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Dun. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds; They smack of honour 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!

From Fife, great king,

Dun. Whence cam'st thou, worthy thane?

Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky",
And fan our people cold.

Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor

The thane of Cawdor, 'gan a dismal conflict:
Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,

Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit: And, to conclude,
The victory fell on us;-


Rosse. That now

Great happiness!

Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition;
Nor would we deign him burial of his men,

Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes' inch,

Ten thousand dollars to our general use.

7 flout the sky,] The banners may be poetically described as waving in mockery or defiance of the sky. The sense of the passage, however, collectively taken, is this: Where the triumphant flutter of the Norweyan standards ventilates or cools the soldiers who had been heated through their efforts to secure such numerous trophies of victory.

8 Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,] Lapt in proof, is defended by armour of proof. By Bellona's bridegroom we may understand Macbeth, but why, the critics have not told us.


Saint Colmes' inch,] Colmes' inch, now called Inchcomb, is a small island lying in the Firth of Edinburgh, with an abbey

Dun. No more that thane of Cawdor shall deceive Our bosom interest :-Go, pronounce his death †, And with his former title greet Macbeth.

Rosse. I'll see it done.

Dun. What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won.



A Heath.

Thunder. Enter the three Witches.

1 Witch. Where hast thou been, sister?

2 Witch. Killing swine.

3 Witch. Sister, where thou?

1 Witch. A sailor's wife had chesnuts in her lap, And mounch'd, and mounch'd, and mounch'd:-Give me, quoth I:

Aroint thee, witch'! the rump-fed ronyon' cries.
Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o'the Tiger:
But in a sieve I'll thither sail,

And, like a rat without a tail,
I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.

2 Witch. I'll give thee a wind.

1 Witch. Thou art kind.

3 Witch. And I another.

1 Witch. I myself have all the other;

upon it, dedicated to St. Columb; called by Camden Inch Colm, or The Isle of Columba.

+"his present death,”—MALOne.


1 Aroint thee, witch!] Aroint, or, avaunt, be gone. POPE. the rump-fed ronyon -] The chief cooks in noblemen's families, colleges, religious houses, hospitals, &c. anciently claimed the emoluments or kitchen fees of kidneys, fat, trotters, rumps, &c., which they sold to the poor. The weird sister in this scene, as an insult on the poverty of the woman who had called her witch, reproaches her poor abject state, as not being able to procure better provision than offals. Ronyon means scabby or mangy-woman. Fr. rogneux.



And the very ports they blow,

All the quarters that they know
I'the shipman's card.

I will drain him dry as hay:
Sleep shall, neither night nor day,
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid :
Weary sev'n-nights, nine times nine,
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-toss'd.
Look what I have.

2 Witch. Show me, show me.

1 Witch. Here I have a pilot's thumb, Wreck'd, as homeward he did come.

3 Witch. A drum, a drum;

Macbeth doth come.


All. The weird sisters, hand in hand",

[Drum within.

the shipman's card.] The card is the paper on which the winds are marked under the pilot's needle; or perhaps the seachart, so called in our author's age.

4 He shall live a man forbid :] i. e. as one under a curse, an interdiction. To bid is originally to pray. As to forbid therefore implies to prohibit, in opposition to the word bid in its present sense, it signifies by the same kind of opposition to curse, when it is derived from the same word in its primitive meaning.

5 The weird sisters, hand in hand,] These weird sisters, were the Fates of the northern nations; the three hand-maids of Odin. Hæ nominantur Valkyriæ, quas quodvis ad prælium Odinus mittit. Hæ viros morti destinant, et victoriam gubernant. Gunna, et Rota, et Parcarum minima Skullda: per aëra et maria equitant semper ad morituros eligendos; et cædes in potestate habent. Bartholinus de Causis contemptæ à Danis adhuc Gentilibus mortis. It is for this reason that Shakspeare makes them three; and calls them,

Posters of the sea and land;

However, to give this intermixes, with this

and intent only upon death and mischief. part of his work the more dignity, he Northern, the Greek and Roman superstitions; and puts Hecate at the head of their enchantments. And to make it still more familiar to the common audience (which was always his point) he adds, for another ingredient, a sufficient quantity of our own country super

Posters of the sea and land,

Thus do go about, about;

Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine,
And thrice again, to make up nine:
Peace! the charm's wound up.


Macb. So foul and fair a day I have not seen. Ban. How far is't call'd to Fores?-What are these, So wither'd, and so wild in their attire ;

That look not like the inhabitants o'the earth,

And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught

That man may question? You seem to understand me, By each at once her choppy finger laying

Upon her skinny lips :-You should be women,

And yet your beards forbid me to interpret

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1 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of

Glamis !

stitions concerning witches; their beards, their cats, and their broomsticks. So that his witch-scenes are like the charm they prepare in one of them; where the ingredients are gathered from every thing shocking in the natural world, as here, from every thing absurd in the moral. But as extravagant as all this is, the play has had the power to charm and bewitch every audience, from that time to this. WARBURTON.

The Valkyria, or Valkyriur, were not barely three in number. The learned critic might have found, in Bartholinus, not only Gunna, Rota, et Skullda, but also Scogula, Hilda, Gondula, and Geiroscogula. Bartholinus adds, that their number is yet greater, according to other writers who speak of them. They were the cupbearers of Odin, and conductors of the dead. They were distinguished by the elegance of their forms; and it would be as just to compare youth and beauty with age and deformity, as the Valkyria of the North, with the Witches of Shakspeare. STEEVENS.

thane of Glamis !] The thaneship of Glamis was the ancient inheritance of Macbeth's family. The castle where they lived is still standing, and was lately the magnificent residence of the earl of Strathmore.

2 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of


3 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king here


Ban. Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear Things that do sound so fair?--I'the name of truth, Are ye fantastical, or that indeed

Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner
You greet with present grace, and great prediction
Of noble having', and of royal hope,

That he seems rapt withal'; to me you speak not:
If you can look into the seeds of time,

And say, which grain will grow, and which will not;
Speak then to me, who neither beg, nor fear,
Your favours, nor your hate.

1 Witch. Hail!

2 Witch. Hail!

3 Witch. Hail !

1 Witch. Lesser than Macbeth, and greater.

2 Witch. Not so happy, yet much happier.

3 Witch. Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none : So, all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!

1 Witch. Banquo, and Macbeth, all hail!

Macb. Stay, you imperfect speakers, tell me more: By Sinel's death 3, I know, I am thane of Glamis; But how of Cawdor? the thane of Cawdor lives, A prosperous gentleman; and, to be king, Stands not within the prospect of belief,

No more than to be Cawdor. Say, from whence


thane of Cawdor!] Dr. Johnson observes, in his Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, that part of Calder Castle, from which Macbeth drew his second title, is still remaining.

8 Are ye fantastical,] By fantastical, he means creatures of fantasy or imagination: the question is, Are these real beings before us, or are we deceived by illusions of fancy? JOHNSON.

Of noble having,] Having, is estate, possession, fortune.

2 That he seems rapt withal;] Rapt is rapturously affected, extra se raptus.

3 By Sinel's death,] The father of Macbeth.

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