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That stand'st 'twixt me and him who slew my father.

Vip. 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.

Swin. How go our councils, Maxwell, may I ask? Max. As wild, as if the very wind and sea With every breeze and every billow battled For their precedence.

Swin. Most sure they are possess'd! Some evil spirit,

To mock their valour, robs them of discretion. Fie, fie, upon't!-0 that Dunfermline's 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! Vip. (to GORDON.) Thou hast perused him at more leisure now.

Gor. I ee 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 At such gray hairs, and face of such command; Yet my hand clenches on my falchion-hilt, In token he shall die.

Vip. Need I again remind you, that the place Permits not private quarrel?

Gor. I'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 wn 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?

Vip. Such it at times hath been; and then the


Hath sunk before the crescent. Heaven's cause
Won us not victory where wisdom was not.
Behold yon English host comes 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,
Broken, disjointed, as the tumbling surges
Which the winds wake at random. Look on both,
And dread the issue;-yet there might be succour.
Gor. We're fearfully o'ermatch'd in discipline;
So even my inexperienced eye can judge.
What succour save in heaven?

Vip. 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.

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

Arranged as closely as the English discipline
Hath marshall'd their best files?

Vip. Know'st thou not the pennon?

One day, perhaps, thoul't see it all too closely, It is sir Alan Swinton's.

Gor. These, then, are his, the relics of his power; Yet worth an host 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, "There goes degenerate Gordon; His father's blood is on the Swinton's sword, And his is in his scabbard!"

[Muses. Vip. (apart.) High blood and mettle, mix'd with early wisdom, Sparkle in this brave youth. If he survive This evil-omened day, 1 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? [SWINTON and MAXWELL return from the bottom of the stage.

Max. The storm is laid at length amongst these counsellors:

See, they come forth.

Swin. And it is more than time; For I can mark the van-guard archery Handling their quivers-bending up their bows Enter the REGENT and Scottish lords. Reg. Thus shall it be then, since we may no better:

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Reg. We'll keep the hill; it is the vantage ground
When the main battle joins.

Swin. A poor knight of these marches, good my
Alan of Swinton, who hath kept a house here,
He and his ancestry, since the old days
Of Malcolm, called the maiden.

Swin. It ne'er will join, while their light archery
Can foil our spear-men and our barbed horse.
To hope Plantagenet would seek close combat

Reg. You have brought here, even to this pitch- 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 yon waspish archers.
I've done such work before, and love it well;
If 'tis 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. Whoe'er remembers Bannock-

ed field,

In which the royal banner is display'd,
I think, some sixty spears, sir knight of Swinton:
Our musters name no more.

Swin. I brought each man I had; and chief, or

Thane, duke, or dignitary, brings no more:
And with them brought I what may here be use-

An aged eye, which, what in England, Scotland,
Spain, France, and Flanders, hath seen fifty battles,
And ta'en some judgment of them; a stark hand too,
Which plays as with a straw with this same

And when shall Scotsman, till the last loud trumpet,
Forget that stirring word!-knows that great battle
Even thus was fought and won.

Len. This is the shortest road to bandy blows;
For when the bills step forth and bows go back,
Swin-Then is the moment that our hardy spearmen,
With their strong bodies, and their stubborn hearts,
And limbs well knit by mountain exercise,

At the close tug shall foil the short-breathed south


Swin. I do not say the field will thus be won; The English host is numerous, brave, and loyal; Their monarch most accomplish'd in war's art, Skill'd, resolute, and wary

Reg. And if your scheme secure not victory, What does it promise us?


Which if a young arm here can wield more lightly,
I never more will offer word of counsel.

Len. Hear him, my lord; it is the noble


He hath had high experience.

He is noted
The wisest warrior 'twixt the Tweed and Solway,-
I do beseech you hear him.

