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Keep it not from me, quickly let me have it."
Roffe. Let not your ears despise my tongue for ever, Which shall possess them with the heaviest found, That ever yet they heard.
Macd. Hum! I guess at it.
Roffe. Your caftle is furpriz'd, your wife and babes Savagely flaughter'd; to relate the manner, Were on the quarry of these murther'd deer
To add the death of you.
Mal. Merciful heav'n!
What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows; Give forrow words; the grief, that does not fpeak, 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've faid.
Mal. Be comforted.
Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
To cure this deadly grief.
Macd. (18) He has no children.
All my pretty
Did you fay all? what, all? oh, hell-kite! all?
(18) He has, &c.] Nothing can be more natural than this reflection; the father's thoughts are wholly engroffed by his mifforture, and difregarding what Malcolm fays to him, he bursts out into this pathetic exprobation of the tyrant; Conftance in king John fpeaks thus to Fandolph,
He talks to me that never had a foǹ !
But I muft alfo feel it as a man.
I cannot but remember fuch things were,
That were most precious to me: did heav'n look on, And would not take their part? finful Macduff, They were all struck for thee! naught that I am, Not for their own demerits, but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their fouls; heav'n rest them now! Mal. Be this the whetstone of your sword, let grief
Convert to wrath,: blunt not the heart, enrage it.
Macd. O, I could play the woman with mine
And braggart with my tongue. But, gentle heav'n!
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself ;
Mal. This tune goes manly:
Come, go we to the king, our power is ready;
The night is long that never finds the day.
Enter Lady Macbeth with a Taper.
Gent. Lo, you! here fhe comes this is her very guise, and, upon my life, fast afleep; observe her, ftand clofe.
Doct. How came fhe by that light?
Gent. Why, it ftood by her: fhe has light by her continually, 'tis her command.
Doct. You fee, her eyes are open,
w glod a 10 Doct. What is it fhe does now? look how she rubs her hands:
Gent. It is an` accustom'd action with her, to seem thus washing her hands: I have known her continue in this a quarter of an hour.
Lady. Yet here's a spot.
Dot. Hark, the fpeaks. I will fet down what comes from her, to fatisfy my remembrance the more Atrongly.
Lady. Out! damned fpot; out, I fay-one; two; why then 'tis time to do't-- hell is murky. Fy, my lord, fy, a soldier, and afraid? what need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? --yet who would have thought the old man to have had fo much blood in him ?
Doct. Do you mark that ?
Lady. The Thane of Fife had a wife: where is the now? what, will these hands ne'er be clean ?more o' that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar all with this starting.
Doct. Go to, go to; you have known what you fhould not...
Gent. She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that heaven knows, what fhe has known.
Lady. Here's the fmell of the blood ftill: all the perfumes of Arabia will not fweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!
Dot. What a figh is there? the heart is forely charg'd.
Gent. I would not have such a heart in my bofom, for the dignity of the whole body,
Do&. Well, well, well
Gent. Pray God it be, Sir.
Doct. This disease is beyond my practice: yet I have known those which have walk'd in their fleep, who have died holily in their beds.
Lady. Wash your hands, put on your night-gown, look not fo pale-I tell you yet again Banquo's buried; he cannot come out of his grave.
Dott. Even fo?
Lady. To bed, to bed; there's knocking at the gate. come, come, come, come, give me your hand: what's done, cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed.
I have liv'd long enough: (18) my way of life Is fall'n into the fear, the yellow leaf: And that which fhould accompany * old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I muft not look to have: but, in their ftead, Curfes, not loud but deep, mouth-honour, breath, Which the poor heart would feign deny, and dare not.
(18) My way, &c.] Way may be explained by---the progress, or courfe of my life: but I muft own, Mr. Johnson's conjecture appears very plaufible: as, fays he, there is no relation between the way of life, and fallen into the fear, I am inclined to believe, that the w is only an m inverted, and, that it was originally written my may of life.
"I am now paffed from the fpring to the autumn of my days, but I am without thofe comforts that fucceed the fprightliness of bloom, and fupport me in this melancholy feafon."
The words the fear, and yellow leaf, feem greatly to counteDance this conjecture.
*Old-age] Sampfon enumerating his forrows, laments the misery of being contemptible in his old-age :
To vifitants a gaze
Or pity'd object; thefe redundant locks,
Vain monument of ftrength, till length of years,.
To a contemptible old age obfcure.
Milton's Samfon Agons
Difeafes of the Mind, incurable.
Canft thou not minister to a mind difeas'd,
SCENE V. Reflections on Life.
(20) To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last fyllable of recorded time; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
(19) Oblivious, &c.] Alluding to the Nepenthe a certain. mixture, of which opium perhaps was one of the ingredients. Homer Od. 4. 221.
Νηπενθές τ' αχολοντε, κακων επιληθον απαλων.
i. e. the oblivious antidote, caufing the forgetfulness of all the evils of life. What is remarkable, had Shakespear understood Greek as well as Jonfon, he could not more clofely have expreffed the meaning of the old bard. Upton.
(20) To, &c.] A cry being heard, Macbeth enquires, Wherefore it was? and is anfwer'd, the queen is dead: upon which he obferves
She fhould have dy'd hereafter:
There would have been a time for fuch a word:
She fhould not have died now, any time hereafter, to-morrow or no matter when, it would have been more pleafing than the prefent this naturally raises in his mind the falfe notion of our thinking to-morrow will be happier than to-day: but "to-morrow and to-morrow fteals over us unenjoy'd and unregarded, and we still linger in the fame expectation to the moment appointed for our end." &c.
Mr. Johnfon is for reading,
There would have been a time for-fuch a world!
His conjecture feems rather beautiful than juft. See note 44.