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How tender ’tis, to love the babe that milks mes
I would, while it was smiling in my face, -
Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn, as you
Have done to this.

JMacb. If we should fail,

Lady M. We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail. When Duncan is asleep, (Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey Soundly invite him,) his two chamberlains Will I with wine and wassel” so convince,” That memory, the warder” of the brain, Shall be a fume, and the receipt" of reason A limbeck only ” When in swinish sleep Their drenched natures lie, as in a death, What cannot you and I perform upon Th’ unguarded Duncan what not put upon His spongy officers; who shall bear the guilt Of our great quell ?”

JMacb. Bring forth men-children only
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. Will it not be receiv'd,
When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber, and us’d their very daggers,
That they have done’t 2 –

Lady M. Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
Upon his death 7 -

JMacb. I am settled, and bend up"

[5]. Selden conjectures this to have been a usual ceremony among the Saxons before Hengist, as a note of health-nishing, supposing the expression to be corrupted from mish-heit. Wassel or Wassail is a word still in use in the midland counties, and signifies at present what is called Lambs'-Wool, i.e. roasted apples in strong beer, with sugar and spice. JOHNSON. 6] To convince is, in Shakespeare, to overpower or subdue. JOHNSON. 7] A rvarder is a guard, a sentinel. STEEVENS. 8] i. e. the receptacle. MALONE. jo is, shall be only a vessel, to emit fumes or vapours. JOHNSON.

1] Quell is murder, manquellers being, in the old language the term for which murderers is now used. JOHNSON. The word is used in Wicliff's translation of the New Testament, “ and Herod sent forth manquellers,” &c. STEEVENS. [2] A metaphor from the bow. Till this instant, the mind of Macbeth has been in a state of uncertainty and fluctuation. He has hitherto proved neither resolutely good, nor obstinately wicked. Though a bloody idea, had arisen in his mind, after he had heard the prophecy in his favour, yet he contentedly

reaves the completion of his hopes to chance. At the conclusion, however, of

his interview with Duncan, be inclines to hasten the decree of fate, and quits

Each corporal agent to this terrible feat.

Away, and mock the time with fairest show :

False face must hide what the false heart doth know. [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The same. Court within the Castle. Enter
Banquo and FLEANCE, and a Servant, with a torch before
How goes the night, boy?
Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
Ban. And she goes down at twelve.
Fle. I take’t, 'tis later, sir.
Ban. Hold, take my sword:—There's husbandry in
Their candles are all out.—Take thee that too.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep : Merciful powers :
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts, that nature
Gives way to in repose !"—Give me my sword;—
Enter MACBETH, and a Servant with a torch.
Who's there 2
.Macb. A friend.
Ban. What, sir, not yet at rest? The king's a-bed :
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and

the stage with an apparent resolution to murder his sovereign. But no sooner is the king under his roof, than, reflecting on the peculiarities of his own relative situation, he determines not to offend against the laws of hospitality or the ties of subjection, kindred, and gratitude. His wife then assails bis constanc afresh. He yields to her suggestions, and with his integrity his happiness destroyed. I have enumerated these particulars, because the waverings of Macbeth have, by some critics been regarded as unnatural and contradictory circumstances in his character; not remembering that memo repente suit turpis simus, or that (as Angelo observes,) “—when once our grace we have forgot, “Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not”—

a passage which contains no unapt justification of the changes that happen in the conduct of Macbeth. STEEVENS.

3] Husbandry here means thrift, frugality. , MALONE.

4] It is apparent from what Banquo says afterwards, that he had been solicited in a dream to attempt something in consequence of the prophecy of the Witches. that his waking senses were shocked at ; and Shakespeare has here most exquisitely contrasted his character with that of Macbeth. Banquo is praying against being tempted to encourage thoughts of guilt even in his sleep : while Macbeth is hurrying into temptation, and revolving in his mind every scheme, however flagitions, that may assist him to complete his purpose. The one is unwilling te sleep, lest the same phantoms should assail his resolution again, while the other is depriving himself of rest through impatience to commit the murder. STEEY

Sent forth great largess to your offices:"
This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess ; and shut up
In measureless content.
- Macb. Being unprepar’d,
- Our will became the servant to defect;
Which else should free have wrought.

Ban. All’s well. f
I dreamt last night of the three weird sisters :
To you they have show’d some truth.

JMacb. I think not of them :
Yet, when we can entreat an hour to serve,
Would spend it in some words upon that business,
If you would grant the time.

Ban. At your kind'st leisure.

JMacb. If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis, It shall make honour for you."

Ban. So I lose none,
In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchis'd, and allegiance clear,
I shall be counsel’d.

Macb. Good repose, the while !

Ban. Thanks, sir; the like to you! [Exit BANQuo.

Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed. [Exit Ser. Is this a dagger, which I see before me, The handle toward my hand 7 Come, let me clutch

thee :

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling, as to sight 7 or art thou but
A dagger of the mind; a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain 7 2
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw. o
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;

5] Offices are rooms appropriated to servants and culinary purposes.

[5] Offi pprop **"...EvoNs. [6] Macbeth expresses his thought with affected obscurity; he does not mention. thé royalty, though he apparently had it in his mind. If you shall cleave to my conrent, if you shall concur with me when I determine to accept the crown, nohen 'tis,

when that happens which the prediction promises, it shall make honour for you. JOHNSON. That Banquo was apprehensive of a design upon the crown, is evident from his reply, which affords Macbeth so little encouragement, that he drops the o, N

19 . Vor. IV. ' N

And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' th' other senses,
Or else worth all the rest : I see thee still ;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon,’ gouts” of blood,
Which was not so before.—There's no such thing :
It is the bloody business, which informs
Thus to mine eyes.—Now o'er the one half world,
Nature seems dead,” and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep;' now witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate’s offerings; and wither'd murder,
Alarum’d by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,

With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design

Moves like a ghost.—Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
The very stones prate of my where-about,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it.”—Whiles I threat, he lives;
Words to the heat of deeds to cold breath gives.
[.4 bell rings,
I go, and it is done ; the bell invites me. -

Or drops, French. POPE. uts is the technical term for the spots on some part of the plumage of a hawk: or perhaps Shakespeare used the word in allusion to a phrase in heraldry. STEEVENS. | That is, over our nemisphere all action and motion seem to have ceased. This image, which is, perhaps, the most striking that poetry can produce, has been adopted by Dryden, in his Conquest of Merico; “All things are hush'd as Nature's self lay dead, The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head; The little birds in dreams their songs repeat, And sleeping flow’rs beneath the night dews sweat, Even lust and envy sleep ’’ These lines, though so well known, I have transcribed, that the contrast between them and this passage of Shakespeare may be more accurately observed. Night is described by two great poets, but one describes a night of quiet, the other of perturbation. In the night of Dryden, all the disturbers of the world are laid asleep; in that of Shakespeare, nothing but sorcery, lust, and murder, is awake. He that’ reads Dryden, finds himself lulled with serenity, and disposed to solitude and contemplation. He that peruses Shakespeare, looks around alarmed, and starts to find himself alone. One is the night of a lover; the other of a murderer. - - JOHNSON. [1] Probably Shakespeare wrote: The curtain'd sleeper. The folio spells the word sleepe. STEEVENS. Mr. S's emendation is entitled to a place in the text. It is clearly Shakespeare's own word. RITSON. [2] Macbeth would have nothing break through the universal sileuce that added such a horror to the night, as suited well with the bloody deed he was about to per

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form. Mr. Burke, in his Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, observes, that “all

general privations are great, because they are all terrible;” and, with other things,

he gives silence as an instance, illustrating the whole by that remarkable passage in

Virgil, where amidst all the images of terror that could be united, the circumstance

of silence is particularly dwelt upon :
“ Dii quibus imperioum est animarum, umbraeque silentes, -
Hit Chaos et Phlege hot, Roca nocte tactiittu late.” STEEVENS.

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Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. |Exit.


The same. Enter Lady MACBETH.

Lady M. That which hath made them drunk, hath made me bold: What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire :—Hark! - —Peace It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman, Which gives the stern'st good-night. He is about it: The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg’d their possets,” That death and nature do contend about them, Whether they live, or die. JMacb. [Within..] Who's there 7 what, ho! Lady M. Alack I am afraid they have awak'd, And 'tis not done:—th’ attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us:—Hark!—I laid their daggers ready, He could not miss them —Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had don't.”—My husband 2


JMacb. I have done the deed : a noise 2 - Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry, Did not you speak 2

JMacb. When 7

Lady JM. Now. -
.Macb. As I descended ? - - t
- Lady M. Ay. -
JMacb. Hark!—Who lies i' th' second chamber 7
Lady M. Donalbain. * -
JWacb. This is a sorry sight. [Looking on his hands.
Lady J.M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight.

[3] It appears from this passage, as well as from many others in our old dramatic performances, that it was the custon to eat possets, just before bed-time. Mrs. Quickly promises Jack Rugby a posset at night. STEEVENS.

s: is is very artful. For, as the poet has drawn the Jady and her husband, it would be thought the act should have been done by her. It is likewise highly just; for though ambition had subdued in her all the sentiments of nature towards present objects, yet the likeness of one past, which she had been accustomed to regard with reverence, made her unnatural passions, for a moment give way to the sentiments of instinct and humanity WARBURTON

Didst thou not hear . .

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