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And all to all.

As starts can neither with propriety nor sense | Then after a short pause, declares it as the be called impostures to true fear, something else general observation of mankind, that murderers was undoubtedly intended by the author, who cannot escape. perhaps wrote,

- They say, blood will have blood. - These flaws and starts,

Murderers when they have practised all huImpostures true to fear, would well become A woman's story

man means of security, are detected by super

natural directions. These symptoms of terror and amazement might better become impostures true only to fear,

Augurs, that understand relations, &c. might become a covoard at the recital of such false By the word relation, is understood the conhoods as no man could credit, whose understanding nexion of effects with causes; to understand rewas not weakened by his terrors ; tales, told by lations as an augur, is to know how those things a woman over a fire on the authority of her gran-relate to each other which have no visible comdam.

bination or dependence.

Macbeth. -Love and health to all!
Then I'll sit down: give me some wine, fill full

Enter Lenor and another Lord.
I drink to the general joy of the whole table,
And to our dear friend Banquo whom we miss,

As this tragedy, like the rest of Shakspeare's, Would he were here! wall, and him, we thirst, is perhaps overstocked with personages, it is not

easy to assign a reason why a nameless character Though this passage is, as it now stands, ca- should be introduced here, since nothing is said pable of more meanings than one, none of them that might not with equal propriety have been are very satisfactory; and therefore I am in- put into the mouth of any other disaffected man. clined to read it thus:

I believe, therefore, that in the original copy, it -To all, and him, we thirst,

was written with a very common form of conAnd hail to all.

traction, Lenox and An. for which the transcriber, Macbeth, being about to salute his company another Lord. The author had indeed been more

instead of Lenox and Angus, set down Lenox and with a bumper, declares that he includes Banquo, indebted to the transcriber's fidelity and diligence though absent, in this act of kindness, and wishes health to all. "Hail or heil for health was in such had he committed no errors of greater impor

tance. continual use among the good-fellows of ancient times, that a drinker was called a was-heiler, or NOTE XXXV.-Act IV. SCENE L a wisher of health, and the liquor was termed was-heil , because health was so often wished over the play, it is proper in this place

to observe, with

As this is the chief scene of enchantment in it. Thus in the lines of Hanvil the Monk,

how much judgment Shakspeare has selected all Jamque vaganle scypho, discincto gutture was-heil Ingeminant was-heil; labor est plus perdere dini

the circumstances of his infernal ceremonies, and Quum sitis.

how exactly he has conformed to common opiThese words were afterwards corrupted into nions and traditions, 10 assail and wassailer.

Thrice the brinded cat hath mewd

The usual form in which familiar spirits are

reported to converse with witches, is that of a Marbeth. Can such things be

cat. A witch who was tried about half a century And overcome us like a summer's cloud Without our special wonder? You make me strange

before the time of Shakspeare, had a cat named Even to the disposition that I owe,

Rutterkin, as the spirit of one of those witches When now I think you can behold such sights,

was Grimalkin; and when any mischief was to And keep the natural ruby of your cheek,

be done, she used to bid Rutterkin go and Aly; When mine is blanched with fear.

but once when she would have sent Rutterkin to This passage, as it now stands, is unintelli- torment a daughter of the Countess of Rutland, gible, but may be restored to sense by a very instead of going or flying, he only cried mew, slight alteration.

from which she discovered that the lady was out You make me strange

of his power, the power of witches being not uniEven to the disposition that I know.

versal, but limited, as Shakspeare has taken care Though I had before seen many instances of your to inculcate. courage, yet it now appears in a degree allogether

Though his bark cannot be lost, So that my long acquaintance voith your Yet it shall be tempest lost. disposition does not hinder me from that astonishment which novelty produces.

The common afflictions which the malice of

witches produced were melancholy, fits, and loss NOTE XXXIII.

of flesh, which are threatened by one of Shak. It will have blood, they say blood will have blood, speare's witches. Stones have been known to move, and irees to speak, Augurs, that under-tood relations, have

Weary sevin nights nine times nine By magpies, and by choughs, and rooks brought forth

Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine. The secret'st man of blood.

