« AnteriorContinuar »
The thousand pangs, which tore the lover's breast ?
Upon her breathlefs corfe himself he threw,
And to her clay-cold lips, with trembling hafte,
Ten thousand kiffes gave. He ftrove to speak;
Nor words he found: he clafpt her in his arms;
He figh'd, he fwoon'd, look'd up, and died away.
One grave contains this haplefs, faithful pair;
And ftill the Cane-ifles tell their matchlefs love!
CHA P. XVIII.
DOUGLAS TO LORD RANDOLPH.
Y name is NORVAL: on the Grampian hills
My father feeds his flock; a frugal fwain,
Whose conftant cares were to increase his ftore,
And keep his only fon, myself at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field fome warlike lord;
And Heaven foon granted what
This moon which rose last night, round as my shield,
Had not yet fill'd her horns, when, by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
Rufh'd like a torrent down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For fafety, and for fuccour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took, then hafted to my friends:
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The purfuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumber'd foe.
We fought and conquer'd. Ere a fword was drawn,
An arrow from my bow had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I difdain'd
The shepherd's flothful life; and having heard
That our good king had fummon'd his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Carron fide,
my father's houfe, and took with me
A chofen fervant to conduct my steps:-
Yon trembling coward who forfook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I pass'd these towers,
And, Heaven-directed, came this day to do
The happy deed that gilds my humble name.
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause,
In fpeaking for myfelf. Yet, by your patience,
MOST potent, grave, and reverend Signiors,
My very noble and approv'd good masters;
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her;
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent; no more. Rude am I in fpeech,
And little blefs'd with the fet phrase of peace;
For fince thefe arms of mine had seven years pith,
Till now fome nine moons wafted, they have us’d
Their dearest action in the tented field;
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver,
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic,
(For fuch proceeding I am charg'd withal)
I won his daughter with.
Her father lov'd me, oft invited me;
Still queftion'd me the ftory of my life,
From year to year; the battles, fieges, fortunes,
That I have past.
I ran it through, ev'n from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bade me tell it.
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field :
Of hair-breadth 'fcapes in th' imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the infolent foe,
And fold to flavery; of my redemption thence,
And with it all my travel's history:
Wherein of antres vaft, and deferts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills, whofe heads touch heav'n,
It was my hent to speak.-All these to hear
Would Defdemona feriously incline.
But ftill the house-affairs would draw her hence,
Which ever as she could with hafte dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate;
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not diftinctively. I did confent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth fuffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of fighs.
She swore, in faith, 'twas ftrange, 'twas paffing ftrange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wond'rous pitiful-
She wifh'd the had not heard it—yet she wifh'd
That Heav'n had made her fuch a man:-she thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my ftory,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had paft;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have us'd.
I KNOW no two words that have been more abused by
the different and wrong interpretations which are put upon them, than these two, Modefty and Affurance. To fay, fuch a one is a modeft man, fometimes indeed paffes for a good character; but at prefent is very often used to fignify a fheepish awkward fellow, who has neither good breeding, politenefs, nor any knowledge of the world.
AGAIN, A man of affurance, though at first only denoted a person of a free and open carriage, is now very ufually applied to a profligate wretch, who can break through all the rules of decency and morality without a blush.
I SHALL endeavour therefore in this effay to restore these words to their true meaning, to prevent the idea of Modesty from being confounded with that of Sheepifhnefs, and to hinder Impudence from paffing for Affurance.