Page images
PDF
EPUB

Doct. Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.

Gent. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: Heaven knows what she has known.

Lady M. Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!

Doct. What a sigh is there! The heart is sorely charged.

Gent. I would not have such a heart in my bosom, for the dignity of the whole body. Doct. Well, well, well, Gent. 'Pray God, it be, sir.

Doct. This disease is beyond my practice: Yet I have known those which have walked in their sleep, who have died holily in their beds.

Lady M. Wash your hands, put on your nightgown; look not so pale:-I tell you yet again, Banquo's buried; he cannot come out of his grave. Doct. Even so ? Lady M. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate. Come, come, come, come, give me your hand; What's done, cannot be undone: To bed, to bed, to bed.

Exit LADY MACBETH. Doct, Will she go now to bed? Gent. Directly. Doct. Foul whisperings are abroad;. Unnatural

deeds Do breed unnatural troubles: Infected minds To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets. More needs she the divine, than the physician.God, God, forgive us all! Look after her; Remove from her the means of all annoyance, And still keep eyes upon her:-So, good night: My mind she has mated4, and amaz’d my sight: I think, but dare not speak Gent.

Good night, good doctor.

[Ereunt.

4 ‘My mind she has mated.' Mated, or amated, from matté, old French, signified to overcome, confound, dismay, or make

SCENE II. The Country near Dunsinane.

Enter, with Drum and Colours, MENTETH, Cath

NESS, Angus, Lenox and Soldiers.
Ment. The English power is near, led on by

Malcolm,
His uncle Siward4, and the good Macduff.
Revenges burn in them: for their dear causes
Would, to the bleeding and the grim alarm,
Excite the mortified mán2.
Ang.

Near Birnam wood Shall we well meet them; that way are they coming. Cath. Who knows, if Donalbain be with his bro

ther ?
Len. For certain, sir, he is not: I have a file
Of all the gentry; there is Siward's son,
And many unrough3 youths, that even now
Protest their first of manhood.
Ment.

What does the tyrant?
Cath. Great Dunsinane he strongly fortifies:
Some say, he's mad; others, that lesser hate him,
Do call it valiant fury; but, for certain,
He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause
Within the belt of rule.
Ang.

Now does he feel

afraid. The word is to be found in Bullokar's Expositor, 1616 : in Cotgrave's French Dictionary; and in Philips' World of Words. Philips distinguishes it as an old word, or obsolete ; and derives it from the Saxon; but, I believe, without foundation.

i Duncan had two sons by his wife, who was the daughter of Siward, Earl of Northumberland, HOLINSHED, 2 By the mo

mortified man is meant a religious man ; one who has mortified his passions, is dead to the world, has abandoned it, and all the affairs of it; an ascetic. So in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606 :

"He like a mortified hermit sits." And in Love's Labour's Lost, Act i. Sc. 1:

My loving lord, Dumain is mortified;
The grosser manner of this world's delights

He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves.' 3 And many unrough youths.' This old expression means smooth-faced, unbearded. See the Tempest:

---till new born chius Be rough and razorable.

Ilis secret murders sticking on his hands;
Now minutely revolts upbraid his faith-breach;
Those he commands, move only in command,
Nothing in love: now does he feel his title
Ilang loose about him, like a giant's robe
Upon a dwarfish thief.
Ment.

Who then shall blame
His pester'd senses to recoil, and start,
When all that is within him does condemn
Itself, for being there!!
Cath.

Well, march we on,
To give obedience where 'tis truly ow’d:
Meet we the medecins of the sickly weal;
And with him pour we, in our country's purge,
Each drop of us.
Len.

Or so much as it needs, To dew the sovereign flower, and drown the weeds. Make we our march towards Birnam.

[Exeunt, marching.

SCENE III. Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.

Enter MACBETH, Doctor, and Attendants. Macb. Bring me no more reports; let them fly all! 'Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane, I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm; Was he not born of woman? The spirits that know All mortal consequence, have pronounc'd me thus: Fear not, Macbeth; no man, that's born of woman, Shall e'er have power upon thee.---Then fly, false

thanes, And mingle with the English epicures:

4 i. e. when all the facultics of the mind are employed in selfcondein nation.

