« 前へ次へ »
That soon must bring thee to the bay? Your custom,
I did but
if we retired a little, SWINTON.
Wa should have fairer field and better vantage. Why, be it so! I look for nothing else ;
I've seen King Robert-ay, the Bruce himselfMy part was acted when I slew his father,
Retreat six leagues in length, and think no shame on 't. Avenging my four sons-Young Gordon's sword, If it should find my heart, can ne'er inflict there Ay, but King Edward sent a haughty message, A pang so poignant as his father's did.
Defying us to battle on this field, But I would perish by a noble hand,
This very hill of Halidon; if we leave it And such will his be if he bear him nobly,
Unfought withal, it squares not with our honour, Nobly and wisely on this field of Halidon.
A perilous honour, that allows the enemy,
And such an enemy as this same Edward,
To chuse our field of battle! He knows how
[During this speech the debate among
the Is seen from the hill-summit.
Nobles seems to continue.
We will not back one furlong-not one yard,
[Exit PURSUIVANT. No, nor one inch; where'er we find the foe, [To Reynald.] Hold thou my casque, and furl my Or where the foe finds us, there will we fight him. penpon up
Retreat will dull the spirit of our followers, Close to the staff. I will not show my crest,
Who now stand prompt for batcle. Nor standard, till the common foe shall challenge them.
My lords, methinks great Morarchat has doubts, I'll wake no civil strife, nor tempt the Gordon
That, if his northern clans once turn the seam
Of their check'd hose behind, it will be hard
To halt and rally them.
Say'st thou, Mac-Donnell !--Add another falsehood, He never saw me. In the distant north,
And name when Morarchat was coward or traitor! Against his will 't is said, his friends detain'd him
Thine island race, as chronicles can tell, During his nurture—caring not, belike,
Were oft affianced to the southron cause; To trust a pledge so precious near the Boar-tusks.
Loving the weight and temper of their gold,
More than the weight and temper of their steel.
Peace, my lords, ho!
Ross (throwing down his glove). I have thought on it, and will see the Gordon
Mac-Donnell will not peace! There lies my pledge, As we go hence to council. I do bear
Proud Morarchat, to witness thee a liar. which binds me to be Christian priest, As well as Christian champion. God may grant,
Brought I all Nithsdale from the Western Border; That I, at once his father's friend and yours,
Left I my towers exposed to foraying England, May make some peace betwixt you.
And thieving Annandale, to see such misrule? When that your priestly zeal, and knightly valour,
Who speaks of Annandale? Dare Maxwell slander Shall force the grave to render up the dead.
The gentle house of Lochwood ?
Peace, lordings, once again. We represent
The Majesty of Scotland-in our presence
SUTHERLAND. ground, with the Pennons and Banners of the prin- Were it in presence of the king himself, cipal Nobles around it.
What should prevent my sayingCouncil of Scottish Nobles and Chiefs. SUTHERLAND,
Enter LINDESAY. Ross, Lennox, Maxwell, and other Nobles of the highest rank, are close to the Regent's person, and
LINDESAY. in the act of keen debate. Vipont, with GORDON You must determine quickly. Scarce a mile and others, remain grouped at some distance on the Parts our van-guard from Edward's. On the plain, right hand of the stage. On the left, standing also Bright gleams of armour flash through clouds of dust, apart, is SWINTON, alone and bare-headed. The Like stars through frost-mist-steeds neigh, and weaNobles are dressed in Highland or Lowland habits
pons clashas historical costume requires. Trumpets, Heralds, And arrows soon will whistle-the worst sound etc. are in attendance.
That waits on English war.—You must determine.
Pray you, do not so;
There 's other work in hand --
GORDON Display'd beside us; and beneath its shadow
I will but ask his name. There's in his presence Shall the young gallants whom we knight this day, Something that works upon me like a spell, Fight for their golden spurs. — Lennox, thou 'rt wise, Or like the feeling made my childish ear And wilt obey command: lead thou the rear.
Doat upon tales of superstitious dread,
Attracting while they chill'd my heart with fear. The rear!- why I the rear? The van were fitter Now, born the Gordon, I do feel right well For him who fought abreast with Robert Bruce. I'm bound to fear nought earthly-and I fear nought. SWINTON (apart).
I 'll know who this man isDiscretion hath forsaken Lennox too!
[Accosts Swinton. The wisdom he was forty years in gathering
Sir Knight, I pray you, of your gentle courtesy, Has left him in an instant. 'T is contagious
To tell your honour'd name. I am ashamed,
Being unknown in arms, to say that mine
Is Adam Gordon.
3WINTON (shows emotion, but instantly subdues it). Suits him the best who counsell’d our retreat.
It is a name that soundeth in my ear
Like to a death-knell—ay, and like the call
Of the shrill trumpet to the mortal lists; Were thy disorder'd followers planted there.
