Imatges de pÓgina
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So brain fickly of things; go, get fome water,
And wash this filthy witness from your hand.
Why did you bring thefe daggers from the place?
They must lie there. Go, carry them, and smear
The fleepy grooms with blood.

Mach. I'll go no more;

I am afraid to think what I have done?

Look on't again, I dare not.

Lady. Infirm of purpose!

Give me the daggers; the ileeping and the dead
Are but as pictures; 'tis the eye of childhood,
That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,
I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,
For it must seem their guilt.

[Exit:

Knocks within.

[Starting.

Macb. Whence is that knocking ? How is't with me, when every noise appals me? * What hands are here? hah! they pluck out mine

eyes.

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood

*What, &c.] Shakespear had this from his brother tragedians. So Hercules in Seneca,

Ar&torum licet.

Mæotis in me gelida transfundat mare
Et tota Tethys per meas currat manus,
Harebit altum facinus.

Hercul. Fur. Ac. 5.

'Tis faid of Oedipus, in Sophocles, that neither the waters of the Danube or Phafis can wash him and his house clean.

Οίμαι γαρ Στανίσρον ετε φασιν αν
Νίψαι καθαρμω τηνδε την σεγην.

In allufion to their expiatory wafhings in the fea or rivers. Various were the ceremonies of washing among the Jews as well as Gentiles; particularly that of the hands. Hence came the proverb of doing things with unwashed bands; i. e. impudently without any regard to decency and religion. Henry IV. A&t 3. Falf. Rob me the Exchequer the first thing thou doft, and do it with unwashed bands too. UPTON,

Clean

Clean from my hand? no, this my hand will rather
Thy multitudinous fea incarnadine,
Making the green one red-

Enter Lady.

Lady. My hands are of your colour; but I fhame To wear a heart fo white: I hear a knocking [Knock. At the fouth entry. Retire we to our chamber; A little water clears us of this deed.

How easy is it then? your conftancy

Hath left you unattended--hark, more knocking![Knock.
Get on your night-gown left occafion calls us,
And fhew us to be watchers ; be not loft

So poorly in your thoughts.

Mach. To know my deed, 'twere beft not know myfelf.

Wake, Duncan, with this knocking: 'would, thou couldft!

ACT III.

SCENE III.

Macbeth's guilty Confcience, and Fears of Banquo. Enter Macbeth to his Lady.

Lady. How now, my lord, why do you keep alone? Of forrieft fancies your companions making, Ufing thofe thoughts, which should indeed, have dy'd With them they think on? things without all remedy Should be without regard; what's done, is done.

Mac. We have fcotch'd (12) the snake, not kill'd it

(12) Scotch'd.] This reading is Mr Theobald's, the old one is fcorch'd, which Mr. Upton, wou'd attempt to defend by telling us, "the allufion is to the ftory of the Hydra. We have scorch'd the fnake, we have indeed Hercules like, cut off one of its heads, and fcorch'd it, as it were, as he did, aflifted by Jolaus, hindering that one head, thus fcorch'd from fprouting again; but fuch a wound will clofe and cure; our hydra-fnake has other heads ftill, which to me are as dangerous as Duncan's, particularly that of Banquo and Fleance. &c. The allufion is learned and elegant. Crit. Obfervat. p. 154. But learned and elegant as it is, I am apt to imagine Mr. Theobald's the true word: the fentence feems to confirm that fuppofition; however Mr. Upton's remark is worth obferving.

VOL. II.

H

She'll

She'll clofe and be herself; whilft our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let both worlds disjoint, and all things fuffer,
Ere we
will eat our meal in fear, and fleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams,
That shake us nightly. Better be with the dead,
(Whom we, to gain our place, have sent to peace,)
Than on the torture of the mind to lie

In restless ecftafy.-Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever, he fleeps well;
Treafon has done his worft; nor fteel, nor poifon,
Malice domestick, foreign levy, nothing
Can touch him further!

