Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/436

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Robert the Bruce.

[1329 A.D.-

hearts of the fifth and eighth Earls of Angus, the former of whom—Archibald "Bell-the-Cat"—lies in St. Ninian's church at Whithorn.

The personal appearance of the greatest of Bruce's subjects has been portrayed by Barbour, writing from the description of those who knew the Black Douglas in life.

"Bot he was nocht sa far[1] that we
Suld spek gretly of his beaute.
In visage was he sumdele gray,
And had blak har, as I herd say;
Bot of limmis he was wele mad,
With banis[2] gret and schuldris brad;
His body was wele mad and lenyhe[3]
As tha that saw him said to me.
Quhen he was blith he was lufly,
And mek and suet in cumpany,
But quha in battale micht him se,
All othir contenans had he,
And in spek ulispit[4] he sumdele,
Bot that sat him richt wondir wele."

The fierceness of the countenance of Douglas in battle seems to have been a quality transmitted to his natural son, Archibald "the Grim," who, in later years, succeeded to the Douglas honours and estates as third Earl of Douglas. He obtained his popular sobriquet, not, as might be imagined, from cruel or rigorous behaviour, for he was a wise and painstaking ruler of Douglasdale and Galloway, but, says Sir Richard Maitland, he "was callit Archibald Grym be the Englismen, becaus of his

  1. Fair.
  2. Bones.
  3. Lean.
  4. Lisped.