¶ The seuin Seages Translatit out of prois in Scottis meter be IOHNE ROLLAND in Dalkeith, with ane Moralitie efter euerie Doctouris Tale, and siclike efter the Emprice Tale, togidder with ane louing and laude to euerie Doctour efter his awin Tale, & ane Exclamation and outcrying upon the Empreouris wife efter hir fals contrusit Tale.


❧ Imprentit at Edinburgh be Johne ROS, for Henne Charteris. M. D. LXXVIII. CVM PRIVILEGIO REGALI.


[...]EN into Courts is Curiositie,
Manheid, maners; nurtour and co [...]tasie,
Gif in the heid greit vertew dois auan [...]
Sa in members I think sicly ke suld be.
Curage, kyndnes, gentrice and honestie
To do the heid seruice and obseruance,
To God alone also for his plesance
And failȝeing that, all is bot fantasie,
For warldlie myrth wald haue sum temperance.
Sum cummis to court to serue thair King and Quene
To conqueis lands sum settis thair courage clene,
Greit Lordis and Lairdis the court wald hald in hand
Sum thair kynnismen to Court causis conuene.
Sum for to se, and vthers to be sene.
With braid Buklars brawling with birneist brand
Sum thair gat fais, vthers sum freindschip fand
Sum gettis plesure, vthers gettis tray and tene
Ze ken the Court can nocht ay stabill stand.
In Court that time was gude Dauid Lyndsay.
In vulgar toung he bure the bell that day
To mak meter, richt cunning and expart,
And Maister Iohne Ballentyne suith to say
Mak him marrow to Dauid weill we may.
And for the thrid, Maister Williame Stewart,
To mak in Scottis, richt weill he knew that Art.
Bischop Durie, sum tyme of Galloway,
For his plesure sum tyme wald tak thair part.
And I my self with small Intelligence
Thocht in that case to schaw my diligence
To manifest my waik wit and Ingyne,
At thir foursum as king leif and licence,
With hat and hand keiling with reuerence
Me for to leir ane lessoun or a lyne
Of thair prettick to me ane point propyne.
[Page] Thay said go to, schaw sum Experience
And I thairfoir to thame promeist the wyne.
Sa at thir four, quhen I had leif purchest,
To thame (said I) quhat mater is [...]etest?
For to begin (quod thay) we wald ȝe drew
Sum Dialog, or argument that is best,
And that will mak ȝour mater manifest.
Sa folk may knaw the fals Tale be the trew,
For Dialogs (quod I) weis get anew.
And sa fra thame Incontinent me drest,
And tuke gude nicht, and said gude schirs adew.
Bot ȝit knew not quhat my mater suld be
Quhidder of myrth or ȝit of grauitie.
Efter Supper to bed I maid me boun,
Sa in my sleip me thocht I saw swythlie
Lady Venus, cumming and spak to me,
And said I am, cum with the for to ressoun,
Thairfoir my wordis, se that thow not chessoun,
Tuitching my stait, honour and dignitie
Forȝet me nocht quhen thon makis thy Sermoun.
Sa on the morne quhen time was for to ryse
I thocht I wald begin my Interpryse,
And rememberit on Venns Lady Quene
Kest in my mynd ofter nor anis or twyse
That she bad me with hir mater auyse,
And I knew small quhat hir mater did mene
Considdering at me hir self had bene.
I wist nocht weill quhat mater to deuyse,
Hir for to pleis, and to eshaip hir tene.
And sa at schort my pen I tuke in hand
Began to wryte at Quene Venus command
Ane lytill Quair, I ken nocht gif ȝe knaw it,
Embrowd about with barbarus termes bland
And with trym termes maist vsit vp on land
As to the Name Dame Venus Court thay caw it
I wait nocht weill gif euer Schiris ȝe saw it,
Delyuerit it vnto my Maisters sour
Quha it ressauit, and reddelie red ouir.
This lytill Quair, quhen thay had red and endit
Sum said that hard, thay greitlie it commendit,
And sa beliue delyuerit it againe
To euerie verse thairin thay condiscendit,
And said thay wist, thairwith nane was offendit
Except it war ane prydfull pure Putane,
At quhais wordis men wald tak small disdane,
Quha that fand faltis, all four thay wald defendit it
Be word and died, with micht and all thair mane.
Ane proper wenche come to me on ane day
Ane of my Ants, bot thairto I say nay
My buke to borrow, greitlie scho did Inquyre
Ane wed thairfoir scho said scho wald doun lay
Quhill scho it red, within ane Oulk or tway.
Sa I grantit that thing scho did desyre,
Bot in few day is my Ant begouth to tyre
Hir Pyat toung, hir poet toung I suld say
Micht suffice weill to preiche in barne or byre.
My buke againe scho brocht and callit it gude
And said sum termes was scho not vnderstude,
Because thay war sa heich and curious
Meruellit at me how I durst euer dude,
Aganis wemen to speik sa ruch and rude,
And said I trow ȝour mynde was furious
Quod I Lady the mater standis thus
Quhen twa arguis, in ane or thay conclude
On force thair talk mon be contrarious.
Thairfoir Maistres I mon hald ȝow excusit,
I traist sic termes befoir few tymes ȝe vsit,
Or at the leist, ȝe come nocht quhair thay grew
I hard sum say that ȝe war greitlie rusit,
And ȝe ȝour thocht and mynde on sic termes mufit
Baith into Greik, in Latine and Hebrew,
Now I persaue that thay Tales ar not trew.
Thairfoir trewlie my self suld haue the pyne,
I was to bald to cast Peirlis to the Swyne.
Than scho me prayit with wordis sweit and fair
To be sa gude to tak ane vther Quair
[Page] In planer termes, and it in Meter mak
Anents wemen, not tuitching thame sa sair,
For ȝour requeist (said I) I will do mair.
Ane vther Roll I chancit in hand to take,
It to performe for that fair Lady is sake.
Maid and compylit be the wyse Sages seuin,
Quha was that tyme maist sapient vnder heuin.
For narurall wit, thay ar all haldin plane
The springing well, and onlie fresche Fontane
The perfyte ground, and rute Originall
Of this storie, now following but lane,
Thairfoir my self, as now I am constrane
It to translait, in our toung naturall.
Quhair I it fand into plane prois at all
Without cullour or feit, now I againe
In rurall ryme, to set it furth I sall.
The fault I said, for hir saik I suld mend it
Quhair scho befoir with strange termis was offendit.
I promeist hir of honestie to quyte thame,
And with toun termes my bow it suld be bendit
Fra Clerklie termes my pen suld be suspendit
And in my verse be na way I suld wryte thame,
Ze sall all knaw doutles that I despyte thame.
On this debait than we war condiscendit,
At hir desyre I sall eschew to dyte thame.
Sa we aggreit (quod scho) gude Schir adew
Quod I Lady, forsuith richt sair I rew,
With sa dry mouths, that we twa suld depart
Quod scho but dout, as I am traist and trew
Sum vther tyme my self sall ȝow persew,
Bot not as now, thair is tyme efter wart,
Quhen euer ȝe pleis (quod I) welcum my hart,
For verray shame me thocht scho changeit hew,
Than turnit hir bak, and sa we did depart.
Incontinent but ony mair delay
I thocht it best my pen for till assay
This lytill buke in verse for to compyle
Quhair it befoir into plane prois was ay,
[Page] Gif I culd fynd ony gude wyle or way
To steir it vp into ane better style,
That I suld not this fair Lady begyle,
Considdering the same on hand I tuke
As ȝe sall heir, thus I begin my buke.
❧Finit Prologus.

To the Reidar.

BECAVS I was reprouit of befoir,
That I suld not in Clerklie termes gloir:
Bot in plaine speiche my buik for to addres
With commoun talk, bot ȝit neuer the les
This Tale of auld I hard quhilk is richt trew,
And richt weill knawin, that neid oft makis vertew
Thairfoir on force, becaus strange termes I want
I haue na dout, bot heir thay sall be skant.
Thairfoir in tyme I think best to deny thame,
Zone fair Lady me think scho settis nocht by yame
Ane vther caus siclike I wait ȝe ken
For to bring but its Ill thats not thair ben.
Nor thair is nane, I wait in all this toun
Except he haue it, that can put on ane goun.
Of ane twme Twn, nane can draw out licour,
Nor of ane fule to mak a wise Doctour.
For quhy wit wants, quhair wisdome suld cum fra
Into this case, the mater stands sa.
Force me compellis, strange termes to forbeir,
Within my box thairs few to get or leir.
Quhair Gold is skant, siluer mon vs content,
Euen sa it stands but dout at this present.
Praying hartlie this Tale in patience tak,
A man can sell nathing out of his pak
Bot as he hes, than present for the tyme,
Ze may persaue that be this roustie ryme.
Beseiking ȝow gude Reidars to excuse it,
Not to detract, nor ȝit ouir hie to ruse it.
This I wald wis my freinds ȝe wald do so,
Than in Goddis name to purpois lat vs go.

Heir beginnis the seuin Seages, translatic furth of prois in Scottis meter be Iohne Rolland in Dalkeith.

IN Eldaris dayis oft times it hes bene tauld
That Rome hes bene ane [...]etie of the auld
Of running Clerks & wonder vailȝeand men,
As ancient Acts makis vs for to ken.
Ou [...]r all the warld it had Preeminence,
All pepill maid to it Obedience.
With greit Captanes, Kings Knichts & Empreours
Kene men of weir & cruell Conquerours,
Of townis and towris, greit villages & cicteis,
Triumphand far abone thair Enemeis:
Subdewand thame to lest and seruitude,
Not regarding thair lynage, kyn nor viude.
Cōquest grit realmes, lordschips & rowms braid
Thair commoun weill sa [...]ruellous riche thay
That all coūtreis & kigdomes thē about maid
Of thair fell feir greit dreddour had and dout.
That thay on force beh [...]d to mak homage
Orellis haue lo [...]st vaith life and heritage.
For thay war sa repleit of all riches
[...] into weiris ve martiall besynes.
Thay tuke na cure of na māms fauour nor feid
Sa thay become of all the warld the heid:
And had thairof the haill Authoritie,
Bot this was not in time of Papistrie,
For fra that time y Papis was maid in Rome,
Of all vertew that Cietie was maid tome.
[Page 2] And day be day fra all vertew decrest
Continuallie the self [...]t ay opprest.
For thre strangers rais vp in that Cietie,
Quhilkis of befoir na way wald sufferit be,
The commoun weill caus thay war ay agane
Thairm thairfoir thay wald not those remane
Bot fra Papis come that Nobill towne within
It did abound sa sair in deidly sin,
And that na stait to Clergie was compairs,
Sa weill thay treit thir thre vncouth strangairs
Quhilk thre thir was, the first lurkand haitrent
The secund was, ȝoung counsall and consent,
Singular profite it was the thrid I wis,
Quhilk thre was caus to gar Rome go amis.
And causit it tine the greit triumphand Name,
And to be callit the hous of warldlie schame.
Tint the greit rowmes and warldlie possessioūs
That thay conquest fra diuers vther Crowns.
All sit become throw wickitnes and vice,
Of the Papists, and thair foule Merchandice.
For thay wald gar ane pound of meltit leid
Bring thame againe the wecht of golde sa reid.
And gar the hippis of ane deid Zow or skin
Assolȝe ȝow of all ȝour deidly sin,
Incontinent in heuin vp to be brocht,
Contrair Gods will, quhidder he wald or nothe
¶ Bot not the les, lang tyme befo [...]r thir dayis
Ane Empreour was as the Storie sayis,
Quhilk hecht to Name [...]ontianus at richt,
Ane Nobill man of wisdome and of micht.
G [...]d [...]t his Realme be wisdome and vertew,
To his pepill erempilis daylie schew,
Of wisdome wit and Liberalitie,
[Page 3] Quhairthrow the hartis of all his folk wan [...]
That nane cairit to wair with him thair life,
Ane Kings Douchter he had vnto his wife,
Cal [...]t Clara, ane woman verteous,
Fair and gudelyke and wonder gracious.
Quhilk ane knaif chyld of him scho did cōsaue
Bot him alone na ma God to thame gaue,
Quhilk was callit D [...]oclesiane to Name,
Fair and well fauourit, baith of fassoun & fame
Quha daylie grew in vertew and gudnes,
Ilk man him lufit for his greit gentilnes.
For he was courtes, cumlie and richt kynd,
Fra all fulische alluterlie declynd.
Sa quhen he was seuin ȝeir auid or neir by
This Emprice tuke ane meruellous malady,
That scho behuid for to tak bed on force,
With sair seiknes sa troublit was hir Corre.
Persauing weill be hir Intelligence
For to eschew fra deid was na defence
Bot of hir life schortlie to haue ane end.
Sa for hir spous the Empreour sone scho send.
With humbill hart and Inwartlie praying.
That he wald [...]um to hir but tarying.
Gif euer he wald se hir vpon lyue
Sa was fra hand direct sone ane Missyue.
Poist efter Poist, quhair he lay in weilfair,
Sone till him come, and culd the caus declair,
But mair abaid, with wonder sor [...]e hart,
With few hors men fra his Camp did depart.
And quhen he come to the Emprice presence
Scho said till him with humbill reuerence.
O My gude Lord, howbeit that I be seik,
Ze licent me my [...]rand to ȝow speik.
[Page 4] Sa that it be onlie to ȝour plesour,
And als siclike vnto ȝour greit honour,
He said Lady I se ȝow in diseis
Notwithstanding say on quhat euer ȝe pleis:
And it sall be to me na vilanie,
Sa it eik not ȝour greit Jufirmitie.
My Lord scho said, this seiknes I persaue
Or it depart will driue me to my graue.
He said Madame be ȝe of gude comfort,
Ze will recouer ȝour helth I traist at schort,
For I sall send for all my ding Doctouris,
Phisitianes, and my Philosophouris,
My cunning men, and my Medicmars,
My Cirugians and als my Potingars,
My Practicianes quhilkis ar suttell and slhe.
That daylie deilis with Flewbothomie.
Thay will consult, and Ilkane als persaue
All ȝour seiknes, and sa helth sall ȝe haue.
For seiknes is als naturall as heill,
Thairfoir dout not y deith sall with ȝow deill,
At this present, bot ȝe sall sone recure,
Quod scho my Lord of a thing I am sure,
This maladie sa haldis me at the hart
Quhill I be deid, na way it will depart.
Quhairfoir my Lord, richt humblie I require,
Ze wald Incline ȝour hart to my desyre.
He said desire at me quhat euer ȝe will,
I will it grant, thocht it be contrair skill
To comfort ȝow, and help ȝow fra diseis
Thairfoir say on, it sall me not displeis.
Scho said my Lord I thank ȝow gretumlie,
Quod he Madame say on quhat euer it be.
Scho said my Lord, plesit ȝour Nobill grace
[Page 5] Of my desyre, this is the verray cace,
Quhen I depart out of this present lyfe,
It will ȝow pleis to haue ane vther wyfe,
And as ȝe knaw we haue na barne bot ane,
Nor neuer had, bot onlie him allane:
Quhilk ouir all thing anixt ȝour awin persoun
I wald war weill to this Ilk prouisioun.
Efter ȝour deith with all wit and wisdome,
Reule his pepill, and gyde this greit Kingdome
And ouir all thing my Lord maist I requyre
Into this point, ȝe will grant my desyre,
That ȝour Emprice perchāce quhat cuerscho be
Upon my Sone haue na Authoritie,
Na Gouernance, power nor ȝit gyding
Bot ȝe him put to vther nurisching.
Far fra hir sicht, and fra hir companie,
To that effect, that he may viceles be,
Of all vices, and sic thing as gais wrang
And ay to be, greit cunning men amang.
My Lord hartly this humblie I requyre
Into this point to fulfill my desyre.
For weill I knaw, displesours ar to cum
That he sall do, or ellis he salbe dum,
Quhairthrow onlie his lyfe he will recure,
My Lord I knaw but dout this salbe sure.
He said Lady ȝour will ȝe sall not want,
Thocht it war mair, richt hartly I it grant,
For that is my desyre asweill as ȝouris
It salbe done, Madame at ȝour plesouris.
Scho said my Lord I thank ȝow with my hart
God saue ȝour grace, for now I moste depart.
This being said, scho tuke ane fell passioun
And ane lang space scho lay in deidly swoun.
[Page 6] Sa in schort tyme withouttm mair remeid,
Hir naturall det scho completit of deid.
With all triumph hir funerall seruice
Was dewlie done, as that time was the gyse
La [...]g time efter the Empreour maid murning,
And all his Court, for hir sair departing
Na menstrell myrth nor ȝit na merines
Into his hall was sene nor na blyithnes,
Bot heuines, greit dule and grauitie
Into the Court, and all the companie
For that gude Quene, all solace was away,
Woir the dule weid Ilk ane for ȝeir and day.


OF this mater sum thing we may collect
Of this Empri [...]e hauand [...]a greit respect
And Inwart [...]u [...]e vnto hir Sone alone
Of hir awin helth scho tuke [...]ot ly [...]ll rek,
Bot thocht scho wald his weilfair nocht neglect
Befoir to deith hir self scho wald dispone
Quhilk causit hir sit maters to propone
To hir husband, for the samin effect
Hir Sone to ring efter that scho was gone.
Siclyke ȝe may considder the greit rair
The thocht and mynde scho tuke baith lait and air,
Anent hir Sone scho suffering sair sciknes
Prouyding als for his welth and weilfair,
Desyring him of cummers to be clair
With the new Quene, he suld haue na entres,
Nor scho with him in ony besynes,
For sum causis that micht occur perchance
That scho suld haue of him na Gouernance.
Alswa appeiris sum part of Prophecie,
And greit foirsicht hes bene in this Ladie,
Perrellis to cum, sa perfytelie to knaw
Scho being tuichit with sair Infi [...]mitie.
Praying to put, hir Sone fra companie
Of all the Court, and als of Ladyis aw▪
[Page 7] And in speciall, fra his Mother in Law.
Inconnenients to eschew that [...]cht be
Sa scho desyrit, hir Sone him for to draw.
The hartlie lufe siclyke ȝe may persaif,
That this Lady to hir husband did half,
Ran bring to him, honour and reuerence,
And he to hir, siclyke all things gaue,
That scho desyrit, or at him scho wald craue:
Not regarding, thocht it had bene offence,
And for hir saik, quhen scho was deid and hence
He commandit that na blyithnes suld be
For ȝeir and day into his compa [...]e.
Thairfoir I say to ȝow in Mariage
Baith into auld, and into tender age,
Quhat euer chance, ȝe suid haue Cheritie
B [...]ue Ill wordis cum, than lat ȝour malice swage.
B [...]ue place to Ite, and harbrie not outrage,
Crabit at anis, na way baith ȝe suld be
Ane meik answer slokin [...] Melancolie,
Ze ar conionit ane fleshe and Saulis twa,
Than keip gude lufe, the Scripture biddis sa.

¶ How the Empreour committit and delyuerit his Sone to the seuin Doctouris of Rome to leir.

THIS Empreour vpon a tyme he lay
Intill his bed, and to him self culd say
I haue na barnis bot ane Sone to my air,
I think it best that he war put to lair,
Stn he is ȝoung, and into tender age
To leir wisdome he will tak mair curage
Efter my deith, this Realme that he may gyde
This I think best in tyme for to prouyde.
Sa on the morne he cryit efter his clais,
And in dew tyme but mair abaid vprais.
Gart call his Lords, and counsall till him sone,
In this mater quhat thay thocht to be done.
[Page 8] Schawing to thame at lenth the haill mater
To his Lady quhat he had promeist air.
Thay answeritall, my Lord thair is in Rome
Seum wysest men that is in Cristindome,
Quhilkis in learning all vther thay preuaill
In all wisdome, and Science Liberaill.
Thay ar but dout the seid of Salomon.
For to discus Problewm or ȝit Questioun.
Lat ane Message to thame be send but mair
Delyuer thame ȝour Sone vnto the lair
Of thair counsall the Empreour was content,
for thir Doctours ane Message sone was sent,
Vnder his Seill, and als his awin hand writ
To the Doctouris he bad deliuer it.
Sa sone as thay the letters all had red
To thair veyage but tary sone thame sped.
Quhen thay come to the Empreours presence
Thay salust him with laude and reuerence,
On thair best wise, as to thame culd effeir
He said to thame ȝe ar all welcum heir.
I speir at ȝow haue ȝe ony knawlege
Quhairfoir I send to ȝow seuin my Message.
Thay answerit him the caus na way we knaw
Quhill yt ȝour grace will witchaif for to schaw
Zour graces will quhen ȝe haue schawin vs to
That to fulfill, our power we sall do.
To quhome he said, I thank ȝow Maisters all
Now vnto ȝow my erand schaw I sall.
Ane Soue alone, na ma barnis I haue,
Nor all my time na ma God to me gaue:
Appeirandlie he is to be mine air,
Thairfoir I wald he war put to the lair:
To cunning men for to haue thair doctrius.
[Page 9] And in ȝouth heid be vnder Discipline,
To that effect, efter my fatall det
Into my place with honour he beset,
To reule his Realme with wisdome and Justice
Quhilk in ane Prince suld cuerring alwayis.
Thairfoir I wald ȝe seum suld him ressaue,
And him to leirne and into gyding haue,
And ȝe sall be rewardit weill thairfoir,
Sa haill and feir agane ȝe him restoir.
Thay thankit him all seum with reuerence,
That he to thame of his Sone gaue credence.
¶ Bot the first Maister callit Pantyllas
Began and said, becaus he eldest was,
My Lord I sall, and pleis ȝour Nobill grace
Caus ȝour ane Sone within seuin ȝeiris space,
Be als cunning in all the seuin Science,
Of wit, wisdome, and all Intelligence
As I, and all my marrowis that heir standis
Or ony man, within ȝour boundis and landis
Sa that ȝe will deliuer him to me,
This sall I do in pane of honestie.
¶ The secund Maister namit Lentalus,
Thir wordis said vnto the Empreour thus.
And pleis ȝour grace deliuer him to me
Within ser ȝeiris he sall haue mair Elergie,
Mair cunning craft in all the seum Science
Nor I and all that now is in presence.
And as ȝe knaw I haue seruit ȝour grace
Sen I was man, in all my lyfis space.
And for rewaird I seik na vther thing
Bot ȝour ane Sone to haue in gouerning.
¶ Than spak the thrid ye namit was Craton
With ȝour gude grace I saillit the sey vpon,
[Page 10] In greit perrellis, and dangerous weilfair
And of ȝour grace rewaird I seik na mair,
To be sa gude, to me deliuer wald
Zour onlie Sone in gouernance to hald,
And I promeis that within ȝeiris fiue
He sall be mair cunning and Scientiue,
Nor I and all my marrowis heir about
Dato ȝour grace this I sall do but dout.
¶ Than spak the fourt to name hecht Malqup, drak
And pleis ȝour grace my seruice for to tak
In gude sessoun, in thankis and plesouris
For I my self and my Progenitouris
Hes seruit ȝow, and ȝours our lyfis space
And na rewaird desire I of ȝour grace
Bot to witchaif on mesa greit credence,
As for to leir ȝour Sone perfite Science:
And for to be of cunning mair perfite
Nor I and all my marrowis can Indite.
This sall he do within nirt ȝeiris four.
Or I Science and cunning sall gif ouir.
¶ Thā spak the fyft, Josephus hecht his name
Lord I am auld and neuer vndefame
On ȝour counsall, and hes bene mony ȝeir,
Wald ȝe leif me ȝour ane Sone for to leir
I sall him tetche but dout in ȝeiris thre
Als greit cunning, and als perfite Clergie
As I my self, and all my marrowis can,
Or ellis ȝe sall call me na honest man.
Na mair rewaird of ȝour grace I desire
Thocht all my life I haue seruit ȝour Impire.
¶ Than spak the sert was namit Cleophas
Ane Nobill man, and cunning Clerk he was,
And said siclike as the laif said befoir,
[Page 11] Of ȝour gude grace rewaird I seik no moir
Bot ȝour ane Sone to haue in gouerning
Informe and teiche, and into Science bring
In cunning he salbe within twa ȝeir
That he sall haue na peregall nor peir.
Na mair rewaird at ȝow now ask will I
Quhilk ȝour gude grace I traist will not deny
¶ Than said the seuint greit Maister & doctour,
Vnto ȝour grace I will do sit plesour,
Giue me ȝour Sone in credence and gyding
Within ane ȝeir I sall hun giue leirning,
Sa profoundlie in all the Science seuin,
And of all Science vnderueth the heum:
That in wisdome he sall haue na conipair
Vnto ȝour grace this schortlie I declair.
For giftis of golde, nor geir I not re gaird
Nor for labouris I couet na rewaird
Bot ȝour gude will quhē the ȝeir is furth gane
The Empreour hard, andthākit thame Jikaus
And said I am Inde [...] to ȝow [...]ll
[...]nrecompansit nane of ȝow thair be sall.
Bot not the lessen I find ȝow sa kynd
And wt gude willis hes schawin me ȝour mynd
Gif I suld him commit till ane of ȝow
Than all the rest micht weill beleue and trow
That to that ane I had mair affectioun
Than to the rest, quhilk suld caus discentioun:
Discord Inun and also variance,
Qahilk in na sort amang sic men suld chance.
Thairfoir to ȝow comunetlie all in ane
Heir I commit my Sone Dioclesiane.
My afald barne and cik my onlie Air,
With ȝow to be Instructit weill in lair.
[Page] And him to gyde in alkin honest sort,
Quhylis to wisdome, and quhylis to game & sport:
As ȝe will answer Jik ane vnto me.
In pane of credence and of ȝour honestie.
For be he weill, eum sa I think my sell
Do as ȝe pleis, as now na mair I tell.
¶ Thir dyng Doctours the sweit langage heir­ing
Of thair gude Lord, and alswa persauing
The greit credence, and siclyke the kyndnes
That he had schawin vnto thair semp [...]nes.
Thay thankit him Ilkane vpon thair kneis,
Man efter man, all seuin in thair degreis.
Sayand to him, that his grace suld be sure
Of thair laubours greit diligence and cure.
The Empreour tuke his Sone be the hand,
And bad that he, at thair bidding suld stand.
And in na sort that he suld thame offend
Onto the time agane he for him send.
And sa at schort the barne delyuerit he,
Quhome thay ressauit with all humilitie.
This being done, Ilk ane thay tuke gude nich [...]
To Romes Court the way thay held on richt.
Thir seuin Maisters thair veyage passing on,
Ane of thame said quhilk namit was Craton
To his fellowis, sayand my brether deir
Sen we this Chylde in Gouerning hes heir,
I think not best to Romes toun that we ryde
Gif we list weill this barne gouetus and gyde:
For diuers causis and Impediments,
That may occur be Inconuenients.
Cysting the Chylde to mony sport and play
And to neglect his studie day be day.
For fra greit men get knawledge quhat he be,
[Page 13] Thay will coue [...] daylie his companie.
Sa fra studie he salbe a [...] abstractit,
And we all seuin with greit displesure lackit.
The vther sex said all with ane consent
His counsall was gude and conuenient,
And was said to the purpois by and by,
And with gude will to the same wald apply
This to eschew, I wald remeid war found
For weill I knaw within ane lytill ground
To buylde vpon, thair is ane proper place,
Quhilk to vs all war plesure and solace.
Fra Romes toun bot thre myles distant.
Quhat thing we ueid, we myster not to want.
Lat vs pair mak ane hous baith rowme & squa it
Quhair at quyet the child may leirne his lair
We sall gar paynt vpon the wallis about
The seuin Science, with greit Storyis all out,
Sa that this Childe may se vesie and luke,
And tak doctriue, asweill as in his buke.
This Counsall than applesit shame euer ilkane
The hous was biggit sone of lyme and stane,
And weill compleit, as it best culd effeir,
Quhairin thay all stud [...]it the seuin ȝeir.
Quhilk bene outrun, and all compleit togidder
The seuin Maisters amang thame did cōfidder
That thay wald all exame Dioclesiane,
Fra that thair terme of the seuin ȝeir was gane,
Gif that he was expert into Science,
Considdering thay had done Diligence.
Pantillas said, I can not tell trewlie
How our Scoller [...]ramit weill salbe.
Than said Craton I sall that weill deuise,
Into his bed on sleiping quhen he lyis.
[Page 14] Under Ilk nuik of his bed we sall lay
Ane Oliue leif than quhen approches da [...],
Gif he persauis sone efter his walking
That his bed is remouit ony thing,
Than we may knaw be our Intelligence
He is repleit of all the seuin Science.
This being done, airlie in the morning
The Childe walknit befoir the Sone rysing,
And lyftit vp his Ene vnto the sky
And to the rufe of the hous seruently,
Baith to and fra, schairplie casting his Eu [...]
On sit fassoun befoir thay had not sene.
The seuin Maisteris persauing perfitelie
How his Ingyne was raisit sa quicklie.:
Thay said quhairfoir luke ȝe sa fast about?
Quhat mouis ȝow, or quhat haue ȝe in dout?
Schaw vs in plaine we sall caus to amend it
Gif ony thing hes ȝow in hart offendit.
Na meruell haue my gude Maisters (said he)
For I am brocht in ane greit fantasie,
Quhilk hes me maid richt fleit and als affeird,
For in my sleip to me I thocht appeird:
That the ruif tre of all this haill Maissoun,
Unto the eird was guyte declynit doun.
And sine againe in twinkling of our Eyis,
It was vpliftit ane hundreth thousand greis,
Quhilk put me in ane felloun fray but dout,
Than his Maisters Ilk ane him round about,
Persauit weill be gude Experience
He was fulfill it of all the seuin Science.
Gif he haue dayis and in gude companie
Ane man of wit, and wisdome he salbe,
That in the warld sall nane be till him peir.
[Page 15] Sa at this tyme we leif this ȝoung Childe heir,


WE may persaue na Empreour
Nor King suld wirk at thair plesour.
Without ane gude counsall,
Gude counsall is the Procurour
For to set fordwart gude laubour
And perrellis dois expell.
This Empreour he wald do nocht
Quhill his Lordis was befoir him brocht
And sa thay war richt [...]one,
At thame his counsall than he socht.
And thay him schew thair mynde and thocht
Quhat best was to be done.
In ane voce thay concludit thair
That he suld put his Sone to lair
With Cunning men of wit,
Becaus the Counsall did it declair
Incontinent but ony mair
Fra hand fulfillit it.
For as the Mother did prouyde.
The Father on that vther syde
For the Sone did foirse,
Fra purpois wald na langer byde
Bot to the Doctour is in that tyde
His Sone delyuerit he.
Thocht all thir Seuin had Science sene,
Ze may persaue that thay haue bene
Of thair awin Fantasie.
All cassin into curage clene
Ilk ane vther to prouene
And purches Dignitie.
Ilk ane thay tuke ane diuers dait,
And pro [...]st be thair awin consait
Mair large nor thay waid do,
Quhilk was far by thair awin Estait
For to pretend to gang the gait
That thay culd not cum to.
Bot the Empre out tuke weill in heid,
He thocht he wald not tak the feid
Of all, and pleis bot ane,
For that he fand ane gude remeid
For the haill seuin without mair pleid
The Childe hes with thame tane.

¶ How the Empreour be counsall of his Princes, and Lordis of his Impyre weddit ane vther wyfe.

IN this meane time the Princes of honour.
And the greit Lordis come to the Empreour,
And said my Lord and pleis ȝour nobill grace
Heir we ar cum to schaw how standis the cace.
Bot ane ȝoung Childe, we knaw no moit ȝe ha
And plesit God, we wald that ȝe had ma
And it may stand be fatale destanie,
That ȝour ane Sonemay Inlaik faill and die
As God forbid, that sic ane thing suld chance,
Zit not the les we wald mak puruyance.
Than war we all of ane new natiue King
Maid destitute abone vs for to ring,
Quhairthrow strange folke & vncouth natioūs
Micht conqueis vs, and all our generatiounis.
Quhilk neuer was sen this Impire began
Couqueist ouirthrawin with ony mortall man
Sen Romulus, quhilk buyldit Romes toun,
Was neuer man that had dominioun
Of this Impire, bot Nobill natiue Kingis,
And to auoide sa greit and perrellous things:
This is the caus we ar cum to ȝour grace
To schaw ȝow all the mater and the cace,
That sic ane thing is richt abill to be
To put the Realme furth of sic Jeopardie,
We wald ȝe tuke sum honest gay Ladie
[Page 17] Zour Nobill Quene and bedfellow to be,
To that effect successioun for to haue,
And ȝour Impire fra thir daugeris to saue.
The Empreour than heirand all thair sawis,
Quhat sic thing ment of the mater and caus.
He thankit thame ane hundreth thousand syse,
And said he wald do as thay did deuyse.
Of thair counsall richt weill content he was.
And thame roquyrit to purpois for to pas.
Ane Lady get that was of tender age,
Baith gude and fair, and cum of hie lynage.
Ane clene Dirgin and lustie to behald,
Than sall I do the same thing that ȝe wald.
Wed hir to wife, and Crowne hir to my Quene
Into this case lat ȝour wisdomes be sene.
Sa thay depart than fra the Empreour
Deuisit thair Lordis of wisdome and valour.
To seik this Quene throw mony lands pai past
Quhill thay come to ane countrie at the last
Callit Cetyll, quhilk had ane Nobill King,
Quhilk Royallie into his Realme did Ring,
With greit puissance, riches and honour.
Quha had ane Mayd of all fairnes the flour
To his douchter of fourtene ȝeir of age
Nobill, courtes, and plesand of visage.
With all vertew that in wemen micht be,
And wise at will siclike appeirandlie.
Quhome thay desirit at this gude Nobill King
In Mariage to the Empreour bring.
And mak hir Quene of all the haill Impire.
This Nobill King grantit to thair desire.
The Lordis of Counsall and Ambassadouris
War than depeschit with plesure & honouris.
[Page 18] And brocht with thame this Nobill gay Ladie
Quhilk yair ȝon̄g Quent & a [...]s Emprice suld be
Thay heisit vp sails with all thair clene curage
With manue micht come fordwart pair veyage
Vpon the sey thay sufferit greit perrell
In hame cumming, be sair storme and trauell
Walterād with wind out throw y mudy wawis
The boriall blastis sa bauldlie on thame blawis
That thay war fane and Joyfull at the last
To saue thair lyfis, for to cut thair mane Mast.
Cut thair Cabillis and ouir burd cast thair geir
All of thair lifis thay stude into sic feir.
Sum of thame said, it was ane schrewit Sing
Of ane gude luck sic ane Quene hame to bring,
Quhairthrow thay war all in point for to tine,
And wist not quhat wald be the latter fine.
Sum said agane all was cum for the best,
Scho was wyteles, howbeit storme thame op­prest.
Sa ilk ane said as yai yat time bethocht
Sa at dew time to thair awin coist was brocht
Als sone thay come vnto thair kyndlie coist,
Doun drew thair saills and thair gude schippis loist.
Than word beliue come to the Empreour
That all his Lordis was landit with plesour,
And with them brocht ane Nobill ȝoung Ladie
Quhilk to the King his weddit wyfe suld be.
The empreour causit proclame throw romes toū
That euerie Lord, Knicht Marques & Barroū
In best array to mak thame all reddy
With fair fassoun to meit that ȝoung Lady,
Quhilk but delay was dont with diligence,
And sa than gaue this Lady all presence:
Ja riche array, as thay culd best deuise,
[Page 19] With all triumph, and into thair best wise
To the Cietie thay did hir all conuoy,
With all glaidnes, mirth, melodie and Joy.
And quhen scho come vnto this Nobill toun.
The Bellis rang with honour and Renoun.
The claithis of gold was spred throw all y streit
Quhen scho lichtit to gang vpon hir feit.
The riche Badkins, the coistlie veluot wobbis
The browdin warkis & the riche Ryall robbis
Quhilk on the stairis war spred sa heich on hie
It was plesure for ony man to se.
With all vther warldis vane fantasise,
That mannis brame and Ingyne culd deuise.
And sa at last come in the Empreour
With his greit Lordis of riches and honour.
Gaue this Lady his persoun in presence.
With all triumph, Renoun and reuerence:
And hir Imbraist as culd him best effeir,
And said Lady ȝe ar richt welcum heir
Than the greit Joy that in that Cietie was
My waik Ingyne can na way weill compas.
Sa on the morne quhen that the day was licht
Vnto the Kirk thay led this Lady bricht,
With all triumphe greit mirth and melodie
With mennis wit that culd deuisit be.
Conuoyit with Kingis nobill Princes & Lords
As at sic time aggreis weill and accords.
Sine followit hir the Nobill Empreour
With all his Lords, that was of greit valour.
Stout men of Armes into thair waillit weidis
Kydand at richt vpon thair stalwart steidis.
Als with him come diuers grit kings & knichts
D [...]ks, Barroūs, erls, & mony worthie wichts
[Page 20] With trūpet, schalme, drum squasche & clarioū
Harp, Lut, Organe, Symbal and Symphioū
Makand thair mirth all into gude ordour,
Heraldis of Aimes into thair coit Armour:
Past on befoir as it was maist semelie
In thair awin stait, conforme to thair degre.
Quhill thay come to the Royall Kirk of Rome
Quhilk was the heid of Kirkis in christindome
Thair h [...]htit thay with mirth and merynes
For to compleit the band of halynes:
That GOD deuysit betuix woman and man
Quhen he this warld first creat and began.
Of that Cietie the greit Bischop was thair,
With all his Clerkis of greit wisdome and lair
This band being compleit in Goddis Name
With mirth and Joy to the Palice past hame,
Quhair thair was maid banket with melodie,
With alkin mirth and plesand menstralie.
Quhill that nicht come, than Ilk man thocht it best
To quyet [...]as and tak the nichtis rest.
Sa this Lady but ony tarying
Scho past to bed with hir hous band the King
And sa obtenit the greit fauour and lufe
Of hir gude Lord, that it culd not remufe.
And of hir lufe he tuke sa greit delite,
That vther Quene he had forȝet hir quite:
And all his lufe was cast on this new Quene
As he befoir had neuer Maryit bene.
Zit not the les all the dayis of their lyue
God thocht he wald all barnis fra them dryue
Sa thame betuir thay na successioun had
Quhilk maid this quene baith sorrowful & sad
Sayand hus band, ane thing I ȝow require
[Page 21] Gif ȝe wald grant richt hartlie I desire.
Becaus lang time this Emprice did persaue
Na kynd of Childe scho was able to haue.
Scho turnit hir Saillis vnto ane vther wind
Quhair that scho micht sum suttelnes gar find.
Into hir bed quhair that scho was lyand
In ane morning with hir spous and husband.
Scho sayis my Lord, & pleis ȝour Nobil grace
Betuir vs twa is chancit ane heuie cace,
That be na way can get vs successioun
Quhilk sadis my hart, & dois me greit passioū
Bot wald ȝour grace ane thing vnto me grant,
Betuir vs twa ane Childe we suld not want.
Quod he that thing deuyse how that ȝe can,
For that exceidis the wit of ouy man
For to get barnis, sen God will not thame grane
Than force it is baith ȝe and I thame want.
Scho said my Lord it is vnto me schawin,
Ze haue ane Sone quhilk is not to me knawin
With seuin Maisters, maist wysest on the gron̄d
And he him self, nane wyser can be found.
Wald ȝe bring hun to Court in my presence
I suld do all deuoir and diligence,
Him to Intreit into sa gude fassoun.
That all suld say out throw greit Romes toun
Not onlie said, bot also suld be sworne,
That he war of my awin twa a sydis borne.
And sen sa is, that I can nocht consane,
Oalie ȝour Sone, as my awin I wald haue
My Lord this is the asking I require,
Beseiking ȝow to fulfill my desire.
Zit not the les hir minde was and hir thocht
In sutteltie, and all with malice wrocht.
[Page 22] Imagining daylie the Chyldis deid
Choche his Father tuke not sit thing in heid,
He said Lady that will I not deny
Quhat euer ȝe ask enamorit sa am I
Into ȝour lufe, that force compellis me
Quhat ȝe will ask, denyit it sall not be.
Thairfoir sen I the secretis of my hart
Schawis to ȝow plaine, to me ke [...]y ȝe ȝour part
As for my Soue it is lang time by past
And diuers ȝeiris sen that I saw him last.
Zit not the les to accomylische ȝour will,
I sall belyue aue Message send him till,
And caus him cum, and als his Maisters all
Quhat he can do baith heir and se ȝe sall.
For I beleue he hes bene diligent
In his studie and in seience frequent.
And for to leir wit knawledge and wisdome
That efter me for to gyde this Kingdome.
Scho said my Lord, that it be sa God graut,
For that same eaus I wald na way him want.
Bot gif scho said thir wordis with hir hart
Ze will persaue be proces efterwart.
The Empreour sone gart mak ane missiue,
The Messinger he was direct beliue:
Into greit haist haist with expeditioun,
Vnto the seum greit Maisteris of Renoun.
Incontinent vnder the pane of deid,
And na les pane nor wanting of thair heid:
Suld bring his Sone to him at Witsonday.
All ercuses being clene put away.
The Messinger beliue depeschit was
To the Doctouris the hie gait can he pas
And the wrytingis delyuerit sone hes he,
[Page 23] Vnto the seuin Doctouris of Dignitie.
Quha it ressauit with all Obedience,
Humilitie, honour and reuerence.


IT is ane plaigue perrellous and ane greit dispair,
Ane Realme to be destitute of ane Natiue Air
Quhair kynd captans haldis court, na ca [...]s is of cair
The commoun welth Incressis ay, daylie mair and mair
Be the contrair agane.
Vnkyndlie Captanes ouirthrawis
And commoun welth doun drawi [...]
And leidis not the auld Lawis
Bot contrair wirks plane.
This was the maist motiue, the caus and the querrell,
That causit thir Princes compeir, to schaw all the perrell
The greit danger and dout, and the caus haill
Baith for commoun welth and Croune, gif airs chancit faill
Thair was bot onlie ane
Thairfoir this mater thay mene
To caus him tak ane new Quene
That new Airs micht be sene,
Gif this Air war gane.
And sa belyue but pley to counsall be applyit
Caus it was the commoun weill he durst not deny it
Bot ȝit his first Quenes desyre, in sum part past by it
That to the court the chyld brocht, quhair he was sair inuyit
The Empreour not knew
Ze ken of auld this trew Tal [...]
Nyce is the Nychtingale
The Empreour gaue hir credrence hale
And neuer word trew.
Quhen wemen speikis fairest thay ar maist fals found,
Thay gar sweit li [...]our swym aboue, and g [...]ll is at the ground
Thay shaw thame lyke ane turtill dow, and bytis as ane hound
The Empreour was dessau [...]t sair, as sone was efter found
Thay war ay and salbe
Sa quesitiue baith nicht and day
The Empreour culd na g [...]it say nay
[Page 24] Bot men suld not trow that thay say
Sa oft becaus thay lie.

¶ How the seui [...] Maisteris efter the [...]icht of the Em­preouris Letteris wald first se the cours of the Firmament and Planetis, quhidder it was gude to obey his cōmandement or not.

ALS sone as yir seuin maisters had ouirsene
The empreours writ, & vnderstude it clene
On the nixt nicht, all seuin with ane consent
Past to espy the sternis and Firmament.
To tak Jornay gif it was prosperous
Or contrair way, gif it was dangerous.
For to fulfill the Empreouris command,
Or gif thay durst the samin to ganestand.
Anone thay spy into the Firmament
Ane stormie sterne that troublit thair Intent.
Persauing weill be the sterne gif that thay
Thair Jornay tuke, and raid that sam [...] day
To thame affirt, be the Empreouris command
The Childe but dout in greit perrell suld stand,
For the first word that he spak in presence
Of his Father in oppin audience,
Suld be the caus of his greit schamefull deid
This to eschew thay culd find na remeid.
Quhairof thay wa [...] all sad and wounder sorie
And wi [...]t not weill to trauell or to tarie,
Ane vther sterne than thay beheld also,
Schawing to thame to the King wald not go
And keip the day, quhilk was affixt thame to,
To wāt thair heids, thair was nocht ellis ado
Ane of them said quhair twa Illis dois appeir
Lat vs that tak quhairin lyis leist dangeir.
[Page 25] It is better surelie I say for me
For this Impire that we all seuin suld die,
And vther seuin ūclicke as we ar all
Or this ȝoung man suld suffer ouy thrall.
Thairfoir [...]at vs all seuin with ane Intent,
Our awin personis to the Empreour present,
And let the Chylde at ha [...]e alone remane
To se giue we, tary or cummis agane.
And sa thay war all seuin richt sorrowfow,
Pan [...]ing alwayis, quhat meane fassoun or how
Thay micht eschew this Inconuenient.
Sa this ȝoung man come doun Incontinent,
Fra his Chalmer, quhair he was studiand,
His seuin Maisteris all sittand thair he fand.
Richt sorrowfull, and sad in countenance,
He them Inquyrit, quhat was the cau [...] & chāce
Of thair sadnes, thay said this standis the cace,
We all beleuit till had of ȝow solace,
Blyithnes and Joy, and also gude rewaird,
Bot now Fortoun hes bene to ȝow sa hard,
That all sit thing to greit wanhap will turne,
Quhairfoir we all hes greit [...]aus for to murne,
For all our Jo [...], and our Felicitie
Is like to turne to greit aduersitie.
He said Maisters I pray ȝow to me schaw
How the case standis, ȝit ȝe will lat me knaw.
Thay said the case that we can schaw to ȝow
Into the self is wonder sorrowfow,
For ȝour Father the Empreour and King
Unto vs seuin hes se [...]d ane schairp wryting,
Commanding vs withouttin tarying
On pan [...] of lyfis that we ȝow ti [...]l him bring,
Juroutment at the nixt Penthecoist,
[Page 26] Thir his wrytingis he hes send at the poist,
To quhat effect, we knaw not his Intent.
Bot we all seuin hes spyit the Firmament,
The Planetis elk and als the sternis cleir,
And we can se na vther thing appeir
Bot haistelie without ony remeid,
And ȝe speik a [...]s ȝe sall thoill suddand deid.
G [...]f we delay, and bring ȝow not him till,
Our deid is dicht, and in ȝour Fatheris will▪
The Childe answerit agane richt humblie
I sair repent that sic ane thing suld be.
Can ȝe not find in that case na remeid
Bot outher I. or ȝe to suffer deid?
Zit I mon pas and all the sternes spy
Gif I can find ony remeid thairby.
That may put of that deidlie dolent hour,
And satisfie my Father the Empreour.
Incontinent he veseis ouir his buikis,
Sin [...] efter that vnto the sternes he luikis.
Amanxg the rest ane proper sterne he saw▪
That was richt cleir perfite and wonder smaw
Quhairby richt weill considderit he the cace,
G [...]ue that he culd abstene seuin dayis space
Fra all speiking and hald him self as dum
[...]uir si [...] perrell he clenelie suld ouircum.
And axll thair lifis in na perrell to be,
Quhilk sterue he leit all his seuin Maisters se.
And said Maisters behald and weill persaue,
Giue I my self as dum man moste me haue.
Seuin dayis but speich, sine on the auchtand day
All the perrell I sall auoyde away.
And ȝe ar seuin of all the warld maist wise,
I think it is bot ane small Interprise,
[Page 27] Ilk ane of ȝow to saue my life ane day,
Quhen that is done, than sum thing I sall say,
That ȝe and I fra all perrell salbe
The Maisteris s [...]uin concludit perfitelie.
All that he said was wonder Just and trew,
For be the sterne the sa [...] weill thay knew,
And randerit thankis to Potestatis diuine,
That thair Scoller had sa perfite Ingine,
Of cleir cunning, sic ane sterne to considder
Quhairby that thay suld all be saif togidder:
And out of dout, and all danger of deid,
Seuin dayis put by, him self to find remeid.
¶ The first Maister, Pantillas was his Name
Said that he suld vnder the vane of schame,
For the first day befoir the King to stand,
To saue his life partlie he tuke on hand.
Quod Lentulus, quhilk was the nixt Doctour,
I tak on hand ȝour life for to succour,
The secund day, and sa said all the rest,
Thair day about, sa lang as seuin did lest.
This being said, all seuin with ane consent,
Thay cled this Childe in ane new abilȝement,
In goldin clais, as effeirit his estait,
Sine lap on hors and fordwart maid the gait,
To Romes toun, with all the speid thay had
For to obey as the Empreour thame bad.


IT war w [...]ill done or we our veyage tuke
Or ȝit Jornay outher be sey or land
Upon the sternis and Firmament to luke,
[...]if that veyage with godlynes dois stand,
And in na sort that it brek not command
Of God alone, nor do him na offence,
The sternis I me [...], to be mannis conscience,
As thir Doctours, or thay to Jornay went
The Firmament thay wald first pas and spy,
Quhair thay persauit ane greit Impediment
Be diuers sternis appeirand in the sky
For to remane. schew thame gude caus and quby
The Kingis Precept alluterlie to gane stand,
Zit sum remeis the Chyld him self he fand.
God him grantit, and sic grace to him gaue
To fynd ane way that thay all saif micht be,
By his Maisters, ane proper sterne persaue
Qubilk all the seuin culd not persant nor se
Quhair by thay micht thair Jornay pas saiflie.
Conditionally sa that he culd be dum
Unto the space, seuin dayis war gane and cum.
Quhairfoir we all map be richt wonder sure
The grace of God to na man is obstant
As to the riche euin siclyke to the pure,
As to the auld eum sa to the Infant
His treasure is to all sa aboundant,
Sa ample geuin sa Liberall and fre,
To thame it seikis with all humilitie.
As the Griffoun, and als the greit Boshalk
Is at all tyme of wyng maist wonder wicht
Unto [...]hair pray na kynd of bird will balh.
Zit than the Sparhalk is als swyft of nicht
As the Griffoun, and als schairp of hir sicht
Will catche asweill sic birds as scho bes vse
As the Griffoun will catche to him ane Buse.
Buin sa ane Page or ȝit ane ȝoung Prentys [...]
Quhen thay ar bot laitlie put to the werk
Be quick Ingyne studie, and gude seruice
He may preuaill his Maister at the merk.
Euin sa did this, ȝoung man and cunning Clerk
Persaue ane sterne, quhilk his Maisters outrsa [...]
Howbeit thay war langer leirit in the Law.
It is oft sene ane sober simpill man
To ane greit man ane counsall our may be
Be Goddis grace, perchance asweill he can
Giue gude counsall, as thay of greiter gre
[Page 28] Quhilkis ar vplyfrit into Authoritie,
For quby the Bic that is richt walk of wing
Hame to hir Hiue sweit hony scho will bring.
‘¶ Breuis in volatilibus est apis, & initium dulcoris hunc fructus illius.’Ecclesiast. xj.

¶ How the Empreour raid to meit his Sone com­ming fra the studie, with greit Pomp and Pryde.

AND sa as thay had enterit to veyage
The Poistis ran with all haistie Message
To Romes toun and tauld the Empreour
That his ane Sone, with all haist and laubour
Was cumming hame, on hors the reddy way.
His Fatheris will and Precept to obey.
Than his Father Incontinent gart call
His greit Princes, and vther Lordis all,
And bad thame be in reddynes Ilkane,
He wald ga meit his Sone Dioclesiane.
The seum Maisters perfytelie sa knaw and
The Empreour, with his Court was cūmand.
Unto the Childe all in ane voce thay said,
We think it best sum danger to auoid,
That we all seum pas into the Citie,
And ȝe fordward pas with ȝour companie.
In the meane time, that we may all prouyde
Sum help, that may put by this towter tide,
And we sall do all that we can or may
For ȝour supplie, Ilk ane to keip ane day.
The Childe answerit as ȝe will plesis me,
Remember ȝit on my necessitie.
In greit danger I wait that I will stand.
Thairfoir think on quhat ȝe haue tane on hād.
Thay take thair leif at him sorrowfullie.
[Page 30] Sine all thay raid toward Romes Citie.
Sa fordwart come Dioclesiane rydand,
And lukis on far saw his Father cumand,
And as thay met, of his hors lichtit doun.
To his Father he maid him reddy boun,
Kneland on kne with all obedience,
Sine his Father with lufe and reuerence,
About his neck oft times he tuke and kist,
That he was dum his Father ȝit not wist.
My awin deir Sone ȝe ar welcum he said
Of ȝour weilfair I am richt wonder glaid.
How is it with ȝow I pray ȝow lat me knaw,
For it is lang a foir sen I ȝow saw.
Thā this ȝoung man ful richt manlike & meik
Bowit doun his heid, & nathing wald he speik
Quhairof his Father meruellit gretumlie
That he agane answerit not Instantlie.
Zit he compast into his mynde agane
Be his Maisters, that he was sa constrane
And commandit, that he suld speik nathing
He on horsbak, be ony way ryding.
Sa hame thay come, out throw the greit Cieti [...]
Of Romes toun, with greit Solemnitie.
Quhill thay come to the Empreours Palice
Quhair that thair was mony antick deuise.
And of thair hors beliue thay lichtit doun
With greit triumph honour and als Renoun,
The Father led his Sone in be the hand
Into the hall, quhair mony was bydand,
And set him doun besyde him at the deis,
The Heralds bad sone silence all and ceis.
Than Sone he said, now ȝe will speik to me
Zour seum Maisters, how do thay tell lat se?
[Page 31] How dols ȝour self, for it is lang ago
Sen I ȝow saw, the suith it is eum so.
Ze ar welcome to me with hart and minde
Sa than the Childe his held he did Inclinde,
As he wald say, I thank ȝow Father deir,
Quhat euer he thocht thair was na man miche
Quhairat his Father meruellit gretumlie heir.
And in ane part he lukit crnestlie,
And said tell me, withoutin mony sawis
That ȝe speik not, the maner and the raus.
He answerit not, bot bowit doun his heid,
The Empreour saw that than was na remeid,
He pansit in minde, of his Sone not content,
Sa the Emprice gat word Incontinent,
Quhairof scho was wonder Joyous and glaid
To hir Ladyis with merie minde scho said,
Now will I go Dioclesiane to se,
Quhairfoir that ȝe my best clething bring me.
And sa anonc scho weut doun to the haw
Quhair that beliue Dioclesiane scho saw
Upon the deis besyde the Childe sat doun
Is this ȝour sone my Lord suld bruik ȝour croū?
And hes bene reichit with all yt seuin Doctouris
He is to me welcome with all fauouris.
He is my Sone the Empreour said agane,
Bot he speikis not, quhairof I am not fane.
I knaw na thing how it is fallin be chance,
Be Deuilrie, or Godds Ordinance.
Bot all the time to me sen he is cum
I heir nathing bot alwayis he is dum.
Scho said my Lord delyuer him to me
Gif euer he spak, that ȝe sall heir and se
I sall him faus with wordis fair and meik,
[Page 32] That I dout not bot he will to me speik.
The King said go away with hir and rise
The Childe he rais on his maist humbill wise,
Inclining law with all Obedience,
To his Father randring gude Reuerence.
To the Chalmer with the Emprice he went,
Bot I beleue it plesit not his Intent.


THAT it is writtin weill we knaw
Into the Buke of Exodie,
Quhen God to Moyses gaue the Law
In Mont Sinay that hill so hie
Into that Buke thair find may we
Amang the ten Commandements
That we obedient suld be
And hald in honour our Parents.
Sa did this Chylde quhen that he saw
His Father be the way cummand
Doun of his hors he lichtit law
On his kneis tuke him be the hand,
Als quhen his Father gaue command
Hun for to speik, he bowit his heid
with humbill hart to him menand
I dar not speik for feir of deid.
Sit thing his Father na way kend
Bot quhen the Quene come in presence
Jucontinent he bad him wend
with hir to Chalmer, and go hence
The Chyld with all Obedience
Past at command howbeit he knew
That it wald caus ane greit Offence,
Kend weill that race that he wald rew.
Euin sa we suld be all and ane
To our Parents Obedient,
And giue our awin be deid and gane
The Principall ay, is remanent,
That is our Father all Potent
[Page 33] [...]e feidis vs with his haly hand
Than lat vs set our hadl Intent
On our best way ke [...]p his command.

¶ How the Emprice led Dioclesiane to hir Chal­mer for to mak merines, quhilk ap­peirandlie he withstude.

THE Emprice than sū Ladyis callit hir till
Sayand this is my vtter minde and will,
That ȝe prepair my Chalmer and my bed
With Silk badkins, that it be weill ouirspred
And all the hous weill houng with Tapestrie,
Thay said Madame, as ȝe bid sa sall be.
Than the Emprice tuke Dioclesiane
Be the richt hand, and to Chalmer is gane,
And causit auoide all the Chalmers anone,
Nane baid thairin bot thay twa thame alone.
Scho thocht not best nane vther thair suld byde
And set him doun befoir hir awin bed syde:
And said to him thir wordis in ane part
O best belouit Dioclesiane my hart:
Oft times I haue hard speik of ȝour bewtie,
Zour wit, wisdome, and ȝour greit courtasie,
Zour greit vertew or euer I ȝow saw,
I couet ȝow muche baith to se and knaw,
I am richt blyith my sweit Dioclesiane,
That we twa now ar sa secreit alane.
I wald haue giuen within this ȝeir ago
Ten thousand pound for to haue had it so.
And I am glaid that now I may behald
The samin thing that my hart alwayis wald.
And I haue causit ȝour Father for ȝow send
To that Intent, and for that fynall end,
[Page 34] That I may haue of ȝour bodie solace,
And now sen we ar heir in secreit place,
For without fauir I say to ȝow planel [...]e
I haue keipit my clene virginitie
To ȝow trewlie, vnto this present hour
Notwithstanding ȝour Father the Empreour
Hes maryit me, ȝit I wald not consent
In that behalf to fulfill his Intent:
Bot at all tines hes waitit vpon ȝow,
Quhairfoir of me ȝe tak ȝour plesure now:
And speik to me, and lat vs go to bed,
Sen I my self now thairto hes ȝow led.
Quhat euer scho said, quhat euer scho did or wro rht
For al hir talk ane word he answerit nocht
Scho seing that, to him scho said agane,
O my sweit hart, and gude Dioclesiane,
I sweir ȝow heir, be Peter and be Panil,
In ȝour keping ȝe haue my lyfe and Saull.
Quhat is the caus to me ȝe will not spetk?
Schaw me of lufe sum takin I beseik.
For as ȝe knaw I am ane ȝoung Lady,
And to performe ȝour will am heir reddy.
Sa in hir armes diuers times scho hynt.
Him to haue kist, to his mouth maid ane mynt,
He turnit his heid, and wald not thole hir kis
In hir a win minde (quod scho) quhat thing is this
That to this man profferis my bodie,
And be na way he will consent to me.
Diorlesiane my onlie lufe sche said
Sen that my lufe sa firme is on ȝow laid:
Quhy do ȝe this, to be to me vnkynde,
Knawing richt weill ȝe haue my hart & mynde
And thair is nane that may persaue or se,
[Page 35] Quhat that is done into this hous bot we.
Thairfoir grant me the thing that I ȝow [...]raif,
And ȝe thairfoir my Madinheid to haif,
He wryit his face away and his visage.
For bena way he lykit hir langage.
Persauing than that scho culd not obtene
His lufe nor fauour, bot it denyit cleue.
Scho said my lufe, and sweit Dioclesiane
Behald my Payis, behald my quhyte breist bane
Quhilk heir I put in ȝour will & plesour
And clene forsaikis ȝour Father the Empreour.
For quhy he is baith febill waid and auld,
Lene of body and als of nature cauld.
In his ȝouth heid sa vailȝeant hes bene
That new in eild he is consumit clene.
That he skarslie may stand vpon his feit,
Quhairfoir to me nor sic he is not meit.
At ȝour plesure thairfoir my body tak,
He seing this, his heid he t [...]rnit bak,
That be na signe, nor vther countenance
Into na sort he wald do hir plesance.
But in sa far as he culd him remufe,
Scho micht persaue that scho wantit his lufe.
Quod scho agane, gif it plesis ȝow norht
To speik to me, nor ȝit schaw me ȝour thocht.
As may perchance be done for sum gude quhy,
Into that case, ercuse ȝow weill will I.
Zit not the les, I wald ȝe did Indyte
Upon paper, and ȝour minde to me wryte,
Ze pleis not speik, tak thair paper and Ink,
Beseikand ȝow to wryte me quhat ȝe think.
Gif efterward ȝour lufe I may obtene,
In secreit wise, that nane wait quhat we mene.
[Page 36] Sa the paper and Ink he did ressaue
And wrait as heir efter ȝe may persaue.
¶ O Lady fair I pray God me defend
Fra sic mischance that I se ȝow Intend,
Gif I defoull my Fatheris awin Orchaird,
My Fatheris Ire I get for my rewaird:
Nor I wait not quhat frute thairof sall spring.
And als I knaw richt weill ane vther thing
That Goddis wraith but faill sall fall on me,
Thairfoir at schort lat all sic folie be.
Prouoke me not na farther hidderto,
For I will schaw the mater gif ȝe do.
Als sone as scho the Cheoull had out red,
Under hir feit Incontinent it tred.
And syne agane with hir teith scho it raif,
Thairof the Tert, that na man suld persaif.
All hir heid geir scho kest it on the flure
Raif doun hir clais, and all hir riche vesture.
Raif doun hir hair, and skartit hir visage,
Quhill blude ran doun ouir all hir personage.
That all micht heir scho cryit with ane loud vo­ce
Fy help for schame, or I my life will lois.
This rude Ribald wald reueis me with schame
Persaue this Childe now giue he seruis blame.
Was neuer woman sen first the warld began
Sa cruellie drest, with ane vnfaithfull man.
That I lippinnit na harme suld to me done,
O ȝe my Lords, cum heir and help me sone.


