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nsoi-zivr.

We are determined. We will spare proud Edward
Half of the ground that parts us.—Onward, lords;
Saint Andrew strike for Scotland! We will lead

The middle ward ourselves, the royal standard
Display’d beside us; and beneath its shadow

Shall the young gallants whom we knight this day,
Fight for their golden spurs.—Lennox, thou ‘rt Wise,
And wilt obey command: lead thou the rear.

Lzmvox.
The rear'.—why I the rear‘! The van were fitter
For him who fought abreast with Robert Bruce.
swmrou (apart).

Discretion hath forsaken Lennox too!

The wisdom he was forty years in gathering

Has left him in an instant. "I is contagious

Even to witness frenzy.

strruut./mo. The Regent hath determined well. The rear Suits him the best who counsell’d our retreat. uznuox. Proud northern thane, the van were soon the rear, Were thy disorder'd followers planted there. su-rni-znunn.

Then, for that very word, I make a vow,

By my broad earldom and my father's soul,

That ifI have not leading of the van,

Iwill not fight to-day!

noss. Morarchat! thou the leading of the van! Not whilst Mac-Donnell lives. swmron (apart).

Nay, then a stone would speak.

(/Iddresses the REGENT.) May 't please your grace,
And yours, great lords, to hear an old man's counsel,
That hath seen fights enow. These open bickerings
Dishcarten all our host. If that your grace,

With these great earls and lords, must needs debate,
Let the closed tent conceal your disagreement;

Else 't will be said, ill fares it with the flock,

If shepherds wrangle when the wolf is nigh.

ruzoaur.

The old knight counsels well. Let every lord

Or chief, who leads five hundred men or more,
Follow to council—olhers are excluded—

We '11 have no vulgar censurers of our conduct

[Loalt-ing at Swnnon. Young Gordon, your high rank and numerous following Give you a seat with us, though yet unknighted. cannon.

I pray you pardon me. My youth ’s unfit

To sit in council, when that knights gray hail!
And wisdom wait without.

nzoimr.
I)o as you will; we deign not bid you twice.

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vironr.
Pray you, do not so;
Anon I' ll give you reason why you should not.
There ‘it other work in hand——
GORDON-

I will but ask his name. There ‘s in his presence
Something that works upon me like a spell,

Or like the feeling made my childish ear

Doat upon tales of superstitious dread,

Attracting while they chill'd my heart with fear.
Now, born the Gordon, I do feel right Well

I 'm bound to fear nought earthly-—and I fear nought.
I'll know who this man is——

[Accosts SWINTON.

Sir Knight, I pray you, of your gentle courtesy,

To tell your honour'd name. I am ashamed,

Being unknown in arms, to say that mine

Is Adam Gordon.

swturou (shows emotion, but instantly subdue: it).

It is a name that soundeth in my ear

Like to it death-knell—ay, and like the call

Of the shrill trumpet to the mortal lists;

Yet 't is :1 name which ne'er hath been dishonour'd,
And never will, I trust--most surely never

By such a youth as thou.

oonnou.

There 's a mysterious courtesy in this,

And yet it yields no answer to my question.

I trust, you hold the Gordon not unworthy

To know the name he asks!

SWINTON.

Worthy of all that openness and honour

May show to friend or foe—but, for my name,
Vipont will show it you; and, if it sound

Harsh in your ear, remember that it knells there
But at your own request. This day, at least,
Though seldom wont to keep it in concealment,

As there ‘s no cause I should, you had not heard it.

oonoou.
This strange--—
VlPON'l‘-
The mystery is needful. Follow me.
[They retire behind the side Scene.
SWINTON (looking after them).

''I‘ is a brave youth. How hluslfd his noble cheek,
While youthful modesty, and the embarrassment
Of curiosity, combined with wonder,

And half suspicion of some slight intended,

All mingled in the flush ; but 50011 't will deepen
Into revenge's glow. How slow is Vipont l—

I wait the issue, as I 've seen spectators

Suspend the motion even of the eye-lids,

When the slow gunner, with his lighted match,
Appr0ach'd the charged cannon, in the act

To waken its dread slumbers.—Now 't is out;

He draws his sword, and rushes towards me,

Who will nor seek nor shun him.

Enter Goaoou, withheld by VIPONT.

VIPONT. Hold, for the sake of Heaven !—0, for the sake Of your dear country, hold‘.—-Has Swinton slain your father,

And must you, therefore, be yourself a parricide,

And stand recorded as the selfish traitor,

Who, in her hour of need, his country's cause

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Deserts, that he may wreak a private wrong !

Look to you banner—-that is Scotlandis standard;
Look to the Regent-—he is Scotland‘s general;

Look to the English—tl1ey are Scotland's foemen!
Bethink thee, then, thou art a-son of Scotland,

And think on nought beside.

oosnon.

