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Oft, as blown back by the rude breath of fear,
Return'd, and with redoubled ardour blazed. •
Anna. May gracious heaven pour the sweet balm
Into the wounds that fester in your breast!
For earthly consolation cannot cure them.
Lady Rand. One only cure can heaven itself bestow;
A grave—that bed in which the weary rest.
Wretch that I am! Alas! why am I so?
At every happy parent I repine!
How blest the mother of yon gallant Norval!
"She for a living husband bore her pains,
And heard him bless her when a man was born:
She nursed her smiling infant on her breast;
Tended the child, and rear'd the pleasing boy.
She, with affection's triumph, 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. On him intent you gazed, with a look
Much more delighted, than your pensive eye
Has deign'd on other objects to bestow.
Lady Band. Delighted, say"st thou? Oh ! even
there mine eye
Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow.
I thought, that had the son of Douglas lived,
He might have been like this young gallant stran-
And pair'd with him in features and in shape.
In all endowments, as in years, I deem,
My boy with blooming Norval might have num-
Whilst thus I mused, a spark from fancy fell
On my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness
For this young stranger, wand'ring from his home,
And like an orphan cast upon my care.
I will protect thee, (said I to myself)
With all my power, and grace with all my favour.
Anna. Sure heaven will bless so generous a re-
You must, my noble dame, exert your power:
You must awake: devices will be framed,
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval.
Lady Rand. Glenalvon's false and crafty head
Against a rival in his kinsman's love,
If I 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;
Though now I seem to you shrunk up, retired
Within the narrow compass of my woe.
Have you not sometimes seen an early flower
Open its bud, and spread its silken leaves,
To catch sweet airs, and odours to bestow;
Then, by the keen blast nipt, pull in its leaves,
And, though still living, die to scent and beauty?
Emblem of me: affliction, like a storm,
Hath kill'd the forward blossoms of my heart.
Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble Randolph?
Lady Rand. Have you not heard, Glenalvon* of the base
Glen. I have: and that the villains may not 'scape,
VOL. I. X
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 hired their swords,
Lady Band. That care becomes a kinsman's
I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. [Exit Anna.
Glen. To him your counsels always are com-
Lady Rand. I have not found so: thou art
known to me.
Lady Rand. And most certain is my cause of
knowledge. Glen. What do you know? By the most blessed
You much amaze me. No created being, Yourself except, durst thus accost Gleualvon. Lady Rand. Is guilt so bold? and dost thou
make a merit
Of thy pretended meekness? This to me,
Who, with a gentleness which duty blames,
Have hitherto conceal'd, what, if divulged,
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 woman-
Permit me yet to say, that the fond man
Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's bounds,
If he is brought by love to misery,
In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn,
Unpity'd 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
Through the dry heath before the fanning wind.
Lady Rand. Reserve these accents for some
To love's apology I listen not.
Mark thou my words; for it is meet thou should'st.
His brave deliverer Randolph here retains.
Perhaps his presence may not please thee well;
But, at thy peril, practise aught against him:
Let not thy jealousy attempt to shake
And loosen the good root he has in Randolph;