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He was a gentleman on whom I built
Enter MACBETH, BANQUo, 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 deserved ; 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 pay.
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe,
Dun. Welcome hither;
There if I grow,
My plenteous joys,
1 Holinshed says, “ Duncan having two sons, &c. he made the elder of them, called Malcolm, prince of Cumberland, as it was thereby to appoint him his successor in his kingdome immediatelie after his decease. Macbeth sorely troubled herewith, for that he saw by this means his hope sore hindered (where, by the old laws of the realme the ordinance was, that if he that should succeed were not of able age to take the charge upon himself, he that was next of blood unto him should be admitted), he began to take counsel how he might usurpe the kingdome by force, having a just quarrel so to doe (as he tooke the matter) for that Duncane did what in him lay to defraud him of all manner of title and claime, which he might in time to come pretend, unto the crowne.”
Not, unaccompanied, invest him only,
Macb. The rest is labor, which is not used for you.
My worthy Cawdor! Macb. The prince of Cumberland !-That is a step, On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,
[Aside. For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires ! Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand! yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see. [Exit.
Dun. True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant; And in his commendations I am fed ; It is a banquet to me. Let us after him, Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome. It is a peerless kinsman. [Flourish. Exeunt.
SCENE V. Inverness. A Room in Macbeth's Castle.
Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a letter. Lady M. They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, who all-hailed me, Thane of Cawdor; by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, with, Hail, king that shalt be! This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of great
ness; that thou mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing,
highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win; thou’dst have, great
Glamis, That which cries, Thus thou must do, if thou have it ; And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;1 And chastise with the valor of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which fate and metaphysical 2 aid doth seem To have thee crowned withal.—What is your tidings ?
Enter an Attendant.
Thou’rt mad to say it.
Give him tending;
1 “That I may pour my spirits in thine ear.” So in Lord Sterline's Julius Cæsar, 1607 :
“Thou in my bosom used to pour thy spright.” 2 “ Which fate and metaphysical aid,” &c.; i. e. supernatural aid. We find metaphysics explained things supernatural” in the old dictionaries “ To have thee crowned,” is to desire that you should be crowned.
He brings great news. The raven himself is hoarse,
1 “That tend on mortal thoughts.” Mortal and deadly were synonymous.
2 Lady Macbeth's purpose was to be effected by action. “To keep peace between the effect and purpose,” means “to delay the execution of her purpose, to prevent its proceeding to effect.” Sir Wm. Davenant's strange alteration of this play sometimes affords a reasonably good commentary upon it. Thus in the present instance:
- make thick
'Tis ripened to effect.' 3 To pall, from the Latin pallio, to wrap, to invest, to cover or hide as with a mantle or cloak.
4 Drayton, in his Mortimeriados, 1596, has an expression resembling this :
“The sullen night in mistie RUGGE is wrapped.” And in his Polyolbion, which was not published till 1612, we again find
“Thick vapors that like ruggs still hang the troubled air.” On this passage there is a long criticism in the Rambler, No. 168; to which Johnson, in his notes, refers the reader.
This ignorant present, and I feel now
My dearest love,
And when goes hence ?
This night's great business into my despatch ;
Macb. We will speak further.
Only look up clear ;
SCENE VI. The same. Before the Castle.
boys. Servants of Macbeth attending,
Enter DUNCAN, Malcolm, DONALBAIN, BANQUO, LEN
ox, MACDUFF, Rosse, Angus, and Attendants.
Dun. This castle hath a pleasant seat: the air
This guest of summer,
1 Favor is countenance.
2 i. e. convenient corner.