In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should
Pour the sweet milk of concord into Hell,
Uproar the universal peace, confound
All unity on Earth.

O Scotland, Scotland!
Mal. If such a one be fit to govern, speak :
I am as I have spoken.

Fit to govern!
No, not to live. - O nation miserable !
With an untitled tyrant, bloody-scepter'd,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again,
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accurs'd,
And does blaspheme his breed ?— Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king: the queen that bore thee,
Oft'ner upon her knees than on her feet,
Di'd every day she liv’d. Fare thee well.
These evils thou repeat'st upon thyself
Have banish'd me from Scotland. — 0, my breast !
Thy hope ends here.

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



96 division, &c., i. e. he is skilful in subdividing crimes. (R)

108 breed, parentage. (R)

111 Did every day she liv'd. So printed in the folio, and more

in accordance with Shakespeare's versification than to make lived a dissyllable, as most editors do.

118 trains, devices, lures (in hawking and hunting). (R)

I am yet

I put myself to thy direction, and
Unspeak mine own detraction; here abjure
The taints and blames I laid upon myself,
For strangers to my nature.
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.


Enter a Doctor.


Mal. Well ; more anon. -Comes the King forth,

I pray you ? Doctor. 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



[Exit Doctor

126 For, i. e. as.

(R) 135 at a point, fully equipped.

referred to, it need hardly be remarked, is the scrofula, or king's evil, for which it is said Edward the Confessor was the first British monarch who touched.

142 (stay his cure, wait to be healed by him.) convinces, subdues, overcomes. The malady

145 presently, at once. (R)


Macd. What's the disease he means ?

'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 't is 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



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 means that makes us strangers !

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

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

[blocks in formation]

154 spoken, it is said. (R)

169 not mark'd, i. e. but not noticed. (R)

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.

O, relation
Too nice, and yet too true !

What is the newest grief?
Rosse. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker.
Each minute teems a new one.

How does


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 'em. Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech : how

180 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 't their comfort, We are coming thither. Gracious England hath Lent us good Siward and ten thousand men :

170 A modern ecstasy, i. e. for relating matters already out of slight, commonplace nervousness. date. (R) Cf. King John, III, iv. 42. (w) 176 teems; brings forth. (R) or ere, before. (R)

were out, i. e. had taken the 174 nice, detailed, precise. (R) field. (R) 175 doth hiss the speaker, i. e. 186 Your eye, sight of you. (R)

goes 't?





An older and a better soldier none
That Christendom gives out.

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

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

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

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.

Humph! I guess at it. Rosse. Your castle is surpris'd; your wife and babes Savagely slaughter'd: to relate the manner, Were, on the quarry of these murther'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 ?

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


192 Christendom gives out, i. e. Christendom can show no better.


196 fee-grief, i. e. grief held as private property. (R)

possess, fill, acquaint. (R)

quarry, in hunting phrase, a heap of dead game. (w)


104 would, i. e. should. (R) 105 latch, catch.

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