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The Complaynt of Scotland

AMASIS the sycond, quhilk vas the last kyng ande indegete of the egiptiens, (ande as diodore rehersis he vas the fyift legislator of egipt) maid ane ordinance, contrar the vice of ydilnes, that al his subiectis of egipt ,var oblist vndir the pane of dede, to bring euery zeir, ther namis in vrit, to the prouest of the prouince quhar ther remanyng vas: ande ther to testife the stait of <f8r> ther vacatione, ande the maneir of ther lyuing. be this politic ordinance, the egiptiens var inducit tyl adhere to vertu, ande to leyrne sciens craftis ande mecanyke occupations maist comodius ande conuenient for the public veil of egipt. Than efftir this ordinance of amasis the gymniosophistes institut ane mair strict ordinance amang the pepil of inde: that is to say, that ane person suld nocht be admittit to resaue his corporal refectione, quhil on to the tyme, that he hed manifest realye, or ellis be certan testificatione the frutis of his laubours, of the daye precedent. the seuerite of thir strict ordinance, var augmentit, be ane edict of sesostris the grit kyng of egipt for he statut ane ordinance til excerse his propir childir ande the zong princis ande gentil men of his court, to vse them til indure excesse of laubirs: he statut that none of them suld tak ther refectione, quhil thai hed gone ande run, the tyme of fife or sex houris: to that effect, that throucht sic excerse, ther membris mycht be purgit fra corruppit humours, the quhilkis humours nocht beand degeistit, mycht be occasione to dul ther spreit, ande to mak ther body onabil to resist ydilnes. thir ordinances of the egiptiens, <f8v> are verray necessair to be vsit in al realmys: be rason that the maist part of the pepil, throucht ther natural fraigilite, consumis the maist part of ther dais in ydilnes. This detestatione that i haue rehersit of ydilnes, par chance maye be iugit be inuyful ignorantis, that i condampe my self, in sa far as thai persaue me nocht ocupeit vitht mecanyc byssynes, nou to confound ignorant detrakkers i vil arme me vitht the vordis of publius scipio as cicero rehersis in the  prologe of the thrid beuk of his officis. sayand that scipio vas neuyr les ydil as quhen he aperit to be idil nor he vas neiuyr les solitair as quhen he aperit to be solitair, for quhen he aperit to be ydil than he vas solist in his mynde anent the gouuernyng of the public veil ande quhen he aperit to be solitar, than he vas speikand vitht hym self anent his auen byssynes & sa he vas neuir ydil nor solitair quhou beit that he aperit sum tyme in the sycht of the vulgaris to be ydil & solitair nunquam se minus ociosum quam cum ociosus, nec minus solum, quam cum solus esset. i vil apply thir vordis to my self. for quhou beit that the laubir vitht the pen & the studie on speculatione of vertu apeir to be ydilnes, zit thai ar <f9r> no ydilnes bot rather ane solist byssynes of the body & of the spreit. ande nou sen gode hes nocht dotit me vitht speculatione of liberal sciens nor philosophe, nor vitht stryntht of my body til indure seruile subiectione, nor zit vitht no art nor mecanyc craft, ther for i vil help to the auansing of the public veil vitht my studye & vitht my pen. In the antian dais, the romans var mair renforsit in curageus entreprisis be the vertu of the pen, ande be the persuasions of oratours, nor thai var renforsit be the sourdis of men of veyr. Euerye craft is necessair for the public veil, ande he that hes the gyft of traductione compiling or teching, his faculte is as honest as crafty ande as necessair: as is to be ane marynel, ane marchant, ane cordinar, charpenteir, captan, ciuilist or ony vthir crafft or sciens. ther is na degreis of vertu amang them, for gyf ane craft or sciens be gude, than it is as gude, as ony craft can be, for al sortis of verteous, facultes ar of ane lyik vertu, as cicero sais in the thrid of his paradoxis, that ane gude man can be na bettir nor ane vthir man that is gude, for gyf ane man be gude than he is as gude, as ony gude man can be: siclyik gyf ane craft be gude than it is as gude, as ony craft <f9v> can be. ther for ane man of ane craft, suld nocht