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When the King said, Be friends! It is not credible. But I have said my tidings best and worst.
And peril may demand. To list your banner
Ireland and Galloway offer you convenience Than dream anointed Majesty has wrong!
For flight, if slight be thought the better remedy ; Gis. Speak within door, coz.
To face the court requires the consciousness Auch. 0, trueaside)-I shall betray myself And confidence of innocence. You alone Even to this half-bred fool.-I must have room, Can judge if you possess these attributes. Room for an instant, or I suffocate.
(A noise behind the scenes. Cousin, I prithee call our Philip hither
Auch. Philip, I think, has broken up his revels;
Well liquor'd, doubtless. They're disbanded soldiers, Would chafe my blood, and I have need of coolness. Or some such vagabonds.-Here comes the gallant. Gif. I understand thee~I will bring him straight. (Enter PHILIP. He has a buff-coat and head-piece,
wears a sword and dagger, with pistols at his girdle. Auch. And if thou dost, he's lost his ancient trick He appears to be affected by liquor, but to be by no To fathom, as he wont, his five-pint fagons.
means intoricated. This space is mine—0 for the power to fill it,
Auch. You scarce have been made known to one Instead of senseless rage and empty curses,
another, With the dark spell which witches learn from fiends, Although you sate together at the boardThat smites the object of their hate afar,
Son Philip, know and prize our cousin Gifford. Nor leaves a token of its mystic action,
Phil.(lastes the wine on the table.) If you had prized . Stealing the soul from out the unscathed body,
bim, sir, you had been loath As lightning melts the blade, nor harms the scabbard !
To have welcomed him in bastard Alicant : -"Tis vain to wish for it-Each curse of mine
I'll make amends, by pledging his good journey
In glorious Burgundy.—The stirrup-cup, ho!
Auch. (draws him aside.) The stirrup-cup! He Like to a snowball in a schoolboy's hand,
doth not ride to-nightThat melts the faster the more close he grasps it!
Shame on such churlish conduct to a kinsman ! If I had time, the Scottish Solomon,
Phil. (aside to his father.) I've news of pressing
import. Whom some call son of David the Musician,Might find it perilous work to march to Carrick.
Send the fool off.—Stay, I will start him for you. There's many a feud still slumbering in its ashes,
(To Gif.) Yes, my kind cousin, Burgundy is better, Whose embers are yet red. Nobles we have,
On a night-ride, to those who tread our moors, Stout as old Gray steel, and as hot as Bothwell;
And we may deal it freely to our friends, Here too are castles look from crags as high
For we came freely by it. Yonder ocean
Rolls many a purple cask upon our shore,
Rough with embossed shells and shagged sea-weed,
When the good skipper and his careful crew
Have had their latest earthly draught of brine,
And gone to quench, or to endure their thirst, Gif.
I heard you name Where nectar's plenty, or even water's scarce, The King, my kinsman ; know, he comes not hither. And filter'd to the parched crew by dropsfull. Auch. (affecting indifference.) Nay, then we need
Auch. Thou’rt mad, son Philip !–Gifford's no not broach our barrels, cousin,
intruder, Nor purchase us new jerkins.—Comes not Philip? That we should rid him hence by such wild rants :
Gis. Yes, sir. He tarries but to drink a service My kinsman hither rode at his own danger, To his good friends at parting.
To tell us that Dunbar is hasting to us, Auch. Friends for the beadle or the sheriff-officer. With a strong force, and with the King's commission, Well, let it pass. Who comes, and how attended,
To enforce against our house a hateful charge, Since James designs not westward ?
With every measure of extremity.
On whose authority, I tell thee, cousin,
[ The calunnious tale wbich ascribed the birth of Jimes VI. to an intrigue of Queen Mary with Rizzio. ]
Phil. Yes, gentle coz. And you, my sire, be hasty | Till they review the cards which fate has dealt them, In what you think to do.
