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recovers himself, begins with Macduff, whom he also means to murder :

“Strange things I have in head, that will to hand,

Which must be acted, ere they may be scann'd.” To this she only says, not imagining his meaning,

“You lack the season of all natures, sleep."
Henceforward Lady Macbeth disappears; we hear nothing
of her save in the terrible sleep-walking scene; she is dying of
remorse. But Macbeth goes to the weird sisters, to learn whe-
ther “ Banquo's issue shall ever reign in this kingdom.” They
answer, “ Seek not to know :" and he cries out, “I will be
satisfied; deny me this, and our eternal curse fall on you."
And when they show him the issue of Banquo, kings, he is
enraged beyond control, and curses them. Henceforth for him
no hesitations, no delays. He speaks directly enough now.
From this moment,

“ The firstlings of my heart shall be
The firstlings of my hand. And even now
To crown my thoughts with acts, be it thought and done :
The castle of Macduff I will surprise ;
Seize upon Fife ; give to the edge o' the sword
His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls
That trace his line. No boasting like a fool;
This deed I'll do before this purpose cool :

But no more sights .!
And no more sights he has; but he is still haunted by fears.
And when “the English power is near, led on by Malcolm, his
uncle Siward, and the good Macduff,” burning for revenge,
Macbeth's spirit falters. He rushes into violent rages and then
subsides into vague fears, and then endeavours to strengthen
his heart by recalling the mysterious promises of the weird
sisters that he shall not fall by the hand of any man of woman
born, or before Birnam wood come to Dunsinane; but, do all
he can, " he cannot buckle his distempered cause within the belt
of rule," though he declares,

“ The mind I sway by and the heart I bear

Shall never sagg with doubt, nor shake with fear.”
Still he does fear; and in one of his dispirited moods, after
blazing out at the messenger who tells him of the approach of
Birnam wood,

“ The devil damn the black, thou cream-fac'd loon!

Where got'st thou that goose look ?” He says, finding that there are ten thousand men coming to attack him, and his followers are not stanch:

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This push
Will cheer me ever, or disseat me now.
I have lived long enough : my way of life
Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf :
And that which should accompany old age,
As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends,
I must not look to have; but, in their stead,
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honour, breath,

Which the poor heart would fain deny."
But in a moment he is himself again, and cries :

“I'll fight till from my bones the filesh be hack'd.

Give me my armour. In this mood the illness and death of the queen is nothing to him: he fights bravely to the end; though, superstitious to the last, "his better part of man” is cowed by the knowledge that Macduff" was from his mother's womb untimely ripped,” and so not of woman born. And so, by the sword of Macduff

, perishes the worst villain, save Iago, that Shakespeare ever drew.

We have called the witches the projections of Macbeth's evil thoughts, and suggested that they were only objective representations of his inward being. To this it may be objected that they were seen also by Banquo. But this may well be; for Banquo also seems to have had evil intentions, which are vaguely hinted at in the play. He constantly harps on the idea that his children are to be kings. Approaching the castle of Inverness at night, before the murder of the king, he says:

“Hold, take my sword.
A heavy summons lies like lead upon me,
And yet I would not sleep :-Merciful powers !
Restrain in me the cursed thoughts that nature

Gives way to in repose !–Give me my sword.” Meeting then Macbeth, he gives him the diamond sent by the king to Lady Macbeth; and after speaking of Duncan's “measureless content,” he says:

“I dreamt last night of the weird sisters :

To you they have shown some truth.” At which Macbeth proposes an interview, to

“Spend it in some words upon that business.” To which he readily consents.

The “cursed thoughts,” then, are connected with his dreams about the weird sisters.

At his next appearance the same thoughts agitate him in Macbeth's palace at Fores. His first words are—in soliloquy

“ Thou hast it now, king, Cawdor, Glamis, all,
As the weird women promised ; and, I fear,
Thou playd’st most fuully for’t : yet it was said
It should not stand in thy posterity;
But that myself should be the root and father
Of many kings. If there come truth from them
(As upon thee, Macbeth, their ches shine),
Why, by the verities on thee made good,
May they not be my oracles as well,

And set me up in hope ? But, hush; no more.” When it is recollected that, after this scene on the heath with the soldiers, these are nearly all the words we bave from Banquo, it seems to be pretty clearly indicated that his thoughts at least were not perfectly honest and what they should have been.

