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so long, followed by this heavy sickness, that, since my body cannot accomplish what my heart wishes, I will send my heart in the stead of my body, to fulfil my vow. And as I do not know any one knight so gallant or enterprising, or better formed to complete my intentions than yourself, I beg and entreat of you, dear and special friend, as earnestly as I can, that you would have the goodness to undertake this expedition for the love of me, and to acquit my soul to our Lord and Saviour ; for I have that opinion of your nobleness and loyalty, that if you undertake it, it cannot fail of success and I shall die more contented : but it must be executed as follows: I will that, as soon as I shall be dead, you take my heart from my body, and have it well embalmed; you will also take as much money from my treasury, as will appear to you sufficient to perform your journey, as well as for all those whom you may choose to have accompany you, to deposit it at the Holy Sepulchre of our Lord, where he was buried, since my body cannot go there. You will not be sparing of expense: and provide yourself with such company and such things suitable to your rank; and wherever you pass, you will let it be known, that you bear the heart of King Robert of Scotland, which you are carrying beyond seas by his command, since his body can not go thither."
All those present began bewailing bitterly; and when the Lord James could speak, he said, “ Gallant and noble King, I return you a hundred thousand thanks for the high honour you. do me, and for the valuable and dear treasure with which you entrust me; and I will most willingly do all that you command me with the utmost loyalty in my power : never doubt it, however I may feel myself unworthy of such a high distinction."
The king replied, “ Gallant knight, I thank you; you promise it me then ?"
“ Certainly, sir, most willingly,"answered the knight. He then gave his promise upon his knighthood.
The king said, “ Thanks be to God! for I shall die in peace, since I know that the most valiant and accomplished knight in my kingdom will perform that for me, which I am unable to do for myself.”
Soon after, the valiant Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, departed this life on the 7th of November, 1327. His heart was embalmed, and his body buried in the monastery of Dunfermline.
The Lord Douglas immediately set about the accomplishment of his honourable mission. Hearing that Alphonso, king of Spain, was waging war against the Saracen king of Grenada, he thought that if he should go thither, he should employ
his time and journey according to the late king's wishes ; designing, when he had assisted to subdue the Saracen of Grenada, to proceed forthwith to complete the duty with which he was charged. He departed from Scotland accordingly, with a splendid retinue; landed at Valencia, and joined the Spanish king, who was with his army on the frontiers of Grenada. It happened, soon after his arrival, that the king of Spaio issued forth into the fields, to make his approaches nearer the enemy; the king of Grenada did the same; and each king could easily distinguish the other's banners, and they both began to set their armies in array. The lord James placed himself and his company on one side, to make better work and a more powerful effect. When he perceived that the battalions on each side were fully arranged, and that of the king of Spain in motion, he imagined they were about to begin the onset; and as he always wished to be among the first rather than the last on such occasions, he and all his company stuck their spurs into their horses, until they were in the midst of the king of Grenada’s battalion, and made a furious attack on the Saracens. They fled, and Douglas with his companions, eagerly pursued them. Taking the casket from his neck, which contained the heart of Bruce, he threw it before him, and cried, “ Now pass thou onward as thou wast wont, and Douglas will follow thee, or die.” The fugitives rallied. Surrounded and overwhelmed by superior numbers, Douglas fell. His few surviving companions found his body in the field, together with the casket, and reverently conveyed them to Scotland. The remains of Douglas were interred in the sepulchre of his fathers, in the church of Douglas, and the heart of Bruce was deposited at Melrose, leaving the dying wishes of king Robert still unaccomplished.
BATTLE OF AGINCOURT.
At this memorable battle, on which Henry the Fifth gained immortal honour, eighteen French knights, having entered into an association to take the king dead or alive, fought their way to where he was; and one of them struck him with a battle-axe, which did not, however, penetrate his helmet. At this moment, David Gam; a Welch captain, and two of his countrymen, rushed in to the assistance of the king, and saved him at the expense of their own lives. The French knights were every one killed; and when Henry saw his three gallant friends expiring of their wounds at his feet, in gratitude for such noble service, he knighted them as they lay on the field of battle, and charged the enemy with redoubled ardour. His brother Gloucester, who fought by his side, received a stroke from a mace, which felled him to the ground. Henry covered him with his shield, and, at the same time, sustained the attack of a multitude of assailants; but not being able to defend himself against them all, he received a blow on the head which brought him on his knees; he, however, instantly sprang up, and laid the man who gave it dead at his feet. At this instant, the Duke of York came up to his relief, and the troops, seeing his danger, with a sort of enthusiasm, bore down all before them. The Duc d'Alencon finding his army thrown into disorder, and in danger of being totally defeated, resolved to make one effort, that should either restore to him the glory of the day, or, at least, save him the mortification of surviving his defeat. With three hundred choice volunteers, he made his way to where Henry was performing prodigies of valour, and crying out, “ I am the Duc d'Alencon,” he gave the king a most furious blow on the head, which pierced his helmet; but not being able quickly to disengage his sword, Henry returned the stroke so effectually, that he brought the duke and two of his followers to the ground. The loss of Alencon filled the French with consternation and confusion, and they betook themselves to flight. In this battle, which lasted five hours, the French had one thousand men killed, and sixteen thousand taken prisoners; while the loss of the English did not exceed four hundred men.
