Scottish And Proud – Alba Gu Bràth.
On this day in 1305, William Wallace was executed in London. His spirit lives on in our hearts, forever. #AlbaGuBrath
“The Scots are wildly romantic. And the purely romantic aspect of the period has been excellently symbolized in the cult of Bannockburn. There are all the romantic ingredients the triumph against odds, the defence of the soil, and above all, the bodily peril of the prince and leader. Yet even the Scots are not always romantic; nor were the Middle Ages. I repeat, therefore, that there are three stages through which a thinking man goes in his consideration of such a romance as that of Robert Bruce,the third best knight in Christendom. They say that second thoughts are best, but I incline to disagree. I think that third thoughts are sometimes best. But I think that first thoughts are much better than second thoughts, and have more resemblance to the real ripeness of third thoughts. In the first stage we act merely on instinct; and are sometimes right. In the second stage we act merely on reason, and are fairly frequently wrong. In the third and truly reasonable stage we use our reason until we understand our instincts. And if we do that with romance we shall come pretty near reality.
The first stage might be symbolized in Miss Jane Porter’s Scottish Chiefs, in which, as Thackeray said, William Wallace goes into battle with a tear in his eye and a cambric handkerchief in his hand. In other words, it is a romance of no particular age or country, but certainly more modern than medieval; and with no complexity of human nature, but only a war between heroes and villains. It is in this stage that boys die daily for Mary Queen of Scots, or girls make short work of the constitutional complications that enmeshed Charles I. But in so far as the feeling is idealistic, it really is medieval; and, what is much more important, right. And just as it associated loyalty with the House of Stuart, it associated liberty with the House of Bruce. Bruce drew the sword for Scottish freedom, and there is an end of it. It is true that most of those young people would be puzzled to define the position either of freedom or Scotland in connexion with the controversy about the Suzerainty. But all the same the young people are right, much more right than they are when they learn a little more.”
-G. K. Chesterton, Robert Bruce and His Age, The Glass Walking Stick, 1914
Read More: Robert Bruce and His Age
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