5 The medecin, the physician. In the Winter's Tale, Camillo is called by Perdita 'the medecin of our house.'

i Shakspeare derived this thought from Holinshed :-The Scottish people before bad no knowledge nor understanding of fine fare or riotous surfeit; yet after they had once tasted the sweet poisoned bait thereof, &c. 'those superfluities which came into the realme of Scotland with Eoglishmen '-Hist. of Scotland, p. 179. Vol. IV.

13

The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear,
Shall never sagg with doubt, nor shake with fear.

Enter a Servant.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-fac'd loon3!
Where gott'st thou that goose look ?

Serv. There is ten thousand-
Macb.

Geese, villain?
Serv.

Soldiers, sir.
Macb. Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear,
Thou lily-liver'd boy. What soldiers, patch+ ?
Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine
Are counsellors to fears. What soldiers, whey-face?

Serv. The English force, so please you.
Macb. Take thy face hence.--Seyton!-I am sick

at heart,
When I behold-Seyton, I say!—This push
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have liv'd long enough : my way of life
Is falln into the sears, the yellow leaf:

[ocr errors]

2 To sag, or swag, is to hang down by its own weight, or by an overload.

3---cream fac'd loon. This word, which signifies a base abject fellow, is now only used in Scotland; it was formerly common in England, but spelt lown, and is justly considered by Horne Tooke as the past participle of to low or abase. Lowt has the same origin.

4. Paich, an appellation of contempt, signifying fool or low wretch.

5 i. e. they infect others who see them with cowardice. In King Henry V. the King says to the conspirators, Your cheeks are paper.

6 Sear is dry, withered. We have the same expression and sentiment in Spenser's Pastorals:

*Also my lustful leaf is drie and seare.'
For “way of life' Johnson would read May of life ; in which he
was followed by Steevens and others. Warburton contended for
the original reading, and was followed by Mason. At a sub-
scquent period Steevens acquiesced in the propriety of the old
reading, way of life, which he interprets, with his predecessors,
course or progress. Malone followed the same track. The fact
is that these ingenious writers have mistaken the phrase, which
is neither more nor less than a simple paraphrasis for life. A
few examples will make this clear:-

•If that when I was mistress of myself,
And in my way of youth clear and untainted.'

Massinger's Roman Actor.

And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honour, breath,
Which the poor heart would fain deny, but dare ariel

not. Seyton !-

Enter Seyton.
Sey. What is your gracious pleasure?
Macb.

What news more?
Sey. All is confirm’d, my lord, which was re-

ported. Macb. i'll fight, till from my bones my flesh be

hack’d. Give me my armour. Sey.

"Tis not needed yet. Macb. I'll put it on. Send out more horses, skirry the country round;

'In way of youth I did enjoy one friend.'

A very Woman. i. e. in my youth.

So much Robler

Shall be your way of justice. Thierry and Theodoret. i. e. your justice.

lle shall be found, and such a way of justice inflicted
on him?'

Queen of Corinth. i. e. such justice.

Thus ready for the way of life or death,
I wait the sharpest blow."

Pericles. i. e. for life or death.

" lo there no other way of mercy,

But I must needs to the Tower?' King Henry VIII. This note I have abridged from Mr. Gifford's edition of Massinger, vol. iv. p. 309. “I should have been contented with fewer examples (says that excellent critic), had not my respect for Shakspeare made me desirous of disencumbering his page, ly ascertaining beyond the possibility of cavil the meaning of an expression so long and so laboriously agitated. To return to Macbeth : the sere and yellow leaf is the commencement of the winter of life or of old age; to this he has attained, and he laments, in a strain of inimitable pathos and beauty, that it is unaccompanied by those blessings which render it supportable. As his manhood was without virtue, so he has now before him the certain prospect of an old age without bonour.'

7 i. e. scour the country round.

« PreviousContinue »