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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.


Too nice, and yet too true!

What is the newest grief? Rosse. That of an hour's age doth hiss the

O, relation,


Each minute teems a new one.


Rosse. Why, well.

And all

How does my wife?

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 them.

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


No mind, that's honest, But in it shares some woe; though the main part Pertains to you alone. Macd. Keep it not from me,

If it be mine, quickly let me have it.

Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue for


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

Savagely slaughter'd: to relate the manner,
Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer,
To add the death of you.

Mal. 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.

7-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!

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?


My wife kill'd too?



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.


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


And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff, They were all struck for thee! naught that I


Not for their own demerits, but for mine,

Fell slaughter on their souls: Heaven rest them


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,

9 At one fell swoop?] Swoop is the descent of a bird of prey his



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


[blocks in formation]

Enter Lady Mackbeth with a taper.

L.M. One: Two: why then tis time to dot-Hell is murky!

Publishd by E. & C. Ruington London New 15.1803.


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