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Randolph has ljv'd too long; his better fate Lord R. I ask'd that question, and he answer^
Had the ascendant once, and kept me down; not;
When I had seiz'd the dame, by chance he came, But I must know who my deliverer is.
Rescu'd, and had the lady for his labor;
1 'scap'd unknown; a slender consolation!
Heaven is my witness that I do not love
To sow in peril, and let others reap
The jocund harvest. Yet I am not safe;
By love, or something like it, stung, inflam'd,
Madly I blabb'd my passion to his wife,
And she has threatened to acquaint him of it.
The way of woman's will I do not know;
But well I know the Baron's wrath is deadly.
I will not live in fear; "the man I dread
"Is as a Dane to me;" he is the man
Who stands betwixt me and my chief desire.
No bar but he—she has no kinsman near;
No brother in his sister's quarrel bold;
And for the righteous cause, a stranger's cause,
I know no chief that will defy Gleualvon.
A Court, etc.
Stranger, [within.] Oh, mercy! mercy!
Enter Servants and a Stranger at one door, and Lady Randolph and Anna at another.
Lady R. What means this clamor? Stranger! speak secure; Hast thou been wrong'd? have these rude men presum'd
To vex the weary traveler on his way f
First Serv. By us no stranger ever suifer'd
This man with outcry wild has call'd us forth:
So sore afraid he cannot speak his fears.
Enter Lord Randolph and Norval, with their
swords drawn and bloody.
Lady R. Not vain the stranger's fears! how
fares my lord f Lord R. That it fares well, thanks to this gallant youth,
Whose valor saved me from a wretched death!
As down the winding dale I walk'd alone,
At the cross-way four armed men attack'd me;
Rovers, I judge, from the licentious camp,
Who would have quickly laid Lord Randolph low,
Had not this brave and generous stranger come,
Like my good angel, in the hour of fate,
And, mocking danger, made my foes his own.
They turn'd upon him; but his active arm
Struck to the ground, from whence they rose no
The fiercest two; the others fled amain,
And left him master of the bloody field.
Speak, Lady Randolph; upon beauty's tongue
Dwell accents pleasing to the brave and bold.
Speak, noble dame, and thank him for thy lord.
Ladt/ R. My lord, I cannot speak what now I
My heart o'erflows with gratitude to heav'n,
And to this noble youth, who, all unknown
To you and yours, deliberated not,
Nor paus'd at peril, but, humanely brave,
Fought on your side, against such fearful odds.
Have you yet learn'd of him whom we should
Whom call the saviour of Lord Randolph's life?
[To the Stranger. Norv. A low-born man, of parentage obscure, Who nought can boast but his desire to be A soldier, and to gain a name in arms.
Lord R. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is ennobled
By the great King of kings! thou art ordain'd
And stamp'd a hero by the sovereign hand
Of Nature! blush not, flower of modesty
As well as valor, to declare thy birth.
Norr. Mv name is Norval; on the Grampian
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field some warlike lord;
And heaven soon granted what my sire denied.
This moon which rose last night, round as my
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when, by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
Rush'd like a torrent down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succor. I, alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took, then hasted to my friends
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o*ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquered. Ere a sword was
An arrow from my bow had piere'd their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in trinmph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard
That our good King had summon'd his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father's'house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my step?—
Von trembling coward, who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these towers,
And, heaven-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.
Lord R. He is as wise as brave. Was ever tale With such a gallant modesty rehears'd? My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now A nobler list, and in a monarch's fight Contend with princes for the prize of fame. I will present thee to our Scottish King, Whose valiant spirit over valor lov'd. Ha! my Matilda! wherefore starts that tear?
Lady R. I cannot say; for various affections, And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell; Yet each of them may well command a tear. I joy that thou art safe, and I admire Him and his fortunes who hath wrought thy safety; Yea, as my mind predicts, with thine his own. Obscure and friendless, he the army fought, Bent upon peril, in the range of death Resolv'd to hunt for fame, and with his sword To gain distinction which his birth denied. In this attempt unknown he might have pcrish'd, And gain'd, with all his valor, but oblivion. Now grae'd by thee, his virtue serves no more Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown Are brought within the compass of his sword.
