페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Old N. Lord Randolph and his kinsman By stealth the mother and the son should meet?

seek your life.

Doug. How know'st thou that?:
Old N. I will inform you how.
When evening came, I left the secret place.
Appointed for me by your mother's care,
And fondly trod in each accustom'd path
That to the castle leads. Whilst thus I rang'd,
I was alarm'd with unexpected sounds
Of earnest voices.. On the persons came.
Unseen 1 lurk'd, and overheard them name
Each other as they talk'd, lord Randolph this,
And that Glenalvou. Still of you they spoke,
And of the lady; threat'ning was their speech,
Though but imperfectly my ear could hear it.
'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discovery;
And ever and anon they vow'd revenge.
Doug. Revenge! for what?

Old N. For being what you are,

[Embraces him. Doug. No; on this happy day, this better birth-day,

My thoughts and words are all of hope and joy.

Lady R. Sad fear and melancholy still divide The empire of my breast with hope and joy. Now hear what I advise

Doug. First, let me tell

What may the tenor of your counsel change.
Lady R. My heart forebodes some evil.
Doug. Tis not good-

At eve, unseen by Randolph and Glenalvon,
The good old Norval in the grove o'erheard
Their conversation; oft they mention'd me
With dreadful threat'nings; you they some-
times nam'd.

'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discovery;

Sir Malcolm's heir: how else have you offended? And ever and anon they vow'd revenge.

Lady R. Defend us, gracious God! we are betray'd:

When they were gone, I hied me to my cottage,
And there sat musing how I best might find
Means to inform you of their wicked purpose; They have found out the secret of thy birth!
But I could think of none. At last, perplex'd, It must be so. That is the great discovery.

I issued forth, encompassing the tower,
With many a wearied step and wishful look.
Now Providence hath brought you to my sight,
Let not your too courageous spirit scorn
The caution which I give.

Doug. I scorn it not.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Doug. Here in this place

I wait my mother's coming: she shall know
What thou hast told: her counsel I will follow:
And cautious ever are a mother's counsels.
You must depart: your presence may prevent
Our interview..

Old N. My blessing rest upon thee!
Oh, may heav'n's hand, which sav'd thee from

Sir Malcolm's heir is come to claim his own,
And they will be reveng'd. Perhaps even now,
Arm'd and prepar'd for murder, they but wait
A darker and more silent hour, to break
Into the chamber where they think thou sleep'st.
This moment, this, heav'n hath ordain'd to
'save thee!

Fly to the camp, my son!

Doug. And leave you here?
No: to the castle let us go together,
Call up the ancient servants of your house,
Who in their youth did eat your father's bread;
Then tell them loudly that I am your son.
If in the breasts of men one spark remains
Óf sacred love, fidelity, or pity,
Some in your cause will arm.
I ask but few
To drive those spoilers from my father's house.
Lady R. Oh, nature, nature! what can check
thy force?

the wave, Thou genuine offspring of the daring Douglas! And from the sword of foes, be near thee stil; But rush not on destruction: save thyself, Turning mischance, ifaught hangs o'er thy head, And I am safe. To me they mean no harm. All upon mine! Thy stay but risks thy precious life in vain. That winding path conducts thee to the river. Cross where thou seest a broad and beaten

[Exit.

Doug. He loves me like a parent;
And must not, shall not, lose the son he loves,
Although his son has found a nobler father.
Eventful day! how hast thou chang'd my state!
Once on the cold and winter-shaded side
Of a bleak hill, mischance had rooted me,
Never to thrive, child of another soil;
Transplanted now to the gay sunny vale,
Like the green thorn of May my fortune flowers.
Ye glorious stars! high heav'n's resplendent

To whom I oft have of my lot complain'd,
Hear, and record my soul's unalter'd wish!
Dead or alive, let me but be renown'd!
May heav'n inspire some fierce gigantic Dane,
To give a bold defiance to our host!
Before he speaks it out, I will accept:
Like Douglas conquer, or like Douglas die.
Enter LADY RANDOLPH,
Lady R. My son! I heard a voice-
Doug. The voice was mine.
Lddy R. Didst thou complain aloud to na-
ture's ear,
That thus in dusky shades, at midnight hours,

[blocks in formation]

I have great cause to dread. Too well I see
Which way the current of thy temper sets:
To-day I have found thee. Oh! my long-lost
hope!

