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M M A C B E
A CT 1. SCENE I.
An open placea
Thunder and Lightning. Enter three Witches.
1. Witch. When shall we three ineet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain ?
2. WITCH. When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's loft and won:4
hurlyburly's – ] However mean this word may seem to modern cars, it came recommended to Shakspeare by the authority of Henry Peacham, who in the year 1577 published a book profefling to treat of the ornaments of language. It is called the Garden of Eloquence, and has this paffage. “ Onomatopeia, when we invent, devise, fayne, and make a name imitating the sowad of that it fignifyeth, as hurliburly, for an uprore and tumultuous Airto." HENDERSON. So, in a translation of Herodian, 12mo. 1635, p. 26:
there was a mighty hurlyburly in the campe," &e. Again, p. 324 : great hurliburlies being in all parts of the empire, "&c.
REED. * When the battle's loft and won :) i. e. the battle, in whick Macbeth was then engaged. WARBURTON. So, in King Richard III:
while we reason here, " A royal batile might be won and 1014." So alfo Speed, speaking of the battle of Towton: "
- hy which only Pratagem, as it was constantly averred, the battle and day was inji and won." Chronicle, 1611. MALONE.
3. WITCH. That will be ere set of fun.5
Upon the heath: 3. WITCH. There to meet with Macbeth.
ere set of fun. ] The old copy unnecessarily and harshly reads
ere the set of fun. STEEVENS. $ There to meet with Macbeth.] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope, and, after him, other editors:
There I go to meet Macbeth. The insertion, however, seems to be injudicious. To meet with Macbeth was the final drift of all the witches in going to the heath, and not the particular business or motive of any one of them in diftinâion from the reft ; as the interpolated words, I go, in the mouth of the third witch, would most certainly isoply.
Somewhat, however (as the verse is evidently imperfeâ ) muft have been left out by the transcriber or printer. Mr. Capell has therefore proposed to remedy this defeat, by reading
There to meet with brave Macbeth. But surely, io beings intent only on mischief, a soldier's bravery in an honeft cause, would bave been no subjeđ of encomium.
Mr. Malone (omitting all previous remarks, &c. on this paffage ) affures us that - -" There is here used as a diffyllable." I wish he had supported his affertion by some example. Those however, who can speaķ the line thus regulated, and suppose they are reciting a verse, may profit by the diređion they have received. The pronoun
" their," having two vowels together, may be split into two syllables; but the adverb " there can only be used as a monosyllable, unless pronounced as if it were wricien is the-re," a licence in which even Chaucer has pot indulged himself.
It was convenient for Shakspeare's introdu&ory scene, that his firft witch should appear uninftruded in her miflon. Had the not required information, the audience muft have remained ignorart of what it was necessary for them to know. Her speeches therefore proceed in the form of interrogatories; but, all on a sudden, an answer is given to a queftion which had not been asked. Here seems to be a chasm which I shall attempt to supply by the introduđion of a single pronoun, and by diftributing the hitherto mutilated line, among the three speakers:
1. WITCH. I come, Graymalkin!? All. Paddock calls :- Anon, 8.
3. Witch. There to meet with 1. Witch.
Whom? 2. Witch.
Macbeth. Diftin& replies have now been afforded to the three neceffary. enquiries-When— Where and Whom the witches were to meet. Their conference receives no injury from my insertion and arrangement. On the contrary, the dialogue becomes more regular and confiftent, as each of the bags will now have spoken thrice, (a magical number) before they join in utterance of the concluding words which relate only to themselves.--I should add, that, in the two prior infiances, it is also the second witch whọ furnishes deci. five and material answers ; and that I would give the words_11 come, Graymalkin !" to the third. By assistance from such of our author's plays as had been published in quarto, we have often deteđed more important errors in the folio 1623, which, unluckily, supplies the moít ancient copy of Macbeth. STEEVENS,
7-Graymalkin ! From a little black-letter book, entitled, Beware thc Gat, 1584. I find it was permitted to a Witch to take on her, a cattes body nine times. Mr. Upton observes, that, to ún. derstand this passage, we should suppose one familiar calling with the voice of a cat, and another with the croaking of a toad.
Again, in Newes from Scotland, &c. (a pamphlet of which the reader will find the entire title in a future note on this play) : " Moreover the confessed, ihat at the time when his majestie was in Denmarkę, fbee beeing accompanied with the parties before specially mentioned, tooke a cat and christened it, and afterward bound to each part of that cat the cheefest partę of a dead man, and several joyntes of his bodie, and that in the night following the said cat was convayed into the middeft of the sea by all these witches fayling in their riddles or cives as is aforesaid, and so left the said cal right before the towne of Leith in Scotland. This doone, there did arise such a tempeft in the sea, as a greater hath not bene stene,' &c.
STFEVENS. 8 Paddock calls -&c.] This, with the two following lines, is given in the folio to the three Witches. Some preceding edi. tors have appropriated the first of them to the second Witch.
According to the late Dr. Goldsmith, and some other naturalists, a frog is called a paddock in the North; as in the following inftance in Cæfar and Pompey, by Chapman, 1607:
-Paddockes, todes, and watersaakes.";
Fair is foul, and foul is fair : 9
In Shakspeare, however, it certainly means a toad. The re-
-Some say, they (witches) can keepe devils and spirits,
we make these sudden
Sn foul and fair a day I have not seen. WARBURTON.
Though you untie the winds, &c. STEEVENS.
This expresfion seems to have been proverbial. Spenser bas it
A camp near Fores.
DONALBAIN, LENOX, with attendants, meeting a
Dun. What bloody man is that? He can report,
This is the sergeant,
Doubtfully it ftood;
* This is the sergeant,] Holinshed is the best interpreter of Shak. speare in his hiftorical plays; for he not only takes his fa&s from him, but often his very words and expressions. That hiftorian, in his account of Macdowald's rebellion, mentions, that on the first appearance of a mutinous fpirit among the people, the king sent a Sergeant at arms into the country, to bring up the chief offenders to answer the charge preferred against them; but they, instead of obeying, misused the messenger with fundry reproaches, and finally New him. This sergeant at arms is certainly the origin of the bleeding Sergeant introduced on the present occasion. Shakspeare just caught the name from Holinshed, but the reft of the story not fuiting his purpose, he does not adhere to it. The stage-diredion of entrance, where the bleeding captain is mentioned, was probably the work of the player editors, and not of the poet. STEEVENS.
Doubtfully it food;} Mr. Pope, who introduced the epithet long, to affift the metre, and reads-Doubtful long it food, - has thereby injured the sense. If the comparison was meant to coincide in all circumftances, the struggle could not be long. I read
Doubtfully it ftood;