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1606, and it has been supposed to convey a dexterous and delicate compliment to James the First, who derived his lineage from Banquo, and first united the threefold sceptre of England, Scotland, and Ireland. At the same time, the monarch's prejudices on the subject of demonology were flattered by the choice of the story.

It was once thought that Shakspeare derived some hints for his scenes of incantation from The Witch, a tragi-comedy, by John Middleton, which, after lying long in manuscript, was published about thirty years since by Isaac Reed; but Malone* has with considerable ingenuity shown that Middleton's drama was most probably written subsequently to Macbeth.

* See the chronological order of the plays in the late Variorum Edition, by Mr. Boswell,

vol. ii. p. 420.

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DUNCAN, King of Scotland.

DONALBAIN, his Sons.




BANQUO, } Generals of the King's Army.





Noblemen of Scotland.


FLEANCE, Son to Banquo.

SIWARD, Earl of Northumberland, General of the Eng

lish Forces.


SEYTON, an Officer attending on Macbeth.
Son to Macduff.

An English Doctor. A Scotch Doctor.
A Soldier. A Porter. An old Man.



Gentlewoman attending on Lady Macbeth.
HECATE, and three Witches.2

Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attend-
ants, and Messengers.

The Ghost of Banquo, and several other Apparitions.

SCENE, in the end of the Fourth Act, lies in England;
through the rest of the play, in Scotland; and chiefly
at Macbeth's Castle.

1 Lady Macbeth's name was Gruach filia Bodhe, according to Lord Hailes. Andrew of Wintown, in his Cronykil, informs us that she was the widow of Duncan ; a circumstance with which Shakspeare was, of course, unacquainted.

2 As the play now stands, in Act v. Sc. 1, three other witches make their appearance.



SCENE I. An open Place. Thunder and lightning

Enter three Witches.

1 Witch. WHEN shall we three meet again, In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

2 Witch. When the hurlyburly's done, When the battle's lost and won.

3 Witch. That will be ere set of sun.

1 Witch. Where the place?

2 Witch.

Upon the heath;

3 Witch. There to meet with Macbeth.

1 Witch. I come, Graymalkin!

All. Paddock calls;—Anon.1

Fair is foul, and foul is fair;
Hover through the fog and filthy air. [Witches vanish

SCENE II. A Camp near Fores. Alarum within.

with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Soldier.?
Dun. What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.

1 Upton observes, that, to understand this passage, we should suppose one familiar calling with the voice of a cat, and another with the croaking of a toad. A paddock most generally seems to have signified a toad, though it sometimes means a frog. What we now call a toadstoo. was anciently called a paddock-stool.

2 The first folio reads captain.



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This is the sergeant, 1

Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought
'Gainst my captivity.-Hail, brave friend!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil,
As thou didst leave it.

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Doubtful it stood;
As two spent swimmers, that do cling together,
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald
(Worthy to be a rebel; for to that 2
The multiplying villanies of nature



Do swarm upon him) from the Western Isles
Of Kernes and Gallowglasses is supplied;
And Fortune, on his damned quarry smiling,
Showed like a rebel's whore.5 But all's too weak;
For brave Macbeth, (well he deserves that name,)
Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,

Like valor's minion,


Carved out his passage, till he faced the slave;


And ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseamed him from the nave to the chaps,
And fixed his head upon our battlements.

Dun. O valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!
Sold. As whence the sun 'gins his reflection
Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders break;"

1 Sergeants, in ancient times, were men performing one kind of feudal military service, in rank next to esquires.


2 Vide Tyrwhitt's Glossary to Chaucer, v. for; and Pegge's Anecdotes of the English Language, p. 205. For to that means no more than for that, or cause that.

3 i. e. supplied with armed troops so named. Of and with are indiscriminately used by our ancient writers. Gallowglasses were heavyarmed foot-soldiers of Ireland and the Western Isles; Kernes were the lighter armed troops.

4 "But fortune on his damned quarry smiling."-Thus the old copies. It was altered at Johnson's suggestion to quarrel. But the old copy needs no alteration. Quarry means the squadron (escadre), or square body, into which Macdonwald's troops were formed, better to receive the charge.

5 The meaning is, that Fortune, while she smiled on him, deceived him. 6 The old copy reads which.

"But then this daybreak of our victory

Served but to light us into other dangers,

That spring from whence our hopes did seem to rise." Break is not in the first folio.

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7 Sir W. D'Avenant's reading of this passage, in his alteration of the play, is a tolerable comment on it:

So from that spring, whence comfort seemed to come,
Discomfort swells. Mark, king of Scotland, mark ;
No sooner justice had, with valor armed,
Compelled these skipping Kernes to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbished arms, and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.

Dismayed not this
Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo?


As sparrows, eagles; or the hare, the lion.
If I say sooth, I must report, they were
As cannons overcharged with double cracks;
So they

Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe;
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,1

I cannot tell :

But I am faint; my gashes cry for help.

Dun. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds;

They smack of honor both.-Go, get him surgeons. [Exit Soldier, attended.

Enter Rosse.

Who comes here?

The worthy thane of Rosse.

Len. What a haste looks through his eyes! So should he look,

That seems to speak things strange.



God save the king!

Dun. Whence cam❜st thou, worthy thane? Rosse. From Fife, great king, Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky, And fan our people cold. Norway himself, with terrible numbers,

1 i. e. make another Golgotha as memorable as the first.
2 "That seems about to speak strange things."

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