John. Ay, hear the Swinton-hear stout old sir

Maxwell and Johnstone both agree for once.
Reg. Where's your impatience now?
Late you were all for battle, would not hear
Ourselves pronounce a word-and now you gaze
On yon
old warrior, in his antique armour,
As if he were arisen from the dead,

To bring us Bruce's counsel for the battle.
Swin. 'Tis a proud word to eak; 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 bidden ye

Review your battle-order, marshall'd broadly
Here on the bare hill-side, and bidden you mark
Yon clouds of southron archers, bearing down
To the green meadow-lands which stretch be-


The Bruce had warn'd you, not a shaft to-day
But shall find mark within a Scottish bosom,
If thus our field be 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

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


Blow shall meet blow, and none fall unavenged—

We shall not bleed alone.

And this is all
Your wisdom hath devised!

Swin. 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,

And, tho' blind men discharge them, find a mark.
Thus shall we die the death of slaughter'd deer,
Which, driven into the toils, are shot at ease
By boys and women, while they toss aloft
All idly and in vain their branchy horns,
As we shall shake our unavailing spears.

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

Reg. Tush, tell not me! If their shot fall like (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.

Our men have Milan coats to bear it out.

Swin. Never did armourer temper steel on stithy
That made sure fence against an English arrow;
A cobweb gossamer were guard as good
Against a wasp-sting.

Reg. Who fears a wasp-sting?
1, my lord, fear none;
Yet should a wise man brush the insect off,
Or he may smart for it.


While our good blades are faithful to the hilts,
And our good hands to these good blades are

[GORDON shows much emotion during this and the preceding speech of SWINTON. Reg. It is a dream-a vision!-If one troop Rush 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.-Ho!

Where be those youths seek knighthood from our

Her. Here are the Gordon, Somerville, and Hay,
And Hepburn, with a score of gallants more.
Reg. Gordon, stand forth.
I pray your grace, forgive me.
Reg. How! seek you not for knighthood?
I do thirst for't.
But, pardon me-'tis from another sword.
Reg. It is your sovereign's-seek you for a

Gor. Who would drink purely, seeks the secret fountain,

How small soever-not the general stream,
Though it be deep and wide. My lord, 1 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.


Reg. Degenerate boy! Abject at once and insolent!

See, lords, he kneels to him that slew his father! Gor. (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 Scots


Forget each private wrong!

Swin. (interrupting him.) Youth, since you crave

Crave the lord regent's pardon.

Gor. You task me justly, and I crave his pardon,
[Bows to the REGENT.
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 I pray to be forgiven,
And once more kneel to him to sue for knighthood.
Swin. (affected, and drawing his sword.) Alas!
brave youth, 'tis I should kneel to you,
And, tendering thee the hilt of the fell sword
That made thee fatherless, hid thee use the point
After thine own discretion. For thy boon-
Trumpets be ready--In the holiest name,
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 O be fortunate,
Should this ill hour permit!

[The trumpets sound; the heralds cry, "Largessee;" and the attendants shout, "A Gordon! A Gordon!", Reg. Beggars and flatterers! Peace, peace, I say!

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.

We'll to the standard: knights shall there be made
Who will with better reason crave your clamour.
Len. What of Swinton's council?
Here's Maxwell and myself think it worth noting.
Reg. (with concentrated indignation.) Let the
best knight, and let the sagest leader,-
So Gordon quotes the man who slew his father,-

Gor. Lord regent, you mistake; for if sir Alan
Shall venture such attack, each man who calls
The Gordon chief, and hopes or fears from him
Or good, or evil, follows Swinton's banner
In this achievement.

Reg. Why, God ha' mercy! This is of a piece. Let young and old e'en follow their own counsel, Since none will list to mine.

Ross. The border cockerel fain would be on

"Tis safe to be prepared for fight or flight:
And this comes of it to give northern lands

To the false Norman blood.

