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Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated2 heart knock at my ribs,
Against the use of nature? Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings:
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical,
Shakes so my single state of man,3 that function
Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is,
But what is not.4
Ban. Look, how our partner's rapt.
Macb. If chance will have me king, why, chance
may crown me, Without my stir.
Ban. New honours come upon him
Like our strange garments; cleave not to their
mould, But with the aid of use.
Macb. Come what come may;
Time and the hour runs through the roughest day.*
Ban. Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.
Macb. Give me your favour:8—my dull brain was wrought
a —— seated —] i. e. fixed, firmly placed.
5 single state of man,] Dr. Johnson says, that the single
state of man seems to be used by Shakspeare for an individual, in opposition to a commonwealth, or conjunct body. But Mr. Steevens thinks that the single state of Macbeth may signify his weak and debile state of mind.
Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is, But what is not."] All powers of action are oppressed and crushed by one overwhelming image in the mind, and nothing is present to me but that which is really future. Of things now about me I have no perception, being intent wholly on that which has yet no existence. Johnson.
1 Time and the hour runs through the roughest day."] \. e. time and occasion will carry the thing through, and bring it to some determined point and end, let its nature be what it will.
6 favour:"] i.e. indulgence, pardon.
With things forgotten.7 Kind gentlemen, your
Are register'd where every day I turn
Ban. Very gladly.
Macb. Till then, enough.—Come, friends.
Flourish. Enter Duncan, Malcolm, Donal-
Dun. Is execution done on Cawdor? Are not Those in commission yet return'd?
Mai. My liege,
They are not yet come back. But I have spoke
Dun. There's no art,
To find the mind's construction in the face:8
7 my dull brain was wrought
With things forgotten.] My head was worked, agitated, put into commotion.
s To find the mind's const motion in the face:] Dr. Johnson seems to have understood the word construction in this place in
He was a gentleman on whom I built
Enter Macbeth, Banquo, Rosse, and Angus.
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me: Thou art so far before,
That swiftest wing of recompense is slow
To overtake thee. 'Would thou hadst less deserv'd;
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine! only I have left to say,
More is thy due than more than all can pay.
Macb. The service and the loyalty I owe, In doing it, pays itself. Your highness' part Is to receive our duties: and our duties Are to your throne and state, children, and servants; Which do but what they should, by doing every
thing Safe toward your love and honour.
Dun. Welcome hither:
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
Ban. There if I grow,
The harvest is your own.
Dun. My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
the sense of frame or structure; but the school-term was, I believe, intended by Shakspeare. The meaning is—We cannot construe or discover the disposition of the mind by the lineaments of the face. Malone.
9 full of growing.] Is, exuberant, perfect, complete in thy
Our eldest, Malcolm; whom we name hereafter,
Macb. The rest is labour, which is not us'd for
I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful
Dun. My worthy Cawdor!
Macb. The prince of Cumberland!8—That is a
step, On which I must fall down, or else o'er-leap,
For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires!
Dun. True, worthy Banquo; he is full so valiant;
And in his commendations I am fed;
1 hence to Inverness,] Dr. Johnson observes, in his Journey
to the Western Islands of Scotland, that the walls of the castle of Macbeth, at Inverness, are yet standing. Steevens.
9 The prince of Cumberland!] 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.
Enter Lady Macbeth, reading a letter.
Lady M. They met me in the day of success; and I have learned by the penfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them further, they made themselves—air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king,3 who all-hailed me, Thane of Cawdor; by which title, before, these weird sisters saluted me, and referred me to the coming on of time, tvith, Hail, king that shalt be! This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness; that thou mightest not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it to thy heart, and farewell.
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
highly, That would'st thou holily; would'st not play false, And yet would'st wrongly win: thou'd'st have, great
Glamis, That which cries, Thus thou must do, if thou have it;
'missives/row the king,] i. e. messengers.