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ing a burning bason before the eye, which dried up its humidity. Whence the Italian, abacinare, to I'liml.


That tw>fold balls and treble scepters carry:] This was intended as a compliment to king James the First, who first united the two islands and the three kingdoms under one head; whose house too was said to be descended from Banquo. Warburton.

Of this last particular, our poet seems to have been thoroughly aware, having represented Banquo not only as an innocent, but as a noble character, whereas he was confederate with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan. Steevens.

51 Eater Malcolm anrf Macdufk.] This scene is almost literally taken from the Chronicle. The part of Holinshed, that relates to this play, is an abridgment of John Bellenden's translation of the Nobl e Cleric, Hector Boece, imprinted at Edinburgh, in folio, 1541. Mr. Farmer has incontrovertibly proved that Shakspeare had not the story from Buchanan, as has been asserted. Steevens.

58 Why in that rawness—] Without previous provision, without due preparation, without maturity of counsel. Johnson.

M Thy title is affeei'd!] Affeei'd, a law term for confirmed. Pope.

5* My countryman; but yet I know him not.] Malcolm discovers Rosse to be his countryman, while he is yet at some distance from him, by his dress. This circumstance loses its propriety on our stage, as all the characters are uniformly represented in English habits. Steevkns.

*5 A modern eestacy:] I believe modern is only foolish or trifling. Johnson.

M quarry ] Quarry is a term used both in

/ointing and falconry. In the first of these diversion* it means the death of the deer, in the second, the game of the hawk after she has seized it, and u tiring on it.

57 Hell is murky! Sfc.] Lady Macbeth is acting over, in a dream, the business of the murder, and encouraging her husband as when awake. She therefore would never have said any thing of the terrors of hell to one whose conscience she saw was too much alarmed already for her purpose. She certainly imagines herself here talking to Macbeth, who (she supposes) has just said, Hell is murky (i. e. hell is a dismal place to go to in consequence of such a deed), and repeats his words in contempt of his cowardice.

Hell is murky!-Fie, my krd,fo! a soldier, and


This explanation, I think, gives a spirit to the passage, which has hitherto appeared languid, being, perhaps, misapprehended by those who placed a full point at the conclusion of it. Steevens.

51 mated,] Conquer'd or subdued. Pope.

Rather astonished, confoundtd. Johnson.

49 And mingle av/A the English epicures:] The reproach of Epicurism, on which Mr. Theobald has bestowed a note, is nothing more than a natural invective uttered by an inhabitant of a barren country, against those who have more opportunities of luxury. Johnson. .

Shakspeare took the thought from Holinshed, p. 180, of his History <>f Scot1and: "For manie pf the "people abhorring the riotous manners and superfluous "gorniandizing brought in among them by the Eng"lyshemen, were willing inough to receive this "Donald for their king, trusting (because he had "beene brought up in the Isles, with the old customes "and manners of their antient nation, without tast of "English likerous delicats),'' S/-c. The same historian informs us, that in those days the Scots eat but once a day, and even then very sparingly. Stbbvens.

* those linen cheeks oj thine

4rc counsellors to fear.] The meaning is, they infect others who see them, with cowardice.


61 my way of life

IsfalTn into the sear,] As there is no rektion between the way of life, and fallen into the sear, I am inclined to think that the IV is only an M inverted, and that it was originally written,

my May of life,

I am now passed from the spring to the autumn of my dnys, but I am •without those comforts that should succeed the sprightliness of bloom, and support me in this melon* tholy season.

The author has May in the same sense elsewhere..


* skier the country round;] To skirr is to scour.

"* Till famine cling thee:] To cling is to consume, to waste away. Steevems.

64 / pull in resolution ;] Though this is the reading of all the editions, yet, as it is a phrase without either example, elegance, or propriety, it is surely better to read,

/ pall in resolution,

I languish in my constancy, my confidence begins to forsake me. It is scarcely necessary to observe how easily pall might be changed into pull by a negligent writer, or mistaken for it by an unskilful printer. With this emendation Dr. Warburton and Mr. Heath concur. Johnson.

65 / bear a charmed life,] In the days of chivalry, the champions' arms being ceremoniously blessed, each took an oath, that he used no charmed weapons. Macbeth, according to the law of arms, or perhaps only in allusion to this custom, tells Macduff of the security he had in the prediction of the spirit

To this likewise Posthumus alludes iu Cymbeline, act. v.

"• I in my own woe charmed

"Could not find death." Upton.

88 Had I as many sons as I have hairs, 1 would not wish them to a fairer death: And so his knell is knoll'd.'] This incident is thus related from Henry of Huntingdon by Camden in his Remains, from which our author probably copied it:

When Seyward, the martial earl of Northumberland, understood that his son, whom he had sent in service against the Scotchmen, was slain, he demanded whether his wounds were in the fore part or hinder part of his body. When it was answered, in the fore part, he replied, "I am right glad; neither wish I any "other death to me or.mine." Johnson.

Shakspeare has here somehow let slip a most striking opportunity for his favourite play upon words. I wonder much at his not writing ' Had I as many heirs as I have hairs'

67 / see tltce compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl,] Whether this is a metaphorical expression, or only a blunder of the press, I cannot determine. Mr. Rowe first made the alteration, which has been continued by succeeding editors, who read peers. The following, passage from Ben Jonson's Entertainment of the Queen and Prince at Althorpe, may countenance the old reading, which I have inserted in the text:

"Queen, prince, duke and earls,
"Countesses, ye courtly pearls," &c.


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