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For such a gift! What does my Anna think
Of the young eaglet of a valiant nest?
How soon he 'gaz'd on bright and burning
Spurn'd the low dunghill where his fate had thrown him,
And tower'd up to the regions of his sire! Anna. How fondly did your eyes devour the boy!
Mysterious nature, with the unseen cord
Of pow'rful instinct, drew you to your own.
Lady R. The ready story of his birth be-
Suppress'd my fancy quite; nor did he owe
To any likeness my so sudden favour:
But now I long to see his face again,
Examine every feature, and find out
The lineaments of Douglas, or my own.
But, most of all, I long to let him know
Who his true parents are, to clasp his neck,
And tell him all the story of his father.
Anna. With wary caution you must bear
In public, lest your tenderness break forth,
And in observers stir conjectures strange.
To-day the baron started at your tears.
Lady R. He did so, Anna: well thy mistress
If the least circumstance, mote of offence, Should touch the baron's eye, his sight would be
With jealousy disorder'd. But the more
It does behove me instant to declare
The birth of Douglas, and assert his rights.
Anna. Behold, Glenalvon comes.
Lady R. Now I shun him not.
This day I brav'd him in behalf of Norval;
Perhaps too far; at least my nicer fears
For Douglas thus interpret.
The hovering Dane at last his men hath landed:
No band of pirates; but a mighty host,
That come to settle where there valour con-
And be the echo of thy martial fame.
No longer vainly feed a guilty passion:
Go and pursue a lawful mistress, glory.
Upon the Danish crests redeem thy fault,
And let thy valour be the shield of Randolph.
Glen. One instant stay, and hear an alter'd
When beauty pleads for virtue, vice abash'd
Flies its own colours, and goes o'er to virtue.
I am your convert; time will show how truly:
Yet one immediate proof I mean to give.
That youth for whom your ardent zeal to-day,
Somewhat too haughtily defy'd your slave,
Amidst the shock of armies I'll defend,
And turn death from him, with a guardian arm.
Lady R. Act thus, Glenalvon, and I am thy
But that's thy least reward. Believe me, sir,
The truly generous is the truly wise;
And he, who loves not others, lives unblest.
[Exit Ludy Randolph.
Glen. Amen! and virtue is its own reward: I think that I have hit the very tone In which she loves to speak. Honey'd assent, How pleasant art thou to the taste of man, And woman also! flattery direct Rarely disgusts. They little know mankind Who doubt its operation: 'tis my key, And opes the wicket of the human heart. How far I have succeeded now, I know not; Yet I incline to think her stormy virtue Is lull'd awhile; 'tis her alone I fear; While she and Randolph live, and live in faith And amity, uncertain is my tenure. That slave of Norval's I have found most apt; I show'd him gold, and he has pawn'd his soul To say and swear whatever I suggest. Norval, I'm told, has that alluring look, Twixt man and woman, which I have observ'd To charm the nicer and fantastic dames, Who are, like lady Randolph, full of virtue. In raising Randolph's jealousy, I may But point him to the truth. He seldom errs, Who thinks the worst he can of womankind. Exit.
To win a country, or to lose themselves.
A nimble courier, sent from yonder camp,
To hasten up the chieftains of the north,
Inform'd me as he pass'd, that the fierce Dane
Had on the eastern coats of Lothian landed.
Lady R. How many mothers shall bewail To
How many widows weep their husbands slain!
Ye dames of Denmark, e'en for you I feel,
Who, sadly sitting on the sea-beat shore,
Long look for lords that never shall return.
Glen. Oft has the unconquer'd Caledonian
Widow'd the north. The children of the slain
Come, as I hope, to meet their fathers' fate.
The monster war, with her infernal brood,
Loud-yelling fury and life-ending pain,
Are objects suited to Glenalvon's soul.
Scorn is more grievous than the pains of death;
Reproach more piercing than the pointed sword.
Lord R. I scorn thee not, but when I ought
SCENE I.-Flourish of Trumpets. Enter LORD RANDOLPH, attended. Lord R. Summon a hundred horse, by break of day,
wait our pleasure at the castle gate.
Enter LADY RANDOLPH. Lady R. Alas, my lord, I've heard unwelThe Danes are landed.
