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L. Macd. Why, one that swears and lies.
L. Macd. Every one that does so, is a traitor, and must be hanged.
Son. And must they all be hanged, that swear and lie?
L. Macd. Every one.
Son. Then the liars and swearers are fools; for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men, and hang up them.
L. Macd. Now, God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt thou do for a father ?
Son. If he were dead, you'd weep for him; if you would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father.
L. Macd. Poor prattler! how thou talk'st!
Enter a Messenger. Mess. Bless you, fair dame! I am not to you known, Though in your state of honor I am perfect I doubt, some danger does approach you nearly: you
will take a homely man's advice, Be not found here; hence, with your little ones. To fright you thus, methinks, I am too savage; To do worse to you, were fell cruelty, Which is too nigh your person. Heaven preserve you ! I dare abide no longer.
[Exit Messenger. L. Macd.
Whither should I fly? I have done no harm. But I remember now I am in this earthly world; where, to do harm, Is often laudable; to do good, sometime, Accounted dangerous folly. Why, then, alas ! Do I put up that womanly defence, To say, I have done no harm ? -What are these
1 i. e. I am perfectly acquainted with your rank.
Mur. Where is your husband ?
L. Macd. I hope, in no place so unsanctified,
He's a traitor.
What, you egg! [Stabbing him. Young fry of treachery! Son.
He has killed me, mother; Run away, I pray you.
[Dies. (Exit Lady MacDUFF, crying murder,
and pursued by the Murderers.
SCENE III. England. A Room in the King's
Enter Malcolm and MACDUFF.? Mal. Let us seek out some desolate shade, and there Weep our sad bosoms empty. Macd.
Let us rather
What I believe, I'll wail;
1 “Shag-eared villain.” It has been suggested that we should read shag-haired, an abusive epithet frequent in our old plays. Hair being formerly spelled heare, the corruption would easily arise.
2 This scene is almost literally taken from Holinshed's Chronicle, which is in this part an abridgment of the chronicle of Hector Boece, as translated by John Bellenden. From the recent reprints of both the Scottish and English chroniclers, quotations from them become the less necessary ; they are now accessible to the reader curious in tracing the Poet to his sources of information.
3 i. e. befriend.
What you have spoke, it may be so, perchance.
Macd. I am not treacherous.
But Macbeth is.
I have lost my hopes. Mal. Perchance, even there, where I did find my
doubts. Why in that rawness left you wife and child, (Those precious motives, those strong knots of love,) Without leave-taking ?-I pray you, Let not my jealousies be your dishonors, But mine own safeties.—You may be rightly just, Whatever I shall think. Macd.
Bleed, bleed, poor country! Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure, For goodness dares not check thee !—Wear thou thy
1 “ You may deserve of him through me.” The old copy reads discerne. The emendation was made by Theobald. In the subsequent part of the line something is wanted to complete the sense. There is no verb to which wisdom can refer. Steevens conjectured that the line might originally have run thus :
- but something
To offer," &c. 2 A good mind may recede from goodness in the execution of a royal commission.
3 “ Virtue must wear its proper form, though that form be counterfeited by villany."
Thy title is affeered! – Fare thee well, lord.
Be not offended ;
What should he be ?
Not in the legions Of horrid hell, can come a devil more damned In evils, to top Macbeth. Mal.
grant him bloody,
But there's no bottom, none,
1 To affeer is a law term, signifying to assess or reduce to certainty. 2 i. e. immeasurable evils. 3 Luxurious, lascivious.
4 Sudden, passionate.
With this, there grows,
All these are portable,
1 Sir W. Blackstone proposed to read summer-seeding, which was adopted by Steevens; but the meaning of the epithet may be, “lust as hot as summer.” In Donne's Poems, Malone has pointed out its opposite winter-seeming.
2 Foysons, plenty.
3 Portable answers to a phrase now in use. Such failings may be borne with, or are bearable. VOL. III.