The Buke of the Order of Knighthood

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The Buke of the Order of Knighthood  (1847) 
by Ramon Llull, edited by Beriah Botfield, translated by Gilbert Hay

The Buke

Of the

Order of Knighthood,

Translated from the French,


Sir Gilbert Hay, Knight.

From the Manuscript in the

Library at Abbotsford.

Buke of the Order of Knighthood Decoration 0.png

Edinburgh: M.DCCC.XLVII.





The Abbotsford Club,








Norton Hall, January 1, 1847.

Buke of the Order of Knighthood Decoration 1.png


Buke of the Order of Knighthood Initial T.png

he Literature of Scotland, during the Fifteenth Century, is entitled to a much greater share of attention than it has hitherto received; more especially, as it is a period in which the contemporary Literature of England is comparatively so devoid of interest. Among the persons who then flourished, and to whom but a scanty share of justice has been awarded, we may reckon Sir Gilbert Hay, Knight. Dunbar the Scotish Poet,[1] who adorned the reign of James the Fourth, in his "Lament for the Death of the Makars" or Poets, includes the name of Hay; so likewise does Sir David Lyndesay, in the reign of James the Fifth; but no other writer seems to have been aware that such an author had ever existed, until we reach the year 1722, when there appeared the Third Volume of "The Lives and Characters of the most Eminent Writers of the Scots Nation, &c. By George Mackenzie, M. D."[2]

This volume, the last which the author lived to publish,[3] commences with "The Life of Sir Gilbert Hay, Chamberlain to Charles VI. King of France." It extends to eight folio pages, and furnishes a suitable specimen of Mackenzie's mode of constructing biography. It commences with the following paragraphs:—

"The Hayes are said to have their first rise from a very noble and heroick action, about the year of our Lord 980, in the reign of Kenneth III., as we have shown in the Life of that Prince, in the second volume of this Work, pag. 60. But whatever truth be in this, it is certain that this is one of the most noble and ancient Families in Scotland, and that ever since the reign of King Robert Bruce, they have been Lord High Constables of Scotland: That Prince, for the faithful service and loyalty of Robert Lord Hay, declar'd them heritable Constables of Scotland, about the year 1310.
"From this noble and Ancient Family our author was descended, of whom I have no other account to give, but that he was born in the North of Scotland, brought up at the University of Aberdeen, where, after he had finished the course of his studies in Philosophy, he commenced Master of Arts, went over to France, where he studied the Laws, and was Batchelor of the Canon Law, and for his great merit, obtained the honour of Knighthood, and was made Chamberlain to Charles VI. King of France; upon whose death he returned to Scotland, and was in great favour and esteem with William Earl of Orkney, and Lord High Chancellor of Scotland, at whose desire he translated, from the French into Scots, Dr Bonnet's Book of Battles in the Year of our Lord 1456.
"As for our Author, 'tis probable that he died towards the latter end of the 14th century; and from his performance it appears that he was well seen in the Civil, Canon, and Military Laws; and had he not been a person of singular merit and worth, he had not raised himself to the dignities that he attain'd to."

These paragraphs contain the whole biographical portion of the "Life," contained in his eight folio pages,—the Author's practice being that of introducing some extraneous matter suggested by, but not connected with the subject of the biography. But in the passages quoted the Author's usual carelessness or ignorance is very apparent. His statements of matters of fact, indeed, are never to be relied upon, being seldom confirmed, and often contradicted by better authorities, and instead of a work of National importance, deserving the liberal patronage it received, it is altogether worthless. Thus Mackenzie might have known, that if Hay was "brought up," and "commenced Master of Arts," at a University in Scotland, it could not have been at Aberdeen, which was not founded until the year 1494; and that if Hay was Chamberlain to a King of France, it could not have been Charles the Sixth, whose reign extended from the year 1380 to 1422. The concluding notice of the supposed time of Hay's death, "towards the latter end of the 14th century," is obviously a clerical error for the 15th century. Instead, however, of favouring the reader with an abridged history of the Kings of France, or some other discursive topic, Dr Mackenzie has in this instance deviated from his ordinary practice, and given a careful and detailed analysis of a Manuscript volume in his own possession, containing three works translated from the French by Sir Gilbert Hay; and this may be instanced as one of the few actual contributions to the Literary History of Scotland, contained in his three folio volumes. It may here be quoted, omitting a somewhat confused and inaccurate account of the original author Honorè Bonnor or Bonnet, Prior of Sallon.

"The first Book (he says,) contains 10 Chapters, wherein the Author gives the definition of War, according to the Doctors of Civil and Canon Law, and shows that it had its first rise in Heaven betwixt God and his rebellious Angels; then he treats of the bypast persecutions of the Church by way of commentary upon S. John's Vision of the five Angels in the Revelation, and speaking of the fourth Angel, he acknowledges, That there was a woman that was chosen Pope and that she was an English woman: And after Leon, says our translator, "was chosen a woman Pape, not wittand that she was a woman, the quhilk was of England born."
"The second Book contains 18 Chapters, wherein he treats of the destruction of the Four great Empires of the World: The Babylonian begun in the east, in the time of Abraham; the Carthaginian begun in the time of the Judges; the Macedonian begun in the time of the Maccabees; and that of the Roman begun in the time of Achan King of Judea: But he more particularly insists upon the Roman Empire, and shews when the city of Rome was first founded, when they begun their Government by Kings, Senators, Consuls, and Emperors, and of their most memorable or remarkable actions, of the actions of Alexander the Great, and the destruction of the Carthaginian Empire; and concludes with an account of the first rise of government or jurisdiction amongst men, and who were the first Governors or Judges.
"The third Book contains 10 Chapters, wherein he treats of the lawfulness of making of War, and if it be possible for mankind to live without it; how men know when they are justly compell'd to make war; what the marks of true valour and cowardice are; what punishment is due to those that leave the army, without asking permission of their commanders, or fight the enemy, without the orders of their commanders.
"The fourth Book contains 155 Chapters, wherein he treats of the lawful Grounds of War, especially amongst Christians against the Turks, and all Infidels; whether the Emperor can lawfully declare War against the Pope and the Church, and whether the Pope may make War against him; concerning the Duties of Knights, and for what reasons they ought to be punished; concerning the Duties of Generals, and if, when they are taken in battle, they ought to lose their lives or not; whether strength or force be a moral, cardinal, or natural virtue; whether Prisoners that are taken in War belong to those that take them, or to the Princes to whom the armies in which they are taken belongs; whether Vassals should serve in the army upon their own or their Prince's expences; if a Baron be obliged to serve his King but only in his own wars; whether two Barons having war against one another, their men are obliged to assist either of them till they receive orders from their King and respective Lords; whether we are bound to defend our neighbours with arms and men when invaded by others, and what the persons are that are obliged to defend one another, and particularly how the vassal is obliged to defend his Lord, the son his father, by the law of Justice; whether he is more bound to defend his father or natural Prince; whether a Clergyman is bound most to assist his father or his Bishop, when a war is declared betwixt them; whether men may make a defensive war for their temporal goods lawfully conquish'd; whether Priests and Clerks may defend their goods by force of arms; whether arms lent and lost in the field of battle ought to be restored; whether arms and horses hired and lost in battle ought to be restored; whether a Knight being robbed in his King's service, he or his King ought to pursue the robbers; whether a man that goes to the wars uncharg'd ought to take wages; whether a Knight serving a King uncharg'd, may lawfully ask wages of him; whether, when the King of Spain sends assistance to the King of France, he ought to ask wages of him; whether a man that goes to the wars out of vain glory, ought to ask wages by the law of Arms; whether a Captain that is robbed obeying his Lord's commands, his Lord ought to restore him his goods or not; whether a man going to the wars for covetousness and robbery, ought to demand wages; whether a Priest or Clergyman may lawfully go to the war or not, concerning the time that men ought to be paid their wages that go to the wars; whether a Warriour that obtains leave to divert and recreat himself for some time, should receive wages for that time; whether a Knight that has taken wages of a King for a year's service, and after three months goes to the service of another Prince, ought to receive wages for the time that he has served; whether a Soldier that has been paid by a Prince for a year's service, may substitute another in his place; whether a Captain may send any of his men away, after he has mustered them in the fields before his Prince; whether a Soldier falling sick in the wars may lawfully ask his wages for all the time that he had been sick; how the goods or spoil that is gained by the army ought to be parted amongst the Soldiers; whether a man may lawfully keep what he takes from a robber that was designed to rob him on the highway; of the lawfulness of the war that is made betwixt two cities that hold of no Sovereign; whether a man may kill a prisoner that delivers himself voluntarly; whether by the Law of Arms, a man may take a ransom of gold or money from his prisoner; whether in a war betwixt England and France, the French may lawfully seize upon the goods of the English husbandmen, and detain their persons prisoners; whether one King may overcome another King lawfully by craft and subtilty; whether it be lawful to fight upon a holyday; whether, when one man wrongs another, he may lawfully recover his own by war or force, before he pursues him legally; whether a Knight that dies in battle, in his Prince's service, is sure of his salvation; whether the righteous or sinners are the most powerful in battle; why there are so many wars in the world; whether one that is taken prisoner, and sworn to keep prison, may lawfully break it, and make his escape, if he finds occasion; whether one that is taken prisoner, and put in a close dark room, and makes his escape, may be said to break prison? Whether a man that's promised safe conduct from one place to another, but has neglected to capitulate for his safe return, may be lawfully detained prisoner? Whether a man that has safe conduct promised to him and his attendants, can bring alongst with him a greater man than he himself is? If a man be taken prisoner upon another's safe conduct, whether he that had the safe conduct be obliged to relieve him upon his own charges? If a man having liberty to go out of prison, on condition that he should return upon such a day, re-enters again into the prison, fails in the day, how he should be punished? Whether it be lawful for one Prince to refuse another, with whom he is at peace, passage thorow his country? Whether Churchmen should pay taxes, tributes, and impositions to Secular Kings and Princes? If the Church should make war against the Jews? If a man may defend his wife by force of arms? If a brother may defend his brother by force of arms? When a Baron is a vassal to two Lords of different countries, that have both of them war, whom of them he ought to serve? When a Baron is a vassal to two Lords that make war upon one another, whom of them he ought to obey? When a man is a burgess in two cities that make war against one another, which of them he ought to obey? Whether a man that is in bondage or in slavery be obliged to go to the wars with his lord and master? Whether a man may be compelled to go to the wars? If one man fairly wounds another, and he wounds him again, whether he ought to be punished for the same? If a bondman or slave kills another by his master's command, whether he ought to be punished for the same? Whether a bondman or slave may defend himself against his lord and master that designs to kill him? Whether a Monk may defend himself against his Abbot who designs to kill him? Whether the son may lawfully defend himself against the father who designs to kill him? Whether a man may lawfully defend himself against his judge? Whether a man, being banished the realm, and returning again without permission, when people set upon him to take him, if he ought to defend himself? Whether a Priest that is assaulted carrying the Lord's Body (or the Sacrament) alongst with him, ought to lay it down and defend himself? If a man that is innocent ought to be punished by way of reprisal for the guilty? And how Princes ought to behave themselves in the cases of reprisals? How reprisals should be made against a city that owes allegiance to no Sovereign? If all lords or masters may make reprisals? How and for what reason it may be said that the King of France is no ways subject to the Emperor? Whether the King of England be in any manner of way subject to the Empire? Whether reprisals can be granted to a Burgess that's living at Paris, and robbed in his return to Paris, for recovering the money or goods that he has been deprived of in another Prince's dominions? Whether an English student at the University of Paris may be detained prisoner when a war is declared betwixt the two Nations? Whether a servant should enjoy the privileges that his master has? Whether an Englishman coming to Paris to visit his son, student at that University, in time of war, may be detain'd prisoner? Whether an Englishman coming to visit his brother at the University may be detained prisoner? Whether a student may be imprisoned by way of reprisal? Whether a mad man may be detained and ransomed in the wars? Whether a mad man returning to his senses may be detained prisoner? Whether by the law of arms an old man may be detained prisoner? Whether by the law of arms a child may be taken and detained prisoner? Whether by the law of arms a blind man may be detained prisoner? Whether an Ambassador coming to visit a King may lead any of his enemies thorow his country? Whether a Bishop may be taken and detained prisoner? Whether any Churchman may be taken by way of reprisal? Whether pilgrims may be made prisoners by the law of arms? What things in time of war have safe conduct, without liberty asked at the Prince? Whether, in time of war, the ass and the ox is free? Whether the husbandman's servant enjoys, by the law of arms, the same privilege with himself? Whether, in time of war, it be lawful to build castles and walled towns? How they ought to be punished that breaks the safe conduct or assurance of a Prince? Whether a great Lord, or any in a meaner dignity, ought to trust in a safe conduct? Whether a Christian King may lawfully give a safe conduct to a Saracen King or any other Infidel Prince? Whether, if two Lords make peace, and the one breaks it, the other ought to break it likewise? Whether it be better to fight fasting, or before meat or after meat? Whether battle ought to be set before ladies? And if Queen Jonat of Naples had right in her war against Lewis King of Sicily?
"Then he proves that duelling is against all manner of laws; yet he gives seventeen different cases, wherein by the laws of Lombardy 'tis lawful. Then he treats of those who fight for their principles in duels, and how far that is lawful: Then of the form and oath that is taken by those that fight in lists or combats; Whether a man that is superannuate may substitute another to fight for him in battle? If any of the company breaks his sword, if another should be given unto him? If the Lord or Judge cannot discern on the first day who has the advantage in the field; if he be obliged to return on the second day, and enter the lists as before, which of the parties ought to begin the fight? If he that is overcome ought to pay the other the damages, tho' the King should pardon them? If a man is overcome in duelling, if he may be afterwards accused in law? Whether, if the company pleases, they may fight in plain field, without barriers? How they should be punished that owns their crime, and is openly overcome? Whether, when one Knight chalenges another, he may be allowed to repent and recall his chalenge?
"Then our Author treats of arms and banners in general and particularly, and proceeds to the answering of the following Questions: If a man at his own pleasure may make choice of another man's coat of arms? If a German finds a Frenchman in the field bearing the same coat of arms with him, if he ought to appeal him to a combat? How they ought to be punished that assume the arms of others?
"Then he treats of all the different colours us'd in Herauldry, and of all the different rules and conditions that are to be observed in fighting of duels: And concludes with the duties incumbent upon Emperors, Kings, and Princes; which he ends with these words:
"Next to this follows our Author's translation of Dr Bonet's Book of Chevalry or Knighthood, which contains eight Chapters: In the first Chapter he tells us, how that a Batchelor, Squire of Honour, travelling to the Coronation of a great Prince, with an intention to take upon him the Order of Knighthood, he went astray in a wilderness, where he happened to light upon a hermitage, in which lived an old and venerable Knight, that had forsaken the world for the love of God; and how this old Knight taught the Squire all the points of honour, and all that belonged to the duty of a Knight, which is the subject matter of all the following Chapters; where in the second Chapter, he, the old Knight shows, how he ought to receive that high Order, and how he ought first to be instructed in every thing that belongs to it. The third contains all the duties of a Knight. The fourth contains their form of examination, and how he ought to be examined before he receives the Order. The fifth contains directions for him at the receiving of the Order, and the form of giving it. In the sixth is explained the signification of the Arms of Knighthood. In the seventh he shows the many advantages that Knights have above others by this honourable Order; and the last shows the great respect that ought to be shown to all that Order,—ending with these words,
"After this follows our Author's translation of Dr Bonet's Book of Government of Princes, which is a translation of Aristotle's Politics, and contains 40 Chapters, with a Prologue, shewing into how many languages it had been translated, and how it was first found in the Temple of the Sun, built by Esculapius. Then follows a translation of King Alexander the Great's letter to Aristotle, after his conquest of Persia, with Aristotle's answer, and two other letters of King Alexander's and Aristotle's."

The Manuscript, of which the preceding was an analysis, is not mentioned in any more recent work, and as it could not be traced in any public repository, it was considered to be irrecoverably lost. But in the "Catalogue of the Library at Abbotsford," printed in 1838, at page 232, there occurs the following title:—

"Here begynnys the buke call't the Buke of the Law of Armys, the quhilk was compilit be a notable man, Doctour in Decrees, callit Bennet, prioure of Sallan, &c. MS. fol."

This title attracted the notice of Mr Laing, Secretary of the Bannatyne Club, who conjectured it might prove to be a copy of the work described by Mackenzie. To ascertain this point, he made an application for the use of the volume, through Isaac Bayley, Esq.; which being courteously granted, it was no difficult matter to perceive that this was the identical Manuscript which Dr George Mackenzie had possessed. As the volume itself furnishes no indication on this head, we can only conjecture that it may have fallen into Sir Walter Scott's hands, either by purchase at a sale, or as a present from some of his friends. But we may conclude, that had Sir Walter been aware of the peculiar interest and curiosity of the volume, he would have pointed it out, and some use of it have been made during the latter period of his life.


The Manuscript in question is a large folio of 132 leaves,[4] on lombard paper, written in a very distinct hand, about the end of the 15th century. It is in the original wooden boards, in perfect preservation, and contains, repeated in different parts of the volume, autograph signatures of "W. Sanclair of Roislin," "Oliver Sinclar of Rosling, knycht," and "W. Sanclair of Roislin, knecht."

It consists of three distinct works:—

III. The Buke of Batailles.
III. The Buke of the Order of Knyghthede.
III. The Buke of the Governance of Princes.

To have published the entire volume was considered to be altogether inexpedient, on account of its great extent. Yet not wishing it to remain in comparative obscurity, I readily acceded to Mr Laing's suggestion, in selecting the second of these Works, which forms a distinct treatise by itself, as my contribution to the objects of the Abbotsford Club; at the same time subjoining in the Appendix such Specimens of the two other Works as should satisfy all reasonable curiosity. In this way, I hope that whatever is really valuable or interesting in the MS. has been put into an accessible shape, in order to exhibit and preserve from casual destruction ONE OF THE EARLIEST EXISTING SPECIMENS of Scotish prose composition.


A brief account of the Originals may here be given, before endeavouring to throw some light on the life and character of the Translator.


This well known and popular work forms the first and largest portion of the Abbotsford Manuscript. No English version of it is known. In the Appendix will be found the Prologue, the Table of the Chapters in the different Books, and some other Extracts, which may be compared with the corresponding passages, here copied from one of the later editions of the original Work, which bears the following title:—

"Larbre de Batailles.

"Sensuyt larbre des batailles qui traicte de plusieurs choses comme de leglise. Et aussi des faictz de la guerre. Et aussi comment on si doyt gouuerner. Imprime nouuellement a Lyon. (Design cut in wood.) ¶ On les vend a Lyon au pres de nostre dame de confort cheulz Oliuier Arnoullet." 4to. black letter, Sign. A. to M. six, in eights.

A LA saincte couronne de France en laquelle auiourdhuy par lordonnance de Dieu regne Charles cinquesme de ce nom tres bien ayme et par tout le monde redoubte soit donne loz, gloire, et victoire sur toutes seigneuries terriennes. Tres hault Prince, ie suis nomme par mon droict nom Honnore Bonhor Prieur de Salon, indigne docteur en decret, souuenteffoys ay eu en voulente de faire et compiller, selon mon debile entendement, ce petit liure a lhonneur de Dieu premierement de sa benoiste Mere, et de vostre haulte seigneurie Sire. Et les raisons qui mont esmeu et incite a ce faire sont assez bonnes, selon mon aduis.

Premierement, lestat de Saincte Eglise est en telle tribulation et perplexite que si Dieu ny mect remede et vostre Seigneurie, laquelle est acoustumee de acheuer et mettre affin les chieres aduantures de la foy Crestienne, ie ny voy voye ne chemin comme y puisse estre mise bonne ne briefue accordance.

La Deuziesme raison si est, que voyez toute Chrestiente si greuee de guerres, haynes, larrecins et discentions, que a grant peine peut on nommer vng petit pays soit une conte ou duche qui bien soyt en paix.

La Tierce raison si est, que la terre de Prouuence dont ie suis ne et nourry est de present tellement atournee par le changement de noble seigneurie et pour les diversitez doppinions qui sont entre les nobles et le communes que a grant paine pourroit homme tant fust saige racompter les maulx que les gens du pays pour ce debat seuffrent.

La Quarte raison est, que ie considere plusieurs choses dictes de grans clerez modernees que bien pensent entendre les Prophecies anciennes parlans des maulx presens et dient que vng de la haulte lignee de France doit estre celluy par qui les remdes seront donnez au siecle trauailant, et mis en grande pestitance pour lesquelles raisons me suis efforce de faire aulcune chose nouuelle affin que vostre ieunesse soit informee de plusieurs entendemens de la saincte escripture et aussi affin que vostre personne soit plus adonnee de faire secours a la saincte foy de Iesu Crist et faire que les Prophecies qui sentendent de vostre digne personne et escriptures soyent verifiez par voz bonne œuures si vous supplie mon tres hault Seigneur que rien que ie die en ce liure ne vueillez mespriser car ce que iay mis en luy prent son fondement sus le droit canon et civil et sus naturelle philosophie, qui nest aultre chose que raison de nature et aura nom cestuy liure Larbre des Batailles pour fournir lequel liure me fault trouuer matiere condecente a ce faire, si mest venu en ymaginacion faire vng Arbre de Dueill, au dessus duquel pourrez veoir les regnes de Saincte Eglise en grandes et merueilleuses tribulations. Apres pourrez veoir la grande discention qui est auiourdhuy entre les Roys et Princes Crestiens. Pareillement pourrez veoir le grande discencion et murmure qui est entre les Nobles et les Communes. Et deuiseray mon Liure en quatre parties principalles ainsi comme a plain est cy apres declaire dont en la premiere partie sera faicte mention des tribulations de l'eglise jadis passees devant l'advenement de Jesu Christ nostre Sauveur. En la seconde partie sera traicte de la destruction des quatre grans royaulmes jadis. En la tierce partie sera traicte des batailles en general. En la quarte partie sera dit du battailles en special.




On disons aulcune chose des Roys pource que apres Lempereux ilz sont les plus honnorez sur tous les aultres Princes. Et encores ce nom cy de Roy selon la Saincte Escripture sembleroit estre de plus grande excellence que le nom de Lempereur, car nostre Seigneur se nomme et appelle en plusieurs lieux et endroitz de la saincte Escripture Roy des Roys et Seigneur de Seigneurs.

Item, le benoist filz de Dieu en aulcuns lieux de la Saincte Escripture est appele filz du Roy Dauid par humanite. Et ainsi par excellence de ce nom de Roy appellons nous de lignage royal. Et en oultre selon la doctrine et enseignement de Monseigneur, Sainct Paul Apostre qui preschoit au peuple en leur admonestant que pour lhonneur et reuerence de Dieu ilz fussent soubmys a toute creature humaine et en especial au Roy comme au plus noble et excellent de tous les aultres mesmement en approuuant la dignite de ce nom de Roy.


Et pour dire aulcun bon notable auquel ieunes Roys puissent prendre plaisir. Roy qui veult estre bon guerroyer sur saige fier et couraigeux, et de se gens il soit seigneur, comme de quaille espreuier, et soit misericors et rigoureux quant est besoing, et que au besoing soit le premier se darmes veult estre eureux. Pour retourner a nostre propos, &c.


Moult daultres belles et notables choses appartenans a tous bons Roys et Princes pourroye encores dire et assez trouuer. Mais pour le present ie ne pense plus riens a escripre en ce liure, car ien suis tout lasse. Toutesfoys le temps viendra se Dieu me donne espace de viure que ie escripray aulcunes choses sur les contenances de toutes personnes soyent ecclesiasticques ou seculiers, hommes ou femmes ce qui leur est necessaire dauoir au plus pres que ie pourray de la Saincte Escripture et du droict escript selon les dignites de leur offices. Et ie prie humblement et deuotement a nostre Seigneur, que par sa saincte grace vous doint en telle maniere gouuerner vostre Royaulme et la Saincte Couronne quil vous a commise que apres la fin il vous maine et conduyse a la saincte gloire de Paradis qui iamais ne fauldra. Amen.

Cy fine le liure intitule Larbre des Batailles.

In the Preface to the edition printed by Anthony Verard, at Paris, on the 8th of June 1493, there are several variations; and the sentence in which the name of the Author occurs runs thus—"Mon tres hault et redoubte Seigneur souvent j'ay eu voulente de faire ce present livre," omitting the name altogether. The last Chapter of the work is numbered cxxxxii in Verard's edition, and ends in the same manner as the other.


Of the original Work there are numerous Manuscript copies, and also several early printed editions; but these, as an eminent French Antiquary remarks, are "toutes rares, toutes fautives et defecteuses." In Verard's edition, for instance, the name of Charles VI., to whom the Author dedicated the work, is changed to Charles VIII., in order to pay a compliment to the reigning Sovereign; and in these editions the Author's name is given as Honoré Bonner, instead of Bonnet. The terms of the Author's dedication, (says M. Paulin Paris,) carry us naturally to the first years of the arrival of Louis II. of Anjou to the Sovereignty of Provence, that is to say, from 1384 to 1390. Charles VI., the conqueror of Rosbec, was still young, and the schism of the Church had reached its point of the greatest violence.


M. Paris's analysis of the work is very concise, and may be quoted in his own words:—"L'Arbre d'Honoré Bonnet présente quatre branches principales, 1o. L'Eglise en schisme. 2o. Les Rois en guerre. 3o. Les Grandes en dissension. 4o. Les Peuples en révolte. Mais l'auteur paroît fort peu soucieux de suivre un ordre quelconque dans son travail. Après avoir dans les premiers chapitres appliqué la prophétie des cinq Anges de l'Apocalypse à l'Histoire Ecclésiastique du XIVe siècle, il résume les fastes de l'antiquité, puis enfin expose la théorie du comportement des Armes, des droits et des devoirs de tous les vassaux, chevaliers et gens de guerre."[5]

The author Honoré Bonnet, was a Monk in the Abbey of Ile-Barbe of Lyons, and Prior of Salon in Provence. His name, which is often given as Bonnor, or Bonhor, or Bonnoz, has been ascertained, from an examination of nearly twenty ancient Manuscripts in the Royal Library at Paris, to have been Bonnet. A Provençal translation, made in the year 1429 by order of Mossen Ramon de Culdes, is preserved in the same collection, No. 7450; and also a translation in the Catalan dialect, MS. No. 7807. There is some indication of Caxton having translated in part the work in the year 1490, but no copy is known to exist.[6] The original work was first printed at Lyons, by Barthelemy Buyer, 1477, folio; and another edition at Lyons in 1481. It was again printed at Paris, by Anthoine Verard, 1493, folio, of which there is, in the Royal Library at Paris, a magnificent copy printed upon Vellum, with illustrations,—the first representing Charles VIII. receiving the work from Verard the printer, who, as already noticed, had substituted the name of the reigning Monarch instead of Charles VI. of France, at whose request the work was originally written. Van Praet[7] describes this copy, and mentions two other copies on Vellum, but neither of them perfect. The discrepancies existing between the early manuscript and printed copies will readily explain the variations, which will be obvious upon comparing Sir Gilbert Hay's translation with the preceding extracts. It must also be confessed, that to a modern reader Bonnet's Book of Battles is sufficiently tedious and uninteresting; and it need excite no surprize that the Author, as he admits in his concluding chapter, having wearied himself with his task, broke off abruptly—"Mais pour le present je ne pense plus riens a escripre en ce Livre, car j'en suis tout lasse;" or, as Sir Gilbert Hay in his translation expresses it—"But in gude faith the Doctour sais, that he was sa irkit of wryting, that he mycht nocht as now, na mare tak on hand as to put in this buke of Bataillis," &c.



Although subjoined to "The Buke of Batailles," there is no evidence to show that it was written by the same Author. The original Work, entitled "Le Livre de l'Ordre de Chevalerie," is anonymous. A copy of it is contained in a magnificent volume, written upon vellum, and illuminated for Henry VII. of England, which forms part of the Royal collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (MSS. Bibl. Reg. 14 E. II. Art. 5). The Work also exists in a printed form, although now of great rarity. "L'Ordre de Chevalerie, auquel est contenue la maniere comment en doit, faire les Chevaliers, et de l'honneur qui à eux appartient, et de la dignité d'iceulx; compose par ung Chevalier, lequel en sa veillesse fut Hermite." Lyon, Vincent de Portunaris de Trine, 1510, in folio, black letter. It is, however, a proof of the great popularity of the Work, that a copy of it having fallen into the hands of our venerable Typographer, William Caxton, (who probably never heard of Sir Gilbert Hay's previous version,) he added this to his other translations from the French, and having printed his own translation, he addressed the volume to King Richard the Third. It has no date, but must have been printed about the year 1484; and his edition is acknowledged to be one of the rarest specimens of his press. Lewis in his Life of Caxton, 1737; Oldys in his British Librarian, 1738; Ames and Herbert in their Typographical Antiquities, 1749 and 1785; and Dibdin, in his enlarged edition of that work, 1810, and also in his Bibliotheca Spenceriana, 1815, have each given a more or less detailed account of Caxton's translation.

