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And what will you do now? How will you live?
Son. As birds do, mother.
What, with worms and flies
nor lime, The pit-fall, nor the gin. Son. Why should I, mother? Poor birds they are
not set for. My father is not dead, for all your saying. L. Macd. Yes, he is dead; how wilt thou do for a
father? Son. Nay, how will you do for a husband ? L. Macd. Why, I can buy me twenty at any market. Son. Then you 'll buy 'em to sell again. L. Macd. Thou speak'st with all thy wit; and yet
Son. Was my father a traitor, mother?
L. Macd Every one that does so, is a traitor, and must be hanged.
Son. And must they all be hanged, that swear and lie?
Son. Then the liars and swearers are fools: for there are liars and swearers enough to beat the honest men, and hang up them.
L. Macd. Now God help thee, poor monkey! But how wilt thou do for a father?
Son. If he were dead, you 'd weep for him : if you would not, it were a good sign that I should quickly have a new father. · L. Macd. Poor prattler! how thou talk'st!
Mac eth says to his servant, “ Sirrab, a word with you: attend those men our pleasure?” Malone.
Enter a Messenger.
[Exit Messi L. Macd.
Whither should i fly?
Accounted dangerous folly: Why then, alas!
L. Macd. I hope, in no place so unsanctified,
1- in your state of bonour I am perfect.] i. e. I am per. fectly acquainted with your rank of honour. So, in the old book tbat treateth of the Life of Virgil, &c. bl. l. no date: “- wlrich when Virgil saw, he looked in his boke of negromancy, wherein he was perfie.” Again, in The Play of the four P's, 1569:
* Pot. Then tell me this: Are you perfit in drinking?
Joson. Mr. Edwards explains these words differently. “ To ilo worse to you (says he) signifies,-to fright you more, by relating all the circumstances of your danger; which would detain you so long that you could not avoid it.” The meaning, however, may be, To do worse to you, not to disclose to you the perilous situa. tion you are in, from a foolish apprehension of alarming you, would be fell cruelty. Or the messenger may only mean, to do more than alarm you by this disagreeable intelligence,-to do you any actual and bodily harm, were fell cruelty. Malone.
He's a traitor
What, you egg? [Stabbing him.
He has killed me, mother: Run away, I pray you. [Dies. Exit Lady Macd. crying murder, and fiursued by the Murderers.
England. A Room in the King's Palace,
Enter Malcolm and Macduff.4
3 shag-eard villian.) Perhaps we should read shag. bair'd, for it is an abusive epithet very often used in our ancient plays, &c. So, in Decker's Honest Whore, P II, 1630:as a sbag-haired cur.” Again, in our author's King Henry VI, P. II: “ — like a sbag-haired crafty Kern.” Again, in Sir Arthur Gorges' translation of Lucan, 1614:
“ That sbag-haired Caicos tam'd with forts." And Chapman, in his translation of the 7th book of Homer, 1598, applies the same epithet to the Greeks. Again, in the spurious play of King Lear, 1605:
“There she had set a sbagbayr'd murdering wretch.” Again, in Barnaby Googe's version of Palingenius, 1561:
“ But sore afraid was I to meete
" The shagbeard horson's horne.” It may be observed, that, in the seventh Iliad of Homer, the καρηκόμουν7ες Αχαιοί are rendered by Arthur Hall, 1581, “ – peruke Greekes.” And by Chapman, 1611, “ – sbag-bair'd Greekes.” Steevens.
This emendation appears to me extremely probable. In King Fobn, Act V, we find “ unbear'd sanciness for unbair'd sauci. ñess:” and we have had in this play bair instead of air. These two words, and the word ear, were all, I believe, in the time of our author, pronounced alike. See a note on Venus and Adonis, p. 456, n. 5, edit. 1780, octavo. :
Hair was formerly written beare. Hence perhaps the mis. take. So, in Ives's Select Papers, (biefly relating to English Antiquities, No. 3, p. 133: “ - and in her beare a circlet of gold richely garnished.” In Lodge's Incarnate Devils of the Age, 4to. 1596, we find in p. 37,“ sbag-beard slave,” which still more strongly supports Mr. Stecvens's emendation. However,
Weep our sad bosoms empty.
as flap-ear'd is used as an epithet of contempt in The Taming of the Shrew, the old copy may be right. Malone
Mr. Steevens's emendation will be further confirmed by a reference to one of our Law Reporters. In 23 Car. I, Ch. Justice Relle said it had been determined that these words, “ Where is that long-locked, sbag-haired, murdering rogue? were actionable. Aleyn's Reports, p. 61. Reed.