If thou to giddy valour giv'st the rein,
To-morrow I may lose my son for ever.
The love of thee, before thou saw'st the light,
Sustain'd my life when thy brave father fell.
If thou shalt fall, I have not love nor hope
In this waste world! My son, remember me!
Doug. What shall I say? How can I give
you comfort?

The God of battles of my life dispose
As may be best for you! for whose dear sake
I will not bear myself as I resolv'd.
But yet consider, as no vulgar name,
That which I boast, sounds among martial men,
How will inglorious caution suit my claim?
The post of fate unshrinking I maintain.
My country's foes must witness who I am.
On the invaders' heads I'll prove my birth,
Till friends and foes confess the genuine strain.
If in this strife I fall, blame not your son,
Who, if he live not honour'd, must not live.
Lady R. I will not utter what my bosom
feels.

Just as my arm had master'd Randolph's sword, The villain came behind me; but I slew hini. Lady R. Behind thee! ah! thou'rt wounded! Oh, my child,

How pale thou look'st! And shall I lose thee now?

I

Doug. Do not despair: I feel a little faint

ness;

hope it will not last. [Leans upon his Sword. Lady R. There is no hope! And we must part! the hand of death is on thee!

Oh! my beloved child! O Douglas, Douglas! Douglas growing more and more faint. Doug. Oh! had I fall'n as my brave fathers fell,

Turning with fatal arm the tide of battle,
Like them I should have smil'd and welcom'd
death;

But thus to perish by a villain's hand!
Cut off from nature's and from glory's course,
Which never mortal was so fond to run.
Lady R. Hear, justice, hear! stretch thy
avenging arm.

[Douglas falls. Doug. Unknown I die; no tongue shall speak of me.

Too well I love that valour which I warn. Farewell, my son, my counsels are but vain. Some noble spirits, judging by themselves, [Embracing. May yet conjecture what I might have prov'd, And as high heav'n hath will'd it, all must be. And think life only wanting to my fame: [They separate. But who shall comfort thee? Gaze not on me, thou wilt mistake the path; Lady R. Despair, Despair!

I'll point it out again.

[Exeunt. Doug. Oh, had it pleas'd high heav'n to let

me live

Just as they are separating, enter, from A little while!-my eyes that gaze on thee the Wood, LORD RANDOLPH and GLEN- Grow dim apace! my mother-O! my mother!

ALVON.

[blocks in formation]

Glen. I'm prepar'd.

Lord R. No: 1 command thee stay.

I go alone: it never shall be said

That I took odds to combat mortal man.
The noblest vengeance is the most complete.

Exit. [Glenaloon makes some Steps to the same Side of the Stage, listens, and speaks. Glen. Demons of death, come settle on my sword,

And to a double slaughter guide it home!
The lover and the husband both must die.
Lord R. [Without Draw, villain! draw!
Doug. [Without] Assail me not, lord Ran-
dolph ;

Not as thou lov'st thyself.

[Clashing of Swords. Glen. [Running out] Now is the time. Enter LADY RANDOLPH, at the opposite Side of the Stage, faint and breathless. Lady R. Lord Randolph, hear me; all shall be thine own!

But spare! Oh, spare my son!

Enter DOUGLAS, with a Sword in each Hand. Doug. My mother's voice!

I can protect thee still.

Lady R. He lives! he lives!

[Dies. Lady Randolph faints on the Body.

Enter LORD RANDOLPH and ANNA. Lord R. Thy words, thy words of truth, have pierc'd my heart: I am the stain of knighthood and of arms. Oh! if my brave deliverer survives The, traitor's sword

Anna. Alas! look there, my lord.
Lord R. The mother and her son! How
curst am I!