Gor. Hearken, proud chief of Isles! Within my

I have two hundred horse; two hundred riders
Mount guard upon my castle, who would tread
Into the dust a thousand of your redshanks,
Nor count it a day's service.

Hear I this

From thee, young man, and on the day of battle!
And to the brave Mac-Donnell?


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 sove-I

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Gor. 'Twas he that urged me; but I am rebuked.
Reg. He crouches like a leash-hound to his


Swin. Each hound must do so that would head the deer

'Tis mongrel curs which snatch at mate or master. Reg. Too much of this.-Sirs, to the royal


bid you, in the name of good king David, Sound trumpets--sound for Scotland and king


[The REGENT and the rest go off, and the scene closes. Manent GORDON, SWINTON, and VIPONT, with REYNALD and followers. LENNOX follows the REGENT; but returns and addresses SWINTON.

Len. O, were my western horsemen but come


I would take part with you!

Better that you remain.
They lack discretion; such gray head as yours
May best supply that want.
Lennox, mine ancient friend, and honour'd lord,
Farewell, I think, forever!

Len. Farewell, brave friend!—and farewell, no-
ble Gordon,
Whose sun will be eclipsed even as it rises!
The regent will not aid you.

Swin. We will so bear us, that as soon the

Shall halt, and take no part, what tiine his comrade
Is grapling with the deer, as he stand still,
And see us overmatch'd.

Len. Alas! thou dost not know how mean his
pride is,
How strong his envy.

Swin. Then will we die, and leave the shame
with him.
Vip. (to GORDON.) What ails thee, noble youth?
What means this pause?
Thou dost not rue thy generosity?

Gor. I have been hurried on by a strong impulse,
Like to a bark that scuds before the storm,
Till driven upon some strange and distant coast,
Which never pilot dream'd of. Have I not forgi

And am I not still fatherless!

Swin. Gordon, no; For while we live, I am a father to thee. Gor. Thou, Swinton? no! that cannot, cannot be.

Swin. Then change the phrase, and say, that
while we live,

Gordon shall be my son.
If thou art fatherless,
Am I not childless too? Bethink thee, Gordon,
Our death-feud was not like the household fire,
Which the poor peasant hides among its embers,
To smoulder on, and wait a time for waking.
Ours was the conflagration of the forest,
Which, in its fury, spares nor sprout nor stem,
Hoar oak, nor sapling-not to be extinguish'd,
Till heaven, in mercy, sends down all her waters.
But, once subdued, it's flame is quench'd for ever;
And spring shall hide the track of devastation,
With foliage and with flowers. Give me thy


Gor. My hand and heart!—And freely nowto fight!


Vip. How will you act? [To SWINTON.] Gordon's band and thine

Are in the rearward left, I think, in scorn.
Ill post for them who wish to charge the foremost!
Swin. We'll turn that scorn to vantage, and

Sidelong the hill-some winding path there must

Hob Hattely, or, if you like it better,
Hob of the Heron Plume, here stands your guide!
Swin. An ancient friend?-A most notorious

Whose throat I've destined to the dodder'd oak Before my castle, these ten months and more. Was it not you, who drove from Simprim-mains, And Swinton-quarter, sixty head of cattle?

Hob. What then? If now I lead your sixty lances Upon the English flank, where they'll find spoil Is worth six hundred beeves?


O, for a well-skill'd guide!

HOB HATTELY starts up from a thicket. Hob. So here he stands.-An ancient friend, sir When the steel boot is doff'd.


Swin. Why, thou canst do it, knave. I would

not trust thee

With one poor bullock; yet would risk
my life,
And all my followers, on thine honest guidance.
Hob. There is a dingle, and a most discreet one,
(I've trod each step by starlight,) that sweeps

The rearward of this hill, and opens secretly
Upon the archers' flank. Will not that serve
Your present turn, sir Alan?


Gor. Mount, sirs, and cry my slogan. Let all who love the Gordon follow me!

Per. The Scots still keep the hill-the sun grows high.