It was likewise their practice to destroy the In this passage the first line loses much of its cattle of their neighbours, and the farmers have force by the present punctuation. Macbeth to this day many ceremonies to secure their cows having considered the prodigy which has just and other cattle from witchcraft; but they seem appeared, infers justly from it, that the death of to have been most suspected of malice against Duncan cannot pass unpunished,

swine. Shakspeare has accordingly made one It will have blood.

of his witches declare that she has been killing



swine; and Dr. Harsenet observes, that about south, from the groves, the woods, the rivers, and that time "a sow could not be ill of the measles, the fens, from the fairies, red, black, white." nor a girl of the sullens, but some old woman There was likewise a book written before the was charged with witchcraft.”

time of Shakspeare, describing, amongst other

properties, the colours of spirits.
Toad, that under the cold stone
Days and nights has forty-one

Many other circumstances might be particu-
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,

larized, in which Shakspeare has shown his Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot

judgment and his knowledge. Toads have likewise long lain under the re

NOTE XXXVI.-SCENE II. proach of being by some means necessary to witchcraft, for which reason Shakspeare, in the

Macbeth. Thou art too like the spirit of Banquo, first scene of this play, calls one of the spirits Thy crown' does (1) sear my eye-balls, and iby (2)

, padocke or toad, and now takes care to put a toad

hair, first into the pot. When Vaninus was seized at Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first, Thoulouse, there was found at his lodgings in- A third is like the former.gens bufo vitro inclusus, a great toad shut in a vial, (1) The expression of Macbeth, that the croron upon which those that prosecuted him veneficium sears his eye-balls, is taken from the method for. exprobrabant, charged him, I suppose, with witch-merly practised of destroying the sight of captives craft.

or competitors, by holding a burning bason beFillet of a fenny snake

fore the eye, which dried up its humidity. In the cauldron boil and bake;

(2) As Macbeth expected to see a train of Eye ot'neut, and toe of frog ;For a charm, &c.

kings, and was only inquiring from what race

they would proceed, he could not be surprised The propriety of these ingredients may be that the hair of the second was bound with gold known by consulting the books de Viribus Ani- like that of the first ; he was offended only that malium and de Mirabilibus Mundi, ascribed to the second resembled the first, as the first resemAlbertus Magnus, in which the reader, who has bled Banquo, and therefore said, time and credulity, may discover very wonderful

And thy air,

The other gold-bound brow, is like the first.
Finger of birth-strangled babe,
Ditch-deliver'd by a drab

It has been already mentioned in the law
against witches, that they are supposed to take His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls

I will-give to the edge o'tb’sword up dead bodies to use in enchantments, which That trace him in his line-no boasting like a fool was confessed by the woman whom King James This deed I'll do before my purpose cool. examined, and who had of a dead body, that was Both the sense and measure of the third line, divided in one of their assemblies, two fingers for which as it rhymes, ought, according to the prace her share. It is observable, that Shakspeare, on tice of this author, to be regular, are at present this great occasion, which involves the fate of a injured by two superfluous syllables, which may king, multiplies all the circumstances of horror. easily be removed by reading, The babe whose finger is used, must be strangled

-souls in its birth; the grease must not only be human, That trace his line-no boasting like a fool. but must have dropped from a gibbet, the gibbet of a murderer: and even the sow whose blood is

NOTE XXXVIII. used, must have offended nature by devouring Rosse. Dearest cousin, her own farrow. These are touches of judgment "pray you scho'l yourself; but for your husband, and genius,

He's noble, wise, judicious, and best knows

The fits o'ch' time, I dare not speak much farther, And now about the cauldron sing

But cruel are the times when we are traitors,

And do not know 'l ourselves : when we (1) hold rumour
Blue spirits and white,

From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
Black spirits and grey,
Mingle, mingle, mingle,

But float upon a wild and violent sea
You that mingle may.

Each way, and (2) move. I'll take my leave of you;

Shall not be long but I'll be here again : And in a former part,

Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upwards

To what they were before : my preuy cousin,
Weird sisters hand in hand-

Blessing upon you.
Thus do go about, about,
Thrice to mine, and thrice to thine,


-When we hold rumour And thrice again to make up nine.

From what we fear, yet know not what we fear. These two passages I have brought together,

The present reading seems to afford no sense; because they both seem subject to the objection and therefore some critical experiments may be of too much levity for the solemnity of enchant- properly tried upon it, though, the verses being ment, and may both be shown, by one quotation without any connexion, there is room for suspi, from Camden's account of Ireland, to be founded cion, that some intermediate lines are lost, and upon a practice really observed by the uncivilized that the passage is therefore irretrievable. 'If it natives of that country. “When any one gets

be supposed that the fault arises only from the a fall,” says the informer of Camden," he starts corruption of some words, and that the traces of up, and turning three times to the right, digs a the true reading are still to be found, the passage hole in the earth; for they imagine that there is may be changed thus: a spirit in the ground; and if he falls sick in two

-When we bode ruin or three days, they send one of their women that From what we fear, yet know not what we fear. is skilled in that way to the place, where she Or in a sense very applicable to the oceasion says, I call thee from the east, west, north, and of the conference,

When the bold running.

