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Glen. What do you know? by Heaven, You much amaze me! No created thing, Yourself except, durst thus accost me. Lady R. Is guilt so bold 2 and dost thou make a merit Of thy pretended meekness 2 Thus to me, Who, with a gentleness which duty blames, Have hitherto conceal’d what, if divulged, Would make thee nothing; or, what's worse than that, An outcast beggar, and unpitied too: For mortals shudder at a crime like thine. Glen. Thy virtue awes me. First of womankind! Permit me yet to say, that the fond man, Whom love transports beyond strict virtue's bounds, If he is brought by love to misery, In fortune ruin'd, as in mind forlorn, Unpitied cannot be. Pity's the alms, Which, on such beggars, freely is bestowed; For mortals know, that love is still their lord, And o'er their vain resolves advances still ; As fire, when kindled by our shepherds, moves Through the dry heath before the fanning wind. Lady R. Reserve these accents for some other ear. To love's apology I listen not. Mark thou my words; for it is meet thou shouldst. His brave deliverer Randolph here retains. Perhaps his presence may not please thee well: But, at thy peril, practise aught against him: Let not thy jealousy attempt to shake And loosen the good root he has in Randolph ; Whose favourites I know thou hast supplanted. Thou look'st at me, as if thou fain wouldst pry Into my heart. "Tis open as my speech. I give this early caution, and put on The curb, before thy temper breaks away. The friendless stranger my protection claims: His friend I am, and be not thou his foe. [Exit
Gien. Child that I was, to start at my own shadow, And be the shallow fool of coward conscience ! I am not what I have been ; what I should be. The darts of destiny have almost pierced My marble heart. Had I one grain of faith In holy legends, and religious tales, I should conclude, there was an arın above That fought against me, and malignant turn'd, To catch myself, the subtle snare I set. Why, rape and murder are not simple means ! Th’imperfect rape to Randolph gave a spouse ; And the intended murder introduced A favourite to hide the sun from me; And, worst of all, a rival. Burning hell! This were thy centre, if I thought she loved him! 'Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands me, And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me, In his behalf. And shall I thus be braved ? Curb'd, as she calls it, by dame Chastity ? Infernal fiends, if any fiends there are More fierce than love, ambition, and revenge, Rise
up, and fill my bosom with your fires ! Darkly a project peers upon my mind, Like the red moon when rising in the east, Cross’d and divided by strange-coloured clouds. I'll seek the slave who came with Norval hither, And for his cowardice was spurned from him. I've known such follower's rankled bosom breed Venom most fatal to his heedless lord. [Exeunt
Anna. Let me look on them. Ha! here is a heart
Enter SERVANTS with a PRISONER.
1st Serv. You say, so, sir ! But torture soon shall make you speak the truth. Behold, the lady of Lord Randolph comes ; Prepare yourself to meet her just revenge.
Enter Lady RANDOLPH and ANNA. Anna. Summon your utmost fortitude before You speak with him. Your dignity, your fame, Are now at stake. Think of the fatal secret, Which in a moment from your lips may fly. Lady R. Thou shalt behold me, with a desperate
heart, Hear how my infant perish'd. See, he kneels.
[The PRISONER kneels. Pris. Heav'n bless that countenance, so sweet and
mild ! A judge like thee makes innocence more bold. [Rises.] Oh, save me, lady! from these cruel men, Who have attack'd and seized me; who accuse Me of intended murder. As I hope For mercy at the judgment seat of Heaven, The tender lamb, that never nipt the grass Is not more innocent than I of murder. Lady R. Of this man's guilt what proof can ye
Pris. Oh, gentle lady! by your lord's dear life,
Lady R. Account for these; thine own they cannot
be; For these, I say: be stedfast to the truth; Detected falsehood is most certain death.
[Axxa temores the SERVANTS, and returns
Pris. Then, thus adjured, I'll speak to you as just