Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/432

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[1329 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

de Brus's most faithful subject, reliance has been placed chiefly on the narrative of Froissart. Barbour gives a slightly different account of it, placing Douglas in command of the whole vanguard of the Spanish army. It is not likely that he was responsible for more than his immediate following, if for no other reason than because of the difficulty of conveying accurate commands in a foreign language. Boece has followed Holland, an allegorical writer of the fifteenth century, and Hume of Godscroft has followed both, in drawing a romantic picture of Douglas flinging the heart of the Bruce among the Saracens before he charged them, exclaiming—"Now pass thou forth before, as thou wert ever won't to be in the field, and I shall follow thee or die!"

But this is myth of that nature, of which, if history is to be written at all, it must be scrupulously purged.

After the fray the heart of the King of Scots was recovered and having been taken back to Scotland by some of Douglas's sorrowing comrades was buried in Melrose Abbey. They brought home, too, the body of the Black Douglas, and laid it in the chapel of St. Bride at Douglas. The tomb stands on the north side of the aisle and is believed to have been erected some years after his death by his son, Archibald the Grim, Lord of Galloway.

"The effigy," says Blore, "is of dark stone, cross-legged. The right hand has been represented in the act of drawing the sword, the scabbard of which is held by the left. Owing, however, to injury the figure has sustained, the right arm and hand are broken off and lost, from the shoulder downwards, as in the corresponding leg from the knee. The long pointed shield which he bears on his left arm is