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Glen. "Beyond all question. If impairing time "Has not effae'd the image of a place "Once perfect in my breast, there is a wild "Which lies to westward of that mighty rock, "And seems by nature formed for the camp "Of water-wafted armies, whoso chief strength "Lies in firm foot, untlank'd with warliko horse; "If martial skill directs the Danish lords, "There inaccessible their army lies "To our swift-scow'ring horse, the bloody field "Must man to man, and foot to foot be fought."
Lad;/ R. How many mothers shall bewail their sons!
How many widows weep their husbands slain!
Glen. Oft has th'unconquer'd Caledonian sword
Lady R. I scorn thee not, but when I ought to scorn;
Nor e'er reproach, but when insulted virtue
Glen. One instant stay, and hear an altei^d man.
Lady R. Act thus, Glenalvon, and I am thy friend;
But that's thy least reward. Believe me, sir,
[Exit Lady Randolph and Anna.
A C T 1 V.
Flourish of Trumpets.
To wait our pleasure at the castle gate. -
Lady R. Alas! my lord! I've heard unwelcome news; The Danes arc landed.
Lord R. Aye, no inroad this Of the Northumbrian bent to take a spoil; No sportive war, no tournament essay Of some young knight resolved to break a spear, And stain with hostile blood his maiden arms. The Danes are landed; we must beat them back, Or live the slaves of Denmark.
Lady R. Dreadful times!
Lord R. The fenceless villages are all forsaken; The trembling mothers and their children lodg'd In wall-girt towers and castles, whilst the men Retire mdignant. Yet, like broken waves, They but retire more awful to return.
Lady R. Immense, as fame reports, the Danish host—
Lord R. Were it as numerous as loud fame reports,
An army knit like ours would pierce it thro':
swords, for war; "Lovers of danger, on destruction's brink, "They joy to rear erect their daring forms. "Hence, early graves; hence, the lone widow's
"And the sad mother's grief-embitter'd ago."
Of every rider. But, behold, he comes,
Enter Norval and Glenalvon.
Glenalvon, with the lark arise; go forth,
And lead my troops which lie in yonder vale;
Private I travel to the royal camp;
Norval, thou goest with me. But say, young man!
Where didst thou learn so to discourse of war,
And in snch terms as I o'erheard to-day f
War is no village science, nor is phrase
A language taught amongst the shepherd swains.
Norv. Small is the skill my lord delights to praise
In him he favors. Hear from whence it came.
His years away, and act his young encounters; Then, having show'd his wounds, he'd sit him down,
And all the live-long day discourse on war.
Lord R. Why did this soldier in a desert hide Those qualities that should have grac'd a c.imp?
Norv. That, too, at last I leam'd. Unhappy man!
Returning homewards by Messina's port,
Lady R. His brother!
Norv. Yes, of the same parents born; His only brother. They exchang'd forgiveness; And happy, in my mind, was he that died, For many deaths has the survivor sufler'd. In the wild desert on a rock he sits, Or on some nameless stream's untrodden banks, And ruminates all day his dreadful fate. At times, alas! not in his perfect mind! Holds dialogues with his lov'd brother's ghost; And oft each night forsakes his sullen couch, To make sad orisons for him he slew.
Lady R. To what mysterious woes are mortals born!
In this dire tragedy were there no more
There is a destiny in this strange world,
Enter an Officer.
The valiant leader hails the noble Randolph.
Has Denmark rous'd the brave old knight to arms? Offl. No; worn with warfare hercsignsthe sword.
His eldest hope, the valiant John of Lorn,
Now leads his kindred bands. j Lord R. Glenalvon, go.
With hospitality's most strong request
Entreat the chief. '[Exit Gi^nalvon.
! Offl. My lord, requests are vain.
He urges on, impatient of delay,
Stung with the tidings of the foe's approach.
Lord R. May victory sit on the warrior's plume! Bravest of men! his flocks and herds are safe; Remoto from war's alarms his pasture's lie, By mountains inaccessible secur'd; Yet foremost he into the plain descends, Eager to bleed in battles not his own. Such were the heroes of the ancient world; Contemners they of indolence and gain; But still for love of glory, and of arms, Prone to encounter peril, and to lift Against each strong antagonist the spear. I'll go and press the hero to my breast. [Exit.