* *

*

*

*

*

O full of fcorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know'ft, that Banquo, and his Fleance lives.
Lady. But in them, nature's copy's not eternal.
Macb. There's comfort yet, they are affailable;
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
His cloyfter'd flight, ere to black Hecat's fummons
The * fhard-born beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night's yawning peal, there fhall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

Lady. What's to be done?

Mach. Be innocent of the knowledge, deareft chuck, 'Till thou applaud the deed: come, † feeling night, Skarf up the tender eye of pitiful day,

And with thy bloody and invifible hand
Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond,
Which keeps me pale! light thickens, and the crow
Makes wing to th' rooky wood;

*Shard-born, i. e. fays Warburton, the Beetle hatch'd in clefts of wood. Upton propofes fbarn-born, i. e. the beetle born from dung. See remarks on three plays of Ben Johnson, p. 109.

1 Seeling, i. e. blinding, a term in falconry.

Good

Good things of day begin to droop and drowze, Whiles night's black agents to their prey do rowze. SCENE V. Scene changes to a Room of State, Banquet prepar'd. Macbeth, Lady, Roffe, Lenox. Lords and Attendants.

Lady. My royal lord,

You do not give the cheer; the feaft is fold,
That is not often vouched, while 'tis making,

'Tis given, with welcome. To feed, were beft at home; From thence, the fauce to meat is ceremony; Meeting were bare without it.

[The ghost of Banquo rifes, and fits in Macbeth's place. Mach. Sweet remembrancer!

Now good digeftion wait on appetite,

And health on both!

Len. May't please your highness fit?

Macb. Here had we now our country's honour roof'd, Were the grac'd perfon of our Banquo prefent, (Whom may I rather challenge for unkindness, Than pity for mifchance!)

Roffe. His abfence, Sir,

Lays blame upon his promife.
To grace us with your royal company?

Mach. The table's full.

Len. Here's a place referv'd, Sir.

Macb. Where?

Len. Here, my good lord,

What is't that moves your highness ?

Macb. Which of you have done this?

Please't your highness

[Starting

Lords. What, my good lord?

Mach. Thou can'st not say, I did it: never shake Thy goary locks at me.

Roffe. Gentlemen, rife; his highness is not well. Lady. Sit, worthy friends my lord is often thus, And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep seat,

H 2

The

The fit is momentary, on a thought

He will again be well. If much you note him,
You shall offend him, and extend his paffion;
Feed, and regard him not.-Are you a man?
[To Macb afide.
Mach. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that,
Which might appal the Devil.

Lady. O proper ftuff!

[afide

This is the very painting of your fear;
This is the air-drawn-dagger, which you faid,
Led you to Duncan. Oh, thefe flaws and ftarts
(12) Impoftors to true fear,) would well become
A woman's ftory at a winter's fire.
Authoriz'd by her grandam. Shame itself!-
Why do you make fuch faces? when all's done,
You look but on a stool.

Mach. Pr'ythee, fee there!

Behold! look! lo! how fay you? [Pointing to the Ghoft.
Why, what care I! if thou canft nod, speak too.-
If charnel-houses and our graves must send
Those, that we bury, back; our monuments
Shall be the maws of kites.

[The ghost vanishes. Lady. What? quite unmann'd in folly ?Mach. If I ftand here, I faw him.

Lady. Fie, for fhame!

Gr

(13) Impoftors, &c.] Mr. Johnfon fays of this paffage, that as ftarts can neither with propriety nor fenfe be called Impoftors to true fear, fomething else was undoubtedly intended by the author, who perhaps wrote

C

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Impoftures true to fear, &c.

66

Thefe fymptoms of terror and amazement might better become
'impoftures true only to fear, might become a coward at the re-
cital of fuch falfhoods as no man could credit, whofe understand-
ing was not weaken'd by his terrors; tales told by a woman over
Mr. Warburton ex-
a fire on the authority of her grandam,"
plains the paffages thus, "Thefe flaws and ftarts, as they are
indications of your needlefs fears, are the imitators or impoftors
only of thofe which arife from a fear well-grounded."-

23

Macb.

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