In the Advocates' Library, Edinburgh, among the collection of MSS. which belonged to Sir James Balfour of Denmyln, Lord Lyon in the reign of Charles the First, there is a volume, to which he has prefixed this title, "Collectanea Domini Davidis Lyndesay de Monthe Militis Leonis Armorum Regis." This volume is described by Dr Leyden[8] in the Preface to his republication of "The Complaynt of Scotland," but he has confounded two persons of the same name, and who held the same office, at an interval of half a century. The volume, which contains nothing to identify it with Sir David Lyndesay the Poet, is here noticed, from containing a copy of "The Order of Knighthood," without the name of the translator. This is evidently a transcript from Caxton's printed volume, omitting the concluding Address to Richard the Third, in which Caxton introduces his own name as the translator; while the transcriber has used his own discretion in adapting the language to the Scotish orthography and dialect.

Dr Leyden passes over this portion of the MS. in a very summary manner, and strangely says, that it, along with "The Buke of Cote-Armouris," which immediately follows, in Lyndesay's MS., was transcribed from Dame Juliana Berners's Treatise on Hunting, Hawking, &c., which is usually known as the "Booke of St Albans."

The following extracts from the copy of Caxton's volume, in the British Museum, will be sufficient to convey to the reader some idea of the work itself; and to form a comparison of the English and Scotish versions. The first leaf is here given in black letter, line for line, in imitation of the original:—

¶ Here begynneth the Table of
this present booke Intytled the
Book of the ordre of chyualry
or Knyghthode.

Unto the praysynge and dyuyne
glorye of god/ whiche is lord and
souerayne kynge aboue and ouer
alle thynges celestyal/ and wordly/ we
begynne this book of the ordre of chyualry
For to shewe that to the sygnefyaunce of
god/ the prynce almyghty whiche seygno=
ryeth aboue the seuen planettes/ that ma=
ke the cours celestyal/ and haue power &
seygnorye in gouernynge & ordeynynge
the bodyes terrestre and erthely/ that in
lyke wyse owen the kynges prynces and
grete lordes to haue puyssaunce and seyg=
nory upon the knyghtes/ And the kny=
tes by symylytude oughten to haue po=
wer and dominacion ouer the moyen peple
And this booke conteyneth viij chapitres

¶ The fyrst chapytre sayth/ how a knyght
beyng an Heremyte deuysed to the squyer
the rule and ordre of chyualrye

¶ The second is of the begynnynge of Chyualry

¶ The thyrd is of thoffyce of chyualry

¶ The fourthe of thexamynacion/ that ought
to be made to the esquyer whan he wylle entre
in to the ordre of chyualry

¶ The fyfthe is in what maner the squyer
ought to receyue chyualry

¶ The syxthe is of the sygnefyaunce of the
armes longynge to a knyght al by ordre

¶ The seuenth of the custommes that apperteyne
to a knyght

¶ The eyght is of the honour that oughte
to be done to a knyght


¶ Thus endeth the table of the book of

¶ Here after foloweth the mater and tenour of this said Booke.
And the Fyrst chapyter saith hou the good Heremyte deuysed to the Esquyer the Rule and ordre of Chyualrye.
A Contrey ther was in which it happed that a wyse knyght whiche longe had mayntened the Ordre of Chyualrye/ And that by the force & noblesse of his hyghe courage and wysedom and in auenturyng his body had mayntened warres justes & tornayes & in many batailles had had many noble victoryes & gloryous & by cause he sawe & thought in his corage yt he myȝt not long lyue as he which by long tyme had ben by cours of nature nyghe unto his ende/ chaas to hym an heremytage/ For nature faylled in hym by age/ And hadde no power ne vertu to vse armes as he was woned to do/ Soo that thenne his herytages/ & all his rychesses he lefte to his children/ and made his habytacion or dwellynge place in a greete wode habondaunt of watres and of grete trees/ and hygh berying fruytes of dyuerse manyers/ And fledde the world/ by cause that the feblenesse of his body in the whiche he was by old age fallen/
And that he dishonoured not that/ whiche that in honourable thynges and aventurous hadde ben longe tyme honoured/
The same knyght thynkynge on the dethe/ remembryth the departynge fro this world in to that other/ and also thought of the ryght redoubtable sentence of oure lord in the whiche hym behoued to come to the day of Jugement/ In one of the partyes of the same wode was a fayr medowe/ in whiche was a tree wel laden and charged of fruyte in his tyme/ of which the knyght lyued in the forest/ And vnder the same tree was a fontayne moche fayre and clere/ that arowsed and moysted all the medowe/ And in the same place was the knyght acustomed to come euery daye for to preye and adoure God Almyghty/ To whome he rendryd thankynge of the honoure that he had done to him in this world alle the dayes of his lyf/ In that time it happed at the entryng of a strong wynter/ that a kynge moche noble/ wyse and ful of good custommes/ sente for many nobles/ by cause that he wold hold a grete courte/ And by the grete renommee that was of thys courte/ It happed that a squyer moeued hym for to goo thyder/ in entencion that there he shold be made knyght/
¶ Thus as he wente all allone rydynge vppon his palfroy/ It happed/ that for the trauaylle that he had susteyned of rydynge/ he slepte vpon his horse/
¶ In the meane whyle that he rode soo slepynge/ his palfroye yssued oute of the ryght waye/ and entryd in to the forest/ where as was the knygte Heremyte/ And soo longe he wente/ that he came to the fontayne at the same tyme that the knyght whiche dwellyd in the wode to doo his penaunce was there comen for to praye vnto God/ and for to despyse the vanytees of this worlde/ lyke as he was acustomed euery day/ whan he sawe the squyer come/ he lefte his oroyson/ and satte in the medowe in the shadow of a tree/ And beganne to rede in a lytyl book that he had in his lappe/ And whan the palfroy was come to the fontayne/ he beganne to drynke/ And the squyer that slept anone felte that his hors meued not/ and lyghtly awoke/ And thenne to hym came the knyght whiche was moche old/ and had a grete berde/ longe heer/ and a feble gowne worne and broken for ouer longe werynge/ And by the penaunce that he dayly made was moche discolourd and lene/ And by the teres that he had wepte/ were his eyen moche wasted/ and hadde a regard or countenaunce of moche hooly lyf/ Eche of them merueylled of other/ For the knyghte whiche hadde ben moche longe in his heremytege/ had sene no man sythe that he had lefte the worlde/ And the sqyuer merueylled hym strongly/ how he was comen in to that place/ Thenne descended the squyer fro his palfroy/ and salewed the knyght/ And the knyght receyued hym most wysely/ And after sette them vpon the grasse that one by that other/ And er ony of them spak/ eche of them byheld eche others chere/ The knyght that knewe that the squyer wold not speke fyrst/ by cause that he wold doo to hym reuerence spak fyrst and said/ Fayr frend what is your corage or entent/ and whyther goo ye/ wherfor be ye comen hyther/ Syre sayde he/ the renommee is sprad by ferre contreyes/ that a kynge moche wyse and noble/ hath commaunded a courte general/ And wylle be maade hym selfe newe knyght/ And after adoube and make other newe knyghtes/ estraunge barons and pryue/ And therfore I goo to this courte for to be adoubed knyght/ But whanne I was a slepe for the trauaylle that I haue had of the grete journeyes that I haue made/ my palfroy wente oute of the ryghte way/ and hath brought me vnto this place/ Whanne the knyght herd speke of the knyghthode & chyualrye/ And remembryd hym of thordre of the same/ And of that whiche apperteyneth to a knyght/ he caste out a grete syghe/ and entryd in a grete thouȝt remembrynge of the honoure/ in which chyualrye hadde ben so longe mayntened/
¶ In the meane whyle that the knyghte thus thought/ the Esquyer demaunded of hym/ wherof he was so pensyf/
¶ And the knyght answerd to hym/
¶ Fayre sone my thoughte is of the ordre of Knyghthode or Chyualrye/ And of the gretenesse in which a knyght is holden/ in mayntenynge the gretenesse of the honour of chyualry/ Thenne the esquyer prayed to the knyght/ that he wold saye to hym thordre and the manere/ wherfore me ought the better to honoure and kepe in highe worshippe hit/ as it ought to be after the ordenaunce of god/
¶ How sone sayd the knyght knowest thou not what is the rule and ordre of knyghthode/ and I meruaylle how thow darest demaunde chyualrye or knyghthode/ vnto the tyme that thou knowe the ordre/
¶ For noo knyght can loue the ordre/ ne that whiche apperteyneth to his ordre/ but yf he can knowe the defaultes that he dothe ageynst the ordre of chyualry/
Ne no knyght ought to make ony knyghtes/ but yf he hym self knowe thordre.
For a disordynate knyghte is he/ that maketh a knyghte/ and can not shewe the ordre to hym/ ne the customme of chyualry.
¶ In the meane whyle that the knyght sayd these wordes to the esquyer/ that demaunded chyualrye/ withoute that he knewe/ what thynge was chyualrye/ The esquyer answered and sayde to the knyght/ Syre yf hit be your playsyre/ I byseche yow/ that ye wylle saye and telle to me the ordre of chyualrye/
For wel me semeth and thynketh that I should lerne hit for the grete desyre/ that I haue therto/ And after my power I shalle ensiewe hit/ yf hit please yow to enseynge shewe and teche hit me/
¶ Frend sayde the knyght/ the Rule and ordre of chyualrye is wreton in this lytyl booke that I hold here in myn handes in which I rede and am besy somtyme/ to the ende/ that hit make me remembre or thynke on the grace and bounte/ that god hath gyven and done to me in this world/ by cause that I honoured and mayntened with al my power thordre of chiualrye/ For alle in lyke wyse as chyualrye gyueth to a knyghte all that to hym apperteyneth/ In lyke wyse a knyȝt ought to gyve alle his forces to honoure chyualrye/
¶ Thenne the knyght delyuered to the esquyer the lytyl booke.
¶ And whanne he hadde redde therin/ he vnderstode that the knyght only amonge a thousand persones is chosen worthy to haue more noble offyce than alle the thousand/ And he had also vnderstanden by that lytyl booke/ the Rule and ordre of chyualry/ And thenne he remembryd hym a lytyl/ And after sayd/ A syre blessyd be ye/ that haue brought me in place and in time/ that I haue knowlege of Chyualrye/ the whiche I haue longe tyme desyred/ withoute that I knewe the noblesse of the ordre/ ne the honoure in whiche oure lord god hath sette alle them that ben in thordre of Chyualrye/
¶ The knight sayd/ Fayre sone I am an old man & feble/ and may not forthon moche longe lyue/ And therfor this lytyl booke that is made for the deuocion/ loyalte/ and the ordinance that a knyght ought to haue in holdynge his ordre/ ye shall bere with yow to the courte where as ye go vnto/ and to shewe to alle them that will be made knyghts/ And whan ye shalle be newe doubed knyght/ and ye shall retorne in to your countrey/ Come ageyne to this place/ And lette me haue knowlege who they be that haue ben maade newe knyghtes/ and shalle haue ben obeyssant to the doctryne of chyualry/ Thenne the knyght gaf to thesquire his blessynge/ and he took leve of hym/ and tooke the booke moche deuoutely/ And after mounted vpon his palfroy/ and went forth hastely to the courte/ And whan he was comen/ he presented the booke moche wysely and ordynatly to the noble kyng/ & furthermore he offryd that euery noble man that wold be in thordre of Chyualry myght haue a copye of the sayd book/ to thend that he myght see & lerne thordre of knyghthode and Chyualrye/
¶ Here endeth the book of thordre of Chyualry/ whiche book is translated out of Frensshe into Englysshe at a requeste of a gentyl and noble esquire by me/ William Caxton dwellynge in Westmynstre besyde london in the most best wyse that god hath suffred me/ and accordynge to the copye that the sayd squyer delyuerd to me/ whiche book is not requisyte to euery comyn man to haue/ but to noble gentylmen that by their virtu entende to come & entre in to the noble ordre of chyualry/ the whiche in these late dayes hath ben vsed accordyng to this booke here to fore wreton but forgeten/ and thexcersitees of chyualry/ not used/ honoured/ ne exercysed/ as hit hath ben in auncyent tyme/ at whiche tyme the noble actes of the knyghtes of Englond that vsed Chyualry were renomed thurgh the vnyuersal world/ As for to speke to fore thyncarnacion of Jesu Chryste/ where were there euer ony lyke to brenius and belynus that from the grete Brytagne now called Englond vnto Rome & ferre beyonde conquered many Royaumes and londes/ whos noble actes remayn in thold hystoryes of the Romayns/ And syth the Incarnacion of oure lord/ byhold that noble king of Brytayne king Arthur/ with all the noble knyȝtes of the roūd table/ whos noble actes and noble chyualry of his knyghtes occupye soo many large volumes/ that is a world/ or as thing incredyble to byleue/ O ye knyghtes of Englond where is the custome and vsage of noble chyualry that was vsed in tho dayes/ what do ye now/ but go to the baynes & playe atte dyse/ And some not wel aduysed/ vse not honest and good rule ageyn alle ordre of knyghthode/ leue this/ leue it and redde the noble volumes of saynt graal of lancelot/ of galaad/ of Trystram/ of perse forest/ of percyual/ of gawayn/ & many mo/ Ther shalle ye see manhode/ curtosy/ & gentylnesse/ And loke in latter dayes of the noble actes syth the cōquest/ as in kyng Rychard dayes cuer du Lyon/ Edward the fyrste/ and the thyrd/ and his noble sones/ Syre Robert Knolles/ Syr Johan Chaūdos/ and Syre gualtier Manuy/ rede froissart/ And also behold that vyctoryous and noble kynge harry the fyfthe/ and the captayns vnder hym his noble bretheren/ Therle of Salysbury Montagu/ and many other whoos names shyne gloryously by their vertuous noblesse & actes that they did in thonour of thordre of chyualry/ Allas what do ye/ but sleep & take ease/ and are al dysordred fro chyualry/ I wold demaunde a question yf I shold not displease/ how many knyghtes ben there now in Englond/ that haue thuse and thexcercyse of a knyght/ that is to wete/ that he knoweth his hors/ & his hors hym/ that is to saye/ he beyng eredy at a poynt to haue al thyng that longeth to a knight/ an hors that is accordyng and broken after his hand/ his armures and harnoys mete and syttyng/ & so forth/ et cetera/ I suppose and a due serche shold be made/ there shold he many founden that lacke/ the more pyte is/ I wold it pleasyd our souerayn Lord that twyes or threys in a year/ or at the least ones he wold do crye Justes of pees/ to thend that euery knyght shold haue hors and harneys/ and also the vse and craft of a knyght/ and also to tornoye one ageynst one/ or ij against ij/ And the best to haue a prys/ a dyamond or jewel/ suche as shold please the prynce/ This shold cause gentylmen to resorte to thauncyent customes of chyualry to grete fame and renōmee/ And also to be alwey redy to serue theyr prynce whan he shalle calle them/ or haue nede/ Thenne late euery man that is come of noble blood/ and entendeth to come to the noble ordre of chyualry/ read this lytyl book/ and doo therafter/ in kepyng the lore and commaundements therin comprysed/ And thenne I doubte not he shall atteyne to thordre of chyualry/ et cetera.
And thus this lytyl book I presente to my redoubted naturel and most dradde souerayne lord kyng Rychard kyng of Englond and of Fraunce/ to thend/ that he commaunde this book to be had and redde vnto other yong lordes knyghtes and gentylmen within this royame/ that the noble ordre of chyualry be herafter better vsed & honoured than hit hath ben in late dayes passed/ And herin he shalle do a noble & vertuous dede/ and I shalle pray almyȝty god for his long lyf & prosperous welfare/ & that he may haue vyctory of all his enemyes/ & after this short & transitory lyf to haue euerlastyng lyf in heuen/ where as is Joye and blysse/ world without ende/ Amen/



This very popular work is a translation of the "Secretum Secretorum," falsely attributed to Aristotle. Its popularity was so great that not less than nine English translations and six French translations are known. It is probable that Sir Gilbert Hay made his version from one of the French translations current in the Fifteenth Century.

In now adverting to Sir Gilbert Hay, the Translator of the "Ordere of Knighthood," and of other Works, from the French, it is matter of regret that we possess no very certain information respecting him. Some of the uncertainty which prevails in regard to his lineage arises from the circumstance that the name of Gilbert, in the family of Errol, with whom we may presume he was nearly related, was of very common occurrence. The Hays of Errol, the chief of the name in Scotland, appear in the public Records as Hereditary Constables of Scotland before the end of the Twelfth Century. Without further entering upon their Genealogy, as exhibited in Douglas and Wood's Peerage of Scotland, vol. i. page 544, &c., and in similar works, it may briefly be noticed that, in the course of the Fifteenth Century—

I. Sir Thomas Hay of Errol, Constable of Scotland, died in the year 1406. He married in 1372, Elizabeth third daughter of King Robert II., by his first wife Elizabeth Mure; and had two sons, Sir William, who succeeded, and Gilbert Hay, who is designed of Dronlaw; also three daughters, the youngest of whom, Alicia, married Sir William Hay of Locharret.[9]

II. Sir William Hay of Errol, who succeeded in 1406, died in 1436. By his wife Margaret, daughter of Sir Patrick Gray of Broxmouth, he had two sons, Gilbert, and William Hay of Urry, in the county of Kincardine.

III. Gilbert Hay, eldest son of Sir William, was one of the hostages sent to England in 1412, and again in 1424, for the ransom of King James the First, who had been held in captivity for eighteen years. On the last occasion he is styled "Gilbertus Primogenitus et Hæres Willielmi Constabularii Scotiæ," his annual revenue being estimated equal to 800 marks; and at that time "Gilbert of the Haye, askyth conduct for 3 servants." (Rymer's Fœdera, vol. x. p. 327). In 1426 he had a safe conduct. He died in England soon after 1426, leaving, by his wife Alicia, daughter of Sir William Hay of Yester, two sons, William and Gilbert.

IV. Sir William Hay succeeded his grandfather in 1436, and was created Earl of Errol in the year 1452-3. He married Beatrix Douglas, daughter of James third Lord Dalkeith. His brother Gilbert, who succeeded his uncle William Hay of Urry, had a charter of the lands of Urry, in the county of Kincardine, 12th August 1467; and died before September 1487. The Earl of Errol, who died about 1460, was succeeded by his eldest son,

V. Nicholas, second Earl of Errol. He died without issue in 1470, and was succeeded by his brother,

VI. William, third Earl of Errol, who survived till 1506.

This brief view of the Hays of Errol, during the Fifteenth Century, may serve to guide our conjectures in regard to Sir Gilbert Hay. That he was born about the commencement of that century, we are warranted to assume. There is no evidence of any of the younger sons in the Errol family, at this period, having had the honour of Knighthood; and therefore it may be conjectured that he was the son of Sir William Hay of Locharret, one of whose daughters, Jane, was married to Sir Alexander Home of Dunglas, who accompanied the Scotish forces under the Earl of Douglas to France, and who lost his life with the Earl at the Battle of Verneuil, 17th August 1424. It is certain, at least, that Gilbert Hay received a liberal education, and he appears to have prosecuted his studies at the University of St Andrews, which was founded in the year 1411. This we ascertain from the "Acta Facult. Art. Univers. S. Andreæ," where the name "Gylbertus Hay," occurs among the Determinants, or Bachelors of Arts, in the year 1418. In the following year, "Gilbertus de Haya, Magister," is included in the higher degree among the Licentiates, or Masters of Arts. One of his fellow students was William Turnbull, who afterwards became successively Doctor of Laws, Archdean of St Andrews, Keeper of the Privy Seal, and Bishop of Glasgow; and who, about three years before his death, so honourably distinguished himself by founding the College of Glasgow, in the year 1452-3.

After taking his Master's degree at St Andrews, Gilbert Hay proceeded to France, but whether it may have been to complete his education, or that he was sent on any special mission, must be left to conjecture.[10] It might have been, that like so many of the younger sons in Scotish families of rank, at an early as well as in more recent times, he had gone abroad to push his fortunes; and thus, like Quentin Durward, when first addressing Louis XI., he might have said,—"I am ignorant whom I may have the honour to address, but I am indifferent who knows that I am a cadet of Scotland; and that I come to seek my fortune in France, or elsewhere, after the custom of my countrymen." It will be seen that he styles himself "Gilbert of the Haye, Knycht, Master in Arts, and Bachelor in Decreis,"—titles expressive of academical distinctions; and also "Chamberlain umquhile to the maist worthy King Charles of France." Dr Mackenzie, overlooking the obvious meaning of these words in the position of umquhile, instead of "late Chamberlain to the King," made him "Chamberlain to Charles VI., King of France." But that Monarch began his reign in 1380, and died in 1422, probably before Hay had set his foot in France. His son, Charles VII., ascended the throne in 1422, and survived till 1461. Sir Walter Scott, in "Quentin Durward," chapter v., has given a very graphic account of the Scotish Archer Guard, which was instituted by Charles VI., and consisted of a select number of the Scotish Nation, supplied from the superabundant population of their native country. It is no improbable conjecture, therefore, that Gilbert Hay may have been one of their number, and like the imaginary character in the work of fiction referred to, have thus been brought under the special notice of the French King, and in this manner obtained the patronage of Charles VII. Another event that may have contributed to his holding an official appointment in the Royal Household, was the alliance between Margaret, eldest daughter of James I. of Scotland, and the Dauphin of France. This took place in July 1436, when she was only twelve years of age; and she was attended by a number of persons of rank, some of whom remained in her service. Be this as it may, and without attempting to conjecture on what occasion Hay received the honour of Knighthood, we know, from a passage to be afterwards mentioned, that he resided in France during a period of twenty-four years; and he may have returned to his native country soon after the death of the youthful Princess. She died of a broken heart in August 1445, or sixteen years before her husband, whose character is so ably depicted by Scott, had succeeded to the throne under the title of Louis XI.

After Sir Gilbert Hay's return to Scotland, we find him residing at Roslin Castle with Sir William Saintclair, third Earl of Orkney, (a title which he resigned, in 1456, for the Earldom of Caithness)—a nobleman of great influence and wealth, who had accompanied the Princess Margaret to France in 1436. He was twice married, his first wife being Lady Margaret Douglas, daughter of Archibald fourth Earl of Douglas; and he lived in such a kingly state, that we are told, his Lady "had serving her 75 gentlewomen, whereof 53 were daughters to noblemen, all cloathed in velvets and silks, with their chains of gold, and other pertinents; together with 200 rideing gentlemen, who accompanied her in all her journeys. She had carried before her when she went to Edinburgh, if it was darke, 80 lighted torches. Her lodging was att the foot of the Blackfryer Wynde: so that, in a word, none matched her in all the country, save the Queen's Majesty."[11] We are further told of this "Prince," William Earl of Orkney, that—"In his house he was royally served in gold and silver vessels, in most princely manner; for the Lord Dirletone was his Master Household, the Lord Borthwick was his Cup-bearer, and the Lord Fleming his Carver, under whom, in time of their absence, was the Laird of Drumlanrig, surnamed Stewart, the Laird of Drumelzier, surnamed Tweedie, and the Laird of Calder, surnamed Sandilands. He had his halls and chambers richly hung with embroidered hangings," &c. In 1446, he founded the Collegiate Church of Roslin, that beautiful specimen of architecture, the ruins of which still excite so much admiration under the popular designation of Roslin Chapel. It was at the request of this nobleman that he undertook the translations which are contained in the present volume, and which bear the date of 1456. Sir Gilbert Hay, like some of the persons here named, was probably connected with this nobleman, as in the genealogy of that family, the fifth of the nine daughters of Henry second Earl of Orkney, is said to have married a Hay Earl of Errol.

There is still preserved a curious document entitled "The Inventar of the Goods of Alexander de Sutherland of Dumbethe," whose daughter Marjory was the Countess of Caithness and Orkney.[12] It includes his Testament, and bears to have been made at Roslin, the castle of his son-in-law, on the 15th November 1456, "in the presence of ane hie and mighti Lord William Earl of Caithnes and Orkney, Lord Saintclair, &c., Sir Gilbert the Haye, Sir Henry Atkinson, Mr Thomas Thurberndson (or Thornebrande), Public Notar, &c., with dyvers uthirs." At the end of his numerous legacies and bequests, there is added, "Item, I gif and leive my sylar [silver] colar to Sir Gilbert the Haye, and he to say for my soul ten Psalters."[13]

The long residence of Sir Gilbert Hay in France rendered him familiar not only with the language, but with the current literature of the country. This may have suggested to him, upon his return to Scotland, the propriety of employing himself in translating some of the more remarkable productions of French literature, for the benefit or amusement of his friends. A fortunate discovery of an old Manuscript volume at Taymouth Castle, and the liberality of the Noble Proprietor in communicating it, brought to light another and a more important undertaking which Sir Gilbert Hay had accomplished, by rendering the Metrical Romance of Alexander the Great into Scotish Verse, at the request of Thomas first Lord Erskine, (properly second Earl of Mar, of the name of Erskine,) who succeeded his father in 1453, and died in 1494. The Work extends to upwards of 20,000 lines; but the imperfect state of the Manuscript, which exhibits an evidently inaccurate copy of the translation, added to its great extent, may possibly keep it from ever being printed entire. But some obscure lines, introduced by one of the transcribers, at the close of the volume, contains the information already alluded to, of its having been translated at the request "of the Lord Erskine, by Sir Gilbert the Hay," and of his having spent twenty-four years in the service of the King of France.[14]

How long Sir Gilbert Hay may have survived can only be conjectured. The Taymouth MS. is transcribed from another copy which had apparently been written in the year 1493; and the mode in which the Translator is alluded to, indicates that he had been dead for several years. This serves to corroborate the mention of his name among the deceased Scotish Poets who are celebrated by Dunbar in his "Lament for the Death of the Makaris."[15]

Norton Hall, January 1847.

The Buke


The Order of Knyghthood,


by Gilbert of the Haye knycht.

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t the honour and the reuerence of God Almichty his glore and louyng of his prouidence, the quhilk is souerane lord and syre de toutes choses, of all thingis in heuyn and in erde, we begyn here THE BUKE OF THE ORDRE OF KNYCHTHEDE: ffor to schaw, how be the semblaunce of the hye almychty prince of hevin, quhilk has dominacioun and seignoury apon the vij planetis of the hevyn,—the quhilkis seuin planetis makis all the courss of the hevyn, and gouernis the influences celestiales, and has powere apon the ordinancis of all erdely corporale thingis; and to schaw, that as kingis and princis has dominacioun and seignoury here apon all knychtis, sa suld knychtis haue dominacioun and seignourye subordinate of the princis and lordis behalue, be semblaunce of syk like figure, apon the small peple, to gouerne, reugle, and defend thame in all thair necessiteis: The quhilk Buke is deuidit in sere parties, as sall efterwart appere be the declaracioun of the chapitres efter folowand.

Here folowis the Declaracioun of the Rubrikis eftir the parties of the Buke.

The Fyrst chapitre is, How a bachelere Squyere of honoure passit till a grete semblee of Lordis, at a Kingis crounyng, in entencioun to tak the Ordere of Knychthede, and how he forvayit, and willit in a wilderness quhare thare was ane alde Knycht duelland in ane hermytage, that had tane him fra the warld, to lyue in contemplacioun of Almychty God, to mend his lyf, and mak gude end, etc.; And how the worthy anciene Knycht techit the Squyere the poyntis of honour and propereteis pertenand to the said Ordre, etc.

Quhat the secund chapitre contenis, sequitur.—

The Secound chapitre is, How the Bachelere quhilk suld ressaue that hye Ordre, how he suld first lere the pointis and the propereteis of the Ordre, before that he tak it, in the begynnyng.

Quhat the thrid chapitre contenis.—

The Thrid chapitre contenis, All the said properteis of the noble Ordre and office of Knychthede, as the Knycht deuisis.

Quhat the ferde chapitre contenis.—

The Ferde chapitre contenis, The forme of the examinacioun how the Bachelere Squyere suld be examynit, be the faderis of the Ordre, before or he ressauit the said Ordre.

Quhat the fyft chapitre contenis.—

The Fyft chapitre contenis, How the Bacheler Squyer suld ressaue the noble Ordre, and the forme and manere tharof, and of the process of the making of Knychtis be ordre.

Quhat the sext chapitre contenis.—

The Sext chapitre contenis, The poyntis of the takenyngis of the blasoun of the signis and seremons custumable to be maid in geving of the said Ordre, and all be ordre.

Quhat the sevynt chapitre contenis.—

The Sevynt chapitre contenis, The gude thewis, vertues, and custumes that pertenis to the Knychtis that honourably wald manetene the foresaid Ordre of Knychthede.

Quhat the auchtand chapitre contenis.—

The Auchtand chapitre contenis, How the said Ordre suld be haldyn at honour, and quhat honoure suld be done to thame that beris the said Ordre, and has optenyt it with honoure.

