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Ladies, and Attendants.
If he had been forgotten,
Macb. To-night we hold a solemn supperi, sir,
Let your highness'
Ay, my good lord. Macb. We should have else desir'd your good
1 'A solemn supper. This was the phrase of Shakspeare's time for a feast or banquet given on a particular occasion, to any event, as a birth, marriage, coronation, &c. Howel, in a letter to Sir T. Hawke, 1636, says, 'I was invited yesternight to a solemne supper by B. J. (Ben Jonson), where you were deeply remembered.
(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous), In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow. Is't far you ride?
Ban. As far, my lord, as will fill up the time "Twixt this and supper:go not my horse the better?, I must become a borrower of the night, For a dark hour, or twain. Macb.
Fail not our feast. Ban. My lord, I will not. Macb. We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd In England, and in Ireland; not confessing Their cruel parricide, filling their hearers With strange invention: But of that to-morrow: When, therewithal, we shall have cause of state, Craving us jointly. Hie you to horse: Adieu, Till you return at night. Goes Fleance with you? Ban. Ay, my good lord: our time does call
upon us. Macb. I wish your horses swift, and sure of foot; And so I do commend you to their backs. Farewell.-
[Exit BANQUO. Let every man be master of his time Till seven at night, to make society The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself ;; Till supper-time alone: while then, God be with you.
TExeunt LADY MACBETH, Lords, Ladies, &c. Sirrah, a word with you: attend those men Our pleasure ?
Atten. They are, my lord, without the palace gate. Macb. Bring them before us. — [Exit Atten.]
To be thus is nothing; But to be safely thus:-Our fears in Banquo Stick deep; and in his royaltyd of nature Reigns that, which would be fear'd: "Tis much he
2 i, e. 'if my horse does not go well' Shakspeare often uses the comparative for the positive and superlative.
3 i e. commit. Sec note on p. 223. 4 Nobleness.
And, tos that dauntless temper of his mind,
Re-enter Attendant, with two Murderers. Now go to the door, and stay there till we call.
[Exit Attendant. Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
1 Mur. It was, so please your highness.
Well then, now
3 "And to that.' i. e. in addition to. 6 For defiled.
7 The common enemy of man.' Shakspeare repeats the phrase in Twelfth Night, Act iii. Sc. 4:– Defy the devil: consider, he's an enemy to mankind. The phrase was common among his cotemporaries; the word fiend, Johnson remarks, signifies enemy.
8 "To the utterance. This phrase, which is found in writers who preceded Shakspeare, is borrowed froin the French; se battre à l'outrance, to fight desperately or to extremity, even to death. The sense therefore isizLet fate, that has foredoomed the exaltation of Banquo's sons, enter the lists against me in defence of its own decrees, I will fight against it to the extremity, whatever be the consequence.'
Have you considered of my speeches? Know,
instruments; Who wrought with them; and all things else, that
might, To half a soul and to a nation craz'd, Say, Thus did Banquo. 1 Mur.
You made it known to us. Macb. I did so; and went further, which is now Our point of second meeting. Do you find Your patience so predominant in your nature, That you can let this go? Are you so gospell’d11 To pray for that good man, and for his issue, Whose heavy hand hath bow'd you to the grave, And beggar'd yours for ever? 1 Mur.
We are men, my liege. Macb. Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men; As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs, Shoughs12, water-rugs, and demi-wolves, are cleped 13 All by the name of dogs: the valued filelt Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle, The house-keeper, the hunter, every one According to the gift which bounteous nature Hath in him clos'd; whereby he does receive Particuliar addition 15, from the bill
9 i. e. 'passed in proving to you.'
10 To bear in hand is to delude by encouraging hope and holding out fair prospects, without any intention of performance.
11 i. e. are you so obedient to the precept of the gospel, which teaches 08 'to pray for those that despitetu
12 Shoughs are probably what we now call shocks. Nashe, in his Lenten Stuffe, mentions them a trundle-tail tike or shough or two.'
13 Cleped, called.
14 The valued file is the descriptive list wherein their valuc and pecaliar qualities are set down, such a list of dogs may be found in Junius's Nomenclator, by Fleming, and may have furnished Shakspeare with the idea.
15 Particular addition, title, description
That writes them all alike: and so of men.
I am one, my liege,
And I another,
Both of you
True, my lord. Macb. So is he mine: and in such bloody dis
tance16, That every minute of his being thrusts Against my near'st of life: And though I could With bare-fac'd power sweep him from my sight, And bid my will avouch it; yet I must not, For certain friends that are both his and mine, Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall Whom I myself struck down: and thence it is, That I to your assistance do make love; Masking the business from the common eye, For sundry weighty reasons. 2 Mur.
We shall, my lord, Perform what you command us. 1 Mur.
Though our livesMacb. Your spirits shine through you. Within
this hour, at most, I will advise you where to plant yourselves:
16 “Bloody distance is mortal enmity.