detest ane vthir sort of craft, considerand that oure hurt nature hes nocht dotit ane man til vse al craftis. Aristotil sais in the fyrst beuk of his politiques, that nature hes nocht maid ane man lyik gladius delphicus The significatione of gladius delphicus is of this sort. delphos is ane solemnit place, on the hyl of pernasus, quhar ther standis ane tempil dedicat til appollo, ther cam daly to that tempil, diuerse pure men in pilgremage, ther duelt on that hil, smythis, & forgearis of yrn ande steil, the quhilkis culd mak ane instrament of yrn, conuenient for mony officis for tha vald gar ane instrament serue for ane hammyr, ane turkes, ane file, ane sourd, ane knyf ande ane borrel. this sort of instramentis var sellit to pure pilgryms that hed nocht mekil moneye to by ilk instrament be the self: ande be cause that instrament seruit til mony officis, ther for it vas callit gladius delphicus, of this sort aristotil makkis ane comparisone sayand that nature hes nocht maid ane man abil for euerye craft or office, bot nature hes maid ane man abil to be ane prince, ane abil to be ane seruand, ane abil to be ane clerk, ane abil to be ane craftis man, be rason <f10r> that oure hurt nature hes diuidit oure complexions to be of diuerse qualiteis, ande for that cause ve sal fynd amang ane thousand men, ane thousand consaitis ande ane thousand conditions. for that cause aristotil hes said in his politiques that in ilk comunite ther is ane multitude, ande ilk ane hes sum part of vertu of diuerse degreis, ande ilk ane of thir
degreis ar ordand til help vthirs in necessite, Cicero gyuis ane exempil in his retoric, quhou that the citinaris of cartomat in ytalye, sende for ane excellent payntur, callit eracleon, thai promest to gyf hym ane grit some of moneye, for to paynt ane fayr ymage of the deesse iuno. than eracleon gart al the fayr ande best lyik zong vemen of that cite cum in his presens ande than he chesit fife of the best lyik amang them al, to be his patrone, quhen he hed contemplit & spyit the proportions & propreteis of nature of thir fife ladeis he chesit the face of ane, the een of ane vthir the handis of the thrid the hayr of the feyrd, the armis the myddil ande the feit of the fyift, of this sort he formit the patrone of the ymage of iuno, efftir the proportione of diuerse of the membris of thir foirsaid fife zong ladeis: be cause he culd nocht <f10v> get al his patrone in ane special lady. for sche that vas pleysand of hyr face, vas nocht pleysand of hyr hayr, ande sche that hed plesand handis hed nocht pleysand een, ande sche that hed ane veil proportionet body hed euil proportionet feit ande to conclude he culd nocht get ane lady in special that vas sufficient to be his patrone, nor zit that culd be comparit til gladius delphicus quhilk vas ane instrament that seruit til mony officis. be this exempil ve maye considir that nature hes nocht dotit ane person to be qualifeit to excerse al sortis of craftis, for that cause aristotil sais that al sortis of craftis suld concur to gyddir, ande ilkane til help vthirs, as nature prouidit fyrst in the begynnyng. thir prolixt vordis befor rehersit, ar ane preparatiue, contrar the detractione, of inuyful clerkis that ar mair expert in latyne tong nor i am, quhilkis vil nocht set furtht ane gude verk tyl induce the pepil to vertu, nor zit vil correct my ignorant error: bot rather thai ar mair prompt to repreif ane smal ignorant falt nor to commende ane grit verteous act. bot zit no man suld decist fra ane gude purpose, quhou beit that detractione be armit vitht inuy <f11r> reddy to suppedit & tyl impung ane verteous verk: for quhat euyr he be that intendis to compile ane verk to content euerye man he suld fyrst drynk furtht the occean see. Ande quhou beit, that ther var na detrakkers, tyll accuse or to repreif my verkis, zit nochtheles i suld nocht be ouer temerair to set furtht ane verk that surpassis my ingyne: for ane hen that seikis hyr meyt in the mydding, may scraipe sa lang amang the fyltht, quhil sche scraip furtht sum ald knyfe that hes been tynt, the quhilk knyfe cuttis hyr throt eftiruart, as i sall apply ane exempil conformand to this samyn purpose as eftir follouis.