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he Autoure of this Buke rehersis, How it befell in a contree quhare a worthy, wyse, anciene Knycht, that lang tyme had bene in the exercisioun of honourable weris, the quhilk, be the noblesse and the force of his noble and hie curage, throu grete wisedome and hye gouernaunce, had auenturit his persone to pursue and manetene justis, tournaymentis, and weris, and throu his gude fortune and prowess, had optenyt grete honour and glore, and victorius loving: And efter all this, as course of nature gevis till all mankynde, and othir creaturis that in this erde lyf beris, he, considerand that this lyf mycht nocht langsumly endure, bot it behovit nedely tak ane end; for to make gude end, and conclusioun to godwart, and to lyve out of the sicht of tribulacioun and vexacioun of the warld, and to be at his deuocioun in contemplacioun of his Creatour: For he sawe that God had gevin him largely of his grace, sufficiandly of warldly honoure and glore; and that nature in him was sa faillid throu febilness, that he had nouthir force, na vertu, na powere to welde armes as he was wount; and had deuisit and departit his landis, gudis, and heritagis till his barnis, and ordanyt for all his thingis fynablye, and chesit to mak his habitacioun in a thik wod of a wilderness, in a faire haulch, inclosit within wateris, and grete treis bath of fruytis and of diuers naturis, and of herbes, sa that he was content to flee the sycht and the repaire of the warld: Sa that nane that had sene him sa worthily, honestly, and honourably, had euir hidertillis manetenyt sa worthy and hye Ordere in all worschip, but lak or dishonestee of his cors, suld se him in his failit elde, for fault of powere of naturall strenth, in syk febilness that he mycht nocht oure him self to gouerne his persone in syk worschip of honestee as he was wount, that filth of elde schamyt him nocht, quhill he had ȝeldit to God and nature his naturale dewiteis: And als, that the vexacioun of the warld gert him nocht abstrak his inclinacioun of contemplacioun and deuocioun fra the contynuale remembraunce that he was determynit in his hert to have of the glorious passioun of Crist, the quhilk he traistit, suld be a targe betuix him and the inymy of mankynde, in the day of the dredefull jugement, to sauf him fra the terrible paynis of hell. And as he was walkand a day in ane herbare allane, in his deuocioun, in a thik busk of the wod, quhare there was a grete tree in the myddis, chargit full of fair fruytis in the sesoun, the quhilkis he gaderit and held to refresch him with be tymes: And in that herbare, vnder the saide fruyte tree, thare was a faire well of water of noble nature, quhilk in diuers stryndis past throu the herber till othir gardynnis and preaux, till watere thame in somere for more gudely growth; in the quhilk herbare the noble Knycht was custumyt to mak his dayly repaire; and thare in his contemplacioun, he maid his secrete orisoun, zeldand gracis and lovingis to Almychty God, the makare of the mekle honour and worschip that he had grantit him in this warld, euermare day of his lyf, to contynew in sik deuocioun and contemplacioun perpetualy.

And sa befell that in the samyn tyme, befell a grete stormy wyntere, in the quhilk a worthy King had sett and ordanyt a grete assemblee of Lordis and Knychtis and worthy men, for hie, grete, and honourable actis to be done, in the quhilkis mony ȝong bachelere squieris proposit thame to be maid knychtis of that worthy Kingis hand: And sa befell that ane of the lordis sonis of that contree, quhilk had sett his entent and purpose to tak the Ordre of Knychthede at the said assemblee; and as it hapnyt him to pas throu that contree quhare the noble anciene Knycht had maid his habitacioun; And forthy that the said Squier quhilk was ferre trauailit, for irknes of trauale and waking to cum to the semblee, he slepit apon his palfray, and wauerit fra his folk out of the hye way, sa that he become properly in the samyn forest and wilderness quhare the Knycht was induelland; and to the samyn fontayn, in the herbere thare, quhare the Knycht was at his contemplacioun, in the samyn tyme come [the palfray] thare to drink at the well. And als sone as that the Knycht sawe in syk a kynde, sik ane honourable man, he left his contemplacioun, and tuke out a Buke of his bosum and began to rede. And sone quhen the pallefray put doun his hede in the well for to drynk, the Squiere began to wakyn of his slepe, and wist nocht quhare he was becummyn, and than rais vp the worthy anciene Knycht, and comit till him to spere of his effere; the quhilk quhen the ȝong Squiere saw sa hare and alde, with a lang berde, and langar syde hyngand hare, quhite as the snawe, with a syde goun, alde and bare of wolle, and euill farand, with mony holis ryvin and rent, for grete age of wering, and for the grete waking and deuocioun and penitence that he had tane till him in that desert, and the greting that he maid for his trespass of ȝouthede, he was worthin rycht lene, pale and wan, with hevy chere, and holl eyne, sa that be semblance his behalding was lyke to be as of a haly man and of godly lyf. Sa that grete maruaill had thai ilkane of othir, ffor sen the Knycht hed left the warld, to duell thare in that desert, he had nocht sene na man in all that tyme. And the ȝong Squyere had mare grete maruaill, how he was hapnyt thare, and of the grete maruailouss maner of the worthy man; quhilk be his feris and port semyt till have bene a man of grete valoure: And with that he lichtit doun of his pallefray, and salust the noble Knycht, quhilk ȝeldit him agayne his reuerence and ressauit him graciously, and gert him sytt doun in the herbere, and reyne his horse, and rest him; and lang tyme beheld him in the visage, to se gif he wold aucht say. Bot the Squyere, quhylk maruailit mekle of the efferis of the Knycht, for the grete worthynes that him thocht apperit in his visage, and maneris, he deferrit till him to moue first speche, as to do him reuerence for honour and age. And thus the worthy Knycht spak first, sayand, Faire frende, quhat is the cause of ȝoure cummyng here in this wildernes? And fra quhyn ar ȝe cummyn, and quhare wald ȝe be? And than ansuerd the ȝong Bachelere, sayand, Certes Sir, thare is a grete renoun gangand in ferre contreis of a grete assemblee, and rycht honourable, that suld be maid in this land be ane of the maist worthy Kingis that is in the warld: quhare grete multitude of honourable and worthy men suld assemble, for honourable actis to be done, and thare suld the said King mak mony new knychtis, be cause that he him self has entencioun to be maid knycht thare, in the samyn tyme; and thus for honour of the worthy Prince and of his new knychthede, I and otheris drawis togedir to se thai honourable actis, and, God willand, to be maid knycht of his hand thare. And be caus that I tuke grete journeis be the way cummand, my pallefray, throu his soft passing, gave me curage to slepe, as man fordouerit, and sa bade behynd my company, and wanderit sa in this wilderness, vnwittand quhare, quhill my hors, in this haulch, heldit to drynk. Than ar ȝe, said the worthy Knycht rycht welcum here.

Bot quhen the noble worthy man herd him speke of the hye and noble Ordere of Knychthede, and of the propereteis that till it appertenis, he gave a sare sob, with a grete siche, that vness mycht he speke lang tyme eftir; rememberand of the grete honoure that he had bene in, manetenand the saide Ordre of sa lang tyme. And quhen the Squyere saw him fall in syk a thocht, be manere of ane extasy, he sperit at him, Quhat movit him to muse sa mekle on his wordis? And than the worthy anciene Knycht ansuerd him, sayand, That his thocht was on the hye and worthy Ordre of Knychthede that he had spoken of, and on the grete charge that a knycht vndergais quhen he vndertakis that noble and worschipfull Ordre of Knychthede. And than said the said Squiere, That gif he coud oucht teche him of the poyntis that mycht pertene to the said Ordere, for the honour and reuerence of God, that he wald teche him. And with that the said Knycht blenkit vp, sayand, O faire sone, how art thou sa bald to sett thee to tak that forenamyt Ordere bot first thou knew the poyntis belangand the gouernaunce and manetenaunce of it, and the maner how it suld be kepit, gouernyt, and manetenyt in honoure and worschip, as efferis, eftir the ordinaunce of God: ffor thare suld nane be sa hardy to tak that hye honourable Ordre bot he war first worthy be the sicht of a prince thare till. And syne that coud the poyntis and the articlis that to the said Ordre appertenis, and to knaw bath the meritis and the prowess of the Ordre; and rycht sa the defaultis that a knycht may mak till his Ordre; nathare suld na knycht mak ane othir bot first he himself coud thai poyntis, techingis, and documentis, to teche thame to the vassall or bachelere, that he thocht to mak a knycht of: ffor he is misordanyt and vnworthy knycht that makis knychtis nocht knawand the propereteis of the said Ordre, to teche to thame that he gevis the Ordre till the custumys and documentis that till it appertenis. And then said the Sqyuare, Faire fader, sen it is sa that as I traist ȝe knaw the propereteis and custumes of the said Ordre, that ȝe wald, of ȝour gudelynes, teche me and informe of the documentis and propereteis belangand to the said Ordre of Knichthede; ffor I haue gude hope in God, that for the traist that I haue thairto, I sulde lere besily and wele all the perfectioun of the said Ordre.

And than ansuerd the Knycht, sayand, Faire sone, sen it is sa that thou has sa gude will to lere the reuglis and the documentis belangand the said Ordre, I sall len thé a lytill Buke quharein all the reuglis and the ordynaunce of all the poyntis and documentis that pertenis to the said Ordre ar writin; in the quhilk Buke, I rede wele oft, and takis consolatioun, of the mekle honoure, worschippis, and worthynes that to the said Ordre appertenis, and of the grete grace that God hes gevin me in this erde to be sa happy till haue gouernyt sa, but lak, the said Ordre, that all my grace and gude auenture throw it I hadand rycht sa I honourit it, and did all my powere to manetene it, and kepe it in worschip, but repruf; for rycht as Knycht, be his Ordre, takis bath of God and man honoure, worschip, and warldly prouffit, rycht sa he is behaldyn till gouerne, kepe, and manetene his Ordre in all honoure, worschip, and reuerence vndefoulit. And than delyuerit the Knycht the Buke to the Bachelere; in the quhilk quhen he had red a lytill space, he hevit vp his handis to the hevyn, and lovit Almychti God that had gevin him the grace to cum that way, in the tyme that he was sa wele fortunyt to haue knaulage of the poyntis, techingis, and properteis of the said Ordre, and reuglis that till it appertenit, the quhilk I have lang tyme mekle desyrit to knawe. And than said the Knycht, Faire sone, thou sall tak this Buke with thé to the Court, for sen I am bath alde and wayke, and may nocht trauaill to schaw the reuglis, and documentis, and propereteis of the said Ordre to thame that desyris thame, that ar with the King, thou sall geve the copy of this said Buke till all men that desyris it; and thou sall hecht me, quhen thou art doubbit Knycht, thou sall cum this way agayne this, and tell me quhat Knychtis salbe maid thare, and all the manere of thair making, and how the King and the new Knychtis takis in thank this Buke of the reuglis and documentis of the said Ordre; and quha askis the copy of it.

And thus tuke the Bachelere his leve at the Knycht, and the Knycht his benedictioun, and sa lap on his horse, and passit on, quhill he met with his menȝé; and sa to the Kingis palace; and did his devoyr in gouernement of his persone rycht worthily, and gave the copy till all maner of noble man that wald desyre till have it: the quhilk Buke the King lovit mekle, and prisit, and all the lordis, and held it rycht dere.

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n the tyme that cheritee, leautee, justice, and veritee was failit in the warld, than began crueltee, vnlautee, injure and falsetee: and than was errour and distrublaunce in the warld; in the quhilk warld God had maid man to duelle to trowe in him, serue him, honoure him, loue him, and dout him: Bot first quhen despising of justice come in the warld, and than was syk mysreugle and misgouernaunce in the warld amang the peple for fault of justice, that for to gere the reugle of gude gouernaunce cum agayn with force and drede of awe, the peple gert chess a Man amang a thousand, the quhilk was maist wise, maist stark and sturdy, and best of gouernaunce, maist godlyke, and full of grete leautee, and of maist nobless, maist curageus, and best techit in vertues; and ay of ilke thowsand of the peple thare was syk a man chosyn to be chiftane of the laue, and to gouerne thame, and be thaire ledare: And syne thai inquerit and soucht quhat beste was maist worthy, maist stark and sturdy, and maist swift rynnand, and maist hable to mannis service, and behove, and thareto was chosyn the Horse; for the maist worthy and convenable and best rynnand, and maist hable for mannis service; and that hors was ordanyt to that chose Man to ryde upon; and eftir the Hors the Knycht, ane of his namys, that in Franche is callit Cheualier, that is to say, Hors man, and be the tothir significacioun, that is callit Miles; that cummys of this foresaid caus, that he was in thai tymes a man chosyn be the prince and the peple of ilke thousand men, the worthiest to be thair Chiftane and Gouernoure in were, and thaire Protectour in tyme of pes. And thus quhen he was in thai tymes chosyn amang a thousand, ane of maist vertu, and worthiest to be a gouernour of the laue; and syne the maist worthy and noble beste of the warld chosin to bere him, that he suld nocht ga on fut: syne eftir ordaynyt thai that the maist noble and worthy armoure suld be deuisit and maid to thai Knychtis to kepe thair persouns in hele fra strakis of thair inymyeis, and fra the dede; and thare was he enarmyt and sett upon the hors and maid Chiftane and Gouernour of a thowsand persouns vnder him; and thus was Knychthede first ordanyt and maid. And thar fore all Knychtis suld think apon thair worthy and noble begynnyng, and the propereteis and causis thar of; and sett him sa that he haue als noble a curage in him self as suld effere to the Noble Ordre, that he ressauis in virtueis, and in gude thewis, and worthynes of condiciouns, sa that his worthy condiciouns and vertewis accorde to the begynnyng that is sa noble; ffor and he do the contrair, he is inymy till his Ordre, and syk men suld nocht be ressauit to the Ordre that ar inymyes tharetill. Na suld nane be maid Knychtis that had contrarius condiciouns to that worthy and noble Ordre: he suld haue lufe and drede in him till God, and till his Prince, agains haterent and despising; and rycht as he suld lufe and drede God, and his Lord and Prince, sa suld he ger him self be dred and lufit of his folk, bathe be nobless of curage, and gude thewis, and gude custumes, thinkand apon the hye honoure and worschip that is gevin till him, that is sa hye and sa noble ane office, and of sik worschip, that the condiciouns, and the nobless of the Ordre, suld be accordand togeder: Sa that throu the grete honour of his electioun, first, that be the prince and the people, is chosin amang a thousand for the maist worthy, and syne the maist noble and worthy armouris put on him, and syne the maist noble and worthy beste that was in the world gevin and ordanyt him to ryde on, and otheris to gang on sut besyde him; than aucht he wele to lufe and drede God, and his Prince that sendis him that hye honour and worschip; and syne he aw wele to mak syk cause throu nobless of curage and gude custumes, that he be lufit and dred of the peple; sa that be lufe he conquest charitee, and be drede he conquest lautee and justice: And thus all Knycht suld haue in him thir foure thingis, that is to say, charitee and gude thewis, lautee and justice, and suld excede otheris in nobless of vertues as he does in nobless of honouris. And alssua, in samekle as man is mare worthy, mare curageus, and vertuous, and mare wit and vnderstanding has na womman, and of mair stark nature, in samekle is he better na womman, or ellis nature war contrary till it self; that bountee and beautee of curage suld folowe bountee, and beautee, and nobless of cors; and thus sen a man is mare hable till haue mare noble curage, and to be better na womman, in samekle is he mare enclynit to be tempit to vice na is the womman, ffor he is mare hardy vndertakare, bathe in gude and euill, opynly; and in samekle has he mare meryt till abstene him fra vicis na has the womman, that is of wayke nature: and tharfore ilke man suld be war that wald enter in the foresaid Ordre; and wit wele first quhat he dois, ffor he takis thare a grete honoure, maryte with a grete seruitute; that is to say, a grete thrillage that he mon ressaue with the Ordre, to be thrall to the condiciouns, propereteis, and custumes that appertenis to the said Ordre, and to the frendis of the said Ordre: ffor quhy, that in samekle that a man has mare noble creacioun and begynning, and mare has of honour, in samekle is he mare thrall, and bounde to be gude and agreable to God, and till him that dois him that honoure. And gif he be of wikkit and euill lyf of tyranny and crimynous lyfing, he is contrarius and inymy of the Ordre, and rebellour to the commandementis of honour. For the Ordre of Knychthede, be the caus that it is maid and ordanyt for, is sa noble of it self, that the Princis war nocht anerly content, and the peple to ches the maist noble man of ligny, and to geue him the maist noble armouris, and syne sett him on the maist noble and curageus beste for mannis vse. Bot sen thai ordanyt him to be a lorde: Bot quhat vnderstandis thou redare be a lorde? A man is nocht a lord supposs he haue neuer sa mekle of warldly gudis: bot he is a lord that has seignoury and jurisdictioun vpon other men, to gouerne thame, and hald law and justice apon thame quhen thai trespass. In the quhilk lordschip thare is sa mekle nobless, and in seruitude thare is sa mekle subjectioun, bondage, and thrillage, that grete difference is betuene, and than suld thare be alsmekle difference in the personis, as thare is difference betuix the twa estatis: For and a man tak the Ordere of Knychthede, and he be villaine of his condiciouns, and wykkit of lyf, he dois grete injure to all his subjectes that he has vnder him in gouernaunce, that ar gude folk and symple, and mekle seruis punycioun for cruell and wickit lyf that tyrane lordis ar of, to the peple, makis tham mare worthy to be bondis bound, na to be lordis of the peple of God, off the quhilkis thai mon ȝelde a strayte compt a day, quhilk efferis to the Prince to punys, be the counsale of thame that gude and worthy Knychtis ar, ffor vnworthy war, that thai war callit Knychtis, and here the name and the honoure of that hye Ordre that wyrkis in the contrair, destroyand and vndoand the peple of God, that thai ar chosin be electioun, and oblist to defend, and for that caus has thair lordschippis to gouerne the peple of God: ffor nocht anerly the chesing and electioun to the Ordre, na the noble hors, na armouris, na gouernaunce, na lordschip, thame thocht nocht anerly, was sufficiand to the worthynes of that noble and worschipfull Ordre till hald it at honour; bot thai ordanyt him a Squier, and a varlet Page to be euer contynualy at his bidding and seruice in all placis thare he war, to tak kepe till him,—the Squiar to gang with him at his bidding, the Page to kepe his Hors. And ordanyt the peple to labour the ground, to graith lyfing for the Knychtis and Nobles that war thair gouernouris and protectouris, and to thair hors and seruandis; the quhilkis was excusit to nocht laboure, bot to rest thame euer betuix dedis of armes and actis honourable, at hunting and hauking, and othir disportis, and to gouerne and kepe passibles the labouraris, and sauf thame fra fors and wrang, sa that clerkis mycht pesably study in sciencis, men of kirk vake in Goddis seruice, merchandis in thair marchandice, and othir craftis wirkand at lordis deuiss. And thus quhen clerkis studyis in sciencis, how men suld be techit to knawe, lufe, and serue God, and doubt, and to geue gude ensample of doctrine to the lawit peple to rycht sa do, for the honour and reuerence of Almychtie God in deuocioun and gude lyf. Rycht sa apon the tothir part, quhen Knychtis ar maid be Princis, thai suld sett thame with gude virtues and gude ensamplis and nobless of curage, and othir wayis gif nede war be force of armes to manetene, gouerne and defend the small peple in all justice and equitee, in lufe and drede both of God and of the Prince as is before recomptit, be the quhilkis thai suld throu lufe haue contynuale charitee amang tham, and be the drede thai suld stand awe to do oucht ilkane till othir wrang, or wikkitness; and here atour as the clerkis techis thair scoleris to the sculis of sciencis of clergy, sa suld a gude Knycht teche his barnis the nobless of the poyntis and propereteis of chyualrie; and that suld be done in thair ȝouthede: And first and formast a Knycht suld lere his sone to be doctryned in vertues, and syne suld he be doctrinyt and techit to ryding in his ȝouthede, or ellis he sall neuer be gude rydare; and ay as he cummys till elde, that he lere to gouerne hors and armouris; and that he be seruand to sum lord, and vse him in armes lang or he tak the Ordre, ffor vnworthy war he suld be a lord or a maister that knew neuer quhat it is to be a seruand, ffor he may neuer wele tak na knawe the suetenes that it is to be the lord, bot gif he had sum knaulage of the sourness that it is, and payne to a gude hert, to be ane vnderlout or a seruand. And tharfore war he neuer sa grete a lordis sone appertenand to be lord, he war the better that in ȝouthede sum lord that he seruit to kerue before him, to serue in chaumer, till arme a lord, till ouresee his hors, that thai war wele gouernyt and grathit, to haunt armouris, to ryn a spere, to excercise wapnis, and othir habiliteis of honour quhilk appertenis to nobless, and namely, thai suld be techit and doctrinyt be a Knycht thay ȝong lordis sonis that thocht to be knychtis, ffor rycht as it war nocht semand till a ȝong man that wald lere to be a man of craft, suld lere at ane othir that war nocht of the craft, sa is it vnsemand that lordis sonis that wald be in the maist noble Ordre of Knychthede suld sett thame to lere the documents and propereteis of the Ordre of Knychthede, bot at thame that war expert in the knaulage of virtues and gude thewis honourable that to the said Ordre apperteins; the quhilkis ar vnknawable till ignoraunt and vnworthy personis; ffor the grete nobless of the said Ordre may nocht ferd at keping of hors na justis na tournaymentis, na ȝit to haunt na duell with lordis, na knychtis in company, to pas in weris na in bataillis. Bot it war rycht expedient that thare war deuisit, and ordanyt be the Prince, scolis of doctrinyng and teching of the noble poyntis and properteis that efferis to that hye and worthy Ordre till ȝong lordis barnis that war lykly to cum to perfectioun. And that the knawlage thar of ware writtin in bukis be wys men of knaulage, that knewe and had experience tharof, sa that ignorant ȝong lordis barnis mycht first lere the science be study and speculacioun, and syne efter thai mycht, quhen thai come eldar, lere the practik of the Ordre, be conuersacioun, as to pas to diuers justis and tournaymentis, to diuers realmes, in diuers voyagis and battaillis, sa mycht thai haue the pratyk with the science; ffor vile thing is, to bere office or ordre, and nocht to knawe the gouernaunce tharof throu wilfull ignorance; ffor war nocht the sculis of clergy, mony errouris and ignorauncis war in the warld mare na thare is. Bot sen thare is na sculis of cheualrye, quhat maruaill is thouch thare be mony Knychtis vnwytty; ffor war all Knychtis and clerkis but errour, than wald thai be till all the laue of the warld a gude myroure, and than suld ilkane drede to do wrangis and injuris till othir: And sen thir tua thingis gouernis and manetenis all this warld—the tane the Spiritualitee, the tother the Temporalitee; and thare is sa mony sculis in sere contreis of sciencis of clergy, and nocht ane that men wate of the nobil Ordre of Cheualrye, than ar the gouernouris and manetenouris of the said Ordre, to blame in thair awin proffit and honour, quhare sa grete nede is, to be sa negligent.

Quharfor the Autour of this Buke prayis and requeris, and mekely makis supplicacioun to the Magestee Ryall, and till all the company of the Nobless and Chyualrye of the Realme, that thai assemble thame togidder, and mak reformacioun of this grete fault that is maid to the Noble Ordre, and the grete wrang that is done till it, in the fault of doctrine and teching of the poyntis and propereteis of Noblesse, etc.

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Buke of the Order of Knighthood Initial T.png

hat is to say, to quhat purpos it was ordanyt—to quhat fyne—and quhat entencioun: And how gif Knychtis vss nocht thair office, thai ar contrarius to thair Ordre, and to the begynning of thair awin making: ffor the quhilk caus he is nocht veray Knycht in dede, supposs he bere the name; ffor sik Knychtis ar mare villayns na is outhir smyth, wrycht, or masoun, that dois thair craft, as thai ar techit, and tharefor to schaw the poyntis of the Ordre is grete meryt to thame that wate it nocht: the quhilkis he declaris here efterwart; and first and formast, Knychthede was ordanyit to manetene and defend Haly Kirk, and the Faith, for the quhilk God, the Fader of Hevyn, send his Sone in this warld, to tak in him oure humanitee, fleschly inumbrit, and incarnate in the glorious Virgyne Mary, his suete moder, be the joyfull message brocht till hir be the angel Gabriel; and fyne for our sakis, and to synde vs of the origynale syn, and to geve vs eternale lyf, tuke dede and passioun here, with grete dispising vilaynous, to geue vs ensample and informacioun how we suld reule oure lyfing here: Quhilk ordanyt all writtis for oure teching and doctrine; and all his werkis and dedis here, he did for oure ensample and enformyng, to multiply his faith. And thus, rycht as he has chosin to growe and manetene his fayth, the worthi and wys clerkis to hald scolis, and ilkane to teche othir be the haly wryttis of prophecies and of lawis aganis the inymyes of the Faith: Rycht sa the hye glorious God chesit Knychtis to be his campiouns, sa that the unworthy mystrowaris and rebellouris agaynis his faith mycht be throu thame chastisit, be force of armes to vencuss and ourecum his inymyes, the quhilkis every day forss thame at thair powar to put doun the fayth of Haly Kirk, and thir Knychtis that thus occupyis thame in the defense of his rychtis ar callit his Knychtis of Honour in this warld, and in the tothir, that defendis the Haly Kirk and the Cristyn Faith, quhilk is oure saule hele and salvacioun. And tharefore Knychtis that has faith and baptesme in him, and usis nocht the vertues and properteis of the faith, ar contrarius till otheris that kepis the faith, evyn as a man that God hes gevin till resoun, and discrecioun, and he dois evyn the contrary. Thus he that has faith, and kepis it nocht, is contrarius till himself, for he wald be sauf, and gais nocht the hye gate till his salvacioun: ffor quhy, his will discordis with his witt, and ledis it the way of mystreuth, that is agayne his salvacioun, and ledis him to the way of eternale dampnacioun; and syk men takis the office and ordre, mare to be prisit and honourit in this warld, na for any prouffit that thai think to do to God, na to thair Prince that gave thame the office. Bot the maist noble officeris and ordres in this erd ar office and ordre of Clerkis and of Knychtis, and the best lufe in this erde is ay betuix thame; and tharfore rycht as Clergy was nocht ordanyt to be agayn the Ordre of Knychthede, bot to honoure it, and thame that worthily beris it, sa suld Knychtis nocht be aganis the haly ordre and office of Clergy, to manetene worschip and defend it, aganis the rebellouris and euill willaris of the Kirk, that are callit Sonis of Iniquitee, as thai ar oblist in taking of the said Ordre of Knychthede: ffor a man is nocht anerly oblist to lufe his ordre, bot he is oblist with that to lufe thame that be othir ordres vnder his awin lord; for to lufe his ordre, and nocht to lufe the caus that his ordre is ordanyt for; ffor syk lufe is nocht ordere lyke, ffor God has ordanyt nane ordre vnder him to be contrair till ane othir; and as to that thare is ordres of religious that few of thame lufis ane othir, and ȝit lufis well thair awin ordre; bot that is nocht the rycht ordre of lufe and charitee, that suld be in religious: And rycht sa a Knycht suld nocht samekle lufe his awin ordre, that he myslufe othere ordres, ffor that war aganis God, and gude faith; ffor the Ordre of Knychthede is sa hye, that quhen a King makis a knycht, he sulde mak him lord and governour of grete landis and contreis, efter his worthines, and all Knychtis suld think that there is a Lord and syre aboue all knychtis, ffor the honour of quham thai ar all made Knychtis for to do his will, and serue him fyrst, and syne thair temporale lordis.

Item, the Emperour aw to be Knycht, in significance that he is Lord and syre of all Knychtis in temporalities: And becaus that the Emperour may nocht mak na gouerne all Knychtis, thare was ordanyt Kingis, to be subordinate persons, next efter Emperouris, to gouerne realmes and contreis the quhilkis suld alssua be knychtis, sa that thai may mak knychtis, ffor na man may mak knychtis bot he be Knycht before, sauffand the Pape: alssua all kingis suld have vnder thame Dukkis and Princis, Erllis and Vicountes, and Vauvassouris and Barouns; and vnder the Barouns Knychtis of a schelde, the quhilkis suld gouerne thame be the ordynance of the Barouns that ar in the hyare degree of Knychthede, before namyt: And that gerris he [him] multiply knychtis in takenyng that na King, bot he may na can gouerne all the generalitee of Knychtis in erd, ffor thare is nouthir Emperoure, na King, that can, na may in his regne gouerne all his subditis but help of his Knychtis: bot the King of Glore can wele allane but othir power, na of his awin vertu and majestie, can and may gouerne and reugle all this erde, and all the hevin, at his awin plesaunce, the quhilk is ane anerly God allane in Trinitee and Vnitee; and tharfor wald he nocht that ony Knycht allane mycht mak a knycht that suld gouerne all the knychtis of this warld bot he allane; and tharfore ordanyt he in this warld mony of Knychtis to be, that his Magestee may the better be knawin, and that Kingis and Princis suld mak officeris vnder thame of Knychtis. And forthy dois a King or a Prince grete wrang to the Ordre of Knychthede quhen he makis othir sereffis, baillies, or prouostis of othir lawlyar men na knychtis; ffor than ar Kingis and Princis caus of the abusioun of the Ordre of Knychthede, quhilk was ordanyt for sik caus: ffor that Ordre was ordanyt to be substitute till Princis and Kingis, apon the gouernement of the peple, as maist worthy and maist honourable for sik gouernaunce of small peple; and aboue thame Dukis, Erllis, and Barouns; and aboue thai Kingis and Princis; and aboue Princis and Kingis allenerlye Emperouris and Papis. And thus suld the warld be gouvernyt be commoun reugle of gouernance, sauffand Kingis that ar priuilegit or prescribit in thaire power imperiale: and thus Knychthede is the hyest temporale Ordre that is in the warld; but nocht the hiest office: ffor Kingis and Emperouris is nocht Ordre, bot it is office; be the quhilk office thai precell aboue all othir officis of temporalitee, as Dukis, Countes, Marquis, Vauvasour, Baroun, and Knychtis; and supposs, of all officis of honourabilitee, the Knychtis office be the lawast office of dignitee vnder Imperiale or Ryale magestee, neuertheles the Ordre is hyest and maist honourable; ffor quhy, that all Emperouris and Kingis aw to bere that Ordre, or ellis thair dignitee is nocht perfyte, ffor ellis may thai mak na Knychtis. And be honourabilitee of the Ordre of Knychthede grete honour is ordanyt be the lawis to do to Knychtis, and be nobless of honour that is put till him, he suld haue nobless of vertues, and worthyness in his curage; be the quhilk nobless of curage he suld be less inclynit till all wikkitness, and all vicis of barat, and trechery, and othir villain condiciouns, na ony othir persone.

