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The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear,
Enter a Servant.
The devil damn thee black, thou cream-faced loon !2 Where gott'st thou that goose look?
Serv. There is ten thousand
Macb. Go, prick thy face, and over-red thy fear, Thou lily-livered boy. What soldiers, patch ?3 Death of thy soul! those linen cheeks of thine Are counsellors to fear. What soldiers, whey-face? Serv. The English force, so please you.
Macb. Take thy face hence.-Seyton!-I am sick at heart,
When I behold-Seyton, I say!—This push
1 To sag, or swag, is to hang down by its own weight, or by an overload.
2 ❝ -cream-faced loon." This word, which signifies a base, abject fellow, is now only used in Scotland; it was formerly common in England, but spelled lown, and is justly considered by Horne Tooke as the past parciple of to low or abase. Lout has the same origin.
3 Patch, an appellation of contempt, signifying fool or low wretch. 4 i. e. they infect others, who see them, with cowardice.
5 Sear is dry, withered. We have the same expression and sentiment in Spenser's Pastorals::
"Also my lustful leaf is drie and seare."
For "way of life” Johnson would read "May of life;" in which he was followed by Steevens and others. Warburton contended for the original reading, and was followed by Mason. At a subsequent period Steevens acquiesced in the propriety of the old reading, way of life, which he interprets, with his predecessors, course or progress. Malone followed the same track. This phrase is only a simple periphrasis for life.
Sey. What is your gracious pleasure?
What news more? Sey. All is confirmed, my lord, which was reported. Macb. I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked.
Give me my armor.
Macb. I'll put it on.
Send out more horses, skirr1 the country round; Hang those that talk of fear.-Give me mine armor. How does your patient, doctor?
'Tis not needed yet.
Doct. Not so sick, my lord, As she is troubled with thick-coming fancies, That keep her from her rest.
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
Macb. Throw physic to the dogs; I'll none of it.-— Come, put mine armor on; give me my staff;Seyton, send out.-Doctor, the thanes fly from me; Come, sir, despatch.-If thou couldst, doctor, cast The water of my land, find her disease, And purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo, That should applaud again.—Pull't off, I say.— What rhubarb, senna,2 or what purgative drug, Would scour these English hence?-Hearest thou of
1 i. e. scour the country round.
2 "What rhubarb, senna." The old copy reads cyme. The emendation is Rowe's.
Doct. Ay, my good lord; your royal preparation Makes us hear something.
Bring it after me.————
Doct. Were I from Dunsinane away and clear, Profit again should hardly draw me here.
SCENE IV. Country near Dunsinane; a Wood in view.
Enter, with drum and colors, MALCOLM, Old SIWARD and his Son, MACDUFF, MENTETH, CATHNESS, ANGUS, LENOX, ROSSE, and Soldiers, marching.
Mal. Cousins, I hope the days are near at hand That chambers will be safe.
The wood of Birnam.
It shall be done.
Siw. We learn no other, but the confident tyrant
Mal. "Tis his main hope; For where there is advantage to be given,2
1 A similar incident is recorded by Olaus Magnus, in his Northern History, lib. vii. cap. xx. De Strategemate Hachonis per Frondes.
2 "For where there is advantage to be given." Dr. Johnson thought that we should read:
where there is a vantage to be gone.”
i. e. where there is an opportunity to be gone, all ranks desert him. We might perhaps read:—
where there is advantage to be gained ;'
and the sense would be nearly similar, with less violence to the text of the old copy.
Both more and less have given him the revolt;
Macd. Let our just censures Attend the true event, and put we on Industrious soldiership.
The time approaches, That will with due decision make us know What we shall say we have, and what we owe. Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate; But certain issue strokes must arbitrate: Towards which, advance the war. [Exeunt, marching.
SCENE V. Dunsinane. Within the Castle.
Enter, with drums and colors, MACBETH, SEYTON, and Soldiers.
Macb. Hang out our banners on the outward walls; The cry is still, They come. Our castle's strength Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie, Till famine, and the ague, eat them up.
Were they not forced with those that should be ours,
As life were in't. I have supped full with horrors; Direness, familiar to my slaught'rous thoughts, Cannot once start me.-Wherefore was that
Sey. The queen, my lord, is dead.
Macb. She should have died hereafter;
1"-my fell of hair," my hairy part, my capilititium. Fell is skin, properly a sheep's skin with the wool on it.
There would have been a time for such a word..
Enter a Messenger.
Thou com'st to use thy tongue; thy story quickly.
I shall report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.
Well, say, sir. Mess. As I did stand my watch upon the hill, I looked toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move.
Liar and slave! 2
Mess. Let me endure your wrath, if't be not so.
1 "The last syllable of recorded time" seems to signify the utmost period fixed in the decrees of Heaven for the period of life. The record of futurity is indeed no accurate expression; but as we only know transactions past or present, the language of men affords no term for the volumes of prescience in which future events may be supposed to be written.
2 [“ Striking him," says the stage direction in the margin of all the modern editions; but this stage direction is not in the old copies: it was first interpolated by Rowe, and is now omitted on the suggestion of the late Mr. Kemble. See his Essay on Macbeth and King Richard III. Lond. 1817. p. 111.
3 To cling, in the northern counties, signifies to shrivel, wither, or dry up. Clung-wood is wood of which the sap is entirely dried or spent. The same idea is well expressed by Pope in his version of the nineteenth Iliad, 166:
Clung with dry famine, and with toils declined."