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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.1
page 494



Whichever of you shall fall fighting for God and your country, we absolve him from all punishment due to his sins, in the name of the Father, whose creatures the foe has so shamefully and horribly slain ; of the Son, whose altars they have polluted ; and of the Holy Ghost, whose grace they have set at naught, in perpetrating such enormous acts of wickedness." All the English army replied to this address with a shout, and the mountains and hills re-echoed Amen, Amen ! Of the pitched battle between the Scots and English. The Scots hearing the shout, like women, raised their usual war-cry of Alban ! Alban ! which was, however, soon drowned in the dreadful rush of the engaging armies. A body of the men of Lothian, who had obtained from the king the honour of striking the first blow, with numbers of missiles and with their long lances, bore down impetuously upon the mailed English knights, but fell upon them like as upon a wall, for they remained immovable. The English archers, then mingling with the cavalry, poured their arrows like a cloud upon the Scots, pierced all who were not protected by their armour, whilst the whole English line and the glory of the Normans, crowding around the standard, remained firm and unshaken. The commander of the men of Lothian fell slain by an arrow, and his men all took to flight. For the most high God was offended with them : therefore their valour was broken like a spider's web in the battle. The main body of the Scots, which was fighting in another part of the field, seeing their comrades routed, lost courage and retreated also. But the king's troops, who were of different clans, began first to flinch individually, and afterwards to recoil in a body, though the king still stood firm : but his friends compelled him to mount his horse and fly, whilst his brave son, heeding not the flight of the rest, but solely bent on acquiring glory, charged the lines of the enemy with headlong valour, though his men could do no execution on knights that were sheathed in mail ; but at last they were forced to take flight, not without much bloodshed, and were ignominiously driven off the field, in all directions. It was reported that eleven thousand of the Scots were slain, besides those who were found mortally wounded in the corn-fields and woods : our army happily triumphed with very little loss of life, and 01


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