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These evils thou repeat'st upon thyself
Have banish'd me from Scotland. -Oh, my breast !
Thy hope ends here.
Mal.

Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wip'd the black scruples, reconcil'd my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth
By many of these trains hath sought to win me
Into his power, and modest wisdom plucks me
From over-credulous haste; but God above
Deal between thee and me, for even now
I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction; here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
For strangers

nature.

I am yet
Unknown to woman ; never was forsworn;
Scarcely have coveted what was mine own;
At no time broke my faith ; would not betray
The devil to his fellow, and delight
No less in truth, than life: my first false speaking
Was this upon myself. What I am truly
Is thine, and my poor country's, to command :
Whither, indeed, before thy here-approach,
Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,
Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now, we'll together; and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel.—Why are you silent ?

Macd. Such welcome and unwelcome things at once, 'Tis hard to reconcile.

to my

Enter a Doctor.

Mal. Well; more anon.-Comes the king forth, I pray

you ?

Doct. Ay, sir : there are a crew of wretched souls
That stay his cure : their malady convinces
The great assay of art; but at his touch,
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand,
They presently amend.
Mal.

I thank you, doctor. [Exit Doctor. Macd. What's the disease he means ?

3 - their malady convinces] i.e. Overcomes : see Vol. ii. p. 174. To "convince"js sometimes to convict : see Vol. iv. p. 514.

Mal.

'Tis call'd the evil: A most miraculous work in this good king, Which often, since my here remain in England, I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven, Himself best knows; but strangely-visited people, All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye, The mere despair of surgery, he cures ; Hanging a golden stamp about their necks, Put on with holy prayers : and 'tis spoken, To the succeeding royalty he leaves The healing benediction. With this strange virtue, He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy, And sundry blessings hang about his throne, That speak him full of grace.

Enter Rosse.

Macd.

See, who comes here?
Mal. My countryman; but yet I know him not.
Macd. My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.

Mal. I know him now. Good God, betimes remove
The mean that makes us strangers !
Rosse.

Sir, amen.
Macd. Stands Scotland where it did ?
Rosse.

Alas, poor country!
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
Be call’d our mother, but our grave; where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile :
Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rend the air,
Are made, not mark’d; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy: the dead man's knell
Is there scarce ask’d, for whom; and good men's lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying or ere they sicken.
Macd.

Oh, relation !
Too nice, and yet too true.
Mal.

What is the newest grief?
Rosse. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker.

4 'Tis call’d the evil:] It is said that Edward the Confessor was the first who touched for the cure of the king's evil, and the power was supposed to descend with the crown. It is certain that Elizabeth and James exercised it, especially the latter; in compliment to whom Shakespeare seems to have inserted this part of the scene, not in any way necessary to the action of the tragedy. It is struck out with a pen in the corr. fo. 1632, and was probably not then acted.

Each minute teems a new one.
Macd.

How does my wife?
Rosse. Why, well.
Macd.

And all my children ?
Rosse.

Well too.
Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace ?
Rosse. No; they were well at peace, when I did leave

them.
Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech : how goes it ?

Rosse. When I came hither to transport the tidings,
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
Of many worthy fellows that were out;
Which was to my belief witness'd the rather,
For that I saw the tyrant's power a-foot.
Now is the time of help. Your eye in Scotland
Would create soldiers, make our women fight,
To doff their dire distresses.
Mal.

Be it their comfort,
We are coming thither. Gracious England hath
Lent us good Siward, and ten thousand men :
An older, and a better soldier, none
That Christendom gives out.
Rosse.

Would I could answer
This comfort with the like! But I have words,
That would be howl'd out in the desert air,
Where hearing should not latch them .
Macd.

What concern they ?
The general cause, or is it a fee-grief“,
Due to some single breast ?
Rosse.

No mind that's honest But in it shares some woe, though the main part Pertains to you

alone.
Macd.

If it be mine,
Keep it not from me; quickly let me have it.

Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever,
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound,
That ever yet they heard.
Macd.

Humph! I guess at it.
Rosse. Your castle is surpris’d; your wife, and babes,

5

should not latch them.] To “ latch," (in the north country dialect) Steevens informs us, signifies the same as to catch. It has the same meaning in Norfolk, as we find from Holloway's "General Provincial Dictionary.” 1838.

fee-grief,] A grief that bas a single owner, who holds it in fee.

6

Savagely slaughter'd : to relate the manner,
Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer',
To add the death of you.
Mal.

Merciful heaven!
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows:
Give sorrow words; the grief, that does not speak,
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break ®.

Macd. My children too?
Rosse.

Wife, children, servants, all
That could be found.
Macd.

And I must be from thence !
My wife kill'd too?
Rosse.

I have said.
Mal.

Be comforted :
Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.

Macd. He has no children.—All my pretty ones?
Did you say, all ?-Oh, hell-kite !-All?
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell swoop ?

Mal. Dispute it like a man.
Macd.

I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man :
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me.—Did heaven look on,
And would not take their part ? Sinful Macduff!
They were all struck for thee. Naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now!

Mal. Be this the whetstone of your sword : let grief
Convert to anger ; blunt not the heart, enrage it.

Macd. Oh! I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And braggart with my tongue.—But, gentle Heavens,
Cut short all intermission; front to front,
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland, and myself;

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7 Were, on the QUARRY of these murder'd deer,] A "quarry” was strictly a square heap of dead game. See Vol. iv. p. 607.

8 Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.] The following is from Montaigne's Essays, by Florio, b. i. ch. 2, a work of which it is known Shakespeare had a copy, and of which he certainly elsewhere made use :—"All passions that may be tasted and digested are but mean and slight.

Curæ leves loquuntur, ingentes stupent.
“ Light cares can freely speake,

Great cares heart rather breake,"

Within my sword's length set him; if he ’scape,
Heaven forgive him too!
Mal.

This tune goes manly'.
Come, go we to the king: our power is ready ;
Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above
Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may;
The night is long that never finds the day. [Exeunt.

ACT V. SCENE I.

Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.

Enter a Doctor of Physic, and a waiting Gentlewoman'. Doct. I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked ?

Gent. Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.

Doct. A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching. In this slumbery agitation, besides her walking and other actual performances, what at any time have you heard her say ?

Gent. That, sir, which I will not report after her.
Doct. You may, to me; and 'tis most meet you

should. Gent. Neither to you, nor any one, having no witness to confirm my speech.

9 This tune goes manly.] The folios read, time, which Rowe fitly altered to “tune.” Time could here scarcely be right, even were we to take for granted (which we are far from doing) Gifford's statement, that time and tune were, of old, used indifferently (Massinger, ii. 261). It would seem as if the Rev. Mr. Dyce does not acknowledge the distinction, for in Beaumont and Fletcher's “ False Oue,” Vol. vi. p. 234, he makes Apollodorus talk of “setting” his lines “to a solemn time,” instead of "a solemn tune." No misprint could be more easy or more frequently committed, and hence the confusion by modern editors.

| Enter a Doctor of Physic, and a waiting Gentlewoman.] This is the old stage-direction, but the English " Doctor," introduced in the last scene with Malcolm and Macduff, must also have been a Doctor of Physic, though not so described in the old editions.

VOL. V.

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