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1. Witch. Ay, Sir, all this is so. — But why
[Musick. The Witches dance and vanish. ]
What's your grace's will?
No, my lord.
lord. Macb. Infected be the air whereon they ride; And damn'd all those that trust them!
- I did hear The galloping of horse: who was't came by?
Len. 'Tis two or three, my lord, that bring you word,
Fled to England ?
Macb. Time, thou anticipat'st 24%) my dread exploits :
upon Fife; give to the edge o' the sword
said to be boltered. Such a term, is therefore strictly applicable to Banquo, who had twenty trenched gashes on his head. Steerens.. 24?) sprights i, e. spirits. Steevens. 248) In the ancient almanacks the unlucky days were distinguished by a mark of reprobation. Sieerens. 2+9) To anticipate is here to prevent, by taking away the opportunity. Johnson. 250) Firstling in ita primitive sense is ihe first produce or offspring. Here it means the thing first thought or done. Steevens.
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
SCENE I 1.
Fife. A Room in Macduffs Castle.
He had none;
You know not, Whether it was his wisdom, or his fear.
L. Macd. Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his babes, His mansion, and his titles, in a place From whence himself does fly? He loves us not, He wants the natural touch 255): for the poor wren, The most diminutive of birds, will fight, Her young ones in her nest, against the owl. All is the fear, and nothing is the love; As little is the wisdom, where the flight So runs against all reason. Rosse.
My dearest coz', I pray you, school yourself. But, for your husband, He is noble, wise, judicious, and best knows The lits o’the season 25). I dare not speak much further, But cruel are the times, when we are traitors, And do not know ourselves 255); when we hold rumour From what we fear 256), yet know not what we fear;
251) That trace his line i. e. follow, succeed in it. Sree
252) i. e. our Right is considered as an evidence of our guilt. Steevens. 253) Natural sensibility. He is not touched with natural affection. Johnson. 25*) Perhaps the meaning is,
what is most fitting to be done in every conjunclure. Anonymous. 255) i. e. when we are considered by the state as traitors, while at the same time we are unconscious of guilt: when we appear to others so different from what we really are, that we seem not to know ourselves. Malone. 256) to hold
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Sirrah 258), your father's dead;
What, with worms and flies !
L. Macd. Poor bird! thou 'dst never fear the net, nor lime, The pit - fall, nor the gin.
Son. Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are not set for. My father is not dead, for all your saying.
L. Macd. Yes, he is dead; how wilt thou do for a father?
L. Macd. Thou speak’st with all thy wit; and yet, i' faith, With wit enough for thee.
Son. Was my father a traitor, mother?
means, in this place, to believe, as we såy, I hold such a thing to be true i. e. I take it, I believe it to be so. The sense of the whole passage will then be: When we are led by our fears to beliere every rumour of danger we hear, yet are not conscious to ourselves of any crime for which we should be disturbed with those fears. Steevens. 257) Perhaps the poet wrote: And each way move. If they Noated each way, it was needless to inform us that they moved. The words may have been casually transposed, and erroneously pointed. Steevens. 358) Sirrah in our author's time was not a' term of reproach, but generally used by masters to servants, parents to children etc. So before, in this play, Macbeth says to his servant: Sirrah, . word
you: attend those men our pleasure? Malone.
L. Macd. Every one, that does so, is "a traitor, and must be hang'd.
Son. And must they all be hang'd, that swear and lie?
Son. Then the liars and swearers are frols: for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men, and hang
L. Macd. God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt thou do for a father?
Son. If he were dead, you'd weep for him: if you Would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father. L. Macd. Poor prattler! how thou talk'st?
Enter a Messenger.
you will take a homely man's advice, Be not found here; hence, with
Whither should I fly?
L. Macd. I hope, in no place so unsanctified,
He's a traitor.
259) i. e. I am perfectly acquainted with your rank of ho.
Steevens. 269) To do worse is, to let her and her children be destroyed without warning. Johaso n.
Son. Thou ly’st, thou shag-ear'd villain 261).
He has kill'd me, mother: Run away, I pray you. (Dies. Exit L. Macduff, crying murder
and pursued by the murderers. ]
Enter Malcolm and Macduff
Let us rather Hold fast the mortal sword;
d, like good men,
What I believe, r'll wail ;
361) Perhaps we should read shag - hair'd, for it is an abusive epithet very often used in our ancient plays etc. Sreevens, 964) Down- falln birthdom. The allusion is to a man whom something valuable is about to be taken by violence, and who, that be may defend it without incumbrance, lays it on the ground and slands over it with his weapon in his hand. Our birthdom, or birthright, says he, lies on the ground; let us, like men who are 10 fight for what is dearest to them, not abandon it, but stand over it and defend it. Jolinson. 263) and yelld out like syllable of dolour. This presents a ridiculous image. But what is jusiquated under it is noble; that the portents and prodigies, in the skies, of which mention is made before, showed that heaven sympathised with Scotland, Warburton. 20*) to friend i. e. to befriend. sieerens. , 265) and wisdom, that is, and 'tis wisdom. Healb.