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Macbeth to be the murderer; for he was the nearest in blood to the two princes, being the cousin-german of Duncan. Steev ENs. 320. This murderous shaft that's shot, Hath not yet lighted; j The shaft is not yet lighted, and though it has done mischief in its flight, we have reason to apprehend still more before it has spent its force and falls to the ground. The end for which the murder was committed is not yet attained. The death of the king only could neither insure the crown to Macbeth, nor accomplish any other purpose, while his sons were yet living, who had therefore just reason to apprehend they should be removed by the same means, Such another thought occurs in Bussey D'Ambois, 1606: “The chain-shot of thy lust is yet aloft, “And it must murder,” &c. STE evens. 339. —in her pride of place,J Finely expressed, for confidence in its quality. WARBurron. This is found among the prodigies consequent on king Duffe's murder: “ There was a sparhawk strangled by an owl.” STE Eve Ns. 342. minions of their race, Theobald reads: minions of the race, very probably, and very poetical. Johnson. Their is probably the true reading, the same expression being found in Romeus and juliet, 1562, a poem which Shakspere had certainly read:
. “There were two ancient stocks, which Fortune high did place “Above the rest, endew’d with wealth, the nobler of their race.” MA Lon E. Most of the prodigies just before mentioned are related by Holinshed, as accompanying king Duffe's death; and it is in particular asserted, that horses of singular beauty and swiftness did eat their own flesh. Macbeth's killing Duncan's chamberlains is taken from Donwald’s killing those of king Duffe. - - STE Eve Ns. 354. What good could they pretend?] To pretend, in this instance, as in many others, is simply to design. STEEVENS. See catch-word Alphabet. 361. Then 'tis most like, The sovereignty will fall upon Macbeth..] Macbeth, by his birth, stood next in the succession to the Crown, immediately after the sons of Duncan. King Malcolm, Duncan's predecessor, had two daughters, the eldest of whom was the mother of Duncan, the youngest, the mother of Macbeth. Holinshed. STE Eve Ns. 366. —Colmes-kill; J Colmes-hill, or Colm-kill, is the fanlous Iona, one of the western isles, which Dr. Johnson visited, and describes in his Tour. Holinshed scarcely mentions the death of any of the ancient kings of Scotland, without taking notice of their being buried with their predecessors in Colines-kill. - - 4 - ST E E V ENS. Colmes
Colmes-hill is one of the numerous corruptions of the second folio, in a former scene of this play. Kill is the true word, and in the Erse language signifies a burying-place. MA Lon E.
A CT III.
Line 7. A S upon thce, Macbeth, their speeches shine]
Shine, for prosper. WAR BU R To N. Shine, for appear with all the lustre of conspicuous truth. Johnson.
I rather incline to Dr. Warburton's interpretation. So, in K. Henry VI. Part I: “Heaven, and our lady gracious, hath it pleased “To shine on my contemptible estate.” STEEVENS. 17. Lay your—j The folio reads, Let your— STEE v ENs. The change was suggested by Sir W. Davenant's alteration of this play : it was made by Mr. Rowe. MA LoN E. 28. Go not my horse the better.] i. e. if he does not go well. Shakspere often uses the comparative for the positive and superlative. So, in K. Lear: & C her smiles and tears “Were like a better day.” Again, in Macbeth : 4 & it hath cow'd my better part of man.” Again, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny’s Natural - H History,
History, b. ix. c. 46. “ —Many are caught out of their fellowes hands, if they bestirre not themselves the better.” It may mean, If my horse does not go the better for the haste I shall be in to avoid the night.
STE Evens. The expression is rather elliptical, than ungrammatical. HEN LeY.
67. For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind;] We should read:
- 'filed my mind; i. e. defiled. - WAR BURT on. This mark of contraction is not necessary. To file is in the bishop's Bible. JoHNson.
So, in the Revenger's Tragedy, 1608: “He called his father villain, and me strumpet, “A name I do abhor to file my lips with.” Again, in the Miseries of inforc'd Marriage, 1607: 6 g like smoke through a chimney that files all the way it goes.” Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, b. iii, C. 1 : “She lightly lept out of her filed bed.” " . STE Ev ENS. 71. the common enemy of man, It is always an entertainment to an inquisitive reader, to trace a sentiment to its original source ; and therefore, though the term enemy of man, applied to the devil, is in itself natural and obvious, yet some may be pleased with being informed, that Shakspere probably borrowed it from the first lines of the Destrućlion of Troy, a book which he is known to have read. This expresSlony sion, however, he might have had in many other places. The word fiend signifies enemy. Johnson. 73. come, fate, into the list, And champion me to the utterance 1—] We meet with the same expression in Gawin Douglas's translation of Virgil, p. 331. 349: “That war not put by Greikis to utterance.” Again, in the History of Graund Amoure and la belle Pucelle, &c. by Stephen Hawes, 1555: “That so many monsters put to utteraunce.” Shakspere uses it again in Cymbeline, act iii. line 78. STEEVENS. past in probation with you; * How you were borne in hand, &c.] i. e. past in proving to you, how you were, &c. So, in Othello: 44 so prove it, “That the probation bear no hinge or loop “To hang a doubt on.” A comma therefore should seem more properthan a semicolon at the end of this line. MA LoN E. 84. How you were borne in hand;— i. e. made to believe what was not true, what would never happen or be made good to you. In this sense Chaucer uses it, Wise of Bath's Prol. p. 78. l. 2. 32. “A wise wife shall, &c. “Berin them in honde that the cowe is wode.” And our author in many places, see Measure for Measure, act i. line 395. - WARNER. 92 Are you so gospell'd, I believe that gospell'd means, kept in obedience to that precept of Hij the