NOTE XLI.-Act V. SCENE III. From what they fear, yet know not what they fear.

Macbeth. Bring me no more reports, let them fly all, (2) But float upon a wild and violent sea

'Till Birnam wood remove to Dunsinane, Each way, and move.

I cannot taint with fear. What's the boy Malcolm ?

Was he not born of woman? That he who floats upon a rough sea must

Fly false Thanes, move, is evident, too evident for Shakspeare so And mingle with the English epicures. emphatically to assert. The line therefore is to In the first line of this speech, the proper be written thus:

pauses are not observed in the present editions. Each way, and move_I'll take my leave of you.

Bring me no more reports—let them fly all Rosse is about to proceed, but finding him. Tell me not any more of desertionsLet all my self overpowered by his tenderness, breaks off subjects leave me—I am safe till, &-c. abruptly, for which he makes a short apology The reproach of epicurism, on which Mr. and retires.

Theobald has bestowed a note, is nothing more NOTE XXXIX.-SCENE IV.

than a natural invective uttered by an inhabitant

of a barren country, against those who have Malcolm. Let us seek out some desolate shade, anu

more opportunities of luxury.
Weep our sad bosoms empty.

Macluff. Let us rather
Hoid fast the mortal sword: and like good men,

Macbeth. I have lived long enough: my way of life
Besiride our downfal o rthdoom : each new morn, Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf.
New widows howl, new orphans cry, new sorrows
Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds

As there is no relation between the way of As if it felt with Scotland, and yell'd out

life, and fallen into the sear, I am inclined to Like syllables of dolour.

think, that the W is only an M inverted, and He who can discover what is meant by him that it was originally written, My May of life. that earnestly exhorts him to bestride his doron I am now passed from the spring to the autunn 'fal birthdoom, is at liberty to adhere to the pre- of my days, but I am without those comforts th:ut sent tex:; but those who are willing to confess should succeed the sprightliness of bloom, and supthat such counsel would to them be unintelligi- port me in this melancholy season. ble, must endeavour to discover some reading

NOTE XLIII.-SCENE IV. less obscure. It is probable that Shakspeare wrote,

Malcolm. 'Tis his main hope :

For where there is advantage to be given,
Like good men

Boch more or less have given him the revoli,
Bestride our downfaln birthdom.-

And none serve with him but constrained things, The allusion is to a man from whom some Whose hearts are absent too. thing valuable is about to be taken by violence, The impropriety of the expression advantage and who, that he may defend it without encum- to be given, instead of advantage given, and the brance, lays it on the ground and stands over it disagreeable repetition of the word given in the with his weapon in his hand. Our birthdom, next line incline me to read, or birthright, says he, lies on the ground, let us,

Where there is a vantage to be gone, like men who are to fight for what is dearest to

Both more and less have given him the revoli. them, not abandon it, but stand over it and defend it. This is a strong picture of obstinate Advantage or vantage in the time of Shakresolution.

speare, signified opportunity. Birthdom for birthright, is formed by the same

More and less is the same with greater and less. analogy with maslerdom in this play, signifying So in the interpolated Mandeville, a book of the pririleges or rights of a master.


age, there is a chapter of India the more and Perhaps it might be birth-dame for mother; let the less. us stand over our mother that lies bleeding on

NOTE XLIV.-SCENE V. the ground.

Macbeth.Wherefore was that cry?

Seyton. The queen is dead.
Malcolm. Now we 'll together, and the chance of

Macbeth. She should (1) have died hereafter; goodness

There would have been a time for such a word. Be like our warranted quarrel.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, The chance of goodness, as it is commonly

Creeps in this peity pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of (2) recorded time; read, conveys no sense. If there be not some

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
more important error in the passage, it should at The way to dualy death. Out, out, brief candlo!
least be pointed thus:

Life's but a walking shadow.-
And the chance, of goodness,

(1) She should have died hereafter, Be like our warranted quarrel.