Computing thus the chances of the game; Auch. I think thou darest not jest on such a sub- And wofully they seem to weigh against us. ject.
Auch. Exile's a passing ill, and may be borne; Where hadst thou these fell tidings?
And when Dunbar and all his myrmidons Phil. Where you, too, might have heard them, Are eastward turn’d, we'll seize our own again. noble father,
Phil. Would that were all the risk we had to stand Save that your ears, nail'd to our kinsman's lips,
to! Would list no coarser accents. O, my soldiers, But more and worse,-a doom of treason, forfeiture, My merry crew of vagabonds, for ever!
Death to ourselves, dishonour to our house,
And, fatally for us, he hath the means;
To make his threatenings good. When, lo! they met a military friend,
Auch. It cannot be. I tell thee, there's no force An ancient fourier, known to them of old,
In Scottish law to raze a house like mine, Who, warm’d by certain stoups of searching wine,
Coeval with the time the Lords of Galloway Inform’d his old companions that Dunbar
Submitted them unto the Scottish sceptre, Left Glasgow yesterday, comes here to-morrow;
Renouncing rights of Tanistry and Brehon. Himself, he said, was sent a spy before,
Some dreams they have of evidence; some suspicion. To view what preparations we were making.
But old Montgomery knows my purpose well, Auch. (10 Gif.) If this be sooth, good kinsman, | And long before their mandate reach the camp thou must claim
To crave the presence of this mighty witness, To take a part with us for life and death,
He will be fitted with an answer to it. Or speed from hence, and leave us to our fortune. Phil. Father, what we call great, is often ruin'd Gif. In such dilemma,
By means so ludicrously disproportion'd; Believe me, friend, I'd choose upon the instant They make me think upon the gunner's linstock, But I lack harness, and a steed to charge on,
Which, yielding forth a light about the size For mine is overtired, and, save my page,
And semblance of the glowworm, yet applied There's not a man to back me. But I'll hie
To powder, blew a palace into atoms, To Kyle, and raise my vassals to your aid.
Sent a young King-a young Queen's mate at leastPhil. 'Twill be when the rats,
Into the air, as high as e'er flew night-hawk, That on these tidings fly this house of ours,
And made such wild work in the realm of Scotland, Come back to pay their rents.—(Apart).
As they can tell who heard,--and you were one Auch. Courage, cousin
Who saw, perhaps, the night-light which began it. Thou goest not hence ill mounted for thy need : Auch. If thou hast nought to speak but drunken Full forty coursers feed in my wide stalls,
folly, The best of them is yours to speed your journey.
I cannot listen longer. Phil. Stand not on ceremony, good our cousin,
Phil. I will speak brief and sudden.-- There is one When safety signs, to shorten courtesy.
Whose tongue to us has the same perilous force Gis. (to Auch.) Farewell, then, cousin, for my Which Bothwell's powder had to Kirk of Field; tarrying here
One whose least tone, and those but peasant accents, Were ruin to myself, small aid to you;
Could rend the roof from off our fathers' castle, Yet loving well your name and family,
Level its tallest turret with its base; I'd fain
And he that doth possess this wondrous power Phil. Be gone?--that is our object, too,
Sleeps this same night not five miles distant from us. Kinsman, adieu.
Auch. (who had looked on PHILIP with much ap[Exit GIFFORD. PHILIP calls after him.
pearance of astonishment and doubt, exYou yeoman of the stable,
claims,) Then thou art mad indeed!-Ha! Give Master Gifford there my fleetest steed,
ha! I'm glad on't. Yon cut-tail'd roan that trembles at a spear.
I'd purchase an escape from what I dread, [Trampling of the horse heard going off.
Even by the frenzy of my only son! Hark! he departs. How swift the dastard rides,
Phil. I thank you, but agree not to the bargain. To shun the neighbourhood of jeopardy!
