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And bind us further to you.
Macb. The rest is labour, which is not us'd for you: I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful The hearing of my wife with your approach; So, humbly take my leave. Dun.
My worthy Cawdor! Macb. The prince of Cumberland !!—That is a step, On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap, [.Aside.
“ Singulis annis ad inopum querelas audiendas perlustrabat provincias.” Buchan. Lib. VIIMalone.
8. The prince of Cumberland !-] So, Holinshed, History of Scotland, p. 171: “ Duncan having two sonnes, &c. he made the elder of them, called Malcolme, prince of Cumberland, as it was thereby to appoint him successor in his kingdome immediatlie after his decease. Mackbeth sorely troubled herewith, for that he saw by this means his hope sore hindered, (where, by the old laws of the realme the ordinance was, that if he that should succeed were not of able age to take the charge upon himself, he that was next of bloud unto him should be admitted) he began to take counsel how be might usurpe the kingdome by force, having a just quarrel so to doe (as he tooke the mat. ter,) for that Duncane did what in him lay to defraud him of all manner of title and claime, which he might, in time to come, pretend unto the crowne.”
The crown of Scotland was originally not hereditary. When a successor was declared in the lifetime of a king, (as was often the case) the title of prince of Cumberland was immedi. ately bestowed on him as the mark of his designation. Cumber. land was at that time held by Scotland of the crown of England, as a fief. Steevens.
The former part of Mr. Steevens's remark is supported by Bellenden's translation of Hector Boethius :
“ In the mene tyme kyny Duncane maid his son Malcolme prince of Cumbir, to sig. nify y be suld regne eftir hym, quhilk wes gret displeseir to Makbeth; for it maid plane derogatioun to the thrid weird promittit afore to hym be this weird sisteris. Nochtheles he thoct gif Duncane were slane, he had maist rycht to the croun, because he wes nerest of blud yairto, be tenour of ye auld lavis maid eftir the deith of king Fergus, quhen young children wer unable to govern the croun, the nerrest of yair blude sal regne.” So also Buchanan, Rerum Scoticarum Hist Lib. VII:
“ Duncanus e filia Sibardi reguli Northumbrorum, duos filios genuerat. Ex iis Milcolumbum, vixdum puberem, Cumbriæ præfecit. Id factum ejus Macbethus molestius, quam credi poterat, tulit, eam videlicet moram sibi ratus injectam, ut, priores jam magistratus (juxta visum nocturnum) adeptus, aut
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fres !
Dun. True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant;o
omnino a regno excluderetur, aut eo tardius potiretur, cum præfectura Cumbriæ velut aditus ad supremum magistratum SEMPER esset babitus.” It has been asserted by an anonymous writer [Mr. Ritson) that “the crown of Scotland was always hereditary, and that it should seem from the play that Malcolm was the first who had the title of prince of Cumberland." An extract or two from Hector Boethius will be sufficient relative to these points. In the tenth chapter of the eleventh book of his History we are informed, that some of the friends of Kenneth III, the eightieth king of Scotland, came among the nobles, desiring them to choose Malcolm, the son of Kenneth, to be lord of Cumbir, "jt he myckt be yt way the better cum to je crown after his faderis leid.” Two of the nobles said, it was in the power of Kenneth to make whom he pleased lord of Cumberland; and Malcolm was accordingly appointed. “Sic thingis done, king Kenneth, be advise of his nobles, abrogat , auld lawis concerning the creation of yair king, and made new lawis in manner as followes: 1. The king heand decessit, his eldest son or his eldest nepot, (notwithstanding quhat sumevir age he be of, and youcht he was born efter his faderis death, sal succede ye croun, ,” &c. Notwithstanding this precaution, Malcolm, the eldest son of Kenneth, did not succeed to the throne after the death of his father; for after Kenneth, reigned Constantine, the son of king Culyne. To him succeeded Gryme, who was not the son of Constantine, but the grandson of king Duffe. Gryme, says Boethius, came to Scone, “ quhare he was crownit by the tenour of the auld lawis.” After the death of Gryme, Malcolm, the son of king Kenneth, whom Boethius frequently calls prince of Cumberland, became king of Scotland; and to him succeeded Duncan, the son of his eldest daughter.
These breaches, however, in the succession, appear to have been occasioned by violence in turbulent times; and though the eldest son could not succeed to the throne, if he happened to be a minor at the death of his father, yet, as by the ancient laws the next of blood was to reign, the Scottish monarchy may be said to have been hereditary, subject however to peculiar regu. lations. Malone.
