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And he with ease can vary to the taste
But his fierce nature, like a fox chain’d up,
As in Glenalvon's unrelenting mind.'
[Exit Lady Randolph.
Enter GLEN ALVON. Glen. What dost thou muse on, meditating maid? Like some entranc'd and visionary seer On earth thou stand'st, thy thoughts ascend to heaven. What dost thou think of? what hast thou to do With subjects intricate? Thy youth, thy beauty, Cannot be question’d: think of these good gifts; And then thy contemplations will be pleasing.
Anna. Let women view yon monument of woe,
Glen. So !--Lady Randolph shuns me; by and by
To sow in peril I love not, if others
of woman's will I do not know:
The SCENE Continues.
Lady RANDOLPH and Anna at another.
speak secure; Hast thou been wrong'd ? have these rude men presum'd To vex the weary traveller on his way?
First Serv. By us no stranger ever suffer'd wrong: This man with outcry wild has call’d us forth; So sore afraid he cannot speak his fears. Enter Lord RANDOLPH and Young NORVAL, with
their swords drawn and bloody. Lady Rand. Not vain the stranger's fears! how fares my
Who would have quickly laid Lord Randolph low,
him : but his active arm Struck to the ground, from whence they rose no more, The fiercest two; the others fled amain, 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 Rand. My lord, I cannot speak what now I feel. My heart o’erflows with gratitude to Heav'n, And to this noble youth, who, all unknown To you and yours,
Lord Rand. I ask'd that question, and he answer'd not: But I must know who
deliverer is. [To Y. Norval Y. Norval. 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 Rand. Whoe'er thou art, thy spirit is ennoblid By. the great King of Kings! thou art stampt A hero by the sovereign hand, whose work We Nature call. Thou flower of modesty And valour, blush not to declare thy birth.
Y. Norvál. My name is Norval: on the Grampian hills My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain, Whose constant cares were to encrease 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 Heaven soon granted what my sire denied. This moon, which rose last night, round as my shield, Had not yet fill’d her horns,* when, by her light,
* The event of wbich Y. Norval here speaks had happened some days before. The moon the night before the play opens was full,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
round as his shield. This inroad of the barbarians had happened when the moon was a crescent, when she had not yet fill'd her horns. “ Nec nova crescendo reparabat cornua Phebe."
Ovid, Metam. B. 1. 1. 11. I should not have thought this explanation wanted, but that I have seen a criticism, in which this beautifully poetical description was found fault with.
* The narrative of Y. Norval will probably call to the mind of the reader that of the Young Shepherd, the son of Jesse, before King Saul, in 1 Samuel xvII. 34-37. That it was in the mind of the author, I think there can be no doubt, not only from the general similitude, but also from the use of the word " stripling" by Old Norval, in the third act, which is from verse 56,- from Douglas' allusion, in his second soliliquy in the fifth act, to the “ fierce gigan“ tic Dane” giving " a bold defiance to” the lost," -and from the lamentation of Lady Randolph for her son being similar to that of David for Absalom.-The "tale"“ rehearsed" with “a gallant mo“ desty" by David is,
“ Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a " bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, " and smote him, and delivered it out of his moutb, and wben be
Lord Rand. He is as wise as brave. Was ever tale With such a gallant modesty rehears'd? 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 lov'd. Ha! my Matilda! wherefore starts that tear?
Lady Rund. I cannot say: for various affections, And strangely mingled, in my bosom swell; Yet each of them may well command a tear. 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 Resolv'd to hunt for fame, and with his sword To gain distinction which his birth denied. In this attempt unknown he might have perish'd, And gain'd, with all his valour, but oblivion. Now grac'd by thee, his virtue serves no more Beneath despair. The soldier now of hope* He stands conspicuous; fame and great renown Are brought within the compass of his sword. On this my mind reflected, whilst you spoke, And bless'd the wonder-working Lord + of heaven.
Lord Rand. 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 honor and command shall Norval be.
arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and “ slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and this “ uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath “ defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The " Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the
paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of the Phi“ jistine."
lo the Preface to this Play, p. 251, I have quoted a passage from another of our author's tragedies, in which he has still more closely adopted this incident from the life of David.
* “ Ye prisoners of hope.” Zech. ix. 12.
+ The 12mo, reads hand of Heaven.