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SCENE VIII.-The same. Another part of the Plain.
Enter KING MACBETH.
Turn, hell-hound, turn !
I have no words,
[They fight K. MACB.
Thou losest labour :
Despair thy charm;
K. MACB. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
MACD. Then yield thee, coward,
I will not yield,
, , SIWARD, Ross, LENNOX, ANGUS, CAITHNESS, MENTEITH, and
Siw. Some must go off ; and yet, by these I see, So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
MAL. Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
Ross. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt;
Then he is dead ?
Had he his hurts before ?
Why, then, God's soldier be he!
He's worth more sorrow,
He's worth no more:
Re-enter MACDUFF, with KING MACBETH's head. (3)
Hail, king of Scotland ! [Flourish.
(1) SCENE III.—But in a sieve I'll thither sail.] In a pamphlet entitled “Newes from Scotland, declaring the damnable life and death of Doctor Fian, a notable sorcerer,' &c. 1591, which professes to expose a conspiracy of two hundred witches with Dr. Fian at their head, " to bewitch and drowne" King James in the sea, we read,
“Item-Agnis Tompson was brought again before the kings majesty and his council, and being examined of the meetings and detestable dealings of those witches, she confessed that upon the night of All-hallawn-even last she was accompanied as well with the persons aforesaid, as also with a great many other witches, to the number of two hundred, and that they altogether went by sea, each one in a riddle or sieve, and went in the same very substantially with flaggons of wine, making merry and drinking by the way in the same riddles or sieves, to the kirk of North Berwick in Lothian, and that after they had landed they took hands on the land and danced this reel or short dance, singing all with one voice,-.
"Commer goe ye before, commer goe ye,
(2) SCENE III.
Weary sev'n nights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine.] For a particular account of the manner in which this mischief was sometimes effected see note (4), p. 62, Vol. I. To what is there related, we need only add the following notable charm from “Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft : "_" A charme teaching how to hurt whom you list with images of war, &c. Make an image in his name, whom you would hurt or kill, of new virgine wax, under the right arme-poke whereof place a swallow's heart, and the liver under the left; then hang about the neck thereof a new thred in a new needle pricked into the member which you would have hurt, with the rehearsall of certain words:" &c.
(3) SCENE III.
What are these,
And yet are on't?] Compare Holinshed :-“It fortuned as Makbeth and Banquho journied towards Fores, where the king then laie, they went sporting by the waie togither without other companie, save onelie themselves, passing thorough the woods and fields, when suddenlie in the middest of a laund, there met them three women in strange and wild apparell, resembling creatures of elder world, whome when they attentivelie beheld, woondering much at the sight, the first of them spake and said, 'All haile Makbeth, thane of Glammis? (for he had latelie entered into that dignitie and office by the death of his father Sinell). The second of them said ; “Haile Makbeth thane of Cawdor.' But the third said; 'All haile Makbeth that héereafter shalt be king of Scotland.'
“Then Banquho; 'What manner of women (saith he) are you, that seeme so little favourable unto me, whereas to my fellow heere, besides high offices, ye assigne also the kingdome, appointing foorth nothing for me at all?'' Yes (saith the first of them)
We promise greater benefits unto thée, than unto him, for he shall reigne in deed, but with an unluckie end: neither shall he leave anie issue behind him to succeed in his place, where contrarilie thou in déed shalt not reigne at all, but of thée those shall be borne which shall governe the Scotish kingdome by long order of continuall descent.'
“ Herewith the foresaid women vanished immediatlie out of their sight. This was reputed at the first but some vaine fantasticall illusion by Makbeth and Banquho, insomuch that Banquho would call Makbeth in jest, king of Scotland; and Makbeth againe would call him in sport likewise, the father of manie kings. But afterwards the common opinion was, that these women were either the weird sisters, that is (as ye would say) the goddesses of destinie, or else some nymphs or feiries, indued with knowledge of prophesie by their necromanticall science, because everie thing came to passe as they had spoken. For shortlie after, the thane of Cawdor being condemned at Fores of treason against the king committed ; his lands, livings and offices were given of the kings liberalitie to Makbeth.”
(4) SCENE IV.—The prince of Cumberland.]." But shortlie after it chanced that king Duncane, having two sonnes by his wife which was the daughter of Siward earle of Northumberland, he made the elder of them called Malcolme prince of Cumberland, as it were thereby to appoint him his sucessor in the kingdome, immediatlie after his decease. Makbeth, sore troubled herewith, for that he saw by this means his hope sore hindered (where, by the old lawes of the realme, the ordinance was, that if he that should succeed were not of able age to take the charge upon himselfe, he that was next of bloud unto him should be admitted) he began to take counsell how he might usurpe the kingdome by force, having a just quarell so to doo (as he tooke the matter) for that Duncane did what in him lay to defraud him of all maner of title and claime, which he might in time to come, pretend unto the crowne.”
(5) SCENE VI.
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observd,
The air is delicate.] Sir Joshua Reynolds was struck,—as who possessing a spark of sensibility can fail to be, -with the exceeding beauty of this brief colloquy before the castle of Macbeth, and he observes on it, -" This short dialogue between Duncan and Banguo, whilst they are approaching the gates of Macbeth's castle, has always appeared to me a striking instance of what in painting is termed repose. Their conversation very naturally turns upon the beauty of its situation, and the pleasantness of the air; and Banquo, observing the martlets' nests in every recess of the cornice, remarks, that where those birds most breed and haunt, the air is delicate. The subject of this quiet and easy conversation rives that repose so necessary to the mind after the tumultuous bustle of the preceding scenes, and perfectly contrasts the scene of horror that immediately succeeds. "It seems as if Shakspeare asked himself, What is a prince likely to say to his attendants on such an occasion. Whereas the modern writers seem, on the contrary, to be always searching for new thoughts, such as would never occur to men in the situation which is represented. This also is frequently the practice of Homer, who, from the midst of battles and horrors, relieves and refreshes the mind of the reader by introducing some quiet rural image, a picture of domestick life."
