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  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 7

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To the succeeding royalty he leaves
The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,
160And sundry blessings hang about his throne,
That speak him full of grace.
They say that he bequeaths this ability to heal to his royal descendants. Along with this strange power, he also has the gift of prophecy and various other abilities. All of these signs mark him as a man graced by God.
Enter ROSS
ROSS enters.

MACDUFF

     See, who comes here?

MACDUFF

Who’s that coming over here?

MALCOLM

My countryman, but yet I know him not.

MALCOLM

By his dress I can tell he’s my countryman, but I don’t recognize him.

MACDUFF

My ever-gentle cousin, welcome hither.

MACDUFF

My noble kinsman, welcome.

MALCOLM

I know him now.—Good God, betimes remove
165The means that makes us strangers!

MALCOLM

I recognize him now. May God alter the circumstances that keep us apart!

ROSS

     Sir, amen.

ROSS

Hello, sir.

MACDUFF

Stands Scotland where it did?

MACDUFF

Is Scotland the same as when I left it?

ROSS

     Alas, poor country!
Almost afraid to know itself. It cannot
Be called our mother, but our grave, where nothing,
But who knows nothing, is once seen to smile;
170Where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air
Are made, not marked; where violent sorrow seems
A modern ecstasy. The dead man’s knell
Is there scarce asked for who, and good men’s lives
Expire before the flowers in their caps,
175Dying or ere they sicken.

ROSS

Alas, our poor country! It’s too frightened to look at itself. Scotland is no longer the land where we were born; it’s the land where we’ll die. Where no one ever smiles except for the fool who knows nothing. Where sighs, groans, and shrieks rip through the air but no one notices. Where violent sorrow is a common emotion. When the funeral bells ring, people no longer ask who died. Good men die before the flowers in their caps wilt. They die before they even fall sick.

MACDUFF

     Oh, relation
Too nice and yet too true!

MACDUFF

Oh, your report is too poetic, but it sounds so true!