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Rosse. 'Would I could answer
This comfort with the like! But I have words,
Macd. What concern they?
The general cause? or is it a fee-grief,7
Rosse. No mind, that's honest,
But in it shares some woe; though the main 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
Which shall possess them with the heaviest sound, That ever yet they heard.
Macd. Humph! I guess at it.
Rosse. Your castle is surpriz'd; your wife, and
Savagely slaughter'd: to relate the manner,
Mai. 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?
Rosse. 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.
Macd. And I must be from thence!
My wife kill'd too?
Rosse. I have said.
Mai. Be comforted:
Let's make us med'cines of our great revenge,
Macd. He has no children.—All my pretty
Mai. Dispute it like a man.
But I must also feel it as a man:
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! Mai. 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.
Heaven forgive him too !2
Mai. This tune goes manly.
Come, go we to the king; our power is ready;
SCENE I. Dunsinane. A Room in the Castle.
Enter a Doctor of Physick, and a waiting Gentlewoman.
Doct. I have two nights watched with you, but can perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?
Gent. Since his majesty went into the field,3 I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon it, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep.
Doct. A great perturbation in nature! to receive at once the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of watching.—In this slumbry agitation, besides her
if he 'scape,
Heaven forgive him toof] That is, if he escape my vengeance, let him escape that of Heaven also.
'Since his majesty went into the field,] This is one of Shakspeare's oversights. He forgot that he had shut up Macbeth in Dunsinane, and surrounded him with besiegers.