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P. 121. Keep from our feasts and banquets bloody knives;

Do faithful homage, and receive free honours. So Lettsom. The original has Free instead of Keep. Malone proposed, and Rann adopted, “Our feasts and banquets free from bloody knives."

P. 121.

Hath so exasperate the reads "exasperate their King."

And this report

King, that he, &c.- The original Corrected by Hanmer.


P. 122. Harpy cries: - 'tis time, 'tis time. The original has Harpier, the word having probably been written Harpie. Of course it stands for some animal, real or fabulous, which is supposed to be serving the Witches as a familiar, and giving them a signal. But I think there was no real animal so called; and the Poet most likely had in mind the harpies of Virgil. The correction was proposed by Steevens.

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P 122. Toad, that under the cold stone

Days and nights hast thirty-one, &c. - The old text is without the, which was supplied by Rowe.

P. 124. Enter Hecate. Here the original has the stage-direction, "Enter Hecat, and the other three Witches." It is not easy to say positively what this means; but the probability is, that in Middleton's ordering of the matter Hecate came with three ordinary witches to aid the Weird Sisters in the performance of their Satanic ritual. The Clarendon Editors print "Enter HECATE to the other three Witches," thus substituting to for and.

P. 124. Music and a Song: Black Spirits, &c. Here, again, as in iii. 5, the original merely indicates the song by printing the first words of it. And here, again, I subjoin the song as it stands in The Witch:

Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray,
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may!

Firedrake, Puckey, make it lucky;
Liard, Robin, you must bob in.
Round, around, around, about, about!

All ill come running in, all good keep out!

P. 125.

Though the treasure

Of Nature's germens tumble all together, &c.— The original has "Natures Germaine." But the plural is evidently required; and we have the same spelling of germens in King Lear, iii. 2: "Cracke Natures moulds, all germaines spill at once that makes ingratefull Man.”

P. 127. Rebellion's head rise never, till the wood Of Birnam rise, &c. - So Hanmer and Collier's second folio. The original has "Rebellious dead, rise never," &c.

P. 128. Thy crown does sear mine eyeballs: — and thy air, Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first. The original has hair instead of air. The correction is Johnson's. The Poet elsewhere uses air for look or appearance. A family likeness is evidently the thing meant; and hair is not general enough for that. See foot-note 16.

P. 129. Horrible sight! — Nay, now I see 'tis true; For the blood-bolter'd Banquo, &c. inal is without Nay. Steevens inserted Ay.

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So Pope. The orig

P. 130. This deed I'll do before this purpose cool:

But no more sights! This accords with Macbeth's exclamation, a little before, at the vision of Banquo and his descendants: "Horrible sight!" Notwithstanding, much fault has been found with sights. Collier's second folio changes it to flights, referring to the flight of Macduff. White substitutes sprites. Both changes, it seems to me, impair the poetry without bettering the sense; and sprites is particularly unhappy.

P. 131. But cruel are the times, when we are traitors,

And do not know't ourselves. - So Hanmer and Collier's second folio. The original has "not know ourselves."

P. 131. But float upon a wild and violent sea

Each way it moves. So Mr. P. A. Daniel. The original has "Each way, and move"; out of which it is not easy to make any thing. Theobald printed "Each way and wave," and Steevens conjectured "And each way move"; but surely Daniel's reading is much the best.

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P. 134.

Wherefore should I fly?

I've done no harm. Instead of Wherefore, the old text has Whither, which does not suit the context at all. Lettsom proposes Why.


P. 134. Thou liest, thou shag-hair'd villain ! -The original has thou shagge-ear'd Villaine." Doubtless, as Dyce notes, ear'd is " a corruption of hear'd, which is an old spelling of hair'd." And he fully substantiates this by quotations.

P. 135.

You may deserve discerne instead of deserve.

P. 135. Hold fast the mortal sword; and like good men
Bestride our down-fall'n birthdom.


our downfall Birthdome."

I'm young; but something
of him through me.
Corrected by Theobald.


- The original has

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Wear thou thy wrongs,

P. 136. Thy title is affeer'd! So Malone and Collier's second folio. The original has "The Title, is affear'd."

The original has

P. 141. Whither indeed, before thy here-approach, &c.—The original has they instead of thy. Corrected in the second folio.

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P. 146.

This tune goes manly.

Come, go we to the King. The original has time instead of tune. Corrected by Rowe.


P. 148. Doct. You see, her eyes are open. Gent. Ay, but their sense is shut. The original has "their sense are shut." Doubtless an accidental repetition from the line above. Rowe's correction.


P. 151. He cannot buckle his distemper'd course
Within the belt of rule.

So Walker and Collier's second folio. The old text has "distemper'd cause." As Macbeth is said to be acting like a madman, or going wild and crazy in his course, there need, I think, be no scruple of the correction.


This push

P. 154.

Will chair me ever, or dis-seat me now. So Percy and Collier's second folio. The original reads "Will cheere me ever, or dis-eate me now." The second folio changes dis-eate to disease. But the reading thus given seems to me very tame and unsuited to the occasion. Chair is often used for throne; and Macbeth may well think that the present assault will either confirm his tenure of the throne, or oust him from it entirely.

P. 154. I have lived long enough: my way of life

Is fall'n into the sere, the yellow leaf. -Collier's second folio has "my May of life"; and so Johnson proposed to read. This reading would imply Macbeth to be a young man, which he is not, and to be struck with premature old age, which cannot be his meaning. As Gifford says, "way of life" is "a simple periphrasis for life." Macbeth is in the autumn of life, is verging upon old age, the winter of life; for such is the meaning of "the sere, the yellow leaf"; and what he here laments so pathetically is, that his old age cannot have the comforts, honours, friendships which naturally attend it, and are needful, to make it supportable.

P. 154.

Cure her of that:

Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased? - So the second folio. The first omits her.

P. 155. Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff. It has been thought, as it might well be, that stuff occurs once too often in this line. Collier's second folio has "perilous grief"; which is less acceptable than “Cleanse the foul bosom,” proposed by SteeThe other conjectures offered seem to me out of the question.


- Instead of senna,

P. 155. What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug, Would scour these English hence? the original has Cyme, which is not, and never was, the English name of any drug. The correction is from the fourth folio.


P. 156. For, where there is advantage to be ta'en, Both more and less have given him the Walker. The original reads "advantage to be given." ond folio reads "advantage to be gotten."


revolt. — So Collier's sec

P. 157. The time has been, my senses would have quail'd To hear a night-shriek. So Collier's second folio. The original reads "my sences would have cool'd"; which, surely, is quite too tame for the occasion. In Julius Cæsar, iv., 3, we have “That makest my blood cold"; but this is very different from "makes my senses cold." Dyce remarks that "examples of the expression, senses quailing, may be found in our early writers."

P. 159. I should report that which I'd say I saw,
But know not how to do't.

Macb. Well, say it, sir. —The original reads "which I say I saw," and " 'Well, say sir." The first of these corrections is Hanmer's; the other, Pope's.

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