« AnteriorContinua »
Or have we eaten of the insane root,
That takes the reason prisoner?
Macb. Your children shall be Kings.
Ban. You shall be King.
Macb. And Thane of Cawdor too; went it not fo?
Ban. To th' self same tune, and words; who's here?
Enter Roffe and Angus.
Roffe. The King hath happily receiv'd, Macbeth,
The news of thy success; and when he reads
Thy personal venture in the rebels fight,
His wonders and his praises do contend,
Which should be thine, or his. Silenc'd with that,
In viewing o'er the reit o'th' self-fame day,
He finds thee in the stout Norweyan ranks,
Nothing afraid of what thyself didft make,
Strange images of death. As thick as hail,
Came post on poft; and every one did bear
Thy praises in his kingdom's great defence :
ons, or whether their eyes were not deceiv'd by fome illusion; Ban-
quo immediately starts the question,
Were such things bere, &c.
I was fure, from a long observation of Sbakespeare's accuracy, that he
alluded here to some particular circumstance in the history, which, I
hoped, I should find explain’d in Holingsread. But I found myself
deceived in this expectation. This furnishes a proper occasion, there-
fore, to remark our author's signal diligence; and happiness at ap-
plying whatever he met with, that could have any relation to his
subject. Hector Boetbius, who gives us an account of Sueno's ar my
being intoxicated by a preparation put upon them by their subtle
enemy, informs us; that there is a plant, which grows in great
quantity in Scotland, callid Solatrum Amentiale; that it's berries are
purple, or rather black, when full ripe; and have a quality of laying
to Deep; or of driving into madness, if a more than ordinary quantity
of them be taken. This passage of Boethius, I dare say, our pcet had
an eye to: and, I think, it fairly accounts for his mention of the in-
fone root. Dioscorides lib. iv. c. 74. TTepi Empúxve yavruē, attributes',
the fame properties to it. Its classical name, I observe, is Solanum ;
but the shopmen agree to call it Solatrum. This, prepard in medicine,
(as Theophrastus tells us, and Pliny from him;) has a peculiar effect
of filling the patient's head with odd images and fancies : and particu-
larly that of seeing spirits: an effect, which, I am persuaded, was no
secret to our author. Bochart and Salmafius have both been copious
upon the description and qualities of this plant.
And pour'd them down before him.
Ang. We are sent,
To give thee, from our royal master, thanks ;
Only to herald thee into his fight,
Not pay thee.
Role. And for an earnest of a greater honour,
He bade me, from him, call thee Thane of Cawdor :
In which addition, hail, moft worthy Thane !
For it is thine.
Ban. What, can the devil speak true ?
Macb. The Thane of Cawdor lives;
Why do you dress me in his borrow'd robes ?
Ang. Who was the Thane, lives yet ;
But under heavy judgment bears that life,
Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was
Combin’d with Norway, or did line the rebel
With hidden help and vantage; or that with both
He labour'd in his country's wrack, I know not:
But treasons capital, confess'd, and prov'd,
Have overthrown him.
Macb. Glamis, and Thane of Cawdor! [Afídeo The greatest is behind. Thanks for your pains.
[To Angus. Do you not hope, your children thall be Kings?
[To Banquo, When those, that gave the Thane of Cawdor to me, Promis'd no less to them?
Ban. That trusted home, Might yet enkindle you unto the crown, Besides the Thane of Cawdor. But 'tis strange : And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honeft trifles, to betray us In deepest consequence. Cousins, a word, I pray you. [To Roffe and Angus. Macb. Two truths are told,
(Afideo As happy prologues to the swelling act Of the imperial theme. I thank you, gentlemenThis supernatural folliciting Cannot be ill; cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it giv'n me earnest of fuccefs,
Commencing in a truth? I'm Thane of Cawdor.
If good; why do I yield to that suggestion,
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
Againft the use of nature ? present feats (9)
Are less than horrible imaginings.
My thought, whose murder yet is but fanftaftical,
Shakes so my fingle state of man, that function
Is fmother'd in surmise; and nothing is,
But what is not.
Ban. Look, how our partner's rapt!