The office alssua of Knychthede aw to defend his naturale Lord, and manetene him; ffor a King is bot a man allane but his men; and but tham thare may na King gouerne, na deffend his peple, na ȝit nane othir Lord, ffor thai ar bot synglere persons; and thus, gif ony man be aganis the Magestee or othir Lordis of the temporalitee, the Knychtis suld help him to defend and manetene his rychtis. Bot commonly ane euill wikkit Knycht takis party contrair with a Kingis subditis agayne himself, ffor he wald haue his Lord put doun, that he mycht haue sum part of the lordschip; bot than wirkis he agayne his awin ordre, and office that he is ordaynit for; that is ane, the faith of Jhesu Crist; ane othir, his natural Lord; the third, the peple in thair richtis: ffor the Knychtis ar adettit to manetene and defend justice; ffor rycht as a juge has powar be his office to juge and geue a sentence, rycht sa has he poware to kepe his jugementis fra fors and fra wrang and violence, in excercisioun and in execucioun of his jugement and sentence. And becaus that till jugement of caus pertenis wele wisdome and discrecioun of Clergy to knaw the lawis, it is a noble thing quhen Knychthede and Clergy is assemblit togedir, sa that Knychtis war clerkis and wele letterit men, sa that thai war the mare sufficiand to be jugis be the knaulage of science of lawis, ffor than war thare na man mare worthy na hable till to be a juge, na a Knycht clerk: ffor bot science of Clergy to knaw the lawis, thare is na man worthy to bere office of justice. Knychtis suld be wele ryddin, and in ȝouthede lere to be wele ryddin, on destrellis and courseris, till haunte justis and tournaymentis, to hald Table Round, to hunt and hauk at hert and hynde, daa and raa, bere and baare, loup and lyoun, and all sik honourable plesauncis, and sa mayntenand the office and the Ordre of Knychthede worthily: And as all thir propereteis before said pertenis till a Knycht, as to the habilnes of his corps, rycht sa is thare othir propereteis pertenand to the saule; as justice, force, prudence, and temperaunce, charitee and veritee, lautee and humilitee, faith, esperaunce, subtilitee, agilitee, and with all othir vertues touchand to wisdome, appertenis till him, as to the saule; and forthy, when a Knycht has all strenthis and habiliteis that appertenis to the corps, and has nocht thame that appertenis to the saule, he is nocht verray Knicht, bot is contrarius to the Ordre, and inymy of Knichthede: ffor than it war lyke that Knychthede war contrarius to the saule behufe; the quhilk is fals, ffor the principale caus of the Ordre is to the manetenaunce of the Cristyn faith, and of all vertues, and inymy to vicis.

Item, Office of Knychtis is to manetene and gouerne landis and policy, and to defend thame; ffor the raddour and the drede that the peple has of the Knychtis, thai byde apon thair craftis and labouragis, and grathis lyfing for the Lordis, for dout to be vndone, destroyit, and desertit; and thus ar the Kingis dred for the Knychtis. And thare, sais the Doctour, that a fals Knycht, that will nocht help to defend his King and his Lord naturale, is lyke faith bot gude charitable workis, or Knychthede tume and idill bot office, or heretike aganis the faith. And thus a fals Knycht that is vntrewe, that dois nocht the bidding of his Prince, and is contrarius till his biddingis and opyniouns, dois grete wrang to the Knychtis that fechtis to the dede for justice, and for the faith, and for his Prince, and his naturale Lord, and is worthy to be punyst vtterly: ffor thare is na Ordre na office that is maid bot it may be vnmaid, or ellis Goddis mycht war bot small; and than, sen the Ordre of Knychthede was ordanyt be God Almychty, and gouernyt and manetenyt be thame that beris the said Ordre, gif thai that suld gouerne the said Ordre, and manetene it, misgouernys it, and dois the contraire, the Ordre is lytill behaldyn to thame, ffor thai vndo the Ordre. And thus the wikkit King vndois nocht anerly the Ordere of Knychthede in himself, bot alssua he vndois it in his Knychtis quhen he gerris thame do aganis the Ordre, outhir be euill ensample that he gevis thame, doand thingis that ar aganis the said Ordre, or be flatery that thai mak to thair wikkit maister, and fals suggestioun to ger thame be lufit of him, knawand that he is euill sett and will redily trow euill talis. And all thus gif it be euill done, to gerr a Knycht be misgouernyt, and mysfarne throu euill gouernaunce. It is mekle were done to misgouerne mony Knychtis, as thir wikkit princis dois, that all the charge of the misgouernaunce of all the Knychtis of his realme is be his default and negligence, or that thai be sa wikkit in thame self, that thai geve him vnworthy counsale, to do apon his subjectis extorsiouns, be wikkitness of tyrannye, or of barate or trechery, tresone to thair naturale lordis, or vnleautee till his subditis, be force of thair wikkit curage; and than is syk a Prince mekle to prise and to love, that knawis syk trychouris, and trompouris and vnworthy traytouris, that beris waste name of Knychthede, that wald counsale him, and tyce him to forffet and vndo the worthy and noble Ordre of Knychthede, that he has sa honourably tane, and worthily hydertillis has manetenyt; mekle honour and worschip is in his curage of the Prince that sa dois, and mekle suld be lufit with thame that beris the Ordre worthily, quhen he takis sik vengeaunce of the inymyes of the Ordre, that throu thair wikkit counsale wald corrumpe his noble curage.

Item, the Order of Knychthede standis in the corage, and nocht in the corssage, ffor ellis war the Ordre litill worth; ffor quhy? A lytill persone may quhilum throu habilitee of corps oure cum a mekle, and tak him, and enprisone him. Bot a thousand men, suppos thai be neuer sa stark, may nocht oure cum na vencus a gude Knychtis curage. And thus is the Ordre of Knychthede mare worthily in the curage na in the corssage, ffor ellis war nocht that the Knychthede accordit better to the body na to the saule. And be that, the vnworthy cowartis Knychtis that fleis in bataillis fra thair lordis ar nocht worthy to be callit Knychtis, na to bere the honour that to worthy knychtis efferis, ffor thai drede mare the distroublaunce and maless of thair corssage, na the honoure and worschip of thair curage that appertenis to the Ordre of Knychthede of rycht. And thus nobless of curage is better pertenand to Knychtis na is force of corssage, or ellis suerenes and cowardise in mannis persone suld be of the propereteis of the Ordre. And hardynes and largess suld be contrarius till it, and that war mekle vnresone; bot be all gude way of ordere, quhen a gude Knycht is oure sett with oure grete powar, and lesse has of help and of falouschip to supple him, in sa mekle suld he haue mare hye curage and mare force of spirit, to oure cum all his aduersaris; and gif he be oure thrawin, till manetene the poyntis and propercteis of the worthy Ordre of Knychthede, than has he optenyt the honour and the loss of the worschipfull reward and meryt of justice, that deis for the defenss of the rycht, and manetenaunce of the worschipfull and meritable poyntis of the Ordre, as he that deis for lufe and leautee, and honoure of the noble Ordre that he was ordanyt to. For the wise man sais, That Knychthede and hardynesse may neuer langsumly dwell togider bot wisedome and wise discrecion; ffor quhare na wisdome na discrecione restis, how suld thare be knaulage of honoure. Na, how suld that persone discerne betuix honorable and dishonorable act or vndertaking of worschip, quhare wisdome is away, ffor wisdome will never mare mak fault till his honoure. And forthy, is it signifyit till all Knychtis of honour, that a Knycht may neuer be hardy, na haue the vertues that to Knychthede suld pertene, bot he haue wisedome in him; na thare is na man that may sa mekle honour do till his Ordre of Knychthede, as to stand to the vtterest with stark curage for the rycht fermely, and neuer consent to leve his lord; na his rychtwise actioun to dee tharfore; and treuly that mon be reuglit with witt and resoun, and nocht be foly na ignoraunce; ffor quhen foly and ignoraunce is with the Ordere of Knychthede, wit and resone, knaulage and discrecioun, ar flemyt thairfra; ffor wisedome, resoun, and discrecioun ar the ledaris and gouernouris of Cheualrye bathe in Knycht, King, and Emperoure, and but wisedome the Order is peruertit; ffor inpossible thing it is, that foly and ignoraunce gouerne that worthy Ordre. And than mon it on nede force be gouernyt be wisedome, and thus is it, that sen the Ordre is reuglit be witt and wisedome, than suld all gude Knychtis pres them to be wyse, and sett tharon all thair hert and mynde; the quhilk makis Knycht sa curageus, that he doubtis nocht the dede, in regarde of honoure and his rychtwise cause, that he may lufe and honour his Ordre, to sauf bathe saule and honour, in the contrair of foly and ignoraunce.

Item, Office of Knychthede is to mantene and defend wedowis, maidenis, faderles and moderles barnis, and pore miserable persouns and piteable, and to help the wayke agayne the stark, and the pure agayne the riche; ffor ofttymes sik folk ar be mare stark na thai pelit and derobbit, and thaire gudis tane, and put to destructioun and pouertie, for fault of powere and defence. And becaus all sik dedis is wikkitnes, crueltee, and tyranny, tharfore is the Ordre of Knychthede ordanyt, as in that poynt amang the lave, to gaynstand. And gif a Knycht himself be the manetenar or doare of thir thingis, he is vnworthy to bere the Ordre for his wikkitnes. And rycht as God has gevin to the Knycht pithe, hardynes, and hye curage, rycht sa has he gevin him pitee in hert, to haue merci of the pure that gretis on him; askand help and consort for traist that thai haue in thame of help. And thus suld a Knycht haue gude sicht to the miserable persouns, gude eris to here thame, and gude mynde to think on thame, that pitously cryis apon him for help and confourt. And he that has nocht thir vertues, is nocht verray Knicht, na suld nocht be comptit as ane of the Ordere of Knychthede. Alsua, and the office of Knichthede, that sa mekle is lufit and presit and honourit, war till derub and destroy the pore folk and all sik peaceable persouns, and till desaue wedowis, that has na defence bot God and the Office of Knychthede, and till mysgouerne in thair gudis and heritagis, and dissaue the faderles and moderles barnis, and all thing that war falsate, barate, wikkitnes and trechery, war poyntis of the said office, and the office war alsmekle honourit for euill dedis, and wickit lyfing, as it is now for gude dedis, thare suld ma press to tak the said Ordre and office na thare dois now; ffor be cause that the Ordre is founded apon lautee, curtaisy, liberalitee, lufe, and pitee, many of thame that beris the said Ordre irkis tharof in the warld that now is.

For the office of Knychthede suld have stark place in gouernaunce, and he suld be wele horsit, and haue power of men to kepe the contree and the Kingis wayis, all pilgrymes, trauailouris, merchandis, labouraris, and suld haue the jurisdictioun of justice in citeis and townis; and quhen nede war, to assemble the folk for the prouffit of the commountee; and quhen perilis war apperand in the landis, to byrn mysal housis, and destroye perilous passagis, ger hag woddis, and byg and mak reparacioun of euill biggit placis, castellis, and wallit townis and fortressis, and kepe and defend all gudely persouns; chastyse and punyse all misdoaris and wikkit cruell persouns; ffor and the contrary of thir gude poyntis war approprit to the Ordre, than all gude gouernance wald faile, and na man wald be seur; ffor the office is foundit ay on gude and prouffitable werkis that ar spede full to the commoun prouffit, and to gaynstand all thame that settis thame for the distrublaunce of the pore peple, and hyndering of the commoun prouffit, and to put down euill and wikkit men, and to fauour, nurise, and manetene gude peple: ffor rycht as the hewing ax is ordanyt to cutt doun treis that hynderis labouragis of landis, and cartis and chariotis and merchandices to passe through the forestis, sa is the suerd of Knychthede ordanyt to kutt away and destroye the wickkit vnworthy wedis and ronnis of thornis of euill men that lettis labouraris, merchandis, and traualouris to trauale throu the warld, quhilk is as a forest and wildernes quhen it is not wele redde; off the quhilk euill men suld be wedit out be Knychtis, keparis of the lawe, that gude men mycht lyve in lee; and he that is a Knycht, and dois nocht this, bot dois evyn the contrary, suld be tane be the Prince, or be othir worthy, faithfull, and honourable Knychtis, and put till dede; ffor quhen a Knycht is a revare, or a thef, or a traytour or a murtherar, or a Lollard, scismatike or heretike, or in syk termys opinly knawin and approuit, than is he vnworthy for to lyve, bot to be punyst in example of otheris that defoulis that maist noble and worthy Ordre, and abusit it aganis the poyntis and the propereteis of the Ordre; ffor it war better to syk a Knycht to ȝelde him selfe to justice to be punyst, with mortall punycion, na to lyve in sik misordinate lyf for to vndo himself, and otheris mony, quhilk lesse euill war that he war vndone allane, and lesse charge till his saule: ffor gif a knycht or a lord haue all thir forenamyt vicis in him or any part of thame, and wald punyse otheris, and will nocht punyse himself, that is nocht the rycht way of justice; ffor gude justice begynnis at it selfe, and syne at othir men, ffor grete lak is to reproue and correct otheris in that, that he is foulare smyttit him self; quhilk gif he will nocht do, othir Knychtis suld do for honoure of thair Ordre, till hald it euir in honoure and worschip, as wele efferis it to be. And all Knychtis that fauouris syk cruell dedis, and gerris nocht punyse thame, thai ar foule in the dede as the doaris of thame; ffor syk men ar nocht verray Knychtis, bot feigned beris the Ordre, and dois nocht the office; ffor rycht as a Knycht had a hurt in ane of his handis, that hurt is mare nere and dere, to the laue of his othir membris, na it is to me or ane othir man, and erar efferis till him to sett remede tharein. And rycht sa, gif a Knycht mysgouernis him in syk kynde that he be othir thef, or traytour, revar, or murderar, it appertenis mare till othir knychtis to sett thare in remede, na it dois till otheris that ar na knychtis; ffor all knychtis ar, and suld be as a cors. And thare ffore, knychtis has mare wite of the mysgouernaunce of othir knychtis na ony othir man has, and mare dishonoure alssua na men that ar na knychtis; ffor it is thair default, sen the correctioun efferis to the Order and to the Office; ffor quhy, he is inymy to the Ordre that sa gouernys: And than suld it wele effere to the Order to punyse thair inymyes. Quharefore, thou that art a Knycht, and will correk otheris defaultis, correk thine awin faultis fyrst: ffor a traytour, thef, or revare Knycht, he is alssua thef, traytour, and revare till his Order that revis at the worschip and the honoure that appertenis till it, mare na to reve othir mennis gudis; ffor he that stelis or revis honour fra ony persone, bringis him hame schame and dishonoure and euill renoune; quhilkis honoure passis all richess. Quhat difference is thare, to gude vnderstanding, till a traytour that betraisis his awin Lord naturale, or his castell, or his wyf, or his douchter, or his eldest sone, or slais his counsale and murderis thame, or sik dedis dois, in regard of him that euer was lele and trewe in all thir thingis, and deis for his Lord in bataill place. And alssua quhen a Knycht defendis ane othir that is false and traytoure till his Prince or his naturale Lord, and will nocht thole him cum to justice, nor na punycione to be done apon him, he is were na he that did the dede: and the Ordre of Knychthede is dishonourit in his persone, that manetenis, and will nocht bring to justice a false traytour; and vnworthy war that he had justice in keping.

Ane othir poynt of the Office of the Knychthede is, to accuse traytouris aganis his prince, or otheris that it efferis, and till appelle thame of bataill, and feicht wyth thame: And office of traytour is, to deny his tresone, and hyde it, and cover it, quhill he may, and eschewe all prufis tharof; and thus ar the twa curagis wele contrarius togidder, that neuer curage of traytour mycht ourcum ane noble curage of a trew Knycht; bot gif it be throw pride or surquidy, that is callit oure presumptuouse in himself: the quhilk God tholes quhilom be punyst in bataill place. Bot the curage of a lele Knycht, that for a lele cause debatis, may nocht be oure cummyn, bot gif it be for sum syn agaynis the Ordre of Knychthede: ffor gif a Knycht wald reve fra the small peple the gude that God has gevin thame, and geve it till otheris that he aw nocht to, that war agayne the Office of Knychthede, to tak fra laware na himself outhir moble gudis or possessiouns, and hald it as heretage till him, nocht gevand, na restorand agayn; he may be lyknyt to the wolf that the lord gave the schepe to kepe to, as till a familyar faa; or he may be lyknyt till a fule lorde that left his faire wyf in keping till a ȝong traytour knycht; or he that left his stark castell and his gudis till a bitter cuvatous knycht, vntrew knycht; and thus is he mekle to wyte that gevis his castell, or his wyf, or his schepe, in syk gouernaunce; or how ane othir suld traist his gouernaunce in him that gouernis nocht wele himself? ffor thir ar thingis that men suld nocht put in misgouernaunce of fule men, his faire wyf, his castell, and his moble gudis; ffor commonly syk men that begylis thair lordis may neuer be reformyt na redressit till lautee, na till honour of Knychthede.

Item, Ane othir poynt of the Office of Knychthede is, to hald his armouris cleine and faire, and wele at poynt, and to se wele to the gouernaunce of his horse, and nocht to play thame at playes of dice, and of tabilles, and othir licht playis, quhilkis ar nocht contenyt in the poyntis of the Ordre: ffor it is forbedyn in the lawis to mak ony ath contrary to the Ordre of Knychthede, na to the Office; and he that puttis doune the principale thingis quhare with the Ordre and Office is haldyn at honoure and worschip, throw lycht playes or uthir wayis, he honouris nocht wele his Ordre; ffor Knycht in weris, but horse and harnais, is lytill presit; and sen it is sa, that God and man acordit in the poyntis of the Ordre of Knychthede that na false aythis suld be tharein, na in thame that gouernis the said Ordre, suld than nane be.

Item, Lordis na Knychtis suld nocht brek the ath of mariage throw misordynate lechery, ffor that is a poynt that discordis with the poyntis of the Ordre; ffor thare is thre gree of chastitee, the quhilkis all honourable persouns ar behaldin till, that is, ane in mariage, ane in wedowhede, and ane in maidynhede that is callit virginitee; of quhilk the Haly Writt biddis thame that may nocht lyve chaste, mary thame, and syne kepe thair maryage; ffor gif thai do nocht, and thai brek mariage, that brekis thair aithe to godwart, the quhilk is agayn the Ordre and Office of Knychthede; ffor chastitee is vertu, and misordanyt lechery is vice: And thus sen all vertu folowis the Ordre, and all vice discordis with it, it syttis wele that princis, lordis, and knychtis kepe honour in that poynt, and namely, nocht to forffet to thair mariage.

Item, Justice and Knychthede acordis togeder, and justice and mariage, bresing and othir disordinate lechery discordis with justice; and thus Knychthede and disordanyt lechery discordis, as apperis be the lawis of Haly Kirk, quhilkis efferis prelatis to correct: And thus gif a prince, or a lord, or a knycht brekis mariage, he is mare to blame na ony of lawer degree; ffor the hyar degree the gretter fault, and mare to be punyst in all excessis of vertu.

Item, Ane othir poynt of Knychthede is, that a Knycht suld be meke and full of clemence, and nocht prydy, na presumptuouse, na orguillouse; ffor oft tymes of pryde and orguille and presumpcione cummys injure and discensione; ffor orguille is contrary to justice, and inymy to concord; and tharfore, thare suld na Knycht be hautayn, na feir, na prydefull, na presumptuouse, bot euer with mekenes, and clemence, and humilitee, be symple as a may amang peple, and in his inymyes presence be as lyone rampand; ffor quhat ever he be, that be full of pryde and presumptuousnes, amang vertuous men is repute nocht, for thai ar contrarius to pes and concorde, and pes and concorde ar contrarius to justice. And sa is pride aganis the poyntis of the Ordre. And humilitee is the rute of the stedefastnes of Knychthede; ffor schortly to say, Knychthede acordis till all vertu and justice, and all thingis that ar contrariouse to virtu and justice ar contrariouse to the Ordere and Office of Knychthede: ffor Knychthede suld defend all injuris and wrangis, all pilleries, wrang, weris, and tribulaciouns, and suld hald the peple in all justice, equitee, veritee, and lautee, pes and debonairetee, and outsched the wikkit fra the gude peple pesable; quhilkis, gif thai do nocht, bot dois the contrarye in thair governaunce, thai ar contrarius to thair Ordere, and worthy to be punyst. Bot thare is nane that all knawis, na all may punyse, bot the Emperoure, the quhilk ordanyt Knychthede spirituale, to kepe justice, ordinare, be reugle vertuouse, in pes and concorde, and justice rigorouse, that is, the Ordre of Knychthede, quhilk suld on force compell euill men, and of wikkit lyf, to desist and cesse fra thair wikkitnesse, and punyse thame tharfore: And thus is thare Knychtis of pes and concorde amorouse, and be reugle of justice, to mak gud reugle and gracious concorde and gouernaunce in the peple; and alssua Knychtis of the justice rigorouse, ordanyt to compelle be fors of armes all tyrannis, traytouris, and all othir mysdoaris, and cruell tormentouris of the haly labouraris, kirk men, merchandis, and traualouris, to cesse and desist fra thair wikkitnesse. The quhilkis Knychtis suld be full of vertues, and gude lyf, to geue otheris ensample.

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ayand, That he suld be first examynyt be ane alde Knycht that knewe and lufit wele the said Order atoure all thing, next to God: ffor thare is mony Princis that rekkis nocht quhat maner of condicioune na of lyf his Knichtis be, sa that he haue grete nomber of Knychtis in his company. Bot it suld nocht be sa: ffor Knychthede takis na hede to multitude bot to noblesse of cheualrye, and of curage, and of gude thewis, that we haue before spokyn of; and tharefore, gif he that is examynour lufys better multitude, na noblesse of curage and of vertu, he is nocht worthy to be examynoure of Squyeris, bot suld be reprovit and punyst be the Prince of Knychthede, of his defoulyng of the Order of Knychthede: and first and foremast it suld be sperit, Gif he trowis, lufis, and doubtis God? but quhilk poynt is na man worthy till nane order of Noblesse. Item, Gif he dredis the defaultis to do, that dishonouris the Order? and thus Squier, but lufe and but drede to do mys, is unworthy to the Ordre. And gif he takis it agayne thir propereteis and condiciouns, he wenis he takis honour till him, bot he takis dishonour; ffor a Squyer but noblesse is nocht worthy to sa hye honour, as to the worthy honour of Knychthede; na ȝit in the weris of his prince or otheris, but horse, armouris, and sik men, ar nocht habil to wyn honour in armes, ffor men may nocht mare cruelly destroye the noble Order of Knychthede, na till haue ane vnworthy examynoure of the Squier that suld enter in the said Ordre; ffor gif he admytt to the Ordre a man of vnworthy curage, that is destructione of the Ordre; and suld a Squier examyne himself first, and think on the mony noble propereteis and condiciouns of the Ordre, to think in him self gif he war worthy, or he put him to the examnacioune. Rycht as Scholaris examynit to be Prestis or greid in scholis, suld nocht sett thame thar fore, bot thai fand thame worthy tharfore, ffor dout thai war repellit, or ellis defoulit thair greis; rycht sa suld Bachelere Squieris in the examinacioune of the Order of Knychthede, ffor he suld nocht alssua ask the Ordre that he wald eftir deffoule be his euill thewis. And alssua Lordis that ar sa informyt, that thai will mak sik men Knychtis, thai do aganis the poyntis of the Ordre, and chargis thair consciences; ffor men knawis nocht noblesse of curage in fair wordis, bot in worthy werkis: Na nocht in faire clething, ffor oft tymes vnder a faire habyte may be a full false hert, full of barate, trechery, and traysoune; na he takis him nocht be his faire harnais, na his faire horse, na othir faire habilliamentis; ffor oft tymes vnder syk faire habilliament ar nocht the best men of armes, and worthiast in vertues. Quharfore, gif thou will wale worthyast and maist noble man of curage, thou seke him be thir takenis, that is, for to say, justice, and temperance, force and prudence, ffayth, esperaunce that is gude hope, and cheritee, and leautee; and be thir takenis, thou sall knawe the nobless of curage; be the quhilkis vertues, the noble hert defendis it fra the inymyes of Knychthede; quhilkis ar falsehede, trechery, traysone, thift and murder, and syk lyke thingis.

Item, Our ȝong men suld nocht be maid Knychtis, bot gif thai had gude tutouris and curatouris, for dout of misgouernaunce of the Ordre for fault of knaulage; ffor quhen a childe is made Knycht, he thinkis nocht on the poyntis of the Ordre that he sueris to kepe. And gif the Squiere that is ressauit be the examynouris to be Knycht and admyttit, be a rekles man and a wikkit, and of vile condiciouns, he dois grete wrang to the Ordre that he beris, and till himself too; ffor and he be vencust in barrier, or he be cowart or full of wikkit vicis, as fleand fra battaillis, revand or steland, he sall neuer haue honour na prouffit of his Ordre: ffor rycht as it honouris the honourable, it dishonouris the dishonourable. Bot of all thing, a Knycht suld kepe him in all vertu to hald the mydwart, for ay the mydwart is vertu, sa is the extremitee vice; and thus a Knycht suld be of resonable gude age, that he knaw the propereteis and poyntis that he aw till haue, that he nouthir excede, na be our lache in his dede.

Item, It suld be sperit at him, Quhat is the cause that he takis the Ordre for? quhethir for fairnes of corssage; or for hardinesse of curage; or for richesse, that he may be proudly cled; or for pryde, that he may take mare state na his falowis that now is; or for that he is wele horsit and enarmyt; or for to be a myrour in his lignie, that nane is sa worthy as he to be Knycht.

Item, Men may mak Knychtis of pure mennis sonis, and thai haue gude, evin in frendschip of lordschip; and with that, that thai haue the vertues foresaid. Bot and a Knycht or a Lord mak ane vnworthy creature Knycht, he puttis his honour in dangere, that disprisis and dishonouris the Noble Ordre of Knychthede, and makis his awin honour mare law na it was; for the fylth and the wrechit vnhonestee, that he has lychtlyit the said Ordre. For be rycht resone of worthynesse and noblesse of the Ordre, thare may nocht, na suld nocht na villaine curage cum be gude, evin to the said Ordre; ffor that war be gude resone vndoyng of the said Noble Ordre, that is ordanyt bot for noblesse and gentillesse of curage and gude vertues, as foresaid is, and gude thewis: For hye parage and ancien honour ar the first poyntis of the rute of Knychthede, that is cummyn fra alde ancestry, and syne worthy persouns with worschipfull condiciouns and propereteis, personale of the Knycht him self, makis mariage betuix worschipfull vertues in hye parage and Knychthede, quhilk aw nocht to lycht bot in noblesse; and tharfore, and a Lord marry nocht hye parage and Knychthede togeder, he is contrarius to Noblesse and to Knychthede, and to Knychthede bathe. Bot a Lord may put of his powere forssably agayn the noble lordis and Knychtis willis, a man in the Ordre that is nocht worthy: Bot he may nocht vndo that he has done, ffor suppose that he haue power to mak a Knycht, he has na power to vnmak him, sa mekle is the vertue of Knychthede; ffor na man but grete cause, and Juge with princis powar, may tak honour away quhare it is anys gevin. Than be resone, it aucht nocht to be that Prince nor Knycht mak na Knycht of ane unworthy persone, na of villaine lignage. ffor wald men understand that alsmekle is nature honourit, as for corporale nature, in tree and beste as in man; bot as for nature spirituale, man is mare honourde. Bot be the noblesse of the spiritualitee of the saule resounable, that accordis with angelis of hevin, thare is grete difference; and sen noblesse of curage suld be in all Knycht, it may stand that a man of a new sprongyn lygnye, that be honourable and worthy in all gentrise, mycht be convenable and worthy to the Ordre, sa that the vertues condiciouns and propereteis of noblesse of curage acord ther till. Bot this opynione is vntrewe and vnworthy, ffor and that mycht be, it war mare lyke that the Ordour of Knychthede suld better or alswele accorde to the propereteis corporalis, and personalis, as spiritualis: the quhilk is false, ffor Knycht gaynis nocht bot for hye parage and noblesse, with the seven vertues before namyt be the Doctour, as Force, Prudence, Justice, and Temperance, with Faith, Gude Hope, and Charitee, with leautee that efferis to Knychthede.

