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What should he be?
Mal. It is myself I mean: in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted,
That, when they shall be open'd, black Macbeth
Will seem as pure as snow; and the poor state
Esteem him as a lamb, being compar'd
With my confineless harms.
Not in the legions
Of horrid hell can come a devil more damn'd
In evils to top Macbeth.
I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin
That has a name: but there's no bottom, none,
my voluptuousness: your wives, your daughters, Your matrons, and your maids, could not fill up The cistern of my lust; and my desire All continent impediments would o'erbear, That did oppose my will: better Macbeth
Than such an one to reign.
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been Th' untimely emptying of the happy throne, And fall of many kings. But fear not yet To take upon you what is yours: you may Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty, And yet seem cold, the time you may so hoodwink. We've willing dames enough; there cannot be That vulture in you, to devour so many
As will to greatness dedicate themselves,
Finding it so inclin'd.
With this, there grows,
my most ill-compos'd affection, such
A stanchless avarice, that, were I king,
I should cut off the nobles for their lands
Desire his jewels, and this other's house:
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more; that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,
Destroying them for wealth.
Sticks deeper; grows with more pernicious root
Than summer-seeming (98) lust; and it hath been
The sword of our slain kings: yet do not fear;
Scotland hath foisons to fill up your will,
Of your mere own: all these are portable,
With other graces weigh'd.
Mal. But I have none: the king-becoming graces,
As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,
Bounty, perséverance, mercy, lowliness,
Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,
I have no relish of them; but abound.
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 (99) 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,
Oftener upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. Fare thee well!(100)
These evils thou repeat'st upon thyself
Have banish'd me from Scotland.-O 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
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
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,(101)
Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,
Already at a point,(102) was setting forth:
Now we'll together; and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?
Maed. Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
Tis hard to reconcile.
Mal. Well; you?
That stay his cure: their malady convinces
Doct. Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
The great assay of art; but, at his touch,
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand,
They presently amend.
I thank you, doctor. Macd. What's the disease he means? Mal.
-Comes the king forth, I pray
A most miraculous work in this good king;
Which often, since my here-remain in England,
I've 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 '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.
Macd. My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.
Mal. I know him now:-good God, betimes remove The means that makes us strangers!
Macd. Stands Scotland where it did?
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 shricks that rent 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 e'er they sicken.
Too nice, and yet too true!
Ross. Why, well.
What's the new'st grief? Ross. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker; Each minute teems a new one.
How does my wife?
And all my children?
Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace?
Ross. No; they were well at peace when I did leave 'em.
Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech: how goes
Ross. 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: