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The Scot Abroad
Chapter 3 - The French in Scotland - Part 1

The other side of the Reciprocity—Contrast between the Scot in France and Le Français en Ecosse—An Ambassador snubbed—French Chevaliers treated to a Border Raid—The Admiral Vienne’s Expedition, and how it fared with him and his followers—The Gladiatorial Spectacle on the Inch of Perth—Ferdinand of Spain’s Dealings with Scotland—Rule of Albany, and its results—A Story of Ecclesiastical Patronage—The foreign Friar of Tongueland— The Slaughter of La Bastie.

BEFORE coming to the later history of the League, let us take a glance at the reciprocity from the other side, and having seen what a good thing our wandering Scots made of it in France, see how the French got on in Scotland.

We must prepare for differences which are not unlike some that we now see in ordinary social life. Suppose the common case of two friends, each having an independent position, and each useful to the other, but, from specialties in his private affairs, the one keeps a dinner-giving house, the other does not. It need not necessary follow that the one is the other’s inferior or dependant—he who goes to dinner perhaps thinks he is giving more favour and honour than he receives; but the conditions on which the friends will meet each other in their respective dwelling-houses will take a decided colour from the distinction. In the one house all will be joviality and social enjoyment—in the other, hard business, not perhaps altogether of the most agreeable kind. For centuries the French could expect no enjoyment in Scotland. The country was, on the whole, not poorer than their own—perhaps not quite so poor—but there was no luxurious class in it; all was rough, hard, and ungenial. Some of them had to come over on embassies and warlike expeditions, but they would as soon have sought Kamtschatka or Iceland, as a place wherein to pitch their tabernacle and pursue their fortune.

Many a Scot had sought his fortune in France; and names familiar to us now on shop-signs and in street-directories had been found among the dead at Poitiers, before we have authentic account of any Frenchmen having ventured across the sea to visit the sterile territory of their allies. Froissart makes a story out of the failure of the first attempt to send a French ambassador here. The person selected for the duty was the Lord of Bournezel or Bournaseau, whose genealogy is disentangled by M. Michel in a learned note. He was accredited by Charles V. in the year 1379, and was commanded to keep such state as might become the representative of his august master.

Bournezel set off to embark at Sluys, and there had to wait fifteen days for a favourable wind. The ambassador thought there was no better way of beguiling the time than a recitation among the Plat Deutsch of the splendours which he was bound in the way of public duty to exhibit in the sphere of his mission. Accordingly, "during this time be lived magnificently; and gold and silver plate were in such profusion in his apartments as if he had been a prince. He had also music to announce his dinner, and caused to be carried before him a sword in a scabbard richly blazoned with his arms in gold and silver. His servants paid well for everything. Many of the townspeople were much astonished at the great state this knight lived in at home, which he also maintained when he went abroad."

This premature display of his diplomatic glories brought him into a difficulty highly characteristic of one of the political specialties of France at that period. It was the time already spoken of when the nobles of the blood-royal were arrogating to themselves alone certain prerogatives and ceremonials distinguishing them from the rest of the territorial aristocracy, however high these might be.

The Duke of Bretagne and the Count of Flanders, who were near at hand, took umbrage at the grand doings of Bournezel, and sent for him through the bailiff of Sluys. That office; after the manner of executive functionaries who find themselves sufficiently backed, made his mission as offensive as possible, and, tapping Bournezel on the shoulder, intimated that he was wanted.

The great men had intended only to rebuke him for playing a part above his commission, but the indiscretion of their messenger gave Bournezel a hold which he kept and used sagaciously. When he found the princes who had sent for him lounging at a window looking into the gardens, he fell on his knees and acknowledged himself the prisoner of the Count of Flanders. To take prisoner an ambassador, and the ambassador of a crowned king, the feudal lord of the captor, was one of the heaviest of offences, both against the law of nations and the spirit of chivalry. The Earl was not the less enraged that he felt himself caught; and after retorting with, "How, rascal, do you dare to call yourself my prisoner, when I have only sent to speak with you?" He composed himself to the delivery of the rebuke he had been preparing in this fashion: "It is by such talkers and jesters of the Parliament of Paris and of the King’s chamber as you, that the kingdom is governed; and you manage the King as you please, to do good or evil according to your wills: there is not a prince of the blood, however great he may be, if he incur your hatred, who will be listened to; but such fellows shall yet be hanged until the gibbets be full of them." Bournezel carried this pleasant announcement and the whole transaction to the throne, and the King took his part, saying to those around, "He has kept his ground well: I would not for twenty thousand francs it had not so happened."

