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The healing benediction. With this ftrange virtue,
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy;

And fundry bleffings hang about his throne,
That fpeak him full of


Enter Roffe.

Macd. See, who comes here!


Mal. My countryman; but yet I know him not, Macd. My ever-gentle coufin, welcome hither. Mal. I know him now. Good God betimes remove The means that make us ftrangers!

Roffe. Sir, Amen.

Macd. Stands Scotland where it did?

Roffe. Alas, poor country;

Almoft afraid to know itself.

It cannot

Be call'd our mother, but our grave: where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once feen to fmile:
Where fighs and groans, and fhrieks that rend the air,
Are made, not mark'd; where violent forrow feems
A modern ecftacy; the dead man's knell

Is there scarce afk'd, for whom; and good men's lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
Dying, or ere they ficken.

Macd. Oh, relation

Too nice, and yet too true!

Mal. What's the newest grief?

Roffe. That of an hour's age doth hifs the speaker;


My countryman; but yet I know him nɔt.]

Malcolm difcovers Roffe to be his countryman, while he is yet at fome distance from him, by his drefs. This circumftance lofes its propriety on our flage, as all the characters are uniformly reprefented in English habits. STEEVENS.

9 A modern ecflacy; -]

That is, no more regarded than the contorfions that fanatics throw themselves into. The author was thinking of those of his own times. WARBURTON.

I believe modern is only foclife or trifling. JOHNSON.


Each minute teems a new one.
Macd. How does my wife?
Roffe. Why, well.

Macd. And all my children?
Roffe. Well too.

Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace? Roffe. No; they were all at peace when I did leave


Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech: How goes it?

Roffe. When I came hither to trafport the tidings,
Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour
Of many worthy fellows that were out;

Which was to my belief witnefs'd the rather,
For that I faw the tyrant's power a-foot:
Now is the time of help; your eye in Scotland
Would create foldiers, and make women fight,
To doff their dire diftreffes.

Mal. Be't their comfort

We're coming thither. Gracious England hath
Lent us good Seyward and ten thousand men;
An older, and a better foldier, none
That Chriftendom gives out.

Reffe. Would I could anfwer

This comfort with the like! But I have words,
That would be howl'd out in the defart air,
Where hearing' fhould not catch them.
Macd. What concern they?


The general caufe? or is it a fee-grief,

Due to fome fingle breast?

- should not catch them]

The folio reads, latch them, I believe rightly. To latch any thing, is to lay hold of it. To latch, (in the North country dialect) fignifies the fame as to catch. STEEVENS.

2 fee-grief,] A peculiar forrow; a grief that hath a Single owner. The expreffion is, at leaft to our cars, very harfh.



Roffe. No mind, that's honeft,

But in it shares fome woe; though the main part
Pertains to you alone.

Macd. If it be mine,

Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.
Reffe. Let not your ears defpife my tongue for ever,
Which fhall poffefs them with the heaviest found,
That ever yet they heard.

Macd. Hum! I guess at it.

Roffe. Your caftle is furpriz'd; your wife, and babes,

Savagely flaughter'd: to relate the manner,
Were, on the quarry of thefe murther'd deer 3
To add the death of you.

Mal. Merciful heaven!

What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows; Give forrow words: the grief, that does not speak, Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break. Macd. My children too?

Roffe. Wife, children, fervants, all that could be found.

Macd. And I must be from thence! my wife kill'd too!

Roffe. I have faid.

Mal. Be comforted.

Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.

3 Were, on the quarry of theft murther'd deer]

Quarry is a term ufed both in bunting and falconry. In the first of thefe diverfions it means the death of the deer, in the second, the game of the hawk after she has feized it, and is tiring on it.

So in Maflinger's Guardian,

"he ftrikes

The trembling bird, who ev'n in death appears "Proud to be made his quarry." STEEVENS.


Macd. He has no children.-All my pretty ones?
Did you fay, all? Oh, hell-kite!-All?
What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,
At one fell fwoop?

Mal. Difpute it like a man *.
Macd. I fhall do fo;

But I muft alfo feel it as a man:

I cannot but remember fuch things were,

That were most precious to me.-Did Heaven look on,
And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
They were all ftruck for thee! naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell flaughter on their fouls. Heaven reft them now!
Mal. Be this the whetstone of your fword: let grief
Convert to wrath; blunt not the heart, enrage it.

Macd. Oh, I could play the woman with mine eyes, And braggart with my tongue! But, gentle Heaven! Cut fhort all intermiffion; front to front,

Bring thou this fiend of Scotland, and myself;
Within my fword's length fet him; if he 'fcape,
Heaven, forgive him too!

Mal. This tune goes manly.

Come, go we to the King; our power is ready;
Our lack is nothing but our leave: Macbeth

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It has been obferved by an anonymous critic, that this is not faid of Macbeth, who had children, but of Malcolm, who having none, fuppofes a father can be fo eafily comforted. JOHNSON

He has no children.

The meaning of this may be, either that Macduff could not by retaliation revenge the murder of his children, because Macbeth had none himself; or that if he had had any, a father's feelings for a father, would have prevented him from the deed. I know not from what paffage we are to infer that Macbeth had children alive. The Chronicle does not, as I remember, mention any. STEEVENS. "Difpute it like a man.]

i, e. contend with your prefent forrow like a man. STEEVENS. 5 This tune-] The folio reads, This time.


Is ripe for fhaking, and the powers above

Put on their inftruments. Receive what cheer you


The night is long, that never finds the day. [Exeunt.


Enter a Doctor of phyfic, and a waiting Gentlewoman.



HAVE two nights watch'd with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it fhe laft walk'd?

Gent. Since his majefty went into the field, I have feen her rife from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards feal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most faft fleep.

Doct. A great perturbation in nature! to receive at once the benefit of fleep, and do the effects of watching. In this flumbry agitation, befides her walking, and other actual performances, what, at any time, have you heard her say?

Gent. That, fir, which I will not report after her. Do. You may to me, and 'tis most meet you fhould.

Gent. Neither to you, nor any one, having no witnefs to confirm my speech.

Enter Lady Macbeth with a taper.

Lo, you, here he comes! This is her very guife;

Put on their inftruments.-]

i. e. encourage, thrust forward us their inftruments, against the tyrant. STEEVENS.


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