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P. 397. (25)
"Sent forth great largess to your officers:
The folio has "
P. 398. (26) "The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates," &c.
A manifestly imperfect line.-Davenant (in his alteration of Macbeth) printed "The curtain'd sleep; now witchcraft celebrates," &c.-Steevens proposed "The curtain'd sleeper; witchcraft celebrates," &c.; and so reads Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector.
P. 398. (27)
“With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
The folio has,
"With Tarquins rauishing sides, towards his designe
Moues like a Ghost. Thou sowre and firme-set Earth Heare not my steps, which they may walke, for feare," &c. Here the correction "strides" (which is no doubt the genuine reading) was made by Pope.
P. 399. (28)
"the attempt, and not the deed,
"This," says Mr. Hunter (New Illust. of Shakespeare, ii. 182), “is usually printed with a comma after 'attempt.' This is wrong. An unsuccessful attempt would produce to them infinite mischief-an attempt without the deed."-To me at least it is plain, that here "the attempt" is put in strong opposition to "the deed," and that "Confounds" has no reference to future mischief, but solely to the perplexity and consternation of the moment.
But Theobald saw that the words "Ring the bell" are a stage-direction : "in proof of this," he adds, we may observe that the hemistich ending Macduff's speech, and that beginning Lady Macbeth's, make up a complete verse."-The players, as Malone remarks, having mistaken "Ring the Bell" for a portion of Macduff's speech, inserted the stage-direction " Bell rings."
P. 404. (30)
"Re-enter MACBETH and LENNOX."
Here Mr. Collier observes; "The folio adds 'and Rosse' to this stage-direction; but Rosse has not been on the stage in this act, and he is employed in the next scene."-There seems an impropriety in his absence (as well as in that of Angus,-see p. 392) on the present occasion: but I do not see by what arrangement he can be introduced in this scene early enough to accompany Macbeth and Lennox to the chamber of the king.
P. 406. (31)
‘And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp," &c.
Here Mr. Collier was misled by a correspondent to retain the old spelling the trauailing Lumpe," &c. See my Remarks on Mr. Collier's and Mr. Knight's eds. of Shakespeare, p. 195 (where I might have cited,
"The travelling sun sees gladly from on high," &c.
P. 408. (32)
"Let your highness
Command upon me; to the which," &c.
Has been altered to "Lay your highness," &c.-Mason proposes "Set your highness'", &c. (He adds, “unless 'command is used as a noun, there is nothing to which the following words, 'to the which,' can possibly refer,”—a remark which ought not to have come from one familiar with our early writers.)
Here, if the author did not write "God b' wi' you," he at least intended the above words to be so pronounced. See Sidney Walker's Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 227.
The folio has "the Seedes of Banquo," &c.; which I do not venture to retain on the strength of a somewhat doubtful reading in the Sec. Part of Marlowe's Tamburlaine, "And live in all your seeds immortally" (Works, i. 222, ed. Dyce), since it is a frequent error of the folio to put the plural of substantives instead of the singular (see an instance in this play, note (7)), and since it is unlikely that Shakespeare (who in Troilus and Cressida, act iv. sc. 5, has,
"Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son,
A cousin-german to great Priam's seed," &c.)
would so deviate here from common phraseology as to term a man's issue his seeds. (Mr. Collier in the first ed. of his Shakespeare, printed “the seeds of Banquo," &c.; but in his one-volume ed. he has given, at the bidding of his Ms. Corrector, "the seed of Banquo," &c.)
This halting line has been amended to "And not in the worst rank," &c.
This is the arrangement of the folio.-Qy. ought we to print as one line, “But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer"? Or is the passage mutilated? Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector perfects the measure of the first line by reading "But let the eternal frame," &c.
P. 412. (39)
"Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace," &c.
Was altered by the editor of the second folio to "Whom we, to gayne our place, have sent to peace," &c.; which has been usually adopted by the modern editors. But the old lection is not to be hastily discarded, when we consider what a fondness Shakespeare has for the repetition of words.
Steevens has, I think, rightly explained this passage; and I also think that he is right in supposing it to be mutilated,— -some words having dropped out, which originally rendered the sentiment less obscure.
P. 413. (40)
"Light thickens; and the crow
Makes to the rooky wood," &c.