Would that the charge would sound!
Chan. Thou scent'st the slaughter, Percy.
Who comes here?

Now, by my life, the holy priest of Walthamstow,
Like to a lamb among a herd of wolves!
See, he's about to bleat.

Ab. The king, methinks, delays the onset long. Chan. Your general, father, like your ratcatcher,

Pauses to bait his traps, and set his snares.
Ab. The metaphor is descent.

Swin. Ay, let all follow-but in silence follow. Scare not the hare that's couchant on her formThe cushat from her nest-brush not, if possible, The dew-drop from the spray

Let no one whisper, until I cry, "Havoc!"
Then shout as loud's ye will.-On, on, brave Hob;
On, thou false thief, but yet most faithful Scotsman!

Reverend sir, I will uphold it just. Our good king Edward Will presently come to this battle-field, And speak to you of the last tilting match, Or of some feat he did a twenty years since; But not a word of the day's work before him. Even as the artist, sir, whose name offends you, Sits prosing o'er his can, until the trap fall, Announcing that the vermin are secured, And then 'tis up, and on them.

Per. Chandos, you give your tongue too bold a license.


A rising ground immediately in front of the position of the English main body. PERCY, CHANDOS, RIBAUMONT, and other English and Norman nobles are grouped on the stage.

Chan. Percy, I am a necessary evil. King Edward would not want me, if he could, And could not, if he would. I know my value; My heavy hand excuses my light tongue. So men wear weighty swords in their defence, Although they may offend the tender shin,

Ab. My lord of Chandos, This is but idle speech on brink of battle, When christian men should think upon their sins: For as the tree falls, so the trunk must lie, Be it for good or evil. Lord, bethink thee, Thou hast withheld from our most reverend house, The tithes of Everingham and Settleton; Wilt thou make satisfaction to the church Before her thunders strike thee? I do warn thee In most paternal sort.

Chan. I thank you, father, filially, Though but a truant son of holy church, I would not choose to undergo her censures, When Scottish blades are waving at my throat. I'll make fair composition.

Ab. No composition; I'll have all or none. Chan. None, then-'tis soonest spoke. I'll take my chance,

And trust my sinful soul to heaven's mercy, Rather than risk my worldly goods with theeMy hour may not be come.

Bravely, bravely!

Ab. Impious-impenitent

Hush! the king-the king! Enter KING EDWARD, attended by BALIOL, an


King (apart to CHANDOS.) Hark hither, Chandos!-Have the Yorkshire archers

Yet join'd the vanguard?

They are marching thither.
K. Ed. Bid them make haste, for shame-send
a quick rider.-

The loitering knaves, were it to steal my venison, Their steps were light enough.-How now, sir abbot?

Say, is your reverence come to study with us
The princely art of war?

Ab. I've had a lecture from my lord of Chandos,
In which he term'd your grace a rat-cather.
K. Ed. Chandos, how's this?

Chan. O, I will prove it, sir!-These skipping

Have changed a dozen times 'twixt Bruce and

Quitting each house when it began to totter:
They're fierce and cunning, treacherous, too, as


And we, as such, will smoke them in their fast


K. Ed. These rats have seen your back, my lord of Chandos,

And noble Percy's too.

Per. Ay; but the mass which now lies weltering
Ou yon hill side, like a Leviathan
That's stranded on the shallows, then had soul in't,
Order and discipline, and power of action.
Now 'tis a headless corpse, which only shows,
By wild convulsions, that some life remains in't.
K. Ed. True, they had once a head; and 'twas
a wise
Although a rebel head.

Ab. (bowing to the KING.) Would he were here!
we should find one to match him.

K. Ed. There's something in that wish which wakes an echo

Within my bosom. Yet it is as well,
Or better, that the Bruce is in his grave.
We have enough of powerful foes on earth,
No need to summon them from other worlds.

Per. Your grace ne'er met the Bruce?

