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Or wear it on my sword, yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before ;

More suffer, and more sundry ways than ever,
280 By him that shall succeed.

What should he be ?
Mal. It is myself I mean: in whom I know
All the particulars of vice so grafted,
That, when they shall be open'd, black Macbeth

Will seem as pure as snow; and the poor state 285 Esteem him as a lamb, being compared

With my confineless harms.

Not in the legions
Of horrid hell, can come a devil more damn'd
In evils, to top Macbeth.

I grant him bloody,
Luxurious, avaricious, false, deceitful,
290 Sudden, malicious, smacking of every sin

That has a name : But there's no bottom, none,
In my voluptuousness : ... and my desire
All continent impediments would o'erbear,
That did oppose my will : Better Macbeth,

Than such a one to reign. 295 Macd.

Boundless intemperance
In nature is a tyranny ; it hath been
The untimely emptying of the happy throne,
And fall of many kings. But fear not yet

To take upon you what is yours; you may 300 Convey your pleasures in a spacious plenty,

And yet seem cold, the time you may so hoodwink.
. Mal.

With this there grows,
In my most ill-composed affection, such

A stanchless avarice, that, were I king, 305 I should cut off the nobles for their lands;

Desire his jewels, and this other's house :
And my more-having would be as a sauce
To make me hunger more; that I should forge
Quarrels unjust against the good and loyal,

Destroying them for wealth. 310 Macd.

This avarice

Sticks deeper; grows with more pernicious root
Than summer-seeming lust; and it hath been
The sword of our slain kings: yet do not fear;

Scotland hath foysons to fill up your will, 315 Of your mere own: all these are portable,

With other graces weigh’d.

Mal. But I have none : the king-becoming graces, As justice, verity, temperance, stableness,

Bounty, perseverance, mercy, lowliness, 320 Devotion, patience, courage, fortitude,

I have no relish of them; but abound
In the division of each several crime,
Acting it many ways. Nay, had I power, I should

Pour the sweet milk of concord into hell, 325 Uproar the universal peace, confound

All unity on earth.

Macd. O Scotland! Scotland !

Mal. If such a one be fit to govern, speak :
I am as I have spoken.

Fit to govern!
No, not to live.-0 nation miserable,
330 With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd,

When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again ?
Since that the truest issue of thy throne
By his own interdiction stands accursed,

And does blaspheme his breed ?—Thy royal father 335 Was a most sainted king: the queen that bore thee,

Oft'ner upon her knees than on her feet,
Died every day she lived. Fare thee well!
These evils thou repeat'st upon thyself
Have banish'd me from Scotland. -0, my breast,

Thy hope ends here! 340 Mal.

Macduff, this noble passion,
Child of integrity, hath from my soul
Wiped the black scruples, reconciled my thoughts
To thy good truth and honour. Devilish Macbeth

By many of these trains hath sought to win me 345 Into his power; and modest wisdom plucks me

From over-credulous haste : but God above
Deal between thee and me! for even now

I put myself to thy direction, and

Unspeak mine own detraction; here abjure 350 The taints and blames I laid upon myself,

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 355 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, 360 Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,

All ready 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, 365 'T is hard to reconcile. Mal. Well; more anon.

Enter a Doctor.

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, 370 Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand, They presently amend.

I thank you, doctor.

[Exit Doctor. Macd. What's the disease he means ? Mal.

'T is call'd the evil ; A most miraculous work in this good king :

Which often, since my here-remain in England, 375 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, 380 Put on with holy prayers : and 't is 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,
385 That speak him full of grace.

See, who comes here?
Mal. My countryman ; but yet I know him not.

Enter Rosse.
Macd. My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.

Mal. I know him now: good God, betimes remove
The means that make us strangers !

Sir, Amen. 390

Macd. Stands Scotland where it did ?

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 rent the air, 395 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.

O, relation
400 Too nice, and yet too true!

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

How does my wife ?
Rosse. Why, well.

And all my children ?

Well too. Macd. The tyrant has not batter'd at their peace ? 405 Rosse. No; they were well at peace, when I did leave

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

Rosse. When I came hither to transport the tidings, Which I have heavily borne, there ran a rumour

Of many worthy fellows that were out; 410 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.

Be't their comfort, 415 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.

Would I could answer This comfort with the like! But I have words 420 That would be howl'd out in the desert air,

Where hearing should not latch them.

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

No mind that's honest
But in it shares some woe; though the main part

Pertains to you alone. 425 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.

Hum! I guess at it. 430 Rosse. 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.

Merciful heaven !
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
435 Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak

Whispers the o'erfraught heart, and bids it break.

Macd. My children too?

Wife, children, servants,
All that could be found.

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

I have said. 440 Mal.

Be comforted :

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