« السابقةمتابعة »
To bend on soldiers these disdainful eyes,
What will become of yon !
Nor. If this were told !-
[Aside. Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous 'self?
Glen. Ha! does thou threaten me ?
Nor. Didst thou not hear ?
Glen. Unwillingly I did ; a nobler foe
Had not been question’d thus. But such as thee-
Nor. Whom dost thou think me ?
Nor. So I am
And who is Norval in Glenalvon's eyes
Glen. A peasant's son, a wandering beggar-boy ;
At best no more, even if he speaks the truth.
Nor. False as thou art, dost thou suspect my truth?
Glen. Thy truth! thou'rt alla lie: and fal'se as hell Is the vain-glorious tale thou toldst to Randolph.
Nor. If I were chain'd, unarm'd, and bed-rid old,
Perhaps I should revile ; but as I am,
I have no tongue to rail. The humble Norval
Is of a race who strive not but with deeds.
Did I not fear to freeze thy shallow valour,
And make thee sink too soon beneath my sword,
I'd tell thee-what thou art. I know thee well.
Glen. Dost thou not know Glenalvon, born to com-
Ten thousand slaves like thee-
Nor. Villain, no more!
Draw and defend thy life. I did design
To have defy'd thee in another cause :
But heav'n accelerates its vengeance on thee.
Now for my own and lady Randolph's wrongs.
Enter Lord RANDOLPH.
Lord R. Hold, I command you both. The man that
Makes me his foe.
Nor. Another voice than thine
That threat had vainly sounded, noble Randolph.
Glen. Hear him, my Lord; he's wond'rous conde.
Mark the humility of shepherd Norval !
Nor. Now you may scoff in safety.
[Sheathes his sword.
Lord R. Speak not thus,
Taunting each other ; but unfold to me
The cause of quarrel, then I judge betwixt you.
Nor. Nay, my good Lord, tho' I revere you much,
My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment.
I blush to speak! I will not, cannot speak
Th’ opprobrious words that I from him have borne.
To the liege-lord of my dear native land
I owe a subject's homage : but ev’n him
And his high arbitration I'd reject.
Within my bosom reigns another lord ;
Honour, sole judge, and umpire of itself.
If my free speech offend you, noble Randolph,
Revoke your favours, and let Norval go
Hence as he came, alone, but not dishonour'd.
Lord R. Thus far I'll mediate with impartial voice:
The ancient foe of Caledonia's land
Now waves his banners o'er her frighted fields. 460
Suspend your purpose till your country's arms
Repel the bold invader : then decide
The private quarrel.
Glen. I agree to this.
Nor. And I.
Ser. The banquet waits.
Lord R. We come.
Let not our variance mar the social hour,
Nor wrong the hospitality of Randolph.
Nor frowning anger, nor yet wrinkled hate,
Shall stain my countenance. Sooth thou thy brow;
Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame.
Nor. Think not so lightly, Sir, of my resentment. When we contend again, our strife is mortal.[ Exeunt.
This is the place, the centre of the grove ;
Here stands the oak, the monarch of the wood.
How sweet and solemn is this midnight scene !
The silver moon, unclouded, holds her way
Thro’ skies where I could count each little star.
The fanning west wind scarcely stirs the leaves !
The river, rushing o'er its pebbled bed,
Imposes silence with a stilly sound,
In such a place as this, at such an hour,
If ancestry can be in ought believed,
Descending spirits have convers’d with man,
And told the secrets of the world unknown,
Enter Old NORVAL.
Old Nor. 'Tis he. But what if he should chide me
hence ? His just reproach I fear.
[Douglas turns aside and sees hime. Forgive, forgive, Canst thou forgive the man, the selfish man, Who bred Sir Malcolm's heir, a shepherd's son ?
Doug. Kneel not to me; thou art my father still: Thy wish'd-for presence now completes my joy. 20 Welcome to me; my fortunes thou shalt share, And ever honour'd with thy Douglas live.
Old Nor. And dost thou call me father; Oh, my son!
I think that I could die, to make amends
For the great wrong I did thee. 'Twas my crime
Which in the wilderness so long conceal'd
The blossom of thy youth.
Doug. Not worse the fruit,
That in the wilderness the blossom blow'd.
Amongst the shepherds, in the humble cot,
I learn’d some lessons, which I'll not forget
When I inhabit yonder lofty towers.
I, who was once a swain, will ever prove
The poor man's friend ; and when my vassals bow,
Norval shall smooth the crested pride of Douglas.
Nor. Let me but live to see thine exaltation !
Yet grievous are my fears. Oh, leave this place,
And those unfriendly towers!
Doug. Why should I leave them?
Nor. Lord Randolph and his kinsinan seek your life.
Doug. How know'st thou that ?
Old Nor. I will inform you how :
When evening came, I left the secret place
Appointed for me by your mother's care,
And fondly trod in each accustom'd path
That to the castle leads. Whilst thus I rang'd,
I was alarm’d with unexpected sounds
Of earnest voices. On the persons came.
Unseen I lurk’d, and overheard them name
Each other as they talk'd, lord Randolph this,
And that Glenalvon. Still of you they spoke,
And of the lady; threat'ning was their speech,
Tho' but imperfectly my ear could hear it.
'Twas strange, they said, a wonderful discov'ry :
And ever and anon they vow'd revenge,
Doug. Revenge! for what?
Old Nor. For being what you are, Sir Malcolm's heir : how else have
offended ? When they were gone, I hied me to my cottage, And there sat musing how I best might find 60 Means to inform you of their wicked