NOW be this Tale ȝe may persaue
How mony wayis that wemen haue
At all times for to dissaue, ane Innocent
Into hir net, quhill scho him get, to hir Intent
With flattering wordis baith fals and [...]
Sic to reheirs wald fyle the Air
For schame nor sin thay will not spair thair mynd to schaw
Schame is past the sched of thair hair, as weill we [...].
To tempt this man was all hir mynde
And caus him to foull sin Inclynde
He wald not speik bot with ane synd, he wald forsaik hir.
Scho was the Deuillis wonder kynd, the foull Ill tak hir.
Scho lichtlyit hir awin Lord and King
With greit dessait and fals talking
Incontinent this Childe to bring to ane mischeif,
Fy Tratour that thocht sic a thing fy commoun theif.
Paper and Ink scho till him gaue
Thocht he was dum that scho micht haue
His vtter mynde and to persaue quhat he wald do,
Quhen scho it red, with feit it tred, now fy (quod scha)
Quben that scho saw scho culd not speid
Scho raif bir clais all into screid
With skarting causit hir fare to bleid, in greit dispyte,
Fy Trumpour that did sic ane deid, God will the quyte.
Quben scho had all reuin doun hir face
Scho cryit oft tymes full lowde allace.
Is thair na help in all this place, nor na remeid?
This Tratour strang▪ garsone ga hang, quhill he be deid.
He wald heir in greit velaine
Contrair my will deforcit me
As ȝe may all persaue and se, my bludie face
Beiris witnes weill gif sic thing be, into this cace.
Ze may persaue scho had na schame
To caus hir self get sit defaine
Siclyke ane Innocent bure blame, that was saclene
That tuke na cure, to be ane hure, and scho ane Quene.
Syne into euill sa done expert
Sa falslic culd the Tale peruert,
Quhilk was weill knawin sone efterwart as ȝe sall feir.
Quhat was baith Quene and Chylds part, saide maid cleir
O Doly Dragoun and doutsum Den
O glowrand gredie and gaipen Blen
O filthy desche fosterit in Fen, with greit offence,
O Tocatrice that will not ken, thy awin conscience.
O vyle Uiper maist vennemus,
O suttell Serpent Sulphurius
O hiddous pit pestiferus, now this I say the,
O dowbill Deuill maist dangerus, God saue me fra the.
In malice thow art sa frequent,
Sa mony euillis thow can I'nuent
Sa vicious and sa vehement, ay proue to euill,
Thow wald rin to get thy Intent, quick to the Deuill.
Fy on the soull flame fyre sa fell
Fy on the hiddeous hound of hell
Fy on the verray springand well, that ay was brokin,
That cairis not to condemyne thy sell, thy lust to slokin.
Fy on thy lust Insaciabill,
Fy on thy myrth maist Miscrabill
Fy on the lufe maist lamentabill, full of dispyte,
Zour chance is ay sa changeabill, clene I ȝow quyte.
Sen I ȝow se sa Inconstant
All vertewis me think ȝe want
Bot into vice richt aboundant, ȝe are profest,
And ay to rin, to schame and sin, ȝe think it best.
Sen ȝe ar geuin to ȝour plesour,
Not regarding ȝour awin honour
How sall men haue to ȝow fauour, thairfoir I quyte ȝow,
Ze ar not worthe, to be set forthe, the Deill bedryte ȝow.
To gude wemen not this I say
It is thair part baith nicht and day,
As ȝe haue hard befoir me say, with thame to chyde.
To this gude wemen will not nay, na ryme nor tyde.
Thairfoir I pray ȝow me excuse,
For euill wemen I can not ruse
Thair awin honour sa thay abuse, in alkin sort
Heirfoir thair companie I refuse, I sap at schort.

¶ How the Emprice complenit to the Empreour of the shame done to hir be his Sone Dioclesiane.

THE Empreour with his Lords in the hall
Hard the loud schout, and sorte preteous call
Of the Emprice all haistelie thay furth rau
Mony greit Lord, Knichts and gentilman.
The Empreour come first quhair y was y quene
And said Madame, quhat haue ȝe hard or sene
To do ȝow noy, anguische or displesour
O fy scho said heir is ane greit Tratour
Ze call ȝour Sone, bot ȝour Sone is he notht.
Had he bene ȝouris sic thing he had not wrocht
I wait it was neuer hard of beforne
In all this warld sen ony man was borne
That sic ane knaif sa hie thing to presume
As to defoull the great Emprice of Rome
Thairfoir my Lord sen ȝe ar Empreour
This mater maist rynds to ȝour greit honour.
Correct ȝe not sic thing and mak remeid
I reck nathing how sone that I be deid.
For gude causis to Chalmer I him led,
Sine like ane knaif he wald defoulit my bed
I chereist him with wordis of greit comfort,
To speik to me, I did him oft erhort.
On foull badrie his minde was onlie set,
Fra time he saw his willis he culd not get
At his plesure, he maid him me deforce
Contrair my will, and sa hes rent my Corce.
With effusioun of blude all aboundant,
And beleuing na vther thing Instant
Bot haistie deid, war not I gaue aue schout.
Considder weill gif I stude than in dout.
[Page 40] [...]e may persaue be my ab [...]ȝement
The treuth heirof how that he hes it rent.
The sin and schame of this harlot to fle
Ilk man map knaw how he hes done to me.
Thairfoir my Lord, as I haue said befoir,
I ȝow desire ȝe wald caus to restoir
My greit honour, and my worschip agane
That this Rebald fals Dioclesiane
Wald fra me rent forcelie aganis my will,
Or cllis ȝour bed I sail neuer cum till.
Quhen that the [...]ing this mater hard and saw
He was Inflambit with cruell Ire and gaw.
Malice wodnes, and greit Melancholie,
Was na remeid bot that his Sone suld die.
Callit Sergandis & gaue thame strait cōmand
On ane Gallous thay suld him hang fra hand
Thā said the Lords y stude the Empreour neir,
And pleis ȝour grace sum of our wordis to heir.
Lord as ȝe knaw, ȝe haue na Sonnis bot ane,
Quhairfoir we all hes greit caus to mak mane,
And gif ȝe had we think all verralie
[...]our present Sone war abill for to die.
Bot not the les with sa haistie Intent,
We think not best we say with ane consent
[...]our onlie Sone that ȝe sa sone put doun
Without ordour of Law or promsioun
The Law is maid to punische trespassouris
All geuin to euill and mischant transgressouris
And gif sa be that he be found the same
Than be ordour lat the Law him condame:
That [...]a man say that the greit Empreour
His onlie Sone in wodnes and furour
Without the Law hes put his Sone to deid,
[Page 41] Pleis ȝour greit grace to this mater tak heid.
The Empreour to sic wordis gaue audience,
And said my Lordis of me ȝe haue credence
Within this Realme to leid Justice and Law,
Thairfoir I will consent weill to ȝour saw.
And als I think it richt expedient
He be condampnit in ane plane Judgement.
Than command was to put him in presoun,
Thair to remane without ony ransoun,
Unto the time that Justice Court suld stand
Than four Jewellours ressauit him fra hand,
In deip presoun richt schairplie him Inclusit,
Q [...]hairin befoir the Childe was neuer vsit.
Now lat him sit, God couer him of cair,
Of the Emprice lat vs speik farthermair.
Quha perseueirit in malice and greit Ire
Aganis this Childe, as ony byrnand fyre.
As sone as scho had gottin trew knawledge,
That this ȝoung man was put in presonage
Not put to deid, sa suddanlie as scho wald,
Scho cryit, schoutit, and muriut monyfald,
That the Palice scho causit be all on steir
It was greit pane hir for to se and heir
Than hir Ladyis to hir Chalmer thocht best,
Hir to conuoy, thairin for to tak rest.
Quhē [...]ht was cum, ye King to Chalmer past
And fand his Quene weiping & murning fast
Wringing hir hands sobbing and siching sair,
The King was noyit to se hir mak sic cair.
To quhome he said, O my deir Lady gent,
Quhat is the caus that ȝe sa sair lament?
Scho said my Lord, knaw ȝe not all the [...]ace,
How ȝour curst Sone hes maid bludie my face.
[Page 42] And wald me put to vtter displesour
War not ȝour self, and vthers maid succour.
[...]e cammandit, him for to hang fra hand,
Zit not the les, on life he is leifand.
Nor ȝour command is not obeyit at all,
Nor ȝit my schame na way is maid to fall.
Quhairfoir my Lord, I think that ȝe stand [...]
Vpon ȝour Sone, to leid Justice and law.
Than to the Quene the Empreour can say,
Madame sa sone, the morne as it is day
All ȝour desire to fulfill and Intent,
He sall but dout thole Justice in Judgement.
Quod scho my Lord, sall he ȝit leif sa lang,
Quod he Madame, lat this ane nicht ouirgang
Than micht sic chance on ȝow cum haistelie
As on ane Burges come of this Cietie.
As it was schaw in the treuth vnto my sell,
Quod he Madame, I pray ȝow that to tell.
At ȝour plesure (quod scho) it salbe done,
Sa hir Sermone on this wise began sone.


ZE se this Quene be wayis wrang
Willing put doun this proper Chyle
Be curst consait and lesing strang,
To deid him to conuict and fyle
And als hir King persuaid, to trow all that scho said
With mony wrink, fals way and wyle
Bot ȝit scho was set by hir style, be gude counsall he had.
Quhilk causit him to prolong the tyme
Be gude counsall vnto the morne
Quhair thay best culd try out the cryme
And clen ge the caffe out fra the corne
It is gude to put by, ane euill hour sa say I
Or ane Innocent be forlorne
And he of sa greit lynnage borne, this is my caus and quby
For giue this Quene had gottin hir w [...]
The King had it repent it fair
Without tin counsall or gude skill
For to distroy his Sone and Air
Quhilk greit pietie had bene quhil the treuth had bene sene
[...]uengeance on hir euer mair
This Chyld that caryit in sic cair, And curst be sic a Quene.
Quhen thow ȝoung man cummis to gude age
Giue ony tune it chancis the
Be gift of God wit and knowlege
Ane chosm Judge than for to be
Giue ony fault be done, caus to correct it sone
Bot first that thow ba [...]th heir and se
The talking of the nixt partie, than thow thy wit adione.
Giue thair occurris caus or querrell
Be not to swyft to giue sentence
For thairin standis richt greit perrell
Dout and danger with negligence
Be the mater obscure, than thow suld be richt sure
Be witnes and Experience
Lat Ilk ane vse thair dew defence, euin to riche as to p [...]
Se thow vse ay ane gude Counsall
Of that be sicker at thy syde.
And sa lichtlie thow sall not faill
Quhat euer chance for to betyde
Gude counsall is the ground, quhair faithfulnes is found,
It can persaue and als prouyde
And fra all perrell for to gyde, within ane lytill stound.
For giue thow haistelie pronounce
Sentence ouir sone to riche or pure,
The same na way thow may renounce
Nor in na sort agane recure
Without tin [...]ak and shame, dishonour and defame
Thairfoir thow suld be wonder sure
That thow to na man do Iniure, or els thow seruis balme
Now to ȝow Judges I will say
Eschew fra wraith and greit furour
Lat mercy meis ȝour mynde alway
Lat ressoun reule ȝour greit Rankcour.
[Page 44] In na point be partiall, ȝour Ballance beir equall
Than do ȝe God ane greit plesour
And to ȝour self purches honour, and wynnis gude word of all

¶ To knaw quhat the Empreour, the Emprice, the ȝoung Chylde, and the seuin Doc­touris signifyis.

OR we proceid ȝit farthermair,
Of this mater sum thing will schaw
Quhat ilk thing menis for to declair
The mater better ȝe will knaw.
This Empreour that leidis the Law
He signifyis a mannis persoun
That walteris betuix wynde and waw
Into this warld ay vp and doun.
His Sone betakins the Saull of ma [...]
Quhilk in the corps is ay Inclusit,
The Emprice Signifyis Sathan,
Quhilk euer oppin malice musit.
The seuin Doctouris a seuin vertewis
Fechtand contrair seuin deidlie sinnis,
Quhilk that the sillie Saull persewis
Fra to distructioun it beginnis.
The seuin dayis this Childe is dum
Of mannis lyfe thay ar the space,
For in this warld fra he first cum
De nener hes perfyte solace,
Quhill that God tak him in his grace,
And forȝet all this warldlie lust.
Than speikis he to God face to face
Quhen that the Deuill he hes vincust.
Euin sa of this Emprice Tale,
Tauld for to tempt the Empreour
Trowand perfytelie to preuaill
And of this Childe to be victour
Tellis on hir Tale for his plesour
Of quhilk the Empreonr was content
As ȝe sall heir gude Auditour
Thairfoir to purpois lat vs went.

¶ The first Tale of the Emprice is of the gude tre that grew in the Burges Gardine, and for the Imp that grew besyde it he gart cut the greit tre.

IN Romes Toun remanit ane riche Burges
Quhilk had at welth all mirth and merines
With fair biggings, quhilk was baith braid & hie
With gay gardings, yat was plesand to se
Of alkin flouris he had thairin ane part
That was to get about in euerie art.
To tell thair Names I neid not now tak tome
Few was siclyke, sa plesand in all Rome.
In this Gardine thair grew ane Nobill trie
Quhilk euerie ȝeir brocht furth frute gude plētie
Sine by all this the frute that on it grew
Was sa done sweit, and of sa greit vertew.
Quhat man that had ony sair Maladie,
As is Liper, Erces or Popplecie.
Sa sone as he of this frute gat ane taist,
Of all seiknes he wald be haill in haist.
And sa it chancit vpon ane haly day,
This Burges went in his Garding to say
His Orisouns, and behalding this trie
Ane gay ȝoung Imp behynd it quyetlie
He saw growand, quhilk was proper and fair,
Incontinent he callit the Gairdnair.
He said gude freind se ȝe be wonder sure,
And of this Imp daylie that ȝe tak cure,
For I beleue to haue ane better tre
Of that ȝoung plant and better be sic thre
Nor is the auld, quhilk I can not auance
That pith Inlaikis, sap sapour and substance.
Howbeit this tre be far growin it abone,
[Page 46] The Gairdnar said. Maister it sall be done.
Within few dayis to schaw the for certane
To se this plant the Burges come agane,
Quhilk as he thorht, was not half sa plesand
As it was quhen, the first day he it fand.
To the Gairdnar he said how can this be
My tender plant, appeiris not to me
Half sa plesand, as it was the last day.
He said Maister, now tak tent quhat I say
Na wonder is, this auld tre is far mair
And fra the ȝoung takis all substance and air.
Be the ressoun the branches ar so braid.
Sa the ȝoung plant is sa vnliklie maid.
For gif this plant gat the substance and air
That this tre gettis, belyue it wald grow mair,
Nor is the auld for eild almaist is deid,
The Burges said thairof I wait remeid.
Cut doun the bewis and branches of the auld.
Quod he Maister, I sall do as ȝe haue tauld.
And sa he did, syne efter in schort space
To se the plant, agane come the Burges,
And saw richt weill, that the same tender plant
Sum neidfull thing it did Inlaik and want.
To the Gairdnar he said how chancis this
My tender plant it dois misthriue I wis.
Schaw me the caus thairof without lesing,
He said Maister. I suppois of ane thing,
That is the hicht of this greit growand tr [...]
Haldis away the Sone as thinkis me.
Quhilk geuis life, and nurisching but dout
Co alkin thing that euer grew thairout.
And als the rane it may not cum it neir
Quhilk nurischis also sum time of ȝeir.
[Page 47] Thir twa wanting, thair is na tre ean thrine
The Burges said, that sall we mend beliue.
Cut the auld clene, and quite doun be the rute,
For I suppone we sall get better frute,
Of this ȝoung tre, nor of the auld was had,
The Gairdnar did as his Maister him bad.
Cuttit the auld, and leit the ȝoung stand still,
Sa he obeyit his Maisters minde and will.
Efter schort time as this was done and wrocht,
Baith auld and ȝoūg perischt and come to nocht
Quhairof greit harme and dule come to the pure
For quha was seik, of thair helth thay war sure
Hauand recours vnto that Nobill trie
Quhilk to cut doun, it was ane greit pietie.
And quhen the pure persauit it was cut doun,
Thay curst waryit, with mony malesoun.
That ony way thairto gaue thair counsell,
Or helpit thairto thay quite condampnit to hell
For quhy the pure of all Infirmiteis
War ay weill cutit of all thair Maladeis.
Quod scho my Lord now haue ȝe vnderstand
Quhat I haue said, quod he that I warrand,
Quod scho the Mairch heirof I sall declair
The quhilk pertenis to ȝour vnsonsie Air.

¶ The declaratioun of this Tale tauld be the Emprice.

THIS auld tre is ȝour awin Nobill persoun,
That with counsall of ȝour Lordis of renoū
The pure and seik dois ay help and supplie
Be ȝour Justice and greit Nobilitie.
This ȝoung plant is, ȝour awin buthriftit Air,
Zow to distrop, he castis him euer mair
[Page 48] Be his cunning growand vp gre be gre.
As did the Imp behind the mekle tre.
And for to caus to cut the branches doun
Quhilkis ar ȝour Lordis nixt ȝour awin persoū
That he may ring and sit into ȝour chyre,
This is his mynd that he dois maist desyre,
Of this mater than quhat sall efter fall
All the folk sall murne, weip schout and als call
And wary thame that cuttit doun the tre,
Quhair that thay wont to get help and supplie
Or gaue coūsall this ȝoung Imp for to nurische
Bot it distroy or it bure frute or flurische.
My counsall is thairfoir the Imp cut doun,
Sen ȝit ȝour self ringis in ȝour hie Renoun.
And suffer not the ȝoung Imp for to grow,
For he sall do daylie that euer he dow
Zow to distroy, and ȝour body put doun,
And purches not the Maledictioun
Of the pure folk quhome to ȝe war saifgaird.
Thairfoir in haist tak ȝour sone furth of waird
And but delay, on Gallous gar him hing,
Ze doing this, ȝe do lyke ane wise King.
The Empreour said, Madame now be the rude
Zour counsall is, baith hailsum, wise and gude
The morne he sall go to the deid maist vylde,
Howbeit he be my onlie gottin Chylde.
The morne become, he callit his Lordis all
Togidder past vnto the Justice hall.
The Empreour him selfsat in Judgement.
On pannall put his Sone Incontinent.
And sa at schort he was condampnit to deid,
To be hangit, on Gallous but remeid.
With mortall sound than passand him beforne
[Page 49] Of rrumpet, schawme, & als of blawing horne.
As the vse was quhen ony man suld die,
Suld be conuoyit with siclyke menstralie.
And as he past doun throw the greit Cietie,
The pepill murnit, sayand it was pietie,
The onlie Sone of the Empreour to hang
Mony murnit, mony thair hands wrang.
In meane sesoun as he past doun the streit.
His first Maister Pantillas culd him meit.
The Maister saw he was to Gallous led,
With speid of Spurris, to the Palice him sped.
To quhome the Childe sa sone as he him saw,
Doun with his heid than he Inclynit law.
As he wald said Maister gif ȝe be kinde,
Now in my neid, I pray haue of me minde.
For I am now, without ȝe get mercie
Condampnit heir, on Gallous for to die.
Ze may weill wit than he na tary maid,
Bot in all haist vnto the Palice raid,
Zit not the les vnto the Ministeris.
Prouestis, Sergands, Jewillours and Officers
He maid requeist, that thay suld haist nathing,
For he beleuit to get grace fra the King.
To saue his lyfe, he sall not die this day,
Than war thay glaid, to ȝow the suith I say.
All in ane voce the pepill bad him haist,
Sa without baid he raid as he war chaist.
At the Palice he lichtit of his hors,
Quha suld him dicht, he tuke bot lytill force.
Of the Empreour belyue he gat presence,
To quhome he gaue on kneis greit reuerence,
As him effeirit, to guhome the Empreour said
War not I will ȝour reuerence not degraid,
[Page 50] Ze and the rest richt sair suld puneist be,
For ȝour rewaird, ȝe serue na mair of me.
He said my Lord and pleis ȝour Nobill grace
Thā I haue spent richt Ill my seum ȝeiris space
Taking laubouris on ȝour sone day and nicht,
In gude doctrine him teichand as I micht.
Zit our laubouris at all we nocht regaird,
Bot beleuit weill to get better rewaird.
The empreour said thow leis Doctour but dout
First vnto the, sine to the rest about,
My onlie Sone weill speikand haill and feir
I delyuerit, now ȝe haue brocht him heir
With na maners, bot doytit, daft and dum,
And mair at tour to schaw the all and sum
Thocht he be dum sic thing mon cum on chance
Be Goddis will or his gude Ordinance.
Bot by all this he purposit quhilk was wors
My awin Lady, on maistres to defors.
And all hir face with hir riche Ornament,
In greit malice he hes all reum and rent.
Thairfoir this day he sall not faill to die,
And efter him thow and thy companie.
The Maister said with wordis mylde and meik
As for ȝour Sone ȝe say that can not speik.
The Lord of all that mater weill he knawis,
As ȝe sall knaw he is not dum but caus.
I traist in God the suith ȝow for to say,
Ane thousand him sall heir speik on ane day.
As for ȝour wyfe, my Lord quhair ȝe allege
Quhair that he wald, haue done to hir outrage
On treuth my Lord I sall schaw ȝow but weir
In companie with vs this mony ȝeir,
As is weill kend, continuallie hes beue
[Page 51] Sic thing of him was neuer hard nor sene.
Thairfoir gude Lord for ȝour greit reuerence
To sic voyde sawis gif not ouir sone credence.
For giue ȝe caus ȝour onlie Sone to die
For the fals wordis of ȝour wyfis vanitie.
On chance it sall far wors to happin ȝow,
Nor to ane Knicht, quhairof I sall tell now,
That for the wordis of his vane wantoun wife,
Gart him bereif his gay Grewhound the life.
Quhilk sauit his sone fra slauchter of the serpēt
Than said the King tell me furth that Legent.
Pantillas said than to his Souerane
Gif I sa did, than war my Tale in vane.
For or my Tale war all compleit but dout.
Of ȝour ane Sone the life may be put out.
And than my Tale for nathing it war tald.
Bot gif ȝour grace of ȝour greit mercie wald
Reteir ȝour Sone fra the Gallous agane,
Than I wald think my Tale war not in vane.
Thairfoir gif that ȝour Grace plesis to heir,
Ze caus ȝour Sone quhill the morne reteir.
That being done, than on the morne ȝe may
Do ȝour Intent quhen it is fair licht day.
The Empreour than schortlie to conclude.
With heuie minde this talk weill vnderstude.
And causit the Childe for to be callit agane
Vnto the morne in presoun to remane.
Than this Doctour richt plesandlie began
To tell his Tale but aw of ony man.


ICAN not say, bot nay, of this Burges
For till assay, alway, for gredynes
To cut his tre, wald be, of sic riches.
[Page 52] I say for me, that he, preuit fulischnes
And his was not witles, baith tre and frute he wantit
The gardner not saikles, to cut sa sone that grantit.
It was euill done, sa sone, to cut it doun
Thocht it aboue, con [...]one, waid not weill soun
With the ȝoung tre, to be, at diuisioun
I say for me, surelie, was na ressoun
I hard sit a lessoun, better to haue in hand
A bird in possessioun, nor twa in wod fleand.
Ane Dog I reid in deid, ane Collap staw
Passand throw Tweid, with speid, the schadow saw
That it was mair, larger, the flesche leit faw.
Of it was clair, euin thair, of flesche and aw
Thay vs [...]in hous and haw, qubat euer denner toist
Lat beif not fra ȝow draw, quhill that ȝe get ȝour roist.
Gif this Burges, sit case, had weill foirsene
Sic gredynes, doutles, than had not bene
That nobill tre, sa fre, sa fresche and grene
Sa sone to be, schortlie, doun cuttit clene
Greit couatice I mene, of this was all the caus.
As hes bene red and sene, into auid doctours sawi [...],
‘¶ Cupidites est radix omnium malorum.’Timot. vj.

¶ Ane reproche or reprufe to the Emprice.

NOW thow thy tale hes tauld, with thy fals fyrie lippis
Bot not gottin thow wald, licht skirt for all thy skippis
Had I the in my grippis, on the I suld be wrokin
The heit into thy hippis, the salt sey will not slokin.
Thow art ane baird full brokin, ane hiddeous helles hyrd,
Better thow had not spokin, condampnit Deuillis byrd.

¶ The Tale of Pantillas the first Doctour.

INTO ane Realme thair wynnit ane vailȝeāt knicht
Of nobill fame, of greit riches & micht
That had ane sone, my Lord now as ȝe haue
To thre Nuresis to foster he him gaue,
The first Nureis to giue him suck and feid,
[Page 53] The nixt him wesche, & keip him clene at neid.
The thrid to bring him vnto sleip and rest,
The Nobill Knicht for his barne thocht it be st.
This Knicht also he had ane gay Grewhound
That nane mair swyft, did rin vpon the groūd
Also he had ane Falcon fair of flicht,
Richt swyft of wing quhen scho likit to licht.
Thir twa the Kincht lufit abone measure,
Becaus oft times thay did him greit pleasure.
This Grewhound was sa swift and of sic speid
Quhen he was lousit his pray he gart ay bleid
And the same pray brocht to his Lord anone,
This was ane caus he [...]fit him allone.
Also quhen that this Knicht past to battell,
Gif that his chance that time wald not preuaill
Into his mouth his hors taill wald he tak,
About his luggis, oft times he wald it srhaik.
Syne ȝoull and cry, as he wald quyte rin wode
Sa be that Signe, the Knicht wrill vnderstude
Gif at that time he wald furder dr [...]o,
And sa oft times lest him to battell go.
His Halk also was safeirce in hir flicht,
Sa swyft of wing▪ and als sa wonder wicht
That scho was neuer east of till assay,
Bot without fault scho brukit ay hir pray.
Thir war causis this Hound and Halk he lufit,
Becaus to myrth thay rasit him oft and mufit.
Also this Kniche kest all his haill Inteut
In hors rinning, Justing and Tornament.
Sa on ane day he causit to protlame
At his Castell, to set fordwart his Name
Quha wald cum thair to Tornay or Justing,
Breiking of speiris, and als of hors ryn [...]ng.
[Page 54] At the set day, to be matchit suld not fai [...],
This was the cry, and sa to schort my Taili,
The Knicht him self first enterit in the feild
To the tornay, with harnes hors and s [...]heild.
Sine efter him past his fair Lady gent
With hir Ladyis to se the Tornament.
Sine efter that, past all the Nuresis thre
The Tornament for to behald and se.
Lokking the dures, leuing the barne alone,
Traisting Ischie nor entrie suld be none:
Quhill the Tornay, and Justing suld be done
Than in all haist, thay suld returne richt sone,
Beleuand weill the barne not to awalk,
Nane being thair, bot the Hound and the Halk.
And the ȝoung Chylde, that in the Creddill lay
Except thir thre, the rest all past away.
That na man knew, lay lurking in the haw
Ane greit Serpent befoir na man did knaw.
Quhen scho persauit the hous sa desolait,
And nane thairin that durst with hir debait.
Out of hir hole sone scho put furth hir heid
At this Infant hauand ane cruell feid.
Quha lay sleiping in the Creddill alone,
Him to deuoir, at schort sa is scho gone.
The Falcon this behalding quhair scho sat,
Upon hir Perk, to do scho wist not quhat,
Bat with hir wingis scho russillit & rang hir bel lis
Almaist scho had al schakin yame in schellis
Sa with the noyis & beir quhilk maid the Halk
This gud hound rais, and of his sleip did walk
And quhen he saw that the Serpent did creip
Towart the Creddill, quhair that the barue did sleip
With ane fell faird on the Serpent he ran
[Page 55] And sa at schort thir twa to fecht began,
Sa cruellie, that it was greit meruaill
Quhilk of the twa at that time suld preuail [...]
Ane to deuoir the vther to defend
Thir twa at lenth togidder did contend.
Sa lang at lenth thir twa togidder faucht,
Amaist the hoūd al quyte had loist his maucht.
Sa cruellie he was woundit in blude,
That all about quhair that the Creddill stude,
Was blude berum, that meruell was to se,
Betuir sit twa sa bauld bargane to be.
The Grewhound than persauing his awin blu de
Into his hart wor sa cruell and wode,
With ane fell faird vpon the Serpent ran.
Sa thame betuix ane new bargane began.
With sic malice, melancolie and Ire,
Quhil ane was deid, yat nane of yame wald tire
Nor leif the feild, quhill it chancit at the last,
Betuix thame twa, the Creddill ouir thay cast.
With boddum vp, and on the Toris it stude,
Quhair it was all about berun with blude.
Sa it become, and fell be Goddis grace
That the four Toris sauit the Childis face.
And sleipit still with visage toward the ground
Thir twa fechtand the Serpent and the hound
Quhill at the last the hound into certane,
This fell Serpent he hes ouircum and slane.
And sauit the Childe fra perrell in that tide,
Quhen all was done, doun be the Creddill side,
Licking his woundis lan doun this nobil hoūd
For fechting fair and sa on sleip fell sound.
Besyde this Bab, qu [...]lk in the Creddill lay,
Nane in the hous, bot onlie thir same tway.
[Page 56] The Bab sleiping, and [...]is [...] na kind of Ill,
The hound werie, and foch [...] furth his till.
The Serpent slane, as I said ȝow befoir,
The Babie saif, and the hound woundit soir.
And so anone efter this tornament
Ilk man woman vnto thair ludgeing went.
To tell that day quha wan the Interpryse,
That erand now to my mater not lyis.
Thairfoir as now that thing I wil lat be,
And lat vs speik of the Nuresis thre.
Quha first come hame and enterit in the haw,
Sa sone as thay the blude and creddill saw.
Wringing thair handis and ryfing doun thair hair
Crying allace wo on vs euer mair.
Our onlie Childe our Bab and fosterbarne
Is quyte deuoirit, with ane Dog and forfarue.
Allace for wo, allace quhat sall we do,
We ken na place for succour to rin to.
Giue our Maister perchance vs apprehend,
Thair is nane may fra his handis vs defend.
Bot alway sall on vs cum suddand deid,
We knaw na way quhair we may find remeid,
Sen sa is cum lat vs in haist all thre
To saue our life, but baid away to fle.
Euin sa thay did, and left the hous alone,
But mair counsall all thre away is gone.
And had na wit nor wisdome in thair heid
To se quhidder the barne was quick or deid,
Nor lift the Creddill, and to persaue the cace,
Bot ran away all thre crying allace.
And as thay war sa passand furth the streit,
Thair awin Maistres thay thancit for to meit
With hir Ladyis cumming fra the [...]ornay,
[Page 57] Scho persauing hir Nuresis in the way,
Richt sair murning and ryfing doun thair hair
All wo begane, repleit of sturt and cair.
Sone scho Inquirit at yame how stude the cace
Thay answerit hir a thousand tunes allace.
Quhat sall we say for wordis to multiplie
Thair is na bute all man the case may se.
Aue Deuill Madame into ane Doggis skin
Hes slane ȝour Sone, alone ȝour hall within.
To the quhilk Dog my Lord gaue maist delite,
Bot now he hes of ȝour Sone maid ȝow quite.
In takin ȝit quhair that the Creddill stude,
The Dog sleipis still new bathit in his blude.
He was the Dog that my Lord lufit best,
He was na Dog, bot with ane Deuill possest,
Thairfoir Lady, for vs is na remeid,
Bot outher fle, or ells to bide the deid.
Thairfoir Madame of vs ȝe haue mercie,
This is the caus that causis vs to fle.
This scho heiring, anone fell to the ground,
Without mair space into ane deidlie sound.
And ȝit at last Ladyis gart hir awalk,
Held vp hir heid, quhill scho began to talk,
And said allace, my deir Sone art thou slane.
Sall thow neuer play on my kne agane?
Sall I neuer with my Pay se the play?
Allace how sone art thow sa went away.
Sall I neuer the lauchaud on me se?
Allace how is the dolour chancit me?
Quhairin I had my onlie maist plesour,
Saifand my Lord, baith be tide time and hour
Is now but dout, with ane Dog clene deuorit,
And neuer agane to the life be restorit.
[Page 58] Quhat sall I say, this is ane cairfull cace.
My onlie Sone is deid and gaue allace,
Sa scho murning in greit dolour and wo,
The pepill about, that seing did richt so.
Murmt richt sair, and of hir had pietie,
In sic dolour, that Lady for to se.
In the meane time the Knicht fra his Tornay.
Reteirit hame, and sa saw be the way
His aw [...] Lady, lamenting in dolour,
Requirit the caus of all hir displesour.
Scho sayis my Lord, allace and euer mair
I can not speik for greit dolour and cair,
Is happ [...]t vs ane wonder cruell cace,
Our Sone is slane, for euer mair allace
With ȝour Grewhoūd quhome yt sa weil ȝe lufit
Now all that lufe on ȝour Sone he hes prufit.
He hes him slane, in Creddill quhair he lay,
[...]our Nuresis all thre ar fled away.
And ȝit the place quhair that the Creddill stude
[...]our hound lyis sleiping in ȝour Sonnis blude
This ȝour Grewhound withoutt [...] helpis ma
Our onlie Childe all quite hes tane vs fra.
Quhairfoir my self vnto the hour I die
Sall neuer eit, quhill I reuengit be
Upon ȝour hound, quhilk hes my ane sone slane
Nor in ȝour bed sall neuer cum agane,
Quhill he be deid that gart my ane Sone die,
Bot wo allace, this is na mendis to me.
Howbeit it be ane syithment to my hart,
[...]it my greit wo it slokins in sum part.
Thairfoir my Lord, gif ȝe think it be done,
Without delay, gar sla ȝour Grewhound sone.
The Knicht heiring thir sorrowfull tidance
[Page 59] How to his Sone had fallin sic mischance.
Hamewart in haist but baid he maid him boun
And in the clois quhen he was lich [...]it doun
The Grewhound hard horsmen into the clois,
Amang the laif he knew his Maisteris voce,
And vp he rais in the blude quhair he lay
To his Maister the hie gait come his way,
Faynt and foirfocht, come fawnand to his feit
As he had wont, his Maister for to meit.
Into greit Ire, quhat is thair mair to say,
With his scharp sword he claif his heid in tway
And that onlie for ane word of his wife
Gat his rewaird, that sauit his Sonnis life.
Than past the Knicht but baid vnto the haw,
Persauit the blude, and als the Creddill saw.
He liftit vp the Creddill as it stude,
Fand the barne haill, and als mekill spilt blude
Persauand sine of the Serpent the heid,
The skin and taill, that had fochin to deid.
And fand his Sone withouttin wan or wound
Allace he said for my gude gay grew hound.
That I haue slane withouttin ony caus,
Bot onlie for the voide vane wordis and sawis.
Of ane woman, that hes talkit in vane
Quhairthrow I haue, but caus my Grewhoūd
Quhilk I persaue hes sauit my sonnis life slane
Fra the Serpent, throw his debait and strife.
Wo to the hour that now I drew my sword,
Wo to the hour that hard my wifis word.
Wo to the hand that suddand straik that gaue,
To my best hound that my so [...]s life did saue
Quhilk I lude best, without ony compair,
Saifing my wife, my onlie Sone and Air.
[Page 60] Quhilk at this time hes sauit fra the deid,
And for rewaird, now he hes loist his heid.
But dout I wald haue geuin a thousand pound
Of gude money, or I had slane my hound.
Bot sen sa is I se is na remeid.
My Sone is saif, and my gude hound is deid,
That faucht for him, and onlie sauit his life,
And I him slew throw ane word of my wife,
Bot fra thine furth heir I solempne ane vow.
That Jik man sall gif credence to and trow.
Heir I forsaik all Tornay and Justing,
Heir I forsaik all Halking and Hunting.
Heir I forsaik rynning with scheild and speir,
Heir I forsaik all faitis of men of weir,
In Cristindome bot ȝit not manlynes,
Heir I forsaik all armour and harnes.
For I will pas now to the Halie land,
And fecht with Jowis, quhill I may strike or stand
Contrair Gods fais & thairto end my life
This vowit yis knicht for ane word of his wife
That vnto hir gaue sic haistie credence,
Withouttin caus or ȝit Experience.
Thairfoir my Lord ȝour gude Grace I require,
Gif not sa sone credence to the desire
Of ȝour Emprice, thocht scho be diligent.
Aganis ȝour Sone greit lesingis to Inuent.
For ȝe may weill be this same Tale persaue
Quhat the knicht gat that sa sone credence gaue
Vnto his wife, and to hir wordis vane,
That sauit his Sone yt same hound hes he slane
Thairfoir gude Schir, & pleis ȝour nobill grace
I wald ȝe gaue na credence in this cace
Vnto ȝour Quene, to put ȝour Sone to deid,
[Page 61] For ȝe will rew quhen thair is na remeid.
As did this knicht, his Nobill hound that slew
Remeid bypast, than he began to rew.
My Lord he said, haue ȝe betane this Taill.
The Empreour said, that I haue done but faill
For that gude Taill that ȝe haue tauld to me,
As for this day, my Sone he sall not die.
The Doctour said gif that ȝe do sir thing
Ze do wiselie, and like ane Nobill king.
Thankand ȝour Grace, that onlie for my saik
Zour Sonnis deid, onlie ȝe haue done slaik.
And sa tuke leif at the gude Empreour
To his marrowis past hame with all plesour.


THIS Tale vs tellis, quha list thairto tak tent
That Nuresis suld not be negligent
To keip thair Babis quha can not keip thair sell
Fra fyre, watter, and all siclyke perrell.
That may happin to ony Innocent.
For in to treuth my self this mater saw.
In Edinburgh toun west vnderneth the waw
Thairfoir mair sure the mater ȝe sall trow.
That ane Infant was swellyit with ane sow.
The guttis raif furth, baith lung Leuer and gaw.
The Mother left the ȝoung ane on the flure
In blankets sit, quhilk barne hir awin self bure,
Past hir way furth, and or scbo come agane
The gredie sow had this ȝoung Babie slane.
This my self saw, I may say it mair sure.
Thothe I not saw this vther I hard tell
How ane woman past furth bot to the well.
And left hir Bab, in the Creddill sleipand
Or scho returnit, the hous was all byrnand.
And the ȝoung Bab, deuorit with fyre sa fell.
Mony mischeifis and also greit offencs
Des oft occurrit be Nureis negligence,
That thair Babeis leifis in the hous alane
Quhilk is the caus of mony barnis vane.
As is oft sene be gude Experience.
Thairfoir Mothers and Nuresis I protest
Quhen that ȝe put ȝout ȝoung Babeis to rest
Leif not the hous alane all desolait
Quhat may be chance oft times richt small ȝe wait
To cshew danger do ȝe the liklyest,
Als in this Tale I fynd ane vther thing.
How the Serpent lay in the hoill lurking
Wait and quhill that the hous was at quyet
Mony seruand is now preuilie play is the Dyet
Muche taking out, and small gude will inbring.
Thir to Serpentis richt weill I may compair
Fra thair Maisteris ay takand lait and air
As Beif, Bacon, malt, meill baith claith and coilis.
Takand ay out, and hydand into hoils.
Thir ar Serpents I say to ȝow but mair.
As to this knicht, quhilk his gude hound hes slane
That sauit his Sone fra all perrell and pane
Ze may persaue be gude Experience
It is not gude to gif haistie credence
To wyfis wordis, that ar baith fals and vane.
Unto the tyme thay had perfytelie sene
How the haill caus and mater it had bene.
Quhen thay had [...]nawin the vtter veritie
Than had bene tyme the Dog to haue gart die,
Also the Nureis na way I can mak clene,
Sine throw the word of ane vane wickit wyfe,
Quhilk oft is caus of mekill sturt and stryfe.
Causit him to do the thing he did sair rew
Becaus the treuth that tyme clene he misknew.
And gart him reif fra his gude hound the lyfe.
Quhilk Instantlie for suik rynning of speir,
All merynes, and honest fait is of weir,
[Page 63] All vailȝeant acts of Justing and Tornay
Hunting Halking, and all sir game and play
His awin Realme als, for euer mair forbeir.
Ze Maryit men tak heir Experience,
And siclyke als perfyte Intelligence
Fra haistie word is of ȝour wyfis to eschow
For thay will say, and gar ȝow traistlie trow
Quhilk is not worth ane schelfull of credence.
O wickit wicht, thow dois all that thow can
With fals Ingyne, euer to tempt the man
Quben maist he makis him self for to distroy
Than art thow blyth, then makis thow mirth and ioy
Wa worth thy wit, thy banis he may sair ban.
Waryit woman that ay castis thy Ingyne
Thy awin marrow euer to put to pyne.
Sa thow obtene thy foull lust and plesour
Not regarding na way thy awin honour.
Quhilk thow not cairis for ane auld, trump to tyne.
Curst creature, and also shameles seid
Ane honest turne I can not of the reid,
Excepting ane that bure the vlysfull byrth
Quhilk with his blude brocht vs all to greit myrth,
To pray to him doutles thow had greit neid.

¶ Ane laude and praise to the Doctour that put of the perrell of the first day be his Tale tel­ling to the Empreour.

OPANTILLAS with thy sweit suggurit toung,
Quhilk in greit Realmes and Kinrikis hes bene roung,
And now at laitto this gude Empreour
Quhilk sweit sentence thow hes baith said and soung
And fra all dout and danger doun hes doung
The Empreouris greit and ring and feirce furour
Quhair throw thow hes procurit sum succour
Vnto the Chylde, on Gallous suld bene houng
Had not thow bene, God thank the gude doctour.

¶ The secund Tale of the Emprice.

TO the Emprice word past Incontinent.
That the Kingis sone had not tholit Juge­ment
Quhē scho that hard but tary scho fell doū
For sturt and noy, into ane deidlie swoun.
Quhairof word come vnto the Empreour,
That his Lady had tane sic displesour.
And sa anone fast hidder he him sped.
Fand hir richt sair murning into hir bed.
Sa he Inquirit at hir quhat was the caus
Scho said my Lord, thair is anew that knawis
Quhat eirdlie schame, dispite and displesour
Done be ȝour Sone, and to my dishonour.
Quhairof I can be na way get remeid,
And ȝe promeist this day he suld be deid.
Bot w [...] allace I dout richt wounder sair.
It fall ȝow chance as did a [...]e Hird and Bai [...],
The Empreour said Madame I ȝow Inquir [...]
That Tale to tell, for it is my desire.
To heir it tauld be ȝow the suith I say,
Quod scho my Lord I tauld ane ȝisterday.
Of it followit richt small effect or nane
Quhairto suld I ane vther tell agane.
Now beit thairto that ȝe gif gre [...]t credence,
To set it furth ȝe mak richt small defence.
Zit not the les at this time I will tell
Now with ane Bair and Scheiphird it befell.
VPON a time thair was ane Empreour
Of greit wisdome, greit puissauce & honour
Ane fair Forest he had plesand to se
Baith gay and trim, with mony semelietre.
Quhairin thair was rinning ane grit wild bait
Baith day and nicht he maid thairin repair.
[Page 65] All kind of folk that this Bair micht ouirta.
Without merci [...] he did douoir and sla.
Sa that nane durst out throw the Forest pas,
For dout of deid, the way sa perrellous was.
Quhairof the King was heuie in his minde,
That his pepill was slane on siclike kinde.
With ane dum beist deuorit to the deid,
And be na way thairof culd get remeid.
In his Impyre, ane cry he gart proclame,
On his behalf, Authoritie and Name.
Quha wald debait or bauldlie tak on hand
With that brym bair in battell for to stand,
And him vincus be strenth of stalwart straik,
His aue douchter he suld haue to his maik,
Efter his deid, his Realme as he war Air,
This he suld haue, quha euer slew the Bair.
This was proclamit throw his Kinrik and lād
Bot nane was found, the deid wald tak on hād
Ercept ane Hird that in him felf [...]uke he [...]d
Micht I this Bair quod he bring to the deid.
Not o [...]lie I, bot all my k [...] also
Suld throw that deid bruik euer waldlie Jo.
And euer mair in estimatioun be.
Sa I had hap to gar that dum beist die.
Quhilk I sall do or ells to lois my life,
Se I that Bair, we salb▪ at the strife.
And sa he tuke his Scheiphirdis staf in hand.
Past to the wod, quhair he the Bair sone fand.
[...]e may persaue how sone the Bair him saw,
Without delay toward the Hird did draw,
With sic ane faird and als ane felloun feir.
The silli [...] Hird durst neuer cum him neir
To saue his life, to se gif he had hap,
[Page 66] But mair debait vp in ane tre he lap.
Incontinent quhen that the Bair sa saw
The tre to bite began and als to gnaw,
Sa that the hird was sair feirit in ane part
That the tre crop he suld gar turne dounwart,
Bot ȝit the hird bethocbt him on ane wile,
Now that he suld this brim bauld bair begile.
It chances sa, this tre was laidin fow
Of Nobill frute, quhilk ay the hird did pow
Quhilk he kest doun ay to the Bair to cit,
Quhairof the Bair was blyith that he gat meit
And fillit him so that he list weill to sleip,
The hird that saw, and doun the tre did creip.
Be that ane arme he hang into the tre.
With that vther the Bair richt quyetlie
Upon the wombe richt softli [...] can he claw,
The Bair sleiping persauit w [...]ill he saw.
At the tre rute, the Bair quhair that he lay
With his Braig knife his throt [...]uttit in [...]way.
Sine brocht his heid vnto the Empreour
With all blyithnes, triumph and greit honour,
Saying gude Schir, and pleis ȝour nobil grace
Zour greit w [...]ld bair I haue him killit throw race
Not douting bot, ȝour cry ȝe will fulfill,
Ze causit proclame with ȝour counsall and will
Quhat euer he was, that wald kill ȝour wilde Bair
He suld mary ȝour douchter and ȝour Air.
Quhen all ȝour Court refusit the same to do
With ane stout hart I set my mynd thairto.
And now on case the same man chancit am I
And I desire ȝour Grace fulfill ȝour cry▪
The Empreour said, all that I causit proclame
Compleit I not, it is to my defame.
[Page 67] Quhat suld be mair, thair he gat till his wage
The Empreours douchter, & Realme in heritage
Quhen the Empreour past fra this mortall lite,
The haill Impire he bruikit and his wife.
And sa the Hird on bak he clew the Bair,
Quhairthrow he gat the kingdome euer mair.
Quod scho my Lord, haue ȝe not vnderstand
Quhat I haue said quod he I tak on hand.
Quod scho my Lord ȝit than it war ua skaith.
Thocht I ȝow tald the Tale and sentence baith

¶ The Declaratioun of this Tale.

THIS michtie Bair betakinnis ȝour persoun,
Throw quhais greit micht, wit wisdome and ren [...]un.
This haill Impyre ȝe gyde and als defendis
And punishes quhat persoun that offendis.
This Hyrd I may to ȝour Sone weill compair.
That ȝow wald sla, as this Hird did the Bair.
With his cunning dois claw ȝow on the wame,
Quhill that ȝe sleip, and syne put ȝow to schame.
Or ellis ȝow slay, outher be day or nicht,
This ȝour Sone dois be his Science and slicht,
That he may bruke baith ȝour Impyre and Croun
He cairis nathing quhat cum to ȝour persoun.
Euin sa his Maisteris with thair fals fenȝeit sawis
Dois ȝow ay glois, as all the warld weill knawis
Thairfoir my Lord as ȝe will haue weilfair,
Remember weill on the Scheiphyrd and Bair,
Than said the King, God forbid that sa be
That chancit the Bair, that sic thing chance not me.
Bot not the les, Madame for ȝour gude Taill,
My Sone the morne salbe hangit but faill.
My Lord (said scho) gif ȝe compleit that thing
Than sall ȝe do lyke ane wyse Nobill King.


CVRAGE prouokis hardynes,
Quhilk twa Ingenneris strang manheid
Quhilk twa adionit with happynes
Makis a man debait his pleid,
[Page 58] Richt sa into this cace. this Scheiphyrd did purches
The fair Madin als sweit as meid,
With all hir land and gold sa reid, God grantit him sic grace
Auenture gude and haue ay gude, for debait ma [...]is destanie
For euin with this scheiphird stude, outher to do or els to die
He was sa stont and sture, of his lyfe tuke na cure,
Thairfoir wald thow estemitit be, set all on auenture,
And for to purches honestie.
To dignitie wald thow the dres, and conqueis the honour
Thow suld not sleip in Idilnes, nor tak all thy plesour
Set all on ser and seuin and perchance cast eleum
With prayer sa and gude laubour, a man may cōqueis beuin
Denu [...]ing the of all rankour.

¶ Ane reproche to the Empri [...]e.

THE crukit compansouns of ȝour wylde Bair
Will win ȝow na warisounis, to ȝow I declair
Of hell thow art the snair, plutois playfule in plane
In hell than hald the thair, and cum not heir agane
Bot still their ay remane, to be houng be the hals
Into perpetuall pane, becaus thow art sa fals.
THE morrow come, and but mair auisement
The Empreour set him self in Judgement.
Condampnit his Sone on Gallous for to die,
Without respect, that alkin man micht se.
He being led out throw the streit and toun
With greit regrait, and sair lamentatioun.
The nixt Maister come than the way ridand,
And saw the Child to the Gallous gangand.
Quhairat he was baith sad and sorrowfow,
Bot ȝit the Childe to his Maister did bow,
Inclynit his heid, as he wald said him to,
Maister mak speid, ȝe ken quhat is ado.
The Maister than prickit sa in that stour,
Quhill he lichtit befoir the Empreour,
With reuerence, as weill culd him effeir,
[Page 69] And at his Grace richt humblie culd he speir.
O my gude Lord quha geuis ȝow this counsell
Withouttin caus ȝour awin sone doun to quell
It is ȝour wife that siclike garris ȝow do?
Perchance ȝe sall vpon war hap cum to.
Thā chācit ane knicht yat throw his wifis fals
Was put to schame, wtout querrel or caus saw is
Than said the King, gude maister I require ȝow
Schaw me that Tale & blyithlie I sal heir ȝow
My Lord he sayis, will ȝe gar call agane
Zour onlie Sone, quha is to suffer pane,
I sall ȝow tell my Tale furth to the end.
And sa the King agane for him did send.
Put him in waird quhair that he was beforne,
Quhill that the Tale was done and til y morne
Sa the Maister the secund Tale began
Befoir the King, and mony Nobill man.
As ȝe sall heir, thairfoir gif audience,
But mair delay, and to ȝour reuerence.

¶ The Tale of the secund Maister.

IN ane Cietie thair was ane Ancient Knicht
That had maryit ane Lady fair and bricht.
As ȝe haue ane, my Lord to ȝour plesour
And held hir vp in all eis and honour.
Lufit hir sa weill, aboue all eirdly thing,
Sir as ȝe do ȝour Quene my Souerane King.
He lude hir sa, he culd not eit nor drink
But hir presence, sa on hir ay did think.
And als at euin quhen all folk to bed past,
The ȝettis and dures siclike he lokkit fast,
And all the keyis vnder his heid thay lay,
Euerilk nicht quhill morne that it was day.
[Page 70] And at ilk morne quhen he thocht time to rise,
Oppinnit the dures him self as was the gise.
In that Cietie was ane custome and Law,
Cryit oppinlie that Ilk persoun micht knaw.
At ane set hour ane Bell was roung at nicht,
That all micht heir, and vnderstand full richt,
And thairefter withouttin mair delay
The watche was set to walk quhill it was day.
Sine efter that, gif thay culd ony meit
Gangand allone, or walkand on the streit.
Sone thay war tane, and vnto presound led,
Quhill on the morue that all men rais fra bed,
Thay war fast bound to ane stock or ane tre,
To thair greit schame, that all the toun micht se
Sine efter that, Induring thair lifetime
Thay war repute as giltie of ane crime,
And haldin furth fra all gude companie,
This was the Law that time of this Cietie.
This foirsaid Knicht quhairof I spak of air,
Was growin in age, ane auld man and ane hair
His rampand rage of ȝouth he had compleit,
And had slokinnit of bedsolace the sweit.
How beit he lude his Lady weill aneuch.
Zit as ȝe ken, mair graith [...]pertenis the pleuch.
And scho persauit of sic craft he did faill
Scho tuke in heid ane vther to assaill,
And sa scho did, ane man of tender age
In lust is bour for to win vassalage.
Quha had ane quyer Chalmer in the toun.
Sa euerie nicht efter this Knicht lay doun,
Under his heid the key scho staill away,
To hir ȝoung lufe scho went quhair that he lay
And sa scho did, als oft as euer scho list,
[Page 71] Tuke furth the keyis that hir husband not wist
And quhen scho come fra hir tryst and hir trane,
Scho laid the keyis vnder his heid agane.
So it befell vpon ane wynter nicht
Ane walking come vpon this Elderin Knicht
He culd not sleip, ȝit walking as he lay,
He turnit about and mist his wife away,
Vpon hir Name he cryit ofter nor thrise,
Scho answerit not, than he begouth to rise,
Socht all the hous be na way culd hir find.
And wist not weill gif scho was out or in.
Socht his bed heid quhair that the keyis lay,
Quhat wald ȝe mair thay war all tane away.
Past to the ȝettis, all oppin he thame fand,
But mair auise he closit thame fra hand.
In ane windo that oppinnit vp to the gait
Mekill of the nicht thair sat he at the wait,
And quhen it was about the thrid Cok craw
Makand hir hame, his awin wife he saw,
Quha fand the ȝettis vpon hir lokkit fast,
Ze may weill wit that scho was than agast.
Neuer the les becaus the ȝettis was lokkit,
For to win in peirtlie thairat scho knokkit.
Than said the Knicht, O thow woman vnclene
Thinkis thow honour on streit now to be sene?
O wickit wife, and wofull waryit wicht,
Quhy hes thow now dissauit thy awin Knicht
Of quhom thow knew all hail thow had y hart
Of thy bawdrie now I am weill expart.
For this is not the first time thow hes done
Sic harlatrie, thow sall rew be ȝone Mone.
Quhill the watche cum thair still ȝe sall remane
And as Law will, thairefter thoill the pane.
[Page 72] Than said the wife, my Lord quth [...] say ȝe sa,
Quhair I was now thair was witnes far ma.
My Motheris Mand scho come and fetchit me,
Quhilk lyis richt seik, and is in point to die.
And than becaus I saw ȝow weill on rest,
To wakin ȝow I thocht it not the best.
That gart me steill the keyis fra ȝow away,
I thocht pittie to walkin ȝow as ȝe lay.
For quhy ȝe ken ȝe ar febill and auld
To walkin ȝow of ȝour first sleip ȝe wald
Bene seik the morne and wonder Ill disposit,
Thairfoir craib not, that ȝour ȝettis was vnclo­sit
And my Mother als is sa wonder seik,
Ane word to me, skarslie scho had to speik.
Anoyntit ellis, and maid hir latter will
And now my self hes haist it me ȝow till.
Thairfoir gude Lord I pray ȝow hartflulie
Tak na suspect, nor think na fault in me.
For I had neuer sic thing in my thocht
Sen the first time to ȝour bed I was brocht,
Nor neuer had sic thing into my hart
Nor neuer sall, quhill deid vs twa depart.
Thairfoir I pray, ȝe lat me not be tane
With the toū watche, heir standing mine alane
For now the hour approches wonder neir.
That the watche rise, & thay will find me heir,
Quhilk is to me ane euerlasting schame,
And als to ȝow it is ane greit defame.
War I gnltie or ȝit committit crime.
I wald witschaif ȝe held me out this time.
Than said the Knicht doutles ȝe cum not in,
For na prayer of ȝow nor all ȝour kin.
Qahill that the watche betak ȝow in the snair,
[Page 73] Than quhair ȝe war, to thame ȝe mon declair.
Than the wife said my Lord gif sa ȝe do
In greit defame of vs baith it cummis to,
And all our kin Alpa and our freindis,
And all vther that ather of vs pertenis.
Gif I he heir now with the toun watche found
I rather gif ane hundreth thousand pound.
Quod he Ill wife, and woman far defamit.
Thow hes sa done, yat thy self thow hes schamit
Far better war for thn fait puneist be,
And heir thaill schame, that all mankind may se
Nor for to thoill punischment efter deid,
In birnand hell, quhair thair is na remeid.
Than said the wife my Lord I ȝow require,
In this ane point to fulfill my desire.
Now for his saik that deit vpon the tre,
Thoill not sic schame sa saikles cum to me.
The Knicht answerit vnto his wife agane.
Ill wiekit wife, thy wordis ar all in vane.
Thow cūmis not in vnto the watches knaw,
And be puneist efter the cours of Law.
Than said the wife I persaue this is done
All for Juuy, and ȝe ar Inoportune.
Than sen sa is ȝe ar Impatient,
I will ȝow schaw in few wordis my Intent.
My Lord ȝe knaw at this ȝet standis ane well
Quhairin but dout now I sall drowne my sell.
Rather nor I and all mp kin be schamit,
And als ȝour self sall not chaip vndefamit.
Thā said the Knicht wald God yat sic had bene
Lang time befoir I saw ȝow with mine Ene.
Sa as thir twa togidder was at talk
The Mone wor dark and hid was vnder walk
[Page 74] Than said the wife, my Lord and be ȝour will,
That I heir bide, the same I mon fulfill.
Or I bide heir and for to schame my sell
Rather I sall be drownit in this well.
Bot I will do as ane gude Cristin wicht,
Aucht to hir Lord, and to ane Nobill Knicht.
Zit or I die my minde is and Intent
Befoir ȝow heir to mak my Testament.
Heir to the Lord first I bequyth my Saull,
My banis to ly in the Kirk of Sanct Paull,
As for my gudes, had I ten thousand pound.
Ten thousand ky gangand vpon the ground.
Als mony Plewis gangand vpon the land,
Als mony scheip as thairvpon micht stand.
I wald leif all vnto ȝour awin persoun,
Thame to dispone at ȝour awin diseretioun.
And gif ȝe pleis ony thing for to deill
Into Almus, for my weill and Saull heill,
That I refer to ȝour awin wit and will,
Quhat euer ȝe pleis, the same for to fulfill.
For weill I wait ȝe will do botthe richt,
I say na mair my sweit husband gudnicht.
As scbo that said, in hir armes culd scho tak
Ane mekill stane, and in the well did swak.
That being done, scho come richt preuilie
To the ȝet cheik, and stude thair quictlie.
The Knicht heiring the stane fall in the well,
Beleuit weill it was the Lady sell.
And said allace my wife is drownit but dout,
Sa in ane fray the Knicht come rinnand out,
And to the well he sped him but mair baid,
The wife that saw, in at the ȝet scho slaid,
And closit the ȝet richt wander sure and fast,
[Page 75] To the windo in haist scho culd hir cast.
In the meane time the Knicht stude at the well,
Murning richt sair and saying to him sell.
Wo be the hour that euer I was borne,
My lufit wife allace is now forlorne.
Wo be the hour that euer I closit my ȝet,
Wo be the hour in my windo I set
To spy my wife, quhilk I wait was saikles,
I am the wite now of hir deid doutles.
Allace allace now is thair na remeid
Throw wilfulnes of vs baith scho is deid.
The Lady hard, in windo quhair scho lay,
And to the Knicht with sturdit wordis culd say
O ȝe auld fule that suld be callit ane Knicht.
Quhat do ȝe thair standing this time of nicht,
Out of ȝour bed walking sa wonder lait,
Waitting ȝour hures and harlotis on the gait.
Micht it not serue my body at ȝour will,
Bot ȝe wald pas ȝour auld huredome vntill.
This is nichtlie ȝe vse the same passage,
Ze sall repent richt sair ȝour auld fulage.
The Knicht kuawing the voce of his awin wife
He was richt blyith that scho was ȝit on life.
Saying Lady weill is me euer mair,
Louing to God that I may heir ȝow thair.
For I beleuit ȝe had bene in the well,
Quod scho auld fule keip the out of it thy sell.
Thow seruis better for to haue punischement,
For thy baudrie, nor halie gaitis to went.
Quod he Lady lat ȝe sic langage be,
Quhat is the caus ȝe say sic thing to me?
Quhen I lockit the ȝet ȝe sall me trow
I did nathing bot to haue chaissit ȝow.
[Page 76] For in na wise I neuer did Intend
Zow to displeis, or ony way offend.
For quhen I hard the noyis into the well,
Vnto my hart thair straik ane cruell knell,
And in all haist ȝe saw as I come doun
Zow to preserue, that na wayis ȝe fuld droun.
Auld dosinnit Carll (quod scho) I heir the lie,
Thow was ouir peirt to Judge sit thing to me.
Bot I persaue this Prouerb is richt trew,
The Iniust oft the Innocent dois persew.
Thow leis to me, and hes done mony time,
Euer the gilt quhen thow committis the crime,
As thow dois now, that neuer to the faillit.
Bot thy greit slicht as now I haue assaillit,
And hes the tane into the sicker snair,
Quhairfoir but dout for me thow sall stand yair
Quhill watches cum and with thame to be sens
In times bygane ane auld fule thow hes bene,
That me lichtlyit, thy awin wife and disprsit,
And to thy hures ȝeid oft times disagisit.
And euer hes done, sen first time I the kend,
All thy lifetime in lownrie thow hes spend.
Bot God will not lat sit vnpuneist be,
For mony fault thow hes done oft to me.
For he is Just, and will haue sit thing schawin
And I sall mak it vnto the pepill knawin.
Thairfoir stād still, thow cūmis not in but dout
Quhill the watches and al Nichtbouris about
Quhat ane thow art, thay may perfytelie knaw
And thairefter to bide the straik of Law.
Than said the knicht, Lady I haue meruell
To [...]uhat effect suld ȝe sit to me tell.
Ze knaw richt weill that I am auld and hair,
[Page 77] And in this toun I haue bene euer mair,
And weill I wait▪ quhair my name was procla­mit
Vnto this hour for na taus was defamit.
Thairfoir Lady for the gude Lordis Name
Thoill me cum in, and let me not tak schame.
Scho said ald fule thou spēds thy speich in vane
Thair sall thow stand, and thoil of law ye pane
Better it is to thoill heir patientlie,
Nor euer mai [...] in hell condampnit be.
Salomon sayis thre things that God dois hait
Ane pure proud man abone his awin estait.
Sine ane riche man in consuctude to lie,
And ane auld man ane fond fule for to be.
And sa but dout ȝe bruck thir vices thre,
Quhat neid had ȝe sa far to lie on me.
As for riches ȝe haue riches at will
Quhy suld ȝe than ȝour speiche with falset spill,
As for ane Fule, ȝe ar ane wonder touth,
For as ȝe ken the flour of all my ȝouth,
At ȝour plesure ȝe haue had euer mair,
Zit to baudrie ȝe ȝeid baith lait and air
Thairfoir God hes done wonder weill [...]ow till
Thocht ȝe contrair baith his command and wil
Hes perseuerit still in ȝour harlatrie,
Zit he will not thaufoir ȝe perischit be,
Bot leut ȝow grace ȝour sinnis heir repent
Thairfoir ȝe mon bide Law and Judgement.
Than said the knicht my Lady best belufit,
Howbeit God be contrair ane sinner mufit,
Zit not the les as all sinnaris suld trow,
God of his grace is to vs mercyfow.
Quhat time we will forbeir and als repent,
Than God forgeuis our sinnes Incontinent.
[Page] Thairfoir Lady sen sic grace God vs sendis
Now let me in, and I sail mak ane mendis.
Than said the wife with voice stout and austeir
Hence the harlot, quhair deill gar we this Freir
Talk quhat thow pleis, bot trewlie yu sall trow
Thow cummis not in, and heir I mak ane vow
And as thay spak thir wordis thame amang,
In the meane time the watches bell thay rang.
Than said the knicht, gude wife let ly sic things
Heir ȝe not now how that the watche bell rings
Suffer me not for euer to tak schame,
Quhilk is forsuith degrading of my Name.
Quod scho ȝe wait not quhat ȝone ringing me­nis
To the weilfair of ȝour saull it pertenis.
Thairfoir ȝe man tak all furth pacientlie
For ȝour pennance ȝe mon thoill opinlie
Ane trespassour but dout lang haue ȝe bene
To GOD and me, as fall be hard and sene.
In the meane time thir twasum as thay talkit.
Vp throw the streit the watches come yt walkit.
Sone into handis thay tuik this Nobil knicht
With greit meruell how he into the nicht
Vpon the streit durst furth of ludgeing be,
Thay to him said it was na knichts dewtie:
Considering weill the dout of Law he kend,
He was to bauld the contrair to pretend.
Scho heiring this with a loude voice scho cryit
O my gude freinds, the treuth now ȝe haue spyit
Of that Truikour, and als ane dotit Fule,
That his foule lust on na wayis he culd cule.
Bot vpon hures furth passing on the nicht,
Pans ȝe gif sic pertenis to ane auld knicht.
That my bodie at plesour had all time,
[Page 79] Considre now gif he committit crime:
Wit [...] hures all nicht, and [...]g in at morne
Bot of sit faulus I haue him oft forborne.
Beleuing ay sit faultis he suld haue mendit,
Bot ȝe may se gif he hes now offendit.
Thairfoir gif ȝe of sic hes correctioi [...],
Conforme to Law ȝ [...] pun [...]is his persoure
That sit auld deuili [...]s as he sa lang hes bent
Tak [...]rampili of him befoir thair en [...].
For he hes bene to me ane gr [...]t tratour,
I wait sit ane ȝit neuer maid natour.
Than the warches [...]uik him Incontinent
To deiy presoun with him in [...] thay went.
Quhill day was sicht, and [...] the Sour [...]rais,
With him the watche vnto the [...] ga [...]s,
Schawing to him the fassoun to the end,
How on the [...]cht thay did him comprehend:
And how to thame his wife sit plaintis maid,
Incontinent the Prouest but mair baid
To ane pillex [...]ude in [...] of the str [...]it.
Gar [...] set him vp fa [...] [...] hands and feit,
That all the pepill within that gre [...] [...]
To his greit schame maid him that all micht se
And sa this knicht but [...] fault defamit,
Was throw his wife sa saikles euer schamit.
The Dortour then said hu [...] the [...]ing,
And pleis ȝour grace ȝe haue Vnderstanding
Quhat I haue said, th [...]preour said riche weill
Zour Sermone hes sentence sa haue I seill.
The Ma [...]ster said it sall worse happin ȝow
Nor chácit this knicht for treuth yis ȝe sal trow
Gif that ȝe do for the wordis of ȝour wife.
[...]ut doun ȝour sone, and reif fra him his life.
[Page 80] The Empreour said that wise was far to blame
That hir husband put to sic oppinschame,
And he sa [...]kles the foull Ill hir betide.
Scho was the worst, that ȝit did gang or ride.
And for that Tale that thow hes tauld to me,
This day but dout my Sone he sall not die.
The Maister said my Lord ȝe doing so
Within few da [...]s batth plesure and greit Jo
Of ȝour ane Sone ȝe sall haue Schir but faill.
Sa this Maister quhen he had tauld his Taill,
Thank [...] the King of his benenolence,
Sa tuke his leif, and hamewart is gone hence.


