Page images
PDF

Show'd like a rebel's whore: But all 's too weak: For brave Macbeth, (well he deserves that name,) Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smok'd with bloody execution, Like valour's minion, carv'd out his passage, Till he fac'd the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the mave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements. DUN. O, valiant cousin! worthy gentleman SoLD. As whence the sun gins his reflection Shipwracking storms and direful thunders breaka; So from that spring, whence comfort seem'd to come, Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark: No sooner justice had, with valour arm’d, Compell'd these skipping kernes to trust their heels, But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage, With furbish'd arms, and new supplies of men, Began a fresh assault. DUN. Dismay’d not this our captains, Macbeth and Banquo? SoLD. Yes: As sparrows, eagles; or the hare, the lion. If I say sooth, I must report they were As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks; So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe: Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds, Or memorize another Golgotha, I cannot tell: But I am faint, my gashes cry for help. DUN. So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; They smack of honour both:—Go, get him surgeons. [Earit Soldier, attended.

Enter Rosse.
Who comes here?
MAL. The worthy thane of Rosse.
LEN. What a haste looks through his eyes!
So should he look that seems to speak strange things.
RossE. God save the king!
DUN. Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane?
RossE. From Fife, great king,
Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky,
And fan our people cold.

* The word break is not in the original. The second folio adds breaking. Some verb is wanting; and the reading of the second folio is some sort of authority for the introduction of break, which is Pope's reading.

Norway himself, with terrible numbers, Assisted by that most disloyal traitor The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict: Till that Bellona's bridegroom", lapp'd in proof, Confronted him with self-comparisons, Point against point, rebellious arm gainst arm", Curbing his lavish spirit: And, to conclude, The victory fell on us;— DUN. Great happiness! RossE. That now Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition; Nor would we deign him burial of his men, Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes' inch, Ten thousand dollars to our general use. DUN. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest:—Go, pronounce his present" death, And with his former title greet Macbeth. RossE. I'll see it done. DUN. What he hath lost noble Macbeth hath won. {Eaceunt.

SCENE III.-A Heath. Thunder.

Enter the three Witches.

1 WITCH. Where hast thou been, sister?

2 WITCH. Killing swine.

3 WITCH. Sister, where thou?

1 WITCH. A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,
And mounch'd, and mounch'd, and mounch'd:—“Give me," quoth I:
“Aroint thee", witch!" the rump-fed ronyone cries.
Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger:
But in a sieve I ll thither sail”,
And, like a rat without a tail,
I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.

2 WITCH. I Tl give thee a wind.

1 WITCH. Th' art kind.

* Bellona's bridegroom is here undoubtedly Macbeth; but Henley and Steevens, fancying that the God of War was meant, chuckle over Shakspere's ignorance in not knowing that Mars was not the husband of Bellona.

* This is the original punctuation, which we think, with Tieck, is better than

“Point against point rebellious, arm gainst arm."

* Without the slightest ceremony Steevens omits the emphatic word present, as “injurious to metre.”

* Aroint thee. See “King Lear;' Illustration of Act III. Sc. 4.

* Ronyon. See ‘As You Like It;" Note on Act II. Sc. 2.

3 WITCH. And I another.
1 WITCH. I myself have all the other; -
And the very ports they blow,
All the quarters that they know
I’ the shipman's card.
I'll drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid:
Weary sev’n-nights, nine times mine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-toss'd.
Look what I have.
2 WITCH. Show me, show me.
1 WITCH. Here I have a pilot's thumb,
Wrack'd, as homeward he did come. {Drum within.
3 WITCH. A drum, a drum :
Macbeth doth come.
ALL. The weird a sisters, hand in hand,
Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about;
Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
And thrice again, to make up nine:
Peace!—the charm's wound up.

Enter MACBETH and BANQuo.

