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Makes wing to the rooky wood:
Good things of dav begin to droop and drowze; Whiles night's black agents to their prey do rouse.a
Again, in Spenfer's Calender, 1579:
But fee, the welkin thicks apace,
And ftouping Pocebus fteepes his face;
"It's me to halte us home-ward." MALONE.
Makes wing to the rooky wood: Rooky may mean damp, mifty, feaming with exhalations. It is only a North country variation of dialed from reeky. In Coriolanus, Shakspeare mentions
the reek of th' ro ten fens."
And, in Caltha Poetarum, &c. 1599:
"Comes in a vapour like a rookish ryme."
Rooky wood, indeed, may figuify a rookery, the wood that abounds with rocks; yet, merely to fay of the crow that he is flying to a wood inhabited by rooks, is to add little immediately pertinent to the fucceeding obfervation, viz. that
things of day begin to droop and drowze." I cannot therefore help fuppofing our author wrote makes wing to rook i th' wood."
i. e. to rooft in it So, in K. Henry VI. P. 1. A& V. fc. vi:
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top."
See note on this paffage.
Again, in Gower De Confeffione Amantis. Lib. IV. fol. 72: 66 But how their rucken in her neft.'
Again, in the 15th book of A. Golding's Tranflation of Ovid's Metamorphofs:
He rucketh down upon the fame, and in the spices dies." Again, in The Contention betayxte Churchgeard and Camell, &c. 1560:
"All day to rucken on my taile, and poren on a booke." Such an unfamiliar verb as rook, might (cfpecially in a playhoufe copy) become easily corrupted. STEEVENS.
6 Whiles night's black agents to their prey do roufe.] This appears to be faid with reference to thofe dænions who were fuppofed to remain in their feveral places of confinemeut all day, but at the clofe of it were releafed; fuch indeed as are mentioned in The Tempel, as rejoicing "To hear the folemn curfew," because it announced the hour of their freedom. So alfo, in Sydney's Aftrophel and Stella:
"In night, of fprites the ghaftly powers do fir." The old copy reads-prey's. STEEVENS.
Thou marvell'ft at my words: but hold thee ftill; Things, bad begun, make strong themselves by ill : So, pr'ythee, go with me.
The fame. A Park or lawn, with a gate leading to the Palace,
Enter three Murderers.
1. MUR. But who bid thee join with us?"
2. MUR. He needs not our miftruft; fince he de
Our offices, and what we have to do,
To the direction just.
Then ftand with us.
The weft yet glimmers with fome fireaks of day: Now fpurs the lated traveller apace,
7 But who did bid thee join with us?] The meaning of this abrupt dialogue is this. The perfect Spy, mentioned by Macbeth in the foregoing icene, has, before they enter upon the ftage, given them the directions which were promised at the time of their agreement; yet one of the murderers fuborned, fufpeds him of intending to betray them; the other obferves, that, by his exact knowledge of what they were to do, he appears to be employed by Macbeth, and needs not to be miftrufted. JOHNSON.
The third affaffin feems to have been fent to join the others, from Macbeth's fuperabundant caution. From the following dialogue it appears that fome converfation has paffed between them before their prefent entry on the flage. MALONE.
The third murderer enters only to tell them where they fhould place themselves. STEEVENS.
] i. e. belated, benighted. So again, in Antony
"I am solated in the world, that I,
To gain the timely inn; and near approaches
BAN. [within.] Give us a 2. MUR.
Hark! I hear horses.
light there, ho!
Then it is he; the reft
That are within the note of expectation,'
His horfes go about.
3. MUR. Almoft a mile but he does usually, So all men do, from hence to the palace gate Make it their walk.
Enter BANQUO, and FLEANCE; a Servant with a torch preceding them.
the note of expectation,] i. e. they who are fet down in
the lift of guests, and expected to fupper. STEEVENS.
8 Then it is he; the reft
That are within the note of expectation,
Already are i'the court.] Perhaps this paffage, before it fell into the hands of the players, ftood thus:
The hafty recurrence of are in the laft line, and the redundancy of the metre, feem to fupport my conjecture. Numberlefs are the inftances in which the player editors would not permit the necessary fomething to be fupplied by the reader. They appear to have been utterly unacquainted with an ellipfis. STEEVENS.
BAN. O, treachery! Fly, good Fleance, fly, fly,
Thou may'st revenge.—O flave!
[Dies. Fleance and Servant efcape." 3. MUR. Who did ftrike out the light? 1. MUR. Was't not the way ?? 3. MUR. There's but one down; the fon is fled. 2. MUR. We have loft beft half of our affair. 1. MUR. Well, let's away, and say how much is done.
A Room of fate in the Palace.
A banquet prepared.
Enter MACBETH, Lady MAC
BETH, ROSSE, LENOX, Lords, and Attendants.
MACB. You know your own degrees, fit down: at first,
And last, the hearty welcome.3
9 Fleance &c. efcape.] Fleance, after the affaffination of his father, fled into Wales, where by the daughter of the Prince of that country he had a fon named Walter, who afterwards became Lord High Steward of Scotland, and from thence affumed the name of Walter Steward. From him in a direct line King James I. was defcended; in compliment to whom our author has chofen to defcribe Banquo, who was equally concerned with Macbeth in the murder of Duncan, as innocent of that crime. MALONE.
Was't not the way?] i. e. the beft means we could take to evade discovery. STEEVENS.
3 You know your own degrees, fit down : at first,
And last, the hearty welcome.] I believe the true reading is:
And last the hearty welcome.
Thanks to your majefty.
MACB. Ourself will mingle with fociety, And play the humble host.
Our hoftefs keeps her flate; but, in best time,
LADY M. Pronounce it for me, fir, to all our friends;
my heart fpeaks, they are welcome.
Enter firft Murderer, to the door.
MACB. See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks:
Both fides are even: Here I'll fit i'the midft:
All of whatever degree, from the higheft to the loweft, may be affured that their vifit is well received. JOHNSON.
4 Our hoflefs keeps her fate, &c.] i. e. continues in her chair of ftate at the head of the table. This idea might have been borrowed from Holinfhed, p. 805: The king (Henry VIII) caufed the queene to keepe the eflate, and then fat the ambaladours and ladies as they were marshalled by the king, who would not fit, but walked from place to place, making cheer," &c.
To keep fate is a phrafe perpetually occurring in our ancient dramas, &c. So Ben Jonfon in his Cynthia's Revels:
"Seated in thy filver chair
State in wonted manner keep."
Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wild Goof Chafe:
"What a state he keeps! how far off they fit from her!" Many more inftances, to the fame purpose, might be given.
A fate appears to have been a royal chair with a canopy over So, in K. Henry IV. P. I:
This chair fhall be my ftate."
Again, in Sir T. Herbert's Memoirs of Charles I: " where being fet, the king under a flate,' &c. Again, in The View of France, 1598: (2 efpying the chayre not to fland well under the ftate, he mended it handfomely himself." MALONE.