Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Shall be the maws of kites. [Ghost disappears,

Lady M. What! quite unmann'd in folly ?
Macb. If I stand here, I saw him.
Lady M.

Fy, for shame!
Macb. Blood hath been shed ere now, i'the olden

time, .
Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal ;?
Ay, and since too, murders have been perform’d.
Too terrible for the ear: the times have been,
That, when the brains were out, the man would die,
And there an end: but now, they rise again,
With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,
And push us from our stools: This is more strange
Than such a murder is.
Lady M.

My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.

4 Shall be the maws of kites. The same thought occurs in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II, c. viii:

“Be not entombed in the raven or the kigbt.Steevens. “In splendidissimum quemque captivum, non sine verborum contumelia, sæviit: ut quidem uni suppliciter sepulturam precanti respondisse dicatur, jam istam in volucrum fore potestasem.” Sueton. in August. 13. Malone. ,

5 Wbat! quite unmann'd in folly?] Would not this question be forcible enough without the two last words, which overflow the metre, and consequently may be suspected as interpolations?

Steevens. 6 ; the olden time,] Mr. M. Mason proposes to read" the golden time,” meaning the golden age: but the ancient reading may be justified by Holinshed, who, speaking of the . Witches, says, they “ resembled creatures of the elder world;" , and in Zwelfth Night we have

6. dallies with the innocence of love,

" Like the old age.
Again, in Tbystorye of Facob and his twelve Sones, bl. L
printed by Wynkyn de Worde:

“Of dedes done in the olde tyme.” :
Again, in our Liturgy ---- and in the old time before them."

* Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal;] The gentle
meal, is, the peaceable community, the state made quiet and safe
by buman statutes.

Mollia securie peragehant otin gentes.'' Fobnson.
In my opinion it means “That state of innocence which did
not require the aid of human.laws to renderit quiet and secure."

M. Mason


I do forget som Do not muse at me,8 my most worthy friends; I have a strange infirmity, which is nothing To those that know me. Come, love and health to all ; Then I'll sit down :- Give me some wine, fill

I drink to the general joy of the whole table,

Ghost rises.
And to our dear friend Banquo, whom we miss;
Would he were here! to all, and him, we thirst,
And all to all.1

Lords. Our duties, and the pledge.
Macb. Avaunt! and quit my sight! Let the earth

hide thee!
Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold;
Thou hast no speculation in those eyes?
Which thou dost glare with!
Lady M.

Think of this, good peers,
But as a thing of custom: 'tis no other;
Only ít spoils the pleasure of the time.

Macb. What man dare, I dare:
Approach thou like the rugged Russian bear,
The arm'd rhinoceros, or the Hyrcan tiger,

* Do not muse at me,] To muse anciently signified to wonder, to be in amaze. So, in Ring Henry IV, P. II, Act IV.

I muse, you make so slight a question.” Again, in All's Well that Ends Well: “ And rather muse, than ask, why I intreat you."

Steevens. 9 to all, and bim, we thirst,] We thirst, I suppose, means we desire to drink. So, in Yulius Cæsar, Cassius says, when Brutus drinks to him, to bury all unkindness

“My heart is thirsty for that noble pledge." M. Mason. 1 And all to all.] i.e. all good wishes to all; such as he had pamed above, love, bealtb, and joy. Warburton.

I once thought it should be bail to all, but I now think that the present reading is right. Fobnson.. * Timon uses nearly the same expression to his guests, Act I; “ All to you." Again, in King Henry VIII, more intelligibly:

“ And to you all good health.” Steevens. 2 _ no speculation in those eyes ) So, in the 115th Psalm: “ eyes have they, but see not." Stecvens.

Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble : Or, be alive again,
And dare me to the desert with thy swords
If trembling I inhibit 4 thee, protest me


3 tbe Hyrcan tiger,] Theobald chooses to read, in oppor sition to the old copy – Hyrcanian tiger; but the alteration was unnecessary, as Dr. Philemon Holland, in his translation of Pliny's Natural History, p. 122, mentions the Hyrcane sea.

Alteration certainly might be spared: in Riche's Second Part of Simonides, 4to. 1584, sign. Ci, we have“ Contrariewise these souldiers, like to Hircan tygers, revenge themselves on their own bowelles; some parricides, some fratricides, all homi. cides.” Reed.

Sir William D'Avenant unnecessarily altered this to Hircanian tiger, which was followed by Theobald, and others. Hircan tigers are mentioned by Daniel, our author's contemporary, in bis Sonnets, 1594:

" restore thy fierce and cruel mind

“ To Hircan tygers, and to ruthless beares.” Malone. If trembling 1 inhibit -] Inhabit is the original reading, which Mr. Pope changed to inbibit, which inbibit Dr. Warbur. ton interprets refuse. The old reading may stand, at least as well as the emendation. Fobnson.

Inbibit seems more likely to have been the poet's own word, as he uses it frequently in the sense required in this passage. Øtbello, Act I, sc. vii:

“ a practiser

“ Of arts inbibited.Hamlet, Act II, sc. vi:

“ I think their inbibition comes of the late innovation." To inbibit is to forbid. Steevens.