Was I the cause? No: I was not the cause.
Yon matchless villain did seduce my soul
To frantic jealousy.

Anna. My lady lives:

The agony of grief hath but suppress'd
Awhile her powers.

Lord R. But my deliverer's dead!
Lady R. [Recovering] Where am I now?
Still in this wretched world!
Grief cannot break a heart so hard as mine.
Lord R. Oh, misery!

Amidst thy raging grief I must proclaim
My innocence.

Lady R. Thy innocence!

Lord R. My guilt

Is innocence compar'd with what thou think'st it.
Lady R. Of thee I think not; what have I
to do

With thee, or any thing? My son! my son!
My beautiful! my brave! how proud was I
Of thee and of thy valour! my fond heart

For this, for this to heav'n, eternal praise! O'erflow'd this day with transport, when I

But sure I saw thee fall.

Doug. It was Glenalvon.

thought

Of growing old amidst a race of thine.

And headlong down-
Lord R. 'Twas I, alas! 'twas I
That fill'd her breast with fury; drove her

down

The precipice of death! Wretch that I am! Anna. Oh, had you seen her last despairing look!

Now all my hopes are dead! A little while
Was I a wife! a mother not so long!
What am I now? I know-But I shall be
That only whilst I please; for such a son
And such a husband drive me to my fate.
[Exit running.
Lord R. Follow her, Anna: I myself would
follow,
Upon the brink she stood, and cast her eyes
But in this rage she must abhor my presence. Down on the deep; then lifting up her head,
[Exit Anna. And her white hands to heaven, seeming to say
Curs'd, curs'd Glenalvon, he escap'd too well, Why am I forc'd to this? she plung'd herself
Though slain and baffled by the hand he hated. Into the empty air.

Foaming with rage and fury to the last,
Cursing his conqueror, the felon died.

Re-enter ANNA.

Anna. My lord! My lord!

Lord R. Speak: I can hear of horror.
Anna. Horror, indeed!
Lord R. Matilda!

Anna. Is no more:

She ran, she flew like lightning up the hill;
Nor halted till the precipice she gain'd,
Beneath whose low'ring top the river falls
Ingulf'd in rifted rocks: thither she came,
As fearless as the eagle lights upon it,

Lord R. I will not vent,

In vain complaints, the passion of my soul,
Peace in this world I never can enjoy.
These wounds the gratitude of Randolph gave;
They speak aloud, and with the voice of fate
Denounce my doom. I am resolv'd. I'll go
Straight to the battle, where the man that

makes

Me turn aside, must threaten worse than death.
Thou, faithful to thy mistress, take this ring,
Full warrant of my power. Let every rite
With cost and pomp upon their funerals wait:
For Randolph hopes he never shall return.

[The Curtain descends slowly to Music.

LILLO.

