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words, to combat for their rights and their liberty. The Scots kneeled down. They yield,' cried Edward; 'see, they implore mercy. They do,' answered Ingelram de Umfraville, . but not ours. On that field they will be victorious, or die.' --Annals of Scotland, vol. II, P:
And cut the bow-string loose !!-St. XXII. p. 253. The English archers commenced the attack with their usual bravery and dexterity. But against a force, whose importance he had learned by fatal experience, Bruce was provided. A small, but select, body of cavalry were detached from the right, under command of Sir Robert Keith. They rounded, as I conceive, the marsh called Milntown bog, and, keeping the firm ground, charged the left flank and rear of the English archers. As the bowmen had no spears, nor long weapons, fit to defend themselves against horse, they were instantly thrown into disorder, and spread through the whole English army a confusion, from which they never fairly recovered.
“ The English archers shot so fast,
That their shot right hard and grievous,
BARBOUR's Bruce, pp. 147, 8.
'Disjoined from the main body. 2 That I speak of,
Spur. 4 Set upon their flank. 5 Numbers.
6 Ransom. 7 Dispersed. Every one.
9 Make. 10 Driven back.
Although the success of this manœuvre was evident, it is very remarkable that the Scottish generals do not appear to have profited by the lesson. Almost every subsequent battle which they lost against England, was decided by the archers, to whom the close and compact array of the Scottish phalanx afforded an exposed and unresisting mark. The bloody battle of Halidown-hill, fought scarce twenty years afterward, was so completely gained by the archers, that the English are said to have lost only one knight, one esquire, and a few footsoldiers. At the battle of Neville's Cross, in 1346, where David II. was defeated and made prisoner, John de Graham, observing the loss which the Scots sustained from the English bowmen, offered to charge and disperse them, if a hundred men at arms were put under his command. “ But, to confess the truth," says Fordun,“ he could not procure a single horseman for the service proposed.” Of such little use is experience in war, where its results are opposed by habit or prejudice.
Each braggart churl could boast before,
Twelve Scottish lives his baldric bore !--St. XXIV. p. 255. Roger Ascham quotes a similar Scottish proverb," whereby they give the whole praise of shooting honestly to Englishmen, saying thus, that every English archer beareth under his girdle twenty-four Scottes. Indeed Toxophilus says before, and truly of the Scottish nation, “The Scottes surely be good men of warre in theyre owne feates as can be ; but as for shootinge,
they can neither use it to any profite, nor yet challenge it for any praise.”-Works of Ascham, edited by Bennet, 4to, p. 110.
It is said, I trust incorrectly, by an ancient English bistorian, that the “good Lord James of Douglas” dreaded the superiority of the English archers so much, that when he made any of them prisoner, he gave him the option of losing the fore-finger of his right hand, or his right eye, either species of mutilation rendering him incapable to use the bow. I have mislaid the reference to this singular passage.
Horseman and horse, the foremost go.-St. XXIV. p. 256.
And steeds that shriek in agony.-St. XXIV. p. 256. I have been told that this line requires an explanatory note; and, indeed, those who witness the silent patience with which horses submit to the most cruel usage, may be permitted to doubt, that, in moments of sudden 'or intolerable anguish, they utter a most melancholy cry. Lord Erskine, in a speech made in the House of Lords, upon a bill for enforcing humanity towards animals, noticed this remarkable fact, in language which I will not mutilate by attempting to repeat it. It was my fortune, upon one occasion, to hear a horse, in a moment of agony, utter a thrilling scream, which I still consider the most melancholy sound I ever heard.
mi Note XXII.
Lord of the Isles, my trust in thee
Is firm as Ailsa-rock; Rush on with Highland sword and targe, I with my Carrick spearmen, charge.St. XXVII. p. 261.
When the engagement between the main bodies had lasted some time, Bruce made a decisive movement, by bringing up the Scottish reserve. It is traditionally said, that at this crisis, he addressed the Lord of the Isles in a phrase used as a motto by some of his descendants, “ My trust is constant in thee.” Barbour intimates, that the reserve “ assembled on one field," that is, on the same line with the Scottish forces already en