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My lord! my life! my husband!-mighty God!| Glen. What dost thou doubt of? What What had I done to merit such affliction?
Anna. My dearest lady, many a tale of tears With subjects intricate? Thy youth, thy I've listen'd to; but never did I hear
Had heat all night. Across the Carron lay
The destin'd road, and in its swelling flood
My faithful servant perish'd with my child.
Oh! had I died when my lov'd husband fell!
Had some good angel op'd to me the book
Of Providence, and let me read my life,
My heart had broke, when I beheld the sum
Of ills, which one by one I have endur'd.
Anna, That God, whose ministers good
Hath shut the book, in mercy to mankind.
But we must leave this theme: Glenalvon
Cannot be question'd: think of these good
And then thy contemplations will be pleasing. Anna. Let women 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; byand-by
I'll woo her as the lion wooes his brides.
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 ascendant once, and kept me down:
When I had seiz'd the dame, by chance he
Rescu'd, and had the lady for his labour:
I 'scap'd unknown; a slender consolation!
Heav'n is my witness that I do not love
To sow in peril, and let others reap
The jocund harvest. Yet I am not safe;
By love, or something like it, stung, inflam'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 quarrel bold;
And for the righteous cause, a stranger's cause,
I know no chief that will defy Glenalvon.
Enter Servants and a Stranger at one Door, and LADY RANDOLPH and ANNA at another. Lady R. What means this clamour? Stranger, speak secure; Hast thou been wrong'd? have these rude men presum'd
To vex the weary traveller on his way? 1 Serv. By us no stranger ever suffer'd
wrong: This man with outcry wild has call'd us forth; So sore afraid he cannot speak his fears. Enter LORD RANDOLPH and NORVAL, with their Swords drawn and bloody. Lady R. Not vain the stranger's fears! how fares my lord?
Lord R. That it fares well, thanks to this gallant youth,
Whose valour sav'd me from a wretched death.
As down the winding dale I walk'd alone,
At the cross way four armed men attack'd me;
Rovers, I judge, from the licentious camp,
Who would have quickly laid lord Randolph
Had not this brave and generous stranger come,
Like my good angel, in the hour of fate,
And mocking danger, made my foes his own.
They turn'd upon him, but his active arm
And, heaven directed, came this day to do
Struck to the ground, from whence they rose The happy deed that gilds my humble name.
The fiercest two; the others fled amain,
And left him master of the bloody field.
Speak, lady Randolph, upon beauty's tongue
Dwell accents pleasing to the brave and bold;
Speak, noble dame, and thank him for thy lord.
Lady R. My lord, I cannot speak what
now I feel;
My heart o'erflows with gratitude to heaven,
And to this noble youth, who, all unknown
To you and yours, deliberated not,
Nor paus'd at peril, but, humanely brave,
Fought on your side against such fearful odds.
Have you not learn'd of him whom we should
Whom call the saviour of lord Randolph's life? Lord R. I ask'd that question, and he answer'd not;
But I must know who my deliverer is. [To Norval. Nor. A low-born man, of parentage obs
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 denied.
This moon which rose last night, round as
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 vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shep-
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'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was
An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I
Lord R. He is as wise ás brave.
And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell;
Yet each of them may well command a tear.
I joy that thou art safe; and I admire
Him and his fortunes, who hath wrought thy
Yea, as my mind predicts, with thine his own.
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 denied.
In this attempt, unknown he might have pe-
And gain'd with all his valour, but oblivion.
Now grac'd by thee, his virtues serve 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 Lord of heaven.
Lord R. Pious and grateful ever are thy
My deeds shall follow where thou point'st the
Lady R. 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 reply; [To Norval.
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.
Nor. Let us be gone, my lord.
Lord R. [To Lady R.] About the tim
that the declining sun
Shall his broad orbit o'er
yon hill 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 Lord Randolph and Norval. Lady R. His parting words have struck a fatal truth.
