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fair kirkyaird, and weill biggit about with staine and lime. Into this sanctuary there is three tombés of staine formit like litle chappels with ane braid gray marble or quhin staine in the gavile of ilk ane of the tombes. In the staine of the tomb there is written in Latin letters Tumulus Regum Scotiæ, that is, the tombe or grave of the Scotts kinges. Within this tombe according to our Scotts and Erische chronickles, ther layes fortyeight crouned Scotts kinges, through the quhilk this ile has beine richlie dotat be the Scots kinges, as we have said. * * * Within this sanctuarie also lyes the maist past of the Lords of the Iles with ther lynago, two clan Lypes with ther" lynage, M'Kynnon and M'Guare, with ther lineages, with sundrie uthers inhabitants of the hail'iles, because this sanctuary was wont to be the sepulture of the best men of all the isles; and als of our kinge's as we have said; because it was the maist honorable and anciend place that was in Scotland in thair days as we read.”—New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845, vol. rii. p. 313.
ACT III. (1) SCENE III.
Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly!
Thou mayst revenge.-0, slave! The murder of Banquo is told very briefly by Holinshed :
“The words also of the thrée weird sisters would not out of his mind, which as they promised him the kingdome, so likewise did they promise it at the same time unto the posteritie of Banquho. He willed therefore the same Banquho with his sonne named Fleance, to come to a supper that he had prepared for them, which was in deed, as he had devised, present death at the hands of certeine murderers, whom he hired to execute that deed, appointing them to meete with the same Banquho and his sonne without the palace, as they returned to their lodgings, and there to glea them, so that he would not have his house slandered, but that in time to come he might cleare himselfe, if anie thing were laid to his charge upon anie suspicion that might arise.
“ It chanced yet by the benefit of the darke night, that though the father were slaine, the sonne yet by the helpe of Almightie God reserving him to better fortune, escaped that danger: and afterwards having some inkeling (by the admonition of some friends which he had in the court) how his life was sought no lesse than his fathers, who was slaine not by chance modlie (as by the handling of the matter Makbeth would have had it to appeare) but even upon a prepensed devise : whereupon to avoid further perill he fled into Wales."
(2) SCENE V.– Enter HECATE.] “Shakspeare seems to have been unjustly censured for introducing Hecate among the modern witches. Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft,' b. ii. c. ii. and c. xvi., and b. xii. c. iii., mentions it as the common opinion of all writers, that witches were supposed to have nightly meetings with Herodias, and the pagan gods, and that in the night-times they ride abroad with Diana, the goddess of the pagans, &c. Their dame or chief leader seems always to have been an old pagan, as the Ladie Sibylla, Minerva, or Diana.'”-TOLLET.
(3) SCENE V.--Song. (Without.] Come away, come away, fc.] The song actually fung here we conjecture to be that given in the corresponding scene of Middleton's “Witch," and in D'Avenant's paraphrase of Macbeth. It was probably written by Shakespeare, and derived by Middleton and D'Avenant from stave tradition, or from some less imperfect copy of "Macbeth” than is now known.
Song in “ The Witch." “ Come away, come away;
in the aire Heccat, Heccat, come away. Hec. I come, I come,
Malkin my sweete spirit and I.
Over woods, high rocks, and mountaines,
Or cannon's throat, our height can reache." “The Witch” is supposed to have been written about 1613, but it was not printed before 1778. D'Avenant's alteration of “Macbeth was printed a century earlier. From this circumstance, as well as from the differences observable in passages common to both, it may be inferred that the latter did not copy those passages from Middleton, but that each derived them from the same original. The following is D'Avenant's version of the preceding song :
“Come away Heccate, Heccate ! Oh come away :
Hec. I come, I come, with all the speed I may."
Malking my sweet Spirit and I.
(1) SCENE I.-- Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.) “Dr. Warburton has adduced classical authority for the connexion between Hecate and this animal, with a view to trace the reason why it was the agent and favourite of modern witches. It may be added, that among the Egyptians the cat was sacred to Isis or the Moon,-their Hécate or Diana, and accordingly worshipped with great honour. Many cat-idols are still prescrved in the cabinets of the curious, and the sistrum or rattle used by the priests of Isis is generally ornamented with a figure of a cat with a crescent on its head.”DOUCE.