The embassy to Scotland was thus for the time frustrated. It was said that there were English cruisers at hand to intercept the ambassador, and that he himself had no great heart for a sojourn in the wild unknown northern land. Possibly the fifteen days lording it at Sluys may have broken in rather inconveniently on his outfit; but the most likely cause of the defeat of the first French embassy to our shores was, the necessity felt by Bournezel to right himself at once at court, and turn the flank of his formidable enemies; and Froissart says, the Earl of Flanders lay under the royal displeasure for having, in his vain vaunting, defeated so important a project as the mission to the Scots.

A few years afterwards our country received a visit, less august, it is true, than the intended embassy, but far more interesting. In 1384, negotiations were exchanged near the town of Boulogne for a permanent peace between England and France. The French demanded concessions of territory which could not be yielded, and a permanent peace, founded on a final settlement of pending claims, was impossible. A truce even was at that time, however, a very important conclusion to conflict; it sometimes lasted for years, being in reality a peace under protest that each party reserved certain claims to be kept in view when war should again break out. Such a truce was adjusted between England on the one side and France on the other—conditional on the accession of her allies Spain and Scotland. France kept faith magnanimously, in ever refusing to negotiate a separate peace or truce for herself; but, as the way is with the more powerful of two partners, she was apt to take for granted that Scotland would go with her, and that the affair was virtually finished by her own accession to terms.

It happened that in this instance the Duke of Burgundy took it on him to deal with Scotland. He had, however, just at that moment, a rather important piece of business, deeply interesting to himself on hand. By the death of the Earl of Flanders he succeeded to that fair domain—an event which vastly influenced the subsequent fate of Europe. So busy was he in adjusting the affairs of his succession, that it was said he entirely overlooked the small matter of the notification of the truce to Scotland. Meanwhile, there was a body of men-at-arms in the French service at Sluys thrown out of employment by the truce with England, and, like other workmen in a like position, desirous of a job. They knew that the truce had not yet penetrated to Scotland, and thought a journey thither, long and dangerous as it was, might be a promising speculation. There were about thirty of them, and Froissart gives a head-roll of those whose names he remembered, beginning with Sir Geoffry de Charny, Sir John de Plaissy, Sir Hugh de Boulon, and so on. They dared not attempt, in face of the English war-ships, to land at a southern harbour, but reached the small seaport called by Froissart Monstres, and not unaptly supposed by certain sage commentators to be Montrose, since the adventurers rode on to Dundee and thence to Perth.

They were received with a deal of rough hospitality, and much commended for the knightly spirit that induced them to cross the wide ocean to try their lances against the common enemy, England. Two of them were selected to pass on to Edinburgh, and explain their purpose at the Court of Holyrood. Here they met two of their countrymen on a mission which boded no good to their enterprise. These were ambassadors from France, come at last to notify the truce. It was at once accepted by the peaceable King Robert, but the Scots lords around him were grieved in heart at the prospect that these fine fellows should come so far and return without having any sport of that highly flavoured kind which the Border wars afforded. The truce they held had been adjusted not by Scotland but by France; and here, as if to contradict its sanction, were Frenchmen themselves offering to treat it as naught.

There was, however, a far stronger reason for overlooking it. Just before it was completed, but when it was known to be inevitable, the Earls of Northumberland and Nottingham suddenly and secretly drew together two thousand men-at-arms and six thousand bowmen, with which they broke into Scotland, and swept the country as far as Edinburgh with more than the usual ferocity of a Border raid; for they made it to the Scots as if the devil had come among them, having great wrath, for he knew that his time was short. It was said even, that the French ambassadors, sent to Scotland to announce the truce, had been detained in London to allow time for this raid coming off effectively. "To say the truth," says Froissart, mildly censorious, "the lords of England who had been at the conference at Bolinghen, had not acted very honourably when they had consented to order their men to march to Scotland and burn the country, knowing that the truce would speedily be concluded: and the best excuse they could make was, that it was the French and not they who were to signify such truce to the Scots."