Lord R. Ay, no inroad this Of the Northumbrian, bent to take a spoil: No sportive war, no tournament essay, Of some young knight resolv'd to break a spear, And stain with hostile blood his maiden arms. The Danes are landed: we must beat them back, Or live the slaves of Denmark.
Lady R. Dreadful times!
Lord R. The fenceless villages are all forsaken;
The trembling mothers, and their children lodg'd
In wall-girt towers and castles! whilst the men Retire indignant: yet, like broken waves, They but retire more awful to return.
Lady R. Immense, as fame reports, the Da-Those qualities that should have grac'd a camp?
nish host! Lord R. Were it as numerous as loud fame
An army knit like ours would pierce it through:
Brothers that shrink not from each other's side,
And fond companions, fill our warlike files:
For his dear offspring, and the wife he loves,
The husband, and the fearless father arm:
In vulgar breasts heroic ardour burns,
And the poor peasant mates his daring lord.
Lady R. Men's minds are temper'd, like
their swords, for war;
Lovers of danger, on destruction's brink
They joy to rear erect their daring forms.
Hence, early graves; hence, the lone widow's
And the sad mother's grief-embitter'd
Where is our gallant guest?
Lord R. Down in the vale
I left him, managing a fiery steed,
Whose stubbornness had foil'd the strength
every rider. But behold he comes,
In earnest conversation with Glenalvon.
Enter NORVAL and GLENALYON.
Glenalvon, with the lark arise; go forth,
And lead my troops that lie in yonder vale:
Private I travel to the royal camp:
Norval, thou goest with me. But say, young
Where didst thou learn so to discourse of war,
And in such terms, as I o'erheard to-day?
War is no village science, nor its phrase
A language taught amongst the shepherd swains.
Nor. Small is the skill my lord delights to
In him he favours. Hear from whence it came.
Beneath a mountain's brow, the most remote
And inaccessible by shepherds trod,
In a deep cave, dug by no mortal hand,
A hermit liv'd; a melancholy man!
Who was the wonder of our wand'ring swains.
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself
Did they report him; the cold earth his bed,
Water his drink, his food the shepherds' alms.
I went to see him, and my heart was touch'd
With rev'rence and with pity. Mild he spake,
And, entering on discourse, such stories told,
As made me oft revisit his sad cell.
For he had been a soldier in his youth;
And fought in famous battles, when the peers
Of Europe, by the bold Godfredo led,
Against the usurping infidel display'd
The blessed cross, and won the Holy Land.
Pleas'd with my admiration, and the fire
His speech struck from.me, the old man would
His years away, and act his young encounters:
Then, having show'd his wounds, he'd sit him
And all the live-long day discourse of war.
To help my fancy, in the smooth green turf
He cut the figures of the marshall'd hosts;
Describ'd the motions, and explain'd the use
Of the deep column, and the lengthen'd line,
The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm:
For all that Saracen or Christian knew
Nor. That too at last I learn'd. Unhappy
Returning homewards by Messina's port,
Loaded with wealth and honours bravely won,
A rude and boist'rous captain of the sea
Fasten'd a quarrel on him. Fierce they fought:
The stranger fell, and with his dying breath
Declar'd his name and lineage. Mighty pow'r!
The soldier cried, My brother! Oh, my brother!
Lady R. His brother!
Nor. Yes; of the same parents born;
His only brother. They exchang'd forgiveness;
And happy in my mind was he that died;
For many deaths has the survivor suffer'd.
In the wild desert on a rock he sits,
Or on some nameless stream's untrodden banks,
And ruminates all day his dreadful fate.
At times, alas! not in his perfect mind,
Holds dialogues with his lov'd brother's ghost;
And oft each night forsakes his sullen couch,
To make sad orisons for him he slew.
Lady R. In this dire tragedy were there no
Offi. No; worn with warfare, he resigns
His eldest hope, the valiant John of Lorn,
Now leads his kindred bands.
Lord R. Glenalvon, go;
With hospitality's most strong request
Entreat the chief.
Offi. My lord, requests are vain.
He urges on, impatient of delay,
Stung with the tidings of the foe's approach.
