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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 2
The great assay of art; but, at his touch,
Such sanctity hath heaven given in his hand,
They presently amend.


I thank you, doctor.

[Exit Doctor.

'Tis call'd the evil:

Macd. What's the disease he means?

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 cures3;
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,


2 convinces] i. e. overpowers, subdues.

8 The mere despair of surgery, he cures ;] Dr. Percy, in his notes On The Northumberland Houshold Book, says, "that our ancient kings even in those dark times of superstition, do not seem to have affected the cure of the king's evil.-This miraculous gift was left to be claimed by the Stuarts: our ancient Plantagenets were humbly content to cure the cramp." In this assertion, however, the learned editor of the above curious volume has been betrayed into a mistake, by relying too implicitly on the authority of Mr. Anstis. The power of curing the king's evil was claimed by many of the Plantagenets.


a golden stamp, &c.] This was the coin called an angel, of the value of ten shillings.

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.


See, who comes here?

Mal. My countryman; but yet I know him not.

Enter ROSSE.

Macd. My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither. Mal. I know him now: Good God, betimes remove The means that make 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
A modern ecstasy; the dead man's knell

Is there scarce ask'd, for who; and good men's lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,

Dying, or ere they sicken.


Too nice, and yet too true!


O, relation,

What is the newest grief?

Rosse. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker; Each minute teems a new one.


Rosse. Why, well.

How does my wife?

My countryman; but yet I know him not.] Malcolm discovers Rosse to be his countryman, while he is yet at some distance from him, by his dress. STEEVENS.


And all my children?

Well too.

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


Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech; How goes


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.


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, noue

That Christendom gives out.


'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".


What concern they?

No mind, that's honest,

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


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.


· should not latch them.] To latch any thing, is to lay hold

of it.



-fee-grief,] A peculiar sorrow; a grief that hath a single The expression is, at least to our ears, very harsh. It must be allowed that, in both the foregoing instances, the attorney has been guilty of a flat trespass on the poet.

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 surpriz'd; your wife, and babes Savagely slaughter'd: to relate the manner,

Were, on the quarry of these murder'd 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?

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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?

Mal. Dispute it like a man.


But I must also feel it as a man:

I shall do so;

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,

8 Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer,] Quarry is a term used both in hunting and falconry. In both sports it means the game

after it is killed.

• At one fell swoop?] Swoop is the descent of a bird of prey on his quarry.

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. O, I could play the woman with mine eyes, And braggart with my tongue!-But, gentle heaven, Cut short all intermission'; front to front,

Bring thou this fiend of Scotland, and myself;

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

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

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Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may; The night is long, that never finds the day.



SCENE I.-Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.

Enter a Doctor of Physick, 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

1 Cut short all intermission;] i. e. all pause, all intervening time. if he 'scape,


Heaven forgive him too!] That is, if he escape my vengeance, let him escape that of Heaven also.

Since his majesty went into the field,] This is one of Shakspeare's oversights. He forgot that he had shut up Macbeth in Dunsinane, and surrounded him with besiegers.

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