ALL cunning Clerkis that culd in storpis wryte
Be all thair craft culd neuer ȝit Indyte.
The greit mischeif be wemen done to me [...]
The tratuor displesour and dispyte
Heirschip, Qauchter, the greit sorrow and syte.
At lenth to wryte it tyrit thair pith and pen.
Thay war sa budge and vglie as ȝe ken
The teynd thair of thay culo get neuer endie
Becaus to men sa oft thay haue offendie.
Of thame quhat sayis the greft Philesop [...]
Arestotill, and als that ding Doctour
L [...]cero and Salomon said sum part
For all his wit, greit riches and honour
Thay cau [...] him be ane greit Idolatour.
And fra greit God gart him turne all his hart.
Si [...]lyke Uirgill that was sa done expart
In [...]ll ane treill thay hang him ouir the wa [...]
[...]o his greit shame, that all the pepillsaw,
Arestotill qubilk was the A persie
Of naturall wit, and greit Philosophie.
Thay brydillit him as he had bene ane hors
Samson dissauit be greit subtilitie.
[...]uhat gat Dauid for all his Prophesiet
[Page 81] [...]ow ȝt may [...] nouther wisdome nor for [...]
Dow not resist the curstnes of thair cors,
Aneuch heirof quha [...]ykis to reid Bowei [...],
And quhair he wantis, ȝit sum thing sapis [...]
Thairfoir I say I think it na meruell
This gentill Knicht, quhome of our tale we tell,
Considdering he was sa auld and hair
Dissauit was be this hochlop of hell
With sa greit slicht kest the stane in the well.
Allace, allace, and wo for euer mair
Scho suld eschaip gifthan I had bene thair
To helpit hir, that fyrie brand sa fell
Hir to haue drownit, my handis thay suld not sp [...]
Scho makand fault, and he alwayis faultles,
Scho at hir game, and he alwayis gyitles,
Scho being fals, and he sa traist and trew
He being firme, and scho alway faithles,
Did him accuse of that Ilk deid doutles
Quhairin hir self was gyltie weill scho knew
For all his speiche, nathing wald on him [...]ew.
Fy, fy, fals Femids, and furius hell Furnes
In bitter gall turnes all ȝour game and glew.
Now Schiro persaue hir [...]icht and subteltie
Quhen he sl [...]pit scho staill away the kie,
Quhair scho plesit past furth to hir plesour
Quhen scho come hame sa loude as scho culd li [...]
Saying hir Mother was in point to die
With mony wordis dissemblit vnder cullo [...],
Forgit with falset, lurkand for displeso [...]r.
And syne at schort how scho maid hir Testment,
O mer [...]y God, heir is ane fals Intent.
O subtell schrew, and verray Sathans seid
Imp of the Deuill, cairis nouther Cors nor Cre [...]
Tyner of treuth, with toung Intoricat
Belgebubis barne, Infernall byrnand gleid
With fenȝeit fair thy feiris weill can thow feid
And flattering wordis fulfillit all with dissait
Lynit with [...]esingis, lawtie gais by ȝour gait
Net of the Feind in vengeance ȝe awant ȝow
Baner of baill, the Deuill he dow not dant ȝow
[...] men in tyme keip weill ȝour [...],
[...]ow ȝe may ken sic wemens properteis,
Qubat mercy, grace, or gude deid thay wil grant
Gif ȝe desyre at thame ony suppleis.
Than sall thay mak to ȝow ane thousand it is.
[...]ow to obey at euer abstant
Quhat thay wald haue, that thing thay will not w [...]
It that thay s [...]tu [...] giue thame the Spanȝe fleis
That may setue weill sic ane vnsons [...] Sanct.
Quha can excuse this dowhill Deuillis [...]
Sic ane fals trik sa trymlie playit to hun
Scho in the fault, and he sa Innocent
Fy bitter Bitche, hauld byrnand Bair sa br [...]
Thy clene conscience to heuin wil gar the clim,
Or doun to hell euer be permanent
In P [...]utois Salice thair to be President
[...]ang that graceles g [...]risoun sa grim,
[...]reit pietie war thow suld be thair absent.
For quhy thow can sa weill ane lesing cle [...]
Turne vp syde doun, ay to tht awin effect
Thocht of thy Tale ane worde be neuer trew,
Le [...]inge to [...]ain [...], thow takis bot lytill tek.
And the blameles to put ay in the blek
And ma [...] fyue blak of that was neuer blew
Of an [...] trew taill thow can weill change the hew
Thairfour I pray the deuill to brek thy [...]ek.

¶ Ane louing to the secund Doctour.

GOD thank thee Doctour for thy dayis wark
Thow hes thee schawin ane Nobill cunning Clark,
The innocent hes succourit throw thy Taill,
L [...]t the Emprice now bluster, bleir an dbark
For at this time scho is put by hir mark,
Trai [...]ing in God that scho fall not preuaill
Bot [...]tl wait againe scho sall assaill
The Empreour with sum storie sa stark,
Bot hir vain wordis sall hir nathing auaill.

¶ The thrid Taill of the Emprice.

THE Emprice hard how all the mater ȝeid
And how the Childe was not ȝit put to deid
[Page 83] For verie sturt in hir minde was richt wo
It was maist like hir hart to brist in two.
To hir Chalmer than scho past sone within,
And thair began to skart and rife hir skin.
And cryit aloude that euer I was borne,
Into my Cude, sen I had bene forlorne.
I being Childe to ane sa greit a King,
That I suld thoill, and suffer sic ane thing,
As of ȝone Deuill, and ane rank Renigald,
Me to deforce, sa oppinlie he wald,
To my greit schame, and warldlie dishonour,
I being Quene vnto the Empreour:
And can heirof get na mendis nor remeid,
I pray to God gif I war fairlie deid.
Sa this was schawin vnto the Empreour,
How his Lady was [...] sic displesour.
Into all haist to hir Chalmer he went,
And said Lady, I pray ȝow not lament,
Sa Inwardlie, for it becūmis ȝow nocht,
Tak not sa far nouther in minde nor thorht.
Scho said my Lord, the lufe I aw to ȝow
Makis me mair sturt, in hart mair sorowfow
Nor displesour of ȝone dum Deuillis deid,
Thairfoir gude lord sa greit God mot me speid
The Inwart lufe that I vnto ȝow heir,
Sa causis me remaine still with ȝow heir:
Or ellis I had to my Father departit,
To my countrie, war not I am sa harti [...]
To ȝour behufe and plesure nicht and day,
That is the caus I will not pas my way.
For gif I did than ane caus it wald be,
Of greit discord, and Inammitie:
Betuix my Father and ȝow for euer moir,
[Page 84] This is the caus I will not pas thairfoir.
For weill I wait he wald reuengr my querrell,
And to conqueis, put all this Realme in perrell.
For my father he is ane puissant Prence
Of diuers Realmes, and of greit Reuerence.
Wist he trewlie of my greit displesour,
I wait he wald Incres sa in rankour,
That this countrie for that suld sair repent
That is the caus fra him I me absent,
For ȝour plesour, and ȝit ȝe will not trow.
That I wald do sic plesure vnto ȝow.
The Empreour said Madame be weil Inclind
Lat sic malice remoue out of ȝour mind,
For sa lang time as God will len me life,
I think neuer to faill to ȝow my wife.
My Lord said scho, I pray God ȝe leif lang,
Howbeit that I thus leif in threip and thrang.
Bot I dreid sair and heuilie I feir,
That it chance ȝow that chācit this hinder ȝeir
Of ane greit Knicht and of his Sone alone,
Efter the time that his Father was gone,
Throw suddand chance departit to the deid
Zit his awin Sone wald not burie his heid.
The Empreour said, that was ane felloun feid
The Son [...] wald not burie the Fatheris heid.
That exempill I pray ȝow to me schaw
Scho said my Lord will ȝe tak tent and knaw
It sall do ȝow greit gude I tak on hand,
Quod he schaw furth, and lat me vnderstand.
Sa scho began with all erpeditioun,
As scho best culd to say furth hir Sermon.
IN this Cietie that now is callit Rome,
Quhilk in pai dapis was heid of cristindome
[Page 85] Thair dwelt ane Knicht, the suith ȝow for to say
Had bot ane Sone, and he had Douchters twap
This Knicht was geuin to Halking & Hunting
Greit Tornamentis, and to swift hors rinning.
To merynes and all kind of plesour,
That micht hald vp and furth set his honour.
Sa euerie ȝeir sa greit riches he spent,
Quhilk thrise ouircome his Rentall and his rent
Quhairthrow than grew to him skant of riches
His daylie cheir, and expens did decres.
In that meane time thair was ane Emprour
Octauiane. ane man of greit honour,
Quhilk in riches, sa richelie did abound,
That his compair was not vpon the ground.
That in so muche, he had in his treasoure
Of Gold siluer, the quhilk fulfild ane Towre.
Quhilk gold & Towre, thocht he it had at large
To ane greit Knicht to keip he gaue in charge.
This vther Knicht quhome of we spak of air,
That had spendit his rent and mekill mair.
On Idill gammes, as Hunting and Halking.
Lait sitting vp, and out of time spending.
To sic pureteth, he grew and greit thirlage,
That he behuid to sell his heritage.
He callit to him his Sone quhilk was his Air,
And all the case to him he culd declair.
This is the case, but dout my Sone [...]aid he,
I am compeld, sa with greit pouertie,
That I on force, and neid mon sell my land,
Except remeid cum at sum vther hand,
Quhairthrow I may, Induring my life dayis
Leif honestlie, this to his Sone he sayis.
For gif I chance to sell my heritage
[Page 86] Ze ken my douchters wil want gude Mariage
He said Father, gif sa it with ȝow standis
That ȝe on neid, analie mon ȝour landis,
At ȝour plesure, quhairof I am content
Do as ȝe pleis, for thairto I consent.
The Father said, now I haue tane in thocht,
Ane gude consait, and tell it will I nocht
Bot vnto the, I knaw the Empreoure
Of Gold and rent he hes fulfillit ane Towre.
Lat vs twa pas, with Instrumentis be nicht,
And brek the Towre with sutteltie and slicht.
We sall obtene riches aboundantlie,
Sall vs vphald euer in honestie,
Than said the Sone schortlie to mak ane end,
Thair is na man that counsall can amend.
It is better tak fra the Empreour
Part of his Gold, his Siluer and treasour.
Than ȝe to sell ȝour land and heritage,
Quhairthrow ȝour barnis, sal leif ay in thirlage
Sa in ane voce thir twa did condiscend
To brek this Towre but tary thay Intend,
Sa on ane nicht with Instrumentis thay past
And throw the Towre ane hole thay gat at last
Wan to the Gold, at larges quhair it lay,
Furneist thame sekkis, and vnscryit come away
Payit all his dettis, and leifit als merylie
As of befoir, in alkin game and glie.
In Halking Hunting and in Tornament,
Quhil at the last the Gold was gane and spent.
In the meane time, the keipar of the Towre
Quhilk had in charge all this Gold & treasour
Persauit the hole, and the Gold stollin away,
He was sorie, and wist not quhat to say.
[Page 87] Into all haist past to the Empreour,
And schew how theifis had stollin his greit trea sour
The Empreour said, in Ire all angerlie
Quhat is y caus thow schawis sic thing to me?
To the I gaue, as to ane trew seruand
My Gold to keip, and that thow tuke on hand
At the agane I ask it to restoir,
As it becūmis, thow sall thoill panis thairfoir.
Quhen that this Knicht the Empreour sa hard say
He said na mair bot humblie come his way,
And saw thair was na mater to debait,
He vmbethocht him self of ane consait,
Thinkand richt weill that thay wald cū agane
To seik mair gold, to taint yame with ane trane
Befoir the hole ane Ewn he gart prepair,
Middillit with pick birdlime and siclike wair.
Sa thick and teuch, that quha thairin cū wald
Contrair tha [...]r will, yair still it wald yame hald
And nane micht cum into that hole agane,
Bot he moste neidis fall in that samin trane.
Not lang efter as I befoir haue said,
This vther Knicht, quhen the Gold spendit had
He and his Sone agane went to the Towre,
To steill mair Gold than fra the Empreoure.
Sa the Father first in the hole he went,
And in the Twn he fell Incontinent.
In to the nek, and thair stak as ane stane,
Considderit weill that his Fortoun was gane.
Said to his Sone cum thow fordwart no way,
For at this time, I am tane for the pray.
Cum thow fordwart thow sall not faill to die,
And nane of vs ane vther may supplie.
Than said the Sone, gif ȝe may not eschaip,
[Page 88] Than ar we baith but dout tane in the raip.
God vs defend Father that sa no be.
Bot at this time ȝe get sum help of me.
And gif I nocht may help ȝow now my sell,
In haist I will baith help and seik counsell.
The Father said I se is na remeid,
Bot with thy sword thow mon strike of my heid
And quhen thay find my deid body heidles,
Than sall ȝe all of this schame be saikles.
Sa nane sall knaw quhat persoun did this deid
Nor in quhais breist this bargane did inbreid.
Than said the Sone now Father be the Rude,
Zour counsall is baith honest Just and gude.
For gif sa chancit, in this case ȝe war knawin,
Siclike our schame till all men suld be schawin.
Sa suld we not eschaip the cruell deid,
Sa I think best that I smite of ȝour heid.
And euin with that, as he had said the word,
Out of the scheith anone he drew his sword.
His Fathers heid he hint of haistelie.
And in ane gutter he kest it neir hand by,
Quhē this was done thā past he hame his way
To his awin hous vnto his Sisteris tway.
Schew thame the case, and all the mater haill.
Quha sair did weip priuelie and bewaill.
Sone efter this the keipar of the Towre,
Quhilk had in charge the gold and the treasoure
Quhair the hole was, within the Twn he fand,
Ane heidles corps vnto the nek standand,
Quhairof he had baith meruell and dredour,
In haist he past and tauld the Empreour.
Incontinent throw all the toun than ȝeid,
How thair was found ane body but a heid.
[Page 89] Into the Twn the quhilk the knitht did set,
Quha staill the Gold, to tak him in the Net▪
Than to this Knicht the empr [...]our said but faill
Tak the deid corps and k [...]t to ane hors taill,
And draw it throw the streitis of the Cietie,
A [...]d persa [...]e weill quhair ony murmure be.
Ony sorrow, sturt greting or murning,
Than ȝe may weill p [...]saue quhair that si [...] thing
Be attayntit, quhait ony persoun murnis
Thay ar gyltie, and wait of siclike turnis,
And is principall, of that Ilk hous but dout
That staill the Gold, thairfoir seik weill about
Gifsi [...] ȝe find tak thame and all thair fellowis
Without mercy gar hang [...]ame on yt Gallowis
The Officers without delay thay went
And completit the Empreours commandment.
Quhen the Douchters the deid corps saw cū by,
For Inwart wo thay gaue ane hiddeous cry.
For kindlie lufe and Fatherlie pietie,
To se that corps sa drawin throw the Cietie.
Quhen yair brother, the sone of yat deid knicht
Hard thame sa murne bethocht him of ane s [...]h [...]
Quhairfoir yt corps throw ye Cietie was drawin
To the pepill the [...]aus was richt weill knawin,
And wist na way for to eschew the [...]ace,
Sa he him self sair woundit in the face.
Quhill that the blude abound autlie come out,
That the Sisters of his life had greit dout.
The officers persauit the weiping,
The noyis the cry the sturt and the greting
Into the hous thay enterit but delay,
And demandit quhairfoir thay maid the fray.
Than said the Sone, quhen my Sisters me saw
[Page 90] Sa sai [...] woundit, as now ȝour self may knaw.
T [...]ay grat and cr [...]t, and mu [...]t in thair mude
And as ȝe knaw, few wemen may se blude.
This was the [...]aus of thair greit lamenting
Of m [...] Sisteris we knaw na vther thing.
The Officers heirto thay gaue credence,
Becaus thay gat na mair experience,
B [...]t went thair wayis dissauit all and bl [...]ndit,
Caus ye richt way thay culd not seik nor find it
Sine t [...]k the corps of this same heidles knich [...]
On the Gallous leit it hing day and nicht:
Till all pepill did wonder and meruell
Of the stollin gold quhen thay the tail hard tell
And ȝit the Sone efter the Fatheris deid
Wald not burie in the Kirkȝaird his heid,
Nor of the treis his bodie wald doun take
This did the Sone for his awin Fathers sake.
Ze may persaue the greit lufe and fauour
To his Father he had all time and hour.
The Emprice said, gude schir & pleis ȝour grace
Quhat I haue said, haue ȝe weill tane the [...]ace [...]
The Empreour said, Madame sa haue I seill
Quhat ȝe haue said, I haue it tane richt weill.

¶ The declaratioun of the Emprice thrid Taill.

THE Emprice said I am richt wonder we
That of ȝour self and ȝour Sone it be so,
For his sonnis saik this Knicht as I haue tald
Quhen he was pure his lands he left vnsald.
Quhen he wantit he had nane vther schift
For his Sonnis saik than he committit thift.
And that his barnis efter that he was deid
[Page 91] Suld haue na schame he causit strike of his heid
And ȝit his Sone wald not do si [...] rewaird
To burie his heid in Kirk nor ȝit Kirk ȝaird:
Nor he wald not nouther be nicht nor day
Doun of the treis his bodie tak away.
In the same sort baith [...]cht and day ȝe laubou [...]
For to promoue ȝour Sone to greit honour.
Bot day and [...]cht he s [...]is his Intentioun
Zow for to put to vtter confusioun.
And ȝow destroy, is daylie his desire,
That he may ring, and bruik the haill Impir [...]
My counsall is ȝe rather put him doun
Or he fra ȝow get the Impire and Croun.
The Empreour said, sa mot I thriue and the,
Ane gude erampill now ȝe haue schawin to [...].
I micht haue tholit efter his Fathers deid.
Zit be sum slicht to caus burie his heid.
Trewlie my Sone he sall na langer [...]haip,
[...]pon the morne be hing it in ane raip.
To officers anone he gaue command
To tak his Sone, and to hang him fra hand.
Doun throw the streit thay led him haistelie,
To the Gallous, but mercie for to die.
And as thay led that ȝoung man throw y streit
All the pepill began to murne and greit,
Sayand allace the Empreours onlie Childe,
To the Gallous is led thair to be filde.
Allace said thay, quhat is his Fathers minde
To his ane Sone for to be sa vnkinde?
Now this is thryis condamp [...]it he hes bene
And few can tell quhat dois the mater mene.
Bot all this cūmis be the Quenis fals consait,
That he is led sa oft doun throw the gait.
[Page 92] In the meane time doun ehe gait is he gone
The thrid Maister come rydand namit Craton
And saw the Childe sa wonder neir the deid,
To his Maister ȝit he Juclynit his heid,
As he wald say, Maister haue minde of me,
Do ȝe not weill, thair is na dome bot die.
The pepill cryit gude Maister haist and ryde,
A [...]d for ȝour childe gude help that ȝe prouyde.
S [...] in all haist but ony mair delay,
To the Palice he spurrit his gude Palfray.
And quhen he come befoir the Empreour,
He hailsit him with reuerence and honour.
Qaha maid answer to the Maister againe,
Thorht ȝe be rum, ȝour vepage is in vaine:
Zour cumming heir sail nathing ȝow euaill
Ar ȝe cum heir to flatter me with ȝour taill?
The Maister said within seuin ȝeiris space
Better rewaird I haue seruit at ȝour grace:
Zit I beleue to get better rewaird,
And pleis ȝour grace that my talking be hard.
Rewaird (said he) at my hand serue ȝe nocht,
For the dum boy to me that ȝe haue brocht.
Ze serue all seuin the verie painfull deid,
I [...]k ane of ȝow to Gallous for to leid:
For I delyuerit my Sone spcikand to ȝow
Quite dū but syerche ȝe seuin hes maid him now
And als he wald haue defoulit my Quene,
Contrair hir will, as is weill hard and sene.
The Maister said, quhair ȝe say he is dum,
Will ȝe suffer bot ane schort time to rum
I find ȝow heir the michtie God to borrow
That he sall speik or the fyft day at morrow
For he that maid the dum man for to speik,
[Page 93] The deif to heir, to helth restoir the seik,
He will restoir ȝour Done to speik againe:
Within few dayis and that I say in plame.
And quhair ȝe say he wald deforcit ȝour Quene,
Gifony man hes euer hard or sene
Sie conditiounis outher be lair or air
Sen he with vs remanit or maid repair.
That he is gultie of all that ȝe haue said.
Than I thairfoir to die am wonder glaid.
Bot Salomon sayis richt weill in his buke,
Quha lykis thairin to reid and for to luke.
Na malice is nor was, nor ȝit be can,
Abone malice of ane Ill geum woman.
That sall I preif be ane exampill gude,
That wemen ar the Fontaine and the flude,
The verray rute, and speciall Inuentioun
Of all falset, lesings and deceptioun.
And gif ȝe put ȝour Sone now to the deid.
For ȝour wifes wordis, hir falset and hir feid.
It sall chance ȝow, as it did to the man
That slew his Py throw slicht of the woman.
Quhilk Bird he lude abone all vther thing,
And ay the treuth it tauld him but lesing.
The Empreour said I pray the tell me that
Betuir the man▪ the wife, and the Pyat.
The Maister said▪ ȝour Sone againe gar caw,
That he thoill not the vtter charge of Law.
Than sall I tell my taill to ȝour plesour,
To ȝour profeit, ȝour weilfair and honour.
The Empreour said Maister for this ane day
He sall not die, cum efter quhat sa may.
The Maister said God thāk ȝour grace againe
Sa he his taill begouth as followis plane.


WO will continew at this place.
The Doctout is [...]aill ane lytill space
And silm thing we will tell
Of the Emprice comparisoun
Now scho comparit the Kingis persoun
Unto ane theif sa fell.
Scho compairit the Empreour
To the fals Knicht that brak the Towre
Duheu he suid sauid his land,
For pureteth was compellit to steill.
Luik ȝe gif scho compairit it leill
And sa weill scho it fand.
This Knitht committit tratourie
That staill sra the Authoritie
Outher greit thing or smaw
Quhairfoir be seruit for to bing
For quha that steillis ocht fra ane King
Thay may not byde the Law.
Siclyke this Knicht as was weill knawin,
Out throw the Lietie he was drawin
To his greit lack and schame
Syne bangit on the Ballow treis,
Persaue gif thir twa weill aggreis
To the Kingis greit defame.
And hir awin Empreour comparit.
To ane pure Knicht was ail disparit,
Ane [...] ratour and ane theif.
That scho sa wald was [...]ist lyklie,
That the Empreour sasuid be,
God send hir ane mischeif.
As to the Knicht wald sauld his land,
And wox sa wonder pure in hand,
And alwayis superspendit:
Qnha euer spendis by thair dew rent,
But faill sall efter sair reyent,
Quhen he may not amend it,
Ehasrester cummis necessitie,
Hounger, pureteth, and pouertie,
[Page 95] To ste [...]l that he must neidis.
Than tynes he honour and manbeid,
And thairon followis schame and deid,
Of Ili spenoing this spreidis.
Had this Knicht spendit with measure.
According to his awm treasour.
[...]fter his facultie.
He suid not neid to brek ane Towre
Nor stollm gold fra the Empreour
Nor pure neidit not be.
Bude Schirs that hes rent and riches,
Be not in spending sa rekies.
Bot with ressou [...] ticht:
For than on force ȝe mon seli land.
Or ellis tak sum eueill deid on hand
As did this heidit Knicht.
Quha chaipit anis and past againe
Still ay in stouth for to remaine.
Quhilk all man suld forbeir.
It may chance anis a man to siu
Bot he suid na way ly thairin.
Nor still to perseueir.
For as that ane Knicht fand a wyle
That vther Linicht for to begyle
And tak h [...]n in the net.
Euin sa the Feind [...]s fyndand ay
Sum new gait to fang in his pray
Quhilks ay to sin ar set.
The birdlyme is to hald thame still:
And ay in plesure tak thair will,
For as the gold was sweit.
That causit this Knicht to ruin againe
That is in sinay to remaine.
Quhill thay ȝald vp the Spreit.
Than art thow sicker in the snair.
Quhen deid cummis thow dow do na mair
Bot to the Galious led.
That is to hell without remeid,
Than all thy gold that was sa reid
It standi [...] the in na steid.
Tha [...]rfoir quha wald leaf in honour
Se thay thair geir spend with measour
Be not ouir Liberall.
Spend not in Prodigalitie,
Bot as affeiris thy Facultie
Or doutles want thow sall.
Sum tyme may chance a mau spend maie
Upon ane day, nor be may spair
To spend in vthet nyne
I grant. bot ȝit ȝe suld considder
Put spairing dayis and thame togidder
And sa small sall ȝe tyne.
Of spending is thre kinde of branches,
The first to spend he neuer stanches,
Salang as he hes heill,
Bot euer spendand in ane rane,
Quhill all that he hes is quyte gane,
On force this man mon steill,
The secund spendis with greit honour,
with houestie and greit measour
Nouther mekill nor skant,
Bot sum tyme spairis and sum tyme speudis
And gydis weill that God him sendis,
Sa this man can not want.
The thrid he is sa greit negart.
To speud hes nonther band nor hart,
And ay sayis he hes nocht.
Euer spairand and euer wantis,
And to haue geir he neuer grantis
For all that euer he wrocht.
Of thir thre let vs tak the middis,
The wise man that expreslie biddis
Thairfoir I ȝow bescik,
This is na honest man to greif,
Bot se that ȝe put not ȝour s [...]e [...]f
Farther nor hand may reik.

¶ Ane reproche or reprufe to the Emprice.

COrruptit cors vnclene. thow spring and well of vice,
Thow fikkill feindis Quene, thow perrellous Ill Emprice,
Thow cruell Cocatrice. and kyndlie Cocadrill
For all thy taillis nice, thow sall not get thy will
Fals gyglot gangland gill, thow poysonit spewand spout,
Thy banis brint on ane hill, I think to se but dout.

¶ The Tale of the third Maister, of the Burges Pyat.

VPON a time thair dwelt in ane Cietie,
Ane Nobill man and a Burges was he:
That had ane bird weill fed vp in a Cage,
Quhilk we a Py do call in out langage.
This bird scho was sa weill leirnit to speik.
That scho culd talk Latine Hebrew and Greik
And quhen seho had thir langages perfite,
Hir Maister tuik of hir ane greit delite.
Sa be proces na thing scho hard nor saw
To hir Maister Incontinent wald schaw.
This Burges man he had ane wife richt fair,
As now ȝe haue, wantoun and debonair.
Quhilk ouir all thing he lufit all the best,
Bot be contrair, hir lufe sa was not drest.
Becaus it passit far fra the Burges micht
Hir appetite to compleis day and nicht:
As scho desirit. at hir plesure to half,
Quhat wald scho thā bot cheisit ane vther knaif
With hir to play as scho thocht maist plesour,
Quhome scho best lude and held him in fauour.
And sa behude hir husband on ane day
To vther tounis in veyage mak Jornay,
For Merchandice to [...]y and for to sell,
For Merchand men at hame an may not dwell
Bot in this warld to wander, wirk and win,
[Page 98] Quhill of this life that thay depart and twin.
Bot ȝit this wife had not sic thing in minde
To hir plesure hir thocht was all Inclynd.
Sa quhen hir spous furth of the toun was went
Without tacy than for hir lufe scho sent.
That thay micht make gude their and mirrines
As the gude wife thocht best scho culd adres.
And sa thay did at thair awin appetyte,
Quhen [...]faris meitis of vthers takis delyte.
This saw the Py, on hir Pirk quhair scho sat,
Quhat mirrines that hir husie was at.
And to hir Maister tauld quhen he come hame
And causit hir husie to get outrage and blame.
Sa thame betuir rais vp ane bargane stout,
Quhill mony of thair nichtbouris hard about.
The gude wife said, now weill Schir I persaue
Quhat greit fauour and lufe to me ȝe haue.
And said ȝe gifmair traist vnto ȝour Py
Nor vnto me, and mair hir sittis by.
Bot sa lang as ȝour Pyat is on life
It sall not faill bot we sall be at strife.
The Burges said, my Pyat can not lie,
All that scho seis the treuth scho will tell me.
For scho can not be na way nor Ingme,
Ony lesing into hir hart deume.
And thairfoir I haue mair caus for to trow
All that scho sayis far better than craist ȝow.
Sa day and nicht continuallie thay chide,
Quhill on a day the Burges buskit to ride.
In far countreis to do his Merchandice,
As it effeiris sic men, and is the gise.
Bot als sa sone as he his wayis went,
For hir luifar scho send Incontment.
[Page 99] To mak hir blyith, greit solace and gude their,
Bot on the day he durst neuer cum neir.
For greit sclander of pepill and commoun vois,
All the lang day quhill nicht he held him clois.
As the nicht come, he knokit at the gin.
Scho was reddy thairat, and leit him in.
Scho said ȝe ar richt welcum vnto me,
[...]e may cum in, for na man will ȝow se.
He said my lufe, ȝour Pyat sair I feir,
For scho will tell all scho can se or heir.
For scho raisit sic taillis betuix vs ellis
That all the toun to vther plainelie tellis.
Scho said feir not, bot bauldlie enter in
On me I tak baith perrell and the sin.
Sa he enterit and tuik na mair in thocht,
And be the hand throw the hall scho him broche
And as thir twa throw the hall maid passage
The sillie Py quhair scho sat in hir Cage,
To hir husie scho hard hir luifar say
We sall be blyith and mak mirrie quhill day,
For ȝe ar scho that I lufe all the best,
Bot I feir sair the Pyat vs molest.
Quod scho feir not, I bid not for to lie ȝow
It is sa mirk the Pyat will not se ȝow.
Than said the Py, how beit I may not se,
I heir thy voice, for richt weill ken I the.
To my Maister thow dois ane greit I niure,
For of his wife thow makis a commoun hure.
And his best bed quhilk he beleuis is clene:
Thow defuilȝeis, quhilk is weill kend and sene
Quhilk my maister quhē he cūis hame sal knaw
And the trew treuth swyithlie I sall him schaw
Than said hir lufe, my hart tauld I ȝow not
[Page 100] That we wald baith be spyit be the Pyot.
And tell the treuth of baith scho hard and saw,
And euerie word mak hir Maister to knaw.
Tak ȝe na feir thairof than said the wife,
Lone talking sall perchance coist hir the life.
And this same nicht I sall reuengeit be
Upon the Py, as ȝe sall heir and se.
Sa thay to bed past baith withouttin feir,
Bot quhat become the Pyat ȝe sall heir.
About midnicht vp this gude wife scho rais,
Cryit on hir Mayd, & put on baith thair clais,
Incontinent ane lang ledder thay gat,
And to the rufe of the hous thay it sat.
And tyruit the hous abone the Pyats Cage,
Quhair y fireflauchts & raine micht get passage
Blenks of Candill about the Pyats heid,
Maist like fireflauchts wt cauld water yair ȝeid
Small stanis like peis vpon hir heid thay kest,
Maist like hailstanis, sa this pure Py was drest
Sa all this nicht without ony remeid
Was this Py pynit, almaist vnto the deid.
Sa on the morne away the ȝoung man staw
At ane bak dure, quhair nane him hard nor saw
Sa this Burges come hame within few dapis
And to his Py first he gais to and sayis,
O my best bird, now tell me of thy cheir,
How hes thow fairne sen I departit heir?
My bird (said he) quhat hes thow sene or hard?
Tell me the treuth for thy gudlie rewaird.
Maister (scho said) I sall ȝow trewlie tell,
Quhat that I hard, I saw and quhat befell.
Ze war not past of this toun day and nicht.
Quhē that ȝour wife did to ȝow greit vnricht.
[Page 101] Ane vther man into ȝour bed scho laid
And all that nicht togidder thay twa plaid.
And I them schew y thay war baith to blame,
That I suld tell to ȝow quhen ȝe come hame.
Maister but dout this is ane treuthfull taill,
Zour wife is not I se for ȝour auaill.
To the nixt point, at me quhair that ȝe speir
How I haue fairne, in quhat sort was my cheir
In ȝour absence surelie I say ȝow richt
Sa greit ane storme as thair was ȝisternicht
Baid I neuer, sen first time I was clekkit,
Nor ȝit my deid sa sair I not suspekkit:
As that same nicht, but dout I say ȝow plaine,
For verray feir of fyreflauchts hale and raine.
All the nicht ouir it ranit sa on me,
That I beleuit but dout drownit to be.
Than said the wife, Schir ȝe beleue ȝour Py,
Now ȝe may knaw quhat kin a woman am I.
Ze may now se, and alswa may persaif,
In times bygaine how that ȝour Py did raif.
Ane fairar nicht was neuer on the plaine
Nor was y nicht that scho sayis it was raine:
Ane fairar nicht, ane softer and mair cleir
Mair plesand nicht I had not all this ȝeir,
Thairfoir ȝe sall in all times furth to cum,
Gif hir na faith na mair nor scho war dum.
Than this Burges wist not weill quhat to say
Bot to nichtbouris sone past he on his way
And demandit gif sit ane nicht was fair
That his Pyot tholit the cauld and [...]air.
Thay said nichtbour, I walkit all that nicht,
Mair solatious, mair softer and mair bricht
Mair stabill ane nicht, mair curious and cleir:
[Page 102] Nor was that nicht saw I not this seuin ȝeir.
Unto his hous this Burges bownit hame,
And thocht richt weill his wife had seruit na blame
The sillie Py he put all in the wite,
And of all faults he thocht his wife was quite.
And said to hir I find ȝow traist and trew
Quhairfoir ȝe sall haue na caus for to rew.
At my nichtbours I haue speirit all about
Euin as ȝe say Ilk ane thay say but dout.
Ane fairar nicht thay said culd not be found,
Nor was that nicht, mair softer and mair sound
And it requyris to vther quha offendis
With all thair hart for to mak thame amendis.
To ȝow thairfoir ane garmound of the new
I promeis ȝow, becaus I find ȝow trew.
Scho said gude Schir sauing ȝour reuerence
Ze said not sa quhen ȝe gaue firme credence
Unto ȝour Py, quhilk falslie on me leid,
Say and that I committit sic ane deid:
That neuer was into my minde nor thocht,
Nor in this warld sic thing I neuer wrocht.
With hir lesingis betuir vs scho hes sawin
Ane greit discord, quhilk all about is knawin,
Quhairthrow I am blasphemit and defamit,
Throw all the toun, be ȝour fals Py & schamit,
Quhairfoir na meit nor drink sall do me gude,
Quhill that I se ȝour fals Pyats hart blude.
Than the Burges vnto the Pyat past,
And said fals Py, tell how become this cast:
Upon my wife sa falslie for to lie,
Causing discord oft times with hir and me.
Is this the thank, the gansell and gude deid,
Thow rauders me, sa weill I culd the feid.
[Page 103] With my awin hands, with meits delicait,
Airlie at morne, and als at euin lait.
Throw thy lesings thow hes maid throw the tou [...]
Ane greit sclander, & foull defamatioun.
Qahairto scho gaue na mair consent nor reid.
Nor I my self gaue vnto Goddis deid.
The sillie Py hard hir Maister say so.
Intill hir hart scho was richt wonder wo.
Maister (scho said) God knawis gif that I lie,
[...]our self will traist the verray thing ȝe se.
And weill I wait the thing I said to ȝow,
I hard and saw, quhy suld I not that trow.
The Burges said, I heir the loudlie lie,
Kennis yu not weill this taill thow tald to me,
Thair was ane nicht sa troublit in the Air
With storme, fyreflauchts, hale, raine & mekill mair
Of Ill wedder thow had na vther reid,
Bot bydand ay the bitter hour of deid.
Quhilk is richt fals, and neuer a word is trew,
Thairfoir but dout thy falset thow sall rew:
And fra hence furth thow sall na lesingis mak,
Nor of trew taillis thow sall not mak ane trak.
A [...]d in speciall betuix me and my wife,
The Law will weill that it coist the thy life.
For the greit leis thow did Inuent and forge,
With this same knife I sall cut out thy gorge.
Sa in greit wraith he tuik hir be the nek,
And with ane knife hir heid he did of snek.
The wife saw that, and scho was wonder glaid
To hir husband with mirrynes scho said:
Now ȝe haue done as ane man of prudence,
Howbeit befoir ȝe gaue ouir greit credence
Unto ȝour Py, quhilk ay richt falslie leid,
[Page 104] My hart is blyith quhen I se hir bleid.
Now we may leif all our lifetime in rest,
Din scho is gone, that did vs ay molest.
For scho was ay the verray Instrument
Betuix vs twa. all lesingis did Inuent.
Be blyith said he, that Instrument is hence,
Forsuith to hir I gaue ouir greit credence.
Now I knaw weill all that scho said was fals,
Bot now thairfoir scho hes loist life and hals.
The Burges than blent vp about his bigging
And saw ane hole tyruit in the hous rigging,
And weill persauit ane lytill Ledder stand,
Ane watter tub, with stanis watter and sand,
Quhilk was doun cast vpon the sillie Py,
Than the Burges weill vnderstude quhairby,
The pure Pyat had cauld hir taill richt crew,
All the falset and fassoun than he knew:
How thay had causit the Pyat for to lie,
Throw thair falset and greit subtilitie.
Now of my wife the falset I persaif,
In time bygaine how scho hes plaid the knaif.
Not regarding sin schame nor honestie,
Bot on hir lufe lyand in harlatrie.
Full wo is me how greit ane [...]ule was I,
For hir falset to slay my sillie Py,
Quhairin I had my plesure and delyte,
Allace, allace, my wife had all the wyce.
Bot in na way my self I can excuse,
That hir counsall sa greithe I did vse.
Bot in ane part but dout sa I was blindit,
And now the treuth full sickerlie I find it.
Wa worth the time I gaue hir sic credence,
Or till htr taill I gaue sir audience.
[Page 105] Wa worth sic wifes, that ar sa Ill Inclinde,
Euer hauing sic fenȝeit hart and minde.
With dowbill hart full of subtilitie,
I ȝow assure thay ar euill companie.
Becaus my wife hes wrocht me sic like wo,
Heir I gif ouir all mirth, blyithues and Jo.
All Merchandice, houshalding and harbrie,
In time cūming, and Pilgrim I will be.
And markis me heir vnto the halie land.
Becaus I find na faith in woman stand.
Sa this Burges for credence that he gaif
Vnto his wife, left land and all the laif.
The Maister said vnto the Empreour,
Schir haue ȝe tane this taill into fauour:
And quhat it menis, the samin vnderstand.
He said richt weill, Maister I tak on hand.
The Maister said was scho not ane fals wife
With hir lesingis gart reif the Py hir life.
The Empreour said, scho was of falset fow
Hir greit lesingis nor hir life I allow.
Of the pure Py, sairlie I do repent,
That loist hir life for saying verament.
Surelie Maister ane gude taill ȝe haue tald
And for ȝour saik this day I sall gar hald
My Sone vndeid, the morne quhill it be none,
God thank ȝour grace (quod he) that sic hes done
To the Lord God hartlie I ȝow commend,
Sa this Maister with blyithnes hame he wend


OMERVELLOVS God the subtell slicht,
Siclyke I trow was neuer sene
Thow waryit wyfe and wickit wicht
Of this Burges wyfe now I mene
[...]apeirely culd awow, and gar hir husband trow
[Page 106] That scho sa saikles was and clene
Ane Innocent as scho had bene
Syne of falset sa fow.
Sa full of falset as scho is
Thair is bot part can it persaue
For quhen thay mark to do ane m [...]s.
A thousand sundrie gaitis thay haue
To bring thair mater to quheu thay haue ocht ado.
The wisest men thay ay dissaue
And this Burges amang the laue.
It is not sa (quod scho)
Sa priuelie scho did prouyde,
A posset for the sil [...]e Py,
And with sic craft scho culd it gyde
Changeing the wedder and the sky
Thy gadȝettis did begyle, the pure Py with sic wyle,
Hurde of huredome vpon the fy,
Gluttoun of Glew all we may cry
Thow art ane veschell vyle.
The sals that thow seruis at my hand
I can not weill Indyte,
To gar thy husband vnderstand
Of sic vengeance thow had na wyte
O rank rampand Lyoun, to mischeif euer bouk.
Stewart of sturt quha can the quyte,
Cleker of cair, and of dispyte
Greit Maistres to Mahoun.
Ze that hes wyfes gnie not credence
Ouir sone vnto thair subtell lawis
Thay will als sone find ane defence,
As thay war leirit into the Lawis,
For quhen thay speik fairest, thair taill is ay falsest
Thay will neuer gif ouir thair caus
Thocht all the warld the contrair knawis
Thair awin taill ay thinkis best.
At sum tyme scho will caus a man
To do the thing he will repent
Quhen it is done na way scho can
Remeid thairof scho cau Inuent
[Page 107] Gar the s [...]ikles get wyte, mak hir self clene and quyte.
Thairfoir thocht scho be Impatient,
And in bauldnes hir bow all bent
That cair ȝe not ane myte.
Be not reddy to gif rewaird,
Thocht scho it serue quhill that thow se
This Burges sa in mynde was mard
Quhill that the sillie Py slew he.
Than promeist hir a goun, or ellis ane new garmoun
For hir huredome and harlatrie,
And hir scabbit scrutinie.
Fy Motheris Malesoun.
O twyte vntrew, and taill vnsicker
Kindillar of cair bald baldestrod,
Thocht ane wald bind the with ane wicker
Thow will not keip gude reull nor Rod.
Thow art a furious flain, ane wolf and semis ane Lam,
Thow art a Tratour wylie [...]od
That stinkis in the neis of God,
Thow art the Deuillis dam.

¶ Ane louing to the thrid Doctour and Maister.

HONOVR and praise gude Doctour mot thow haue,
That this ane day the chylde thow hes gart saue
With thy trew Taillis and exempill perfyte
Beleuing weill sa sall do all the lau [...]:
Thocht the Emprice with hir Taillis wald dissaue
The Empreour, all for the Chyldes dispyte,
Bot at the last I wait he will hir quyte
Quhen he and ȝe the suith weill dois persaue.
Quhair ȝe find fault thair sall ȝe lay the wyte.

¶ The Fourt Taill of the Emprice.

QVHEN the Emprice hard ye child ȝit on lius
Scho grat richt sair, & all hir hair did rine
Sapand allace wa worth the time & hour
That I was wife vnto the Empreour.
Crying, murning and ryfing doun hir face.
Quhill the greit noyis past out throw all ye place
The Empreour hard the murmure at the last,
[Page 108] In continent he to hir Chalmer past:
Inquirit the caus of all hir greit distres.
Scho curst the time that scho was maid empres
W [...]ld God (said scho) quhē I come to thir parts
Howbeit that I had four and twentie harts
Within my bowk, that thay had all beue ren [...]
In small pecis, or I war daylie schenc.
On sic fassoun as I am day be day,
Bot that ȝour grace sayis nouther ȝe nor nay▪
Bot quhylis ȝe san but dout ȝour Sone sall di [...]
And vther quhylis in greit dispyte of me,
Ze continew his life and takis na cure
Of my greit sturt the greit schame and Iniur [...]
He did to me and als schame to ȝour sell.
Of this mater quhairto suld I mair tell:
For it is knawin out throw the haill countrie,
To quhat greit schame he purposit to brocht m [...]
Bot ȝe throw sleuth dillis doū & latis ouirdriu [...]
Sa day be day ȝour Sone is ȝit on liue.
The Empreour said I pray ȝow stand content
And without dout the morne Incontinent,
He sall haue Law, without ony remeid,
Te be hangit on Gallous to the deid.
Bot ȝisterday it was a principall caus,
That he thoillit not the Judgement & the lawis
Was for a Taill that the Maister me tald
Zea, than (said scho) that is y thing thay wald
Prolong the time, lipning the Court sall change
Gif ȝe do sa, that is ane mater strange.
For thair fair wordis gude Justice for to brek,
Sa vnto GOD ȝe haue ane small respek.
Bot I feir sair ȝe with ȝour Maisters seuin,
It sall ȝow chance the same exampill euin,
[Page 109] As anis it chancit into this same Cietie,
Ane Empreour and seum Maisteris had he:
Quhome to he gaue credence baith day & nicht,
Than him begyld with thair fals fraud & slicht
The Empreour said, that taill I pray ȝow tell
With the Maisters and Empreour how it fell.
Scho said quhairto or to quhat fect suld I
Tell ony taill, quhen it is not set by,
For ȝisterday ane taill to ȝow I schew,
Quhlik in the self was verray Just and trew
For ȝour honour and profite I it tald,
Thairon to think, ȝit on na wyse ȝe wald.
For ȝour honour and profite quhat I will say,
Vpon the morne the Maisters dois away,
And with thair taillis daylie turns vp side do [...]
Quhilk is but dout for ȝour distructioun.
As in this taill that I sall tell to ȝow,
And pleis ȝour grace, for treuth ȝe sall it trow.
He said Madame hartlie I ȝow require,
I pray ȝow tell, for it is my desire.
That be the same I may the warrar be,
And to eschew falset and subteltie.
Thocht I delay my Sonis saik for ane day,
It not anserris nor clenclie takis away.
I sall it schaw (quod scho) be it ȝour will,
Sa ȝe will giue gude thocht and minde thairtil
Quod he tell on, and I sall heir it than,
And sa at schort hir taill thus gaitis began.
VPON a time I red intill ane Quair,
In this Citie sum time seum Maisters wair
Throw quhais science greit wisdome & leirning
All the Impire was rewlit be thair gyding.
The Empreour quhilk at that time did ring.
[Page 110] But thair counsall, he tuik in hand na thing.
Sa he thame held in sic eis and dainne,
That he culd not weill want thair compani [...].
Thay persauing his hart to thame sa kinde.
His gudelie will, his daylie thocht and minde,
That he culd do nathing but thair auise,
Thay war all seuin haldin sa wonder wise.
Thay kest in minde ane wonder subtell thing.
Be sorcerie▪ In chant ment and cunning.
That how lang time the Empreour he baid
In his Palice, nouther past furth nor raid.
Bot thairin still held him in companie,
He saw als weill as ouy man culd se.
Fra his Palice gif he past ony time,
Throw thair slicht craft he suld not se a stime.
And this thay did to the samin Intent,
That thay micht mair thair libertie frequent,
And Jutromet and vse the samin thingis
That apperte [...]t to Empreours and kingis.
And to dispone at thair will all his rent,
This was thair minde, thair thocht & als Intēt
Be the quhilk thing thir Maisters did purches
Vnto thame self gold geir and greit riches.
And ȝit howbeit throw thair greit sorcerie,
Than maid this king a stime he micht not s [...]
Of his Palice, quhen he past ay was blind,
Amang thame all the way thay culd not find.
With all thair craft againe to gar hun se,
Out of his Palice, bot euer blind was he.
Avone all this▪ thir Maisters fand sic craft,
All the Impire almaist thay maid clene daft▪
Gif ony man had dreamit ane vncouth dreme,
The haill knawledge thairof thay suld expreme
[Page 111] And mak thairof Interpretatioun,
For ane Du [...]at or ȝit aue Frenche Croun.
Quhair [...]y thay gat mair gold and greit tresour
Almaist als muche as fra the Empreour.
Sa be this way, and vthers fals and she,
Than conqueist gold greit riches in plentie,
Mair in respect nor had the Empreour,
And to thame seum geum daylie mair honour.
Sa on ane day quhen that the Empreour,
With his Emprice togidder with honour
At thair Cablil, to sich in hart began,
The Emprice saw▪ persauit and said than
Quhat is the caus schaw me of ȝour dolour,
Quhy sich ȝe so or takis ȝow displeasour?
The Empreour said to his Emprice agane,
Haue I not caus of sorow and greit pane,
That I sa lang in sic sort suld be blind,
And can thairof ua gude remedie find.
My Lord (said scho) will ȝe tent to my Taill,
On houestie it sall help and preuaill.
Gif ȝe will do efter as I ȝow say,
Ze sall allow my Taill ane vther day.
In ȝour Impire seuin greit Maisters ȝe haue,
And I beleue than seum dois ȝow dissaue,
And at the caus of all ȝour greit diseis
And all ȝour rowmes yai gide euin as yai pleis
And to thame selfis appropriatis ȝour rentis,
Throw thair fals wayis & subtel Inchātmētis
Gif it be so that thay ar found gyltie
Ane schamefull deid doutles thay serue to die.
Chairfoir my Lord for all thir seum ȝe send.
And speir at thame gif thay can help to mend
Zour greit diseis, and sair In [...]irmiti [...]
[Page 112] Quhair ȝour sicht faillis, againe to gar ȝow se.
Gif thay say nay, and can find na remeid,
Charge thame schairplie vnder the pane of deid
And sa ȝe may consider weill and se,
Gif thay be caus of ȝour greit Maladie.
The Empreour allowit weill this taill,
And thocht richt weill it was for his auaill.
Incontinent was send to thame Message,
For to compeir anone thay tuik veyage,
And come kneilling befoir the Empreour,
Quha thame ressauit in fredome and fauour:
And schew to thame his greit Infirmitie,
How he was blind, and had sic Maladie.
And how sum time that he saw wonder weill
And vther tymes how he saw neuer ane deill.
Thā chargeit he them schairplie on pane of deid
Incontinent thay seuin suld seik remeid.
For it was schawin to him for veritie,
Thay war the caus of his Infirmitie.
And gat thay not remeid Incontinent
Vnto the deith thay suld be all torment,
Vnto thir seuin thus said the Empreour,
Quhairof thay stude in greit feir and dredour.
Than said thir seuin agane with ane consent,
Ze charge vs seuin with Inconuenient.
With siclike charge ȝour grace now putis vs to
It passis far our power for to do.
It is sa hard and difficill ane thing,
That we can not to gude purpois it bring,
Into schort time▪ bot gif it pleis ȝour grace
For to grant vs respet for ten dayis space,
We sall ȝow gif answer conuenient.
Quhairof we traist, ȝour grace sall stand contēt
[Page 113] Of thair answer the Empreour was appleisit,
Beleuing weill of seiknes to be [...]isit.
Sa thir Maisters vnto thair counsell past,
To se gif thay culd find the way or cact,
Fassoun, Ingine, supplie, meane or remeid,
Or ony help to saue thame self fra deid.
And for to haill the Kingis Infirmitie,
Thay kest the way, for thame it wald not be.
Quhairfoir thay war all seuin richt sorrofow
And said get we na help nor remeid now
To help this charge as we Ilk ane dois ken
Without remeid we ar all bot deid men.
Thairfoir let vs mak trauell all fra hand,
Seirche and seik furth Ilk ane in sindrie land
Gif that we can in ony countrie find
In time cūming the Empreour be not blind.
And sa thay socht in mony sindrie toun
Be eist, be west south, north baith vp and doun
It hapnit thame to ryde vpon ane day
Throw ane citie quhair barnis was at the play
In the meane time come to thame ane auld man
And said Maisters I pray ȝow gif ȝe can
Of my nichtis dreame to mak Interpretatioun
And for ȝour wage I sall ȝow gif ane Croun.
Ane of the barnis that was than at the play,
To the Maisters hard that man siclike say.
And said gude man ȝeis gif ane Croun to me,
Quhat menis ȝour dreame I sall ȝow tel trewli [...]
The auld man said I dreamit this hinder nicht
That in my ȝaird of watter sprang vp richt,
A fresch spring wel quhairfra come mony sprīgs
Throw all y [...]ird now tel quhat menis sic things
Than said the barne tak ȝe ane spaid gude man
[Page 114] In the same place, pas and delf gif ȝe can,
Quhair that ȝe thocht the water fust vpsprang:
Thair ȝe sall find within ane space not lang
Ane hurde of gold that sam [...] hoill within,
Sall mak ȝow riche for ay and all ȝour kin.
Sa did this man as the ȝoung barne cōmandit
And as he said, this man richt sa he fand it.
Than past this man to this ȝoung Child agan [...]
And thocht he wald rewaird him for h [...]s pane.
And offerit him ane pund of reddy gold,
Quh [...]lk be na way ressaue fra him he wold.
And said gude man, na gold I will ressaif
Bot pray for me, at ȝow na mair I craif.
The seuin Maisteris persauing all this thing,
How ane ȝoung Childe of ȝeiris being sa ȝing
With sic wisdome the māns dreame did expone,
Said to thame selfis we meruell quhilk is ȝone,
Of sa ȝoung ȝeiris makis sic Interpretatioun
And sine thairfoir takis nouther golde nor croun
Sa at this childe thir seuin Inquyrit the Name
He said Merling, quhairof I thing na schame.
Quod thay ȝour name bruik weill wt all weilfai [...]
We persaue weill ȝe haue wisdome and lair.
Ane greit mater we haue to ȝow to schaw,
Of the quhilk few or nane bot we dois knaw.
Than said the Childe schaw me furth ȝour intēt
And ȝe sall haue answer Incontinent.
Quod thay ȝoung Childe this is the verray cace
Ane Maladie haldis the Empreouris grace.
Sa lang as he in his Palice will byde,
And not thairout nouther to gang nor ryde,
He seis als weill as ane that euer was,
Bot als sone as he fra his Palice pas
[Page 115] Thair takis him than sa greit ane Maladi [...].
That all about a stune he may nocht se.
And gif ȝe can the caus heirof discus,
First ȝe sall haue ane gude rewaird of vs,
And secundlie, remeid gif ȝe can find
In time cūming the Empreour be not blind:
Out of Palice quhe [...] he plesis to pas,
He will ȝow gif rewaird quhat ȝe will as.
Than said the Childe his Maladie I knaw,
Als the remeid thairof I can him schaw.
The Maisteris said we pray ȝow richt hartlie
Pas with vs seuin and beir vs companie,
Quhill we cum to the Empreouris presence,
Quhair ȝe sall haue rewaird and reuerence.
Than said the Childe Schirs I am reddy now
Pas quhen ȝe pleis and I [...]all gang with ȝow.
And sa all aucht Incontinent past hence,
Quhill thay come to the Empreouris presence.
And quhen thay come befoir the Empreour.
Thay hailsit him with reuerence and honour.
And said gude Lord, sindrie lands haif we soch [...]
To get ȝow health and heir we haif ȝow brocht
Ane gude ȝoung Child yt knawis; our Maladie
At ȝour plesure will find help and supplie.
In time cūming that ȝe sall weill persaue,
[...]our daylie health, and na seiknes to haue.
Nouther in ane, nor in nane vther pairt,
He hes sic wit in gude cunning and Airt.
The Empreour vnto thir Maisters said,
Of ȝour t [...]thance I am richt wonder glaid.
All that he sayis will ȝe seuin tak on hand,
[...]e Schir said thay at that same we will stand.
For we haue sene be gude experience,
[Page 116] His greit wisdome, craft and Intelligence.
The Empreour than vnto the barne he said,
Sen sic a thing gude Childe is to ȝow laid:
The caus thairof at ȝow I wald Inquire,
And sine my helth than harthe I desire.
Than said the Child and pleis ȝour nobil gra [...]
We twa alone mon talk ane lytill space,
In ȝour Chalmer I sall ȝow schaw trewlie,
The caus of all ȝour gre [...]t Infir [...]e.
And quhen he was into the Chalmer led.
He causit cast of all the clais of the bed.
[...]uh [...]k into haist the Empreour causit be done
My Lord he said now heir ȝe sall se sone
Ane meruellous thing▪ quhilk ȝe hard neuer tell
Under the bed thair was ane mekill well,
Of quhilk thair rais ane foull smuke and a rei [...]
That wald haue maid a man baith blind & seik
Out of this well thair springs seu [...] greit sprigs
The Empreour than he meruellit of si [...] things
Under his bed to be and he not wist,
Sa greit a well sa foull ane reik and mist.
He said my Lord, heir planelie ȝe may se
The [...]erray caus of ȝour Infirmitie.
Without ȝe put thir spr [...]gis and well away,
To get ȝour sicht agane na wise ȝe may.
The Empreour said I pray ȝow to me tell,
The nerrest way for to vndo this well.
Than said the Chylde thair is na way bot an [...]
[...]f it pleis ȝow on force it mon be tane.
The Empreour said I pray ȝow richt hartlie
Schaw me the way▪ gif sic ane thing may be
Gold nor gudis on na way will I spair
Sa that the treuth to me ȝe will declair.
[Page 117] Gif mannis craft, his naturall wit or micht,
Perfite cunning with [...]ude science or sliche,
Subtell I [...]me▪ A [...]rt or experience,
Mi [...]h [...] help my sicht, or thairfoir find defence.
I wald not cure for to gif gold plentie,
S [...]a [...] for na co [...]st sa that ȝe gar me se
Without my place als weill as I do in,
Sa ȝour rewaird fra me weill sall ȝe win.
Now sen ȝour grace to me hes g [...]um credence,
I sall ȝow schaw be gude [...]rperience.
The verray treuth thir seum springis ȝe se spring
Out of this well▪ tha [...] ar na vther thing▪
Bot the same seuin Maisters be thair science,
Quhome to ȝe gif sa firme and greit credence,
Quhilk be thair craft cūning and Inchautmēt
Zow to mak blinde, this well thay did Inuēt.
That hiddertillis, baith ȝow and ȝour Impire
Lang time nygane hes reulit at thair desire.
About ȝour place euer hes maid ȝow blind.
To that effect that na fault ȝe suld find
Done ony way be thame or thair consent,
That thair greit gyle suld not be maid patent,
Nor heir cōpla [...] of ȝour Barroūis & Lordis
Bo [...] thay allone to aggre si [...] discordis:
Nor that Justice suld ring into ȝour land,
Bot all sic things suld ly into thair hand.
And ȝour subiectis to spuilȝe euerie day,
All that was grene▪ to ȝow it suld seme gray,
Ze not seing now suld tha [...] all be deid,
For ȝour k [...]ndnes, thay can find na remeid.
The Empreour said, now ȝe haue to me s [...]hawin
Of my blind [...]s, the caus and maid it knawin
Now the remeid thairof I wald ȝe fand,
[Page 118] Ze sall not want baith gold, Lordschip & land,
And p [...]eis ȝour grace now to ȝow sall I tell,
The verray treuth▪ will ȝe do my counsell.
Of ȝour blindues gif ȝe desire remeid.
The first Maister, tak and str [...]ke of his heid,
Than ȝe sall se the first spring of the well
Be quyte away this is the treuth I tell.
Sa ordourlie▪ quhill thay be Ilk ane slane,
And sa ȝe sall recure ȝour sicht agane.
This being done▪ the well away sall went,
And sa at eis ȝ [...] sall get ȝour Jutent▪
Quhilk in gude haist was done as thay thocht [...]cht
And sa agane the Empreour gat his sicht.
And this ȝoung Childe rewardit richt richelie
Maid him ane Lord and Air of ane countrie.
Than said [...]ho Lord haue ȝe persauit this taill
That I haue schawin, for ȝour gude and auail
He said richt weill, and thankis ȝow hartfullie.
For that gude Taill that ȝe haue tauld to me.
In the same sort thir seuin Maisteris said scho
[...]nto ȝour grace thay purpois for to do.
Be thair fals Taillis, and siclike fenȝeing,
That ȝour curst Sone may a [...] aboue ȝow ring
Quhilk God defend▪ ay quhill the hour I die,
That I neuer ane vther Empreour se.
This Taill (quod scho) I sall mak to ȝow cleir,
Quhat that it menis & pl [...]is ȝour grace to heir.
He said say furth, ȝe sall haue audience,
And commandit Ilk ane to keip silence.

