Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/348

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Robert the Bruce.

[1322 A.D.-

embodied in a dignified letter addressed to Sir Henri on the following day.

"I see," runs the letter, "from the copy of the letters of the King of England which you have transmitted to me, that he says he has granted a cessation of arms to the men of Scotland who are engaged in war against him. This language is very strange. In our former truces, I was always named as the principal party, although he did not vouchsafe to give me the title of King; but now he makes no more mention of me than of the least person in Scotland; so that, if the treaty were to be violated by him, I should have no better title to demand redress than the meanest of my subjects.

"I cannot consent to a truce granted in such terms; but I am willing to consent, if the wonted form is employed. I send you a copy of the King's letter; for I imagine that you either have not perused it, or not adverted to its tenour."

Edward had to conform to King Robert's wishes, though it was such a bitter humiliation to Henry de Beaumont that, rather than consent to a truce on such terms, he resigned his seat on the council. Finally, on May 30, 1323, a truce with Scotland for thirteen years was proclaimed in the English countries by order of King Edward at York, and ratified by King Robert at Berwick on June 7th.

Notwithstanding the truce, Edward continued to press the Pope to enforce the sentence of excommunication against King Robert and his subjects. It is not easy to see what more there remained for the Pope to do, seeing that the sentence had been in full force for some months already. Anyhow, his Holiness was far too well pleased by the conclusion of the terms of truce, to be willing to do anything which might disturb them. By a singular clause in the treaty, power had been taken for