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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH.
An open Place.
Thunder and Lightning. Enter three Witches. 1 Witrh. WHEN shall we three meet again,
In thunder, lightning, or in rain ? 2 Witch. When the burlyburly's' done,
When the battle's lost and won. 3 Witch. That will be ere the set of sun.? 1 Witch. Where the place ? 2 Witch.
Upon the heath : 3 Witch. There to meet with Macbeth.
| The origin and sense of this world are thus given by Peacham in his Garden of Eloquence, 1577 : Onomatopeia, when we in. vent, devise, fayne, and make a name imitating the sound of that it signifyelh, as hurlyburly, for an uprore and tumultuous stirre." Thus also in Holinshed : There were such hurlie burlies kept in every place, to the great danger of overthrowing the whole state of all government in this land.” Of course the word here refers to the lumull of battle, not to the storm, the latter being their ele. meni. — The reason of this scene is thus slated by Coleridge : “ In Macbeth the Poet's object was to raise the mind at once to the high tragic tone, that the audience might be ready for the pre cipitate consuinmation of guilt in the early part of the play. The true reason for the first appearance of the Witches is to strike the key note of the character of the whole drama, as is proved by their reappearance in the third scene, after such an order of the king's as establishes their supernatural power of information."
? So in the original. The is commonly, but very injuriously left out of modern editions.
1 Witch. I come, Graymalkin!
Fair is foul, and foul is fair :
II. A Camp near Fores.
Alarum within. Enter DUNCAN, MALCOLM, Donal
BAIN, LENOx, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Soldier.
Dun. What bloody man is that? He can report,
This is the sergeant,'
Doubtful it stood;
3 Paddock was an old name for load, graymalkin for cat, and these animals were supposed to be the familiars of witches. Toadslools were anciently called paddock-stools.
4. The Weird Sisters," says Coleridge, “are as true a creation of Shakespeare's, as his Ariel and Caliban, - fates, furies, and materializing witches being the elements. They are wholly ifferent from any representation of witches in the contemporary writers, and yet presented a sufficient external resemblance to the creatures of vulgar prejudice to acı immediately on the audience. Their character consists in the imaginative disconnected from the good; they are the shadowy obscure and fearfully anomalous of physical nature, the lawless of human nature, - elemental avengers without sex or kin." Elsewhere he speaks of the “direful music, the wild wayward rhythm, and abrupi lyrics of the opening of Macbeth." Words scarcely less true to the Poet's, than the Poet's aid to the characters.
Sergeants, in ancient times, were not the petty officers now distinguished by that title ; but men performing one kind of feudal military service, in rank next to esquires. In the stage-directiou of the original this sergeant is called a captain.
Rosse. God save the king !
Rosse. From Fife, great king ;
ceive Our bosom interest. - Go, pronounce his present
Rosse. I'll see it done.
Excunt. S Stvevens chuckles over the Poet's ignorance in making Bellona the wise of Mars. Surely a man must be ignorant not to see that the Poet makes Macbeth the husband of Bellona. - Lapp'd in proof is covered with armour of proof.
* By him is meant Norwuy, and by self-comparisons is mcant that he gave hiin as good as he brought, showed that he was his equal.
? Colmes' is here a dissyllable. Colmes' Inch, now called Inchcom), is a small island, lying in the Firth of Edinburgh, with an abbey upon it dedicated to St. Columb. Inch or inse, in Erse, signifies an island.
Thunder. Enter the three Witches.
1 Witch. A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap, And mounch'd, and mounch'd, and mounch'd :
Give me,” quoth I: “ Aroint thee,' witch!” the rump-led ronyon cries. Iler husband's to Aleppo gone, master o’the Tiger :
But in a sieve I'll thither sail,
I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.
| The meaning of aroint, says Collier, is, “begone, stund oft, and it is still used in the Craven district, and generally in the north of England, as well as in Cheshire. In soine places it has assumed the form of rimt, but it is the same word.” Richardson, however, puts it down as from Rodere or Ronger, to guaw, to eai. So that the meaning here would be, as we still say, " po.r on you," os “a plagne take you."
? A scabby or mangy woman fed on offals; the rumps being formerly part of the kitchen fees of the cooks in great houses.
3 Scot. in his Discovery of Witchcrası, 1584, says it was believed that witches « could sail in an egg-shell, a cockle or mus. cle-shell through and under the tempestuous seas.” And in another pamphlei. Declaring the damnable Life of Doctor Fian, a notable Sorcerer : “ All they together went to sea, each one in a riddle or cive, and went in the saine very substantially, with flag. gons of wine making merrie, and drinking by the way in the same riddles or cives." It was the belief of the times that though a witch could assume the form of any animal she pleased, the luil would still he wanting.
* This free giti of a wind is to be considered as an act of sis. terly friendship ; for witches were supposed to sell them. So in Suinmer's Last Will and Testament, 1600 :
« In Ireland and in Denmark both
Witches for gold will sell a man a wind,
1 Witch. Thou'rt kind.
And the very ports they blow,
Look what I have.
[Drum within 3 Witch. A drum, a drum!
Macbeth doth come.
5 That is, forspoken, unhappy, charmed or bewitched. hrdin fellow, Scotice, still signities an unhappy one.
6 This was supposed to be done by means of a waxen figure. Holinshed, speaking of the witchcraft practised to destroy King Duff, says that they found one of the witches roasting, upon a wooden broach, an image of wax at the fire, resembling in each feature the king's person ; “ for as the image did waste afore the fire, so did the bodie of the king break forth in sweat: and as for live words of the inchantment, they served to keepe bim still wak. ing from sleepe."
7 In the pamphlet about Dr. Fian, already quoted : “ Againe it is confessed, that the said christened cai was the cause of the Kinge's majestie's shippe, at his cominforth of Denmurke, had a contrarie winde to the rest of his shippes then being in his companie."
8 In the original weird is spelt weyirurd; doubtless either a misprint, or else intended to mark the wori as having two sylla
Weird is from the Saxou wyrd, and means the same as the