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Norv. If I should e’er acquire a leader's name,
My speech will be less ardent. Novelty
Now prompts my tongue, and youthful admiration
Vents itself freely; since no part is mine
Of praise pertaining to the great in arms.
Glen. You wrong yourself, brave sir; your martial deeds
Have ranked you with the great. But mark me, Norval ;
Lord Randolph’s favor now exalts your youth
Above his veterans of famous service.
Let me, who know these soldiers, counsel you.
Give them all honor: seem not to command,
Else they will hardly brook your late-sprung power,
Which nor alliance props nor birth adorns.
Norv. Sir, I have been accustomed all my days
To hear and speak the plain and simple truth;
And though I have been told that there are men
Who borrow friendship’s tongue to speak their scorn,
Yet in such language I am little skilled :
Therefore I thank Glenalvon for his counsel,
Although it sounded harshly. Why remind
Me of my birth obscure ? Why slur my power
With such contemptuous terms ?
Glen. I did not mean
To gall your pride, which now I see is great.
Norv. My pride!
Glen. Suppress it, as you wish to prosper.
Your pride's excessive. Yet, for Randolph's sake,
I will not leave you to its rash direction.
If thus you swell, and frown at high-born men,
Will high-born men endure a shepherd's scorn ?
Norv. A shepherd's scorn!
Glen. Yes, if you presume
To bend on soldiers these disdainful eyes,
As if you took the measure of their minds,
And said in secret, you're no match for me,
What will become of you ?
Noro. Hast thou no fears for thy presumptuous self ?
Glen. Ha! dost thou threaten me ?
Norv. Didst thou not hear?
Glen. Unwillingly I did ; a nobler foe
Had not been questioned thus; but such as thee -
Norv. Whơm dost thou think me?
Norv. 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.
Norv. False as thou art, dost thou suspect my truth?
Glen. Thy truth! thou’rt all a lie : and false as hell
Is the vainglorious tale thou toldest to Randolph.
Norv. If I were chained, unarmed, or bedrid 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 valor,
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 command Ten thousand slaves like thee ?
Norv. Villain, no more !
Draw and defend thy life. I did design
To have defied thee in another cause ;
But Heaven accelerates its vengeance on thee.
Now for my own and Lady Randolph's wrongs.
Lord Randolph. (Enters.) Hold, I command you both. The man that stirs makes me his foe.
Norv. Another voice than thine
That threat had vainly sounded, noble Randolph.
Glen. Hear him, my lord ; he's wondrous condescending ! Mark the humility of shepherd Norval !
Norv. Now you may scoff in safety.
Lord Ran. Speak not thus,
Taunting each other, but unfold to me
The cause of quarrel ; then I judge betwixt you.
Norv. Nay, my good lord, though I revere you much,
My cause I plead not, nor demand your judgment.
I blush to speak : I will not, cannot speak,
The opprobrious words that I from him have borne.
To the liege lord of my dear native land
I owe a subject's homage : but even him
And his high arbitration, I'd reject.
Within my bosom reigns another lord;
Honor, sole judge and umpire of itself.
If my free speech offend you, noble Randolph,
Revoke your favors, and let Norval go
Hence as he came, alone, but not dishonored !
Lord Ran. Thus far I'll mediate with impartial voice;.
The ancient foe of Caledonia's land
Now waves his banner o'er her frighted fields ;
Suspend your purpose till your country's arms
Repel the bold invader ; then decide
The private quarrel.
Glen. I agree to this.
Norv. And I.
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. Smooth thou thy brow;
Nor let our strife disturb the gentle dame.
Noro. Think not so lightly, sir, of my resentment;
When we contend again ; our strife is mortal.
THE DUKE OF CARINTHIA AND HĽOX.
Duke. My lord, send Huon to me. Question not, Advise me not. He marries, or he dies. (Erit Ulrick.) Life spent to waste! My pride become my shame! For this I rear'd her— reard to tow'ring thoughts. A gasp of being only left, and that To sigh that being has been spent in vain For her, last shoot of an illustrious tree! I loved my serf, was vain of him, and made My vanity to smile through his deserts ; And now, their light is cloud to all my hopes. Through my own pride my high aspirings fall. They shall not fall! Good bye to ruth! He dares To love my child — to cover her I grudged Surrender of those could boast estate Equal to mine! Born at my very foot How durst he lift his eyes so giddy high ! He comes, I see! The passion, never yet I dream'd of, stares upon me, in his look, His air, his gait. 'Tis dead — or he must die! (Sits.)
[Enter Huon.] Huon!
Huon. My lord ?
Duke. I have been thinking of thee.
Huon. My lord is ever good.
Duke. I have a notion
’T would profit thee to marry.
Huon. I first must love.
Duke. And hast thou never loved ?
Why art thou silent? Wherefore holds thy tongue
Its peace, and not thy cheek?
Huon. My cheek!
Duke. It talks !
A flush pass’d o’er it as I spoke to thee :
And now it talks again — and on the ground
Thou cast'st thine eye. “Thou first must love ” — My friend,
Thou art in love already. Art thou not ?
Art thou not, Huon? — Never mind, but keep
Thy secret.— I have fixed that thou shalt marry.
Huon. My lord
Duke. (Interrupting him.) I know it will advantage thee,
And I have look'd around my court to find
A partner for thee, and have lit on one.
Huon. (Most earnestly.) My lord —
Duke. (Interrupting him again.) She has beauty, Huon, she has
And what doth qualify her better still —
As of unequal matches discords grow —
She's of thy own class, Huon, she is a serf. (Rises.)
Huon. (Impetuously.) My lord
Duke. (Interrupting indignantly.) My serf! - How Now? — Wouldst thou rebel ?
Huon. Rebel, my lord ?
Duke. I trust I was deceived !
I did not see defiance in thine eye,
And hear it on thy tongue! Thou wouldst not dare
So much as harbor wish to thwart thy lord,
Much less intent? Thou know’st him! know’st thyself!
Thou may’st have scruples — that thou canst not help ;
But thou canst help indulging them in the face
Of thy lord's will. And so, as ’tis my will
Thou marry straight, and I have found thy match,
I'll draw a paper up, where thou shalt make
The proffer of thy hand to Catherine,
And thou shalt sign it, Huon. (Sits at the table and writes.)
Huon. That I were dead !
O, what is death compared to slavery !