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Set out with him to reach her sister's house:
But nurse, nor infant, have I ever seen,
Or heard of, Anna, since that fatal hour.
Anna. Not seen or heard of! then, perhaps, he lives.
Lady R. No. It was dark December: wind and rain
Had beat all night. Across the Carron lay
The destin'd road; and in its swelling flood
My faithful servant perish'd with my child.
Anna. Ah! Lady, see, Glenalvon comes:
I saw him bend on you his thoughtful eyes,
And hitherwards he slowly stalks his way.
Lady R. ill avoid him. An ungracious person
Is doubly irksome in an hour like this.
Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Randolph's heir?
Lady R. Because he's not the heir of Randolph's virtues.
Subtle and shrewd, he offers to mankind
An artificial image of himself;
And he with ease can vary to the taste
Of different men its features.
Why I describe him thus, I'll tell hereafter:
Stay and detain him till I reach the castle.
Anna. Oh! happiness, where art thou to be
I see thou dwellest not with birth and beauty,
Tho' grac'd with grandeur, and in wealth arrayed:
Nor dost thou, it would seem, with virtue dwell;
Else had this gentle lady miss'd thee not.
Glen. What dost thou muse on, meditating maid? Like some entranc'd and visionary seer, On earth thou stand'st, thy thoughts ascend to
Anna. Would that I were e'en as thou say'st, a
To have my doubts by heavenly vision clear'd!
Glen. What does thou doubt of? what hast thou to do
With subjects intricate? Thy youth, thy beauty, Cannot be question'd: think of these good gifts, And then thy contemplatious will be pleasing.
Anna. Let woman view yon monument of woe, Then boast of beauty: who so fair as she? But I must follow: this revolving day Awakes the memory of her ancient woes.
Glen. So!-Lady Randolph shuns me; by-and
I'll woo her as the lion woos his bride.
The deed's a doing now, that makes me lord
Of these rich valleys, and a chief of pow'r.
The season is most apt; my sounding steps
Will not be heard amidst the din of arms.
Randolph has liv'd too long: his better fate
Had the ascendance once, and kept me down:
When I had seiz'd the dame, by chance he came,
Reso'd, and had the lady for his labour:
I'scap'd uзnown: a slender consolation!
Heavy is my witness that I do not love
To sow in peril, and lot others reap
The jocund harvest. Yet, I am not safe;
By love, or something like it, stung, inflain'd,
Madly I blabb'd my passion to his wife,
And she has threaten'd to acquaint him of it.
The way of woman's will I do not know:
But well I know the baron's wrath is deadly.
I will not live in fear: the man I dread
Is as a Dane to me: ay, and the man
Who stands betwixt me and my chief desire.
No bar but he: she has no kinsman near;
No brother in his sister's quarrels bold:
But I must know who my deliverer is (To Norval.)
Norv. A low born man, of parentage obscure,
Who nought can boast but his desire to be
A soldier, and to gain a name in arms.
Lord R. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is ennobled By the great King of kings! thou art ordain'd And stamp'd a hero by the sovereign hand Of nature! Blush not, flower of modesty As well as valour, to declare thy birth.
Norv. My name is Norval; on the Grampian hills My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain, Whose constant cares were to increase his store, And keep his only son, myself, at home. For I had heard of battles, and I long'd To follow to the field some warlike lord; And heav'n soon granted what my sire deny'd. This moon which rose last night, round as my shield,
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when, by her light, A band of fierce barbarians from the hills, Rush'd like a torrent down upon the yale,
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took, then hasted to my friends;
Whom with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertoook the sp il-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was drawn,
8 An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps:-
Yon trembling coward, who forsook his master,
Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these towers,
And, heaven directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.
Lord. R. He is as wise as brave. Was ever tale
With such a gallant modesty rehears'd?
My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now
A nobler list, and in a monarch's sight
Contend with princes for the prize of fame.
I will present thee to our Scottish king,
Whose valiant spirit ever valour lov'd.
Ha, my Matilda! wherefore starts that tear?
Lady. R. I cannot say: for various affections,
And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell;
Yet each of them may well command a tear.
1 joy that thou art safe, and I admire
Him and his fortunes who hath wrought thy safety;
Obscure and friendless, he the army sought,
Bent upon peril, in the range of death;
Resolv'd to hunt for fame, and with his sword
To gain distinction which his birth deny'd.
In this attempt, unknown he might have perish'd,
And gain'd, with all his valour, but oblivion.
Now grac'd by thee, his virtue serves no more
Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope,
He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown
Are brought within the compass of his sword.
On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke,
And bless'd the wonder-working hand of heaven.
Lord R. Pious and grateful ever are thy thoughts;
My deeds shall follow where thou point'st the way.
