Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/352

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Robert the Bruce.

[1322 A.D.-

and people of Scotland took place on March 5, 1324. Queen Elizabeth of Scotland, after twenty years of marriage, bore a son at Dunfermline, who was christened David. It would be impossible to exaggerate the importance to the nation of this happy occasion, reviving, as it did, hopes that had well-nigh failed that King Robert might transmit to one of his own line the kingdom he had won with such dauntless resolution, and that so the people might be spared the dreaded trials of a disputed succession.[1]

Negotiations went on at York during the greater part of 1324, for the conversion of the truce into a durable peace, and for the ransom of English prisoners. Scottish interests were committed to the hands of the Bishop of St. Andrews and the Earl of Moray, with six other envoys.[2] On the English side were

  1. The birth of this Prince was the occasion of a good deal of ribaldry by satirical English poets. The following infamous doggerel, which certainly will not bear translation, may serve to illustrate the devices by which educated persons strove to inflame popular opinion in England against the Scots. It refers to an alleged incident at the Christening of Prince David.

    "Dum puerum David praesul baptismate lavit,
    Ventrum laxavit, baptisterium maculavit.
    Fontem foedavit in quo mingendo cacavit;
    Sancta prophanavit, olei foeces reseravit.
    Brus nimis emunxit, cum stercore sacra perunxit,
    Se male disjunxit, urinae stercora junxit;
    Dum baptizatur altare Dei maculatur,
    Nam super altare fertur mingendo cacare.

    · · · · · · ·

    Sic domus alma Dei foedo repletus odore."
    Political Poems and Songs, Record Series, vol. i., p. 40.

  2. Bain, iii., 156.