The English were at the commencement of the action, about twelve thousand or thirteen thousand in number, and the French not less than forty thousand. When Gam, the gallant Welch captain, was sent to reconnoitre the enemy's position the day before the battle, he reported, on his return, that “there were enough to be killed, enough to be taken prisoners, and enough to run away."
NOBILITY OF BLOOD. Crantz, in his Saxon History, tells us of an Earl of Alsatia, surnamed, on account of his great strength, Iron ; who was a great favourite with Edward the Third of England, and much envied, as favourites are always sure to be, by the rest of the courtiers. On one occasion, when the king was absent, some noblemen maliciously instigated the queen to make trial of the noble blood of the favourite, by causing a lion to be let loose upon him, saying, according to the popular belief, that “ if the earl was truly noble, the lion would not touch him.” It being customary with the earl to rise at break of day, before any other person in the palace was stirring, a lion was let loose during the night, and turned into the lower court. When the earl came down in the morning, with no more than a night-gown cast over his shirt, he was met by the
lion bristling his hair, and growling destruction between his teeth. The earl not in the least daunted, called out with a stout voice, “ Stand, you dog.” At these words, the lion couched at his feet, to the great amazement of the courtiers, who were peeping out at every window, to see the issue of their ungenerous project. The earl laid hold of the lion by the mane, turned him into his cage, and placing his nightcap on the lion's back, came forth without ever casting a look behind him. “ Now,” said the earl, calling out the courtiers, whose da presence at the windows instantly convinced him of the share they had in this trial of his courage, “ Let him amongst you all, that standeth most upon his pedigree, go and fetch my nightcap."
CAPTAIN HORNBY. Mr. Richard Hornby of Stokesly, was master of a merchant ship, the Isabella of Sunderland, in which he sailed from the coast of Norfolk for the Hague, June 1, 1744, in company with three smaller vessels recommended to his care. Next day they made Gravesant Steeple, in the Hague ; but while they were steering for their port, a French privateer, that lay concealed among the Dutch fishing-boats, suddenly came against them, singling out the Isabella as the object of attack, while the rest dispersed and escaped. The strength of the two ships was most unequal; for the Isabella mounted only four carriage guns and two swivels, and her crew consisted of only five men and three boys, besides the captain ; while the privateer, the Marquis de Brancas, commanded by Captain Andre, had ten carriage guns and eight swivels, with seventyfive men, and three hundred small arms. Yet Captain Hornby was nothing daunted. Having animated his liule crew by an appropriate address, and obtained their promise of standing by him to the last, he hoisted the British colours, and with his two swivel guns returned the fire of the enemy's chase-guns. The Frenchmen, in abusive terms, commanded him to strike. Hornby coolly returned an answer of defiance, on which the privateer advanced, and poured such showers of bullets into the Isabella, that the captain found it prudent to order his brave fellows into close quarters. While he lay thus sheltered, the enemy twice attempted to board him on the larboard quarter ; but by the dexterous turn of the heim, he frustrated both attempts, though the Frenchmen kept firing upon hima both with guns and small arms. At two o'clock, when the action had lasted an hour, the privateer running furiously in upon the larboard of the Isabella, entangled her bowsprit among the main shrouds, and was lashed fast to her. Captain Andre now
bawled out in a menacing tone, “ You English dog, strike." Captain Hornby challenged him to come on board and strike his colours if he dared. The exasperated Frenchman instantly threw in twenty men on the Isabella, who began to hack and hew into the close quarters; but a general discharge of blunderbusses forced the assailants to retreat as fast as their wounds would permit them.
The privateer being now disengaged from the Isabella, turned about and made another attempt on the starboard side, when the valiant Hornby and his mate, shot each his
man as the enemy were again lashing the ships together. The Frenchman once more commanded him to strike; and the brave Englishman returning another refusal, twenty fresh men entered, and made a fierce attack on the close quarters with hatchets and pole axes, with which they had nearly cut their way through in three places, when the constant fire kept up by Captain Hornby and his crew, obliged them a second time to retreat, carrying their wounded with them, and hauling their dead after them with boat-hooks.
The Isabella continued still lashed to the enemy, the latter, with small arms, fired repeated and terrible volleys into the close quarters; but the fire was returned with such spirit and effect, that the Frenchmen repeatedly gave way. At length Captain Hornby, seeing them crowding behind their mainmast for sbelter, aimed a blunderbuss at them, which being by mistake doubly loaded, containing twice twelve balls, burst in the firing, and threw him down, to the great consternation of his little crew, who supposed him dead. In an instant, however, he started up again, though greatly bruised, while the enemy, among whom the blunderbuss had made dreadful havoc, disengaged themselves from the Isabella, to which they had been lashed an hour and a quarter, and sheered off with precipitation, leaving their grapplings, and a quantity of pole-axes, pistols, and cutlasses behind them.
The gallant Hornby now exultingly fired his two starboard guns into the enemy's stern. The indignant Frenchman immediately returned, and renewed the conflict, which was carred on yard-arm and yard-arm, with great fury, for two hours together. The Isabella was shot through her hull several times, her sails and rigging were torn to pieces, her ensign was dismounted, and every mast and yard damaged; yet she still bravely maintained the combat, and at last, by a fortunate shot which struck the Brancas between wind and water, obliged her to sheer off and careen. While the enemy were retiring, Hornby and his little crew sallied out from their fastness, and erecting their fallen ensign, gave three cheers.
By this time, both vessels had driven so near the English