Item, The examynour suld spere of the Squieris condiciounis, and maneris, and gude vertues, and thewis, amang the peple; and quhat documentis and techingis thai ar of; ffor the fault of gude documentis and techingis gerris vnworthy men be reboytit and repellit fra the examinacione of the inquisitouris, that thai cum nocht to that Noble Ordre: ffor worthy examynouris will admytt nane, bot worthy: ffor grete foly war to put in the Ordre thame that efterwart suld be repellit for their misgouernaunce; And forthy suld the Knycht, that is the inquissitour, seke wele the poyntis of noblesse and of valour, and of the vertuouse propereteis and gude thewis of the Squyer that suld be Knycht; and quhy, and for quhat cause, he will tak the Ordre; and quhethir it be for meritable cause till implye him for the Haly Kirk, the Cristyn faith, and for the commone prouffit, for the peace, and for all peceable persouns; or he takis the Ordre for pryde or couatise, or for to be honourit, or for vane glore, or to wyn richesse thareby, quhilk, gif he may persaue that his entencione cummys of ane vnworthy cause, admytt him neuer: ffor rycht as Homycide, Symony, Usure, and Scismatyke condicioune, repellis Clerkis fra benefice and honoure, and all dignitee; in lyke cas suld thir faultis before namyt repelle a Squyere fra the noble Ordre of Knychthede, that suld haue nane affinitee bot till noblesse of corage, as said is; ffor and men wald wele knaw and consider the grete chargis and dewiteis that folowis the said Ordre, with saule perile, and worschip oft in were, thay sald stand grete aw to tak that noble Ordre, mare na to be outhir monk, or frere, or othir religiouse of the hardest Ordre that is; ffor traistis wele, that grete honour beris ay grete charge, and gretter disese it is, to fall fra grete honoure agayne that anys a man has bene at, na euir it was joy, to be thareat: Quia non est tanti gaudii excelsa tenere, quanti est meroris de excelso cadere. And tharfore Knycht suld mare dout honour na dede, and schamefulnes suld mare chastise a worthy Knycht, and geve him a hardar passione; and it suld happin him, na suld outhir hunger or thrist, or hete or calde, or ony disese that he mycht haue; and namely, grete princis and lordis sonis suld think grete schame to wyn ane euill name for lak of thair condiciouns in thair ȝouthede, gif thai thocht euer to cum to the worthy and worschipful Ordre of noblesse that Knychthede is callit; ffor thai may wele traist that the name that thai wyn in thair ȝong age remaynis with thame for euermare: And than is it grete auenture, and euer thai be worthy to ressaue that Ordre, quhen the examynouris knawis thair condiciounis; and tharfore, all syk perilis suld be schawin to the Squier or he sett him to cum to the examynyng. Cheualry may nocht be vp haldyn but grete costis, and als expensis on horse, harnais, mete, and men, and othir necessair thingis that till it appertenis; and tharfore, thare suld na man, supposs he war worthy, desyre to tak the Ordre bot he war a lorde, or that he had lord to mynister him all his necessiteis, and hald his honour abufe in tyme of weris; ffor ellis, in default of horse, harnais, and othir necessiteis, euill sett Knychtis, quhen thai wantt, assemblis syk euill men as thame selff, and gerris mony ruggaris and revaris, and othir wikkit men, destroy the commouns, and distrouble the realme, and makis mekle wrang to be done in thaire default.

Item, Men countrefait in thair persone, na oure grete growin men, na men oure fat, or that has euill disposicione, or euill sekenes in thair body; ffor it war lak to the makare to mak men Knychtis that war nocht hable till armes, and to do vailliaunce in tyme of weris; ffor the nobilnesse of the Ordre is sa worschipfull, that it sufferis na man that has mahaigne, na demembrit, na othir wayis manket in corssage, visage, na membris—be he neuer sa riche—to be admyttit to the said maist noble Ordre, the quhilk excludis vttraly all ignobilitee and vilitee.

Item, The inquisitoure examynour suld mak inquest at the Squyar gif euer he did ony grete excessiue syn, as tresoune, or scisme, sorcery, or wichecraft, or grete murderis, or syk lyke thingis; the quhilk, suppose he prise thame lytill, may lett him to ressaue the noble Ordre, in company to be falowe to the worthy Cheualrye: na ȝit na vane glorius Squyare suld be na Knycht, ffor vane glore tynis the meritis of all gude vertues. Na he suld nocht be a gabusoure, na a flaitour Squyare, that suld enter in the said Ordre; na ȝit hautane, na fiere in pride, na orguillouse Squyere suld nocht enter in Knychthede; and namely outrageus in word, and sclanderouse bakbytare, suld nocht enter in the Ordre; na commone leare, na commone viciouse hurdomare hasartour, commoune tauernouris full of sleuthe, barganouris, commouns glotouns, kid and knawin for syk, dronkynsum, manesuorne, and all outrageus commoun vicius men, ar nocht to be ressauit to the Ordre of Knychthede, bot suld be repellit be the examynouris of the Ordre: And thus sald nane be ressauit to the Ordre bot nobles of parage, vertuouse, honest, and of worthy curage; and in all this suld Squyer be inquerit, or he be Knycht.

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nd as to that, the Squyer quhen he is examynyt and admyttit, he suld schriue him clene of all synnys and defautis that he may think on, that euer he maid aganis God, and his Magestee; and tak his Sacrament, sayand "In the name of thee, and in entencione to serue thee, and honour thee, My Souerane Lord God, and thy dere moder Mary, and all thy haly Sanctis of Paradise, I tak this day this worthy Ordre." And this suld be done be prince or lord in a grete feste, as Zule, Pasche, or Witsonday, or All Halowmesse, ffor the mare honourable assemble is maid thay dayes na in otheris: And than suld the Squyere fast the Fest evin, and wake all that nycht in prayeris of grace asking, and otheris als suld pray for him, to geve him grace, worthily to ressaue and kepe, and worthily gouerne the said Ordre, at the plesaunce of God, and the haly Court of Hevin: And on the day before, he suld pas to the Kirk, in his best array as efferis and custum of the countree is, thair to be in prayeris, and to here a preching, or a proposicione langand the said mater; na he suld nouthir here na speke viciouse speche, na trompouris, na janglouris, for that is lak to the Ordre: And on the morne eftir, quhen he is arayed in habyte of Knychtis wede, thare mon be grathit a solempne Messe with note, and in the tyme of the Offeratore, he sal cum before the altare and offer: And syne sall he mak ane athe to the Ordre till honoure it eftir his powere, in the honour of Almychtj God, Prince of all Chevalrye; and thare in present place, suld thare be maid a faire sermone, declarand the poyntis of the Christyn faith, acordand thame togeder with the poyntis of the Ordre of Knychthede. To the quhilkis poyntis of acordans the Squyre suld take gude tent, and knaw thame all, and hald thame prentit in his hert percure, with all the Vij. sacramentis, the X. Commandmentis, the Xij. articles of the treuth, and to kepe him fra the Vij. dedely [synnis]. To all the quhilkis poyntis of the faith, to kepe and honoure and fulfill at his powere, incontynent that he haue tane the said Ordre at the honoure and reuerence of God, and thareto suld mak his speciale prayeris for all, the tyme of the Messe: And fra thyne furth for all his lyf dais. And quhen the preching is done, than sall cum furth the Prince or Lord that suld mak him Knycht; the quhilk aw of dett to be Knycht or he mak ony Knychtis: rycht as nane may mak Preste bot he be Preste, sa may nane mak Knycht bot first he be maid Knycht, saiffand the Pape: ffor how may he geve that he has nocht? ffor herbes and bestis may geve thair nature ilkane till othir, to mak thair nature perpetuall; bot sa may nocht Knychtis be maid, bot first the makare be possessit of his gift, and of his Ordre: ffor gif ony lord wald geve the Ordre and nocht haue it, or vnworthily geve it othir wayis na the Ordre requeiris, he dois grete dishonour to the Ordre. And thai that takis the said Ordre of thame that has na powere vnworthily, thai haue na grace in the Ordre to do wele, na prouffit to thame na otheris; and thus is the Squyere begylit, and dissauit of his Ordre, and all Cheualrye sclanderit. And than suld the Squier hald vp his handis to the hevyn, and his eyne to the hicht, and his hert to God, syttand on his kneis, and thare suld the Prince haue the Suerd redy of Honour, gylt with gold, and belt it about his sydis, in takenyng of Chastitee, Justice, and Cheritee, and thare the Knycht suld outhir geve him a strake with his hand, or with a drawin suerd, in the nek, to think on the poyntis and defend his dewiteis. And syne suld he outhir kys him in the mouth, or ellis kys the croce of the suerd, and geve it him, and ger him kis it agayne, and sa put it in the scalbourd, and bid him think on his athe, ande charge that he has vndertane, and the honour that he suld manetene. And efter that all the seruice of God be done, the new maid Knycht suld ryde on ane coursere out throw the citee, or toune, and schaw him to the peple, sa that thai may knaw him for a Knycht, defendour of Haly Kirk and commone prouffit, and halder of lawe and justice, and mayntenour of the peple, that quhasa has ado thai suld draw till him for help; and that he suld haue mare raddour and drede to do mys, or oucht that suld be agayne the lawe euer mare in tyme to cum, and to saif the honour and the worschip of his noble Ordre; ffor raddour, drede, and schamefulnes is hye grace till all persouns that has honour to kepe. And in that day suld thare be grete festyng, justyng, and tournaymentis, with other actis, as lissis and behurdis, geue grete giftis, and mak grete solempnitee in the honoure of God and the grete feste, and that Herauldis and Kingis of Armes and Menstralis war rewardit. And than suld the Prince rewarde the new Knycht with landis, lordschippis, or othir worthy giftis and gouernementis, till eke his estate and help to manetene the honoure of the Ordre. And thus suld giftis be gevin bathe till him, and be him till otheris; ffor the Ordre requeris giftis to be gevin in daly placis; for honoure and worschip of lordis of estate may nocht be kepit, bot quhare giftis ar gevin, and noble actis of honour excersit: ffor quhare honoure is nocht kepit, ordere gais bakwart.

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ow declaris the Doctour, that as the Preste quhilk in the Mess sayand has syndry habitis and habilliamentis, quhilkis ilkane has a syndry significacione, as is acordand to thair office and order, and that office of Preste and office of Knycht has sa grete affinitee and alliaunce togeder; ffor quhy? that rycht as office of Preste has certane thingis that pertenis to the Ordre; and ilkane has a certane significacione, sa has the Ordre of Knychthede: ffor ilk thing pertenand till his Order has a certane significacioune, be the quhilkis is signifyit the noblesse of the Order of Knychthede.

And first and formast, Thare is to the Knycht gevin a Suerd with a crossit hilt, that signifyis that rycht as our Lord Jhesu Crist vencust in the Croce the inymy of mannis lygnage, to the quhilk he was dempt throu the syn of Adam, oure first fader, that rycht sa suld a Knycht vencuse the fais of the Croce throu the suerd; ffor the suerd is ordanyt to do justice with; and tharefore is it maid with twa egeis, in takenyng that he suld manetene and defend bathe Temporalitee and Spiritualitee with the double scherand suerd.

Item, To the Knycht is gevin a Spere quhilk is evin, and betakenis rychtwisenesse and veritee; ffor as the spere is evin, and rycht sa suld he be bathe evynlyk and rychtwise, and manetene and defend lautee and equitee, in contrary of falshede and trecherye; and the scharp hard stelin poynt of the spere hede betakenis, that suppose falsehede be neuer sa wele armyt, ȝit will lautee pas throu him, and vencuse him. And be the pennone on the spere end, it schawis that veritee hydis him nocht, bot schawis him to falsehede, sayand ay, quhen it movis, Lo me here Veritee, that has na drede of falsehede, na trecherye; and Veritee is the foundement of esperaunce that is gude hope, and of all othir thingis that ar signifyit be the spere.

Item, Chapellat of stele alssua is gevin to the Knycht, in takenyng of drede of schame and repruf; ffor a Knycht suld be schamefull as a maydin dredand repruf: ffor Knycht or woman, but drede of schame, may nocht kepe honour langsumly, na be obedient to thair ordre: ffor rycht, as drede and schamefulnes, gerris a persone cast doune the hede, and luke to the erde, sa dois the stelin hat the Knycht cast doune his eyne; and rycht as the stelyn hat kepis the knychtis hede, quhilk is the hyast membre, and maist principale of his persone, sa kepis drede of schame the Knychtis honour, that is the hyast poynt of his ordre, and maist principale poynt of all. The quhilk drede of schame suld haue in it fyve wittis to kepe, that throu nane of thai suld dishonour cum, and that the noblesse of his curage suld defend thai fyve wittis, that neuer throu thame euill na wikkitnesse cum.

Item, Haubergeone is gevin to the Knycht, in takenyng of castell, to kepe him fra his inymyes, that is, euill vicis; ffor rycht as a castell is wallit all about with stanis togedir junyt, to kepe Knycht fra his fais, rycht sa is the haubert to kepe him rycht sa fra his fais that ar vicis and defaultis, till his maist noble Ordre of Knychthede, the quhilk is maid of mony syndry pecis as of maillis.

Item, Leg-harnais is gevin the Knycht, that his leggis and fete were seker to passe in the wayes and stretis, and kepe thame, that na robbouris, na thevis, na murderaris, vmbesett the wayes to reve na strouble lele merchandis, na labouraris, men of kirk, na pilgrimys, that passis in the contree for the commone prouffit of the Realme: And in sik keping he suld be garnyst in his armouris and his wapnis, that he mycht do scathe and tak nane.

Item, Thare is gevin him Maisse, that is to say Pollax, in takenyng that he is officere ryale; and that gif ony man disobeyis till his wand, that he lay that maisse on thame to hald the Kingis rychtis on fut.

Alssua, Spuris ar gevin him, in signifiaunce that rycht as spuris spedis the horse to ryn fast, and besy in tyme of nede, quhen his inymyes cummys nere, rycht sa suld Knycht in tyme of nede be besy quhen the King or his Contree is ouresett with lourdanis and revaris or traytouris or other wikkit misdoaris, sa that he slepe nocht his time, bot be besy and diligent in the commone prouffit. Of the suerd we haue spoken of before, in quhat takenyng and significacioune it is gevin.

Item, The quhip is gevyn to the Knycht in his hand, quhen he is on horse, to that significacione, that he suld stand aw and be obedient till his Lord; ffor disobeisaunce vndois the Knycht and brekis his Ordre, that all his ofspring will forthink: as for the inobedience of Adam, all his ofspring was punyst.

Item, Gorgelin is gevin him, in takenyng that thare suld nouthir enter na isse throu his gorge thing that suld be villanie, na lak thing to the honour of the Ordre; as to be at bidding of his lord, but disobeysaunce, and but murmur do his lordis commandementis; and nouther do, na consent, to tresone or guille, barate, na trechery, vnleautee, na othir vice, that may cum throu word na thocht be the gorge outwart; na excesse of glutony, drunkynnesse, na othir mystemperaunce throu the gorge inwart. And thus the gorgelyn suld kepe the Knychtis gorge.

Item, Masse is gevin him, that betakenis strenth and force of curage, the quhilk masse is lyknyt till a false sterap, quhilk strykis on all sydis, apon all kynde of harnais; sa dois force of curage, it strykis on all sydis, and defendis the honour of Knichthede agayne all vicis, and enforcis vertues.

Item, Thare is gevin to the Knycht his lytill schort Suerd, that sum callis Misericorde, in signifyand that quhen he has implyde his spere, his lang suerde, his polax, his false sterap, and his falow be sa nere him that he may nocht help himself with nane of thay, than it is gude at schort strakis; and it is callit outher Schort Suerd or Misericord; ffor cause that a Knycht suld nocht all traist in his armoure na wapnis, bot in his awin vertu, and in him that maid him, and in his mercj; and traist that throu his help, quhen all wapnis are faillit, that he sall saue his honour and bring him fra the perile of dede and dishonour.

Item, Schelde or targe is gevin to the Knycht in signifiaunce that as office of schelde is to be the targe betuix the Knycht and the strakis, sa suld the Knycht be betuix the Prince or his Lorde and the strakis; as the schelde ressauis the strakis before the Knycht, sa suld the Knycht before his lorde, kepe strakis fra him. And as schelde is couplit to the Knychtis brest, thare his hert is, sa suld the Knycht be till his lord bound in lautee as till his awin hert, and is a myd moyen betuix him and his peple.

Gloues of plate ar gevyn to the Knycht in takenyng, that as thai kepe his handis fra strakis and woundis and manglyng, throu the quhilkis the body mycht be tynt, sa suld he kepe his handis, that he give na faith, na athe, na mak nane condicioune na obligacioune agayn his Lord, ffor than war he vndone; and as Knycht liftis his wapnis mare seurely and traistly, that his handis ar enarmyt, sa suld he list mare seurely to God Almichtj, that he be enarmyt, that his handis wirk na misgouernaunce in taking of wrangwise gudis; na strykyng of vnlefull personis; na making of vnlefull condiciouns, and vnlefull touchingis; na put his handis in vnlefull placis.

The Sadill that he rydis in, betakenis sekernes, that he be nocht lychtly put by his purpose, sa kepis the sadill him, that he be nocht lichtly put fra his hors; ffor quhen he war doune strykyn than war his honour lawe. And rycht as he is ferme and seker in his sete, sa suld he be ferme and seker in his curage, in justice, lautee, noblesse, veritee, and charitee; ffor throw seuretee of a gude hardy knycht mony gude dedis ar done, throu gude hardy men of armes, and mony cowartis ar declarit, quhen hardy men ar approuit, vantouris and vayn glorious men, that dar nocht be sene quhare the hardy and worthy knychtis apperis in worthynes in bataill place, and thare fortune enforsis hardynesse. And as the sadill, with the grathe that langis it, haldis him ferme, that he movis nocht for na strake of spere of inymy, sa suld forse of curage kepe him, that he move neuer again gude faith na resone, and bow nocht with vice agayn vertu. And as the hors beris grete charge of the armyt Knycht, and sadill and harnais, sa beris the Knycht, be vertu of his Ordre, grete charge, the quhilk he suld nocht lychtly be movit fra. And as he is sett apon a hie sadill, aboue a hye coursour, sa suld his curage be hye to defend the rycht, and manetene the poyntis of his maist hye and noble temporale Ordre.

And tharfore is Courser gevin him or Destrere, to betakyn noblesse and hicht of curage, that Knycht suld haue aboue all othir peple, sen he has bathe maist hye and noble order, and syne maist noble habilliament of armoure, and syne maist hye and noble hors; sa sulde he haue maist hye and noble curage, with force to passe all otheris in vailliaunce of armes and honoure, and to be sene aboue all his men, and mare fere of, sa that men that had nede of his help suld se him of fere, to draw till him for help.

Item, his Coursere or destryere has Bridill gevin till him, with irne bytt in the mouth, and reynis in the Knychtis hand, sa that the Knycht may refreyne the hors, that he pas nocht away with him. And that iryn bitt in mouth betakenis, that he suld refrenȝe his mouth fra bathe euill viciouse speche and euill thouchtis. And be the reynis is betakenit, that he suld hald his handis undefoulit, or fylit with oure vilaynouse dedis, or that he be oure large to geve till othir that he haue nede him self, and that he be nocht sa lycht of striking with his handis that thare be na discrecione in his dedis, and that be thai reynis he suld be led with pure folk that war nede bestad of help, quhare thane nedis war to trauaile to help thame; and that he war nocht oure narow na nedy that he had lak tharethrou, nocht to spare his gude and spend his honour; and that he be of handis hardy to defend him fra his fa; and doubte na thing, ffor oure grete doubte makkis Knychtis to haue lathe curage.

Item, The Horse-Hede is bundyn with ane hede-stell of the bridill, in that kynde that he suld do na thing, but be ordynaunce of the Knycht, that efferis till course of armes: and bot be resone; and the hede of the horse gais before, and is bundyn to do resoune, sa suld the resone ga before all dede of armes, and other actis honourable that he dois. And as his hede-stele byndis his hede to resone, sa dois resone the Knycht, and kepis his worschip. Alsua, the Knychtis hors is enournyt with harnais before and behynd, on his body, sa efferis it to Knychtis to be honourably enournyt with honourable clething, and alsa with vertues honourable. And because that sum horse ar enarmyt with sik harneis as efferis to defend thair corps fra harmes, sa suld Knycht be enarmyt with richessis of temporale gudis, or ellis he may nocht gudely do his worschip, nouthir in pes na in were, and oft tymes gerris mony reueryes and wrang wynnyngis be: for Clerkis sais, Quod propter inopiam multi deliquerunt, etc.

Item, Jakkis war ordanit to Knychtis, thai tymes of ȝeris that war of grete solempnitee, of sylk aboue all thair harnais, that signifyit grete trauailis that effeiris till him to do; ffor rycht as the jakkis ar aboue the hauberkis, and ordanyt nerest bathe wynd and rayn, and othir stormys, sa suld a Knycht for the peple susteyne all stormes and trauailis for thame, sa that all mysterfull and peceable persones that had myster, suld, throu him, haue reconfourt and refuge at nede, for the honoure of noble that ordanyt that Noble Order, for that cause to be a protectour and ane aduocate of all poore, miserable, and peceable persones: The quhilkis be the noblesse and the creacione of the Ordre, he is ordanyt to defend, manetene, and hald in thair richtis, quhen thai haue mister, and thai be requerit: Quhilkis Knychtis suld erar expone thame outhir to be dede, or presonare, or woundit sare, or he left thame but help that ar vnder thaire cure and saufgarde: Be the quhilkis poyntis of the Ordre, men may se that Knychtis, be vertu of thair Ordre, has a grete charge, quhat of justice halding, quhat of thair landis gouernyng, and of thair peple maynteyning, and of thai peceable persones defending, as ar kyrk men, and maidnis fra forse and ravisyng, wedowis, and faderles and moderles barnis fra supprising, labouraris, merchandis, and traualouris fra distroubling, and all peceable persones fra fors and wrangwise vexacione.

Eftir this, Takyn of Armes to bere is gevin the Knycht in his schelde, or in his cote of armes, or othir wayis, sa that he be knawin and kend in bataill be otheris; sa that gif he dois wele he suld have honoure and worschip, and gif he dois evill he suld haue dishonoure and disworchip, and sik as efferis till ane inymy of the Ordre of Knychthede: for gif he be vailliaunt and hardy in bataill; or he be feigned, slak, and cowart, and flee fra his lorde in bataill.

Item, Baneris ar gevyn, bot that is bot to Kingis, and Princis, Erllis, Dukkis, Marquis, Vavassouris, Barones, and Knychtis Banneroll; And thus quhen a Baroun Banneroll has mony Knychtis vnder him, thai aw to diffend thaire lordis landis, and his lyf, and his honoure: ffor the honoure of Knychthede standis in that, that he be lufit, lovit, prisit, honourit, and doubtit, with the prince, lordis, and peple of the realme; ffor the honoure of lordis and princis standis in the pluralitee of mony worschipfull and honourable Knychtis: And as Knychtis of honoure ar honourde with princis, lordis, and peple, for hardynesse, noble curage, vertu, and worthynesse, that thai haue wonyn with thair princis, lordis, and maisteris honoure in thair ȝouthede; rycht sa ar vnworthi cowartis, full of tresone and falsehede, barate and trechery, and othir viciouse lyf, suld be haldyn as dishonourit, and vnworthy to be amang thame that ar honourable in the said Order, and mare to be blamyt na othir lawlyar folk, suppose thai had done mys.

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nd, first, he sais that Noblesse of curage has chosyn Knychtis of honour to be aboue the small peple, and the small peple to be at thair seruice and gouernement. Than suld Noblesse and gude custumes be intill all noble knychtis, be vertu of thair Ordre; ffor noblesse of Knychthede cummys neuer to man of gude evin rychtwisely na honourably, bot it be throu noblesse of curage; ffor but noblesse of curage it may neuer cum to that hie degree of honoure, and but electioun of vertu, and gude custumes and thewis; and thus on nede force it behufis the Knycht, or he cum to that hye worschip and estate, worthily but vsurpacione, that he be knawin full of gude vertues, gude custumes, and gude thewis in gouernance. And fyrst and formast, all Knycht or he tak Ordre suld knaw all the Seven Vertues, and thair branchis; that is to say, the four Vertues Cardinale, and the thre Vertues Theological. The thre Theological is Faith, Gude Hope, and Cheretee, as we have before touchit. The Four Cardinale Vertues ar Justice, Temperance, Fors, and Prudence.

And first and formast, a Knycht bot he be of gude Faith, all is for nocht that he dois; ffor he may neuer haue othir vertewe na gude custumes; ffor but faith all is bot syn that euer man dois: ffor be faith men has all gude knawlage and vnderstanding of God and his haly Sanctis; and but faith man is wer na nocht; ffor be oure faith we haue sight spirituale of hevin and hell, and all Goddis workis, visibilis and invisibilis. And be Faith men has Esperaunce, Cheritee, and Leautee, and ar servitouris to Veritee, and fault of Faith myssaris all thir thingis. Knychtis be gude ancien custumes was wont to ga in the Haly Land, to defend and manetene the Cristyn Faith, fechtand agains the inymyes of the Croce, and was marterit: but full few now dois that. Alsua, be vertu of fayth and gude custumes, Knychtis defendis the Clerkis and Kirkmen fra wikkit tyrane men, the quhilk aganis the faith, and for default of faith schapis thame to derob and ourethraw bathe clerkis and kirkmen, for thair tyranny and wikkitnes.

Item, Esperaunce is a noble vertu, be the quhilk Knychtis traistis to haue the victory in battail and in feicht. Clerkis be Esperaunce traistis to haue the joy of hevyn, and be thair teching gerris vs trow rycht sa: but the quhilk Esperaunce, that is Gude Hope, we war all forlorne. Thairfore Esperaunce sittis well as in a Knycht, ffor be esperaunce he has mare traist in God, na in his horse, harnais, and menze; throu esperaunce the curage of knychtis is reinforssit, and the curage of cowartis ouresett. Gude Hope gerris the knycht oursett grete trauailis, and hard fortunes, in hope of better ay. Alssua Esperaunce gevis knychtis curage to kepe and defend citeis, castellis, and wallit townis on small evyn, and thole bathe hungir, thrist and waking, and mony grete strakis, oft tyme. And war nocht Esperaunce of gude hope Knychtis had neuer honour, ffor it is the principale instrument that gouernis Knychthede in honoure.

Item, Knycht but Cheritee may neuer be but crueltee and euill will, quhilkis concordis neuer with the honour of Knychthede; and thus mon Cheritee be chief in a Knycht; ffor throu Cheritee man lufis his God atoure all thing, and, as himself his nychtbour: but the quhilk poynt is na man may be perfyte Cristyn man.

Item, A Knycht suld haue in him grete pitee of all pure folk maleesy persones, and of pure prysonaris quhen he has the maistry of thame, and till haue mercy of thame for resonable finaunce; and throu cheritee men has pitee, but the quhilk charitee na Knycht mycht sustene the grete charge of Knychthede; ffor as horse but fete may nocht bere grete chargis, sa may nocht Knychthede, but cheritee: the quhilk cheritee makis hevy birding lycht to bere, and grete charge soft, bathe for the vphald of honour of Knychthede, and meryt of the saule behufe.

Item, Justice is till all Knychtis nedefull, ffor Knycht but justice is but honoure; for Justice and Knychthede is sa wele acordaunt that Knycht but justice is a body but saule, for but justice may na Knychthede be; ffor Knycht injurius is inymy of justice, and castis him self out of the Ordre, the quhilk reuys him and dispisis him in that cas.

Item, Prudence is a vertue als, that Knychthede may nocht be but; ffor Prudence is a knawlage that man has of all thing, bathe gude and euill, throu the quhilk he is maid inymy to euill, and frende till all gudenes; and alsa be Prudence man has knawlage of the thing that is for to cum, and that be the notice of the present tyme, as he seis the warld gais: Item, Prudence can with cautelis and subtiliteis, a man can, as be the apperaunce of the thingis that he seis, eschewe perilis that ar to cum, and mend ane euill fortune apperand be vertynasse, bathe corporalis and spiritualis. And thus knaw thai all tymes that is, and wes, and sal be, and puttis gouernaunce till all as efferis. The commone proufit, and the prince, ar mekle behaldin to the worthy Knychtis, for the mony perilis that thai expose thaim in for it: and thus is Prudence ane of the maist nedefull poyntis that may be for Knychtis; worschipfull custume is in Knycht in tyme of necessitee to request of party to arme him, and defend the commone prouffit. Bot mekle mare is it honourable custume to Knychtis till vse resoun in all his dedis, and gude will and wele sett, that is the glore of Knychthede; ffor oft tymes bataillis ar mare wonnyn be grace, na be force, and be wit and subtilitee na be multitude of armyt company, as sais Macabeus to the Peple of Israel, quhen he sawe his inymyes cum on him sex tymes ma na he; "Ha! Ha! Dere Brethir, reconfort ȝow, and makis gude chere, and traistis wele that God sall help vs in this houre, ffor traist nocht that grete multitude makis grete victory, bot mekle erare, grete confusione; ffor sa grete multitude mycht nocht be gouernyt togeder, ffor thay may nocht wit in the tane end, quhat the tothir dois; and a lytill misreugle or affray makis all to flee, etc.:" And gert his peple put thame in gude estate, and prayde to God to help thame. And thus was the bataill wonnyn throu his wit and counsaile, and confourt quhilk come of grete prudence and grace. And thus suld all gude Princis and Lordis that wald haue thaire barnis worthy and wyse men, and hable to the Ordre foresaid: thai suld ger doctryne thame, instruct thame, and teche thame first in thir virtues before namyt, and specially till vse resone and justice, and gude vnderstanding of wit, and that prudence teche thame to be a frende till all gudelynes, and inymy till all wikkitnes, ffor be thai vertues, the vertew of prudence junys him with Knychthede, and dois it mekle honoure.

