Re-enter MACDUFF, with MACBETH's Head on a Pole.
Macd. Hail, king ! for so thou art : Behold, where
The usurper's cursed head : the time is free:
I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl,
That speak my salutation in their minds;
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine,
Hail, king of Scotland !
. King of Scotland, hail!
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 honour nam'd. What's more to do,
Which would be planted newly with the time,-
As calling home our exil'd friends abroad,
That fled the snares of watchful tyranny ;
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Of this dead butcher, and his fiend-like 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 crown'd at Scone.
It may be worth while to remark, that Milton, who left behind him a list of no less than C!l. dramatic subjects, had fixed on the story of this play among the rest. His intention was to have begun with the arrival of Malcolm at Macduff's castle. • The matter of Duncan (says he), may be expressed by the appearing of his ghost." It should seem from this last memorandum, that Milton disliked the licence his predecessor had taken in comprehending a history of such length within the short compass of a play, and would have new written the whole on the plan of the ancient drama. He could not surely live indulged so vain a hope, as that of excelling Shakspeare in the tragedy of Macbeth. STEEVENS.