Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/320

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Robert the Bruce.

[1319 A.D.-

Norham for feats of chivalry; and thither, accordingly, Sir William took his way. He had not long to wait for adventure, for just as he was sitting down to dinner at noon, on the fourth day after his arrival, appeared Sir Alexander de Moubray[1] with some other knights and 160 men-at-arms. Sir Thomas Gray had already formed up his garrison, for defence, when he noticed Marmion on foot, shining with gold and silver—tout relusaunt dor et dargent—and wearing his gold helmet.

"Sir knight," said Sir Thomas, "you have come hither a knight errant to make famous your helmet. It is more fitting that chivalry be done on horseback than on foot, where that is possible; therefore mount your charger. See! there is the enemy; set spurs to your horse and charge among them. I renounce God if I do not rescue you dead or alive, or perish in the attempt."

Marmion did not blanch. He mounted a splendid war-horse—vn bel destreir—and charged alone against the Scots. Wounded, he was thrown to the ground and was at the point of being slain, when Gray, charging on foot with all his men, rescued the knight as he had pledged himself to do. Then the ladies in the castle led their horses out to Sir Thomas and his men, who mounted and rode in pursuit of the flying Scots, killing many of them and taking fifty valuable horses—cheualx de pris. It is to be hoped that Marmion earned his lady's favour, in spite

  1. Brother of Sir Philip, killed at Dundalk. Afterwards he went over to the English side, on the conviction of Roger de Moubray of high treason, in August, 1320, and received King Edward's pardon.—Bain, iii., 136, 435.