Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/151

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1305 A.D.]

The Death of Wallace.


and fealty, was served heir, and three days later his debts to the King were respited. It would be idle to refuse to see, in Bruce's dutiful attitude to King Edward, the anxiety of the heir to secure his rich inheritance. So hardly shall they that have riches ————!

The storm, long gathering, at length burst on Sir William de Oliphant and the gallant defenders of Stirling Castle. High on their precipitous rock they had watched the vast preparations for their destruction; and now thirteen great engines, the very latest inventions of military science, hurled missiles against the walls and wildfire into the castle. These machines all bore names, registered as precisely as those of modern battle-ships. There were the Lincoln and the Segrave, the Robinet and the Kingston, the Vicar and the Parson, the Berefrey, the Linlithgow, the Bothwell, the Prince's, the Gloucester, the Dovedale, and the Tout-le-monde, besides a mighty "war-wolf," the like of which had never been seen.[1] An oriel window was built in the King's house in the town, in order that the Queen and her ladies might watch the progress of the siege.[2] Outside, in the town, it was a pleasant picnic in the summer weather, but within the fortress provender soon began to run low; yet no sign of surrender was made till July. On the 20th of that month Oliphant submitted unconditionally, but Edward would not allow any of his troops to enter the castle till he had tried on it the effect of his war-wolf (tauntqz il eit ferru ove le Lup

  1. Bain, ii., 420.
  2. Wardrobe Accounts.