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And he with ease can vary to the taste
Of different men, it's features. "Self-denied,
< And master of his appetites he seems :
But his fierce nature, like a fox chain'd up,
« Watches to seize unseen the wish'd-for prey.
Never were vice and virtue pois’d so ill,
As in Glenalvon's unrelenting mind.'
Yet is he brave and politic in war,
And stands aloft in these unruly times.
Why I describe him thus I'll tell hereafter:
Stay, and detain him till I reach the castle.
[Exit Lady Randolph.
Anna. O happiness! where art thou to be found?
I see thou dwellest not with birth and beauty,
Tho' grac'd with grandeur, and in wealth array'd:
Nor dost thou, it would seem, with virtue dwell;
Else had this gentle lady miss'd thee not.
Enter GLEN ALVON. Glen. What dost thou muse on, meditating maid? Like some entranc'd and visionary seer On earth thou stand'st, thy thoughts ascend to heaven. What dost thou think of? what hast thou to do With subjects intricate? Thy youth, thy beauty, Cannot be question'd: think of these good gifts; And then thy contemplations will be pleasing.
Anna. Let women view yon monument of woe,
Then boast of beauty; who so fair as she?
But I must follow : this revolving day
Awakes the memory of her ancient woes. (Exit Anna.
Glen. So ! Lady Randolph shuns me; by and by
I'll woo her as the lion woos his brides.
The deed's a doing now, that makes me lord
Of these rich valleys, and a chief of power.
The season is most apt; my sounding steps
Will not be heard amidst the din of arms.
Randolph has liv'd too long : his better fate
Had the ascendant once, and kept me down :
When I had seiz'd the dame, by chance he came,
Rescu'd and had the lady for his labour;
I 'scap'd unknown: a slender consolation!
To sow in peril I love not, if others
Must reap the jocund harvest. I'm not safe:
By love, or something like it, stung, inflam'd,
Madly I blabb'd my passion to his wife,
And she has threaten'd to acquaint him of it
The way of woman's will I do not know:
But well I know the Baron's wrath is deadly.
I will not live in fear; 6 the man I dread
Is as a Dane to me;' he is the man
Who stands betwixt me and my chief desire.
No bar but he; she has no kinsman near;
No brother in his sister's quarrel bold;
And for the righteous cause, a stranger's cause,
I know no chief that will defy Glenalvon.
The SCENE Continues.
Stranger. [Within.] Oh, mercy! mercy!
Enter Servants and a STRANGER at one door, and
Lady RANDOLPH and Anna at another.
Lady Rand. What means this clamour? stranger,
speak secure; Hast thou been wrong'd ? have these rude men presum'd To vex the weary traveller on his way?
First Serv. By us no stranger ever suffer'd wrong: This man with outcry wild has call'd us forth; So sore afraid he cannot speak his fears. Enter Lord RANDOLPH and Young NORVAL, with
their swords drawn and bloody. Lady Rand. Not vain the stranger's fears! how fares
Lord Rand. That it fares well, thanks to this gallant
Whose valour sav'd me from a wretched death!
As down the winding dale I walk'd alone,
At the cross way four armed men attack'd me:
Rovers, I judge, from the licentious camp,
Who would have quickly laid Lord Randolph low,
Had not this brave and generous stranger come,
E'en like a faithful guard in perilous hour,
And, mocking danger, made my foes his own,
They turn'd upon him: but his active arm
Struck to the ground, from whence they rose no more,
The fiercest two: the others fled amain,
And left him master of the bloody field.
Speak, Lady Randolph: upon Beauty's tongue
Dwell accents pleasing to the brave and bold.
Speak, noble dame, and thank him for thy lord.
Lady Rand. My lord, I cannot speak what now I feel.
My heart o’erflows with gratitude to Heav'n,
And to this noble youth, who, all unknown
To you and yours, deliberated not,
Nor paus’d at peril, but humanely brave
Fought on your side, against such fearful odds.
