« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
is a crime too monstrous for belief, must be careful not to walk too late."" Shakespeare's Scholar, &c. p. 403.-My kind friend, Mr. Grant White, must allow me to say that I think his change of the punctuation in this passage quite wrong, and his explanation over-subtle:-surely, Macbeth's chief reason for getting rid of Banquo was,-not "because Banquo more than suspected who was the real perpetrator of the crime [of Duncan's murder]," but,-because the Witches had declared that Banquo was to be "father to a line of kings:" hence Macbeth's injunction to the Murderers (p. 411);
"and with him
(To leave no rubs nor botches in the work)
Whose absence is no less material to me
Of that dark hour."
(Compare Holinshed: "The woords also of the three weird sisters would not out of his mind, which as they promised him the kingdome, so likewise did they promise it at the same time vnto the posteritie of Banquho. He willed therefore the same Banquho, with his sonne named Fleance, to come to a supper that he had prepared for them, which was indeed, as he had deuised, present death at the hands of certeine murderers," &c. Hist. of Scotland, p. 271, ed. 1808.)
On the line "Who cannot want the thought," &c. Malone remarks; "The sense requires, 'Who can want the thought,' &c. Yet, I believe, the text is not corrupt. Shakespeare is sometimes incorrect in these minutia."
Has been altered to "Harper,"-whether rightly or wrongly, I am not demonologist enough to determine.
P. 422. (50) "Toad, that under cold stone," &c. A defective line. Shakespeare, in all probability, wrote ". stone," &c.,-Pope's emendation.
under the cold
Here the stage-direction of the folio is "Enter Hecat, and the other three Witches:" but, beyond all doubt, it means nothing more than that Hecate joins the three Witches already on the stage.-Various dramas, written long after Macbeth, afford examples of stage-directions worded in the same unintel
ligible style. E.g. Cowley's Cutter of Coleman Street opens with a soliloquy by Trueman Junior: his father presently joins him, and the stage-direction is, “Enter Trueman Senior, AND TRUEMAN JUN." Again, the second act of that play commences with a soliloquy by Aurelia; and, when Jane joins her, we find, "Enter AURELIA, Jane."
P. 423. (52)
"[Music and song, ‘Black spirits,' &c."
This song is found entire in Middleton's Witch, act v. sc. 2,-Works, iii. 328, ed. Dyce. The two first lines of it (and whether or not more was introduced into Macbeth on our old stage is uncertain) are,
"Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray,
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may!"—
According to Steevens, "the song was, in all probability, a traditional one;" and Mr. Collier, more confidently, says, "Doubtless, it does not belong to Middleton more than to Shakespeare; but it was inserted in both dramas because it was appropriate to the occasion:" but qy ?-See note (4).
Is changed by Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector to "Though bleaded corn," &c.; very improperly: see Mr. Singer's Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 255.
So Theobald.-The folio has "Of Natures Germaine," &c.
P. 425. (55)
"Rebellion's head, rise never," &c.
The folio has "Rebellious dead, rise neuer," &c.—Theobald printed “Rebellious head," &c.; "i.e." he says, "let Rebellion never make head against me till," &c.—But Hanmer's reading, “Rebellion's head," &c. (which Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector also gives), is evidently the right one; though Capell (Notes, &c. vol. ii. 22) gravely assures us that it "impairs harmony, and ruins poetry," &c. (In Richard II. act iii. sc. 2, the old eds., with the exception of the two earliest quartos, have the misprint, "Shall falter vnder foule rebellious armes.")
Has been altered to "and thy air," &c.,-wrongly, I believe.
Here the two Ms. Correctors,-Mr. Collier's and Mr. Singer's,—alter “sights” to "flights;" and the same alteration occurred to Mr. Grant White (Shakespeare's Scholar, &c. p. 105).—“ The Ms. Corrector proposes flights; and not without some show of reason. Macbeth has just been informed that Macduff
has fled to England, and the escape has evidently discomposed him, as placing beyond his reach his most deadly enemy. Accordingly he is supposed by the Ms. Corrector to exclaim, 'No more flights! I must take care that no more of that party escape me.' But, on the other hand, Macbeth, a minute before, has been inveighing against the witches. He says:
'Infected be the air whereon they ride,
And damn'd all those that trust them!'.