(2). SCENE I:- Music and Song, “Black spirits,"..gc.)
. This charm song,” like the song in Act III., is found both in Middleton's “ Witch and D'Avenant's altoration of “ Macbeth":
“ Black Spirits, and White,
Red Spirits and Gray;
(3) SCENE III.
Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
'Tis hard to reconcile.] The foregoing dialogue very closely follows Holinshed's abridgment of the Scottish history :
" At his comming unto Malcolme, he declared into what great miserie the estate of Scotland was brought, by the detestable cruelties exercised by the tyrant Makbeth, having committed manie horrible slaughters and murders, both as well of the nobles as commons, for the which he was hated right mortallie of all his lioye people, desirida nothing more than to be delivered of that intollerable and most heavie yoke of thraldome, which they sustained at such a caitaifes hands.
"Malcolme hearing Makduffes woords, which he uttered in verie lamentable sort, for meere compassion and verie ruth that pearsed his sorrowfull hart, bewailing the miserable state of his countrie, he fetched a deepe sigh; which Makduffe perceiving, began to fall most earnestlie in hand with him, to enterprise the delivering of the Scotish people out of the hands of so cruell and bloudie a tyrant, as Makbeth by too manie plaine experiments did shew himselfe to be : which was an easie matter for him to bring to passe, considering not onelie the good title he had, but also the earnest desire of the people to have some occasion ministred, whereby they might be revenged of those notable injuries, which they dailie susteined by the outragious crueltie of Makbeths misgovernance. Though Malcolme was verie sorrowfull for the oppression of his countriemen the Scots, in maner as Makduffe had declared ; yet doubting whether he were come as one that ment unfeinedlie as he spake, or else as sent from Makbeth to betraie him, he thought to have some further triall, and thereupon dissembling his mind at the first, he answered as followeth.
“I am trulie verie sorie for the miserie chanced to my countrie of Scotland, but though I have never so great affection to relieve the same, yet by reason of certeine incurable vices, which reigne in me, I am nothing meet thereto. First, such immoderate lust and voluptuous sensualitie (the abhominable founteine of all vices) followeth me, that if I were made king of Scots, I should seeke to defloure young maids and matrones, in such wise that mine intemperancie should be more importable unto you, than the bloudie tyrannie of Makbeth now is.' Heereunto Makduffe answered: This suerlie is a verie evill fault, for manie noble princes and kings have lost both lives and kingdomes for the same; neverthelesse there are women enow in Scotland, and therefore follow my counsell. Make thy selfe king, and I shall conveie the matter so wiselie, that thou shalt be so satisfied at thy pleasure in such secret wise, that no man shall be aware thereof.'
" Then said Malcolme, 'I am also the most avaritious creature on the earth, so that if I were king, I shonld séeke so manie waies to get lands and goods, that I would slea the most part of all the nobles of Scotland by surmized accusations, to the end I might injoy their lands, goods, and possessions ; and therefore to shew you what mischiefe may insue on you through mine unsatiable covetousness, I will rehearse unto you a fable. There was a fox having a sore place on hir overset with a swarme of flies, that continuallie sucked out hir bloud : and when one that came by and saw this manner, demanded whether she would have the fies driven beside her, she answered no : for if these flies that are alreadie full, and by reason thereof sucké not verie egerlie, should be chased awaie, other that are emptie and fellie an hungred should light in their places, and sucke out the residue of my bloud farre more to my greevance than these, which now being satisfied doo not much annoie me. Therefore saith Malcolme, suffer me to remaine where I am, lest if I atteine to the regiment of your realme, mine unquenchable avarice may proove such; that ye would thinke the displeasures which now grieve you, should seeme easie in respect of the unmeasurable outrage, which might insue through my coming amongst you.'