GEORGE LILLO, was by profession a jeweller, and was born in the neighbourhood of Moorgate, in London, on the 4th of Feb. 1695; in which neighbourhood he pursued his occupation for many years, with the fairest and most unblemished character. He was strongly attached to the Muses, yet seemed to have laid it down as a maxim, that the devotion paid to them ought always to tend to the promotion of virtue, morality, and religion. In pursuance of this aim, Mr. Lillo was happy in the choice of his subjects, and shewed great power of affecting the heart, by working up the passions to such a height, as to render the distresses of common and domestic life equally interesting as those of kings and heroes; and the ruin brought on private families by an indulgence of avarice, lust etc., as the havock made in states and empires by ambition, cruelty and tyranny. His George Barnwell, Fatal Curiosity, and Arden of Feversham are all planned on common and well-known stories; yet they have, perhaps, more frequently drawn tears from an audience, than the more pompous tragedies of Alexander the Great, All for Love, etc. Mr. Lillo, as before observed, has been happy in the choice of his subjects; his conduct and the management of them is no less meritorious, and, his pathos very great. If there is any fault to be objected to his writings, it is, that sometimes he affects an elevation of style somewhat above the simplicity of his subject, and the supposed rank of his characters; but the custom of tragedy will stand in some degree of excuse for this; and a still better argument perhaps may be admitted in vindication, not only of our present author, but of others in the like predicament; which is, that even nature itself will justify this conduct; since we find even the most humble characters in real life, when under peculiar circumstances of distress, or actuated by the influence of any violent passions, will at times be elevated to an aptness of expression, and power of language, not only greatly superior to themselves, but even to the general language and conversation of persons of much higher rank in life, and of minds more perfectly cultivated. Our author died Sept. 3d. 1759, in the 47th year of his age; and a few months after his death the celebrated Fielding printed the following character of him in The Champion: "He had a perfect knowledge of human nature, though his contempt of all base means of application, which are the necessary steps to great acquaintance, restrained his conversation within very narrow bounds. had the spirit of an old Roman, joined to the innocence of a primitive christian; he was contented with his little state of life, in which his excellent temper of mind gave him a happiness beyond the power of riches; and it was necessary for his friends to have a sharp insight into his want of their services, as well as good inclination or abilities to serve him. In short, he was one of the best of men, and those who knew him best will most regret his loss."

He

GEORGE BARNWELL.

Tats play was acted 1751, at the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane with great success. "In the newspapers of the time" says the Biographia Dramatica, "we find, that on Friday, 2d of July 1731, the Queen sent to the playhouse in Drury-lane, for the manuscript of George Barnwell, to peruse it, which Mr. Wilks carried to Hampton Court.' This tragedy being founded on a well known old ballad, many of the critics of that time, who went to the first represen tation of it, formed so contemptuous an idea of the piece, in their expectations, that they purchased the ballad (some thousands of which were used in one day on this account), in order to draw comparisons between that and the play But its merit soon got the better of this contempt, and presented them with scenes written so true to the heart, thati: they were compelled to subscribe to their power, and lay aside their ballads to take their handkerchiefs." The original performer of the character of George Barnwell, Mr. Ross, relates, that "in the year 1752, he played this part. Dr Barrowhy was sent for by a young merchant's apprentice, who was in a high fever; upon the Doctor's approaching him, he saw his patient was afflicted with a disease of the mind. The Ductor being alone with the young man, confessed, after much solicitation, that he had made an improper acquaintance with a kept mistress; and had made free with money intrusted to his care, by his employers, to the amount of 200 pounds. Seeing Mr. Ross in that piece, hm was so forcibly struck, he had not enjoyed a moment's peace since, and wished to die, to avoid the shame he saw hanging over him. The Doctor calmed his patient by telling him, if his father made the least hesitation to give the money, be should have it from him. The father arrived, put the amount into the son's hands, they wept, kissed, embraced. The son soon recovered, and lived to be a very eminent merchant. Dr. Barrowby never told me the name; but one even

[ocr errors]

ing he said to me, you have done some good in your profession, more perhaps than many a clergyman who preached last sunday. I had for nine or ten years, at my benefit, a note sealed up with ten guineas, and these words, "a tribute of gratitude from one who is highly obliged, and sayed from ruin, by seeing Mr. Ross's performance of Barnwell." What will the virulent decriers of stage-plays say to this?

[blocks in formation]

ACT I.

Thorow. Nay, 'twas a needless caution; I have no cause to doubt your prudence. Maria. Sir, I find myself unfit for conversation. I should but increase the number of True. SIR, the packet from Genoa is arrived. the company, without adding to their satisfac

SCENE L-A Room in THOROWGOOD's House.]
Enter THOROWGOOD and TRUEMAN.

[Gives Letters. tion.

Thorow. Heaven be praised! the storm that Thorow. Nay, my child, this melancholy threatened our royal mistress, pure religion, must not be indulged.

liberty, and laws, is for a time diverted. By Maria. Company will but increase it. I this means, time is gained to make such pre- wish you would dispense with my presence. paration on our part, as may, heaven concur- Solitude best suits my present temper. ring, prevent his malice, or turn the meditated Thorow. You are not insensible, that it is

mischief on himself.

