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So they redoubled strokes upon the foe:
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell-
But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.---

King. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds: They {mack of honour both. Go, get him surgeons,

Enter Roffe and Angus. But who comes here?

Mal. The worthy Thare of Roffe.

Len. What haste looks through his eyes ?
So Nhould he look, that seems to speak things ftrange,

Rofe. God save the King !
King. Whence cam'it thou, worthy Thane ?

Rolle. From Fife, great King, Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky, And fan our people cold. Norway, himself with numbers terrible, (4) Aflisted by that most difoyal traitor The Thane of Cawdor, 'gan a dismal conflict; "Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapt in proof, (5) Confronted him with self-comparisons, Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm, charg'd; why? because they redoubled strokes on the foe with twice the fury, and impetuusity, as before.

(4) Norway himself, with numbers terrible,

Alifted by that, &c.] Norway himself aslifted, c. is a reading we owe to the editors, not to the poet. That energy and contrast of expression are lost, which my pointing refiores. The sense is, Norway, who was in himself terrible by his own numbers, when afüfted by Cawdor, became yet more terrible. (5) 'Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapt in proof,

Confronted b m with self-comparisons,
Point against point, rebellious arm 'gainst arm,

Curbing bis lavish spirit.] Here again we are to quarrel with the transposition of an innocent comma; which however becomes dangerous to sense, when in the hands either of a careless or ignorant editor. Let us see who is it that brings this rebellious arm? Why, it is Bellona's bridegroom: and who is he, but Macbeth. We can never believe, our author meant any thing like this. My regulation of the pointing restores the true meaning; that the loyal Macters -confronted the difoyal Cawdor, arm to aim.


Carbing his lavish spirit. To conclude,
The victory fell on us.

King. Great happiness!
Roje. Now Sweno, Norway's King, craves composition:
Nor would we deign him burial of his men,
'Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes-kill-isle
Ten thousand dollars, to our gen’ral use.

King. No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive
Our bosom int’rest. Go, pronounce his death ;
And with his former title greet Macbeth.

Rose. I'll see it done.
King. What he hath loft, noble Macbeth hath won.


SCENE changes to the Heath.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches. I Witch

Here hast thou been, fifter ?

2 Witch. Killing swine. 3 Witch. Sifter, where thou ?

1 Witch. A failor's wife had chesnuts in her lap, And mouncht, and mouncht, and mouncht. Give me,

quoth 1.
Aroint thee, witch!- the rump-fed ronyon cries.
Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master of th' Tyger :
But in a fieve I'll thither sail,
And like a rat without a tail,
I'll do I'll do and I'll do.

2 Witch. I'll give thee a wind.
i Witch, Thou art kind.

Witch. And I another.
1 Witch. I myself have all the other,
And the very points they blow ;
All the quarters that they know,
I'th' ship-man's card.
I will drain him dry as hay;
Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid;





He shall live a man forbid; (6)
Weary sev'nights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak and pine :
Though his bark cannot be loft,
Yet it shall be tempeft-toft.
Look, what I have.

2 Witch. Shew me, shew me.

1 Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wrackt as homeward he did come. [Drum within,

3 Witch. A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come! All. The Weïrd fifters, hand in hand, (7)


(6) He shall live a man forbid :) i. e. as under a curse, an Intera distion. So, afterwards, in this play;

By bis cwn interdiction stands accurs'd. So, among the Romans, an outlaw's sentence was aquæ & ignis interdictio. i. e. He was forbid the use of water and fire: which imply'd the necessity of banißiment.

(7) The weyward sisters, hand in band,] The Witches are here speaking of themselves; and it is worth an enquiry why they fhould file themselves the weyward, or wayward fifters. This word in its general acceptation fignifies, perverse, froward, moody, obftinate, untractable, &c. and is every where so used by our Shakespeare. To content ourselves with two or three instances;

Fy, fy, how wayward is this foolish love,
That, like a testy baby, &c.

Two Gent, of Verona.
This wimpled, whining, purblind, wayward boy.

Love's Labour lojto
And, which is worse. All you have done
Is but for a wayward son.