Annibal that vailzeant cartagien, beand venquest be nobil scipion, past for refuge, tyl anthiocus kyng of sirrie, quha vas at that tyme, ane vailzeant prince, he resauit annibal in his realme, ande in his protectione, ande did hym grit honour ande reuerens, ane prince can nocht schau hym mair nobil, nor mair verteouse, as quhen he resauis in his fauoir, ane desolat prince distitute of remeide, ande disparit of consolatione: quhilk hes bene violently affligit be aduerse fortoune. thir tua princis vsit oft to visye the feildis to tak ther <f11v> recreatione, ande to pas til hounting, ande til vthir gammis, conuenient for ther nobilite. at sum tyme thai vald pas to the sculis, to heir the lecture of ane philosophour callit phormion quha remanit in the toune of ephisye, ande techit natural ande moral philosophie to the zong men of the cuntre. on ane day thir tua princis be chance, entrit in the achademya to heir ane lesson of philosophie techit be the said phormion philosophour. he persauand thir tua princis entir in his scule, he changit the mater of that present lecture, ande but prouisione, he began to teche the ordour of the veyris, declarand quhou that captans suld ordour battellis contrar ther enemeis. this philosophour techit sa profundly the maneir of the ordoryng of battellis in presens of thir tua princis, that thai that herd hym neuyr of befor, meruellit nocht alanerly of his quyk ingyne: bot as veil thai that harde hym daly var in grit admiratione. it is the nature of ane man that hes ane quyk spreit, ande ane ripe ingyne, that euerye purpos ande questione is familiar tyl hym. kyng anthiocus tuke grit gloir, be cause he hed sic ane prudent philosophour <f12r> in his cuntre: quhar for he inquirit annibal, quhat iugement he hed of his philosophour phormion. annibal ansuert vitht as hardy curage. as quhen he venqueist the romans at the battel of cannes: for ane vailzeant prince, tynis nocht his curage, quhou beit that aduerse fortune resist his felicite: bot rather hes gude hope that dame fortoune vil mittigat hyr auen crualte. this vas the ansuer of annibal tyl anthiocus in the presens of phormion. nobil prince anthiocus i hef seen mony ald men tyne
ther vyt, bot i sau neuyr sa grite ane fule amang them al, as is thy philosophour phormion for he maye be callit the mirrour of folye, ther can nocht be ane mair folye, as quhen ane ydiot distitute of knaulage, presumis to teche or to leyrne ane man that hes baytht speculatione ande experiens. i pray the to tel me (kyng anthiocus) quhat hart can thole,, or quhat tong can be stil. quhen thai see, or heris tel, of the presumpteous consait of thy vane philosophour, quhilk hes been neurest al his dais in ane solitar achademya of greice, ande zit he dar be sa bold to present hym befor prince annibal, to disput ande tyl indoctryne the maneir of the <f12v> veyris ande of the batellis, as he var prince of affrica or captan of rome. for verite he hes ane smal iugement of sic maters, or ellis he estemeis vs to be litil experementit in the veyris, be his vane consaitis that he hes studeit on beukis, he beleuis to leyrne annibal, the prettik of the veyris ande the conquessingis of realmis. o kyng anthiocus, al the goddis vait, quhat defferens is betuix philosophie techit in sculis, ande betuix the stait of captans in the ordoring of batellis on the feildis. ande quhat defferens is to vrit vitht ane pen, & the vsing of ane speyr vailzeantly in battel. ande quhat defferens is ther betuix mony beukis ande ane captan heffand his enemye befor his ee. Ther is diuerse men that can blason the veyris in the tauerne or at the fyir syde amang the vulgar ignorant pepil, bot i fynd nocht mony that dar haszarde ther lyue contrar ther enemeis. O anthiocus thy philosophour phormion sau neuyr the iunyng of ane battel, vitht cruel escharmouschis in the ryding of forrais. he sau neuyr the array of men of veyr brokyn, ande tua armeis myxt amang vthirs, fechtand be fellone forse, quhar the defluxione of blude <f13r> hed payntit ande cullourt all the feildis, he herd neuyr the dolorus trompet sounde befor the iunyng of ane battel, nor zit he harde it neuyr sound to gar the men of veyr retere fra ane dangeir, he persauit neuyr the trason of ane party, nor the couuardeis of ane vthir party. he sau neuyr the litil nummir of them that fechtis, nor the grite nummir of them that fleis for dreddour.. O anthiocus thy philosophour suld teche the thyng that he hes studeit at the sculis & the thing that he hees seen vitht his een to them that vas neuyr at the sculis, ande to them that vas neuyr pretykkit in the veyris. rather nor til vs that hes been experimentit in the veyris al oure dais. the prettik of the veyris is mair facil to be leyrnit on the feildis of affrica: nor in the sculis of greice. Thou vait kyng anthiocus, that this sex ande thretty zeiris i hef beene excersit in the veyris, baytht in ytalie ande in spangze, quhar that fortoune hes schauen hyr rycht aduerse contrar me: as is hyr vse,, to do to them, that vndirtakkis difficil entrepricis, as thou may see be experiens: for or i hed ane beyrde, i vas seruit lyik ane captan, ande nou quhen my beyrd, is be <f 13v>cum quhyt, i am be cum ane servand. i sueir to the (kyng anthiocus) be the gode mars, that gyf ony persone vald speir at me, the maneir of the gouernyng of ane battel, i vait nocht quhat ansuere to mak: be raison that battellis consistis vndir the gouernance of fortune, ande nocht in the ingyne of men, nor in the multiplie of pepil. all veyris ar begun be princis, on ane iust titil, ande syne procedis be visdome bot the ende of the veyris consistis in the chance of fortune. Ther for it is grit folye to thy philosophour, til vndirtak to leyrn the ordiring of battellis vitht in his solitair achademya, it var mair necessair ande honest for hym, to vse his auen professione ande faculte: nor to mel vitht ony faculte that passis his knaulage. annibal said mony vthir gude purposis tyl anthiocus, anent this samyn purpose, as plutarque rehersis in his apothigmatis.

