies an island. lighter armed troops.
16 The etymology of this imprecation is yet to seek. 3 But fortune on his damned quarry smiling. --Thus Rynt ye, for oui with ye! stand off! is still used in the old copies. It was altered at Johnson's suggestion Cheshire, where there is also a proverbial saying, to quarrel, which is approved and defended by Steevens Rynt yé, witch, quoth Besse Locket to her mother.' and Malone. But the old copy needs no alteration. Tooke thought it was from roynous, and might signify Quarry means the squadron, escadre, or square body, a scab or scale on thee! Oihers have derived it from into which Macdonwald's troops were formed, better to the rouan-tree, or witch-hazle, the wood of which was receive the charge; through which Macbuch' .carved believed to be a powerful charm against witchcraft; and out his passage will he faced the slave.
every careful housewife had a churn-staff made of it. 4 The meaning is, that Fortune, while she smiled on This superstition is as old as Pliny's time, who asserts him, deceived him.
that 'a serpent will rather creep into the fire than over 5 The old copy reads which.
a twig of ash. The French have a phrase of somewhat 6 Sir W. D'Avenant's reading of this passage, in his similar sound and import-Arry-avant, away there, alceration of the play, is a tolerable comment on it: ho!---Mr. Douce thinks that 'aroint thee' will be found *But then this daybreak of our victory
to have a Saxon origin. Serv'd but to light us into other dangers,
17 'Rump-fed ronyon,' a scabby or mangy woman, That spring from whence our hopes did seem to rise. red on offals; the rumps being formerly part of the Break is not in the first folio
emoluments or kitchen fees of the cooks in great houses 7 Truth.
Is In The Discovery of Witchcraft, by Reginald Scout, 8 That is, reports.
1594, he says it was believed that witches could sail in 0 1. e. make another Golgotha as memorable as the an egg-shell, a cockle, or muscle-shell, through and first
under the tempestuous seas." And in another pamphlet, 10. That seems about to speak strange things.'
Declaring the damnable Life of Doctor Fian, a notable 11 so in King John:
Sorcerer, who was buried at Edenborough in Januarie
last, 1591,-'All they together went to sea, each one in 12 By Bellona's bridegroom Shakspeare means Mac-J a riddle or cive, and went in the same very substan beth. Lapp'd in proof is defended by armour of proof. tially, with flaggons of wine making merrie, and drink
13 Confronted him with self-comparisons. By him is ing by the way in the same riddles or cives,' &c. meant Norway, and by self-comparisons is meant that
Sir W. D'Avenant, in his Albovine, 1629, sayshe gave him as good as he brought, showed that he was
He sits like a witch sailing in a siede.. his equal,
It was the belief of the times, that ihough a witch could 14 li appeare probable, as Steevens suggests, that assume the form of any animal she pleased, the tais Sueno was only a marginal reference, which has crept I would still be wanting.
YG! Our WB
And, like a rat without a tail,
Are ye fantastical, or that indeed I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.
Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner 2 Witch. I'll give thee a wind.'
You greet with present grace, and great prediction I Witch. Thou art kind.
Of noble having,' and of royal hope, 3 Witch. And I another,
That he seems rapto withal; to me you speak not: 1 Witch. I myself have all the other ;
If you can look into the seeds of time, And the very ports they blow,
And say, which grain will grow, and which will not; All the quarters that they know
Speak then to me, who neither beg, nor fear, l' the shipman's card."
Your favours, nor your hate. I will drain him dry as hay:
1 Witch. Hail! Sleep shall, neither night nor day,
2 Witch. Hail! Hang upon his pent-house lid;
3 Witch. Hail! He shall live a man forbid ::
1 Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. Weary sev'n-nights, nine times nine,
2 Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier. Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:*
3 Witch. Thou shalt gei kings, though thou be Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet it shall be tempest-loss'd.S'
So, all hail, Macbeth, and Banquo! Look what I have.
1 Witch. Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail ! 2 Witch. Show me, show me.
Mach, Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me 1 Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb,
more: Wreck’d, as homeward he did come. (Drum within. By Sinel's death, I know, I am thane of Glamis; 3 Witch. A drum, a drum ;
But how of Cawdor ? the thane of Cawdor lives, Macbeth doth come.
A prosperous gentleman; and to be king All. The weird sisters, hand in hand,
Stands not within the prospect of belief, Posters of the sea and land,
No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence Thus do go about, about;
You owe this strange intelligence or why Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
Upon this blasted heath you stop our way And thrice again, to make up nine :
With such prophetic greeting ?--Speak, I charge Peace !- the charm's wound up.
Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, Enter MACBETH and Banquo.
