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fect satisfaction of Lord Nelson, and his applauding country: that done he assumed the gaiety and good-humour of a visitor, and partook of some refreshment with the Crown Prince.
“ During the repast Lord Nelson spoke in raptures of the bravery of the Danes, and particularly requested the prince to introduce him to a very young officer, whom he described as having performed wonders during the battle, by attacking his own ship immediately under her lower guns. It proved to be the gallant young Welmoes, a strippling of seventeen; the British herò embraced him with the enthusiasm of a brother, and delicately intimated to the prince, that he ought to make him an admiral, to which the prince very happily replied “ If, my lord, I were to make all my brave officers admirals, I should have no captains or lieutenants in my service.' This heroic youth had volunteered the command of a praam, which is a sort of 'raft, carrying six small cannon, and manned with twenty-four men, who pushed off from shore, and in the fury of the battle, placed chemselves under the stern of Lord Nelson's ship, which they most successfully attacked, in such a manner that although they were below the reach of his stern chasers, the British marines made tera rible slaughter amongst them; twenty of these gallant men fell by their bullets, but their young commander continued, knee-deep in dead, at his post, until the truce was announced. He has been honoured, as he most eminently deserved to be, with the grateful remembrance of his country, and of his prince, who, as a mark of his regard, presented him with a medallion, commemorative of his gallantry, and has appointed him to the command of a yacht, in which he makes his annual visit to Holstein. The issue of this contest was glorious and decisive; could it be otherwise, when its destinies were comunitted to Nelson ?" We are not of Dr. Johnson's opinion that the man who will
will pick a pocket; we shall therefore give a place to the following anecdote of Lord Nelson, as exhibiting the Hero of the Nile in a new character.
“ By the ship which conveyed his dispatches to England, he sent a pote to some respectable wine merchants, to whom he was indebted for some wine, in which he sportively said that 'he trusted they would pardon his not having sooner sent a cheque for bis bill, on account of his hating been lately much engaged.'”
[To be continued.]
make a pun
THE BRITISH STAGE.
Imitatio vitæ, speculum consuetudinis, imago veritatis. Cicero.
NOTES ON THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH.
TO THE EDITOR. SIR, The following were some jottings on the margin of “Macbeth," made some time ago. If deemed worthy of insertion in your very entertaining and interesting miscellany, they are very much at your service. I call them, what they really are, mere marginal jottings, having no wish to add a name more to the already overgrown
list of commentators on the Avon Bard.
I must premise that Boetius, from whom Hollinshed and (through him) Shakspeare, took their facts, is not only a fabulous but a lying historian. When he meets with a fact, he so embellishes it with fable, as to be no longer a historical truth. The plot of this piece, therefore, may be in general viewed as fabulous. Some of the historical errors are noticed in the following jottings.
ACT 1.-SCENE I, “ Paddock calls,” &c.-In Scotland, among the peasantry, a frog is universally so called. Few of them would know the meaning of the word frog. It is pronounced puddock, the u sounding as in bud, &c. It is rather a favourite with them, from its supposed services in purifying spring wells, &c.
• The merciless Macdonwald,"--Or Macdonevald, Donevald, now M‘Dowal, was the chief of the people in Galloway, generally at variance with, and making inroads upon, their countrymen.Hence the phrase, still common, “ the wild Scots of Galloway." I more than suspect this insurrection to have been that of the Gallovidians. The Hebrides, I think, were then Norwegian.
“ But the Norweyan Lord.”—This invasion took place some years after Macdonevald's insurrection.
“ Till that Bellona's bridegroom,” &c.—Macbeth is here meant. I understand by the passage, Bellona's favourite who was (by his former victories) affianced to him, or attached to his fortunes.
“ Lapt in proof."-Perhaps, though I very much doubt it, the meaning is, what is called in Scotland proof of shot, i, e. invulnerable, like Orlando Furioso, &c.
“O valiant cousin,” &c.-There is no certain reason to believe Macbeth to have been related to Duncan. Fordun, our best historian, does not even hint that the least connection in blood subsisted between them,
* And like a rat without a tail,” &c. - According to those versant in the pranks of witches, (and in Scotland we have many sucli) the warlocks, or male witches, in their transformations, do retain their tails. The females neither do nor can, for an obvious reason. When the devil honours the assembly of witches with a visit, he generally carries the candle beneath his tail. Such at least has been sworn by soi disant witches in our courts of law.
“ And yet your beards forbid,” &c.- In this part of Scotland a very old woman, poor, in rags, if unknown, had she a beard, would run the hazard of being treated as a witch, that is, cut above the mouth with a knife, to the effusion of blood.
“ Hail to thee, Thane of Glamiss,” &c.-Mr. Seymour's remark, which I read in the Mirror, is correct. Glamiss is uniformly a word of one syllable, the a broad as in saw, &c.