You rest on what yon civet cat has said : (He lays aside the appearance of levity which he Yon silken doublet, stuff?d with rotten straw, has hitherto worn, and says very seriously, Told you but half the truth, and knew no more.
And now, my father – But my good vagrants had a perfect tale : Auch. And now, my son-thou'st taken a perilous They told me, little judging the importance, game
That Quentin Blane had been discharged with them. Into thine hands, rejecting elder couusel,
They told me, that a quarrel happ'd at landing, How dost thou mean to play it ?
And that the youngster and an ancient sergeant Phil. Sir, good gamesters play not
Had left their company, and taken refuge
In Chapeldonan, where our ranger dwells;' In strength and force compulsive. No one saw me
I practised prudence, and paid tax to virtue,
By following her behests, save where strong reason To think he stands on the same land with us, Compell’d a deviation. Then, if preachers Whose absence thou wouldst deem were cheaply At times look'd sour, or elders shook their heads, purchased
They could not term my walk irregular; With thy soul's ransom and thy body's danger. For I stood up still for the worthy cause,
Auch. 'Tis then a fatal truth! Thou art no yelper, A pillar, though a flaw'd one, of the altar, To open rashly on so wild a scent;
Kept a strict walk, and led three hundred horse. Thou’rt the young bloodhound, which careers and Phil. Ah, these three hundred horse in such rough Frolics and fawns, as if the friend of man, (springs, were better commendation to a party [times But seizes on his victim like a tiger.
Than all your efforts at hypocrisy, Phil. No matter what I am—I'm as you bred me; Betray'd so oft by avarice and ambition, So let that pass till there be time to mend me, And dragg'd to open shame. But, righteous father, And let us speak like men, and to the purpose. When sire and son unite in mutual crime, This object of our fear and of our dread,
And join their efforts to the same enormity, Since such our pride must own him, sleeps to-night It is no time to measure other's faults, Within our power :-to-morrow in Dunbar's, Or fix the amount of each. Most moral father, And we are then his victims. :
Think if it be a moment now to weigh
The vices of the Heir of Auchindrane,
Phil. Yes! The poor knave has got a handsome That's gaping for the forfeiture.
[wife, Auch. We'll disappoint him, Philip,-
Call loudly, nay, compel us to look forward :
Nay, soft, I pray thee;, In these our 'inodern nostrils. In our days,
I had not made your piety my confessor, If a young baron chance to leave his vassal
Nor enter'd in debate on these sage councils, The sole possessor of a handsome wife,
Which you're more like to give than I to profit by, 'Tis sign he loves bis follower; and if not,
Could I have used the time more usefully; He loves his follower's wife, which often proves But first an interval must pass between The surer bond of patronage. Take either case ; The fate of Quentin and the little artifice Favour flows in of course, and vassals rise.
That shall detach him from his comrade, Auch. Philip, this is infamous,
The stout old soldier that I told you of. And, what is worse, impolitic. Take example: Auch. How work a point so difficult-sodangerous ? Break not God's laws or man's for each temptation Phil. 'Tis cared for. Mark, my father, the conveThat youth and blood suggest. I am a man
Arising from mean company. My agents [nience A weak and erring man ;—full well thou know'st Are at my hand, like a good workman's tools, That I may hardly term myself a pattern
And if I mean a mischief, ten to one Even to my son ;-yet thus far will I say,
That they anticipate the deed and guilt. I never swerved from my integrity,
Well knowing this, when first the vagrants' tattle Save at the voice of strong necessity,
Gave me the hint that Quentin was so near us, Or such o'erpowering view of high advantage Instant I sent MacLellan, with strong charges As wise men liken to necessity,
To stop him for the night, and bring me word,
[ MS.-“lo tbe old tower wbere Niel MacLellan dwells.
subjects, they would consider themselves as absolved from their And therefore laugb no more," etc.)
allegiance to her." He was author of a satirical poem against the [MS.-"And we are then in his power."|
Roman Catholics, entitled " The Hermit of Allareit," (Loretto.) [ MS." He's in our power to-bigbt."]
