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Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my

hand ? no, this my hand will rather Thy multitudinous sea incarnadine, Making the green one red

Enter Lady. Lady. My hands are of your colour ; but I shame To wear a heart fo white : I hear a knocking [Knock. At the south entry. Retire we to our chainber; A little water clears us of this deed. How easy is it then? your constancy Hath left you unattended--hark, more knocking! [Knock. Get on your night-gown left occafion calls us, And shew us to be watchers; be not lost So poorly in your thoughts. Macb. To know my deed, 'twere best not know my

felf. Wake, Duncan, with this knocking ! 'would thou couldi!


Et tota Tethys per meas currat mandes,
Hærebit altum facinus.

Hercul. Fur. Ac. 5.

'Tis said of Oedipus, in Sophocles, that neither the waters of thie Danube or Phasis can waih him and his house clean,

Oιμαι γαρ οτανίλσρον οτε φασιν αν
Νοψαι καθαρμω τηνδε την στεγην.

In allusion to their expiatory washings in the sea or rivers. Various were the ceremonies of washing among the Jews as well as Gentiles; particularly that of the hands. Hence came the proverb of doing things with unwash'd hands; 1. e. impudently without any regard to decency and religion. Henry IV. Act. 3. Fal. Rob me the Exchequer the first thing thou dost, and do it with unwashed hands too. UPTON.

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Macbeth's guilty Conscience, and Fears of Banquo.

Enter Macbeth to his Lady. Lady. How now, my lord, why do you keep alone ? Of forrieít fancies your companions making, Using thote thoughts, which should indeed, have died With them they think on? things without all remedy Should be without regard; what's done, is done.

Macb. We have fcotch'd (14) the snake, not kill'd it. She'll close and be herself; whilst our poor malice Remains in danger of her former tooth. But let both worlds disjoint, and all things suffer, Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep In the affliction of these terrible dreains That shal e us nightly. Better be with the dead, (Ilhom we, to gain our place, have sent to peace,) Than on the torture of the mind to lie In restless ecstacy --Duncan is in his grave: After life's fitful fever, he fleeps well; Treason has done his worst; nor steel, nor poison, Malice domestic, foreign levy, nothing Can touch him farther!

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(14) Scotch'd.] This reading is Mr. Theobald's, the old one is feorch'd, which Mr. Uplon wou'd attempt to defend by telling tif," the allufion is to the story of the Hydra. We have scorch'd the snake, we have indeed, Hercules like, cut off one of its heads, and leorch'd it, as it were, as he did, aliifted by folaus, hindering that one head, tlus fcorch’d, from sprouting again ; but such a wound will close and cure; our hydra-laakc has other heads still, which to me are as dangerous as Duncan's, particularly that of Bangun and Ficance,'' &c. The allusion is learned and elegant, Crit, Observat. p. 154. But learned and elegant as it is, I am apt to imagine Mr. Theol ald's the true wore: the fentence seems to confirm that fuppofition; however, Mr. Upton's remark is worth observing

O full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife!
Thou know'st, that Banquo and his Fleance lives.

Lady. But in them, nature's copy's not eternal.

Macb. There's comfort yet, they are affailable ;
Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown
His cloyster'd Aight, ere to black Hecate's summons
The (15) fhard-born beetle with his drowsy hums
Hath rung night's yawning peal, there shall be done
A deed of dreadful note.

Lady. What's to be done?

Macb. Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, 'Till thou applaud the deed: come, (16) feeling night, Skarf up the tender eye of pitiful day, And with thy bloody and invifible hand Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond, Which keeps me pale ; light thickens, and the crow Makes wing to th' rooky wood: Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, Whiles right's black agents to their prey do rouse.

Scene V. Scene changes to a Room of State. Banquet prepared. Macbeth, Lady, Roffe, Le

Lords and Attendants.


Lady. My royal lord, You do not give the cheer; the feast is fold, That is not often vouched, while 'tis making, 'Tis given with welcome. To feed, were best at home; Froin thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony; Meeting were bare without it.

[The ghost of Banquo rises, and fits in Macbeth's place. Macó. Sweet remembrancer!


(15) Shard-born,] i. e. fays Warburton, the Beetle hatch'd in clefts of wood. Upton proposes frarn-born, i. e. the beetle born from dung. See remarks on three plays of Ben Jonsor, p. 109. (16) Sceling,] i. e. blinding, a term in falconry.

Now good digestion wait an appetite,
And health on both !

Lon. May't please your highness fit.

Macb. Here had we now our country's honour roof'd, Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present, (Whom may I rather challenge for unkindness, Than pity for mifchance!)

Rolle. His absence, Sir, Lays blame upon his promise. Please't your highness To grace us with your royal company? Macb. The table's full!

[Starting Len. Here's a place reserv'd, Sir. Macb. Where?

Len. Here, my good lord,
What is’t that moves your highness ?

Macb. Which of you have done this?
Lords. What, my good lord ?
Macb. Thou càn'st not say, I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me.

Rolle. Gentlemen, rife; his highness is not well.

Lady. Sit, worthy friends, my lord is often thus, And hath been from his youth. Pray you, keep feat, The fit is momentary on a thought He will again be well. If much you note him, You shall offend him, and extend his passion: Feed, and regard him not.-Are you a man?

[To Macb. afide. Macb. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that Which might appal the devil.

Lady. O proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear; [afide. This is the air-drawn dagger, which you said, Led you to Duncan. Oh, these flaws and starts (17) Impostors to true fear, would well become

A wo

(17) Impostors, &c.] Mr. Johnson says of this passage, that

as fiarts can neither with propriety nor sense be called Impostures to true fear, something else was undoubtedly intended by the au who perhaps wrote


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A woman's story at a winter's fire,
Authoriz'd by her grandam. Shame itself
Why do you make such faces? when all's done,
You look but on a stool.

Macb. Pr’ythee, see there !
Behold! look! lo! how say you?

[Pointing to the ghost. Why, what care I! if thou canst nod, speak to0.If charnel houses and our graves must send Those, that we bury, back: our monuments Shall be the maws of kites.

[The ghost vanishes. Lady. What? quite unman’d in folly? Macb. If I stand here, I saw him.Lady. Fie, for shame!

Macb. Blood hath been shed ere now i'th'olden time, Ere human statute purg'd the gen’ral weal ; Ay, and since too, nurthers have been perform’d Too terrible for th'ear: the times have been, That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end; but now they rise again With twenty mortal murthers on their crowns, And push us from our stools: this is more strange Than such a murther is.

Lady. My worthy lord,
Your noble friends do lack you.

Macb. I do forget.-
Do not muse at me my most worthy friends,
I have a strange infirmity which is nothing,


-These flaws and starts Impostu es tui to jia'; cc. These symptoms of terror and amazement might better become “impoftures true only to fear, might become a coward at the recital of such faliloods as no man cuid credit, waoie ucilerstanding was not werk ned by 113 terturs; Cales told by a voman over a fire on the tisor y of 'ier gran iam.”- Mr. Warburton explains the pallage thus, “ Thete fans and stats, as they are indications of your needlcis fears, are the imitators or impostors only of those which arise from a fear wellgrounded.”

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