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Robert the Bruce

King of Scots and the Spider

Robert the Bruce, like other Scottish heroes, observed omens, and one is recorded by tradition. After he had retreated to one of the miserable places of shelter, in which he could venture to take some repose after his disasters, he lay stretched upon a handful of straw, and abandoned himself to his melancholy meditations.

He had now been defeated four times, and was upon the point of resolving to abandon all hopes of further opposition to his fate, and go to the Holy Land.

It chanced his eye, while he was thus pondering, was attracted by the exertions of a spider, who, in order to fix his web, endeavoured to swing himself from one beam to another above his head. Involuntary he became interested in the pertinacity with which the insect
renewed his exertions, after failing six times ; and it occurred to him that he would decide his own course according to the success or failure of the spider.

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