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Look, how our partner's rapt. MacB. If chance will have me king, why, chance
may crown me, Without my stir. Ban.
New honours come upon him Like our strange garments ; cleave not to their
mould, But with the aid of use. MACB.
Come what come may; Time and the hour runs through the roughest
day?. Shakspeare has somewhat like this sentiment in The Merchant of Venice:
" Where, every something being blent together,
“ Turns to a wild of nothing ." Again, in Richard II. :
" is nought but shadow's
“Of what it is not." STEEVENS. 7 Time AND THE HOUR runs through the roughest day.) “ By this, I confess I do not, with his two last commentators, imagine is meant either the tautology of time and the hour, or an allusion to time painted with an hour-glass, or an exhortation to time to hasten forward, but rather to say tempus et hora, time and occasion, will carry the thing through, and bring it to some determined point and end, let its nature be what it will."
This note is taken from an Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakspeare, &c. by Mrs. Montagu.
So, in the Lyfe of Saynt Radegunda, printed by Pynson, 4to. no date :
“ How they dispend the tyme, the day, the houre." Such tautology is common to Shakspeare.
“ The very head and front of my offending," is little less reprehensible.“ Time and the hour," is ‘Time with his hours.' STEEVENS.
The same expression is used by a writer nearly contemporary with Shakspeare: “ Neither can there be any thing in the world more acceptable to me than death, whose hower and time if they were as certayne,” &c. Fenton's Tragical Discourses, 1579. Again, in Davison's Poems, 1602 :
“ Time's young howres attend her still." Again, in our author's 126th Sonnet:
“O thou, my lovely boy, who in thy power
Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your lei
sure. MACB. Give me your favour' :—my dull brain
was wrought With things forgotten?. Kind gentlemen, your
Again, in his 57th Sonnet :
“ Being your slave, what should I do but tend
“Upon the hours and times of your desire ?" Again, in The Mirrour for Magistrates, 1587 (Legend of the Duke of Buckingham):
“ The unhappy hour, the time, and eke the day.” Malone. 8 — we stay upon your leisure.] The same phraseology occurs in the Paston Letters, vol. iii. p. 80: “ — sent late to me a man ye which wuld abydin uppon my leysir," &c. Steevens.
9 — favour :) i. e. indulgence, pardon. Steevens. !- my dull brain was WROUGHT
With things forgotten.] My head was worked, agitated, put into commotion. Johnson. So, in Othello :
“ Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought,
“Perplex'd in the extreme.” STEEVENS. 2 where every day I turn
The leaf to read them.] He means, as Mr. Upton has observed, that they are registered in the table-book of his heart. So Hamlet speaks of the table of his memory. Malone.
3 The INTERIM having weigh'd it,] This intervening portion of time is also personified: it is represented as a cool impartial judge ; as the pauser Reason. Or, perhaps, we should read“ I th' interim.” STEEVENS.
I believe the interim is used adverbially : “ you having weighed 'it in the interim." Malone.
Fores. A Room in the Palace.
Flourish. Enter DuncaN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN,
Lenox, and Attendants. Dun. Is execution done on Cawdor ? Are not * Those in commission yet return'd ?. MAL.
My liege, They are not yet come back. But I have spoke With one that saw him die 5 : who did report, That very frankly he confess'd his treasons ; Implor'd your highness' pardon; and set forth A deep repentance: nothing in his life Became him, like the leaving it ; he died As one that had been studied in his death, To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd, As 'twere a careless trifle.
4 - Are not —] The old copy reads-Or not. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
s With one that saw himn die :) The behaviour of the thane of Cardor corresponds, in almost every circumstance, with that of the unfortunate Earl of Essex, as related by Stowe, p. 793. His asking the Queen's forgiveness, his confession, repentance, and concern about behaving with propriety on the scaffold, are minutely described by that historian. Such an allusion could not fail of having the desired effect on an audience, many of whom were eye-witnesses to the severity of that justice which deprived the age of one of its greatest ornaments, and Southampton, Shakspeare's patron, of his dearest friend. STEEVENS.
0 - studied in his death,) Instructed in the art of dying. It was usual to say studied, for learned in science. Johnson.
His own profession furnished our author with this phrase. To be studied in a part, or to have studied it, is yet the technical term of the theatre. Malone.
So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : “ Have you the lion's part written ? pray you, if it be, give it me, for I am slow of study."
The same phrase occurs in Hamlet. STEEVENS.
There's no art,
Enter MACBETH, Banduo, Rosse, and Angus.. The sin of my ingratitude even now Was heavy on me: Thou art so far before, That swiftest wing of recompense is slow To overtake thee. 'Would thou hadst less de
serv'd; That the proportion both of thanks and payment Might have been mine! only I have left to say, More is thy due than more than all can pays.
7 To find the mind's construction in the face :] The .construction of the mind' is, I believe, a phrase peculiar to Shakspeare : it implies the frame or disposition of the mind, by which it is determined to good or ill. Johnson.
Dr. Johnson seems to have understood the word construction in this place, in the sense of frame or structure ; but the schoolterm was, I believe, intended by Shakspeare. The meaning is“We cannot construe or discover the disposition of the mind by the lineaments of the face.” So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :
“ Construe the times to their necessities." In Hamlet we meet with a kindred phrase :
" These profound heaves
“ You must translate ; 'tis fit we understand them." Our author again alludes to his grammar, in Troilus and Cressida :
“I'll decline the whole question.". In his 93d Sonnet, however, we find a contrary sentiment asserted :
“In many's looks the false heart's history
“ Is writ.” Malone. 8 More is thy due than MORE THAN ALL can pay.] More is due to thee, than, I will not say all, but more than all, i. e. the greatest recompense, can pay. Thus in Plautus : Nihilo minus.
There is an obscurity in this passage, arising from the word all, which is not used here personally, (more than all persons can pay) but for the whole wealth of the speaker. So, more clearly, in King Henry VIII. :
" More than my all is nothing."
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe, In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part Is to receive our duties : and our duties Are to your throne and state, children, and ser
vants ; Which do but what they should, by doing every
thing Safe toward your love and honour'.
This line appeared obscure to Sir William D'Avenant, for he alrered it thus :
“ I have only left to say,
- servants ; Which do but what they should, by doing every thing - ] From Scripture : “ So when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants : we have done that which was our duty to do." HenLEY. 1 Which do but what they should, by doing every thing
SAFE TOWARD YOUR LOVE AND HONOUR.] Mr. Upton gives the word safe as an instance of an adjective used adverbially.
“ Safe (i. e, saved) toward you love and honour; ” and then the sense will be—“Our duties are your children, and servants or vassals to your throne and state ; who do but what they should, by doing every thing with a saving of their love and honour toward you.” The whole is an allusion to the forms of doing homage in the feudal times. The oath of allegiance, or liege homage, to the king, was absolute, and without any exception ; but simple homage, when done to a subject for lands holden of him, was always with a saving of the allegiance (the love and honour) due to the sovereign. “ Sauf la foy que jeo doy a nostre seignor le roy," as it is in Littleton. And though the expression be somewhat stiff and forced, it is not more so than many others in this play, and suits well with the situation of Macbeth, now beginning to waver in his allegiance. For, as our author elsewhere says, [in Julius Cæsar :)
“When love begins to sicken and decay,
“ It useth an enforced ceremony." BLACKstone. A similar expression occurs also in the Letters of the Paston Family, vol. ii. p. 254: “— ye shalle fynde me to yow as kynde as I maye be, my conscience and worshyp savy'd.” Steevens.
A passage in Cupid's Revenge, a comedy by Beaumont and