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Enter Frank Osbaldistone.

(Rashleigh starts, but instantly recovers himself).

Frank. You are well met, Sir.

Rash. I am glad to hear it.—(Aside) He's earlier than I expected; but M'Vittie is prepared.

Frank. I was about to take a long and doubtful journey in quest of you.

Rash. You know little of him you sought then. I'm easily found by my friends, still more easily by my foes —in which am I to class Mr. Francis Osbaldistone?

Frank. In that of your foes, Sir, your mortal foes, unless you instantly do justice to my father, by accounting for his property.

Rash. And to whom am I, a member of your father's commercial establishment, to be compelled to give an account of my proceedings? Surely, not to a young gentleman, whose exquisite taste for literature would render such discussions disgusting and unintelligible.

Frank. Your sneer, Sir, is no answer; you shall accompany me to a Magistrate.

Rash. Be it so;—yet,—no —were I inclined to do as you would have me, you should soon feel which of us had most reason to dread the presence of a Magistrate; but I have no wish to accelerate your fate. Go, young man, amuse yourself in your world of poetical imaginations, and leave the business of life to those who understand, and can conduct it.

Frank. This tone of calm insolence shall not avail you! the name we both bear, never yet submitted to insult.

Rash. Right! right! you remind me, that it was dishonour'd in my person; and you remind me also by whom !—Think you I have forgotten that blow —never to be washed out, but by blood! For the various times you have crossed my path, and always to my prejudice;—for the persevering folly with which you seek to traverse schemes, the importance of which you neither know, nor are capable of estimating,—you owe me a long account! and fear not, there shall come an early day of reckoning.

Frank. Why not the present? Do your schemes or your safety require delay?

Rash. You may trample on the harmless worm, but, pause, 'ere you rouse the slumbering venom of the folded snake.

Frank. I will not be trifled with.

Rash. I had,other views respecting you; but, enough—Receive now the chastisement of your boyish insolence!

. (They draw, and at the moment their swords
cross, M'Gregor rushes forward, and beats
dozvn their Guard).

Camp. Hold! stand off!
Rash. M'Gregor!

Camp. By the hand of my father, the first man that strikes, I'll cleave him to the brisket.— (To Frank^ Think you to establish your father's credit by cutting your kinsman's throat? Or do you (to Rash.) imagine men will trust their lives and fortunes, and a great political interest, with one that brawls about like a drunken Gillie? Nay, never look grim, or gash at me, man !— if you're angry, turn the buckle of your belt behind you!

Rash. You presume on my present situation, or you would hardly dare interfere where my honour is concerned.

Camp. Presume ?—And what for should it be presuming? Ye may be the richer man, Mr. Osbaldistone, as is most likely, and ye may be the more learned man, which I dispute not;—but you are neither a better or a braver man than myself—and it will be news tome* indeed, when I hear you are half as good!—And dare too? dare!—Hout, tout!—much daring there is about it.

Bask. (Aside) What devil brought him here, to mar a plan so well devised? I must lure him to the toils.

Camp. What say you?

Rash. My kinsman will acknowledge he forced this on me. I'm glad we were interrupted before I chastised his insolence too severely—the quarrel was none of my seeking.

Camp. Well then, walk with me—I have news for you.

Frank. Pardon me, I will not lose sight of him, till he has done justice to my father.

Camp. Would you bring two on your head instead of one?

Frank. Twenty! rather than again neglect my duty.

Rash. You hear him, M'Gregor !—Is it my fault, that he rushes on his fate ?—The warrants are out!

Camp. Warrants! curses on all such instruments! the plague of poor old Scotland for this hundred year—but, come on't what will, I'll never consent to his being hurt, that stands up for the father that begot him!

Rash. Indeed!

Camp. My conscience will not let me.

Rash. Your conscience! M'Gre^or!

Camp. Yes, my conscience, Sir; I have such a thing about me—that, at least, is one advantage you cannot boast of. v

Rash. You forget how long you and I have known each other.

Camp. If you know what I am, you know what usage made me what I am; and however you may think, I would not change with the proudest of the oppressors that have driven me to take the heather-bush for a shelter. What you are, and what excuse you have for being what you are, lies between your heart and the long day.

Rash. (Aside) Can M'Gregor suspect?—has M'Vittie betrayed?

Camp. Leave him, I say! you are more in danger from a Magistrate than he is—And were your cause as straight as an arrow, he'd find a way to warp it!

(Frank has persisted in not leaving Rashleigh, and is withheld by Campbell).

—Take your way, Rashleigh! —make one pair of legs worth two pair of hands—You have done |hat before now.

Rash. Cousin, you may thank this Gentleman, if I leave any part of my debt to you unpaid; and I quit you now, but in the hope that we shall soon meet again, without the possibility of interruption. [Exit.

Camp. (As Frank struggles to follow) As I live by bread, you are as mad as he! Would you follow the wolf to his den? (Pushes Frank back). Come, come, be cool I 'tis me you must look to for that you seek! Keep aloof from Rashleigh, and that pettifogging Justice-Clerk, Jobson! above all, from M'Vittie !—Make the best of your way to Aberfoil —and, by the word of a M'Gregor, I will not see you wronged !— Remember! the Clachan of Aberfoil!

(Campbell shakes the hand of Frank with great cordiality, and tliey separate).

SCENE II.

The Library at Osbaldistone-Hall.
(A knocking heard without).

Sir Frederick Vernon enters with haste and agitation.

Sir Fred. I was not mistaken—it is at the private door!

(Knocking repeated).

—Martha! Martha! I dread the purport of this unexpected visit—yet, what should I fear? Martha!

Martha enters.

Martha. I come! I come! bless me, I'm all in a tremble'.

Sir Fred. Is Diana in the next apartment?

Martha. Yes, truly, and full of wonder and apprehension.

Sir Fred. Haste, and observe the appearance of this person — Question, but do not admit him 'till I know his errand. [Exit Martha.

— Can it be Campbell ?— Rashleigh {—No! perhaps a courier from the Earl of Mar—My hopes, my existence hangs upon a thread! either Scotland has her right restored, or I have nothing more to do with life!—Well )

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