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Sir A. You look so, sir!
James. Looks are deceitful, sir;
I rede you trust them not!

Sir A. [Aside.] A brave-tongued knave !—
And were you travelling all alone, my friend,
When this befel?

James. Yes, all alone; intent

For Stirling, on some business of my own. "Sir A. Of weight, perhaps?

"James. Ay, business of such weight "That I could trust no hand with 't but my own. "Sir A. A friend, perhaps, might aid you—— 66 James. Well-a friend!

"There is no saying what a friend might do.
"But I make little doubt the quest I'm on
"Will prosper as it is!

"Sir A. I have some power

"Some influence in the realm, and may give help "If you require it.

"James. Sir, you're passing kind,

"And it may chance that I require your help "In what I aim at.'

""

Sir A. Aside.] If I could gain him now
To bear my message !—And your home, you say,
Is Stirling?

James. Sometimes.

Sir A. Or was't Edinburgh?
James. Sometimes there, too.

Sir A. A wanderer, I perceive :

Have you crossed sea?

James. [Aside.] This fellow questions hard
Oh, yes; I've been a rover, wet and dry,

And can trim sail, and hand, and reef, and steer,

With e'er a skipper in Leith.

Sir A. A trader, Sir?

James. In most things-from sweet looks to a true friend,

To a sword point held to an enemy's throat.

Sir A. I like sweet looks best-Did you travel far
In other lands? For wines, perhaps, to the South?

James. Ay, Sir: I've seen the walls of Bordeaux town
Rise 'mid rich vineyards on the shores of France,

And the whole land lie like a perfumed bride
On her green couch, with birds for choristers,
And a blue sky, unknown to this cold clime,
Hung over like a gorgeous canopy.

Sir A. You speak like a brave stringer of rich words→ A poet, as I may say.

James. I've tried it, Sir;

But poetry's a poor trade, and only fit

For white hands and weak heads.

Sir A. You're libellous

On our good king: he rhymes, you know.
James. Oh, does he?

I hope, Sir, he rhymes well.

Sir A. I'm not a critic,

But I have heard some men of good repute
For wit and judgment—

James. Well, what said they ?-quick!

Sir A. Men that knew what the tricks of rhyming

were

James. Well, well-they praised the verses?
Sir A. They not they!

James. Why, what the devil-but-go on, go on!
Sir A. You're pleased to see a brother rhymester
mock'd-

Another proof you're of the poet's tribe.

James. [Aside. Why, what a twaddling, sensible old fool!

This is no traitor. [Aloud.] Ah, Sir, Poesy
Holds no communion with such thoughts as these.
In her enchanted garden, 'mid the flowers,
Grows no base thing; but in the balmy air,
Walking, as angels walked in Paradise,
Hope, and her sister, white-robed Charity,

Move onward, circled by the arms of Love! [Crosses to R.
The poet-but, grace Marie! what an ass
To talk of Paradise and jangling stuff!
Forgive it, sir.

Sir A. There's nothing to forgive.
It's pretty, very pretty-not quite plain
To dull old ears like mine, but pretty, pretty!
[Aside.] The very man I prayed for--all is safe.-
I think your talents have been wasted, sir,

"In voyaging to France, and back again;"

You should to court.

James. To court ?—[Aside.] We're coming on.Sir, I've no patron.

Sir A. Yes, my friend, you have.

I have some power at Holyrood myself.
James. Indeed ?

Sir A. Why, yes: between ourselves, my friend,
There are a dozen-ay, a score of the lords,
Fast friends of mine.

66

James. A score!

Sir A. Ay; all of them.

'Why, there's not one who would not hold him bound "To do my bidding. You shall see their zeal

"To serve you, when they know you come from me.

"James. Not one-not one left out! Now, by my life, "I warn you say not so.

"Sir A. Why not, my friend?

"James. For, by the heaven !-nay, nay, excuse me. sir, "You raise my hopes too high.

