Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/424

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Thomas, Earl of Lancaster. Sir Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel.

CHAPTER XVII.

EXPEDITION OF DOUGLAS : HIS DEATH, AND THAT OF MORAY.

A.D. 1329-1332.

THE service which King Robert had laid upon the Lord of Douglas, was one which not only removed from the defence of Scotland her most experienced soldier and perhaps the coolest head in her council, but also exposed him to mortal peril. Not the less would he relish it on that account; but one is tempted to impute to King Robert a selfish anxiety for the safety of his soul and the renown of his name, in thus depriving the boy king and the Scottish nation of the presence of such a valuable counsellor, and of ingratitude in adding such an onerous and perilous task to the long list of duties already done. But the character of the mission, futile and superfluous as it seems in the cold light of modern days, must be judged according to the doctrine of crusading times.

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