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Under Two Kings. 13
monarch from taking the field in person, as he was suffering
from an affection of the eyes — " red bleared eyes " as the
chronicler has it* — so that when by summons he had collected
thirty thousand men, he bade them god-speed, and awaited
results in Edinburgh.
Vienne and his Scotch allies proceeded to the south
through Melrose and Roxburgh, the fortress of which they
disregarded, and ultimately halting half-way between Ber-
wick and Newcastle, burned several villages of the Percys on
the route. Thence, however, hearing that the English were
advancing, they made an uneventful retreat over the same
ground. J
It is not generally realised, because historians have
minimised the facts, that King Richard II. entered Scotland
in this year 1385, at the head of seventy thousand men,
burnt Melrose, wasted the country around, and quartered
himself in Edinburgh, whence after five days he took his
departure, having destroyed the city by fire, the ca.stle alone
remaining intact lor Robert II. The English then marched
on Dunfermline, and afterwards besieged Stilling, which
resisted them successfully ; so that if the King o'Scots was a
fugitive his handiwork was apparent in the salvation of the
State, for as Steward of Scotland he had wrested the fortress
from the party of Baliol during the year 1339.
Afrer burning Perth, Richard sent an advanced guard to
Aberdeen, which, however, feeling insecure so far from its
base of operations, did no damage to the city, and retired on
the main body. But as in each invasion of Scotland it was
always found difficult to pass northwards without taking
Stirling, so on this occasion did the English, unsuccessful in
their endeavours before that fortress, learn the necessity of
making a retrograde movement, or running the risk of
having their communications cut off, for they had put the
river Forth between themselves and England .$
Nor were the French and Scots idle, for they made raids
into Cumberland and Westmoreland, burning villages and
laying the country waste until, the district having been
drained of its resources by the English army, they sat down
before Carlisle. Finding themselves unable to subdue this
place, they retired across the Border. Truly, an incon-
sequent conclusion for both nations. But the poor French
fared worst of all, inasmuch as the Scots declared they
* Froissart, translated edition, 1808, vol. vii. p. 53.
t Ibid., p. 57. % Ibid., pp. 69, 70.

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