I have not the least doubt that “ inbibit thee,” is the true reading. In All's Well that Ends Well, we find, in the second, and all the subsequent folios-“which is the most inbabited sin of the canon," instead of inbibited.

The same error is found in Stowe's Survey of London, 4to. 1618, p. 772: “ Also Robert Fabian writéth, that in the year 1506, the one and twentieth of Henry the Seventh, the said stew-houses in Southwarke were for a season inbabited, and the doores closed up, but it was not long, saith be, ere the houses there were set open again, so many as were permitted.”-The passage is not in the printed copy of Fabian, but that writer left in manuscript a continuation of his Chronicle from the accession of King Henry VII to near the time of his own death, (1512) which was in Štowe's possession in the year 1600, but I believe is now lost.

The baby of a girl. Hence, horrible shadow! "..;

i (Ghost disappears. Unreal mockery,5 hence!--Why, so ;-being gone, I am a man again.--Pray you, sit still. Lady M. You have displac'd the mirth, broke the

good meeting, With most admir'd disorder. · Macb.

Can such things be, And overcome us like a summer's cloud, Without our special wonder?6 You make me strange

By the other slight but happy emendation, the rea ding thee instead of then, which was proposed by Mr. Steevens, and to which I have paid the respect that it deserved, by giving it a place in my text, this passage is rendered clear and easy.

Mr. Steevens's correction is strongly supported by the punctuation of the old copy, where the line stands-If trembling I inhabit then, protest &c. and not--If trembling I inhabit, then protest &c. In our author's King Richard II, we have nearly the same thought:

If i dlare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live, do

" I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness." Malune.. - Inbabit is the original reading; and it needs no alteration.

The obvious meaning is-Sbould you challenge me to encounter you in the desert, and I, through fear, remain trembling in my castle, then protest me, &c. Shakspeare here uses the verb inbabit in a neutral sense, to express continuance in a given situa. tion; and Milton has employed it in a similar manner:

“Meanwhile irbabit lax, ye powers of heaven!” Henley. To inbabit, a verb neuter, may undoubtedly have a meaning Tike that suggested by Mr. Henley. Thus, in As you Like it: "O knowledge ill-inhabited! worse than Jove in a thatched house!" Inhabited, in this instance, can have no other meaning than lodged. 2: It is not, therefore, inpossible, that by inbabit, our author capriciously meant-stay within doors.If, when you have challenged me to the desert, i sculk in my house, do not hesi. tate to protest my cowardice Steevens.

The reading_v If trembling I inhibit”—and the explanation of it, derives some support from Macbeth's last worils

“And damn'd be him that first cries, hold! enough!". · I cannot reconcile myself to Henley's or Steevens's explana. tion of inbabit. M. Mason. . s Unreal mockery,1 i.e. unsubstantial pageant, as our author calls the vision in the Tempest: or the picture in Timon of Arbens, “a mocking of the life.” Steepens,

Even to the disposition that I owe,?

• 6 Can such things be,

And overcome us like a summer's cloud,

Without our special wonder?] The meaning is, can such wonders as these pass over us without wonder, as a casual summer cloud passes over us? Fohnson.

No instance is given of this sense of the word overcome, which has caused all the difficulty; it is, however, to be found in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. III, c. vii, st. 4:

“ A little valley in
* All covered with thick woods, that quite it overcame.”

Farmer. Again, in Chapman's version of the fifteenth Iliad:

“ his eyes were overcome

“ With fervour, and resembled flames; " Again, in the fourth Iliad:

“So (after Diomed) the field was overcome

“ With thick impressions of the Greeks ; _" Stecuent Again, in Marie Magdalene's Repentaunce, 1567 :

“ With blode overcome were both his eyen." Malone 1- You make me strange

Even to the disposition tbat I owe,) Which, in plain English, is only: You make me just mad. Warburton.

You procluce in me an alienation of mind; which is probably the expression which our author intended to paraphrase.

Fobnson. I do not think that either of the editors has very successfully explained this passage, which seems to mean. You prove to me that I am a stranger even to my own disposition, when I perceive that the very object which steals the colour from my cheek, per. mits it to remain in yours. In other words,-You prove to me bow false an opinion I bave birberto maintained of my own courage, wben yours, on the trial, is found to exceed it. A thought some what similar occurs in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II, sc. i: “ I 'll entertain myself like one I am not acquainted withal.” Again, in All's Well that Ends Well, Act V: “

if you know « That you are well acquainted with yourself.” Steevena. The meaning, I think, is, You render me a stranger to, or forgetful of, tbat brave disposition wbicb I know I possess, and make me fancy myself a coward, when I perceive that I am terrified by a sight which has not in the least alarmed you. A passage in As you Like it may prove the best comment on that before us:

“ If with myself I hold intelligence,

“ Or have acquaintance with my own desires ." So Macbeth says, he has no longer acquaintance with his own brane disposition of mind: His wife's superior fortitude makes

« PreviousContinue »