* Makduffe to this made answer, “how it was a far woorse fault than the other : for avarice is the root of all mischiefe, and for that crime the most part of our kings have béene slaine and brought to their finall end. Yet notwithstanding follow my counsell, and take upon thée the crowne. There is gold and riches inough in Scotland to satisfie thy gréedie desire.' Then said Malcolme againe, 'I am furthermore inclined to dissimulation, telling of leasings and all other kinds of deceit, so that I naturallie rejoise in nothing so much as to betraie and deceive such as put anie trust or confidence in my woords. Then sith there is nothing that more becommeth a prince than constancie, veritie, truth, and justice, with the other laudable fellowship of those faire and noble vertues which are comprehended onelie in soothfastnesse, and that lieng utterlie overthroweth the same; you see how unable I am to governe anie province or region: and therefore sith you have remedies to cloke and hide all the rest of my other vices, I praie you find shift to cloke this vice amongst the residue.'
" Then said Makduffe: “This yet is the woorst of all, and there I leave thee, and therefore saie ; Oye unhappie and miserable Scotishmen, which are thus scourged with so manie and sundrie calamities, ech one above other! Ye have one curssed and wicked tyrant that now reigneth over you, without anie right or title, oppressing you with his most bloudie crueltie. This other that hath the right to the crowne, is so replet with the inconstant behaviour and manifest vices of Englishmen, that he is nothing woorthie to injoy it; for by his own confession he is not onelie avaritious, and given to unsatiable lust, but so false a traitor withall, that no trust is to be had unto anie woord he speaketh. Adieu Scotland, for now I account my selfe a banished man for ever, without comfort or consolation :' and with those woords the brackish teares trickled downe his chéekes verie abundantlie.
“At the last, when he was readie to depart, Malcolme tooke him by the sleeve, and said: 'Be of good comfort Makduffe, for I have none of these vices before remembred, but have jested with thée in this manner, onelie to proove thy mind: for diverse times héeretofore hath Makbeth sought by this manner of meanes to bring me into his hands, but the more slow I have shewed my selfe to condescend to thy motion and request, the more diligence shall I use in accomplishing the same.'
ACT V. (1) SCENE IV.
the confident tyrant
Our setting down before't.] "In the meane time, Malcolme purchased such favor at king Edwards hands, that old Siward earle of Northumberland was appointed with ten thousand men to go with him into Scotland, to support him in this enterprise, for recoverie of his right. "After these newes were spread abroad in Scotland, the nobles drew into two severall factions, the one taking part with Makbeth, and the other with Malcolme. Heereupon insued oftentimes sundrie bickerings, and diverse light skirmishes : for those that were of Malcolmes side, would not jeopard to joine with their enimies in a pight field, till his comming out of England to their support. But after that Makbeth perceived his enimies power to increase, by such aid as came to them foorth of England with his adversarie Malcolme, he recoiled backe into Fife, there purposing to abide in campe fortified, at the castell of Dunsinane, and to fight with his enimies, if they ment to pursue him; howbeit some of his friends advised him, that it should be best for him, either to make some agréement with Malcolme, or else to flée with all speed into the Iles, and to take his treasure with him, to the end he might wage sundrie great princes of the realme to take his part, and reteine strangers, in whome he might better trust than in his owne subjects, which stale dailie from him: but he had such confidence in his prophesies, that he beléeved he should never be vanquished, till Birnam wood were brought to Dunsinane; nor yet to be slaine with anie man, that should be or was borne of anie woman."
(2) SCENE VIII.- My better part.) The note on that long controverted expression, “Atalanta's better pari,” in “ As You Like It,” having been omitted in the proper place froin lack of room, it may be well to explain here that Atalanta's better part was not her modesty, nor her heels, nor her wit, as critics have variously conjectured, but simply her spiritual part. The old epitaph quoted by Mr. Whalley in the Variorum almost proves, although he was apparently unconscious of the meaning, that better part signified the immortal, the intelligent part :
“She who is dead and sleepeth in this tomb,
Had Rachel's comely face, and Leah's fruitful womb:
And Martha's care, and Mary's better part.”
