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The healing benediction. With this ftrange virtue,
And fundry bleffings hang about his throne,
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.
Be call'd our mother, but our grave: where nothing,
Is there scarce afk'd, for whom; and good men's lives
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. And all my children?
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 was to my belief witnefs'd the rather,
Mal. Be't their comfort
We're coming thither. Gracious England hath
Reffe. Would I could anfwer
This comfort with the like! But I have words,
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
Macd. If it be mine,
Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it.
Macd. Hum! I guess at it.
Roffe. Your caftle is furpriz'd; your wife, and babes,
Savagely flaughter'd: to relate the manner,
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,
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,
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?
Mal. Difpute it like a man *.
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,
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;
Mal. This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the King; our power is ready;
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.
ACT V. SCENE I.
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.