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As two spent swimmers, that do cling together,
The old copy has-Doubtfull — so that my addition consists of but a single letter. STEEVENS,
- Macdonwald] Thus the old copy. According to Holinshed we should read-Macdowald. Steevens.
So also the Scottish Chronicles. However, it is posible that Shakspeare might have preferred the name that has been subftituted, as better founding. It
appears from a subsequent scene that he had attentively read Holinshed's account of the murder of king Duff, by Donwald, Lieutenant of the castle of Fores; it consequence of which he might, either from inadvertence or choice, have here written-Macdonwald. MALONE.
--to that, &c.] i. e. in addition to that. So, in Troilus and Cresida, A& I. sc. i:
" The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,
Fierce to their skill, and to their fierceness valiant." The soldier who describes Macdonwald, seems to mean, that, in addition to his assumed character of rebel, he abounds with the numerous enormities to which man, in his natural state, is liabla.
STEEVENS. 6 -- from the western ises
of Kernes and Gallowglaffes is fupplied;] Whether supplied of, for supplied from or with, was a kind of Grecism of Shakspeare's expression ; or whether of be a corruption of the editors, who took Kernes and Gallowglasses, which were only lighi and heavy armed foot, to be the names of two of the weftern iland's, I don't know. Hinc conjeéturæ vigorem ctiam adjiciunt arma quædam Hibernica, Gallicis antiquis fimilia, jacula nimirum peditum levis armature quos Kernos vocant, nec non secures by loricæ ferreæ peditum illorum gravioris armaturæ, quos Galloglaflios appellant.
Waræi Antiq. Hiber. cap. vi. WARBURTON.
Of and with are indiscriminately used by our ancient wriSo, in The Spanish Tragedy:
" Performid of pleasure by your son the prince."
And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Again, in God's Revenge against Murder, bist. vi: “Sypontus in the mean time is prepared of two wicked gandaliers," &c. Again, in The History of Helyas Knight of the Sun, b. 1. no date : "-he was well garnished of spear, sword, and armoure,' &c. These are a few out of a thousand instances which might be brought to the same purpose.
Kernes and Gallowglasses are chara&erized in the Legend of Roger
-the Gallowglass, the Kerne,
STEEVENS. The old copy has Gallow-grosses. Correded by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
7 And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,] The old copy hasquarry; but I am inclined to read quarrel. Quarrel was formerly used for cause, or for the occahon of a quarrel, and is to be found in that sense in Holinihed's account of the story of Macbeth, who, upon the creation of the prince of Cumberland, thought, says the hiftorian, that he had a juft quarrel to endeavour after the crown. The sense therefore is, Fortune smiling on his execrable cause, &c.
JOHNSON. The word quarrel occurs iu Holinshed's relation of this very fad, and may be regarded as a sufficient proof of its having been tbe term here employed by Shakspeare: "Qut of the western ifles there came to Macdowald a great multitude of people, to affift him in that rebellious quarrel.” Besides, Macdowald's quarry (i. e. game) muft have confifted of Duncan's friends, and would the speaker then have applied the epithet-damned to them ? and what liave the smiles of fortune to do over a carnage, when we have defeated our enemies? Her business is then at an end. Her smiles or frowns are no longer of any consequence. We only talk of these, while we are pursuing our quarrel, and the event of it is uncertain.
STEEVENS. The reading proposed by Dr. Johnson, and his explanation of it, are Arongly supported by a passage in our author's King John :
And put his cause and quarrel
“ To the disposing of the cardinal." Again, in this play of Macbeth :
and the chance, of goodness, " Be like our warranted quarrel." Here we have warranted quarrel, the cxa& oppofite of damned quettel, as the text is now regulated.
Show'd like a rebel's whore :8 But all's too weak:
Lord Bacon, in his Essays, uses the word in the same sense : < Vives are young men's mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men's nurses; so as a man may have a quarrel to marry, when he will. MALONE.
8 Show'd like a rebel's whore :) I suppose the meaning is, that fortune, while she smiled on him, deceived him. Shakspeare probably aliudes to Macdowald's firft successful a&ion, elated by which he attempted to pursue his fortune, but lost his life.
MALONE, 9 Like valour's minion,
Carv'd out his poffage, till he fac'd the have ;] The old copy reads.com
Like valour's minion, carv'd out his passage
Till he fac'd the flave. As an hemittich must be admitted, it seems more favourable to the metre that it should be found where it is now left.--Till he aust the save, could never be deligned as the beginniog of a verse, ai ha mony were at all attended to in its conftrudion. STEEVENS. Like valour's minion,) So, in King John:
----fortune shall cull. forth, ss Out of one side, her happy minion." MALONE. * And ne'er Jhook hands, &c. The old copy reads- Which nev'r.