He hath come here to brave me!—-Off!—Unhand me!Thou canst not be my father's ancient friend,

That standfst 'twixt me and him who slew my father.

'vn>on'r.

You know not Swinton. Scarce one passing thought Of his high mind was with you; now, his soul

ls fixed on this day's battle. You might slay him

At unawares before he saw your blade drawn.-
Stand still, and watch him close.

Enter MAXWELL from the Tent.

swmron. How go our councils, Maxwell, may I ask’! llAxws|.I..

As wild, as if the very wind and sea

With every breeze and every billow battled

For their precedence.

swnvrou. Most sure they are possess'd! Some evil spirit, To mock their valour, robs them of discretion. Fie, fie, upon 't'.—O that Dunfermlinds tomb Could render up the Bruce! that Spain's red shore Could give us back the good Lord James of Douglas! Or that fierce Randolph, with his voice of terror, Were here, to awe these brawlers to submission! VIPONT (to Gannon). Thou hast perused him at more leisure now. GORDON.

lsee the giant form which all men speak of,
The stately port—but not the sullen eye,

Not the blood-thirsty look, that should belong
To him that made me orphan. I shall need

To name my father twice ere I can strike
Atsuch gray hairs, and face of such command;
Yet my hand clenchcs on my falchion-hilt,

In token he shall die.

VlFON1‘-
Need I again remind you, that the place
Permits not private quarrel?
ooiinou.

l'm calm, I will not seek—nay, I will shun it-
And yet methinks that such debate 's the fashion.
You ’ve heard how taunts, reproaches, and the lie,
The lie itself, hath flown from mouth to mouth;
As if a band of peasants were disputing

About a foot-ball match, rather than chiefs

Were ordering a battle. I am young,

And lack experience; tell me, brave De Vipont,
is such the fashion of your wars in Palestine‘!

VIPONT.
Such it at times hath been; and then the Cross

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Broken, disjointed, as the tumbling surges

Which the winds wake at random. Look on both,

And dread the issue;—yet there might be succour. oosnou.

We ‘re fesrfully o'ermatch'd in discipline;

So even my inexperienced-eye can judge.

What succour save in Heaven’!
VIPONT.

Heaven acts by human means. The artist's skill

Supplies in war, as in mechanic crafts,

Deficiency of tools. There 's-courage, wisdom,

And skill enough, live in one leader here,

As, flung into the balance, might avail .

To counterpoise the odds ’twixt that ruled host

And our wild multitude.-I must not name him.
GORDON-

I guess, but dare not ask.-What band is yonder,

Arranged as closely as the English discipline liath marshall‘d their best filesl

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Hath sunk before the Crescent. Heaven's cause Won us not victory where wisdom was not.Behold yon English host come slowly on,

with equal front, rank marshall'd upon rank, As if one spirit ruled one moving body;

The leaders, in their places, each prepared

To charge, support, and rally, as the fortune
Of changeful battle needs ;-—-then look on ours,

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VIPONT.

Know'st thou not the pennon‘!

One day, perhaps, thou ’lt see it all too closely.-— lt is Sir Alan Swinton’s.

conoou.

These, then, are his,—the relics of his power;
Yet worth anhost of ordinary men.-—

And I must slay my country's sagest leader,

And crush by numbers that determined handful,
When most my country needs their practised aid,
Or men will say, at There goes degenerate Gordon,
His father's blood is on the Swinton’s sword,
And his is in his scabbard!» _

VIPONT (apart).

High blood and mettle, mix'd with early wisdom,
Sparkle in this brave youth. .lf_ he survive

This evil on-en‘d day, l pawn my word,

That, in the ruin which-I now forebode,

Scotland has treasure left.--How close he eyes

Each look and step of Swinton! Is it hate,

Or is it admiration, or are both

Commingled strangely in that steady gaze?

[Swmrou and lllAXWELL return from the
bottom of the Slagt.
MAXWELL.

The storm is laid at length amongst these counsellors;— See, they come forth.

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SWINTDN.

And it is more than time; Furl can mark the van-guard archery Handling their quivers—bending up their bows.

Enter the Reosm" and Scottish Lords.

neon-r.

Thus shall it be then, since we may no better,
And, since no lord will yield onejot of way

To this high urgency, or give the van-guard

Up to another’s guidance, we will abide them
Even on this bent; and as our troops are rank'd,
So shall they meet the foe. Chief, nor thane,
Nor noble, can complain of the precedence
Which chance has thus assign‘d him.

swmron (apart). 0 sage discipline, That leaves to chance the marshalling of a battle! oonoon.

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Move him to speech, De Vipont.