So that 'But no more sights' may mean, I will have no more dealings with these infernal hags [who have just been showing him a succession of sights,— apparitions; the last of which drew from him the exclamation, "Horrible sight!"]. The word 'But' seems to be out of place in connection with 'flights' -and therefore we pronounce in favour of the old reading." Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 461. In my opinion, the word "But" makes not a little against the new lection.
The folio has "thou shagge-ear'd Villaine" (“ear'd" being a corruption of “hear'd,” which is an old spelling of “hair'd”).
So Theobald.—The folio has " You may discerne of him,” &c.
The folio has "The title," &c.: but Malone's alteration of "The" to "Thy" is hardly to be doubted. (Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector makes the same change; see Mr. Collier's one-volume Shakespeare.)
P. 433. (62)
"Died every day she liv'd. Fare thee well!”
In this line the "liu'd" of the folio is usually altered to "lived."-Sidney Walker (Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 139), who considers (and rightly, I believe)" Fare" to be used here as a dissyllable, observes: "Certainly not lived; Shakespeare would as soon have made died a dissyllable."
The first folio has “they heere approach,” &c.—Corrected in the second folio.
Has been altered to "All ready at," &c.,-wrongly: see Notes and Queries, vol. viii. p. 359.
The folio has "This time goes," &c., which is retained by Mr. Knight:
Gifford," he says, "has shown, in a note on Massinger, that the two words were once synonymous, in a musical acceptation; and that time was the more ancient and common term." Who, except Mr. Knight, will suppose that Gifford would have defended the reading "time" in such a passage as this?
P. 440. (66)
"He cannot buckle his distemper'd course
So Sidney Walker (see Preface to Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. xxi.) and
(A critic in Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 461, says that “cause' fits the place perfectly well, if taken for his affairs generally, his whole system of procedure." But will the context allow us to take it in that sense?)
P. 441. (67)
Will chair me ever, or disseat me now.'
The folio has "Will cheere me euer, or dis-eate me now."-That "cheere" is a mistake for "chaire," I should have felt confident, even if I had never known that the latter word was substituted both by Percy and by Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector. (Mr. Singer observes; "The second folio reads,
'Will cheere me ever, or disease me now.'
In Macbeth's desponding state, the idea of being cheered is a natural turn of agreeable anticipation, and therefore change is unnecessary," &c. Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 259. Mr. Singer, then, if I rightly understand him, agrees with the earlier modern editors, in considering the reading of the second folio, "disease," as the true one. To me it appears decidedly wrong.)
Johnson and Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector would read "my May of life," &c.: but see Gifford's note on Massinger,- Works, iv. 309, ed. 1813.
P. 442. (70) "Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff," &c.
Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes " that perilous grief," &c. But see Malone's note ad l. for instances of similar repetitions in Shakespeare, and my Few Notes, &c. p. 128, for examples of them in various other writers. Besides, the Ms. Corrector's alteration seems to introduce an impropriety of expression" CLEANSE the bosom of GRIEF."
advantage to be gone," &c.; Steevens,
advantage to be got," &c. (Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector reads “ advantage to be gotten," &c.); and Mr. Singer, in his ed. of Shakespeare, 1826, “ to be gain'd," &c.
Here "forc'd" means strengthened (see Todd's Johnson's Dict. sub "To force," -10th sign. of the word); which I should not have thought it necessary to mention but for the strange alteration of Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector,-" farc'd” (i. e. stuffed).
The folio marks neither the exit nor the re-entrance of Seyton.-On the words, "The queen, my lord, is dead," Mr. Collier observes: "We must suppose that Seyton has gone to what we now call the wing' of the stage to inquire." But "going to the wing,” and standing there to glean information, was surely as unusual on the old stage as it is on the modern; and I have no doubt that formerly Seyton went out and re-entered, just as he does when this play is performed now-a-days:—see any acting-copy of Macbeth. (See, too, Mr. Collier's one-volume Shakespeare, where Seyton makes his "Exit" and “Reenters" on the authority of the Ms. Corrector.)
P. 448. (75)
"[Exeunt, fighting. Flourish," &c.
I have already had occasion to notice the absurdity of the old stage-directions in this scene: see vol. iv. p. 425, note (6).