« PreviousContinue »
The devil to his fellow; and delight
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. Āy, 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.
[Exit Doctor. Macd. What's the disease he means? Mal.
'Tis called the evil ; 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 cures ; Hanging a golden stampo about their necks, Put on with holy prayers; and 'tis spoken, To the succeeding royalty he leaves The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
1 i.e. overcomes it. We have before seen this word used in the same Latin sense, Act i. Sc. 7, of this play. “To convince or convicte, to vanquish and overcome-evinco."-Baret..
2 A golden stamp, the coin called an angel; the value of which was ten shillings.
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy;
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 !
Alas, poor country!
What is the newest grief?
How does my wife? Rosse. Why, well. Macd.
And all my children? Rosse.
Well too. Macd. The tyrant has not battered at their peace ? Rosse. No; they were well at peace, when I did
1" To rent is an ancient verb, which has been long disused," say the editors : in other words, it is the old orthography of the verb to rend.
2 A modern ecstasy is a common grief.
Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech. How
Rosse. When I came hither to transport the tidings
Be it their comfort,
Would I could answer
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 main part Pertains to you alone. Macd.
If it be mine,
Humph! I guess at it. Rosse. Your castle is surprised; your wife, and
babes, Savagely slaughtered: to relate the manner,
1 To latch (in the north) signifies the same as to catch. Thus also Golding, in his translation of the first book of Ovid's Metamorphoses :
“ As though he would, at everie stride, betweene his teeth hir latch." 2 “Or is it a fee-grief," a peculiar sorrow, a grief that hath but a single
Were, on the quarry of these murdered deer,
Merciful Heaven !
Macd. My children, too?
Wife, children, servants, all
And I must be from thence ! My wife killed too? Rosse.
I have said.
Macd. He has no children.-All my pretty ones? Did you say,
all ?-0, hell-kite !-All?
Mal. Dispute it like a man."
I shall do so;
, 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,
But, gentle Heavens,
1. Quarry, the game after it is killed; it is a term used both in huuting and falconry. The old English term querre, is used for the square spot wherein the dead game was deposited. Quarry is also used for the game pursued.
2 6 At one fell swoop.” Swoop, from the verb to swoop or sweep, is the descent of a bird of prey on his quarry.
3 i. e. contend with your present sorrow like a man.
Cut short all intermission :1 front to front,
This tune? goes manly.
The night is long that never finds the day.
SCENE I. Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.
Enter a Doctor of Physic, 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 nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.
Doct. A great perturbation in nature ! to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching - In this slumbry agitation, besides her walking, and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard
her say ? Gent. That, sir, which I will not report after her.
1 All intermission, all pause, all intervening time.
3 i. e. encourage, thrust us, their instruments, forward against the tyrant.