페이지 이미지

Bishop. He and Lord Hume-
James. What! he, too? Where's Lord Hume ?
Bishop. I blame not him, my liege !

James. No. 'Is he true ?
Send me Lord Hume : I'd see at least one man
That keeps his faith!

Seton. My liege, I know not yet
What charge the good Lord Bishop brings against me:
But, if 'tis breach of faith, of love to you,
I will not say he lies—but it is false.

James. Say on-say on; be sure your proof is strong;
For this is such an hour, I would not live it,
For all the wealth of earth. Quick! Have it o'er!

Bishop. You bear command, Lord Seton, of the host ?
James. He does !

Bishop. And yet you entertain advice
With English Dacre. Nay, deny it not;
I've seen the messenger in close discourse
At night, within your tent. I know his errand,
For I have trusty watchers in the camp.

James. Do you deny this ?
Seton. I cannot deny
James. Villain! you can't deny ! Oh, shame-oh,

Where will you hide you ? But go on- -we're calm,

Bishop. His errand was to offer you great sums
Of English gold.

James. Was this his errand ?
Seton. Yes.

James. And your base coward sword sprung not at once Forth from the sheath ? You did not slay the man ?

Seton. No!

Bishop. And he sent a message back to Dacre, And

gave the envoy passage, and safe conduct. James. Is all this true ?-Oh Seton, say the word, One little word—tell me it is not true !

Seton. My liege, 'tis true.

James. Then by the name we bear, You die !-a traitor's death! [Crosses, R.] Sirrah ! the

guard. I will not look again to where he stands.

Enter Guard, R. : they stand by Seton, L. C.
Let him be taken hence-and let the axe
Rid me of Seton ! is it so in truth,
That you've deceived me- :-joined my enemies ?
You-you--my friend—my playmate !—is it so?
Sir, will you tell me wherein I have failed
In friendship to the man that was my friend?
I thought I loved you-that in all my heart
Dwelt not a thought that wronged you.

Seton. You have heard
What my accuser says,


you condemn meI say no word to save a forfeit lifeA life is not worth having, when’t has lost All that gave value to it-my sovereign's trust! James, [to the Bishop.] You see this man, Sir-he's the

self-same age That I am,

We were children both together-
We grew-we read in the same book-my lord,
You must remember that ?-how we were never
Separate from each other; well, this man
Lived with me, year by year; he counselled me,
Cheered me, sustained me—he was as myself-
The very throne that is to other kings
A desolate island rising in the sea-
A pinnacle of power, in solitude,
Grew to a seat of pleasance in his trust.
The sea, that chafed all round it with its waves,
This man bridged over with his love, and made it
A highway for our subjects' happiness-
And now ! for a few pieces of red gold
He leaves me. Oh, he might have coined my

Into base ingots-stript me of it all-
If he had left me faith in one true heart,
And I should ne'er have grudged him the exchange.

[Crosses, R. Go, now.

We speak your doom--you die the death !
God pardon you! I dare not pardon you-

Seton. I ask no pardon, Sir, from you.
May you find pardon-ay, in your own heart,
For what you do this day!

Bishop. Be firm, my liege.

James. Away, away, old man !-you do not know-
You cannot know-what this thing costs me. Go!
I'm firm.

Seton. Who is it that accuses me ?
'Tis like your noble nature to be sudden;
I thought you just no less.
James. Ha ! hear


Bring on your proof. Though his own longue confess'd
Enough to whet the dullest axe to a point-
Where is that envoy?

Bishop. He is here, my liege.
James. Bring him.

(Exit Bishop, R. Let the Lord Seton stay.

Enter Bishop and English MESSENGER, R. How now

? You came with message from Lord Dacre's camp?

Mes. From the Lord Dacre's self-so please you, Sii ;
But will Lord Seton's letter of safe conduct,
Bear me in surety ?

James. Have no fear, my friend :
His letter of safe conduct ! What contained
Your message to Lord Seton ?

Mes. A free offer
Of twenty thousand marks.