-See SIBBALD'S chronicle of Scottish Poetry. He assisted the « [Alexander, fifth Earl of Glencairn, for distinction called Reformers with his sword, when they took arms at Perth, in 1559; “ The Good Earl," was among the first ofithe peers of Scotland had a principal command in the army embodied against Queen who concurred in the Reformation, in aid of which he acted a Mary, in June 1567; and demolished the altar, broke the images, conspicuous part, in the employment both of his sword and pen. tore down the pictures, etc., in the Chapel-royal of HolyrooilIn a remonstrance with the Queen Regent, he lold her, thal“ ir house, after the Queen was conducted to Lochleven. lle died sho violated the engagements which she had come under to her | in 1574. ]
Like an accomplish'd spy, how all things stood, Of conscience, and of pity, and forgiveness;
Fine words to-morrow, out of place to-night.
Take counsel tben, leave all this work to me;
(If they have power to hallow it) with thy prayers.
Let me ride forth alone, and ere the sun
Phil. No doubt on't. 'Mid the tidings he brought “Now do thy worst, thou oft-returning spy,
[back Here's nought thou canst discover.” Is flush of dollars: this I caused him tell
Auch. Yet goest thou not alone with that MacLellan!
He deems thou bearest will to injure him,
Yet ridest thou not alone with yonder man,-
Come weal, come woe, myself will go with thee. Whom he might well suppose at no great distance,
(Exit, and calls to horse behind the Scene. Commanding his old Sergeant Hildebrand,
Phil. (alone.) Now would I give my fleetest horse By all the ties of late authority,
to know Conjuring him by ancient soldiership,
What sudden thought roused this paternal care, To hasten to his mansion instantly,
And if 'tis on his own account or mine : On business of high import, with a charge
'Tis true, he hath the deepest share in all To come
[lows? That's likely now to hap, or which has happen'd. Auch. Well, he sets out, I doubt it not, what fol Yet strong through Nature's universal reign,
Phil. I am not curious into others' practices, The link which binds the parent to the offspring : So far I'm an economist in guilt,
The she-wolf knows it, and the tigress owns it.
So that dark man, who, shunning what is vicious,
That I should do for him all that a son [born,
Auch. Who carries the forged letter to the veteran? To insluence my bold courses, 't will be hard
Phil. Why, Niel MacLellan, who return'd again To break our inutual purpose.- Horses there! To his own tower, as if to pass the night there.
It is moonlight. The scene is the Beach beneath the Tower
from her unchorage. To sçour the moors in quest of the banditti
AUCHINDRANE and Philip, as if dismounted from their That kill'd the poor old man--they shall die instantly.
horses, come forward cautiously. Dunbar shall see us use sharp justice here, As well as he in Teviotdale. You are sure
Phil. The nags are safely stow’d. Their noise You gave no hint nor impulse to their purpose ?
might scare him;
The business is but short. We'll call MacLellan,
If he be so disposed, for here are waters
By beaven I'll deal oa him in Chapeldonan
Auch. Too furious boy !-alarm or noise undoes us,
Bethink thee that conviction of this slaughter
Confirms the very worst of accusations
A moonlight waker, and a noontide dreamerOur foes can bring against us. Wherefore should we, | A torturer of phrases into sonnets, Who by our birth and fortune mate with nobles, Whom all might lead that chose to praise his rhymes. And are allied with them, take this lad's life,
Phil. I marvel that your memory has room His peasant life, unless to quash his evidence, To hold so much on such a worthless subject. Taking such pains to rid him from the world,
Auch. Base in himself, and yet so strangely link'd Who would, if spared, have fix'd a crime upon us ? With me and with my fortunes, that I've studied
Phil. Well, I do own me one of those wise folks, To read him through, as I would read
Said to contain the fortunes of my house;
Might lead him by a thread-He shall not die!
