Page images


Nimbly and fweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.4


This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet,5 does approve,
By his lov'd manfionry, that the heaven's breath,
Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze, buttress,
Nor coigne of vantage, but this bird hath made

4 Unto our gentle fenfes.] Senfes are nothing more than each man's fenfe. Gentle fenfe is very elegant, as it means placid, calm, compofed, and intimates the peaceable delight of a fine day. JOHNSON.

martlet,] This bird is in the old edition called barlet.

The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. MALOne.
It is fupported by the following paffage in The Merchant of
Venice :

[ocr errors][merged small]

"Builds in the weather on the outward wall."


6 no jutty, frieze,] A comma fhould be placed after jutty. A jutty, or jetty, (for fo it ought rather to be written) is not here, as has been fuppofed, an epithet to frieze, but a fubftantive; fignifying that part of a building which shoots forward beyond the rest. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: "Barbacane. An outnooke or corner standing out of a houfe; a jettie."-" Sporto. A porch, a portal, a bay-window, or out-butting, or jettie, of a house, that jetties out farther than anie other part of the house."-See alfo Surpendue, in Cotgrave's French Dict. 1611: "A jettie; an out-jetting room." MALONE.


Shakspeare uses the verb to jutty, in King Henry V:
as fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base."

[ocr errors]

The fubftantive alfo occurs in an agreement between Philip Henflowe, &c. &c. for building a new theatre, in the year 1599. See Vol. II: " befides a juttey forwards in eyther

of the faide two upper ftories &c.” STEEVENS.


coigne of vantage,] Convenient corner. JOHNSON.

So, in Pericles:

"By the four oppofing coignes,

"Which the world together joins." STEEVENS.

His pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where

Moft breed

Is delicate,


they &

and haunt, I have obferv'd, the air

Enter Lady MACBETH.

See, fee! our honour'd hostess! The love that follows us, fometime is our trouble, Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you, How you fhall bid God yield us for your pains, And thank us for

your trouble.1

His pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where they -] Left the reader fhould think this verfe defective in harmony, he ought to be told, that as needle was once written and pronounced neele and neeld, fo cradle was contracted into crale, and confequently uttered as a monofyllable.

Thus, in the fragment of an ancient Christmas carol now be fore me :

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

In fome parts of Warwickshire, (as I am informed,) the word is drawlingly pronounced as if it had been writtencraale. STEEVENS.

Moft breed-] The folio-muft breed. STEEvens.

Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

The love that follows us, fometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you,
How you fhall bid God yield us for your pains,

And thank us for your trouble.] The attention that is paid us, (fays Duncan on feeing Lady Macbeth come to meet him,) fometimes gives us pain, when we reflect that we give trouble to others; yet ftill we cannot but be pleafed with fuch attentions, because they are a proof of affection. So far is clear; but of the following words, I confefs, I have no very diftinct conception, and fufpect them to be corrupt. Perhaps the meaning is,-By being the occafion of fo much trouble, I furnish you with a motive to pray to heaven to reward me for the pain I give you, inafmuch as the having fuch an opportu


All our fervice

In every point twice done, and then done double,

nity of fhowing your loyalty may hereafter prove beneficial to you; and herein alfo I afford you a motive to thank me for the trouble I give you, becaufe by fhowing me fuch attention, (however painful it may be to me to be the cause of it,) you have an opportunity of difplaying an amiable character, and of ingratiating yourself with your fovereign: which, finally, may bring you both profit and honour. MALONE.

This paffage is undoubtedly obfcure, and the following is the beft explication of it I am able to offer:

Marks of refpect, importunately fhown, are fometimes troublefome, though we are still bound to be grateful for them, as indications of fincere attachment. If you pray for us on account of the trouble we create in your houfe, and thank us for the moleftations we bring with us, it must be on fuch a principle. Herein I teach you, that the inconvenience you fuffer, is the refult of our affection; and that you are therefore to pray for us, or thank us, only as far as prayers and thanks can be deferved for kindnesses that fatigue, and honours that opprefs. You are, in short, to make your acknowledgments for intended respect and love, however irkfome our prefent mode of expreffing them may have proved.-To bid is here ufed in the Saxon fenfe to pray. STEEVENS.

How you fhall bid God-yield us-] To bid any one Godyeld him, i. e. God-yield him, was the fame as God reward him. WARBURTON.

I believe yield, or, as it is in the folio of 1623, eyld, is a corrupted contraction of Shield. The wifh implores not reward, but protection. JOHNSON.

I rather believe it to be a corruption of God-yield, i. e. reward. In Antony and Cleopatra we meet with it at length: "And the gods yield you for't."

Again, in the interlude of Jacob and Efau, 1568:

"God yelde you, Efau, with all my ftomach."

Again, in the old metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, bl. 1. no date :

Syr, quoth Guy, God yield it you,

"Of this great gift you give me now."

Again, in Chaucer's Sompnoure's Tale, v. 7759; Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit.

"God yelde you adoun in your village."


Were poor and fingle bufinefs, to contend
Against those honours deep and broad, wherewith
Your majefty loads our house: For those of old,
And the late dignities heap'd up to them,

We reft your hermits.2


Where's the thane of Cawdor?
We cours'd him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor: but he rides well;

And his great love, fharp as his fpur,3 hath holp him
To his home before us: Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.


Your fervants ever 4

Again, one of the Pafton Letters, Vol. IV. p. 335, begins thus :
"To begin, God yeld you for my hats."

God fhield means God forbid, and could never be used as a
form of returning thanks. So, in Chaucer's Milleres Tale:
"God fhilde that he died fodenly."

V. 3427; Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. STEEVENS.
2 We rest your hermits.] Hermits, for beadfmen.


That is, we as hermits fhall always pray for you.
A. of Wyntown's Cronykil, B. IX. c. xxvii. v. 99:
His bedmen thai fuld be for-thi,

"And pray for hym rycht hartfully."

Again, in Arden of Feverfham, 1592:

"I am your beadfman, bound to pray for you." Again, in Heywood's English Traveller, 1633 :


worshipful fir,

"I fhall be still your beadfman."

This phrafe occurs frequently in The Pafton Letters.


Thus, in


—his great love, Sharp as his fpur,] So, in TwelfthNight, A& III. fc. iii:

[ocr errors]

my defire,

"More Sharp than filed fteel, did fpur me forth."


4 Your fervants ever &c.] The metaphor in this speech is
taken from the Steward's compting-houfe or audit-room. In
compt, means, fubject to account. So, in Timon of Athens:
"And have the dates in compt."

[ocr errors]

Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in


To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,

Still to return your own.


Give me your hand:

Conduct me to mine hoft; we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.



The fame. A Room in the Cafile.

Hautboys and torches. Enter, and pass over the Stage, a Sewer,5 and divers Servants with dishes and fervice. Then enter MACBETH.

MACB. If it were done," when 'tis done, then 'twere well

The sense of the whole is :-We, and all who belong to us, look upon our lives and fortunes not as our own properties, but as things we have received merely for your use, and for which we must be accountable, whenever you pleafe to call us to our audit; when, like faithful Stewards, we shall be ready to anfwer your fummons, by returning you what is your own.


s Enter- a Sewer,] I have reftored this ftage-direction from the old copy.

A fewer was an officer fo called from his placing the dishes upon the table. Affeour, French; from affeoir, to place. Thus, in Chapman's verfion of the 24th Iliad:


Automedon as fit

"Was for the reverend fewer's place; and all the browne joints ferv'd

"On wicker veffell to the board."

Barclay, Ecl. II. has the following remark on the conduc

of thefe domesticks:

« PreviousContinue »