Enter Malcolm and Macduff.] The part of Holinshed's Chronicle which relates to this play, is no more than an abridgment of John Bellenden's translation of The Noble Clerk, Hector Boece, imprinted at Edinburgh, 1541. For the satisfaction of the reader, I have inserted the words of the first mentioned historian, from whom this scene is almost literally taken: “ Though Malcolme was verie sorrowfull for the oppression of his countriemen the Scots, in manner as Makduffe had declared, yet doubting whether he was come as one that ment unfeinedlie as he spake, or else as sent from Makbeth to betraie him, he thought to have some further triall, and thereupon dissembling his mind at the first, he answered as followeth:
“I am trulie verie sorie for the miserie chanced to my coun. trie of Scotland, but though I have never so great affection to relieve the same, yet by reason of certaine incurable vices, which reign in me, I am nothing meet thereto. First, such immoderate lust and voluptuous sensualitie (the abhominable fountain of all vices) followeth me, that if I were made king of Scots, I should seek to defloure your maids and matrones, in such wise that my intemperancie should be more importable unto you than the bloudie tyrannie of Makbeth now is. Here. unto Makduffe answered: This surelie is a very euil fault, for manie noble princes and kings have lost both lives and kingdomes for the same ; neverthelesse there are women enow in Scotland, and therefore follow my counsell. Make thy selfe king, and I shall conveie the matter so wiselie, that thou shalt be satisfied at thy pleasure in such secret wise, that no man shall be aware thereof. · " Then said Malcolme, I am also the most avaritious creature in the earth, so that if I were king, I should seeke so manie waies to get lands and goods, that I would slea the most part of all the nobles of Scotland by surmized accusations, to the end I might injoy their lands, goods and possessions; and therefore to shew you what mischiefe may insue on you through mine unsatiable covetousnes, I will rehearse unto you a fable. There was a fox having a sore place on him overset with a swarme of flies, that continuallie sucked out hir bloud: and when one that came by and saw this manner, demanded whether she would have the flies driven beside hir, she answered no; for if these flies that are alreadie full, and by reason thereof sucke not verie eagerlie, should be chased awaie, other that are emptie and
Let us rather
fellie and hungred, should light in their places, and sucke out the residue of my bloud farre more to my greevance than these, which now being satisfied doo not much annoie me. Therefore saith Malcolme, suffer me to remaine where I am, lest if I at. teine to the regiment of your realme, mine unquenchable avarice may proove such, that ye would thinke the displeasures which now grieve you, should seeme easie in respect of the unmeasura. ble vutrage which might insue through my comming amongst you.
“Makduffe to this made answer, how it was a far woorse fault than the other: for avarice is the root of all mischiefe, and for that crime the most part of our kings have been slaine, and brought to their finall end. Yet notwithstanding follow my counsell, and take upon thee the crowne. There is gold and riches inough in Scotland to satisfie thy greedie desire. Then said Malcolme again, I am furthermore inclined to dissimula. tion, telling of leasings, and all other kinds of deceit, so that I naturallie rejoise in nothing so much, as to betraie and deceive such as put anie trust or confidence in my woords. Then sith there is nothing that more becommeth a prince th veritie, truth, and justice, with the other laudable fellowship of those faire and noble virtuies which are comprehended onelie in soothfastnesse, and that lieng utterlie overthroweth the same, you see how unable I am to governe anie province or region : and therefore sith you have remidies to cloke and hide all the rest of my other vicis, I praie you find shift to cloke this vice amongst the residue.
“ Then said Makduffe: “ This is yet the woorst of all, and there I leave thee, and therefore saie; Oh ye unhappie and miserable Scotishmen, which are thus scourged with so manie and sundrie calamities, ech one above other! Ye have one cursed and wicked tyrant that now reigneth over you, without anie right or title, oppressing you with his most bloudie crueltie. This other that hath the right to the crowne, is so replet with the inconstant behaviour and manifest vices of Englishımen, that he is nothing woorthie to injoy it: for by his owne confession he is not onlie avaritious and given to unsatiable lust, but so false a traitor withall, that no trust is to be had unto anie woord he speaketh. Adieu Scotland, for now I account my selfe a ba. nished man for ever, without comfort or consolation : and with these woords the brackish tears trickled downe his cheekes verie abundantlie.
"At the last, when he was readie to depart, Malcolme tooke him by the sleeve, and said: Be of good comfort Makduffe, for I have none of these vices before remembered, but have jested with thee in this manner, onlie to prove thy mind: for divers times heretofore Makbeth sought by this manner of means to bring me into his hand,” &c.
Holinshed's History of Scotland, p. 175. Steeders.