There's something in my breast which makes me j My boy with blooming Norval might have numbered.
Whilst thus I mused, a spark from fancy fell
On my sad heart, and kindl'd up a fondness
For this young stranger, wand'ring from his home,
And like an orphan cast upon my care.
I will protect theo (said I to myself)
With all my power, and grace with all my favor.
Anna. Sure heav'n will bless so generous a re-
You must, my noble dame, exert your power;
You must awake, devices will be fram'd,
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval.
Lady R. Glenalvon's false and crafty head will
Against a rival in his kinsman's love,
If 1 deter him not; I only can.
Bold as he is, Glenalvon will beware
How he pulls down the fabric that I raise.
I'll be the artist of young Norval's fortune.
"'Tis pleasing to admire! most apt was I
"To this affection in my better days;
"Tho* now I seem to you shrunk up, retir'd
"Within the narrow compass of my woe.
"Have you not sometimes seen an early flower
"Open it's bud, and spread it's silken leaves
"To catch sweet airs, and odors to bestow;
"Then, by the keen blast nipt, pull in it's leaves,
"And tho' still living, die to scent and beauty '.
"Emblem of me; affliction, like a storm,
"Hath kill'd the forward blossom of my heart!"
To say that Norval ne'er will shame thy favor.
Lady R. I will be sworn thou wilt not. Thou
My knight, and ever, as thou dids't to-day,
With happy valor guard the life of Randolph.
Lord R. Well hast thou spoke. Let mo forbid
reply. [To Norval.
We are thy debtors still; thy high desert
O'ertops our gratitude. I must proceed,
As was at first intended, to the camp.
Some of my train, I see, are speeding hither,
Impatient, doubtless, of their lord's delay.
Go with me, Norval, and thine eyes shall see
The chosen warriors of thy native land,
Who languish for the fight, and beat the air
With brandished swords.
Norv. Let us begone, my lord.
Lord R. [to Lady K.] About the time that the
Shall his bror.d orbit o'er yon hills suspend,
Expect us to return. This night once moio
Within these walls I rest; my tent I pitch
To-morrow in the field. Prepare the feast.
Free is his heart who for his country fight:!—
He in the eve of battle m'ay resign
Himself to social pleasure; sweetest then,
When danger to a soldier's soul endears
The human joy that never may return.
[Exeunt Lord Randolph and Norval.
Lady R. His parting words have struck a fatal
Oh, Douglas, Douglas! tender was the time
When we two parted, ne'er to meet again!
How many years of anguish and despair
Has heav'n annex'd to those swift-passing hours
Of love and fondness!" Then my bosom's flame
"Oft, as blown back by the rude breath of fear,
"Return'd and with redoubl'd ardor blaz'd."
Anna. May gracious heav'n pour the sweet balm
Into the wounds that fester in your breast,
For earthly consolation cannot cure them!
Lady R. One only cure can heaven itself bestow;
A grave—that bed in which tho weary rest.
Wretch that I am! Alas, why am I so?
At every happy parent I repine!
How blest the mother of young gallant Norval!
She for a living husband bore her pains,
And heard him bless her when a man was born.
She nurs'd her smiling infant on her breast,
Tended the child, and rear'd the pleasing boy -
She, with affection's trinmph, saw the youth
In grace and comeliness surpass his peers;
Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son.
And to the roaring waters gave my child.
Anna. Alas, alas! why will you thus resume
Your grief afresh? I thought that gallant youth
Would for a while have won you from your woe.
Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble
Lady R. Have you not heard, Glenalvon, of the
Glen. I have; and that the villains may not
With a strong band I have begirt the wood.
If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken,
And torture force from them th' important secret,
Whether some foe of Randolph hir'd their swords,
- Lady R. That care becomes a kinsman's love. I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear.