There would have been a time for such a word. That is, May the event be, of the goodness of This passage has very justly been suspected heaven, (pro justicia divina,) answerable to the of being corrupt. It is not apparent for what

100rd there would have been a time; and that But I am inclined to believe that Shakspeare there would or would not be a time for any word, wrote,

seems not a consideration of importance sufAnd the chance, O goodness,

ficient to transport Macbeth into the following Be like our warranted quarrel.

exclamation. I read therefore, This some of his transcribers wrote with a

She should have died hereafter, small


which another imagined to mean of. There would have been a time fo:-such a world.If we adopt this reading, the sense will be, and Tomorrow, &c. O thou sovereign goodness to whom we novo appeal, It is a broken speech, in which only part of may our fortune answer to our cause.

the thought is expressed, and may be paru59


That li's like truth.

phrased thus: The queen is dead. Macbeth. Her intelligible, and has therefore passed smoothly death should have been deferred to some more peace- over them, without any attempt to alter or esful hour; had she lived longer, there would at plain them. length have been a time for the honours due to her Some of the lines with which I had been peras a queen, and that respect which I owe her for her plexed, have been indeed so fortunate as to atfidelity and lore. Such is the world—such is the tract his regard; and it is not without all the condition of human life, that we always think to- satisfaction which it is usual to express on such morrow will be happier than to-day; but to-morror occasions, that I find an entire agreement beand to-Morroro steals over us unenjoyed and unre-tween us in substituting (see Note II.] quarrel garded, and we still linger in the same erpectation for quarry, and in explaining the adage of the to the moment appointed for our end. All these cat, (Note XVII.) But this pleasure is, like days, which have thus passed away, have sent mul- most others, known only to be regretted; for I titudes of fools to the grave who were engrossed by have the unhappiness to find no such conformity the same dream of future felicity, and, when life with regard to any other passage. was departing from them, were like me reckoning The line which I have endeavoured to amend, on to-morrow.

Note XI. is likewise attempted by the new (2) To the last syllable of recorded time.

editor, and is perhaps the only passage in the Recorded time seems to signify the time fixed play in which he has not submissively admitted in the decrees of heaven for the period of life. the emendations of foregoing critics. Instead of The records of futurity is indeed no accurate ex

the common reading, pression, but as we only know transactions past

Doing every thing,
or present, the language of men affords no terin Safe towards your love and honour,
for the volumes of prescience, in which future he has published,
events may be supposed to be written.

Doing every thing

Shap'd lowards your love and honour
Macbeth. If thou speak'st false,

This alteration, which like all the rest alUpon the next tree shalt thou hang alive,

tempted by him, the reader is expected to admit, Till famine cling thee: if thy speech be sooth, without any reason alleged in its defence, is, in Ica en cifthou dost for me as muchI pull in resolution, and begin

my opinion, more plausible than that of Mr. To doubt th' equivocatio of the fiend,

Theobald : whether it is right, I am not to de. “Fear not till Birnam wood termine. Do come to Dunsinane," and now a wood

In the passage which I have altered in Note Comes tow'rd Dansinane.'

XL. an emendation is likewise attempted in I pull in resolution

the late edition, where, for Though this is the reading of all the editions, yet as it is a phrase without either example,

And the chance of goodness

Be like our warranted quarrel, elegance, or propriety, it is surely better to read, I pall in resolution

is substituted— And the chance in goodness

whether with more or less elegance, dignity, I languish in my constancy, my confidence begins and propriety, than the reading which I have to forsake me. It is scarcely necessary to ob offered, I must again decline the province of serve how easily pall might be changed into pull deciding. by a negligent writer, or mistaken for it by an

Most of the other emendations which he has unskilful printer.

endeavoured, whether with good or bad fortune, NOTE XLVI.-SCENE VIII.

are too trivial to deserve mention. For surely

the weapons of criticism ought not to be blunted Seyrard. Had I as many sons as I have hairs, I would not wish them to a fairer death:

against an editor, who can imagine that he is And so his knell is knoll'd.

restoring poetry, while he is amusing himself This incident is thus related from Henry of with alterations like these : Huntingdon by Camden in his “Remains,” from For- This is the serjeant which our author probably copied it


Who like a good and hardy soldier fought, When Seyward, the martial Earl of Nor

This is the serjeant, who thumberland, understood that his son, whom he Like a righe good and hardy soldier fought. had sent in service against the Scotchmen, was For-Dismay'd not this slain, he demanded whether his wound were in Our captains Macbeth and Banquo ?-Yes. the fore part or hinder part of his body. When

