Page images

Like our strange garments çleave not to their mould,
But with the aid of use.

Macb. Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs thro’ the roughest day.

Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.

Macb. Give meyour favour:my dull brain was wrought With things forgot. Kind gentlemen, your pains Are registred where every day I turn The leaf to read them-Let us tow’rd the King ; Think, upon what hath chanc'd ; and at more time,

[To Banquo. (The Interim having weigh'd it,) let us speak Our free hearts each to other.

Ban. Very gladly.
Macb. 'Till then enough: come, friends. (Exeunt.

King. I or not those in commiffion

SCENE changes to the Palace. Flourish. Enter King, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lenox, and

S execution done on Cawdor yet

yet return'd!
Mal. My liege,
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
With one that saw him die; who did report,
That very frankly he confess’d his treasons ;
Implor'd your Highness' pardon, and set forth
A deep repentance; nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it. He dy'd,
As one, that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
As 'twere a careless trifle.

King. There's no art,
To find the mind's construction in the face ;
He was a gentleman, on whom I built
An absolute trast.

Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Rosse, and Angus.
O worthiest Cousin!
The sin of my ingratitude e'en now


Was heavy on me.

Thou’rt so far before, (10)
That swiftest wing of recompence is slow,
To overtake thee. Would thou’df lefs deserv’d,
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine! only I've left to say,
More is thy due, than more than all can pay.

Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe,
In doing it, pays itself. Your Highness' part
Is to receive our duties; and our duties (11)
Are to your throne, and state, children and servants ;
Which do but what they should, by doing every thing
Safe tow'rd your love and honour.

King. Welcome hither :
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing. Noble Banquo,
Thou hast no less deserv'd, and must be known
No lefs to have done so: let me enfold thee,
And hold thee to my

Ban. There if I

The harvest is your own.

King. My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themfelves

(10) Thou art fo far before,
That swifteft wind of recompence is for
To overtake thee ] Thus the editions by Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope's
whether for any reason, or purely by chance, I cannot determine.
I have chose the reading of the more authen:ick copies, Wing.
We meet with the same metaphor again in Troilus and Cressida.

But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn,

Cannot outfly our apprehension. (11)

and our duties Are to your throne and flare, children and servants; Whicb'o but wb t they would, by doing every thing safe towards your love and boncur.) This may be sense; but, I own it gives me no very satisfactory idea : And tho' I have not disturbid

cannot but embrace in my mind the conjecture of my ingenious friend Mr. Warburton, who would read;

· by doing every thing, Fiefs towards your love and honour. i. e. We hold our duties to your throne, &c. under an obligation of doing every thing in our power: as we hold our Fiefs, ( feuda) those efiates and tenures, which we have in the terms of bomage and ser

[ocr errors]

the text,



In drops of sorrow. Sons, kinsmen, Thanes,
And you whose Places are the neareft, know,
We will establish our Estate upon
Our eldest Malcolm, whom we name hereafter
The Prince of Cumberland : which honour must,
Not unaccompanied, inveft him only;
But signs of Nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers. Hence to Inverness,
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.

King. My worthy Cawdor!
Macb. The Prince of Cumberland ! -

that is a step,
On which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap, [Aside.
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires ;
Let not light see my black and deep desires :
The eye wink at the hand ! yet let that be,
Which the eye fears, when it is done, to fee. [Exit.

King. True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant; And in his commendations I am fed ; It is a banquet to me. Let us after him, Whose is


before to bid us welcome : It is a peerless kinsman.

[Flourish. Exeunt: SCEN E, changes to an Apartment in Macbeth's

Castle, at Inverness.
Enter Lady Macbeth alone, with a letter.

HEY met me in the day of success; and I

have learn'd by the perfecteji report, they have inore in them than mortal knowledge. When I burnt in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, inta which they vanishd. While I flood rapt in the wonder of it, come Missives from the King, who all-hailid me Thane of Cawdor; by which tille, before, these queird fifters Jaluted me, and referr'd me to the coming on of time, with hail, King that ihalt be! This have I thought geod to




deliver thee (my dearest partner of greatness) that thou might's not lose the dues of rejoycing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promis’d thee. Lay it to thy heart, anch farewel. Glamis chou art, and Cawdor--and shalt be What thou art promis’d. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o'th milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition ; but without The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldft not play false, And yet wouldft wronglywin. Thou'dit have greatGlamis, That which cries, “ thus thou must do, if thou have it; " And that which rather thou dost fear to do, " Than wishest should be undone.” Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown'd withal.

Enter Mesenger. What is your tidings?

Mef. The King comes here to-night.

Lady. Thou'rt mad to say it.
Is not thy master with him who, wer't so,
Would have inform’d for preparation.

Mef. So please you, it is true: our Thane is coming,
One of my fellows had the speed of him;
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make up his message.

Lady. Give him tending ; He brings great news. The raven himself is hoarse,

[Exit Mef: That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, all you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here; And fill me, from the crown to th' toe, top-full Of direct cruelty; make thick my blood, Stop up th' access and passage to remorse,


That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th'effect, and it. Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murd'ring minifters!
Where-ever in your sightless substances
You wait on nature's mischief.-Come, thick night!
And pall thee in the dunneft smoak of hell,
That my keen knife see not the wound it makes;
Nor heav'n peep through the blanket of the dark,
To cry, hold, hold !

Enter Macbeth.
Great Glamis ! worthy Cawdor! [Embracing him.
Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter !
Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ign'rant present time, and I feel now
The future in the instant.

Macb. Dearest love,
Duncan comes here to-night.

Lady. And when goes hence !
Macb. To-morrow, as he purposes.

Lady. Oh, never
Shall sun that morrow fee!-
Your face, my Thane, is as a book, where men (12)
May read strange matters. To beguile the time,
Look like the time ; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower,

(12) Your face, my Thane, is as a book, wbere men May read frange matters to beguile the Time. Look like the Time,] I have ventur'd, against the Authority of all the copies, to alter the pointing of this passage : and, I hope, with fume certainty. The Lady certainly means, that Macbeth looks fo full of thought and solemn reflection upon the purpos'd act, that, Me fears, people may comment upon the reason of his glooms and therefore defires him, in order to take off and prevint such Commenis, to wear a face of pleasure and entertainment; and look like the time, the better to deceive the time. So Maibelb says, in a subsequent scene;

Away and mock the time with faireff Sbew. So Macduff says to Malcolm

the time you may lo boodavink. i, e. blind the eye of observation, and so deceive people's thoughts.


« PreviousContinue »