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Roger De Hoveden The Annals vol.1., From A.D. 732 To A.D. 1180.

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Roger De Hoveden
The Annals vol.1., From A.D. 732 To A.D. 1180.
page 244



A.D. 1138. DEFEAT OF THE SCOTS. 233 account of their numbers perhaps ? But it is not so much the numbers of the many as the valour of the few that gains the battle. For a multitude unused to discipline is a hindrance to itself, when successful, in completing the victory, when routed, in taking to flight. Besides your forefathers, when but few in number, have many a time conquered multitudes ; what then is the natural consequence of the glories of your ancestry, your constant exercises, your military discipline, but that though fewer in number, you should overcome multitudes ? But now the enemy, advancing in disorder, warn&me to close what I have to say, and rushing on with a straggling front, gives me great reason for gladness.—I therefore in the place of the archbishop of you who are this day about to avenge the sins committed against the house of the Lord, against the priests of the Lord, and against your king under the Lord's protection, whoever of you shall fall fighting, do absolve him from all punishment for sins, in the name of the Father, whose creatures they have so shamefully and horribly slain, of the Son, whose altars they have polluted, aud of the Holy Ghost, whose inspired ones, in their frenzy, they have slaughtered." To this all the troops of the English answered " Amen, Amen ;" and the mountains and hills re-echoed with their cries. At the same instant, the Scots raised the shout of their country, and the cries of " Albany ! Aloany !" ascended to the heavens ; but the shouts were soon drowned in the dreadful crash and the loud noise of the blows. When the ranks of the men of Lothian, who had obtained from the king of Scotland, though reluctantly on his part, the glory of striking the first blow, hurling their darts and presenting their lances of extraordinary length, bore down upon the ranks of the English knights encased in mail, striking as it were against a wall of iron, they found them impenetrable. But the archers of the English, mingling with the cavalry, poured their arrows like a cloud upon them, and pierced those who were not protected by armour. Meanwhile the whole of the Normans and the English, stood in one dense phalanx around the standard, perfectly immoveable. The chief commander of the men of Lothian fell slain, pierced by an arrow, on which the whole of his men took to flight. For the most high God was offended with them, and all their valour was destroyed even as a spider's web. On seeing this, the main body of the Scots, which


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