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To give thee, from our royal master, thanks;
Rosse. And, for an earnest of a greater honour,
BAN. What, can the devil speak true? MACB. The thane of Cawdor lives; Why do you
dress me In borrow'd robes ? Ang.
Who was the thane, lives yet ; But under heavy judgement bears that life Which he deserves to lose. Whether he was Combin'd with Norway ;? or did line the rebel With hidden help and vantage; or that with both He labour'd in his country's wreck, I know not ; But treasons capital, confess’d, and prov’d, Have overthrown him. МАСв. .
Glamis, and thane of Cawdor:
* To herald thee &c.] The old copy redundantly reads Only to herald thee &c. STEEVENS. 3
-with Norway;] The old copy reads :
with those of Norway. The players not understanding that by " Norway” our author meant the king of Norway, as in Hamlet
“ Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy," &c. foisted in the words at present omitted. STEEVENS.
There is, I think, no need of change. The word combin'd be. longs to the preceding line :
“ Which he deserves to lose. Whe'r he was combin'd
“ With those of Norway, or did line the rebel,” &c. Whether was in our author's time fonetimes pronounced and written as one fyllable,whe'r. So, in King John: “ Now diame upon you, sube'r the does or no.”
The greatest is behind.--Thanks for your pains.-
That, trusted home,
4 - trusted home,) i. e. entirely, thoroughly relied on. So, in All's well that ends well:
- lack'd the sense to know “ Her estimation home." STEVENS, The added word home shows clearly, in my apprehension, that our author wrote—That thrusted home. So, in a subsequent scene ;
“ That every minute of his being thrufts
Against my nearest of life.”
“ With casted Nough and fresh legerity.”
all my sorrows
The change is so very night, and I am so thoroughly persuaded that the reading proposed is the true one, that had it been suggested by any former editor, I should without hesitation have given it a place in the text. Malone.
s Might yet enkindle you ] Enkindle, for to stimulate you to seek. WARBURTON. A similar expression occurs in As you like it, Act I. sc. i: nothing remains but that I kindle the boy thither."
STEEVENS. Might fire you with the hope of obtaining the crown. HENLEY.
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm,
Two truths are told,
; Two truths are told, &c.] How the former of these truths has been fulfilled, we are yet to learn. Macbeth could not become Thane of Glamis, till after his father's decease, of which there is no mention throughout the play. If the Hag only announced what Macbeth already understood to have happened, her words could scarcely claim rank as a prediction. Steevens.
From the Scottish translation of Boethius it should seem that Sinel, the father of Macbeth, died after Macbeth's having been met by the weird fifters. “Makbeth (fays the historian) revolvyng all thingis, as they wer said be the weird sifteris, began to covat ye
And zit he concludit to abide, quhil he saw ye tyme ganand thereto; fermelie belevyng yt ye thrid weird suld cum as the forft two did afore.” This indeed is inconsistent with our author's words, “ By Sinel's death, I know, I am thane of Glamis;”. but Holinshed, who was his guide, in his abridgment of the his. tory of Boethius, has particularly mentioned that Sinel died before Macbeth met the weird fifters: we may therefore be sure that Shakspeare meant it to be understood that Macbeth had already acceded to his paternal title. Bellenden only says, “ The first of thaim said to Macbeth, Hale thane of Glaimis. The secound faid,” &c. But in Holinshed the relation runs thus, conformably to the Latin original: “ The first of them spake and said, All haile Mackbeth, thane of Glammis (for he had latelie entered into that dignitie and office by the death of his father Sinell). The second of them said,” &c.
Still however the objection made by Mr. Steevens remains in its full force; for since he knew that “ by Sinel's death he was thane of Glamis," how can this falutation be considered as prophetick? Or why should he afterwards say, with admiration, “ and thane of Cawdor;" &c? Perhaps we may suppose that the father of Macbeth died fo recently before his interview with the weirds, that the news of it had not yet got abroad; in which case, though Macbeth himself knew it, he might consider their giving him the title of Thane of Glamis as a proof of fupernatural intelligence.
I suspect our author was led to use the expressions whiclı have occasioned the present note, by the following words of Holinshed :
As happy prologues to the swelling act ®
“ The same night after, at supper, Banquo jefted with him, and said, Now Mackbeth, thou hast obteined those things which the Two former sisters Prophesied: there remaineth onelie for thee to purchase that which the third said should come to passe."
MALONE. -swelling all ) Swelling is used in the same sense in the prologue to King Henry V :
princes to act,
STEEVENS. • This fupernatural foliciting -] Soliciting for information.
WARBURTON. Soliciting is rather, in my opinion, incitement, than information.
JOHNSON. -fuggestion -] i. e. temptation. So, in All's well that ends well: « À filthy officer he is in those suggestions for the young earl.” STEEVENS.
3 Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair,] So Macbeth says, in the latter part of this play:
fell of hair
--- seated-] i. e. fixed, firmly placed. So, in Milton's Paradise Lost, B. VI. 643 :
“ From their foundations loos’ning to and fro
My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man,' that function
ihings prosent, which Macbeth declares, and every man has found,
" For as the shadow seems more monstrous still,
So th' apprehenfion of approaching ill
STEEVENS. By present fears is meant, the actual presence of any objects of terror.' So, in The Second Part of K. Henry IV. the King says:
All these bold fears “ Thou see'st with peril I have answered.” To fear is frequently used by Shakspeare in the sense of fright. In this very play, Lady Macbeth says,
“To alter favour ever is to fear.” So, in Fletcher's Pilgrim, Curio says to Alphonfo,
Mercy upon me, Sir, why are you feared thus ?" Meaning, thus affrighted. M. Mason.
single fate of man,] The fingle state of man seems to be used by Shakspeare for an individual, in opposition to a commonwealth, or conjunct body. JOHNSON.
By fingle state of man, Shakspeare might postbly mean somewhat · more than individuality. He who, in the peculiar situation of Macbeth, is meditating a murder, dares not communicate his thoughts, and consequently derives neither spirit, nor advantage, from the countenance, or fagacity, of others. This state of man may properly be styled fingle, folitary, or defenceless, as it excludes the benefits of participation, and has no resources but in itself.
It should be observed, however, that double and fingle anciently fignified strong and weak, when applied to liquors, and perhaps to other objects. In this sense the former word may be employed by Brabantio
- a voice potential,
“ As double as the duke's;'' and the latter, by the Chief Justice, speaking to Falstaff:
“ Is not your wit hingle?" The fingle ftate of Macbeth may therefore signify his weak and debile state of mind. STEEVENS.