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Macd. (24) He has no children.-
-All my pretty ones? Did you say all? what, all ? oh, hell-kite ! all ? What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam, At one fell swoop?
Mal. Dispute it like a man.
Nacd. I hall do fo: But I muít also feel it as a inan. I cannot but remember such things were, That were most precious to me: did heav'n look on, And would not take their part? finful Macduff, They were all struck for thee! naught that I am, Not for their own demerits, but for mine, Fell slaughter on their souls; heav'n rest them now!
Mal. Be this the whetstone of your sword, ler grief Convert to wrath : blunt not the heart, enrage
Mal. This tune goes inanly;
may ; The night is long that never finds the day.
(24) He has, &c.] Nothing can be more natural than this reflection : the father's thoughts are wholly ingrofied by his misfortune, and disregarding what Mulcolm says to him, he bursts out into this pathetic exprobriation of the tyrant ; Constance, in King John speaks thus to Pandolph,
He talks to me that never had a fon!
Enter Lady Macbeth with a l'aper. Gent. Lo, you! here she comes! this is her very guise, and, upon my life, fast afleep; observe her, stand clofe.
Doct. How came she by that light?
Gint. Why, it stood by her: she has light by her continually, 'tis her command.
Dott. You see, her eyes are open.
her hands. Gent. It is an accustom’d action with her, to seenr thus washing her hands. I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.
Lady. Yet here's a spot.
Doct. Hark, she speaks. I will set down what comes from her, to satisfy my remembrance the more ftrongly.
Lady. Out! damned spot; out, I say-one; two; why then 'tis time to do't- Chell is murky. Fy, my lord, fy, a soldier, and afraid? what need we fear who 'knows it, when none can call our power to account? yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him ?
Doel. Do you mark that?
Lady. The Thane of Fife had a wife : where is slie now ? what, will these hands ne'er be clean?
-no more o'that, my lord, no more o'that : you mar all with this starting Doct. Go to, go to, you have known what
Gent. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that: heaven knows, what she has known. Lady. Here's whe.smell of the blood still : all the per
fumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh!
Doct. Well, well, well-
Dod. This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have walk'd in their sleep, who have died holily in their beds.
Lady. Wash your hands, put on your night-gown, look not so pale—I tell you yet again Banquo's buried; he cannot come out of his
grave. Doct. Even fo ?
Lady. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate : come, come, come, come, give me your hand: what's done cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed.
Scene III. Despised Old Age.
(25) My way, &c.] Way may be explained by-- -the progress or course of my life : but I must own, Mr. Johnfo:z's conjecture appears very plaufible : “ as (says he,) there is no relation between the way of life, and fallen into the siar, I am inclined to believe, that the wis only an m inverted, and, that it was originally written my may of life.
“ I am now passed from the spring to the autumn of my days, but I am without those comforts that succeed the sprightliness of bloom, and support me in this melancholy season.”
The words the scar, and yellow leaf, seem greatly to countenance this conjecture.
(26) Old age.] Sampson enumerating his sorrows, laments the misery of being contemptible in his old age:
To visitants a gaze
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
Diseases of the mind, incurable.
SCENE V. Reflections on Life. (28) To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Robustious to no purpose, cluftring down,
Milton's Sampson Agon. (27) Oblivious, &c.] Alluding to the Nepenthe: a certain mixture, of which opium perhaps was one of the ingredients. Homer, Od. 4, 221.
Νηπενθες τ' αχολoντε, κακων επιληθον απανίων, i. e. the oblivious antidote, causing the forgetfulness of all the evils of life. What is remarkable, had Shakespear understood Greek as well as fourfon, he could not more closely have expressed the meaning of the old bard. Upton.
(28) To, &c.] A cry being heard, Macbeth enquires, Where. fore it was ? and is answered, the queen is dead: upon which he observes :
She should have died hereafter:
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
She should not have died now, any time hereafter, to-morrow or no matter when, it would liave been more pleasing than the present ; this naturally raises in his mind the false notion of our thinking to-morrow will be happier than to-day : but “ tomorrow and to-morrow steals over us unenjoy'd and unregaried, and we still linger in the fame expectation to the moment appointed for our end.” &c. Mr. Johnson is for reading,
There would have been a time for such a world!
(29) Study, &c.] i. c. the time itself, the yesterdays that are palt, teach even fools to fludy death: death is a lesson so easily learnt, that fools, themselves, inform’d by the very time, can reason and moralize upon it." See As you like it,
This is a fine and just sense ; and this doubtless is Shakespear's true word: the first folio reads dusly death, i. e. says Mr. Tbeobald, the death which reduces us to dust and alhes; and the second sudy: either give good sense, the latter appears to me greatly preferable. In the 6th Scene of the ift Act of this play, speaking of Cawder's dying, he says,