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I put myself to thy direction, and
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 touch, Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand, They 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,
) i. e. overpowers, subdues.
Himself best knows: but strangely-visited people,
Enter Rosse. Macd.
See, who comes here? Mal. My countryman; but yet I know him not.s Macd. My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither. Mal. I know him now: Good God, betimes re
· Alas, poor country ; Almost afraid to know itself! It cannot Be call'd our mother, but our grave: where nothing,
3 The mere despair of surgery, he cures ;] Dr. Percy, in his notes on The Northumberland Houshold Book, says, “ that our ancient kings even in those dark times of superstition, do not seem to have affected the cure of the king's evil. --This miraculous gift was left to be claimed by the Stuarts : our ancient Plantagenets were humbly content to cure the cramp.” In this assertion, however, the learned editor of the above curious volume has been betrayed into a mistake, by relying too implicitly on the authority of Mr. Anstis. The power of curing the king's evil was claimed by many of the Plantagenets.
- a golden stamp, &c.] This was the coin called an angel, of the value of ten shillings.
5 My countryman; but yet I know him not.] Malcolm discovers Rosse to be his countryman, while he is yet at soine distance from him, by his dress. This circumstance loses its propriety on our stage, as all the characters are uniformly represented in English habits. STEEVENS.
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile; Where sighs, and groans, and shrieks that rent the
What is the newest grief?
speaker; Each minute teems a new one. Macd.
How does my wife?
And all my children?
Well too. Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace? Rosse. No; they were well at peace, when I did
leave them. Macd. Be not a niggard of your speech; How
Be it their comfort,
'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? Rosse.
No mind, that's honest, But in it shares some woe; though the inain part Pertains to you alone. Macd.
If it be mine, Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it. : Rosse. Let not your ears despise my tongue for
ever, Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound, That ever yet they heard. Macd.
Humph! I guess at it.
Merciful heaven! What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows; Give sorrow words: the grief, that does not speak, Whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break. Macd. My children too?
Wife, children, servants, all That could be found.
6 — should not latch them.] To latch any thing, is to lay hold of it.
7- fee-grief,] A peculiar sorrow; a grief that hath a single owner. The expression is, at least to our ears, very harsh. It must be allowed that, in both the foregoing instances, the Attorney has been guilty of a flat trespass on the Poet.
8 Were, on the quarry of these murder'd deer,] Quarry is a term used both in hunting and falconry. In both sports it means the game after it is killed.
And I must be from thence!
I have said.
Mal. Dispute it like a man.
I shall do so;
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
9 At one fell swoop?] Swoop is the descent of a bird of prey on his quarry.
* Cut short all intermission;] i. e. all pause, all intervening time,