“ Thou shalt get kings.”—The tradition of the Stewarts being descended from this Banquo, is altogether imaginary. The first of the family mentioned in authentic history was Waller, who lived in the reign of David the First and Malcolm the Fourth, about the middle of the twelfth century. He built and endowed an abbey in Paisley, in 1164, a remarkable proof of his opulence and liberality. He was high steward or stewart of Scotland.
By Sinel's death I know," &c.--A mistake of some transcriber. The name of Macbeth's father was Finele or Finley; hence Finelus in Latin, and Anglice Finel, by cutting off the Latin termination, The name ought to be restored.
“ The Thane of Cawdor lives,
“ A prosperous gentleman;"so the great ornament of the British stage (Kemble) pronounced this
passage some years since in Edinburgh ; I have even heard the reading defended; I think improperly. Cawdor, from situation and character, was certainly a gentleman. Macbeth would call him, emphatically, prosperous, since he thought him then, as he left him, başking in the sunshine of court favour. The present Lord
Cawdor enjoys the estate and castle of this Cawdor. There was a Thane of Cawdor, or Calder, so late as 1492, a proof that the more recent titles of earl, &c. did not totally supersede the more ancient ones of thane, &c.
“ Two truths are told,” &c.—This passage has much embarrassed commentators. It may be thus explained : The death of Sinel(Finel) might have been recent and not generally known. Macbeth might have received intimation of it by a special courier, or he might have left his father in the last stage of a disease which he thought mồrtal. To be hailed at such a time, in such a place, and by such personages, with a title he did not think he could be generally known by, would excite in his mind the idea of supernatural knowledge in the witches. Or,
Finele (Sinel) and after him Macbeth, might be only custos thanagii, for a near relation, the true thane of Glamiss, who might have died while he was at the wars, and of course he would succeed to the thianeship itself. Custos thanagii may, with as much propriety, be called thane, as custos comitatus be called earl. The latter we know was common, Thus one of the Macduff's, slain at . Falkirk, in 1298, was called Earl of Fife, though it is clear (vide Simpson and Sir D. Dalrymple) he was only custos comitatus, the true earl, who some years after married one of Edward the First of England's nieces (a Monthermer) being a minor. Macbeth, by Finele's (Sinel).death, might be called Thane of Glamiss, as custos thanagi, and the witches, by hailing him by that title, might announce his accession to the thaneship itself. We may even suppose, if necessary, that Macbeth could be made acquainted with that event, by some of those sent to greet him during the harangue of Ross. Shakspeare must have met with the story somewhere, and told it as it was found; it is of the truth or probability of the prediction I speak.
“ Whom we name hereafter Prince of Cumberland."--Malcolm, never so during his father's life.
“ Missives from the King."-Not the persons, but the letters they brought. In Scotland, missives generally are holograph letters, i. e. of the handwriting of the person signing them. In every important bargain they are used, or, to use the law phrase, exchanged.
“Passage to remorse."--Remorse, compassion, pity, sympathy, &c. in Scotland nearly synonimous.
“ And take my milk for gall." -As if she had said, leave for once
your ordinary nature, gall, and, instead of it, suck from my breast every drop of the milk of human kindness. I do not think she either needed or required any additional gall, as Johnson would make us believe.
“ To alter favour, ever is to fear.”—In Scotland, well favoured, ill favoured, pronounced ill farra, &c. is equivalent to well or ill looking. If it meant the same thing in Shakespeare's days, the passage may be understood to change countenance, alter the looks, ever shews fear. The last word, I suppose, did not exactly convey then the same meaning as now.
“ Bid Gold yield.”-Shield, from the German shilden, to protect.
“ Has borne his faculties so meek.”—The greatest charge made against Duncan, by Macbeth and Banquo, after his murder, was his remissness in punishing offenders. Duncan was murdered by these two conspirators, at a place called Bothgouanan, (Anglice, the smith's dwelling) in the neighbourhood of Elgin.
-“ If the assassination “ Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
« With his surcease success." (Johnson reads, with his success surcease). I think the text correct, and the meaning to be, “ Could the assassination catch with his (Duncun's) surcease or dissolution, success, &c.
“ Like the poor cat in th' adage.”—I have been informed that the figure of this aniinal, looking wistfully at the fish which, lest she should wet her feet, she dare not seize, is still to be seen on some sign-posts in this country (Scotland.)
ACT II.-SCENE I.
“ Our will became the servant to defect.”—“ You must take the will for the deed,” is the universal excuse for a deficiency in entertainment in Scotland. The following line is obscure; it means had we been prepared, we would have supplied every defect.
“ And on thy blade und dudgeon gouts of blood.”—I think those to be right who make dudgeon mean, the handle or hilt of a dagger. Perhaps it is the space betwixt the wooden part of the handle, and the blade. The wooden part of the handles of some dirks (Scottish daggers) are much ornamented with carvings and gouts of blood, from a phrase in heraldry. If not drops, but large masses of coagulated blood, enveloping both blade and dudgeon, gout may have