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Lady Rand. She lives; but wastes her life in
constant woe, Weeping her husband slain, her infant lost.
Norv. You that are skill'd so well in the sad story Of my unhappy parents, and with tears Bewail their destiny, now have compassion Upon the offspring of the friends you loved. O! tell me who, and where my mother is? Oppress'd by a base world, perhaps she bends Beneath the weight of other ills than grief; And, desolate, implores of heaven the aid Her son should give. It is, it must be so— Your countenance confesses that she's wretched. O, tell me her condition! Can the sword— Who shall resist me in a parent's cause?
Lady Rand. Thy virtue ends her woes.—My
son! my son! I am thy mother, and the wife of Douglas!
[Fatts upon his neck. Norv. O heaven and earth, how wondrous is my
fate! Art thou my mother? Ever let me kneel!
Lady Rand. 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?
Lady Rand. Arise, my son! In me thou dost
The poor remains of beauty once admired:
Norv. How did he fall? Sure 'twas a bloody
field When Douglas died. O! I have much to ask.
Lady Rand. Hereafter thou shalt hear the
Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes.
Norv. The blood of Douglas will protect itself.
Lady Rand. But we shall need both friends
and favour, boy,
To wrest the lands and lordship from the gripe Of Randolph and his kinsman. Yet I think My tale will move each gentle heart to pity; My life incline the virtuous to believe.
Norv. To be the son of Douglas is to me Inheritance enough. Declare my birth, And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune.
Lady Rand. Thou dost not know what perils
Await the poor man's valour. O, my son!
Must be hereafter told. Prudence directs
That we should part before yon chiefs return.
Retire, and from thy rustic follower's hand
Receive a billet, which thy mother's care,
Anxious to see thee, dictated before
This casual opportunity arose
Of private conference. Its purport mark;
For, as I there appoint, we meet again.
Leave me, my son! and frame thy manners still
To Norval's, not to noble Douglas' state.
Norv. I will remember. Where is Norval now, That good old man?
Lady Rand. 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 grieved my heart.
Norv. Has he, indeed?—Then let yon false
Glenalvon Beware of me. [Exit Douglas.
Manet Lady Randolph.
Lady Rand. There burst the smother'd flame!— O! thou all righteous and eternal King!
Who father of the fatherless art call'd,
Enter Lord Randolph and Glenalvon.
Lord Band. Yon gallant chief,
Lady Rand. Be not, my lord, by his example
Arrange the business of to-morrow now,
[Exit Lady Randolph.