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Th' unguarded Duncan? what not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quello?

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 ?
Lady M.

Who dares receive it other,
As we shall make our griefs and clamour roar
Upon his death?

I am settled; and bend up
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.




The Same. Court within the Castle.

Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE, with a torch before him'.
Ban. How goes the night, boy?
Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.
Ban. And she goes down at twelve.

I take't, 'tis later, sir. Ban. Hold, take my sword.— There's husbandry in


9 Of our great QUELL?] To “quell ” and to kill are in fact the same word in their origin, from the Saxon ccellan. Here a quell” is used substantively,

i Enter Banquo, and Fleance, with a torch before him.] This is the old stagedirection, which says nothing about a servant, as in the modern editions. Fleance carried the torch before his father.

? There's HUSBANDRY in heaven,] i.e. thrift, or frugality in heaven.

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?
Macb. A friend.
Ban. What, sir! not yet at rest ? The king's

a-bed :
He hath been in unusual pleasure, and
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.

Being unprepar’d,
Our will became the servant to defect,
Which else should free bave wrought.

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

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

At your kind'st leisure. Macb. If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis, It shall make honour for you. Ban.

So I lose none

Sent forth great largess to your OFFICES.] It is not only needless, but improper, with Malone, to change “offices” of the old copies into officers. There were various “ offices” in the residences of the nobility, and servants belonging to each : to send largess to the “offices” in Macbeth's castle, was to give it to the persons employed in them. 4 If you shall cleave to my consent, when 'tis,

It shall make honour for you.) This passage has occasioned a good deal of discussion, but the sense seems evident : “If (says Macbeth) you shall adhere to my opinion, when that leisure arrives, it shall make honour for you."

In seeking to augment it, but still keep
My bosom franchis’d, and allegiance clear,
I shall be counsell’d.

Good repose, the while !
Ban. Thanks, sir: the like to you.

[Exeunt BANQUO and FLEANCE'. Macb. Go; bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready, She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

[Exit Servant. Is this a dagger, which I see before me, The handle toward my hand ? 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? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain ?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.-
Mine eyes are made the fools o'the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest : I see thee still ;
And on thy blade, and dudgeon, gouts of bloodo,
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

5 Exeunt Banquo and Fleance.] All the modern editors seem to have forgotten that Fleance had also to quit the stage, and merely note “ Exit Banquo." Fleance, no doubt, stood back while his father and Macbeth were talking together, and he goes out with Banquo, still carrying the torch. This was part of the economy of the old stage, which could not spare a performer merely for the purpose of carrying a torch, which might be borne by Fleance. When Macbeth enters with a servant, the “servant with a torch” is expressly mentioned in the stage-direction of the folios, and Macbeth has to send a necessary message by him to Lady Macbeth—“Go; bid thy mistress,” &c.

6 And on thy blade, and DUDGEON, GOUTS of blood,] The “ dudgeon” is the handle or haft of a dagger : “gouts” of blood are drops of blood, from the Fr. goutte. The word was unusual in this sense.

The curtain'd sleep: 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 ravisbing strides°, towards his design
Moves like a ghost.--Thou sure and firm-set earth”,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk', for fear
Thy 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 too cold breath gives.

[A bell rings.
I go, and it is done : the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell,
That summons thee to heaven or to hell. [Erit.

7 The curtain'd sleep : witchcraft celebrates] So all the old copies : editors since the time of Davenant (Mr. Knight is an exception) have inserted now before “ witchcraft,” but surely injuriously, as regards the effect of the line: it is much more impressive in the original ; and, as has been often remarked, we have no right to attempt to improve Shakespeare's versification : if he thought fit to leave the line here with nine syllables, as he has done in other instances, some people may consider him wrong, but nobody ought to venture to correct him.

& With Tarquin's ravishing STRIDES,] The folios have sides, out of which it is not easy to extract sense : the objections made to “strides” (which was Pope's word) have been two-fold ; first, that it is not the reading of the old copies; and next, that “ strides” does not indicate a “stealthy pace,” or moving “ like a ghost.” We cannot see the force of the last objection, inasmuch as a person with such a purpose would take “strides," in order that as few foot-falls as possible might be heard : neither is “strides” inconsistent with secrecy and silence. It was most likely a misprint.

9 Thou sure and firm-set earth,] In the old copies of 1623 and 1632 it stands soure, instead of “sure ;” but, no doubt, in the MS. from which the tragedy was printed in 1623, the word was written seure, a not very unusual mode of spelling it at that time ; and hence the corruption, which became sour in the folio, 1685.

1- which way they walk,] The folios read, “ which they may walk," obviously wrong. The Rev. Mr. Barry proposes another alteration of the old text, by reading," where they may walk ;” but ich was not used, as he supposes, for a contraction of rchere in manuscripts of the time: it was sometimes the contraction of " which," and if we conclude that “they” and “ way " had been transposed, and may misprinted for “ way," it gives us the ordinary, and, we apprehend, the correct reading.


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.

Macb. [Within.] Who's there ?—what, ho?!

Lady M. Alack! I am afraid they have awak’d, And 'tis not done :—the 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 done't.—My husband ?

Enter MACBETH. Macb. I have done the deed.—Didst thou not hear a

noise ? Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets

cry. Did not you speak ? Macb.

When ? Lady M.

Now. Macb.

As I descended ?

? Who's there? what, ho!] In the old copies, “ Enter Macbeth” is placed above this speech, but he does not in fact enter till afterwards.

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