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What's the matter? Macd. Confusion now hath made his master
What is’t you say? the life?
sight With a new Gorgon:-Do not bid me speak; See, and then speak yourselves.—Awake! awake!
Exeunt Macbeth and Lenox. Ring the alarum-bell:-Murder! and treason! Banquo, and Donalbain! Malcolm! awake! Shake off this downy sleep, death's counterfeit, And look on death itself!-up, up, and see The great doom's image!--Malcolm! Banquo! As from your graves rise up, and walk like sprights, To countenance this horror!
Enter Lady Macbeth. Lady M.
What's the business, That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley The sleepers of the house? speak, speak, Macd.
O, gentle lady,
Too cruel, any where.-
Re-enter MACBETH and Lenox. Macb. Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had liv'd a blessed time; for, from this instant, There's nothing serious in mortality: All is but toys: renown, and grace, is dead; The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees Is left this vault to brag of.
Enter Malcolm and DONALBAIN.
You are, and do not know it:
Macd. Your royal father's murder'd.
O, by whom?
Macb. O, yet I do repent me of my fury,
Wherefore did you so?
- Here lay Duncan, His silver skin lac'd with his golden blood;] It is not improbable, that Shakspeare put these forced and unnatural metaphors into the mouth of Macbeth, as a mark of artifice and dissimula,
And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature,
Help me hence, ho!
Why do we hold our tongues, That most may claim this argument for ours?
Don. What should be spoken here,
Nor our strong sorrow on
Look to the lady:
[Lady MACBETH is carried out. And when we have our naked frailties hid, That suffer in exposure, let us meet, And question this most bloody piece of work,
tion, to show the difference between the studied language of hypocrisy, and the natural outcries of sudden passion. This whole speech, so considered, is a remarkable instance of judgment, as it consists entirely of antithesis and metaphor. Yet some of these metaphors are to be found in old plays. Johnson
? Unmannerly breech'd with gore:) According to Mr. Steevens the expression may mean, that the daggers were covered with blood, quite to their breeches, i. e. their hilts or handles. The lower end of a cannon is called the breech of it; and it is known that both to breech and to unbreech a gun are common terms; but Dr. Farmer says that the sense is, in plain language, Daggers filthily in a foul manner,-sheath'd with blood, and has given an example where sheaths are called breeches.
And when we have our naked frailties hid,
That suffer in exposure,] i. e. when we have clothed our halfdrest bodies, which may take cold from being exposed to the air. It is possible that, in such a cloud of words, the meaning might escape the reader. STEEVENS.
To know it further. Fears and scruples shake us:
And so do I.
So all. Macb. Let's briefly put on manly readiness. And meet i'the hall together.
[Exeunt all but Mal. and Don. Mal. What will you do? Let's not consort with
them: To show an unfelt sorrow, is an office Which the false man does easy: I'll to England.
Don. To Ireland, I; our separated fortune Shall keep us both the safer: where we are, There's daggers in men's smiles: the near in blood, The nearer bloody. Mal.
This murderous shaft that's shot, Hath not yet lighted;' and our safest way Is, to avoid the aim. Therefore, to horse; And let us not be dainty of leave-taking,
9 In the great hand of God I stand; and, thence,
Against the undivulg'd pretence I fight
Of treasonous malice.] Pretence is intention, design, a sense in which the word is often used by Shakspeare. Banquo's meaning is,-in our present state of doubt and uncertainty about this murder, I have nothing to do but to put myself under the direction of God; and, relying on his support, I here declare myself an eternal enemy to this treason, and to all its further designs that have not yet come to light. STEEVENS. I the near in blood,
The nearer bloody.] Meaning, that he suspected Macbeth to be the murderer; for he was the nearest in blood to the two princes, being the cousin-german of Duncan. STEEVENS. 2 This murderous shaft that's shot,
Hath not yet lighted;] The design to fix the murder upon some innocent person has not yet taken effect ; or, the end for which the murder was committed is not yet attained.
But shift away: There's warrant in that theft
Enter Rosse and an old Man. Old M. Threescore and ten I can remember well: Within the volume of which time, I have seen Hours dreadful, and things strange; but this sore
night Hath trifled former knowings. Rosse.
Ah, good father, Thou see'st, the heavens, as troubled with man's act, Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day, And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp: Is it night's predominance, or the day's shame, That darkness does the face of earth intomb, When living light should kiss it? Old M.
'Tis unnatural, Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last, A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place, Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at, and kill'd. Rosse. And Duncan's horses, (a thing most strange
and certain,) Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make War with mankind. Old M.
'Tis said, they eat each other. Rosse. They did so; to the amazement of mine
eyes, That look d' upon't. Here comes the good Mac