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It was the tragedy of Macbeth, which conferred upon Shakspeare the distinguished honour of receiving a letter, written with his sovereign's own hand, James the First, in testimony of his high admiration of the work!

Steevens calls this play, "The first of all dramatic enjoyments."

Johnson says, in apology for some occurrences contained in it, "I know not whether it may not be said, in defence of some parts which now seem improbable, that, in Shakspeare's timer it was necessary to warn credulity against vain and delusive predictions."

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The open Country.

Thunder and Lightning.

Three Witches discovered.

1 Witch. When shall we three meet again In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

2 Witch. When the hurly-burly's done, When the battle's lost and won.

3 Witch. That will be ere th' set of sun.
1 Witch. Where the place?
2 Witch. Upon the heath.
3 Witch. There to meet with-
1 Witch. Whom?

2 Witch. Macbeth.

1 Witch. I come, Gray-malkin.

2 Witch. Paddock calls.

1 Witch. Anon.

All. Fair is foul, and foul is fair :

Hover through the fog and filthy air.

[Noise of a Cat. [Noise of a Toad.

[Thunder and Lightning.—Exeunt severally.


The Palace at Fores.

Flourish of Trumpets and Drums.

Enter King Duncan, Malcolm, Donalbain, LeNox, Rosse, and Attendants, meeting a bleeding Officer.

King. What bloody man is that? He can report, As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt The newest state.

Mal. This is the sergeant,

Who, like a good and hardy soldier, fought
'Gainst my captivity ?—Hail, brave friend!
Say to the king the knowledge of the broil,
As thou didst leave it.

Off. Doubtfully it stood;

As two spent swimmers, that do cling together,
And choke their art. The merciless Macdowald
From the western isles

Of Kernes and Gallow-glasses is supply'd;
And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Show'd like a rebel's whore: But all's too weak:
For brave Macbeth, (well he deserves that name,)
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smok'd with bloody execution,

Like valour's minion,

Carv'd out his passage, till he fac'd the slave;
And ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.

King. O, valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!
Off. Mark, king of Scotland, mark:

No sooner justice had, with valour arm'd,
Compell'd these skipping Kernes to trust their heels;

But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,

With furbish'd arms, and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.

King. Dismay'd not this

Our captains, Macbeth and Banquo ?
Off. Yes;

As sparrows, eagles; or the hare, the lion.—
But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.

King. So well thy words become thee, as thy wounds;

They smack of honour both :—Go, get him surgeons. [Exeunt Officer, and two Attendants.

Who comes here?

Mal. The worthy thane of Fife.

Len. What a haste looks through his eyes!
Rosse. So should he look,

That seems to speak things strange.

Enter Macduff.

Macd. God save the king!

King. Whence cam'st thou,, worthy thane?
Macd. From Fife, great king,

Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky,
And fan our people cold.

Norway himself, with terrible numbers,
Assisted by that most disloyal traitor

The thane of Cawdor, 'gan a dismal conflict:
Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,
Confronted him with self-comparisons,

Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm,
Curbing his lavish spirit: And, to conclude,
The victory fell on us ;-

King. Great happiness!

Macd. That now

Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition;
Nor would we deign him burial of his men,
Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes' inch,
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.

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