Smarting from this inroad, the Scots lords, and especially the Douglases and others on the border, were in no humour to coincide with their peaceful King. They desired to talk the matter over with the representatives of the adventurers in some quiet place; and, for reasons which were doubtless sufficient to themselves, they selected for this purpose the Church of St Giles in Edinburgh. The conference was highly satisfactory to the adventurers, who spurred back to Perth to impart the secret intelligence, that though the King had accepted the truce, the lords were no party to it, but would immediately prepare an expedition to avenge Nottingham’s and Northumberland’s raid. This was joyful intelligence, though in its character rather surprising to followers of the French Court. A force was rapidly collected, and in a very few days the adventurers were called to join it in the Douglases’ lands.

So far Froissart. This affair is not, so far as I remember, mentioned in detail by any of our own annalists writing before the publication of his Chronicles. Everything, however, is there set forth so minutely, and with so distinct and accurate a reference to actual conditions in all the details, that few things in history can be less open to doubt. We come to a statement inviting question, when he says that the force collected so suddenly by the Scots lords contained fifteen thousand mounted men; nor can we be quite reconciled to the statement though their steeds were the small mountain horses called hackneys. The force, however, was sufficient for its work. It found the English border trusting to the truce, and as little prepared for invasion as Nottingham and Northumberland had found Scotland.

The first object was the land of the Percies, which the Scots, in the laconic language of the chronicler, "pillaged and burnt." And so they went onwards; and where peasants had been peacefully tilling the land or tending their cattle amid the comforts of rude industry, there the desolating host passed—the crops were trampled down—their owners left dead in the ashes of their smoking huts — and a few widows and children, fleeing for safety and food, was all of animal life left upon the scene.

The part taken in it by his countrymen was exactly after Froissart’s own heart, since they were not carrying out any of the political movements of the day, nor were they even actuated by an ambition of conquest, but were led by the sheer fun of the thing and the knightly spirit of adventure to partake in this wild raid. To the Scots it was a substantial affair, for they came back heavy-handed, with droves and flocks driven before them—possibly some of them recovered their own.

The King had nothing to say in his vindication touching this little affair, save that it had occurred without his permission, or even knowledge. The Scots lords, in fact, were not the only persons who had broken that truce. It included the Duke of Burgundy and his enemies, the Low Country towns; yet his feudatory, the Lord Destournay, taking advantage of the defenceless condition of Oudenarde during peace, took it by a clever stratagem. The Duke of Burgundy, when appealed to, advised Destournay to abandon his capture; but Destournay was wilful: he had conquered the city, and the city was his—so there was no help for it, since the communities were not strong enough to enforce their rights, and Burgundy would only demand them on paper. What occasioned the raid of the Scots and French to be passed over, however, was that the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt, who had the chief authority over the English councils, as well as the command over the available force, was taken up with his own schemes on the crown of Castile, and not inclined to find work for the military force of the country elsewhere. The truce, therefore, was cordially ratified; bygones were counted bygones; and the French adventurers bade a kindly farewell to their brethren-in-arms, and crossed the seas homewards.

Driven from their course, and landing at the Brille, they narrowly escaped hanging at the hands of the boorish cultivators of the swamp; and after adventures which would make good raw materials for several novels, they reached Paris.

There they explained to their own Court how they found that the great enemy of France had, at the opposite extremity of his dominions, a nest of fighting fiends, who wanted only their help in munitions of war to enable them to rush on the vital parts of his dominions with all the fell ferocity of men falling on their bitterest feudal enemy. Thus could France, having under consideration the cost and peril of galleying an invading army across the Straits, by money and management, do far more damage to the enemy than any French invading expedition was likely to accomplish.

In an hour which did not prove propitious to France, a resolution was adopted to invade England at both ends. Even before the truce was at an end, the forges of Henault and Picardy were hard at work making battle-axes; and all along the coast, from Harfleur to Sluys, there was busy baking of biscuits and purveyance of provender. Early in spring an expedition of a thousand men-at-arms, with their followers, put to sea under John of Vienne, the Admiral of France, and arrived at Leith, making a voyage which must have been signally prosperous, if we may judge by the insignificance of the chief casualty on record concerning it. In those days, as in the present, it appears that adventurous young gentlemen on shipboard were apt to attempt feats for which their land training did not adapt them— in nautical phrase, "to swing on all top-ropes." A hopeful youth chose to perform such a feat in his armour, and with the most natural of all results. "The knight was young and active, and, to show his agility, he mounted aloft by the ropes of his ship, completely armed; but his feet slipping he fell into the sea, and the weight of his armour, which sank him instantly, deprived him of any assistance, for the ship was soon at a distance from the place where he had fallen."