K. Ed. Never himself; but, in my earliest field,
I did encounter with his famous captains,
Douglas and Randolph. Faith! they press'd me


Ab. My liege, if I might urge you with a question, Will the Scots fight to-day?

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And slept not in mine armour: my safe rest
Was startled by the cry of Douglas! Douglas!
And by my couch, a grisly chamberlain,
Stood Alan Swinton, with his bloody mace.
It was a churchman saved me-my stout chaplain,
Heaven quit his spirit! caught a weapon up,
And grappled with the giant.-How now, Louis?
Enter an officer, who whispers the KING.
K. Ed. Say to him,-thus-and thus-

(Aloud.) I have used that arm of flesh,
And used it sturdily-most reverend father,
What say you to the chaplain's deed of arms
In the king's tent at Weardale?

Ab. It was most sinful, being against the canon
Prohibiting all churchmen to bear weapons;
And as he fell in that unseemly guise,
Perchance his soul may rue it.

King. (overhearing the last words.) Who may

And what is to be rued?

Chan. (apart.) I'll match his reverence for the tithes of Everingham.

The abbot says, my liege, the deed was sinful
By which your chaplain, wielding secular weapons,
Secured your grace's life and liberty,
And that he suffers for't in purgatory.

K. Ed. (sharply.) Go look your breviary.
Chan. (apart.) The abbot has it-Edward will

not answer

On that nice point. We must observe his humour.-
Addresses the KING.
Your first campaign, my liege?-That was in


the next indulgence. Thou dost need it much. And greatly 'twill avail thee.

When Douglas gave our camp yon midnight ruffle,
And turn'd men's beds to biers.

Chan. Enough we're friends, and when occa-
sion serves,

I will strike in.——

K. Ed. Ay, by saint Edward!-I escaped right nearly.

1 was a soldier then for holidays,

[Looks as if towards the Scottish army. King. Answer, proud abbot, is my chaplain's soul,

If thou knowest aught on't, in the evil place? Chan. My liege, the Yorkshire men have gain'd the meadow.

You might have cause to know that Swinton lives,
And is on horseback yet.

He slew the Gordon,
That's all the difference-a very trifle.
Ab. Trifling to those who wage a war more noble
Than with the arm of flesh.

Chan. (apart.) The abbot's vex'd, I'll rub the

sore for him.

King. (to the ABBOT.) Say'st thou my chaplain is in purgatory?

Ab. It is the canon speaks it, good my liege.
King. In purgatory! thou shalt pray him out on't,
Or I will make thee wish thyself beside him.

Ab. My lord, perchance his soul is past the aid
Of all the church may do—there is a place
From which there's no redemption.

King. And if I thought my faithful chaplain there, Thou shouldst there join him, priest!-Go, watch, fast, pray,

And let me have such prayers as will storm hea


None of your maim'd and mutter'd hunting masses. Ab. (apart to CHANDOS.) For God's sake, take him off.

Chan. Wilt thou compound, then,

The tithes of Everingham?

King. I tell thee, if thou bear'st the keys of heaven,

Abbot, thou shalt not turn a bolt with them
'Gainst any well-deserving English subject.

Ab. (to CHANDOS.) We will compound, and grant thee, too, a share

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Ab. That Swinton's dead, a monk of ours re- To speak of monks and chaplains?


Bound homeward from saint Ninian's pilgrimage,
The lord of Gordon slew him.

Per. Father, and if your house stood on our

King. To hell with it, and thee! Is this a time

[Flourish of trumpets, answered by a distans
sound of bugles.

See, Chandos, Percy-Ha, saint George! saint

See it descending now, the fatal bail shower,
The storm of England's wrath--sure, swift, re

Which no mail-coat can brook. Brave English

How close they shoot together!-as one eye
Had aimed five thousand shafts-as if one hand
Had loosed five thousand bow-strings!
The thick volley


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