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him. So, in Sir A. Gorge's translation of the third book of Lucan :

“ The tribune's curses, in like case,
“ Said he, did greedy Crassus trace."

STEEVENS. 184. —natural touch:-) Natural sensibility. He is not touched with natural affection. JOHNSON,

So, in an ancient Ms. play, entitled The Second Maiden's Tragedy :

-How she's beguil'd in him! 6. There's no such natural touch search all his bosom."

STEEVENS. 184. -the poor wren, &c.] The same thought occurs in the third part of King Henry VI.

-doves will peck, in safety of their brood. “ Who hath not seen them (even with those wings “ Which sometimes they have us'd in fearful

flight) “ Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest, Offering their own lives in their young's defence ?!

STEEVENS. 193 The fits o'the season. -] The fits of the season should appear to be, from the following passage in Coriolanus, the violent disorders of the season, its convulsions :

but that " The violent fit o’th’times craves it as physick."

STEEVENS. See catch-word Alphabet. Lij



-when we are traitors,

And do not know ourselves; -] I think, the meaning is, when we are considered by the state as traitors, while at the same time we are unconscious of guilt ; -when we appear to others so different from what we really are, that we seem not to know ourselves. MALONE, 195.

-when we hold rumour

From what we fear -] I think to hold means, in this place, to believe; as we say, I hold such a thing to be true, i. e, I take it, I believe it to be so, Thus, in King Henry VIII.

-Did you not of late days hear, &c.

1 Gen. Yes, but held it not." The sense of the whole passage will then be: The times are cruel when our fears induce us to believe, or take for granted, what we hear rumour'd or reported abroad ; and yet, at the same time, as we live under a tyrannical government where will is substituted for law, we know not what we have to fear, because we know not when we of. fend. Or, When we are led by our fears to believe every rumour of danger we hear, yet are not conscious to ourselves of any crime for which we should be disturbed with those fears. A passage like this occurs in K. John.

“ Possess'd with rumours, full of idle dreams,

Not knowing what they fear, but full of fear." This is the best I can make of the passage.

STEEVENS. 207. Sirrah, your father's dead ;] Sirrah, in our author's time, was not term of reproach, but generally used by masters to servants, parents to children,


&c. So before, in this play, Macbeth says to his servant, “ Sirrah, a word with you: attend these men our pleasure?"

MALONE. 243.

-I am not to you known,

Though in your state of honour I am perfect.] į. e. You know not me, but I am perfectly acquainted with your rank and condition.

HENLEY. 249. To do worse to you were fell cruelty,] To do worse, is to let her and her children be destroyed without warning

JOHNSON Mr. Edwards explains these words differently. To do worse to you (says he) signifies-- to fright you more, by relating all the circumstances of your danger; which would detain you so long that you could not avoid it.”

The meaning, however, may be. - To do worse to you, i. e. not to disclose to you the perilous situation you are in, from a foolish apprehension of alarming you, would be fell cruelty.

MALONE. 268. Enter -]. The part of Holinshed's Chronicle which relates to this play, is no more than an abridgement of John Bellenden's translation of The Noble Clerk, Hector Boece, imprinted at Edinburgh, 1541. See Holinshed's History of Scotland, p. 175.


Let us rather
Hold fast the mortal sword; and, like good men,

Bestride our downfaln birthdom; -] So, in the second part of King Henry IV, Morton says: Liij


-he doth bestride a bleeding land.

STEEVENS, To protect it from utter destruction. The allusion is to the Hyperaspists of the ancients, who bestrode their fellows fallen in battle, and covered them with their shields.

WARBURTON 279. to friend, -] 1. e. to befriend.

STEEVENS, 284. You


discern of him through me, -] By Macduff's answer it appears we should read, -deserve of him

WARBURTON 289. A good and virtuous nature


recoil In an imperial charge.] A good mind may recede from goodness in the execution of a royal commission.

JOHNSON. 293. Though all things foul, &c.] This is not very clear. The meaning, perhaps, is this :~My suspicions cannot injure you, if you be virtuous, by supposing that a traitor may put on your virtuous appearance. I do not say that your virtuous appearance proves you a traitor; for virtue must wear its proper form, though that form be counterfeited by villany.

JOHNSON. 297. Why in that rawness -] Without previous provision, without due preparation, without maturity of counsel.

JOHNSON. I meet with this expression in Lilly's Euphues, 1580, and in the quarto, 1608, of King Henry V.

.". Some their wives rawly leit." STEEVENS.

305 -wear thou thy wrongs,] That is, Poor country', wear thou thy wrongs,


306. Histitle is affear'd!-] His (i.e. Macbeth's) title is affear'd, i. e. established or affirmed, since he whose duty and interest it is to endeavour to dethrone him, refuses to join in the attempt. REMARKS.

324. It is myself I mean: in whom I know] This conference of Malcolm with Macduff is taken out of the chronicles of Scotland.

Pope, 335. Sudden, malicious,] Sudden, for capricious.

WARBURTON, Rather violent, passionate, hasty. JOHNSON. 364. -grows with more pernicious root

Than summer-seeming lust ; -] Summerseeming has no manner of sense : correct,

Than summer-teeming lust; i. e. the passion that lasts no longer than the heat of life, and which goes off in the winter of age.

WARBURTON, When I was younger and bolder, I corrected it thus,

Than fume, or, seething lust. that is, an angry passion, or boiling lust. JOHNSON.

Summer-seeming lust, is, I suppose, lust that seems as hot as summer.

STEVENS. Read-summer-seeding. The allusion is to plants and the sense is, “ Avarice is a perennial weed ; it has a deeper and more pernicious root than lust, which is a mere annual, and lasts, but for a summer, when it sheds its seed, and decays." BLACKSTONE.

Sir William Blackstone's el-gant emendation is countenanced by the following passages : thus, in the Rape of Lucrece :

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