Next to myself, and equal to Glenalvon,
In honour and command shall Norval be.
Norv. I know not how to thank you. Rude I am
In speech and manners; never till this hour
Stood I in such a presence: yet, my lord,
There's something in my breast which makes me
To say, that Norval ne'er will shame thy favour. Lady R. (To Norval.) I will be sworn thou wilt not. Thou shalt be
My Knight; and ever, as thou didst to-day,
With happy valour guard the life of Randolph.
Lord R. Well hast thou spoke. Let me forbid
We are thy debtors still; thy high desert
O'ertops our gratitude. I must proceed,
As was at first intended, to the camp.
Some of my train I see are speeding hither.
Impatient, doubtless, of their lord's delay.
Go with me, Norval, and thine eyes shall see
The chosen warriors of thy native land,
Who languish for the fight, and beat the air
With brandish'd swords.
Norv. Let us begone, my lord.
Lord R. (To Lady R.) About the time that the declining sun
Shall his broad orbit o'er yon hills suspend,
Expect us to return. This night once more
Within these walls I rest; my tent I pitch
To-morrow in the field. Prepare the feast.
Free is his heart who for his country fights:
He in the eve of battle may resign
Himself to social pleasure; sweetest then,
When danger to a soldier's soul endears
The human joy that never may return.
[Exeunt all but Lady R. and Anna. Lady R. Wretch that I am! Alas! why am I so? At every happy parent I repine!
How bless'd the mother of yon gallant Norval!
She for a living husband bore her pains,
And heard him bless her when a man was born.
Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son,
And to the roaring waters gave my child.
Anna. Alas! alas! why will you thus resume Your grief afresh? I thought that gallant youth Would for awhile have won you from your woe. On him intent you gazed, with a look
Much more delighted, than your pensive eye
Has deign'd on other objects to bestow.
Lady R. Delighted, say'st thou? Oh! even there mine eye
Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow;
I thought that had the son of Douglas iiv'd,
He might have been like this young gallant
While thus I mus'd, 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, heav'n will bless so generous a re-
You must, my noble dame, exert your power:
You must awake: devices will be fram'd,
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval.
Lady R. Glenalvon's false and crafty head will
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.
Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble Randolph ?
Lady R. Have you not heard, Glenalvon, of the base
Glen. I have: and that the villains may not 'scape,
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 hir'd their swords,
Lady R. That care becomes a kinsman's love,
I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. [Exit Anna.
Glen. To him your counsels always are com-
Lady R. I have not found so: thou art known to
Lady R. 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 divulg'd,
Would make thee nothing; or, what's worse than that,
An outcast beggar, and unpitied too:
For mortals shudder at a crime like thine.
Glen. Thy virtue awes me. First of womankind! Permit me yet to say, that the fond man
Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's bounds,
If he be brought by love to misery,
In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn,
Unpitied 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
Thro' the dry heath before the fanning wind.
Lady R. Reserve those accents for some other ear;
To love's apology I listen not.
Mark thou my words: for it is meet thou shouldst.
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 hat supplanted.
Thou look'st at me as if thou fain wouldst 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 pierc'd
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 introduc'd
A favourite to hide the sun from me;
And worst of all, a rival. Burning hell!
This were thy centre, if I thought she lov'd him!
'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands me,
And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me,
In his behalf. And shall I thus be brav'd?
Curb'd, as she calls it, by dame Chastity?
Infernal fiends, if any flends there be
More flerce than love, ambition, and revenge,
Rise up and fill my bosom with your fires,
Darkly a project peers upon my mind,
Like the red moon when rising in the east,
Cross'd and divided by strange-colour'd clouds.
I'll seek the slave who came with Norval hither,
And for his cowardice was spurn'd from him.
I've known a follower's rankled bosom breed
Venom most fatal to his heedless lord.
SCENE L-A Court, &c., as before.
Enter DONALD and ANNA through the castle-gates.
Dm. One of the vile assassins is secur'd,
That struck this morning at Lord Randolph's life.
We found the villain lurking in the wood:
But torture soon shall make you speak the truth. Behold the lady of Lord Randolph comes: Prepare yourself to meet her just revenge.
Enter LADY RANDOLPH and ANNA. Anna. (Aside to Lady R.) Summon your utmost fortitude before
You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame,
Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret,
Which, in a moment, from your lips may fly.
Lady R. Thou shall behold me, with a desperate
Hear how my infant perish'd. See, he kneels.
(Aside to Anna.)
Pris. Heav'n bless that countenance so sweet and
A judge like thee makes innocence more bold.
