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Mur. 'Tis Banquo's then.

MACB. 'Tis better thee without, than he within.5
Is he despatch'd ?
Mur. My lord, his throat is cut; that I did for

MACB. Thou art the best o'the cut-throats: Yet

he's good,
That did the like for Fleance: if thou didst it,
Thou art the nonpareil.

Most royal fir,
Fleance is 'scaped.
MACB. Then comes my fit again: 1 had else been

Whole as the marble, founded as the rock:
As broad, and general, as the casing air:
But now, I am cabin'd cribb'd, confin'd, bound in
To saucy doubts and fears. But Banquo's safe?

Mur. Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides,
With twenty trenched gashes on his head;
The least a death to nature.



:'Tis better thee without, than he within.] The sense requires that this passage should be read thus :

'Tis better thee without, than him within. That is, I am better pleased that the blood of Banquo should be on thy face than in his body.

The author miglit mean, It is better that Banquo's blood were on thy face, than he in this room. Expressions thus imperfe& are commod in his works. JOHNSON, I have no doubt that this last was the author's meaning.

MALONE, trenched gashes-] Trancher, to cut. Fr. So, in Arden of Feversham, 1592 :

" Is deeply trenched on my blushing brow." Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

like a figure " Trenched in ice." STEEVENS.

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Thanks for that:
There the grown serpent lies; the worm,' that's fled,
Hath nature that in time will venom breed,
No teeth for the present.--Get thee gone; to-morrow
We'll hear, ourselves again. [Exit Murderer.

My royal lord,
You do not give the cheer : 'the feast is fold,
That is not often vouch’d, while 'tis a making,
'Tis given with welcome : To feed, were best at

From thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.

Sweet remembrancer !
Now, good digestion wait on appetite, 9
And health on both !

May it please your highness fit? [The ghost of BANQUo rises, and sits in Macbeth's






the worm,] This term in our author's time was applied to all of the serpent kind. MALONE.

the feast is sold, &c.] Mr. Pope reads: the feast is cold,--and not without plausibility. Such another phrase occurs in The Elder Brother of Beaumont and Fletcher :

• You must be welcome too :-- the feast is flat elfe." But the same exprefliou as Shakspeare's, is found in The Romaunt of the Rose:

si Good dede done through praiere,

't Is sold, and bought to dere." STEEVENS. The meaning is, – That which is not given cheerfully, cannot be called a gift, it is something that must be paid for. Johns

It is still common to say, that we pay dear for an entertainment, if the circumstances attending the participation of it prove irksome

HENLEY. 3 Now, good digestion wait on appetite,] So, in K. Henry VIII:

" A good digestion to you all." Steevens. · The ghost of Banquo rises,] This circumstance of Banquo's ghoff seems to be alluded 10 in The Puritan, first printed in 1607, and ridiculously ascribed to Shakspeare: " We'll ha' the ghost i'ih' white sheet fit at upper end o'th'table." FARMER.


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MACB. Here had we now our country's honour

roof'd. Were the grac'd person of our Banquo present; Whọ may I rather challenge for unkindness,

, Than pity for mischance! Rosse.

His absence, fir, Lays blame upon his promise. Please it your high

To grace us with your royal company ?

MACB. The table's full.

Here is a place reserv'd, fir.
MACB. Where?

Here, my lord. What is't that
moves your highness?
MACB. Which of you have done this?

What, my good lord ?
MACB. Thou canst not say, I did it: never shake
Thy gory locks at me.
Rosse. Gentlemen, rise; his highness is not well.


* Than pity for mischance!] This is one of Shakspeare's touches of nature. Macbeth by these words discovers a consciousness of guilt; and this circumstance could not fail to be recolleaed by a nice observer on the affaslination of Banquo being publickly known.” Not being yet rendered sufficiently callous by " hard use," Macbeth betrays' himself (a's Mr. Whcatley has observed,) " by an over-aded regard for Banquo, of whose absence from the feast he affe&ts to complain, that he may not be suspe&ed of knowing the cause, though at the same time he very unguardedly drops an allus fron to that caufe." MALONE.