[Exit Anna. Glen. To him your counsels always are commands.
Lady R. I have not found so; thou art known
Glen. Known? •
Lady R. And most certain is my cause of knowl-
Glen. What do you know? By heav'n,
You much amaze me. No created being,
Yourself except, durst thus accost Glenalvon.
Lady R. Is guilt so bold, and dost thou make a
Of thy pretended meekness? This to me,
Who, with a gentleness which duty blames,
Have hitherto conceal'd what, if divulg'd,
Would make thee nothing; or, what's worse than
An outcast beggar, and unpitied too!
For mortals shudder at a crime like thine.
Glen. Thy virtue awes me. First of womankind!
Permit me yet to say, that the fond man
Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's
If he is brought by love to misery,
In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn,
Unpitied cannot be. Pity's the alms
Which on such beggars freely is bestow'd;
For mortals know that love is still their lord,
And o'er their vain resolves advances still,
As fire, when kindled by our shepherds, moves
Thro' the dry heath against the fanning wind.
Lady R. Reserve these accents for some other
To love's apology I listen not.
Mark thou my words, for it is meet thou shouldst.
His brave deliverer Randolph here retains.
Perhaps his presence may not please thee well;
But at thy peril practice aught against him.
Let not thy jealousy attempt to shake
And loosen the good root he has in Randolph,
Whose favorites I know thou hast supplanted.
Thou look'st at me as if thou fain wouldst pry
Into my heart. !Tis open as my speech.
I give this early caution, and put on
The curb, before thy temper breaks away.
The friendless stranger my protection claims;
His friend I am, and be not thou his foe. [Exit.
Glen. Child that I was, to start at my own
And be the shallow fool of coward conscience!
I am not what I have been, what I should be.
The darts of destiny have almost pierc'd
My marble heart. Had I one grain of faith
In holy legends and religious tales,
I should conclude there was an arm above
That fought against me, and malignant turn'd,
To cafc'h myself, the subtle snare I set.
Why, rape and murder are not simple means!
Th' imperfect rape to Randolph gave a spouse;
And the intended murder introduc'd
A favorite to hide the sun from me;
And, worst of all, a rival. Burning hell!
This were thy centre, if I thought she lov'd
'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands me;
And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me,
In his behalf. And shall I thus be brav'd,
Curb'd, as she calls it, by dame chastity f
Infernal fiends, if any fiends there are
More fierce than hate, ambition and revenge,
Rise up and fill thy bosom with your fires,
"And policy remorseless! Chance may spoil
"A single aim; but perseverance must
"Prosper at last. For chance and fate are
"Persistive \sisdom is the fate of man."
Darkly a project peers upon my mind,
Like the red moon when peering in the east,
Cross'd and divided by strange color'd clouds.
I'll seek the slave who came with Norval hither,
And for his cowardice was spurned from him.
I've known a follower's rankled bosom breed
Venom most fatal to his heedless lord. [Exit.
A Court, etc., as before.
Anna. Thy vassals, Grief! great Nature's order break,
And change the noon-tide to the midnight hour.
Whilst Lady Randolph sleeps, I will walk forth,
And taste the air that breathes on yonder bank.
Sweet may her slumbers be! Ye ministers
Of gracious heaven who love the human race,
Angels and seraphs who delight in goodness!
Forsake your skies, and to her couch descend!
There from her fancy chase those dismal forms
That haunt her waking; her sad spirit charm
With images celestial, such as please
The bless'd above upon their golden beds.
Serv. One of the vile assassins is secur'd. We found the villain lurking in the woods; With dreadful imprecations he denies All knowledge of the crime. But this is not His first essay: these jewels were conceal'd In the most secret places of his garment; Belike the spoils of some that he has murder'd.
Anna. Let me look on them. Ha! here is a heart,
The chosen crest of Douglas' valiant name! These are no vulgar jewels. Guard the wretch.
