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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.
Enter a Messenger.
you will take a homely man's advice,
you! I dare abide no longer.
[Exit Messenger. L. Macd.
Whither should I fly? I have done no harm. But I remember now I am in this earthly world; where, to do harın, Is often laudable: to do good, sometime, Accounted dangerous folly: Why then, alas! Do I put up that womanly defence, To say, I have done no harin? What are these
Mur. Where is
husband? L. Macd. I hope, in no place so unsanctified, Where such as thou may'st find him.
in your siate of honour I am perfect.] i, e. I am perfectly acquainted with your rank of honour.
He's a traitor
What, you egg? [Stabbing him.
He has killed me, mother: I pray you.
[Dies. [Exit Lady Macduff, crying murder,
and pursued by the Murderers.
England. A Room in the King's Palace.
Enter Malcolm and MacDUFF.
Mal. Let us seek out some desolate shade, and
there Weep our sad bosoms empty. Macd.
Let us rather Hold fast the mortal sword; and, like good men, Bestride our down-fallin birthdown: Each new morn, New widows howl; new orphans cry; new sorrows Strike heaven on the face, that it resounds As if it felt with Scotland, and yell’d out Like syllable of dolour. Mal.
What I believe, I'll wail; What know, believe; and, what I can redress, As I shall find the time to friend, I will.
| Bestride our down-fall’n birthdom:] The allusion is to a man from whom something valuable is about to be taken by violence, and who, that he may defend it without incumbrance, lays it on the ground, and stands over it with his weapon in his hand. Our birthdom, or birthright, says he, lies on the ground; let us, like men who are to fight for what is dearest to them, not abandon it, but stand over it and defend it. This is a strong picture of obstinate resolution. to friend,] i. e. to befriend.
What you have spoke, it may
be so, perchance. This tyrant, whose sole nanie blisters our tongues, Was once thought honest: you have lov’d him well; He hath not touch'd you yet. I am young; but
Macd. I am not treacherous.
But Macbeth is.
grace, Yet grace must still look so. Macd.
I have lost my hopes. Mal. Perchance, even there, where I did find
Why in that rawnesso left you wife, and child,
Bleed, bleed, poor country!
- and wisdom ---] That is, and 'tis wisdom. 4 A good and virtuous nature may recoil,
In an imperial churge.] A good mind may recede from goodness in the execution of a royal commission. JOHNSON.
5 Though all things foul, &c.] This is not very clear. The meaning, perhaps, is this :My suspicions cannot injure you, if you be virtuous, by supposing that a traitor may put on your virtuous appearance. I do not say that your virtuous appearance proves you a traitor; for virtue must wear its proper form, though that firm be counterfeited by villainy. JOHNSON.
Why in that rawness-] Without previous provision, without due preparation, without maturity of counsel.
Great tyranny, lay thou thy basis sure,
Be not offended:
What should he be?
Not in the legion3
I grant him blooiy,
7 Thy title is affeer'd!] Afcer'd, a law term for confirm'd.
Your matrons, and your maids, could not fill up
With this, there grows,
grows with more pernicious root Than summer-seeding lust;] The allusion is to plants; and the sense is,—“ Avarice is a perennial weed; it has a deeper and more pernicious root than lust, which is a mere annual, and lasts but for a summer, when it sheds its seed and decays.” BLACKSTONE.
All these are portable,] Portable, i. e. bearable.