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For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires !
SCENE V.-Inverness. A Room in Macbeth's Castle.
Enter LADY MACBETH, reading a letter. Lady M.
“They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives fron, the king, who all hailed me, Thane of Cawdor;' by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with ‘Hail, king that shalt be!' This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness; that thou mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.” Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promis'd :-Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’the milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way: Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition; but without The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily ; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win : thou 'dst have, great Glamis, That which cries, “ Thus thou must do, if thou have it : And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should be undone.” Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear; And chastise with the valour of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown'd withal.- -What is your tidings?
Enter an Attendant.
Thou’rt mad to say it:
Attend. So please you, it is true; our thane is coming :
(1) All that impedes thee, &c., i.e. all that hinders you from getting the golden round (diadem) which fate and metaphysical (supernatural) aid seem to have bestowed on you.
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Give him tending,
My dearest love,
And when goes hence ?
, -as he purposes. Lady M.
Macb. We will speak further.
(1) Mortal here means deadly, murderous.
(2) Nature's mischief is mischief done to nature, any violation of nature's order wickedly perpetrated.
(3) Pall thee, i.e. wrap thyself in a pall.
Only look up clear;
SCENE VI.— The same. Before the Castle.
Hautboys. Servants of Macbeth attending.
MACDUFF, ROSSE, Angus, and Attendants.
This guest of summer,
Enter LADY MACBETH.
See, see! our honour'd hostess!
All our service
Where's the thane of Cawdor?
Your servants ever
(1) God yield us To bid any one God yield him, is the same as God reward him.
(2) We rest your hermits. Hermits is here used for beadsmen; persons bound to pray for their benefactor.
(3) To be his purveyor,-to anticipate him; to get before him and prepare for him.
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Give me your
[Exeunt. SCENE VII.-The same. A Room in the Castle. Hautboys and torches. Enter, and pass over the stage, a Se
and divers Servants with dishes and service. Then enter Macbeth.
Macb. If it were done, when 't is done, then 't were well It were done quickly: If the assassination Could trammel up the consequence, and catch, With his surcease, success; that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all, here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We'd jump the life to come. But in these cases, We still have judgment here; that we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague the inventor: This even-handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice To our own lips. He's here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed: then, as his host, Who should against his murtherer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek,' hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against The deep damnation of his taking-off: And pity, like a naked new-born babe, Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors’d Upon the sightless couriers of the air, 2 Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, That tears shall drown the wind.— I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself, And falls on the other.-How now, what news ?
Enter LADY MACBETH. Lady M. He has almost supp’d: why have you left the
(1) Hath borne his faculties so meek, i.e. hath exercised his office, as king, so meekly and gently.
(2) The sightless couriers of the air. By this are meant the unseen (sightless) winds of the air.
Macb. Hath he ask'd for me?
Know you not he has ?
Was the hope drunk,
Prithee, peace :
What beast was 't then,
If we should fail,
(1) We find the adage in Heywood's Proverbs, 1566 :—"The cat would eat fish and would not wet her feet."
(2) Some editors propose cohere instead of adhere, and affirm that it means “ did then suit, fit."
(3) Will I with wine and wassel so convince, i.e. I will so overpower them with wine and strong drink.