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but a very useful art, as it best affifts the poet to expose
the anguish of remorse, to repeat every whisper of the
internal monitor, conscience, and, upon occasion, to
lend her a voice to amaze the guilty and appal the free.
As a man is averse to expose his crimes, and discover
the turpitude of his actions even to the faithful friend,
and trusty confident, it is more atural for him to
breathe in soliloquy the dark and heavy secrets of the
foul, than to utter them to the most intimate associate.
The conflicts in the bofom of Macbeth, before he com-
mits the murder, could not, by any other
been so well exposed. He entertains the prophecy of
his future greatness with complacency, but the very idea
of the means by which he is to attain it shocks him to
the highest degree.

This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill; cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it giv'n me the earnest of success
Commencing in a truth? I'm Thane of Cawdor.
If good, why do I yield to that suggeftion,
Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,
And make my seated heart knock at my ribs
Against the use of nature ?
There is an obfcurity and stiffness in part of these fo.
liloquies, which I wish could be charged entirely to the
confusion of Macbeth's mind from the horror he feels
at the thought of the murder ; but our author is too
much addicted to the obfcure bombast, much affected
by all sorts of writers in that age. The abhorrence
Macbeth feels at the suggestion of assassinating his king,
brings him back to this determination,

If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me,

Without my ftir. After a pause, in which we may suppose the ambitious defire of a crown to return, so far as to make him undetermined what he shall do, and leave the decision to future time and unborn events, he concludes,


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Come what come may,
Time and the hour runs thro' the roughest day.

By which, I confess, I do not with his two last commentators imagine is meant either the tautology of time and the hour, or an allusion to time painted with an hour-glass, or an exhortation to time to hasten forward, but I rather apprehend the meaning to be, tempus & bora, time and occasion, will carry the thing through, and bring it to some determined point and end, let its nature be what it will. In the next soliloquy, he agitates this great question concerning the proposed murder. One argument against it, is, that such deeds must be supported by others of like nature.

But, in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we bot teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague th' inventor; this even-handed justice
Commends th' ingredients of our poison'd chalice

To our own lips. He proceeds next to consider the peculiar relations, in which he stands to Duncan,

He's here in double truft:
First as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed ; then, as his hoft,
Who thould against his murd'rer shut the door;
Not bear the knife myself.

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Then follow his arguments against the deed, from the admirable qualities of the king.

Besides, this Duncan
Hath horne his faculties to meekly, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead, like angels, trumpet-tongu'd against

The deep damnation of his taking off, So, says, he, with many reasons to dissuade, I have none to urge me to this act, but a vaulting ainbition; which, by a daring leap, often procures itself a fall. And shus having determined, he tells Lady Macbeth;


We will proceed no further in this business.
Hebath honour'd me of late ; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn, now in their newest glofs,
Not cast aside so foon.

Macbeth, in debating with himself, chiefly dwells upon the guilt, yet touches fomething on the danger of affaflinating the king. When he argues with Lady 11acbeth, knowing her too wicked to be affected by the one, and too daring to be deterred by the other, he urges with great propriety what he thinks may have more weight with one of her disposition; the favour he is in with the king, and the eiteem he has lately acquired of the people. In answer to her charge of cowardice, he finely distinguishes between manly courage and brutal ferocity.

Macb, I dare do all that may become a man ;

Who dares do more is none.

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At length, overcome, rather than persuaded, he desermines on the bloody deed.

I am fettled, and bend up Each corp'ral agent to this terrible feat. How terrible to him, how repugnant to his nature, we plainly perceive, when, even in the moment that he summons up the resolution needful to perform it, horrid phantasms present themselves : murder alarmed by his sentinel the wolf stealing towards his design; witchcraft celebrating pale Hecate's offerings; the midnight ravisher invading sleeping innocence, feem his affociates ; and bloody daggers lead him to the very chamber of the king. At his return thence, the sense of the crime he has committed appears suitable to his repugnance at undertaking it. He tells Lady Macbeth, that of the grooms who slept in Duncan's chamber, Macb. There's one did laugh in Neep, and one cry'd, Murder ! They wak'd each other; and I stood and heard them;


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But they did say their prayers, and address them

Again to fleep.
Lady. There are two lodg’d together.
Maib. 'One cry'd, God bless us! and, Amen! the other;

As they had seen me with these hangman's hands.
Listening their fear, I could not say, Amen,

When they did say, God bless us !
Lady. Consider it not so deeply.
Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, Amen?

I had most need of blessing, and Amen

Stuck in my throat.
Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no more!

Macbeth doth murder Deep; the innocent Deep.
Then he replies, when his lady bids him carry back the

Macb. I'll go no more.
I am afraid to think what I have done !

Look on't again I dare not.
How natural is the exclamation of a person, who,
from the fearless state of unsuspecting innocence, is
fallen into the suspicious condition of guilt, when upon
hearing a knocking at the gate he cries out;

Macb. How is it with me, when every noise appals me?

The poet has contrived to throw a tincture of remorse even into Macbeth's resolution to murder Banquo. He does not proceed in it like a man, who, impenitent in crimes, and wanton in success, gaily goes forward in his violent career ; but seems impelled onward, and stimulated to this additional villany, by an apprehenfion, that, if Banquo's posterity fhould inherit the crown, he has sacrificed his virtue, and defiled his own foul in vain.

Marb. If 'tis fo,
For Banquo's issue have I fill'd my mind;
For them, the gracious Duncan have I murder'd;
Put fancours in the vessel of my peace
Only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Giv'n to the coinmon enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Baique kings.

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His defire to keep Lady Macbeth innocent of this intended murder, and yet from the fulness of a throbbing heart, uttering what may render suspected the very thing he wishes to conceal, shews how deeply the author enters into human nature in general, and in every circumstance preserves the consistency of the character he exhibits.

How strongly is expressed the great truth, that to a man of courage, the most terrible object is the perfon he has injured, in the following address to Banquo's ghoft,

Macb. What man dare, I dare.
Approach thou like the rugged Ruilian-bear,
The arm'd rhinoceros, or Hyrcan tyger,
Take any shape but that, and my firm nerves
Shall never tremble; or, be alive again,
And dare me to the defart with thy sword;
If trembling I evade it, then protest me
The baby of a girl. Hence, terrible shadow ;

Unreal mock'ry, hence!
It is impossible not to sympathize with the terrors Mac-
'beth expresses in his disordered speech.
Macb. It will have blood.They say, blood will have blood.

Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak;
Augurs, that understand relations, have,
By magpies, and by choughs, and rooks, brought forth
The secret'st man of blood.
The perturbation, with which Macbeth again reforts
to the Witches, and the tone of resentment and abhor-
rence with which he addresses them, rather expresses
his sense of the crimes, to which their promises excited
him, than any satisfaction in the regal condition, those
crimes had procured.
Macb. How now, you secret, black, and midnight hags!

What is't you do? The unhappy and disconfolate state of the most triumphant villany, from a consciousness of mens internal detestation of that flagitious greatness, to which they

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