Lady R. The soldier's loftiness, the pride and pomp
Investing awful war, Norval, I sec,
Norv. Ah! should they not?
Lady R. There is a gen'rous spirit in thy breast
Norv. Let there be danger, lady, with the secret, That I may hug it to my grateful heart, And prove my faith. Command my sword,my life; These are the sole possessions of poor Norval.
Lady R. Know'st thou theso gems?
Norv. Durst I believe mine eyes, I'd say I knew them, and they were my father's.
Lady R. Thy father's say'st thou i ah! they were thy father's!
Norv. I saw them once, and curiously inquir'd Of both my parents whence such splendor came? But I was check'd, and more could never learn.
Lady R. Then learn of me, thou art not Norval's son.
Norv. Not Norval's son!
Lady R. Nor of a shepherd sprung.
Norv. Lady, who am I then i
Lady R. Noble thou art; For noble was thy sire!
Norv. I will believe— Oh, tell me farther! Say, who was my father?
Lady R. Douglas!
Norv. Lord Douglas, whom to-day I saw?
I Act IV. Seeno l.j
Norv. You make me tremble—sighs and tears! Lives my brave father?
Lady R. Ah! too brave indeed!
Norv. Ah, me, unhappy! ere I saw the light? But does my mother live 1 I may conclude, From my own fate, her portion has been sorrow.
Lady R. She lives; but wastes her life in constant woe,
Weeping her husband slain, her infant lost.
Of my unhappy parents, and with tears
Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woe! My son! my son!
Norv. Art thou my mother?
Lady R. I am thy mother and the wife of Douglas! [Falls upon his neck.
Norv. Oh, heav'n and earth, how wondrous is my fate!
Art thou my mother? Ever let me kneel!
Lady R. Image of Douglas! Fruit of fatal love! All that I owe thy sire, I pay to thee.
Norv. Respect and admiration still possess me, Checking the love and fondness of a son. Yet I was filial to my humble parents; But did my sire surpass the rest of men, As thou excellest all of womankind?
Ladi/ R. Arise, mv son! In me thou dost behold
The poor remains of beauty once admired;
When Douglas died. Oh, I have much to ask! Lady R. Hereafter thou shalt hear the leugthen'd tale
Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes.
At present this: thou art the rightful heir
Of yonder castle, and the wide domains
Which now Lord Randolph, as my husband, holds.
But thou shalt not be wrong'd; I have the power
To right thee still; before the king I'll kneel,
And call Lord Douglas to protect his blood.
Norv. The blood of Douglas will protect itself.
Lady R. But we shall need both friends and favor, boy,
To wrest thy lands and lordship from the gripe
Norv. To be the son of Douglas is to me
Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and injustice
Await the poor man's valor. Oh, my son!
Norv. I will remember. Where isNorval now? That good old man.
Lady R. At hand conceal'd he lies, An useful witness. But beware, my son, Of yon Glenalvon; in his guilty breast Resides a villain's shrewdness, ever prone To false conjecture. He hath griev'd my heart.
Norv. Has he, indeed f Then let yon false Glenalvon
Beware of me. [Exit.
Lady R. There burst the smother'd flame! Oh, thou all-righteous and eternal King, Who father of the fatherless art call'd, Protect my son! Thy inspiration, Lord! Hath fill'd his bosom with that sacred fire, Which in the breasts of his forefathers burn'd! Set him on high like them, that he may shine, The star and glory of his native land! Then let the minister of death descend, And bear my willing spiiit to it's place. Yonder they come. How do bad women find Unchanging aspects to conceal their guilt, When I, by reason and by justice urg'd, Full hardly can dissemble with these men In nature's pious cause!
Enter Lord Randolph and Glenalvon.
Lord R. Yon gallant chief,
Lady R. Be not, my lord, by his example sway'd;
Lord R. 'Tis so, by heav'n! her mien, her voice, her eye,
And her impatience to be gone, confirm it.
