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Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Dun. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds; They smack of honour both:-Go, get him surgeons.
[Exit Sold. altended:
Enter Rosse. Who comes here?
" The cannon's cracke begins to roore
“ And darts full thycke they flye,
“ And framde a counter-skye.” Barbour, the old Scotch Poet, calls fire-arms_“crakys of war.”
Steevens. Again, in the old play of King Fobn, 1591, and applied, as here, to ordnance :
" as harmless and without effect,
“ As is the echo of a cannon's crack.” Malone. i Doubly redoubled strokes &c.] So, in King Richard II:
“ And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
“ Fall,” &c. The irregularity of the metre, however, induces me to believe our author wrote
Doubly redoubling strokes upon the foe. For this thought, however, Shakspeare might have been in. debted to Caxton's Recurel, &e. “ The batayli was sharp, than the grekes dowblid and redowblid their strokes,” &c. Steevens.
8 Or memorize another Golgotha,] That is, or make another Golgotha, which should be celebrated and delivered down to posterity, with as frequent mention as the first. Heath.
The word memorize, which some suppose to have been coined by Shakspeare, is used by Spenser, in a sonnet to Lord Buck. hurst, prefixed to his Pastorals, 1579:
* In vaine I thinke, right honourable lord,
“ By this rude rime to memorize thy name.” T. Warton. The word is likewise used by Drayton ; and by Chapman, in his translation of the second Book of Homer, 1598:
" and Clymene, whom fame
“ Hath, for her fair eyes, memoriz'd." And again, in a copy of verses prefixed to Sir Arthur Gorge's translation of Lucan, 1614:
“Of them whose acts they mean to memorize.” Steevens. 9 Enter Rosse.] The old copy-Enter Rosse and Angus : but as only the thane of Rosse is spoken to, or speaks any thing in
The worthy thane of Rosse.
the remaining part of this scene, and as Duncan expresses himself in the singular number,
“Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane ?" Angus may be considered as a superfluous character. Had his present appearance been designed, the king would naturally have taken some notice of him. Stecvens.
It is clear, from a subsequent passage, that the entry of Angus was here designed; for in scene iï, he again enters with Rosse, and says,
“ We are sent
“ To give thee from our royal master thanks." Malone. Because Řosse and Angus accompany each other in a subsequent scene, does it follow that they make their entrance toge- ther on the present occasion ? Steevens.
1 Wbo comes here?] The latter word is here employed as a dissyllable. Malone."
Mr. Malone has already directed us to read-There-as a dissyllable, but without supporting his direction by one example of such a practice. I suspect that the poet wrote Who is 't comes here? or-But who comes here!
So should be look, That seems to speak things strange. 7 The meaning of this passage, as it now stands, is, so should be look, that looks as if be told things strange. But Rosse neither yet told strange things, nor could look as if he told them. Lenox only conjectured from his air that he had strange things to tell, and therefore undoubtedly said:
What a haste looks through his eyes !
So should be look, that teems to speak things strange. He looks like one that is big with something of importance; a metaphor so natural that it is every day used in common discourse. Fobnson.
Mr. M. Mason observes, that the meaning of Lenox is “So should he look, who seems as if he had strange things to speak."
The following passage in The Tempest seems to afford no unapt
pr’ythee, say on:
“ A matter from thee -."
“ Men judge by the complexion of the sky, &c.
God save the king!
From Fife, great king,
That seems to speak things strange.) i. e. that seems about to speak strange things. Our author himself furnishes us with the best comment on this passage. In Antony and Cleopatra we meet with nearly the same idea :
“ The business of this man looks out of him.” Malone. 3 Hout the sky,} The banners may be poetically describ. ed as waving in mockery or defiance of the sky. So, in King Edward III, 1599:
" And new replenish'd pendants cuff the air,
« Struggles to kiss them.” The sense of the passage, however, collectively taken, is this: Wbere the triumphant flutter of the Norwe, an standards ventilutes or cools ibe soldiers who bad been beated through their efforts to se. cure such numerous trophies of victory. Steevens. Again, in King Fobn:
“ Mocking the air, with colours idly spread.” This passage has perhaps been misunderstood. The meaning seems to be, not that the Norweyan banners proudly insulted the sky; but that, the standards being taken by Duncan's forces, and fixed in the ground, the colours idly flapped about, serving only to cool the conquerors, instead of being proudly displayed by their former possessors. The line in King Fobn, therefore, is the most perfect comment on this. Malone.