-Dismay'd not this it was answered in the fore part, he replied, “I

Our captains brave Macbeth and Banquo ?-Yes. am right glad; neither wish I any other death Such harmless industry may, surely, be forto me or mine."

given, if it cannot be praised : may be therefore

never want a monosyllable, who can use it with After the foregoing pages were printed, the such wonderful dexterity. late edition of Shakspeare, ascribed to Sir Thomas Hanmer, fell into my hands; and it was

Rumpatur quisquis rumpitur invidia! therefore convenient for me to delay the publi The rest of this edition I have not read, but, cation of my remarks till I had examined whe- from the little that I have seen, think it not ther they were not anticipated by similar ob- dangerous to declare that, in my opinion, its servations, or precluded by better. I therefore pomp recommends it more than its accuracy. jead over this tragedy, but found that the editor's There is no distinction made between the ancient apprehension is of a cast so different from mine, reading, and the innovations of the editor; there that he appears to find no difficulty in most of is no reason given for any of the alterations those passages which I have represented as un, which are made; the emendations of former

critics are adopted without any acknowledg; I may without indecency observe, that no man ment, and few of the difficulties are removed should attempt to teach others what he has never which have hitherto embarrassed the readers of learned himself; and that those who, like TheShakspeare.

mistocles, have studied the arts of policy, and I would not however be thought to insult the can teach a small state how to grow great, should, editor, nor to censure him with too much petu- like him, disdain to labour in trifles, and conlance, for having failed in little things, of whom sider petty accomplishments as below their amI have been told, that he excels in greater. But bition.






When the works of Shakspeare are, after so could be left in hands so likely to injure them, as many editions, again offered to the public, it will plays frequently acted, yet continued in manudoubtless be inquired, why Shakspeare stands script: no other transcribers were likely to be in more need of critical assistance than any other so little qualified for their task as those who of the English writers, and what are the defi- copied for the stage, at a time when the lower ciencies of the late attempts, which another edi. ranks of the people were universally illiterate: tor may hope to supply.

no other editions were made from fragments so The business of him that republishes an an- minutely broken, and so fortuitously re-united ; cient book is to correct what is corrupt, and to and in no other age was the art of printing in explain what is obscure. To have a text cor- such unskilful hands. rupt in many places, and in many doubtful, is, With the causes of corruption that make the among the authors that have written since the revisal of Shakspeare's dramatic pieces necesuse of types, almost peculiar to Shakspeare. sary, may be enumerated the causes of obscurity, Most writers, by publishing their own works, which may be partly imputed to his age, and prevent all various readings, and preclude all partly to himself. conjectural criticism. Books indeed are some When a writer outlives his contemporaries, times published after the death of him who pro- and remains almost the only unforgotten name duced them; but they are better secured from of a distant time, he is necessarily obscure. corruption than these unfortunate compositions. Every age has its modes of speech, and its cast They subsist in a single copy written or revised of thought; which, though easily explained when by the author; and the faults of the printed there are many books 10 be compared with each volume can be only faults of one descent. other, becomes sometimes unintelligible, and

But of the works of Shakspeare the condition always difficult, when there are no parallel pas. has been far different: he sold them, not to be sages that may conduce to their illustration. printed, but to be played. They were imme- Shakspeare is the first considerable author of diately copied for the actors, and multiplied by sublime or familiar dialogue in our language. transcript after transcript, vitiated by the blun of the books which he read, and from which ders of the penman, or changed by the affectation he formed his style, some perhaps have perished, of the player; perhaps enlarged to introduce a and the rest are neglected. His imitations are jest, or mutilated to shorten the representation; therefore unnoted, his allusions are undiscovered, and printed at last without the concurrence of the and many beauties, both of pleasantry and greatauthor, without the consent of the proprietor, ness, are lost with the objects to which they from compilations made by chance or by stealth were united, as the figures vanish when the out of the separate parts written for the theatre; canvass has decayed. and thus thrust into the world surreptitiously It is the great excellence of Shakspeare, that and hastily, they suffered another deprivation he drew his scenes from nature, and from life. from the ignorance and negligence of the prin. He copied the manners of the world then passters, as every man who knows the state of the ing before him, and has more allusions than press in that age will readily conceive.

other poets to the traditions and superstition of It is not easy for invention to bring together the vulgar; which must therefore be traced be80 many causes concurring to vitiate the text. fore he can be understood. No other author ever gave up his works to for He wrote at a time when our poetical lantune and time with so little cure; no books / guage was yet unformed, when the meaning of

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