Item, Force is a grete vertu in all noble actis, and specialy agayn the Seven Dedely Synnis, quhilkis, quhen thai haue the maistry, ledis man to the paynis of hell; off the quhilk sevin synnis, Glutony is ane of the werst; fforthy, that quhen a glutoun has chargit him our mekle with metis and drinkis than bringis it in Suerenesse, that he mon slepe or rest; and in his rest than desyris he Luxure; and quhen he seis that all this charge may nocht be uphaldyn but grete gudis and richess, than cummys Couatise, that settis nocht by how that gude be wonnyn bot he haue it; off the quhilk conquest cummys Ire, and Inuye, and redy Murther and slauchter, quhilkis cummys seldyn, bot that Pryde be in thair falouschip. And thus throu glutony is gaderit and assemblyt all the foule company of the Seven Dedely Synnis: And thus Knychtis that haldis thir wayis, gais nocht in the hall of noblesse; Glutony makis the corps feble, and schortis the lyf, agaynis the quhilk vicis, and namely of glutonye, the worthy curage of a noble Knycht stryvis full stoutly, and wynnis the victory on him that is inymy to the noble Ordre of Knychthede. And thus be Force he feichtis agayn his inymyes throu hye noblelesse of curage with help of abstynence and of temperance: And agayne Luxure feichtis Chastitie forsably, and beautee of corps, mekle etyng and drinking, quynte clething, and joly polist corps; falsate, tresoune, injure and misprising of God, and of his Sanctis and of his mekle gloire, and no doubt the paynis of hell, na sik like thingis is agayne the Ordre of Knychthede, and all gude thewis. Perfyte Chastitee forsably feichtis aganis Lechery throu the remembraunce of God and his commandementis. And to wele vnderstand the the hye graces and gudelynes and glore of the hyast God, quhilkis he has ordanyt for thame that lufis and honouris him, and seruis him treuly; and alssua to think on the sorow and disese that ordanyt is for thame that dois the contrair, that mysprisis his commandementis, and mystrowis him; for to lufe him, serue him, and honour him, that is sa worthie to be lufit, man has forss and grace, with Chastite forsable, with stark curage vnvencusable, werrays and ourecummys the vice of mysordinate Lecherye, be force of curage and noblesse, quhilk will nocht put him in subjectione of evill thouchtis; na be oure cummyn with sik wrechitness; na his hye honour lawit na defoulit, that sa mekle charge has sustenyt in grete honourable actis in weris that he suld thole his worthi curage of Knychthede be ourecummyn with vicis. For suppose he be curageous and hardy, and of corps strenthy to ourecum his corporale inymyes; and nocht noblesse in him of forss of curage to vencuse and ourethrawe his inymyes spirituale, that is vicis; he has nocht all the verray noble poyntis, propereteis, na condiciouns of Knychthede that he suld ficht with; ffor noble curage of Knycht suld alswele feicht again the Deuill that is inymy of the saule as agayne man inymy to the corps.

Item, Auarice is a vice that gerris oft tymes the curage of mony noble Knycht descend full lawe; ffor quhy, the gredynesse of gude blyndis thair hye curage for glytwisnesse of gold and of richesse, that it ourecummys the force that suld vencuss his inymy with, and makis him subject till sa lawly wretchitnesse and vnhonest thing, that is bot for defaut of forss; that suld be his pillare of worschip till hald him ferme; the quhilk pillare faillis him at nede quhen noblesse of hye corage is slokit throu Cuvatise, nocht defendand thame aganis it, as the worthynesse of the Ordre requeris: bot tholis him to be ourecummyn and vencust throu cowardise spirituale, and lachesse of curage souplit throu Auarice; and changit thair curage again the noblesse of the Ordre: And tharefore it is a grete maugre in a realme quhare lordis and knychtis ar gredy to gudis, and couatouse; ffor it is rute of all wikkitnesse; ffor of it cummys wrangwise extorsiouns, and euill wonnyn gudis, wrangwise conquestis of landis, and syne ar thay fast haldand, that na gude will part with, bot the nede peny; and be this way thai becum bondis and subjectis to thair gudis, and varyis fra the rycht way of liberalitee that manetenis noblesse of Cheualrye, and is inymy to the noble Ordre, to be wrechit of the gudis that God has send thame to preue thame, and assay thair vertu with; and nocht to be hid, na hurdit. And as for remede of this, thare is a vertew callit Fortitude, that is stifnes in hert aganis vice, that will nocht falde no mare na rank stele, quhilk is sa ferme in itself, that it will nouthir bow to frende na faa, to help thame at nede, bot he be requerit and askit, and that is for the hie stifnes that is in him, of the vertu of fortitude of curage; that sa grete honour it is worthi to have for his worthynes, that he is euer redy to be at bidding of worthy dedis and honourable, quhen he is requerit. And the hyenes of his noble corage he thrawis him fra all appetite mysordinate of all vicis; as quhen a Knycht is tempt with Couatise or Auarice, that his hert is sett and enclynit to that wrechit gredynesse that is moder of all wikkitnesse, and of traysounis, falsate, barate, trechery, manesuering; than suld he sauf his honour to have recourse to Fortitude, and thare sall he fynd na fault of help, counsale, and confourt, to supplee him at nede; for he is nouthir lache na ȝit cowart, na false hertit na negligent; bot with him sall be foundyn strenth and fors, hye curage in gudelynes, quhilk efferis wele to be fere to the noble Ordre of Knychthede; ffor throu that, a Knycht may be lorde of his curage, and be maister of himself, and ourecum all vicis. And thus suld ilke noble Knycht think on the noble King Alexander of Macedoyne, and of his liberalitee, the quhilk had sa noble a curage, that he dispisit auarice and couatise; in largesses of giftis, he had euer the hand opyn till all men, alswele frende as fa; throu the quhilk renoune of fredome the souldiouris of his inymyes that war auariciouse and couatouse, come fra thame till hym, and gert his company grow, and euermare and mare he conquest, and euermare and mare delt till his men; and thus, throu his renoune of liberalitee and dispising of the vice of auarice, with othir vertues of noblesse of fortitude, he come to the honour of Conqueroure of all the Warld. Quhairfore, all nobil Knychtis suld euer think on vertues of noblesse and of largesse, and despise auarice and couatise; that he be nocht subject till vnworthy persounis, na wyrk nane vnworthy dedis; na think to mak nane vnworthy conquestis throu auarice, the quhilk efferis nocht to noble and worthy Ordre of Knychthede—Accydo est male.

Suerenes is a vice quhilk makis a man to hate all gudelynes and to lufe all viciousnes. Be the quhilk vice, thare is ma folk condampnyt na be ony othir vice in this warlde be takenis and signis may be persauit; and be the contrair, that is wilfulnes in gudelynes to do gude werkis, men may knawe the takenis of a man that sal be savit fra dampnacioune better, and mare clerely, na be ony vertuouse condicione that man may haue; and thus, quha will ourecum and vencuse Suerenesse, he mon nedely begyn at gude, and fortitude of curage, throu the quhilk he ourecummis the inclinacioune of Suerenes that mannis flesch is inclynit to, be the syn of Adam, our held fader, quhilk of the erde takis inclinacioune mare to sleuth na to diligence, and mare till euill na to gude; ffor sleuth and leithfulnesse drawis efter it dule and displesaunce of othir mennis gude auentures, and is blythe of thar mysfortunys: and quhare thai haue euill, thai wald it war wer, and thus has he ay disese; ffor he has disese and dule of thair gude, and syne he has disese and dule of that, that thai haue nocht sa mekle euill as he wald; the quhilk puttis thame in ire and in passione dolorouse contynualy, bathe in body and saule; and tharefore, thou Knycht that wald vencuse that vice of sleuth, pray to God to graunt thé force in curage of diligence aganis that vice of sleuth, that thou may ourethrawe him, and halde him at vnder; and think how that our Lord God, quhen he gevis till othir men ony grace or gudelynes for thair gude meritis, he takis nocht fra thé to give thame, na he gevis thame nocht all the gudis that he has to geve; bot that he has yneuch bathe to geve thé and otheris, that makis him gude cause; of the quhilk he gevis vs ane example in the Ewangel, sayand, Amice, non facio tibi injuriam, That is to say, Quhen the vignerones labouraris had wroucht all the day, fra the morne early till nycht, and otheris began at the Evyn-sang tyme, and wroucht rycht sa to the nycht; and the Lord of the wynis gave thame y-lyke feis for thair day werk; and thai that had wrocht fra the morne airly murmurit the Lord, sayand, He was vnrychtwise, that gave thame alsmekle that began at Evyn-sang tyme as to thame that began at morne airly: and he ansuered, That he did thame na wrang, quhen he departit his awin gude at his awin will, and payde tham all that he hecht thame; quharefore thai had na cause to murmur him, na to haue nane envy at thair nychtbouris, as said is.

Orgueille, that is callit Pryde, thinkis na man pere till him, and is a grete vice; ffor he wald na man war sa gude na sa worthy as he, and had leuer be him allane, na in ony company that him thocht na pere till him. And Humilitee and Fortitude are twa vertues that lufis evynlynes, and sa ar thai aganis Pride; and, tharefore, gif a proud, hichty, hautane Knycht may nocht stanche his awin pride, call till Mekenes and Fortitude; ffor mekenesse withoutyn stedefastnes may nocht gaynstand pryde; ffor quhen thai twa ar togidder, than may thai wele gaynstand pryde; na pryde may neuer be vencust, but mekenesse and stedefastnes of fortitude; ffor kyndely thing is, that quhen a ȝong King is sett on his hye horse, he is proud and hautane, but syne cummys fortitude of humilitee, with grete stedefast mynde, thinkand how he suld haue pryde in his hert, quhen he rememberis of all the poyntis of his Ordre, and quhy he is maid Knycht. Bot quhat is the pryde of a proud haultane man worth, quhen he can nocht remembre of the poyntis that God may sone lawe him with? ffor thare is na man sa proud and full of orgueill, bot and he had bene disconfyte and ourecumyn in bataill place and vencust, bot he suld be full meke; and that fallis ofttymes amang Knychtis of honoure: for quhy? the fors of ane othir mannis corps has strykyn doune the pryde of his curage: And thus sen fors corporale in a strange persone has lawit his pryde, it war lyke that fors of humilitee spirituale, that is fer mare vertuouse, suld in his awin persone ourecum pryde; sen the tane is spirituale noblesse, and the tothir corporale.

Item, Envy is a vice that is not agreable to God, na justice, na charitee, na to largesse, the quhilk pertenis to the Ordre of Knychthede, and thus quhen ony Knycht has his hert failit, and his curage lawlyit, that he may no mare folow the actis of noblesse, na dedis of were, for faulte of strenth of curage that is failit in him, na has nocht in him, Justice, Charitee, na Largesse, syk men dois injure to thair Ordre of Knychthede, that gerris mony Knychtis be envius of othir mennis gude fortune, and thai ar suere and lythir to trauaile thame to wyn honoure in armes, the quhilk bringis the richessis; for euer efter honour thare cummys rychesse, and thai that ar thus enviouse takis fra othir men the gude that is nocht, na may nocht be thairis, ffor thai wald pres thame to reve thame thair honoure, quhilk, quhen thai had gert thame tyne, throu murmuracioune and enviouse langage of bakbyting, that honour that thai tak fra thame, may nocht cum to thameself; and be syk Enuy he dois mony thingis that ar discordant till his Ordre.

Item, Ire is a stroublance of curage, and of gude mynde, and gude will, and disturnis a mannis curage to vengeaunce; and thus, quha sa lykis to sett remede in this vice of Ire, he mon haue recourse to forse of corage; that is, the lord and maister of mannis mynde and his passions, and syne seke to Pacience and to Charitee, the quhilkis ar cheif of counsale to Knychthede, and with temperaunce, mese his mynd and bryng his hert to sobirnes; and thir Vertues ay bringis allegeaunce of the grete paynis and trauailis that Ire has movit in mannis hert: and in samekle as the ire is the mare, in samekle suld force of curage of noblesse of Knychthede be the starkare to ourecum the vnresonable passions of ire, the quhilkis cummis ay of euill, and dois bot euill, ffor the ire of man makis nocht man to haue mare rycht anent Godwart; bot man suld be armyt with gude will, sobernesse, humilitee, and pacience, charitee and abstinence, and syne cummys justice, and bringis wisedome with him, and annoblis the Ordre of Knychthede fere mare na it was before, and thus we haue that aganis all vicis of the Seven Dedely Synnis: The vertu of Force, with help of thir othir counsalouris that we haue here before namyt, is souerane remede aganis thame.

And now is it spedefull that we se quhat is the vertu of Temperaunce, and quhat it is nedefull and behovefull till: And as to that, the Doctour sais, That Temperaunce is a vertu quhilk haldis him euer in the mydwarde betuene twa vicis, that is to say, betuene oure lytill and oure mekle, and thus techis temperance a man to kepe the mydwarde, ffor vertu is ay in the mydwarde: ffor man that has na mesure in himself, quhen he dois outhir till the hye or to the law, thare wantis discrecione of temperaunce and mesure, (the quhilk is nedefull to be in Knychthede), ffor quhen Knycht knawis nocht his quantiteis of his mesure in all his dedis, his honoure is in were: ffor he suld be temperit in largesse, that he be nouthir fule large na oure wrechit; in hardinesse, that he be nocht fule hardy na oure cowart; in etyng and drinking that he be nocht glutone, na gormand, na slut, na slutheroune, na zit dronkynsum; na that he hunger nocht himself for wrechitnes; in his speche that he haue nocht our mony wordis, na that he be nocht oure bestely, na our blate, that he haue na langage, na collacione in tyme quhen it efferis; alsua in his clething that he excede nocht, na that he be nocht oure wrechit: And thus in all thing to hald mesure is temperaunce: And schortly to say, it is the reugle of all wisedome, and but it na Knycht may well gouerne his Ordre, na neuer sall men fynd temperance bot with wisdome and with vertu.

Item, Gude custume and vsage is till Knychtis to here every day the Messe, quhare euer he be, gif it may gudely be gottyn, and gif ony preching or teching of clerkis, or wyse men be proponyt, he suld be redy euer to here the Word of God, and euer be redy till honoure, anourne, and pray to God, and to lufe him, serue him, honoure him, and obeye him in all place, atour all thing; and in all his dedis, haue euer his hert on him, and euer think on the Passioun of Crist, and on his awin dede, that he mon anyss dee, and think on the schortnes and the wrechitnes of this warld, and of the paynis of Hell, and of the grete joyis and glore celestiall of Hevyn; And euer ask him of his grace that hye glore of Paradise, and traistis wele that he that takis mare plesaunce in haukis and houndis, deliciouss metis, joly clethingis, fair women, gude wynis and spicis, lycht wordis with negligence of Goddis seruice, and lycht lying and despising of Goddis pure peple, and of the lawis of God and man, syk Knychtis ar nocht worthy Knychtis, bot erar dispisaris of the Ordre, and inymyes to Knychthede; ffor sum trowis in wichecraftis, as in meting of bestis, or in fleyng of foulis with thame or agayne thaim, or on rycht hand, or on left hand, sayand, the rycht syde gais aganis him, and the left syde gais with him: And sayand, That all sik folyis efferis nocht to wisedome, resone, na discrecioune, na to gude faith. Bot it as foly of fulis that grevis God, and castis men of Goddis grace, and gerris thair inymyes oft tymes be maisteris of thame, quhen thai will nocht tak documentis of gude teching, na gude thewis to reugle thair dedis, and mare has traist in thair fretis and folyis, na in the faith of God Almychty. And tharfor, thai that vsis thir folyis, and levis the Vertues before said of Fayth, Gude Hope, and Charitee, Humilitee, Largesse and Lawtee, and nobilnesse of Forse of curage, to gaynstand all thir vnworthy fantasyes, he is nocht worthy to bere that hye, worthy, and noble Ordre of Knychthede that dois thus; ffor sum Knycht has syk custumes to trow, quhen euer he seis a nakit womman in the mornyng, he sall nocht do his prouffit na honoure that day, na quhen he seis a womman kemmand hir hede nakit in the mornyng, he sall nocht have honour in armes that day; and this is a false vnworthy treuth, ffor a juge that kepis the lawis that he is ordanyt to kepe, dois wele his office. Sa dois a Knycht quhen he vsis resone and discrecione, and kepis fayth and lawtee with all the laue of Vertues of noblesse, than is he worthy Knycht, and kepis wele his Ordre: Bot a Knycht that wyrkis eftir ȝone fretis, that we have here sum part namyt, and otheris, and levis the ordre of gude vertues and gude thewis, he is dois evin as a juge that leuis gude and suthfast witnessis led in a cause before him, and jugis agayn gude fayth, be the chirmyng of foulis, or be the berking of doggis, and syk lyke thing; and thus Knycht suld be ferme in the faithe, nocht variand, na suld nocht traist in sik fretis, na wichcraft; and leue the verray faith of God, ffor all syk thingis are bot janglyng of fendis, that fleis in the ayre, that temptis Cristyn folk, to ger them vary fra the rycht faith to drawe thame to thair condampnacione.

Item, Till Knychthede efferis; principaly to be amorouse of the commone prouffit, and of the commouns; ffor quhy? be the commouns, and for the commone prouffit Knychthede was foundyn, stablyst, and ordanyt, than suld Knychtis be curius of thair prouffit, be resone; ffor gude resone gevis, that all Princis, Lordis, and Knychtis specialy, sulde be mare curius of the commoun prouffit, na of thair awin propre gudis; ffor quhy? it is mare nedefull and mare spedefull, and grettar and mare necessair, ffor the commoun prouffit riches bathe Prince and Peple, and gude propre gudis, bot a persone proprely, and mare gude, is to be bathe riche, Prince and Peple, na he allane, and nocht his peple.

Item, To Knycht efferis to speke sobirly and wisely, and curtasly; and to be alssua nobly cled in diuerss clethingis, and honourable, fair horse, fair harnais, in the hanting of weris, and gouernaunce that he has: till hald alsua gude house, eftir his power and estate, till haue honest housing; and treuly Curtasy and Knychthede suld neuer part company; ffor foule and vilaynouse speche fylis the mouth of a noble Knycht, and sa dois it of all persone of estate; hamelynes and gude specialitee of acquyntance with gude folk, worthy and honest, is wele accordant to Knychthede.

Item, Lautee, Veritee, Justice, Humilitee, Charitee, Largesse, Hardynesse, Prowesse, with Forse in curage and noblesse, Pitee, Honestee, Drede, Schame, with othir syk like Vertues, and otheris that we haue before namyt, appertenis wele to be in company with the noble Ordre; and rycht as we say, That in God is all vertu, all noblesse, and all gudelyness, sa suld all Knychtis, Lordis, and Princis, folow at all thair gudely powere the futsteppis of thair ledare, lord, and techour, Jhesu Crist, quhilk all his werkis that he wrocht was all to geve us gude instructioun to gouerne vs in syklike maner. And all the writtis that euer was writtin for our documentis and teching, for the teching of the keping of horse and harnais and wapinis, is nocht anerly the instructione of Knychthede till his barnis and otheris that he suld teche vnder him: bot the gude custumes, gude instructiones in vertues, and gude ensamples of gude godlyke gouernaunce, efter all the form and maner before said, suld be the gouernaunce of Knychtis, first in thameself, and syne teche till otheris; ffor he that better techis his horse na his barnis, he gais nocht the rycht gate to teche the Ordre.

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od himself ordanyt Knychthede, and honourit it, and honouris it, and alssua all the peple honouris Knychthede; and as is recountit be the Lawis, Knychthede is honourit abufe all Ordre that euer was next Presthede, as maist honourable ordre and office that is or wes, and aboue all statis, sauffand the Haly Ordre and Office that sacrifyis the body of God, the haly Sacrament of the Altare, with the otheris Sacramentis of the Haly Kirk. And the said Ordre of Knychthede is rycht necessair to the gouernaunce of the warld, as is before said, in syndry placis; and tharefore, before all temporale ordre, Knychthede suld be honourit be mony resouns, with all maner of peple; ffor and Emperouris Kingis and Princis had nocht annext to thame the Ordre of Knychthede, with the vertues and propereteis, and nobiliteis, langand to the said Ordre, thaj war nocht worthy to be Emperouris, Kingis, na Princis: ffor suppose the Office be gretare, the Ordre is y-lyke ane in Kingis and in Knychtis, as Presthede is y-lyke of degree, bathe in Pape, Cardynale, and Patriarche, alsmekle is it in a symple preste: and sa is it in Kingis and Princis knychthede, in regarde of symple Knychtis, suppose the Office be mare grete; tharefore aucht thai till honoure the Office and Ordre of Knychthede, bathe Emperouris, Kingis, Princis, and Barouns; ffor quhan thai do nocht honoure to the said Ordre, thai do dishonour to thameself; ffor the Knychtis gerris the grete Lordis, Princis, and Barouns be honourit aboue the small peple, and than suld thai again do honour to the said Ordre, and honour thame abufe the peple.

Item, All Knychtis ar free be thair Ordre, ffor Knychthede and fredome acordis togeder rycht wele to the ryale magestee and lordschip; and, tharefore, sen Knychthede is ordanyt for the manetenyng, defending, and vp halding of Emperouris and Kingis, Princis, Barouns, and all Commouns and small peple, than is it grete resone that thai all suld defend, manetene, and vphalde the honour of Knychthede, and all Knychtis. And to the honour of Knychthede it appertenis, that he be in honoure haldyn, and that he be lufit for his gudelynes; and that he be doubtit for his prowesse and hardynesse; and that he be lovit for his noble dedis of worthynes; and that he be hamely for his lawlynes, and hichty in tyme: And because he is of the self ordre that Kingis ar of, he suld be haldin of counsale to Kingis and of grete Princis; and because that he is of the natur of all mankynde, and enclynit to vicis, he is the mare worthy and honourable that he has force of noble curage to abstene him tharefra: And, tharefore, suld a Knycht dispise all vicis, and lufe all vertues; ffor the quhilkis, all Knychtis ar honourit, and nocht for othir cause; and all Prince, King, Lord, or Barone, that honouris Knychthede, outhir in court or in counsale, in house or in semblee, he honouris himself: And alsua, quha honouris thame in gouernement of bataill, honouris himself; and alssua, all Lord, that of a wise Knycht makis him a seruand, delyueris his honour in the handis of noblesse of gude curage; and quhat Lord or Prince that encreseis the honoure of a wise Knycht in his seruice, or multiplyis it, encressis and multiplyis his awin honour; and quhat euer Lord that manetenys Knycht that is in office, ordanyt till him, and enforsis him in his office, he enforsis him self and his lordschip; and Lord, that is bathe Prince and Knycht, has grete affinitee, and lufe and frendschip to Knychthede, and grete company suld haue thar with: And gif he requeris of foly and euill maner of trety, ony Knychtis wyf till enclyne hir to wikkitnes, he excedis the honoure of Knychthede; na ȝit alsa a Knychtis wyf that has barnis vnlaufull of villaine generacione, dois lytill honour to the Ordre of Knychthede, that scho is honourit throu; bot scho destroyis ande puttis to nocht the noble lignie and confraternitee of Knychthede. And quhat Knycht that has his barnis in matrymonye with ony villaine womman, he dois lytill honour to the noble Ordre of Knychthede, na to the band of gentrise: And sen it is sa that noblese and gentillesse ar of tendernesse and frendschip to Knychthede, and to the honour of Knychthede, and of his Lady be the honourit band of mariage; and the contrair is destructione of Knychthede. Thus gif noblis and gentill men that ar na Knychtis, and has bot honour and worschip of thair awin birth and natiuitee, ar oblist naturaly to honour of Noblesse and Knychthede be the vertu of gentrise that thai ar natyf till, than mekle mare ar Knychtis behaldyn to the honoure and worschip of Knychthede, quhilkis be thair ordre thai ar bundyn to; ffor in that that thai do honoure to thair Ordre, thai do honoure to thame self: For all Knycht is oblist at all powere to honour his persone; first to be wele cled in his persone, syne to be wele horssit, and syne wele enarmyt and harnest in his habilliament, and alsua aw nobily to be seruit of noble persons: that is to say, persouns vertuouse, sen all noblenesse presupponis vertu. But ȝit mekle mare but comparisone is he behaldyn till honoure him self with noblesse of curage; ffor the quhilk noblesse of curage he beris that hye and noble Ordre of Knychthede, the quhilk alssua is defoulit and dishonourit quhen a Knycht levis vertu of curage, and takis him false cogitaciouns of traysouns, ref and rape, murder and thift, and puttis out of his curage, and slokis all the said vertues of noblesse, as Justice, Temperance, Fors, and Prudence with Faith, Gude Hope, and Charitee, Liberalitee and Lautee, with otheris before namyt, appertenand to the maist noble Ordre: And thus, Knycht that dishonouris ane Knycht his fader in Knychthede, is nocht worthy to be honourit, ffor gif he war honourit sen he dishonouris his awin Ordre, mekle wrang war than done to the noble Ordre, to do honour till him that dishonouris him self and his Ordre; ffor quha may better honoure or dishonoure the Ordre na thai that are of the Ordre, and berand the Ordre: and thus sen Knycht has in his hert a noble duelling place for the vertues and noblesse of curage, that suld gouerne and manetene Knychthede, kepe well that castell place and duelling, that it be nocht oure sett na segit with vicis, than mekle honour and reuerence is worthi to be done till him for his mekle worschip and noblesse; and the mare that Knychthede be assemblyt with hie Princehede or hye Lordschip, the mare is the Knycht behaldyn till honoure his Nobile Ordre, and mare oblist to manetene his Knychthede with worschip: At the reuerence, honour, lufe, loving, seruice, and doubting of Almychty God, oure gloriouse Saluioure, and of his dere and gloriouse Moder and Virgyne oure suete Lady Marye, and all the Haly Court of Hevin. In nomine Patris, et Filij, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen.

Explicit Lordre de Chevalrie.



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No. I.



The Buke of the Law of Armys.

Gracia Domini nostri Jhesu Christi, et caritas Dei, et communicacio Sancti Spiritus sit semper cum omnibus nobis in Christo Jhesu Domino nostro. Amen.

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ere begynnys the Buke callit The Buke of the Law of Armys, the quhilk was compilit be a notable man, Doctour in Decreis, callit Bonnet, Prioure of Sallon; the quhilk, quhen it was maid, callit it The Fleur of Bataillis, or the Tree; into the quhilk Buke thare salbe foure partis efter as the Rubryis schawis. The First part salbe, Of the Tribulacioun of the Kirk before the Natiuitee of Christe. The Secund party salbe, Of the Tribulaciouns and Destructioun of the Four Principale Realmes grettest of the Warld, &c. The Thrid salbe, Of Bataillis in generale. The Ferde, Of Bataillis in specialitee.


In the First Chapiter he spekis, Quhat thing is Bataill? i
The Second Chapiter is, Quhare was first foundyn Bataill? ii

The Third is, Of the tribulacions of the Kirk by passit,

The Ferde is, Of the first Angel, iiij
The Fyft is, Of the tother Angel, v
The Exposicioun apon the tothir party of the Visioun of Sanct Johne, vj
The thrid Angel, vij
The ferde Angel, viij
The fyft Angel, ix
And ȝit spekis he mare furtherly of the Visioun, x

Expliciunt Rubrice Prime Partis, etc.

Sequitur Prologus in breuibus.

Here folowis the Proloug of the said Buke, in termis, as the forenamyt Doctoure Bonnet, Prioure of Sallon, maid his first Intitulacioun and Prohemium: And syne efter sall folowe the principale parties of the Buke forenamyt, Translatit be me Gilbert of the Haye Knycht, Maister in Arte, and Bachilere in Decreis, Chaumerlayn vmquhile to the maist worthy King Charles of Fraunce, at the request of ane hye and mychty Prince and worthy Lord, Williame Erle of Orknay and of Cathnes, Lord Synclere, and Chancelare of Scotland, in his Castell of Rosselyn, the ȝere of our Lord a thowsand four hundreth fyfty and sex.


