The English king, on the contrary, had a very large body of the finest cavalry in the world, Normans and English, all clothed in complete armour. He had also the celebrated archers of England, each of whom was said to carry twelve Scotsmen's lives under his girdle ; because every archer had twelve arrows stuck in his belt, and was expected to kill a man with every arrow.

The Scots had some good archers from the forest of Ettrick, who fought under command of Sir John Stewart of Benkill; but they were not nearly equal in number to the English. The greater part of the Scottish army were on foot, armed with long spears; they were placed thick and close together, and laid all their spears so close, point over point, that it seemed as difficult to break through them, as through the wall of a strong castle. When the two armies were drawn up facing each other, Wallace said to his soldiers, “I have brought you to the ring, let me see how you can dance;” meaning, I have brought you to the decisive field of battle, let me see how bravely you can fight.

The English made the attack. King Edward, though he saw the close ranks, and undaunted appearance, of the Scottish infantry, resolved nevertheless to try whether he could not ride them down with his fine cavalry. He therefore gave his horsemen orders to advance. They charged accordingly, at full gallop. It must have been a terrible thing to have seen these fine horses riding as hard as they could against the long lances, which were held out by the Scots to keep them back ; and a dreadful cry arose when they came against each other.

The first line of cavalry was commanded by the Earl Marshal of England, whose progress was checked by a morass. The second line of English horse was commanded by Antony Beck, the Bishop of Durham, who, nevertheless, wore armour, and fought like a lay baron. He wheeled round the morass ; but when he saw the deep and firm order of the Scots, his heart failed, and he proposed to Sir Ralph Basset, of Drayton, who commanded under him, to halt till Edward himself brought up the reserve. “Go say your mass, bishop,” answered Basset contemptuously, and advanced at full gallop with the second line. However, the Scots stood their ground with their long spears ; many of the foremost of the English horses were thrown down, and the riders were killed as they lay rolling, unable to rise, owing to the weight of their heavy armour. But the Scottish horse did not come to the assistance of their infantry, but on the contrary, fled away from the battle. It is supposed that this was owing to the treachery or ill-will of the nobility, who were jealous of Wallace. But it must be considered that the Scottish cavalry were few in number ; and that they had much worse arms and weaker horses than their enemies. The English cavalry attempted again and again to disperse the deep and solid ranks in which Wallace had stationed his foot soldiers. But they were repeatedly beaten off with loss, nor could they make their way through that wood of spears, as it is called by one of the English historians. King Edward then commanded his archers to advance; and these approaching within arrow-shot of the Scottish ranks, poured on them such close and dreadful volleys of arrows, that it was impossible to sustain the discharge. It happened at the same time, that Sir John Stewart was killed by a fall from his horse ; and the archers of Ettrick Forest, whom he was bringing forward to oppose those of king Edward, were slain in great numbers around him. Their bodies were afterwards distinguished among the slain, as being the tallest and handsomest men of the army.

The Scottish spearmen being thus thrown into some degree of confusion, by the loss of those who were slain by the arrows of the English, the heavy cavalry of Edward again charged with more success than formerly, and broke through the ranks, which were already disordered. Sir John Grahame, Wallace's great friend

and companion, was slain, with many other brave soldiers ; and the Scots, having lost a very great number of men, were at length obliged to take to flight.

This fatal battle was fought upon 22d July, 1298. Sir John the Grahame lies buried in the church-yard of Falkirk. A tombstone was laid over him, which has been three times renewed since his death. The inscription bears. “That Sir John the Grahame, equally remarkable for wisdom and courage, and the faithful friend of Wallace, being slain in battle by the English, lies buried in this place.” A large oak tree in the adjoining forest, was long shown as marking the spot where Wallace slept before the battle, or, as others said, in which he hid himself after the defeat. Nearly forty years ago grandpapa saw some of its roots ; but the body of the tree was even then entirely decayed, and there is not now, and has not been for many years, the least vestige of it to be seen.