Lord R. May victory sit upon the warrior's
Bravest of men! his flocks and herds are safe;
Remote from war's alarms his pastures lie,
By mountains inaccessible secur'd:
Yet foremost he into the plain descends,
Eager to bleed in battles not his own.
I'll go and press the hero to my breast.
[Exit with the Officer.
Lady R. The soldier's loftiness, the pride
Investing awful war, Norval, I see,
Transport thy youthful mind.
Nor. Ah! should they not?
Bless'd be the hour I left my father's house!
Of war's vast art, was to this hermit known. might have been a shepherd all my days,
Lord R Why did this soldier in a desert And stole obscurely to a peasant's grave.
Now, if I live, with mighty chiefs I stand;
That I may hug it to my grateful heart,
And prove my faith. Command my sword,
These are the sole possessions of poor Norval.
Lady R. Know'st thou these gems?
Nor. Durst I believe mine eyes,
I'd say I knew them, and they were my father's.
Lady R. Thy father's, say'st thou? Ah, they
were thy father's!
Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes.
At present this-Thou art the rightful heir
Of yonder castle, and the wide domains,
Which now lord Randolph, as my husband,
Nor. I saw them once, and curiously inquir'd
Of both my parents, whence such splendour But thou shalt not be wrong'd; I have the
But I was check'd, and more could never learn. To right thee still. Before the king I'll kneel,
Lady R. Then learn of me thou art not And call lord Douglas to protect his blood.
Nor. The blood of Douglas will protect itself.
Lady R. But we shall need both friends
and favour, boy,
Nor. Not Norval's son?
Lady R. Nor of a shepherd sprung.
Nor. Who am I then?
Lady R. Noble thou art,
For noble was thy sire.
Nor. I will believe-
Oh, tell me further! say, who was my father!
Lady R. Douglas!
Nor. Lord Douglas, whom to-day I saw?
Lady R. His younger brother.
Nor. And in yonder camp?
Lady R. Alas!
To wrest thy lands and lordship from the gripe
Of Randolph and his kinsman. Yet I think
My tale will move each gentle heart to pity,
My life incline the virtuous to believe,
Nor. To be the son of Douglas is to me
Inheritance enough! Declare my birth,
And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune. Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and injustice
Await the poor man's valour. Oh, my son!
Nor. You make me tremble-Sighs and tears! The noblest blood of all the land's abash'd,
Lives my brave father?
Lady R. Ah! too brave, indeed!
He fell in battle ere thyself was born.
Nor. Ah me, unhappy! ere I saw the light!
But does my mother live? I may conclude,
From my own fate, her portion has been sorrow.
Lady R. She lives; but wastes her life in
Weeping her husband slain, her infant lost.
Nor. You that are skill'd so well in the sad
Of my unhappy parents, and with tears
Bewail their destiny, now have compassion
Upon the offspring of the friends you lov'd.
Oh, tell me who and where my mother is!
Oppress'd by a base world, perhaps she bends
Beneath the weight of other ills than grief;
And, desolate, implores of heaven the aid
Her son should give. It is, it must be so-
Your countenance confesses that she's wretched.
Oh, tell me her condition! Can the sword-
Who shall resist me in a parent's cause?
Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woe-My son!
I am thy mother, and the wife of Douglas!
[Falls upon his Neck.
Nor. Oh, heaven and earth! how wond'rous
Art thou my mother? Ever let me kneel!
Lady R. Image of Douglas! fruit of fatal
All that I owe thy sire I pay to thee.
Nor. Respect and admiration still possess me,
Checking the love and fondness of a son:
Yet I was filial to my humble parents.
Having no lackey but pale poverty.
Too long hast thou been thus attended, Douglas;
Too long hast thou been deem'd a peasant's
The wanton heir of some inglorious chief
Perhaps has scorn'd thee in thy youthful sports,
Whilst thy indignant spirit swell'd in vain.
Such contumely thou no more shalt bear:
But how I purpose to redress thy wrongs
Must be hereafter told. Prudence directs
That we should part before yon chief's return.
Retire, and from thy rustic follower's hand
Receive a billet, which thy mother's care,
Anxious to see thee, dictated before
This casual opportunity arose
Of private conference. Its purport mark;
For, as I there appoint, we meet again.
