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To throw away the dearest thing he ow'd,
As 't were a careless trifle.
KING.

There's no art
To find the mind's construction in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.-

Enter MACBETH, BANQUO, Ross, and ANGUS.

O, worthiest cousin !
The sin of my ingratitude even now
Was heavy on me: thou art so far before,
That swiftest wing of recompense is slowb
To overtake thee. Would thou hadst less deserv'd;
That the proportion both of thanks and payment
Might have been mine!c 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
Iş to receive our duties: and our duties
Are, to your throne and state, children and servants :
Which do but what they should, by doing everything
Safe toward your love and honour.
KING.

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

There if I grow,
The harvest is your own.

KING. . 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 :(4) which honour must

* As 't were a careless trifle.] “The behaviour of the thane of Cardor corresponds in almost every circumstance with that of the unfortunate Earl of Essex, as related by Stowe, p. 793. His asking the Queen's forgiveness, his confession, repentance, and concern about behaving with propriety on the scaffold, are minutely described by that historian. Such an allusion could not fail of having the desired effect on an audienc many of whom were eye-witnesses to the severity of that justice which deprived the age of one of its greatest ornaments, and Southampton, Shakespeare's patron, of his dearest friend."-STEEVENS.

That swiftest wing of recompense is slow, &c.] The substitution of wind for “wing" in this line, which Mr. Collier credits his " annotator” with, was first proposed by Pope.

- Would thou hadst less deserv'd; That the proportion both of thanks and payment

Might have been mine!) For “ mine," which no one can for a moment doubt to be a corruption, we would suggest that the poet wrote mean, i.e. equivalent, just, and the like; the sense then being,—That the proportion both of thanks and payment might have been equal to your deserts.

Not, unaccompanied, invest him only,
But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine
On all deservers.—From hence to Inverness,
And bind us further 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.
KING.

My worthy Cawdor!
MACB. [Aside.] The prince of Cumberland !-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! - 57
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.
KING. True, worthy Banquo,-he is full so valiant;
And in his commendations I am fed,-
It is a banquet to me. Let's after him,
Whose care is gone before to bid us welcome:'
It is a peerless kinsman

[Flourish. Exeunt.

SCENE V.-Inverness. A Room in Macbeth's Castle.

Enter LADY MACBETH, reading a letter. LADY M. They met me in the day of success;a' and I have learned by the perfectest 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, 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 mightst 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 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 ;

u – in the day of success ;] In this place, as in Scene 3 of the present Act,

“The king hath happily receiv’d, Macbeth,

The news of thy success ; ” — Shakespeare employs success in the sense it bears at this day ; but its ordinary significa tion, when unaccompanied by an adjective of quality, was, as we have before sai? erent, issue, &c.

b - missives] Messengers.

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 metaphysicala aid doth seem
To have thee crown'd withal.-

Enter an Attendant.

What is your tidings?
ATTEND. The king comes here to-night.
LADY M.

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

ATTEND. 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 his message.
LADY M.

Give him tending,
He brings great news.

Exit 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 the access and passage to remorse; That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect and it! Come to my woman's breasts, 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 keen knife see not the wound it makes ; Nor heaven peep through the blanket c of the dark, To cry, Hold, hold!

Enter MACBETH.

Great Glamis, worthy Cawdor! Greater than both, by the all-hail hereafter!

. -- metaphysical aid-] Supernatural aid.

b - the raven himself is hoarse, &c.] “ The messenger, says the servant, had hardly breath to make up his message; to which the lady answers mentally, that he may well want breath, such a message would add hoarseness to the raven. That even the bird, whose harsh voice is accustomed to predict calamities, could not croak the entrance of Duncan, but in a note of unwonted harshness.”—JOHNSON.

c Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, &c.] Mr. Collier's annotator substitutes blankness for the familiar “blanket” of the text; and Mr. Collier is infatuated enough to applaud this miserable perversion of the poet's language. If “blanket” is a word too coarse for the delicacy of these commentators, what say they to the following from Act III. Sc. 1, of Middleton's "Blurt Master Constable"

“Blest night, wrap Cynthia in a sable sheet."

Thy letters have transported me beyond
This ignorant present, and I feel now
The future in the instant.
MACB.

My dearest love,
Duncan comes here to-night.
LADY M.

And when goes hence ? 60
MACB. To-morrow,-as he purposes.
LADY M.

0, never
Shall sun that morrow see!
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.

MACB. We will speak further.
LADY M.

. Only look up clear;
To alter favour ever is to fear :
Leave all the rest to me.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI.The same. Before the Castle. Hautboys. Servants of MACBETH attending. Enter KING DUNCAN,

MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, BANQUO, LENNOX, MACDUFF, Ross

ANGUS, and Attendants.
King. This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air
Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself
Unto our gentle senses.
Ban.

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 coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradle:
Where they most f breed and haunt, I have observ'd,
The air is delicate.(5)
KING.

See, see! our honour'd hostess !

Enter LADY MACBETH.
The love that follows us sometime is our trouble,
Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you,

(*) Old text, Barlet. (+) Old text, must. .- ignorant present,-) Even this fine expression has undergone mutation; some editors actually printing, —

“ignorant present time." !! By his lov'd mansionry,–] Looking to the context,—“his pendent bed and procreant cradle," should we not read, love-mansionry ?

How you shall bid God eyld 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
Your majesty loads our house: for those of old,
And the late dignities heap'd up to them,
We rest your hermits.a
KING.

Where's the thane of Cawdor? 20
We cours'd him at the heels, and had a purpose
To be his purveyor: but he rides well ;
And his great love, sharp as his spur, hath holp him
To his home before us. Fair and noble hostess,
We are your guest to-night.
LADY M.

Your servants ever
Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt,
To make their audit at your highness' pleasure,
Still to return your own.
KING.

Give me your hand :
Conduct me to mine host: we love him highly,
And shall continue our graces towards him.
By your leave, hostess.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VII.The same. A Room in the Castle. Hautboys and torches. Enter, and pass over the stage, a Sewer, and

divers Servants with dishes and service. Then enter MACBETH
MACB. If it were done when 't is done, then 't were well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success;c that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal* of time,-
We'd jump the life to come. But in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return

* Old text, Schoole ; corrected by Theobald. * — bermits.] Beadsmen; bound to pray for your welfare. b — in coinpt,-) In trust; to be accounted for.

- and catch, With his surcease, success ;] The obscurity which critics lament in this famous passage is due to themselves. If, instead of taking "success" in its modern sense of prosperity, they had understood it according to its usual acceptation in Shakespeare's day, as sequel, what follows, &c., they must have perceived at once that to " catch, with his surcease, success," is no more than an enforcement of " trammel up the consequence.” The meaning obviously being, --If the assassination were an absolutely final act, and could shut up all consecution, " - be the be-all and the end-all” even of this life only,-we would run the hazard of

future state.

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