Oh, save me, lady, from these cruel men,
Who have attack'd and seiz'd me; who accuse
Me of intended murder. As I hope
For mercy at the judgment seat of heaven,
The tender lamb, that never nipp'd the grass,
Is not more innocent than I of murder.
Lady R. Of this man's guilt what proof can yo
Don. We found him lurking in the hollow glen. When view'd and call'd upon, amaz'd he fled. We overtook him, and inquir'd from whence, And what he was: he said he came from far, And was upon his journey to the camp. Not satisfy'd with this, we search'd his clothes, And found these jewels; whose rich value plead Most powerfully against him. Hard he seems, And old in villany. Permit us to try
His stubbornness against the torture's force.
Pris. Oh, gentle lady, by your lord's dear life,
Which these weak hands, I swear, did ne'er assail,
And by your children's welfare, spare my age!
Let not the iron tear my ancient joints,
And my grey hairs bring to the grave with pain.
Lady R. Account for these: thine own they can-
For these, I say: be stedfast to the truth;
Detected falsehood is most certain death.
(Anna signs to Donald and Attendants, and
Pris. Alas! I'm sore beset! let never man, For sake of lucre, sin against his soul!
Eternal justice is in this most just!
I, guiltless now, must former guilt reveal.
Lady R. Oh, Anna, hear. (Aside to Anna.) Once more I charge thee speak
The truth direct: for these to me fortell
And certify a part of thy narration:
With which if the remainder tally not,
An instant and a dreadful death abides thee.
Pris. Then, thus adjur'd, I'll speak to you as
As if you were the minister of heaven,
Sent down to search the secret sins of men.
Some eighteen years ago, I rented land
Of prave Sir Malcolm, then Balarmo's lord;
But, falling to decay, his servants seiz'd
All that I had, and then turn'd me and mine,
(Four helpless infants and their weeping mother,)
Out to the mercy of the winter winds.
A little hovel by the river's side
Received us: there hard labour, and the skill
In fishing, which was formerly my sport,
Supported life. While thus we poorly liv'd,
One stormy night, as I remember well,
The wind and rain beat hard upon our roof:
Red came the river down, and loud and oft
The angry spirit of the water shriek'd.
At the dead hour of night was heard the cry
Of one in jeopardy. I rose, and ran
To where the circling eddy of a pool,
Beneath the ford, us'd oft to bring within
My reach whatever floating thing the stream
Had caught. The voice was ceas'd; the person lost:
But looking sad and earnest on the waters,
By the moon's light, I saw, whirl'd round and round,
A basket; soon I drew to the bank,
And nestl'd curious there an infant lay.
Lady R. Was he alive?
Pris. He was.
Lady R. Inhuman that thou art!
Meanwhile, the stripling grew in years and beauty;
And, as we oft observ'd, he bore himself,
Not as the offspring of our cottage blood;
For nature will break out: mild with the mild,
But with the froward he was flerce as fire,
And night and day he talk'd of war and arms.
I set myself against his warlike bent;
But all in vain: for when a desperate band
Of robbers from the savage mountains came-
Lady R. Eternal Providence! What is thy name?
Pris. My name is Norval; and my name he
Lody R. 'Tis he! 'tis he himself! It is my son!
Oh! sovereign mercy! 'twas my child I saw !
Pris. If I, amidst astonishment and fear,
Have of your words and jestures rightly judg'd,
Thou art the daughter of my ancient master:
The child I rescued from the flood is thine.
Lady R. With thee dissimulation now were vain.
I am, indeed, the daughter of Sir Malcolm;
The child thou rescued from the flood is mine.
Pris. (Kneels.) Bless'd be the hour that made me
a poor man;
My poverty hath sav'd my master's house!
Lady R. (Raising Old Norval.) Thy words sur-
prise me: sure, thou dost not feign:
The tear stands in thine eye: such love from thee
Sir Malcolm's house deserv'd not; if aright
How couldst thou kill what waves and tempests Thou told'st the story of thy own distress.
Pris. I am not so inhuman.
Lady R. Didst thou not?
Pris. The needy man who has known better days,
One whom distress has spited at the world,
Is he whom tempting fiends would pitch upon
To do such deeds as make the prosperous men
Lift up their hands and wonder who could do them.
And such a man was I; a man declin'd,
Who saw no end of black adversity:
Yet, for the wealth of kingdoms, I would not
Have touch'd that infant with a hand of harm.
Lady R. Ah! dost thou say so? Then perhaps he
Pris. Not many days ago he was alive.
Pris. Sir Malcolm of our barons was the flower;
The fastest friend, the best and kindest master.
But, ah! he knew not of my sad estate.
After that battle, where his gallant son,
Your own brave brother, fell, the good old lord
Grew desperate and reckless of the world;
And never, as he erst was wont, went forth
To overlook the conduct of his servants.