Yet 't is a name which ne'er hath been dishonour'd, SUTHERLAND.
And never will, I trust-most surely never Then, for that very word, I make a vow,
By such a youth as thou. By my broad earldom and my father's soul,
GORDON. That if I have not leading of the van,
There's a mysterious courtesy in this, I will not fight to-day!
yet it yields no answer to my question.
I trust, you hold the Gordon not unworthy
To know the name he asks ?
Worthy of all that openness and honour
May show to friend or foe—but, for my name, (Addresses the Regent.) May 't please your grace, Vipont will show it you; and, if it sound And
yours, great lords, to hear an old man's counsel, Harsh in your ear, remember that it knells there That hath seen fights enow. These open bickerings But at your own request. This day, at least, Dishearten all our host. If that
Though seldom wont to keep it in concealment, With these great earls and lords, must needs debate, As there's no cause I should, you had not heard it. Let the closed tent conceal your disagreement; Else 't will be said, ill fares it with the flock,
Follow me. The old knight counsels well. Let every lord
[They retire behind the side Scene. Or chief, who leads five hundred men or more,
SWINTON (looking after them). Follow to council-others are excluded
'T is a brave youth. How blush'd his noble cheek, We'll have no vulgar censurers of our conduct While youthful modesty, and the embarrassment
(Looking at Swinton. Of curiosity, combined with wonder,
Into revenge's glow. How slow is Vipont!-
I wait the issue, as I've seen spectators
When the slow
with his lighted match,
Approach'd the charged cannon, in the act Do as you will; we deign not bid you twice.
To waken its dread slumbers.-Now 't is out;
lle draws his sword, and rushes towards me,
MAXWELL, etc., enter the Tent. The rest
Enter GORDON, withheld by VIPONT.
Hold, for the sake of Heaven !-0, for the sake
Of your dear country, hold !-Has Swinton slain your Have caught my fancy strangely. He doth seem
father, Like to some vision'd form which I have dream'd of, And must you, therefore, be yourself a parricide, But never saw with waking eyes till now.
And stand recorded as the selfish traitor, I will accost him.
Who, in her hour of need, his country's cause
Broken, disjointed, as the tumbling surges
We're fearfully o’ermatch'd in discipline; So even my inexperienced eye can judge. What succour save in Heaven?
Deserts, that he may wreak a private wrong?-
VIPONT. You know not Swinton. Scarce one passing thought Of his high mind was with you; now, his soul Is 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.
How go our councils, Maxwell, may I ask ?
VIPONT (to GORDON).
Heaven acts by human means. The artist's skill
[SWINTON and Maxwell return from the
bottom of the Stage.
I see the giant form which all men speak of,
The storm is laid at length amongst these counsellors;See, they come forth.
And it is more than time;
Enter the Regent and Scottish Lords.
I'm calm, I will not seek-nay, I will shun itAnd 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 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 marshalld 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,
Thus shall it be then, since we may no better,
O sage discipline, That leaves to chance the marshalling of a battle!
GORDON. Move him to speech, De Vipont.
VIPONT. Move him ?-Move whom?
GORDON Even him, whom, but brief
space since, My hand did burn to put to utter silence.
GORDON (steps forward).
REGENT. (To Lennox, with whom he has been consulting.) "T is better than
think. This broad hill-side
Ourself pronounce a word-and now you gaze
I, my lord, fear none;
Who dares to say so?- Who is 't dare impeach Our rule of discipline?
SWINTON. A poor knight of these Marches, good my lord; Alan of Swinton, who hath kept a house here, lle and his ancestry, since the old days Of Malcolm, called the Maiden.
You have brought here, even to this pitched field,
I brought each man 1 had; and chief, or earl,
He is noted
This is the shortest road to bandy blows;
your impatience now? Late you were all for battle, would not hear
At the close tug shall foil the short-breathed southron.
I do not say the field will thus be won;
GORDON 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.
Degenerate boy! Abject at once and insolent!--
GORDON (starting up).
SWINTON (interrupting him).
Youth, since you crave me To be
your sire in chivalry, I remind you
And if your scheme secure not victory,
This much at least,Darkling we shall not die; the peasant's 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 hilts. And our good hands to these good blades are faithful, Blow shall meet blow, and none fall unavenged We shall not bleed alone.
And this is all
old feuds or struggles for precedence;
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's mother to us both.
You task me justly, and I crave his pardon,
(Bows to the REGENT. His and these noble lords';
pray them all
Swinton (affected, and drawing his sword).
[Touching his shoulder with the sword.
[The trumpets sound; the Heralds cry, « Lar
gesse!» and the Attendants shout, «A Gordon! A Gordon !>>
[GORDON shows much emotion during this and
the preceding speech of Swinton.
Beggars and flatterers! Peace, peace, I say!
I do thirst for 't, But, pardon me—'t is from another sword.
What of Swinton's counsel ?
REGENT (with concentrated indignation).