¶ The declaratioun of the Emprice thrid Taill.

THIS flowing well, of ȝour Sone is the sing
The seuin springs ar his maisters wt cūning
Quhilk well can not richt soue distroyit be,
[Page 119] Ercept ȝe first gar the seuin Maisters die.
This being done, the well sa sall ȝe waist.
Gar sla ȝour Sone of this ȝe gif me traist.
Sa well and springis fra tha [...] d [...]stroyit be,
Than ȝe may haue all at tra [...]quillitie.
Zour haill Imp [...]re weill into peice and rest▪
Fors [...]th (quod he) Madame I think that best
Incontinent than gaue he strait command,
To the Gallous to leid his Sone fra hand,
Doun throw the streit as Officers him sed.
Ane Muster come and at the spurris him sped.
To the Empreour with all gude reuerence.
Qahome to he said, pas sw [...]ith fra my presence,
For the gude saind that ȝe haue send to me:
Ze serue all seu [...] on Gallous for to die.
I send ȝow seuin my Sone ri [...]ht weill speiking
Now he is dum, and do can na kin thing.
Bot onlie ane, this thing I maist detest,
Be violence my Quene he wald opprest.
Thairfoir rewaird na thing ȝe serue of me.
Bot ȝe all seuin with him sall hangit be.
The Maister said▪ I seruit ane better thing.
To my rewaird▪ nor on Gallous to hing.
Quhair ȝour grace sa [...]s▪ yt now ȝour sone is d [...]
God knawis the caus▪ the time is not ȝit cum.
Of his speiking the time will cum at schor,
Thairfoir I pray ȝour grace to tak comfort:
And ȝe sall se the day approche rich [...] neir.
That he sall speik▪ quhil all this place may hei [...]
As to ȝour Quene in that point quhair ȝe tell
It is not prou [...] nor nouther is gospell.
Nor for the wordis of ane singular persoun,
Without mair prufe, ȝour sone suld not put doū,
[Page 120] And gif ȝe do for the wordis of ȝour wife
But gude knawledge fra ȝour Sone tak ye life.
It sall be war with ȝow I dar weill say,
Nor chancit a man and his wife on ane day:
Quhilk I sall schaw to ȝow be narratioun,
And preif the same be gude probatioun.
The Empreour said, trow ȝe to do with me
As seuin Maisteris did anis in this Cietie
With thair fals taillis vnto thair natiue King
Nay, nay, not sa, it sall not be sic thing.
The Maister said, the fault of ane or two
Suld not redound to rebuke blame or wo
Of all vthers, for it is richt weill kend
Baith gude and Ill is to the warldis end.
Bot of ane treuth ane thing I sall ȝow schaw,
Put ȝe ȝour Sone to deid for ȝour wifes saw:
It sall ȝow chance as did this hinder ȝeir
Vnto ane Knicht gif ȝe pleis ȝe sall heir.
The Empreour said I pray ȝow schaw me richt
Quhat thing become, or chancit to that Knicht
The Maister said againe ȝour Sone gar call,
Sa to the deid that he na wayis be thrall.
Aud keip him still my taill quhill I haue tald
Than ȝour awin will ȝe haue euin as ȝe wald.
Quhen I haue done thā tak ȝour awin plesour,
I will sa do than said the Empreour.
And sa his Sone againe he gart thame caw
As for that day he suld not thoill the Law.
Sa this Maister his exampill began,
And tauld his taill furth like ane cūning man
Bot ȝit his taill farther or we furth set
The Quenis last taill we will not ȝit forȝet.


SE the consait of this bald bitter Bitche,
This reid Rcifer, and this rank warl [...] witche
This [...]ratour theif this tryit T [...]gant.
Sa fame ane fault as scho wald find and fitche,
Unto thir seum sa renerent and riche.
In sweit science, facund and fluctuant
For thay of wit and wisdome not dois want,
To the blak Deuill chairfoir I the be [...]e [...]che
With him remaine in hous ane hellis Sanct.
Father of falset, and fals flatterar
Ane Byrecarling, ane graceles clatterar
Leidsterne to lie and ane gr [...]i [...] stop of seill,
A proude Princes, ane prydefull parterar,
Mi [...]t with malice and ane man murtherar.
Ane wod wilcat that neuer will do weill
Cro [...] of [...]nrstnes, and ane quick gangand Deill,
[...]u [...] of wanreule, and brewar of all baill
Thow art to baid to forge sa fals ane taill.
Not ane word trew thairof bot fenȝeit fair
Ouir peirt thow art to mak sic ane compair
Of the Maisteris quhairof that now speik we,
To the Empreour I wait thay did na mair
Bot that his Sone thay had vnto the lair,
And had not bene thair cunning and Ciergie
Thay had bene deid, and siclyke sa had he,
Thairfoir thow art ane Loch of vnlawre
Ane schameles schrew, the maister Deuill mot scald the.
Zit in hir Taill is sum Moralitie
How God disponis his grace sa plenteouslie
To aulo, to ȝoung, to ticoe and to the pure,
Sum wit, sum strenth, sum fairnes with bewtie,
Sum at thair will hes riches and p [...]entie,
To diuers craftis sum geuis tha [...]r besi [...] cure
Howbeit to sum hid thingis be richt obscu [...]e,
As was this barne quha spak this prophecie
To scuin Doctouris in science was fa sure.
Howbeit he was in ȝouth and tender age
God of his grace had geuiu him m [...]ir knawledge
In wit Science, hid wit [...] subtil [...]e,
Nor t [...] thir seum quhome this Quene dois alledge,
[Page 122] Into hir Taill Inferrit vpon fulage.
Quha the Empreour causit agaiue to se
And knaw the caus of his Infirmitie
Naerreption thair is of perfonage
In sicht of God he geuis his grace sa fre.
Howbeit this Chylde in tender ȝeiris was ȝing
The verray treuth ȝit he schew to the King
Quhat was the caus of all his Maladie,
And how the well vnder his bed did spring
Throw quhais springis culd him to blindnes bring
Quhilk was not knawin bot to this childe trewlie
Quhairby we may persaue for veritie
The grace of God is gottin for na thing,
Quha list it seik with all humilitie.
Now in bigging sum takis sa greit plesure
Quhill at the last biggis him self to the dure
Sum bringis ane staffe for to brek his awin heid
Euin sa ȝe se thir Doctouris tuik labour
To bring this Chylde vnto the Empreour.
Quhome throw he gat of his seiknes remeid.
Bot ȝit this Chylde gart thame all seuin thoill deid.
It is oft sene I say the deirly brother
That euerie swik oft tymes beswikis vther.
Thir seuin Dortouris quhairof now speikis our Quene
As scho Inferris, thay haue all Tratouris bene,
Quha deuysit the Kingis Inf [...]rmitie
Be tratourie hid haldin and vnsene
To be gydaris of his Realme thay did mene
And haue thair of the baill [...]uthoritie
Bot na way sa of our Maisteris mene we
For thay did nocht bot as thay war desyrit,
Be the Empreour, and his counsall requyrit.
Thairfoir this Quene scho suld na credence haue
Scho is ane sop of sorrow to dissaue
Ane me [...]s [...]s monsture, ane mirrour of mischance
Ane patent port to Ill ȝe may persaue.
Ane [...]hr [...]ftles thing q [...]heu scho beginnis to raif,
Full of dissait with fenȝeit fals plesance,
Ane twme tratullar, to bring hame Ill tythance
Ane maie Tr [...]kour, ane talker out of tone,
[Page 123] And sall forthink hir talk or all be done.

¶ Ane reproche to the Emprice for hir last Taill.

OFRAGILL flesche of hell, with flatterie euer fenȝeis
Ane Kingdome thow wald qu [...]ll, thow groūder of gillenȝeit
We sall hald in thy renȝeis, becaus thow raifis vnrockit,
And check ȝow into chenȝeis, vp be the chaftis chockit,
[...]ir lang ȝe haue vsmockit, botȝit the day will cum
Zour culum salbe knockit, quhen he speikis that is dum.

¶ The Taill of the Fourt Maister.

VPON a time thair was ane eldering Knicht
Wise and wittie, full of riches and micht.
Had leuit furth mony dayis of his life,
Without children, Lemman or maryit wife.
Diners times his freindis come him till,
To se gif it was his plesure and will
To tak ane wife, and barnis to furth bring,
Throw thair counsall he grantit to sic thing.
Sa at the last thay gat his wife to be
The Prouestis dochter of all that greit Cietie,
Quhilk was richt riche, weill fauourit and fair
Weill maid at will and was hir Fatheris air.
Fra he hir saw, he was sa tane in lufe,
That he his hart fra hir culd not remufe.
Thocht lufe & fauour betuir them micht be scne
Zit all thair space na barnis was them b [...]tucne
V [...]to the Kirk as scho past throw the streit,
With hir Mother scho hapnit for to meit.
Ather vther hailsit with greit blyithnes,
And sa began to talk in mirrines.
The Mother said my dochter tell me how
Ze pleis ȝour spous, or how dois he to ȝow?
Scho said richt Ill, and not with him content,
For he is auld, febill, and Impotent.
[Page 124] Quhen ȝe me staikit vpon sa auld ane stick,
I wald but dout ȝe had me buryit quick:
For or I come with him in naikit bed
To be drownit I had rather be led:
Or ly with swyne, or I lay be his syde,
My flesche it vggis quhen y I tuitche his hyde
Hald me excusit I pray ȝow hartlie Mother,
For it is force that I mon haue ane vther.
The Mother said my gude douchter and deir,
Heir I the pray sic fulischnes forbeir.
With ȝour Father mony ȝeiris I haue bene,
Sic thing of me was neuer hard nor sene.
Mother scho said, of that na meruell is,
For ȝe twa met in ȝouthheid Joy and blis.
And sa I [...]k ane togidder had solace,
It is not sa with me into this cace.
Or I him gat ȝe ken his strenth was gane,
He lyis als still beside me as ane stane:
For he is waik auld, cauld, wai [...]it and dry,
And as ȝe ken Mother sa am not I:
Bot in my flouris, of ȝouthheid blumand grene
Compair thairfoir is not vs twa betwene.
Of his bodie I can get na solace.
To me thairfoir it is ane heuie cace.
Scho said douchter gif sic thow hes in minde,
And to fulage thy hart is sa Inclinde.
Tell me thy minde without fenȝeing in breist,
Quhōe will thow lufe quod scho) mother a preist
The Mother said, gif sic thow wald desire,
I think les sin to lufe ane nobill Squire.
Or ane gay Knicht, nor a Preist to thy lufe,
Scho said Mother, thairin I ȝow reprufe.
Gif that I lude a Knicht or ȝit a Squyre,
[Page 135] Within schort time of my lufe thay wald tyre.
And tell ouir all into thair merines,
And sa me schame, to my greit lithtlynes.
It is not sa ȝe ken with men of Kirk,
For with wisdome and wylines thay wirk.
And is als laith thair honestie to tine,
In sit affairis, as I wald to do mine:
And counsall keip als quyetlie vnschamit,
As ȝe or I, with our spous wald be blamit.
Also Kirkmen bene mair kinde to thair lufis,
Than vtheris ar, als weill the prettick prufis.
Scho said dochter heir my gude counsall now
And it sall be ane gude profite for ȝow.
Auld men ȝe ken ar wonder cautelus,
Wylie and fell, and richt outrageus.
In ane maner ȝe sall ȝour husband preif,
Him for to temp, or anger him or greif.
Than gif ȝe chaip but reprufe or smyting,
Lufe quhome ȝe pleis, at ȝour lust and lyking.
The dochter said, sa lang I may not byde,
In all gude haist sum lufe I mon prouyde.
God hes me send sa vnhappie ane weird,
That I can get na solace in this cird.
And ȝe ȝour self Mother asweill ȝe ken
Quhat Ill occurris to want plesure of men
And I rather drink water for ane ȝeir,
Or I sa lang plesure of men forbeir.
The Mother said dochter for my blyssing,
By [...]e quhill thow preif or temp him wt sū thing
For ȝour blyssing scho said I will do mair
B [...]t him to preif, I pray ȝow to declair.
In quhat fassoun, or q [...]hat way it may [...]
Scho said dochter that salf I haistelie.
[Page 136] In ȝour Orchard thair is ane tre that standis.
The maik thairof thay say is in few landis.
In quhilk ȝour spous hes greit lufe and lyking,
Await sum day quhen he gais in hunting.
Caus the same tre Incontinent be cuttit,
And bring it hame or euer ȝour husband wit it.
Thairof mak fyre agane his cūming hame,
Than gif ȝe chaip without reprufe or blame.
At ȝour plesure than ȝe may tak the Preist,
This ȝe will do for ȝour Motheris requeist
Scho said Mother ȝour counsall I will do
Howbeit in treuth I am richt laith thairto.
Ilk ane hame past vnto thair awin ludgeing,
The knicht meruellit of his wifes tarying.
Scho said gude Schir as I went west the streit,
With my Mother on chance thair culd I meit.
Scho speirit at me gif ȝe war in glaidnes.
I said euin sa and than hame did me dres.
Efter denner the King past in hunting,
Bot his gude wife thocht on ane vther thing.
And thocht that hir purpois fuld cum to end,
Incontinent for the Gardner scho send.
Quhome to scho said cut doun this tender tre,
That I thairof man mak on haistelie:
Ane greit warme fire agane my Lords cūming
He will beliue cum hame from the hunting.
This day is sour, sa wonder schairp and cauld.
And as ȝe knaw he is febill and auld.
Quhen he cūmis hame that he sall not want fire
Thairfoir cut doun and ȝe sall haue ȝour hire.
To quhome he said saif ȝour plesure Madame,
Cut we this tre but dout we will get blame.
For ȝour husband far better lufis this tre
[Page 137] Ten times ouir, than all the treis heir be,
Bot not the les Madame at ȝour desire
Vther fallm wod I sall get to be fire.
Quhairof my Lord (quod he) will stand content
Nay, nay (said scho) cut doun Incoutment.
He said na way this tre I will destroy,
For it will put my Maister to greit noy.
Scho heiring that, he wald not do command,
The Gardnaris Ax, scho hint into hir hand.
The tender tre scho cuttit at the rute.
That fra thine furth it suld neuer haue frute.
Causit seruandis the samin hame to beir,
Of hir husband thairof taking na feir.
The Knicht at euin fra hunting cūming hame,
Huuting the wylde in Forest with the tame.
His wife him met, and said gu [...]e Schir I knaw
Ze ar werie and wonder cauld with aw,
I causit to big ane fire to ȝow thairfoir,
To mak ȝow cherie, and mirrie be the moir.
I thank ȝow dame said he with all my hart,
Get I gude cheir, than ȝe sall haue ȝour part.
Than in he come, and sat doun on ane bink,
Befoir the fire, and cryit for meit and drink.
Quhilk in all haist to him richt sone was brocht
And thairof drāk blyithlie quhil he gude thocht
In the meane time the smell persauit he
Of his ȝoung plant, and best belouit tre.
To him he callis the Gardnair richt sone,
And said mischant, quhat hes thow to me done?
Weill I persaue my plant birne in the fire,
Thairfoir at me thow hes not seruit thy hyre.
He said my Lord, it is trew that ȝe tell,
Nane did that turne bot ȝour awin wife hir sell.
[Page 138] Than said the Knicht I wait that can not be.
That my awin wife wald do sit thing to me,
For weill scho knew that tre I lufit best,
Be twentie fauld nor I did all the rest.
I wait scho wald neuer consent thairtill,
Becaus scho knew that it was not my will.
Scho said gude Lord I cry ȝow heir mercie,
For it was I that cuttit doun the trie.
Knawing richt weill ȝe war werie forgane,
Cauld, waik & tyrit, and gude fire had we nan [...]
And I did it ȝour curage to refresche,
To mak ȝow blyith, and to comfort ȝour flesche
That was the caus I gart this fire on mak,
Onlie for ȝow, and for nane vthers saik.
Quhen the Knicht hard it was the samin tre.
Onto his wife he said richt angerlie:
O wickit wife how durst ȝe be sa bald,
To cut the tre, that I in na wayis wald
Sene bene cut doun for greit riches and rene,
I mak ane vow ȝe sall it sair repent.
And knawing weill, I lude it all the best,
Ze haue me maid ane fault richt manifest.
Quhen that scho saw hir husband discontent,
Than scho began to weip and als lament.
On fenȝeit sort hir self for to excuse,
At siclike time as wemen oft times dois,
Schir I it did for ȝour vtilitie,
And ȝe it takis agane ouir crabitlie.
For I beleuit to win thairthrow gude deid
And now I get greit magrie to my meid
For it that I do euer for the brst
Ane [...]euin rewaird I get ay reddyest.
I had rather be brint intill ane coill
[Page 139] Nor for gude minde sit outrage for to thoill.
Than scho began to weip and mak murning,
Incontinent the Knicht that persauing,
And sa at schort was mouit with mercie,
And said my Joy ȝour murning now lat be.
In time cūming se that ȝe not me mufe
To displesure nor hurt the thing I lufe.
Thairfoir be war, the dayis of ȝour lifetime,
That neuer agane ȝe commit sic a crime.
As for this time heir I forgiue ȝow clene,
Ceis weip na mair, be still and dry ȝour Ene.
Than the nixt day to Kirk scho went agane,
Met hir mother quhome of scho was richt fane,
Gude morne mother (quod scho) wt hart & breist
Now weill aneuch faith I may lufe the Preist.
And I haue done euin as ȝe counsallit me,
My handis cut doun his best belouit tre,
Sa ȝour counsall I did intill all thing,
Bot fra he saw that I maid sit murning
He chereist me, and hes forgeuin me quyte,
Thairfoir Mother put me not in the wyte
Howbeit I lufe the Preist with all my hart,
For my gude man he keipis me not a part.
The Mother said thocht auld men anis forgeif,
In time cūming efter and ȝe thame greif:
Thay will trewlie pans the nixt fault agane,
And puneis it perchance with dowbill pane.
My counsall is temp him ane vther tyde,
Allace Mother (quod scho) I may not byde.
For I suffer mair pane for ȝone same Preist,
Nor I can schaw or think into my breist.
Anerdone me my sweit Mother thairfoir,
Of ȝour counsall now I will tak no moir.
[Page 140] The Mother said, for the lufe thow suld haue
To me, becaus my Cors did the consaue:
Of my bosum, as ane Bab did the beir,
And for the blyssing of thy Father deir:
In this behalf ȝit temp him anis agane,
Gif ȝe get quyte than I forgiue ȝow plane,
To lufe the Preist, or ouy that ȝe pleis,
Scho said that taill to me dois greit diseis.
Fra my plesure for to remaine sa lang,
Forsuith Mother ȝe ar sa far in the wrang.
Neuertheles for my Fatheris blyssing
[...]it anis agane I sall giue him temping.
How it sall be, first ȝe mon to me schaw,
All the fassoun I pray ȝow lat me knaw.
[...]our husband hes quod scho ane litill hound
He will not cois for mony merk and pound,
He lufis sa weill, that nichtlie in his bed,
He makis his couche, and with fine meit is fed
With his awin hands se ȝe the same hound keil
Befoir his Ene, sa ȝe may wit richt weill
This being done, be ȝe not puneist than,
Go lufe the Preist, or ony vther man
I gif ȝow leif, I sall ȝow neuer blame,
Sa it be not to ȝour greit sin and schame.
Scho said Mother I will ȝour counsall do
At this present, quhat ȝe will charge me to.
For thair is not ane barne I wait leuand,
Sa faine wald keip of my eild the command
Of hir parents, and now withouttin skaith,
I will obrene the blyssing of ȝow baith.
And now Mother remember in ȝour thocht
For ȝour blyssing I did ellis wald I nocht.
And than scho said my sweit Mother adew.
[Page 141] Quhat thocht I haue I pray God gif ȝe knew.
Than come scho hame and put of as scho micht
That langsum day, quhill it come to the nicht.
And sa at euin commandit that hir bed,
With purpour clais and silk suld be ouir spred.
Quhilk the seruandis at hir command hes done
With coistlie clais the bed thay spred it sone.
And quhen the bed was this at reddy maid,
The litill hound thairon hes him doun laid.
As his custome was and conswerude,
Als the gude wife knew weill that he wald dude
And vp scho rais with minde malitious,
With haitrent hart and vult richt venemous.
Be the hind heillis this hound than did scho tak
And all his harms out on the wall scho straik.
Sayand quhat deuill dois this tyke on our bed,
That is sa riche and all with silks ouirspred.
Quhen the Knicht saw his litil hoūd was slane
Fra crabitnes na way he culd refrane.
Bot till his wife with angrie hart can say,
Wickit woman out of my sicht away:
How culd thow find into thy cruell minde,
To sla the hound that to me was sa kinde?
And ouir all hounds wt my awin hart was lufit
O wickit wife Mahoun thy hart hes mufit,
To do sic thing and me to Ire Incres,
O curst catiue wo to thy cruelnes.
Scho said gude man haue ȝe not richt weil sene
How this foull tyke with his feit sa vnclene
Vpon our bed hes lyne and fylit the same
Haue ȝe plesure thairof or ony game,
Foull traikit tykis vyon our bed to ly,
Thocht ȝe pleis sa, the same ȝit pleis not I
[Page 142] To spill our bed that is sa precious,
Couerit with clais sa clene and curious.
With his foull feit cum new furth of the myre,
I rather haue brint the bed and all in fyre.
Than said the knicht with ane angrie visage,
Knew thow not weill, that I had greit curage
Into ane Leische my hound for to se led,
Ane hunder times, nor lying in my bed.
I rather geum all my hors quhair thay stand
Or ȝe had tane sic wickit deid in hand.
Than quhen scho saw the knicht sa discontent,
And in sum part raisit in matalent:
To weip and rair in all haist scho began,
Sayand allace that euer I knew ane man.
For quhen I was into my virgine flouris
I knew nathing of thir schairp winter schouris
For ony tyke in this wise to be schorit,
Quicke in my graue I had rather be smorit.
For all that I for the best dois pretend,
Ze ay alledge that I thairin offend.
Howbeit my minde be euer trew and gude
I get na thank, this schortlie I conclude.
Than this auld knicht persauing the greit cai [...]
Weiping, murning with reuthfull hart & sai [...].
As he beleuit, he said lat be sic thing,
And at this time ȝe mak na mair murning,
I pardone ȝow, vnder protestatioun
In time cūming ȝe mak na occasioun,
Me for to mufe to anger or to Ire,
For gif ȝe do, at sum time I will tyre.
Ze knaw richt weill ȝe cuttit doun the tre,
And now at schort my hound ȝe haue gart die.
Do not siclike I harthe ȝow requeir,
[Page 143] For gif ȝe do, na mair I can forbeir
To puneis ȝow, for all that is gane by
To the vtrest remember weill sall I.
Thairfoir be war mak me not discontent
At ȝow na mair, and sa to bed thay went.
Sa on the morne at time vp sone scho rais
With mirrie minde, and put on all hir clais.
Went to the Kirk, and sa hir Mother met
Beleuing weill of hir gude leif to get:
To lufe the Preist, and fyld hir husbandis bed,
Bot as God wald sic thing was na thing sped
Thay hailsit vther as thay thocht best be done,
And in talking togidder thay fell sone.
Scho said Mother ouir lang for ȝour requeist,
I haue the lufe forletit of the Preist.
For now I haue temptit my husband twyis
Hangit be I quhen that I tempt him thryis.
Be ȝour counsall ane greit thing I haue done,
By my consait mony stages abone.
For as ȝe bad I cuttit doun his trie,
And now laitlie I gart his gude hound die.
And baith thir faultis he hes forgeuin me quyte
In time cūming to me ȝe put na wyte.
With all my minde and hart within my breist,
In all gude haist I will ga lufe the Preist.
The Mother said I pray the douchter deir,
With patience twa wordis thow wald me heir
It is weill knawin with ma nor I can tell.
That ay auld men ar sle and cruell,
And will think on vpon faultis done befoir.
Howbeit sum time thay wil not chyde nor schoir
For it is said, and als richt weill I wait,
That crueltie it is appropriat
[Page 144] To eldering Knichtis y in ȝouth hes bene kene,
Sine in thair eild thay turne to tray and tene.
And for sum fault will puneis with rigour,
As thay in minde it takis in displesour.
Z [...]t my counsall thairfoir I wald thow did,
And thairefter I sall the not forbid:
Lufe quhome thow list, or quhome yu lykis to lufe
Thair is my hand I sall the not reprufe.
Zit temp him anis as we can best deuise,
For it is said that all things thryfis bot thrise.
Scho said Mother I heir ȝow talk in vane,
Knew ȝe the thocht and nichtlie burning pane,
That I suffer continuallie in hart,
I wait ȝe wald not tak my contrapart.
Ze ar Mother ane woman as I am,
Quhat wald ȝe say, gif ȝe wantit the game
Of my Father, that ȝe richtlir bruik,
For ane new lufe but dout sone ȝe wald luik.
With all ȝour pith the same ȝe wald purches,
And haist the same with all ȝour besines.
Into this cace now put ȝour minde to rest.
To lufe the Preist gude faith I think it best.
Scho said dochter for the greit pane and cure
I had of the that time quhen I the bure.
And sor the fude thairof quhilk that the fed,
I the beseik fyle not thy husbandis bed.
Till the thrid time, I pray the him to prufe,
As thow will haue my blissing and my lufe.
Deny me not this sober small petitioun,
And I promeis to the ane sure conditioun.
I sall furth set and further thy Intent,
To thy plesure, and als Intandement.
And neuer say that thow hes done ane mis,
My sweit dochter I pray the grant me this.
[Page 135] As thow will haue my blissing on thy banis,
My small desire I pray the grant me anis.
The dochier said, Mother I ȝow declair,
The mater is to me sa sad and sair,
That I may not sa lang abstene thairfra,
Zit not the les sa Inwartlie ȝe pra:
For the greit charge first that ȝe say to me,
And sine agane ȝe haue promeist trewlie
Into this cace to further furth my caus,
Gif I had neid the richteous God it knawis
Thairfoir schaw me the maner and the way,
How I sall temp him to the thrid effray.
The Mother said on Sonday nixt cūmand
I knaw richt weill the minde of ȝour husband,
To haue vs all to dme is his Intent,
With mony friendis, that nane be thair absent,
With diuers ma gude men of this Cietie,
Than quhen ȝe ar all at ȝour Maiestie,
With all ȝour meitis weill seruit at the Tabill
At the burde heid to sit ȝe ar richt abill.
Ane ken ȝe sall into the buirdclaith knit,
Quhilk at ȝour belt dois hing, not latting wit
That ȝe did sa, bot as it come on chance
Saying furth plane with ane fair countenance.
Ze may persaue sa forȝetfull ane wife,
As I am now I traist be not on life.
In my Chalmer my knife I haue forȝet,
Force I mon rise the same agane to get.
Than sall ȝe rise with ane faird haistelie,
Na man knawing quhair that ȝe knit ȝour kie.
Sa it being knit into the buirdclaith fast,
Than sall ȝe all the meit and tabill doun cast,
On this fassoun all ȝour meit salbe spilt
[Page 146] With displesure and all ȝour Naiprie gift.
Ze doing sa, vnpuneist gif ȝe be▪
To lufe the Preist▪ faith heir I mak ȝow fre.
Scho said for auis ȝour counsall sall I preif,
Bot neuer agane▪ sa lang as I may leif.
For ȝour counsall I haue done far ouir micht,
And sa ather at vther tuke gnde mcht.
Within few dayis the Feist was preparit
A boundan [...]e and for na coist thay sparit.
The Father▪ Mother, and freindis of honestie,
On euerie side war callit thair to be.
The Tabill couerit, and all set doun to dine,
The meitis come▪ ticht delicate with wine.
All being set, as it culd best effeir
The gude wife [...]ryit Ilk man to mak gude their
At the buird heid scho sat hir awin self doun,
Hir Mother weill persauit the fassoun.
Quhat hir dochter wald do richt weil scho knew
Beleuing weill the same thing scho wald rew.
Sa the gude wife ane bonie lytill kie
Hang at hir belt scho knit richt quyetlie.
That na [...]e persauit nor knew hir fals Intent,
Bot this scho said to all the burde present.
Gif I be wise▪ now ȝe may all persaue,
In my Chalmer my knife forȝet I haue.
Quhilk I mon fetche▪ & with a [...] faird vprais,
And wi [...]h ane [...] tuik with hir the buird clais.
The Tabill turnit, and all the meit doun slang
Alla [...]e scho said faith now I haut done wrang
I sair repent▪ that I sa schorthe rais
The m [...]it is spilt and f [...]lit ar all clais.
The K [...]cht [...]hangeit countenance in his face,
And smylit for scorne that sa occurrit the ca [...]e.
[Page 147] And sufferit ouir with blyith dissimula [...]e.
To treit his gaistis with ane gude countenance
And commandit ane new Tabill be set
With new Naiprie, and vther coursis get.
And prayit his gaistis for to be blyith and glaid
How beit his Tabill was reckleslie doun laid.
Incontinent fresche meitis was brocht anone,
To new denner with blyithnes ar thay gone.
For all thing done not mufing him nathing,
Nor to his wife ane Ill word not saying.
Making gude their to all the companie,
With mirrynes welcūmand thame glaidlie.
Bot the Mother knawing weill the Jutent,
Of the dochter, was wonder discontent.
The dennet done, thay thankit all the Knicht
And als his wife, & bad them baith gude nicht
On the nixt morne the Knicht airlie he rais,
In name of God, first to the Kirk he gais.
And efter he had his deuotioun done,
To a [...]e Barbour but tarie past he sone.
Saying Maister ar ȝe gudlie expart,
In blude latting, or Insicht in that Art?
He said gude Schir I am expart trèwlie
Of euerie vaine within a mannis bodie,
I knaw richt weill, or ȝit in ane woman,
In drawing blude thairof greit craft I can.
Than said the Knicht thairof I am content,
Cum on with me and ȝe sall haue payment.
Sa the Barbour hame with the Knicht he wēt.
And be the gait he tauld him his Intent.
And sa thay come vnto the Knichtis ludgeing,
[...]uhair his wife lay, sone thay gat entering.
He said gude dame get vp for ȝe men rise,
[Page 148] Quod scho gude Schir, forsuith its n [...]he gi [...]
Sa sone to rise, say ȝe that for ane mock▪
It is scarce ȝit nyne houris gane of the clock.
Thā said y Knicht dame rise for ȝour awin [...]
On baith the armes ȝe mon be lattin blud [...].
Scho said gude Sthir sen my Mother m [...] [...]
Blude vpon me was lattin neuer mair.
And now thairof sen I want conswetude,
I haue na will for to be lattin blude.
Than said the Knicht, forsuith ȝe ar the war,
To lat ȝow blude sa lang that ȝe defar.
Think ȝe not on quhat faultis ȝe haue maid me
First ȝe hewit doun my Nobill plant and tre.
Quhilk ȝe knew weill that I lude all the best,
And sine ȝe knaw how that my hound ȝe drest.
And ȝisterday ȝour freindis being present,
At the Tabill sa cruellie me schent.
Gif I suffer that ȝe do the fourt wrang,
In conswetude and vse sa ȝe sall gang.
Within schort time ȝe sall me sa constrane,
To vtter schame, that I can noe refrane:
My self fra schame, without I find remeid,
And I find weill sum fault is in ȝour heid:
Of corrupt blude, that mon be lattin out,
And als wilde blude in ȝour bodie but dout.
That fra thine furth ȝe sall na mair heir blame
Nor anger me, nor ȝit put me to schame.
He causit seruandis but ony mair abaid
In the Chalmer ane greit fire to be maid.
S [...]ho seing that scho trowit without remeid
Into that fire for to be brint to deid.
Thā cryit scho loud for Gods saik grant mercie
And I promit ȝow a thing faithfullie.
[Page 149] In all my dayis I sall ȝow neuer greif,
Sa this ane time that ȝe will me releif.
And haue pietie. I grant I did trespas,
Thairfoir gude Schir mercie at ȝow I as.
Than said the Knicht be him that mercie maid
Streich ȝe not furth ȝour arme but mair abaid:
Quhair I Intend bot of ȝour blude haue part,
I sall haue all the hart blude at ȝour hart.
To the Barbour also he said in plane,
Se that ȝe cut ane greit hoill in the vane.
Or be Sanct George the same thing ȝe sall haue
For ȝour rewaird, that scho suld now ressaue.
The Barbour seing he gat sa sair ane charge,
He maid ane woōd, that was baith deip & large
On that ane arme, quhill that the blude ran doū
Aboundantlie, and with greit effusioun.
Quhilk for to stanche the Knicht wald nathing thou
Bot rather bad mak mair larger the hoill
Unto the time he saw hir change cullour,
That wound to stanche he causit the Barbour
And bad him strike into that vther arme,
Als grit ane woūd, quhairof he thocht na harme
Scho said husband haue mercie now on me,
I am sa waik, I traist schortlie to die.
Thā said the Knicht ȝe suld haue thocht on this
Anis▪ twise, thrise, quhen ȝe committit mis.
Quhilk causis me richt sair aganis my will,
Of ȝour wilde blude sa mekill to se spill,
For I sure ȝow he leuis not vpon life,
That wald haue drawin sa muche blude on my wife
Except my self thairto had geuin cousent,
But dout that ane of vs suld sair repent.
Bot at this time ȝour awin licht wilfulnes,
[Page 150] Hes causit me on this maner ȝow dres.
For ȝe haue done sic wickit turnis thre,
Quhairfoir but dout that puneist ȝe mon be.
Than the Barbour causit hir lay furth on breid
That vther arme, that he micht caus hir bleid.
And than he straik vpon that vther side
Into hir arme ane wound baith deip and braid
Quhill that the blude aboundantlie ran doun,
That all beleuit that scho suld fall in swoun.
With ane waik voice scho cryit richt pieteouslie
My sweit husband haue mercie now on me.
For I beleue becaus I am ȝour wife
Ze couet not that I suld lois the life.
Than said the Knicht to the Barbour agane,
I think it best that now ȝe stanche ȝone vane
Now presentlie, na mair ȝe lat it bleid,
The Barbour said, sa sall I Schir in deid.
That being done, the Knicht he gaue command
To his seruandis, that thay suld sone fra hand
Put hir in bed that scho micht get sum rest,
The Barbour said gude schir I think that best.
Than bad his wife remember in hir minde,
In time bygane sa Ill scho was Inclinde.
And mis amend, or I hecht be the Rude,
Do ȝe not sa, I sall se ȝour hart blude.
Than the barbour at this gude eldering knicht
Ressauit his wage, and at him tuik gude nicht.
Than the seruandis in minde thay thocht it best
Thair awin husie to put hir to sum rest.
Sa in hir bed thay happit hir esilie,
Quhen thay beleuit nathing bot hir to die.
Scho being laid sa softlie in hir bed,
Heuie at hart, richt faint and all forbled.
[Page 151] Ane damisell scho bad into all haist,
Fetche hir Mother or scho ȝeildit the Gaist.
Quha in all haist that to hir Mother tald
Zour dochter the spreit scho will vpȝald.
And cum ȝe not, I say to ȝow trewlie,
Scho is sa faint, we trow all scho sall die.
Than the Mother Inquyrit secreitlie
Quhat was the caus of hir Infirmitie.
The damisell to hir the fassoun said,
Quhairof y Mother was wonder blyith & glaid
That hir dochter sa trimlie was correctit,
Howbeit that scho the samin not suspectit.
Sa ou scho come vnto hir dochters place,
To considder the fassoun and the race.
And als sone as scho hard hir Mother speik,
My sweit Mother (said scho) I ȝow beseik,
To set ȝow doun and rest at my bed heid,
For I beleue na thing bot onlie deid.
Of my bodie so muche blude I haue bled,
That I on force behuifit to tak bed.
Throw verie fault of febilnes of blude,
That of my life I trow to be denude.
The Mother said, my sweit dochter and deir,
Tauld I ȝow not ane word was not in weir:
That ay auld men was schairp bitter and fell,
Richt outrageous, dispitefull and cruell.
Howbeit sum time a fault thay wald ouirse.
Zit at the last thay wald it puneis hie.
My dochter now ane questioun I will speir,
Howbeit ȝe be richt waik now lyand heir.
Tell me the treuth and oppin to me ȝour breist,
In time cūming gif ȝe will lufe the Preist.
Quha said agane, allace Mother lat be,
[Page 152] Ane warldis schame mot tak all Preistis for me
The heich vengeance of the greit God abufe,
Mot quell thame all or I ane of thame lufe.
Bot my husband that is baith deir and sweit,
Thair is na man in warld for me sa meit.
The Mother said, quhy suld ȝe haue dispite
At the pure Preist or giue him ony wite:
For I beleue ȝour minde he neuer knew,
Nor in sic race he did ȝow not persew.
Bot weil I knaw quhat thing y gart ȝow dude,
The wantones and aboundance of blude.
Quhilk I beleue at this time now ȝe want,
For ȝe behude haue sum thing ȝow to dant.
Mother (said scho) I pray ȝow let me rest,
Abone all men my husband I think best.
The Maister said than to the Empreour,
Schir haue ȝe tane this taill weill in ordour:
And considerit thairof the morall sence,
The Empreour said Maister be my conscience
It is the best and wonder lefull taill
That I haue hard this mony ȝeir but faill.
To hir husband scho did schrewde turnis thre,
First scho cuttit his nobill tender tre:
Sine slew his ho [...] quhilk was bot a dum beist
And than thridlie misfassonit all the Feist.
Gif he had thoillit the fourt for to bene done,
It suld haue brocht him to confusioun sone.
The Maister said I counsall ȝow heirfoir,
Tent to ȝour wife, gif hir credence no moir.
Slaȝe ȝour sone (for hir wordis) vnoffendit
Ze sall forthink quhen ȝe can not amend it.
The Empreour said, I say to ȝow trewlie,
My sone this day for ȝour saik sall not die.
[Page 153] The Maister said, I thank ȝour Nobill grace,
That for my saik hes pardonit him sic space.
Sa tuik his leif, as culd him weill effeir,
And sa hamewart to his awin hous culd speir.
Or we proceid now to the Emprice taill
Sum we will talk of the Doctouris but faill.


ZE may persaue now be this taill
Gude counsall is of greit auaill
Qnha that will tak it weill in heid
Fra vice to vertew it sall him leid
And ay be reulit with ane gude reid,
This is forsuith but faill
Gude counsall is ane precious thing
Outher to Empreour or King
It lattis all thing for to ga wrang
The King nor Empreour neuer rang
And gif thay want gude counsall lang
with reule thay sall not ring.
All greit perrellis it settis on syde
With wisdome it dois all prouyde,
God it grantis to all degreis
Bot mony sa fast fra it fleis
Quhill thay be set vpon thair kneis
Thay haue na grace to gyde.
This ȝoung woman had fair offendit
Gif hir Mother had condiscendit
To hir dochteris vnwise consait,
In hir contrair scho maid debait
And gart it gang ane vther gait
Gude counsall sa defendit.
The Mother was greit till allow,
That causit hir dochter till hir bow,
Throw gude counsall anis, twyse and thryse,
Saying dochter and thow be wyse
Tak not in hand sic Interpryse
Except thow it auow.
And sa be counsall of hir Dame
Scho continewit hir glaikit game
Howbeit scho rang in rampand rage.
Gude counsall causit hir to asswage.
Quhill that the Barbour for his wage
Maid hir meik as a Lam.
Say ȝe not bot it was despyte
First cuc the tre, the hound to smyte,
Syne cast the Tabill sa rekleslie
How can scho weill excusit be
Scho was wyteles a lytill we
Wantones had the wyte.
And heit of blude was aboundant,
Quhairof sum part scho micht weill want
Hir husband than tuik weill in heid
How be thairof suld get remeid
Quhair hir blude was he laid cauld leid,
And this way culd hir dant.
Sa quhen the Mother come to se
Quhidder gif scho wald leif or die
Quha said dochter for my requeist
Now lay thy hand to thy awin breist
And se gif thow will lufe the Preist
Ceis Mother lat that be.
For had not bene ȝour gude counsell
But recure I had schamit my sell,
And as ȝe ken I was richt thra
For all ȝour sawis, to cum thairfra,
Now thankis to God it is not sa,
Gude counsall beiris the bell.
The Preist of all this was wyttles
Of my baudrie and brukilnes
For he thairof neuer thing knew
Nor I to him sic thing not schew
Bot was in purpois to persew
Thairfoir he was saikles.
Zoung wemen heirfoir in ȝour flouris
Thocht ȝe think pryde of Paramouris
[Page 155] Tak heir exampill how I am,
And set on syde sic sawreles game
Or ȝe sall sair repent the same
The tyme was myne as ȝouris.
Ze auld men that ar cum to age
Zoung wemen into Mariage
In na maner is for ȝow meit
Thay ar wantoun and full of heit
To ȝow is sour that thay think sweit
And skant to get for wage.
Thairfoir in tyme ȝe suld correct tham [...]
With aw and laubour ȝe suld brek tham [...]
Let thame not braull on euerie bink.
For as ȝe brew sa sall ȝe drink
Perchance haue mater to forthink
And greit caus to suspect thame.
To this talking ȝe suld tak tent
Or efterwart ȝe fall repent
Quhen ȝe ar maid Johne Thomsounis man
Than sall ȝe braull, than sall ȝe ban
And quhen remeid nane find ȝe can
Bot all with schame ouirschent.
Now ȝe ar warnit, I bid adew
We ar ouir gude quhair we ar trew,
Thair is ouir few is faithfull found
Sum cuttis the tre, sum killis the hound,
Sum castis the Tabill to the ground
As I did, that I rew.

¶ Ane praise to the fourt Doctour.

LAVDE, honour, praise, and thankis ane hunder fald
To the Doctour for the Taill thow hes tald,
That sauit hes the Chyldis lyfe for ane day,
And quenched hes the Empreouris boist sa bald
In greit malice, quha that but mercie wald
His awin sone slaine, bot thow him causit say nay
Thocht ȝone quick Feind dois all that euer scho may
To haue him slaine, bot we sall all defy hir
Within few dayis on reid weir we sall cry hir.

¶ The Fyft Taill of the Emprice.

THe Emprice heiring y child ȝit was not deid
Ane new consait than tu [...]k scho in hir heid,
Throw all the toun gart fie in alkin artis
The carage hors yat wald draw wanis & cartis
And fil [...]it the same with alkin kinde of geir,
Hir Ornamentis and clais that scho suld we [...]e.
Maid hir to pas vnto hir Father hame.
Saying scho wald na langer thorll sic schame.
As scho did daylie that all man micht se,
And thairupon culd not reuengeit be.
Quhairfoir scho wald at hir father seik mendis
Quhome on scho said all hir hope clene dependis
The seruandis sa persauing hir Intent
To the Empreour thay schew Incontinent.
Quha past to hir in haist but mair proces
Inquirit the caus of all sic besines.
Quhair mark ȝe to, or quhidder will ȝe go
Quhat is the caus that ȝe ar muifit so?
Scho sayis I will but ony mair delay,
To my Father the hie gait mak the way.
Quhair I may haue baith solace mirth & game
Bot now I haue the contrair of the same.
Thairfoir I mon persew quhair I may get it,
For at this time ȝe gar me quyte forȝet it.
The Empreour said will ȝe get mair solace
Nor bide with me, I trow into na place.
For I had hope thair was na man on life
Was better lude nor I with his awin wife.
Now I persaue the verray clene contrair,
That bowi [...]s away in vther place to fair.
Scho said my Lord, for that caus I depart
For I lufe ȝow with sa perfite aue hart,
[Page 157] That I rather of ȝour deith to heir tell,
Nor be present, and for to se it my sell.
Of ȝour Maisteris ȝe tak far mair delite,
To heir thair taillis all tauld in my despite:
That I am quite put furth of ȝour credence
Ze gif to thame sa Inwart attendence.
Thairfoir it sall chance ȝow or all be gane
Far worse nor did vnto O [...]tauiane,
Quhilk this Impire as ȝe now presentlie
Had for to gyde, and deit in miserie.
He was sa fals, and als sa couetous,
That his subiectis held him sa odious.
Thay war constranit for his greit falsitie
To eird him quick for all his dignitie,
Becaus Ilk man sa couetous did him hold,
Thay ȝet his mouth full of het meltit gold.
To quhome quod he, let not sic thing be said,
That of falset the blame to me be laid.
Scho said but dout the blame lyis all in ȝow,
For day be day all time ȝe gar me trow
Zour Sone suld die, and ȝit he leuand is,
And weill ȝe knaw that he did me greit mis.
Thairfoir beleue that farther mair from hence,
In that behalf I giue ȝow na credence.
The Empreour said it becūmis not ane King,
Without counsall to discus euerie thing.
And in speciall for to giue Judgement
On my awin sone without gude auisement.
Thairfoir Madame I pray ȝow hartfullie,
That ȝe wald schaw sum gude exampill to me:
Quhairthrow I may my realme with wisdome gyde
And to my self ane esie life prouyde.
Scho said I sall ane storie to ȝow schaw,
[Page 158] Quhairby ȝe may weill and perfitelie knaw
To reule ȝour Realme, and hald ȝour self perfite
Sa ȝe will mak ȝow of the seuin Maisteris quite
Of thair counsall ȝe ar ouir couetous
And of thair taillis ȝe ar ouir desirous.
Zit not the les my taill furth sall I say,
And gif ȝe pleis the sentence beir away.
BEfoir our dayis thair was baith hard & sene
Kingis, Empreouris into this toun hes bene
Amang the rest I remember on ane
Quhilk callit was to Name Octauiane.
Sa couetous as he was to win gold,
I neuer red ane formit on the mold.
The Cietizanis that time as I hard say
Thay had greit weiris with all about thē lay.
And all Natiounis richt cruellie thay dantit,
Quhair thay tribute or ony manrent wantit.
Quhill that it come to sic het point of weir.
That all Natiounis in thair contrair did steir.
In that meane time yair was ane maister Clark
Dwelling in Rome, richt cunning in his wark.
Callit Virgill, the quhilk in Arsmetrik,
He was sa sle, that nane was found him sik.
The Cietizanis this Clark thay did require,
That he wald wirk, & win fra thame gude hire
To finde sum way be his craft and cunning
For to Ingraue sum Image or sic thing,
Of his pretik, Ingine or Industrie,
Subtell science, or ȝit Nycromansie.
Quhairby yt thay micht haue perfite knawlege,
Quhen Enemeis to weirfair maid veyage:
And to eschew fra all aduersitie,
And seik fordwart thair awin prosperitie.
[Page 159] Quhairby thay micht prouyde thair purueyāc [...]
For gude or euill quhidder that it did chance.
The Cietizans than with this cunning Clark
Maid ane accord, and sa fell to his wark.
Within the toun he buyldit vp ane Towre,
Of ane greit hicht, and als of greit valour,
And set vpon the samin Towris heid,
Greit Images of Irne, Tin, bras and Leid.
To the number be thair awin discriptiounis,
As thair was than in all the warld of Regioūis
In the middis of that samin Towre of hicht,
Ane greit Image he set to all mannis sicht.
And in the hand it bure ane goldin ball,
As it suld bene the Maister of thame all.
And Ilk ane had of the rest be thame sell,
Into thair hand ane lytill ring and bell,
And turnit thair face to the same Regioun,
To thame assignit, and tuik dominioun.
[...]if ony Realme or Regioun vp wald rise,
In contrair Rome, or rebell ony wise.
Than that Image to ony Ilk Regioun,
It had respect, or ȝit dominioun
Wald mufe the face, and also ring the bell,
And thame to warne it wald not faill to tell
Than the Romanis or ony fais wist,
That rebellioun rais for to resist.
And armour them into all faitis of weir,
As thame become, or to thame culd effeir.
And sa small land thair was in Christindome
Bot be that way was maid subiect to Rome.
Quhairthrow yai wā grit worschip & honours
Ouir all the warld thay war callit conqu [...]rours
This being done this nobill cunning Clark,
[Page 160] In Romes toun he maid ane vther wark.
Quhilk was ane fire continuallie burning,
Baith nicht and day, and neuer had slokning.
To the pepill being ane greit comfort,
Solace and mirth, blyithnes and mekill sport.
Twa bathing fattis he maid within the toun.
To commountie greit consolatioun.
The ane was cauld, preparit for simmer sessoun
The vther het, for winter quhilk was ressoun.
[...]if ony man his bodie wald refresche,
Pas to that ane thairwith he micht him wesche
Betuix thir Bathis, and this continuall licht,
Ane Image maid of greit stature and hicht.
With sic Ingine, sa lang as thair it stude
The fire suld birne, and ay the Bathis do gude.
In quhais foirheid was writin with letters fine
Quha strykis me doun greit treasure sal yaitine
And mair atouir it may fall sic ane chance,
Quhen yai haue done to tak ane greit vengeāce
This Image was maid with sic craftines,
Till that it stude, and thoilland na distres.
The fire lestit, and neuer mair ȝeid out,
The baths twa stude in yair awin ply but dou [...]
Quhill at the last ane cunning Clerk come by,
And this Image perfitelie culd es [...].
The wryting red, and to him self he said,
Quhat kin vengeance can on ane man be laid.
Or quhat treasure may ony man now t [...]e?
That strykis the doun or puttis the to ruine.
Bot I beleue rather hid for to be,
Vnder thy feit sum greit sowmes of monie.
Sum riche Jowellis of gold or sum treasour,
That thow art sa set vp with sic honour.
[Page 161] This I beleue, and is the liklyest,
And sa at schort that Image doun he kest,
To that effect sum treasure to obtene,
Bot nane he gat, becaus nane thair had bene.
Bot sa sone as that Image fell but dout,
Incontinent the fire was quenchit out.
The Baths twa was vanischit out of sicht,
Did neuer gude, nor efter had na micht.
The pure pepill heirof was wonder sorie,
That thay war sa destitute of sic glorie.
Baith of thair Baths, and of thair lestand licht
Quhilk to thame did greit comfort day & nicht
Saying Ilk ane with loude voice to the air,
Curst mot he be for now and euer mair.
That vs sa quyte of comfort hes maid clene,
That we sa lang in conswetude hes bene.
For his plesure and profeit singulair,
[...]o be to him with sturt and mekill cair.
Zit not the les thair treasure gat he none,
And our plesures all quyte away is gone.
In this meane time was leuand Kingis thre,
[...]o quho [...]e Romanis had done greit vilanie,
Be greit murther and malice thame molest,
With cruell weiris, and slauchter thame opprest
On quhome thay wald richt fane reuēgeit bene
Sa to counsall thir thre Kingis did conuene.
With yair Barroūs, yair Lords & yair knichts
And vthers men of greit wisdome and michts.
How that thay micht on Rome reuengeit be,
For thair slauchter and thair greit vilanie:
Vnto thame done in diuers times went,
And culd na way on thame get assythment.
Quhen diuers dayis thay had at counsall bene
[Page 162] Sum of thame said this auaillis not ane prene,
Thair michtis is far aboue all our puissance,
Thairfoir we think sum vther conuoyance:
We mon attempt, and new consaitis considder,
Thairfoir lat all our wittis now ga togidder.
Than four auld Knichtis y was of coūsall gude
Befoir thair King and Lordis vp thay stude,
Saying thir wordis we think we wirk in vane,
On this mater sa lang for to remaine.
For treuth it is quhil yair greit towre vpstandis
With Images and bellis into thair handis,
Quhilk warnis thē quhen ony Region̄ will rise,
In thair contrair, than pas thay to deuise
Remeid thairfoir, quhat land aganis them stei [...]
With all defence, and cruell fait of weiris.
Sa we mon rin vpon ane vther burde,
Eschew the deip, and cast vs to the furde.
Than said the Kingis quhat think ȝe best to do
Quod thay pleis ȝe our counsall to stand to,
Sa that ȝe will thairon to mak the coist.
We sall ȝow pleis or ellis our heidis be loist.
Than said the Kingis for coist se ȝe not spair,
Thairof ȝe sall be answerit and far mair.
Than said the Knichtis the mater standis thus
Octauiane ȝe knaw is couetous,
And lufis gold ȝe ken aboue measure,
Thairfoir he mon be blindit with treasure.
The sicht of gold will gar him sa Inclinde,
To all our sawis, he hes gold sa in minde.
Pakkit richt weill four Punsiounis to the heid
Ze mon furneis of cuinȝeit gold sa reid.
With gude conuoy and ordourlie expence.
Quhill that we get the Empreouris presence.
[Page 163] This being done, get ȝe not ȝour Intent
We sall all four tine landis life and rent.
The Kingis said, go to it sall be done,
Thay maid fordwart, the gold was gottin sone
Four full punsiounis of gold that was sa bricht
To Romes toun thay brocht within the nicht.
Na mā knawing quhat thair within was closit
To thair purpois quhen yai thē thocht disposit
Thir four Punsiounis into four sindrie artis
In Romes toun thay hid at diuers partis.
Sum in Fuseis, in draw wellis and in dykis,
Laich in the eird, and sum thay sank in sykis.
This being done, thay come in quyetlie,
To thair hostage, and lay doun preuilie.
And on the morne at time of day thay rais,
With gude Intent, and to the Palice gais.
And sa belyue as thay past vp the streit,
It chancit thame the Empreour for to meit.
Thay hailsit him with reuerence as effeirit,
Agane at thame richt patientlie he speirit:
From quhēce thay come or quhat seruice culd do
To quhat science thay war maist abill to.
Quha answerit him into thair best maneir,
From far countreis to ȝour grace cūmin heir.
We ar spa men, suithsayaris and deuinouris,
To serue ȝour grace, and als ȝour counsa [...]ris.
And can discus all dreames sa cunninglie,
And tell thairof the treuth and veritie.
And all hid geir that is put out of sicht:
We can it find, and thairto ga at richt.
Be our awin dreames our craft is and Ingine,
Thocht it war hid ane thousand ȝeiris sine.
And we haue hard that ȝour grace hes plesure
[Page 164] In sic behalfis, and thairon takis cure.
And gif ȝour grace at vs sic will require.
We ar reddy to fulfill ȝour desire.
Be day or nicht into all kinde of sort.
With hart and minde ȝour grace for to comfort.
The Empreour than considering in his minde.
How thir four men to sic thingis was Inclinde
And knew richt weill that into Romes Cietie
Greit sowmes of gold was hid richt quietlie.
Quhairof he culd get na perfite knawledge,
Except sit men as thir he had in wage.
Sa couetice and gredynes of geir,
Haistie credence, quhilk all men suld forbeir.
Blindit his thocht, and causit his wittis foruey
Gart him ouir sone to thair bidding obey.
And sa at schort the Empreour is aggreit,
With thir four men, and faithfullie thame feit.
Quhome to he said, gude schirs I wil ȝow prufe
And gif ȝe be sic men for my behufe
As ȝe haue said, ȝe sall haue gude rewaird,
Ilk ane of ȝow but dout sall be ane Laird.
And Intreitit with thankis into my hous
Amang my Lordis, with giftis glorious.
Thay said agane and pleis ȝour Maiestie
Na mair rewaird at ȝour grace couet we
Bat the ane half of that we do obtene,
Vnder the eird, as sall be cleirlie sene:
Be our Ingine, our dreamis and our slichtis
Within few ȝeiris we mark to mēd ȝour michtis
The Empreour said go do as ȝe deuise,
Ze tak on hand ane honest Interprise.
Than said thay all vnto the Empreour,
This nicht my Lord gif it war ȝour plesour:
[Page 165] To the eldest of vs four to grant leif,
His cleue running the samin nicht to preif.
Be his awin dreame quhat he can comprehend
And quhat thairof sall be the finall end.
And thairefter we sall in dayis thre,
Schaw to ȝour grace thairof the veritie.
Quhat it betakins, and quhat thairof sall cum.
To ȝour plesure ȝe sall knaw all and sum.
The Empreour said, go to I am content,
Sa tuik gude nicht, and all four furth yai went
Merie in hart, richt wonder blyith and glaid.
Sa gude answer that thay obtenit had.
Past furth that time in scorne and derisioun,
Beleuing weill the greit towre to get doun.
Thre dayis and nichts being past and compleit
Thir four kest them with the Empreour to meis
The eldest said, and pleis ȝour Nobill grace,
To pas with vs, and we sall schaw the place
Quhair that ane twn of reid gold lyis hid
The Empreour said I will do as ȝe bid.
Than haistelie thay come vnto the place
The eldest said and pleis ȝour Nobill grace
As I beleue thair is of gold sa cleir,
Ane twn streik full in this place lyand heir.
Euin sa my dreame to me forsuith it schew,
And I dout not bot we sall find it trew.
Than thay all four to delf thay fell fra hand,
And as he said richt sa the gold thay fand.
Quhilk gold befoir into the samin place
Thame selfis had hid, ago bot ane schort spa [...]
Zit not the les the Empreouris fantasie
Trowit thay had found the gold in veritie.
Quhilk quhen he saw he was richt wōder glaid
[Page 166] With mirrie cheir, and to thame four he said.
Of this found gold the ane half ȝe sall haut,
The vther half I sall caus to ressaue.
The [...] dreamer said to the Empreour,
Now fallis to me, gif it be ȝour plesour,
My nicht about to dreame gif I can find,
Ony mair gold, gif sum be left behind.
The Empreour said god send ȝow sic furtherāce
As this Ilk day ȝour brother gat throw chance
The nixt nicht come, and siclike did the day,
This nixt dreamer to the Empreour can say.
Be of comfort, and gif it pleis ȝour grace,
This nicht I dreamit of mair gold in ane place
Quhilk in schort time ȝour nobil grace sal knaw
And godwilling the same sall to ȝow schaw.
And sa he did, quhairof he was richt bl [...]ith,
Quhome to glaidlie thempreour said ful swyith
Tak ȝour awin part, and I sall tak the vther,
For ȝe haue done als weill as did ȝour brother.
Sa did the thrid on the samin Ilk wise,
Alswa the fourt tuik the same Interprise.
Ilk ane of thame fand to the Empreour
Ane twn of gold, with riches and treasour.
Thay causit the King to thame giue confidence
As thay had found the gold be thair science
Them selfis did hide that gold vnder the groūd
And causit all trow the same that yai had found
The Empreour sa with gold he was begylit,
And with thair slicht and science was ouirsylit.
Notwithstanding the ane half he thame gaue
Na wayis traisting that he suld thame dissaue.
And quhen ather of thame had tane thair part
The Empreour was richt Jocund in his hart.
[Page 167] He thame auancit, and said yai war maist trew
Of suithsayaris, that euer he ȝit knew:
And maist expart into thair awin science,
That euer was, be his Intelligence.
Thay persauing the Empreour was content
Of thair doingis, thay said with ane consent,
My Lord we haue Ilk ane our nicht about,
Dreamit our dreames, quhilk ȝe haue hard but dout
Of verie treuth, and hes preuit in deid
Zit farthermair will ȝe thoill vs proceid,
That we all four togidder dreame this nicht
Sa sall our dreame haue the mair strēth & micht
We traist gif thair within this Cietie be
Ony hid gold, greit Jowellis or monie,
We sall it haue be our dreames and Ingine,
Thocht it war hid ane thousand ȝeiris sine.
Quhairthrow ȝour grace salbe enrichit wt gold,
That ȝour compair sall not be on the mold.
And we dout not, bot richt weill vnderstandis
That thair is gold ten thousand of thousandis
Within the wallis hid of the same Cietie,
Quhairof but dout gude knawledge get sall we
The Empreour said go to I am content,
Sa that ȝe find quhair thair is gold and rent.
Thay tuik gude nicht all four and said adew
Except thē selfis was nane thair minves knew
Sa on the morne approching the nynt hour,
Thay come all four befoir the Empreour.
Quhome to thay said with gudlie countenance
My Lord be blyith, for we haue gude tythance.
For we all four hes dreamit this samin nicht
Intill our sleip we haue sene sic ane sicht,
Of birnand gold sa wonder greit plentie
[Page 168] So muche at anis I trow few saw with E [...]
Will ȝe suffer the samin to be socht
To ȝour profeit but baid it sal be brocht.
Than sall ȝe haue of gold sic aboundance,
That all the warld for gold sall ȝow auance.
Of the greit Towre (quod thay) into the groūd
All this riches of gold is to be found.
The Empreour said the greit God me defend,
To sic ane wark that I neuer Intend.
The michtie towre quhair yt the Image standis,
For to put doun with ony mennis handis.
Quhilk was buyldit be Clerkis sa bounteous,
Sa done coistlie of sowmes sa sumpteous,
Als warnis vs be thair small bellis ringing.
Of enemeis gif thay be vprysing.
Of all Regiounis outher be far or neir,
Gif thay pretend aganis vs to mak weir.
Thairfoir I can be na way giue consent,
To steir that towre for ony gold or rent.
Thay said my Lord haue ȝe not found all trew,
That we all four in ony sort ȝow schew.
He said ȝour wit and science I commend,
And als ȝour treuth surelie I will defend.
Also ȝour craft, ȝour lawtie and honour,
Bat I can not consent to [...]tche the towre:
Qu [...]k is to vs greit consolatioun,
I will not thoill na way to put it doun.
Thay said my Lord will ȝe giue vs credence,
With our awin handis, & on our awin expence,
We sall not faill to obtene the treasour,
And in na sort thairby to hurt the towre,
Nor Images, nor ȝit the bellis that ringis,
To saue all sic we can do sindrie thingis.
[Page 169] We sall it do sa quyetlie in the nicht,
Nane bot we four thairof sall get ane sicht.
Gif it be done on daylicht patientlie,
The pepill than suld cry out oppmlie,
And rumour rise, out throw the haill Regioun,
That ȝe for gold suld tak the greit towre doun.
We sall wirk sa that nouther ground nor towre
Sall thoill distres or ȝit tak displesour.
The Empreour said quhen all folkis ar at rest,
To find the gold go do as ȝe think best.
And I the morne sall cum and vesie ȝow,
Quhat gold ȝe get, and quhair ȝe wirk & how
Tak thair my King for ane takin expres
Within the towre that ȝe get glaid entres.
Thir four come on at eum quhen it was lait,
Unto the towre thay mak the neirest gait.
Callit the Capitane, the King vnto him schew,
Quha said to them, the King richt well he knew
He them inquirit quhat was thair greit credence
And thay him schew the haill taill and sentence.
And sa at schort thir four fell to labour,
To pyke and holk, and, vndermine the Towre.
Quhill it had nouther power, strenth nor micht
Within thre dayis vnfallin to stand vp richt.
This being done, on the thrid morne or day,
Thay lap on hors, and priuelie staill away:
To thair awin land with greit blythnes & Joy
That fand the cast that greit Towre to d [...]stroy,
Bot or thay wan furth of sicht of the toun,
Thay stode all four & saw the towre fall doun.
Sa on the morne quhen all folk did vp rise,
Thay saw the towre was fallin on sic ane wise.
The Senatouris thairof tulk discomfort,
[Page 170] To the Empreour the fassoun culd report.
And said gude Lord, how hes occurrit this cace
That our greit Towre is fallin in sa schort space
Quhilk daylie was our watche and comforting
Contrair our fais, and maid vs ay warning.
He answerit thame to me thair come four men,
Quhilk of befoir I neuer did thame ken.
And schew to me that thay war suithsayaris,
Bot now I se that thay a [...] all greit dissaueris.
And swoir for treuth, and also to me schew,
Throw yair dreaming quhair gold was hid pai knew
And gart me trow wtin the towris groūd
Ane thousand millioū of reid gold suld be found
And not hurting the Towre nor ȝit Image,
To do the same I gaue thame gudelie wage.
And sa to thame I gaue ouir greit credence
Quhairthrow is fallin greit Inconuenience.
Thay answerit him for ȝour greit couatice,
Zour gredynes and birnand auarice,
And for ȝour lufe to gold and greit delite,
That ȝe thairof had sit ane appetite.
Sall we thairfoir be all destroyit at anis
Nay, the first wraik sall fall vpon ȝour banis.
But mair proces to the Tolbuith him led,
And on his bak thay kest him in ane bed,
And powrit his mouth of meltit gold thair fow
Saying to him tak the aneuch of it now.
Thow couet gold with sa gredie desire,
Thow hes vs tynt and all the haill Impire.
Fulfill thy lust of gold quhilk thow sall haue,
This being done, thay put him quick in graue.
For gredynes of gold this was his end,
Quhilk at his deid ane myte micht not him mēd
[Page 171] Not lang efter come on thir Kingis thre,
All in w [...]irfair, with prepotent arnue,
Knawing richt weill the towre was cassin doun
And sa thay laid ane greit seige to the toun,
Quhilk thay ouircome, & kest doun clene ye wall
And sa at schort Rome was destroyit all.
The Emprice said haue ȝe tane weill my Lord
Thir wordis in heid that I now did record,
Thankis ȝow forsuith, thairfoir Madame said he
For ȝe haue tald ane nobill taill to me.
Than culd scho say this towre with the Image
Betakins nocht bot thair awm personage.
For [...]u [...]k sa lang as ȝe leif in this life,
Thair is na Kings that dar rais weir nor strife
In ȝour contrair, or ȝit within ȝour land,
Sa lang as ȝe is now on life leuand.
And that ȝour sone dois wonder weill considder
With the counsall of his Maisters togidder.
With thair fals taillis and fenȝeit narratioun,
How thay sall find the way to put ȝow doun.
Ouir greit plesure to heir thame ay ȝe haue,
And thair minde is but dout ȝow to dissaue.
As thir four men this Towre to ruine brocht,
Thir Maisters sa wald bring ȝow eu [...] to nocht
And vndermine and cast ȝow vnder fute,
This is the caus thay daylie to ȝow sute.
The Images that sa greit money coist,
Is ȝour fyue wittis, quhilk thay beleue is loist.
For sa barnelike and soft thay ȝow persaue,
The haill Impire fra ȝow sa wald thay haue.
The Empreour said that Ilk taill that ȝe sell,
I persaue weill may be tald be my sell.
Thairfoir thay sall not mak of me the towre,
[Page 172] Nor ȝit change me as did that Empreour.
All is falset that thay deill with I se,
Thairfoir the morne my Sone sall hangit be
The Emprice said, will ȝe ȝour Sone gar haug
Ze salbe blyith fair weill and als leif lang▪
Sa the nirt day the Empr [...]our gaue command,
To tak his Sone and hang hun vp fra hand.
To the Gallous as thay war him leidand,
The Fyft Maister come furth the way rydand.
To the Palice he raid hard at the poist,
For feir and dreid that the Childe suld be loist.
Quha come lawlie befoir the Empreour
And on his kneis him hailsit with honour.
Quha wryit his face, and wald not on him luik
Bot at him greit Indignatioun tuik.
My Lord he said it is not ȝour honour,
My pure hailsing to tak in displesour.
Thy cūming heir ▪ quod he) I couet nocht,
Nor thy hailsing, nor nane that heir it brocht.
For ȝe haue seruit at my hand all to die,
For displesure that ȝe haue done to me.
He said my Lord I neuer did the deid
Unto ȝour grace, to get si [...] to my meid.
As for ȝour Sone, quhair ȝe say he is dum,
We reckin that vnto ȝour greit wisdome.
As ȝe will se heirefter in few dayis,
As to ȝour wife quhair ȝe alledge and sayis:
Be hir sayingis that he wald hir eschamit,
But dont thairof he aw not to be blamit.
For weill I wait thairof he is wyteles,
As is my self, and of the same saikles.
Thairfoir my Lord sic thing beleue ȝe nocht,
For the contrair to [...]cht it sall be brocht.
[Page 173] For ȝour Sone is to vertew sa Inclinde,
I wait sic vice was neuer in his minde.
And gif ȝe will for ȝour wifes wilfull sawis,
[...]udo ȝour Sone without proces of Lawis.
It salbe worse to ȝow nor euer was
To the Doctour and cunning Ypocras.
That causit sla the Doctour Galiene,
His Cousing deir Maister of Medicine.
The Empreour said, Maister tell me that taill
Perchance it may for ȝour cunning auaill.
The Maister said, gar call ȝour Sone agane,
And all the suith I sall schaw ȝow in plane.
Unto ȝour grace gif I tald my narratioun,
In the meane time ȝour sone suld suffer passiou [...]
The Empreour than he causit his seruands pas
And put his sone in presoun quhair he was.
And sa that day he chaipit fra the Gallous,
The Maister thā tald furth his tail as followis
The Maisteris taill or we speik farthermair,
The Quenis taill sum thing we mon declair.


