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A C BÉ T

Whose loves I may not drop, but wail his fall
Whom I myself struck down : and thence it is,
That I to your assistance do make love ;
Malking the business from the common eye,
For sundry weighty reasons.
2. MUR.

We shall, my lord,
Perform what you command us.
1. Mur.

Though our lives MacB. Your spirits shine through you. Within

this hour, at most, 4 I will advise you where to plant yourselves. Acquaint you with the perfect spy o'the time, The moment on't ;' for't mult be done to-night,

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- at most, ] These words have no other effe & than to spoil the metre, and may therefore be excluded as an evident iöterpolarion. STEEVENS.

Acquaint you with the perfe& spy o'the time,

The moment on't;] What is meant by the Spy of the time, it will be found difficult to explain ; and therefore sense will be cheaply gained by a slight alteration. - Macbeth is assuring the affaflins that they shall not want dire&ions to find Banquo, and therefore says:

I will

Acquaint you with a perfe& spy o'the time; Accordingly a third murderer joins them afterwards at the place of a&ion, Perfect is well inftruited, or well informed, as in this play:

“ Though in your state of honour I am perfe&t. though I am well acquainted with your quality and rank.

JOHNSON. the perfect spy oʻthe time, ) i. é. the critical jun&ure.

WARBURTON. How the critical jun&ture is the spy oʻthe time, I know not, but I think my own conjeđure right. JOHNSON. I rather believe we should read thus:

Acquaint you with the perfell spot, the time,

The moment on't; - TYRWHITT. I believe that the word with, has bere the force of by; in which sense Shakipeare frequenily uses it; and that the meaning of the passage is this: " I will let you know by the person best informed, of the cxa& moment in which the business is to be done." And

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And something from the palace : always thought, That I require a clearness:* And with him,

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accordingly we find in the next scene, that these two murderers are joined by a third, as Johnson has observed. In his letter to his wifę, Macbeth says, “I have heard by the perfecteft report, that they have more than mortal knowledge. -And in this very scene, we find the word with used to express by, where the murderer says he is " tugg‘d with fortune." M. MASON.

The meaning, I think is, I will acquaint you with the time when you may look out for Banquo's coming, with the most perfe&t assur. ance of not being disappoinied; and noi only with the time in general most proper for lying in wait for him, but with the very moment when you may expc& him. MALONE.

I explain the passage thus, and think it needs no reformation, but that of a fiugle point.,

Within this hour at most, I will advise you where to plant yourselves. Here I place a full stop ; as ao further inftru&ions could be given by Macbeth, the hour of Banquo's return being quite uncertain. Macbeth therefore adds - Acquaint you" &c. i. e. in ancient language, “ acquaint yourselves with the exa& time' moft favour. able to your purposes ; for such a moment must be Spied out by you, be sele&ed by your own attention and scrupulous observation. – You is ungram marically employed, instead of yourselves; as him is for himself, in The Taming of a Shrew :

" To see her noble lord reftor'd to health,
" Who, for twice seven years, hath efteemed him

poor " In this place it is evident that him is used instead of himself. Again, in K. Henry IV. P. I:

" Advantage feeds him fat-” i. e. himself. Again, more appofitely, in K. Richard II. Where York address fing himself to Bolingbroke, Northumberland, and others says

enter in the castle " And there repose you [i. e. yourselves) for this night." Macbeth, in the intervening time, might have learned from some of Banquo's attendants, which way he had ridden out, and therefore could tell the murderers where to plant themselves so as to cut hina off on bis return; but who could ascertain the precise hour of his arrival, except the ruffians who watched for that purpose ?

STEEVENS. - always thought,

That I require a clearnefs:) i. e. you must manage matters so, that throughout the whole tranfa&ion I may stand clear of suspicion,

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(To leave no rubs, nor botches, in the work.)
Fleance his son, that keeps him company,
Whole absence is no less material to me
Than is his father's, must embrace the fate
Of that dark hour. Resolve yourselves apart;
I'll come to you anon.
MUR,

We are resolv'd, my lord.
MACB. I'll call upon you straight; abide within.
It is concluded:-Banquo, thy soul's flight,
If it find heaven, must find it out to-night.

