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" When love begins to sicken and decay,
BLACKSTONE, The following passage in Cupid's Revenge, a comedy by Beaumont and Fletcher, adds some support to Sir William Blackstone's emendation :
“ I'll speak it freely, always my obedience
“ And love preserved unto the prince.” So also do the following words, spoken by Henry, duke of Lancaster, to King Richard II. at their interview in the castle of Flint (a passage that Shakspere certainly had read, and probably remembered): “My sovereign lorde and kyng, the cause of my coming at this present is [your honour saved] to have againe restitution of my person, my landes, and heritage, through your favourable licence.” Holinshed's Chron. Vol. II. XX. Col. 1. a.
MALONE. 294. My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, scek to hide themselves
-Lacrimas non sponte cadentes
Lucan, 1. ix. We meet with the same sentiment again in the Winter's Tale. “ It seem'd sorrow wept to take leave of them, for their joy waded in tears."
-to Inverness,] Dr. Johnson ob. serves, in his Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland, that the walls of the castle of Macbeth, at Inverness, are yet standing
The circumstance of Duncan's visiting Macbeth is supported by history; for, from the Scottish Chronicle it
appears, that it was customary for the king to make a progress through his dominions every year. rat ei [Duncano] laudabilis consuetudo regni pertransire regiones semel in anno.” Fordun. Scotichron. lib. iv. c. 44.
Singulis annis ad inopum querelas audiendas perlustrabat provincias.” Buchan. lib. vii.
MALONE. 310. The prince of Cumberland! -] So, Holinshed, History of Scotland, p. 171 : “ Duncan having two sonnes, &c. he made the elder of them, called Malcome, prince of Cumberland, as it were thereby to appoint him successor in his kingdome immediatlie after his decease. Macbeth sorely troubled herewith, for that he saw by this means his hope sore hindered (where, by the old laws of the realme, the ordinance was, that if he that should succeed were not of able age to take the charge upon himself, he that was next of bloud unto him should be admitted), he began to take counsel how he might usurp the kingdome by force, having a just quarrel so to doe (as he tooke the matter), for that Duncane did what in him lay to defraud him of all manner of title and claime, which he might, in time to come, pretend unto the crowne.”
The crown of Scotland was originally not hereditary. When a successor was declared in the life-time of a king (as was often the case), the title of Prince of Cumberland was immediately bestowed on him as the mark of his designation. Cumberland was at that time
held by Scotland of the crown of England, as a fief.
STEEVENS. If the foregoing observation relative to the designation of the king's son as his successor, by conferring on him the title of prince of Cumberland, wanted any support, Bellenden's translation of Heclor Boece, fol. 183, would furnish it: “In the meane tyme kyng Duncane maid his son Malcolme Prince of Cubir, to signify that he suld regne after hym, quilk was gret displeseir to Macbeth, for it maid plane derogation to the thrid weird promitted afore to hymn be this weird sisteris."
MALONE. 322, -by the perfectest report] By the best intelligence.
JOHNSON. 343. And that which rather, &c.]. The difficulty of this line, " And that,” &c. seems to have arisen from its not being considered as part of the speech uttered by the object of Macbeth's ambition. As such it appears to me, and as such it ought, in my opinion, to be distinguished by Italick.
“ And that's what rather,'' &c. 'is Sir T. Hanmer's reading.
MALONE. 345. That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;] I meet with the same expression in lord Sterline's Julius Cæsar, 1607:
“ Thou in my bosom us’d to pour thy spright.” There is no earlier edition of Macbeth than that of 1623.
MALONE. 348. Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crown'd withal.] The crown
to which fate destines thee, and which preternatural agents endeavour to bestow upon thee. WARBURTON,
· Metaphysical, in our author's time, seems to have had no other meaning than 'supernatural. In the English Dictionary by H. C. 1655, Metaphysicks are thus explained : Supernatural arts."
MALONE. 359. The raven himself is hoarse. ] The messenger, says the servant, had hardly breath to make up his message ; to which the lady answers mentally, that he inay well want breath, such a message would add hoarseness to the raven. That even the bird, whose harsh voice is accustomed to predict calamities, could not croak the entrance of Duncan but in a note of unwonted harshness.
-Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, &c.] There is an invocation in Bussy d'Ambois, which in the turn of thought seems to resemble lady Macbeth's, but is less horrid :
Now all the peacefull regents of the night,
(The maker's treasurie) now not seeme to bee, To all but my approaching friends and mee.
mortal thoughts, -] This expression signifies not the thoughts of mortals, but mur. therous, deadly, or destructive designs. So, in act v.
“ Hold fast the mortal sword.” And in another place: “ With twenty mortal murthers.” JOHNSON.
-Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, &c.] In Pierce Penniless his Supplication to the Devil, by T. Nashe, 1992 (a very popular pamphlet of that time), our author might have found a particular description of these spirits, and of their office.
The second kind of devils, which he most enployetli, are those northern Martii, called the spirits of revenge, and the authors of massacres, and seedsmen of mischief; for they have commission to incense men to rapines, sacrilege, theft, murder, wrath, fury, and all manner of cruelties : and they command certain of the southern spirits to wait upon them, as also great Arioch, that is termed the spirit of revenge."
nor keep peace between The effect, and it !] The intent of lady Macbeth, evidently is, to wish that no womanish tenderness, or conscientious remorse, may hinder her purpose from proceeding to eifect; but neither this, her indeed any other sense, is expressed by