Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/306

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[1316 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

fugitives for very shame to follow him. The men only wanted a leader: they rallied at once under the dauntless prelate. The English had turned to foraying, and were scattered far and wide, except one detachment which was still in good array. This the Scots' cavalry dispersed by a furious charge, driving the men to their boats; the rest were slaughtered in detail, and thus the "kynrik" of Fife was saved. When the King of Scots heard of this, he declared that Sinclair should be his bishop; who accordingly, until his death and long after, went by the name of "the King's bishop."

One more exploit claims mention before King Robert reappears on the scene. It has been told how bravely Sir Andrew de Harcla defended Carlisle against the Scots, and how he received King Edward's guerdon for the capture of John de Moray. Harcla himself was taken prisoner now, riding with 300 men "horsit jolely," by Sir John de Soulis of Eskdale with but fifty. So much Barbour tells us, but refrains from giving the particulars, for, says he,

"I will nocht rehers the maner,
For quha sa likis, tha may her
Yhoung wemen, quhen the will play,
Syng it amang tham ilke day."[1]

Would that the archdeacon had preserved for us this ballad! The main fact is confirmed by a letter from de Harcla to King Edward, begging that he

  1. "I will not rehearse the manner,
    For whoso likes may hear
    Young women, when they are at play
    Sing it among them every day."