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At present this. Thou art the rightful heir
Of 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,

boy,
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,
And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune.
Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and

injustice 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 240 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;
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.

vo

Beware of me.

[Exit.
Lady R. There burst the smother'd flame. 260
Oh, thou all-righteous and eternal King!
Who Father of the fatherless art callid,
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
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?

her eye,

Enter Lord RANDOLPH and GLENA LVON, Lord R. Yon gallant chief, Of arms enamour'd, all repose disclaims. Lady R. Be not, my lord, by his example sway'

y'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,

280 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 assassin freed, Hier manifest affection for the youth, Might breed suspicion in a husband's brain, Whose gentle consórt 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 nighi'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! 300

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 woman'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.

320
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:
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

G

But let my

Upon the hunter's spear.

Lord R. 'Tis shrewdly thought.
Glen. When we grow loud, draw near.

lord
His rising wrath restrain.

[Exit Randolph. 'Tis strange, by Heav'n! That she should run full tilt her fond career To one so little known. She too that seem'd Pure as the winter stream, when ice emboss'd, Whitens its course. Even I did think her chaste, Whose charity exceeds not. Precious sex! Whose deeds lascivious pass Glenalvon's thoughts!

[ Aside.

Enter NORVAL.
His port I love ; he's in a proper mood

340 To chide the thunder, if at him it roar'd. Has Norval seen the troops ?

Nor. The setting sun
With yellow radiance lighten'd all the vale;
And as the warriors mov'd each polish'd helm,
Corslet, or spear, glanc'd back his gilded beams.
The hill they climb'd, and halting at its top,
Of more than mortal size, tow'ring, they seem'd
An host angelic, clad in burning arms.

Glen. Thou talk'st it well; no leader of our host In sounds more lofty speaks of glorious war.

Nor. If I shall e'er acquire a leader's name, My speech will be less ardent. Novelty Now prompts my tongue, and youthful admiration Vents itself freely; since no part is mine

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