9 True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant;] i. e. he is to the full as valiant as you have described him. We must imagine, that while Macbeth was uttering the six preceding lines, Duncan and Banquo had been conferring apart. Macbeth's conduct appears to have been their subject; and to some encomium sup
And in his commendations I am fed;
Inverness. A Room in Macbeth's Castle.
Enter Lady MACBETH, reading a letter.
Lady M. They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. . When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves—air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king,2 who all-hailed me, Thane of Cawdor; by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with, Hail, king, that shalt be! This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness; that thou mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewel. Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promis’d:-Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o' the milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way: Thou would'st be great; Art not without ambition ; but without The illness should attend it. What thou would'st
highly, That would'st thou holily; would'st not play false, And yet would'st wrongly win : thou’d'st have, great
posed to have been bestowed on him by Banquo, the reply of Duncan refers. Steevens. by the perfectest report,] By the best intelligence,
Fobnson. missives from the king,] i. e. messengers. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
“ Did gibe my missive out of audience.” Steevens,
That which cries, Thus thou must do, if thou have it
thou'd'st bave, great Glamis,
And that &c.] As the object of Macbeth's desire is here introduced speaking of itself, it is necessary to read:
thou’d'st bave, great Glamis,
Johnson. 4 And that which rather thou dost fear to do,] The construction, perhaps, is, thou would'st have that, [i. e. the crown,] which cries unto thee, thou must do thus, if thou wouldst bave it, and thou must do that which rather, &c. Sir T. Hanmer, without necessity, reads-And that's what rather The diffi culty of this line and the succeeding hemistich seems to have arisen from their not being considered as part of the speech uttered by the object of Macbeth's ambition. As such they appear to me, and I have therefore distinguished them by Italicks.
Malone. This regulation is certainly proper, and I have followed it.
Steevens $ That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;] I meet with the same expression in lord Sterline's Julius Cæsar, 1607:
“Thou in my bosom us’d to pour thy spright.” Malone.
the golden round,
To have thee crown'd withal.] For seem, the sense evidently directs us to read seek. The crown to which fate destines thee, and which preternatural agents endeavour to bestow upon thee. The golden round is the diadem. Fobnson. So, in Act IV:
“ And wears upon his baby brow the round
" And top of sovereignty. Steevens. Metaphysical for supernatural. But dotb seem to bave thee crown'd witbal, is not sense. To make it so, it should be supa plied thus : doth seem desirous to bave. But no poetic license would excuse this. An easy alteration will restore the poet's true reading:
To have crown'd thee withal.
Enter an Attendant. Attend. The king comes here to-night. Lady M.
I hou 'rt mad to say it:
Give him tending, He brings great news. The raven himself is hoarse,
i. e. they seem already to have crowned thee, and yet thy disposition at present hinders it from taking effect Warburton.
The words, as they now stand, have exactly the same meaning. Such arrangement is sufficiently common among our ancient writers. Steevens.
I do not concur with Dr. Warburton, in thinking that Shak. speare meant to say, that fate and metaphysical aid seem to have crowned Macbeth. Lady Macbeth means to animate her hus. band to the attainment of “the golden round,” with which fate and supernatural agency seem to intend to have him crowned, on a future day. So, in Ail's Wel: that Ends Well:
Our dearest friend
“ To have us make denial.” There is, in my opinion, a material difference between-“To have thee crown'd,” and “To have crown'd thee;” of which the learned commentator does not appear to have been aware.
Metaphysical, which Dr. Warburton has justly observed, means supernatural, seems, in our author's time, to have had no other meaning. In the English Dictionary, by H. C. 1655, Metaphysicks are thus explained : “ Supernatural arts.
." Malone. The raven himself is boarse,] Dr. Warburton reads:
The raven bimself 's not boarse, Yet I think the present words may stand. The messenger, says the servant, had hardly breath to make up his message; to which the lady answers mentally, that he may well want breath, such a message would add hoarseness to the raven. That even the bird, whose harsh voice is accustomed to predict calamities, could not croak the entrance of Duncan but in a note of unwonted harshness Johnson.
The following is, in my opinion, the sense of this passage:
Give bim tending , the news he brings are worth the speed that made him lose his breath. [Exit Atten.] 'Tis certain.