After this fatal defeat of Falkirk, Sir William Wallace seems to have resigned his office of Governor of Scotland. Several nobles were named guardians in his place, and continued to make resistance to the English armies; and they gained some advantages, particularly near Roslin, where a body of Scots, commanded by John Comyn of Badenoch, who was one of the guardians of the kingdom, and another distinguished commander, called Simon Fraser, defeated three armies, or detachments of English in one day.

Nevertheless, the king of England possessed so much wealth, and so many means of raising soldiers, that he sent army after army into the poor oppressed country of Scotland, and obliged all its nobles and great men, one after another, to submit themselves once more to his yoke. Sir William Wallace, alone, or with a very small band of followers, refused either to acknowledge the usurper Edward, or to lay down his arms. He continued to maintain himself among the woods and mountains of his native country for no less than seven years after his defeat at Falkirk, and for more than one year after all the other defenders of Scottish liberty had laid down their arms. Many proclamations were sent out against him by the English, and a great reward was set upon his head ; for Edward did not think he could have any secure possession of his usurped kingdom of Scotland while Wallace lived. At length he was taken prisoner ; and, shame it is to say, a Scotsman, called Sir John Menteith, was the person by whom he was seized and delivered to the English. It is generally said that he was made prisoner at Robroyston, near Glasgow ; and the tradition of the country bears, that the signal made for rushing upon him and taking him at unawares, was, when one of his pretended friends, who betrayed him, should turn a loaf, which was placed on the table, with its bottom or flat side uppermost. And in after-times it was reckoned ill-breeding to turn a loaf in that manner, if there was a person named Menteith in company; since it was as much as to remind him, that his namesake had betrayed Sir William Wallace, the champion of Scotland.

Whether Sir John Menteith was actually the person by whom Wallace was betrayed, is not perfectly certain. He was, however, the individual by whom the patriot was made prisoner, and delivered up to the English, for which his name and his memory have been long loaded with disgrace.

Edward having thus obtained possession of the person whom he considered as the greatest obstacle to his complete conquest of Scotland, resolved to make Wallace an example to all Scottish patriots who should in future venture to oppose his ambitious projects. He caused this gallant defender of his country to be brought to trial in Westminster Hall, before the English judges, and produced him there

, crowned, in mockery, with a green garland, because they said he had been king of outlaws and robbers among the Scottish woods. Wallace was accused of having

been a traitor to the English crown; to which he answered, “I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.” He was then charged with having taken and burnt towns and castles, with having killed many men, and done much violence. He replied, with the same calm resolution, " that it was true he had killed very many Englishmen, but it was because they had come to subdue and oppress his native country of Scotland ; and far from repenting what he had done, he declared he was only sorry that he had not put to death many more of them.”

Notwithstanding that Wallace's defence was a good one, both in law and in common sense (for surely every one has not only a right to fight in defence of his native country, but is bound in duty to do so), the English judges condemned him to be executed. So this brave patriot was dragged upon a sledge to the place of execution, where his head was struck off, and his body divided into four quarters, which, according to the cruel custom of the time, were exposed upon spikes of iron on London Bridge, and were termed the limbs of a traitor.


ALLAN CUNNINGHAM. [We have been favoured by Mr. Peter Cunningham with the following extract from an unpublished Drama, from the pen of his father).

Carron Side.

Wallace mourning by the body of Greme.
Wallace. O thou calm moon, pursuing thy bright course
Through heaven's deep azure, sown with burning stars,
If thou wert aught but an immortal thing,
To whom the loveliest of man's fancyings
Are but vain shadows, thou’dst rain fiery tears
Upon this earth, and shoot down angry stars.
Cold, calm thou art fair moon, five thousand years
Hast thou pursued thy unremitting course,
Brighter nor darker, though the world beneath
Knee-deep in blood, and heaped with slaughtered bones,
Choked the pure air, so that the lark her song
Took up to the morn stars. Still thou shinest on
Fair and untroubled though wronged maidens' shrieks,
And orphans' cries afflict the midnight air.
Cold thou look'st down on these heroic limbs, (Locks at Greeme.)
Stretched stark and stiff

, a sight to make man mad,
And in his anger to forget the gods.

Enter Bruceother side of Carron.
Bruce. Ha! who goes there?

