Page images
PDF
EPUB

When now I think you can behold such sights,
And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine are blanch'd with fear.8
Rosse.

What sights, my lord? Lady M. I pray you, speak not; he grows worse

and worse;
Question enrages him: at once, good night:-
Stand not upon the order of your going,
But at once,
Len.

Good night, and better health
Attend his majesty!
Lady M.

A kind good night to all!!

[Excunt Lords, and Attendants. Macb. It will have blood; they say, blood will have

blood :1

8

him ignorant of his own courage as a stranger might be supposed to be. Malone.

I believe it only means, you make me mazed. The word strange was then used in this sense. So, in The History of Jack of Newberry: “ I jest not, said she; for I mean it shall be; and stand not strangely, but remeinber that you promised me," &c. Reel.

are blaneli'd with feır.] i. e. turned pale, as in Webster's D:ltcbeos of Malfy, 1623 :

“ Thou dost blonch mischief,

Dost make it white.” Steerens. The old copy reads--is blanch'd. Sir T. Hanmer corrected this passage in the wrong place, by reading-cheek; in which he has been followed by the subsequent editors. His correction gives, perhaps, a more elegant text, but not the text of Shak. speare. The alteration now made is only that which every edi. lor has been obliged to make in almost every page of these plays.-In this very scene the old copy has “ the times bas been,” &c. Perhaps it may be said that mine refers to rub;, and that therefore no change is necessary. But this seems very harsh. Malone.

9 A kind good night to all!) I take it for granted, that the redundant and valueless syllablesa kind, are a play-house in. terpolation. Steevens.

1 It will have bloods they say, blood will bave blood:] So, in The Mirror of Magistrates, p. 118:

“ Take heede, ye princes, by examples past,
" Bloud will bave bloud, eyther at first or last.”

Henderson. I would thus point the passage:

Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak; Augurs, and understood relations, have

It will bave blood; they say, blood will bade blood. As a confirmation of the reading, I would add the following authority: « Blood asketh blood, and death must death requite."

Ferrex and Porrex, Act IV, sc. ü. Wballey. I have followed Mr, Whalley's punctuation, instead of placing the semicolon after-say. The same words occur in The Battle of Alcazar, 1594: « Bloud wi!l bave bloud, foul murther scape no scourge.”

Steevens. and trees to speak;] Alluding perhaps to the vocal tree which (See the third Book of the Æneid) revealed the murder of Polydorus. Steevens.

3 Augurs, and understood relations, &c.] By the word relation s understood the connection of effects with causes; to under. stand relations as an augur, is to know how those things relate to each other, which have no visible combination or dependence.

Fobnsor. Shakspeare, in his licentious way, by relations, might only mean languages; i.e the language of birds. Warburton. The old copy has the passage thus:

Augures, and understood relations, bave

B; inaggot-pies and cbougbs, &c. The modern editors have read:

Augurs that understand relations, bave

By magpies and by chougbs, &c. Perhaps we should read, auguries, i. e. prognostications by means of omens and prodigies. These, together with the con. nection of effects with causes, being understood, (says he) have been instrumental in divulging the most secret murders.

In Cotgrave's Dictionary, a magpie is called magatapie. So, in The Night-Raven, a Satirical Collection &c.

« I neither tattle with iack-daw,

“Or Maggot.pye on hatch'd house straw." Magot-pie is the original name of the bird; Magot being the familiar appellation given to pies, as we say Robin to a red. breast, Tom to a titmouse, Philip to a sparrow, &c. The modern mag is the abbreviation of the ancient Magot, a word which we had from the French. Sieevens.

Mr. Steevens rightly restores Migot-pies. In Minshieu's Guide to the Tongues, 1617, we meet with a maggatapie: and Middleton, in his More Dissemblers beside Women, says: “ He calls her magot o' pie.Farmer. It appears to me that we ought to read;

Augurs that understood relations, &c. . which, by a very slight alteration, removes every difficulty.

M. Al 1800.

By magot-pies, and choughs, and rooks, brought forth The secret'st man of blood. -What is the night? Lady M. Almost at odds with morning, which is

which. Macb. How say'st thou, that Macduff denies his per.

son, At our great bidding ?5

Did you

send to him, sir? Macb. I hear it by the way; but I will send : There's not a one of them, but in his house

Lady M.

and chonghs, and rooks, browght forth The secretost man of blood.] The inquisitive reader will find such a story in Thomas Lupton's Thousand notable Things, &c. 4to. bl. I. no date, p. 100; and in Goular's Admirable His. tories, &c. p. 425, 4to. 1607. Steevens.

5 How say'st thou, &c.] Macbeth here asks a question, which the recollection of a moment enables him to answer Of this forgetfulness, natural to a mind oppressed, there is a beautiful instance in the sacred song of Deborah and Barak: “She asked ber wise women counsel; yed, she returned answer to berself."