Oh, Douglas! Douglas! tender was the time
When we two parted, ne'er to meet again!
How many years of anguish and despair
Ilas heaven annex'd to those swift passing hours
Of love and fondness.
Lady R. And most certain is my cause of
Wretch that I am! Alas! why am I so?
At every happy parent I repine.
How blest the mother of yon gallant Norval!
She for a living husband bore her pains,
And heard him bless her when a man was born:
She nurs'd her smiling infant on her breast;
Tended the child, and rear'd the pleasing boy;
She, with affection's triumph, saw the youth
In grace and comeliness surpass his peers:
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 An outcast beggar, and unpitied too!
Your grief afresh? I thought that gallant youth For mortals shudder at a crime like thine.
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
Glen. What do you know?. By the most
You much amaze me. No created being,
Yourself except, durst thus accost Glenalvon.
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 indulg'd,
Would make thee nothing! or what's worse
Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow;
I thought, that had the son of Douglas liv'd,
He might have been like this young gallant
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
Glen. Thy virtue awes me. First of wo
Permit me yet to say, that the fond man
Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's
If he is 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
Through the dry heath before the fanning wind.
Lady R. Reserve these accents for some
Whilst thus I mus'd, a spark from fancy fell
On my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness To love's apology I listen not.
For this young stranger, wand'ring from his
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
Anna. Sure, heaven will bless so gen'rous
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
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
Lady R. Have you not heard, Glenalvon,
of the base-
Glen. I have; and that the villains may not
With a strong band I have begirt the wood.
If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken,
And torture force from them the important
Mark thou my words: for it is meet thou
His brave deliverer, Randolph here retains.
Perhaps his presence may not please thee well:
But, at thy peril, practise ought 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 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.
Glen. Child that I was to start at my own
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!
The 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
'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands
Is not more innocent than I of murder.
Lady R. Of this man's guilt what proof
can ye produce?
1 Sero. We found him lurking in the hol-
And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me, The tender lamb, that never nipt the grass,
In his behalf. And shall I thus be brav'd?
Curb'd, as she calls it, by dame Chastity?
Infernal fiends, if any fiends there are
More fierce than hate, ambition, and revenge,
Rise up, and fill my bosom with your fires.
Darkly a project peers upon my mind, When view'd and call'd upon, amaz'd he fled;
Like the red moon when rising in the east, We overtook him, and inquir'd from whence
Cross'd and divided by strange colour'd clouds. And what he was: he said he came from far,
I'll seek the slave who came with Norval hither, And was upon his journey to the camp.
And for his cowardice was spurned from him. Not satisfied with this, we search'd his clothes,
I've known a follower's rankled bosom breed And found these jewels, whose rich value plead
Venom most fatal to his heedless lord. [Exit. Most pow'rfully against him. Hard he seems,
And old in villany. Permit us try
And change the noontide to the midnight hour.
Whilst lady Randolph sleeps, I will walk forth,
And taste the air that breathes on yonder bank.
Sweet may her slumbers be! Ye ministers
Of gracious heaven, who love the human race,
His stubbornness against the torture's force.
Pris. Oh, gentle lady by your lord's dear
Which these weak hands, I swear, did ne'er
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
Lady R. Account for these; thine own they cannot be
Angels and seraphs, who delight in goodness, For these, I say: be stedfast to the truth;
Forsake your skies and to her couch descend! Detected falsehood is most certain death.
There from her fancy chase those dismal forms
That haunt her waking; her sad spirit charm
With images celestial, such as please
The blest above upon their golden beds..
Sero. One of the vile assassins is secur'd.
We found the villain lurking in the wood:
With dreadful imprecations he denies
All knowledge of the crime. But this is not
His first essay these jewels were conceal'd
In the most secret places of his garment;
Belike the spoils of some that he has murder'd.
Anna. Let me look on them. Ha! here is
The chosen crest of Douglas' valiant name!
