H́nh ảnh trang

Finallie, such was his over-earnest diligence in the severe inqui. sition and trial of the offenders heerein, that some of the lords bee gan to millike the matter, and to smell foorth shrewd tokens that he thould not be altogether cleare himselfe. But for so much as

they were in that countrie where he had the whole rule, what by , reason of his friends and authoritie together, they doubted to utter

what they thought, till time and place thould beiter serve thereunto, and hercupon got them awaie everie man to his home." MALONI,

[ocr errors]


Add, at the conslufion of Mr. Malone's note, p. 93.] I believe, however, a line has been loft after the words “stealthy pace.

Our author did not, I imagine, mean to make the murderer a ravisher likewise. In the parallel passage in The Rape of Lucrece, they are diftin& persons :

" While Lust and MURDER wake, to sain, and kill."
Perlaps the line which I suppose to have been loit, was of this
import :

and wither'd MURDER,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace
Enters the portal; while night-waking LUST,
With Tarquin's ravishing fides, towards his design

Moves like a ghost.
Şo, in The Spanish Tragedly :

6 At midnight-
« When man, and bird, and beast, are all at rest,

“ Save those that watch for rape and blodie murder,"
There is reason to believe that many of the difficulties in Shak.
speare's plays arise from lines and balf lines having been omitted,
by the compofitor's cye paffing battily over them. Of this kind of
negligence there is a remarkable instance in the present play, as
prinied in the folio, 1632, where the following pallage is thus
exhibited :

that we but teach ,
- Bloody inftrudions, which, being taught, return
To plague the ingredience of our poifon'd chalice

" To our own lips."
If this mistake had happened in the first copy, and had been con-
tinued in the subsequent impresions, what diligence or fagacity
could have restored the patiage 10 sense?

In the folio, 1623, it is right, except that the word ingredients is there allo mil-ipelt:

which, being caught, return
« To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
« Commends the ingredience of our poison'd chalice
« To our owo lips.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

So, the following passage in Much ado about nothing;

" And I will break with her and with her father,

ic And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end, " &c. is printed thus in the folio; (1633] by the compositor's eye glanco ing from one line to the other :

1 And I will break with her. Was't not to this end," &c. Again, we find in the play before us, edit. 1632 :

for their dear causes
Excite the mortified man."
instead of

for their dear causes
ri Would to the bleeding and the grim alarm

• Excite the mortified man.
Again, in The Winter's Tale, 1632 :

in himself too mighty.
« Uutill a time may serve.
instead of

in himself too mightý;
«. And in his parties, his alliance. Let him be;
Untill a time may ferve." MALONE,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

See p. 107, 11. 4.] After the horrour and agitation of this scene, the reader may perhaps not be displeased to pause for a few minutes. The consummate art which Sbakspeare has displayed in the preparation for the murder of Duncan, and during the commiffion of the dreadful ad, cannot but ftrike every intelligent reader. An ingenious writer, however, whose comparative view of Macbeth and Richard III, has just reached my hands, has developed some of the more-minute traits of the chara&er of Macbeth, particularly in the present and subsequent scene, with such acuteness of observation, that I am tempted to traoscribe fuch of his remarks as relate to the subje& now before us, though I do not entirely agree with him. After having proved by a deduđion of many particulars,' that the towering ambition of Richard is of a very different colour from that of Macbeth, whose weaker desires feem only to aim at preéminence of place, not of dominion, he adds, «Upon the same priuciple a distingiop still stronger is made in the article of courage, though both are possessed of it even to an eminent degree; but in Richard it is intrepidity, and in Macbeth no more than resolution: in him it proceeds from exertion, not from nature; in enterprize he betrays a degree of fear, though he is able, when occasion requires, to ftifle and subdue it. When he and his wife are concerting the murder, his doubt, if we should fail ?" is a difficulty raised by an apprehension; and as soon as that is removed by the contrivance of Lady Macbeth, to make the officers drunk and lay the