True. He must be insensible indeed, who is not affected when the safety of his country is concerned. Sir, may I know by what means? -If I am not too bold

chiefly on your account these noble lords do me the honour so frequently to grace my board. Should you be absent, the disappointment may make them repent of their condescension, and think their labour lost.

Thorow. Your curiosity is laudable; and I Maria. He that shall think his time or hogratify it with the greater pleasure, because nour lost in visiting you, can set no real value from thence you may learn how honest mer- on your daughter's company, whose only merit chants, as such, may sometimes contribute to is that she is yours. The man of quality who the safety of their country, as they do at all chooses to converse with a gentleman and times to its happiness; that if hereafter you merchant of your worth and character, may should be tempted to any action that has the confer honour by so doing, but he loses none. appearance of vice or meanness in it, upon Thorow. Come, come, Maria, I need not reflecting on the dignity of our profession, tell you, that a young gentleman may prefer you may with honest scorn reject whatever is unworthy of it.

True. Should Barnwell, or I, who have the benefit of your example, by our ill conduct bring any imputation on that honourable name, we must be left without excuse.

your conversation to mine, and yet intend me no disrespect at all; for though he may lose no honour in my company, 'tis very natural for him to expect more pleasure in yours. I remember the time when the company of the greatest and wisest man in the kingdom, would have been insipid and tiresome to me, if it had deprived me of an opportunity of enjoying your mother's.

Thorow. You compliment, young man. [Trueman bows respectfully] Nay, I'm not offended. As the name of merchant never degrades the gentleman, so by no means does Maria. Yours, no doubt, was as agreeable it exclude him; only take heed not to pur-to her: for generous minds know no pleasure chase the character of complaisant at the ex- in society but where 'tis mutual. pense of your sincerity.

True. Sir, have you any commands for me at this time?

Thorow. Thou knowest I have no heir, no child, but thee; the fruits of many years successful industry must all be thine. Now it Thorow. Only look carefully over the files, would give me pleasure, great as my love, to to see whether there are any tradesmen's bills see on whom you will bestow it. I am unpaid; if there are, send and discharge 'em. We must not let artificers lose their time, so useful to the public and their families, in unnecessary attendance. [Exit Trueman.

Enter MARIA.

daily solicited by men of the greatest rank and merit for leave to address you; but I have hitherto declined it, in hopes that, by observation, I should learn which way your inclination tends; for, as I know love to be essential to happiness in the marriage state, I had rather my approbation should confirm your choice than direct it.

Well, Maria, have you given orders for the entertainment? I would have it in some mea- Maria. What can I say? How shall I ansure worthy the guests. Let there be plenty, swer as I ought this tenderness, so uncommon and of the best, that the courtiers may at least even in the best of parents? But you are withcommend our hospitality. out example; yet, had you been less indulMaria. Sir, I have endeavoured not to wrong gent, I had been most wretched. That I look your well-known generosity by an ill-timed on the crowd of courtiers that visit here, with parsimony. equal esteem, but equal indifference, you have

observed, and I must needs confess; yet, had is capable of any action, though ever so vile; you asserted your authority, and insisted on and yet what pains will they not take, what a parent's right to be obeyed, I had submitted, arts not use, to seduce us from our innocence, and to my duty sacrificed my peace. and make us contemptible and wicked, even

Thorow. From your perfect obedience in in their own opinion? Then is it not just, the every other instance, I feared as much; and villains, to their cost, should find us so? But therefore would leave you without a bias in guilt makes them suspicious, and keeps them an affair wherein your happiness is so imme-on their guard; therefore we can take advandiately concerned. tage only of the young and innocent part of Maria. Whether from a want of that just the sex, who never having injured women, ambition that would become your daughter, apprehend no danger from them. or from some other cause, I know not; but I find high birth and titles don't recommend the man who owns them to my affections.