SAY ȝe not bot this Nobill Quene
That ay befoir sa gude hes bene
Callit hir Lord fals befoir his Ene, said oppi [...]lie
That he of falset was not clene, reid ȝe and se.
In the beginning of hir last Taill
Quhair [...]e suld haue the honour haill
Judge ȝe gif scho did till him faill, in hir langage
To call [...]ir King sa vyle ane thing, with greit outrage.
Bot wemen hes sic conditioun,
Quhen thay ar noyit to want ressoun
Thay spout than like ane Scorptoun by ordour clene
Becaus quyte gane is discretioun, as did this Quene.
Alswa the Empreour far did faill
Sum hid conditiouu of small auaill
Quhilk that he maid be his counsaill, to thair consent
Forsuith ane King suld wirk nathing, but auisement.
Sa was sene of the casting doun
Of the greit towre of Romes toun
Quhair he maid preuie compactioun, that nane did knaw
With vncouth men of strange Natioun, as deid did schaw.
Ze Lordis and Lairdis of greit honour
Do not as did this Empreour
Put all his hope into creasour, and greit riches
And loist his lyfe within ane hour, for gredynes.
His gredynes sa weill was kend
It walkit to the warldis end
His fais quhome to he did offend, gat wit expres
How his plesour was in treasour, and gredynes.
Belyue thay fand ane quick Ingine
Send him ane subtell hid propine
Quhilk causit him his honour tine, in schort proces
And put all Rome to greit ruine, for gredynes.
For strangeris come with thair vaine wind
And fals flatterie maid him sa blind,
Sic gold and treasure thay suld find, throw subtelnes
That thay sa said he was richt glaid, for gredynes.
Thay schew him thay had sic science
In dreaming sic experience
Of gold to get sic confluence, be besines
Bot he gaue ouir haistie credence, for gredynes.
Quhilk causis greit mischief to be
As we may weill persaue and se
Gettis maist credence quba best can lie, throw wickitues
Of half ane taill thay will mak thre, for gredynes.
And can bring ane taill of nocht
And say the thing that neuer was wrocht
Nor neuer said nor neuer thocht, of wilfulnes
Sum giue it credence euin as it docht, for gredynes.
And euin sa did the Empreour
Gaue sic credence vnto thir four
To furneis gold and greit treasour, to his hienes
Gaue thame leif to cast doun the Towre, for gredynes.
Quhilk euer was to Romes toun
Sic comfort and consolatioun
Gif thay thocht gude to sum Regioun, thay waid them dres,
Bot ȝit the Towre was cassin doun, for gredynes.
It is ane poysonit Pestilence
For to giue ouir haistie credence
To ane taill not worth audience, throw haistines
The taill teller than tynes mence, for gredynes.
Thair is mony ma than anew,
Will mak ane taill was neuer [...]rew
Nor ȝit thame self it neuer knew, bot as thay ges
Sum will say fals and efter rew, for gredynes.
Thair is diuers tynes thair honour
Thair worschip, riches, and plesour
Oft tymes in vaine makis greit laubour, with small Incres
And oft is ordorit by gude ordour, for gredynes.
For gredynes causis greit greif
Inuy, Malice, and mischeif
Mony for Muttoun and for Beif, into mirknes
Is hangit lyke ane commoun theif, for gredynes.
Thairfoir gude Schirs I hartlie pray ȝow
Cast gredynes on syde far fra ȝow
With Jocund minde pas and ga play ȝow, in merynes
Thair is na better charme I say ȝow, for gredynes.
Now thir thre Kingis quben thay did heir
The Towre quhair of thay stude sit feir
Was cassin doun but scheild or speir, throw wilynes
In all haist maid thame to the weir, for gredynes.
For first thay fand ane wylie way
For to put Rome in grett affray
And thocht thay wald it first assay, to get entres
For thay wald mak it thair first pray, for gredynes.
Beliue thay come and seigeit the toun
In all gude haist the wallis brak doun,
And put thame selfis in possessioun, with all blyithnes
And fra the Empreour rest his Croun, for gredynes.
Now Schirs this is the fynall end
To gredynes quha will pretend
Quhen thay can not thame self defend be manlynes
Away with vengeance all dois wend, for gredynes.
Thair is twa pointis into this taill
Thame to forbeir is gude and haill,
The first is gredynes but faill, of gold and geir,
Haistie credence oft tymes brewis baill, thir twa forbeir.

¶ Ane reproche to the Emprice.

OCATIVE Quene and cruell, and rute of all mischeif,
O fals flesche faint and fruell, greit grounder of all greif.
Wyld rauins sall ryfe thy beif, wod dogis thy banis sal gnaw
Or euer thow get releif, thy luddis sall thoill the Law.
We sall gar all man knaw, and als perfytelie se
Thy deidis the treuth sall schaw of thy hid harlatrie.

¶ The Taill of the Fyft Maister.

BEfoir this time ane Phisitioun thair was,
Ane cunning Clerk, and namit Ypocras.
Quhilk in Phisick and vther heich science,
Ouir all vther he had preeminence.
Als had with him ane kinsman of his awin
Callit Galiene quhais cūning was weil knawin.
All his Ingine and wit he did apply,
To leir Phisick, and the same occupy.
As his vncle at sic times had befoir,
Quhairthrow he wan greit honour, laud & gloir
Bot in so muche Galiene was not sa ald,
Zit he excellit his vncle monyfald:
In Phisick airt, and into Medicene,
He was mair schairp and quicker of Ingine.
Than Ypocras persauing in his hart,
[Page 177] That Galiene in craft was sa expart,
Oreiding thairfoir that he suld him excell,
And fra his gloir and profeit him expell.
And thairfoir hid als mekill as he micht
Fra Galiene, of the craft hid the slicht.
Than Galiene this weill he did persaue,
Rest him daylie the mair and mair to haue
Of Phisick airt the mair he did obtene,
On day mair than befoir in fyftene.
Quhairby the Doctour tuik in his consait,
That Galiene suld grow to greiter stait.
Thairfoir at him he had lurking Inuy,
How beit he had na querrell caus nor quhy.
In this meane time the King of [...]ngarie
Send his message with schippis throw the si [...]
For Ypocras that he micht with him speik,
And cure his sone that lay richt wonder seik
Sa Ypocras the message did ressaue,
Harthe praying the messingers him to haue
Sum part excusit vnto thair Nobill King,
For he for eild micht mak na trauelling.
Bot I sall send my Cousing and seruand,
Quhat I will bid, that he sall tak on hand.
Sa Galiene obeyit his vncles will,
And in all pointis the same he did fulfill.
And past his way vnto that Nobill King
Quha was richt blyith & glaid of his cūming.
Bot he meruellit quhy come not Ypocras.
Galiene said that auld and waik he was
Micht not trauell, for na trauell he vsit,
Praying his grace for to hald him excusit,
And at that time had besines ado,
That he na way as than micht cum him to.
[Page 178] Bot in his steid he hes me to ȝow send,
With help of God ȝour Sone sone sall I mend
Of the quhilk thing the King was weill cont [...]
Than Galiene vnto the Chylde he went,
Felt his Punsis and als his Drine saw,
Quhairby belyue his seiknes he did knaw.
Incontinent than past he to the Quene,
And said Madame, ȝour seik Sone I haue sene
And I am cum vnto ȝour Nobill grace,
Beseiking ȝow to heir me speik ane space.
Tak na disdaine, thocht I now to ȝow speik,
I come to heill ȝour Sone that lyis seik.
Scho said gude Schir say on quhat plesis ȝow,
For ȝe will say nocht bot the treuth I trow,
He said Madame tell on and mak na lie
Quha is the Father of ȝour Sone tell to me?
Quha his Father (quod scho) quha bot yt King?
Quod he Madame, thair is not sic a thing.
Will ȝe say so (quod scho) for veritie,
Zeis want the heid I vow richt haistelie.
Anis I said ellis, and ȝit I say agane,
This King is not his Father in certane.
I come not heir thairfoir to lois my heid,
Nor ȝit Incur in my fault ony feid.
Nor I haue not deseruit sic rewaird,
Thocht I nane get, nathing I that regaird.
Sa to the dure he maid him straicht away▪
The Quene that saw, and till him can scho say.
O gude Maister sa ȝe will keip secre
I will ȝow schaw, sa ȝe discouer not me.
Than Galiene said, Madame God me defend,
Bot I sa do vnto my lyues end.
Thairfoir to me, to schaw the treuth be bald,
[Page 179] For it agane sall neuer mair be tald,
In greiter thing ȝour grace sa sall I pleis,
Zour sone mak haill, and put him weill to eis.
Gif ȝe sa do, gude Maister than scho said,
Ze will mak me richt wonder blyith and glaid.
Ane gude rewaird of me sa sall ȝe haue,
And of my Lord siclike ȝe will not craue.
Thairfoir heir me till I haue said sum thing
Vpon ane time come to my Lord and King
The King of Burgon, to pas the time with sport
Quhat will ȝe mair to mak my taill now schort
To ȝow Maister, as now I will not lie,
With me he gat this chylde in priuetie.
Than Galiene said, feir not and speik no moir
The taill I knew richt perfitelie befoir.
Than to the Childe he past Incontinent,
And did him cure with ane richt Regiment.
Quhat he suld drink, and quhat suld be his meit
Water to drink, and beif daylie to eit.
Sa Galiene than within dayis thre,
The Childe maid haill of his Infirmitie.
Quhen that the King hard tell his sone was fre
Of all seiknes, and of all Maladie.
To Galiene ane gude rewaird he gaue,
Bot he the dowbill fra the Quene did ressaue.
With speciall thankis, and efter ay credence,
Sa tuik his leif, and hamewart he past hence.
Quhen he come hame to his Eme Ypocras,
At Galiene but tary culd he as:
How is the Childe that ȝe past for to se?
Schir he is haill of all seiknes, said he.
Than Ypocras Inquirit him to conclude,
Quhat he him gaue to his drink and his fude.
[Page 180] He said he gaue him orin flesche co eit,
Water to drink, this was his drink and meit.
Than Ypocras to Galiene said fra hand,
The Mother is not trew to hir husband.
Than Galiene said, now Maister suith ȝe say,
With displesour Ypocras past his way.
Said to him self with haitrent and Inuy,
Weill I persaue na man will set me by
Within schort time, be na remedie found,
Bot quyte to nocht my cunning is confound.
Be his cunning he sall not faill to be,
Praisit in his wark ten times abone me.
And or sa war, without I fand remeid,
Rather I sall conspire my Cousingis deid.
Fra that time furth Ypocras ay him drest,
How he micht get Galiene deid and supprest.
In a morning Ypocras vp can rise,
Past to his Barth, as his vse was and gise.
To Galiene said with wordis fair and meik,
Now let vs go in our garding and seik
Herbes to be salf, that is of maist vertew,
For as I wis thair is growing anew.
Maister he said. I am reddy at hand,
Quhat ȝe pleis best to do as ȝe command.
Ypocras said tak vp that herb sa grene,
For it is full of vertew as I wene.
And sa he did at his Maisters command
He pullit the herb, and gaue it in his hand:
And at his nois the sawer thairof did smell,
This herb (said he) of herbis beiris the bell.
Stoup doun agane and pull vp be the rute,
Of it I sall vaith profeit get and frute,
For I knaw weill it is richt wonder gud [...]
[Page 181] To euill Feuer, and to stem rynning blude
Als of vertew it is richt comfortiue,
To heill all Flux to ony man on liue.
Sa Galiene na Ill hauing in minde,
To pull the rute lawlie he did Inclinde.
Quhilk wald not draw a lang time wt his hand
Than Ypocras abone him he culd stand,
And with his knife he struik him to the hart:
Caus in science he thocht him ouir expart.
Sone efter this Ypocras tuik seiknes,
Be want of blude, and of corps febilnes.
Than kest his buikis, & socht his awin science,
Him self to help he culd get na defence,
Than his Scollers in all haist come him till,
And to him said Maister quhat is ȝour will,
He bad thame bring ane [...]wn of water fow,
With ane wōmill a hundreth hoillis boir throw
Quhen that was done thair went na water out
Than Ypocras said to thame Schirs but dout,
This is the wraith of leuing God sa hie,
That this mischance hes sufferit fall on me.
As ȝe may se, and wonder weill persaue,
For all is Just and worthie that I haue.
And as ȝe se thair is into this twn
Ane hundreth hoillis with Irins out throw run
Throw all thir hoillis thair gais not out a drop
Bot as ȝe se dois baith stand still and stop,
Quhilk to nature is contrair euerie deill,
Quhairby ȝe may all vnderstand richt weill.
Richt sa thir herbis for heill that ȝe gif me,
May nathing help to my Infirmitie.
Thairfoir quhat euer ȝe tak vpon me cure,
It helpis nathing ȝe may be verray sure,
[Page 182] For weill I wait as now is na remeid,
Bot for my mis I mon now byde the deid.
Bot war Galiene my Neuo now leuand.
He wald not faill to mak me haill fra hand.
Quhome I did kill throw malice and Inu [...],
Bot of that deid, richt sair repent now I.
Thairfoir God hes be his Just ordinance,
Send vpon me this haistie sair vengeance.
As he sa said na ma wordis than he tald,
Bot turnit his bak, and vp the gaist he ȝald.
The Maister said, hes ȝour grace done consaue,
The sempill wordis thar to ȝow schawin I haue
The Empreour said weill I persaue the cace,
That Galiene was killit be Ypocras.
To Ypocras quhat hurt micht it haue bene,
Quhat greit honour had cum to Galiene.
The Maister said it micht be gude at all,
Gif Ypocras to seiknes had bene thrall.
Than Galiene perchance micht found remeid,
And at that time he suld not sufferit deid.
Thairfoir becaus him self be Ill Jutent
Killit and put doun the verray Instrument:
Quhilk wald haue him supportit in this stres,
Ze may persaue in God the greit gudnes,
And richt Judgemēt, that sa dul maid his hart.
That he culd not him self help be na Art.
Thairfoir my Lord it is euin sic ane cace.
Betuir ȝour sone and ȝour awin Nobill grace
And gif ȝour sone for ȝour wifes word ȝe sla
Considdering weill ȝe wait ȝe haue na ma.
Quhen he is deid, ȝe sall warie ȝour weird,
And wald be fane to seart him out of eird.
Quhen ȝe ar auld and may not help ȝour sell
[Page 183] He will ȝow help the treuth I to ȝow tell.
Thairfoir giue not sic credence to ȝour Quche,
Scho will dissaue ȝour grace quhen ȝe leist wene
Considder weill this is ȝour secund wife,
Ze may haue ma Induring ȝit ȝour life.
Amang thame all ȝit ȝe sall neuer haue
Sa wise ane Sone nane of thame sall consaue
Sa verteous in wit dois mair precell,
And in ȝour eild will saue ȝow fra perrell.
The Empreour said, for that ȝe tell to me.
Surelie this day my Sone he sall not die.
Bot I persaue and wonder weill dois mark.
That wemen bene richt craftie in thair wark.
And richt subtell for to tyist ony man,
As thay think gude, bot not the les quhat than.
For my aw [...] saik this day he sall not die,
Quhen I haue neid I wait he will help me.
The Maister said, I thank ȝour nobill grace,
Sa tuik his leif and past hame to his place.
¶ Quhen that this tail was tald to the Empres
Gif scho was blyith the auditouris may ges.
Scho schew hir self in minde Impatient,
All that hir saw, beleuit that scho had went
Quyte out of minde, and as ane bodie mad,
And hir fyue wittis clene tynt away scho had.
All that hir saw had pietie of hir cheir,
Scho schoutit sa, that all the place micht heir
Sum of the Lordis to the Empreour can ga
And schew to him that it stude with hir sa.
Thay said my Lord without ȝe find remeid,
Zour Emprice will hir awin self put to deid.
Quhome to he past, and speirit at hir quhairfoir
Euerie day ȝe murne ap moir and mair.
[Page 184] Scho said my Lord I meruell in ane part,
That I birst not, and in twa brekis my hart.
I knaw I am the dochter of ane King,
And than ȝour wife, quhilk is ane greiter thing
In all my dayis sufferit I not sic schame,
As I haue done, sen I come to ȝow hame.
And euer mair ȝe promeis me ane mendis,
And as ȝe do, God and the warld it kendis.
The Empreour said I wait not quhat to do,
Nor to quhat side is best to turne me to.
For day be day ȝe seik my Sonnis deid,
And his Maisteris, thairof thay seik remeid.
He is my Sone, that I beleue and knaw,
Bot I can not the veritie ȝit schaw:
Quhidder I sall to ȝow gif mair credence,
Than the Maisteris with all thair greit science
Ze tell ane taill quhilk I think gude and fair,
And thay ane vther, to ȝouris is plat contrair.
The Emprice said that is the verray thing
That troubillis my hart, & causis my murning
Becaus ȝe gif thame ay the mair credence,
And to thair taill takis greiter attendence,
Nor to my taill, quhilk tellis the veritie,
Quhilk ȝe sall sair repent ȝit or ȝe die.
And in few dayis ȝe will get sic rewaird,
As did aue King ressaue fra his Steward.
The Empreour said, than tell me that taill sone
Perchance ȝour will thairefter may be done.
Scho said I sall begin with diligence,
Bot I pray ȝow to gif me audience.
With peirt visage and countenauce richt haill.
On this fassoun began to tell hir taill.
[...]it or scho get of hir taill audience,
[Page 185] Sum we will say of the last taill past hence.


ZE may persaue now heir expres
Of wemen the greit brukilnes,
And of thair kynde the kittilnes, and scho ane Quene
Hir awin preuitie did confes, to Baliene.
At schort to him hir mynde hes schawin
Ane King scho hauing of hir awin
Ane vther tuik bot laitlie knawin, and of the new
Bot mony sic drauchts thay haue drawin, that few mē knew
For ane time scho mon be excusit
Perauenture scho will not vse it,
As now scho sall not be excusit, I say for me,
Gum as ȝe find the furde sa ruse it, quhat euer ȝe be.
And let sic quyet paukis ouir pas
And sum thing say of Ypocras
That sa full of Inuy he was, but cans or quhy
Galiene he slew that was sa trew, throw pure Inuy.
Ypocras clene I discommend
Euer in hart for to pretend
Sa far to Galiene offend, as him to [...]a
Bot he repentit at his end, that he did sa.
The principall cans heirof find I
That Ypocras had sa greit Inuy
At Galiene, this was the quhy, that Galiene was
Mair firme and stabill, in craft mair abill, nor Ypocras.
Ypocras suld haue had plesour
That Galiene gat ony honour
For he was Galieues Doctour, thhairfoir say I
He suld haue borne to him fauour, and not Inuy.
Bot God of his greit Equitie
Wald not thoill sic vnpuneist be
Quben Ypocras was in point to die, all his cunning
Ould not than help him worth ane fle, at his ending.
He said had Galiene bene leuand,
He culd haue helpit him fra hand,
Bot he wist weill it was the wand, that God had send
[...]im sic distres, and greit seiknes, that nane culd mend.
The [...]id Inuy and greit haitrent,
That [...] had to this Innocent
Culd not eschew the punischment, of heuin sa hi [...]
B [...]d [...] Schirs lay by all hid Inuy, keip cheritie.
Inuy and cheritie ar contrair
Thay can not in ane place repair
Quhair cheritie is, ay God is thair, withouttin faill
Inuy was, and is euer mair, with breif and baill.
It is the fountaine and the flude
Of [...]chedding of all Innocent blude,
And is contrair to all gude, and is the rute
Inuy thairfoir sall neuer gloir, of Joy the frute.
Agustiue discriues Inuy to be
A man to haue sturt Inwartlie
Of his Nichtbouris Felicitie, withouttin raus
The quhilk is contrait cheritie, and Goddis Lawis.
Doctouris wrytes thair is ane hill
Callit Athnay, that [...]y byrnis still
In flame of fyre and neuer will, be quenchit out,
And ȝit thay say it dois na Ill, to ground about.
Quhilk hill cunning men dois compair
To ane man that leuis euermair
In sturt, Inuy, anger and cair, continuallie
In fyrie fumes, himself consumes, ay Inwartlie.
Inuyfull men comparit may be
To ane Lipros man trewlie,
He wald all men war seik as he, euin sa the Deuill
Wald nane war gude, nor ȝit weill lude, caus he is eu [...]l.
Thairfoir my Lords and reidaris all
Tuit ching this point I cry and call
Se to Inuy ȝe be not thrall for ocht may be,
For the greit Lord Celestiall, is cheriti.

¶ Ane laude and praise to the Fyft Doctour.

PRVDENT, persyte, expert Philosophour,
Honour and praise be to theding Doctour
That hes ouirput this day f [...] perrellous
With thy sweit talk befoir the Empreour
Quha kendillit was in fell fyrie furour
Contrair his Sone in mynde malitious,
Be entysing of his wyfe vennemous,
Bot thow fra him with fair wordis and fauour
Hes purehest grace, quhill tyme mair prosperous.
‘¶ Inuidia diaboli mors intrauit in orbem.’Sapi. 2.

¶ The Sext Taill of the Emprice.

BEfoir this time thair was ane michtie King
Prydefnll in hart and proud abone all thing
He was sa heich and prydefull in his thocht,
All vther men he set thame clene at nocht.
This King he thocht all Rome for to destroy,
The Romanis sla, and efter to conuoy
To his Kingdome, the deid banis of thir two,
Peter and Paull, with mony Relicks mo.
To waist that toun, and put it all to sack,
Bot his purpois was sum thing put abak.
Intill his face was sa disfigurait,
In sic ane sort, that euerie kinde of stait,
Abhorrit sa, his vgsum foull visage,
That nane couet to tuitche his personage.
Sa handillit was with sic Infirmitie,
With Lippernes, ane fouller nane culd be.
Zit his nature rais on him with sic rage,
To haue wemen he gaue ane greit curage.
Sa callit he his Steward quyetlie,
And schew to him his counsall secreithe.
Saying my freind, this thing I wil ȝow schaw
All wemen kinde abhorris me as ȝe knaw,
[Page 188] That I can get of thame na companie,
Quhilk gif I had, war greit plesure to me.
He said my Lord and pleis ȝour Nobill grace,
Howbeit ȝe be deformit in the face:
Ze haue aneuch of gude money and gold,
For to conduce the fairest on the Mold.
Thairfoir I say ȝe neid not in na sort
Of fair wemen to wanc the greit comfort.
Than said the King se for na coist ȝe spair,
To get me ane that is bricht fresche and fair:
Howbeit ȝe gif ane thousand Crownes thairfoir
And or I want ȝe sall gif mekill moir.
The Stewart said I sall do that I may,
To fill ȝour will, and sa he come his way.
Thinking in minde blindit with couetise
Thir thousand Crowns may I get on this wise
Win to my sell, and to my wife alone,
And sa hame wart to his wife is he gone.
Quha was richt fair, bowsum with all bewtie,
Verteous and gude, richt plesand for to se,
Prudent, perfite, with countenance richt glaid,
With couetous hart to hir thir wordis he said.
O my gude wife, my Souerane Lord the King
Hes chargeit me with ane richt secreit thing.
To haue wemen he is richt couetous,
At his plesure, and wonder desirous.
Quhilks for na coist he sayis he will not want,
And charges me ane thousand Crowns to grāt
To ony persoun that will the same ressaue,
Botfor ane nicht with him hir for to haue.
Thairfoir in minde my self I haue compest,
Betuix vs twa, I think this be the best
The thousand Crowns to purches to our sell.
[Page 189] Sa ȝe will vse, and follow my counsell.
Scho said gude Schir ȝour counsall I will do
Sa to na sin nor schame it turne me to.
He said ȝe sall pas to the Kingis bed,
Quhilk is with silk and claith of gold ouirspred
And thair all nicht ly with him quyetlie,
At his plesure, as he thinkis best to be.
That it is ȝe, thair is na man sall ken,
Bot I alone, the quhilk abone all men
Suld saif ȝour schame and als ȝour honestie,
Thairfoir as schame to ȝow it can not be.
Allace scho sayis gude Schir is that ȝour will,
By ȝour bodie, my womanheid to spill:
With ane Lipper, and sa deformit in face,
Schir change ȝour minde for him that gaue all grace
I wait it is nouther ȝour thocht nor mind
To sic ane deid my hart for to Inclind:
Bot me to preif, and to tempt my Intent,
Gif I thairto wald ony sort consent.
O my gude wife howbeit he Lipper be
And in the face deformit as ȝe se.
And foull of flesche, and also foull of blude,
Zit than the gold is wonder sweit and gude.
Scho said agane my sweit husband persaue
How beit the gold be gude and sweit to haue,
And thocht he war the clenest man thairont,
Maist fair of face, gentill, courtes and stout.
Wald ȝe that I committit sic ane sin,
Aganis my God, ony gold for to win?
I will not dude, thairfoir hald me excusit,
Charge me na mair, for heir quite I refuse it.
Quhome to he said with ane richt austeir luik,
How purpois ȝe my companie to bruik.
[Page 190] That thing I will to preis for to ganestand,
Ze ar ouir peirt to contrair my command,
It is my will, and that same salbe done.
Thairfoir mak ȝow that Ilk to compleis sone.
Do ȝe it not, I vow betuix vs tway
Sall neuer be ane blyith nor Joyfull day,
Bot euer mair in chyding and in greif,
Quhilk at the last will turne to ane mischeif.
Knaw ȝe not weill to the Kirk quhen ȝe went,
Ze swoir ȝe suld be ay obedient,
To me alone, as wedlok vs declairis,
Ze Schir scho said in all lefull effairis:
Not displesing my maker King of Kingis,
I will obey ȝow in all vther thingis.
I ȝow command be vertew of that aith,
Quhilk for to brek ȝe suld be wonder laith.
Considdering it is my minde and will,
Without ganesay my bidding ȝe fulfill.
And to the same richt sone that ȝe consent
Or I auow richt sair ȝe sall repent.
In the meane time as he thir wordis schew,
Out of his scheith his quhinȝar furth he drew.
Scho trimbling sair for greit dreddour and feir
Furth of that steid ane step scho durst not steir.
Persauing weill his crueltie and boist,
And in greit dout hir life for to be loist.
The Impatience and the greit gredynes,
The cruell minde and als the crabitnes
Of this Ill man this woman did attend,
Quhilk in na sort nor fassoun culd amend.
Scho was constranit quhat for dreddour & aw,
For to consent to his command and saw.
Scho said gude man ȝour bidding I mon do,
[Page 190] Bot greit God knawis gif my will be thairto.
Bot I appeill fra all consent of sin,
That may follow, or in this cace cum in.
And on ȝour self all haill I lay the charge,
And befoir God thairof I me discharge.
Than the Stewart but ony tarying
Past in all haist and said vnto the King:
I haue ȝow gottin ane woman richt famous,
Gentill, courtes, and cum of ane gude hous.
Fair and weill fauourit, richt plesand for to se,
And scho mon cum to ȝow richt quyetlie:
Within the nicht scho mon cum lait at eine,
Bot me alone, with nane scho will be sene
Airlie at morne befoir the Sone rysing,
Fra ȝow siclike scho mon mak departing.
For this scho will ane thousand Crownes haue,
And for payment bot me nane will scho craue,
Than said the King of that I am content,
As ȝe haue done thairto I weill consent.
Withouttin mair the Stewart he hes led
His awin spousit wife vnto the Kingis bed,
And with the key the dure he hes maid fast,
But ony noyis, and sa his way is past.
Airlie at morne in dawing of the day:
The Steward rais, and to the King can say,
My Souerane Lord & pleis ȝour Nobill grace
It will be day within ane prettie space.
I think it gude that woman ȝe let go,
For I promeist that ȝour grace suld do so.
Than said the King this woman plesis m [...]
Sa wonder weill as ȝit hir companie,
I will not want nouther for gold nor geir,
This hour to cum I will not let hir steir.
[...] [...]
[Page 191] Quhen he that hard, he was richt wonder wo
And fra the dure with sorie hart did go.
Within ane quhile but tarp come agane,
And to the King he said Schir for certane,
The day is licht, and that woman present,
And with the folk scho will be schamelie schent.
And my promeis to hir quyte I haue brokin.
For not keiping to hir that I haue spokin.
Than said the King, na way ȝit sall scho pas,
For scho sall haue of me quhat scho will as.
Thairfoir Stewart I say to ȝow in plane,
Go pas ȝour way and lok the dure agane.
The Stewart than richt sorrowfull in hart.
Upon neid force to the dure did depart.
Went up and doun, and wist not quhat to say,
The Sone was heich, and weill gane of y day,
He come agane and said vnto the King,
It is twa houris efter the Sone rysing.
That woman will be schent withouttin dout,
With all the folk and pepill heir about.
The King answerit, nathing of him content,
I ȝow command that ȝe ȝour self absent:
Unto the time that I pleis for to rise,
For vnrequyrit ȝe haue me troublit thrise.
And my plesure is with this companie,
Thairfoir pas on, at this time let me be.
The Stewartis hart gif it was than on steir,
As I beleue thair neidis na man to speir.
Zit not the les he culd not keip counsell,
For all his wit he wald discriue him sell.
Incontinent without mair auysing,
With sorie hart he said vnto the King.
O my gude Lord, I oppin to ȝow my hart,
[Page 192] That Ilk woman ȝe will not thoill depart
Without licence, scho is my weddit wife,
Now in ȝour hands lyis baith my deid and life
The King hard that & thocht all was not richt
Opinit windois and saw the fair day licht.
Saw the woman quha was lustie in face,
Ane word not spak ane Pater noster space,
Sine saw it was [...]uin as the Stewart said,
Quhairof he was richt sorie and not glaid.
Quhome to he said O thow maist schamefull knaif
How durst thow be sa peirt me to dissaif.
And me to caus thy wife for to abuse,
Thy gredie hart thy self it sall confuse.
Quhy hes thow causit thy wife vnwillinglie
Cum in my bed to me vnwittandlie.
For ane small sowme of money and riches
To schame thy self for thy greit gredynes.
Knew thow not weill withouttin ony fabill,
My maladie was euer Incurabill
That was in the thow hes done I declair,
Thy self, thy wife, to vndo euer mair.
Thairfoir pas swyith in haist out of my sicht,
N [...]r in my realme that thow byde not four nicht
And fra hence furth gif euer I may the sie,
Ane schamefull deid I auow thow sall die.
Incontinent he past fra his presence,
And neuer saw the King fra that time hence.
Quyte of his Realme fra thame he did him dres
That Ilk rewaird he gat for gredynes.
This being done, the King in all his dayis,
Held vp this wife, as the historie sayis:
In greit worschip, and gaue to hir ȝeirlie,
Ane sowme of gold to keip hir honestlie.
[Page 193] Efter that time I do not find nor reid
With this woman that he had actuall deid.
Sone efter this the King causit to conuene
Ane greit armie all cled in armour clene.
With greit puissance and nobill men of weir,
In all effairis, as to thame culd effeir.
And went to Rome with greit power & micht
To seige the same the gait thay held on richt.
And sa thay did it seige on ather syde,
That the Romanis durst not thairin abyde.
He seigeit it still sa sad and wonder sair,
That thay within micht it defend na mair.
Sa at the last to ane counsall thay went,
Thinking ya [...] wald with y King tak pointmēt
Quhilk was for till deliuer him at anis,
Of Peter and Paull the blist bodie and banis.
Quhilk was the cans of his greit erand thair
For to obtene the same withouttin mair.
In the Cietie than thair was still present
Seuin wise Maisteris that had the Regiment,
Of all the toun, and nathing by thame done,
Airlie at morne, at euin nor ȝit at none.
And to thir seuin the Cietizanis come to,
And said Maisteris greit thing we haue ado.
We ar compellit be force of ȝone armie
For to gif ouir and rander the Cietie
Unto thir folkis quhilk ar our enemeis,
Or ellis for to deliuer the bodeis:
Of gude Peter, and Paull his halie brother,
On force we mon the ane do or the vther.
The first Maister agane to thame he said,
My gude nichtbouris tak na feir bot be glaid.
As for this day the Cietie I sall saue,
[Page 195] With the wisdome and cunning that I haue.
The secund said, the nixt day fallis me,
Fra enemeis for to keip the Cietie,
With my wisdome, and als my cleir cunniug.
For all the str [...]nth of ȝone greit puissant King.
Sa did the thr [...]d and fourt withouttin dout,
The fyft, the sext, richt sa the seuint all out.
In like maner as thir seuin Maisters now.
Unto ȝour Sone hes promeist do with ȝow.
In this meane time the King caus [...] his Armie
Lay ane assault about the greit Cietie.
With sic awfull and cruell Munitioun,
Quhill thay war like for to obtene the toun.
The first Maister than he come to the King,
And with him fell in talk and commo [...]ing.
And talkit sa in sic maner and wise,
As for that day he gart his Armie rise.
And fra the toun the Seige abak he drew,
As for that day na mair thay did perfew.
Bot on the morne the Seige agane thay laid,
The nixt Maister past to the King and said
In like maner as the vther befoir,
And [...] that day thay seigeit the toun no moir.
Sa did thay all, quhill it come to the last,
On the seuint day thay seigeit the toun sa fast,
It was beleuit the same thay wald obtene,
Than all the toun togidder did conuene.
All in ane voice to the s [...]uint Maister sa [...],
About the toun sa strang ane seige is laid,
That we beleue nathing bot cruell deid.
Without that ȝe find sum help and remeid:
Conforme to the sayingis ȝe said but dout,
That was Ilk ane to saif ȝour day about.
[Page 196] And we ar all Informit of suretie.
The King hes maid his aith solempnitlie,
He sall not rais his seige nor Munitioun,
Vnto the time that he obtene the toun.
To ȝow Maister now we can say no moir,
We wald ȝe did as ȝour fellowis befoir.
Quhome to he said, my freindis tak ȝe na feir,
Be of comfort, and Ilk ane mak gude cheir.
The morne sall I with my wark and cunning
Skaill all ȝone hoist, and also fray the King.
He salbe fane for all his greit puissance,
To pas away with his greit Ordinance.
Thay went thair way, & na mair tuik in thocht
Bot all meruellit how sic thing culd be wrocht.
The morne airlie the seige was confirmit,
To haue the toun also the King determit.
This seu [...]nt Maister to his Chalmer he went,
And cled him in ane nice abilȝement.
As Pacok [...]aillis, and fedderis of all kin hew.
Partreid, part quhite, part ȝallow grene & blew
Ane bricht drawin sword he tuik in euerie hand
On ane Towre heid he past vp for to stand.
Quhilk was maist heich of all the haill Cietie,
Foruentis the hoist, that thay micht all him se.
The twa bricht sword [...]s into his mouth he tuik
The same schynand, vpon the armie schuik.
Quhilis turnis eist, and vther quhilis west.
Quh [...]ls south, quhyls north quhair yai micht se hi best
The schinād swords agains y sone sa blēt
With his cleithing and strange abilȝement.
Thay in the hoist richt weill and cleirlie saw,
Bot quhat it was na man of thame did knaw.
All the greit Lordis quhen thay beheld sic thing,
[Page 197] Half in effray thay past all to the King:
And said O Lord, behald vpon ȝone Towre
Wes [...] this day ane wonderfull Figour.
Than said the King the same I do persaue,
Bot quhat it is, na knawledge I can haue.
Thay said we knaw quhat thing it is but dont
It is Jesus doun of the heum cum out:
Quh [...]k is the God of all ȝone Christin folk.
And knawis richt weill how that we do prouok
His awsum Ire, and how we do pretend
To [...]a his folk, the quhilk he will defend.
Zone samin swords that ȝe se schining sa,
Thay signifie Ilk ane thay will vs sla,
Gif we langer into this feild abyde,
Our counsall is thairfoir hame that we ryde.
The King heiring trunblit for verray feir,
Gart rais his hoist and all his men of weir:
And said it is better in time we fle,
Nor ȝone thair God with his swords gar [...] vs die
Than all the hoist in haist thay maid thē hame
Frayit without caus, wt mekill scorne & schame
Howbeit to fle na perrell was nor neid,
Bot all dissait be the Maisters fals deid.
Quhen the Romanis persauit the Armie fle,
Ilk auc thay Ischit, and past of the Cietie.
With manlie hart and gudlie countenance,
Followit the King for all his Ordinance.
Slew and destroyit all that thay plesit that day
And quhome thay list captiue yat brocht away
And sa the King and all his greit Armie
Brocht was to ground be the greit subteltie
Of this Maister, quha wrocht all be dissait,
That with power na maner culd debait.
¶ The Emprice than said to the Empreour
This taill I tald it is vnder cullour.
Bot wald greit God this taill ȝe vnderstude
He said Madame, I think it wonder gude,
In the first end (quod scho) I wait ȝe hard,
Quhat I ȝow tald of the gredie Steward:
That the King trowit asweill as his awin life,
And ȝit for gold he sauld his weddit wife.
And als him self was baneist the countrie,
Becaus the King fand him sa fals and slie.
In like maner ȝour Sone for the desire
And appetite he hes to the Impire.
Now day be day it is his minde and thocht,
Zow to destroy, and bring ȝow vnto nocht.
Bot now sa lang as ȝe ar in ȝour micht,
Do as the King did with the Stewart richt.
Gif ȝe purpois not to sla him fra hand
Than baneis him, and als manesweir the land
That ȝe and I quhilk is ȝour weddit wife,
In time cūming that we may leid our life:
Also ȝe hard how the King lay at Rome,
To win the same how that he did presume,
And was mockit be the Maisters in plane,
He and his folkis war all put doun and slane.
Zour seuin Maisters into the samin wise,
Intendis ay to siclike Interprise.
With thair fals taillis at end will ȝow dissaue,
That ȝour fals sone all the Impire may haue.
The Empreour said be na way that salbe,
The morne be time he sall not faill to die.
Incontinent he callit on his seruandis,
And to thame all he gaue sic strait commaudis,
That on the morne without Impediment,
[Page 199] On the Gallous but faill his Sone to schent.
This word beliue past out throw all the toun,
Quhairat mony maid lamentatioun,
That the Empreour for the wordis of his wife
Fra his ane sone suld with schanie tak the life.
The [...] Maister hard tell of this effray,
Lap on his hors withouttin mair delay.
Poistit fra hand vnto the Empreour,
And hailsit him with reuerence and honour.
Quha tuik the same verray vnthankfullie,
And said he seruit at his hand for to die,
And als his Sone quhome y yai had maid dum
Thay war ouir peirt in his presence to cum.
The Maister said I serue not for to die,
Nor ȝit ȝour Sone, knew ȝe the veritie.
That he is dum quhair ȝe alledge and sayis,
Of that the treuth ȝe sall knaw in few dayis.
Gif ȝe him sla for it ȝour wife can tell,
Of ȝour wisdome than haue I greit meruell.
And without dout it sall ȝow happin richt
As it happinnit sum time vnto ane Knicht.
To his wyfes sawis gaue sic fidelitie,
That he was drawin out throw the haill Cietie
At ane hors taill, and hangit like ane theif,
His wifes sawis brocht him to sic mischeif.
The Empreour said I pray the tell that taill,
The Maister said Schir that I sall not faill.
Sa ȝe will caus ȝour Sone to cum agane,
And for this day ȝe let him not be slane.
Incontinent the Empreour gaue command,
To the presoun to leid his Sone fra hand.
And sa was done, the Maister than but mair,
To tell his taill began this co declair.
[Page 200] The Doctouris taill farthermair or we heir.
Sum morall sence of the last let vs leir.


THIS prydefull King, he culd not King
with measure and humilitie
He was sa proude, he thocht naue coude
Compair to him thair micht not be.
The Lord of aw, persauit and saw,
That his hart was sa proude and hie
He wald correct, him and Infect,
with plague and greit Infirmitie.
Quhair thair is pryde, grace can not byde,
Out of that rowme beliue he rinnis
Intill all haist, as he war chaist,
To lawlynes to seik ane Innis.
The bricht Angell, for pryde he fell,
In hell ȝit still in paine ay winnis,
I say ȝow all, that man sall fall
His wark with pryde alway beginnis.
The wise man wrytes, quhair he Indytes
All beginning of Ill is pryde,
And mony ma sayis euin richt sa,
Into thair wrytings dois not hyde.
Thairfoir the Lord, na way will cord
Quhair pryde hes credence for to gyde
I ȝow declair, he scurges sair
For quhair pryde is God will not byde.
Of his Justice, sic wickit vice,
He will not thoill vnpuneist be,
Be battell Pest, weir or wanrest
Sum perrellous plague or pouertie
Hounger and skaut, fude for to want
Infectit with Infirmitie
Thairfoir fle pryde all time and tyde,
And hald ȝow with humilitie.
Als in this taill, withouttin faill,
Greit couetice ȝe may persaue
[Page 201] The fals Stewart, that fand the Art
The King him self and wyfe dissaue,
Bot on him fell, the sorrow fell,
He was worthie the same to haue
To be exylit, that King begylie,
I say for me he playit the knaue.
That his a win wyfe, first fylit hir lyfe,
And syne hir faull with deidlie sin,
Fy Stewart fy, was that thy quhy,
Sa fulischlie geir for to win
with couetice, and auarice,
At sic ane fals gait to begin
For gredynes to win riches,
Ouir mony to the Deuill wald rin.
Be commoun thift, sum makis thair schift,
In this warld quhill thair lyfe be endit,
To pluk the pure thay tak na cure,
Quha hes na power to defend it.
Sum reif is and ruggis, sum drawis and druggis,
And purpois neuer to amend it,
Bot quhen its win, few of ȝour kin,
Nor ȝit ȝour self perchance sall spend it.
Sa couetous, and desyrous.
This Stewart was gold for to win,
He cairit nocht, for to haue brocht
His wyfe to schame and deidly sin.
Quhidder he gat it, or nocht few wait it
For fra he and the King did twin
In deid I trow, to say to ȝow,
He had ane vther wob to spin.
He charge it was, suith for to pas
Out of the Realme or be confound
His a win falset, snairit him in net,
His deid till him self did redound.
Bot quha wald mak ane happy pak
Se falset thairin be not found
Lawtie and licht, schawis ay the richt,
On gredynes mak not ȝour ground.

Auaritia est inordinatus amor habendi, tullius.

As to this King that lay seiging,
And was sa frayit for Pacok taillis,
And twa bricht swordis, with sum vaine wordis,
without mair skaith his armie skaillis.
His Camp to rais, and saw few fais,
I think thay war bot snifland snaillis
The Potingair takis lytill cair
To cure the man that nathing aillis.
Ane King suld ay, at sic assay
Haue ane sad counsall him besyde,
Perchance ane fray may mak him pray
And gar him fle quhen he suld byde,
Daft vaniteis, groundit with leis,
At all times he suld let ouirslyde
Be circumspek, and in his nek
Ay haue ane Ey all time and tyde.
Haistie credence dois greit offence,
Gif it be in ane Conquerour,
Richt weill suld be, auisit be,
To euerie taill to giue answer.
Intreit his Lordis, as weill accordis
Than thay will serue him with honour
with blyith visage, gar pay his wage,
He sall triumphe and be victour.
Had he sa done, not half sa sone
He had not bene sa lichtlie chaist
Bot the Doctour, vpon the Towre
Maid him out of his mynde amaist.
Captaines and Kingis tent to sic thingis
To all traitillis ȝe giue na traift,
For gif ȝe do, it will cum to,
As to the King that saw the Gaist.

¶ Ane reproche to the Emprice.

GOmorras graceles gyde, and Sodomes schameles seid,
Thow Beliallis bitrer byrd, baith fals in word and deid.
Thy boist thow blawis on breid, sall not saif thee I say,
Thy ers brint in ane gleid, I think to se sum day,
Thow sall not sa away, thow commoun curst Cowclink
Trowis thow to chaip nay, nay, I rather neuer drink.

¶ The Taill of the Sext Maister,

VPON ane time thair was in Romes toun
Ane Empreour of greit micht and Renoun.
Quha had greit Kingis into his companie,
Lordis, Barrounis, Knichts, of greit Nobilitie
Doing seruice as culd thame best effeir.
Sum for pastime and sum to stuf his weir.
He had thre Knichts quhome he lude ouir ye laif
In all effarus mair credence to thame gaif.
Ane vther Knicht thair was in the Cietie,
That had weddit ane lustie gay Ladie,
As ȝe haue done, ȝour Princes and ȝour wife
Quhome he lufit asweill as his awin life.
This Lady culd mak mirrie sing and dance,
In companie scho culd mak gude pastance.
Wantoun ȝoung men euin for that samin caus,
To hir ludgeing all time of day scho drawis.
And at all times scho sang sa wonder sweit,
That euerie man that past vpon the streit:
Had greit plesure of hir dulce melodie,
And causit Ilk man couet hir companie.
Scho sang sa sweit, sa curious and cleir,
All had delite hir singing for to heir.
And sa come by ane of the Knichtis thre,
That the Empreour lufit sa Inwartlie.
And hard hir sing with voice sa curious,
Trowit weill scho was ane Lady amorous.
He blent about, and saw quhair that scho set,
Incontinent he was tane in the net:
Of lufis rage, and of the Lady fair
Euin still he stude, and past na farther mair,
Quhill time he gat into hir hous entrie,
And for ane time bure thair gude companie.
[Page 204] Sa at the last he fell in commoning
With this Lady, of lufe and sit talking.
Sa Inwarthe at hir he did Inquire,
Quhat scho wald haue and fulfill his desire,
And sleip with him bot the space of ane nicht
Scho askit him ane hundreth Florens bricht.
He said Lady I will giue ȝow na les,
Schaw me the time quhen I thairto sall dres.
Scho said gude Schir at time conuenient,
Quhen I think time ȝe salbe efter sent.
Sa Instantlie that nicht he did depart,
And of his tryist was wonder blyith in hart.
Beleuing sure that scho suld for him send,
Bot small he knew how all wald cum to end.
Sa on the morne scho sang into hir bour,
Come the nixt Knicht pertenit the Empreour,
Saw this Lady, and hard hir voice sa sweit,
Tuik greit langour quhil he culd with hir meit
And sa he did, and schew to hir his minde,
Unto the quhilk scho was richt weill Inclinde.
Quha promeist hir of gude Florens fyue scoir,
Scho said gude Schir of ȝow I ask no moir.
He said Lady quhen sall I traist heirto
Ane gude dew time I sall prouyde (quod scho)
Sa he as than departit mirrelie,
Traisting his tryist in all thing weill suld be.
On the thrid day the thrid Knicht in like wise,
Come by hir hous and the same Interprise:
He tuik on hand and hecht to this Lady
Fyue scoir Florens of him suld haue reddy,
For to performe and satisfie his will,
Scho was content, and grantit weill thairtill.
Quhen sall I cum (quod he) I wald ȝe schew.
[Page 205] I sall send word (quod scho) as I am trew.
Sa all thir thre had gottin hir consent,
Bot nane of thame knew ȝit vtheris Intent.
Than this Lady of all malice repleit,
To hir husband scho said into secreit.
Secreit maters I haue to ȝow till schaw,
Bot ȝe alone na persoun sall it knaw.
And gif ȝe will the samin tak on hand,
For greit profeit to vs baith it will stand.
And will releif vs of all pouertie,
In time cūming, and leif in honestie.
He faid gude dame I can weill keip counsell,
Of ony thing that ȝe will to me tell.
To keip counsell it pertenis to ane man.
Bot be contrair, thair is na woman can,
Of thair counsell I reid anis in ane raill,
It is comparit to butter into Caill.
Zit not the les the suith gif ȝe will schaw,
Quhat euer it be, thair is na man sall knaw.
Quod scho it is ane thing of veritie,
That may vs hald ay into honestie.
Schaw me (said he) and I sall keip counsell,
Of all secreitis that ȝe will to me tell.
At my power the same I sall fulfill:
Thairfoir schaw furth gif that it be ȝour will.
Quod scho gude schir yair hes bene Knichts thre
Heir diuers times desiring lufe of me,
And promeist me but dout ane gude propine,
Ilk ane of thame fyue scoir of Florens fine.
At sindrie times Ilk ane come quietlie,
Not ane knawing of vthers preuitie.
Culd we this gold vnknawin get in our hand,
Into greit steid but dout it suld vs stand.
[Page 206] Than said the Knicht dame ȝe say veritie,
Bot of gude zeill tell on how can that be.
Scho said gude Schir my counsall ȝe sall heir,
How ȝe sall do, the way I sall ȝow leir.
I promeist thame euerie man be him sell,
Quheu thay sall cum, the time I suld thame tell,
In the same time at the ȝet ȝe sall stand,
Richt quietlie with ȝour drawin sword in hand
And quhen thay cum into thair ordour sa,
Ze sall not faill all thre thame for to sla.
Sa thre hunder Florens we sall obtene,
And nane sall knaw, nor ȝit the Knichts be sene.
Quhome to he said, O my belouit wife,
Suld I for gold reif ony man his life?
To do sic thing of God I stand sic aw,
And als it is contrair the Kingis Law.
And I dout not gif sic ane thing war done,
Withouttin dout it suld be knawin sone.
Quod scho feir not, the deid I tak on hand,
To end it furth peirtlie thair at sall stand.
And quhen he hard the taill than that scho tald,
It maid the man the mair hardie and bald.
Sa be counsall of this Ill wifes Intent,
Scho causit this Knicht to that slauchter consēt
This Ill woman quhen cūmin was the nicht,
Incontinent scho send for the first Knicht.
But mair abaid vnto the ȝet come he,
As he thocht best, knokit richt quyetlie.
Than answerit scho, and at him can scho speir,
Haue ȝe not brocht the hundreth Florens heir?
But dout (said he) I haue thame heir present,
Than scho vndid the ȝet Incontinent.
As he come in, and enterit at the ȝet,
[Page 207] Than hir husband sic ane straik on him set,
Without mair talk, bot schortlie with his sword
Gaue him sic wappis that he spak neuer word.
With the secund he did the samin gise,
And with the thrid he plaid on the same wise.
To ane secreit Chalmer thair bodeis drew.
That nane suld knaw that he ony man slew.
Than said he dame gif thair bodeis be found
Within this place, or ȝit within this ground.
It sall not faill bot we thairfoir sall die
The maist vyle deid that can Imaginit be.
Thay will be mist into the Court but dout,
And will be socht in all thir partis about.
Scho said gude Schir, this wark first I began
To end that Ilk richt wonder weill I can.
My Joy feir not, as I said ȝow befoir,
For I can dres sic thing and it war moir,
This Lady had into the same Cietie,
Ane gentill man, and hir brother was he:
Quhilk in the toun the gyding had to keip,
Ouir all the watche, that thay na way suld strip
Sa on ane nicht as he past throw the streit,
At hir awin ȝet hir brother culd scho meit.
Ane secreit thing (quod scho) my deir brother.
I mon ȝow schaw, as now to nane vther.
Than enterit he and the Knicht hir husband.
Welcūmit him weill, and tuik him be the hand
Talkit at lenth and mirrelie drank the wine,
And than the Knicht said to hir brother sine.
Brother (said he) richt hartlie I Inquire,
Of ȝour counsall richt greitlie I desire
To haue the same, for thairof I haue neid,
Hir brother said, trewlie sa God me speid,
[Page 208] [...]t my power, my counsall and gude thoche,
Ze sall not want, and thairm dout ȝe nocht.
Scho said brother this is the v [...]rray cace,
Zi sterday last thair come vnto our place,
Vnkend be vs, ane honest nobill Kmcht.
Quhome we Intreitit the best maner we micht,
And sa be chance he fell in argument
Quhairat my husband stude nathing content.
At last he ran sa heich in vilame,
Quhat wald ȝe mair my husband gart him die.
And still he lyis into ane Chalmer hid.
To na persoun as ȝit is knawin nor kid.
And we haue nane to do for vs as now
This greit mater for to conuoy bot ȝow.
Gif he be found with vs as chance may be,
It will not faill, but dout we will baith die.
And sa scho maid bot mentioun of ane Knicht,
Not schawing him the veritie nor richt,
Hir brother said deliuer him to me,
I sall him beir in ane sek to the se.
Scho heiring that was wōder blyith and glaid
Deliuerit him the deid Knicht as scho said.
And the hie gait to the sey he is past
With the deid Knicht, and thairm did him cast.
This being done, to his sister he said,
Ze ar now quyte of ȝone thairfoir be glaid.
As ȝe desirit this mater now is drest.
Now fill the wine let vs drink of the best.
That sall ȝe haue (quod scho [...] with mirrie cheir,
With all our hartis the best that we haue heir.
To the Chalmer in all haist past scho s [...]ne,
As it had bene for to haue brocht him wine.
And than begouth with ane loud voice to cry.
[Page 209] O deir brother richt wonder frayit am I
The same Ilk Knicht that ȝe kest in the se,
In our Chalmer agane is cum to me.
Than hir brother thairof had greit meruell,
[...]hen that he hard his sister sa him tell.
And I traist that thair can not be sic thing,
Zit not the les agane to me him bring.
I sall him put he sall not cum agane,
Bot still for ay I wait he sall remane.
He band him fast into ane vther sek,
With ane greit stane hingand about his nek.
The nirt Knicht tuik, beleuing that it was
The first deid Knicht and to the sey can pas,
Vpon his bak, the hie gait makis richt.
And thair but mair castis in the secund Knicht.
Than come he hame to his sister and said,
Na mair ȝe sall with ȝone Knicht be affraid:
For he is cast into the sey sa far,
That weill I wait he sall neuer cum nar.
Thairfoir fill wine, and let vs drink about,
For of ȝone Knicht I put ȝow out of dout.
To hir Chalmer to fetche wine scho did fane,
With ane loud voice scho cryit frayitlie agane.
O my brother the Knicht I say ȝow sure,
Quhome ȝe did drowne, is in my Chalmer flure
Wo be to me, I wait not quhat to say,
For be na meane he will not byde away.
The brother hard, and said quhat deuill is this
That verray Knicht he is sum witche I wis.
I haue him drownit twa sindrie times but dout
And ay agane of the sey cūmis out
Zit the thrid time deluier him to me,
And I na mair sall cast him in the se:
[Page 210] Bot I sall burne his banis into ane fire,
Brother (said scho) that same thing I desire.
Than scho deliuerit the last Knicht of the thre,
And he beleuit it was the first trewlie,
Sa the thrid Knicht away with him hes [...]
Knawing nathing bot all thre had bene ane.
Without the [...]oun ane myle fra the Cietie,
In ane Forest a greit fire biggit he,
And the thrid Kniche thairm he kest to burne,
Beleuing weill he had done ane gude turne
That put away the verray Instrument
That was abill his sister to haue schent.
This deid knicht brint, that vther did him speid
As becūmis all, to do his naturall deid.
Vp fra the fire he past ane bowschot space
Into the wod to do sic besines.
And sa it chancit that samin verray nicht,
Come throw the wod rydand ane vther Knicht,
Quhilk had ane tryist the morne in the Cietie,
At ane Justing thair him behude to be.
For werynes was baith houngrie and cald,
He blent about, and the fire culd behald.
Him to refresche hidder he raid thairto,
Bot he wist not quhat had bene thair ado.
He lichtit doun, knit his hors to ane tre,
And to the fire Incontment past he,
To warme his hands, and to comfort his cors,
And for ane quhile to rest his tyrit hors.
Than the same knicht that was y womans bro­ther
Come to the fire agane and saw ane vther
Stand at the fire, quhome to he said in hy,
Quhat may thow be, he said ane Knicht am I.
Quod he agane I wait thow art na Knicht,
[Page 211] Thow art ane deuill, that weill I wait full richt
Twise I the drownit, the first time in ane sck,
The secund time ane greit stane at thy nek.
And now thridlie, I brint the in this fire,
And ȝit to leif me think thow will not tire.
War thow the deuill, and als the deuillis dam
Or I war cūmerit with the sa as I am,
I rather bu [...]ne the ten times in ane fire,
Thy hors thy self, baith bowk banis and lire.
As he sa said, in his armes he him tuik,
In middis the fire he kest him in the smuik.
And sine his hors abone him also kest,
Sa brint thame baith or euer he tuik rest.
To his sister than come he hame agane,
Quhat him berid he tald to hir in plane.
Fill the best wine (quod he) and spair it nocht
For without dout richt deir I haue it bocht.
Efter in the fire that I had brint him anis,
Incontinent he standis vp bowk and banis,
Befoir the fire, and his hors him beside,
Quhat deuil (said I) me think thow schaipis to ride
Sa in the fire I kest him hors and all,
All this sister said he chancit me befall.
Than in hir minde scho knew Incontinent,
That he had brint ane Knicht of tornament.
Zit not the les scho brocht him the best wine,
Drank mirrelie, and sa past his way sine.
Not lang efter this wife and hir awin Knicht
Fell in debait, bechance vpon ane nicht,
And scho him gaue sum wordis outrageous,
Hie and haltand, and verray dispittous.
Quhairthrow he grew at hir in matalent,
Twa stripis or thre, till hir sa hes he lent.
[Page 212] Than said this wife theif wil thow [...]rther me
As thow hes done the Empreouris [...]hts thre
Thow seruis weill to be hangit and drawin,
Gifsi [...] thing war vnto our [...]ichtbouris knawin
Nichtbouris about thir cruell wordis did hei [...]
The rumour rais, the fokis grew all in feir.
Word weut fra hand vnto the Empreour.
Thay war send for but ony delatour.
Quha was accusit for sic ane cruell crime,
S [...]e scho confest the deid, the hour and time.
How he murdreist the Empreour Knichts thre
Within the nicht, into greit crueltie
And how that thay spuilȝeit fra euerie Knicht,
Fyue scoir Florens of gold that was sa bricht.
And how that scho the mater first Inuentit,
And how that he thairto first disassentit.
Sa thay war baith condampnit be the Law,
That officers at hors taillis suld thame draw:
To the Gallous out throw the haill Cietie,
To thair greit schame, that Ilk man mi [...]ht it se.
On the Gallous thay war baith put to deid,
As thay deseruit but mercie or remeid.
The Maister said vnto the Empreour
Seruit thay not died, yt maid sa greit murthou [...]
The Empreour said that wife was wonder euil
Be apperance was temptit with the deuill.
S [...]ho was the first the mater mufit and bred,
S [...]chke the first the samin gart out spred.
The Maister said war sall cum to ȝour sell,
Slaȝe ȝour sone for ȝour Ill wifes counsell.
My sone (said he) for that now ȝe haue said,
Thair sall na charge of deid be to him laid
As for this day, thairfoir pas to ȝour place,
[Page 213] The Maister said God saue ȝour nobill grace.
Sa [...]uik his leif, and with a [...] [...] hart,
To his awin hous, fra the Court did depart.
¶ Quhen the Emprice of thir tythance hard tell
Scho was maist like for to haue slane hir sell.
As ane wod wife come to the Empreour,
Behald (said scho) ane woman of dolour.
Except that ȝe get me souer remeid.
I sall but dout my awin self put to deid.
I am sa schamit with the countrie about,
That I think schame of my Chalmer cum out
And na remeid quhat euer I do or say,
Bot with fals Taillis put of fra day to day,
Fy vpon ȝow that sufferis sic ane thing,
Ze ar not worth to be Empreour or King.
Ze cure na schame, ȝe cure na warldis wonder
To haue me schamit, and ȝour self put to vnder
And to be schamit & callit ane Empreours wife
I sall rather my self fall on my knife.
The pane of deid Induris bot half ane hour,
Bot euer mair schame sall degraid honour.
The Empreour said I pray God ȝow defend,
That ȝe tak not sic ane vnhappie end.
To tak in thocht ȝour awin self for to sla,
Quhat euer ȝe do, I pray ȝow do not sa.
And I pray God that I not causer be
Of sic mischance, nor sir aduersitie.
Bot will ȝe thoill and suffer ane schort quhile,
Zour caus will cum to aue far better stile,
And ȝour complaint will haue the better end
Zour Just querrell euer I sall defend.
Quod scho agane, the end sall not be gude,
Baith ȝow and me it sall vs baith exclude
[Page 214] Of this I [...]pire, and put vs to confusioun,
Zon [...] seum Maisters leidis ȝow in si [...] abusioun,
That it sall chance to ȝow heir esterwart,
As it come to ane King and his Stewart.
The Empreour said, I pray ȝow now but faill,
Of ȝour gudnes to tell me furth that taill.
Scho said my Lord to tell ane taill agane,
Weill I persaue it will be bot in vane:
For the nixt day the seuint Maister will cum,
And tell ane taill to saif ȝour sone thats dum.
And help him as his fellowis did befoir,
F [...]a thay haue done, ȝe will heir me no moir.
On the aucht day than sall ȝour awin sone cum
Aud tell his taill quhilk this lang time was dū
To quhais talking ȝe sall giue sic plesour,
That I salbe put furth of ȝour memour.
And the greit lufe betuix vs twa hes bene,
In time cūming now salbe forȝet clene.
The Empreour said sic ane thing can not be,
Without ȝe serue the same vnwittand me.
Quhilk I beleue was neuer in ȝour thocht,
Thairfoir as ȝit sic thing trow will I nocht.
The Emprice said, than I sall tell my taill,
Quhilk to ȝour grace it sall greitlie auaill.
And caus ȝow fra greit perrellis eschew
Quhilk I persaue is ellis prepairit for ȝow.
Be ȝour curst sone, and his seum Maisters all
Quhilk efter this richt weill persaue ȝe sall.
The Empreour said, now I pray ȝour gudnes,
Tell furth that taill and leif ȝour besines.
S [...] scho began hir taill with fenȝeit cheir,
Not blyith at hart, as ȝe sall efter heir.
Bot or scho tell hir taill furth to the King,
[Page 215] Of the last taill now let vs say sum thing.