And these are of them :-Whither are they va Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
nish'd ? Ban. How far is't callid to Fores?-What are Macb. Into the air: and what seem'd corporal, these,
melted So wither'd, and so wild in their attire ;
As breath into the wind.—'Would, they had staid ! That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth, Ban. Were such things here, as we do speak And yet are on't ? Live you ? or are you aught
about? That man may question? You seem to understand Or havo we eaten of the insane root, 12 me,
That takes the reason prisoner ? By each at once her choppy finger laying
Macb. Your children shall be kings, Upon her skinny lips :-You should be women, Ban.
You shall be king. And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
Macb. And thane of Cawdor loo; went it not so? That you are so.
Ban. To the selfsame tune, and words. Who's Macb. Speak, if you can ;-What are you?
here? I Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane
Enter Rosse and Angus. of Glamis ! 2 Wich. All hail , Macbeth! hail to thee, thane The news of thy success : and when he reads
Rorse. The king hath happily receiv'd, Macbeth, of Cawdor! 3 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,
His wonders and his praises do contend, hereafter. Ban, Good sir, why do you start; and seem to
Which should be thine, or his : Silenc'd with that,'s fear
In viewing o'er the rest o' the selfsame day, Things that do sound so fair ?—I'the name of truth, He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afеard of what thyself didst make, 1 This free gist of a wind is to be considered as an Strange images of death. As thick as tale, 14 act of sisterly friendship; for witches were supposed to well them.
7 The thaneship of Glamis was the ancient inheri. 2 i. e. the sailor's chart; carte-marine.
tance of Macbeth's family. The castle where they 3 Forbid, i. e. forespoken, unhappy, charmed or be lived is still standing, and was lately the magnificent rewitched. The explanation of Theobald and Johnson, sidence of the earl of Strathmore. Gray has given a *interdicted or under a curse,' is erroneous. A forbo particular description of it in a Letter to Dr. Wharton. din fellow, Scotice, still signifies an unhappy one. 8 I. e. creatures of fantasy or imagination,
+ This mischief was supposed to be put in execution 9 Estate, fortune. by means of a waxen figure. Holinshed, speaking of the 10 Rape is rapturously affected; estra se raptus. witchcraft practised to destroy King Duft, says that they 11 Sinel. The late Dr. Beattie conjectured that tho found one of the witches roasting, upon a wooden real name of this family was Sinane, and that Dunsi broach, an image of wax at the fire, resembling in each nane, or the hill of Sinane from thence derived its name. feature the king's person, &c. - for as the image did 12 The insane root was probably henbane. In Bat waste afore the fire, so did the bodie of ine king break man's Commentary on Bartholome de Propriel. Rerum forth in eweat: and as for the words of the inchant- a book with which Shakspeare was familiar, is the ment, they served to keepe him still waking from sleepe.' following passage :- Henbane is called insana, mad, This may serve to explain the foregoing passage :- for the use thereof is perillous ; for if it be eate or Sleep shall, neither night nor day,
dronke it breedeth madnesse, or slow lykenesse ot Hang upon his pent-house lid.'
sleepe. Therefore this hearb is called commonly mì. . In the pamphlet about Dr. Fian, already quoted- rilidium, for it taketh away wit and reason." • Againe it is confessed, that the said christened cal was 13 i. e. admiration of your deeds, and a desire to do the cause of the Kinge's majestie's shippe, at his chem justice by public commendation, contend in his coming forth of Denmarke, had a contrarie winde to mind for pre-eminence : he is silenced with wonder. the rest of his shippes then being in his companie.'- 14 i. e. posts arrived as fast as they could be counted. * And further the said witch declared, that his majestie Thicke (says Barel,) that cometh otten and thicke had never come safely from the sea, if his faith had not together : creber, frequens, frequent, souvent venant.' prevailed above their intentions.? To this circumstance, and again. Crebritas literarum, the often sending, or perhaps, Shakspeare's allusion is sufficiently plain. thicke coming of leters. Thicke breathing, anhelitus
6 The old copy has weyward, evidently by mistake. creber. Shakspeare (wice uses 'to speak thick' for Weird, from the Saxon, a witch, Shakspeare found in to speak quick. To tale or tell is to score or number. Holinehed. Gawin Douglas, in his translation of Vir. Rowe, not understanding this passage, altered it to 'as gil, renders the purcæ by weird sisters.
quick as hail.
Came' post with post; and every one did bear Macb. If chance will have me king, why, chance Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence,
may crown me, And pour'd them down before him.
Without my stir.
We are sent,
New honours come upon him To give thee, from our royal master, thanks; Like our strange garments; cleave not to their Only to herald thee into his sight, not pay thee.
mould, Rosse. And, for an earnest of a greater honour, But with the aid of use. He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor: Macb.
Come what come may; In which addition, hail, most worthy thane ! Time and the hour runs through the roughest day. For it is thine.
Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure. Ban,
What, can the devil speak true ? Macb. Give me your favour: 12-my dull brain Macb. The thane of Cawdor lives? Why do you
was wrought dress me
With things forgotten. Kind gentlemen, your pains, In borrow'd robes ?