"On this passage Steevens has all the annotation to himself, and so he criticises his own criticisms, and corrects his own emendations. 1st, rooky is reeky or damp; 2dly, it is a rookery; 3dly, to rook, or to ruck, is to roost; therefore the line is to stand,
'Makes wing to rook i' th' wood:'
and he calls this reforming the passage, which, like some other reforms in
Church and State, leave things much worse than they were before. But it must surely be known to the general reader, that the 'crow' is the common appellation of the 'rook,' the latter word being used only when we would speak with precision, and never by the country people, as the word 'crow-keeper' will serve to show, which means the boy who keeps the rooks (not carrion crows) off the seed-corn. The carrion crow, which is the crow proper, being almost extinct, the necessity of distinguishing it from the rook has passed away in common usage. The passage therefore simply means, the rook hastens its evening flight to the wood where its fellows are already assembled;' and to our mind the term 'rooky wood' is a lively and natural picture: the generic term 'crow' is used for the specific 'rook.'" The preceding remarks (which decisively establish, and satisfactorily explain, the reading “rooky,”) are by the Rev. J. Mitford (Gentleman's Magazine for August 1844, p. 129).
P. 414. (4) "Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE with a torch."
"Here again [see note (24)] Fleance carries the torch to light his father; and in the old stage-direction nothing is said about a servant, who would obviously be in the way when his master was to be murdered. The servant is a merely modern interpolation." COLLIER.
P. 418. (42)
"If trembling I inhabit then, protest me
This is the reading of the folio; and, though Henley, Horne Tooke, and Mr. Singer have pronounced it to be right, I nevertheless consider it as very doubtful;-and so, I find, does Dr. Richardson, Dict. sub "Inhabit." (See the notes ad l. in the Varior. Shakespeare, my Remarks on Mr. Collier's and Mr. Knight's eds. of Shakespeare, p. 199, and Mr. Singer's Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 255.)-The editor of the second folio changed the punctuation of the line thus,
“If trembling I inhabit, then protest me,” &c.—
The modern alterations are,
"If trembling I inhibit then, protest me," &c.
"If trembling I inhibit thee, protest me," &c.
(The alteration of Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector is almost too ridiculous to be mentioned;
P. 418. (43)
"If trembling I exhibit, then protest me," &c.)
"And keep the natural ruby of your cheeks,
When mine are blanch'd with fear."
"The old copy reads 'is blanch'd.' Sir T. Hanmer corrected this passage in the wrong place, by reading 'cheek;' in which he has been followed by the subsequent editors. His correction gives, perhaps, a more elegant text, but
not the text of Shakespeare. The alteration now made is only that which every editor has been obliged to make in almost every page of these plays.— In this very scene the old copy has 'the times has been,' &c. Perhaps it may be said that 'mine' refers to 'ruby,' and that therefore no change is necessary. But this seems very harsh." MALONE.-Assuredly "mine" does not refer to "ruby."
P. 420. (4)
["Music and song within, 'Come away, come away,' &c."
Compare, in Middleton's Witch, act iii. sc. 3,- Works, iii. 303, ed. Dyce;
On the question whether Shakespeare borrowed from Middleton, or Middleton from Shakespeare, see the "Account of Middleton" prefixed to his Works, i. 1. sqq., and Malone's Life of Shakespeare, p. 420 sqq. ed. 1821.
P. 420. (45)
"Enter LENNOX and another Lord."
Here, in my copy of the folio, "another Lord" is altered, in old handwriting, to "Ross,”—and rightly perhaps.
P. 421. (46)
"And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late;
Mr. Grant White observes: "It is to Banquo that Lennox, in his ironical vein, applies the second time, as well as the first, the phrase 'walk'd too late.' Now, Macbeth seized the opportunity of Banquo's late walking, to put him out of the way, chiefly because Banquo more than suspected who was the real perpetrator of the crime, which Lennox, ironically conforming to general report, ascribes to Malcolm and Donalbain. This suspicion was obviously the reason for the murder of Banquo by the order of Macbeth. May we not then remove the point after the last 'late,' and read thus, making the passage declarative instead of interrogative?
'And the right-valiant Banquo walk'd too late;
Whom you may say, if't please you, Fleance kill'd;
Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous
To kill their gracious father.'
That is, Men, who will think that the alleged murder of Duncan by his sons