(1) SCENE 11). —'T is said they eat each other.] Very many of the incidents connected with Duncan's death are not to be found in the narrative of that event, but are taken from the Chroniclers' account of King Duffe's murder. Among them are the prodigies mentioned in this speech :-“Monstrous sightes also that were seene without the Scottishe kingdome that yeare were these, horses in Lothian being of singuler beautie and swiftnesse, did eate their owne fleshe and would in nowise taste any other meate. In Angus there was a gentlewoman brought forth a child without eyes, nose, hande, or foote. There was a Sparhauke also strangled by an Owle. Neither was it any lesse wonder that the sunne, as before is sayd, was continually covered with cloudes, for vi. moneths space : But all men understood that the abhominable murder of king Duffe was the cause hereof."
(2) SCENE III.
He is already nam'd; and gone to Scone
To be invested.] “Scone is well known to have early obtained historical importance. It received, it would appear, the title of the Royal City of Scone,' so early as A.D. 906 or 909. The Pictish Chronicle informs us that Constantine the son of Ed, and Kellach the Bishop, together with the Scots, solemnly vowed to observe the laws and discipline of faith, the rights of the churches and of the Gospel, on the Hill of Credulity, near the Royal City of Scoan.' If the Stone of Destiny was transferred by Kenneth Mac Alpine from Dunstaffpage in Argyleshire to Scone in A.D. 838, we may see a reason for the title * Royal City,' which seems to have been acquired before the meeting of the Ecclesiastical Council. One of the most memorable of the combats with the Danes was fought at Collin near Scone, in the time of Donald IV. the son of Constantine II., for the possession of this stone. This must have been previous to A.D. 904, in which year Donald fell in battle at Forteviot. It is said that a religious house was established at Scone, when the stone was transferred by Kenneth Mac Alpine. During the reign of Alexander, Scone seems to have been occasionally a royal residence, and, like St. Andrews and other places in which monasteries were established, it was a market for foreign nations. Alexander addressed a writ to the merchants of England, inviting them to trade to Scone, and promising them protection on condition of their paying a custom to the monastery. This custom was an impost on all ships trading with Scone, from which it appears to have been anciently a port.
“ About a mile from the river there was at a comparatively recent period a bog called the full sca mere, which according to tradition has been covered by the tide, and in which when digging for a pond, stones similar to those in the bed of the Tay were found. Whatever may be the value of the commonly received fact as to the transference of the fatal stone to Scone, there can be no doubt that many of the Scottish kings were inaugurated here.
“ Edward I. having penetrated to the north as far as Elgin, and having reduced Baliol to a state of the most abject submission, on his return ordered the famous stone on which the Scottish kings had been wont to be crowned, to be removed from the Abbey of Scone and conveyed to Westminster, in testimony, says Hemingford, an English contemporary chronicler, of the conquest and surrender of the kingdom. "The restoration of the stone, though omitted in the treaty of Northampton (1328), was stipulated by a separate instrument. The stone, as is well known, was never restored.
This fatal štone,' says Sir Walter Scott, was said to have been brought from [reland by Fergus the son of Eric, who led the Dalriads to the shores of Argyleshire. Its virtues are preserved in the celebrated leonine verse :-
Ni fallat Futum, Scoti, quocunque locatum
Invenient lapidem, regnare tenentur ibidem. There were Scots who hailed the accomplishment of this prophecy at the accession of James VI. to the crown of England, and exulted that, in removing their palladium, the policy of Edward resembled that which brought the Trojan horse in triumph within their walls, and which occasioned the destruction of their royal family. The stone is still preserved, and forms the support of King Edward the Confessor's chair, which the sovereign occupies at his coronation.' In preparing this chair for the coronation of her present Majesty, some small fragments of this stone were broken off.”—New Statistical Account of Scotland, 1845, vol. x. p. 1047.
(3) SCENE III.
Where is Duncan's body?
MACD. Carried to Colme-kill.] “To the Highlanders of the present day, Iona is known as “Innis-nan-Druidhneach,' or the Island of tho Druids—as • li-cholum-chille,' or the Island of Colum, of the Coll, or Cemetery, from whence the English word Icolymkill is derived.
“In Macfarlane's MS., Advocates' library, there is a description of this island by Dean Monro, who travelled through the Western isles in 1549.
Colmkill.–Narrest this be twa myles of sea, layes the Isle the Erische call it I. colmkill, that is, Sanct Colm's Isle, ane faire mayne Isle of twa myle lange, and maire and ane myle braid, fertill and fruitfull of corn and store, and guid for fishing. Within this ile there is a monastery of Mounkes and ane uther of nuns, with a paroche kirke, and sundry other chappels dotat of auld be the kings of Scotland, and be Clandonald of the Iyles. This abbay forsaid wes the cathedrall kirk of the bischops of the lyles sen the tyme they were expulsed out of the lyle of Man by the Englishmen; for within the Iyle of Man was the cathedrall kirke, and living of auld. Within this ile of Colmkill, there is ane sanctuary also, or kirkaird, callit in Erische, Religoram, quhilk is a very