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And overcome16 us like a summer's cloud, Without our special wonder? You make me strange
When now a disposition that? You make md.
When now I think, you can behold such sights18,
What sights, my lord ? Lady M. I pray you, speak not; he grows worse
Len. Good night, and better health
A kind good night to all!
[Exeunt Lords and Attendants. Macb. It will have blood; they say, blood will
have blood; Stones have been known to move, and trees to
speak; Augurés 19, and understood relations have, By magot-pies, and choughs, and rooks, brought forth The secret'st man of blood.- What is the night? Lady M. Almost at odds with morning, which is
16 Overcome us,' pass over us without wonder, as a casual summer's cloud passes, unregarded.
17 i. e. posse89.
18 “Youstrike me with amazement, make me scarce know myself, now when I think that you can behold such sights unmoved, &c.
19 i. e. auguries, divinations; formerly spelt augures, as appears by Florio in voce augurio. By understood relations, probably, connected circumstances relating to the crime are meaut. I am inclined to think that the passage should be pointed thus:
"Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak
The secret’st man of blood.'' In all the modern editions we have it erroneonsly augurs. Magotpie is the original name of the magpie : stories, such as Shakspearo alludes to, are to be found in Lupton's Thousand Notable Things, A., and in Goulart's Admirable Histories.'
Macb. How say'st thou20, that Macduff denies
his person, At our great bidding? Lady M.
Did you send to him, sir? Macb. I hear it by the way; but I will send: There's not a one of them, but in his house I keep a servant fee'd. I will to-morrow (And betimes I will), to the weird sisters: More shall they speak ; for now I am bent to know, By the worst means, the worst: for mine own good, All causes shall give way: I am in blood Stept in so far, that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er: Strange things I have in head, that will to hand: Which must be acted, ere they may be scann'd21. Lady M. You lack the season22 of all natures,
sleep. Mac. Come, we'll to sleep: My strange and self
abuse Is the initiate fear, that wants hard use:We are yet but young in deed23. [Ereunt.
20 i. e. what say'st thou to this circumstance? Thus in Macbeth's address to his wife on the first appearance of Banquo's ghost:
--behold! look! lo! how say you ?' So again in Othello, when the Duke is informed that the Turkish fleet was making for Rhodes, which he supposed to have been bound for Cyprus, he says:
"How say you by this change?' Again in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, Speed says, “But, Launce, how say'st thou, that my master is become a notable lover?
21 i. e. examined nicely.
22 “You Jack the season of all nature's sleep.' Johnson explains this “You want sleep, which seasons or gives the relish to all natures.' Indiget somni vitae condimenti. So in All's Well that Ends Well: "Tis the best brine a maiden can season praise in.' It has, however, been suggested that the meaning is, You stand in need of the time or season of sleep which all natures require.' I incline to the last interpretation. 23 The editions previous to Theobald's read :
"We're but young indeed The initiate fear is the fear that always attends the first initiation into guilt, before the inind becomes callous and iusepsible bg hard use or frequent repctition of it.
SCENE V. The Heath. Thunder. Enter Hecate!, meeting the three Witches. meeting Hicat. 1 Witch. Why, how now, Hecate? you look
I Shake peare has been unjustly censured for introducing Hecate among the vulgar witches, and consequently for confounding ancient with modern superstitions. But the poet has elsewhere shown himself well acquainted with the classical connexion which this deity had with witchcraft. Reginald Scot, in his Discovery, men. tions it as the common opinion of all writers, that witches were supposed to have nightly meetings with Herodias and the Pagan gode,' and that in the night time they ride abroad with Diana, the goddess of the Pagang,' &c. Their dame or chief leader seems always to have been an old Pagan, as 'the Ladie Sibylla, Minerva, or Diana.' In Middleton's Witch, Hecate is the name of one of his witches, and she has a son a low buffoon. In Jonson's Sad Sheperd, Act ii. Sc. 3, Maudlin the witch calls Hecate the mistress of witches, Our dame Hecate.' Shakspeare no doubt knew that Diana was the name by which the goddess was invoked in modern times, but has preferred her former appellation. Our great poet is not alone in the illegitimate pronunciation of Hecate as a dissyllable. Marlowe, who was a scholar, has also thug used it ip big Dr. Faustus:
"Pluto's blew fire and Hecat's tree
With magic spells encompass thee.'
"Stay thy cloudy ebon chair
Your vessels, and your spells, provide,
Song. [Within.] Come away, come away, &c. Hark, I am call'd; my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me. [Exit. 1 Witch. Come, let's make haste; she'll soon be back again.
[Exeunt. SCENE VI. Fores. A Room in the Palace. )
Enter Lenox and another Lord. Len. My former speeches have but hit your
2 Steevens remarks that Shakspeare's mythological knowledge on this occasion appears to have deserted him ; for as Hecate is only one of three names belonging to the same goddess, she could not properly be employed in one character to catch a drop that fell from her in another. In a Midsummer Night's Dream, however, the poet was sufficiently aware of her threefold capacity :
-fairies, that do run
By the triple Hecat's team.' The vaporous drop profound seems to have been meant for the same as the virus lunare of the ancients, being a foam which the moon was supposed to shed on particular herbs, or other objects, when strongly solicited by enchantment. Lucan introduces Erichtho using it, lib. vi. 669:
--Et virus large lunare ministrat.' $ Slights are arts, subtle practices.
This song is to be found eutire in The Witch, by Middleton.
Which can interpret further : only, I say,
find What 'twere to kill a father; so should Fleance. But, peace !-for from broad words, and 'cause he
The son of Duncan,
1 Who cannot want the thought,' &e. The sense requires who can waut the thought ;' but it is, probably, a lapse of the poet's pen.