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 THE HERT O SCOTLAND - Robert I, King o Scots
A Play by Robert S Silver - an excerpt
Read by Marilyn & Peter Wright

Click here to listen to this in Real Audio read by Marilyn Wright

Scene Six
A room in the house of the Countess of Buchan at Balmullo, Fife, about a week after Bruce's absolution at Glasgow. Buchan is about to leave to go to his manor in Leicestershire.
 
BUCHAN : An are ye ettlin still tae gang tae Scone
                Noo that nae thing's turned oot the wey foreseen
                Ye'll shame me sair gin ye gang there tae Bruce!
 
COUNTESS : Na sir, I'll shame ye nane. T'wad shame us baith
                    Mair waefu gin I were tae bide awa.
                    Yer cousin shamed us aa by treachery.
                    A King there maun be. And my hands alane
                    Can mak him -
 
BUCHAN : (interrupting) But, ye maun hae sense!
                 That man is Bruce! The very man wha killed
                 The heid o Buchan clan! An aa my kin
                 Expect me tae revenge that wanton deed.
                 Your lealty's te me, and tae nae ither.
                 Ye'll lay aside the darg that's due tae Fife!
 
COUNTESS : I'll no dae that. Ye canna mak me dae't.
                    Ye wadna hae me scorn the lang kent duty
                    My faimly's done for ilka Scottish king
                    Since Malcolm Canmore. Yer ain clan
                    Ken that's my place, an ken the grypin truth
                    T'was Comyn his ainsel that disannoled
                    His ain grand future wi betrayin clype.
 
BUCHAN : (interrupting) But heed me noo. Thae twa days we hae been 
                 Ower aa the wey o't, aye, an fine we ken
                 Whit-like a weird we'll dree, an hae tae thole
                 For gin ye gang to Scone ye'll be yer lane,
                 Ye're wyce eneuch tae ken I maun disown
                 Yersel, my very wife. Ye'll be miscaa'd
                  As Carrick'sleman. Hoo can I protect 
                 Your name for aa I honour it mysel
                 An tak your lealty for truth.
 
COUNTESS : It is.
                     Be shair o that my lord, whitever else
                     May gang asklent i thae uncouthy days.
                     As wife I'm true tae ye. It disna shame
                     Ye an the Comyn clan gin I croon Bruce.
                     But ye maun honour my inherent task.
                     I canna bide frae Scone. A king
                     Has been proclaimed. That's fact. But fact as weel
                     That England reived the Stane o Scone tae tak
                     Oor ancient symbol an sae argify
                     Wha'e'er we crooned culd no be richtfu king.
                     An ye were set that I culd brak that thocht
                     By bein there as Fife tae gie the croon
                     An aa its richts tae Comyn. Three weeks noo
                     Ye've gaithered horse and men intae oor fields
                     For us tae gang thegither ower tae Scone.
                     Comyn be crooned by me, an ye an Bruce
                      Leadin the airmies o King John's best men.
                     
BUCHAN : But noo that canna be, for I maun fecht
                Against the man yer duty will mak king.
                Shairly ye see that?
 
COUNTESS : O' coorse I see.
                     I ken that's aa forfochen. An the faut
                     Lies stracht wi yer Lord Comyn, for his clype
                     Had cast his richts awa even gin he'd lived.
                     He'd made himsel an English stooky doll!
                     Answer me this. Gin Carrick hadna struck
                    Had Comyn lived wad ye hae ta'en his pairt?
                     An gaun wi me tae croon a man forsworn?
                    I wadna hae done that. I dinna think
                    Ye'd want me tae. Wad ye hae gaun yersel?
 
BUCHAN : Och Isobel it's hard tae ken the wey
                 I culd hae thocht o that. We micht hae gien
                 Mair smeddum tae him sae he culd gie up
                 His sookin tae Langshanks. But Carrick's knife
                 Gied Comyn nae chance tae mak amends
                 An noo I hae nae choice but hunt tae daith
                 The man that ye're tae honour wi the croon.
 
COUNTESS : An like yersel my fere I hae nae choice
                     Altho the plan's aklent, yet Carrick's there
                     Nae jist absolvit, ordered, by the Kirk
                     As penance dire tae try tae win us free.
                     But e'en aa that is nae eneuch tae show
                     That ancient custom is observit strang
                     An only I can dae that. I maun gae
                     Tae Scone an sae awa fae ye. I think
                     T'will be for aye. A queer kin o divorce
                     But mind on me sometimes. I'll mind on you.
 
BUCHAN : I'll stert this very nicht for Leicestershire.
                 An lave the destriers an the men ahint.
                 Gin ye tak them tae Scone I maun accuse
                 Ye o bein airt an pairt wi Lamberton
                 Wi Wishart an wi Carrick his ainsel
                 I'll mind on ye aa richt gin ye dae that
                 But think ye wad tak shame tae dae ocht else
                 An noo fareweel.
 
                 ( He embraces her roughly and leaves with a wave of his hand which she returns, as she also calls adieu. )
 
COUNTESS (thoughtfully) : An me tae Scone, my Lord, an tae whit else?
                                        I dinna ken. A queer-like wey tae pairt.
 
                                            Curtain  
 
Footnote : Countess Buchan crowned The Bruce - Robert 1 King of Scots, at Scone in March 1306. For her action she spent many years as a prisoner of England.

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