Glen. He parted from her now, behind the mount,
Amongst the trees, I saw him glide along.
Lord R. For sad, sequester'd virtue she's renown'd!
Glen. Most true, my lord.
Lord R. Yet this distinguish'd dame Invites a youth, the acquaintance of a day, Alone to meet her at the midnight hour. This assignation, [shows a letter] the assassin freed, Her manifest affection for the youth, Might breed suspicion in a husband's brain, Whose gentle consort all for love had wedded; Much more in mine. Matilda never lov'd me. Let no man, after me, a woman wed
Whose heart lie knows he has not; tho' she brings
The worst of sorrows and the worst of shames! Glen. Yield not, my lord, to such afflicting thoughts,
But let the spirit of an husband sleep,
Till your own senses make a sure conclusion.
This billet must to blooming Norval go;
At the next turn awaits my trusty spy;
I'll give it him refitted for his master.
In the close thicket take your secret stand;
The moon shines bright, and your own eyes may
judge Of their behavior.
Lord B. Thou dost counsel well.
Glen. Permit me now to make one slight essay Of all tho trophies which vain mortals boast, By wit, by valor, or by wisdom won, Tho first and fairest in a young man's eye, Is woman's captive heart. Successful love With glorious fumes intoxicates the mind! And the proud conqueror in trinmph moves Air-born, exalted above vulgar men.
Lord B. And what avails this maxim t
Glen. Much, my lord! Withdraw a little; I'll accost young Norval, And with ironical derisive counsel Explore his spirit. If he is no more Than humble Norval, by thy favor rais'd, Brave as he is, he'll shrink astonished from me. But if he be the fav'rito of the fair, Lov'd by the first of Caledonia's dames, He'll turn upon mo as the lion turns Upon the hunter's spear.
Lord R. 'Tis shrewdly thought.
Glen. When we grow loud, draw near. But let my lord
His rising wrath restrain. [Exit Randolph
'Tis strange, by heav'n! That she should run full tilt her fond career, To one so little known. She, too, that seem'd Pure as the winter stream, when ice embossed Whitens it's course. Even I did think her chaste, Whose charity exceeds not. Precious sex! Whoso deeds lascivious pass Glenalvou's thoughts!
[norval appears. His port I love, he's in a proper mood To chide the thunder, if at him it roar'd. Has Norval seen the troops f
Norv. The setting sun With yellow radiance lighten'd all the vale, And as the warriors mov'd, each polislv'd helm, Corslet or spear glane'd back bis gilded beams. The hill they climb'd, and halting at its top, Of more than mortal size, tow'ring, they seem'd, An host angelic, clad in burning arms.
Glen. Thou t alk'st it well; no leader of our host In sounds more lofty, speaks of glorious war.
Norv. If I shall e'er acquire a leader's name, My speech will be less ardent. Novelty Now prompts my tongue, and youthful admiration Vents itself freely; since no part is mine Of praise pertaining to the great in arms.
Glen. You wrong yourself, brave sir; your martial deeds
Have rank'd you with the great; but mark me, Norval—
Lord Randolph's favor now exalts your youth
Which nor alliance props, nor birth adorns.
Norv. Sir, I have been accustom'd all my days To hear and speak the plain and simple truth; Ami tho' I have been told, that there aie men Who borrow friendship's tongue to speak their scorn,
Yet in such language I am little skill'd.
Glen. I did not mean
Norv. My pride?
Glen. Suppress it as you wish to prosper. Your pride's excessive. Yet for Randolph's sake I will not leave you to its rash direction. If thus you swell, and frown at high-born men, Think you they will endure a shepherd's scorn?
Norv. A shepherd's scorn?
Glen. Yes, it you presume
Norv. If this were told— [Aside. Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous self?
Glen. Ha! Dost thou threaten me .'
Norr. Didst thou not hear?
Glen. Unwillingly I did; a nobler foe Had not been question'd thus. But such as thee—
Norr. Whom dost thou think me?
