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fumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh!
Doct. Well, well, well-
Doc. This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have walk'd in their sleep, who have died holily in their beds.
Lady. Wash your hands, put on your night-gown, look not fo pale I tell you yet again Banquo's buriel; he cannot come out of his
grave. Doct. Even fo ?
Lady. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate : come, come, come, come, give me your hand: what's done cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed.
Scene III. Despised Old Age.
(25) My way, &c.] Way may be explained by- -the progress or course of my life : but I must own, Mr. Johnfo:z's conjecture appears very plaufible : “ as (says he,) there is no relation between the way of life, and fallen into the siar, I am inclined to believe, that the wis 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 days, but I am without those comforts that succeed the sprightliness of bloom, and support me in this melancholy season.”
The words the scar, and yellow leaf, seem greatly to countenance this conjecture.
(26) Old age.] Sampson enumerating his sorrows, laments the misery of being contemptible in his old age:
To visitants a gaze
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
Diseases of the mind, incurable.
SCENE V. Reflections on Life. (28) To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Robustious to no purpose, cluftring down,
Milton's Sampson Agon. (27) Oblivious, &c.] Alluding to the Nepenthe: a certain mixture, of which opium perhaps was one of the ingredients. Homer, Od. 4, 221.
Νηπενθες τ' αχολoντε, κακων επιληθον απανίων, i. e. the oblivious antidote, causing the forgetfulness of all the evils of life. What is remarkable, had Shakespear understood Greek as well as fourfon, he could not more closely have expressed the meaning of the old bard. Upton.
(28) To, &c.] A cry being heard, Macbeth enquires, Where. fore it was ? and is answered, the queen is dead: upon which he observes :
She should have died hereafter:
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
She should not have died now, any time hereafter, to-morrow or no matter when, it would liave been more pleasing than the present ; this naturally raises in his mind the false notion of our thinking to-morrow will be happier than to-day : but “ tomorrow and to-morrow steals over us unenjoy'd and unregaried, and we still linger in the fame expectation to the moment appointed for our end.” &c. Mr. Johnson is for reading,
There would have been a time for such a world!
(29) Study, &c.] i. c. the time itself, the yesterdays that are palt, teach even fools to fludy death: death is a lesson so easily learnt, that fools, themselves, inform’d by the very time, can reason and moralize upon it." See As you like it,
This is a fine and just sense ; and this doubtless is Shakespear's true word: the first folio reads dusly death, i. e. says Mr. Tbeobald, the death which reduces us to dust and alhes; and the second sudy: either give good sense, the latter appears to me greatly preferable. In the 6th Scene of the ift Act of this play, speaking of Cawder's dying, he says,
THIS play (says Johnson) is deservedly celebrated for the propriety of its fictions, and solemnity, grandeur, and variety of its action, but it has no nice discriminations of character ; the events are too great to admit the influence of particular disp(Sitions, and the course of the action necessarily determines the the conduct of the agents.
The danger of ambition is well described; and I know not whether it may not be said in defence of some parts which now seem improbable, that, in Shakespear's time, it was necessary to warn credulity against vain and illusive predictions.
The passions are directed to their true end. Lady Mactail is merely detested ; and though the courage of Macbosh preserves fome estccm, yet every Reader rejoices at his fall.
HIS piece is perhaps one of the greatest exer
tions of the tragic and poetic powers, that any age, or any country has produced. Here are opened new sources of terror, new creations of fancy. The agency
of witches and spirits excites a species of terror, that cannot be effected by the operation of human agency, or by any form or disposition of human things. For the known limits of their powers and capacities fet certain bounds to our apprehensions ; mysterious horrors, undefined terrors, are raised by the intervention of beings, whose nature we do not understand, whose actions we cannot control, and whose influence we know not how to escape. Here we feel through all the faculties of the soul, and to the utmost extent of her capacity. The dread of the interposition of such agents is the most falutary of all fears. It keeps up in our minds a sense of our connection with awful and invisible fpirits, to whom our most secret actions are apparent, and from whose chastisement, innocence alone can defend us. From many dangers power will protect; many crimes may be concealed by art and hypocrisy; but when supernatural beings arile, to reveal, and to avenge, guilt blushes through her mask, and trembles behind her bulwarks.