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I, who was once a swain, will ever prove
The poor man's friend; and when my vassals bow,
Norval shatt smooth the crested pride of Douglas.

Nor. Let me but live to see thine exaltation!
Yet grievous are my fears. Oh, leave this place,
And those unfriendly towers !

Doug. Why should I leave them?
Nor. Lord Randolph and his kinsman seek your life.
Doug. How know'st thou that?
Old Nor. I will inform


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 I lurk’d, and overheard them name
Each other as they talk'd, lord Randolph this,
And that Glenalvon. Still of you they spoke,
And of the lady; threat'ning was their speech,
Tho' but imperfectly my ear could hear it.
'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discov'ry;
And ever and anon they vow'd revenge.

Doug. Revenge! for what?

Old Nor. For being what you are,
Sir Malcolm's heir: how else have you

offended ? 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, But I could think of none. At last, perplex'd,


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.
My mother warn'd me of Glenalvon's baseness;
But I will not suspect the noble Randolph.
In our encounter with the vile assassins,
I mark'd his brave demeanour; him I'll trust.

Old Nor. I fear you will, too far.

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 Nor. My blessing rest upon

thee! Oh, may Heav'n's hand, which sav'd thee from the

And from the sword of foes, be near thee still ;
Turning mischance, if ought hangs o'er thy head,
All upon mine!

Doug. He loves me like a parent ;
And must not, shall not, lose the son he loves,
Altho’his son has found a nobler father.

540 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 Heaven's resplendent host !
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'di
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 voiceDoug. The voice was mine.

Lady R. Didst thou complain aloud to Nature's ear, That thus in dusky shades, at midnight hours, By stealth the mother and the son should meet?

[Embracing him. Doug. No; on this happy day, this better birth-day, My thoughts and words are all of hope and joy. 561

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's me

With dreadful threat’nings ; you they sometimes

nam'd. 'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discov'ry; And ever and anon they vow'd revenge.

Lady R. Defend us, gracious God! we are betray'd :
They have found out the secret of thy birth :
It must be so. That is the great discovery.
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 580
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
Of sacred love, fidelity, or pity,
Some in your cause will arm. I ask but few
To drive those spoilers fronı my father's house.
Lady R. Oh, Nature, Nature! what can check thy

force ?
Thou genuine offspring of the daring Douglas !
But rush not on destruction : save thyself,
And I am safe. To me they mean no harm.
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 way, 600
Which running eastward leads thee to the camp.
Instant demand admittance to lord Douglas;
Shew him these jewels which his brother wore.
Thy look, thy voice, will make him feel the truth,
Which I by a certain proof will soon confirm.

Doug. I yield me, and obey : but yet my heart
Bleeds at this parting. Something bids me stay
And guard a mother's life. Oft have I read
Of wondrous deeds by one bold arm achiev'd.
Our foes are two; no more : let me go forth,
And see if any shield can guard Glenalvon.

Lady R. If thou regard'st thy mother, or rever'st Thy father's memory, think of this no more, One thing I have to say before we part: Long wert thou lost; and thou art found, my child, In a most fearful season. War and battle I have great cause to dread. Too well I see Which

way the current of thy temper sets : To-day I've found thee. Oh! my long-lost hope! If thou to giddy valour giv’st the reign,

620 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 nor love nor hope In this waste world! My son, remember me! Doug. What shall I say? How can I give you

confort? The God of battles of my life dispose As may be best for you! for whose dear sako

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