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And lowly, grief and lordly pride
The breath of slaider cannot come
To break the calm that lingers there;
Nor waking to despair ;
The mother — she has gone to sleep,
With the babe upon her breast;
Around her infant's rest:
Shall never more be broken — there.
How blessed how blessed that home to gain,
And slumber in that soothing sleep,
Nor ever wake to weep !
124. Rob Roy, Frank, and Helen.
Rob Roy. Let me, now, speak of my own concerns. My kinsman said something of my boys, that sticks in my heart, and maddens in my brain : 'twas truth he spoke, yet I dared not listen to it; 'twas fair he offered, yet I spurned that offer from very pride. My poor bairns! I'm vexed when I think they must lead their father's life.
Frank. Is there no way of amending such a life, and thereby affording then an honorable chance of
Rob Roy. You speak like a boy! Do you think the old, gnarled oak can be twisted, like the green sapling! Think
you I can forget being branded as an outlaw ? — stig. matized as a traitor? -a price set upon my head ? . - and my wife and family treated as the dam and cubs of a wolf!
the very name, which came to me from a long and noble line of martial ancestors, denounced, as if it were a spell to conjure up the devil!
Frank. Rely on it, the proscription of your name and family is considered, by the English, as a most cruel and arbitrary law.
Rob Roy. Still it is proscribed; and they shall hear of my vengeance, that would scorn to listen to the story of my wrongs. They shall find the name of M'Gregor is a spell to raise the wild spirit of these Highland glens. — Ah! Heaven help me! I found desolation where I left plenty
I looked east, west, north, and south, and saw neither hold nor hope, shed nor shelter; so, I e'en pulled the bonnet o'er my brow, buckled the broadsword to my side, took to the mountain and the glen, and - became a broken man! But why do I speak of this? — 'Tis of my children, of my poor bairns, I have thought, and the thought will not
Frank. Might they not, with some assistance, find an honorable resource in foreign service?. If such be your wish, depend on its being gratified.
Rob Roy. (Stretching one hand to Frank, and passing the other across his cye.) I thank - I thank you. I could not have believed that mortal man would again have seen a tear in M'Gregor's eye. We'll speak of this hereafter we'll talk of it to Helen — but I cannot well spare my boys yet the heather is on fire.
Frank. Heather on fire! I do not understand.
Rob Roy. Rashleigh has set the torch — let them that can, prevent the blaze.
HELEN advances. Helen. Stranger, you came to our unhappy country when our blood was chafed, and our hands were red. Excuse the rudeness that gave so rough a welcome, and lay it on the evil times, not upon us.
Rob Roy. Helen, our friend has spoken kindly, and proffered nobly — our boys - our children
Helen. I understand — but no, no; this is not the time; besides, I- no— no- I will not - cannot part from them.
Frank. Your separation is not required — leave the country with them. Helen. Quit the land of my sires ! - Never !
Wild as we live, and hopeless, the world has not a scene that could console me were I to leave these rude rocks and glens, where the remembrance of our wrongs is ever sweetened by the recollection of our revenge.
Rob Roy. She says truly — 'twas a vain project - we cannot follow them cannot part with the last ties thai render life endurable. Were I to lose sight of my native hills, my heart would sink, and my arm would shrink like fern i the winter's frost. No, Helen, no — the heather we have trod on while living shall bloom over us when dead.
Frank. I grieve that my opportunity of serving those who have so greatly befriended me, is incompatible with their prospects and desires.
Rob Roy. Farewell! The best wish M’Gregor can give his friend is — that he may see him no more.
Helen. A mother's blessing for the only kindness shown, for years, to the blood of M'Gregor, be upon you! Now, farewell ! — Forget me, and mine forever!
Frank. Forget! Impossible!
Helen. All may be forgotten but the sense of dishonor and the desire of vengeance.
OPERA OF ROB ROY
125. Time arresting the career of Pleasure.
Stay thee on thy mad career ;
126. Advice to an Affected Speaker.
What do you say? - What? I really do not understand you. Be so good as to explain yourself again. — Upon my word, I do not. - 0, now I know: you mean to tell me it is a cold day. Why did not you say at once, “It is cold to-day.” If you wish to inform me it rains or snows, pray say, “ It rains," " It snows;” or, if you think I look well, and you choose to compliment me, say, “I think you look well." " But,” you answer, “that is so common, and so plain, and what every body can say." Well, and what if they can? Is it so great a misfortune to be understood when one speaks, and to speak like the rest of the world? I will tell you what, my friend; you and your fine-spoken brethren want one thing — you do not suspect it, and I shall astonish you — you want common sense.
Nay, this is not all : you have something too much; you possess an opinion that you have more sense than others That is the source of all your pompous nothings, your cloudy sentences, and your big words without a meaning. Before you accost a person, or enter a room, let me pull you by your sleeve and whisper in your ear, “Do not try to show off your sense : have none at all that is your part. Use plain language, if you can; just such as you find others use, who, in your idea, have no understanding; and then, perhaps, you will get credit for having some.”
It is a saying of a quaint writer, that “words are the counters of wise mon, but the money of fools.” — This is well. The thought is ingenious and happily expressed. It would be no very difficult matter, however, to point out passages in many authors which will prove that it is not peculiar to fools to fall into this error. If an author is supposed to involve his thoughts in voluntary obscurity, and to obstruct, by unnecessary difficulties, a mind eager in pursuit of truth; if he writes not to make others learned, but to boast of the learning which he possesses himself, and wishes to be admired rather than understood, - he counteracts the first end of writing, and justly suffers the utmost severity of censure. But still words are only hard to those who do not understand them; and the critic ought to inquire, whether he is incommoded by the fault of the writer, or by his own ignorance.