« PreviousContinue »
A deed of dreadful note.
Lady. What's to be done?
Macb. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, 'Till thou applaud the deed: come, feeling night, (23) Skarf up the tender eye of pitiful day, And with thy bloody and invisible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond, Which keeps me pale! Light thickens, and the Crow Makes wing to th' rooky wood : Good things of day begin to droop and drouze. Whiles night's black agents to their prey Thou marvell’lt at my words ; but hold thee ftill ; Things, bad begun, make strong themselves by ill: So, pr'ythee, go with me.
(Exeunt. SCENE changes to a Park; the Castle at a
Enter three Murdere 1 Mur. UT who did bid thee join with us?
Mur. Macbeth. 2 Mur. He needs not our miftruft, fince he delivers (24) (23)
come, sealing night, Skarf up the tender eye of pitiful day;] Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope, neither of them were aware of the poet's metaphor here, and so have blundered the text into nopfense. I have restor'd from the old sopies,
- come, feeling night, i. e. blinding. It is a term in falconry, when they run a thread thro' the eyelids of a hawk first taken, so that the may fee very little, or not at all, to make her the better endure the hood. This they call feeling a hawk.
(24) He needs not to mifruft, ---] Mr. Pope has here fophisticated the text, for want of understanding it. I can easily see, that he conceiv'd this to be the meaning; that Macbeth had no occafion to mistrust the murderers he had employ'd, and plant another upon them. But the text in the old copies ftands thus,
He needs not our misfruftMacbeth had agreed with the two murderers, and appoints a third to afsift them. The two are somewhat jealous of him at first, but finding that he was so particular and precise in his directions, that he knew every part of their commiffion, they agree, that there is no need to miftruft him, and fo bid him stand with them, .
Our offices, and what we have to do,
I Mur. Then stand with us.
3 Mur. Hark, I hear horses.
2 Mur. Then it is he: the rest
Enter Banquo and Fleance, with a Torch.
Ban, Oh, treachery!
3 Mur. Who did strike out the light?
3 Mur. There's but one down; the fon
2 Mur. We've lost best half of our affair.