* And fan our people cold.) In all probability, some words that rendered this a complete verse have been omitted; a loss more frequently to be deplored in the present tragedy, than perhaps in any other of Shakspeare. Steevens.
5 Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapt in proof,] This passage may be added to the many others, which show how little Shakspeare knew of ancient mythology. Henley.
Our author might have been misled by Holinshed, who, p. 567, speaking of King Henry V, says: “ He declared that the goddesse of battell, called Bellona,” &c. &c. Shakspeare, there. fore, hastily concluded that the Goddess of War was wife to the God of it; or might have been misled by Chapman's version of a line in the 5th Iliad of Homer:
" __ Mars himself, match'd with his female mate." Lapt in proof, is, defended by armour of proof Steevens.
Confronted him with self-comparisons,
o Confronted him with self-comparisons, ] By him, in this verse, is meant Norway; as the plain construction of the English requires. And the assistance the thane of Cawdor had given Norway, was underhand; (which Rosse and Angus, indeed, had discovered, but was unknown to Macbeth ;) Cawdor being in the court all this while, as appears from Angus's speech to Macbeth, when he meets him to salute him with the title, and insinuates his crime to be lining the rebel with hidden belp and 'vantage.
with self-comparisons,] i. e. gave him as good as he brought, shew'd he was his equal. Warburton.
7 That now
Sweno, the Norway's king, ] The present irregularity of me. tre induces me to believe, that-Sweno was only a marginal re. ference, injudiciously thrust into the text; and that the line originally stood thus:
That now the Norway's king craves composition. Could it have been necessary for Rosse to tell Duncan the name of his old enemy, the king of Norway? Steevens.
i— Saint Colmes' inch,] Colmes is to be considered as a dissyllable.
Colmes-inch, now called Inchcomb, is a small island lying in the Firth of Edinburgh, with an abbey upon it, dedicated to St. Columb; called by Cambden Inch Colm, or The Isle of Columba. Some of the modern editors, without authority, read
Saint Colmes'-kill Isle: but very erroneously; for Colmes' Inch, and Colm-kill, are two different islands; the former lying on the eastern coast, near the place where the Danes were defeated; the latter in the western seas, being the famous Iona, one of the Hebrides.
Holinshed thus relates the whole circumstance: “ The Danes tbat escaped, and got once to their ships, obteinel of Makbeth for a great summe of gold, that such of their friends as were slaine, might be buried in Saint Colmes' Inch. In memorie whereof many old sepultures are yet in the said Ench, there to be seene graven with the armes of the Danes.” Luch, or Insbe, in the Irish and Erse languages, signifies an island. See Lbuyd's Arcbæo. logia. Steevens.
Dun. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Rosse. I 'll see it done.
[Exeunt. 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 ?2
1 Witch. A sailor's wife had chesnuts in her lap, And mounch’d, and mounch'd, and mounch'd:
Give me, quoth I:
9 pronounce his death,] The old copy, injuriously to me. tre, reads
pronounce his present death. Steevens. i Killing swine. So, in a Detection of damnable Driftes practized by three Witches, &c. arraigned at Cbelmisforde in Essex, &c. 1579, bl. 1. 12mo. “ - Item, also she came on a tyme to the house of one Robart Lathburie &c. who dislyking her dealyng, sent ber bome emptie; but presently after her departure, his bogges fell sicke and died, to the number of twentie.” Steevens. 21 Witch. Where hast thou been, sister?
2 Witch. Killing swine.
3 Witch. Sister, where thou?] Thus the old copy; yet I cannot help supposing that these three speeches, collectively taken, were meant to form one verse, as follows:
1 Witch. Where hast been, sister?
Where thou? If my supposition be well founded, there is as little reason for preserving the useless thou in the first line, as the repetition of sister, in the third. Steevens.
3Aroint thee, witch!!] Aroint, or avaunt, be gone. Pope.
In one of the folio editions the reading is- Anoint thee, in a sense very consistent with the common account of witches, who are related to perform many supernatural acts, by the means of unguents, and particularly to fly through the air to the places where they meet at their hellish festivals. In this sense, anoint tbee, witch, will mean, away, witch, to your infernal assembly. This reading I was inclined to favour, because I had met with