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Blind Harry's Wallace

The Life and Heroick Actions of the Renoun'd Sir William Wallace,
General and Governour of Scotland
by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield

Book VI (Prologue)

Winter being pass'd, and the Summer advancing, Wallace returns again to Lanerk; to visit his Mistress, (an Account of the first beginning of his Passion, is to be found in the Fifth Book) where meeting with a kind Reception, he marrys her.

BUT the English during that Time he had spent in his Courtship, having occupied and taken Possession of all the Forts and Towns in SCOTLAND, oblig'd him to rise again in Arms to vindicate his Country. But before he took the Field, he thought it necessary to remove his Wife from the Hazard of the War, which occasions a moving Colloquy betwixt them, she earnestly imploring him to take her along with him, and he declaring to her the ill Effects of it.

The Morning arriving, Wallace goes out to the Fields, where having implor'd Heaven for the Success of his Undertaking, he blew his Horn to call his Followers he had with him together; where discovering his Intent, they all with one Consent agree to the War, and make Preparations for it. The English perceiv'd their Intent, and under the Command of Hesilrig and Thorn make Head against them, and the Scots overpower'd with Multitudes, retreated to Cartlane-Craigs.

The Night approaching, Hesilrig insulting Wallace's Wife, most barbarously kills her, when behold Wallace after expressing his Sorrow for her Loss, resolves to revenge it, and coming back in the Night-Time, slew Thorn, Hesilrig, and the English-Men in Lanerk.

This being told King Edward, he gathered together a great Army and came to Bigger, where Wallace being now join'd with a considerable Number met him, and encouraging his Men, Fought and defeat them, but the English being told by Spies, that the Scots had intoxicated themselves with the Wine left in the Camp, returned and were again defeat.

After this,Wallace took in a Castle on a Rock, and with continued Debates, so weakned the English, that they were content at Rutherglen Kirk, to conclude a Peace for a Year, that both shou'd rest from committing any Hostilities.

Next page: Book VI, Chapter I

The ballad, The Life and Heroick Actions of the Renoun'd Sir William Wallace, General and Governour of Scotland, by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield, 1722, is in the public domain.