Thursday, June 30, 2011
A Noble Heart
Well, This is the last day of June and thus, I am going to wrap up my Bruce month with one more post. I have been having a very good time writing these story posts this last month, and I think I will do more of these in the future.
Today, I'm going to give you another Douglas story. James Douglas died in Spain on a crusade, carrying Robert the Bruce's heart in a casket as he had asked him to. Bruce's heart now lies in Melrose Abbey where a round memorial stone reads: "A Nobel heart hath no ease if freedom fail."
The Moors had invaded southern Spain, and Douglas had gone to fight. A long time ago, he and Robert, now dead, had talked about going on a crusade. Robert had always wanted to go on one, but he had passed away before he had a chance to make that possible. Before he died, though, he asked Douglas if he would take his heart with him. So Douglas had a small casket made that he could carry with him and he set off on the crusade alone.
They had reached a small town called Teba in Spain where they were supposed to meet with reinforcements, but something went wrong and the Scots were attacked. Douglas thought in those few minutes that he was granted before he had to fight, that it was most likely foul play. But before he could think anymore, he turned to his men and raised his sword.
"Come, let us fight this day, companions. For Robert." He then took the casket from his tunic and, standing in the path, threw it toward the oncoming army. "Go forward brave heart!" he shouted. "Douglas shall follow you or die!"
The men shouted in agreement and they followed Douglas into the charge.
The Scots were horribly outnumbered and before long, James Douglas fell, wounded beyond recovery. He clasped the casket he had found again and sighed.
"It's a good thing we did not do this poorly winning Scotland, back, my friend," he said then closed his eyes.
Douglas's body was taken back to Scotland and laid in St Brides while Bruce's heart was put in Melrose Abbey and is still there to this day.
I hope everyone has enjoyed Bruce Month as much as I have! I'll be back some next month and then I'm going to have to start thinking about August and Wallace again. I'd love to do a story request for the life of Wallace, so please tell me what your favorite Wallace story is and I'll try my best at telling it.
For now, though, I'm going to go back to my novel writing!