The expedition soon found itself to be a mistake. In fact, to send fighting men to Scotland was just to supply the country with that commodity in which it superabounded. The great problem was how to find food for the stalwart sons of the soil, and arms to put in their hands when fighting was necessary. A percentage of the cost and labour of the expedition, had it been spent in sending money or munitions of war, would have done better service. The scene before the adventurers was in lamentable contrast to all that custom had made familiar to them. There were none of the comfortable chateaux, the abundant markets, the carpets, down beds, and rich hangings which gladdened their expeditions to the Low Countries, whether they went as friends or foes. Nor was the same place for them in Scotland, which the Scots so readily found in France, where a docile submissive peasantry only wanted vigorous and adventurous masters.

"The lords and their men," says Froissart, "lodged themselves as well as they could in Edinburgh, and those who could not lodge there were quartered in the different villages thereabout. Edinburgh, notwithstanding that it is the residence of the King, and is the Paris of Scotland, is not such a town as Touniay and Valenciennes, for there are not in the whole town four thousand houses. Several of the French lords were therefore obliged to take up their lodgings in the neighbouring villages, and at Dunfermline, Kelso, Dunbar, Dalkeith, and in other towns." When they had exhausted the provender brought with them, these children of luxury had to endure the miseries of sordid living, and even the pinch of hunger. They tried to console themselves with the reflection that they had, at all events, an opportunity of experiencing a phase of life which their parents had endeavoured theoretically to impress upon them, in precepts to be thankful to the Deity for the good things they enjoyed, but which might not always be theirs in a transitory world. They had been warned by the first little band of adventurers that Scotland was not rich; yet the intense poverty of the country whence so many daring adventurers had gone over to ruffle it with the flower of European chivalry, astonished and appalled them. Of the extreme and special nature of the poverty of Scotland, the great war against the English invaders was the cause. It has been estimated, indeed, by those devoted to such questions, that Scotland did not recover fully from the ruin caused by that conflict until the Union made her secure against her ambitious neighbour. It was the crisis referred to in that pathetic ditty, the earliest specimen of our lyrical poetry, when

"Away was sonse of ale and bread,
Of wine and wax, of gaming and glee;
Our gold was changed into lead;
Cryst borne into virginity.
Succour poor Scotland and remede,
That stad is in perplexity."

The alliance between the two powers was not so unequal in the fourteenth as it became in the sixteenth century. On the map of Europe the absolute dominions to which the house of Valois succeeded occupied but a small space in comparison with the kingdom of Francis I. Scotland, on the other hand, had a respectable position among the European powers. It was larger than many of them; and although the contest with England was bringing it to beggary, it had still the repute of recent wealth and prosperity. Not a long period had passed since Berwick-upon-Tweed, the capital, took rank with Ghent, Rotterdam, and the other great cities of the Low Countries, and was almost the rival of London in mercantile enterprise. Stately edifices, baronial and ecclesiastical, still stood, testifying to a people equal in wealth to the English when they were built, though they were doomed to fall into decay and be succeeded by sordid hovels, when the weight of a long war against a powerful and oppressive empire had impoverished the people. Before the French came over and made acquaintance with their allies at home, that poverty had set its desolating mark all over the land, and the French saw and felt it.

The poverty of the Scots proceeded from a cause of which they need not have been ashamed; yet, with the reserve and pride ever peculiar to them, they hated that it should be seen by their allies, and when these showed any indications of contempt or derision, the natives were stung to madness. Froissart renders very picturesquely the common talk about the strangers, thus :—" What devil has brought them here? or, who has sent for them? Cannot we carry on our wars with England without their assistance? We shall never do any good as long as they are with us. Let them be told to go back again, for we are sufficient in Scotland to fight our own battles, and need not their aid. We neither understand their language nor they ours, so that we cannot converse together. They will very soon cut up and destroy all we have in this country, and will do more harm if we allow them to remain among us than the English could in battle. If the English do burn our houses, what great matter is it to us? We can rebuild them at little cost, for we require only three days to do so, so that we but have five or six poles, with boughs to cover them."

