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1 Witch. HERE halt thou been, sister?
2 Witch. Killing fwine. 3 Witch. Sister, where thou ?
1 Witch. A sailor's wife had chesnuts in her lap, And mouncht, and mouncht, and mouncht. Give
me, quoth I.
2 Witch. I'll give thee a wind.
Witch. And I another.
5 Aroint thee- ] Aroint, or favour, because I had met with the avaunt, be gone. Pope word aroint in no other authour;
Aroint thie, witch!-] In one till looking into Hearne's collec. of the folio editions the reading tions I found it in a very old is Ansint thee, in a sense very drawing, that he has published, consistent with the common ac in which St Patrick is representcounts of witches, who are re ed visiting hell, and putting the lated to perform many superna- devils into great confusion by his tural acts by the means of un- presence, of whoin one that is guents, and particularly to fly driving the damned before him through the air to the places with a prong, has a label issuing where they meet at their hellith out of his mouth with thele festivals. In this fense, ansint words, out OUT A RONGT, of thee, witch, will mean, away, which the last is evidently the witch, to jour infernal assembly. fame with areint, and used in the This reading I was inclined to fame fenfe as in this paftage.
. And the very points they blow;
2 Witch. Shew me, shew me.
i Witch. Here I haye a pilot's thumb, Wreckt as homeward he did come.
[Drum within. 3 Witch. A drum, a drum! Macbeth doth come!
All. * The weyward lifters, hand in hand, Posters of the sea and land,
6 And the very points they
Mr. Theobald has very justly blow. As the word very is explained forbid by accursed, but here of no other use than to fill without giving any reason of his up the verse, it is likely that interpretation. To lid is origiShakespeare wrote various, which nally to pray, as in this Saxor might be easily mistaken for very, fragment. being either negligently, read, De is pis biz
។ bore, &c. hallily pronounced, or imper. Tie is wise that prays
and makes afeétly heard
mends. ? He fall live a mon forbid ;]
as one under a Curse, As to forbid therefore implies an Interdict.on. So afterwards in to prohibit, in opposition to the
word bid in its present sense, it By his own interdiction ftands fignifies by the fame kind of opaccurs.d.
position to curfe, when it is deSo among
the Romans an Oute rived from the same word in its law's Sentence was, Aquæ & lg- primitive meaning. nis interdi&tio ; i.e. He was for 8 The werward sisters, land in bid the Use of Water and Fire, hand, ] The Witches are which imply'd the Neceflity of here speaking of themselves : Banishment. THEOBALD, and it is worth an Enquiry why
Thus do go about, about,
they should stile themselves the These two, says he, travelling weyrvard, or wayward Sisters. together through a Foreft, urte This Word, in its general Ac met by three Fairies, Witches, ceptation, fignisies, perverf, fro. Wierds. The Scots call them, &c. ward, moody, obstinate, untrac I presently recollected, that table, &c. and is every where this Story must be recorded at so used by our Shakespear. To more Length by Holling bead, content ourselves with two or with whom, I thought, it was three instances.
very probable, that our Author Fy, fy, huw wayward is this had traded for the Materials of foolishe love,
his Tragedy, and therefore ConThat, like a testy babe, &c. firmation was to be fetched from
Two Gent. of Verona, this Fountain. Accordingly, This wimpled, whining, pure looking into his History of Scetblind, wayward boy. land, I found the Writer very
Love's Labour Loft. prolix and express, from Hector And which is worst, all you've Boethius, in this remarkable Stodone is but for a wayward fon. ry; and, p. 170. speaking of
It is improbable the Witches these Witches, he uses this Exwould adopt this Epithet to pression, themselves, in any of these But afterwards the commer Senses, and therefore we are to Opinion was, That these Women look a litile farther for the Poet's were either the weird Sisters ; Word and Meaning. When I that is, as ye would say, the Godhad the first Suspicion of our desses of Deflins, &c. Author being corrupt in this Again, a little lower ; Place, it brought to my Mind The Words of the three weird the following Passage in Chau- Sisters a'l (of whom before ye cer's Troilus and Créjeide, 1.b. have heard) greatly encouraged jä. v. 618.
him thereunio. But 0 Fortune, executrice of And in several other ParaWierdes.
graphs there this Word is repeatWhich Word the Glossaries ex ed." I believe, by this Time, it pound to us by Fates, or Dif. is plain, beyond a Doubt, that iinies. I was soon confirmed in the Word wayward has obtained my Suspicion, upon happening in Macbeth, where the Witches to dip into Heylin's Cosmography, are spoken of, from the Ignowhere he makes a short Recital sance of the Copyists, who were of the Story of Macbeth and not acquainted with the Scotch Banquo.
Term; and that in every 8
Enter Macbeth and Banquo, with Soldiers, and other
Mac. So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
fage, where there is any Rela- nantur Valkyriæ, quas quodvis tion to these Witches or Wi- ad Prælium Odinas mittit. He zards, my Emendation must be viros morti definant, & vi&toriembraced, and we must read am gubernant. Gunna, & Rota, weird.
THEOBALD. & Parcarum minima Skullda ; The weyward fflers, band in per aëra & maria equitant semper
hand, ] Mr. Theobald had ad morituros eligendos ; & cedes found out who these weyward in poteftate bubent. Bartholinus fifters were ; but observed they de Caufis contemptæ à Danis ado were called, in his authentic huc Gentilibus mortis. It is for Holing head, Weird flers; and this reason that Shakespear makes so would needs have weyward a them three; and calls them, corruption of the text, becaufe Polers of the fea und land; it fignifies perverse, froward, and intent only upon death &c. and it is improbable (he fays) and mischief. However, ibat the witches foould adopt ibis give this part of his work the epithet to themselves. It more dignity, he intermixes, hard that when he knew so much, with this northern, the Greek he should not know a little more; and Roman fuperititions ; and that weyward had anciently the puts Hecate at the head of their very fame fense, as weird; and enchantments. And to make it was, indeed, the very same filt more familiar to the conword differently spelt ; having mon audience (which was alacquired its later fignification ways his point) he adds, for anofrom the quality and temper of ther ingredient, a sufficient quanthese imaginary witches. But city of our own country fuperthis is being a critic like him who ftitions concerning witches; their had discovered that there were beards, their cais, and their two Hercules's; and yet did not brcomsticks. So that his witchknow that he had two next-door scenes are like the harm they preneighbours of one and the fame pare in one of inem ; where the name. As to thefe weyward ingredients are gather.d from hiters, they were the Fates of every thing fhock x; in the natuthe northern nations; the three ral world; as here, from ciery hand-maids of Odin. He nomi- thing absurd in the ima ał. But
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire,
What are you? i Witch. All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of
Glamis ! 2 Witch. All-hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of
Cawdor! 3 Witch. All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be King
hereafter. Ban. Good Sir, why do you start, and seem to
fear Things that do found so fair? 'th' name of truth, "Are ye fantastical, or That indeed [To the Witches. Which outwardly ye shew? 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.
as extravagant as all this is, the ing to the common signification, play has had the power to charm creatures of his own brain : For and bewitch every audience from he could not be fo extravagant that time to this. WARBURTON. to ak such a question : but it is
9 That man may question?) Are used for fupernatural, spiritual. ye any beings with which man
WARBURTON. is permitted to hold converse, or By fantalical, he means creaof which it is lawful to ask quif- tures of fantasy or imagination; tions ?
the question is, Are these real Are je fantastical,-) By beings before us, or are we defantastical is not meant, accord-ceived by illusions of fancy.