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SCENE II.—The same. Another Room in the Palace.
Enter QUEEN and a Servant.
QUEEN. Say to the king, I would attend his leisure
Madam, I will.
Nought ’s had, all's spent,
Enter King MACBETH.
K. MACB. We have scotch'd* the snake, not kill'd it;
K. MACB. So shall I, love; and so, I pray, be you:
You must leave this.
(*) Old text, scorch'd. Whom we, to gain our place,- ] So the second folio; the first reads,—" to gayne our peace.”
Unsafe the while, that we-] Steevens conjectured that some words, which originally rendered the sentiment less obscure, had dropped out here.
K. MACB. O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife! Thou know'st that Banquo, and his Fleance, lives.
QUEEN. But in them Nature's copy 'ga not eterne.
K. MACB. There's comfort yet; they are assailable;
What's to be done ?
SCENE III.-The same. A Park with Gate leading to the Palace.
Enter three Murderers. 1 Mur. But who did bid thee join with us? 3 MUR.
Then stand with us.
3 MUR. . Hark! I hear horses.
Then 't is he; the rest,
His horses go about.
1 – Nature's copy's not eterne.] Nature's lease or copy of their lives is only tem
6 The shard-borne beetle,–] The shard-borne beetle, as Steevens has conclusively shown, is the beetle borne along the air by its shards or scaly wings.
- Come, seeling night,
Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day ;] The expression is derived from falconry. To scel up the eyes of a hawk was to sew the apper and under eyelids together; an operation always performed on a newly taken bird, that it might become accustomed to the hood.
3 MUR. Almost a mile: but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk. 2 MUR.
A light, a light! 3 MUR.
'Tis he. 1 MUR. Stand to't.
Enter BANQUO and FLEANCE, the latter with a torch. Ban. It will be rain to-night. 1 MUR.
Let it come down. [Assaults BANQUO. Ban. O, treachery!-Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly, fly! Thou mayst revenge.-0, slave!(1) [Dies. FLEANCE escapes.
3 Mur. Who did strike out the light? 1 MUR.
Was't not the way? 3 MUR. There's but one down; the son is fled. 2 MUR. We have lost best half of our affair. 20 1 MUR. Well, let's away, and say how much is done. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV.-The same. A Room of State in the Palace.
A Banquet prepared.
K. MACB. You know your own degrees, sit down: at first
Thanks to your majesty.
QUEEN. Pronounce it for me, sir, to all our friends;
K. MACB. See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks;
Enter First Murderer, to the door.
K. MACB. 'T is better thee without than he within.
K. MACB. Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's good,
* FLEANCE escapes.] “Fleance, after the assassination of his father, fed into Wales, where, by the daughter of the Prince of that country, he had a son named Walter, who afterwards became Lord High Steward of Scotland, and from thence assumed the name of Walter Steward. From hini, in a direct line, King James I. was descended; in compliment to whom our author has chosen to describe Banquo, who was equally concerned with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, as innocent of t
crime.”—MALONE. b- her state ;] A state was a seat of dignity; usually surmounted with a canopy.
Most royal sir,
K. Mace. Then comes my fit again : I had else been perfect;
MUR. Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
Thanks for that:
[Exit Murderer. QUEEN.
My royal lord,
May 't please your highness sit ?
The Ghost of BANQUO rises, and sits in MACBETH's place.
His absence, sir,
K. MACB. The table's full!
Here is a place reserv'd, sir.
What, my good lord ? K. MACB. Thou canst not say I did it: never shake Thy gory locks at me.
Ross. Gentlemen, rise; his highness is not well.
QUEEN. Sit, worthy friends :-my lord is often thus,
- upon a thought-] "As speedily as thought can be exerted," Steevens says. So, in Henry IV. Pt. I. Act II. Sc. 4,“ — and, with a thought, seven of the eleven I
You shall offend him, and extend his passion;
K. MACB. Ay, and a bold one, that dare look on that.
O, proper stuff! - 60
K. MACB. Prythee, see there! behold! look! lo! how say you ?-
(Ghost disappears. QUEEN.
What! quite unmann'd in folly?
Fie, for shame!
My worthy lord,
I do forget :-
Ghost again rises.
(Impostors to true fear)–) Mr. Singer expresses astonishment "that none of the commentators should be aware that this was a form of elliptic expression, commonly used even at this day in the phrase, this is nothing to them,' i.e., in comparison to
in their notes on the present passage.