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Much more delighted, than your pensive eye
Has deign'd on other objects to bestow.
Lady Rand. Delighted, say*st thou? Oh ! even
there mine eye
Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow.
I thought, that had the son of Douglas lived,
He might have been like this young gallant stran-
And pair'd with him in features and in shape.
In all endowments, as in years, I deem,
My boy with blooming Norval might have num-
Whilst thus I mused, a spark from fancy fell
On my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness
For this young stranger, wand'ring from his home,
And like an orphan cast upon my care.
I will protect thee, (said I to myself)
With all my power, and grace with all my favour.
Anna. Sure heaven will bless so generous a re-
You must, my noble dame, exert your power:
You must awake: devices will be framed,
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval.
Lady Rand. Glenalvon's false and crafty head
Against a rival in his kinsman's love, .
If I deter him not: I only can.
Bold as he is, Glenalvon will beware
How he pulls down the fabric that I raise.
I'll be the artist of young Norval's fortune.
'Tis pleasing to admire! most apt was I
To this affection in my better days;
Though now I seem to you shrunk up, retired
Within the narrow compass of my woe.
Have you not sometimes seen an early flower
Open its bud, and spread its silken leaves,
To catch sweet airs, and odours to bestow;
Then, by the keen blast nipt, pull in its leaves,
And, though still living, die to scent and beauty?
Emblem of me: affliction, like a storm,
Hath kill'd the forward blossoms of my heart.
Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble Randolph?
Lady Rand. Have you not heard, Glenalvon, of the base
Glen. I have: and that the villains may not 'scape,
VOL. I. X
With a strong band I have begirt the wood:
If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken,
And torture force from them th' important secret,
Whether some foe of Randolph hired their swords,
Lady Rand. That care becomes a kinsman's
I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. [Exit Anna.
Glen. To him your counsels always are com-
Lady Rand. I have not found so: thou art
known to me. Glen. Known! Lady Rand. And most certain is my cause of
knowledge. Glen. What do you know? By the most blessed
You much amaze me. No created being, Yourself except, durst thus accost Glenalvon. Lady Rand. Is guilt so bold? and dost thou
make a merit
Of thy pretended meekness? This to me,
Who, with a gentleness which duty blames,
Have hitherto conceal'd, what, if divulged,
Would make thee nothing; or, what's worse than
An outcast beggar, and unpitied too?
For mortals shudder at a crime like thine.
Glen. Thy virtue awes me. First of woman-
Permit me yet to say, that the fond man
Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's bounds,
If he is brought by love to misery,
In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn,
Unpity'd cannot be. Pity's the alms
Which on such beggars freely is bestow'd:
For mortals know that love is still their lord,
And o'er their vain resolves advances still:
As fire, when kindled by our shepherds, moves
Through the dry heath before the fanning wind.
Lady Rand. Reserve these accents for some
To love's apology I listen not.
Mark thou my words; for it is meet thou should'st.
His brave deliverer Randolph here retains.
Perhaps his presence may not please thee well;
But, at thy peril, practise aught against him:
Let not thy jealousy attempt to shake
And loosen the good root he has in Randolph;
Whose favourites I know thou hast supplanted.
Thou look'st at me, as if thou fain would'st pry
Into my heart: Tis open as my speech.
I give this early caution; and put on
The curb, before thy temper breaks away.
The friendless stranger my protection claims:
His friend I am, and be not thou his foe. [Exit.
Glen. Child that I was, to start at my own shadow,
And be the shallow fool of coward conscience!
I am not what I have been; what I should be.
The darts of destiny have almost pierced
My marble heart. Had I one grain of faith
In holy legends, and religious tales,
I should conclude there was an arm above
That fought against me, and malignant turn'd,
To catch myself, the subtle snare I set.
Why, rape and murder are not simple means!
Th' imperfect rape to Randolph gave a spouse;
And the intended murder introduced
A favourite to hide the sun from me;
And, worst of all, a rival. Burning hell!
This were thy centre, if I thought she loved him!