I

Lucy. Ay, they must be young indeed! Mill. Such a one I think I have found. As have passed through the city, I have often Thorow. I would not that they should, un- observed him receiving and paying considerless his merit recommends him more. A no-able sums of money; from thence I conclude ble birth and fortune, though they make not he is employed in affairs of consequence. a bad man good, yet they are a real advantage to a worthy one, and place his virtues in the fairest light.

Maria. I cannot answer for my inclinations; but they shall ever be submitted to your wisdom and authority. And as you will not compel me to marry where I cannot love, love shall never make me act contrary to my duty. Sir, have I your permission to retire? Thorow. I'll see you to your chamber.

[Exeunt. SCENE II.—A Room in MILLWOOD's House.

Lucy. Is he handsome?

Mill. Ay, ay, the stripling is well made, and has a good face.

Lucy. About-
Mill. Eighteen.

Lucy. Innocent, handsome, and about eighteen! You'll be vastly happy. Why, if you manage well, you may keep him to yourself these two or three years.

Mill. If I manage well, I shall have done with him much sooner. Having long had a design on him, and meeting him yesterday, I made a full stop, and gazing wishfully on his Enter MILLWOOD and Lucy. face, asked his name. He blushed, and, bowMill. How do I look to-day, Lucy? ing very low, answered George Barnwell. I Lucy. O, killingly, madam! A little more begged his pardon for the freedom I had red, and you'll be irresistible!-But why this taken, and told him that he was the person I more than ordinary care of your dress and had long wished to see, and to whom I had complexion? What new conquest are you an affair of importance to communicate at a aiming at? proper time and place. He named a tavern; Mill. A conquest would be new indeed! I talked of honour and reputation, and inLucy. Not to you, who make 'em every vited him to my house. He swallowed the day—but to me— -Well, 'tis what I'm never to bait, promised to come, and this is the time I expect-unfortunate as I am-But your wit expect him. [Knocking at the Door] Someand beautybody knocks. D'ye hear, I'm at home to Mill. First made me a wretch, and still con- nobody to-day but him. [Exit Lucy] Less tinue me so. Men, however generous and affairs must give way to those of more consincere to one another, are all selfish hypo- sequence; and I am strangely mistaken if this crites in their affairs with us; we are no does not prove of great importance to me, otherwise esteemed or regarded by them, but and him too, before I have done with him. as we contribute to their satisfaction. Now, after what manner shall I receive him?

Lucy. You are certainly, madam, on the Let me consider-What manner of person am wrong side of this argument. Is not the ex-I to receive? He is young, innocent, and bashpense all theirs? And I am sure it is our own ful; therefore I must take care not to put him fault if we han't our share of the pleasure. out of countenance at first.

Mill. We are but slaves to men.

Lucy. Nay, 'tis they that are slaves most certainly, for we lay them under contribution. Mill. Slaves have no property; no, not even in themselves: all is the victor's.

Lucy. You are strangely arbitrary in your principles, madam.

Enter BARNWELL, bowing very low. LUCY
at a Distance.

Mill. Sir, the surprise and joy!
Barn. Madam!

Mill. This is such a favour- [Advancing.
Barn. Pardon me, madam!

Mill. I would have my conquest complete, Mill. So unhoped for! [Still advances. like those of the Spaniards in the new world;| Barnwell salutes her, and retires in conwho first plundered the natives of all the fusion.] To see you here- Excuse the conwealth they had, and then comdemned the fusionwretches to the mines for life, to work for Barn. I fear I am too bold. Mill. Alas, sir, I may justly apprehend you Lucy. Well, I shall never approve of your think me So. Please, sir, to sit. I am as scheme of government; I should think it much much at a loss how to receive this honour as more politic, as well as just, to find my sub- I ought, as I am surprised at your goodness jects an easier employment. in conferring it.

more.

Mill. It is a general maxim among the knowing part of mankind, that a woman without virtue, like a man without honour or honesty,

Barn. I thought you had expected me: I promised to come.

Mill. That is the more surprising: few men

« 이전계속 »