OMERCIE God quhat thing is this,
The mater greitly meruellis me,
That cunning Clerkis can not discus
The Ill and the Iniquitie
That in wemen bene,
Bred with greit tray and tene
The greit dissait and subteltie
Sic kenenes with greit crueltie
was ueuer hard nor sene,
This Lady in hir windo set,
Singing hir noitis sa curtous
Presenting thair the deuillis net
Under cullour sa cautelous,
Zoung men at till hir gane,
And in hir net ar tane
And thair with mynde malitious
Ju hart being sa couetous
Causit murdreis thame Ilk ane,
This murt her first scho did Inuent
That causit thir men for to be slane
Syne was the verray Instrument
First for to mak it knawin agane
Sa mony wayis scho fand,
For to tyist hir husband
To do mischeif with sic fals trane,
And syue the same scho culd not lane
Bot maid it kend fra hand.
Throw hir malice and bet Inuy
Baith of hir husband and hir sell
The cruell m [...]rther scho did out cry
Qubair of nichtbouris had greit meruell,
Quhilk thing thay neuer knew,
Quhill that the wife it schew
And causit hir the treuth to tell,
Now all the mater first befell
And how the Anchtis thay slew.
Quha was puneist for thair misdeid,
And gat the rigour of the Law,
[Page 216] Now Schirs perfane quhat dois proceid
Of ane Ill womans wickit saw,
Duredome was first in plane
Syne gredynes but lane
To wow the woman as ȝe knaw.
The gold and slauchter did on draw
Aud causit the men be slane.
Thairfoir I say thay that hes wyfes,
Let thame not all thair secreitis knaw,
For gif it chance that thay twa stryfes.
All that scho knawis that will scho schaw.
And rather mair nor les
Thay haue that vse expres,
For gif ȝe len thame anis ane blaw
Quyte auld freindschip thay let faw
Turnis all to wickitnes.
As did this wyfe in greit malice,
Hir husband and hir self put doun,
Throw hir counsall and couetice
To hyde the same had na ressoun.
That thing ȝe wald haue hid,
That to ȝour wyfe forbid
And it war neuer sa greit tressoun.
That scho sall tell throw all the toun
As this wickit wyfe did.
The wyfe man sayis thair toungis ar schairy
As ony sword is wrocht with hand,
Quhairwith sa crouslie thay will cairp
Ilk word thay say alone sall stand.
Thay ar sa outrageous,
I [...]efull and dispittous,
Thay cure not the wag of ane wand
To gar ȝow tyne ba [...]th lyfe and land
Quhen thay grow furious.
God saue my sell fra sic ane sort
For I persaue thay ar perrellous
I promeis ȝow it is na sport
To find ȝour vnfreind in ȝour hous.
Quhioder be he or scho,
To tell all that I do
[Page 217] And thay be [...]auld and busteous,
S [...] tūmersum and malitious,
I can not tell quhairto.
[...] Ne intenderis maliciae mulieris quia nouissima illius amara quasi ab [...]intheum longe fac ab ea viam tuam quia lingua eius accuta vt gladius bioeps. Et pedes eius discendunt in mortem.’Prouerb. 5.

¶ Ane praise to the Sext Doctour.

THY goldin toung with grace sa thow hes gydit,
That to this Chylde ȝit lyfe thow hes prouydit
Contrair the Quene, a vengeance on hir cors
Bot without dout or sentence be decydit,
I wait the Chylde he will bauldlie abyde it.
For quhy he knawis baith the best and the worse
And gif fa be the Quene mon byde on force.
Zit not the les thow suld haue thankis but dout
Thow gude Maister that keipit thy day about.

¶ The Emprice seuint Taill

BEfoir this time thair was ane Nobill King,
That lufit his wife abone all eirdlie thing.
He had to hir sic greit lufe and fauour,
He keipit hir Ilk day within closour.
In the greit hous of ane strenthie Castell,
Quhairof the keyis he keipit ay him sell,
Quhairat this Lady tuik greit heuines,
That scho was sa haldin in sic straitues.
Wantit solace and all gude companie,
Bot quhen the King come in allanerlie.
In vther partis thair was ane Nobill Knicht.
It chancit him to dreame into the nicht
Into his sleip he thocht weill that he saw,
The fairest Quene that euer man did knaw.
Quhais lufe he couet abone all cirdlie thing,
Gif he micht se hir on the cird walking.
[Page 218] Nathing douting, bot be hir cum suld he
To greit honour, worschip and honestie.
That samin nicht this Quene in hir visio [...]
Dreamit on this Knicht, and on the same fasso [...]
And ȝit nouther of vther knew the name,
Nor knawledge had be fassoun or be fame.
This Knicht he rais vpon the morne airlie,
Rememberit weill on his dreame sickerlie.
And determit into his minde and thocht,
Nor be na way to tak rest wald he nocht:
Vnto the time that Ladie quhill he fand,
Gif that scho micht be gottin in ony land.
Lap on his hors, and in haist furth he raid,
To seik this Quene, na langer tary maid.
Throw Royall Realmes, & diuers greit coūtries
Throw riche Regiounis, and semelie seir cieteis
This fair Lady ȝeid sa far in his tho [...]ht,
Thair was na landis for hir he left vnsocht.
Quhill at the last he come to ane Cietie,
Quhair he gat wit thair was ane fair Ladie.
Keipit sa clois, that nane micht cum hir till,
Ercept alone it war the Kingis will.
Thair he soiornd for his Pastime ane space,
Him to refresche in mirth and mirrines.
Sa it fortunit to him vpon ane day,
Pas by the place quhair that this Lady lap.
In h [...]r windo luiking furth hir alone,
For vther game nor pastime gat scho none.
Sa scho chancit sone for to get ane sicht,
Qu [...]ōe of scho dremit of this same verray Knicht
Thinking richt weill the samin man was he,
Intill hir dreame befoir that scho did se.
He not knawing that that Lady was thair.
[Page 219] Bot as chance come doun by making repair.
In meane seasoun he liftit vp his Ee
In hir windo this Lady can he se.
Thinking richt weill it was the samin Quene,
That he befoir into his dreame had sene.
Than he began to sing ane sang of lufe,
Quhilk qu [...]en scho hard, greitlie it did hir mufe
Into his lufe, and prentit in hir hart,
Quhilk was vnkend to him in ony part.
Zit not the les daylie he maid repair,
About that place to tak pastime and air.
Than this Lady persauing this at all,
Ane bill of lufe to him scho leit doun fall.
And he belyue red ouir this prettie bill,
Persauing weill the Ladeis minde and will.
Fra this time furth he vsit daylie Justing,
Breking of speiris, and alswa hors rinning.
Easting of stane, and als the leidin mell,
Worsling, lowping, he did exerce him sell,
Daylie actis he vsit and honest deidis,
That in the Court his fame & word vp spreidis
Quhill at the last his name and gude beiring,
His honest actis war schawin to the King
The King heiring his vailȝeant tornament,
He send for him Message Incontinent.
Quha chargeit him the King he suld cum till,
To heir his minde, his plesure and his will.
Quha come to him with all humilitie,
As him effeirit, law kneilling on his knie.
Schir knicht he said, I haue hard of ȝow tell,
How in gude actis ȝe haue exercit ȝour sell,
Into my Court amang my gentill men,
Thairfoir sen I sic actis dois of ȝow ken,
[Page 220] Pleis ȝe remane into our companie,
Ze sall haue giftis and gude rewaird of me.
And be ane of my gaird and my counsell,
Sa it pleis ȝow with vs remane and dwell.
Than said this Knicht and pleis ȝour Maiestie.
To haue seruice of sic ane man as me:
I sall ȝow serue baith with my hand and hart,
In all effairis, sic as pertenis my part.
Without rewaird or ony recompence,
Sa that I may haue daylie ȝour presence.
And sen ȝour grace hes now desicit me,
Into ȝour gaird, and on ȝour counsall be:
I wald ȝour grace to my desire wald grant,
Sa on seruice the better I micht hant.
Ane new ludgeing to haue at the Towre syde,
Quhair I micht be, and at ȝour bidding byde
Gif that ȝour grace neidit vpon me call.
Ze micht gar cry out ouir the Castell wall.
Than said the King faith I consent thairto,
Ga big ȝour hous as ȝe think best to do.
Than past the Knicht or euer he wald tire,
And feit wark men, & promeist thame gude hire
His hous biggit with tymmer stane and thak,
With ane Masoun he maid ane derne contrak.
Out fra this hous to mak ane small passage,
Into y Towre quhair this Quene was in Cage
Quhen this was done, efter his awin Intent
This same Masoun he killit Incontinent,
That he suld not discouer his secre,
For his rewaird this warkman this gat h [...].
Than went this knicht quhē he plesit to y quene
In secreit sort, and with na man was sene.
Did hir seruice as culd him weill effeir,
[Page 221] Than thay talkit of diuers maters seir.
Amang the rest he spak to hir of lufe,
Quhilk in ane part hir hart greitlie did mufe.
Howbeit as than scho was not weill contentit,
Zit efterwart to his will scho consentit.
Sa in hir thocht the Quene kest on ane day,
Of this mater quhat scho suld do or say:
Tuitching this Knicht, als to hir awin husbād
Be sic thing knawin, than ba [...]sching the land
To my tinsell, and euer warldis schame.
For vpon me wald be laid all the blame.
Becaus that I wald not the Knicht discure,
I salbe callit the Ill woman full sure.
Also the Knicht he sall eschaip na way,
Bot of the deith the schairp he sall assay.
Thairfoir is best, and I persaue my sell,
To hald my toung, and not ane word to tell.
And sa all times quhen thay pleisit to meit,
Be this derne way thay ȝeid to thair secreit.
Sine efterward the Quene gaue him ane Ring
Quhilk at wedlok scho ressauit fra the King.
Greit Tornamentis this Knicht he vsit daylie
And euer bure away the victorie.
Quhairthrow he stude baith in Court & with King
In greit fauour, for his manlie hauing.
Into sa far, that he was efterwart
Maid be the King Comptroller and Stewart.
And all his Realme he had in Regiment,
T [...]k in his maillis, Gersowmes & daylie rent.
Vpon a day it did appleis the King,
For his plesure to pas to the hunting.
To his Stewart the King gaue than command
To be reddy, and pas with him fra hand.
[Page 222] Upon the morne than all the Court vprais,
And with the king all to the Hunting gais.
All the lang day thay chais in the Forest
Quhill the king thocht he wald haue had sū rest
For he was tyrit, and werie all begane,
Sa he reposit beside ane fair Fontane.
Than his Stewart quhair he sat with the king
Efter trauell he fell vpon sleiping.
And sa the king persauit at the last,
The Quenis Ring vpon his finger fast.
Quhilk the knicht knew be countenance of the king
That he had sene & markit that Ilk ring.
Than to the king with fenȝeit countenance
He said my Lord this is the verray chance.
Ane Maladie hes tane me in this tyde.
I am sa seik na mair hunting may byde.
Without I get the soner sum remeid,
I dout richt sair that it salbe my deid.
Praying ȝour grace that ȝe wald giue me leif
For to pas hame, ȝour grace not for to greif.
Quod he gude freind gif ȝe pleis to pas hame
I grant ȝow leif, pas on in Goddis Name.
Incontineut he gat vpon his hors,
Fenȝeing him self to haue ane seiklie cors.
Hame to his hous into all haist he raid,
And to the Quene he past withouttin baid.
Without proces deliuerit hir the king.
That scho befoir had gottin fra the king.
And tald hir how the king the same did knaw
On his finger, on sleip quhen he him saw.
Beseiking hir gif that the kingis grace
Speirit for the ring within schort time or space
Scho suld him schaw the same but questioun
[Page 223] For to exclude Ill word and suspitioun,
This being done, he past his preuie way,
And to his bed he maid him but delay.
The hunting done, the King come hame at ene.
Incontinent he said vnto the Quene,
Quhair is the Ring in wedlok I ȝow gaue.
Schaw me the same for I it now mon haue.
Scho said Lord, sa sone to quhat Intent
Wald ȝe it se na way it is absent.
Than said the King schaw me it Incontinent:
Or I sweir ȝow ȝe sall it sair repent.
Than vp scho rais, and to hir Coffer went,
And brocht the Ring to him Incontinent.
Quhen he it saw, he was richt wonder glaid,
And half aschamit vnto the Quene he said:
Madame forsuith, sen first hour I was borne,
Sa like ane Ring be warkmen maid or schorne.
To the Knichtis Ring, to ȝouris I neuer saw,
I wald haue sworne war not y now I knaw
Baith had bene ane that gart me ask ȝour Ring
Quod scho my Lord beleue ȝe sic ane thing?
Nay, nay, Madame, I cry ȝow now mercie,
For weill I wait sic thing thair can not be.
Scho said my Lord, tak not sic thing in thocht
For the same man perchance y ȝour ring wrocht
He maid the Knichtis, and on the samin sort,
Quod he Madame I said it bot in sport.
Quod scho my Lord God mot ȝow grant par­doun
Gif ȝe me hald in ony suspitioun.
God ȝow forgiue ȝour Ill suspitious minde,
Gif ȝe suspect in ony sort or kinde.
Considdering of ȝour Castell the strenth,
And my lawtie ȝe haue kend at the lenth.
[Page 224] Aud sine ȝour self had the keyis in keiping,
I mexuell how ȝe can suspect sic thing.
Quod he Madame I pray ȝow tak patience,
I said nathing for to do ȝow offence.
Bot as ȝe knaw desirit my [...]ing to se,
Quhilk now agane ȝe sall ressaue of me.
With als gude will as euer I it gaue,
Scho said my Lord the same I will ressaue,
Sa efterwart ȝe suspect me na way,
He said Madame, that sall I not perfay.
Efter this time the Knicht causit prepair
In his awin hous ane Banket or dennair.
Sine to the King he said and pleis ȝour grace,
This is the treuth, the verray caus and cace.
My bedfellow is cum fra hir countrie,
Quhilk thocht greit lang my presence for to se,
To hir I causit ane dennar to prepair,
With all my hart I wald ȝour grace war thair
And pleis ȝour grace to do me sic honour,
Surelie (said he) I will do ȝow plesour.
In that behalf, and it war mekill moir,
The Knicht he kneillit, & thankit him thairfoi [...]
Than in his hart he was richt wonder glaid
For the kinde wordis the King had to him said
Than past he to the Quene Incontinent,
Be his derne Caif, the straicht way is he went,
And said Madame, pleis ȝow to tak sic paue,
Into my hous to dine with ȝour Souerane
This samm day, and cleith ȝow vp richelie.
As is the gise and vse of my countrie.
And sit thair at in Tabill with the King.
Euin as ȝe war my wife spousit with ane King
And mak him all the past [...]e and gude cheir.
[Page 225] As to his grace in best sort can effeir.
Scho said Schir Knicht as ȝe pleis sa I will.
As I best can ȝour plesour to fulfill.
The hour become, and dennar time of day,
To the Knichts hous the King come on away.
In the meane time the Quene come hir dern gait
In the Knichts hall beliue scho gat hir sait.
In sic clething as the Knicht gaue command,
Efter the gise and fassoun of his land.
And quhen the King come to the Knichtis haw.
Sa sone as he the Ladeis visage saw,
He thocht scho was womā maist like his quene,
Sen he was borne, that euer he saw with Eue.
[...]it not the les Ilk ane on thair maneir,
Thay hailsit vther as it culd best effeir.
Than to the Knicht the King said quietlie,
Quhat is scho this sa semelie for to se?
The Knicht he said, and pleis ȝour Maiestie.
This is forsuith my lufe and my Ladie,
Quhilk of lang time fra me hes bene abseut,
Bot now I am of hir cūming content,
Sa that ȝe be content that scho is heir,
I am said he [...] sa God grant me gude cheir.
And first thay wesche, and sine to Tabill went,
And euer mair the King in his Intent,
Thocht yt he knew the Quene & had knawledge
Be hir fassoun, hir forme and hir visage,
And to him self he said in all his life,
He neuer saw ane woman mair like his wife.
[...]it not the les the strenth of his awin Towre
Dissauit his minde, and led him in errour.
That in sa far he gaue far mair credence
To the Knichtis wordis, and cullourit eloquēce
[Page 226] Nor to the thing he saw with his awin Ene,
Quhilk blindit him, & als misknew his Quene
Than scho began to talk of sum glaidnes,
And steir the King vp in sum mirrines.
Sa sone as he hard hir speiche and hir voice,
Quhidder to speik or for to hald him clois.
He not weill wist bot ȝit said to him sell,
O Lord in heuin heir is ane greit meruell.
This woman is in fassoun and fauour
In speiche, in voice, makdome and portratour,
In behauingis, and als in conditiounis,
In fax, in face, in fait and in fassounis.
And in all sort sa done like my awin Quene,
In all this warld was neuer ane liker sene.
And ȝit the strenth of the Towre him begylit,
With the Knichtis wordis yt him sa sielie sylit
Sa at the meit with mirrines amang,
The Knicht desirit the Quene to sing ane sang.
Than scho began to sing ane sang of lufe,
The King heiring, greitlie his hart can mufe.
Said to him self, and this be not my wife,
I wait scho is not leuand vpon life.
And than agane he thocht that can not be,
For I my self in keiping hes the kie:
Of the greit Towre quhair nathing can cum in
Bot I my self that keipis baith key and gin,
Than na man can enter within that Towre,
Except my self, nouther be time nor hour.
Sa all denner he sat in sic consait,
With his awin self into sic strang debait.
And sa he sat, and wist not quhat to say,
And at the last he bad sone tak away,
The Tabill and claith, he wald na langer byde
[Page 227] And said he wald about the feildis ryde.
Than said the Knicht & pleis ȝour Nobill grace
For to remane ane prettie time and space.
We sall ȝow mak mair mirrines and cheir,
For without dout ȝour grace is welcum heir.
Than said the Quene, and pleis ȝour Maiestie,
For to remane with vs in companie.
We sall ȝow mak the mirrines and sport,
All that we can to hald ȝow in comfort.
Si [...]ke as dois the Quene in hir solace,
With all seruice that we can do ȝour grace.
For all requeist, planelie the King said nay,
For to remane, gart tak the Tabill away.
And said he was in that same verray tyde
In sic fantise, he micht na langer byde.
And sa the claith and Tabill away was tane,
[...]p rais the King and to the flure is gane.
Thankit the Knicht of his kindnes and cheir,
The Lady als into hir best maneir.
Sine in all haist to the Castell he went,
To se the Quene, gif scho was thair present.
And than the Quene went on hir preuie way,
Rest of hir clais and hir vncouth array.
And quhen the King enterit within the Towre
He fand the Quene sitting intill hir Bowre.
In the same clais, and sort as he hir left,
Quhairthrow he was in his speiche half bereft
Quhen he hir saw he braist hir twise or thrise,
And said Madame I am in ane fantise.
This day I dynit with the Knicht as ȝe knaw
And with his lufe, the quhilk I neuer saw,
Sa like to ȝow be forme and fassoun
Be speiche and voice, and als conditioun.
[Page 228] All dennar time I was sa steirit in thocht,
That I not wist gif it was ȝe or nocht.
And ay my minde it was in sic dispair,
I wist not weill gif ȝe war heir or thair.
Than said the Quene I meruell of ȝour minde,
That to sic thing ȝour hart suld be Inclinde.
For ȝe knaw weil the greit strenth of ȝour towre
As to the keyis thay ar at ȝour plesour.
And my bodie ȝe knaw hes na credence,
To cum or gang without ȝour awin licence.
And as ȝe knaw to fle I haue na wingis,
How can ȝe than Imagine siclike thingis?
Quhat kinde of way is possibill to me,
For to be in ȝone Knichtis companie?
Gif euer ȝe red the buik of Phisnomy
Thairin ȝe may richt weill reid and espy
That it may stand ane to be like ane vther
Howbeit that ane be not syb to the vther.
Thairfoir my Lord I ȝow require on richt
Haue na suspect betuix me and ȝone Knicht,
Than said the King forsuith that sall not be,
I grant my self into this fault gyltie.
Into sa far as I misdemit ȝow,
Thair is na caus sic thing to think I trow.
Than said the Quene sen gyltie ȝe ȝow grant,
I ȝow forgiue, sa sic thing ȝe not hant.
Upon the morne the Knicht said to the King
And pleis ȝour grace ȝe will me grant a thing.
This lang ago I haue ȝow done seruice,
The best I culd, pertening my office.
Ze se my lufe is cum from hir countrie,
And to returne hamewart for to caus me.
And I Intend (gif it be ȝour plesour
[Page 229] Vnto my lufe ȝe wald do sic honour,
To mary hir in face of halie Kirk,
As God commandis all Christin man to wirk)
To be at hame callit my lauchfull wife,
Quhill dowesum deid depart vs fra this life.
Beseiking now ȝour Nobill grace heirfoir,
For my rewaird, as now I ask no moir:
Bot with ȝour hand deliuer hir to me,
Befoir the Preist that the pepill may se.
It will be callit to me ane greit honour.
Sa that it be ȝour graces awm plesour.
Quhair that my wife was geuin me be a King,
In our countrie will be callit ane greit thing
In sic effairis, as is the auld fassoun,
Unto wedlok quhen twasum makis thē boun
Than said the King ȝour rewaird is to small,
That ȝe desire or charges me with all.
I will do that richt glaidlie for ȝour saik,
And for hir lufe that now suld be ȝour maik.
The Knicht thankit the King a thousand spse,
That answerit him sa kindlie on sic wise.
The mariage and day of the banket,
The King him self he gart deuise and set.
On the quhilk day, the King with greit honour
Come to the Kirk to do the Knicht plesour▪
The parische Preist with his Kirklike bestmēts
Was weill Indewit with all abilȝements,
For to solempne the band of mariage,
Into the Kirk, as than was the vsage▪
In this meane tune the Knicht gart mak reddy
In his awin hous his lufe and his Lady,
Weill all cled vp efter the conswetude
Of his coūtrie quhilk he thocht was maist gude
[Page 230] And gart twa knichtis to the Kirk hir connop
With greit blyithnes, solempnitie and Joy.
Quha than beleuit his Paramouris had bene.
Howbeit scho was in deid thair natiue Quene.
Than said the Preist the quhilk was his dewtie
Quha delyueris this woman now to me?
That I agane may gif hir to this Knicht,
In face of Kirk, and in the pepillis sicht.
Than said the king that sall I do bedene,
Becaus scho is sa wonder like my Quene.
I lufe hir all the better be my life,
Hir face and fauour is sa done like my wife.
As is the vse in filling of sic vandis
The King he tuik his awin wife be the handis,
And to the Preist he gaue this Lady bricht,
The Preist agane gaue hir vnto the Knicht.
Of halie Kirk, efter the auld fassoun,
Than he began to reid his Orisoun,
Upon his buik full besilie can say▪
The band cōpleit he maid betwene thame tway
This being done the Knicht said to the King
Schir ȝe haue done to me ane kindelie thing.
With ȝour awin hand that hes deliuerit me
This Nobill woman befoir this companie.
My Schip quhairin we purpois to pas hame,
Is alreddy now fleting on the fame.
And we wald fane with ȝour graces licence
We war furderit hamewart for to pas hence.
My Marmaris thay ar in reddynes,
To tak vp saillis, and to the sey thame dres.
Thairfoir I wald ȝour Nobill Maiestie
Sen ȝe haue schawin sa greir kindnes to me,
Unto my Schip ȝe wald my wife conuoy,
[Page 231] For scho thairof wald haue greit mirth and Joy
Considdering scho is now to depart,
It wald hir do greit comfort in hir hart.
And als I wald ȝe gaue hir gude counsall
All man [...]euand for to forsaik all haill
Bot me alone, quhilk is hir awin trew Knicht,
And maryit hir into ȝour graces sicht.
Than said the King all sic is richt godlie,
The maryit wife obedient to be:
To hit husband, and all vthers refuse▪
I haue na dout bot all sic scho will vse.
Than went the King with all his companie,
And to the Schip conuoyit that fair Ladie.
And be the gait his counsall he hir schew,
That scho suld be to hir Knicht traist and trew.
Him to obey, and hald him in honour,
Lufe him alone a [...]e all creature.
And nane leuand in hir minde for to haue,
Quhais counsall than I traist scho did ressaue.
Than the Quene said and pleis ȝour Maiestie
This gude counsall that ȝe haue geuin to me
It salbe done, and it war ten times moir,
Quod he Madame, now I thank ȝow thairfoir
Praying to God ȝour schip weill to conuoy,
Swa to ȝour land that ȝe may cum with Joy.
And than he tuik the Quene first be the hand
And sine the Knicht, quhilk thā was hir husbād
And gaue thē baith his blissing quhair he stude
quhilk to y quene as scho thocht was richt gude
For at that time scho thocht it was hir part,
Howbeit this King was blindit to the hart.
Siue first the Quene, & than this nobill Knicht
At this blind King ather thay tuik gude nicht
[Page 232] The King hir kist and bad fair weill adew,
Sa like my wife (quod he) I neuer knew.
And hir fauour will caus me think on ȝow
Quhen ȝe ar past, this trewlie ȝe may trow.
Than said the Quene law kneilland on hir kne
I thank ȝour grace that sic thocht takis on me.
Do I not sa quhen that we ar cum hame.
And think on ȝow, richt far I am to blame.
For greit kindnes and Inwarr courtasie
That ȝe haif schawin to ȝour awin knicht & me
This being done to schip thay mak passage
Enterit in burde and maid for thair veyage.
Raisit vp Ankeris and Cabillis in thay drew,
The wind was fair, eum as thay wald it blew
Heisit vp saillis and to seward thay past,
The Skipper speillit belyue to the top Mast.
To spy the wedder, gif tempest did appeir,
Into that cace thair saillis the lawer beir.
Within schort space the schip was out of sicht,
Sa was the king baith quite of quene & knicht
And than belyue the king hamewart [...] went,
To his Castell and fand the Quene absent.
Gif he was noyit or crabit at his hart,
I trow be few of sturt can tell his part.
His face it swat, his feit and handis schuik,
Upon na man with patience he micht luik.
He socht the towre and spyit all round about,
Gif he culd find the gait quhair scho gat out.
He fand the hoill and secreit way at last,
Quhair yt knicht come & quhair away scho past
Than cryit he out full wallaway allace,
Heir is becum ane greit mischeuous cace.
The knicht quhome to I gaue sic confidence
[Page 233] Of lufe and fauour, be counsall and credence.
On him alone I wald haue lippinnit my life,
Now tratourlie hes cane away my wife.
I was ane fule fulfillit of fantasie,
That gaue mair faith vnto his wordis slie:
Nor I did ay to my awm seing Ene,
Quhairthrow I want my bedfeliow and quene
And schamit for ay with sak and derisioun,
Quhilk will mebring to vtter confusioun.
Considdering weill I had my Ene to se,
All man may weill exampill tak be me.
¶ The Emprice than said to the Empreour
This taill I tald my Lord for ȝour plesour.
Wald God the same that ȝe weill vnderstude,
Than suld ȝe be of all danger denude.
The Empreour said Madame sa haue I seill,
All that ȝe said I vnderstude richt weill.
Quod scho my Lord remēber how this Prence
Unto this knicht gaue sic perfite credence.
Als to his wordis greiter credence he gaue,
Nor his awin Ene, sa he did him dissaue.
In like maner vnto thir Maisters seum,
Ze giue mair faith nor to greit God in heuin
Be apperance, for daylie ȝe may se
Quhat displesure thay seuin wald wirk on me.
Me to destroy thay labour nicht and day,
And ȝe giue faith to Ilk word that thay say.
Mair nor ȝe do to ȝour awin naturall Ene,
Quhilk heirefter will baith be hard and sene.
Haue ȝe not sene how ȝour sone raif my face,
And ȝit ȝe giue skarse credence in that cace.
Quhilk ȝit beiris still the markis as ȝe may se,
Quhairof as ȝit I get na remedie.
[Page 234] And als ȝe knaw how me he wald haue scha [...]
Defoulit ȝour bed quhairthrow I was defauilt
All this become throw his Maisteris defence
Quhome to ȝe giue sa confirmit credence.
This ȝe mark not, nor preutis into ȝour hart,
Bot it noyis me Inwart in euerie part.
Thairfoir richt sair I dout the samin thing
Sall happin ȝow, as it did to this king.
That gaue credence quhill he was quite begylit
Sa is ȝour self with thir same seuin ouirsylit.
He said I giue to my Eme mair credence,
Nor to thay seuin for all thair greit Science.
Thairfoir the morne for all thair taillis & sawis
My sone he sall the Judgement thoill of lawis
And on the morne his officers he gart call,
Commandit them that thay suld furthwith all
Tak out his Sone, and on the Gallous hing.
That it war done befoir all vther thing.
Than sic ane noyis rais vp in the Cietie,
It for to heir it was ane greit pietie:
That the Empreour his awin sone suld gar sla,
Within that toun mony hart it maid wa.
The seuint Maister hard cell of this tythadd,
To the Sergands he haistit him fra hand.
Thame for to meit in all gude haist him sped,
Ouhair thay yt childe doun throw the Cietie led
Quod he gude freinds, hartlie I ȝow beseik,
Tary ane time quhill I the Empreour speik.
I traist to God or I cum far away.
I sall his life fra perrell saue this day.
The Officers thay war richt wonder glaid,
And did euin sa, as the Maister thame bad.
To the Empreour he haistit throw the toun,
[Page 235] And on his kneis befoir him sat he doun:
Randering him sic reuerence as accordis,
Sine efter him to his Princes and Lordis,
The Empreour with greit Indignatioun,
Dengeabill vult and with browis casting doun
Saying to him all sorrow mot the fall,
Baith vnto the, and to thy fellowis all.
Ane dum ȝoung chylde to me ȝe seuin hes sent.
Quhilk spak richt weill quhē he vnto ȝow went
Becaus ȝe seuin hes send me sic ane hidder,
He and ȝe all salbe hangit togidder.
The Maister said, and pleis ȝour nobill grace
Fra now to morne it is bot ane schort space:
And than be none with grace of God in heuin,
Zour sone sall speik, and we his Maisteris seuin
Unto ȝour grace we promittis faithfullie,
On pane of deith, first we all seuin sine he.
The Empreour said, gif I micht that beleue,
Na langer than desirit I for to leue,
The Maister said, I pray ȝow byde sa lang,
And gif we faill, all aucht ȝe sall vs hang.
Than oppinlie ȝe sall ken all the strife
And discentioun, betuix vs and ȝour wife.
And gif ȝour grace will not do as I say,
Ze will repent richt sair ane vther day.
And sall happin perchance to ȝow sum nicht,
As it bechancit to ane richt courtes Knicht:
That deit schortlie, as I in storie reid,
For ane small blude that he saw his wife bleid.
To quhome efter scho was richt vncourtes,
And richt vnkinde, for all his greit kindnes.
The Empreour said Maister I ȝow requeir
Tell me that taill, richt fane I wald it heir.
[Page 242] The Maister said gar call ȝour sone agane
The haill storie I sall tell ȝow in plane.
In time cūming Induring all ȝour life
Ze sall eschew the schrewitues of ane wife.
The Empreour said I will call him agane,
Conditionallie vnder the samin pane.
The morne or none speik he not oppinlie,
First he, sine ȝe, togidder all sall die,
The Maister said of that I am content,
The Empreour said and thairto I consent,
Than causit he to call the Childe agane,
And the Maister cald furth his taill in plane.
Bot the Quenes last taill ȝit farther or we ga
We will persaue, or we tell ony ma.


INTO this taill richt small I can persaue
To be extract of Morall gude sentence,
Bot that this Knicht subtellie did dissaue
This Nobill King that gaue him sic credence
In sindrie sortis schew him beneuolence,
Syne he agane vpon the vther syde,
With greit falset did all his way is prouyde.
As to our Quene, quhair scho Inferris this taill
To hir purpois, and to hir awin effairis.
As thinkis me, the mater ryndes haill
To hir awin schame, as the taill self declairis.
For to tell furth planelie scho not spairis
And to reheirs the huredome that was hid
Betuix the knicht and the Quene that thay did.
Considdering that thay ar Quenes baith
Quha can hir quyte sic ane mater on bring
Gif ane hes schame it is the vtheris skaith,
For to be fals to hir husband and King,
T cow ȝe bot our Emprice can do sic thing
In deid I trow or all our buik be endit
Ze sall persaue als fac scho hes offendit.
Gif ane Doctour into his sermon tell,
And reprufe vice, greit faultis or greit errour
In the same vice he is gyltie him sell
How sall he s [...]b that vice with his honour?
He smottis himself as he dois his Nichtbour
Alwayis vpon his awin blanket he spi [...]tis,
And his awin taill hard on the heillis him hittis.
Of my Nichtbour gif I ane Ill taill tell
Of blasphemie, dishonour, or ȝit schame,
It may perchance siclyke cum to my sell
Perhappin war bringing on als greit blame.
How can I than in ony sort defame
Myawin Nichtbour, except my self be clene
Sic thing suld be considderit and weill sene.
Our awin Emprice quhome of that we now speik
Scho put reproche vnto ane vther Quene,
Bot scho may cast hir Cartis in at the Cleik
Of the same sort, thocht now sic be not sene
As Mathew sayis, cum sa as now I mene.
Fra thy awin Ey first thow draw out the balk
To thy Nichtbour than peirtly thow may talk.
Thairfoir I say thow had neid for [...]ose
Or thow ane fault vnto thy Nichtbour fand,
Of siclyke faultis se thow weill purgeit be
Him to reprufe or that thow tak on hand
Ellis thy reprufe with honour can not stand,
It to obey thair is few will be abill
Gif thow be kend in that same culpabill.
How can our Quene sa foull ane fault Infer
Contrair ane Quene, and scho hir self gyltie
In the same cryme, ȝea, and perchance far war
Howbeit it be cloikit mair quyetlie,
Fy on falset, fy on hid harlatrie,
That ane Ill taill of thy nichtbour can tell,
And that same taill redoundis enin to thy sell.

¶ Ane reproche to the Emprice.

THOW glaikit gallarrand quene, now with thy glorious glois
With thy fals taillis of tene, thow trowis to win the hois.
[Page 238] Nay, nay, not sa my lois, thairs ȝit sum graith to find
Ane prick into ȝour nois, or we haue done behind,
Trow ȝe to blaw vs blind, thairs vther taillis to tell
Quhen stabilit is all this wind, luik than quha beiris the bell:
The wraik sall on thy sell, baith the sorow and syte,
Thow proserpine of hell, we cure the not ane myte
For all thy greit dispyte, bid ouir with harlatrie
Full weill we sall the quyte, that all the warld may se.
Thow bysemeir balamie, thy hippis fall thoill her haisteris,
For thow seruis thame trewlie, at the Chylde and his Maisteris.

¶ The Taill of the Seuint Maister is how the man deit becaus he saw his Wyfes fynger bleid.

VPON a time thair was ane Nobill Knicht,
That had ane wife y was baith fair & bricht
Quhome he sa lufit, that be na way he micht
Of the haill day ane hour want hir of sicht.
Vpon a time efter meit and glaidnes,
For thair pastime thir twa went to the Ches,
And in his hand it happinnit happinnit to haif
His awin byknife, and sa amang the laif
Thairon scho straik hir hand a litill we
Amaist ane drop of blude that ȝe micht se.
Sa sone as he the blude saw of his wife,
Alwayis he said, that scho wald lois hir life.
Befoir thame all, amang thame fell he doun,
For verray wo into ane deidlie swoun.
Incontinent than scho began to cast
Upon his face cauld water wonder fast.
Than he ouircome within ane litill space,
The cald watter thay wap sa in his face.
The Minister he gart call of the toun,
And prayit him to heir his Consessioun.
For weill he knew without ony remeid,
Thair was nathing at him bot onlie deid.
[Page 239] For na seiknes, nor for nane vther deid
Bot onlie saw his wifes finger bleid.
The Minister exhortit him anone,
And sone efter to deith this Knicht is gone.
For quhome thair was greit sturt & beuailling,
Amang the rest his wife maid maist murning.
The Buriall with greit solempnitie,
Was maid and done in best maner micht be.
Than this Lady scho maid ane solempne vow,
To leif ay still as dois the Trytill Dow.
All hir life time to leif in Chastitie.
And neuer to knaw ony mannis companie:
Bot ayly still aboue hir husbandis graue,
And neuer mair warldlie comfort to haue.
Bot euer murne vnto the day scho die,
In the same graue quhill that scho buryit be.
Hir freindis said nay, that was not all the best,
Sen it pleisit God hir husband was at rest:
Bad hir pas hame, and cast hir to defend
Hir hous & barnis, to murne wald nathing mēd
Giue to the pure and let the deid hyne ga,
We think it best quod thay) that ȝe do sa.
We sall ȝow do all comfort that we can,
Sine efterwart to cheis ȝow ane new man.
Cast ȝow to mirth and let ȝour murning be,
For naturall is, that all man anis mon die.
Scho said counsall of ȝow nane will I haue,
For I sall die widow abone this graue.
Can ȝe not all considder for my sake,
Sic sair seiknes, and doly deith did take
For ane small drop he saw my finger bleid,
Suld I not than baith into word and deid
On my persoun sum pennance for to take,
[Page 240] The cruell deith that suffer [...]t for my sake.
Thairfoir gude freinds let put▪ ȝour minde to rest
For in this graue salbe my ludge and rest
Quhill God sinder▪ my saull and life in tway,
Thairfoir my freinds fra me pas hame away.
Than hir neir freinds heiring hir vtter minde,
Thoche in sū part thay wald with hir Inclinde
Becaus scho was in sturt and greit dolour,
Thay wald sum way cast thame to hir plesour.
And saw scho wald do nathing bot hir will,
Thairfoir thay thocht the same for to fulfill.
And causit to big euin at the graues syde,
Ane proper ludge quha [...]rin that scho micht byde
And furneis hir all necessaris thairto,
In all effairis▪ or quhat scho had ado.
Beleuing weill scho wald change hir Intent,
And efterwart to wirk with freinds consent.
Thinking richt weill y scho na way wald wāt
Sicht of pepill, bot scho thairto wald hant.
Sa thay hir left into hir quiet Caif,
Murning richt sair abone hir husbandis graif
Thair was a Law than maid in the Cietie,
Gif ony man was condampnit to die
On the Gallous, for trespas and vnricht,
Than the Schiref suld walk him all that nicht
In his harnes, the morne quhill it war day,
Sa that the theif suld not be stollin away.
And gif sa war, the Schiref to tine his land,
And als his life to be in the▪ Kings hand.
In this meane time it happinnit that thair was
Ane man hangit for his thift and trespas.
Than the Schiref behude that nicht on force
All in armour to walk that hangit cors,
[Page 241] And sa he did▪ how be [...]t the nicht was cald,
Quhair he watch [...]t thair was na hous nor hald
It chancit that nicht to be baith wind and ran [...]
That in na sort thairout he micht remane:
For verray cauld▪ he stude of life sic dout,
And sa belyue he blenkit him about:
In the Kirkȝaird beside the Knichtis graue,
Ane litill licht the Schiref can persaue,
Fra the windo quhair that the Wedow lay,
Hidder he gais in all the haist he may.
At the ludge dure he knokit quietlie,
And sone scho spak, & speirit quha may that be.
This time of nicht to walkin ane pure Wedow
All wobegane▪ in hart richt sorrofow.
He said I am the Schiref of this toun,
For vecray cauld I am in point to swoun:
Ercept ȝe let me in mair haistelie,
For verray cauld doutles I trow to die.
Gif ȝe cum in (quod scho) I feir richt sair
That ȝe sall eik my anguische mair and mair.
Quhilk war neidles schir gif ȝe knew my thocht
Quod he Lady, forsuith that sall I nocht▪
I promeis ȝow nouther in word nor deid
Zow for to craib, thairfoir haue ȝe na dreid.
Than vp scho rais, mid belyue leit him in,
For verray cauld he cheuerit at the chin.
And doun he sat, and warmit him at the fire▪
Quhilk for to do was greitlie his desire.
Fra he was warmit and restit thair ane space,
Graithlie he blent into the Wedowis face.
Quod he Lady to displeis ȝow na way,
Ane word with leif I wald vnto ȝow say.
Scho said gude schir say on quhat [...]er ȝe pleis
[Page 242] For ȝour sayingis sall do me na diseris.
He said Lady I meruell of ȝour minde.
To this vane wark that ȝe suld ȝow Inclinde,
Considdering ȝe ar ane fair Ladie▪
Fresche in ȝour flouris, ȝon̄g plesand and [...]usti [...]
It war mair meit▪ and better be ten fald▪
For to pas hame and keip ȝour awin housha [...]d.
Nor heir to byde, and ȝour self to destroy,
Daylie in sturt, in murning and in noy.
My counsall is pas hame to ȝour awin hous,
Giue to the pure, and gar deill greit Almous.
Quod scho gude schir, gif I ȝour wordis had knawin
Or y ȝe suld sic sayings to me schawin
Ze suld not had into this hous entrie,
Becaus ȝe talk of sic purpois to me.
I say to ȝow as I said of befoir,
To all my freindis, and I wald ȝe no moir
Spak of sic thingis, thay sink not in my heid,
Knaw ȝe not weill my husband sufferit deid:
For ane small drop he saw my finger bleid,
Than think ȝe not that I suld do sum deid.
For him agane, and tak sum small pennance,
That micht me caus of him haue remembrance
Thairfoir I sall him lufe on sic ane wise,
That I mon lufe the eird quhair that he lyis.
And for his saik sic pennance tak on me,
That quhair he lyis abone him sall I die.
Than the Schiref tuik leif and vp he rais,
The [...]eirest gait vnto the Gallous gais.
And quhen he come the theif that he left thair,
Was stollin away, quhairof he maid greit cair.
And said oft times, quhat haue I done allace,
Heir is to me becum ane cairfull cace.
[Page 243] My gudis, my geir, and also all my land
My life siclike is in the Kingis hand.
Sa he wandring in sturt baith to and fro
And wist not quhat to do for verray wo.
Sa at the last he thocht that he wald pas
To the Lady▪ befoir quhair that he was.
Becaus scho was sa deuoit in hir sell,
He trowit of hir to haue sum gude counsell.
Than come he on as had bene the first Cok,
And at the dure quietlie did he knok.
Quod scho quha is that, that sa sone callis now
I the Schiref is cum agane to ȝow.
I haue ane sturt and anger at mine hart,
And I wald schaw thairof to ȝow sum part.
Thairfoir hartlie I pray ȝow let me in,
I sall ȝow schaw the mater mair and min.
Howbeit it was to hir sum prettie pane,
Zit vp scho rais and leit him in agane.
Than he began the cace all for to tell,
Quod he Lady I come to haue counsell
Of ȝow, becaus I wait richt weill ȝe knaw,
Quhen ony man is hangit be the Law,
My office is to keip him nicht and day,
To that effect he be not stollin away.
And gif he be, my life and all my landis
Without remeid, is in the Kingis handis.
It is sa chancit quhen I was heir richt now
In the same time quhen I talkit with ȝow,
The theif quhilk I suld haue walkit quhill day
Sum subtell handis hes stollin him quite away
Quhairthrow I will Incur the Kingis feid,
Lois all my landis, and also tine my heid.
Or ellis on force furth of the Realme to fle
[Page 244] Quhilk is but dout ane heuie race to me.
Beseiking ȝow ȝour counsall giue me to
Into this race quhat ȝe think best to do.
Quod scho gude Schir for ȝow my hart is me.
That sic ane chance suld happin vpon ȝow so.
Bot sen ȝe haue maid ȝour first mane to me.
I mon ȝow help, defend and als supplie.
Sa wald kindnes, courtasie and ressoun.
Of ane wo hart for to haue compassioun.
Quod he Lady I lippin on ȝow na les,
Bot for to haue ȝour counsall and kindnes.
Becaus ȝe ar in greit estimatioun,
In wit, wisdome, and als in deuotioun.
And I beleue to haue ȝour counsall now
For all my caus clene I commit to ȝow.
For it is said sen first the warld began,
Thair is greit help into ane gude woman.
This Lady than was mufit with mercie.
And on this Knicht hir hart had greit pietie.
And said gude Schir ȝour sturt it mufis me,
Bot tak gude hart, and ȝe sall helpit be.
Do my counsall, and schortlie to conclude
Ze sail nouther lois ȝour life landis nor gude.
He said Lady that erand brocht me heir,
To saue my life, my landis, my gudis and geir
Quod scho Schir will ȝe promeis faithfullie.
Quhen I haue done, that ȝe will Mary me:
I will do all that I haue to ȝow said:
Quod he Lady of that I wald be glaid.
Wald God in heuin to me ȝe wald sa do,
That I micht be ȝour persoun fallowis to.
Considdering I am bot ane pure Knicht
And ȝe ane Lady of greit blude and of micht.
[Page 245] Wald ȝe disdabe to humbill ȝour minde to me,
I suld ȝow serue with all humilitie.
Sa baith thair mindes and all thair hail Intēt
Was weill aggreit, quhairof thay stude content
Gude sehir scho said, ȝe knaw richt weil I wait
How my husband was buryit of the lait,
Quha lufit me sa wonder weill in deid:
That for ane drop he saw my finger bleid:
He tuik in hart sir sturt and displesour
Of doly deith he sufferit the schairp schour.
Ga tak him vp for to be ȝour releif,
And hang him vp quhair hangit was the theif
The Schiref said fair Lady be the Rude
Zour counsall is substantious and gude.
Than past thay baith bauldlie wt mane & micht
Furth of the graue thay drew yt new deid knicht
The Schiref said ȝit ane thing feiris me,
The theif quhilk I gart hing vpon the tre,
Twa of his ceith aboue was strikkin out,
Thairfoir I stand into ane dreidfull dout:
Gif ony man the samin suld persaue,
That this deid Cors his ouir teith dois haue,
It war my deith, and callit greit dissait,
Thairfoir to do heirof not weill I wait.
Scho said ȝour self may richt weill that remeid
I giue ȝow leif, strike thre out of his heid.
Quod he Lady to that I war richt laith,
For of Knichtheid it is aganis the aith.
Outher ȝoldin or deid man for to strike,
It wald greithe baith faith and fame Infek.
And als quhen he was lenand heir on life,
Except onlie my barnis and weddit wife:
I lude him best of ony man leuand,
[Page 236] Thairfoir in him I can not put my hand.
Gif ȝe will not now ding thame out said scho
Faith for ȝour lufe that same thing I w [...]il do.
Sa with ane stane twa of his teith out dang.
Sine bad the Schiref hing him quhair the theif hang.
The schiref said ȝit I feir a greit thing,
The theif quhilk I on the Gallous gart hing
Ane hiddeous wound he gat in his foirheid
At his taking, thay had at him sic feid.
And baith his luggis thay stowit quite him fra
And ȝour husband be he not euin richt sa
It suld be my destructioun haistelie,
In this mater I pray ȝow counsall me.
Amang the rest (quod scho) thats bot ane bourd
Can not ȝour self peirthe draw out ȝour sword,
On the foirheid strike him as best effeiris,
Quhen that is done, than cut of baith his ciris.
Quod he Lady fra that God me defend,
Considdering vnto his lifes end
I lude sa weill, and had in companie,
In that behalf I pray ȝow pardoun me.
And of befoir I did to ȝow declair
Of clene Knichtheid the aith it is contrair.
Giue me the sword (quod scho) and for ȝour luf [...]
That same to do now peirthe sall I prufe.
Scho tuik the sword, and to the man was deid
Ane cruell straik scho gaue him in the heid:
With the same sword into hir greit dispite
Of baith his luggis belyue scho maid him quite
Sine said gude schir now ȝe may without tary
But ony feir him to the Gallous cary.
And hing him vp quhair the theif hang befoir,
Sa ax ȝe quite of danger, sturt and schair.
[Page 247] Thā said the schiref ȝit ane thing restis in thotht
Thairof quhill now remembrance had I norht
How beit the theif was haill in bowk and banis
Zit weill I wait he wantit baith his stains.
And be that kend, all is for norht thats done
Quod scho in faith the stanis he sall want sone.
And with ane knife the stanis scho tuik him fra
And said gude Schir now to the treis him ta.
He cūmeris vs for to byde sa lang heir,
Quod he my self alone dow not him heir.
Quod scho in faith for that it sall not stop
Tak ȝe the taill, and I sall tak the cop.
For sen he come furth of his Sepulture
I haue him maid ane laithlie creature.
To the Gallous thir twa him cuik but moir,
And hang him vp quhair the theif hang befoir.
Than was the schiref of the Kingis dāger quite
Be the greit help of this Lady sa quhite.
Than said scho schit, now wonder weil ȝe knaw
How that ȝe war be ordour of the Law,
Baith life and landis in danger for to tine,
And now I haue brocht all to ane gude fine:
Be my counsall and onlie for ȝour lufe,
For ȝour plesure and als for ȝour behufe.
Quhairfoir sen ȝe in all maters hes sped,
Now I desire agane ȝe wald me wed.
Conforme to ȝour conditioun and promis,
Quhilk in na sort I wait ȝe will not mis.
Hesaid Lady forsuith I maid ane vow,
That I suld not Mary woman bot ȝow:
Sa lang as ȝe war leuand vpon life,
Bot w [...] to him that hes the to his wife.
Thow schameles schrew, and maist wickit of all
[Page 248] Eenefull tyger a vengeance on the fall.
Ane Nobill Knicht thow had to thy husband,
And for ane drop of blude furth of thy hand
He had sic lufe and Inwart fauour to the,
For sturt thairof at schort causit him to die.
Thow in na way all his lufe regarding.
His forder teith trewlie thow did out ding.
In his foirheid ane fell wound did thow strike,
Cuttit his luggis, and als his stanis siclike.
Quhen I think on this vgsum vilanie,
God me preserue that I not Mary the.
And for that caus I find the sa cruell,
To him alone that lufit the so well.
In time cūming thow can na better be,
To ony man that wald lay lufe on the.
Thairfoir I sall that thow sall schame na ma
In time cūming, my a win handis sall the sla.
And sa at schort he put hir thair to deid
He drew his sword and quite straik of hir heid.
The Maister said than to the Empreour,
Schir I require gif it be ȝour plesour:
Gif that ȝe haue the wordis of this taill tane
The Empreour said ȝe Maister euerie ane.
Scho was ane wife the worst and maist cruell
That I befoir of ony ȝit hard tell.
The Schiref als rewardit hir the thing,
That scho deseruit, to hir deidis according.
T [...]t gude Maister hartlie I ȝow beseik,
That I man anis my Sone blyithlie heir speik
For that wald mak sic blyithnes to my hart,
Fra that time furth I cair not to depart.
He said my Lord and pleis ȝour Maiestie,
That thing the morne ȝe sall baith heir and se:
[Page 249] At ȝour plesure, as ȝour self dois desire,
In audience befoir the haill Impire.
And sall knaw weill the caus of vnkindes
Betuix vs seum, ȝour sone and ȝour Empres.
The Empreour said gif that thing cūmis to pas
Than ȝour rewaird salbe quhat ȝe will as,
He said my Lord all is at ȝour plesour,
Sa tuik his leif than fra the Empreour.


INTO this taill that the Doctour hes tald
We may persaue sentences monyfald
Pertening to wemens vnstabilnes,
First thair a win will to haue ay that thay wald,
That gart hir big abone the graue ane hald
For to mak knawin hir fenȝeit halynes,
Quhilk sone was tur nit to babist brukilnes.
Considder sine how that scho was sa bald
In diuers sorcis, and schew hir cruelnes.
First scho hir schew to be in estimatioun,
Ane chaist wedow, and leif in deuotioun
In godly prayer, and into almous deid
Quhilk sone was turnit in greit dissimulatioun
Of hir a win spous that maid sic mutulatioun.
Quha de it becaus he saw hir finger bleid,
Quhat gaue scho him for his gude lufe and meid
His stanis, his luggis, scho stowit, and teith out dang
Sine on Bailous as ane theif did him hang.
Heir is hir lufe, heir is hir stabilnes
Heir is hir fauour, heir is hir faithfulues
Heir hir chaistnes, heir is hir Cherit [...]e
Hir courtasie, heir is all hir kyndnes,
Hir woman heid, lo heir is hir meikues,
Heir is hir hope, heir is hir honestie,
Heir is hir grace, heir is hir grauitie,
Heir hir gans [...]ll, heir is all hir gudnes,
Now all is changeit into kene crueltie.
O meruellous God quhat may this matermene
[Page 250] That wemen ar sa cruell and sa kene.
And euer geuin to wickitnes and vice
In former [...] euer mair se hes bene,
And in na sort can ȝit thairfoir abstene:
Ba [...] perseueiris, this is ane mater nice.
I think it best to play thame at the dice
The neirest way in this warld is I wene
To sane thair schame, set thame on sink and sice.
Quhair suld be faith, thair schaw thay [...]enȝeitnes
And quhair fauour thay schaw vnfaithfulnes.
Quhair suld be rest, thay rattill ay in a rane.
Quhair lufe suld be, thair schaw thay bitternes.
Quhair peice suld be thair schaw thay vp valdues
Quhair gudnes is thair ludgeing haue thay naue
Quhair tene and tray that hous is to thame tant
Quhair meiknes is than thay ar mens [...]es,
O maryit men for ȝow I mak greit mant.
For quby ȝour heidis ar still bound till ane staik,
And thocht ȝe do all ȝe dow for hir saik
As ȝow [...] baith into word and deid
And sa daylie on hir seruice dois va [...]k,
Scho countis not all ȝour cunning worth a caik.
Quhen euer scho craibis, and castis bakwart the Creid
Euin is the Kniche saw his wyfes finger [...]leid,
In l [...]fi [...] labour quhen euer that ȝe Inlaik.
All thing by gane scho countis not worth ane threid.
Becaus thay ar sa kittill of the Came
Quhylis lyke a wylde wolf quhylis as a Dow alstame.
In at bosum and sine out at ȝour sleif.
Sic saules thingis hes nouther sin nor schame,
Than we do wrang ony way th [...]me to blame
Thay w [...]ll do nocht that will [...]hair husband greif
Nor skant [...]r spe [...]k without he giue hir leif.
Sic Innocentis that wai [...] of nocht bot Ill
Thay couet nocht bot ay to haue thair will.
Sum makis sa moy sa gymp sa dynk and dane
Howbeit ȝe sucik sc [...]o will not blenk agane
And gif [...]ho do it [...]o out on the syde.
Tha [...] Fillok wald be at the fe [...]d als fane
That semis ane Sanct new send vs fra Sathan
Thocht scho be braw [...]ic and [...]usuit lyke ane bryde
[Page 251] Under rullour scho is ane graceles gyde
Ane fule fulfill it of fantasie prophane.
Ane rank Rebald, reddy all tymes to ryde.
Ze gude wemen erampill heir may se
Be not fenȝeit with fals Hypocrasie,
In [...] s [...]che presenting ane Augell
And [...] Inware [...]aciat with subreitie,
Fulfill [...] all with fraude and falsitie
All this becuinis of the greit Deuill of hell
Quha baylie set: is his curage for to quell
All mankynde with his kent crudelitie
Sa wemen dois, as now na mai [...] I tell.

¶ Ane praise to the Scuint Maister.

THOW hes put of Doctour ane doutsum day,
The seuint and last quhairin maist perrell lay.
And sauit the Chylde vnto the morne quhill [...]one
Now in Goddis name let him cum on away
To the Emprice gif he hes ocht to say.
To say it out, I think it war weill done
For scho hes bene to him Inoportune,
In his contrair scho hes done that scho may
To gar him mis baith Denne [...] and Disione.

¶ Ane Exclamatioun to the Chylde.

NOW sen thow speikis on hir thow wreik it weill
Gif thow hrs caus, thy self thow hes sum feill.
Thank hir na mair than thow had hangit bene,
G [...]f thow hes hap now hit hir on the be [...]l
Aud spair hir not thoche scho war stif as steill
For scho hes bene to the richt wonder kene,
Quhilk in na sort pertenit to ane Quene
Qu [...] ane wise a ȝoung Clerk to gar keill
Quha wroche neuer to hir ȝit tray nor tene.

¶ How Dioclesiane on the Emprice complenit, And him excusit of all maters scho menit.