Mr. M. Mason's interpretation of this passage has, however, taught me diffidence of my own. He supposes, and not with. out sufficient reason, that“what Macbeth means to say, is this; What do you think of this circumstance, that Macluj denies to come at our great bidding? What do you infer from thence ? What is your opinion of the matter ?

So, in. Othello, when the Duke is informed that the Turkish fleet was making for Rhodes, which he supposed to have been bound for Cyprus, he says

“ How say you by this change ?" That is, what do you think of it? In The Coxcunib, Antonio says to Maria

“Sweetheart, how say you by this gentleman!

“ He will away at midnight." Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Speed says

"But Launce, how say'st tbou, that my master is become a notable lover?"

Again, Macbeth, in his address to his wife, on the first appearance of Banquo's ghost, uses the same form of words:

-behold! look! lo! bur say you ?The circumstance, however, on wliich this question is found. ed, took its rise from the old history. Macbeth sent to Macduff to assist in building the castle of Dunsinane. Macduff sent workmen, &c. but did not choose to trust his person in the tyrant's power. From that time he resolved on his death.

Stecvens,

I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow,
(Betimes I will) unto the weird sisters :?
More shall they speak; for now I am bent to know,
By the worst means, the worst: for mine own good
All causes shall give way; I am in blood
Stept in so far, that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er:8
Strange things I have in head, that will to hand;
Which must be acted, ere they may be scann'd.'

Lady M. You lack the season of all natures, sleep.'

6 There's not a one of them,] A one of them, however un. south the phrase, signifies an individual. Chaucer frequently prefixes the article a to nouns of number. See Squiere's Tale, 10,697 :

“ And up the risen, wel a ten or twelve." In Albumazer, 1614, the same expression occurs: “ Not a one shakes his tail, but I sigh out a passion.” Theobald would read thane; and might have found his proposed emendation in D'Avenant's alteration of Macbeth, 1674. This avowal of the tyrant is authorized by Holínshed. “ He had in every sioble. man's house one slie fellow or other in fee with him to reveale all,” &c. Steevens.

7 (Betimes I will) unto the weird sisters:] The ancient copy reads

And betimes I will to the weird sisters. They whose ears are familiarized to discord, may perhaps objcct to my omission of the first word, and my supplement to the fifth. Steevens.

- I am in blood
Stept in so far, that, sbould I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o’er:] This idea is borrowed by Dryden, in bis Oedipus, Act IV:

I have already past
" The middle of the stream; and to return,
“ Seems greater labour, than to venture o'er.”

Steevens. be scann'd.] To scan is to examine nicely. Thus, in Hamlet :

so he goes to heaven,
And so am I reveng'd : That would be scann'd."

Steerens, 1 You lack the season of all natures, sleep. 1 I take the meaning to be, You want sleep, which seasons, or gives the relish to, all nature. Iindiget sonini diie condin erti." Fcbrson.

This word is often used in this sense by our author. Sc, ir All's Well that Ends Well: 'Tis the best brinc a maiden can

9

VOL. VII.

Macb. Come, we 'll to sleep: My strange and self

abuse Is the initiate fear, that wants hard use :We are yet but young in deed.?

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

The Heath.

Thunder. Enter HECATE,3 meeting the Three Witches.

I Witch. Why, how now, Hecate? you look angerly

season her praise in.” Again, in Much Ado about Nothing, where, as in the present instance, the word is used as a substantive:

And salt too little, which may season give

“ To her foul tainted flesh.” An anonymous correspondent thinks the meaning is, “ You stand in need of the time or season of sleep, which all natures pequire.” Malone.

2. We are yet but young in deed.] The editions before Theobald read

We're but young indeed. Johnson. The meaning is not ill explained by a line in King Henry VI, P. III: We are not, Macbeth would say,

“ Made impudent with use of evil deeds.or we are not yet (as Romeo expresses it) “ old murderers.” Theobald's amendment may be countenanced by a passage in Antony and Cleopatra: “ Not in deed, madam, for I can do nothing.”

Again, in Chapman's translation of the eleventh book of the Iliad, fol. edit p. 146. “ And would not be the first in name, unlesse the first

in deed." Again, in Hamlet:

“ To show yourself in deed your father's son

More than in words." The initiate fear, is the fear that always attends the first initiation into guilt, before the mind becomes callous and in. sensible by frequent repetition of it, or (as the poet says) by bard use.

Steevens. 3 Enter Hecate,] Shakspeare has been censured for introducing Hecate among the vulgar witches, and, consequently, for confounding ancient with modern superstitions. He has however, authority for giving a mistress to the witches, Delrio Disquis. Mag. Lib. II, quæst. 9, quotes a passage of Apuleius, Lib. de Asino aureo: “de quadam Caupona, regina Sagarum."

« PreviousContinue »