MACB. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

BAN. How far is 't call'd to Forres?—What are these,
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire;
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,

a Weird. There can be no doubt that this term is derived from the Anglo-Saxon wyrd, word spoken; and in the same way that the word fate is anything spoken, weird and fatal are synonymous, and equally applicable to such mysterious beings as Macbeth's witches. We cannot therefore agree with Tieck that the word is wayward—wilful. He says that it is written wayward in the original; but this is not so; it is written weyward, which Steevens says is a blunder of the transcriber or printer. We doubt this; for the word is thus written weyward, to mark that it consists of two syllables. For example, in the second Act, Banquo says— “I dreamt last might of the three weyward sisters." But it is also written weyard:— “As the weyard women promis'd, and I fear.” Here the word is one syllable by elision. When the poet uses the word wayward in the sense of wilful, the editors of the original do not confound the words. Thus, in the third Act, Hecate saysy “And which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son.”

s

And yet are on 't? Live you? or are you aught That man may question? You seem to understand me, By each at once her choppy finger laying Upon her skinny lips:—You should be women, And yet your beards forbid me to interpret That you are so. MACB. Speak, if you can;–What are you? 1 WITCH. All hail, Macbeth ! hail to thee, thane of Glamis! 2 WITCH. All hail, Macbeth ! hail to thee, thane of Cawdor? 3 WITCH. All hail, Macbeth ! that shalt be king hereafter. BAN. Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair?—I the name of truth, Are ye fantastical”, or that indeed Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner You greet with present grace, and great prediction Of noble having, and of royal hope, That he seems rapt withal; to me you speak not: If you can look into the seeds of time, And say, which grain will grow, and which will not, Speak then to me, who neither beg, nor fear, Your favours, nor your hate. 1 WITCH. Hail! 2 WITCH. Hail! 3 WITCH. Hail! 1 WITCH. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. 2 WITCH. Not so happy, yet much happier. 3 WITCH. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none: So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo! 1 WITCH. Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail! MACB. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel's death, I know I am thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and, to be king, Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence You owe this strange intelligence? or why Upon this blasted heath you stop our way

With such prophetic greeting?—Speak, I charge you. [Witches vanish.

BAN. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has,
And these are of them: Whither are they vanish'd?

MacB. Into the air: and what seem'd corporal, melted
As breath into the wind.—"Would they had staid!

* Fantastical—belonging to fantasy—imaginary.

BAN. Were such things here as we do speak about?
Or have we eaten on a the insane root",
That takes the reason prisoner?

MACB. Your children shall be kings.

BAN. You shall be king.

MACB. And thane of Cawdor too; went it not so?

BAN. To the self-same tune, and words. Who's here?

Enter RossE and ANGUs.

RossE. The king hath happily receiv'd, Macbeth,
The news of thy success: and when he reads
Thy personal venture in the rebels' fight,
His wonders and his praises do contend,
Which should be thine, or his: Silenc'd with that,
In viewing o'er the rest o' the self-same day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks, -
Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail
Came post with post"; and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence,
And pour'd them down before him.

ANG. We are sent,
To give thee, from our royal master, thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight, not pay thee.

RossE. And, for an earnest of a greater honour,
He bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor:
In which addition, hail, most worthy thane !
For it is thine.

BAN. What, can the devil speak true?

MACB. The thane of Cawdor lives: Why do you dress me
In borrow'd robes?

ANG. Who was the thane, lives yet;
But under heavy judgment bears that life

* On. The modern editors substitute of; but why should we reject an ancient idiom in our rage for modernising? * Henbane is called insana in an old book of medicine, which Shakspere might have consulted. * This passage stands thus in the original:— “He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks, Nothing afeard of what thyself didst make, Strange images of death, as thick as Tale Can post with post.” We venture to adopt the reading of Rowe; principally because the expression “as thick as hail” was rendered familiar by poetical use: Spenser has, “As thick as hail forth poured from the sky.” And Drayton, “Out of the town come quarries thick as hail.”

« PreviousContinue »