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Sit down and weep the conquests he has made.
Yonder comes one whose love makes duty light. [Exit.
Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's love:
And warn you of the hours that you neglect,
Lady Rand. So to lose my hours
Is all the use I wish to make of time.
Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with my state: But sure I am, since death first prey'd on man, Never did sister thus a brother mourn.
What had your sorrows been if you had lost,
Anna. Have I distrest you with officious love,
The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune:
These piteous tears,
Lady Rand. What power directed thy unconscious tongue
To speak as thou hast done? To name
Anna. I know not:
But, since my words have made my
Lady Rand. No, thou shalt not be silent.
* "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death "and hell delivered up the dead which were in them." Rev. xx. 13.
Anna. What means my noble mistress?
Lady Rand. Didst thou not ask what had my sorrows been,
If I in early youth had lost a husband?
In the cold bosom of the earth is lodg'd,
My child and his.
Anna. O! lady, most rever'd!
The tale wrapt up in your amazing words
Lady Rund. Alas! an ancient feud, Hereditary evil, was the source Of my misfortunes. For it so befell, That my brave brother did in battle save The life of Douglas' son, our house's foe: The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship. To see the vaunted sister of his friend, Impatient, Douglas to Balarmo came, Under a borrow'd name.- -My heart he gain'd; Nor did I long refuse the hand he begg'd: My brother's presence authoriz'd our marriage. Three weeks, three little weeks, with wings of down, Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was call'd To fight his father's battles; and with him, In spite of all my tears, did Malcolm go. Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire was told That the false stranger was lord Douglas' son. Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword And question'd me. Alone, forsaken, faint, Kneeling beneath his sword, fault'ring I took An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity! Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave Thy onward path! however pow'r may threat, And death itself may haunt with all its fears,. To take dissimulation's winding way.*
This passage is altered from the original, though the strong figurative expression might perhaps have been defended by Isaiah v.
Anna. Alas! how few of woman's fearful kind,
Lady Rand. The first truth
Lady Rand. In the first days
Of my distracting grief, I found myself
As women wish to be who love their lords.
14. The author has expressed the same sentiment in The Siege of Aquileia in better terms:
"There is but one,
"One only path which mortals safely tread,
On the very difficult subject of promises which are extorted by violence or fear, the reader may consult the late Dr. Pearson's Annotations on the Practical Part of Dr. Paley's" Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy." p. 57.
*To this passage Mr. Cumberland, in his Critique, objects, that, "If Lady Randolph had inculcated the duty of speaking truth in all cases, and at all times, it had been a moral; but when she is only "treating of the superior ease with which it is avowed at one time " rather than another, I think she might have called it a maxim " rather than a moral: and yet as such I doubt if it would have "held good in her case; for I conceive, if she could have hazarded "the first truth, and confessed her marriage, the second would have "been much the easiest to have owned, when she found herself
"As women wish to be who love their lords."
P. IX. I conceive the meaning of the passage to be, that it is always the easiest, or best, way to avow the truth in the first instance, whatever danger there may be in it, rather than attempt by dissimulationto avoid any present difficulty. Thus, had Lady Randolph, when urged to take an oath, that she would never wed one of Douglas' name, own'd that she was already married to one of the family, she would not have brought on herself the additional difficulty and guilt of concealing her pregnancy and the birth of the child, or owning. herself forsworn, or, what amounts to the same thing, that she had been guilty of equivocation in the oath she had taken. Thus, the first truth, or fact, had been easiest to avow.
+ The 12mo. reads Heaven.
But who durst tell my father? The good priest
Till time should make my father's fortune mine.
Set out with him to reach her sister's house:
Anna. Not seen, nor heard of! then perhaps he lives.
Nor e'en the dreary comfort is permitted me,
Such were my soothing thoughts, while I bewail'd
Anna. The hand, that spins th' uneven thread of life, May smooth the length that's yet to come of your's. Lady Rand. Not in this world: I have consider'd well 'It's various evils, and on whom they fall.
Alas! how oft does goodness wound itself,
Anna. That God, whose ministers good angels are,
Anna. Why speaks my lady thus of Randolph's heir? Lady Rand. Because he's not the heir of Randolph's Subtle and shrewd, he offers to mankind [virtues. An artificial image of himself:
* On this passage Mr. Cumberland observes in his Critique," I "conceive her meaning to be, that if the good angel had permitted "her to read before hand the catalogue of all the ills she had one by "one endured, it would have broken her heart to have beheld the +6 sum of them; and the deduction naturally to be drawn from this positionis, that if breaking her heart had caused her death, (which "in all likelihood would have been the result) it should follow that "the courtesy of the good angel in opening the book, and suffering "her to peruse the incidents of her future life, so very close upon "her instant death, would have marred the truth of prophecy, and "disappointed the decrees of Providence." p. xI.
Literally speaking this is true. But the criticism I consider as hypercritical, The meaning is sufficiently obvious to the understand ing and heart of every hearer and reader, that, had she known beforehand what afflictions awaited her, her heart had been overwhelmed with sorrow at the anticipation of them. The idea of the angel and The book of Providence, I suppose to be taken from the hook of Revelations, in the fourth and following chapters; and, after reading them, may we not exclaim with Balaam in a similar case, "Alas, who shall live when God doeth this!"? (Numb. xxiv, 23.). The reply of Anna is good.
+ The 12mo. reads Power.