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VIPONT. Move him .’-—-Move whom? ooitnox. Even him, whom, but brief space since, My hand did burn to put to utter silence. virolvr. I 'll move it to him.—Swinton, speak to them, They lack thy counsel sorely. SWINTON. Had I the thousand spears which oncel led, I had not thus been silent. But men's wisdom Is rated by their means. From the poor leader Of sixty lances, who seeks words of weight! common (sizpsforwdrd). Swinton, there ’s that of wisdom on thy brow, And valour in thine eye, and that of peril In this most urgent hour, that bids me say,Bids me, thy mortal foe, say,—Swinton, speak, For king and country’s sake! swmron. Nay, if that voice commands me, speak Iwill; It sounds as if the dead lay charge on me. REGENT. (Ta Lauuox, with whom he has been consulting.) 'T is better than you think. This broad hill-side Affords fair compass for our power's display, Rank above rank rising in seemly tiers; So that the rear-ward stands as fair and open—— swutron. As e‘er stood mark before an English archer. ' REGENT. Who dares to say so I-—Who is ‘t dare impeach Our rule of discipline‘! swmrom. A poor knight of these Marches, good my lord; Alan of Swinton, who hath kept a house here, Ile and his ancestry, since the old days Of Malcolm, called the Maiden. REGENT. You have brought here, even to this pitched field, In which the royal banner is display'd, I think, some sixty spears, Sir Knight of Swinton E Our inusters name no more. swnvrou. I brought each man I had; and chief, or earl, Thane, duke, or dignitary, brings no more: And with them broughtl what may here be usefulAn aged eye, which, what in England, Scotland, Spain, France, and Flanders, hath seen fifty battles, And ta’en somejudgment of them; a stark hand too, \\'l1ich plays as with a straw with this same mace,\\'hich if a young arm here can wield more lightly, I never more will offer word of counsel. LENNOX. Hear him, my lord; it is the noble Swinton-— He hath had high experience. MAXWELL. He is noted The wisest warrior ‘twixt the Tweed and Solway-— I do beseech you hear him. Jonusronn. Ay, hear the Swinton—hear stout old Sir Alan; Maxwell and Johnstone both agree for once. azornr. Where 's your impatience now! Late you were all for battle, would not hear

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Ourself pronounce a word—and now you gaze

On you old warrior, in his antique armour,

As if he were arisen from the dead,

To bring us Bruce's counsel for the battle.

swmron.

‘T is a proud word to speak; but he who fought
Long under Robert Bruce, may something guess,
Without communication with the dead,

At what he would have counsell’d.—Bruce had biddcn ye
Review your battle-order, marshall'd broadly

Here on the bare hill-side, and hidden you mark
Yon clouds of southron archers, bearing down

To the green meadow-lands which stretch beneath—-
The Bruce had warn‘d you, not a shaft to-day

But shall find mark within a Scottish bosom,

If thus our field he order’d. The callow boys,

Who draw but four-foot bows, shall gall our front,
While on our mainward, and upon the rear,

The cloth-yard shafts shall fall like death's own darts,
And, though blind men discharge them, find a mark.
Thus shall we die the death of slaughtefd deer,
Which, driven into the toils, are shot at ease

By boys and women, while they toss aloft

All idly and in vain their brancby horns,

As we shall shake our unavailing spears.

iuzosur. Tush, tell not me‘. If their shot fall like hail, Our men have Milan coats to bear it out. swmron.

Never did armourer temper steal on stitby

That made sure fence against an English arrow;

A cobweb gossamer were guard as good

Against a wasp-sting.

iuzoimr. Who fears a wasp-sting? SWINTON. I, my lord, fear none; Yet should a wise man bmsh the insect off, Or he may smart for it. naosu-r. We 'll keep the bill; it is the vantage-ground When the main battle joins. swmrou.

It ne’er will join, while their light archery

Can foil our spenrmen and our barbed horse.

To hope Plantagenet would seek close combat
When he can conquer riskless, is to deem

Sagacious Edward simpler than a babe

In battle-knowledge. Keep the hill, my lord,

With the main body, if it is your pleasure;

But let a body of your chosen horse

Make execution on you waspish archers.

I ’ve done such work before, and love it well;

If 't is your pleasure to give me the leading,

The dames of Sherwood, Inglewood, and Weardale,
Shall sit in widowhood and long for venison,

And long in vain. Wl\oe'er remembers Bannockhurn,—
And when shall Scotsman, till the last loud trumpet,
Forget that stirring word ‘.—knows that great battle .
Even thus was fought and won.

LENNOX.

This is the shortest road to handy blows;

For when the bills step forth and bows go back,
Then is the moment that our hardy spearmcn,

With their strong bodies, and their stubborn hearts,_
And limbs well knit by mountain exercise,

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At the close tug shall foil the short-breathed southron.
SWINTON.
I do not say the field will thus be won;
The English host is numerous, brave, and loyal;
Their monarch most accomplislfd in wars art,
Skill'd, resolute, and wary——
neosnr.
And if your scheme secure not victory,
What does it promise us’!
swnvron.

