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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 is brought by love to misery,
In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn,
Umpitied cannot be. Pity's the alms
Which on such beggars freely is bestow'd ;
Tor 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 other ear. To love's apology I listen not.
241 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, practice 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 fain would'st pry anto 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 piered
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 center, if I thought she lov'd him !
'Tis certain she conteinns me; nay, commands ine,
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 fiends there are
More fierce than hate, ambition or revenge,
Rise up, and fill my bosom with your fires
" And policy remorseless? Chance may spoil
" A single aim; but perseverance must
“ Prosper at last. For chance and fate are words:
“ Persistive wisdom is the fate of man.”
280 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 spurned from him.
I've known a follower's rankled bosom breed
Venom most fatal to his heedless lord. [Exit.
A Couri, &c. as before. Enter ANNA.
Tuy vassals, grief, great nature's order break,
And change the noon-tide 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,
Angels and seraphs who delight in goodness!
Forsake your skies, and to her couch descend !
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.
Ser. One of the vile assasins 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 a heart,
The chosen crest of Douglas' valiant name?
These are no vulgar jewels. Guard the wretch. 20
Enter Servants with a Prisoner.
Pris. I know no more than does the child unborn
Of what you charge me with.
ist Ser. You say so, Sir!
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 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 shalt behold me, with a desperate heart,
32 Hear how my infant perish’d. See, he kneels.
[The Prisoner kneels. 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, 40
The tender lamb, that never nipt the grass,
Is not more innocent than I of murder.
Lady R. Of this man's guilt what proof can ye pro-
1st Ser. We found him lurking in the hollow glynn.
When view'd and call'd upon, amaz'd he fled,
We overtook him, and enquir'd from whence
And what he was : he said he came from far,
And was upon his journey to the camp.
Not satisfied 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 villainy. Permit us 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 cannot be:
For these, I say : be stedfast to the truth; 61
Detected falshood is most certain death.
[Anna removes the servants and returns. ]
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.
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