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The Complaynt of Scotland
The Fyrst Cheptovr

The Fyrst Cheptovr declaris the cause of the mutations of monarches.

Chap. I.

As the hie monarchis, lordschips, ande autoriteis, ar stablit be the infinite diuyne ordinance, and mentemit be the sempeternal prouidens. siclyik her ruuyne cummis, be the sentence gyffin be the souerane consel of the diuyne sapiens, the quhilk doune thringis them, fra the hie trone, of ther imperial dominations, and garris <f16r> them fal in the depe fosse of seruitude, ande fra magnificens in ruuyne, ande causis conqueriours to be conquest, ande til obeye ther vmquhile subiectis be dreddour, quhome of be for thai commandit be autorite. This decreit procedis of the diuyne iustice, be rason that princis, ande vthirs of autorite, becummis ambitius ande presumpteous, throucht grite superfluite of veltht, ther for he dois chestee them ,be the abstractione of that superfluite that is to say, he possessis vthir pure pepil, that knauis his gudnes, vitht the samyn reches, that he hes tane fra them, that hes arrogantly misknauen hym. Ane pottar vil mak of ane masse of mettal, diuerse pottis, of defferent fassons, & syne he vil brak the grite pottis quhen thai pleyse hym nocht ande he makkis smal pottis of the brokyn verk of the grite pottis: ande alse of the mettal ande mater of the smal pottis he formis grit pottis. this exempil may be applyit, to the subuertions ande mutations of realmis ande dominions, ande of al varldly prosperite. childir that ar neu borne, grouis & incressis, quhil thai be ascendit to the perfyit stryntht of men: bot ther eftir, tha begyn to decresse, ande declinis til eild ande to the dede <f16v> siklyik lordschips ande digniteis, hes incressing, declinatione, ande exterminatione. the mutations of euerye vardly thyng is certane ,quhou beit that prosperus men, prouidis nocht to resist the occasions of the mutabiliteis: quhilk occasions ar ay vigilant, to suppedit & to spulze, al them that ar ingrate, of the benefecis of gode. the mutations of monarchis ande dominions, ar manifest in the holy scriptur, ande in the verkis of the maist famous anciant historigraphours. quhar is the grite ande riche tryumphand cite of
nynyue, quhilk hed thre dais iournais of circuit? at this tyme ther is nocht ane stane, standant on ane vthir. Quhar is the grite tour of babilone? the quhilk vas biggit be ane maist ingenius artifeis, of proportione, quantite, ande of stryntht, it aperit to be perdurabil, ande inuyncibil. bot nou it is desolat, ande inhabit be serpens, ande vthir venemuse beystis. Quhat sal be said of the riche tryumphant toune of troye, ande of castell ylione, quhilk hed al the portis of euoir bane, ande the pillaris of fyne siluyr: bot at this tyme, ane fut of hicht of the vallis can nocht be sene, for al the grond of the palecis of that tryumphand toune ande castel is ouergane <f17r> vitht gyrse ande vild scroggis. Quhar is the grite toune of thebes? quhilk vas foundit be cadmus the sone of agenoir, the quhilk vas at that tyme, the maist pepulus toune abufe the eird, it hed ane hundretht tourettis ande portis, bot nou at this tyme, ther  is no thyng quhar it stude bot barrane feildis. Siklyik lacedemonya quhar the legislator ligurgus gef to the pepil strait famous lauis, of the quhilk, ane grit part ar vsit presently, in the vniuersal varld, is nocht that nobil toune extinct furtht of rememorance? Quhat sal be said of athenes, the vmquhile fontane of sapiens ande the spring of philosophee: is it nocht in perpetual subuersione? Quhar is the toune of cartage, that dantit the elephantis? ande vas grytumly doutit & dred be the romans: vas it nocht brynt in puldir ande asse? ande nou the grond of it is pastour for bestial. quhat sal be said of the riche monarche of rome, quhilk dantit ande subdeuit al the varld? is nocht nou the superiorite of  it, partit ande diuidit in mony ande diuerse partis, conformand to the vordis of lucan, quha said that the vecht of rome suld, gar it ryue in mony partis: the vecht of it signifeit nocht the vecht of hauy vallis, housis, stonis, ande vthir
<f17v> materials: bot rather it signifeit, the vecht of the inexorbitant extorsions, that it committit on the vniuersal varld. quhilk is the cause that the monarche of it, is diuidit amang mony diuerse princis. of this sort euere thyng hes ane tyme, for mutations of varldly felicite is ane natural habitude, quhilkis is the cause, that na thyng remanis lang constant in ane prosperus stait: ande that is the special cause, that al dominions altris dechaeis ande cummis to subuersione. The fyrst monarche of the varld vas translatit fra the assiriens to them of perse, ande fra perse to the greikis, and tra(n)slatit fra the greikis to the romans, fra the romans to the franche men, ande fra  he franche men to the germanis, ande quhou be it that the pepil knauis thir mutations to be of verite, zit ther is nocht mony that knauis the cause of thir mutations, be rason that the iugement of gode (quhilk virkis al thyng) is ane profound onknauen deipnes, the quhilk passis humaine ingyne, to comprehende the grounde or limitis of it: be cause oure vit is ouer febil, oure ingyne ouer harde, oure thochtis ouer vollage, ande oure zeiris ouer schort. Ther is mony ignorant pepil, that imputis the subuersions <f18r> ande mutations of prosperite, to proceid of fortoune: sic consaitis procedis of the gentilite ande pagans doctryne ande nocht of goddis lau nor zit of moral philosophie: quhou be it that iuuenal hes said, that fortoune is the cause, that ane smal man ascendis to digniteis ande that ane grite man fallis in ruuyne. Sic opinions suld nocht be haldin nor beleuit: for ther is no thing in this varld, that cummis on mankynde, as prosperite or aduersite, bot al procedis fra the dyuyne pouer, as is vrityne in the. xi. cheptour of ecclesiasticus, bona & mala vita & mors, paupertas & honestas, a deo sunt. Ther for it maye be said, that al thai that imputis aduersite or prosperite, to proceid of fortune: thai maye be put in the nummyr of them that Sanct paul prophetizit in the sycond epistil to tymothie, erit enim tempus, cum sanam doctrinam non sustinebunt & ce. Ande alse the prophet esaye, spekend be the spreit of gode, he gyffis his maledictione on al them that beleuis that fortoune hes ony pouuer, quhar he vritis in the. lxv. cheptour ve qui fortune ponitis mensam tanquam die.