This much at least,.—
Darkling we shall not die; the peasants shaft,
Loosen'd perchance without an aim or purpose,
Shall not drink up the life—blood we derive
From those famed ancestors, who made their breasts
This frontier's barrier for a thousand years.

We ’ll meet these southrons bravely hand to hand,
And eye to eye, and weapon against weapon;

Each man who falls shall see the foe who strikes him,
While our good blades are faithful to the hills.

And our good hands to these good blades are faithful,
Blow shall meet blow, and none fall uuavenged—-
We shall not bleed alone.

nxcnur.
And this is all
Your wisdom hath devised!
swmrou.

Not all; for I would pray you, noble lords

(If one, among the guilty guiltiest, might),

For this one day to charm to ten hours‘ rest

The never-dying worm of deadly feud,

That gnaws our vexed hearts—think no one foe
Save Edward and his host—days will remain,

Ay, days by far too many will remain,

To avenge old feuds or struggles for precedence,’-
Let this one day be Scotland's.--For myself,

If there is any here may claim from me

(As well may chance) a debt of blood and hatred,
My life is his to-morrow unresisting,

So he to-day will let me do the best

That my old arm may achieve for the dear country That ‘a mother to us both.

[GORDUN shows much emotion during this and the preceding speech of Swmron.

nzesnr. It is a dream—-a vision !-—if one troop Ilush down upon the archers, all will follow, And order is destroy‘d—we ’ll keep the battle-rank Our fathers wont to do. No more on 't.-—H0! Where be those youths seek knighthood from our sword? HERALD. Here are the Gordon, Somcrville, and Hay, And Hepburn, with a score of gallants more. nsssivr. Gordon, stand forth. GORDON. I I pray your grace, forgive me. ssoenr. How! seek you not for knighthood? oonoou. ‘ I do thirst for 't, But, pardon me—'t is from another sword. _ REGENT. It is your sovereign's,—-seek you for a worthier7

GORDON. a

Who would drink purely, seeks the secret fountain,
How small soever—not the general stream,

Though it be deep and wide. My lord, I seek

The boon of knighthood from the honour'd weapon _
Of the best knight, and of the sagest leader,
(That ever graced a ring of chivalry.
—Therefore, I beg the boon on bended knee,
Even from Sir Alan Swinton.

neosur.
Degenerate boy! Abject at once and insolentl—
See, lords, he kneels to him that slew his father!
oonoon (starting up).
Shame be on him who speaks such shameful word!
Shame be on him whose tongue would sow dissension,
When most the time demands that native Scotsmen
Forget each private wrong!
SWINTDN (interrupting him).
Youth, since you crave me

To be your sire in chivalry, I remind you

War has its duties, Office has its reverence;

Who governs in the sovereign’s name is sovereign,-'4
Crave the Lord Regent's pardon.

GORDON.
You task me justly, and I crave his pardon,
[Bows to the Ilnoimr.

His and these noble lords’; and pray them all ’ Bear witness to my words.—Ye noble presence,

Here I remit unto the Knight of Swinton

All bitter memory of my father's slaughter,

All thoughts of malice, hatred, and revenge;

By no base fear or composition moved,

But by the thought, that in our country's battle

All hearts should be as one. I do forgive him

As freely as] pray to be forgiven,

And once more kneel to him to sue for knighthood.

SWINTUN (qffectcd, and drawing his sword).

Alas! brave youth, 't is I should kneel to you,

And, tendering thee the hilt of the fell sword

That made thee fatherless, bid thee use the point
After thine own discreti0n.—For thy boon-
Trumpets be ready—- In the holiest name,

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And in Our Lady's and Saint Andrew's name,
[Touching his shoulder with the sword.
I dub thee Knight! Arise, Sir Adam Gordon!_
Be faithful, brave, and 0 be fortunate,
Should this ill hour permit!
[The trumpets sound; the Heralds (:1-_y, o Lar-
gesse la and the Attendants shout, u A
Gordon! A Gordon I»
luzozur.
Beggars and flatlerers! Peace, peace, I say!
We ‘ll lo the standard; knights shall there he made \
Who will with better reason crave your clamour. I
, LENNOX.
What of Swintotfs counsel‘!
IIere’s Maxwell and myself think it worth noting. l
Q» REGENT (with concentrated indignation). l
Let the best knight, and let the sagest leader—~ ‘

So Gordon quotes the man who slew his father,With his old pedigree and heavy mace,

Essay the adventure if it pleases him,

With his fair threescore horse. As for ourselves, We will not peril aught upon the measure:

oonoolv. Lord Rcgcnt,‘y0u mistake; for if % Alan

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