[ Exeunt.

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LADY M. Is Banquo gone from court?
Serv. Ay, madam; but returns again to-night.
LADY M. Say to the king, I would attend his

leisure
For a few words.
SERV. Madam, I will

[ Exit.
LADY M.

Nought's had, all's spent,'
Where our desire is got without content:

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So, Holin shed:

appointing them to meet Banquo and his lonne without the palace, as they returned to their lodgings, and there to flea them, so that he would not have his house flandered, but that in time to come he might cleare himself." STEEVENS.

6 I'll come to you anon.] Perhaps the words - to you, which corrupt the metre, without enforcing the sense, are another playhouse interpolation. STEEVENS.

? Nought's had, all's spent, ] Surely, the unnecessary words Nought's had -- are a tasteless interpolation; for they violate the measure without expanfion of the sentiment.

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'Tis fafer to be that which we destroy,
1 han, by deitructiou, dwell in doubtful joy,

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Enter MACBETH.

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How now, my lord ? why do you keep alone,
Or forrest fancies & your companions making ?
Umg those thoughts, which thould indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without re-

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Should be without regard: what's done, is done. ,
MACB. We have scotch'd ? the snake, not kill'd

it ;

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For a few words. Madam, I will, All's spent. is a complete veilt.

There'is sufficient reason to suppose the meire of Shakspeare was originally uniforın and regular. His frequení exactness in making one speaker complete the verse which another had left imperfect, is 100 evident to need exemp!ification. Sti 1 Hanmer was aware of this, and occasioually ftruggled with such metrical withculties a's occurred; though for want of fauviliarity with ancient language, he often failed in the choice of words to be rejeded or fup plied. STEEVENS, sorrieft fancies

- ] i, e. worthless, ignoble, vile. So, in Othello :

“ I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me." Sorry, however, might bgnify forrow;ul, mela; choly, dismal. So, in The Comedy ofErrors:

" The plice of death and sorry execution."
Again, in the play before us (as Mr. M. Maluo observes) Macbeth
says, -" This is a sorry fight." STEEVENS.'

Things without remedy, \. The old copy-all remedy.
But surely, as Sir T. Hanmer thinks, the word all is an inter-
polation, hurttul 10 the metre, without inprovemónt of the seule.
The same thought occuis in K. Richard 11. a II. fc. iii :
Thinys paft redrels, aje now with me paft care.'

STEEVENS.
- Scotch'd -] Mr. Theobald.- Fol. Scorch'd.

JOHNSON Vol. XI.

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She'll close, and be herself; whilst our poor malice
Remains in danger of her former tooth.
But let
The frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer,
Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep
In the affliction of these terrible dreams,
That shake us nightly: Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our place, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstacy. * Duncan is in his grave;
After life's fitful fever, he sleeps well;
Treason has done his worst: nor steel, nor poison,
Malice domestick, foreign levy, nothing,
Can touch him further !

LADY M. Come on;
Gentle my lord, leek o'er your rugged looks;

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Scotch'd is the true reading. So, in Coriolanus, Ad IV. sc. v: he scotch'd him and noich'd him like a carbonado."

STEEVENS. * But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer, ] The old copy reads thius, and I have followed it, rejeđing the modern contra&ion, which was:

But let both worlds disjoint, and all things suffer. The same idea occurs in Hamlet :

". That both the worlds I give to negligence." STEEVENS. Whom we, to gain our place, have fint to peace, ] The old copy reads:

Whom we, to gain our peace--, For the judicious corrc&ionplace, we are indebted to the second folio. STEEVENS.

3 In restless echacy. ] Ecstacy, for madness. WARBURTON.

Ecflacy, in its general sense, fignifies any violent emotion of the mind. Here it means the emotions of pain, agony. So, in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, P. I:

Griping our bowels with retorqued thoughts,

“ And have no hope to end our extases." Again, Milton, in his ode on The Nativity: " In pensive trance, and anguilh, and ecstatic fit."

STEEVENS,

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