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Macb. Ride you this afternoon?
Ay, my good lord. Macb. We should have else desir'd your good
(Which still hath been both grave and prosperous,) In this day's council; but we'll take to-morrow.
Ban. As far, my lord, as will fill up the time 'Twixt this and supper: go not my horse the better, I must become a borrower of the night,
For a dark hour, or twain.
Ban. My lord, I will not.
Fail not our feast.
Macb. We hear, our bloody cousins are bestow'd
With strange invention: But of that to-morrow;
Macb. I wish your horses swift, and sure of
And so I do commend you to their backs.
Let every man be master of his time
Till seven at night; to make society
The sweeter welcome, we will keep ourself
Till supper-time alone: while then, God be with you. [Exeunt Lady MACBETH, Lords, Ladies, &c. Sirrah, a word: Attend those men our pleasure? Atten. They are, my lord, without the palace
Macb. Bring them before us.-[Exit Atten.] To be thus, is nothing;
But to be safely thus:-Our fears in Banquo
Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature
Reigns that, which would be fear'd: 'Tis much he
And, to that dauntless temper of his mind,
Mark Antony's was by Cæsar. He chid the sisters,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
And champion me to the utterance !9-Who's
5 royalty of nature-] Royalty, in the present instance, signifies nobleness, supreme excellence.
6 to-] i. e. in addition to.
7 For Banquo's issue have I fil'd—] i. e. defiled.
the common enemy of man,] It is always an entertainment to an inquisitive reader, to trace a sentiment to its original source; and therefore, though the term enemy of man, applied to the devil, is in itself natural and obvious, yet some may be pleased with being informed, that Shakspeare probably borrowed it from the first lines of The Destruction of Troy, a book which he is known to have read. This expression, however, he might have had in many other places. The word fiend signifies enemy.
come, fate, into the list,
And champion me to the utterance!] This passage will be best
Re enter Attendant, with two Murderers. Now to the door, and stay there till we call.
Was it not yesterday we spoke together?
Well then, now
In our last conference; pass'd in probation with you, How you were borne in hand; how cross'd; the instruments;
Who wrought with them; and all things else, that
To half a soul, and a notion craz'd,
Say, Thus did Banquo.
You made it known to us.
Macb. I did so; and went further, which is now Our point of second meeting. Do you find Your patience so predominant in your nature,
explained by translating it into the language from whence the only word of difficulty in it is borrowed. Que la destinée se rende cn lice, et qu'elle me donne un defi à l'outrance. A challenge, or a combat à l'outrance, to extremity, was a fixed term in the law of arms, used when the combatants engaged with an odium internecinum, an intention to destroy each other, in opposition to trials of skill at festivals, or on other occasions, where the contest was only for reputation or a prize. The sense therefore is: Let fate, that has fore-doomed the exaltation of the sons of Banquo, enter the lists against me, with the utmost animosity, in defence of its own decrees, which I will endeavour to invalidate, whatever be the danger. JOHNSON.
pass'd in probation with you,
How you were borne in hand; &c.] Pass'd in probation is, perhaps, only a bulky phrase, employed to signify-proved.-To bear in hand is, to delude by encouraging hope and holding out fair prospects, without any intention of performance.
That you can let this go? Are you so gospell'd,"
We are men, my liege.
That writes them all alike: and so of men.
And not in the worst rank of manhood, say it;
2 Mur. I am one, my liege, Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world
2 Are you so gospell'd,] Are you of that degree of precise virtue? Gospeller was a name of contempt given by the Papists to the Lollards, the puritans of early times, and the precursors of protestantism. JOHNSON.
3 Shoughs,] Shoughs are probably what we now call shocks, demi-wolves, lycisca; dogs bred between wolves and dogs.
the valued file] In this speech the word file occurs twice. The valued file is the file or list where the value and peculiar qualities of every thing is set down, in contradistinction to what he immediately mentions, the bill that writes them all alike. File, in the second instance, is used in the same sense as in this, and with a reference to it: Now if you belong to any class that deserves a place in the valued file of man, and are not of the lowest rank, the common herd of mankind, that are not worth distinguishing from each other.
Have so incens'd, that I am reckless what
I do, to spite the world.
And I another,
So weary with disasters, tugg'd with fortune,
To mend it, or be rid on't.
Both of you
True, my lord.
Know, Banquo was your enemy.
Macb. So is he mine: and in such bloody dis
That every minute of his being thrusts
Masking the business from the common eye,
We shall, my lord,
Though our lives
Perform what you command us.
Macb. Your spirits shine through you. Within this hour, at most,
I will advise you where to plant yourselves.
in such bloody distance,] By bloody distance is here meant, such a distance as mortal enemies would stand at from each other, when their quarrel must be determined by the sword. This sense seems evident from the continuation of the metaphor, where every minute of his being is represented as thrusting at the nearest part where life resides.
6 For certain friends-] For, in the present instance, signifies because of.
7 Acquaint you with the perfect spy o'the time, The moment on't;] i. e. in ancient language,