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Unseen, unheard, by human eye or ear,
I will amaze thee with a wondrous tale.

Nor. Let there be danger, lady, with the secret,
That I may hug it to my grateful heart,
And prove my

faith. Command my sword, my life : These are the sole possessions of poor

Norval.
Lady R. Know'st thou these gems?

Nor. Durst I believe mine eyes
I'd
say

I knew them, and they were my father's.
Lady R. Thy father's, say'st thou? Ah, they were

thy father's !
Nor. I saw them once, and curiously enquired
Of both my parents, whence such splendor came.
But I was check'd, and more could never learn.
Lady R. Then learn of me; thou art not Norval's

son.
Nor. Not Norval's son !
Lady R. Nor of a shepherd sprung.
Nor. Lady, who am I then ?

Lady R. Noble thou art,
For noble was thy sire.

Nor. I will believe-
Oh, tell me farther! Say, who was my father ?

Lady R. Douglas !
Nor. Lord. Douglas, whom to-day I saw ?
Lady R. His younger brother.
Nor. And in yonder camp?
Lady R, Alas!

Nor. You make me tremble-Sighs and tears !
Lives my brave father ?

Lady R. Ah, too brave indeed! He fell in battle ere thyself was born.

Nor. Ah, me unhappy, ere I saw the light! But does

my

mother live? I my conclude, From my own fate, her portion has been sorrow. . Lady R. She lives : but wastes her life in constant

woe, Weeping her husband slain, her infant lost.

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Nor. You, that are skill'd so well in the sad story Of my unhappy parents, and with tears Bewail their destiny, now have compassion Upon the offspring of the friends you loved. Oh, tell me who and where my mother is ! Oppress'd by a base world, perhaps she bends Beneath the weight of other ills than grief, And, desolate, implores of heaven the aid Her son should give. It is, it must be soYour countenance confesses that she is wretched! Oh, tell me her condition! Can the swordWho shall resist me in a parent's cause ?

Lady R. Thy virtue ends her woe—My son ! my

son !

Nor. Art thou my mother?
Lady R. I am thy mother, and the wife of Douglas!

[Falls upon his neck. Nor. Oh, heaven and earth! how wondrous is my

fate! Ever let me kneel!

Lady R. Image of Douglas ! fruit of fatal love!
All that I owe thy sire I pay to thee.

Nor. Respect and admiration still possess me,
Checking the love and fondness of a son:
Yet I was filial to

my

humble parents. But did my sire surpass the rest of inen, As thou excellest all of woman kind?

Lady R. Arise, my son. In me thou dost behold The poor remains of beauty once admired. Yet in my prime I equall'd not thy father : His eyes were like the eagle's, yet sometimes Liker the dove's: and, as he pleased, he won All hearts with softness, or with spirit awed.

Nor. How did he fall ? Sure 'twas a bloody field When Douglas died. Oh, I have much to ask ! Lady R. Hereafter thou shalt hear the lengthen'd

tale Of all thy father's and thy mother's woes.

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At present this - Thou art the rightful heir
Of yonder castle, and the wide domains,
Which now Lord Randolph, as my husband, holds.
But thou shalt not be wrong'd; I have the power
To right thee still. Before the king I'll kneel,
And call lord Douglas to protect his blood.

Nor. The blood of Douglas will protect itself.
Lady R. But we shall need both friends and favour

boy,
To wrest thy lands and lordship from the gripe
Of Randolph and his kinsman. Yet I think
My tale will move each gentle heart to pity,
My life incline the virtuous to believe.

Nor. To be the son of Douglas is to me
Inheritance enough. Declare my birth,
And in the field I'll seek for fame and fortune.
Lady R. Thou dost not know what perils and in-

justice
Await the poor man's valour. Oh, my son !
The noblest blood in all the land's abash'd,
Having no lacquey but pale poverty.
Too long hast thou been thus attended, Douglas,
Too long hast thou been deem'd a peasant's child.
The wanton heir of some inglorious chief
Perhaps has scorn’d thee in thy youthful sports,
Whilst thy indignant spirit swell'd in vain.
Such contumely thou no more shalt bear :
But how I purpose to redress thy wrongs
Must be hereafter told. Prudence directs
That we should part before yon chief's return.
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;
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.

H

D

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 grieved my heart.
Nor. Has he indeed ? Then let

yon

false Glenalvon Beware of me.

[Erit.
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 forefather's burn'd :
Set him on high like them, that he may

shine
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 urged,
Full hardly can dissemble with these men
In nature's pious cause?

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Enter LORD RANDOLPH and GLENALYON.
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 Heaven! her mien, her voice,

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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'd virtue she’s renown'd.

W;

Glen. Most true, my lord.

Lord R. Yet this distinguish'd dame Invites a youth, the acquaintance of a day, Alone to meet her at the midnight hour. This assignation, [Shews a letter.] the assassin freed, Her manifest affection for the youth, Might breed suspicions in a husband's brain. Whose gentle consort all for love had wedded ; Much more in mine. Matilda never loved 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 sorrow, 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; 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 woman's captive heart. Successful love
With glorious fumes intoxicates the mind,
And the proud conqueror in triumph moves,
Air-borne, exalted above vulgar men,

Lord R. And what avails this maxim ?

Glen. Much, my lord.
Withdraw a little; I'll accost young Norva),

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