[ocr errors]


crime upon them, he runs with violence into the other extreme of confidence, and cries out, with a rapture unusual to him,

Bring forth men children only, &c.
" Will it noi be receiv'd
6. When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two
66, 0f his own chamber, and us'd their very daggers,

6. That they have done it?" which question he puts to her who had the moment before suggested the thought of

“ His spuogy officers, who shall bear the guilt

". Of our great quell." and his asking it again, proceeds from that extravagance with which a delivery from apprehension and doubt is always accompanied. Then summoning all bis fortitude he says, “ I am feuiled," &c. and proceeds to the bloody business without any further recoil. But a certain degree of reftlessness and anxiety still continues, such as is constantly felt by a man not naturally very bold, worked up to a momentous atchievement. His imagination dwells entirely on the circumstances of horrour 'which surround him; the vision of the dagger; the darkness and the stillness of the night, and the terrors and the prayers of the chamberlains. Lady Macbeth, who is cool and undismayed, attends to the business only; considers of the place where she had laid the daggers ready; the impoflibility of his missing them; and is afraid of nothing but a disappointment. She is earnest and eager; be is uneasy and impatient; and therefore wishes it over :

"I go, and it is done;" &c. But a resolution thus forced cannot hold longer than the immediate occasion for it: the moment after that is accomplished for which it was necessary, his thoughts take the contrary turn, and he cries out in agony and despair,

" Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou could'f!" That courage which had supported him while he was settled and bent up, forsakes him so immediately after he has performed the terrible feat, for which it had been exerted, thai he forgets the favourite circumstance of laying it on the officers of the bedchamber; and when reminded of it be refuses to return and complete his work, acknowledging,

"I am afraid to think what I have done ;

" Look on't again I dare not." His disorder'd senses deceive him; and his debilitated spirits fail him ;, be owns that " every noise appals him ;" he liftens when nothing firs; he miftakes the sounds he does hear; he is so confused as not to know whence the knocking proceeds.' She, who is more calm, knows that it is from the south entry; she gives clear and dire& answers to all the incoherent questions he asks her; but he returns noue to that which she puts to bim; and though after Vol. XI.


[ocr errors]



some time, and when necessity again urges him to recolleå himself, he recovers so far as to conceal his distress, yet he still is yot able to divert bis thoughts from it: all bis answers to the trivial queftions of Lenox and Macduff are evidently given by a man thinking of something else; and by taking a tindure from the subje& of his attention, they become equivocal :

Macd. Is the king stirring, worthy thane ?
Macb. Not yet.
Len. Goes the king hence to-day?
Macb. He did appoint so.
Len. The night has been unruly; where we lay
Our chimoeys were blown down; &c.

Mech. Twas a rough night. Not yet implies that he will by aad by, and is a kind of guard against any suspicion of his knowing that the king would never ftir

He did appoint so, is the very counterpart of that which he had said to Lady Macbeth, when on his first meeting her the alked him,

" Lady -M. When goes he hence ?

" Macb. To-morrow, as he purposes." in both which answers he alludes to his disappointing the king's intention. And when forced to make some reply to the long de. scription given by Lenox, he puts off the subjeå which the other was so much inclined to dwell on, by a flight acquiescence in what had been said of the roughnefs of the night; but not like a man who had been attentive to the account, or was willing to keep up the conversation." Remarks on some of the Characters of Shakspeare, { by Mr. Whateley) Svo. 1785.

To these ingenious observations I entirely fubfcribe, except that I think the wavering irresolution and agitation of Macbeth after the murder ought not to be ascribed solely to a remiffion of courage, finct much of it may be imputed to the remorse which would arise in a man who was of a good natural dispofition, and is described as origioally « full of the milk of humao kindness ;- --not without ambition, but without the illnefs should allend it." MALONE.

See Remarks on Mr. Whateley's Dissertation, p. 266 do seq. They forft appeared in The European Magazine for April, 1787.



[ocr errors]

K I N Ġ j O H N.*

« TrướcTiếp tục »