[Exit Anna. Enter Servants with the Prisoner. Pris. I know no more than does the child unborn
Of what you charge me with.
First Serv. You say so, sir f But torture soon shall make you speak the truth. Behold the lady of Lord Randolph comes; Prepare yourself to meet her just revenge. Enter Lady Randolph and Anna.
Anna. Summon your utmost fortitude, before You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame, Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret, Which in a moment from your lips may fly.
Lady R. Thou shalt behold me, with a desp'rate heart,
Hear how my infant perish'd. See, he kneels.
[ The Prisoner kneels. Pris. Heav'n bless that countenance, so sweet and mild!
A judge like thee makes innocence more bold.
Oli, save me, lady, from these cruel men.
Who have attaek'd and seized me; w ho accuse
Me of intended murder. As I hope
For mercy at the judgment-seat of heav'n,
The tender lamb, that never nipp'd the grass,
Is not more innocent than I of murder.
Lady R. Of this man's guilt what proof can ye
I First Serv. We found him lurking in the hollow
When view'd and call'd upon, amaz'd, he fied.
We overtook him, and inquir'd from whence
And what he was; he said he came from far,
And was upon his journey to the camp.
Not satisfied with this, we searched his clothes,
And found these jewels, whose rich value plead
Most powerfully against him. Hard he seems,
And old in villainy. Permit us try
His stubbornness against the torture's force.
Pris. Oh, gentle lady! by your lord's dear life, Which these weak hands, I swear, did ne'er assail; And by your children's welfare, spare my age! Let not the iron tear my ancient joints, And my gray hairs bring to the grave with pain.
Lady R. Account for these—thine own they cannot be; For these, I say, be steadfast to the truth; Detected falsehood is most certain death.
[anna removes the Servants and returns.
Pris. Alas, I'm sore beset! let never man,
For sake of lucre, sin against his soul!
Eternal justice is in this most just!
I, guiltless now, must former guilt reveal.
Lady R. Oh! Anna, hear!—once more I charge
The truth direct; for these to me foretell
And certify a part of thy narration;
With which, if the remainder tallies not,
An instant and a dreadful death abides thee.
Pris. Then, thus abjur'd, I'll speak to thee as just
As if vou were the minister of heaven,
Seut down to search the secret sins of men.
Some eighteen years ago, I rented land
Of brave Sir Malcolm, then Balarmo's lord;
But falling to decay, his servants seiz'd
All that I had, and" then tura'd me and mine
(Four helpless infants, and their weeping mother,)
Out to the mercy of the winter winds.
A little hovel by the river's side
Receiv'd us; there hard labor, and the skill
In fishing, which was formerly my sport,
Supported life. Whilst thus we poorly liv'd,
One stormy night, as I remember well.
The wind and rain beat hard upon our roof;
Red came the river down, and loud and oft
The angry spirit of the water shriek'd.
At the dead hour of night was heard the cry
Of one in jeopardy. I rose, and ran
To where the circling eddy of a pool,
Beneath the ford, us'd oft to bring within
My reach whatever floating thing the stream
Had caught. The voice was ceas'd; the person
But looking sad and earnest on the waters,
By the moon's light I saw, whirl'd round and
A basket; soon I drew it to the bank,
And nestled curious there an infant lay.
Lady R. Was he alive f
Pris. Ho was.
Lady R. Inhuman that thou art!
Lady R. Ha! dost thou say so i Then perhaps he lives!
Pris. Not many days ago he was alive.
Lady R. Oh, heav'nly Power! Did he then die , so lately i
Pris. I did not say he died, I hope he lives. Not many days ago these eyes beheld Him, flourishing in youth, and health and beauty.
Lady R. Where is he now?
Pris. Alas, I know not where.
Lady R. Oh, fate, I fear thee still. Thou riddler, speak
Direct and clear; else I will searth thy soul. Anna. "Permit me, ever-honored! Keen impatience,
"Tho' hard to be restrain'd, defeats itself."