EFTER that the seuin Maisters all about
Had sauit this Chyld of all danger and dout
[Page 252] Be gude ressounis, of storeis red and sene,
Vpon the morne togiddr [...] did contiene
To ane counsall, to se how weill thay miche
Eonuoy this Chylde vnto his Fathers sicht.
And fra presoun how best thay fuld him bring,
All to consult thay past for the same thing.
Sa to presoun thay come with ane consent
To speik this Chyld befoir the none thay went
His opinioun and counsall for to heir,
Quhat he wantit that thay seum suld him leir.
Richt weill besene in honest Qrnament.
Of his Maisteris twasum befoir him went.
And on Ilk syde of his Maisteris ȝeid ane,
And thre behind, and sa fordwart ar gane.
And fourtene men in thair compauie went
Ilk ane playing on diuers Instrument.
And euerie ane was Maister in Musick,
For Melodie and mirth thair was nane sick.
To the Palice this Chylde thay did conuoy,
With greit blyithnes, mirth melodie and Joy,
Sa that the sound of all the Instrumentis
And the greit noyis in at the windois wentis.
Quhat was the noyis, the Empreour did demēd
Thay said it was his sone cūming at hand,
Unto ȝour grace, for to excuse him sell,
Of part of plaintis, quhilk sum did to ȝow tell.
The Empreour said thay tythandis lykis me,
My sone speiking [...]if I micht heir or se.
In the Palice this ȝoung Chylde tuik entres
Quhairof mony maid mirth and mirrines.
And quhen he come to his Fatheris presence,
He hailsit him with dewlie reuerence.
With honour fauour, and all humilitie,
[Page 253] As him become, or culd of courtasie.
The companie, and all about was glaid.
With greit blyithnes to his Father he said.
Hale Father deir, helth honour and weilfair
Be to ȝour grace, for now and euer mair.
Sa sone as he of his sone hard the vois,
Into his hart it did him sa reiois:
That his greit lufe his wittis it did confound.
That he for Joy flatlingis fell to the ground.
Than vp agane his sone tuik him in haist,
And diuers times in his armes he him braist.
Sa with sweit wordis and cōfortabill brasing
Fra swoun agane he did his Father bring.
Als sone fra swoun the Empreour did walk,
The Chylde began to his Father to talk.
Zit of pepill thair was sic confluence,
The Chylde to speik micht scarse get audience.
The Empreour he causit cassin be,
Greit sowmes of gold out throw the hail Cietie
To that effect to draw the pepill away,
That he micht heir what thīg his sone wald say
Of the money ȝit sum tuik small regaird,
That the ȝoūg man sa fane thay wald haif hard
The Empreour he cryit giue audience,
In pane of deith Ilk man to keip silence.
Thā all was clois, to speik thair durst na man
Sine for to speik Dioclesiane began.
¶ My Father deir humblie I ȝow beseik,
That ȝe will caus or I ma wordis speik,
Zour awin Emprice with hir fair Ladeis gent
At my sermon Ilk ane to be present.
The Empreour Incontinent gaue command.
That the Emprice suld hidder cum fra hand.
[Page 254] With hir La [...]s of hir Chalmer Ilk ant,
To hit velpue the Messinger is gane,
And in all haist the Message taid hir till,
And schew to hir the Empreouris minde & will
Scho heiring that scho tuik ane felloun feir,
Was na renield, bot all thay did compeir.
Than did the Childe desire the Empreour,
That all the Ladeis of the Emprice bour
Suld stand on raw, Ilk ane at vtheris syde,
In pane of deith that nane chaine self suld hyde
That the pepill micht all thame pla [...]lie se
Thair trim makdome, and als thair honestie.
Thair fauour, yair face yair fame & yair fassoū
Thair braue hauingis and thair pamtit persoū
Thon the dess thay damis quhē ya [...] war dreum
Thay war maist like Angellis cū furth of heum
Thay war sa sweit sū said thay war all sanctis
Trew men thame callit als trun as termigantis
Than stude thay vp all into plane presence,
And to the Childe gaue oppin andience.
Than said the Childe Father lift vp ȝour Ene,
Behald how lang that ȝe haue blindit bene
[...] out Emprice that is ȝour Maryit guene
And that ȝoung wenche that all is cled in grene
Quhilk is bout Mayd vnto ȝour awin Empres
Quhome scho hes [...]air in fauour and kindnes,
Than euer scho had I dar w [...]ll tak on me
Sen thay first met than to ȝour Mairstis.
Quhome I desire gif [...]t plesit ȝour grare
To be [...]led befoir ȝow in this place.
That being done, richt weill ȝe sall persaue,
Sic ane bout Mayd, and sit Empr [...]e ȝe haue.
To quhome answer [...]t this Nobill▪ Empreour,
[Page 255] Thow knawis sone it is not my honour,
It will be schame to me and to vs all,
Ane naikit Mayd befoir vs for to call.
Than said the Chylde ane Maydin gif scho be
All the greit schame thairof beis laid on me,
Gif scho be not ane ȝoung Mayd as ȝe tell.
Than let all schame remane still with hir sell.
The Empreour than commandit that be done,
The Officers thay vnbecled hir sone.
The clais of tane, it weill appeirit than
It was na Mayd, bot alwayis was a man.
And be all signes of memberis naturall,
Quhairof mony had wonder greit meruall.
Than said the sone with all humilitie,
The verray treuth now Father ȝe may se,
Of the falset, and the greit subtelnes
Of this Rebald, and als of ȝour Empres,
How day and nicht hes ȝow in blindnes led,
Quhen thay best thocht hes ay defoulit ȝour bed
In ȝour Chalmer ay vsit sit harlatrie,
Fornicatioun, Huredome, and Adulterie.
Not regarding Goddis Law nor conscience
Nor ȝour dreddour, ȝour lufe and reuerence:
Bot euer mair thair lust and thair plesour,
Tuik quhen thay list, to ȝour greit dishonour.
Quhen the Empreour saw all the veritie
How this ȝoung man was cled as ane Ladie,
And vsit nichtlie in Chalmar with the Quene,
For verray wraith, Impatience and tene
His Ene thay glowrit, and als his face it swel [...]
His greit anger thair is na man can tell it.
He commandit thame baith Incontinent
Without mercie to be condampuit and brint.
[Page 256] Than said the sone Father remane a time,
Quhill I reprufe hir of the cruell crime
Scho laid on me, and falslie on me brocht,
The thing yat I had neuer in minde nor thocht
The Father said that thing and all the rest
Is in ȝour handis, do with it as ȝe think best.
Than said the sone, ane lier gifscho be,
Than let the Law correct hir for hir lie.
Bot ȝe sall knaw quhen ȝe first for me sent,
My self I past and spyit the Firmament.
Quhairin I saw, ane word gif that I spak
Within seuin dayis, that I with schame & lak
Suld thoill the deith with all greit crueltie
Be ony way that culd deuisit be.
And that alone be the greit foirthocht feid
Of the Emprice. Imagining my deid.
That was the caus Father I durst not speik,
Thairfoir pardoun at ȝow now heir I seik.
And quhair scho sayis that I wald hir opprest
That is in treuth ane lesing manifest.
Bot crewlie scho did all that in hir was
In all kin sort to bring that thing to pas.
And quhen stho saw that I refusit sic thing
And answerit not. Incontinent did scho bring
Paper and pen, with Ink scho had reddie
Prayit me to write my minde thair quyetlie.
And quhen I wrait, and all hir minde refusit,
And praying hir for to hald me excusit:
For I wald not defoull my Fatheris bed,
Than the wryting vnder hir feit scho tred.
Sine raif hir face, and all hir robbis rent,
And with loud voice scho cryit Incoutinent.
And ȝit that crime scho laid alone on me.
[Page 257] Father in treuth this is the veritie.
Quhen the Empreour this tail hard til him tald
The Quenes face greithe he did behald,
With awsum vult, angrie and als austeir.
And not but caus, saying on this maneir.
O maist filthie and schameles creature:
Micht thow na way stancheit thy foull nature
With my bodie, and with thy Rebald knaif.
Bot in like sort my awin sone thow wald haif.
O wickit wife neuer taking regaird
Of thy awin schame, nor of heuinlie rewaird.
Had thow tane heid quhome of yu was discendit
Thow wald neuer sa far to me offendit.
Thow wrocht alwayis that euer thow culd In­uent
On the Gallons to gar my sone be schent.
And ay thy minde with falset was Infectit,
Traisting all time sic wald not be correctit.
Bot God is Just, howbeit he thoill a time,
As he thinkis caus he will puneis the crime.
Thairfoir becaus of sic thow had na schame,
Vpon thy self sall ly baith wite and blame:
That me sa lang thy bedfellow hes blindit,
Thairfoir thy flesche for sic faults now fall find it
Thā gruiflings swyith scho fell vpō hir face
Doun at his knie, and at him cryit for grace.
Saying gude Lord, for thy Princelie pietie,
To me maist vile thow wald grant sum mercie.
For my greit gylt heir planelie I confes,
Grant me sum grace for thy greit gentilnes.
Than till hir said this Nobill Empreour,
Quhilk was fulfillit of sturt and displesour.
O vyle woman for mercie thow dois craif,
Quhilk be na way is not worthie to haif.
[Page 258] The cruell deith thow hes deseruit thrise,
Quhilk I sall schaw planelie in thre kin wise.
First thow hes done the sin of Adulterie,
To the greit schame and contemptioun of me.
Quhilk be the Law, expres is na remeid
(Ane Princes bed for to defoull) bot deid.
Than secundlie, my onlie sone and Air
Thow did prouoke to be ane Adultrair.
To that effect to the Chalmer him led,
With the to ly, and to defoull my bed.
Quhilk seruis deith, as na man can excuse,
Albeit in treuth the same he did refuse.
Thridlie Ilk day with fals taillis tystit me,
Aganis Justice, to gar my a win sone die.
Becaus thow knew his Clergie and running,
Thy foull baudrie & filthines wald furth bring
Thairfoir be Law thow seruis puneist be,
And of rhe Law to haue extremitie.
Than said the sone. Father richt weill ȝe knaw
How scho daylie tystit ȝow (not be Law)
Bot with hir taillis and fenȝeit fals lesing,
Vpon Gallons but mercie me to hing.
War not throw help of my gude Maisters seuin
And first supplie of the greit God in heuin:
Quhilk will euer the Innocent defend
And into neid will to thame succour send.
Quhilk presentlie now he to me hes done,
Into my neid hes send me succour sone.
Alswa Father I traist it was ȝow tald
Be ȝour Emprice, that I purpoist and wald
Depriue ȝour grace fra this Novill Impire,
Quhilk neuer was ȝit trewlie my desire.
And als scho said that it was my Intent,
[Page 259] Zow to destroy with my Maisteris consent.
And be that way ȝour rowmes for to obteue,
Quhilk trewlie ȝit my minde did neuer mene.
Sic for to do I pray God me defend,
Or ȝit think sic vnto my liues end.
For of ȝour grace my leuing all I haif,
Ze ȝit on liue. I aw na mair to craif.
I am ȝour sone and ȝe my Father deir,
Wald I ȝow want for ony warldlie geir.
Nay, nay, not sa for I sall ay laubour
For to vphald ȝour weilfair and honour:
At my power and vtter diligence,
With hart and hand, and all gude reuerence.
At ȝour plesure, ȝour bidding and command,
Lesting ȝour life, ay constant sall I stand.
Bot ȝour emprice scho wrocht baith nicht & day
In all kin sort to wirk betuix vs tway
As the Father kest the sone in the sie.
Becaus the sone said him for veritie:
That he suld be abone his Father Lord,
To the quhilk taill the Father did not cord.
Than the Father kest the sone in the sie,
Bot the greit God gaue him help and supplie:
And wald not thoill that time he suld be deid,
Bot throw his grace he send him sone remeid.
Zit the sonnis taill it come trewlie to pas,
And the Father ane myte not war he was.
To the Father quhat hinderance culd it be,
Howbeit the sone had obtenit dignitie.
Not hindering the Father in na sort,
I think it suld haue bene to his comfort.
And Godwilling Father my gouernance
Ze sall persaue sall be na hinderance,
[Page 260] Nor preiudice in na sort to ȝour grace,
Bot alwayis salbe mirth Joy and solace.
Than said on heich this Nobill Empreour.
To God alone be louing and honour,
That sic ane sone vnforseruit hes me send,
To gyde this Realme efter my dayis end.
Sa wise, sa gude sa verteous in all thing,
To greit weilfair sa abill his Realme to briug.
Now my deir sone hartlie I the requeir,
Tell me sum taill that all about may heir.
Quhairthrow yai may thy wisdome vnderstād
Quod he Father that sall I tak on hand.
Sa ȝe command all men to keip silence,
Quhill I haue done, and giue me audience.
Quhen I haue done as ȝe think expedient
O [...] ȝour Emprice giue furth thā ȝour iudgemēt
Than silence was commandit to all man,
D [...]oclesiane thus gaits his taill began.
EFTER Tytan had tane his staf in hand
And lichtlie lap as Lord out ouir the land
Becaus the day was baith sweit soft and fair,
Than vp Irais, and past to my Librair.
And studyit thair, a quhyle as I thocht gude
Becaus it was my vse and conswetude.
And sa efter my lessoun was compleit,
Than to refresche, I recreat my spreit.
As for that tyme I laid on syde my buke,
And in my hand ane vther Volume tuke,
Of lychter dyte, and storyis of the ald.
That seir auld men befoir in tymes had tald
In quhilk Volume diuers storeis ouir kest,
That plesaud was, bot ȝit amang the rest
[Page 261] Ane fyne fabill in that volume I fand,
Quhilk at this tyme to our purpois may stand.
This was the Mairch of the mater in deid,
As ȝe sall heir this Tale and I proceid.
BEfo [...] this tyme thair was ane nobill knicht
Manlie in mynd and aboundant in micht.
Ane gay Lady he had vnto his wyfe,
And [...]e [...]ur thame thay led ane Godlie lyfe.
Onlie ane Sone he had na barnis mo,
Quhome of ya [...]tu [...]k greit mirth blyithnes & Jo
And him delyuerit in far and strange countrie,
Him to Justruct and for to leit Clergie:
Of cunning men that Clergie had perqueir,
As ȝe haue done to me this mony ȝeir.
Sa this ȝoung man as he in persoun grew,
Sa daylie did in running and vertew.
Sine efter that he was seum ȝeir at [...]air,
Considdering he was his Fathers Air.
And had na ma to bruik his heritage,
At scum ȝeiris end he send for him Message.
Chargeing him sone for to cum hame fra hand
Quhilk he obeyit his Fathers haill command.
And quhen he come to his Fatheris presence,
He hailsit him with all gude reuerence.
As him [...]ffeirit, with greit humilitie,
His Mother als in semblabill degre.
Quhairof thay had baith game gle & blyithnes
That thair ane sone was cūnim to sic grace.
For not alone in vertew he Increst,
Bot also was of bodie the liklyest.
Manlie and stout weill maid at all fassoun.
Weill fauourit of face and gude proportioun.
G [...]ntill, humane, courtes, Nobill and fre,
[Page 262] All man him lude for his humanitie.
Sa on a tune it chancit vpon ane day,
His Father and Mother at tabill sat thir tway
The sone seruing thame baith richt courtaslie,
Fra the Kitching the coursis brocht cumlie.
In the meane time on ane tre lithtit doun,
At the windo, and sang with heuinlie soun.
Ane nichtingall, quhilk sang with noitis sa cleir
Sa wonder sweit, that all hir noitis did heir.
Aucht dayis in ane thay wald neuer thocht lāg
To heir that bird, sa done sweit was hir sang.
Than said the Knicht weil war he all his dayis
That vnderstude quhat ȝone bird singis or sayis
Than said the sone Father with ȝour honour
Sa that it be to ȝow na displesour.
The birdis sang I sall declair to ȝow,
Bot I am feirit that ȝe tak sturt thairthrow.
The Father said sone for my bennesoun.
Quhat the bird siugis mak Interpretatioun.
Say on bauldlie, for na persoun tak feir,
For I thairat sall na wayis change my cheir.
Than said the sone this is the verray taill,
That ȝe Father heiris of the Nichtingaill.
That I sall be sic ane man of greit miche.
And honourit be with Lord Barroun & Knicht
And sall cum to, that ȝe my Father fre
The water plait that ȝe sall hald to me.
And my Mother befoir me scho sall stand,
Besyde ȝour self with towell in her hand:
Waitting quhill I wesche my handis in y plait
This is the sang that the bird sang of lait.
The Father said thow fals misleirit knaif,
Thow sall of vs sic seruice neuer haif:
[Page 263] Nor neuer sall cum to sic dignitie,
That we twa sall mak sic seruice to the,
Sa in malice, and into greit wodnes
In greit furie, and vnnaturall kindnes,
He led his sone, and kest him in the sie,
In displesour, Inuy and crueltie.
Saying efter in the sey he him slang
Ly thow thair still, gessar of birdis sang.
The Chylde culd swym, and sa chancit to land
With heill and quert helpit be Goddis hand.
And fastit thair as the historie sayis.
But meit or drink be the space of four dayis.
On the fyft day be chance ane schip come by,
Quhairon schairplie richt loud the chyld cā cry.
Skipper of schip for lufe and cheritie,
Fra this perrell I pray ȝow to saue me.
The skipper hard, and belyue drew to land,
And saw the Chyld and in quhat stait culd stād
On him thay had reuth and compassioun,
Seing he was ane liklie gude persoun.
The chance of deith sa narowlie eschewit,
All in ane voice thair hartis vpon him rewit.
And in on burde belyue did him ressaue,
And in far landis to thair countrie did haue.
Than to ane Duke of that countrie him sauld,
For ane greit sowme of money to thame tauld.
And as this Chylde grew daylie into age,
In like maner he grew in personage.
Meik and humane, in maners comfortabill,
Gentill, Jocund and to all game richt abill.
Sa to all men he come in sic fauour,
The Duke him lude, and tu [...]k at him plesour.
Into sa far, he had the haill credence
[Page 264] Of all his hous, and the preemmence.
In the same tyme the King of that countrie▪
All his greit Lords and counsall callit he.
His greit Barrouns his knichts and nobill men
That of his mind sum part that they wicht ke [...]
Amang the rest cum did this Duke also
To the counsall preparit him for to go.
And with thame tuke this Ehyld in companie
For his wisdome and his greit courtasie.
All thir Lords come with full greit reuerenc [...]
Befoir the King gaue dew obedience.
Chay being all togidder sa conueint,
To name in plane ye king schew quhat he meni [...]
Saying my Lords and my trew Barrounis all
Now to counsall for this I did ȝow call.
The mater is sa greit I haue to tell.
Thairfoir I wald ȝe keipit all counsell
Gif ouy man the treuth will me declair,
I him prount my douchter and myne Air:
Into spowsage▪ and efter me be king,
Quhen I am deid▪ for ay to bruke my King.
This is the treuth, and mater inufis me,
About this place resorts Rauins thre:
And followis an quhair euer I gang or lyis
Rowpand in ane and euer on me cryis.
Quhylis me behiud, & quhylis thay cum befoi [...]
With siclyke luks, as than wald me deuoir.
Thay leif me not bot ay contmuallie,
Thay rowp thay rair, and euer schouts on me.
Scraipand the eird and waffand wt yair wings
D [...]wbing thair nebbis & at the windois dings
Thairfoir I send gif ony of ȝow did knaw,
The caus heirof, that ȝe wald to me schaw.
[Page 265] His gude rewaird he sall not ntid to craif,
As I haue said the same thing sall he haif.
Sa he deuoyd the Rauins fra me all clene,
And in my sicht that thay na mair be seue.
Quhen this was mufit to all the counsall thair
Thair was na man the questioun culd declair.
Than said this Chyld to his maister the Duke
The man on hand that ȝone same questioū tuke
For to declair wald he get his promis
Fra the kings grate ȝea, quod the Duke I wis
Than said the Chylde gif it plesit ȝour grace,
To schaw the King. I sall declair the cace.
Under the pane to put my heid in pledge,
As he hes said for to fulfill the wage.
Quhē y Duke hard this tail he was richt glaid
Incontinent past to the King and said,
And pleis ȝour grace thair is ane ȝoung mā heir
Ane cunning Clerk, in Clergie richt perqueir.
Wise and wittie, and of Ingine richt hie,
Quhilk promisis that he sall satisfie:
All ȝour desires and the samin fulfill,
Tuitching the Rauins, sa that it be ȝour will,
For to compleit the thing that ȝe haue said.
Faith (quod the king [...] thairof I will be glaid.
Than brocht the Duke this Chyld into presēce,
Befoir the King with all gude reuerence.
Than said the King, ȝoung wan can ȝe declair
The guestioun that I proponit air:
Befoir my Lordis, tutching the Rauins thee
Than said the Chylde that sall I do trewlie.
Sathat ȝour grace ȝour promeis will fulfill,
Than said the King but dont trewlie I will.
Quha euer will this questioun declair,
[Page 266] H [...] sall mary my douchter and mine Air.
Than said the Chyld this is the caus and quhy
That thir thre Raums dois daylie on ȝow cry.
Thair was twa Rauins, ane female & ane mal [...]
That had clekkit the thrid withouttin fale.
Quhair thay clekkit into that Ilk countrie.
Was greit hounger, derth and penuritie,
For fault of fude, wemen and men deceist,
In lyke maner sa did baith foull and beist,
Than this ȝoung Rauin being intill hir neft,
The Mother flew ouir feilds quhair scho thoch [...] best
S [...]iking hir fude, in lād out ouir all quhair
And of hir bird scho tuik na sturt nor cair.
Than the Male Rauin seing that displesour,
Dyon him self he tuik daylie laubour
With panis and pine, and greit penuritie,
Fed this ȝoung Rauin quhil it had strenth to fl [...]
And fend the self out ouir the feildis fair,
Sa of Mother it tuik na sturt nor cair.
Now is past by the skant time of the ȝeir.
Meit grew at large and vittaillis was not beir
Men beist and foull, had meit aboundantlie,
The Female Rauin come hame than haistelie.
And wald haue had sit freindschip & kindnes
To the ȝoung Rauin as he quhilk mdistres.
Fed him with fude quhill he cuid fend him sell,
The Female Rauin thairof tuik na trauell,
Than the male Rauin tuik weil into hir thoch [...]
How he his bird had nureist and vpbrocht,
In time of derth, penuritie and skant,
He thocht na way his bird that he wald wan [...]
For the Female out ouir the feildis flew,
And left hir bird but help or ȝit reskew.
[Page 267] Still in the nest quhilk thairfra culd not fle,
Bot thair on force for to ly still and die.
Thairfoir the male thocht he had mair kindnes
To the ȝoung Rauin, that in neid and distres
Out of perrell it nureist and vpbrocht
Nor the Female that flew and fed it nocht.
Thairfoir the Male sayis that he suld posseid
His a win ȝoung bird that helpit it in neid.
Rather than scho quhilk in necessitie,
Left it alone but help in point to die.
Than the Female alledgis this agane,
That in the birth of hir bird had mair pane:
Mair laubour, forrow, and penuritie,
Mair hounger than the Male had be sic thre.
Thairfoir of him scho aucht to haue mair mirth
That had of him sit sorrow in hir birth.
For this Jikcaus my Soucrane Lord the King
Thir Rauins cryis, and for nane vther thing.
Desiring ȝow to Judge be ȝour wisdome,
Quha this ȝoung bird sall bruik in time to rum
Thairfoir will ȝe on this thing giue sentence.
Thay will na mair cum in ȝour grace presence
Than said the King becaus that the Female
Left hir aidin bird into sit neid and bale,
And in na fort wald nureis it nor feid,
Bot fra it fied quhen that it had maist neid.
I think alwayis with ressoun it suld stand,
The bird suld be at bidding and commaud:
With the Male Kauin, and in his companie,
Becaus he fed it in necessitie.
And quhair that scho alledges hir agane
To haue mair sturt, sorrow trauell and pane
In his clekking, furth bringing and his birth,
[Page 268] I say to ȝow all that was turnit in mirth,
Sa sone as scho hir a win bird quick culd se,
Scho quyte forȝet hir greit aduersitie,
And als the male is caus of productioun,
And Instrument of all generatioun,
I say also in time of hir greit neid,
He did his bird with pane nureis and feid:
Quhen the Female it left into the nest,
In greit hounger, and als with cald opprest.
Thairfoir I giue diffinitiue sentence,
That the Male Rauin sal ay haue still presence
The fellowschip and als the companie
Of the ȝoung bird, quhair euer he gang or fle.
And the Female his fellowschip sall want it,
Except the Male unto the Female grant it.
Than quhen y Rauins hard the King sa declair
Incontinent thay flew vp in the air,
With sic ane noyis, as it had thunder bene,
And was na mair into that Regioun sene.
This being done, in schort time efter than,
Incontinent the King callit this ȝoung man:
And said gude freind ȝour name to me ȝe schaw
Alexander (quod he) Schir thay me caw
Than said the King ȝe sall tak nane bot me
For ȝour Father and ȝe my sone sall be.
For ȝe sall haue my douchter in spowsage,
And efter me sall bruik hir heritage.
And euer still sall heir be Lord and King
And all this Realme sall haue in gouerning.
Than Alexander in houshald still he baid,
Daylie seruice vnto the King he maid.
All men him lude for his greit courtasie,
His gentilnes, and his humanitie.
[Page 269] He was sa soft, sa humbill and manswrit,
Courtes running, debonar and discreit.
In all gude games him self he did frequent,
In hors, harnes Justing and turnament.
And all gude games ganit for ane gen [...]ll man,
Daylie exercit, and ay the praise he wan
Abone all thame that dwelt into Egypt,
He far excellit, and had the Maisterschip.
In all that Realme nouther be far nor neir,
In manlie actis thair was nane found his peir
Nor ȝit thair was na greit obscure questioun,
Bot he thairto wald giue solutioun.
Sa he gydit in all thing and weill prufit,
With ȝoung and auld wonder weil he was lufit
¶ In this meane time [...]ytus the Empreour
Quhilk was a man of greit micht and honour
Of gentilnes, and als of courtasie,
In all vertew he was ane A per se.
Ouir all the warld sa far rang his renoun,
That he precellit all vther that bure Croun.
Into sa far, that ouir all quhair did fle
His Nobill name of Liberalitie.
Aud round about into all partis him by,
Baith far and neir oppinlie garc he cry:
Gifony man in maners and wisdome,
And gude Ingine, vnto his Court wald cum:
Suld be Intreit into thair awin degre,
And rewardit efter thair facultie.
Quhen Alexander hard tell of sic ane thing,
He past fra hand to his Father the King.
And said to him kneiling vpon his kne,
And pleis ȝour grace my Nobill Father f [...].
The Nobill Court and courtasie is knawin
[Page 270] Of the Empreour, and to ȝour grace is schawin
That euerie man delites thair to abyde,
That hes knawledge outher to gang or ryde.
Leirning sall leir, maners and manlynes,
Prettick of weiris, gude gyding and proues.
Dew Intreitting, with honour laude and [...]
And greit rewaird he sall obtene thairfo [...].
And pleis ȝour grace I wald desire hartlie,
Into that Court and companie to be.
That I micht wit and vertew daylie leir,
My self exerce in Nobill actis of weir.
This of ȝour grace richt humblie I desire,
Na wayis mening that of ȝour grace I tire.
For God willing I sall returne agane,
To ȝour plesure, quhilk is my Souerane.
Than said the King ȝour talking plesis me,
Bot laith war I to want ȝour companie.
Zit not the les caus ȝe sic thing desire,
I will glaidlie grant it that ȝe require.
Bot or ȝe pas se that ȝe furneist be,
In all behalfis, gold, clais, hors and monie.
That ȝe want nocht that is neidfull to haue,
That ȝe pairthrow may baith our honours saue
Siclike I think it war expedient,
That ȝe suld spous my douchter or ȝe went.
Or ȝe returne perchance ane barne furth bring
Than wist this Realme outher of quene or king
Alexander than said vnto the King.
And pleis ȝour grace to spair me of that thing
Till my returne, than sall I with honour
Zour douchter spous with ȝour graces plesour
Than said the King of that I am content,
Euin as ȝe will, thairto I do consent.
[Page 271] And grantis ȝow heir with all beneuolence,
To pas ȝour time quhair that ȝe pleis licence.
Than Alexander at the King tuik gude nicht,
And all y Lords baith Barroun squire & knicht
Sine last of all he past to the Ladie,
Tuik his gude nicht, and gaue hir knifes thre.
Bad hir be blyith, for lang he thocht not byde,
Scho said gude schir I pray God be ȝour gyde
Sa furth he fairis, ane liklie man to luik,
And lay on hors, and on his veyage tuik.
And with him went ane honest companie,
With gold siluer, furneist at all plentie.
Unto the Court quhair that the Empreour was
He takis Jornay, and sa fordwart can pas.
And quhen he come befoir the Empreour
Upon his kneis he hailsit him with [...]
Greit reuerence and all humilitie.
Bot sa sone as the Empreour culd him se.
Quhair that he sat, out of his sait he rais,
To Alexander but mair tary he gais.
And kissis him, as was of Court the gise,
And in his armes he him Imbrasit twise.
Sine him inquirit quhat was his name fra hād
Quhairfra he come, quhilk was his natiue land
Siclike he speirit quhairfoir that he was cum.
Tell on he said, the treuth of all and sum.
He said and pleis ȝour Nobill Maiestie,
Alexander men vsis to call me.
The King of Egypts sone and Air I am,
I wait his grace will ratifie the same.
And is cum heir vnto ȝour Maiestie.
To do scruice, gif ȝe will accept me.
Ze at welcum the Empreour said than,
[Page 272] Ze seme to be ane Nobill gentill man.
To his Stewart than ane command he gaue,
That in houshald Alexander he suld ressaue.
The Stewart than to ane Chalmer him led,
And schew him quhair that he suld haue his bed
W [...]ill perfurneist into all necessaris,
With pertinentis thairto in all effaris.
Alexander behauit him sa wiselie,
With all the Court and Ilk mānis sufe wan he
Sa in schort time for his weill behauing,
Maister [...]ruour he was maid to the King.
Not lang efter the Kingis sone of France,
To do seruice and daylie obseruance.
In like maner come to the Empreour,
Quho [...]e he ressa [...] with blyithnes & honour.
And speirit siclike at him quha [...] was his Nai [...]e
He said Lodwik all men callis me at hame.
And am [...]um heir to do ȝour grace seruice,
Gif that ȝe pleis witchaif on me office,
The Empreour said Alexander trewlie,
Is my [...]eruour my copper ȝe sall be.
For that office I think ȝe be maist abill,
To do seruice daylie befoir my tabill.
Committit he to the Stewart Lodwik,
To do to him, as to Alexander siclike.
Sa the Stewart to Lodwik did assing
That Ilk Chalmer was Alexanders ludgeing
Quhairof thay war baith verray weill applesit
That thay war [...]wa [...]ne Chalmer esit.
Thir twa ȝoung men Alexander and Lodwik,
In all kin sort thay war sa wonder like:
In face fa [...]our in forme and fassoun,
In stature, visage, speiche and conditioun,
[Page 273] That Ilk man said ane was the vthers brother
Sk [...] micht nane knaw the ane be the vther
B [...]t Alexander in deidis was mair acriue,
Than was Lodwik and far mair scientiue.
For Lodwik was schamefull and fe [...]e,
And Alexander peirt furthie and Masculine.
Of mair curage, mair manlie to behald,
Than Lodwik was (sum said) be the thrid fald
Thir twa, ȝoung men Ilk ane sa lufit vther
Nane wald haue said, bot ane was vlhers bro­ther
The empreour quhilk tytus hecht to name
Had ane douchter of fassoun fair and fame.
Hecht Florentine ane gracious gay Ladie,
Quhilk neirest air to hir Father suld be.
Quhome hir Father lufit sa aboue measour,
And till hir gaue aboundance of treasour.
Hir aw [...] s [...]ruandis scho had with h [...] [...]o dwell
And kei [...]it Court and houshald be hir sell.
To quhome daylie the Empreour vsit to send
Of his dainteis his douchters meis to mend
In signe of lufe, daylie ane dische or tway,
And Alexander to hir bure thame away:
To this. Ladie, befoir hir thame presentit,
Sa in hir sicht Ilk day he was frequentit.
Quhairthrow fauour of this Lady he wan,
For his wisdome aboue all vther man.
Throw besines it chancit on ane day,
At dennar time Alexander was away
Fra his scruice, and nane in his absence
His fault suppleit nor ȝit gaue attendence.
Than Lodwik come and that persauit s [...],
Did sic seruice as Alexander suld haue [...].
And stude for him into the samin steid,
[Page 274] His fault he did supplie and als remeid.
And quhen dennar neir hand it was at end,
The Empreour tuik vp ane dische and send
To his douchter as he had wont to do,
And bad Lodwik the same dische beir hir to.
Beleuing weill Alexander it had bene.
Few culd discerne thir twa visages betwene.
Than went Lodwik his way to the Ladie,
Presentit hir the dische vpon his knie:
With reuerence as he in hart best thortht.
For he befoir that time hir sene had nocht.
Incontment quhen he the meit hir brocht:
Scho persauit that Alexander it was nocht,
Quod scho gude schir to me ȝe schaw ȝour name
He said Lodwik, it is surelie Madame.
Quhais so [...]e ar ȝe tell me but circumstance,
My Father is (quod he) the King of France.
Quod scho gude schir I thank ȝow of ȝour pan [...]
Ze ar welcum to pas or ȝit remane.
Thank my Father of the meit he hes send,
Quod he I sall, and sa furth can he wend.
And tuik his leif with all gude reuerence,
And past agane to the Empreours presence.
In this meane time Alexander come to tabill,
Did his seruice as he was wont and abill.
The dennar done, Lodwik to Chalmer past
Richt seik at hart, and laid him doun bedfast.
Quhilk Alexander persauit Incontinent.
And to Chalmer to Lodwik is he went,
And said to him, O my gude companȝeoun
Qu [...] is the [...]aus that ȝe ar now line doun?
Than [...]d Lodwik, I feill my self trewlie,
Vext at the hart with sair Infirmitie.
[Page 275] Greitlie I feir without I get remeid,
It haldis me sa, that it sall be my deid.
Alexander said the treuth I traist to ges,
The principall caus of all ȝour [...]air seiknes.
For this Ilk day quhen that the meit ȝe bair.
To ȝone Lady, quhilk that ȝe thocht sa fair.
Ze hir beheld sa verray feruentlie,
Hir gude maners, hir visage and bewtie,
That ȝe thairwith is hangit in hir lufe,
Fra hir ȝour hart na way ȝe c [...]n re [...]fe.
Than said Lodwik O my gude brother deir,
The verray treuth but dout ȝe haue gane neir.
All Phisitians in warld thay culd not ges,
Nor Judge mair crew the caus of my seiknes.
Quhairof but dout I tak ane felloun feir,
Get I na help, that it sall do me deir.
Than Alexander bad him be of comfort,
At my power I sall ȝour pane support.
Lift vp ȝour hart and be of gude curage,
Sturt in na way ȝour seiknes can asswage.
Than Alexander bethocht him on ane cast,
Incontinent to the market he past:
Ane precious claith with his awin gold he bocht
Quhairof lodwik knew na way nor wist nocht
All set about with precious stanis coistlie,
And presentit vnto the fair Ladie:
Quhen scho it saw, scho askit him in hy:
Quhair he culd get sic coistlie claith to by▪
Quod he the sone of the maist Christin King,
Hes for ȝour lufe Madame send ȝow this thing,
Bot for a sicht that he saw of ȝour face,
He is sa fast lynkit in lufis lace.
That he lyis seik without he get remeid,
[Page 276] Appeirandly thair is nathing bot deid.
And for ȝour lufe suffer ȝe him to die,
It sal degraid ȝour honour gretumlie.
Alexander scho said, wald ȝe now counsal me
That I suld lois my clene Virginitie.
Cousiddering I am of blude Royall
Discendit doun of stock Imperiall
And secundlie, as ȝe knaw weill in deid
Be apperance to this Croun suld succeid.
Gif I did sa as ȝe to me declair,
Than war I tynt: but dout for euer mair.
Beleue ȝe weill that ȝe for sic Mestage
Sall haue na thank nor wyn of me na wage.
Thairfoir pas ȝe fra hand out of my sicht.
Zour message is nouther ressoun nor richt.
He saw the Mayd was sum thing discontent
Furth of hir sicht he past Incontinent.
On the nixt day past Alexander agane
To the market, and playit the counterpane.
To this Lady he bocht ane fyne heid geir.
Aboue the claith it was thre tymes mair deir.
And present it vnto the Lady gent,
On Lodwyks name, thairwith vnto hir went:
Quhen the Lady this coistlie gift had sene▪
Scho meruellit greit quhat Alexander did mene
And said to him I meruell of a thing,
That ȝe to me sic coistlie gifts suld bring
Fra o [...] man, bot gif it war ȝour sell,
Des [...]rring ay ȝour awin erand to tell.
And sa oft times ȝe haue had my presence,
And for to speik ȝe nucht haue had licence.
Sir thing I se in ȝour heid neuer sank
Quhairfoir but dont I cun ȝow the les thank.
[Page 277] Quod he Madame ȝe mon hald me ereusit,
I ourst nor speik perchance ȝe had refusit.
And [...] my birth it is to law,
Sa heich maters I durst not to ȝow schaw.
Quod scho it is ane Prouerb of the ald.
Quhilk I oft times in mirrmes hes hard tald.
Let ane ȝoung man quhidder he speid or nocht
Haue not his speich bot speik furth & spair nocht
Into my hart quod he sic was not groundit
Nor with sic thing my hart was neuer woundit
And gif sic thing perchance had happinnit me,
I wald haue chargeit ane o [...] mair law degre
Nor is ȝour grace, bot my gude freind Lodwik
Is the greit air of the ma [...]t cheif [...]:
Of all the warld, and themaist Christin King,
The mair baulder he dirst desire sic thing.
Rather nor I quhilk may be na compair,
Vnto ȝour grace, for ȝo [...] blude singulair.
Quod scho this word i [...] remembrance ȝe tak,
Lufe quhome ȝe like, thay say lufe hes na lak.
Quod he quha hes inte his companie,
Ane gude fellow, as Lodwiknow hes me:
And in him traistis am I [...]t bound agane
To wis him gude quhair that he lyis in paue
At my power in sa far as I may,
Doutles madaine I culd [...]ot say him nay.
Thairfoir I think ȝe Lady traist and trew
Wald ȝe witchaif vpon Lodwik to rew,
And on him haue compassioun and pietie,
That is sa sair woundit in ȝour bewtie.
Ane word of ȝouris wald mak him haill agane
And him releif of all seiknes and pane.
Let him na way his deid be on ȝow laid,
[Page 278] For that thing sall ȝour honour greit degraid.
Gif ȝe absent fra him ȝour gnde kindnes,
Ilk man will say that ȝe ar mereyles.
Scho said gude s [...]hir forsuith ȝe serue greit crime
Of me ȝe get na answer at this time.
Thairfoir ȝe may pas on fair weill adew,
Ze ar to blame sa schairplie to persew:
For ouy man, bot gif it war ȝour sell,
Pas on ȝour way, as now na mair I tell.
He tuik his leif, and departit anone,
The morne agane to the market is gone.
And bocht ane belt, quhilk ten times was mair deir
Nor was the claith & als the gay heid geir.
And presentit vnto the Ladyis sicht,
On Lodwiks name, the wofull woundit wicht
Quhen scho persauit the giftis sa coistlie was,
Into hir self scho kest aid did compas
Seir diners thochts yatneids not to be schawin
Nor to Ilk man in na knde to be knawin.
Thairfoir as now I thi [...]k best let thame be,
Ilk man suld not knaw Ladeis preuitie.
Bot at the last to Alexander scho said,
I wait not weill f [...]r to be mufit or glaid
At ȝour Message [...]ot wonder saith war me
In my default [...] man suld die,
A maunis life to [...] for laik of lufe,
Gif I sa did I war greit to reprufe.
Thairfoir ȝe sall in this point haue credence,
In my Chalmer I will giue him presence.
At the thrid hour that past is ouir midnicht,
My Chalmer dure he sall find oppin richt.
Schaw ȝe him sa this is my minde and will,
Z [...]ur minde (quod he) Madaine I sall fulfill.
[Page 279] Of this answer Alexander was glaid,
Past to Chalmer, and to his fellow said.
Lodwik [...] not, ȝe lurk ouir lang for lufe,
I haue not hanit to hant for ȝour behufe:
The companie of ȝone fa [...] Ladie gent,
How beit sum time scho stude not all content.
Zit not the les sum gra [...]e I haue obtenit,
T [...] Intent, sa for to hir I menit.
Hir greit fauour to ȝow I haue purchest,
And I beleue all is cuin for the best.
Thanfoir be [...]lyith and tak ȝow gude comfort,
With clene curage now get ȝow vp at schort.
And in secreit I will ȝow schaw ane thing,
To hir Chalmer this nicht I sall ȝow bring.
Quhair that ȝe sall richt wonder welcum be,
And weill Intreit with that fair gay Ladie.
Fra he that hard he was curageous,
Baith haill and feir. Jocund and Jolyous.
Als blyith at hart, and sturt away was worne,
As euer he was, fra first day he was borne.
Was neuer bird sa blyith of hir brydgrome,
Was neuer bird sa blyith to licht on blome.
Nor ȝit Sparhalk sa blyith to get hir pray,
Nor ȝit the Lark, in fresche morning of May.
Neuer Menstrell sa blyith of his rewaird,
As was Lodwik, quhen he thay tythings hard
Bot for to speik of perfite Potingaris
Fy [...]e Phisitians, meruellous Medicinaris.
Cler [...] of cunning, and counsallouris of hele,
Charmers of chafts and giuers of Liblele.
I neuer red into na buik nor place,
As Alexander was to Lodwik in this race.
For [...]k how s [...]ne that Lodwik hard him speik
[Page 280] He said him self he was [...]alanger seik.
Ze know L [...]this will [...]
G [...]de In [...]g r [...]war [...] [...]
Bank [...]s making [...] it may [...]
With Alexander b [...] [...] was [...].
Alexander de [...]sit his [...]
Not being [...] [...]
Quhairth [...]ow [...],
Be co [...]stlie gif [...] [...] with his aw [...]n [...]
Now let vs schaw how Lodwik [...] he rais,
With [...].
S [...] his [...] [...],
How [...] [...]dr [...] all his maladie knew.
And how scho was of his [...] content,
And how that he did purches hir consent.
Alexander [...] Lodwik that [...]ht,
To the Cha [...] of th [...] [...]t Ladie [...]
With quhome he was in Joy and [...],
And fra thine furth euer keipit kindnes.
In sit ane sort, quha [...] that [...]s Intent
Without [...] that vther ga [...] [...]
Sa still thay vsit in vthers companie,
Beleuing weill all was [...]on [...].
Zit not the les, it come vnto the [...]
Of all the Court amang [...] [...]
Now that Lodwik sa stude in g [...] kindnes,
With that Ladie wro [...]ht sa in [...].
Sa amang thame thay did conspire his [...]d,
Not regarding the Ladies [...] nor [...]
And Alexander [...] [...]
He armit his [...]rs for to ganestand that [...],
And [...]uh [...] thay knew that Alexander [...]
Him to persew fra [...] hart.
[Page 281] Into sa far, fra all sic than did [...]eis,
And sufferrit weill, Lodwik to [...] iu peis.
Howbeit oft times into greit Jeopardie.
For Lodwiks saik Alexander was trewlie.
Bot to Lodwik sic was not k [...]awin a deill,
Bot the Ladie it [...] richt wonder weill.
Than in [...] time thair was a message send
Out of Egypt, be writing makand kend,
That of the lait was new deceissit thair King,
Quhilk abone thame mony ane ȝ [...]ir did Ring.
Requiring hame Alexander to cum,
And with honour ressaue his awin Kingdome.
For his Ladie the Kiugis douthter and Air
Of his absence tuik baith greit sturt and cair.
Becaus the Realme was desolait of ane heid
Vnto that hour, sen hir Father was deid.
Quhilk sone he schew to Ladie Florentine,
And thairefter to Lodwik schew it sine.
Than he in haist behuifit to depart.
Quhair of thay war baith wonder sad in hart.
Also he past vnto the Empreour,
And said plesit ȝour graces greit honour.
Furth of Egypt I haue ressauit writing.
Makand it kend my Fathers departing,
And it behuifis me to pas, and ressaue,
The Croun thairof, be richt thairto I haue.
Gif that ȝour grace will licent me to pas,
Without ȝour fa [...]our I will na licence as.
For but [...]ur leif or I suld licence take,
I had rather baith Croun and Realme forsake.
In thir effairis, quhat euer plesis ȝour grace,
Of verray treuth sa standis euin the ca [...]e.
The Empreour said ȝe sall knaw verralie.
[Page 282] Of ȝour depart my hart is richt heuie.
For I held ȝow amang my seruandis all.
Into my hous euer the principall.
Bot it becūmis not to ane Empreour,
Into na sort, nor ȝit is his honour
To his seruandis to mak Impediment,
Quhat time thay be promouit to ony rent:
Bot far rather to help thame and supplie
To greiter giftis, and hier dignitie.
Thairfoir ga ȝe fra our Stewart ressaue
Als mekill gold as ȝe pleis for to haue:
With my blissing, and with my Inwart hart,
In Goddis Name I leif ȝow to depart.
And bad fair weill and sa he tuik gude nicht
At the Empreour, sine at Lord squire & Knicht.
Quha was sorie of his schort departing,
For he was lude baith with the auld and ȝing.
Than past Lodwik, and with him Florentine,
And on gaitward conuoyit him myles nine.
Alexander wald let thame na farther go,
Bot for to se the dolour and the wo:
Quhen thay departit, quhairto suld I say mair
It wald haue maid ane haill mānis hart richt sair
For verray wo to ground all thre fell doun
And Florentine for wo scho fell in swoun.
Alexander than tuik hir vp agane,
Comfortit hir of hir dolour and pane.
And richt sa did to his fellow Lodwik,
Comfortit him with mony wordis siclike.
And said to him, now my fellow and brother,
Quhome I lufe best of men aboue all vther.
In time cūming for to keip ȝow fra skaith,
This I ȝow say, and to my Lady baith:
[Page 283] Tuitching secreitis that is betwene ȝow two,
Keip tha [...]e quyet or ȝe will suffer wo.
Thairfoir tak heid and t [...]nt richt weill about,
Do ȝe not sa, ȝe stand baith in greit dout.
For weill I wait ane vther in my ste [...]
Sall cum but dout, and haue ȝow at sic feid.
With greit haitrent, dissait and als Inuy,
Baith day and [...]cht sall ȝow chak and espy.
To se gif thay can chalange ȝow with crime,
Thairfoir be war and tak gude tent in time.
For gif thay can reproche ȝow ony way,
And ȝow rebuke, swyithlie thay will assay.
With the Empreour in fauouris ȝe do stand.
Thairfoir the mair thay will cast at ȝour hand
Than said Lodwik in sa far as I may,
I salbe war, baith be nicht and be day.
Bot wo allace thairin quhat sall I do.
Quhen I haue nane that I dar lippin to.
That I suld want ȝour treuthfull companie.
I can not mend, thairfoir full wais me.
Zit harthe I require ȝow of a thing,
Ze will ressaue fra me this litill Ring.
Betuix vs twa to be in remembrance,
Of twa Princes of Egypt and of France.
Alexander said the Ring I will ressaue
In remembrance of ȝow still for to haue.
Bot ȝit howbeit the Ring I had not ta [...]e.
Zour remembrance fra me na way had gane.
And sa ather about the nek Imbraist,
With greit kindnes and sine about the waist.
Bot Florentine was sa confound in Spreit,
Scho culd do nocht, bot sat hir doun to greit.
Alexander said amendis now na greting,
[Page 284] Bot I pray God send vs mirrie meting.
And sa partit with hartis wonder wo,
Unto thair hame, Ilk ane thair gait did go.
¶ Not lang efter the Kingis sone of Spane.
Come to the Court in seruice to remane.
Namit Gwydo: and gat that Ilk office,
That Alexander had into seruice.
Als the Stewart to him he did assing.
That samin hous, the Chaliner and ludgeing,
That Alexander and Lodwik dwelt intill,
Quhilk was but, dout all aganis Lodwiks wil
Howbeit the same na way he culd amend it,
Bot ȝit his hart thairwith was sair offendit.
Lodwik to gyde culd keip na fellowschip,
As he did to Alexander of Egypt.
Thairfoir Gwydo aganis him tuik Inuy,
Howbeit thay baith in ane Chalmer culd ly.
And Lodwik had of Gwydo sickin feir,
That he durst not to the Ladie ga neir:
In auenture that Gwydo suld espy
Of his secreitis, and thame in oppin cry.
Zit not the les of hir he had sic thocht,
Hir companie to abstene culd he nocht.
Nor ȝit scho cuid his companie weill want.
Sa he agane sum times to hir did hant.
Than Gwydo that persauing was not sleuth,
On thame to wait, quhill that he knew yt treuth
That Lodwik had with Ladie Florentine,
Sa greit kindnes that he thocht efter sinc:
Considdering weill the treuth sen he did knaw,
Sum time vnto the Empreour he suld schaw.
Sa in his minde he held it quyethe,
With fals dissait, quhill he his time micht se.
[Page 285] Upon ane time the Empreour in his hall
Talking about amang his Novillis all.
Praising greitlie the wit and gentilnes
Of Alexander, the wisdome and kindnes.
And said he was baith trew verteous and wise
To gyde ane hous richt weill he culd deuise.
Than said Gwydo and pleis ȝour Maiestie,
Sa far praisit he aucht not for to be.
Nor for to be commendit as ȝe wene,
Ane greit tratour in ȝour hous he hes bene.
The Empreour said teil on how can that be,
Than said Gwydo I sall ȝow tell trewlie,
To ȝour douchter ȝe haue ane Ladie fair,
The quhilk suld be appeirandlie ȝour Air:
And be the help of falset and supplie
Of him, Lodwik hes done hir velanie.
And sa nichtlie quhen Lodwik takis delite.
He hes his will of that fair Ladie quhite.
And all this come be the fals subtell flicht
Of Alexander, that he wrocht day and nicht.
Quhen the Empreour this tail hard til him cald
Into his minde was muifit monyfaid.
In that same time Lodwik come throw yt hall,
And vpon him the Empreour sone did call.
And said quhats this that I heir tell of the,
Gif it be trew thow salbe hangit hie.
Than said Lodwib and pleis ȝour nobil grace
Ze will me schaw thairof how is the cace.
Than said Gwydo in oppin audience,
Heir I auow in ȝour graces presence:
That Lodwik lyis with Ladie Florentine.
Als sure as standis on craig this heid of mine.
And sa he hes defoulit the blude Royall,
[Page 286] Quhilk I sall preif on him in plane battail:
On his bodie and thairaf sall I stand,
Defend it now, gif thow dar tak on hand.
Than said Lodwik plesit ȝour Maiestie,
I am saikles of ȝone he sayis on me.
And richt falslie he layis on me sic crime,
Quhilk I sall preif quhen euer he thinkis time
Sa into God I traist to find remeid,
All his falset sall fall on his awin heid.
Than kest Gwydo his gluif donu for a trane,
Lodwik lowtit, and tuik it vp agane.
Saying I will that Ladeis fame defend,
With hart and hand vnto my lifes end.
The Empreour than to rhame baith did assing
Ane certane day of battell and fechting,
And to thame baith he bad silence and rest
And bad thame pas quhair that thay plesit best
Than past Lodwik to the Ladie fra hand,
And all the cace he gart hir vnderstand.
And how he was accusit in presence
Of hir Father, in oppin audience.
And how that he assignit the fechting day,
And vnto hir in this maner can say.
Now Florentine my Ladie fair and gent,
It me behuifis to wirk with auisement:
With ȝow alwayis for sa the mater standis.
I can not chaip vndeid of Gwydois handis.
For quhy gif I had nayit to him battall
Than had I ȝald my self all criminall.
And of the crime grantit my self gyltie,
Thairfoir forte was to counterfute mellie.
Alswa Gwydo is wonder stout and strang.
In fait of armes he hes bene vsit lang.
[Page 287] I neuer knew in na companie heir,
Bot Alexander to fecht can be his peir.
For I am waik and febill of persoun,
And to his strenth hes na comparisoun.
Gif I him meit in feild quhat salbe than,
Without refuge I am bot ane deid man.
And sa on me sall ly the caus and blame,
And ȝe for ay sall thoill sclander and schame.
Than Florentine to Lodwik this can say.
Sen sic ane chance is cum betuix vs tway.
And I feill ȝow dispairit in ane part.
And in this cace ouir waik spretit in hart.
Zit not the les quhair twa Illis dois approche
I think it best fra the greitest to foche.
The first Ill is, fra ȝe ȝow gyltie grant,
Than sal I ay baith welth and worschip want
And ȝe also be put to cruell deid,
And I for ay my life in langour leid.
The secund is, gif ȝe to battell boun,
Ze ar sa waik and febill of persoun.
And Gwydo is sa strang and als hardie,
That ȝe dow not ganestand him straikis thre.
And sa alwayis I can find na remeid,
How euer it go thair is to ȝow bot deid.
Thairfoir heirin ȝe sall my counsall do,
Ze sall but let my Father sone pas to:
And schaw to him on ȝour maist humbill wise,
That ȝour Father vpon his deid bed lyis.
Quhairof thair is new writings cum ȝow till,
Desiring him, gif that it be his will:
To prorogat the day of battell set,
That ȝe may gang, and cum agane but let.
And in meane time with ȝour Father to speik.
[Page 288] Be the ressoun he lyis sa wonder seik.
And for to ken his perfite latter will,
That in all pointis the same ȝe may fulfill.
And for to speik with him twa wordis or thre,
Furth of this warld or he depart and die.
And that ȝe may his bennesoun obtene,
With his awin mouth, sine ȝe to lowk his ene.
And quhen ȝe haue obtenit his licence,
To Alexander in all gude haist pas hence.
And secreitlie to him the mater schaw,
How all thing standis, perfitelie let him knaw
And him require into this extreme cace,
That he wald cum and to supplie ȝour place.
Contrair Gwydo, with him in battell fecht,
Becaus ȝour self to do the same hes hecht.
This counsall than it plesit Lodwik weill,
Euin as scho said, sa did he euerie deill.
Licence obtenit, and als prolongit the day,
To Alexander Lodwik tuik his Jornay.
Small rest he tuik, bot raid on day and nicht
To Egypt land, quhill he come vnto richt.
To the Castell than come he on in hy,
Quhair that the King gude Alexander culd ly.
Quhen the King gat of Lodwik knawlegeing
He meruellit greit the caus of his cūming.
Incontinent to meit him is he gane
As his brother, euin sa with him hes tane,
With all honour he did him thair ressaue,
As him become, or he lykit to haue.
Than said Lodwik my deir brother and freind
In tunes bygane, and euer ȝit hes bene.
Now at this time I let ȝow vnderstand,
My life and deid lyis baith into ȝour hand.
[Page 289] He said brother mak knawin to me ȝour querrel
Tour life salbe Godwilling in na perrell.
Than said Lodwik, ȝe remember ȝe schew,
At our parting, sum wordis quhilk I find trew
Saying I suld in fellowschip ane haue
Into ȝour steid, perchance wald me dissaue.
And ly in wait my secreitis to espy,
Quhilk now in deid richt wonder weill find I.
Ze said without I war mair circumspect
In quhilk my self in sum part did neglect.
For ane Gwydo the Kingis sone of Spane,
Into ȝour steid with me he did remane.
And be ressoun my secreitis he not knew,
To my Lady I durst not lang persew.
And sa at lenth I culd not lang abstene,
It chancit him knaw the secreitis vs betwene:
And me accusit befoir the Empreour,
Quhilk vnto me was vtter displesour.
And hes promeist in battell to mak gude,
That I defoullit the hie Imperiall blude.
Sa hand for hand in battell we mon fecht,
To counter him be my hand I haue hecht.
This day aucht dayis the battell suld be done,
Quod Alexander forsuith that is ouir sone.
Als quod Lodwik Gwydo is stout and strang,
And hes bene vsit in actis of weiris lang.
And I am waik and febill as ȝe kend,
Fra his greit dyntis I dow not me defend.
And Florentine thairfoir gaue me counsall,
Zow for to schaw the caus and mater haill.
For scho beleuis ȝow ay hir faithfull freind,
And hiddertillis sa euer mair hes bene.
And traistis doutles ȝe will help and supplie,
[Page 290] Baith me and hir in this necessitie.
Than Alexander to Lodwik can he say,
Is thair ony knaw is ȝe come heir away?
Bot Florentine (quod he) forsuith not ane,
For Ilk man trowis that to France I am gane
For to vesie my Father lyand seik,
Thir same wordis to the Empreour I did speik.
To that effect he did prolong the day,
And I at poist to ȝow am cum away.
Quod he schaw furth quhat Florentine bad de­sire
Or quhat at me is thing scho bad require.
Or quhat counsall gaue Florentine to ȝow
That I suld help, in quhat maner and how.
Than Lodwik said, O my maist cōstant freind
This stands the cace I traist that scho did mene
Considdering we twa be sa done like,
That ȝe suld cum with Gwydo battell strike.
And nane knawing bot Florentine allane,
The battell done, ȝe to cum hame agane.
And I siclike in Court to present me,
As I had done the Act and Jeopardie.
Alexander said the battell ȝe haue set,
This day aucht dayis to fecht withouttin let,
It is to schort, for euin this stands the cace,
I can not weill be reddy in sic space.
For tary I the morne withouttin mair,
I can not find that I may weill be thair.
Thairfoir but dout quhat I sall say heirto,
I can not tell, nor wait nor how to do.
And my subiectis I haue commandit haill,
That they be heir the morne at my brydaill,
Keip I Jornay, thocht I ryde at the poist,
Of my wedding the day is tynt and loist.
[Page 291] Gif I ga uot, and keiyis not the battaill
Than Florentine and ȝe ar loist but faill.
Thairfoir Lodwik quhat think ȝe best to do,
Quhat ȝe deuise heir I apply thairto.
Lodwik heiring the excuse ressonabill.
To fall in swoun quhair that he stude was abil
Began to sich, and sorrow monyfald,
For to his hart catchit was carris cald.
Saying all tray and tene to me betydis,
Sorrow and cair now cūmis on all kin sydes.
Persauing that Alexander till him said,
Let be sic sturt [...]ak comfort and be glajd.
For I will not forsaik ȝow this vepage,
Thocht I suld vaith tine wife and heritage.
Bot ȝe sall heir in thocht quhat I haue tane,
Into fa far as we twaar like ane.
And as ȝe ken it is not lang age
The Empreours Court hidder sen I rome fro.
Zit I am not weill knaw in in this countrie,
Mony my Lords as ȝit hes not sene me.
And lor that caus thay ken not my presence,
Thay will tak ȝow for mein my absence.
Thairfoir heir sall ȝe tary and abyde,
And in my steid ȝe sall Mary my bryde.
And hald the Feist with greit saleinynitie,
And gar all thing be done that done suld be.
[...]owbeit my self in bodie be absent,
Let nathing want mair than I war present.
To my Renoun pertenis or honestie,
Gif I for ȝow, do ȝe siclike for me.
Except onlie quhen that ȝe pas to bed,
With my awm wife, howbeit that ȝe hir wed.
Into my Name, and my Authoritie,
[Page 292] Into that care se that ȝe faithfull be.
And sa but baid I sall Incontinent
Loup vpon hors and to the bartell went.
And set my cors for ȝouris into the field,
And ȝour actioun debait with speir and scheild
And gif that God grantis me the victorie,
For to v [...]ncus Gwyde ȝour Enemie.
Without cary I sall returne agane.
And ȝe sichke ur Court for to remane.
As ȝe had done the principall act ȝour sell,
Sa with honour in Court still sall ȝe dwell.
This being done Alexander tuck gude nicht,
Latting na wit vnto his Ladie bricht.
Vnto the Court fra hand tuik his Jornay,
Ha man knawing the mater hot thay tway.
Sa Lodwik baid at hame, still with the Quene
Into Egypt, as Alexander ic had bene.
And on the morne Lodwik with noueltie.
Past to the Kirk in greit solen [...]pnitie.
As it had bene Alexander the King.
And sponsit his wife at the Kirk with ane King
Na man knawing bot Alexander it had bene,
That had spousit with greit honour the Quene
And held the Feist with mirth and mirr [...]us,
Greit honour, gloir, triumph laude & blyuhnes
All menstralie of Musick was yair thair.
Wantit nathing of nurth quhat wald ȝe mair
Of meit and drink it neidis not for to sperk,
That neidfull was thair was nathing to seik.
All the greit Lords and Nobills that was pair
Thay maid greit mirth and solace suigulair,
Sine quhen nicht come all men bow [...]t to rest
To ga to bed the brpde scho thocht it best.
[Page 293] Bot quhen Lodwik past to bed with the quene
Aue naikit sword he laid thame ewa betwene.
Ouhairof scho had ane greit meruell & wonder
On the first nicht, that thay suld ly asonder.
Sa he Ilk nicht with the Quene did remane,
Hir bedfellow quhill hir king come agane.
Nathing scho said, bot ȝit mekill scho thocht,
Be the ressoun the treuth that scho knew nocht.
Now let Lodwik and the Quene byde at hame
And we wil [...] speik of Alexanders fame.
Thau come belyue the day of Tornament,
Alexander to the Empreour he went.
And said O maist redoutit Soueraue,
Vnto ȝour grace now I am cum agane:
Left my Father in greit Infirmitie,
Douting nathing bot schortlie he sall die.
And to debait this battell with my blude,
And with my handis my querrell to mak gude
For Godwilling to all it salbe kend,
That I Justlie my querrell sall def [...]nd.
The Empreour said ȝe do all that ȝe can,
According to ane Nobill gentill man.
And beleue gif ȝour querrell be richt,
Ze sall triumph like ane kene cruell Knicht.
Fortoun will fauour ȝour querrell and actioun.
Nowbeit ȝe fecht contrair ane Campioun.
Than quyethe he past in vnder cure,
To Florentine the hie gait fordwart fure.
Of quhais cūming scho was richt wāder glaid
Scho him Imbraist, siue kist and efter said:
Blist be the time that ȝe ar cūmin heir,
Fra all dolour to mirth hes changeit my cheir.
Ze ar als welcum to me now ȝour allaue,
[Page 294] As ony man on life excepting ane.
For ay with me ȝe tnik sa trew ane part,
Quod he Ladie I thank ȝow with my hart.
Quhair is Lodwik, I pray ȝow to me schaw,
And how he dois, I waid ȝe leit me knaw.
He said Lodwik was into greit Uyichnes,
In mirth and Joy, and in greit mirrines:
Thair is na man leuis in mait lustie life,
For he hes now maryit ane gay ȝoung wife.
Maryit (said scho) I think that can not be,
It is for treuth forsuith Madame said he.
Euin on the morne efter I tuik veyage,
It was assignit the day of Mariage.
The Banker was prepairit richt weill I ken,
And callit thairto was mony Nobill men.
All thing was drest, thair was na mair ado,
Bot on the morne the Kirk for to ga to.
The Ladie said quhat woman may that be,
He said forsuith scho is ane gay Ladie.
Lustie of lufe, richt bounteous and fair,
Of that countrie scho is appeirand Air.
Ouod Florentine schort kindnes thair hes bene
Or ellis auld lufe that hes bene thame betwene
Bot gif sic thing that Lodwik now hes wrocht
Zour cūming heir I think it is for nocht.
Hir countenance to keip bad fill the cop.
How beit I trow scho list not drink ane droy.
Than Alexander persauing hir patience,
Hir lawlynes, and gentill countenauce.
Na langer he waid hald hir into noy
Bot turnit hir sturt Jucontinent to Joy.
Ouod he Ladie be blyith and mak na cair,
All he hes done is done for ȝour weilfair.
[Page 295] Ze knaw richt weill is nane in warld mair lyke
In all rassouns nor I am to Lodwyk.
Sa quhen he come and tald me his crand,
[...] ou the morne my brydail suid haue stand
And be ressoun I culd not keip dyet,
Nor ȝit to byde the day of brydall set.
Becaus on him sa strangelie come the cace,
Kindnes causit me to put him in my place.
Sa I causit him in my place for to pas,
Na man knawing bot the same man I was.
And wed my wife as it had bene my sell,
And I to tak the chance of the bartell,
For gif that I quhill the brydall was done
Had biddin at hame, I had not cum sa sone
To the fixt day of barteil that was set,
Zit than I thocht my brydall suld not let.
Sa I him left in my Realme to be King.
Quhill I returnem, and ȝow to honour bring.
Gif scho was blyith it neidis not for to talk,
He tuik his leif, and to Chalmer did walk.
Bot Florencine thair was nane that culd tell,
Of verray treuth bot it was Lodwiks sell.
¶ Sa on the morne the day of battell was,
And Alexander vnto the feild can pas.
Into sit geir as than to him effeixit,
And on his steid sa stouthe he him steirit.
Sine [...]ch [...]t doun like ane kene cruell Knicht,
To the Empreour the hie way raikit richt.
Befoir Gwydo [...] wordis to him he said.
My greit Souerane ane crime is on me laid
Be this Gwydo, falshe befoir ȝour face,
He me accusit befoir ȝour Nobill grace.
Saping that I had carnall knawledgeing
[Page 296] Of ȝour douchter, and hir flesche defouling,
Quhilk to ȝour grace it war greit dishonour,
And I siclyke to ȝow ane greit Tratour.
Bot heir I sweir and als affirmes surelie,
Be the greit God that bled his blude for me.
Be the Euangells that our Sauiour spak,
And all the michts that God in warld did mak▪
That I neuer in na maner of way,
Knew ȝour Douchter, as Gwydo did ȝow say.
My mynd was not to do hir dishonour,
Into na way, to ȝour grace displesour.
And I this day be help of Goddis grac [...],
Vpon Gwydo, sall preif befoir ȝour face,
That he hes leid, in dispyte of his hart,
And all his kin, and quha will tak his part.
Than said Gwydo, ȝit I say anis agane,
Befoir ȝour grace, thow art a Tratour plane.
And als I sweir be God Omnipotent,
With thy awin flesche his Douchter thow hes schent.
To thy plesonr, and thy foull appetyte,
Ay quhen thow lyft, or thairin had delyte.
Euerilk nicht had hir at thy plesour,
Quhilk was to hir greit schame and dishonour.
And als vnto the Empreours Maiestie,
Oppin tressoun, quhilk I sall preif on the.
Vpon thy heid, in contrair all thy kin,
Cum and defend, gif thow wald worschip win.
Than Heralds cryit with loud voce hie on hich [...]
Ga togidder, we pray God schaw the richt.
Incontinent thay stendit on thair steids,
Lyke vailȝeant men, into thair weirlyke weids.
As twa bald Bairs, togidder baith thay ran▪
[Page 297] Ilk ane was lyke to ding doun hors and man.
S [...]e [...]rs sprang like sparks as fyre dois of y flyne
Thair docht na man Indure pair doutsum dyne
Quhē speirs was pair pair schynig swords drew
Quhill plau and maul all into flenders flew.
thair swords na [...] swag quhil pair steids swat at syds
the giltin spurs y heual skin throw glyds
Froith ran fra fronts of the f [...]irs forsie steids,
Quhill hors and man baith at the basnet bleids.
Styf straiks th [...] stryke of vthers stude nane aw
Quhill Alexander at last ane wantage saw.
On Gwydois nek ane nakit place he spyis,
Quhair at gu [...]speid he stryks twyse or thrpis.
Quhill at the last, thair at he straik sa lang,
All the harnes was thair away he dang.
And thairefter but ouy mair delay,
He put Gwydo intill ane feirfull fray.
Gwydo that seis, agane vpon him setts
Of his Gorget ane buckill or twa he fretts.
And straik his Gorget doun vpon his breist,
Alexander ane vther straik waillit neist:
Vpon his nek quhilk he persauit was bair.
With all his strenth ane straik he laid on thair.
Quhill baith thair steids stakkerit at the stound
And Gwydois held it hoppit on the ground.
Syne lychtit doun and tuke it in his hand,
To the Lady it send into presand.
Quhair of scho was richt wōder blyth and glaid
To hir Father the same scho bure and said.
Father behald, the held quhilk vpon me,
Sa falslie leid, sic feid vnfaithfullie.
Quhilk ȝow and me at his power defamit▪
Bot the blameles him self hes maid vnblami [...].
[Page 298] The Empreour said the vailȝeand victorie
Be Lodwik wrocht, is now scha win patentlie▪
And said Lodwik it may be hard and sene,
Beleuing weill that Lodwik it had bene.
For ȝe haue saift this day fra schame and skaith
Zour awin honour, & als my douchters baith.
And fra thine furth the mair ay sall ȝe stand,
In my fauour. I hecht ȝow be my hand.
And heirefter quha euer dois ȝow defame,
In that behalf, he sall Incur my blame.
And at my hand salbe accusit of crime,
That sit thing talkis of ȝow in ony time.
Than Alexander said vnto the Empreour,
The victorie is ay at Goddis plesour.
Quha traistis in him na way he will thē wrak
Nor thair Just caus he will not thraw abak.
Bot will alwayis defend the Innocent,
And will not thoill the saikles to be schent.
Sen he hes send to me the victorie,
Thanks euer mair to him alanerlie.
Bot now my maist redoutit Lord and King,
Humblie ȝour grace I require of a thing.
Fra my Father quhen I last did depart,
He was sa vext with seiknes at his hart,
That we beleuit nathing bot standand deid▪
And now this cace as ȝe knaw come on heid▪
That I micht not at that time weill remane▪
Now I wald haue licence to pas agane.
To vnderstand in quhat stait all thing standis
And thairefter to put reule in my landis.
And gif he be of seiknes conuolest,
Quhill I returne I sall tak lytill rest.
The Empreour said ȝour langage liks me weill
[Page 299] Bot I wald not, sa mot my saull haue seill:
Want ȝour seruice, nor ȝour daylie presence▪
Zit not the les I grant ȝow gude licence.
For sic effairis as ȝe haue schawin to me,
To pas agane into ȝour awin countrie.
Than he tuik leif, and bad Ilk ane gude nicht
To his awin Realme raid haine y gait ful richt
In this meane tune Lodwik he thocht greit lāg
To luik abont, to the wall heid did gang.
And persauit ane hors man cūming fast,
Sine Alexander he knew weill at the last.
Quhome quhen he saw he was baith blyth and glaid,
And hartfullie ressauit him and said.
O maist trew freind, of all my freinds on liue,
Quhais greit kindnes my wittis tā not discriu [...]
Ze ar welcum sa far heir as I may
How haue ȝe done, and sped in ȝour Jornay:
Or quhat kin end that ȝe haue brocht it to,
Quod he Lodwik now ȝe haue les ado.
Nor of befoir, for Gwydo is departit,
Thairfoir be blyith and wonder mirrie hartit.
I wait I send his heid to Florentine▪
To hir Father scho it presentit sine.
Thairfoir ga ȝe vnto the Empreour,
For now ȝe stand far mair in his fauour:
Nor euer ȝe did befoir in ony time,
And als ȝe ar maid clene of all kin crime.
That Gwydo laid vpon ȝone fair Ladie
Tuitching hir fame and ȝour awin honestie.
Than said Lodwik it neidis me say no moir,
My life oft times ȝe haue preseruit befoir.
And now my life and als my honestie,
Siclike preseruit the fame of ane Ladie.
[Page 300] Quhilk be na way I caan not recompence.
Bot quhill I leif, all the beneuolence
Of my hart rute ȝe salbe euer sure.
Sa lang as I into this lyfe Indure:
Togidder als with all my Gold and geir,
Sa lang as I on lyfe is listand heir
Than thay Imbraist, at vthers tuik gude nicht
And Lodwyk raid vnto the Empreour richt.
Na man knawing Alexanders absence.
For all his Court beleuit his awin presence.
Siclyke this Quene, nathing the mater knew,
For na man was, that sic thing to hir schew.
Syne quhen nicht come, Alexandee him sp [...]d,
Without tary vnto the Quenis bed.
Sone in his armis he hynt hir in all haist,
With fair sweit wordis richt tenderlie Imbraist
With all plesure that thairto did pertene,
Or into bed ane King do to ane Quene.
Quod scho quhairfoir sen first ȝe did me wed,
And euerie nicht I lay into ȝour bed.
Ze neuer schew lufe nor kindnes to me,
Nor na freindschip quhil now how may yis be
For I beleue ȝe had Judgeit sum crime,
In my contrair, quhilk neuer in my time
I committit vnto ȝour Nobill grace,
Quhairof I am astoneist in thes cace.
Out of my minde it can not weill depart.
Bot still remane at the riutis of my hart.
Quod he thairat quhy at ȝe discontent,
All that I did was doue in gude Intent.
In gude Intent (quod scho) thair I say nay,
For eueri [...] nicht ȝe laid betui [...] vs tway
Ane [...]aikit sword, and neuer cou [...]t moir
[Page 301] Of my persoun, and knew na caus quhairfoir.
I did all that (said he) for probatioun,
And als of lufe ane greit confirmatioun:
Betuix vs twa of euerlasting lufe,
On sic ane sort I thocht I wald ȝow prufe.
In all my dayis ȝe sall not find agane,
Ane naikit sword in bed betui [...] vs twane.
Zit not the les the Quene said in hir thocht,
In all my dayis forȝet it sall I nocht.
That lufe thow trowis for to obtene of me,
In thy dispite I sall it wraik on the.
Zit nocht scho said, bot thocht it in hir minde,
How scho micht turne hir lufe in vther kinde.
Thair was ane Knicht that scho lude of befoir.
And fra thine furth scho lude him moir & moir.
At last thay twa bethocht thaine of ane thing,
How thay micht best sla and distroy the King.
Betuix thame twa ane consait sone thay fand,
Gaue him poysoū, and thocht that he fra hand
Suld be bot deid, and ȝit his complextioun
It was sa stark, it tuik na Infectioun
In his entrales, bot brak furth fra his hart,
Into the flesche, and schew the self outwart.
Sa be wirking within ane schort proces,
It was conuert in vther sair seiknes.
Vncurabill ay haldin amang vs,
And turnit intill ane Lipper Lazarus.
Quhill that na man with patience micht him se
And all his Lordis dispysit his companie.
Saying it is ane thing richt odius,
Ane laith Lipper for to King aboue vs.
For all his barnis, and all his haill ofspri [...]g,
Withouttin faill sall haue the samin thing.
[Page 302] And fa at schort him of all digritie,
Thay quite denude, for his Infirmitie.
Out of his Realme as ane beggar him draif,
Quhill he behude to beg amang the laif.
In this meane time of Rome the Empreour.
Payit his dew det, quhairof was greit dolour.
Quha was Father to Florentine sa fair,
Of the Impire scho was appeirand Air.
And with auise of his counsall did wed,
Lodwik hir lufe, and brocht him to hir bed.
Quhairthrow he was maid principal empreour
And ga [...] the Croun thairof with greit honour.
In the same [...]me of France the Nobill King,
Lodwiks Father in likewise maid ending.
And payit his det as naturall cours him gaue,
As dois all thing that euer did life ressaue.
And sa Lodwik come Empreour throw chance
Siclike he was the michtie King of France.
Aboue thame baith atanis sa did he King,
And baith atanis he had in gouerning.
Than Alexander quha was laitlie deposit,
Fra his Kingdome the quhilk he suld haue Josit
Hard tell for treuth Lodwik was Empreour,
And King of France and thairof possessour.
Vnto him self he said and tuik in minde,
I will ga se gif that Lodwik be kinde.
For diuers times I haue Jeopard my life,
Baith for him self, and siclike for his wife.
Now will I go and till him mak my mane.
He will me help I am sure and certane.
Sa on ane nicht Alexander vprais,
And as he micht, purelie put on his clais.
And steppi [...] furth with his staf in his hand.
[Page 303] With cop and clapper vnto the Empreours lād
Quhen he come thair he sat doun at his ȝet.
Amang the lipper sum Almous for to get.
The Empreour come furth vpon ane day,
Of his Palice to sport him and to play.
Efter his play agane to Palice past,
And to dennar Ilk ane thay bownit fast.
All the Lipper thay clappit and thay cryit,
Bot at that time all Almous was denyit,
And Alexander clappit as did the rest,
Thocht thay ga [...] nocht to bide ȝit he thocht best
Vnto the time the Empreour was set,
Beleuing weill sum Almous for to get.
And vp he rais, and neir the ȝet he went,
Thairat knokit with meik minde and Intent.
The portersaid quhais that that knoks sa bald
Quod he ane pure with ȝow sum erand wald.
Requiring ȝow for lufe and cheritie
That ȝe will do sum small message for me.
The Porter said quhome to is that message,
Few is heirin of quhome ȝe haue knawledge.
Alexander said, gude freind with ȝour plesour,
My erand is vnto the Empreour.
The Porter said dois ȝour erand pertene
To the Empreour, I wait not quhat ȝe mene.
Schaw me the mater and quhat is ȝour Intent
And I sall tell ȝour taill Incontinent.
He said I ȝow require for Goddis lufe,
And for his saik that sittis in heuin abufe:
Ga ȝe and cell vnto the Empreour,
Ane man is heir in seiknes and dolour.
Ane saith Lipper, ane Lazarus ȝe se,
Requiris his grace for part of Cheritie.
[Page 304] For Goddis lufe that treat hes all thing,
And Alexanders saik of Egypt King.
That he will grant me licence in his hall,
To [...]it his meit befoir his Nobillis all.
The Porter said I wonder of ȝour wit,
Within his hall that ȝe desire to sit.
For all his hall of Noball men is f [...]w,
And thay at meit forsuith gif thay saw ȝow:
Thay suld abhor, and ei [...] that time no moir,
I think it best ȝe hald ȝow still thairfoir.
Quod Alexander I pray ȝow of gudnes,
For Goddis saik, and of ȝour gentilnes.
To ȝour Maister ȝe wald schaw my Message
Get I almous ȝe sall not want ȝour wage.
The Porter said, sa far as ȝe require,
For Goddis saik, and hartlie ȝe desire.
Zour erand do, the same I tak on hand,
Quhill I returne, se still heir that ȝe stand.
Than the Porter past to the Empreour,
And hailsit him with reuerence and honour.
Did his Message as he had gottin command
The Empreour hard, and vnderstude fra hand
And quhen he hard namit Alexander King,
Quod he in haist that man to me ȝe bring.
How horribill or vgsum that he be,
In all gude haist ȝe fetche him heir to me.
That he may eit his meit into my hall.
In my presence befoir my Lordis all.
Than the Porter vnto the ȝet is gone,
And Alexander he brocht to hall anone.
And ordanit him into the hall ane place,
Quhair he micht eit befoir the Empreours face
Quhen he was weill refreschit at his awin wil
[Page 305] Ane gentill man belyue he callit him till.
And said gude Schir, require the Empreour,
Gif that it be his will and his plesour:
For Goddis lufe first and king Alexanders sine
He wald me giue ane Coup full of his wine.
The gentill man said that I will do to the,
Bot I beleue that sic thing sall not be.
For gif ȝe anis of his Coup tak ane drink,
To drink thairm he sall na mair I think.
Zit nor the les the erand I sall do,
Auise him self gif he cunsentis thairto.
The Message than to the Empreour he schew,
And als sa sone as he the erand knew:
For Alexanders saik the Coup he send
Full of the wine that for the best was kend.
Drank his plesure and sine be put the rest
In his Bottall, that time he thocht it best.
Of his finger ane small gold Ring he threw,
Quhilk the Empreour lang time befoir he knew
Becaus the same he had him geuin befoir,
In takin of lufe and freindschip euer moir.
Quhilk Alexander into the Coup leit fall,
And bad the copper beir it vp throw the hall:
To the Empreour, and the same leit him se,
Quh [...] said my freind, I sall it do trewlie.
The Coup and Ring withouttin proces mair
To the Empreour the copper sone it bair.
The Empreour than how sone the Ring he saw
Incontinent full weill he did it knaw.
And wist richt weill it was the samin King,
That he had geum to Alexander King.
Into freindschip quhen ather did depart,
Out of the Court, quhair of he at his hart:
[Page 306] Was sorrowfull, for he knew na remeid,
Bot Alexander his companioun was deid.
Or ellis he thocht this pure man meruellouslie,
Had gottin this Ring at sum greit Jeopardie.
He commandit the Lipper not depart
Quhill he had hard mair secreitis of his hart.
For he not knew be fauour na vther thing.
Quhat man it was that had send him y Ring.
Efter denuar he tuik him quyetlie,
And said tell me the treuth and veritie:
And fenȝe not to tell to me this thing,
Quh [...], quhair & how happinnit ȝe on this Ring
Alexander said, and pleis ȝour Maiestie,
Quhat is the caus ȝe speir sic thing at me?
Ze haue knawledge of this King I persaue,
Gif it was ȝours, ȝe knaw quhair ȝe it gaue.
The Empreour said richt wonder weil I knaw
The King and man siclike gif I him saw.
Alexander said I meruell that can be,
Ze knaw the Ring, and na way knaw is me.
For Alexander I am of Egypt King,
Sum time I was quhome to ȝe gaue this Ring
Quhen he that hard to his hart straik ane stoūd
For verray sturt fell [...]a [...]lings to the ground.
And rent his r [...]bbis, and kest his clais him [...].
Quhen he persauit Alexander was sa.
With sai [...] sichingis and sobbings to him said,
My deir fellow how is this on ȝow laid.
Sic sair seiknes, and greit Infirmitie,
My hart it brekis sic thing on ȝow to se.
Ze ar my life, my saull and my weilfair,
My onlie freind and fellow but compair.
Quhair is ȝour cors that was sa clenelie cled,
[Page 307] Zour bauld bodie that was sa finelie fed,
Zour puissant pith that was sa stout
Zour māly strenth, quhairof Ilk man had dout
Quod Alexander this greit Infirmitie,
And vnclenes that ȝe se now on me:
For the greit faith, trew kindnes & freindschip
That ȝe schew quhen I left ȝow in Egypt:
To wed my wife, thair ȝour fidelitie
Causit this seiknes sa to chance vpon me.
For into bed, with my wife quhen ȝe lay,
Ane naikit sword ȝe laid betuix ȝow tway
Scho beleuing it was not ȝe bot I,
Sa fremmitlie with hir in bed culd ly.
And for that caus had me at sic haitrent,
Ane vther Squyer scho cheisit in luferent.
Betuix thame twa purposit to poysoun me,
Quhilk is conuert in this Infirmitie.
Furth of my realme yai haue me dreuin & chaist
And to returne thairto I haue na traist.
The Empreour than tuik him about the nek,
For verray lufe, and said in this effeck.
O my maist best belouit trew brother,
Quhome euer mair I lude abone all vther.
I sorrow sair in sic sort ȝow to se,
Without remeid maisterit in miserie.
Bot ȝe mon thoill and tak in patience,
And gif thair may be found ony defence:
Help or remeid that may ȝour seiknes saue,
For gold or geir, but dout ȝe sall it haue.
We sall not faill to fetche fine Phisitians,
With tūning Clerkis, and perfite practicians,
Nor ȝit sall mis for mony Medicinars,
Nor for payment to preif all Potingars.
[Page 308] With counsallis of Maisters and doctours fine
For all seiknes that can giue Medicine.
Into this neid gif than can ȝow s [...]pp [...],
It sall not want for gold, geir nor monie.
To get ȝow help we sall not spair to spend,
Thocht we suld seik vnto the warldis [...]nd.
Thairfoir be blyth, and tak nathing in thocht
Throw all the warld ȝour help it salbe socht.
Except ȝour helth heir nathing ȝe sall want,
Quhen plesis God he will that to ȝow grant.
To ane Chalmer belyue thay culd him bring,
Was weill preparit, wanting na kind of thing
Of honestie, nor ȝit was necessair
For eis or helth, quhair his bed was and lair
In this meane time the Empreour gart prepair
His Messingers to pas and seik all quhair.
Cūning Doctouris, and Phisitians profound
That was expert in ony land or ground.
Of quhome thair come to him in oulkis thre,
Threttie Doctouris cunning in all degre.
The maist expert, and had experience,
In sic effairis, belanging that Science.
Of sure supplie pertening Phisick fine,
And was extollit Maisters in Medicine.
To quhome anone the Empreour than said,
Of ȝour cūming Maisters I am richt glaid.
This is the cace quhy I send to ȝow all,
I haue ane freind the quhilk lyis seik and thrall
Uncurabill, quhilk onlie I suspect,
As is Lipper, quhairwith he is Jufect.
Quhairof gif ȝe culd mak him haill and sound,
I wald giue gold mony ane thousand pound.
All the riches I haue and vther geir,
[Page 309] I [...] it giue to haue him haill and feir.
The Maisteris said we sall do diligence,
B [...] [...], Phisick, and naturall science:
Togidder with all possibilitie,
Him to recure of his Infirmitie.
Pleisit ȝour grace ȝe mon vs all pardoun,
We mon haue sicht of the principall personn.
Quhilk all thret [...]ie at anis quhen thay him saw
Incontinent his seiknes thay did knaw.
And said it was ane seiknes vncurabill,
And to remeid to mortall man not abill.
Quhen the Empreour hard thame deliuer so,
At his hart rute he was richt wonder wo.
Remittie all to the help and calling
Of God abufe, that can help all sic thing.
The Empreour callit to him godlie men,
Furth of all partis, quhair that he culd thē ken,
That war deuoit with minde & thocht Inwart
Desiring thame richt humblie with his hart:
That thay wald pray to God of his gude grace
Throw thair prayer gif thay culd helth purches
To Alexāder quhilk was ane King with croun,
Be thair fasting, and als deuotioun.
And als him self fastit and prayit daylie
That God micht haue of his gude freind pietie
Vpon a day Alexander alone,
Lying in bed, in hart all wo begone.
Praying to God for sum help and supplie,
He hard ane voice saying to him on hie.
Alexander gif that the Empreour,
Desiris thy helth, thy help and thy succour:
Let him gasone with his awin handis twa,
His twa ȝoung sonnis Incontinent he sla.
[Page 310] The quhilks his wife at au [...] burding th [...] b [...]i [...],
At the last time scho was in Childbedlair.
Wesche thy bodie with the twa babei [...] blude,
Thy flesche salbe als fair, als clene, als gude.
As euer it was in ony time beforne,
Or as the flesche of ane babie new borne.
Alexander hard, and this said to him sell.
I think it not neidfull this taill to tell.
Nor to be schawin is not expedient,
Nature thairto be na way will consent.
Na wonder war his hart for to be wa,
For ane stranger his awin twa sonnis sla.
Thocht I be now in sic extremitie,
Sic ane vane voce sall not be schawin for me.
Zit not the les the Empreour nicht and day
Continuallie at his deuotioun lay:
Praying to God to send help and supplie,
To Alexander King of Egypt suld be.
Sa at the last come to the Empreour,
Ane voce saying quhy makis thow mair labour
For to get help to Alexander King,
Sen to him self is schawin the samin thing.
The Empreour than to Alexander went,
Saying be blyith and mirrie in Intent.
O my gude freind, sen God of his gudnes,
Hes schawin remeid and helth for ȝour seiknes
Unto ȝour self alone sa secreitlie,
I pray ȝow schaw quhat fassoun it salbe.
God is remeid for all vpon him cawis,
To thame supplie in sindrie sort he schawis.
And sen sa is, sic secreitis hes ȝow schawin,
I wald the same ȝe sa mak to me knawin.
To get ȝour helth gif I micht help thairin.
[Page 311] And to weilfair agane we micht ȝow win.
I cure na Gold, nor counts na warldlie geir,
Sa I agane micht haue ȝow haill and feir.
I count na coist, nor ȝit na vther thing.
Sa ȝow agane to helth it micht ȝow bring.
Hele not ȝour mynd into na sort fra me,
In ony thing that may ȝour helth supple.
For micht I deill ȝour seiknes into thre,
Ze suld not haue sa greit Infirmitie.
My wyfe and ȝe the twa part ȝe suld haue,
And the thrid part, my self it suld ressaue.
Knew I as ȝe, quhair ȝe may haue support,
It to ressaue, the tyme suld be richt schort,
Thairfoir feir not for to tell me the treuth,
To help ȝour self, se na way ȝa be sleuth.
Than Alexander answerit with mynd sa meik,
Howbeit that I fyftene tymes war mair seik:
And at the poynt of the maist cruell deid.
I can not schaw the caus of my remeid.
Nor I wald not that sic ane thing war schawin
Nor I wald not to ony mak it knawin.
For to be schawin it is sa odious,
And to nature sa done contrarious.
In to this case ȝe mon hald me excusit,
To haue my helth, sic way quyte I refuse it.
The Empreour said my onlie freind and brother
Quhome with my hart I lufe abone all vther.
Haue me in traist, haue me in na dispair,
Bot the haill treuth I pray ȝow me declair.
The thing is not possibill to be done,
Zow for to cure, bot it salbe had sone.
Thairfoir I ȝow requyre of brother heid,
Hyde not fra me, that may be ȝour remeid.
[Page 312] Alexander said, sen euin sa is ȝour will.
The haill fassoun I will declair ȝow till.
With hartlie minde, hūblie praying ȝour grace
Sen ȝour will is, that I schaw ȝow the cace:
That ȝe will tak my wordis in patience,
And pardoun me quhair that I mak offence.
For ȝe will think my wordis far by ressoun,
N [...]id war thairfoir ȝour grace grant me pardo [...]
Wit and ressoun my talk will baith Impoung
Best war thairfoir in time to hald my toung.
The Empreour said for his saik that ȝow bocht
Withouttin feir schaw me ȝour minde & thocht
Ze sall me find to ȝow trew and constant,
And ȝow to helth, thair is nocht ȝe sall want.
Thairfoir schaw furth ȝour minde gif it ȝow pleis
For ȝe sall say nathing sall me diseis.
Alexander said I will pleis ȝour Intent,
As it was schawin to me in verament.
Zit anis agane ȝour grace I will protest.
That my schairp wordis ȝour minde nathing, molest
Be ane greit voice it was to me reuelit,
Be ane strange way, how that I may be halit.
Zour awin twa sonnis ȝour self thame for to sla.
And my bodie wesche with the blude of tha.
This is the way quhairthrow I mon, be haill.
Quhilk is ane thing to ȝow vnnaturall:
That the Father his awin twa sonnis suld keil
With his twa handis, for ony strangers weill.
And is contrair the cours of naturall Law.
This was the caus sic thing I durst not schaw
The Empreour said ȝe faill far to me thair,
That callis ȝour self to be heir ane strangair.
For in trew faith, and sa my saull haue seill,
[Page 313] As my awin self I lufe ȝow euin als weill,
For gif I had ten barnis perchance and ma,
To get ȝour helth, thair suld not ane of tha
Sone he unslane, I schorthe ȝow dec [...]air.
Of [...] now we will speik na mair.
Ga ȝe to [...]est and mak na in air ado.
With help of God all to gude sall cum to.
The Empreour he wa [...]tit day and nicht,
And watchit about quhat time yat he best micht
Cum to his chak, his awin twa sonnis to sla,
Sa on ane day the Emprice furth culd ga
[...] th hir Ladeis airlie in ane morning,
T [...] tak pastune into ane grene garding.
The Empreour saw, and to Chalmer him sped
Quhair the twa babis lay sleipand in thair bed
Incontinent his quhinȝear furth he drew
With his twa hands his awin twa sonnis slew
Euttit thair throttis, and sine keppit the blude,
How be it the same contrair his hart it stude.
Na meruell was how be it hart was wo.
He thame begat, and was his children two.
Sine with that blude, Alexander did wesche,
With his awin hands, all his body and flesche.
Quhilk was als fair Incontinent and clene,
As ony time befoir had euer bene.
And als gude lyke in parsoun and visage,
As quhen he was bot twentie ȝeir of age.
The Empreour than knew weill be his cullour,
Be his fassoun, his face and portratour.
It was but dout Alexander trewlie,
Quhairof in hart richt wonder blyth was he.
For of befoir he knew bot this and so,
Quhider gif it wes Alexander or no.
[Page 314] Bot doutles Alexander he knew,
Without dispair it was Alexander trew.
Kist him and said, O my gude tender freind,
Sen first we knew and euer mair hes bene.
Of ȝour persoun now I haue gude knawledg [...],
Of ȝour fauour ȝour fax and ȝour visage.
Quhilk mony time I delytit to se,
To eit and drink and be in companie.
Blyst be the time, sic childring I begat,
That hes ȝow brocht to the stair ȝe ar at.
Bot ȝit nane wist that the Childring was slan [...],
Bot Alexander, and the Empreour allane.
The Empreour said, sen God of his gudnes,
Hes maid ȝow haill of all ȝour sair serknes.
I sall ordane for ȝow richt quyetlie,
To pas ane space ane honest companie.
Out fra this place bot aucht or myles ten.
To that effect, that nane heir sall ȝow ken.
And on the morne ȝe sall send me message,
Of ȝour cūming, making to me knowledge.
Than sall I cum with blyth and merie spreit,
Into all haist, cast me ȝow for to meit.
Than still with me alwayis ȝe sall remane,
Quhill we auise to get ȝour Realme agane.
Of this counsall Alexander was content,
As thay talkit, was done Incontiuent,
On the nirt day come to the Empreour.
Ane Messinger, quha hailsit him with honour.
Schawing to him, as he had gottin command
King Alexander of Egypt was at hand
The emprice hard and was riche wonder glaid
To the Empreour scho haistit hir and said.
O my gude Lord, be blyth and mak gude their,
[Page 315] King Alexander thay say is cūming heir.
Quhome with we oft in greit blpthnes his b [...]u [...]
This mony day by gane hes not him sene.
And wald ȝour grace be sa gude to mak gai [...]
Him for to ineit, he wald be blyth I wait.
I and my Ladeis into our best array
Sall pas with ȝow, and meit him be the way.
This being done, as ȝit nathing scho knew
That the Father his awin twa sonnis slew.
The Emprrour said, gif that it be ȝour will,
That Jik Jornay blythlie I will ga till.
Than raid thay furth ane honest companie,
Lords, Knichts, Ladeis, with greit solempniti [...]
And as thay raid sa Royallie throw the streit,
In the midway king Alexander culd meit.
Quha hailsit vther with all humilitie,
With laude & gloir and honour that micht be.
Thair was kindnes & thair was greit kissing,
Thair was blythnes, yair was in armes brasig
Thair was kneilling, and thair was courtasi [...]
With reuerence and greit solemynitie.
Efter talking with gude and trew Intent,
All togidder vnto the Palice went.
Quhair that he was ressauit with blythnes,
With greit honour, with Joy and mirrines.
Time come of meit, all was at Tabill set,
Nathing wantit that neidfull was to get.
Alexander was fet at the hie deis,
With the Emprice, and the Empreour at meis.
As thay war talking into mirrines,
The Empreour said to his awin Empres:
O Florentine, my awin gude wife and lufe,
I think my hart in Joy exalt abufe.
[Page 316] That ȝe do mak king Alexander sic their,
And is sa blyth, that he is cūmin heir.
Scho said fors [...]ith culd I it better make,
It suld be done, for Alexanders sake.
Suld not to vs his cūming be glaidnes,
And in speciāll to ȝow ane greit kyndnes.
For ȝe had not cum to this Dignitie,
Quhair ȝe ar now, forsuith had not bene he.
And diuers tymes als he hes sauit ȝour lyfe,
And was principall, that gat me to ȝour wyfe.
The Empreour said, ȝour wit weill I allow.
That thinks on thame that was sa gude to ȝow
Than I pray ȝow tak gude heid quhat I say,
Into this hall saw ȝe not the last day,
Ane saith Lipper befoir our Tabill sat.
Baith meit and drink as ȝe saw sum he ga [...].
Sine for Goddis lufe, & King Alexanders sake,
Desirit ane drink. quhilk I gart till him take.
Scho said my Lord that man richt weill I saw
Ane mair vglie ȝit did I neuer knaw.
The Empreour said, a thing I ȝow demand,
Quhilk I beleue ȝe will discus fra hand.
I put the cace that Lipper man had bene,
King Alexander that ȝe se with ȝour Ene.
And his remeid and helth in ȝour hand lay,
And with the blude of ȝour ȝoung sonnis tway
Behude for to be bathit all about,
Wald ȝe not than with ane styf hart and stout:
Richt weill consent that baith thair bludes war sched
To the Intent yat his helth micht be had
Thair throtts cuttit, and do thame baith to deid
Sa Alexander thair throw micht get remeid.
And mak him haill, cum as ȝe se him now,
[Page 317] That I w [...]ld do (quod scho) God I auow:
Had we ten S [...]nes go [...]tin vs twa betwene.
I wald consent to se thame with myne Ene:
Incontinent to se thame deid and slane,
Into that case to get his helth agane.
Thay being slane with my power and pith,
M [...] awin twa hands suld wesche him weil yair with
Rather than I suld leif him in sic neid,
I wald not cure to se thair throttis bleid.
For God agane micht send him barnis a new,
Bot neuer agane ane freind sa traist and trew.
Quhē the Empreour thir words of hir hard said
Into his hart he was baith blyth and glaid:
And said to hir gude Florentine my wife,
Had ȝe rather saue Alexanders life:
And helit of sair nor haue ȝour sonnis leuand,
Trewlie (quod scho) that heir I tak on hand.
Becaus thairfoir ȝe ar to him sa kinde
I will ȝow schaw the Inwart of my minde.
The laith Lipper quhilk sat into my haw,
That I and ȝe baith eit and drink we saw.
Scho said he was maist Lipper Lazarous,
That euer come within ane Nobillis hous.
I meruellit greit quhairfoir y thing was wrocht
Within ȝour hall sic ane beirne suld bene brocht
To ȝow I trowit it suld haue done offence,
That sit persounis suld cum in ȝour presence.
Bot sen ȝour grace sufferie sic thing to be,
I was content, and weill allowit with me.
The Empreour said, had ȝe the treuth thā kend
As I beleue, ȝe had not bene offend.
Gude Florentine now I will mak ȝow sure,
Quhilk man it was that sat on our hall flure.
[Page 318] I will ȝow schaw but ony fenȝeing,
Alexander it was of Egypt King.
Quhilk at our Tabill now sictis presentlie,
Quod scho my Lord I think that can not be.
Alexander that now sittis at our Tabill,
That is ane thing not liklie to be abill.
For Alexander that sittis heir presentlie,
Is haill and feir, plesand to luik and se.
Without seiknes of bodie sound and clene,
Blyth of visage, with twa fair Cristall En [...].
Curious of cors, ane cumlie Creature,
Sa was he not that sat into the flure.
Bot of his lyre was laithlie and horribill,
And had seiknes quhilk was vncurabill.
And sa is not now Alexander King,
And I meruell ȝe suld say sic ane thing.
My hart (quod he) God hes send him remeid
Throw me and ȝow be our sonnis deid.
My hart nor hand forsuith na aw I stude,
To cut thair throttis, & bath him in thair blude
Sa be Goddis grace h [...]is maid haill and feir,
Ane clene persoun, as ȝe now se him heir.
Than scho began to murne and to mak sorrow
As nature wald, howbeit scho said beforrow:
That scho had rathex se all hir Children deid,
Into that cace, or he wantit remeid.
Zit not the les the naturall cours and kinde
In this behalf, changeit baith thocht & minde
The hartlie lufe, and motherlie pietie,
Quhilk nature geuis in the Mother to be.
Culd not suffer, nor ȝit na way sustene
Bot with sair hart scho grat with baith hir ene
And maid sorrow, as it was na meruall,
[Page 319] Throw kindlie cours, and als lufe naturall.
The Empreour persauit hir tak pine,
To stanche hir sturt said O gude florentine,
Thocht ȝe be wo, I can na way ȝow wite,
For weill I knaw ȝe had lufe and delite:
Inwart kindnes vnto ȝour sonnes two,
I can weill think that ȝour hart suld be wo.
Zit not the les I pray ȝow ceis of sorrow
All will be weill I find ȝow God to borrow.
The Nurisis heir and of sic tythands,
For greit hart brek thay cryit & wrāg yair hāds
Thay wist nathing quhat for to do or say,
Past to Chalmer quhair that the barnis lay.
Beleuing weill of na vther remeid,
Bot find the barnis in thair bed lyand deid.
Thay fand thē baith at thair pastime playing
In greit blyithnes, and geuing God louing.
Neuer mair blyth sen first hour thay war borne
Nathing knawing that thair twa throtis was schorne
The Nurisis to the Empreour went.
And how all was thay schew Incontinent
How his twa sonnis was leuand blyth & glaid
And how about baith thair twa nekis yai had
Ane cirkill of gold quhair y the knife had gane,
Quhilk knife sa sone fra thame the life had tane
Quhairthrow thair was greit mirth in y Cietie
In the Palice, and all the companie.
That God sit grace to hir twa babs had grātit
Thay being slane, thair lifes ȝit not thay wātit
Quhairfoir thair was throw the cieteis & tounis
Greit prayers maid with mony Orisounis.
Louing the Lord life to thir babeis lent,
And grantit helth to seik and Impotent.
[Page 320] Bankettis than maid with Joy and mirrines,
Menstrallis maid mirth, ceissit was all sadnes.
Quene Florentine scho blist that samin day.
Scho did consaue and beir sic sonnis tway.
Nathing was thair the space of fourtie dayis
Dot al kin mieth, with blychues sports & playis
Greit tornamentis, with hardie hors rynning,
Sum vther dayis wt grew houndis deir hunting
This being done the Empreour did prepair
Ane greit armie of manheid singulair;
And past away with all thair fellowschip
With Alexander agane into Egypt.
Ser him agane into his Koyaltie,
In his awin Realme with greit solempnitie.
Restorit him haill to all his possessiounis,
With dew seruice of his Lordis and Barrounis
That gude Jo well King Alexanders Quene
In Adultrie that sa done lang had bene.
With hir luifer, quhat he was Knicht or squire,
As thay deseruit, was baith briut in ane fire.
In this meane time y Empreour chācit to haue
Ane fair sister, quhome in to wife he gaue
To Alexander, and fortifeit the band
Of greit kindnes, quhilk euer mair did stand:
Betuir thame twa, of hartlie minde and thocht
Quhat that ane did, the other wald haue wrocht
Sa Alexander being set doun at rest,
In his awin Realme, the Empreour thocht best
For to returne agane to his Impire,
And tuik gude mcht at thair awin hartis desire
Thay war richt wa to pairt ȝe may considder,
Dot ȝit ay still freinds may not bide togidder.
Sa departit with mirrines and Joy,
[Page 321] Alexander on gait did him conuoy.
Sine efter this Alexander him drest,
To gyde his Realme alwayis as he thocht best
With manlines and wisdome in him sell,
He vincust all contrair him did rebell.
His enemeis about him all he dantit.
Sa throw wisdome of his will nocht he wantit
Quhen he was in all his gloir peice and micht,
Into his minde it come vpon ane nicht.
How his Father in the fey did him sling,
Becaus he schew quhat the wilde bird did sing.
And his Mother thairto did weill consent,
Thairfoir he send Message Incontinent.
How beit thay did ane far way fra him dwell,
The Messinger ȝit he bad to thame tell,
That Alexander quhilk was King of Egypt,
Wald to thame cum with ane greit fellow sehiy.
Eit and drink, and with thame mak gude their
In that countrie sum new nowellis to heir.
The Messinger blythlie thay did ressaue,
And riche rewardis sic [...]ke thay to him gaue.
Saying thair seruice at euerie tune and hour
Suld be reddy at that greit Kingis plesour.
How beit thay war not worthie for sic thing.
For to ressaue with thame ane crownit King.
Zit not the les and pleis his grace to cum,
With all our hartis he salbe richt welcum.
The Messinger to the Empreour is went,
As thay him said he schew Incontinent.
And quhat reward with blythnes yai him gaue
And how blythlie the King thay suld ressaue.
And how reddy thay war at his command,
Him for to serue all time at hart and hand.
[Page 322] Quhat euer his grace gaue thame cōmandemēt
Quhairof the King was blyth and weill cótent
The day become the king tuik his Jornay,
With diuers Lordis to pas the reddy way
Quhair his Father and mother maid dwelling
On knawin to thame of ony other thing:
Bot he was king of Egypt and nane vther,
Nor ȝit nane knew of his Father and Mother.
Ercept him self quha knew weill ail the race,
And quhē thay drew neir hand his fathers places
As thay come furth rydand in thair Jornay
The Knicht his Father met him be the way.
And quhen he saw the King cūming with croun
Incoutinent of his hors lichtit doun.
With all honour and all gude reuerence.
Upon his kneis making obedience.
And quhen he saw his Father tak sic pane.
He tuik him vp, and bad him ryde agane.
Sa theik for cheik, to his Castell thay raid,
Quhair thair was their wt all aboundance maid
And quhen thay come vnto the Castell ȝet,
His Mother come, and with blythnes him met.
Kneilling to him, he lichtit and hir kist,
Bot quhat he was the suith nathing scho wist.
Scho said to him sen it plesis ȝour grace
To vesie vs at this time, and our place.
Ze do to vs ȝour seruandis greit honour,
And we blyth ar that it is ȝour plesour.
And is welcum to all that ȝe find heir,
And as we may we sall mak ȝow the cheir.
The time of day drew neir all downit to dine.
His Father come with ane siluer Basine:
With Rois watter vpon his knie kneilland,
[Page 323] And his Mother with Cowell in hir hand.
Saying meiklie, pleisit ȝour grace to wesche,
And thairefter with sum meit ȝow refresche.
It is reddy the their we dow ȝow mak,
Praying ȝour grace in patience it to tak.
The King this saw he smplit and sine he said
Untill him self, thair is nane can auaid,
Nor set on side the godlie prouidence
He will haue done be his perfite prudence.
The Nichtingaillis sang now I persaue is trew
Quhilk lang ago to my Father I schew:
Quhen that scho come to his windo and sang.
That thay suld baith be richt glaid for to gang
With the Towell and Basine in thair handis,
Me for to serue as thay war my seruandis.
Oif I wald thoill thame sic thing for to do,
Now the same thing and mater is cum to.
This in him self he said, and na man knew,
Nor to na man as ȝit sic thing he schew.
Sa he wald not thame thotll to do sic thing,
Howbeit that time he was ane Crownit King,
Saying schir Knicht. I will honour ȝour age,
Ze nor ȝour wife sall do me sic homage.
It becūmis not sic twa agit to bring,
Water to wesche, howbeit I be ane King.
Tak in patience, forsuth I say ȝow trew,
For I haue heir vther seruandis anew.
Than said the Knicht to vs it war honour,
Sa that it war vnto ȝour grace plesour.
Bot sen cace is, ȝe will not thoill vs do,
Be ressoun we ar not worthie thairto.
Than said the King, I dude to honour age,
Sic office ganis to ȝounger personage.
[Page] Than to dennar was this gude King set doun,
And thairefter his Lordis of greit Renoun.
Quhen he was set he gart set doun his Mother
On his ane side, his Father on the vther.
Quhome Inteirlie beheld ay his visage,
Gif thay culd haue of him ony knawlege.
Bot nane thay had, seiknes, eild and laubour,
Causit thame misken his fassoun and fauour.
The de [...]nar done, the King to Chalmer went,
For his Father and Mother efter sent.
Quha come to him with all obedience
Randering to him seruice and reuerence.
He commandit all persounis pas on side,
Nane bot the Knicht and his wife to abide.
At quhais command, as he bad sa was done,
Than was the dure on thame thre closit sone.
Than said the King to the Knicht and his wife
Haue ȝe na barnis, quod thay nane vpon life.
Sone nor douchter at this time haue we nane,
And to get ma, we traist the time be gane.
Than said the King I speir for time bygane
Had ȝe ony, or had ȝe neuer ane.
Than said the Knicht for a so ne we had ane
Bot it is lang sen he was deidand gane.
Than said the King, in quhat deid deit he.
Than said the Knicht ane naturall deid trewlie
Than said the King be that not trew but faill,
Ze fault to me, and dowbillis to me ȝour taill.
Than said the Knicht, ȝour grace now I require
Quhat is the caus sa feruentlie ȝe desire,
And to sic thing quhat causis ȝow tak heid,
With sic effect to speir efter his deid.
Thā said the King, without caus do I it nocht
[Page 325] How ȝour Sone deit, schaw me ȝour minde and thocht.
Gif ȝe will not schaw furth the veritie.
Ane schameles deid but dout ȝe sall baith die.
Quhen thay y hard thay fell doū on thair knie
Asking him grace forgiuencs and mercie.
Than said the King, ȝit I will honour age,
I couet not of ȝow sa greit homage.
I grant ȝow leif befoir me for to stand,
And sa he raist thame baith vp be the hand.
To that Intent I come not in ȝour place.
Zow to betrais in ony sort or cace.
For it is geuin me weill to vnderstand
Ze put ȝour sone to deid with ȝour awin hand.
And gif sic thing cum to the Judgement,
Ze will be baith condamp [...] it Incontinent.
Thairfoir to me the verray treuth ȝe schaw,
It is danger for sic to byde the Law.
Schew me the treuth, and I sall saif ȝow baith
Fra all perrell, and keip ȝow fra all skaith.
Than said the Knicht, my life schir to me grāt
Of the trew treuth ane word ȝe sall not want.
Than said the King feir not the treuth to say,
And on credence heir I sall saif ȝow tway.
Than said the Knicht ane sone we had trewlie,
Quhilk was weill sene in cunning and Clergie
Sicker cunning he had in science senin,
In all Planetis that mouit vnder heuin.
He knew the cours, and all thair strāge aspectis
Thair pith power, and all thair firme affectis.
All herbis and treis richt wonder weill he knew
Quhat strēth yai had, quhat pith, & quhat ver­tew
Thair was na foull y euer flew wt wing,
Bot he knew weill quhē pai pair sāg wald sing
[Page 326] Into sa far, thair was na herb that sprang,
He knew the pith, and als the foullis lang.
Upon ane day befoir vs he culd stand.
With Basine, Towell, and watter in his hand
In the meane time that bony foull of flicht,
The Nichtingaill, at our windo did licht.
Aud sa began to sing hir noitis gude,
Weill war the man (quod I) that vnderstude
Zone swete singing & quhat the bird dois mene
Quod he Father saȝe will not be tene:
I suld ȝow schaw quhat ȝone bird sings sa sweit
And euerie note I sall ȝow Interpreit.
Quod I deir sone, I pray the to me schaw,
To san the suith of na man stand thow aw.
Quod he Father, forsuith I tak greit feir,
It sall ȝow craib hir sang quhen ȝe it heir.
Nay, nay, (said I) of that haue thow na dout,
The birds sang I pray the tell me out.
Quod he ȝone bird scho menis into hir sang,
My Mother and ȝe ar abill to leif sa lang,
Quhill that ȝe stand befoir me as seruandis,
And to be blyth hald watter to my handis.
Gif that I will ȝow suffer sic to do.
Quod I that day thow sall neuer cum to.
And sa at schort or euer I tuik rest,
I [...]to the sey for to drowne I him kest.
Than said the King to ȝow had bene na skaith
Unto his hands ȝe had haldin watter baith.
I think it had bene to ȝow baith plesour,
That ȝour ane sone had cum to sic honour.
Than said the Knicht that same thing I cōfes
In greit furie I did it and wodnes.
W [...]t and wisdome was went, will was ouir mā
[Page 327] Richt and ressoun and reuth quyte fra meran.
Sa quhen wit wants and strenth of ressoun leist
I count a man na better nor ane beist.
That rynnis on heid and lukis to na ressoun
And sa did I quhen I my Sone did droun.
Than said the King, I think it was folie,
Zow for to wyrk contrair the Maiestie
Of God alone, and his greit prouydence,
His wit his will, and michtie Ordinance.
Ze micht weill wit, God of his Sapience,
That to ȝour Soue had send him sic Science.
To knaw the voce of the byrds in the Air,
And it was God that causit hir to cum thair,
To sing that sang, as God had hirdirectit,
For in na sort scho micht na way neglectit.
Thairfoir lat nane the man maist michtiest,
Cast him to wyrk contrair quhilk God hes dres [...]
For it passis wit power and puissance,
To wyrk contrair his michtie Ordinance.
Now ȝe sall knaw the teuth and veritie,
I am ȝour Sone quhilk ȝe kest in the sie.
And the greit God of his ni [...]chtie Godheid,
Hes me preseruit fra all danger of deid.
And be his grace hes brocht me to this stait,
As I am now and for me did debait.
For his foirsicht na way can be doun smorit,
Bot euer mair the same will be decorit.
As worthie is for nane can wyrk contrair,
His prouydence, that schairplie I declair.
Than the Father and Mother heiring that,
For feir and Joy fell to the eird doun flat.
Quhome he cuke vp with all humilitie,
Saping Father and Mother feir not me.
[Page 328] Haue ȝe ȝa dout of all that I haue said,
Rather be blyth, Joyus, merie and glaid.
With help of God na danger sall ȝow deir,
Quhat euer ȝe think, I pray ȝow tak na feir.
Ze sall nocht aill in geir nor in persoun,
Of all bygane, I grant ȝow plane parsoun:
For ȝe sall fynd, that my micht and weilfair,
Salbe ȝour gloir, for now and euer mair,
Into this lyfe, sa lang as I Indure,
I haue ressoun, ȝe twa me gat and bure.
Sa with blythnes, with hat into his hand,
He kist thame baith, with merie hart lauchand.
Than the Mother scho grat richt pieteouslie,
And the Father the teir fell in his Eye.
Than said the King, be still and weip ȝe nocht,
For in my Realme with blys ȝe salbe brocht.
And with all gloir thair sall ȝe honourit be,
With all blythnes, worschip and Diguitie:
Aboue myself except my Kinglie Croun,
Ouhilk is preseruit bot to my awin persoun.
Sa in that place he left certane seruands,
To reule & gyde pair rowmes pair rents & lands
Tuke his Father and Mother with him hame,
Quhair thay leuit still in honour and gude fame
All thair life tyme quhil God to deid thame brest
Gydi [...] the Realmein Justice peice and rest.
Vnto the tyme cours was past of nature,
Endit thair lyfs onlie to Godds plesure.
¶ How the Emprice was condampnit to deid.

