Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/40

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10
Introduction.

from dwelling on the "gestis" of Wallace and Bruce, because they had been recounted by Barbour and others, and were in everybody's mouth in those days ; but, alas ! except through Barbour, they have not come down to ours.

Thus of Wallace he says :

"Off his gud dedis and manhad
Great gestis, I hard say. ar made ;
Bot sa mony, I trow noucht,
As he in till hys dayis wroucht.
Quha all his dedis off prys[1] wald dyte[2]
Hym worthyd[3] a gret buk to wryte ;
And all thai to wryte in here
I want baith wyt and gud laysere."[4]

And of Bruce, Wyntoun writes :

"Quhat that efftyr this Brws Robert
In all hys tyme dyde effterwart,
The Archedene of Abbyrdene[5]
In Brwys hys Buk has gert[6] be sene,
Mare wysly tretyde in to wryt,
Than I can thynk with all my wyt :
Tharefore I will now thus lychtly
Oure at this tyme (passe) the story."[7]

Though sharing Wyntoun's appreciation of Barbour's poem of The Brus, one would gladly have excused the later writer from the labour of giving the history of the world from the Creation, had he only entered into fuller details regarding public

  1. Deeds of merit.
  2. Indite.
  3. He would need to.
  4. Leisure.
  5. Barbour.
  6. Caused.
  7. Wyntoun, bk. viii., ch. xviii., i, 2923.