James. For what-for what ?

Mes. To stay inactive, or lead off the force,
When brought to face our army.

James. Was it so ?
To leave me fenceless! and he answered you
Kindly--he paused a little, just a little,
Before he struck his king, his friend, to the earth.
Out with it all !-He gave you a message back ?

—is't so ?
Mes. Yes, please your majesty.

James, I knew it !-a few phrases—a regretA fear-a hope; but he agreed at last. Tell me the answer he sen back to Dacre. Bishop. [Shows a letter.] Here is the very letter-I laid

hold of it On the man's person.

Is't so—

Jumcs. Read, read, good Lord Bishop,
Blink not a word of it—a syllable;
Deliver it as we were Dacre's self.
Now, what says Seton, that degenerate Scot?

Bishop. [reads.] This is my answer to Lord Dacre's mes

sage :

I trample with my heel on your foul bribe-
I send you scorn,

and hatred, and defiance. James. More, more!

Bishop. I cast my glove into your face,
And summon you to meet me, foot to foot,
When flies the Scottish banner on the Tweed
On Monday morn
James. Go on!

Bishop. I call you slave,
To think to wean me from my loyalty,
My truth, my honor to my trusting King..

James. Ha !-was it so ? Go forth, good messenger, Bear you

this chain of gold. [Hurries the messenger out, R. My Good Lord Bishop What meant you ?—but no, no—you meant it well; Go mind your priests, my lord,-meddle no more In things like this. Keep to your duties, Sir; Bid not your priests be “firm”—tell them to be Gentle, forgiving, trustful, but not firm; No more—no more.

[Hurries the Bishop out, R. Guards, leave my friend, Lord Seton.

(E.ceunt Guards, R. Now we're alone! Come, Seton! Šeton, here ! To my heart. (They embrace.) Why said you nothing?

Seton. For I knew
Your justice 'self would be the pleader for me.

James. Ah, Seton, what a shock it gave my heart,
To think that you had left me. Pardon it;
It was because I trusted

That the blow fell so heavy. I was wrong,
And you'll forgive me; all my life shall be
A recompense for the vile thought that dwelt
But for ten minutes,-not a minute more,-
In my weak heart; but tell me you'll forgive it.

Seton. Forgive it, my good liege,-
James. I know you will,

the most,

For I will earn it of you with such trust
As never king had in his friend before.

Seton. Others, my liege, are false

James. -Ha! that they are !
But fear not; you and Hume are by my side.
I'll baulk the traitors yet. Oh, I'll be firm,
Firm as the Bass, rugged as Ailsa crag.
I shall know all ere long. Send fifty horse
To one Sir Adam Weir's, near Calder town;
Bring every soul that's found within the house,
The old man himself; a widow, Mistress Barton;
“ His kinsman, Malcolm Young; a fair young girl,
“Called Madeleine ; an old simpleton, Laird Small,
And his son Mungo,-fail not one of them,"
Bring them all here; and call a court at nine,
Fail not-and have our guard in double force ;
The headsman ready-it may chance our work
Be bloody, if we're firm. Fail not at nine;
And now farewell,

[Eteunt, James, R., Seton, L.

SCENE II.--A Room in Laichmont House.*

Enter Sir ADAM WEIR, and Malcolm YOUNG, R.
Sir A. What said you to your cousin, Madeleine ?
Does she consent to follow your advice?
She would be wise to do it.

Malcolm. I did not dare
To intrude upon her grief.

Sir A. (L. c.) You did not dare ?
Did I not tell you, Sir, to use the power
That use, that old acquaintance gave to you,
To bend her to my will ?

Mal. (R. c.) You told me, Sir

Sir A. And you've not done it ? and affect fine scruples, As if you could not dare to touch her grief! Sir, when I give the order, you must dare To send her grief to the four winds of heaven, And make her do my will. Her grief-her grief ! What is her grief?

* The whole of this scene is omitted at the Park Theatre-though it was reprosentod-and, we believe, with considerable effect-at the Princess's.

« 이전계속 »