¶ With hir Luifer but mercie or remeid.
THAN Dioclesiane said to the Empreour
Father this Tale I tald to ȝour plesour,
[Page 329] Quhilk I beleue richt weill ȝe vnderstand,
Ze euerie word (quod he) Sone I warrand.
It is ane taill to be notit I say,
Not ane better I hard this mony day.
Than said the Sone and pleis ȝour Maicstie,
Howbeit that God hes geuin sic grace to me:
Of wit, wisdome, and other greit Cunning,
Of diuers thingis hes lent vnderstanding.
Zit this suld not na way minische ȝour micht.
Nor ȝour honour, ȝour Maiestie and hicht.
Bot rather suld the same elk and augment,
Be richt, ressoun, and equall Judgement.
Sa in likewise the kingis gre and estait,
Quhilk was be God onlie predestinait.
Send be the bird, to sing that he micht heir,
Quhilk in that race was Goddis Messingeir.
For had not bene God gaue that bird sic grace,
Scho had not sung sic singing in sic place.
The sonnis honour, and all his dignitie,
Tuik na honour fra the Father ȝe se.
Nor to his Mother it did na hinderance
Bot rather was thair honouris to auance.
For as ȝe hard thay war honourit alwayis,
Into his Realme, during thair life and dayis.
Than said agane to him the Empreour,
I persaue weill the sonnis greit honour:
Can na way pair the Fathers micht and gloir
Bot rather ay to mak it moir and moir.
Thairfoir I will the haill Impire resing
Into ȝour handis, and ȝe thairof be king.
And gyde the same, and haue the reule and steir
For I am auld, dow not sit burding beir.
Bot rather wald be set at rest and eis,
[Page 330] And ȝe the Realme to gyde as ȝe best pleis.
For I dow not Indure sic besines,
Be ressoun of my eild and fevilnes.
Than said the sone sauing ȝour graces will,
To that sentence na way grant will I till.
Bot ȝe sall al haue the Authoritie,
During ȝour life, euer mair abone me,
To charge, command, to bid, and for to do,
In all effairis, that euerpertenis ȝow to.
All besines that ar laborius,
Actis and erandis, welthie and ponderus.
Alwayis I will accept thame vpon me.
[...]ow for to serue, as is my greit dewtie.
And euer sall, the samin nicht and day,
To ȝour plesure, in sa far as I may.
The Empreour than commandit his Justice,
In Judgement sit, and do furth his office.
And the Emprice in presence to gar bring,
With hir Rebald cled in wemens clothing.
Quhilk nirt hir self he causit for to stand,
Than hir Ladeis in ordour at the nixt hand.
Than Dioclesiane to the Empreour said,
Father ȝour Quene ȝour honour hes degraid.
Ou [...] all the warld ȝe ar greit Empreour,
And it pertenis to ȝour grace and honour:
To do Justice to all the same despris,
For the same thing ȝour Maiestie requpris
Asweill to pure, as to the riche alway,
Equall Justice ȝe suld minister ay.
Now I desire that ȝe giue richt sentence,
On the vntreuth, falset and greit offence
Done and alledgeit be the Emprice falslie,
Be counsall of hir lufe in contrair me.
[Page 331] Be quhais fals meanis seuin times furth I was led,
To the Galious to leif mp life in wed.
And daylie stude in greit perrell of life,
And all this come throw falsec of ȝour wife.
Als to ȝour grace vnfaithfull scho hes bene
Of hir bodie, not gydand like one Quene.
Quhilk is weill prouen into ȝour awin presence
Be manlie signes, and perfite euidence.
Upon the quhilks I ask and als despris,
Justice and richt, euin as the caus requpris.
To ȝour Justice I wald ȝe gaue command,
To giue sentence but dilatouris fra hand.
Quhen the Emprice hard this sair petitioun,
Upon the eird than fell scho flatlingis doun.
At the Empreour askit grace and mercie.
Bot in na sort sic thing thair culd not be,
According to the Law he bad proceid,
And giue sentence conforme vnto hir deid.
And bad pans weill to quhōe the deid was done
Be quhome, quhē, quhair, and how lang or how sone
And thairefter to mak the punischement,
As pleisit the Judge to giffurth his Judgemēt.
Than said the Judge na way I can hir clenge
For hir awin deid hir self it dois reuenge.
The perfite prufe of hir Rebald and knaif,
Thame self baith fylis, as all man map persai [...]
And than the fault it is leis Maiestie,
Done in contrait the Crownis dignitie.
Into sa far as scho defoulit his bed,
And his ane sone to Gallous gart be led.
Thairfoir I giue in oppin audience,
And pronouncis now for extreme sentence,
That the Emprice be bound to ane hors taist▪
[Page 332] Throw all the streitis of the Cietie hir traill,
Quhill scho cum to the place bring for to be,
For hir prepairit, that euerie man may se,
And thair with schame and lak to end hir life,
In remembrance scho was ane Empreours wife
And als we giue on hir Rebald sentence,
For his knaifrie, and his peruerst offence:
Contrair the Croun, merciles to be marterit,
On the Rattis reum, hāgit, drawin & quarterit
And sine his flesche furth cassin to the cykis,
To be deuorit with doggis vnder dykis.
And with the foulis that fleis in the Air,
The doggis leuingis to tak vp to thair skair.
In memorie that he durst sic presume,
In contemptioun the greit Empreour of Rome.
This schairp sentence we pronounce opp [...]e,
To all pepill and dois it ratifie.
Makis the same knawin to all man patent,
Asweill absent, as thay that ar present.
Sa war thay baith conforme to thair offence.
Done and demanit, according to sentence.
Geuin and pronoūcit than be that awful Juge
Quhairfra remeid thay had nane nor refuge.
Bot suffer deith with euerlasting schame,
And ay to bruik of greit harlattis the name.
As worthie was, for quhy continuall siu,
With Indurit hart, euer to ly thairm:
But feir of God or ony repentence,
Eausit thame suffer sic doly sad sentence.
Howbeit that man sic baudrie did not knaw.
Zit God in heuin richt weill it hard and saw.
For all thing is to his [...] patent▪
[Page 333] To mak sic thing to mannis sicht be kend.
This ȝe may se of this Emprice the end.
Praying greit God of vs to haue mercie,
And hir forgiue, Amen sa mot it be.

¶ Ane declaratioun to the Emprice efter hir deid.

OFAITHLES febill fule, ô helie het hoillit hure,
O poysonit paddokis pule, ô mischant mad Monsture
Curst catiue creature, ô Sathans seid all schent,
That euer ȝit wrocht nature, or ȝit to lyfe was lent.
Quhair was thy wisdome went, quhen sic fulische thow fand,
Thy lust thow may lament, that euer tuik sic on hand.
Thow hes loist lyfe and land, and all thy Royall rout,
Thy stait na way culd stand, it was sa stinkand stout
Vpon the all cryis out, fy, fy, for verray schame,
All wemens seid dois schout, vpon thy filthie name:
Ay waryit be the wame, that brocht the in this lyfe
Euer to bruik sic blame, wa worth the wickit wyfe:
Rutit in sturt and stryfe, thy bow was euer bendit
Thairfoir but sword or knyfe, thy lyfe now thow hes endit
Sa greitly thow offendit, vnto ane Innocent,
That thow wald neuer mend it, into this lyfe present▪
Thow wald neuer repent, bot wrocht wrang with Iniures,
Now with schame thow art schent, heid patroun to all hurc [...]
Ay q uhill this w [...]rld Indures, euer to bruik that name,
With all quick Creatures, with sclander lak and schame.
¶ Frons meretricis non erubescit
¶ Nec in ea voluptas nunquam senescit.
NOW our Emprice hes sufferit deid and gane
Thairfoir as now we will let hir alane
With hir harlo [...] [...]uhais da [...]is thay haue ill spē ­dit
Ane Ill [...] for commoun is Ill endit.
As [...] thame [...]way,
[...] will say.
[Page 334] Bot schaw at schort of the gude Empreours end
Within few dayis efter this besines.
The Empreour he tuik ane sair seiknes:
As plesit God, and payit his naturall det.
As the time come, and as the terme was set.
Dioclesiane than tuik the steir on hand,
And Empreour was of that countrie and land
Reulit the Impire with wisdome and prudence
Held his Maisteris in daylie reuerence.
Be quhais counsall, wisdome and desire,
He gydit weill his kingdome and Impire.
That he precellit all his predecessouris,
In riches, wisdome, Justice and honouris.
Of his liegis sic lufe still he conqueist,
That ouir all thing in eird thay lude him bes [...].
His Maisters als thay lude him ouir all thing,
With all s [...] as thair trew Lord and King.
Into sa far thame self in Jeopardie
Thay put oft times to saue his honestie.
And sa endit thair dayis in greit honour,
In Joy and mirth, and to the greit plesour
Of God alone, to quhome all honour be.
Laude, praise, Impire, triumphe and dignitie.
Kingdome, Renoun, and Joy perpetuall,
Louing and lufe obedience ouir all.
Helth and vertew and euerlasting gloir,
Into all warldis, baith now and euer moir.
Be to that Lord w [...] all humilitie.
And [...]o [...]istill ane drop of his mercie
On vs sinners, his gloir that we may se it
To his plesure, say euerie man so [...] it.
Finis quod Rolland.

¶ Ane schort [...]h [...]wing quhair and quhen, and a [...] quhais req [...]t this buik was translatit out of p [...]ois in Scottis Meter.

AT the requeist of my Ant callit Cait,
In roustie ryme this quair I did translait
Of all trun termis as ȝe may se denude,
Becaus seho me protestit air and lait
All strange termis to cast out of my gait.
Saying to me scho not thame vnderstude,
Requiring als that I wald be sa gude
Wemens honour to hald vp and estait,
As ȝe may se, I durst not ellis bot dude.
Sa in seuin oulkis this quair was clene cōpleie
Out of plane prois, now keipand meteris feit
Within the Fort and Towre of Tamtalloun,
Quhen the Inglis Floit beside Inchekeith did fleit
Vpon the sey, in that greit birning heit.
Baith Scottis & Inglis of Leith lay at ye toun,
With schairp asseige, and garneist garisoun
On ather side, quhair sindrie loist the sweit▪
That samin time I maid this translatioun.
In mirrines, sen my Ant causit me mak it
I ȝow require gude Reidaris for to tak it
Into patiēce, quhair falts ar foūd correct thame
Zit war I laith ouir far that it war lakit.
Gif sum verse haltis or ony cullouris crakit
For my requeist tak out ane pen and blek thame
Becaus for haist perchance I did neglect thame
For gif sa be▪ I can na way defend it
Excuse it self, and sa this quair is endit.
¶ Quod Rolland. 1560.

¶ The Author sayis to the Buik.

IN haist ga hy the to sum h [...]ill,
And hyde the, he not callit ane buik
Ga cowme the ouir all clene with coill
Sone smeir the ouir with smiddie smuik,
Or scour pottis to sum creischie Cuik:
Or in sum kitching turne the speit:
Amang Ladeis thow dar not luik
For thay will on the with thair feit.
For men of gude thow art not meit
Thay will the hald of small auaill,
Quhat restis thair than bot ȝald thy Spreit:
Or to tryit Tinklaris tell thy taill.
Thy roustie ryme amang thame raill
For honest folk few will set vp the▪
And I sweir be the Rude of Craill
Tuitching my part heir I deny the:
My counsall is, that thow gar cry the
Amang [...] and commoun hures,
All gude wemen thay may defy the
Of all thy crakis thay tak na cures:
Bot f [...]nd Fillokis vp in the Mures
Quha first ȝow reddis, Sym Skynnar hang thame
Se on thame thow wirk all Iniures,
Pas on and fend thy self amang thame.
¶ Quod Rolland in Dalkeith.
❧ Et sic est finis

Laus detur & gloria trinis.

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