""

"Sir A. No whit, no whit:

;

Name any name you please-I'll answer for it
His lordship, though he holds his head as high
As a crowned king's, if I but say the word,
Will fawn on you like a spaniel.

James: Now, beware,

I tell you these are dangerous boasts-
Sir A. But try it.

I have a packet, even now prepared,
For certain of their lordships.

James. Which of them?

For, as my soul shall answer-there again!
I'm all in such a twitter of wild hopes;
All!-did you say all ?-oh, say not all!

Sir A. Why not?

James. Nothing-pray pardon me again. Not all— They can't be all at your proud beck-not all!

Sir A. Oh, yes, they are, though,-all to do you service, you will take that packet to the court.

If

James. I take the packet ?-Sir, I asked it not.

Sir A, You were too bashful. I will bring it to you Ere you go hence.

James. I think I've heard the name

Of the lord-but his name escapes me now-
Seton-Lord Seton, is he in the list?
Is there a missive to Lord Seton?

Sir A. Seton

Oho! You've heard of Seton-though he's so near
The throne, Sir, let me tell you, ere long time
There may be one to him ;—a little bird
Has whistled in my ear.-Be not afraid,
You shall hear more.

James. [Aside.] And so shall you!-But, James--
Have you no packet for our lord the king?

Sir A. No. He's a brother bard, and may be jealousLet him not see you in the court.

James. I'll do't.

Give me the packet.

Sir A. In an hour or two.
Meanwhile, refresh you; will you
forth for air?
My kinsman, Malcolm, will attend on you-
You'll find him on the lawn.

James. I long to thank him

For his good service. [Aside.] Oh, suspicious doubts Be hushed-be hushed!—the truth will out ere long. [Exeunt L., James following.

SCENE II.-The Lawn at Laichmont.

Enter MALCOLM YOUNG, with a book, R.

Mal. It tells me to forget the world;-forget!
Why tell me not to cease to live and think?
To struggle with my heart! Do I not struggle?
Have I not striven, and toiled, and wept, and prayed;
And all in vain !—oh, to be doomed to live
For self, apart from life's soft charities-
No hope-no object! [Reads.]

Enter behind, JAMES and MADEleine, r.

"Made. I have a mind to try

hands

"To make him gay. Shall I put
both my
"Before his eyes, and cry, Who blinds-who blinds?
"James. He cannot miss the voice!
"Made. Oh, he's so dull,

"You shall not get a smile into his face, "Nor smoothe his brow by all that you can do. "James. Nay, I need hardly try, if you have failed. 'But I can scarce believe there breathes the man, The stock, the stone, that would not feel the power 'Of words like yours. Why, the dull night as well Might try to keep its gloom on, when the day 'Laughs from the east. He must be cold as ice, Harder than steel, that melts not at such looks: "Try him again."

"

Made. "Oh, no! I scarce can venture:" (Ie looks with such sad melancholy eyes, I almost grow as sorrowful as himself. [Sighs.] James. Do you ?-I'll see what efforts I can make To chase his sadness.

Made. Do, and I'll be by

To aid you. Oh! I wish you had known him, Sir, Before he thought of turning priest.

James. A priest !-

I'll speak to him.

He's a good soldier spoilt.
Made. And I'll wait here.
James. Good morrow, master Young;
You look as if the thumps you gave the sculls'
Of Buckie's band, lay heavy on your conscience.

Mal. No, Sir. I'm glad to see you in such case. James. I'm sorry to see you, Sir, in such case: You have no dint upon your head, I trust?

Mal. No.

James. Then your trusty staff played sentinel
To a good tune, and heartily I thank you.
Mal. No thanks.

'Twas nothing.

James. Yes, many thanks; thanks warm and true. I must pledge faith with you.

Mal. Oh, pardon, Sir,

James. And you won't shake hands with me?
Mal. Oh, willingly!

James. Well, now we're plighted friends,

1 cannot bear to see you moping thus.

Mal. Oh, Sir, it—I am very-
James. Tush, man, tush !--

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