Norv. So I am—
Glen. A peasant's son, a wand'ring beggar-boy, At best no more, even if ho speaks tho truth.
Norv. False as thou art, dost thou suspect my truth?
Glen. Thv truth! thou'rt all a lie; and false as hell
Is the vainglorious tale thou told'st to Randolph. Norv. If I were chain'd, unarm'd, and bedrid old,
Perhaps I should revile; but as I am
I have no tongue to rail. The humble Norval
Is of a race who strive not but with deeds.
Did I not fear to freeze thy shallow valor,
And make thee sink too soon beneath my sword,
I'd toll thee—what thou art. I know thee well.
Glen. Dost thou not know7 Glenalvon, born to command Ten thousand slaves like thee I
Norv. Villain, no more;
Lord R. Hold, I command you both. The man that stirs Makes me his foe.
Norv. Another voice than thine That threat had vainly sounded, noble Randolph.
Glen. Hear him, my lord; he's wondrous condescending:
Mark the humility of shepberd Norval!
[Sheaths his sword.
Lord R. Speak not thus, Taunting each other; but unfold to me The cause of quarrel, then I judge betwixt you. Norv. Nay, my good Lord, tho' I revere you much,
Douq. Kneel not to me—thou art mv father still;
Thy wish'd-for presence now completes my joy.
I think that I could die to make amends
My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment. For the great wrong I did thee. 'Twaa my crime
I blush to speak; I will not, cannot speak
To the liege-lord of my dear native land
The ancient foe of Caledonia's land
Now waves his banners o'er her frighted fields.
Suspend your purpose till your country's arms
Repel the* bold'invader; then decide
The private quarrel.
Glen. I agree to this.
Norv. And I.
Sen: The banquet waits.
[Exit Randolph and Servant.
Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame. Norv. Think not so lightly,. sir, of my resentment;
When we contend again our strife is mortal.
ACT V. The Wood. Enter Douglas. is the place, the
centre of the
Here stands the oak, the monarch of tho wood.
Enter Old Norval.
[douglas turns and sees him.
Canst thou forgive the man, the selfish man, Who bred Sir Malcolm's heir a shepherd's son?
Which in the wilderness so long conceal'd
Doug. Not worse the fruit,
Norv. Let mo but live to see thine exaltation! Yet grievous are my fears. Oh, leave this place, And those unfriendly towers. Doug. Why should I leave them? Norv. Lord Randolph and his kinsman seek
your life. • Doug. How know'st thou'that? Norv. I will inform you how. When evening came, I left the secret place Appointed for me by your mother's care, And fondly trod in each accustom'd path That to the castle leads. Whilst thus I rang'd, [ was alarm'd with unexpected sounds Of earnest voices. On the persons came; Unseen I lurk'd, and overheard them name Each other as they talfe'd, Lord Randolph this. And that, Glenalvon; still of you they spoke. And of the lady; threat'ning was their speech, Tho' but imperfectly my ear could hear it. 'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discov'ry; And ever and anon they vow'd revenge. Doug. Revenge! for what? Norv. For being what you are— Sir Malcolm's heir; how else have you offended? When they were gone, I hied me to my cottage, And there sat musing how I best might find Means to inform you of their wicked purpose. But I could think of none; at last, perplex'd, I issued forth, encompassing the tower With many a weary step and wishful look. Now Providence hath brought you to my sight. Let not your too courageous spirit scorn The caution which I give.
Doug. I scorn it not. My mother warn'd me of Glenalvon's baseness; L5ut I will not suspect the noble Randolph. In our encounter with the vile assassins, I mark'd his bravo demeanor; him I'll trust. Norv. I fear you will, tod far. Doug. Here, in this place, I wait my mother's coming; she shall know What thou hast told; her counsel I will follow: And cautious ever are a mother's counsels. You must depart; your presence may prevent Our interview.
Norv. My blessing rest upon thee! Oh, may heav'n's hand, which sav'd thee from the wave,
And from the sword of foes, be near thee still: Turning mischance, if aught hangs o'er thy head, All upon mine! [Exit. Doug. He loves me like a parent,