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The Complaynt of Scotland
Chapter XVI

Quhou the affligit lady dame scotia ansuert til hyr zongest soune ande quhou sche reprochit hyr tua eldest sonnis for there neclegens in the defens of there comount veil

Chap. XVI.

<f 109r> O THOU my zongest soune, callit lauberaris to burgh ande land, i vil nocht gyf eyris to thy excusations nor to thy purgations, be cause, as cicero vritis in ane orison, that na man suld be admittit to be vytnes in his auen cause. Noluerunt maiores nostri, hanc patere inimicitiis viam, vt quem quisque odisset, eum testimonio posset tollere. ementiuntur enim sepe in eos, quos oderunt. nor zit i vil nocht adhere to thy accusations contrar thy tua brethir, be rason that ane gilty man suld accuse no man of cryme, as crist ihesus hes gyffin ane exempil quhen the pharaseis accusit ane voman that vas tane in adultere, desirand his iugement quhiddir thai suld stane hyr to detht conformand to the ald testament, or gyf thai suld thole hyr to depart onpuneist. crist ansuert to the accusaris sayand, he that is vitht out syn, sal cast the fyrst stane at hyr this exempil makkis manifest that ane accusar suld be cleene but vice, ande alse crist ihesus hes said in ane vthir passage to the ypocritis that accusit pure synnaris quod he ze sal tak furtht ane grit balk furtht of zour auen ee, ande there eftir ze maye tak furtht ane litil strey furtht of zour nychtbours ee. <f 109v> The poiet confermis this samyn purpos, sayand that euerye man of this varld baris tua sakkettis vitht hym. the fyrst sakket hyngis befor hym, vitht in the quhilk ar contenit al the vicis that his nychtbour committis, ande the nyxt sakket hyngis behynd his bak, vitht in the quhilk, ar contenit al the vicis that his self committis. bot he can nocht see nor persaue his auen vicis because he seis nocht the sakket that hyngis behynd his bak, bot he seis his nychtbours faltis in the sakket that hingis befor hym vt nemo in sese tentat discendere nemo, sed precedente spectatur mantica tergo. There for (o thou my zongest soune) i refuse to gyf eyris or audiens to thy accusations contrar thy tua brethir be rason that ane accusar suld be cleen or he accuse his nychtbour as cicero vritis. Accusare debent ij qui nullo suo peccato impediuntur quo facilius alterius peccata demonstrare possint. Nor zit i vil nocht adhere to the accusations that ony ane of zou hes contrar vthirs. Thy accusatione is vondir inuectyue contrar thy tua brethir, the fyifteen inuectyuis philipiques of cicero contrar anthonius, excedis nocht the accusations ande calumniations that thou hes pronuncit <f 110r>contrar them zit nochtheles i discomend there crualte, ande i commend nocht thy accusatione for thou ande al thy sect callit lauberaris to burgh ande land, deseruis no les punitione, nor dois thy tua brethir nobilis ande clergie. for gyf thou ande thy sect hed as grite liberte, as hes thy tua brethir, doutles ze vald be mair cruel, nor the vyild beystis of the desertis of arabie. the practic of this samyn is presently, ande euer hes been in tymes by past sen the varld began. for as sune as ze that ar comont pepil ar onbridilit and furtht of subiectione, zour ignorance inconstance ande inciuilite, pulcis zou to perpetrat intollerabil exactions. for al the insurrectionis, that euyr occurrit in ony realme contrar the prince & the public veil, hes procedit of the ignorance & obstinatione of the comount pepil. There for none of zou suld haue liberte bot rather ze suld be daly dantit & haldin in subiectione, be cause that zour hartis is ful of maleis ignorance variance & inconstance, for the maist part of zou al gyffis louyng tyl vicius men and ze hald verteous men abhominabil and quhen ze ar al conuenit to gydthir for the auansing of ane gude purpose, ze cry & berkis <f 110v> ilk ane contrar vthirs, that nocht ane of zou knauis quhat ane vthir sais ande quhen ze hef flyttyn ande berkit but ryme or rason al the lang daye, ze accord nocht nor condiscendis prudently on ane substancial constant purpose. and he that is the maist cummirsum cryar ande maist obstinat contrar raison, ze reput hym for the maist prudent man of the realme, than quhen he gois, al the leaue rynnis & follouis hym, lyik the brutal scheip that vil nocht pas throucht the slop of ane dyik for the mannessing of there hyrd, quhil ane of the verst of the flok, mak foir gait, than al the leaue follouis. ande al this procedis of zour variance and inconstans i vait nocht quhiddir, ane calme sey in vyntir, or the course of the mune, or ane mysty mornyng in symmyr, or the comont pepil, quhilk of them suld preffer vthirs in variance. Cicero confermis this sammyn purpos sayand. in imperitia multitudine est varietas, & inconstantia, & crebra tanquam tempestatum, sic sententiarum commutatio. i hed leuyr hef the iugement ande consultatione of ten prudent vyise men, nor til hef al the visdome and consaitis that ane grite mutiplie of comountis can pronounce. Cicero <f 111r>confermis this samyn purpose. grauior & validior est decem virorum bonorum prudentia, quam totius multitudinis imperitie, there is nocht ane mayr ignorant & ane mair blynd thyng in this varld as is til adhere to the iugement of the comont pepil quhilk hes nothir consideratione nor rason, for al there deliberations procedis of there fyrst apprehensions. there for gyf the entrepricis of the comont pepil cummis tyl ane gude fine, fortone deseruis mair louyng