« ZurückWeiter »
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 ? 200
Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woes—My son! my
I am thy mother, and the wife of Douglas!.
[Falls upon his neck. Nor. Oh, heaven and earth ? how wond'rous is my
fate! Art thou my mother ? Ever let me kneel !
Lady R. Image of Douglas ! fruit of fatal love! 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.
But did my sire surpass the rest of men,
As thou excellest all of womankind ?
Lady R. Arise, my son. In me thou dost behold
The poor remains of beauty once admir'd.
The autumn of my days is come already:
For sorrow made my summer haste away,
Yet in my prime I equall'd not thy father:
His eyes were like the eagle's, yet sometimes
Liker the dove's; and, as he pleas'd, he won 220
All hearts with softness, or with spirit aw'd.
Nor. How did he fall! Sure 'twas a bloody field When Douglas died. Oh, I have much to ask !
LadyR.Hereafter thou shalt hear the lengthened tale Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes.
At present this—Thou art the rightful heir
Ot yonder castle, and the wide domains
Which now lord Randolph, as my husband, holds.
But thou shalt not be wrong'd; I have the power
To right thee still. Before the King I'll kneel,
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,
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, 240 And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune.' Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and
Await the poor man's valour. Oh, my son! .
The noblest blood of all the land's abash'd,
Having no lacquey but pale poverty.
Too long hast thou been thus attended, Douglas,
Too long hast thou been deem'd a peasant's child.
The wanton heir of some inglorious chief
Perhaps has scorn'd thee in the 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 chiefs 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; 260
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 now?
That good old man.
Lady R. At hand conceal'd he lies,
An useful witness. But beware, my son,
Of 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 Glenal-
Beware of me.
Lady R. There burst the smother'd fame.
Oh, thou all-righteous and eternal King !
Who Father of the fatherless art call'd,
Protect my son! Thy inspiration, Lord !
Hath fill'd his bosom with that sacred fire,
Which in the breasts of his forefathers burn'd ?
Set him on high, like them, that he may shine 280
The star and glory of his native land!
Then let the minister of death descend,
And bear my willing spirit to its place.
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 sway'd.
Arrange the business of to-morrow now,
And when you enter, speak of war no more. (Exit.
Lord R. 'Tis so, by heav'n! her mein, her voice
her eye, And her impatience to be gone, confirm it.
Glen. He parted from her now. Behind the mount, Amongst the trees, I saw him glide along.
Lord R. For sad sequester'd virtue she's renown'd.
Glen. Most true, my Lord.
Lord R. Yet this distinguish'd dame
Invites a youth, th’acquaintance of a day,
Alone to meet her at the midnight hour.
This assignation [Shews a letter. ] the assasin freed,
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 she brings
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 on him; The worst of sorrows, and the worst of shames !
Glen. Yield not, my lord, to such afflicting thoughts; But let the spirit of an 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 may judge
Of their behaviour.
Lord R. Thou dost counsel well.
Glen. Permit me now to make one slight essay.
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 women's captive heart. Successful love
With glorious fumes intoxicates the mind,
And the proud conqueror in triumph moves,
Air-born, 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: 340 But if he be the favourite of the fair, Lov'd by the first of Caledonia's dames, He'll turn upon me, as the lion turns