We rest your hermits (1.6.24)
Yes, a king travelling with an entourage of hermits sounds like a scene from Monty Python, but Duncan's hermits were actually almsmen, hired to pray for the welfare of Duncan and his men. According to Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898, the number of these almsmen was "equal to that of the king's years, so that an extra one was added every returning birthday."
In the context of the play, when Lady Macbeth says 'We rest your hermits' she means that, because of their tremendous feelings of gratitude, she and her husband will pray so hard for Duncan that his almsmen will be able to stop praying (rest).
Back to Macbeth (1.6)
How to cite this article:
Mabillard, Amanda. Macbeth Glossary. Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2000. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/macbeth/macbethglossary/macbeth1_1/macbethglos_hermits.html >.
Macbeth: The Complete Play with Annotations and Commentary
Duncan Character Introduction
Explanatory Notes for Lady Macbeth's Soliloquy (1.5)
The Psychoanalysis of Lady Macbeth (Sleepwalking Scene)
Lady Macbeth's Suicide
Is Lady Macbeth's Swoon Real?
James I and Shakespeare's Sources for Macbeth
Contemporary References to King James I in Macbeth (1605-06)
The Metre of Macbeth: Blank Verse and Rhymed Lines
Metaphors in Macbeth (Biblical)
Soliloquy Analysis: If it were done when 'tis done (1.7.1-29)
Soliloquy Analysis: Is this a dagger (2.1.33-61)
Soliloquy Analysis: To be thus is nothing (3.1.47-71)
Soliloquy Analysis: She should have died hereafter (5.5.17-28)
Explanatory Notes for the Witches' Chants (4.1)
Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 1 and 2)
Macbeth Plot Summary (Acts 3, 4 and 5)
A Comparison of Macbeth and Hamlet
The Effect of Lady Macbeth's Death on Macbeth
The Curse of Macbeth
Macbeth Q & A
Aesthetic Examination Questions on Macbeth
What is Tragic Irony?
Macbeth Study Quiz (with detailed answers)
Quotations from Macbeth (Full)
Top 10 Quotations from Macbeth
Characteristics of Elizabethan Tragedy
Shakespeare's Workmanship: Crafting a Sympathetic Macbeth
Temptation, Sin, Retribution: Lecture Notes on Macbeth
Untie the winds: Exploring the Witches' Control Over Nature in Macbeth
Why Shakespeare is so Important
Shakespeare's Influence on Other Writers
Birds in Shakespeare's Works
Shakespeare and Starlings