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Enter attendants, LORD RANDOLPH, and a YOUNG
Max, with their swords drawn, and bloody. Lady R. Not vain the stranger's fears! How fares Lord K. That it fares well, thanks to this gallant
Whose valour saved me from a wretched death !
As clown the winding dale I walk d alone,
At the crossway, four arm'd men attack'd me:
Rovers, I judge, from the licentious camp;
Who would have quickly laid Lord Randolph low,
Had not this brave and gen'rous stranger come
my good angel in the hour of fate,
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 anain,
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 R. My lord, I cannot speak what now I feel.
My heart o'erflows with gratitude to Heav'n,
And to this noble youth,
not learn’d of him whom we should thank? Whom call the saviour of Lord Randolph's life?
Lord R. I ask'd that question, and he answer'd not;
But I must know who my deliverer is.
[To the STRANGER.
Strang. 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 R. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is ennobled
By the great King of kings ! thou art ordain'd
And stampt a hero by the sovereign hand
Of nature ! blush not, flower of modesty
As well as valour, to declare thy birth.
Strang. My name is Norval? on the Grampian
My father feeds his flocks: a frugal swain,
Whose constant cares were to increase 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 Heav'n soon granted what my sire denied.
This moon, which rose last night, round as niy shield,
Had not yet fillid her horns, when, by her light, ,
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 froin my bow had pierced 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 pass'd these towers,
And, heaven-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed, that gilds my humble name.
Lord K. He is as wise as brave. Was ever tale
With such a gallant modesty rehearsed ?--
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 loved.-
Matilda ! wherefore starts that tear?
Lady R. I cannot say : for various affections,
And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell;
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
Resolved 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 graced by thee, his virtues serve no more
Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope
He stands conspicuous ;
On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke,
And bless*d the wonder-working hand of Heaven.
Lord R. 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 honour and command shall Norval be.
Nor. I know not how to thank you. Rude I am In speech and manners : never, till this hour, Stood I in such a presence : yet, my lord, There's something in my breast, which makes me
say, that Norval ne'er will shame thy favour. Lady R. I will be sworn thou wilt not. Thou
shalt be My knight: and ever, as thou didst to-day, With happy valour guard the life of Randolph. Lord R. Well hast thou spoke. Let me forbid reply,
[To NORVAL. We are thy debtors still; thy high desert O'ertops our gratitude. I must proceed, As was at first intended, to the camp. Some of my train, I see, are speeding hither,
Impatient, doubtless, of their lord's delay.
Go with me, Norval, and thine
The chosen warriors of thy native land,
Who languish for the fight, and beat the air
With brandish'd swords.
Nor. Let us begone, my
Lord R. (To LADY RANDOLPH.) About the time,
that the declining sun
Shall his broad orbit o'er yon bills suspend,
Expect us to return. This night once more
Within these walls I rest; my tent I pitch
To-morrow in the field. Prepare the feast.
Free is his heart, who for his country fights :
He, in the eve of battle may resign
Himself to social pleasure ; sweetest then,
When danger to a soldier's soul endears
The human joy that never may return.
[Exeunt RANDOLPH and NORYAL.
Lady R. Wretch that I am ! Alas! why am I so?
At every happy parent I repine !
How blest the mother of yon gallant Norval!
She, for a living husband, bore her pains,
And heard him bless her when a nian was born :
She nursed her smiling infant on her breast,
Tended the child, and rear'd the pleasing boy ;
She, with affection's triumph, saw the youth
In grace and comeliness surpass his peers:
Whilst I to a dead husband bore a son,
And to the roaring waters gave my child.
Anna. Alas! alas ! why will you thus resume
Your grief afresh ? I thought that gallant youth
Would, for awhile, have won you from your woe.
On him intent you gazed, with a look
Much more delighted than your pensive eye
Has deign’d on other objects to bestow.
Lady R. Delighted, say'st thou ? Oh! even there
Found fuel for my life-consuming sorrow;
I thought that, had the son of Douglas lived,
He might have been like this young gallant stranger.
While thus I mused, a spark from fancy fell
my sad heart, and kindled up a fondness
For this young stranger, wand'ring from his home,
And like an orphan cast upon my care.
I will protect thee (said I to myself,)
With all my power, and grace with all my favour.
Anna. Sure Heaven will bless so generous a resolve.
You must, my noble dame, exert your power ;
You must awake : devices will be framed,
And arrows pointed at the breast of Norval.
Lady R. Glenalvon's false and crafty head will work
Against a rival in his kinsman's love,
If I deter him not : I only can.
Bold as he is, Glenalyon will beware
How he pulls down the fabric that I raise:
I'll be the artist of young Norval's fortune.
Glen. Where is my dearest kinsman, noble Ran-
Lady R. Have you not heard, Glenalvon, of the
Glen. I have; and that the villains may not 'scape,
With a strong band I have begirt the wood.
If they lurk there, alive they shall be taken,
And torture force from them th’ important secret,
Whether some foe of Randolph hired their swords,
Lady R. That care becomes a kinsman's love.
I have a counsel for Glenalvon's ear. [Exit ANNA.
Glen. To him your counsels always are commands.
Lady R. I have not found so; thou art known to
Glen. Known !
Lady R. And most certain is my cause of know-