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Of my misfortunes. Ruling fate decreed,
Had o'er us flown, when my loved lord was call'd
And from the gulph of hell destruction cry,
Anna. Alas! how few of woman's fearful kind Durst own a truth so hardy!
Lady Rand. The first truth Is easiest to avow. This moral learn, This precious moral, from my tragic tale.— In a few days the dreadful tidings came, That Douglas and my brother both were slain. My lord! my life! my husband !—Mighty God! What had I done to merit such affliction?
Anna. My dearest lady! many a tale of tears I've listen'd to; but never did I hear A tale so sad as this.
Lady Rand. In the first days Of my distracting grief, I found myself—As women wish to be who love their lords. But who durst tell my father? The good priest Who join'd our hands, my brother's ancient tutor, With his loved Malcolm, in the battle fell: They two alone were privy to the marriage. On silence and concealment I resolved, Till time should make my father's fortune mine. That very night on which my son was born,
Vol. L -Q
My nurse, the only confidante I had,
Set out with him to reach her sister's house:
But nurse, nor infant, have I ever seen,
Or heard of, Anna, since that fatal hour.
My murder'd child !—Had thy fond mother fear'd
The loss of thee, she had loud fame defied,
Despised her father's rage, her father's grief,
And wander'd with thee through the scorning
world. Anna. Not seen nor heard of! then perhaps he
lives. Lady Rand. No. It was dark December: wind
Had beat all night. Across the Carron lay
That by Sir Malcolm's death on me devolved;
Domains, that should to Douglas' son have given
A baron's title, and a baron's power.
Such were my soothing thoughts, while I bewail'd
The slaughter'd father of a son unborn.
And when that son came, like a ray from heaven,
Which shines and disappears; alas! my child!
How long did thy fond mother grasp the hope
Of having thee, she knew not how, restored.
Year after year hath worn her hope away;
But left still undiminish'd her desire.
Anna. The hand, that spins the uneven thread
of life, May smooth the length that's yet to come of your's.
Lady Band. Not in this world: I have consi
Its various evils, and on whom they fall.
Anna. That God, whose ministers good angels
Hath shut the book in mercy to mankind,
Lady Band. I will avoid him. An ungracious
person Is doubly irksome in an hour like this.
Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Randolph's heir?
Lady Rand. Because he's not the heir of Randolph's virtues.
Subtle and shrewd, he offers to mankind