Have you yet learn'd of him whom we should thank?
Whom call the saviour of Lord Randolph's life?
Lord Rand. I ask'd that question, and he answer'd not: But I must know who my deliverer is. To Y. Norval
Y. Norval. A low-born man, of parentage obscure, Who nought can boast but his desire to be A soldier, and to gain a name in arms.'
Lord Rand. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is ennobld By the great King of Kings! thou art stampt A hero by the sovereign hand, whose work We Nature call. Thou flower of modesty And valour, blush not to declare thy birth.
Y. Norval. My name is Norval: on the Grampian hills My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain, Whose constant cares were to encrease his store, And keep his only son, myself, at home. For I had heard of battles, and I long'd To follow to the field some warlike lord'; And Heaven soon granted what my sire denied. This moon, which rose last night, round as my shield, Had not yet fill'd her horns,* when, by her light,
* The event of wbich Y. Norval here speaks had happened some days before. The moon the night before the play opens was full,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
Rush'd, like a torrent, down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety, and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took, then hasted to my friends;
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquer'd. Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life; and having heard
That our good king had summon'd his bold peers.
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps :
Yon trembling coward who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I past these towers,
And, Heaven-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.*
round as his shield. This inroad of the barbarians had happened when the moon was a crescent, when she had not yet fill'd her horns. " Nec pova crescendo reparabat cornua Phæbe."
Ovid, Metam. B. 1. 1. 11. I should not have thought this explanation wanted, but that I have seen a criticism, in which this beautifully poetical description was found fault with.
* The narrative of Y. Norval will probably call to the mind of the reader that of the Young Shepherd, the son of Jesse, before King Saul, in 1 Samuel xvII. 34-37. That it was in the mind of the author, I think there can be no doubt, oot only from the general similitude, but also from the use of the word " stripling" by Old Norval, in the third act, which is from verse 56,-from Douglas' allusion, in his second soliliquy in the fifth act, to the “ fierce gigan* tic Dane” giving " a bold defiance to" the lost,"-and from the lamentation of Lady Randolph for her son being similar to that of David for Absalom.-The "tale"" rehearsed" with“ a gallant mo“ desty" by David is,
“ Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a s bear, and took a lamb out of the flock : And I went out after him, " and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth, and wben be
Lord Rand. He is as wise as brave. Was ever tale
With such a gallant modesty rehears'd?
My brave deliverer! thou shalt enter now
A nobler list, and in a monarch's sight
Contend with princes for the prize of fame.
I will present thee to our Scottish king,
Whose valiant spirit ever valour lov’d.
Ha! my Matilda! wherefore starts that tear?
Lady Rund. I cannot say: for various affections,
And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell;
Yet each of them may well command a tear.
I joy that thou art safe; and I admire
Him and his fortunes who hath wrought thy safety.
Obscure and friendless, he the army sought,
Bent upon peril, in the range of death
Resolv'd to hunt for fame, and with his sword
To gain distinction which his birth denied.
In this attempt unknown he might have perishid,
And gain'd, with all his valour, but oblivion.
Now grac'd by thee, his virtue serves no more
Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope*
He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown
Are brought within the compass of his sword.
On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke,
And bless'd the wonder-working Lord † of heaven.
Lord Rand. Pious and grateful ever are thy thoughts!
My deeds shall follow where thou point'st the way.
Next to myself, and equal to Glenalvon,
In honor and command shall Norval be.
“ arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and “ slew him. Thy servant slew both tbe lion and the bear; and this “ uocircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath “ defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The " Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the “ paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the haod of the Phi“ Jistine."
In the Preface to this Play, p. 251, I have quoted a passage from another of our author's tragedies, in which he has still more closely adopted this incident from the life of David.
* “ Ye prisoners of hope.” Zech. ix. 12.
+ The 12mo, reads hand of Heaven,