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Macb.

Good repose, the while! Ban. Thanks, sir; The like to you! [Exit BAN. and France Macb. Go, bid thy mistress, when my drink is

ready,
She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.

Exit Servant.
Is this a dagger, which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch

thee:-
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still,
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling, as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind; a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain ?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshal'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still:
And on thy blade, and dudgeon 8 gouts 9 of blood,
Which was not so before.— There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business, which informs
Thus to mine eyes.- Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead 10, and wicked dreams abuse

8 Dudgeon for handle ; la dudgeon dagger is a dagger, whose handle is made of the root of box, according to Bishop Wilkins in the dictionary subjoined to his Real Character. Dudgeon is the root of box. It has not been remarked that there is a peculiar propriety in giving the word to Macbeth, Pugnale alla scoccese, being a Scotch or dudgeon haft dagger,' according to Torriano.

9 Gouts, drops ; from the French gouttes.

10 Dryden's well known lines in the Conquest of Mexico are here transcribed that the reader may observe the contrast between them and this passage of Shakspeare:

All things are hush'd as Nature's self lay dead,
The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head,
The little birds in dreams their songs repeat,
And sleeping flow're beneath the night dews sweat,

Even lust and envy sleep!'. In the second part of Marston`s Antonio and Mellida, 1602, we have the following lines :

The curtain'd sleeper 11; witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings; and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace,
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost 12. --Thou sure and firm-set

earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my where-about,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it 13,— Whiles I threat, he lives;

"'Tis yet the dead of night, yet all the earth is clutch'd
In the dull leaden hand of snoring sleep:
No breath disturbs the quiet of the air,
No spirit moves upon the breast of earth,
Save howling dogs, night-crows, and screeching owls,
Save meagre ghosts, Piero, and black thoughts.
- -I am great in blood,
Unequalled in revenge :-you horrid scouts
That sentinel swart night, give loud applause
From your large paling.

11 The old copy has sleepe. The emendation was proposed by Steevens, and is well worthy of a place in the text; the word now having been formerly admitted to complete the metre. 12 The old copy reads sides: Pope made the alteration. John

is to the epithet ravishing strides. But Steevens has shown that a stride was not always an action of violence, impetuosity, or tumult. Thus in The Faerie Queene, b. iv. c. viii.

With easy steps 80 soft as foot could stride.' And in other places we have an easy stride, a leisurable stride, &c. Warburton observes, that the jusiness of the similitude is not very obvious. But a stanza in Shakspeare's Tarquin and Lucrece will explain it :

Now stole upon the time in dead of night,
When heavy sleep had clos'd up mortal eyes ;
No comfortable star did lend his
No noise but owls' and wolves' dead-boding cries;
Now serves the season that they may surprise
The silly lambs. Pure thoughts are dead and still,

While lust and murder wake to stain and kill.' 13 Macbeth would have nothing break through the universal silence that added such horror to the night, as well suited with the bloody deed he was about to perform Burke, in his Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, observes, that all general privations are great because they are terrible.' The poets of antiquity have many of them heightened their scenes of terror by dwelling on the silence which accompanied them :

•Dii quibus imperium et animarum umbraeque silentes,

Et Chaos et Phlogethon, loca nocte tacentia late - Virgil Statius, in describing the Lemnian massacre, notices the silence and solitude in a striking manner :

"Conticuere domus, &c.

Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.

[A bell rings.
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven, or to hell, (Exit.

SCENE II. The same.

Enter LADY MACBETH.
Lady M. That which hath made them drunk, hath

made me bold:
What hath quench'd them, hath given me fire:

· Hark! Peace!
It was the owl that shriek’d, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it:
The doors are open; and the surfeited grooms
Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd

their possets,
That death and nature do contend about them,
Whether they live or die.

Entes dabei Macb. Within:] Who's there?—what, ho!

Lady M. Alack! I am afraid, they have awak'd, And 'tis not done:--the attempt, and not the deed, Confounds us : – Hark! - I laid their daggers ready, He could not miss them. - Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done't.—My husband?

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and when he enumerates the terrors to which Chiron had familiarized his pupil, he subjoins :

nec ad vastae trepidare silentia sylvae.' Tacitus, describing the distress of the Roman army, under Caecina, concludes by observing—Ducemque terruit, dira quies. In all the preceding passages, as Pliny remarks, concerning places of worship, silentia ipsa adoramus. To these instances adduced by Steevens, Malone adds another from the second Aeneid :

----vestigia retro
Observata sequor per noctem, et lumine lustro,

Horror ubique animos, simul ipsa silentia terrent. and the well known lines which exposed Dryden to so much ridicule :

"A horrid stillness first invades the ear,
And in that silence we the tempest hear.'

When ?

Now.

Enter MACBETH. Macb. I have done the deed:– Didst thou not

hear a noise ? Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets

cry.
Did not you speak?
Macb.
Lady M.
Macb.

As I descended ?
Lady M. Ay.
Macb. Hark!
Who lies i the second chamber?
Lady M.

Donalbain. Macb. This is a sorry sight.

(Looking on his hands. Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight. Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, and one

cried, murder! That they did wake each other; I stood and heard

them: But they did say their prayers, and address'd them Again to sleep. Lady M. There are two lodg’d together. Macb. One cried, God bless us! and, Amen, the

other; Asi they had seen me, with these hangman's hands. Listening their fear 2, I could not say, amen, When they did say, God bless us. Lady M.

Consider it not so deeply. Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, amen ? I had most need of blessing, and amen Stuck in my throat.

Lady M. These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad. Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no

more!

1 As for as if a i. e. listening to their scar: the particle omitted.

Sleep death of minds, greceast;

Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep;
Sleep, that knits up the ravelld sleave 3 of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast;
Lady M.

What do you mean? Macb. Still it cried, Sleep no more! to all the house: Glamis hath murder'd sleep; and therefore Cawdor Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more 4! Lady M. Who was it that thus cried? Why,

worthy thane, You do unbend your noble strength, to think So brainsickly of things:-Go, get some water, And wash this filthy witness from your hand.-Why did you bring these daggers from the place? They must lie there: Go, carry them; and smear The sleepy grooms with blood. Macb.

I'll go no more: I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on't again, I dare not. Lady M.

Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers: The sleeping, and the

dead, Are but as pictures : 'tis the eye of childhood, That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,

3 Sleave is unwrooght silk, sometimes also called fluss silk. It appears to be the coarse ravelled part separated by passing through the slaie (reed comb) of the weaver's loom; and hence called sleaved or sleided silk. I suspect that sleeveless, which has pazzled the etymologists, is that which cannot be sleaved, sleided, or unravelled ; and therefore useless: thus a sleeveless errand would be a fruitless one.

4 Steevens observes that this triple menace, accommodated to the different titles of Macbeth, is too quaint to be received as the natural ebullition of a guilty mind; but Mr. Boswell thinks that there is no ground for his objection. He thus explains the passage : Glamis hath murder'd sleep; and therefore my lately acquired dignity can afford no comfort to one who suffers the agony of remorse,-Cawdur shall sleep no more ; nothing can restore me to that peace of mind which I enjoyed in a comparatively humble state; the ouce innocent Macbeth shall sleep no more.

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