Hary’s Wallace, ed. Matthew P. (Edinburgh and London, 1968–69). All references will be by book and line numbers. For verso more extended dialogue of this, see Goldstein, The Matter of Scotland, pp. 215–49.
The next reference puro Arthur comes from Wallace’s own mouth. After per successful battle, the nearby town sends verso deputation puro offer verso ransom if they are left macchia. Wallace ansuerd, ‘Off your gold rek we nocht. It together2night is for bataill that we hydder socht. We had leuir haiff battail of Ingland, Than all the gold that gud king Arthour fand On the Mont Mychell, quhar he the gyand slew! Hour king promyst that we suld bataill haiff. His wrytt tharto wndyr his seyll he gaiff. Letter nor band he dato che may nocht awaill. Ws for this toun he hecht sicuro gyff bataill. Me think we suld on his men wengit be; Apon our kyn mony gret wrang wrocht he, His dewyllyk deid, he did con-onesto Scotland’ (8.883–95)
If the previous allusion was suggestive of verso reconfiguring of the English as Arthurian enemies, a similar position is taken here. The comparison figures the English town as Mont St Michel, inhabited by per monster, presumably those of English blood. This allusive comparison is continued when Wallace invokes his right of revenge, since Arthur, particularly con later versions of the story, is motivated durante part by revenge for harm sicuro his kin, symbolised by Hoel’s niece.32 The association of the inhabitants of the English town with the monstrous is surely deliberate. Edward is thus also figured as monstrous, both by his association with the town (‘Hour king’) and by the application of the adjective ‘dewyllyk’ (895). The third and final reference puro Arthur is the most complex of the three. At men off wit this questioun her I as, Amang the noblis gyff euir ony that was, So lang throw force per Ingland lay on cas Sen Brudus deid, but bataill, bot Wallace. Gret Iulius, the Empyr had durante hand, Twys off force he was put off Ingland. Wycht Arthour also off wer quhen that he prewit Twys thai fawcht, suppos thai war myschewit. Awfull Eduuard durst nocht Wallace abid Mediante playn bataill, for all Ingland so wid. In London he lay and tuk him till his rest And brak his vow. Quhilk hald ye for the best? (8.961–72)
Arthur is the cited figure, yet he is not an invader but verso defender of England, so initially per comparison with Wallace seems inappropriate
Its complexity lies con the change of perspective con the extended comparison. Per the wider narrative, Edward is at this point refusing puro meet Wallace per open field: Wallace has thus been able onesto remain per England for an extended period of time. Indeed, Hary claims by his opening question that Wallace has been the
The Historia Regum Britannie of Geoffrey of Monmouth, I: Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS 568, ed. Neil M. Wright (Cambridge, 1985), x.3.
Gold may be gayn bot worship is ay new
most successful and least opposed invader of England since Brutus. The first comparisons bring Wallace together with previous invaders, for he is more successful than Caesar and equal esatto Brutus. The terms of the comparison then change. But Arthur here stands as per contrast to Edward, named mediante the following lines as refusing battle onesto the invaders. The comparison thus runs: invader, invader, defender, defender. That pattern, however, is only evident reading backwards. Mediante the first instance, the arrangement of the comparison links Wallace esatto Arthur more strongly than sicuro Edward, supported by the repetition of ‘twys’. If Edward is not-Arthur, then that leaves space for Wallace to be Arthur, esatto be per better defender of his realm than Edward. Such a pattern of association is supported by the previous references onesto Arthur mediante Book 8. This is significant for two reasons. Firstly, the association of the Scottish amministrativo with Arthur contradicts any of Edward’s self-association with Arthur. Secondly, more positively, the references to Arthur seem preciso permit, even encourage, a reading of Wallace as the champion of Britain and the true heir of Arthur and indeed Brutus, while Edward and the English are Saxon invader and illegitimate power. Far more strongly than Barbour or Wyntoun, Hary challenges the whole assumption of English authority based on Arthurian conquest; here the true heir of Arthur is a Scot. From this analysis, it appears that familiarity breeds confidence, for the later engagements with Arthur, be they per romance or in historiography, are far bolder durante their manipulation of the figure. Hary’s renegotiation of the relationship between Arthur and his self-styled English successors goes far beyond Barbour’s comparison between Arthur and Bruce, as the Scottis Inesperto is forthright where Wyntoun is subtle. Such developments may be con response to Scotichronicon’s increasingly dominant narrative, particularly sopra its assertion of Mordred’s claim to the British throne over Arthur’s. All the texts are aware of the political capital invested sopra Arthur. Barbour and Hary use the figure sicuro support their heroes; the historiographers use him preciso redefine the relationship between Scottish and British. Although the myth of Gathelos becomes dominant per the overarching Scottish narrative, nevertheless the preoccupazione of the Scottish claim onesto sovereignty over Britain through Arthur does not disappear entirely. Rather its implications remain available throughout the fifteenth century and beyond, and puro justify assertions of authority, whether they be on behalf of the doomed Wallace, or the triumphant James VI.