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But Heav'n accelerates its vengeance on thee.
Now for my own and lady Randolph's wrongs.
Enter Lord RANDo LPH. Lord R. Hold, I command you both. The man that stirs Makes me his foe. Nor. Another voice than thine That threat had vainly sounded, noble Randolph. Glen. Hear him, my Lord ; he's wond’rous condescending ! Mark the humility of shepherd Norvall 420 Nor. Now you may scoff in safety.
[Sheaths his Sword. Lord R. Speak not thus,
Taunting each other; but unfold to me
The cause of quarrel, then I judge betwixt you.
Nor. Nay, my good Lord, tho’ I revere you much,
My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment.
I blush to speak; I will not, cannot speak
Th' opprobrious words that I from him have borne.
To the liege-lord of my dear native land
I owe a subjećt’s homage: but ev’n him
And his high arbitration I’d rejećt.
Within my bosom reigns another lord;
Honour, sole judge, and umpire of itself.
If my free speech offend you, noble Randolph,
Revoke your favours, and let Norval go
Hence as he came, alone, but not dishonour’d.
Lord R. Thus far I'll mediate with impartial voice: The ancient foe of Caledonia's land
- G iij
Now waves his banners o'er her frighted fields.
Suspend your purpose till your country's arms 44a
Repel the bold invader: then decide
The private quarrel.
Glen. I agree to this.
Nor. And I.
Ser. The banquet waits.
Iord R. We come. (Exit with Servant.
Glen. Norval, Let not our variance mar the social hour, Nor wrong the hospitality of Randolph. Nor frowning anger, nor yet wrinkled hate, Shall stain my countenance. Sooth thou thy brow; Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame.
Nor. Think not so lightly, Sir, of my resentment. When we contend again, our strife is mortal. [Excunt.
This is the place, the centre of the grove;
IIere stands the oak, the monarch of the wood.
How sweet and solemn is this midnight scene 1
The silver moon, unclouded, holds her way
Thro’ skies where I could count each little star.
The fanning west wind scarcely stirs the leaves! 469
The river, rushing o'er its pebbled bed,
Imposes silence with a stilly sound.
In such a place as this, at such an hour,
If ancestry can be in ought believed,
Descending spirits have convers'd with man,
And told the secrets of the world unknown.
Enter Old No R v A. L. Old Nor. 'Tis he. But what if he should chide me hence 2 1His just reproach I fear. [Douglas turns aside and sees him. Forgive, forgive, Canst thou forgive the man, the selfish man, Who bred Sir Malcolm's heir, a shepherd’s son Doug. Kneel not to me; thou art my father still: Thy wish'd-for presence now completes my joy. Welcome to me; my fortunes thou shalt share, And ever honour'd with thy Douglas live. Old Nor. And dost thou call me father; Oh, my son I think that I could die, to make amends For the great wrong I did thee. 'Twas my crime Which in the wilderness so long conceal’d The blossom of thy youth. 48o Doug. Not worse the fruit, That in the wilderness the blossom blow’d. Amongst the shepherds, in the humble cot, I learn’d some lessons, which I'll not-forget When I inhabit-yonder lofty towers,
I, who was once a swain, will ever prove
The poor man's friend; and when my vassals bow,
Norval shall smooth the crested pride of Douglas.
Nor. Let me but live to see thine exaltation lo
Yet grievous are my fears. Oh, leave this place,
And those unfriendly towers!
Doug. Why should I leave them
Nor. Lord Randolph and his kinsman seek your life.
Doug. How know'st thou that
Old Nor. I will inform you how :
When evening came, I left the secret place
Appointed for me by your mother's care,
And fondly trod in each accustom'd path
That to the castle leads. Whilst thus I rang'd,
I was alarm'd with unexpected sounds 500
Of earnest voices. On the persons came.
Unseen I lurk'd, and overheard them name
Each other as they talk'd, lord Randolph this,
And that Glenalvon. Still of you they spoke,
And of the lady; threat'ning was their speech,
Tho' but imperfectly my ear could hear it.
'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discov'ry;
And ever and anon they vow’d revenge.
Doug. Revenge! for what?
Old Nor. For being what you are,
Sir Malcolm's heir; how else have you offended ?
When they were gone, I hied me to my cottage,
And there sat musing how I best might find
Means to inform you of their wicked purpose,
But I could think of none. At last, perplex'd,
I issued forth, encompassing the tower
With many a wearied step and wishful look.
Now Providence hath brought you to my sight,
Let not your too courageous spirit scorn
The caution which I give. 520
Doug. I scorn it not.
My mother warn'd me of Glenalvon's baseness;
But I will not suspect the noble Randolph.
In our encounter with the vile assassins,
I mark’d his brave demeanour; him I’ll trust,
Old Nor. I fear you will, too far.
Doug. Here in this place
I wait my mother's coming: she shall know
What thou hast told: her counsel I will follow.
And cautious ever are a mother's counsels.
You must depart: your presence may prevent
Our interview. -
Old Nor. My blessing rest upon thee!
Oh, may Heav'n's hand, which sav'd thee from the
And from the sword of foes, be near thee still ;
Turning mischance, if ought hangs o'er thy head,
All upon mine ! [Exit.
Doug. He loves me like a parent;
And must not, shall not, lose the son he loves,
Altho' his son has found a nobler father. 54o
Eventful day ! how hast thou chang'd my state 1
Once on the cold and winter-shaded side
Of a bleak hill mischance had rooted me,
Never to thrive, child of another soil;