This contradictione that i hef rehersit contrar fortoune, is be cause that mony ignorant pepil, <f18v> hes confermit ane ymaginet onfaythtful opinione in ther hede, sayand that the grite afflictione quhilk occurrit on oure realme in september. m v.xlvii zeris on the feildis besyde mussilburgh, hes procedit fra the maltalent of dame fortoune, the quhilk magynet opinione suld be detestit, for fortune is no thyng bot ane vane consait ymaginet in the hartis of onfaythtful men. Zit nochtheles, quhen i remembir, on the cruel dolourus distructione of oure nobil barrons, & of mony vthirs of the thre estaitis, be cruel ande onmercyful slauthyr, ande alse be maist extreme violent spulzee ande hairschip of ther mouabil gudis in grite quantite, ande alse oure ald enemeis be traisonabil seditione, takkand violent possessione of ane part of the strynthis ande castellis of the bordours of oure realme, ande alse remanent vitht in the plane mane landis far vitht in oure cuntre, ande violentlye possessand ane certan of our burghis villagis ande castellis, to ther auen vse but contradictione: ande the remanent of the pepil beand lyik dantit venqueist slauis in maist extreme vile subiectione: rather nor lyik prudent cristin pepil, quhilkis suld lyue in ciuilite policie <f19r> & be iustice vndir the gouernance of ane christin prince. Al thir thingis considrit causit me to reuolue diuerse beukis of the holy scriptur & of humanite, in hope to get ane iust iugement, quhiddir that this dolorus afflictione be ane vand of the fadir to correct & chestie the sone be mercy, or gyf it be ane rigorus mercyles decreit of ane iuge, to exsecute on vs ane final exterminatione. than efftir lang conteneuatione of reding on diuerse sortis of beukis, i red the.xxviii of deutrono.the.xxvi. of leuitic & the thrid of ysaye the quhilk causit my trublit spreit to trymmyl for dreddour, ande my een to be cum obscure throutht the multiplie of salt teyris, ande throucht the lamentabil suspiring that procedit fra my dolorus hart: be rason that the sentens ande conteneu of thyr said cheptours of the bibil, gart me consaue, that the diuyne indignatione, hed decretit ane extreme ruuyne on oure realme. bot gyf that ve retere fra oure vice, ande alse to be cum vigilant to seik haisty remeide & medycyne at hym quha gyffis al grace ande comfort, to them that ar maist distitute of mennis supple.<f19v>

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