Lady R. Pursue thy story with a faithful tongue, To the last hour that thou didst keep the child.
Pris. Fear not my faith, tho' I must speak my shame.
Within the cradle where the infant lay,
Was stow'd a mighty store of gold and jewels;
Tempted by which, wo did resolve to hide
From all the world this wonderful event,
And like a peasant breed the noble child.
That none might mark the change of our estate,
We left the country, travel'd to the north,
Uought flocks and herds, and gradually brought
Our secret wealth. But God's all-seeing eye
Beheld our avarice, and smote us sore.
For, one by one, all our own children died,
And he, the stranger, sole remain'd the heir
Of what, indeed, was his. Fain then would I,
Who with a father's fondness lov'd the boy,
Have trusted him, now in the dawn of youth,
With his cwn secret, but my anxious wife,
Foreboding evil, never would consent.
Meanwhile the stripling grew in years and beauty,
And as we oft observed, he bore himself
Not as the offspring of our cottage blood,
For nature will break out; mild with the mild,
But with the forward he was fierce as fire,
And night and day he talk'd of war and arms.
I set myself against his warlike bent,
But all in vain, and when a desperate band
Of robbers from the savage mountains came—
Lady R. Eternal Providence! What is thy
Pris. My name is Norval, and my name he bears.
Lady R. Tis he! 'tis he himself! It is my sou! Oh, sovereign mercy! 'Twas my child I saw!
How couldst thou kill what waves and tempests No wonder, Anna, that my bosom burn'd.
spara f Pris. I am not so inhuman. Lady R. Didst thou not f Anna. My noble mistress, you are mov'd too
This man has not tho aspect of stern murder;
Let him go on, and you, I hope, will hear
Good tidings of your kinsman's long-lost child.
Pris. The needy man whb has known better days,
One whom distress has spited at the world,
Is he whom tempting fiends would pitch upon
To do such deeds as make thj prosperous men
Lift up their hands, and wonder who could do them.
And such a man was I; a man declin'd,
Who saw no end of black adversity;
Yet, for the wealth of kingdoms, I would not
Have touch'd that infant with a hand of harm.
Anna. Just are your transports; "ne'er was woman's heart "Proved with such fierce extremes. High-fated dame!''
But yet remember-that you are beheld
By servile eyes; your gestures may be seen
Impassion'd strange; perhaps your words o'er-
Lady R. Well dost thou counsel, Anna; heav'n bestow
On me that wisdom which my state requires!
Anna. "The moments of deliberation pass, "And soon you must resolve. This useful man "Must be dismiss'd in safety, ere my lord "Shall with his brave deliverer return.''
Pris. If I, amidst astonishment and fear, Have of your words and gestures rightly judg'd,
Thou art the daughter of my ancient master;
The child I rescu'd from the flood is thine.
Lady R. With thee dissimulation now were vain.
I am indeed the daughter of Sir Malcolm;
The child thou rescu'dst from the flood is mine.
Pris. Blest he the hour that made me a poor man!
My poverty hath sav'd my master's house!
Lady R. Thy words surprise me; sure thou dost not feign; The tear stands in thine eye. Such love from thee Sir Malcolm's house'deserved not, if aright Thou told'st the story of thine own distress.
Pris. Sir Malcolm of our Barons was the flower, The fastest friend, the best, the kindest master; But, ah! ho knew not of my sad estate. After that battle where his gallant son, Your own brave brother, fell, the good old lord Grew desperate and reckless of the world; And never, as he erst was wont. went forth To overlook the conduct of his servants. By them I was thrust out, and them I blame. May heav'n so judge me as I judg'd my master, And God so love me as I love his race!
Lady R. His race shall yet reward thee. On thy faith
Depends the fate of thy lov'd master's house.
Rememb'rest thou a little lonely hut,
That like a holy hermitage appears
Among the clifts of Carron 1
Pris. I remember
The cottage of the clifts.
