« PreviousContinue »
SCENE VII. The same. Another Part of the Plain.
Macb. They have tied me to a stake; I cannot fly, But, bearlike, I must fight the course. What's he, That was not born of woman? Such a one Am I to fear, or none.
Enter Young SIWARD.
Thou'lt be afraid to hear it.
My name's Macbeth. Yo. Siw. The devil himself could not pronounce a
title More hateful to mine ear. Macb.
No, nor more fearful. Yo. Siw. Thou liest, abhorred tyrant; with my
sword I'll prove the lie thou speak’st.
[They fight, and Young Siward is slain. Macb.
Thou wast born of woman. But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, Brandished by man that's of a woman born. [Exit.
Alarums. Enter MACDUFF.
Macd. That way the noise is.-Tyrant, show thy
face: If thou be'st slain, and with no stroke of mine, My wife and children's ghosts will haunt me still.
1 “But, bearlike, I must fight the course.” This was a phrase at bear
“ Also you shall see two ten dog courses at the great bear."Antipodes, by Brome.
I cannot strike at wretched kernes, whose arms
Enter MALCOLM and Old SIWARD.
Siw. This way, my lord.—The castle's gently ren
We have met with foes
Enter, sir, the castle
Macb. Why should I play the Roman fool, and die On mine own sword ? Whiles I see lives, the gashes Do better upon them.
Turn, hell-hound, turn.
I have no words;
[They fight Macb.
Thou losest labor : As easy may'st thou the intrenchant air ?
1 Bruited is reported, noised abroad; from bruit (Fr.). 2 The intrenchant air," the air which cannot be cut.
With thy keen sword impress, as make me bleed.
Despair thy charm;
Macb. Accursed be that tongue that tells me so,
Macd. Then yield thee, coward,
I'll not yield
Retreat. Flourish. Re-enter, with drum and colors,
Malcolm, Old SIWARD, RossE, LENOX, ANGUS,
Siw. Some must go off; and yet, by these I see, So great a day as this is cheaply bought.
Mal. Macduff is missing, and your noble son.
1 « That palter with us in a double sense,” that shufile with ambiguous expressions.
Rosse. Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier's debt. He only lived but till he was a man; The which no sooner had his prowess confirmed In the unshrinking station where he fought, But like a man he died. Siw.
Then he is dead?
Had he his hurts before?
Why, then, God's soldier be he!
He's worth more sorrow, And that I'll spend for him. Siw.
He's worth no more; They say, he parted well, and paid his score; And so, God be with him !-Here comes
comes newer comfort.
Re-enter MACDUFF, with MACBETH's head on a pole. Macd. Hail
, king! for so thou art. Behold, where
1 « When Siward, the martial earl of Northumberland, understood that his son, whom he had sent against the Scotchmen, was slain, he demanded whether his wounds were in the fore part or hinder part of his body. When it was answered, in the fore part, he replied, 'I am right glad; neither wish I any other death to me or mine.""--Camden's Remaines.
2 These words,“ on a pole,” Mr. Steevens added to the stage direction from the Chronicle. The stage directions of the players are often incorrect, and sometimes ludicrous.
3" Thy kingdom's pearl,” thy kingdom's wealth or ornament. Rowe altered this to peers, without authority.
Hail, king of Scotland !
[Flourish. Mal. We shall not spend a large expense of time, Before we reckon with your several loves, And make us even with you. My thanes and kinsmen, Henceforth be earls, the first that ever Scotland In such an honor named. What's more to do, Which would be planted newly with the time,As calling home our exiled friends abroad, That fled the snares of watchful tyranny; Producing forth the cruel ministers Of this dead butcher, and his fiendlike queen; Who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands Took off her life ;-this, and what needful else That calls upon us, by the grace of Grace, We will perform in measure, time, and place; So thanks to all at once, and to each one, Whom we invite to see us crowned at Scone.
1 « Malcolm, immediately after his coronation, called a parliament at Forfair; in the which he rewarded them with lands and livings that had assisted him against Macbeth. Manie of them that were before thanes were at this time made earles ; as Fife, Menteith, Atholl, Levenox, Murrey, Caithness, Rosse, and Angus.”-Holinshed's History of Scotland,
This play is deservedly celebrated for the propriety of its fictions, and solemnity, grandeur, and variety of its action; but it has no nice discriminations of character: the events are too great to admit the influence of particular dispositions, and the course of the action necessarily determines the conduct of the agents.
The danger of ambition is well described; and I know not whether it may not be said, in defence of some parts which now seem improbable, that in Shakspeare's time it was necessary to warn credulity against vain and illusive predictions.
The passions are directed to their true end. Lady Macbeth is merely detested; and though the courage of Macbeth preserves some esteem, yet every reader rejoices at his fall.