Macbeth. It is improbable, the Witebes would adopt this epithet to themselves, in any of these senses; and therefore we are to look a little farther for the poet's word and meaning. When I had the first suspicion of our author being corrupt in this place, it brought to my mind the following passage in CHAUCER's Troilus and Creffeide. lib. iii. v. 618.

But O fortune, executrice of wierdes. Which word the glossaries expound to us hy fates or definies. I was foon confirm'd in my fufpicion, upon happening to dip into Heylin's Cosmography, where he makes a short recital of the story of Macbeth and Banquo.

These two (fays be,) travelling together thro'a forest, were met by three Fairies, Witches, Wierds, the Scots call them, &c.

I presently recollected, that this story must be recorded at more length by Helingshead; with whom I thought it was very probable


Posters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about,
Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
And thrice again to make up nine.
Peace !-the charm's wound up.
Enter Macbeth and Banquo, with Soldiers ana other

Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.

Ban. How far is't call'd to Foris? - what are these,
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire,
That look not like th' inhabitants o'th' earth,
And yet are on't? Live you, or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand me,
By each at once her choppy finger laying
Upon her skinny lips ;-You should be women ;
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret,
That you are so.

Macb. Speak, if you can; what are you ? 1 Witch. All-hail, Mabeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! 2Witch. All-hail, Macbeth! hail to thee,Thane of Cawdor! 3 Witch. All-hail, Macbeth! that shalt be King hereafter. Ban. Good Sir, why do you start, and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair ? I'th' name of truth, Are ye fantastical, or that indeed [To the Witches.

that our author had traded for the materials of his tragedy: and therefore confirmation was to be fetch'd from this fountain. Accordingly, looking into his history of Scotland, I found the writer very prolix and express, from Hector Boetbius, in this remarkable story i and in p. 170. speaking of these Witches, he uses this expression.

But afterwards the common opinion was, that these women were either the weird sisters, that is, as ye would say, the goddesses of destiny, &c. Again, a little lower;

The words of the three weird sisters also, (of whom before ye have heard) greatly encouraged him thereunto.

And, in several other paragraphs there, this word is repeated. I believe, by this time, it is plain beyond a doubt, that the word way. ward has obtain'd in Macbeth, where the Witches are spoken of, from the ignorance of the copyists, who were not acquainted with the Scotcb term: and that in every passage, where there is any relation to these Witches or Wizards, my emendation must be embraced, and we must read weird,



Which outwardly ye shew? my noble partner
You greet with present grace, and great prediction
Of noble having, and of royal hope,
That he seems rapt withal; to me you speak not.
If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say, which grain will grow and which will not;
Speak then to me, who neither beg, nor fear,
Your favours, nor your hate.

i Witch. Hail! 2 Witch. Hail ! 3

Witch. Hail ! i Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater. 2 Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier.

3 Witch. Thou shalt get Kings, though thou be none; So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo !

1 Witch. Banquo and Macbeth, all-hail !

Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more; By Sirel's death, I know, I'm Thane of Glamis ; But how, of Cawdor? the Thane of Cawdor lives, A prosp'rous gentleman ; and, to be King, Stands not within the prospect of belief, No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence You owe this strange intelligence ? or why Upon this blasted heath you stop our way, With such prophetick greeting :-speak, 1 charge you.

[Witches vanish. Ban. The earth hath bubbles, as the water has ; And these are of them: whither are they vanish'd ?

Macb. Into the air: and what seem'd corporal Melted, as breath, into the wind, Would they had staid ! Ban. Were such things here, as we do speak about? (8)


(8) Were such things bere, as we do speak about ? Or bave we eaten of the insane root, That takes the reason prisoner?] The insane root, viz. the root which makes infane; as in HORACE Pallida Mors; nempè, quæ facit pal, lidos.---This sentence, I conceive, is not so well understood, as I would have every part of Shakespeare be, by his audience and readers. So foon as the Witches vanish from the sight of Macbeib and Banquo, and leave them in doubt whether they had really seen fuch Apparitia

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