STEEVENS, vir. Pope, instead of which, here and in many other places, Teids--who. But there is no need of change. There is scarcely wide of our author's plays in which he has not used which for who. So, in The Winter's Tale :: “the old shepherd, which stands Ly," &c.
MALONE. The old reading— Which never, appears to indicate that some altecedent words, now' irretrievable, were omitted in the playhouse inan'uscript; uniess the compositor's eye had caught whicke from a foregoing line, and printed it instead of And. Which, in the present instance, cafinot well have been subflituted for who, because it will refer to the fave Macdonel, instead of his conqueror Macbeth, STEEVENS.
Till he unseam'd hin from the nave to the chops, And fix'd his head upon our battlernents.
Dun. O, valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!
-he unseam'd him from the nave to the shop's,] We seldom. hear of such terrible cross blows given and received but by giants and miscreants in Amadis de Gaule. Besides, it must be a strange aukward stroke that could unrip him upwards from the navel io the chops. But Shaklpeare certainly wrote:
Lbe unseam'd him from the nape to the chops. i. c. cut his skull in two ; which might be done by a Highlander's sword. This was a reasonable blow, and very naturally expressed, on supposing it given when the head of the wearied combatant was reclining downwards at the latter end of a loug duel.
For the nape is the binder part of the neck, where the vertebræ join to the bone of the skull. So, in Coriolanus :
so! that you could turn your eyes towards the napes of
The word unseamed likewise becomes very proper ; and alludes to the future which goes cross the crown of the head in that di. redion called the futura sagittalis; and which, consequently, must be opened by such a stroke. It is remarkable, that Milton, who in his youth read and imitated our poet much, particularly in his Comus, was misled by this corrupt reading. For in the manuscript of that poem, in Trinity-College library, the following lines are read thus :
" Or drag him by the curls, and cleave his scalpe
- Down to the hippes. An evident imitation of this corrupted passage. But he alter'd it with better judgement to :
to a foul death 66 Curs'd as his life.” WARBURTON. The old reading is certainly the true one, being justified by a passage in Dido Queene of Carthage, by Tho. Nash, 1594:
6. Then from the navel to the throat at once
" He ript old Priam." So likewise in an ancient MS. entitled The boke of huntung, that is cleped Mayster of Game : Cap. V. “Som mem haue sey hyn Ditte a man fro the kne up to the breft, and' lle hym all farke dede at o Arok." STEEVENS.
Again, by the following paffage in an unpublished play, entitled The Witch, by Thomas Middleton, in which the same wound is described, though the Atroke is reversed :
" Draw it, or I'll rip thee down from neck to NAVEL,
Sold. As whence the fun 'gins his reflexion Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;' So from that spring, whence comfort feem'd to
come, Discomfort swells.5 Mark, king of Scotland,
mark: No sooner justice had, with valour arm’d,
3 As whence the fun 'gins his reflection - The thought is expressed with some obscurity, but the plain meaning is this : As the same quarter, whence the blessing of day-light arises, sometimes sends us, by a dreadful reverse, the calamities of storms and tempests ; so the glorious event of Macbeth's victory, which promised us the comforts of peace, was immediately succeeded by the alarming news of the Nora weyan invasion. The natural history of the winds, &c. is foreign to the explanation of this passage. Shakspeare does not mean, in couformity to any theory, to say that storms generally come from the east. If it be allowed that they sometimes issue from tbat quarter, it is sufficient for the purpose of his comparison.
STEEVENS. The natural history of the winds, &c, was idly introduced on this occasion by Dr. Warburton. Sir William Davenant's reading of this passage, in an alteration of this play, published in quarto, in 1674, affords a reasonably good comment upon it :
" But then this day-break of our vidory
MALONE. thunders break ;] The word break is wanting in the oldeft copy.
The other folios and Rowe read-breaking. Mr. Pope madethe emendation. STEEVENS.
Break, which was suggested by the reading of the second folio, is very unlikely to have been the word omitted in the original copy. It agrees with thunders ;-but who ever talked of the breaking of a form? Malone.
The phrase, I believe, is sufficiently common. Thus Dryden in All for Love, &c. A& I:
--the Roman camp Hangs o'er us black and threat'ning, like a form “ Just breaking o'er our heads." STEEVENS. Discomfort swells.] Discomfort the natural opposite to comfort.