Leave me, my son; and frame thy manners still
To Norval's, not to noble Douglas' state.
Nor. I will remember. Where is Norval
Lady R. At hand conceal'd he lies,
A useful witness. But beware, my son,
yon Glenalvon; in his guilty breast
Resides a villain's shrewdness, ever prone
To false conjecture. He hath griev'd my heart.
Nor. Has he, indeed? Then let yon false
Which in the breasts of his forefathers burn'd: But if he be the favourite of the fair,
Set him on high, like them, that he may shine
The star and glory of his native land!—
Yonder they come. How do bad women find
Unchanging aspects to conceal their guilt,
When I, by reason and by justice urg'd,
Full hardly can dissemble with these men
In nature's pious cause?
Enter LORD RANDOLPH and GLENALVON.
Lord R. Yon gallant chief,
Of arms enamour'd, all repose disclaims.
Lady R. Be not, my lord, by his example
Arrange the business of to-morrow now,
And when you enter, speak of war no more.
Lord R. 'Tis so, by heav'n! her mien, her
voice, her eye,
And her impatience to be gone, confirm it.
Glen. He parted from her now. Behind the
Amongst the trees, I saw him glide along.
Lord R. For sad sequester'd virtue she's
Glen. Most true, my lord.
Lord R. Yet this distinguish'd dame
Invites a youth, the acquaintance of a day,
Alone to meet her at the midnight hour.
This assignation [Shows a Letter] the assas-
Her manifest affection for the youth,
Might breed suspicion in a husband's brain,
Whose gentle consort all for love had wedded:
Much more in mine. Matilda never lov'd me.
Let no.man, after me, a woman wed,
Whose heart he knows he has not, though
A mine of gold, a kingdom for her dowry.
For let her seem, like the night's shadowy queen,
Cold and contemplative-he cannot trust her;
She may, she will, bring shame and sorrow
The worst of sorrows, and the worst of shames!
Glen. Yield not, my lord, to such afflicting
But let the spirit of a husband sleep,
Till your own senses make a sure conclusion.
This billet must to blooming Norval go:
At the next turn awaits my trusty spy;
I'll give it him refitted for his master.
In the close thicket take your secret stand;
The moon shines bright, and your own eyes
Lord R. Thou dost counsel well.
Glen. Permit me now to make one slight
Of all the trophies, which vain mortals boast,
By wit, by valour, or by wisdom won,
The first and fairest in a young man's eye
Is woman's captive heart. Successful love
With glorious fumes intoxicates the mind,
And the proud conqueror in triumph moves,
Air-borne, exalted above vulgar men.
Lord R. And what avails this maxim?
Glen. Much, my lord.
Withdraw a little; I'll accost young Norval,
And with ironical derisive counsel
Explore his spirit. If he is no more
Than humble Norval, by thy favour rais'd,
Brave as he is, he'll shrink astonish'd from me:
Lov'd by the first of Caledonia's dames,
He'll turn upon me, as the lion turns
Upon the hunter's spear.
Lord R. 'Tis shrewdly thought.
Glen. When we grow loud, draw near.
But let my lord
His rising wrath restrain.- [Exit Randolph.
'Tis strange, by heaven!
That she should run full tilt her fond career
To one so little known. She, too, that seem'd
Pure as the winter stream, when ice, emboss'd,
Whitens its course. Even I did think her chaste,
Whose charity exceeds not. Precious sex!
Whose deeds lascivious pass Glenalvon's
His port I love: he's in a proper mood
To chide the thunder, if at him it roar'd.-
Has Norval seen the troops?
Nor. The setting sun
With yellow radiance lighten'd all the vale;
And as the warriors mov'd, each polish'd helm,
Corslet, or spear, glanc'd back his gilded beams.
The hill they climb'd, and, halting at its top,
Of more than mortal size, tow'ring, they seem'd
A host angelic, clad in burning arms.
Glen. Thou talk'st it well; no leader of our
In sounds more lofty speaks of glorious war.
Nor. If I shall e'er acquire a leader's name,
My speech will be less ardent. Novelty
Now prompts my tongue, and youthful ad-
To gall your pride, which now I see is great.
Nor. My pride!
Glen. Suppress it, as you wish to prosper.