These are no vulgar jewels. Guard the wretch.
Enter Servants, with a Prisoner.
Pris. I know no more than does the child
Of what you charge me with.
1 Serv. You say so, sir!
[Anna removes the Servants, and
Pris. Alas! I'm sore beset! let never man,
For sake of luere, sin against his soul!
Eternal justice is in this most just!
I, guiltless now, must former guilt reveal.
Lady R. Oh! Anna, hear!! -once more 1
charge thee speak
The truth direct; for these to me foretel
And certify a part of thy narration,
With which, if the remainder tallies not,
An instant and a dreadful death abides thee.
Pris. Then, thus adjur'd, I'll speak to you
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 brave 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
Receiv'd us; there hard labour, and the skill
In fishing, which was formerly my sport,
Supported life. Whilst 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
You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame, Of one in jeopardy. I rose, and ran
Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret, To where the circling eddy of a pool,
Which in a moment from your lips may fly. Beneath the ford, us'd oft to bring within
Lady R. Thou shalt behold me, with a des-My reach whatever floating thing the stream
Had caught. The voice had ceas'd; the per-
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. Summon your utmost fortitude, before
Hear how my infant perish'd. See, he kneels.
[The Prisoner kneels. But looking sad and earnest on the waters, Pris. Heaven bless that countenance so sweet By the moon's light I saw, whirl'd round and
Pris. Bless'd be the hour that made me a poor man;
How couldst thou kill what waves and tem-
Pris. I am not so inhuman.
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
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. Ha! dost thou say so! then per-
haps he lives!
Pris. Not many days ago he was alive.
Lady R. Oh, God of heav'n! did he then
die so lately?
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.
Direct and clear; else I will search thy
Pris. Fear not my faith, though I
speak my shame;
My poverty hath sav'd my master's house! Lady R. Thy words surprise me: sure thou dost not feign!
The tear stands in thine eye; such love from
Sir Malcolm's house deserv'd not; if aright
Thou told'st the story of thy own distress.
Pris. Sir Malcolm of our barons was the
The safest friend, the best, the 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 judge my master!
And God so love me as I love his race!
Lady R. His race shall yet reward thee.
On thy faith
Thou Depends the fate of thy lov'd master's house.
Rememb'rest thou a little, lonely hut,
That like a holy hermitage appears
Among the cliffs of Carron?
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 the noble child.
That none might mark the change of our estate,
We left the country, travelled to the north,
Bought flocks and herds, and gradually brought
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
To me hast told. No more but this, and thou
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
Our secret wealth. But God's all-seeing eye
Beheld our avarice, and smote us sore:
For, one by one, all our own children died,
And be, 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 trusted him, now in the dawn of youth, And mention nothing of his nobler father.
With his own secret: but my anxious wife,
Foreboding evil, never would consent.
Meanwhile the stripling grew in years and
Him, whom thou call'st thy son, still call him
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 fierce 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
Pris. Fear not that I shall mar so fair a
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 arm:
Which might, I thought, be challeng'd, and
To light the secret of his noble birth.
[Lady Randolph goes towards the Servants.
Lady R. This man is not the assassin you suspected, Though chance combin'd some likelihood 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 hath dragg'd him
Oh, sovereign mercy! 'twas my child I saw!
Pris. If I, amidst astonishment and fear,
Have of your words and gestures rightly judg'd,
[Exeunt Prisoner and Servants.
Thou art the daughter of my ancient master; My faithful Anna! dost thou share my joy?
The child I rescu'd from the flood is thine. I know thou dost. Unparallel'd event!
Lady R. With thee dissimulation now Reaching from heav'n to earth, Jehovah's arm
Snatch'd from the waves, and brings me to
I am indeed the daughter of sir Malcolm;
The child thou rescu'dst from the flood is Judge of the widow, and the orphan's father, Accept a widow's and a mother's thanks