A man.

Thou'st proved this day
That thou art one. A word if thou art Wallace.

Wallace. Sir, I am Wallace ;—that thou art the Bruce,
Thou hast this day writ in thy country's blood.
See'st thou by the pale moon this face still paler ?

It was a living man this morn, a hero
In mind and courage, and a god in form.
Heir of poor Scotland's crown, dost thou not weep
To see this doleful sight?

Yes, I could weep
To see thy gallant and heroic spirit,
Tasked to a toil surpassing human strength.-
Look on this land—its people few and poor,
Torn too by discord—its crown'd head a shadow-
Contending with the mightiest realm on earth,
With the most martial prince too.-If the love
Of Scotland warms thee in this hopeless strife,
Thy courage will but add weight to her chains.
If thou court'st personal grandeur and ambition,
Thou hast had proof to-day that our high nobles
Scorn thy peculiar merits; and regard
Thy worth as their reproach.

Now I despair,
Who ne'er despaired till now! Yes, Scotland's poor,
Its people few, its crowned king a shadow,
Its nobles mean and trait'rous, and its foos
Many and martial, and their monarch warlike.
I said all this and far more to my soul,
Ere I did draw the sword. But when I heard
The loud groan of its people : saw them chased
From rock to forest like the bleeding hart,
No nobles' hands stretch'd out to lead and save.
I set my soul, sir, on this desperate task,
And 0 ! I thought, when I storm'd some strong tower,
And slew some stronger tyrant, it would shame
Into their ancient valour Bruce or Douglas.
That no such change took place, is the blame mine?
No--by the heaven above me thine's the fault.
High birth, high fortune and high courage call

Enter Menteth privily unseen.
On Bruce to avenge his country's wrongs, and place
Our ancient crown on his heroic brow.

Bruce. Hist! sure that is the sound of an arm'd foot ?

Wallace. Yea, or the Carron chafing with her rocks,
For she too covets freedom. Sir, can heaven
Find for men's virtue here a holier task
Than warring for one's country, or a higher
Than for the ancient crown of a free people ?
For me I know that a most tragic end
Will make my name a wonder.—Yet I'll die
As freely as the summer sun gives light
If it will save my country.
Now I see,

[asido. Lord Bruce, the poison sinks into thy soul.

Bruce. I cannot reach my hand o'er this wild stream, Nor clasp thee in the arms of strong affection,

But I press thee in fancy to my soul,
Thou ill-requited patriot.

Well requited now,
Since my poor words and deeds have moved thy heart.-
Throw the inglorious bonds of Edward off-
Summon the lances of the Doon and Nith-
Place the bright crown of Scotland on thy brow,
Call on thy subjects, and an age of wrongs
Right in an hour in one of those great fields
God gives the people.

By the cross ! I'll do it !
By all I love in heaven, or dread in hell,
Or hope on earth, I'll do it!
Scotland's crown

Will tempt thee to perdition, Bruce I see
These fair locks which the dames of Carrick love,
The axe must sever, and, stern Wallace, thine,
Since thou standest an armed spectre in the path,
Must seek the summit of some royal tower
And warp and wither in the sun and wind.

Wallace. Do that, and Scotland will perform her part.
Her heart is whole-her spirit stunn'd not crushed.
O Græme, couid thy cold ear but hear these tidings !
My heart leaps light in spite of all the blood
Which has to-day been shed.

We must act warily,
Our foe is wise and warlike-crafty too.

Wallace. O Bruce, my king, I have a boon to beg,—
When thou stand'st conqueror on some well fought field,
And turn'st thy brow to heaven in prayer, thou'lt see
My head stuck bleaching on some stronghold's top,
Ob take it down, and reverently inter it
I have no more to ask.

O! I shall hear
That battle shout again that shakes men's hearts,
And see that sword flash o'er opposing helmets
Thy right hand on my head shall set the crown.
But we must meet, and when we meet I'll lay
My plans before thee for this great redemption.
Soon of this tryste I'll send in token to thee
By an assured friend.

[Exeunt Wallace, Bruce, and Menteth.

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