Lady R. 'Tie that I mean;
There dwells a man of venerable age,
Who in my father's service spent his youth;
Tell him I sent thee, and with him remain,
Till I shall call upon thee to declare,
Before the king and nobles, what thou now
To me hath told. No more but this, and thou
Shalt live in honor all thy future days;
Thy son so long shall call thee father still,
And all the land shall bless the man who sav'd
The son of Douglas, and Sir Malcolm's heir.
Accept a widow's and a mother's thanks
For such a gift! What does my Anna think
Of the young eaglet of a valiant nest f
How soon he gaz'd on bright and burning arms,
Spurned the low dunghill where his fate had
thrown him, And tower'd up to the region of his sire! Annn. How foudly did your eyes devour the
Mysterious nature, with the unseen cord
Of powerful instinct, drew you to your own.
Lady R. The ready story of his birth believ'd,
Suppress'd my fancy quite; nor did he owe
To any likeness my so sudden favor.
But now I long to see his face again,
Examine every feature, and find out
The lineaments of Douglas, or my own.
But most of all I long to let him know
Who his true parents are, to clasp his neck,
And tell him all the story of his father.
Anna. With wary caution you mast bear vourself
In public, lest your tenderness break forth,
And in observers stir conjectures strange.
"For if a cherub in the shape of woman
"Should walk this world, yet defamation would,
"Like a vile cur, bark at the angel's train—"
To-day the baron started at your tears.
Lady R. He did so, Anna! well thy mistress
If the least circumstance, mote of offense,
Should touch the baron's eye, his sight would be
With jealousy disorder'd. But the more
It does behove me instant to declare
The birth of Douglas, and assert his rights.
This night I purpose with my son to meet,
Reveal the secret, and consult with him;
For wise is he, or my fond judgment errs.
As he does now, so look'd his noble father,
Array'd in nature's ease; his mien, his speech
Were sweetly simple, and full oft deceiv'd
Those trivial mortals who seem always wise.
But, when the matter match'd his mighty mind,
Remember well my words; if thou should'st meet Up rose the hero; on his piercing eye
Him whom thou call'st thy son, still call him so; Sat observation; on each glance of thought
And mention nothing of his nobler father. j Decision follow'd, as the thunderbolt
Pris. Fear not that I shall mar so fair an har- Pursues the flash.
Anna. That demon haunts you still; Behold Glenalvon.
Lady R. Now I shun him not. [ This day I brav'd him in behalf of Norval, Perhaps too far—at least my nicer fears
By putting in my sickle ere 'tis ripe;
Why did I leave my homo and ancient dame?
To find the youth, to tell him all I knew,
And make him wear these jewels in his arms;
Which might, I thought, bo challong'd, and so For Douglas thus interpret.
bring ., r,
To light the secret of his noble birth. ^"'er Glenalvon.
[lady Randolph goes towards the Smiv Ants. Glen. Noble dame!
Lady R. This man is not th' assassin you Sus- The hov'ring Dane at last his men hath landed; pected, No band of pirates, but a mighty host,
Tho' chance combin'd some likelihoods against That come to settle where their valor conquers—
He is the faithful bearer of the jewels
To their right owner, whom in haste he seeks.
Tis meet that you should put him on his way,
Since your mistaken zeal hath dragg'dhim hither.
[Exeunt Stranger and Servants.
My faithful Anna, dost thou share my joy f
I know thou dost. Unparallel'd event!
Reaching from heav'n to earth, Jehovah's arm
Snatch'd from tho waves, and brings to me my
Judge of the widow and the orphan's father!
To win a country, or to lose themselves.
Lady R. But whence comes this intelligence,
Glen. A nimble courier sent from yonder camp, To hasten up tho chieftains of the North, Inform'd me as he pass'd, that the fierce Dane Had on the eastern coast of Lothian landed, "Near to that place where the sea-rock immense, "Amazing Base, looks o'er a fertile laud.
Lady R. "Then must this western army march to join
"The warlike troop that guard Kdina's tow'rs?