Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/31

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Silver Penny of John de Balliol. �Obv : The King's head crowned, and sceptre. IOHANNES : DEI : GRA{ �Rev : A cross between four mullets of six paints: REX: SCOTORVM>{ ���Silver Penny of Robert I. �Obv : The King's head crowned, and sceptre. ROBERTVS : DEI : GRAJ" �Rev : A cross between four mullets of five points : SCOTORVM : REXJ

INTRODUCTION.

IF anyone were to attempt, five hundred years hence, to write the life, say, of Prince Bismarck, and a history of the war between Germany and France in 1870-71, and should be forced to rely exclusively on the newspapers circulating at that time in the two countries, supplemented by a few German and French poems and songs composed about the middle of the twentieth century, and the chronicles of intensely partisan writers, reviewing the causes and events of the war at a distance of sixty or seventy years, he would be far better equipped for his task than one who should have undertaken, comparatively few years ago, to compile a history of Robert I. of Scotland and the winning of Scottish independence.

He would, of course, have to discount freely the statements of journalists on either side, respecting the causes which brought the war about, and the motives and conduct of those engaged in it; but he would, at least, be able to trace the movements of armies, the identity of commanders, and the conduct