These words do not seem to convey any consciousness of guilt on the part of Macbeth, or allufion to Banquo's murder, as Mr. Wheatley supposes. Macbeth only means to say—“ I have more cause to accuse him of unkindness for his absence, than to pity him for any accident or mischance that may have occasioned it."

Douce. * Hete, my lord. &c.] The old copy--my good lord; an interpolation that spoils the metre. The compositor's eye bad caught good from the next speech but one. STEEVENS,

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Lady. M. Sir, worthy friend:--Iny lord is often


And hath been from his youth: pray you, keep feat;
The fitis inumentary ; upon a thought 4
He will again be well: If much you note him,
You shall offend him, and extend his paflion, 5

Feed, and regard him not Are you a man?

MACB. Ay, anda bold one, that dare look on that
Which might appal the devil.

O proper

stuff! This is the very painting of your fear : This is the air-drawn dagger, which, you said, Led you to Duncan. O, these flaws, and starts, (impofiors to true fear,) would well become? A woman's story; at a winter's fire, Authoriz'd by her grandam. Shame itself!


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upon a thought-] ii e. as fpeedily as thought can be exerted. So, in King Henry IV. P. I: "-- aud, with a thought, seven of the eleven I pay'd." Again, in Hamlet:

"- as (wift
" As meditation, or the thoughts of love." STEVENS.

extend his possion; ] Prolong his suffering; make his fit louger. JOHNSON.

6 O proper stuff! This speech is rather too long for the circumftances in which it is spoken. It had begun better at, Shame itfilf !

JOHNSON. Surely it required more than a few words, to argue Macbeth out of the horror that possessed him. M. MASON.

-0, theje flaws, and starts,

(impoftors 10 rue fear, ) would well brcome &c.] i. c. these : flaws and starts, as thev are indications of your nưedless tears, are the imitators or impostois only of thole which arise from a fear well grounded. WARBURTON.

Flaws are sudden gults. Johnson!
So, in Coriolanus :

" Like a great sea-mark, standing every flaw." STEEVENS. Again, in Venus and Adonis :

" Gufts and foulflaws to herdmen and to herds." MALONE.


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Why do you make such faces ? When all's done,
You look but on a ftool.
Macb. Pr’ythee, see there! behold! look! lo!

how say you?
Why, what care 1 ? If thou canst nod, speak to0.-
If charnel-houles, and our graves, muit send
Those that we bury, back, our munuments
Shall be the inaws of kites.

LADY M. What! quite unmann'd in folly? 9
Macb. If I stand here, I saw him.

Fie; for shame!
MACB. Blood hath been shed ere now, i'the

olden time,




To may

Impostors to true fear, mean impostors when compared with true fear. Such is the force of the preposition to in this place.

M. Mason. So, iu K. Henry VIII. "Fetch me a dozen crab-tree staves, and Atrong ones; these are but switches io them." STEEVENS. used fo of. In The Two Gentlemen of

na we have an expression resembling this :

" Thou counterfeit to thy true friend." MALONE. * Shall be the maws of kites.]. The same thought occurs in Spenser's Facry Queen, B. II. c. viii :

" But be entombed in the raven or the kight." STEEVENS. • In splendidissimum quem que captivum, non fine verborum contumelia, sa viit: 'ut quidem uni fuppliciter sepulturam precanți respondiffe dicatur, jam iftam in volucrum fore potejtatem." Sueton. in August. 13.

MALONE. 9 What! quite unmann'd in folly?) Would not this question be forcible enough without the iwo last words, which overflow the metre, and consequently may be suspected as interpolations ?

STEEVENS, -i'the olden time,] Mr. M. Mason proposes to read the golden time," meaning the Golden age: but the ancient reading may be justified by Holinthed, who, speaking of the witches, says, they "resembled creatures of the elder world ;” and in I welfth Night we have

-dallies with the innocence of love,
56 Like the old age.
Vol. XI.


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