nor dois there prudens. Siclyik as ane blynd man that passis in ane myrk place quhar he hed neuir beene, & syne eschapis fra ane hurt or fra ane fal. na vyis-men vil saye that this blyind man seis cleir, for it vas schance that conuoyit hym and nocht his een, for this cause the ciuil lauis deffendis & forbiddis al monopoles and conuentions of the comont pepil be cause the maist part of them ar euil condicionet & ar obedient to there apetitis and to there glaykyt affections. i can nocht conpair the comont pepil that ar onbridilit, bot tyl onbeistis that ar of ane var nature nor brutal beystis. as ve maye see daly, for brutal beystis keipis ane bettir ordour in there beystly nature nor dois onbridlit comount <f 111v>pepil that ar dotit vitht rason. ve maye see be experiens. that horse nolt scheip doggis voluis lyons ande al vthir brutal beystis, ilk ane vil deffend there auen natur contrar the violens of vthir beystis, as cicero sais, bestie pro partu suo ita propugnant, & vulnera excipiant, nullos impetus, nullos casus formident. Bot it is nocht siklyik amang the pepil for euerye man settis his felicite to distroy his nychtbour. Ande alse the ondantit brutal beystys that hes there liberte on feildis & forrestis none of them eytis drynkis nor sleipis bot quhen ther natural appetit requiris. nor the mail vitht the femmel committis nocht the verkis of natur, bot in the saison of generatione. bot the pepil that hes liberte kepis nocht sa gude regement, for thai considir nothir the vertu of temporance, nor the vice of intemporance, bot rathere subiectis them selfis to saciat ony sperk of the foul lust, that there disordinat sensual appetit prouokis them tyl ymagine as to eyt drynk and sleip abufe mesure at al tymis, contrar there natural appetit. ande alse to conmit fornicatione adultere homocide ande diuerse vthir extorsions & iniuris contrar there nychtbour, there for tha <f 112r> deserue to be reput mair brutal, nor beystis that ar brutal of natur. Ande quhou beit that sum of them applyis them to vertu quhen thai ar haldin in subiection throucht the quhilk, thai be cum industreus in policie ande in conquessing of reches, be marchandreise or be mechanyc craftis, or be lauboryng of the corn landis or be seruise, zit nochtheles, as sune as ony of them, be sic honest industreus ocupations, hes conqueist grit reches or heretagis, thai be cum mair ambicius ande arrogant, nor ony gentil man, sperutual or temporal that ar discendit of the maist nobil barons of the cuntre. ande there childir distitut of ciuilite throucht the ignorance of there fathers ande for falt of educatione and eruditione. thai be cum vane prodig ande arrogant, be cause thai succeid sa eysilie to reches vitht out the suet of there brouis or pane of there body, nocht heffand regarde to the fyrst pouerte of there predecessours nor of the cald hungir ande punirite that there fathirs and mothers indurit in the conquessing of sic reches. ande gyf sa beis that ony of the successours of mecanyc men (that is to saye the successours of lauberaris to burght ande land) <f 112v>be promouit til ony stait abufe there faculte, as to be saruandis to men of autorite, or to be courticians ande officiaris to princis, or zit to be promouit to benefeissis or tyl ony vthir digniteis abufe there qualite than arrogance makkis ypocryse manifest. conformand til ane addagia of ane of the seuyn sapientis callit mimus publianus qua said. lapis index auri, aurum hominum. for it is the nature of the comont pepil (beand ascendit in dignite abufe there faculte) to mysken them selfis there frendis ande there familiaris. There is nocht ane mair odius thyng in this varld as quhen the successour of ane indigent ignorant mechanyk lauberar ascendis tyl ony dignite abufe his qualite, for incontinent eftir his promotione, he myskennis god ande man. asperius nichil est humilis cum surgit in altum. Titus liuius rehersis ane passage conformand to this samyn purpose. Barbarici animi est cum fortuna mutare fidem. there is sum of thir mecanyc pepil heffand superflu prosperite, that refusis the genoligie of there fathere ande mothere and alse refusis there surname, and clamis to be of the blude of nobilis ande gentil men, than quhen thai ar repute be the vulgaris <f 113r> to be discendit of sic genoligie, thai gloir in there pretendit kyn ande blude quhilk is occasione that there arrogance & there vane gloir garris them commit mair extorsions contrar the pepil nor dois ony vthir tirran that ar discendit of the grytest nobilis of the cuntre. the preist of peblis speris ane questione in ane beuk that he conpilit quhy that burges ayris thryuis nocht to the thrid ayr, bot he mycht hef sperit as veil, quhy that the successours of the vniuersal comont pepil baytht to burght & land, thryuis nocht to the thrid ayr. the solutione of this questione requiris nocht ane allogoric expositione nor zit ane glose, be rason that the text of yis questione is nocht obscure, ane person that hed neuyr aduersite & hes veltht that procedit neuyr of his auen industrie & syne hes liberte. and hes neueir knauen education eruditione nor ciuilite, it is onpossibil that he can be verteous and he that heytis vertu, sal neuyr thryue. (O my zongest soune) this ansuer maye be sufficient to the seueir accusatione that thou hes pronuncit contrar thy tua brethir. in tyme to cum thou sal fyrst correct thy self or thou accuse thy nychtbour.

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