Your pride's excessive. Yet, for Randolph's sake,
I will not leave you to its rash direction.
If thus you swell, and frown at high-born men,
Will high-born men endure a shepherd's scorn?
Nor. A shepherd's scorn!
Glen. Yes; if you presume
To bend on soldiers these disdainful eyes,
What will become of you?
Nor. If this were told!-
Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous self?The private quarrel.
Glen. Ha! dost thou threaten me?
Nor. Didst thou not hear?
Glen. Unwillingly I did; a nobler foe Had not been question'd thus.
Nor. Whom dost thou think me?
Nor. So I am
And who is Norval in Glenalvon's eyes? Glen. A peasant's son, a wandering beggar boy;
At best no more, even if he speaks the truth. Nor. False as thou art, dost thou suspect my truth?
Glen. Thy truth! thou'rt all a lie: and false as hell
Is the vain-glorious tale thou told'st to Randolph. Nor. If I were chain'd, unarm'd, and bedrid old,
Perhaps I should revile: but as I am,
I have no tongue to rail. The humble Norval
Is of a race who strive not but with deeds.
Did I not fear to freeze thy shallow valour,
And make thee sink too soon beneath my sword,
I'd tell thee-what thou art. I know thee well.
Glen. Dost thou not know Glenalvon, born
Glen. I agree to this.
Nor. And I
Enter Servant. Serv. The banquet waits.
Lord R. We come. [Exit with Servant.
Let not our variance mar the social hour,
Nor wrong the hospitality of Randolph.
Nor frowning anger, nor yet wrinkled hate,
Shall stain my countenance. Smooth thou thy
Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame.
Nor. Think not so lightly, sir, of my re-
When we contend again, our strife is mortal. [Exeunt.
SCENE I-A Wood.
Doug. This is the place, the centre of the
Here stands the oak, the monarch of the wood. How sweet and solemn is this midnight scene! The silver moon, unclouded, holds her Through skies, where I could count each little
Ten thousand slaves like thee-
Nor. Villain, no more!
Draw and defend thy life. I did design
To have defy'd thee in another cause;
But heav'n accelerates its vengeance on thee.
Now for my own and lady Randolph's wrongs. In such a place as this, at such an hour,
[They fight. If ancestry can be in aught believ'd,
Descending spirits have convers'd with men,
And told the secrets of the world unknown.
The fanning west-wind scarcely stirs the leaves;
The river, rushing o'er its pebbled bed,
Imposes silence with a stilly sound,
Enter LORD RANDOLPH, Lord R. Hold, I command you both. The man that stirs
Makes me his foe.
Nor. Another voice than thine
That threat had vainly sounded, noble Ran
Glen. Hear him, my lord; he's wondrous
Mark the humility of shepherd Norval!
Nor. Now you may scoff in safety,
[Sheathes his Sword.
Lord R. Speak not thus,
Taunting each other; but unfold to me
The cause of quarrel, then I judge betwixt you.
Nor. Nay, my good lord, though I revere
My cause I plead not, nor demand your judg-I
Old N. 'Tis he. But what if he should chide me hence?
His just reproach I fear.
[Douglas turns aside and sees him
Canst thou forgive the man, the selfish man,
Who bred sir Malcolm's heir a shepherd's son?
Doug. Kneel not to me; thou art my father
Thy wish'd-for presence now completes my joy.
Welcome to me; my fortunes thou shalt share,
And ever honour'd with thy Douglas live.
Old N. And dost thou call me father? Oh, my son!
think that I could die, to make amends For the great wrong I did thee. 'Twas my crime,
Which in the wilderness so long conceal'd The blossom of thy youth.
Doug. Not worse the fruit,
That in the wilderness the blossom blow'd.
Amongst the shepherds, in the humble cot,
I learn'd some lessons, which I'll not forget
When I inhabit yonder lofty towers.
I, who was once a swain, will ever prove
The poor man's friend; and, when my vassals
Norval shall smooth the crested pride of Douglas. Old N. Let me but live to see thine exaltation!
Now waves his banners o'er her frighted fields. Yet grievous are my fears. Oḥ, leave this place, Suspend your purpose till your country's arms And those unfriendly towers!
Repel the bold invader: then decide
Doug. Why should I leave them?