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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
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

'Tis hard to reconcile.

Enter a Doctor.

Mal. Well; more anon.—Comes the king forth,


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. Mal.

I thank you,


[Exit Doctor. Macd. What's the disease he means? Mal.

'Tis call'd the evil: A most miraculous work in this good king: Which often, since my here-remain in England, I have seen hiin do. How he solicits heaven,

convinces) i, e. overpowers,


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.

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!

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,

" that our

* The mere despair of surgery, he cures;] Dr. Percy, in his notes on The Northumberland Houshold Book, says, 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.

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. This circumstance loses its propriety on our stage, as all the characters are uniformly represented in English habits. STEEVENS.

But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile; Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent the

Are made, not mark’d; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstacy; 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.

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. Macd.

How does my wife? Rosse. Why, well. Macd.

And all


children? Rosse.

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

leave them. Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech; How

goes it?

Rosse. When I came hither to transport the

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, none
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. Macd.

What concern they? The general cause? or is it a fee-grief, Due to some single breast? Rosse.

No mind, that's honest, But in it shares some woe; though the inain part Pertains to you alone. Macd.

If it be mine, Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it. Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue for

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

Humph! I guess at it. Rosse. Your castle is surpriz'd; your wife, and

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?

Wife, children, servants, all That could be found.


6 — 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 owner. 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.

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.


And I must be from thence!
My wife kill'd 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

Did you say, all?-0, hell-kite!-All?
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell swoop?

Mal. Dispute it like a man.

I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember that 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

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

Cut short all intermission ;' front to front,
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland, and myself ;
Within sword's length set him ; if he 'scape,



. At one fell swoop?) Swoop is the descent of a bird of prey his


Cut short all intermission;] i. e. all pause, all intervening time.

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