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Unto our gentle senses.
This guest of summer,
where the aire is unwholsome, but likewise where the aire is unequal; as you shall see many fine feats set upon a knap of ground invironed with higher hills round about it, whereby the heat of the sunne is pent in, and the wind gathereth as in troughs ; so as you shall have, and that suddenly, as great diversitie of heat and cold, as if you dwelt in several places.” Elays, 2d edit. 4to. 1632, p. 257.
REED. This castle hath a pleasant feat.] This short dialogue between Duncan and Banquo, whilst they are approaching the gates of Macbeth's castle, has always appeared to me a striking instance of what in painting is termed repose. Their conversation very naturally turns upon the beauty of its situation, and the pleasantness of the air; and Banquo, observing the martlet's nests in every recess of the cornice, remarks, that where those birds most breed and haunt, the air is delicate. The subject of this quiet and easy conversation gives that repose so necessary to the mind after the tumultuous bustle of the preceding scenes, and perfectly contrasts the scene of horror that immediately succeeds. It seems as if Shakspeare asked himself, What is a prince likely to say to his attendants on such an occasion. Whereas the modern writers seem, on the contrary, to be always searching for new thoughts, such as would never occur to men in the fituation which is represented.--This also is frequently the practice of Homer, who, from the midst of battles and horrors, relieves and refreshes the mind of the reader, by introducing some quiet rural image, or picture of familiar domestick life.
SIR J. REYNOLDS. 8 Unto our gentle senses.] Senses are nothing more than each man's Jense. Genile Jense is very elegant, as it means placid, calm, compojed, and intimates the peaceable delight of a fine day. JOHNSON. 9- martlet,] This bird is in the old edition called barlet.
JOHNSON. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. Malone.'
It is supported by the following passage in The Merchant of te nice :
« - like the martlet
STEEVENS. i no jutty, frieze,] A comma should be placed after juriy. Nor coigne of vantage, but this bird hath made His pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where
they + Most breeds and haunt, I have observ'd, the air Is delicate.
A jutty, or jetty, (for so it ought rather to be written) is not here, as has been supposed, an epithet to frieze, but a substantive; fignifying that part of a building which shoots forward beyond the rest. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: “ Barbacane. An outnooke or corner standing out of a house; a jettie."-" Sporto. A porch, a portal, a bay window, or out-butting, or jettie, of a house, that jetties out farther than anie other part of the house."'See also Surpendue in Cotgrave's French Dict. 1611: “ A jettie; an out-jetting room.” MALONE. Shakspeare uses the verb to jutty, in K. Henry V :
" - as fearfully as doth a galled rock
“ O’erhang and juity his confounded base." STEVENS. 3 — coigne of vantage,] Convenient corner. Johnson, So, in Pericles:
“ By the four opposing coignes,
“ Which the world together joins." STEVENS. 4 His pendent bed, and procreant cradle: Where they-] Left the reader should think this verse defective in harmony, he ought to be told, that as needle was once written and pronounced neele and neeld, so cradle was contracted into crale, and consequently uttered as a monofyllable.
Thus, in the fragment of an ancient Christmas carol now before me :
" — on that day
“ As in his crale he lay." In some parts of Warwickshire (as I am informed) the word is drawlingly pronounced as if it had been written craale.
STEEVENS. s Moft breed - ] The folio,-muff breed. STEEVENS. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
Enter Lady Macbeth.
See, see! our honour'd hostess! The love that follows us, sometime is our trouble, Which still we thank as love. Herein I teach you, How you shall bid God yield us for your pains, And thank us for your trouble.
* The love that follows us, sometime is our trouble, Which fill we thank as love. Herein I teach you, How you fall bid God yield us for your pains,
And thank us for your trouble.] The attention that is paid us (says Duncan on seeing Lady Macbeth come to meet him,) sometimes gives us pain, when we reflect that we give trouble to others; yet fill we cannot but be pleased with such attentions, because they are a proof of affection. So far is clear ;-but of the following words, I confess, I have no very diftinct conception, and suspect them to be corrupt. Perhaps the meaning is,-By being the occasion of so much trouble I furnish you with a motive to pray to heaven to reward me for the pain I give you, inasmuch as the having such an opportunity of showing your loyalty may hereafter prove beneficial to you; and herein also I afford you a motive to thank me for the trouble I give you, because by showing me so much attention, (however painful it may be to me to be the cause of it,) you have an opportunity of displaying an amiable character, and of ingratiating yourself with your sovereign : which finally may bring you both profit and honour. MALONE.
This passage is undoubtedly obscure, and the following is the best explication of it I am able to offer.
Marks of respect importunately shown, are sometimes troublesome, though we are still bound to be grateful for them as indications of sincere attachment. If you pray for us on account of the trouble we create in your house, and thank us for the molestations we bring with us, it muft be on such a principle. Herein I teach you, that the inconvenience you Suffer, is the result of our affection; and that you are therefore to pray for us, or thank us, only as far as prayers and thanks can be deferved for kindnesses that fatigue, and honours that oppress. You are, in sport, to make your acknowledgments for intended respect and love, however irksome our prefent mode of expreshing them may have proved. To bid is here used in the Saxon sense-to pray. Steevens.
How you fall bid God-yield us-] To bid any one God-yeld bim, i..e. God-yield him, was the same as God reward him.
All our service In every point twice done, and then done double, Were poor and single business, to contend Against those honours deep and broad, wherewith Your majesty loads our house: For those of old, And the late dignities heap'd up to them, We rest your hermits.? Dun.
Where's the thane of Cawdor? We cours'd him at the heels, and had a purpose To be his purveyor: but he rides well ;
I believe yield, or, as it is in the folio of 1623, eyld, is a cor. rupted contraction of shield. The with implores not reward, but prote&tion. JOHNSON,
I rather believe it to be a corruption of God-yield, i, e. reward. In Antony and Cleopatra, we mect with it at length:
1 And the gods yield you for't." Again, in the interlude of Jacob and Efau, 1568:
“ God yelde you, Esau, with all my stomach.' Again, in the old metrical romance of Syr Gry of Warwick, bl. I. no date:
“ Syr, quoth Guy, God yield it you,
“ Of this great gift you give me now.” Again, in Chaucer's Somproure's Tale, v.7759; Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit,
“ God yelde you adoun in your village." Again, one of the Pafton Letters, Vol. IV. p. 335, begins thus :
“ To begin, God yeld you for my hats." God field means God forbid, and could never be used as a form of returning thanks. So, in Chaucer's Milleres Tale:
God Jhilde that he died sodenly.” v. 3427; Mr. Tyre whitt's edit. Steeve NS. 7 W'e reft your hermits.] Hermits, for beadsmen.
WARBURTON, That is, we as hermits Tha'l always pray for you. So, in Arden of Foversham, 1592:
“ I am your beadsman, bound to pray for you." Again, in i leywood's Englih Traveller, 1633 :
-- ----worshipful fir,
And his great love, sharp as his fpur,hath holp him
Your servânts ever! Have theirs, themselves, and what is theirs, in compt, To make their audit at your highness' pleasure, Still to return your own.
Give me your hand:
8 his great love, sharp as his jpur,] So, in Twelfth Night, Act III. sc. iii:
“ - my desire,
Steevens. 9 Your servants ever, &c.] The metaphor in this speech is taken from the Steward's compting house or audit-room. In compt, means, subject to account. The sense of the whole is :-We, and all who belong to us, look upon our lives and fortunes not as our own properties, but as things we have received merely for your use, and for which we must be accountable whenever you please to call us to our audit; when, like faithful ftewards, we fall be ready to answer your fummons, by returning you what is your own. STEEVENS,