Are register'd where every day I turn Ang.
Who was the thane, lives yet; The leaf to read them - Let us toward the king.– But under heavy judgment bears that life Think upon what hath chanc'd : and, at more times, Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was com- The interim having weigh'd it, 13 let us speak bin'd
Our free hearts each to other. With those of Norway, or did line the rebel
Very gladly. With hidden help and vantage; or that with both Macb. Till then, enough.—Come, friends. He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not;
(Exeunt. But treasons capital, confess'd, and prov'd,
SCENE IV. Fores. A Room in the Palace. Have overthrown him. Macb. Glamis, and thane of Cawdor;
Flourish. Enter DUNCAN, MalcoLM, DONAL
BAIN, LENOx, and Attendants, The greatest is behind.-Thanks for
your pains. Do you not hope your children shall be kings,
Dun. Is execution done on Cawdor ? Are not When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me, Those in commission yet return'd ? Promis'd no less to them?
My liege, Ban.
That, trusted home,? | They are not yet come back. But I have spoke Might yet enkindle: you unto the crown,
With one thai saw him die : who did report, Besides the thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange:
That very frankly he confess'd his treasons; And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
Implor'd your highness' pardon ; and set forth The instruments of darkness tell us truths; A deep repentance: nothing in his life Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
Became him, like the leaving it; he died In deepest consequence.
As one that had been studied in his death, 14 Cousins, a word, I pray you.
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd, is Macb.
Two truths are told, As 'twere a careless trifle. As happy prologues to the swelling act*
There's no art, of the imperial theme. I thank you, gentlemen To find the mind's construction in the face : 16 This supernatural solicitings
He was a gentleman on whom I built Cannot be ill; cannot be good :-If ill,
An absolute trust.-- worthiest cousin! Why hath it given me earnest of success, Enter MACBETH, Banquo, Rosse, and AngUs. Commencing in a truth? I am thane of Ćawdor: If good, why do I yield to that suggestion
The sin of my ingratitude even now Whoso herrid-image doth unfix my hair,
Was heavy on me: Thou art so far before, And make my seated? heart knock at my ribs,
That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
To overtake thee. 'Would, thou hadst less deserv'd; Against the use of nature ? Present fears Are less than horrible imaginings :
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine ! only I have left to say, My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
More is thy due than more than all can pay.' Shakes so my single state of man, that function
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe, Is smother'd'in surmise ;'° and nothing is,
In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part But what is not."
Is to receive our duties : and our duties Ban. Look, how our partner's rapt. Are to your throne and state, children, and servants ;
Which do but what they should, by doing every | Came post.'. The old copy reads can. Rowe
thing made the emendation.
Safe toward your love and honour.18 2 i. e. entirely, thoroughly relied on.
3 Enkindle means encourage you to expect the as it has been here interpreted. Vide Hamlet, Act v. crown.'
Sc. 2. ** As happy prologues to the swelling act.' So in 13 The interim having weigh’d it.' The interim is the prologue to King Henry V. :
probably here used adverbially-You having weighed princes to act,
it in the interim.' And monarchs to behold the supelling scene.' 14 Studied in his death is well instructed in the art of 5 i. e, incitement,
dying. The behaviour of the thane of Cawdor cor6 Suggestion, temptation.
responds in almost every circumstance with that of the * 7 Sealed, firmly placed, fixed.
unfortunate earl of Essex, as related by Stowe, p. 793 Present fearg
His asking the queen's forgiveness, his confession, reAre less than horrible imaginings,
pentance, and concern about behaving with propriety So in The Tragedie of Cræsus, by Lord Šterline, 1604: on the scaffold, are minutely described by that historiFor as the shadow seems more monstrous still
Steevens thinks that an allusion was intended Than doth the substance whence it hath the being, to the severity of that justice which deprived the age So th' apprehension of approaching ill
of one of its greatest ornaments, and Southampion, Seems greater than itself, whilst fears are lying' Shakspeare's patron, of his dearest friend 9 By his single state of man, Macbeth means his 15 Ow'd, owned, possessed. simple condition of human nature. Single soul, for a 16 We cannot construe the disposition of the mind by simple or weak guileless person, was the phraseology the lineaments of the face. of the poet's time. Simplicity and singleness were 17 i. e. I owe thee more than all ; nay, more than all synonymous.
which I can say or do will requite. 10 that function
18 'Safe toward your love and honour. Sir William Is emother'd in surmise.'
Blackstone would read :The powers of action are oppressed by conjecture.
Safe toward you love and honour 11. But what is not. Shakspeare has something like which he explains thus :- Our duties are your child this sentiment in The Merchant of Venice:
ren, and servants or vassals to your throne and state * Where every something, being blent together, who do but what they should, by doing every thing with Turns to a wild of nothing.'
a saving of their love and honour toward you. He 12 Favour is countenance, good will, and not pardon, sa that it has reference to the old feudal simple ho