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For strangers to my nature.

I am yet Unknown to woman, never was forsworn, Scarcely have coveted what was mine own, At no time broke my faith, would not betray The devil to his fellow and delight No less in truth than life: my first false speaking Was this upon myself: what I am truly, Is thine and my poor country's to command: Whither indeed, before thy here-approach, Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men, Already at a point, was setting forth. Now we'll together; and the chance of goodness Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?

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. Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls That stay his cure: their malady convinces The great assay of art; but at his touchSuch sanctity hath heaven given his handThey presently amend. MAL. I thank

you, doctor. [Exit Doctor. MACD. What's the disease he means ? MAL.

'Tis call'd 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 stamp about their necks, Put on with holy prayers: and 'tis spoken, To the succeeding royalty he leaves The healing benediction. With this strange virtue, He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy, And sundry blessings hang about his throne, That speak him full of

grace.

Enter Ross.
MacD.

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

remove

The means that makes us strangers !
Ross.

Sir, amen.
MacD. Stands Scotland where it did?
Ross.

Alas, poor country!
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
Be call’d our mother, but our grave; where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile :
Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the

air Are made, not mark'd; where violent sorrow seems A modern ecstasy : 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.

MACD.

O, relation
Too nice, and yet too true !
MAL.

What's the newest grief?
Ross. That of an hour's age doth hiss the speaker:
Each minute teems a new one.
Macd.

How does

my

wife? Ross. Why, well. Macd.

And all

my

children? Ross.

Well too. Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace? Ross. No; they were well at peace when I did

leave 'em. Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech : how

goes 't?

Ross. 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. MAL.

Be't 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. Ross.

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.
Macd.

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

No mind that's honest But in it shares some woe; though the main part Pertains to you alone. Macd.

If it be mine, Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it. Ross. Let not your ears despise my tongue for

ever, Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound That ever yet they heard. MACD.

Hum! I guess at it. Ross. Your castle is surprised; your wife and

babes 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 Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.

Macd. My children too?
Ross.

Wife, children, servants, all
That could be found.
MacD.

And I must be from thence! My wife kill'd too? Ross.

I have said.

upon your brows;

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MAL.

Be comforted:
Let's make us medicines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.

MACD. He has no children. All my pretty ones?
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.
MACD.

I shall do so;
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me.

Did heaven

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look on,

And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
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, gentle heavens,
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,
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
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above

;

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