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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;

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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 grievid my heart. Nor. Has he, indeed ? Then let yon false Glenal.

von Beware of me.

[Exit. Lady R. There burst the smother'd flame. 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 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 GLENALVOX.
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’dvirtue she's renown'd. Glen. Most true, my Lord.

300 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 ;

320 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

Upon the hunter's spear.

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

But let

my 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!

360

Enter NORVAL.
His port I love ; he's in a proper mood
To chide the thunder, if at him it roar'd. [Aside.
Has Norval seen the troops ?

Nor. The setting sun
With yellow radiance lightend 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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Of praise pertaining to the great in arms.
Glen. You wrong yourself, brave Sir; your martial

deeds
Have rank'd you with the great.

But mark me,
Norval;
Lord Randolph's favour now exalts your youth
Above his veterans of famous service.
Let me, who know these soldiers, counsel you.
Give them all honour; seem not to command;
Else they will scarcely brook your late sprung power,
Which nor alliance props, nor birth adorns.

Nor. Sir, I have been accustomed all my days
To hear and speak the plain and simple truth :
And tho' I have been told that there are men
Who borrow friendship’s tongue to speak their scorn,
Yet in such language I am little skill'd.
Therefore I thank Glenalvon for his counsel,
Although it sounded harshly. Why remind
Me of my birth obscure ? Why slur my power
With such contemptuous terms ?

Glen. I did not mean
To gall your pride, which now I see is great.

Nor. My pride!

Glen. Suppress it, as you wish to prosper.
Your pride's excessive. Yet, for Randolph's sake,
I will not leave you to its rash direction.
If thus you swell, and frown at high-born men,
Will high-born men endure a shepherd's scorn ?

Nor. A shepherd's scorn!
Glen. Yes ; if you presume.

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