The weird sisters are but outward personifications of the evil thoughts conceived and fermenting in the brains of Banquo and Macbeth; both high in station, both generals in the king's army, both friends, and both nourishing evil wishes. They are visible only to these two friends; and though they are represented as having an outer existence independent of them, they are, metaphysically speaking, but embodiments of the hidden thoughts and desires of Banquo and Macbeth: as such they are a new and terrible creation, differing from the vulgar flesh-andblood witches of Middleton. They look not like the inhabit. ants of the earth; they vanish into thin air; wild, vague, mysterious, they come and go, like devilish thoughts that tempt us, and take shape before us, as if they had come from the other world. The devils that haunt us and tempt us come out of ourselves, like the weird sisters of Macbeth.

ART. III.-HEALTH OF THE BRITISH ARMY AT HOME

AND ABROAD.

Report of Commissioners on the Sanitary Condition of the Army.

Parliamentary Proceedings. 1858. Report of Commissioners on the Sanitary State of the Army in India.

Parliamentary Proceedings. 1863. Army Sanitary Administration, and its Reform under the late Lord

Herbert. By Florence Nightingale. 1862. Sanitary Condition of the Army. By the Right Hon. Sidney Her

bert. 1859. Hansard's Parliamentary Debates. Vol. clxv., pp. 966 et seq.

1862. Mortality of the British Army. Illustrated by Diagrams and Tables.

Prepared by Miss Nightingale. To a people whose civil rights are secure, whose political liberties have been long established and are now beyond the reach of imaginable danger, whose Government provides them peace and order, and among whom the administration of justice is prompt, efficient, and beyond suspicion, it would seem that scarcely any subject of public importance remains which concerns them more closely, or ought to interest them more vividly, than the condition of the army which defends their homes and is recruited from their ranks. It is the guardian of their national security ; it is intrusted with the vindication of their national honour; their power and grandeur, the extension of their empire, the maintenance of their influence in the councils of the world, the protection of their citizens in distant lands, depend in the last resort upon its efficiency; they are taxed for its support, and taxed to such an extent that every man of property, and almost every consumer of ordinary commodities, actually feels the burden. Of an Englishman's annual contributions to the active expenditure of the State, about three-fifths go to the military and naval forces of the country. All classes are concerned: the army is recruited from the lower class; it is paid, clothed, and fed by the middle class; and it is officered from the higher class.

Again : if there be any section of the community whom we are bound by every motive to care for with the greatest vigilance, on whose condition the best forethought, the keenest science, the most conscientious moral consideration, should be ceaselessly and anxiously brought to bear, it is the army. And this for three special reasons. The soldier is a peculiarly valuable, a peculiarly costly, and a peculiarly helpless animal. If he be not courageous, stubborn, admirably disciplined, and thoroughly effective, he may be the cause of much turbulence and mischief at home, and our dearest and highest national concerns will suffer-nay, even our national position and security may be endangered. Of all our creations he is, when perfect, that in which the best result is produced out of the poorest materials. Most recruits are drawn from the class of whom all communities are ashamed and afraid. The finished first-rate British soldiers, into whom such recruits are often formed, are citizens of whom any community might be proud. The process is a costly one, so costly and 80 troublesome that the article, when produced, ought to be hoarded almost like a gem. A thoroughly trained and disciplined soldier, any thing like a veteran, takes many years to create, and costs about 1001. every year. He is worth all that and more when obtained and perfected; but if he dies or is squandered, the raw recruit who is to replace him is comparatively of the scantiest value. Then, again, of all classes there is none whose individuality is so completely merged and taken from him as the soldier.' Every thing is ordered for him, every thing is done for him; he is allowed no will of his own; the place in which he is to sleep, the food he is to eat, the clothes he is to wear, the mode in which he is to employ every moment of time, are all regulated for him by absolute decree; he may not murmur, he may not remonstrate, he may not give an opinion, he is never taken into council; he is at the total and despotic disposal of another; he is literally and almost dreadfully at the mercy of the ignorance, caprice, injustice, temper, or want of consideration of his immediate superior. We need scarcely point out what a terrible weight of responsibility this absorbed and dictated existence imposes on those superiors, and how heavy is the sin of those who from selfishness, or thoughtlessness, or avoidable errors, or obstinate ignorance and wilfulness, or bad passions, or any other defect, either neglect their duties or abuse their powers. Those who have fellow-creatures so utterly and helplessly dependent upon them ought of all men to be most unselfish, most vigilant, most scrupulously considerate and just.

But this is not all. The life of the British soldier is an unnatural one,-actually to a sad extent, necessarily perhaps to a great extent. At the age of the most imperious passions he is precluded from marrying save in rare exceptions; at the age of temptation he is thrown where temptations are rife, and where there is little or nothing to counteract them, among hundreds of others as weak, as ill-educated, and as tempted as himself; at a most impressible period of life he is removed from

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