Macb. If chance will have me King, why, chance may
[ Afide. Without
ftir. Ban. New honours, come upon him,
Are less than borrible imaginings.] Macbetb, while he is projecting the murder, which he afterwards puts in execution, is thrown into the most agonizing affright at the prospect of it: which soon recovering from, thus he reasons on the nature of his disorder. But imagin. ings are so far from being more or less than present fears, that they are the same things under different words. Sbakespeare certainly wrote;
- present feats Are less than borrible imaginings. i, e. When I come to execute this murder, I shall find it much less dreadful than my frighted imagination now presents it to mę. А confideration drawn from the nature of the imagination.
Mr. Warburton, Macbeth, speaking again of this murder in a subsequent scene, uses the very same terin;
I'm settled, and bend up Each corp'ral agent to this terrible feat. And it is a word, elsewhere, very familiar with our poet. I'll only add, in aid of my friend's correction, that we meet with the very same sentiment, which our poet here advances; in Ovid's Epifles; Terror in bis ipso major folet elle periclo.
Paris Helenæ, veľ. 349. And it is a maxim with Machiavel, that many things are more fear'd afar off, than near at hand. E sono molte cose che discoko paiono terribili, insopportabili, strani; & quando tu ti appreffi loro, "le riescono bumane, sopportabili, domestiche. "Et pero si dice, che sono maggiori li Spaventi che i mali,
Mandragola, Atto. 3. Sc. 11.
Like our ftrange garments cleave not to their mould,
But with the aid of use.
Macb. Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs thro' the roughest day.
Ban. Worthy Macheth, we stay upon your leisure.
Macb. Give me your favour: mydull brain was wrought With things forgot. Kind gentlemen, your pains Are registred where every day. I turn The leaf to read them-Let us tow’rd the King; Think, upon what hath chanc'd; and at more time,
[To Banquo. (The Interim having weigh'd it,) let us speak Qur free hearts each to other.
Ban. Very gladly.
Macb. 'Till then enough: come, friends. (Excunt.
SCENE changes to the Palace. Flourish. Enter King, Malcolm, Donalbain, Lenox, and
King. T S execution done on Cawdor yet ?
Or not those in commiflion yet return'd!
Mal. My liege,
They are not yet come back. "But 1 have spoke
With one that saw him die; 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 dy'd,
As one, that had been studied in his death,
To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
As 'twere a careless trifle.
King. There's no art,
To find the mind's construction in the face:
He was a gentleman, on whom I built
An absolute traft.
Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Roffe, and Angus.
O worthieft Cousin!
The fin of my ingratitude e'en now
Was heavy on me. Thou’rt so far before, (10)
That swifteft wing of recompence is flow,
To overtake thee. Would thou'dit less deserv'd,
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine! only I've left to say,
More is thy due, than more than all can pay.
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe,
In doing it, pays itself. Your Highness' part
Is to receive our duties ; and our duties (11)
Are to your throne, and state, children and servants ;
Which do but what they should, by doing every thing
Safe tow'rd your love and honour.
King. Welcome hither :
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing, Noble Banquo,
Thou hast no less deserv'd, and must be known
No less to have done so ; let me enfold thee,
And hold thee to my
Ban. There if I grow,
The harvest is your own.
King. My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
(10) Thou art so far before,
That swiftest wind of recompence is flow
To avertake thee. ] Thus the editions by Mr. Rcwe and Mr. Pipe :
whether for any reason, or purely by chance, I cannot determine
I have chose the reading of the more authentick copies, Wing.
We meet with the same metaphor again in Troilus and Crefjidai
But his evasion, wing'd thus swift with scorn,
Cannot outfly our apprehension. (11)
and our duties Are to your throne and fate, children and servants ; Which do but what they should; by doing every thing". safe towards your love and honour.] This may be sense; but, I own it gives me no very satisfactory idea : And tho’ I have not difturb’d the text, I cannot but embrace in my mind the conjecture of my ingenious friend Mr. Warburton, who would read;
by doing every thing, Fiefs towards your love and honour. i. e. We hold our duties to your throne, &c. under an obligation of doing every thing in our power: as we hold our Fiefs, (feuda) those etates and tenures, which we have on the terms of bomage and fer