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135



Whither indeed, before thy here-approach,
Old Siward, with ten thousand warlike men,
Already at a point, was setting forth.
Now we’ll together, and the chance of goodness
Be like our warranted quarrel! Why are you silent?
Indeed, before you arrived here, old Siward, with ten thousand soldiers already prepared for battle, was making his way here. Now we will fight Macbeth together, and may the chances of our success be as great as the justice of our cause! Why are you silent?

140
MACDUFF
Such welcome and unwelcome things at once
'Tis hard to reconcile.
MACDUFF
It’s hard to make sense of such different stories.
Enter a DOCTOR
A DOCTOR enters.

MALCOLM
Well, more anon.—Comes the king forth, I pray you?
MALCOLM
Well, we’ll speak more soon. (to the DOCTOR) Is King Edward coming out?



145

DOCTOR
Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
That stay his cure. Their malady convinces
The great assay of art, but at his touch—
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand—
They presently amend.
DOCTOR
Yes, sir. A crowd of sick people is waiting for him to heal them. Their illness confounds the most advanced techniques of modern medicine, but when he touches them, they heal immediately because of the power granted to him by heaven.

MALCOLM
     I thank you, doctor.
MALCOLM
Thank you, doctor.
Exit DOCTOR
The DOCTOR exits.

MACDUFF
What’s the disease he means?
MACDUFF
What disease is he talking about?



150




155
MALCOLM
     'Tis called the evil.
A most miraculous work in this good king,
Which often since my here-remain in England
I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven,
Himself best knows, but strangely visited people,
All swoll'n and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
The mere despair of surgery, he cures,
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
Put on with holy prayers. And, ’tis spoken,
MALCOLM
It’s called the evil. Edward’s healing touch is a miracle that I have seen him perform many times during my stay in England. How he receives these gifts from heaven, only he can say. But he cures people with strange conditions—all swollen, plagued by ulcers, and pitiful to look at, patients who are beyond the help of surgery—by placing a gold coin around their necks and saying holy prayers over them.

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