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the folio happens to spell the last word“ hit,”—“which Tieck proposes to retain." In act i. sc. 7, Macbeth says;
“ but that this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all, here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come.” and the folio having "school," Tieck thinks it right: “bank is here the school-bench; time is used, as it frequently is, for the present time," &c. &c.
In act iv. sc. 1, Macbeth conjures the Witches to answer
though the treasure Of nature's germins tumble all together,” &c. here the folio has "germaine” (the s having dropt out), – 66 which Tieck would retain
nature's germaine' means the sun and moon” (he might have added, "and the seven stars”).
Gifford was indignant at the follies of the bygone editors of Shakespeare ; but what would he have felt, had he lived to see one of the poet's greatest tragedies illustrated by an importation of nonsense from Germany!
To return to “ Tarquin's ravishing strides."--I have no doubt that “strides” is the genuine reading : those critics who objected that the word conveys an idea of violence, &c., ought to have remembered that Shakespeare in an early poem had described that very Tarquin as “ stalking" into the chamber of Lucretia ;
Into the chamber wickedly he stalks,
Rape of Lucrece, vol. viii. 425.
• That summons thee to heaven or to hell.
[Exit. Scene 11.
The Same." (So all the other modern editions ; though there is no change of place.)
“ Enter Lady Macbeth. Lady M. That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold : What hath quench'd them hath given me fire.—Hark !—Peace ! It was the owl that shriek’d, the fatal bellman, Which gives the stern’st good-night. He is about it. The doors are open ; and the surfeited grooms Do mock their charge with snores: I have drugg'd their possets, That death and nature do contend about them, Whether they live, or die.”
Mr. Knight prints the speech of Lady Macbeth thus;
What hath quench’d them hath given me fire :-
“ Here [' He is about it,' &c.],” says Mr. Knight, follow the metrical arrangement of the original, with a slight deviation in the subsequent lines."
In not a few passages of Shakespeare the metrical arrangement of the old editions was most wantonly altered by Steevens and Malone. But there are some passages,
and the present speech is one of them,-where a new division of the lines is obviously necessary. The regulation given here by Mr. Knight is not “'imetrical,” — it is barbarous. Let any one write out the passage as prose, and then read it as verse,—it will naturally fall into the arrangement which Mr. Collier has adopted.
SCENE 2.-C. p. 126.
A little water clears us of this deed :
How easy is it, then?” Wrong punctuation. She is not asking what the facility is; but exclaiming at it,—" How easy is it, then!"
SCENE 4.-C. p. 132.
“ Ah! good father,
When living light should kiss it ?” “ The words travel and travail (observes the Rev. Mr. Barry) have now different meanings, though formerly synonymous. Travel. ling, the ordinary reading, gives a puerile idea; whereas the poet, by 'travailing,' seems to have reference to the struggle between the sun and night, which induces Rosse to ask, • Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,'" &c.
Collier. The stupidity of Mr. Barry's alteration is intolerable, and Mr. Collier’s rashness in adopting it extreme. In this speech no mention is made of the sun till it is described as travelling lamp,"— the epithet “ travelling” determining what “lamp" was intended : the instant, therefore, that “travelling" is changed to “ travailing,” the word “ lamp” CEASES TO SIGNIFY THE SUN.
That Shakespeare was not singular in applying the epithet travelling to the sun might be shewn by many passages of our early poets : so Drayton;
“ The Sunne that mounted the sterne Lions back,
Shall with the Fishes shortly diue the Brack,
appended to The Battaile of Agincourt, &c. 1627. Even modern writers describe the sun as a traveller;
“I could not but offer up, in silence, on the altar of my heart, praise and adoration to that sovereign and universal mind, who produced this glorious creature [the sun), as the bright image of his benignity, and makes it travel unweariedly round," &c. Amory's Life of Buncle, vol. ii. 178, ed. 1766.
It is hardly necessary to add, that this “puerile idea,” as the Rev. Mr. Barry terms it, is to be traced to Scripture,Psalm xix. 5.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 136. To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings !" “ So the old copies, which there is no sufficient reason for abandoning, especially as Macbeth is speaking of Banquo's issue throughout in the plural.” COLLIER.
But does not 'seed' convey the idea of number as well as seeds ? and is it likely that Shakespeare would have deviated so oddly from common phraseology as to term the issue of a man his seeds?
SCENE 2.-C. p. 140.
That shake us nightly.”
But let the frame of things disjoint, both the worlds suffer.”
Scene 4.-C. p. 144.
My royal lord,
'Tis given with welcome." The above punctuation is directly against the obvious meaning of the passage, which ought to stand thus;
the feast is sold,
'Tis given with welcome;" i. e. “ That feast can only be considered as sold, not given, during which the entertainers omit such courtesies as may assure their guests that it is given with welcome.'
SCENE 4.-C. p. 146 ; K. p. 37.
Give me some wine : fill full.
I drink to the general joy of the whole table,
And to our dear friend Banquo," &c. . It was the opinion of the late Mr. Benjamin Strutt that the Ghost which entered at this point was that of Duncan, and not of Banquo. The folio, 1623, certainly, does not mention whose Ghost made its appearance, but the immediate context, referring again to the absence of Banquo, seems to warrant the ordinary interpretation. Had it been the Ghost of Duncan, the old copies would hardly have failed to give us the information. It merely here states, “Enter Ghost,' having before stated, 'Enter the Ghost of Banquo.' Mr. H. C. Robinson, in communicating to me Mr. B. Strutt's notion, supports it by several later portions of the scene, particularly by the passages, 'Thy bones are marrowless,' • Thou hast no speculation in those eyes,' and, “Take any shape but that ;' which are supposed to be applicable to Duncan, who had been long dead, and not to Banquo, who had been very recently murdered. This opinion deserves to be treated with every respect, but it seems rather one of those conjectures in which original minds indulge, than a criticism founded upon a correct interpretation of the text of the author. Macbeth would not address · And dare me to the desert with thy sword' to the shade of the venerable Duncan; and • Thou hast no speculation in those eyes,' &c. is the appearance that eyes would assume just after death. Some have maintained, against the positive evidence of all the old copies, that the first Ghost was that of Duncan.” COLLIER.
Instead of agreeing with Mr. Collier that Strutt's “ opinion deserves to be treated with every respect,” I am arrogant enough to think that it is worthy of all contempt. In the first place, it is certain that the stage-directions which are found in the early editions of plays were designed solely for the instruction of the actors, not for the benefit of the readers (though Mr. Collier in the above note talks of the old copies “ giving us the information"); and consequently, if Shakespeare had intended the Ghost of Duncan to appear as well as the Ghost of Banquo, he would no doubt have carefully distinguished them in the stage-directions, and not have risked the possibility of the wrong Ghost being sent on by the