“Or rather let me love, then be in love;
So let me chuse, as wife and friend to find,
No sex, both in the better part are men."
(3) SCENE VIII.—Re-enter MACDUFF, with KING MACBETH's head.] The catastrophe is thus told by the historian :-"Malcolme following hastilie after Makbeth, came the night before the battell unto Birnam wood; and when his armie had rested a while there to refresh them, he commanded everie man to get a bough of some trée or other of that wood in his hand, as big as he might beare, and to march foorth therewith in such wise, that on the next morrow they might come closelie and without sight in this manner within view of his enimies. On the morrow when Makbeth beheld them comming in this sort, he first marvelled what the matter ment, but in the end remembred himselfe that the prophesie which he had heard long before that time, of the comming of Birnam wood to Dunsinane castell, was likelie to be now fulfilled. Neverthelesse, he brought his men in order of battell, and exhorted them to doo valiantlie, howbeit his enimies had scarselie cast from them their boughs, when Makbeth perceiving their numbers, betooke him streict to flight, whome Makduffe pursued with great hatred, even till he came anto Lunfannaine, where Makbeth perceiving that Makduffe was hard at his backe, leapt beside his horsse, saieng; Thou traitor, what meaneth it that thou shouldst thus in vaine follow me that am not appointed to be slaine by anie creature that is borne of a woman, come on therefore, and receive thy reward which thou hast deserved for thy paines,' and therwithall he lifted up his swoord thinking to have slaine him.
“But Makduffe quicklie avoiding from his horsse, yer he came at him, answered (with his naked swoord in his hand) saieng : • It is true Makbeth, and now shall thine insatiable crueltie have an end, for I am even he that thy wizzards have told thée of, who was never born of my mother, but ripped out of her wombe:' therewithall he stept unto him, and slue him in the place. Then cutting his head from his shoulders, he set it upon a pole, and brought it unto Malcolme."
“Who could exhaust the praises of this sublime work ? Since The Eamenides' of Æschylus, nothing so grand and terrible has ever been written. The witches are not, it is true, divine Eumenides, and are not intended to be : they are ignoble and vulgar instruments of hell. A German poet, therefore, very ill understood their meaning, when he transformed them into mongrel beings, a mixture of fates, furies, and enchantresses, and clothed them with tragic dignity. Let no man venture to lay hand on Shakspeare's works thinking to improve anything essential: he will be sure to punish himself. The bad is radically odious; and to endeavour in any manner to ennoble it, is to violate the laws of propriety. Hence, in my opinion, Dante, and even Tasso, have been much more successful in their portraiture of dæmons than Milton. Whether the age of Shakspeare still believed in ghosts and witches, is a matter of perfect indifference for the justification of the use which in ‘Hamlet' and
Macbeth' he has made of pre-existing traditions. No superstition can be widely diffused without having a foundation in human nature : on this the poet builds; he calls up from their hidden abysses that dread of the unknown, that presage of a dark side of nature, and a world of spirits, which philosophy now imagines it has altogether exploded. In this manner he is in some degree both the portrayer and the philosopher of superstition; that is, not the philosopher who denies and turns it into ridicule, but, what is still more difficult, who distinctly exhibits its origin in apparently irrational and yet natural opinions. But when he ventures to make arbitrary changes in these popular traditions, he altogether forfeits his right to them, and merely holds up his own idle fancies to our ridicule. Shakspeare's picture of the witches is truly magical : in the short scenes where they enter, he has created for them a peculiar language, which, although composed of the usual elements, still seems to be a collection of formulæ of incantation. The sound of the words, the accumulation of rhymes, and the rhythmus of the verse, form, as it were, the hollow music of a dreary witch-dance. He has been abused for using the names of disgusting objects; but he who fancies the kettle of the witches can be made effective with agreeable aromatics, is as wise as those who desire that hell should sincerely and honestly give good advice. These repulsive things, from which the imagination shrinks, are here emblems of the hostile powers which operate in nature; and the repugnance of our senses is outweighed by the mental horror. With one another the witches discourse like women of the very lowest class ;, for this was the class to which witches were ordinarily sup