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Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed, The air is delicate."

Lady Doint thingle buse and For tho

Enter Lady MACBETH. Dun.

See, see! our honored hostess !
The love that follows us, sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you
How you shall bid God yield? us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.

All our service,
In every point twice done, and then done double,
Were poor and single business, to contend
Against those honors, deep and broad, wherewith
Your majesty loads our house. For those of old,
And the late dignities heaped up to them,
We rest your hermits.3

Where's the thane of Cawdor ?
We coursed him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor: but he rides well :
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.

1 “This short dialogue,” says sir Joshua Reynolds, “has always appeared to me a striking instance of what in painting is termed repose. The conversation very naturally turns upon the beauty of the castle's situation, and the pleasantness of the air; and Banquo, observing the martlets' nests in every recess of the cornice, remarks, that where those birds most breed and haunt, the air is delicate. The subject of this quiet and easy conversation gives that repose so necessary to the mind after the tumultuous bustle of the preceding scenes, and perfectly contrasts the scene of horror that immediately succeeds.”

2 The explanation by Steevens of this obscure passage seems the best which has been offered :—“ Marks of respect importunately shown are sometimes troublesome, though we are still bound to be grateful for them as indications of sincere attachment. If you pray for us on account of the trouble we create in your house, and thank us for the molestations we bring with us, it must be on such a principle. Herein I teach you, that the inconvenience you suffer is the result of our affection; and that you are therefore to pray for us, or thank us only as far as prayers and thanks can be deserved for kindnesses that fatigue, and honors that oppress. You are, in short, to make your acknowledgments for intended respect and love, however irksome our present mode of expressing them may have proved.”— To bid is here used in the Saxon sense of to pray. God yield us, is God reward us.

3 i. e. we, as hermits, or beadsmen, shall ever pray for you.

Lady M.

Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Still to return your own.

Give me your hand :
Conduct me to mine host; we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.



in the Castle.

The same. A Room
Hautboys and torches.

Enter, and pass over the stage, a Sewer,” and divers

Servants with dishes and service. Then enter
Macb. If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere

It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come.3-But, in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends 4 the ingredients of our poisoned chalice

I In compt, subject to accompt.

2 A sewer, an officer so called from his placing the dishes on the table. Asseour (French), from asseoir, to place.

3 This passage has been variously explained. The following is probably its meaning :-'Twere well it were done quickly, if, when 'tis done, it were done (or at an end); and that no sinister consequences would ensue. If the assassination, at the same time that it puts an end to Duncan's life, could make success certain, and that I might enjoy the crown unmolested, we'd jump the life to come, i. e. hazard or run the risk of what may happen in a future state. To trammel up was to confine or tie up. Surcease is cessation. “To surcease or to cease from doing something; supersedeo (Lat.); cesser (Fr.)”Baret.

4 To commend, 'was anciently used in the sense of the Latin commendo, to commit, to address, to direct, to recommend.

VOL. III. 25

To our own lips. He's here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed ; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking off;
And pity, like a naked, new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.— I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And falls on the other-How now, what news?


Lady M. He has almost supped. Why have you

left the chamber ?
Macb. Hath he asked for me?
Lady M.

Know you not, he has ? Macb. We will proceed no further in this business. He hath honored me of late ; and I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, Not cast aside so soon. Lady M.

Was the hope drunk, Wherein you dressed yourself? Hath it slept since ? And wakes it now to look so green and pale At what it did so freely ? From this time, Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard To be the same in thine own act and valor, As thou art in desire ? Wouldst thou have that

1 “The sightless couriers of the air,” are what the Poet elsewhere calls the viewless winds.

2 Which o'erleaps itself. It has been proposed to read, which o'erleaps its selle,” i. e. saddle (Fr.).

Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem;
Letting I dare not, wait upon I would,
Like the poor cat i’ the adage ?1

Prythee, peace.
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more,” is none.
Lady M.

What beast was't, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man ;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place
Did then adhere, and yet you would make both;
They have made themselves, and that their fitness now
Does unmake you. I have given suck; and know
How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn, as you
Have done to this.

If we should fail, Lady M.

We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we'll not fail. When Duncan is asleep, (Whereto the rather shall his day's hard journey Soundly invite him,) his two chamberlains 4 Will I with wine and wassel" so convince, That memory, the warder of the brain,

1 The adage of the cat is among Heywood's Proverbs, 1566:44 The cat would eate fishe, and would not wet her feete.”

2 « Who dares do more is none." The old copy, instead of " do more,” reads “no more: " the emendation is Rowe's.

3 Adhere in the same sense as cohere.

4 The circumstance relative to Macbeth's slaughter of Duncan's chamberlains is copied from Holinshed's account of king Duffe's murder by Donwald.

5 Wassel is thus explained by Bullokar in his Expositor, 1616: “ Wassaile, a term usual heretofore for quaffing and carowsing; but more especially signifying a merry cup (ritually composed, deckt and fill'd with country liquor) passing about amongst neighbours, meeting and entertaining one another on the vigil or eve of the new year, and commonly called the wassail bol.

6 To convince is to overcome.

Shall be a fume, and the receipt of reason
A limbeck only. When in swinish sleep
Their drenched natures lie, as in a death,
What cannot you and I perform upon
The unguarded Duncan ? what not put upon
His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt
Of our great quell? 2

Bring forth men children only!
For thy undaunted mettle should compose
Nothing but males. Will it not be received,
When we have marked with blood those sleepy two
Of his own chamber, and used their very daggers,
That they have done't ?
Lady M.

Who dares receive it other, As we shall make our griefs and clamor roar Upon his death ? Macb.

I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show; False face must hide what the false heart doth know.



SCENE I. The same. Court within the Castle.

Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, and a Servant, with a

torch before them. Ban. How goes the night, boy? Fle. The moon is down; I have not heard the

clock. Ban. And she goes down at twelve.

1 A limbeck is a vessel through which distilled liquors pass into the recipient. So shall the receipt (i. e. receptacle) of reason be like this empty vessel.

· Quell is murder; from the Saxon quellan, to kill.

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