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"Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?” Here " captain;" was probably to be pronounced " capitains :" see note 145 on The Third Part of King Henry VI. vol. v. p. 339.—Mr. W. N. Lettsom has just pointed out to me the following passages ; "I sent for you, and, captain, draw near."
Beaumont and Fletcher's Faithful Friends,
iii. 3,– Works, vol. iv. p. 262, ed. Dyce. "I hear another tune, good captain.”
Fletcher's Island Princess, ii. 3,- Works,
vol. vii. p. 443, ed. Dyce.
ed. Gifford and Dyce.
P. 6. (10)
Doubly” "* I suspect that • Doubly' is an interpolation.” Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 250.
"What haste looks through his eyes !” The folio has “What a haste," &c.—But the second folio omits the “a," and no doubt rightly. See note 23 on Julius Cæsar, vol. vi. p. 691.
P. 7. (12)
That seems to speak things strange.” Johnson would alter“ seems” to “ teems ;” and Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector reads “ comes :" but the old text certainly admits of Heath's interpretation * That appears to be upon the point of speaking things strange.”
P. 7. (13)
“ Enter Ross." The folio has “ Enter Rosse and Angus,”—by mistake, it would appear.
P. 8. (15)
“And the very ports they blow,
“ And then from every port they blow,
From all the points that seamen know").To the second line Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector adds, for the sake of a rhyme, " to show;" and Mr. Collier says, “we may feel sure that we thus recover two
words Shakespeare wrote, but which had dropped out in the press,"-forgetting, I presume, that in other four places of this scene we have lines without any rhyme ;
“ I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do."
Sec. Witch. Show me, show me.”
P. 9. (17) “ So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!
First Witch. Banquo and Macbeth, all hail !"' "These two verses should be pronounced by 1, 2, 3, in chorus.” W. N. LETT
P. 10. (18)
“ As thick as hail Came post with post ;" The folio has
as thick as Tale Can post with post ;" and “ Tale" has not wanted several defenders. The latest of them, Mr. Singer, remarks (Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 251); “ Rowe was right in correcting the obvious misprint can to came, but wrong in disturbing the old undoubted word tale: 'as thick as tale' is as quick as they could be told or numbered. Shakespeare (as Steevens had already observed] has the word thick for quick twice, and Baret in v. “Crebritas literarum, the often sending, or thicke coming of letters.'” But was such an expression as "thick as tale" ever employed by any writer whatsoever ? Now, “thick as hail” is of the commonest occurrence ; “Out of the towne came quarries thick as haile."
Drayton's Battaile of Agincourt, p. 20, ed. 1627.
sig. F 4, ed. 1622.
Harington's Orlando Furioso, B. xvi. st. 51,
p. 38, ed. 1641.
A Herrings Tayle, &c. 1598, sig. C 2.
"Darts thick as haile their backs behinde did smite."
Niccols's King Arthur,- A Winter Night's Vision, &c.
(Contin, of A Mir. for Mag.), 1610, p. 583. "záraca... hail ... words poured forth hastily and vehemently are termed xámasai.” Maltby's Greek Gradus, ed. 8vo, 1830. χαλαζεπής, hurling abuse as thick as hail,” Liddell and Scott's Greek Lex.
(Mr. Collier informs us that his Ms. Corrector, though he changes “Can” to “ Came," leaves " tale" unaltered. And what then? This is not the only corrupted word in Macbeth which he has passed over : we are told that, in act ii. sc. 1, " no change is made [by the Ms. Corrector] in • Tarquin's ravish. ing sides,' as if that expression were not objectionable.")
1865. Both Mr. Staunton and Mr. Grant White retain the old reading here ; the former editor declaring that “ Rowe most unwarrantably changed ‘tale' to hail;' the latter that “hail is equally absurd and extravagant,”
"Only to herald thee to’s (or in's) sight, not pay thee'?"
Walker's Crit. Exam, &c. vol. ii. p. 251.
P. 12. (20)
“ Time and the hour"
“Ma perch' e' fugge il tempo, e così l'ora,
Pulci, Morg. Mag. C. xv. last stanza.
Michelagnolo, Son, xix,
Dolce, Prime Imprese del Conte Orlando,
C. xvii. p. 145, ed. 1572,
P. 13. (22) “ In drops of sorrow.—Sons, kinsmen, thanes,"
P, 14. (23)
" And bind us further to you.
Macb. The rest is labour, which is not us'd for you," &c.
And bind us further to you.
The rest is labour,
Walker's Crit. Exam, &c. vol. üi, p. 252.
P. 15. (24)
“ The raren himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits” The reader may understand this, with Johnson, to mean, that the raven, “whose harsh voice is accustomed to predict calamities, could not croak the entrance of Duncan but in a note of unwonted harshness," or, with Fuseli, that "the raren himself is spent, is hoarse by croaking,” &c. : but let him treat with due contempt the following explanation of a modern critic, quoted by Mr. Halliwell (approvingly!); “The informant of Duncan's approach to the place where he is to die, is the raven that croaks his fatal entrance ; and being scarcely able to speak his message, is termed a raven of unusual hoarseness, or one more than commonly ominous of death.”—Sir William Davenant (in his alteration of Macbeth) printed “ Come, all you spirits," &c.; Steevens, “ Come, come, you spirits.”
P. 15. (25)
" and it!"
P. 16. (26) “ Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark," Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes “ the blankness of the dark.” Nor is he the only one who has unnecessarily meddled with the passage ; for Coleridge proposed the blank height of the dark," &c.; a conjecture which appeared in the first ed. of his Table-Talk (ii. 296), but which, on my urging its absurdity to the editor, was omitted in the second edition of that valuable miscellany.
P. 16. (27) “ This ignorant present, and I feel now" On the modern alteration, " This ignorant present time, and I feel non," Steevens remarks ; “ The sense does not require the word time,"—which is true,—" and it is too much for the measure," —which is nonsense.—“Here," says Walker, “I suspect, a word has dropt out; an accident which seems to have happened not unfrequently in the Folio Macbeth.” Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 157.-Mr. W. N. Lettsom would read “ and I feel e'en now."
P. 16. (28)
This" " Read . The.' "This’ was repeated by mistake from the beginning of the preceding speech," W. N. LETTSOM.
P. 17. (30)
" Smells wooingly here," &c. This line seems to be mutilated. Hanmer prints "Smells sweet and woo. ingly," &c.
P. 18. (33)
" this" Mason would read “ thus;" and so Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector.
P. 18. (34)
And falls on th' other." So the folio exactly: but qy.?—Hanmer printed “And falls on th other side;" which Walker (Orit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 253) says is “evidently” right.–Steevens remarks that they who plead for the admission of this supplement should consider that the plural of it, but two lines before, had
P. 19. (35)
"Who dares do more is none." The folio has “Who dares no more," &c.—Mr. Hunter (New Illust. of Shakespeare, ii. 179) would retain“ no," and transfer these words to Lady Macbeth ; which I cannot but think as improper as the other alterations proposed by Mr. Hunter in the distribution of the dialogue throughout this
P. 19. (36)
“What beast was't, then," Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes “What boast was't, then;" on which an accomplished critic (Mr. John Forster] has remarked as follows; “ The expression immediately preceding and eliciting Lady Macbeth's reproach is that in which Macbeth declares that he dares do all that may become a man, and that who dares do more is none.
She instantly takes up that expression. If not an affair in which a man may engage, what beast was it, then, in himself or others, that made him break this enterprise to her? The force of the passage lies in that contrasted word, and its meaning is lost by the proposed substitution.” The Examiner, Jan. 29, 1853. See too BlackRood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 459.