By them I was thrust out, and them I blame:
May heav'n so judge me as I judg'd my master!
And God so love me as I love his race!
Lady R. His race shall yet reward thee.
Depends the fate of thy lov'd master's house.
Remember'st thou a little lonely hut,
Lady R, Oh! God of heav'n! Did he, then, die so That like a holy hermitage appears
Pris. I did not say he died; I hope he lives.
Not many days ago these eyes beheld
Him flourishing in youth, and health, and beauty.
Lady R. Where is he now?
Pris. Alas! I know not where.
Lady R. Oh, fate! I fear thee still Thou riddler, speak
Direct and clear; else I will search thy soul.
Among the clifts of Carron?
Pris. I remember
The cottage of the cliffs.
Lady R. 'Tis that I mean:
There dwells a man of venerable age,
Who in my father's service spent his youth:
Tell him I sent thee, and with him remain,
Till I shall call upon thee to declare
Before the king and nobles what thou now
Pris. Fear not my faith, tho' I must speak my To me hast told. No more but this, and thou
Within the cradle where the infant lay,
Was stow'd a mighty store of gold and jewels;
Tempted by which we did resolve to hide,
From all the world, this wonderful event,
And like a peasant breed this noble child.
That none might mark the change of our estate,
We left the country, travell'd to the north!
Bought flocks and herds, and gradually brought
Our secret wealth. But heaven's all-seeing eye
Behold our avarice, and smote us sore.
For one by one all our own children died,
And he, the stranger, sole remain'd the heir
Of what indeed was his. Fain, then, would I,
Who with a father's fondness lov'd the boy,
Have trasted him, now in the dawn of youth,
With his own secret; but my anxious wife,
Foreboding evil, never would consent.
Shalt live in honour all thy future days;
Thy son so long shall call thee father still,
And all the land shall bless the man who sav'd
The son of Douglas, and Sir Malcolm's heir.
Remember well my words: if thou shouldst meet
Him whom thou call'st thy son, still call him so;
And mention nothing of his nobler father.
Pris. Fear not that I shall mar so fair an
By putting in my sickle ere 'tis ripe.
Why did I leave my home and ancient dame?
To find the youth, to tell him all I knew,
And make him wear these jewels on his arms;
Which might, I thought be challeng'd, and so bring
To light the secret of his noble birth.
(Anna beckons to DONALD and Servants, and they
Lady R. This man is not th' assassin you sus
Tho' chance combin'd some likelihoods against him.
He is the faithful bearer of the jewels
To their right owner, whom in haste he seeks.
'Tis meet that you should put him on his way,
Since your mistaken zeal has dragg'd him hither.
[Exeunt Prisoner and Servants.
My faithful Anna, dost thou share my joy?
I know thou dost. Unparallel'd event!
Reaching from heav'n to earth, Jehovah's arm
Snatch'd from the waves, and brings to me my
Judge of the widow, and the orphan's father!
Accept a widow's and a mother's thanks
For such a gift! What does my Anna think
Of the young eaglet of a valiant nest?
How soon he gazed on bright and burning arms, Spurn'd the low dunghill where his fate had thrown him,
And tower'd up to the region of his sire?
Anna. How fondly did your eyes devour the toy!
Mysterious nature, with the unseen cord
Of powerful instinct, drew you to your own.
Lady R. The ready story of his birth believ'd,
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.
Who, sadly sitting on the sea-beat shore,
Long look for lords that never shall return.
Glen. Oft has th' unconquer'd Caledonian sword
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.
Lady R. I scorn thee not, but when I ought to
Nor e'er reproach, but when insulted virtue
Against audacious vice asserts herself.
I own thy worth, Glenalvon; none more apt
Than I to praise thy eminence in arms,
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
your-But that's thy least reward. Believe me, sir,
The truly generous is the truly wise;
And he who loves not others, lives unbless'd.
Lady R. He did so, Anna! well thy mistress knows,
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.
This night I purpose with my son to meet,
Reveal the secret and consult with him:
For wise he is, or my fond judgment errs.
As he does now, so look'd his noble father;
Array'd in nature's ease; his mien, his speech,
Were sweetly simple, and full oft deceiv'd
Those trivial mortals who seem always wise.
But when the matter match'd his mighty mind,
Up rose the hero: on his piercing eye
Sat observation; on each glance of thought
Decision follow'd, as the thunder-bolt
Pursues the flash.
Anna. That demon haunts you still:
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.
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 pleasing art thou to the taste of man,
And women 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:
Whilst 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 shew'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 Raudolph, full of virtue.
In raising andolph's jealousy I may
But point him to the truth. He seldom errs,
Who thinks the worst he can of womankind.