To the haly Croune of Fraunce, in the quhilk this day regnys Charles the Sext of that name, the quhilk is lufit and redoubtit oure all the warld be the ordynaunce of God; till him be gevin honoure, lose, and glore, abune all erdely Lordschippis: Maist hye Prince I am callit, be my richt name, Bonnet Priour of Sallon, Doctoure in Decreis. The quhilk I haue had mony smale thouchtis and gude will to mak sum Buke; First, in the honoure of God, and of his suete Moder, and of ȝour hye Lordschip. And the resouns quhy I haue vndertane to mak this Buke ar gude yneuch, as semys me. And First and formast, for quhy? That the state of Haly Kirk is in sik tribulacioun that bot gif God oure Lorde set sum gude remede, the quhilk was wont till mak gude cheuisaunce and gude end, in that mater be the Brether of the faith, auentureris of the Christin Faith, I can se be na way that it may wele be, bot gif thare be sum gudely way of acordaunce fundyn and sone. The Secund cause is and resoun, For I se all Cristyndome sa grevit, and stroublit of weris, discensiouns, thiftis, and reueryis, haterentis, and envyes, that men kennys almaist na realme in Cristyndome bot it is in were. Thrid resone is, for quhy? That the land of Provence, of quhilk I am borne and vp brocht, is sa turnyt now for the renewing of new Lordschip, and for diuerse opyniouns that ar amang Lordis and the Communiteis, that with grete payne may ony wyse man here it be rehersit, the mekle sorowe that the Commouns sustenis for sik debatis. The Ferde resoun, for quhy? That mony notable Clerkis, the quhilkis wenys thai vnderstand wele the glosyng of ancien Prophecies, sais, that it sulde be ane of the hie lignie of Fraunce, the quhilk suld sett remede in all this thingis, and put this trauailland warld in pes and rest, that now is put in grete pestilence. And for this cause my curage has gevin me to mak sum newing of thing till enfourme ȝour ȝouthede of mony syndry knaulagis of Haly wrytt, sa that ȝour curage suld be movit the mare to help to sett remede in the Haly Cristyn faith, the quhilk is in poynt of perising, and geve it socour; and to geve ȝow corage for to do in sik manere, that the Prophecyes, the quhilkis are presumyt to be vnderstandin in ȝour persone maist worthy, be verifyit in ȝour maist noble and worthy Princehede, throu ȝour notable and haly werkis: And forthy, I mak ȝour Hienes hertly request and supplicacioune, that nathing that I sall put in this Buke, ȝe disprise, na lichtly, ffor all that I here say takis foundement of Haly Writt, and of the Decreis and Lawis Cannon and Ciuile, and Philosophy Naturale, that is Natural Resoun. The quhilk Buke sal be callit The Floure of Bataillis, or the Tree: And syne mon I pas to my werk; and tharefore is thare cummyn to me sik ane ymaginacioun, that I will ger mak a Tree, the quhilk sall bere bot fruyte of sorowe; as men may se, that all the persecuciouns of the Kirk and Contreis beris bot fruyte of dule and diseise; departit in Four Partis, as is before said, on the quhilkis Four Partis the diuisioun of oure Buke sal be foundit, etc.



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en it is sa that apon this mater, the quhilk may be lyknyt till a Tree, that may bere na fruyte but fruyte of doloure and diseiss, we see twa partis principale, amang the quhilkis is grete discorde, discensioun, and were; first, apon the Haly Kirk and the Fredome of it, as apon the Pape, and the Sege of Rome, with the fredomys: And apon the tothir part, we see, how amang Kingis and Princis, and Temporale Lordis, thare is rysin sa grete discensiouns, discordis, and weris, that the Brethir of the Fayth, as Nobles, men that wont was to be werreyouris to defend the Kirk rycht, ar now rysyn agayne the Commouns and Comiteis agayn thame, that grete dule is to se: Quharefore this Buke may wele be comparit till a Tree quhilk beris na fruyte, but fruyte of dule, etc.


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n the first, Of the persecucioun and destructioun of the Foure grete Realmes. 1 [16]
Item, How and in quhat tyme the Citie of Rome was first foundit. 2
Item, In quhat tyme gouernyt the Senatouris. 3
Item, Of the gouernement of the King Tules. 4

Item, Of the King Fernicle Archy.

Item, Efter of the King Tarquyn. 6
Item, Of the dede of King Alexander. 7
Item, Here he spekis of grete Archile, Consul of Rome. 8
Item, Here spekis he of grete Sir Sempny, Consul of Rome. 9
Item, Of the grete worthynes of Schir Sypre, Consul of Rome. 10
Item, How grete Cartage was destroyit. 11
Item, How the Almaynis wan a bataill apon the Romayns. 12
Item, Of Scilla, the grete inymy of the Romayns. 13
Item, How the Provincis maid Julius Cesar thaire lord, for his worthynes. 14
Item, How that Fortune is rycht variable. 15
Item, Here he spekis of Sir Arthoma, Consul of Rome. 16
Item, Spekis he of a questioun, be the quhilk thar come first Jurisdictioun amang men. 17
Item, Here he tellis quha was first Juge amang men. 18


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n the first, Quhethir it be lefull and lawufull thing till entre in cloisit feldis to defend richtwise cause. 1
Item, Of the samyn mater ȝit spekis he mare furtherly. 2
Quhethir it be thing possible that this Warld be in pes. 3
How that Force is ane of the principale foundementis of Bataill. 4
How it may be kend in a Man gif he be forsy or nocht. 5
Quhethir is mare vertu till a man to assailȝe, or to byde in felde. 6
Be how mony thingis may men knaw the prowess of a Knycht. 7
A man suld erar chese to dee in felde, na flee fra the bataill. 8
Quhat punycioun suld he haue that passis fra the Ost but leue. 9
Quhat punycioun suld he haue that fechtis wyth his Lordis inymy but leve, or of the Constable. 10


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n Primis Off quhat rycht, or quhat evin cummys Bataill. 1 [17]
Be quhat rycht or resoun may Men moue were agaynis the Sarraȝenis or othir mistrowaris. 2
Gif the Emperoure suld moue were agayne thame, quha suld obey till his mandement. 3
Quhethir othir Princis na the Emperoure may moue were apon the Sarraȝenis. 4
Quhethir the Emperoure may ordane were agayne the Pape, or agayne the Haly Kirk. 5
Quhethir the Pape may mak were on him. 6
Quhat thingis may ger moue Bataill necesse. 7
Quhat thingis pertenis till a gude Knycht to do. 8
Quhat thingis pertenis to the Duke of the battaill. 9
How, and for quhat caus, a Knycht suld be punyst. 10
Quhethir Strenth be a Vertu morale. 11
Quhethir, gif the Duke of the bataill be tane, men suld haue merci of him, and saue his lyf. 12
Gif Forse be a Vertu Cardinale or nocht. 13
Quhethir Presonaris that are tane in bataill be the takaris or the lordis that payis the wagis. 14
Quhethir the Vassaillis suld pas in were on thair awin cost, or on the princis costis. 15
Gif a Barouns men suld [help] thair Lord agayne their King, [and] serue in his weris or nocht. 16
Gif twa Barouns has were ilk ane agayne othir, quhethir suld thair men help ilkane his awin Lorde, or thair King, and he charge thame. 17
Quhethir I aw to defend my nychtbour in armys, and men wald sett to sla him. 18

Quhat Personis ar behaldin to defend othir.

How the Bonde is behaldin to defend his Lorde. 20
How the Sone is behaldin to defend the Fader, but the leue of the justice. 21
Quhethir erar is the Sone behaldin defend his Fader, or his natural Lord maister. 22
Quhethir a Clerk suld erar help his Fader or his Bischop, and he haue were. 23
Quhethir to conquest gudis rychtwisely Men may lefully mak defensable were. 24
Quhethir for vnrychtwise conquest Men may mak were diffensable. 25
Quhethir Prestis and clerkis may defend thair gudis be armes. 26
Gif Armoure lent and tynt in felde suld be restorit. 27
Gif Armoure or horse hyrit and tynt suld be restorit. 28
Gif a Knycht be [ar]rest douand his Princis charge, quhethir has the Knycht or the Prince actioun to the party. 29
Gif a Man gais to the weris vnchargit, sall he tak wagis. 30
Gif a Knycht seruis a King vnchargit in his weris, quhether may he laufully ask him his wagis. 31
Gif the King of Spanȝe sendis secours to the King of France in his weris, as he has done othir tymes till him in sik lyke cas, quhethir suld the Spannollis ask wagis at the King of France. 32
Gif a Man gais to were for vayn glore, quhethir he may, be law of armes, ask wagis or nocht. 33
Gif a Capitane doand his Lordis bidding tyne his gudis, gif his Lord aw to restore him agayne. 34
Gif a Man gais to the were for couatise to pele and rub gudis, quhethir he may ask wage or noucht. 35
Gif a Clerk may leuefully pas to the weris or nocht. 36
In quhat termes the wage aw to be payit to Men. 37
Gif a Wageour gais to play and disport him, with leue, for a tyme, gif he suld be payit of that tyme. 38
Gif a Knycht has tane wagis of a King for a ȝere, and he wald within thre monthis pas his way till ane othir Prince, quhethir gif he suld be payit for the tyme that he had seruit. 39

Gif a Sowdioure be payit of a Prince for a ȝere, gif he may put ane othir in his stede or nocht.

Quhethir gif a Capitane may send of his folk away, that he has anys moustrit in felde. 41
Gif a Man of armes hapnis seke in the weris, quhethir he may ask his wagis for all the tyme that he is seke or nocht. 42
How Gudis suld be departit in the weris, that ar wonnyn in tyme of the weris. 43
Gif a Man may rychtwisely hald that he has tane fra a revare, that set to reue him be the way. 44
Gif twa Citeis makis were ilkane on othir, quhethir thai may lefully mak were thai clamand to hald of na souerayne. 45
Quhethir a Man may sla his prisonare efter that he be tane and ȝeldit, at his awin will. 46
Gif a Man may ask ransoun of gold and siluer at his prisonare be law or armes. 47
Quhethir for the weris that is betuix the Kingis of Ingland and of France, the Franchmen may leuefully tak the pure mennis gudis, and mak achet of, and mak presonaris thair persouns. 48
Quhethir a King may lefully, be cautele and subtiltee, ourset or disconfyte ane othir King. 49
Quhethir Bataill may lefully be on Haly day. 50
Quhethir gif a Man wrangis ane othir, he may lefully recouer apon him be were his thing, gif he may reclame him in jugement. 51
Gif a Knycht deis in bataill in his Princis querele, quhethir his saule be sauf, or nocht. 52
Quhethir Rychtwise men or sinnaris ar starkar in bataill. 53
Quhy is there sa mekle Were in this warld. 54
Gif a Prisouner be suorne to hald prisoun, and his takar put him atour his ath in stark prisoun or festnyng, gif it be lefull to him to escape, and brek presoun. 55

Gif a Man be presonare till ane othir, and he put him in a stark close toure, in sekir festeynyg, quhethir he be haldin to brek prison, and eschape.

Gif a Man has sauf condyt to com seurely, nocht spekand of his way-passing, quhethir he may be haldyn prisonar in his passing. 57
Gyf a Man that has sauf conduct may bring on his sauf conduct gretare man na himself is. 58
Gif a Man be tane prisoner apon ane otheris sauf condyt, quhethir he that aw the sauf condyt suld outred him of prisoun on his awin cost. 59
Gif a Man suld enter agayn in prisoun, and he war rycht dredand for to be put to dede. 60
Gif a Prince may lefully refuse ane othir Prince to pas his voyage throu his contre but scath. 61
Quhethir Kirkmen suld pay tailles, tributis, and inposiciouns to Seclere kingis or princis. 62
Gif the Kirk may mak were agayne the Jowis. 63
Gif a Man may ficht for his wyf in armes. 64
How the ta Brothir may defend the tothir in armys. 65
Gif a Baron be vassall to twa Lordis that makis weris in syndry contreis, to quhilk of tham sall he mak seruice till. 66
And gif a Baron be vassall to twa lordis the quhilkis makis were ilkane apon othir, quham to sall he mak seruice. 67
Quhethir Bondis suld be constreynit to the weris. 68
Quhilk Folk may nocht be strenȝeit to mak weris, supposs thai be chargit. 69
Gif a Man be hurt sarely be ane othir, and he hurt him agayne, gif he sal be punyst. 70
Gif a Man bonde makis slauchter be the bidding of his Lord, suld he be punyst. 71
Quhethir a Bonde may defend him again his Lord, and he war sett to sla him. 72
Gif a Monk may defend him fra his Abbot, and he wald sett to sla him. 73

Gif the sone may lefully defend him agayn his fader, and he wald sla him.

Gif a Man may lefully defend him agayn his awin juge, or nocht. 75
Gyf a Man be banyst a realm, and happin to cum in agayne be ony cas, gif men wald set on him, to tak him, quhethir he aucht to defend him. 76
Gif a Preste be assailit wyth his inymyes berand Goddis sacrit body on him, quhethir he aw to lay doun Goddis body, and defend him, or nocht. 77
Gif a Man may for mark be prisoner that maid neuer caus bot for otheris. 78
How, and in quhat maner, mark suld be tholit or gevin be the Prince. 79
How suld mark be gevin aganis a Citee that allegis to na soverayne. 80
Gif all Lordis may graunt markis. 81
How, or be quhat resoun, may it be steynd that the King of France be nocht subject to the Empire. 82
Quhethir gif the King of Ingland be subject ony way to the Empire. 83
Gif a Burgess haldand change and house at Parise be tane and robbit be the way cummand to Parise-wart, quhethir he is to be gevin power of merk to for the gude recouering. 84
Quhethir a Scolare at the study in Parise of Ingland borne, aw to be prisonare. 85
Quhethir a Seruand suld joyse the priuilege that his maister has lang joisit. 86
Gyf ane Inglissman cummys to Parise to visyte his sone at the scule, beand seke, quhethir he aw to be prisoner, or nocht. 87
Gyf ane Inglissman cummys to Parise to visyte his brother seke at the scule, quhethir he aw to be prisonare, or nocht. 88
Quhethir a Studyand may lefully be haldin in prisoun for ony mark. 89
Quhethir a Wode man may be haldyn presoner and ransound in the weris. 90
Quhethir a Wode man, efter that he be cummyn again to his wit, may be haldyn presoner. 91

Quhethir a passand alde Ancien man, be law of armes, may be haldin prisonere.

Quhethir a Childe may lefully be tane and haldin presonere be the law of armes. 93
Quhethir a Blynd man, be law of armes, may be tane and haldin presonere. 94
Quhethir Ambassadouris or Legatis cummand to the King may lede his inymyes throu his realme with thame, or nocht. 95
Quhethir a Bischop may be tane presonere be a Franch man, the Bischop beand of Ingland. 96
Quhethir a Kirk man may be tane for mark. 97
Quhethir gif Pilleryns may be maid presoneris be ony maner of weris of armes. 98
Quhat thingis in tyme of were has sauf condyt be priuilege unaskit at the Princis. 99
Quhethir, in tyme of were, the ass and the ox suld bathe joise a maner of priuilege. 100
Quhethir gif the varlet aw to joyce the priuilege of the husbandman. 101
Quhethir, in tyme of weris, folk may ledder castellis and wallit townis lefully. 102
How suld be punyst folk that brekis the Princis sauf condyt, or his assurancis. 103
Quhethir a grete Lord suld traist in a sauf condyt, or ony othir lawar person. 104
Quhethir gif a Cristin King, Prince, or Emperour, may gif a sauf condyt till ane othir King, Prince, or Emperoure Sarraȝene. 105
Gif twa Lordis has made trewis togidder suorne, quhethir gif the tane brek trewis gif the tothir suld rycht sa brek. 106
Quhether better be to fecht fastand before mete, or efter mete quhen men has dronkin. 107
Quhethir bataill may be set before Ladyes. 108
Quhethir the Quene Jonat of Naplis mycht lefully assailȝie the King Lowis de Cicile. 109
Here previs the Autour playnly how gage of bataill is reprovit be all maner of lawis. 110

Here he puttis the case, in the quhilk it is lefull to geve gage of bataill.

And ȝit he puttis ane othir case in the quhilk law of armes will thole gage of bataill. 112
And ȝit ane othir case efter the lawis of Lumbardy. 113
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 114
And ȝit ane othir ease efter the law of Lumbardy. 115
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 116
And ȝit ane othir efter the law of Lumbardy. 117
And ȝit ane othir efter the lawis of Lumbardy. 118
And ȝit ane othir case efter the lawis of Lumbardy. 119
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 120
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 121
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 122
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 123
And ȝit ane othir case efter the said Lawis. 124
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 125
And ȝit ane othir case efter the law of Lumbardy. 126
And ȝit ane othir case efter the said Lawis. 127
How oft tymes the bataill in listis is nocht done be the principale persouns bot be otheris. 128
The form and maner of thair Aithis that suld fecht in barrieris of close listis in felde. 129
Gif a man passit age, may put quham him list to campioun to ficht in barreris for him. 130
Gif ane of the campiouns brekis his suerd, quhether ane othir suld be gevin him agayne. 131
Gif the Lord may nocht knaw the first day quha has the lyklyar, gif thai suld cum again on the morn, and enter in felde as before: Quhilk of the twa campiouns suld first stryke. 132
Gif the vencust man suld pay the costis, thouch the Kyng remytt his actioun. 133
Gif a man has bene vencust of ony crime in barreris, gif he may be accusit in jugement tharof. 134

Quhethir gif the campiouns may fecht in playne felde, but barreris, gif thai lykis.

How he suld be punyst that has grantit his crime, and vencust in barreris opinly. 136
Gif a Knycht appelis ane othir, quhether gif thai may leue of, and forthink the appele. 137
Here, he spekis of Armes and baneris in generale. 138
Here he spekis of Armes and baneris in specialitee. 139
Gif a Man may [tak] otheris armes at his lyking. 140
Gif ane Allemain fyndis a Frenchman berand the samyn armes that he beris in felde, quhethir gif he may appele him of battaill. 141
How suld be punyst folk that beris othir mennis armes but leue, to do tham ony lak. 142
Here spekis he of colouris in armes, quhilkis are the maist noble; and of thair diuisiouns. 143
And first, he spekis of the colour that is rede. 144
And syne he spekis of asure that is the blewe coloure. 145
And syne he spekis of the quhite colouris. 146
And syne he spekis of the colour that is blak. 147
And syne he spekis of the condicioun and nature of the ordinance of the closing of the Barreris. 148
And ȝit spekis he of the condicioun of the close felde, ordanyt for fechting in barreris, as said is. 149
And ȝit ane othir thrid reule of the condicioun and nature of close barreris. 150
And ȝit spekis he of the ferde condicioun and nature of the close felde, that is callit barreris. 151
And ȝit the fyft doctryne gevis he of the form and maner and condicioun of the close felde. 152
And ȝit the sext doctrine spekis he of the form, maner, and condicioun of the close barreris. 153
Here he spekis quhat condicioun suld be in a gude Emperoure be the nature of his hie office. 154
Quhat thingis appertenis to be in a gude Prince, King, or othir. 155



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ow efter that he has determynit of Bataillis bathe in generale and in speciale, than will he declare the Armes that all Princis and Nobles and othir Gentillis aw to were, and of thair colouris, and discripciouns: And fyrst, Quhethir a man that is nocht of thair lygnie may bere leuefully thair Armes at his plesaunce? the quhilk mater is nocht lycht to declare, bot of grete difficultee for mony caussis. And first, men suld vnderstand that sum Armes was gevin of power of autoritee of Emperouris, Kingis, and Princis, to Lordis, and otheris Barouns, or to thair predecessouris, the quhilkis ar of alde tyme, and of alde ancestrye, that nane suld bere, bot thai war cummyn of that lignie, that is to say, in the realme of the Emperoure, King, or Prince that gafe the said armes; ffor and the King of France had gevyn a lyon of gold to bere till a Lord of his contree, quhat wrang dois that Lord till ane othir Lord of Spaigne or of Almane, that the Emperoure or the King of Spayne had gevin it till. Bot thare is othir maner of Armes, the quhilkis ilke man that beris thame, tuke at thair awin plesance to mak difference and knaulage amang Lordis, Gentilis, and noble men of armes, to knaw ilk ane be othir. And all namys and surnamys of men was foundyn ffor the samyn cause. Or ellis all suld haue bene in confusioun that nane suld haue had knaulage of ane othir. And this name may ilke man tak, and geue his barne at his awin plesance, or the godfader, or godmoder, or frendes may geue namys to thair frendis; and rycht sa in the samyn wyse is it of armes, that in the begynnyng quhen the weris began, till haue sum defference amang nobles, sik armes was, sum assignit be Princis and Lordis; sum was tane at the plesance of partye; sum be thair frendis consent and consale, sa that men of honour and of estate suld be knawin be thair armes, the quhilkis ar callit thair takenys in armoury. And thus in were tyme, new men of armes that has nane armes of propertee, may in this wise tak armes at thair lyking syk as thame lest. Bot nocht to tak nane otheris Armes.


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s thus a Man has tane to bere in his Armes a low of gules in a champ of siluer, ane othir of that ilke toune has tane the samyn efter that he has it wynteris and ȝeris. Than spekis the questioun, Quhethir the first may gaynstand this armes and plenȝe to the Prince, and ger this be reformyt and forborne. And first he sais, Nay; ffor quhy ony man may tak lefully, as before said is, ane othir mannis name, and call his barne in the samyn toun, ffor it befallis oft tymes that syndry men ar callit be a name in the samyn toun; and may do it but lak. And quhy then may thai nocht alswele tak twa ane armes, or thre, or alsmony as lykis. Bot the countre party sais agayne, That it is a commoun vse and custume in mannis lawe, and approuit be othir lawis, that quha sa euer may first tak wilde foule, or fysch, or wylde beste in the wilderness, it is his be the lawe. And than, sen this noble man has first tane sik a beste, or sik a foule, or sik a fisch, to bere in his schelde and on his cote of armes, and on his banere, pannoun of armes, or in blasone apon his heraulde or perseuandis brest, or othir wayis to paynt in hall or chaumer at his lyking; Quhy suld ony othir tak it efterwart to bere that war in toune or in the samyn contree, quhare it war borne? And als it war mare thair scathe na thir prouffit, ffor it wald quhilom mere men that had grete dedis ado, quhen thai wend to cum to thair awin maister in werefare, thai mycht failȝe, and othir wayis in syndry wyse mycht erre in thair dedis that mycht hynder bathe the partis that nedit nocht, na is na poynt of gude gouernaunce, na gude policy in dedis of armes: And as langand this questioun the Doctour makis sic a conclusioun, That gif a gentill man or lord had tane ane armes at his plesance, and borne it lang tyme opynly kend in dede of armes, and in weris, or othir wayis in tyme of pes, that it war kyd and knawin till him and his lignage; Thare aw nane othir in that contree to tak the samyn to bere, na the Prince na the lord of that contree, suld nocht lat tham bere it on na wise, ffor than war the principale cause of Armes-taking all forletyn; ffor the principale cause of Armes-taking is for to knawe the personagis of noble men in bataill, or in armes, or in tournamentis, or to knawe a lord in felde be ane othir, with his men, and his frendis and wele willaris suld draw till him and knawe him be his takin, and sa suld the diuersitee of armes mak the knaulage of the diuersitee of personnagis; and gif it be hapnyt ony lorde or othir man to be slayn in felde, and sa manglit that his visage mycht nocht be knawin, be his cote of armes he suld be knawin and brocht to Cristin beriss: And alssua, that be the defference of armes euer furth quhill the warld lestis, men suld knaw be the takynnyng of thair armes, thair sepulturis quhare thai ar beryit; and quha was in thai tymes maist honourable and worthy men, as oft tyme men seis apon thair sepulturis be thair frendis maid efter thaire decesse, and sum be thame self or thai be dede; be the quhilkis, quhen all the lygnie is failit, and the surname, ȝit will the valliance of thame be knawin be thair armes, the quhilkis in armes are callit Takenis: ffor and syndry lordis or gentilis tuke all ane armes, or takenis, it was bot a confussioun. And a mare grete resoun ffor be all gude custumes of noblesse, lordis, and gentilis, makis thair selis efter thair armes, and gif ane suld bere ane otheris armes in his sele, men suld nocht wit quhais it war. Item, all Kingis suld kepe that na man do till othir dishonour, schame, na villany, na injure, na new novelliteis. And it is to presume, gif ony man wald newly tak ane alde armes of ane otheris that it war for dispyte or injure to despise him to prouoke noise and debatis for alde fede or enuy, the quhilk the Prince suld stanch. And as to the argument, it is na thing lyke till a man to be callit lyke till ane othir or syndry in a town; For quhy? For sik cause men has gert geve ilke man his surname that makis the difference. Bot and mony men bare ane armes, how suld ony man, Haralde, or othir, knaw men, na geve the honoure of gude dede till him that had honourabily deseruit it, or to geve lak and dishonour till cowardis or flearis fra bataillis: And tharefore, in all sik debatis, the Prince suld ger sett remede. And gif ony complaynt war, se, be Harraldis and men of knawlage, quha had rycht, quha wrang, and do justice.


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s gif a Knycht of Almane wald cum to see noblesse in France, as tournamentis or othir wasselage, and that he fand a Knycht in France at the tournayment, that bare the samyn armes that he beris: And thus he maid questioun bustously, sayand, He traistit he wrangit him and his lignie to bere thai armes, sperand, be quhat title of rycht he bare thame? The Knycht of France ansuerd, sayand, That he traistit that he mycht bere lefully the takyn of armes that his fader, and forefader, and all his ancestris had of sa lang tyme borne, that thare was na memorye in the contrarye. The Duche Knycht replyis agayn, sayand, Gude Sir, suppose your fader and ancestris haue borne thame sik a tyme, my kyn and ancestris ar of eldare begynnyng na ȝouris, and als ar mare noble of lignie; quharefore, sen ȝe and ȝouris has tane thame efter us, and ȝe ar nocht of sa grete noblesse of alde ancestry, me think ȝe suld deferr till us, and nocht we to ȝow: Quharefore, I say ȝe bere thame euill and wrangwisly, and that I sall preue with my persone. And with that the Franchman sais, That he dois him na wrang that beris the armes that his ancestres has of sa lang tyme borne, and that he denyis his wrang, and that sall he defende. Than is this the question, Quhethir the King aw to geve leve to thir twa Knychtis to feicht, or nocht? And as to the first visage, it semys thai suld be tholit, be the resouns that the Duche Knycht allegis. Bot the Doctouris accordis nocht to that opynion, ffor as we have before said, thai ar nocht of a realme, na of a Prince haldand, quharfor the Naciouns makis the defference sufficiand, sa that it war nocht done for despyte, na othir barate; ffor gif a trauailand Knycht of France had tane sik armes, and he war a wikkit man, of lyf a tyran, and unhonourable, that mycht defame the armes in ferre contreis, the Duche Knycht mycht haue sum coloure and resoun tharefor, gif the Franch Knycht past in Burgone, or Barry, or Lorane, and brynt and slewe, and reft and forsit women, and had renoun to be a wikkit man of lyf, and men wist nocht his surname, na of quhat contree he war, and the tothir Knychtis armes war kend our all thai countreis, and sum men mycht traist that it war he; and in this cas, the Duche Knycht had resoun to ask him to be depriuit of his armes at the King of France, and the King to grant it him, gif the said Duche Knycht and his lignie war approuit men of honour, and thareapon grant him leue of bataill in listis, as said is, gif him lykis for the cause, efter the custumes may be tholit.


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s gif a Souldiour of symple state tuke the armes of a Knycht Noble of France that war of gude renoune, bathe in honour of armes, and othir wayes of alde ancienetee, and that Knycht of Ducheland had tane thai armes newly, in entent to be mare presit and honourit, and to be hyar auansit, and tak mare wagis, in faith I traist that the King, at the persuyt and request of partye, the King aw to punyse him be law of Armes. As in the lyke maner, gif a maister armoureur of Parise, that had renoun to be the best of that craft, that war in France, and in his werkis had a takyn that his werkis were knawin by, and ane othir of Troyes in Champaigne tuke that ilke takyn, sa that for the renoun of the Parisien, his werkis suld be the better sauld; and rycht sa of coultellin, or ony othir craft, or of notairis, gif ane dois falset vnder the sailign of ane othir, I say, all sik men suld be well and cruelly punyst be justice; and gif the contrary war tholit, it war grete damage to the realme.


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ot be cause the Princis and Lordis beris Armes of mare noblesse na otheris; and that the Doctouris has spokyn in othir tymes, and othir placis, of Princis armes, and of thair baneris, quharefore I will nocht here mak questioun, na dout the quhilk armes are the maist noblez and the maist rychez; ffor quhy, that alwayis comparisoun is odious.[19] Bot it plesis me to speke sum thing of Colouris of Armes, and of thair descripciouns. And as the Doctour sais, that sum of thame is mare noble na otheris, for the representatioun that thai mak be thair propre nature, and be this cause, we say, that colour of Gold is the maist noble colour that is in this warld here; and the resoun quhy is, ffor be the nature of gold, it is clere and schynand, rich, vertuouse, and confortand; ffor oure Maisteris, Doctouris, and Medicinaris, and Philosophouris, gevis the gold in syndry wise in medicyne to folk that ar debilitez in thair nature, that thai can get nane othir remede for souerane remede; and is lyknyt be his condicioun and nature to the Sonne, the quhilk is the maist noble planet that euer God maid, and beris lycht till all the warld, and encrescement and confourt till all naturale creaturis. And the lawis sais, that of all things that God maid, the claritee and licht is the maist noble; and, tharefore, the Haly Wrytt sais, that the sanctis in hevyn schynis as the sonne; and alssua oure Souerane Lord, quhen he transfigurit him before his Apostlis, his visage apperit to thame as the Sonne in someris day brycht: And because the Gold is comperit to the Sonne, as the propre effect of the Sonne, the quhilk is king and lord of all planetis, and alssua is figurit be Haly Wrytt be the visage of our Lord; and be that cause the ancien Princis, in ald lawis of armes, ordanyt that na noble man suld bere gold in his armes, bot Princis, Kingis, and Emperouris, for the nobless of him: And thus conclude we, that the maist noble coloure is Gold. And suppose sum ignorant men wald say, gold is metalle, and na coloure, that makis nocht; ffor largely to tak colouris, be all oure Maisteris and Philosophouris, all metallis, all low and lychtnes, that lemys and gevis sycht to the eyne, is of the nature of colouris.


The Secound coloure that is in Armoury, is callit be thir maisteris Purpre; the quhilk he callis here Rede colour; the quhilk representis the lowe of Fyre, the quhilk is the maist clere, and lycht efter the Sonne, and the maist noble of all the elementis; the quhilk colour suld nane in armes were, bot anerly Kingis or Princis, be the alde custumes of Princis and Faderis of Armes, of alde tymes.


The Thrid colour is Asure; the quhilk, be his figure and coloure, representis the Ayer, the quhilk is next the fyre, the maist noble element; ffor it is in itself lignie and sutile, and penetratys, ressauand the lycht throu it, and hable till rassaue all influences of the planetis and of the hevynly constellaciouns of nature, throw the quhilkis all this Erde is gouernyt, and all Nature: and sum callis the coloure Aȝure, hafand the colour of the firmament, sayand, that Asure is a hevynly colour, it makis not: ffor thare is bot lytill betuene, nocht than the lift is nocht colourit.


Ane othir coloure is the Quhyte coloure, the quhilk next the Asure is the maist noble coloure that was countit in Armoury in ancien cronikis, because that it is maist nere the nature of lycht and claritee; and for the clereness of it, it is signyfyit to the vertu of puritee, of clenesse, and innocence, and sympilness: And as to that the Haly Scripture sais, that the clethingis of Jhesu Crist apperit ay to thame of quhite colour as snaw; and this coloure of quhite representis the Water, the quhilk efter the Aire is the maist noble element.


Ane othir colour is in Armoury that callit is Blak; the quhilk representis the Erde, and be it is signyfyit dolour, ffor it is ferrest fra lichtness and claritee that betakenis blythnes, and cummys nerest to myrknesse; and tharefore, quhen ony peple or folk will mak dule for ony of thair frendis dede, or in ony bataill tynt, or othir grete misauenture, men makis thair dule in that clething; ffor it is the lawest of degree of all the four elementis, and is signifyit be it humilitee. And for that cause, in takenyng of humilitee, the religiouse men ar cled in blak wede, commonly to schawe mekenes in hert, and put away all lust of vanitee, and vane glore warldly.



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nd first, be cause that close bataill is rycht perilouse and mysty to be jugit be ignorant men, that ar nocht instruct in the lawis, myn advys is, that thare suld na Prince, na Lord, hald felde of bataille in Listis, bot gif he had gude wise counsale of wele vnderstandand men of lawe; that is for to say, of Doctouris in Canoun and Ciuile, to geve him gude counsale: ffor commounly the casis ar sa subtile to juge, that Seclere men for couatise and auarice of warldis wyn, gevis oft tyme counsale to Princis that soundis mare to the desyre of wynnyng of warldis gude, na it dois to resone or to rychtwise querele; and als thai wate quhat casis ar in the lawis condampnyt vtterly, and reprouit, and quhat casis ar tholit and permysit at the plesance of Princis; and wate alssua, quhat casis ar priuilegit in the law quhilk nocht; and the lawis sais, That Aduocatis ar procuratouris of mannis lignage. And ane othir resoun quhy I haue sett this reugle is, ffor commonly the Clerkis ar mare sad of counsale, and mare caulde of complexion, and mare temperit in thair curage, and ferrar can se in the ground of a mater na Secleris; ffor Seclaris ar hate of blude, and in ire, and oft tymes thai geve thair counsale and jugement again resoun, with the wrang outhir for fede or frendschip, luferent, or haterent, or for mede, or for ire, or breth, or othir singulare appetite, for honour or richess, or lordschip or reddoure or otheris. And erar ar inclynyt to mak were, na trety and concorde; and to ger bataill in barrieris be, na to sloke it, and appese it; ffor ire lettis the mannis mynde to juge and determe veritee.



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hat nocht gaynstandand that be malice or hete, woodnes, ramage, or pride orguillouse, or be inclinacioun, auaricius appellacioun of bataill be maid, and the party ressauis the gage of bataill, the Prince suld be wise in his audience geving, and of gude tholemudenes, to suetely here the cause that the Appelloure chalangis the appelland of; and wele copy and vnderstand all the mater before, or he geve his consent, and gif the cause movis of dett or of fede, or of ony othir singular cause he suld call counsale, and inquere how and quhare, and in quhat place, and for quhat cause, and of quhat tyme, and all the circumstancis, and gif the Prince may be ony way get knawlage of other pruf or witnes, or othir pruf be instrument or obligacioun, or to draw out of the party be inquisicioun or confessioun, and othir maner of prufis. And gif the Prince may persaue be ony way that ony knaulage may be gottyn be ony way of the warld, the Prince suld nocht thole passe bataill. Or suppose na witnes war, bot anerly that the party allegit witnes, ȝit suld he assigne day till produce thai prufis before the justice ordinare; ffor quhen pruf is offerit, or allegit, all wage of bataill is slokit, be all lawis of canon and of ciuile.


To the Thrid reugle and doctrine of battaill in Listis is this: That the Prince in na case suld juge bataill to be, bot quhare thare is na prufis allegit na producit, and that is law commoun and reasonnable custum; bot he sall suere, be his faith, that his cause can nocht be prufit in na way bot be his persoun.


he Ferde doctrine teching and reugle of bataill in barrieris is: That a Prince suld haue gude counsale to ger propone before him the maner of the appellacioun, and the cause and occasiouns that the Appellour allegis in his appellacioun, and gif him thinkis resonnable the cause of the appellacioun, he suld admytt thame to the bataill; and gif thai war nocht resonnable, sloke it out, and geue na consent tharetill, na tholaunce; ffor gif fulis, throu thair foly, be sa daft that thai wage bataill for lytill, evyn as to say, Quhethir growis better wynnis in Burgoyne or in Gascoyne? or, Quhethir is thare fairar ladyes in Florence or in Barsalongne? or, In quhat countree is thare best men of armes, in France or in Lombardy? And the ta-part cast gage of bataill on the tothir, apon thir grete weris of lawe; or to say, his hors runnys fastar na his; or, That his hors is better na his, or syk lyke thing; or, That he lusis his lady better na he dois; or, That he dancis or syngis better na he dois, or for syk maner of tromperys; a Prince suld nocht juge na thole bataill to be, bot he suld, before the peple, in presence of his counsall, punyse syk trompouris, that otheris tuke ensample thareby in tyme to cum, to gage bataill for sik fule causis.


The Fyft doctrine is: That for na wordis of hete, and sudane ire of chaude cole or of chaude mellencoly, na injuriouse langage, thare suld na Prince thole na consent gage of bataill in listis to pas; for wordis may be said for hete, or for brethe, or for gude wyne, or othir wayis in lichtnes, that sone efter he may repent: bot and the wordis be injurious and dishonourable, crimynouss or defamatouris, and he perseuere in his outrageous langage, and lykis nocht till amend; bot stand in his purpos efter that the ire salbe past, ellis the Prince suld nocht juge bataill to be: ffor gif he dois, he jugis again the Lawis writtin opynly.


The Sext doctrine is: That because thare is sum men sa hichty hautayn and orguillous and full of surquedry, that thai haue na traist, na fyaunce in God na his Sanctis, bot in thair awin propre pyth and vertu of corps and strenth of membris; na has na will; na thocht on God to mend thair mysdedis; na to tak counsale at gude men of lyf and deuocion; na to mak gude ordynaunce for thame self, suppose the Prince suld the bataill to be tholit to be done to the vtterest: And tharfore the King suld assigne certane day of bataill and houre to the Appelloure, and he suld ger schaw him the grete perile in the quhilk he puttis him in baith of body and of saule, and monyse him, and exhort him on Goddis behalf, that all before that euer he schape him for horse, harnais, na othir prouision for the bataill, that first he schape him to se for a gude Confessour, that be a gude wise clerke, wele letterit and wele instruct in the faith, and of gude counsale and conscience, that he may discharge his conscience to, and schrive him wele, and put his saule first in gude estate, and his gudein ordinance, as he wald mak his testament to ga to dede, and as wyse man aw to do: Quhilk gif he dois nocht, the King suld say him, "That sen he traistit nocht in Goddis help, he suld nocht traist that he war a gude Cristyn man, and that he suld haue the lesse fauour of him;" and than suld he ordane him a term within quhilk he suld put him in gude estate of the saule to Godwart, and syne spere, how thai had done at thair Confessoure, and sa suld he do to the tothir: And this is a takyn that a Prince is wyse, and lufis wele God, that begynnis at him to dispone all his gouernance and dedis.


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s now sen he hes sum part declarit quhat properteis suld be in ane Emperoure, now will he declare quhat properteis a gude King suld haue in him: that is the maist hye dignitie efter the Emperoure. And ȝit will oure maisteris saye that the name of King is mare na the name of Emperoure be excellence; ffor oure Lord Jhesu Crist in this erde here callit him nocht Emperoure, bot tholit to be callit King of Kingis and Lord of Lordis, as our Haly Writt beris witness. And alssua he was callit a Kingis Sone: ffor he is callit in Haly Writt the Sone of David King; and that sais Clerkis that he is of Kingis be the grettar excellence of lynage. And ȝit alssua Sanct Peter menyt to his teching, that the name of King was mare excellent na the name of Emperoure, quhen he said till his disciples, That thai suld be subgettis till all creature humayne for the honoure of God ȝour King, and specially till all Kingis for the honoure of him, as to the hiest degree and maist excellent. And this approues the Pape Gelasius, &c.

And trewly I say, and he kepe wele thir termes, he is a worthy Prince, and worthy to be a King, and till haue superioritee and soueranitee, and victory of his fais. And tharefor the Doctour settis here certane poyntis of doctrine touchand a ȝong Prince, in Ryme, quhilkis spekis thus: A King that will be ane worthy werryoure, he sulde be wiss, faire, and curageous: And that he be Lord of his subjectis, asto the Quaile the Sperehauk; and that he be misericorde and rigorouss in justice, as case requeris; and that gif he will be wele fortunyt in armes, be ay first.

Item, a Prince or a King suld nocht oure lichtly trow all talis na sudayn tydingis; ffor mony learis oft tymes flechis lordis with false talis, and settis thame in wrang and euill purpose. And that is oure grete perile in princis and grete lordis, to geue sudane credence till ony mannis tale, quhill he war wele informyt of the suthfastnes: And he suld be wele and ryply avisit, or that he write to the Pape ony materis, or till ony strange Princis, for ony lycht mennis counsailis, or ony small wrechit mannis. And quhen he wrytis, his writtis suld be wele and statelyke deuisit, and dytit be wise Clerkis, and men of counsale, and expert in the lawis and purpose lyke, and syne be notable gude wrytaris as efferis; bathe to the ryaltee of him that sendis the writtis, and of him that thai wryttis ar send to; and suld wele auise for quham he wrytis, that thai be worthy persouns, and alssua for quhat thing he wrytis; that it be nocht a wrechit thing that he wrytis for; and als that his peticioun be bathe rychtwise and honourable; ffor quhen Princis prayis for vnworthy persouns, God is offendit and displesit thareat. And syne the Pape or Princis that he wryttis till, will hald him for ane vnwise Prince that the lettres send for sik a persone, and will nocht sa gladly grant him his asking in tyme to cum. And thus sall the renoun of a Prince pas oure all the Cristyndome, and geue him lofe and honour that excedis all warldis richess, throu the quhilk he sal be prisit and redoubtit bathe with fais and frendis, and haldin for wise Prince; and syne sall he be lufit of God, and wyn throu that the joy of Paradise.

And ȝit mare, suld a King be temperit and messurit in his conuersacioun, and repair amang folk, in placis public, our oft tymes; ffor ony thing that Commouns seis oure oft thai prise all the lesse. And quhen it is seldyn sene it gevis folk in mare grete desyre to se it agayne ay mare and mare; and for this cause the grete Souldane of Babilone cummys bot thrise in the ȝere in publik audience furthwart, and than quhen he cummys furthwart, on thre festuale dayes, he cummys rydand with sik a state and solempnitee that all the peple desyris and presses the mare to se him, na he rade euery day, or euery wolk or moneth; bot gif it be quhen that he rydis in werefare, and than all his peple and cheualrye may se him.


And suppose I mycht ȝit compile and gader togedir mony Vertues and properteis that suld be in a Prince, and als mony thingis of Mysgouernaunce that he suld eschew: Bot in gude faith the Doctour sais, that he was sa irkit of wryting, that he mycht nocht as now na mare tak on hand as to put in this Buke of Bataillis; bot and God geve him lyve dayes, he sais, in his conclusioun of his Buke, he sall compile a Trety of propereteis of Gude Condiciouns bathe of Temparale men and of men of Kirk, that sall be gude and prouffitable for all men, that on lukis bathe langand the gouernaunce of thair office and digniteis, as may be compylit be the foundement of Haly Writt, and efter the Lawis writtyn. Bot here he prayis to God mekely that he send grace and gude gouernaunce to the Prince that he has compilit this wrytt for, and maid this Buke till, that is to say King Philip[20] of Fraunce, and geue him grace sa to reule his realme, and his ryall magestee and estate, that God be payit of him, and bring him till his euerlestand joye of Paradise at his ending, and all his frendis and wele willaris. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.


Explicit Liber Bellorum, sed potius Dolorum, ut rescitat Doctor in pluribus, etc.

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No. II.


The Buke of the Ordere of Knychthede.

[This portion of the Manuscript, from fol. 85, to fol. 103, is contained in the present volume.]

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No. III.


The Buke of the Gouernaunce of Princis, Etc.


And first of the Prolog of the first fyndyng, and interpretacioun of the said Buke out of diuerse langagis, etc.

Item, Of the first Pistle fend fra Alexander till Arestotil to ask him counsale of the Gouernaunce of Perse new conquest; and of the form of the Epistle, and of his Ansuere.

Item, Of ane othir of thé Ansueris of Aristotle till Alexander; and the forme of the Epistle send fra Aristotle of his opynion.

The First chapiter is, How thare is four maneris of Kingis. 1
How auarice and fule largess suld be eschewit in a King. 2
How Princis and Kingis suld sett them for gude renoun here. 3
How thai suld eschew all outrageous carnall lustis and appetitis. 4
Quhat kynde of sapience efferis to Kingis, Princis, and grete Lordis. 5
Quhatkyn habyt anournement and clething thai suld haue. 6
How Kingis and Princis suld punyse mysdoaris, and honour gude men. 7
How thai suld haue in thame justice and equitee with merci. 8

Quhatkyn plesance, deduytis, and recreaciouns Princis suld tak.

How punycioun suld be maid efter the case and state of persons. 10
How Princis may be lyknyt to the dew of the hevyn. 11
How Kingis and Princis are of the samyn nature with symple men. 12
How thai suld delyte thame in bukis of stories of Vertues and Vicis, and of othir honourable dedis of alde Ancestry, and of wisedome. 13
How thai sulde kepe gude faith and lautee till all Mankynde euer. 14
How Princis suld found scolis and studyes of sciences in thair contreis. 15
How thai suld nocht gouerne thame be women, na trow thair counsale. 16
How thai suld nocht traist anerly in a medicine, but ma. 17
How Princes suld gouerne thame be a wyse Clerk, expert in astronomy. 18
Off the science of astronomy, and of the divisioun of it. 19
How Princis suld atoure all thing tak kepe to thair hele. 20
How and in quhat maner thai suld gouerne thair hele keping. 21
Here declaris the Philosophour certane documentis of medicyne. 22
Here declaris the Philosophour certane secrete documentis of medicyne. 23
Here declaris he the four rathis of the ȝere, and first of Ver. 24
And first of the kynde of the sesoun of Somer. 25
And syne of the third sesoun that is callit Hervist. 26
And syne of the nature of the Wynter. 27
Quhat thingis fattis or lenys men maist. 28
Here declaris the Philosophour ane othir poynt of medicyne. 29
Quhat kyndis of metis ar best for man. 30
Off syndry kyndis of wateris, and thair naturis. 31
Off syndry kyndis of wynis, and thair naturis. 32
Off bathis and stuphis [stoves], and thair gouernaunce and proffittis. 33
Quhat justice efferis till a Prince or a King. 34
How a Prince or a King suld ken himself. 35
How Kingis and Princis suld gouerne be grete counsale. 36
How the Man is maid of the four elementis. 37

How Princis suld haue discrete Secretaris.

How thai suld have discrete and traist messageris. 39
How the Prince and the Peple are comperit till a gardyn. 40




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ere declaris the Autour of this Buke that a clerk, callit Fair Patrix, wyse in all langagis fand in Grece, kepit within a temple, callit the Temple of the Sonne, (the quhilk the noble philosophour Esculapius had gert mak,) this Buke of the Secretis of Aristotle in language of Grew; the quhilk he translatit out of Grew in the langage of Caldee, the quhilk was quhilom the langage of grete Babyloyne, and now is the langage of grete Inde; and syne, at request of the King of Araby, he translatit it off the langage of Caldee in his langage of Arrabyk. And syne, efter that mony a ȝere, ane othir grete clerk, callit Philippus, translatit it out of Arabyk in lang Latyne, and send it till ane reuerend Fader in Crist, and wyse prelate, noble and honourable Sir Guy de Valance, Bischop of Tryploun: And as beris witness be thair alde ancien stories, the worthy and noble Philosophouris in thay tymes, that als lang as Alexander le Grant had with him Aristotil the wyse clerk, he passit throuch and vencust all realmes, and all his inymyes, throu the mekle prudence and wisedome of that noble Philosophour and throu his counsale. And quhen he mycht no mare trauaile with him, he send him ay betuene Lettres and Epistlis, how he suld gouerne him in all his dedis and grete materis. And at the last, quhen he saw he mycht nocht for elde langsumely be nature left, he compilit this Buke to be a reugle of Gouernaunce till him euer mare quhill he lyvit, and send it till him with grete regrate and lamentacioun, that he mycht no mare be with him, sa mekle he lufit him, for cause he was his Maister and his techour euer fra his begynnyng of barnehede till that tyme, and with him in his conquestis. And syne was this ilke Buke translatit out of Latine in the langage of Romaine, nocht all hallely bot alsmekle as thame thocht nedefull and spedefull to the Gouernance of Princis. And tharfore the noble Philosophour said in his counsale geving till Alexander, that it was nocht spedefull that this Buke war till all men publist, bot anerly to the secrete counsale of Princis, and of grete Lordis, and nocht to Commouns; and to rede it oft tymes before thame, to tak, as myrour schawis the faultis and the suthfastnes, ensample, and doctrine of gude lyfing, and formable as efferis to thair honour and prouffit, and of thair subjectis. For it is nocht spedefull that popularis wit the secrete of Princis, na Lordis gouernance, na the reuglis of thair Ordre; and thairfor is the Buke callit The Secrete of Secretis of Aristotil, ordanyt for document and teching of Gouernance of Princis.


HERE DECLARIS HE HOW ARISTOTLE RESSAUIT A PISTLE SENT FRA ALEXANDER till him in his grete age, to ask counsale, quhen he had conquest Perse, Quhethir he suld destroy and sla all the folk of that land, and peple it with others? because that thay war perilouse to gouerne, and subtile, and full of mychti maliciouse engyne of conquest, for the quhilk he dred thair subtile malice.


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ill ane maist noble and worthy Lord of Justice, I signify to thy prudence, that I haue foundyn in the land of Perse a kynde of folk rycht haboundand in richess, and of lytill vnderstanding, settand thair study to mak conquestis of realmes, and desyrand till haue lordschip atour othir men; ffor the quhilk cause, that we can nocht fynd to be seker of thame, we haue tane to purpose to put thame all to dede; bot bydand to haue thy counsale thareto, be wrytt in lettres; the quhilk counsale we will kepe and fulfill at the vtterast.


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lexander, gif thou may change the nature of the erde, the water, and the aire of that regioun, and the disposicioun of the citeis of the landis of Perse, than counsale I that thou do thy will hardily; and gif thou may nocht do as foresaid is, sla thame nocht, bot gouerne thame in all gudelynes, with clemence, benignitee, and sueteness, put honour to thaim, and graciously demayne thame in graciouse justice and equitee; the quhilk gif thou dois, I traist, that with the grace of God, that thai sal be gude subjectis to thé, and sall gouerne thame at thy plesaunce and commandement: ffor than for the lufe that thai sall haue to thé for thy nobless, thou sall haue the dominacioun apon thame with peis and tranquilitie.


The quhilkis lettres the Prince ressauit with benignitee, and fulfillit his counsale vtterly; throu the quhilkis thingis the peple of Perse gafe sik a luferent till Alexander, that thai lufit him better, and was mare obeysand till him, na ony othir pepele of ony of his othir conquestis.


HERE FOLLOWIS A PISTLE SEND FRA ARISTOTIL TILL ALEXANDER excusand him for sore elde and waykenes he mycht na mare byde with him na hald the court; and tharfore he send him a Regement in wrytt, how and in quhat maner he suld gouerne him ay furth; the quhilk begynnis in this maner as efter folowis:—
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lexander, faire Sone, gloriouss Emperour, the Souerane preciouss God Almychty mot confirme thé, and send thé knaulege to fauour the wayis of vertu, and of veritee, and that he wald refreyne in thé all bestiale appetitis, and that he wald illumyn thyne engyne, and conferme thy spirit of thy gouernaunce till his honour and service, honourably to be ressauit as efferis. And I have vnderstandin, how thou desyris that I war with thé; and that thou sais thou art amaruailit that I may abstene fra thy presence; thinkand that I am not sa besy and diligent of thy gouernaunce as I was wont to be: And be this cause I haue vndertane to make litil Reugles callit Cannonet, that is to say, A lytil buke, the quhilk salbe as a balaunce in the quhilk thou sall payss all thy werkis in; and to be a supplee to thé in my absence, rycht as I war present: &c.



Alexander, faire Sone, ȝit will I that thow witt, that thy subjectis suld be kepit as thy tresouris, ffor thai ar thy tresoure. For thai may be comperit till a Lord that has a faire and gude gardyn quhare thare is grete quantitee of fruyte treis, herbis, and othir gresis, richess, and nedefull till mannis behufe, the quhilkis ȝerely and contynualy beris grete plentee of fruytis for mannis sustenaunce quhen thai ar well grathit, scroubbit, and demaynit, and wele gudit, kepit, sustenit, and gouernyt at rycht, and suld be wele sene to, and socourit at thair nedis. And kepit wele in gude reugle of justice and saufit fra injuris and oppressins, and that thare be bot thou allane gardener upon thame, and nocht mony maister gardenaris; ffor quhare mony maister gardeneris ar the gardyn is nocht commounly all prouffitably gouernyt, the quhilk suld be of gude gouernaunce that stent him nocht to spill thy treis, na gader thy fruytis, that is to say, thy subjectis gudis wrangwisely; and sa may thy realme left, and be wele defendit and conseruit, sa that thou kepe thé nocht to haue mony dispensaris in thy gardyn, that is thy realme. Ffor quhy, for couatise and gredynes of thy fruytis, thar may enter corrupcioun in thy gardyn, and syne apon thyself, quhen ilk ane pressis oure otheris to be masteris of thi gudis, and of thy counsaile, and thi gouernaunce. Bot thare is mony that will hecht and say thai sall do wele, and quhen thai mount in gouernaunce thai do all othir wayis. And sum corrumpis be giftis and hechtis Princis Counsailouris, and peruertis all gude gouernaunce throu thair gredyness of gudis, gevand giftis to Lordis of the Counsale for to maneteine thame lang in thaire officis and in thaire malicis. And traist wele, Alexander, that thy Peple and thy Barouns, thy Bacheleris and thy Commons ar the stuf and the multiplicacioun and furnyssing of thy realme, and be thame mon thou be crownyt, and thy croun vphaldyn and mayntenyt, and be thai nocht throu thé manetenyt and sustenyt in thair rychtis and richess, thai will nocht lufe thé, na honoure thé, na tho court, na help to sustene thyne estate; ffor bot gyf thou mak thaim cause to be fyablez and traist to thé, and thy worschip and prouffit, and to hald lufe and lautee betuix thé and thy peple, thou fall neuer be seker na seure a day in thy realme. And will thou vmbethink thé wele of all that I haue said, and gouerne thé efter my deuise and counsale beforesaid, thou sal be haldyn as wyse and worthy King, and doubtit and lufit of thy peple, and of all otheris: And thou sall cum aboue of all thyne vndertakingis and desyris: Quhilkis gif thou faillis to do, thou sall se that thare sall cum greuouse mischeif and mysfortune, bathe upon thé and thy realme, and thy gouernaunce, and it sall nocht be in thy powar to sett remede, na thou can nocht, na may nocht estymy the paynis that suld be injunct to thé tharfore. Bot here I pray hertfully to the hye and mychty God, makare of Hevyn and Erde, to geue thé grace, as he is gudely Gouernoure of Hevin and Erde, and of all the Warlde to gouerne thé sa in vertu and in veritee, in justice and leautee, that God and man be payit of the end: And rycht sa mote it be of oure worthy King, and graciouse Prince, and all his welewillaris, I pray to God Almichti, in nomine Patris et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.


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  1. Dunbar's Poems, by Laing, vol. i. pp. 42, 214, Edin. 1834, 2 vols. post 8vo.
  2. This work extends to 3 volumes in folio. Vol. I. was published at Edinburgh in 1708; Vol. II. in 1711; Vol. III. in 1722. This volume contains a List of nearly 600 Subscribers. On the title of a MS. which belonged to Robert Myln, the Genealogist, he makes a reference to a Life of Dr Thomas Reid, among "the schedules of Dr Mackenzie's 4th Volume of Lives." Whether such "schedules" still exist, is uncertain.
  3. Dr George Mackenzie, was born on the 10th December 1669. He was the son of the Hon. Colin Mackenzie, second son of George, second Earl of Seaforth, and of Jean, daughter of Dr Robert Laurie, Bishop of Brechin. He died at Fortrose, on the 28th November 1725.—(Caledonian Mercury, Dec. 16, 1725.)
  4. The last three leaves contain a transcript of two articles unconnected with the rest of the volume, viz.—"The Ordour of the processioun and bering of the Sacrament in Antuarpe the first day of Junij the ȝeir of God Im Vc lxij." And a Letter or Testimonial from Thomas Bishop of Orknoy in 1446, addressed to the King of Norwege, respecting the Genealogy of William of Sanctclare, Erle of Orchadie, &c. (the ancestor of the St Clairs of Roslin,) "Translatit out of Latin into Scottis, be me, Deine Thomas Gwld, Monk of Newbothill," in the year 1554.
  5. Les Manuscrits François de la Bibliothéque du Roi: par A. Paulin Paris, vol. v. p. 103.
  6. See Lewis's Life of Caxton, p. 81.
  7. Catalogue des Livres imprimés sur Vélin, de la Bibliothéque du Roi, tome iii. p. 81.
  8. Edinburgh, 1801, p. 65.
  9. In Maidment's Analecta Scotica, vol. ii. p. 1, is a curious Indenture betwixt Sir William the Hay, Knight, Lorde of the Nauchtane, and Alan of Kynnarde Lord of that ilke, and Dame Mary of Murray his wife, for the marriage of their children, dated 7th December 1420.
  10. At a latter period, among the Determinants at St Andrews, in 1449, we find "Gilbertus Hay, cujus bursa, viijs. vjd;" and again "M. Gilbertus Hay," as having taken his degree as a Licentiate in 1451. But this obviously could not have been Sir Gilbert Hay. In the "Compot. Magist. Roberti Pantre receptoris facultatis arcium anni [M.CCCC.]LII. datum iiiio die Decembris," at the end of a long list of contributions is this entry—"Item, per Magistrum Gilbertum Hay, xxvs. Debitor Thomas Hay licentiatus, frater ejusdem Gilberti." The name of Thomas Hay stands first in the list of Licentiates in 1452-3.
  11. Genealogie of the Sainteclaires of Rosslyn, by Father Richard Augustin Hay, p. 26. Edin. 1835, 4to.
  12. Lord Hailes's Additional Case of the Countess of Sutherland, pp. 110, 128.
  13. Genealogie of the Sainteclaires of Rosslyn, p. 91-98.
  14. "Extracts from The Buike of King Alexander the Conquerour, a Manuscript in the Library at Taymouth Castle." (1831). 4to. Privately printed by the Secretary of the Bannatyne Club.
  15. See supra, page 1.
  16. The Number of the Chapters, in both the Second and Third Parts or Books, are omitted in the Original Manuscript.
  17. In the MS. the Numbers of the Chapters in this Fourth Part, are marked, Primum Capitulum, II. Cam., III. Cam. &c.
  18. Although each chapter at the beginning is marked with a rubric, the number of the chapter is not given in the Original Manuscript. The following selection will be found to differ somewhat in the divisions, but it represents the whole portion of the Manuscript which corresponds with the titles of chapters 138 to 153, in the preceding Table; along with the conclusion of the Work.
  19. In the original, "Car toutes comparaisons sont haynneuses."
  20. [It will be observed, that in the Prologue or dedication, at page 64, this "Buke" was addressed by the Author to Charles the Sixth, King of France.]