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Is ancient times, when Britain's trade was arms,
When Percy, wrong'd, defied his prince or peers
MEN. Lfird RANDOLPH, a Scottish Huron. Glexalvon, his pretended Friend. NoRVAL, an aged Peasant. Douglas, supposed his Son.
Lady Randolph. Anna, her Confidante.
Officers, Attendants, Itc. SCENE,—Lord Randolph's Domains.
Where every warrior on the tip-toe stands
Lady R. O, may adverse winds
Lord R. Thou speak'st a woman's, hear a warrior's wish: Right from their native land, the stormy north, May the wind blow, till every keel is fixed Immoveable in Caledonia's strand! Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion, And roving armies shun the fatal shore.
Lady R. War I detest: but war with foreign foes, Whose manners, language, and whose looks are
strange, Is not so horrid, nor to me so hateful, As tliat which with our neighbours oft we wage. A river here, there an ideal line, By fancy drawn, divide the sister kingdoms. On each side dwells a people similar, As twins are, to each other; valiant both; Both for their valour famous through the world. Yet will they not unite their kindred arms, And, if they must have war, wage distant war, But with each other fight in cruel conflict. Gallant in strife, and noble in their ire, The battle is their pastime. They go forth Gay in the morning, as to summer sport; When evening comes, the glory of the morn, The youthful warrior, is a clod of clay. Thus fall the prime of either hapless land, And such the fruit of Scotch and English wars!
Lord R. I'll hear no more: this melody would make A soldier drop his sword, and doff his arms, Sit down and weep the conquests he has made; Yea, (like a monk) sing rest and peace in heaven To souls of warriors in his battles slain. Lady, farewell: I leave thee not alone; Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light.
Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's
Lady R. So to lose my hours
Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my
Lady R. Oh!
Anna. Have I distressed you with officious love, And ill-timed mention of your brother's fate? Forgive me, lady: humble though I am,
The inind I bear partakes not of my fortune:
So fervently I love you, that to dry
Those piteous tears, I'd throw my life away.
Lady R. What power directed thy unconscious tongue To speak as thou hast done? to name—
Anna. I know not: But since my words have made my mistress
tremble, I will speak so no more; but silent mix My tears with hers.
Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent. I'll trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be Henceforth the instructed partner of my woes. But what avails it i Can thy feeble pity Koll back the flood of never-ebbing time i Compel the earth and ocean to give up Their dead alive?
Anna. What means my noble mistress?
Lady R. Did'st thou not ask what had my sor-
Anna. Oh! lady most revered!
ljudy R. Alas! an ancient feud,
down, Had o'er us flown, when my loved lord was called To fight his father's battles; and with him, In spite of all my tears, did Malcolm go. Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire was
told That the false stranger was lord Douglas' son. Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword And questioned me. Alone, forsaken, faint, Kneeling beneath his sword, faultering I took An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity! Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave Thy onward path, although the earth shotdd gape, And from the gulf of hell destruction cry, To take dissimulation's winding way!
Anna. Alas !■ how few of woman's fearful kind Durst own a truth so hardy!
Lady R. The first truth Is easiest to avow. This moral learn, This precious moral from my tragic talc.— In a few days the dreadful tidings came, That Douglas and my brother both were slain. My lord! my life! niy husband!—mighty God!
What had I done to merit such affliction?
Anna. My dearest lady! many a tale of tears I've listened to; but never did I hear A tale so sad as this.
Lady It. 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 joined 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 bom, 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 murdered child!—had thy fond mother feared The loss of thee, she had loud fame defied, Despised her father's rage, her father's grief, And wandered with thee through the scorning world. Anna. Not seen nor heard of! then perhaps
he lives. Lady K. No. It was dark December; wind and rain Had beat all night. Across the Carron lay The destined road; and in its swelling flood My faithful servant perished with my child. Oh! hapless son of a most hapless sire! But they are both at rest; and 1, alone, Dwell in this world of woe, condemned to walk, Like a guilt-troubled ghost, my painful rounds; Nor has despiteful fate permitted me The comfort of a solitary sorrow. Though dead to love, I was compelled to wed Randolph, who snatched me from a villain's arms; And Randolph now possesses the domains, That by Sir Malcolm's death on me devolved; "Domains, tliat should to Douglas' son have given A baron's title and a baron's power. Such were my soothing thoughts, while I bewailed The slaughtered 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 vear hath worn her hope away; But left, stdl undiminished, her desire.
Anna. The hand, that spins the uneven thread of life, May smooth the length that's yet to conic of yours. "Lady R. Not in tliiB world; I have considered well Its various evils, and on whom they fall. Alas! how oft does goodness wound itself, And sweet affection prove the spring of woe! Oh! had I died when my loved husband fell! Had some good angel oped to me the book Of Providence, and let me read my life, My heart had broke, when I beheld the sum
Of ills, which one by one I have endured.
Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Randolph'*
heir? Lady R. Because he's not the heir of Randolph's virtues. Subtle and shrewd, he offers to mankind An artificial image of himself: And he with ease Obii vary, to the taste Of different men, its features. Self-denied, And master of his appetites, he seems: But his fierce nature, like a fox chained up. Watches to seize unseen the wished-for prey. Never were vice anil virtue poised so ill, As in Glenalvon's unrelenting mind. Yet is he brave and politic in war, And stands aloft in these unruly times. Why I describe him thus I'll tell hereafter. Stay and detain liim till I reach the castle.
[Exit L:.:h, R. Anna. Oh happiness! Where art thou to be found? I see thou dwellcst not with birth and beauty, Though graced with grandeur, ami in wealth arrayed: Nor dost thou, it would seem, with virtue dwell; Else had this gentle lady missed thee not.
Glen. What dost thou muse on, mcditatir.j maid? Like some entranced and visionary seer, On earth thou stand'st; thy thoughts ascend tn Heaven. Anna. Would that I were, even as thou say'si, a seer, To have my doubts by heavenly vision cleared! Glen. What dost thou doubt of? What hast thou to do With subjects intricate? Thy youth, tby beaut;., Cannot be questioned: Think of these good gifts And then thy contemplations will be pleasing. Anna. Let woman view yon monument of woe, Then boast of beauty: who so fair as she! But I must follow; tin's revolving day Awakes the memory of her anticnt woes.
[£iifA.WA Glen. [S»/«s.] So! Lady Randolph shuns aa., by and by I'll woo her as the lion wooes his bride?. The deed's a doing now, that makes me lord Of these rich valleys, and a chief of power. The season is most apt; my sounding steps W'ill not be hard amongst the din of ami?. Randolph has lived too long: his better fate Had the ascendant once, and kept me down: