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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 more'! 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.

Welcome hither :
I have begun to plant thee, and will labour
To make thee full of growing.- Noble Banquo,
That hast no less deserv’d, nor must be known
No less to have done so ; let me infold thee,
And hold thee to my


[Embracing BANQUO. Ban.

There if I grow,
The harvest is your own.

My plenteous joys,
Wanton in fulness, seek to hide themselves
In drops of sorrow.--Sons, kinsmen, thanes,
And you whose places are the nearest, know,
We will establish our estate upon
Our eldest, Malcolm; whom we name hereafter,
The prince of Cumberland : which honour must
Not, unaccompanied, invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers. From hence to Inverness,
And bind us farther to you.

Macb. The rest is labour, which is not us’d for you:
I'll be myself the harbinger, and make joyful
The hearing of my wife with your approach ;
, So, humbly take my leave.


6 That swiftest wing of recompense] So the folio, 1623 ; but in the folio, 1632, “wing was misprinted wine, and amended by the old annotator, not to “wing," but to wind.

? Might have been MORE !] i. e. That there might have been more proportion between desert and payment: it is mine for “more" in the folio, 1623, and amended in the corr. fo. 1632. Mr. Singer admits that "it has been proposed to read, Might have been more :" but, perhaps, he did not recollect where he had seen the proposal, though his memory is generally remarkably accurate as to changes recommended by Rowe, Pope, Theobald, &c. He could only have seen it “ proposed " in our Vol. of “Notes and Emendations," p. 419.

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My worthy Cawdor! Macb. The prince of Cumberland'! That is a step, [Aside. On which I must fall down, or else o'er-leap, For in my way it lies.—Stars, hide your fires ! Let not light see my black and deep desires ; The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be, Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.

[Exit. Dun. True, worthy Banquo: he is full so valiant, And in his commendations I am fed ; It is a banquet to me. Let us after him, Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome : It is a peerless kinsman.

[Flourish. Ereunt.


Inverness. A Room in Macbeth's Castle.

Enter Lady MACBETH, reading a letter. Lady M. “They met me in the day of success; and I have learned, by the perfectest report, they have more in them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire to question them farther, they made themselves air, into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in the wonder of it, came missives from the king, 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, with, ‘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 What thou art promis'd.—Yet do I fear thy nature: It is too full o' the milk of human kindness, To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition; but without


8 The prince of Cumberland!] The crown of Scotland (as Steevens remarks) was originally not hereditary. When the successor was declared in the lifetime of a king (as was often the case) the title of Prince of Cumberland was immediately bestowed on him, as a mark of his destination : Cumberland was at that time held by Scotland of the crown of England as a fief. The incident to which the text relates is from Holinshed.

The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily ; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win : thou'dst have, great Glamis,
That which cries, “ Thus thou must do, if thou have it ;
And that which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone.” Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear,
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crown'd withal. -

his message.

Enter an Attendant.

What is

your tidings ? Atten. The king comes here to-night. Lady M.

Thou’rt mad to say it.
Is not thy master with him ? who, wer't so,
Would have inform'd for preparation.

Atten. So please you, it is true: our thane is coming.
One of my fellows had the speed of him ;
Who, almost dead for breath, had scarcely more
Than would make

up Lady M.

Give him tending :
He brings great news. [E.cit Attendant.] The raven himself

is hoarse,
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements'. Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full
Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;
Stop up th' access and passage to remorse,
That no compunctious visitings of nature
Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between
Th' effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts,


The raven himself is hoarse,
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan

Under my battlements.] These lines have produced a good deal of comment, but the meaning seems to be, that Lady Macbeth considers the fate of Duncan so certain, that the ominous raven is hoarse with proclaiming it. Warburton would read, “ The raven himself's not hoarse,” which appears to be the direct opposite of what was intended by the poet. Drayton, in his “ Barons' Wars," 1603, B. v. st. 42, has these lines :

“ The ominous raven with a dismal cheer,

Through his hoarse beak of following horror tells."

And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,
Wherever in your sightless substances

You wait on nature's mischief! Come, thick night,
And pall thee' in the dunnest smoke of hell,

That my
Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark',
To cry, "Hold, hold!"

keen knife see not the wound it makes,


Great Glamis! worthy Cawdor!

Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter! [They embrace. Thy letters have transported me beyond

This ignorant present, and I feel now

The future in the instant.

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Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men
May read strange matters: to beguile the time,
Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye,
Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it. He that's coming
Must be provided for; and you shall put
This night's great business into my dispatch,
Which shall to all our nights and days to come
Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.
Mach. We will speak farther.

1 And PALL thee] i. e. Cover thyself as with a pall: from Lat. pallium, a cloak. We believe that Shakespeare alone uses "pall" as a verb.


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the BLANKET of the dark,] This is on of the places where even judicious critics differ, whether the word should be "blanket," as it is printed in the old copies, or blankness as it is written in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632. Our verdict has already been given in favour of the latter; but inasmuch as the removal of the former would disturb the prejudices of not a few of those who, from time to time, have been accustomed to hear and read blanket " as part of the text of Shakespeare, we allow it to remain, giving those who are of a contrary opinion the information that the old annotator on the folio, 1632, substituted blankness for "blanket." We are persuaded that "blanket was misheard for blankness, and that blankness was Shakespeare's word. The passage in "Cymbeline," A. iii. sc. 1, which has been quoted to the contrary-"If Cæsar can hide the sun from us with a blanket," has no other relation to the line in "Macbeth" than that "blanket" occurs in both plays.

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Only look up clear:

Lady M.
To alter favour ever is to fear.
Leave all the rest to me.



The Same. Before the Castle.

Hautboys and torches. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN,

, , BANQUO, LENOX, MACDUFF, RossE, ANGUS, and Attendants.

Dun. This castle hath a pleasant seat: the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.

This guest of summer,
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve, ,
By his lov'd mansionry, that the heaven's breath
Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed, and procreant cradle:
Where they much breed and haunt, I have observ’d,
The air is delicate.


Enter Lady MACBETH.

See, see! our honour'd hostess.-
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love: herein I teach you,
How you shall bid God yield us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.
Lady M.

All our service,
In every point twice done, and then done double,
Were poor and single business to contend
Against those honours deep and broad, wherewith

3 Where they Much breed] The folios have “ Where they must breed," but it should appear from the corr. fo. 1632 that must was misheard, and therefore misprinted for “much.” Five lines above, “martlet” stands Barlet in all the folios -- another mishearing, probably. 4 How you shall bid God yield us for your pains,

And thank us for your trouble.] Malone had “no distinct conception " of what was meant by this passage, and Steevens was equally at fault. To us the whole speech seems sufficiently clear: Duncan says, that even love sometimes occasions trouble, but that he thanks it as love notwithstanding; and that thus he teaches Lady Macbeth, while she takes trouble on his account, to “bid God yield,” or reward, him for giving that trouble..


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