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Leave me to face the enemy alone!
I care not for your silken company.
And bid them follow James. They'll follow me—
Fear not-they'll follow!
Cas. [To Somerville.] He will do it, my lord. Promise him fair.
Somer. My liege, I but presumed
James. Do you speak for all? [Goes to Somerville. Lord Somerville, your hair is white with years; Our own is grizzled now, but not with age. We have had griefs-we've had—but let it go; We may be harsh in tongue; but if you saw Our heart, you would give privilege to the words, For the dear love they spring from. Sweetest wine Gives strongest sour. My lords, you pardon us!
Somer. My liege, we are your loving subjects ever. James. You'll meet me on the Boroughmuir as fixed; Armed for our war, with all your followings. We will not keep you now. Farewell, my lords, We have much yet before us-fare ye well!
[Exeunt lords, c., except Seton, who is following. James. To Seton.] Seton-good Seton !-stay with me. Seton. My liege,
You honour me.
James. Well, man, and wherefore not?
Takes lessons from my heart. Ah, Seton-Seton!
Of men, of brothers, of true-hearted Scots;
I think you're too much stirred by the loose talk
James. No, no, Seton; there is more in this
Seton. You wrong me-oh! my liege-if I might dare, I'd say my friend.
James. Say it! I like the word; Call me your friend.
Seton. My friend! my too kind friend!
James. Well! Let me say in brief-for time is shortGo to the Boroughmuir, and watch the looks Of our blue Bonnets, when you give the word For trampling on the bonny English Rose. If they are true-ha! Seton-if our trust Is in stout jerkins, and we pass in scorn From blazoned shield and the tall waving plume-Seton. I think your grace may do it.
James. Never king
Was half so great, girt round with gewgaw earls,
And speed you well! I trust you. What a word
Seton. Seton has no voice for thanks.
James. (R. c.) Will they be traitors still? and play the
Was played at Lauder Bridge? and leave their king
[He sinks in thought.-Buckie comes forward, L., and
What now! who are you, friend? Ha! I remember;
We've looked for you ere this. Up, up, man-up!
Buc. Your majesty-but there be ears too near[Pointing to Mungo.
James. [To Mungo.] Retire!
[Exit, R. James. Speak out, man! 'Twas a perilous dip in the Avon,
That your stout arm and ready help made safe.
Buc. Oh, sir, we're used to simple things like that! James. What! plucking drowning kings out of a river? Well, it is lucky you had practice, friend, We might have fared the worse else.
Buc. I was happy
In being by to risk my limbs and life,
Where Scotland has so long fixed all her love.
James. Zounds! you speak well—a stout, bold, honest fellow,
What want you with us?
Buc. To make known to your grace
A something that concerns the kingdom's weal.
Buc. No, gracious king; I speak not of myself.
"For Heaven's sake, man, make your complaint at once." "Buc." 'Tis treason against you.
James. What say you?-treason?
"Who are you, friend?
"Buc. I saved your royal life "At hazard of my own. Oh, happier far,
"If I may save your fame!
"James. Sir, pardon me,
"If I mistook you! Now I listen-speak!
Buc. My liege, you've heard of rich Sir Adam Weir, Of Laichmont ?
James. I've heard of him-go on;
A rich old usurer.
Buc. Ay, Sir; but his stores
Are heaped for other uses than to lend
James. What is't you mean? You speak in parables. Buc. He pays a stipend-month by month he pays itBy order sent from England, "signed by Bowes,' To knights and nobles that take daily stand Around your throne.
James. What nobles and what knights? But, no-I will not know their names. A stipendA monthly bribe! To bend their necks so low! I would not hear their names. If it were Hume! Or Seton! No, no, no- -it cannot be ! Ha! a base bribe; a mean, false, cringing crew! Tell me no name! I'd make them rue the hour They sold our Scottish honour for their bribesBut is it true?-Seizes him by the collar.] " Dog! if you tell me false,
"I'll brain you on the wall!" Who told you this? Where lives this Weir? How got you this advice?
Buc. He lives at Laichmont, near to Calder, Sire. James. I'll see him. From his heart I'll tear the truth. Thanks, friend. 'Twas kindly meant: but, by my soul, I wish this thing had not been told to me, That I had thought them fickle, wilful, cold, Cowards-ay, cowards-anything but this. Thanks: I will see you soon. Take this, and this. [Gives his ring and purse. Say naught of what you've told me. I will ride To Lalchmont House this hour,-this very hour. Oh, if 'tis true: if they're the very slaves To live on foreign bribes-there shall be blood Shall make the High Street run as if with wine! Good day, my friend-be silent-and farewell. [Exit, c Buc. He rides alone-he must not ride alone; He's worth the whole of the nobles in a bunch. I'll be his guard, if no one else will. Mun. [Re-entering, R.] Well? What said the King?
Buc. That if an impudent fellow
Buc. That he was an ass,
And should keep all his breath to cool his porridge. [Exit. Mun. Breath!-porridge!—in your teeth, you saucy [Exit, c.
SCENE II.-A Wood in Laichmont.
Enter MADELEINE and MALCOLM, r.
Made. This way it flew. Come, Malcolm; see how high
It soars, as if 'twere weary of the world,
And wished to have a home far up in heaven!
Malcolm. Ah, 'twere a happy bird to win such place, And never sink to rugged earth again!
Made. Oh, for a hawk, full summed and high of soar, To follow it into the filmy clouds
And bring it to our feet. But, well-a-day!
To watch the quarry as it rose and rose,
Made. And think no more
Of the gay time we had when we were young When we were all alone with cousin Barton? When Grandsire was away in foreign climes, Far o'er the sea, and we rode forth and hawked, And laughed all day. Would you forget them, Malcolm? Mal. I wish I could, my gentle Madeleine,"For these bright clouds come up like sinful visions, "Conjured by magic to distract the souls "Of solitary men, in lightless caves, "Retired to commune with their own sad hearts.
Made. But, Malcolm, then your heart was never sad; You were the boldest horseman, sped your arrow Straighter than all, rode deftliest at the ring, And sang the gayest. Wherefore are you changed?