This exempil tendis, that al prudent men, hes mair occasione to condamp & repreif this raggit naykyt tracteit, nor annibal hed occasione to repreif the philosophour phormion: for my dul rude brane suld nocht hef been sa temerair as to vndirtak to correct the imperfectione <f14r> of ane comont veil, be cause the maist part of my knaulage, is the smallest part of my ignorance: zit nochtheles i hope that vyise men vil reput my ignorance for ane mortifeit prudens, be rason of my gude intentione that procedis fra ane affectiue ardant fauoir. that i hef euyr borne touart this affligit realme quhilk is my natiue cuntre, Nou heir i exort al philosophouris historigraphours & oratours of our scottis natione to support & til excuse my barbir agrest termis for i thocht it nocht necessair, til hef fardit ande lardit this tracteit vitht exquisite termis, quhilkis ar nocht daly vsit, bot rather i hef vsit domestic scottis langage, maist intelligibil for the vlgare pepil. ther hes bene diuerse translatours ande compilaris in ald tymys, that tuke
grite pleseir to contrafait ther vlgare langage, mixand ther purposis, vitht oncoutht exquisite termis, dreuyn, or rather to say mair formaly, reuyn, fra lating, ande sum of them tuke pleiseir to gar ane vord of ther purpose, to be ful of sillabis half ane myle of lyntht, as ther was ane callit hermes, quhilk pat in his verkis, thir lang tailit vordis conturbabuntur constantinopolitani, innumerabilibus solicitudinibus <f14v> ther vas ane vthir that vrit in his verkis, gaudet honorificabilitudinitatibus, al sic termis procedis of fantastiknes ande glorius consaitis. i hef red in ane beuk of ane preceptor that said til his discipulis loquere verbis presentibus & vtere moribus antiquis, that is to saye thou sal speik comont langage, ande thou sal lyue eftir the verteous maneirs of antiant men zit nochtheles ther is mony vordis of antiquite, that i hef rehersit in this tracteit, the quhilkis culd nocht be translatit in oure scottis langage, as auguris auspices ides questeours senaturus censours, pretours, tribuns, ande mony vthir romane dictions, ther for gyf sic vordis suld be disusit or deiekkit, than the phrasis of the antiquite vald be confundit ande adnullit: ther for it is necessair at sum tyme, til myxt oure langage vitht part of termis dreuyn fra lateen be rason that oure scottis tong is nocht sa copeus as is the lateen tong. ande alse ther is diuerse purposis & propositions that occurris in the lating tong that can nocht be translatit deuly in oure scottis langage, ther for he that is expert in latyn tong suld nocht put reproche to the compilation, quhou beit that he fynd sum <f15r> purposis translatit in scottis, that accords nocht vitht the lateen regester: as ve hef exempil of this propositione, homo est animal, for this terme homo signifeis baytht man ande voman: bot ther is nocht ane scottis terme that signifeis baytht man ande voman: ande animal signifeis al thyng that hes lyue ande is sensibil, bot ther is nocht ane scottis terme has signifeis al quyk sensibil thyng, ther for this propositione, mulier est homo is treu, ande zit ve suld nocht saye that ane voman is ane man. Ande siclyik this propositione homo est animal is treu, ande zit ve suld nocht say that ane man is ane beyst: of this sort ther is baytht termis ande propositions in lateen tong, the quhilk vil be difficil to translait them. i hef rehersit thir vordis, in hope to eschaipt the detractione of inuyful gramariaris: quhilkis ar mair prompt, to reprehende ane smal falt, nor tha ar to commend ane verteouse act. Nou for conclusione of this prolog i exort the (gude redar) to correct me familiarly ande be cherite, Ande til interpreit my intentione fauorablye, for doutles the motione of the compilatione of this tracteit, procedis mair of the compassione that i hef of the public necessite nor <f15v> it dois of presumptione or vane gloir, thy cheretabil correctione, maye be ane prouocatione to gar me studye mair attentiulye in the nyxt verkis that i intend to set furtht the quhilk i beleif in gode, sal be verray necessair, tyl al them that desiris to lyue verteouslye indurand, the schort tyme of this oure fragil peregrinatione, & sa fayr veil.

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