The French knights, accustomed to abject submission among their own peasantry, were unable to comprehend the fierce independence of the Scots common people, and were ever irritating them into bloody reprisals. A short sentence of Froissart’s conveys a world of meaning on this specialty: "Besides, whenever their servants went out to forage, they were indeed permitted to load their horses with as much as they could pack up and carry, but they were waylaid on their return, and villanously beaten, robbed, and sometimes slain, insomuch that no varlet dare go out foraging for fear of death. In one month the French lost upwards of a hundred varlets; for when three or four went out foraging, not one returned, in such a hideous manner were they treated." As we have seen, a not unusual incident of purveying in France was, that the husbandman was hung up by the heels and roasted before his own fire until he disgorged his property. The Scots peasantry had a decided prejudice against such a process, and, being accustomed to defend themselves from all oppression, resisted even that of their allies, to the extreme astonishment and wrath of those magnificent gentlemen.

There is a sweet unconsciousness in Froissart’s indignant denunciation of the robbing of the purveyors, which meant the pillaged peasantry recovering their own goods. But the chronicler was of a thorough knightly nature, and deemed the peasantry of a country good for nothing but to be used up. Hence, in his wrath, he says: "In Scotland you will never find a man of worth; they are like savages, who wish not to be acquainted with any one, and are too envious of the good fortune of others, and suspicious of losing anything themselves, for their country is very poor. When the English make in-roads thither, as they have very frequently done, they order their provision; if they wish to live, to follow close at their backs; for nothing is to be had in that country without great difficulty. There is neither iron to shoe horses, nor leather to make harness, saddles, or bridles; all these things come ready-made from Flanders by sea; and should these fail, there is none to be had in the country." What a magnificent contrast to such a picture is the present relative condition of Scotland and the Low Countries! and yet these have not suffered any awful reverse of fortune—they have merely abided in stagnant respectability.

It must be remembered, in estimating the chronicler’s pungent remarks upon our poor ancestors, that he was not only a worshipper of rank and wealth, but thoroughly English in his partialities, magnifying the feats in arms of the great enemies of his own country. The records of the Scots Parliament of 1395 curiously confirm the inference from his narrative, that the French were oppressive purveyors, and otherwise unobservant of the people’s rights. An indenture, as it is termed—the terms of a sort of compact with the strangers—appears among the records, conspicuous among their other Latin and vernacular contents as being set forth in French, in courtesy, of course, to the strangers. It expressly lays down that no goods of any kind shall be taken by force, under pain of death, and none shall be received without being duly paid for—the dealers having free access to come and go. There are regulations, too, for suppressing broils by competent authority, and especially for settling questions between persons of unequal degrees; a remedy for the practice of the French, who left the settlement entirely with the superior.

This document is one of many showing that, in Scotland, there were arrangements for protecting the personal freedom of the humbler classes, and their rights of property, the fulness of which is little known, because the like did not exist in other countries, and those who have written philosophical treatises on the feudal system, or on the progress of Europe from barbarism to civilisation, have generally lumped all the countries of Europe together. The sense of personal freedom seems to have been rather stronger in Scotland than in England; it was such as evidently to astound the French knights. At the end of the affair, Froissart expresses this surprise in his usual simple and expressive way. After a second or third complaint of the unreasonable condition that his countrymen should pay for the victuals they consumed, he goes on, "The Scots said the French had done them more mischief than the English;" and when asked in what manner, they replied, "By riding through the corn, oats, and barley on their march, which they trod under foot, not condescending to follow the roads, for which damage they would have a recompense before they left Scotland, and they should neither find vessel nor mariner who would dare to put to sea without their permission."

Of the military events in the short war following the arrival of the French, an outline will be found in the ordinary histories; but it was attended by some conditions which curiously bring out the specialties of the two nations so oddly allied. One propitiatory gift the strangers had brought with them, which was far more highly appreciated than their own presence; this was a thousand stand of accoutrements for men-at-arms. They were of the highest excellence, being selected out of the store kept in the Castle of Beauté for the use of the Parisians. When these were distributed among the Scots knights, who were but poorly equipped, the chronicle; as if he had been speaking of the prizes at a Christmas-tree, tells how those who were successful and got them were greatly delighted.

