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Acting in 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-sceptred,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again?
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accursed,
And does blaspheme his breed?-Thy royal father
Was a most sainted king; the queen, that bore thee,
Oftener upon her knees than on her feet,

Died every day she lived. Fare thee well!
These evils, thou repeat'st upon thyself,

Have banished me from Scotland.-O, my breast,
Thy hope ends here!

Mal. Macduff, this noble passion, Child of integrity, hath from my soul Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts To thy good truth and honor. 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! 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. 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

For even now

1 "With an untitled tyrant." Thus in Chaucer's Manciple's Tale:

"Right so betwix a titleless tiraunt
And an outlawe."

2 Credulous haste, overhasty credulity.

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,
All ready 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?

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.


I thank you, doctor.


[Exit Doctor.

Macd. What's the disease he means? Mal. 'Tis called 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 stamp2 about their necks, Put on with holy prayers; and 'tis spoken, To the succeeding royalty he leaves The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,

1 i. e. overcomes it. We have before seen this word used in the same Latin sense, Act i. Sc. 7, of this play. "To convince or convicte, to vanquish and overcome-evinco."-Baret.

2 A golden stamp, the coin called an angel; the value of which was ten shillings.

He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy;
And sundry blessings hang about his throne,
To 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 re-


The means that make us strangers!


Macd. Stands Scotland where it did?

Sir, Amen.


Rosse. Why, well.

Alas, poor country!

Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot
Be called our mother, but our grave; where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;
Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent' the


Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy: the dead man's knell

Is there scarce asked, for who; 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 my wife?

And all my children?


Well too.

Macd. The tyrant has not battered at their peace? Rosse. No; they were well at peace, when I did leave them.


1 "To rent is an ancient verb, which has been long disused," say editors: in other words, it is the old orthography of the verb to rend. 2 A modern ecstasy is a common grief.

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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 rumor Of many worthy fellows that were out; Which was to my belief witnessed the rather, For that I saw the tyrant's power afoot. Now is the time of help! Your eye in Scotland Would create soldiers, make our women fight, To doff their dire distresses.


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.


'Would I could answer This comfort with the like! but I have words, That would be howled out in the desert air, Where hearing should not latch1 them.

What concern they?
The general cause? or is it a fee-grief,2
Due to some single breast?
But in it shares some woe;
Pertains to you alone.
Keep it not from me;

If it be mine,
quickly let me have it.

Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue for


No mind, that's honest, though the main part

Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound
That ever yet they heard.

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Humph! I guess at i
Rosse. Your castle is surprised; your wife, and

Savagely slaughtered: to relate the manner,

1 To latch (in the north) signifies the same as to catch. Thus also Golding, in his translation of the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses:

"As though he would, at everie stride, betweene his teeth hir latch." 2 "Or is it a fee-grief," a peculiar sorrow, a grief that hath but a single


Were, on the quarry1 of these murdered deer,
To add the death of you.

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.


And I must be from thence!

My wife killed too?

I have said.


Be comforted.

Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.

Macd. He has no children.-All my pretty ones? Did you say, all ?-O, hell-kite !-All?

What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell swoop?2

Mal. Dispute it like a man.3

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

Convert to anger; blunt not the heart; enrage it.
Macd. O, I could play the woman with mine eyes,
And braggart with my tongue
-But, gentle


1 Quarry, the game after it is killed; it is a term used both in hunting and falconry. The old English term querre, is used for the square spot wherein the dead game was deposited. Quarry is also used for the game pursued.

2 "At one fell swoop." Swoop, from the verb to swoop or sweep, is the descent of a bird of prey on his quarry.

3 i. e. contend with your present sorrow like a man.

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