In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 353 pages of information about In Freedom's Cause .
far saved you, for Sir John Kerr would crush you without mercy did he dream that you could ever become formidable; and he is surrounded by ruthless retainers, who would at a word from him take your life; therefore think not for years to come to match yourself against the Kerrs.  You must gain a name and a following and powerful friends before you move a step in that direction; but I firmly believe that the time will come when you will become lord of Glencairn and the hills around it.  Next, my boy, I see that your thoughts are ever running upon the state of servitude to which Scotland is reduced, and have marked how eagerly you listen to the deeds of that gallant young champion, Sir William Wallace.  When the time comes I would hold you back from no enterprise in the cause of our country; but at present this is hopeless.  Valiant as may be the deeds which Wallace and his band perform, they are as vain as the strokes of reeds upon armour against the power of England.”

“But, mother, his following may swell to an army.”

“Even so, Archie; but even as an army it would be but as chaff before the wind against an English array.  What can a crowd of peasants, however valiant, do against the trained and disciplined battle of England.  You saw how at Dunbar the Earl of Surrey scattered them like sheep, and then many of the Scotch nobles were present.  So far there is no sign of any of the Scottish nobles giving aid or countenance to Wallace, and even should he gather an army, fear for the loss of their estates, a jealousy of this young leader, and the Norman blood in their veins, will bind them to England, and the Scotch would have to face not only the army of the invader, but the feudal forces of our own nobles.  I say not that enterprises like those of Wallace do not aid the cause, for they do so greatly by exciting the spirit and enthusiasm of the people at large, as they have done in your case.  They show them that the English are not invincible, and that even when in greatly superior numbers they may be defeated by Scotchmen who love their country.  They keep alive the spirit of resistance and of hope, and prepare the time when the country shall make a general effort.  Until that time comes, my son, resistance against the English power is vain.  Even were it not so, you are too young to take part in such strife, but when you attain the age of manhood, if you should still wish to join the bands of Wallace —­ that is, if he be still able to make head against the English —­ I will not say nay.  Here, my son, is your father’s sword.  Sandy picked it up as he lay slain on the hearthstone, and hid it away; but now I can trust it with you.  May it be drawn some day in the cause of Scotland!  And now, my boy, the hour is late, and you had best to bed, for it were well that you made an early start for Lanark.”

The next morning Archie started soon after daybreak.  On his back he carried a wallet, in which was a new suit of clothes suitable for one of the rank of a gentleman, which his mother had with great stint and difficulty procured for him.  He strode briskly along, proud of the possession of a sword for the first time.  It was in itself a badge of manhood, for at that time all men went armed.

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In Freedom's Cause : a Story of Wallace and Bruce from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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