The Scots did their part in their own way: they brought together thirty thousand men, a force that drained the country of its available manhood. But England had at that time nothing to divert her arms elsewhere, and the policy adopted was to send northwards a force sufficient to crush Scotland for ever. It consisted of seven thousand mounted men-at-arms, and sixty thousand bow and bill men—a force three or four times as large as the armies that gained the memorable English victories in France. Of these, Agincourt was still to come off, but Crecy and Poitiers were over, along with many other affairs that might have taught the French a lesson. The Scots, too, had suffered two great defeats—Neville’s Cross and Halidon Hill—since their great national triumph. The impression made on each country by their experiences brought out their distinct national characteristics. The French knights were all ardour and impatience; they clamoured to be at the enemy without ascertaining the amount or character of his force. The wretched internal wars of their own country had taught them to look on the battle-field as the arena of distinction in personal conflict, rather than the great tribunal in which the fate of nations was to be decided, and communities come forth freed or enslaved.

To the Scots, on the other hand, the affair was one of national life or death, and they would run no risks for distinction’s sake. Picturesque accounts have often been repeated of a scene where Douglas, or some other Scots leader, brought the Admiral to an elevated spot whence he could see and estimate the mighty host of England; but the most picturesque of all the accounts is the original by Froissart, of which the others are parodies. The point in national tactics brought out by this incident is the singular recklessness with which the French must have been accustomed to do battle. In total ignorance of the force he was to oppose, and not seeking to know aught concerning it, the Frenchman’s voice was still for war. When made to see with his own eyes what he had to encounter, he was as reluctant as his companions to risk the issue of a battle, but not so fertile in expedients for carrying on the war effectively without one.

The policy adopted was to clear the country before the English army as it advanced, and carry everything portable and valuable within the recesses of the mountain-ranges, whither the inhabitants not fit for military service had gone with their effects. A desert being thus opened for the progress of the invaders, they were left to wander in it unmolested, while the Scots army went in the opposite direction, and crossed the Border southwards. Thus the English army found Scotland empty — the Scots army found England full. The one wore itself out in a fruitless march, part of it straggling, it was said, as far as Aberdeen, and returned thinned and starving, while the other was only embarrassed by the burden of its plunder. Much destruction there was, doubtless, on both sides, but it fell heaviest where there was most to destroy, and gratified at last in some measure the French, who "said among themselves they had burned in the bishopries of Durham and Carlisle more than the value of all the towns in the kingdom of Scotland."

But havoc does not make wealth, and whether or not the Scots knew better from experience how to profit by such opportunities, the French, when they returned northward were starving. Their object now was to get out of the country as fast as they could. Froissart, with a touch of dry humour, explains that their allies had no objection to speed the exit of the poorer knights, but resolved to hold the richer and more respectable in a sort of pawn for the damage which the expedition had inflicted on the common people. The Admiral asked his good friends the Lords Douglas and Moray to put a stop to those demands; but these good knights were unable to accommodate their brethren in this little matter, and the Admiral was obliged to give effectual pledges from his Government for the payment of the creditors.

There is something in all this that seems utterly unchivalrous and even ungenerous; but it had been well for France had Froissart been able to tell a like story of her peasantry. It merely shows us that our countrymen of that day were of those who "know their rights, and, knowing, dared maintain them;" and was but a demonstration on a humbler, and, if you will, more sordid shape, of the same spirit that had swept away the Anglo-Norman invaders. The very first act which their chronicler records concerning his knightly friends, after he has exhausted his wrath against the hard and mercenary Scot, is thoroughly suggestive. Some of the knights tried other fields of adventure, "but the greater number returned to France, and were so poor they knew not how to remount themselves, especially those from Burgundy, Champagne, Bar, and Lorraine, who seized the labouring horses wherever they found them in the fields," so impatient were they to regain their freedom of action.

So ended this affair, with the aspect of evil auspices for the alliance. The adventurers returned "cursing Scotland, and the hour they had set foot there. They said they had never suffered so much in any expedition, and wished the King of France would make a truce with the English for two or three years, and then march to Scotland and utterly destroy it; for never had they seen such wicked people, nor such ignorant hypocrites and traitors." But, the impulsive denunciation of the disappointed adventurers was signally obliterated in the history of the next half century. Ere many more years had passed over them, that day of awful trial was coming when France had to lean on the strong arm of her early ally; and, in fact, some of the denouncers lived to see adventurers from the sordid land of their contempt and hatred commanding the armies of France, and owning her broad lordships. It was just after the return of Vienne’s expedition that the remarkable absorption of Scotsmen into the aristocracy of France, already spoken of, began to set in.

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