Phil. Indeed !—then have we had our midnight ride Might he not go there while in life and limb, To wondrous little purpose. And breathe his span out in another air ?
By the blue heaven, Many seek Ulster never to return
Thou shalt not murder him, cold selfish sensualist ! Why might this wretched youth not harbour there? Yon pure vault speaks it-yonder summer moon,
Phil. With all my heart. It is small honour to me With its ten million sparklers, cries, Forbear! To be the agent in a work like this.
The deep earth sighs it forth—Thou shalt not murYet this poor caitiff, having thrust himselt
Thou shalt not mar the image of thy Maker! [der!Into the secrets of a noble house,
Thou shalt not from thy brother take the life, And twined himself so closely with our safety, The precious gift which God alone can give!That we must perish, or that he must die,
Phil. Here is a worthy guerdon now, for stuffing I'll hesitate as little on the action,
His memory with old saws and holy sayings! As I would do to slay the animal
They come upon him in the very crisis, Whose flesh supplies my dinner. 'Tis as harmless, And when bis resolution should be firinest, That deer or steer, as is this Quentin Blane,
They shake it like a palsy-Let it be, And not more necessary is its death
He'll end at last by yielding to temptation, To our accommodation-so we slay it
Consenting to the thing which must be done, Without a moment's pause or hesitation.
With more remorse the more he hesitates.Auch. 'Tis not, my son, the feeling call'd remorse,
[To his Father, who has stood fixed That now lies tugging at this heart of mine,
after his last speech. Engendering thoughts that stop the lifted hand. Well, sir, 'tis fitting you resolve at last, Have I not heard John Knox pour forth bis thunders How the young clerk shall be disposed upon ; Against the oppressor and the man of blood,
Unless you would ride home to Auchindrane, In accents of a minister of vengeance?
And bid them rear the Maiden in the court-yard, Were not his fiery eyeballs turn’d on me,
That when Dunbar comes, he have nought to do As if he said expressly, “Thou’rt the man? "
But bid us kiss the cushion and the headsman. Yet did my solid purpose, as I listen'd,
Auch. It is too true-There is no safety for us, Remain unshaken as that massive rock.
Consistent with the unhappy wretch's life! Phil. Well, then, I'll understand 'tis not remorse, - In Ireland he is sure to find my enemies. As 'tis a foible little known to thee,
Arran I've proved—the Netherlands I've tried, That interrupts thy purpose. Wbat, then, is it? But wilds and wars return him on my hands. Is’t scorn, or is’t compassion? One thing's certain, Phil. Yet fear not, father, we'll make surer work; Either the feeling must have free indulgence, The land has caves, the sea has whirlpools, Or fully be subjected to your reason
Where that which they suck in returns no more. There is no room for these same treacherous courses, Auch. I will know nought of it, hard-hearted boy! Which men call moderate measures.
Phil. Hard-hearted! Why--my heart is soft as yours; We must confide in Quentin, or must slay him. But then they must not feel remorse at once,
Auch. In Ireland he might live afar from us. We can't afford such wasteful tenderness :
Phil. Among Queen Mary's faithful partisans, I can mouth forth remorse as well as you. Your ancient enemies, the haughty Hamiltons, Be executioner, and I'll be chaplain, The stern MacDonnells, and resentful Græmes And say as mild and moving things as you can; With these around him, and with Cassilis' death But one of us must keep his steely temper. Exasperating them against you, think, my father, Auch. Do thou the deed-I cannot look on it. What chance of Quentin's silence.
Phil. So be it—walk with me—MacLellan brings Auch. Too true-too true. He is a silly youth, too, The boat lies moor'd within that reach of rock, [him. Who had not wit to shift for his own living And 'twill require our greatest strength combined A bashful lover, whom his rivals laugh'd at
To launch it from the beach. Meantime, MacLellan Of pliant temper, which companions play'd en Brings our man hither.-See the twinkling light