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50 The Fabillis

The doggis pley togidder tuke on hand,
Quhilk wer confidderit straitlie in ane band,
Aganis the scheip to procure the sentence.
Thocht it wes fals thay had na conscience

The clerk callit the scheip, and he wes thair.
The aduocatis on this wyse couth propone.
Ane certane breid, worth fyue schilling or mair,
Thow aw the doig, off quhilk the terme is gone.
Off his awin heid but aduocate allone,
Auysitlie gaif answer in the cace.
Heir I declyne the iuge, the tyme, the place.

This is my cause, in motiue and effect.
The law sayis, it is richt perrillous,
Till enter pley befoir ane iuge suspect.
And ze schir volff, hes bene richt odious
To me, for with zour tuskis rauenous.
Hes slane full mony kinnismen off myne.
Thairfoir as iuge, suspect, I zow declyne.

And schortlie, of this court ze memberis all,
Baith assessouris, clerk, and aduocate,
To me, and myne, ar ennemies mortall,
And ay hes bene, as mony scheipheird wate.
The place is fer, the tyme is feriate.
Quhairfoir na iuge suld sit in consistory,
Sa lait at euin, I zow accuse for thy.

Quhen that the iuge in this wyse wes accusit,
He bad the parteis cheis with ane assent,

Off Esope. 51

Twa arbeteris, as in the law is vsit,
For to declair, and gif arbitriment,
Quhidder the scheip suld answer in iugement,
Befoir the volff: and so thay did but weir,
Off quhome the namis efter ze sall heir.

The beir, the brok, the mater tuke on hand
For to discyde gif this exceptioun,
Wes off na strenth, or lauchfully mycht stand.
And thairupon as iugis thay sat doun,
And held ane lang quhyle disputatioun,
Seikand full mony decreitis off the law,
And glosis als, the veritie to knaw.

Of ciuile mony volum thay reuolue

The codeis, and digestis new and ald.
Contra et pro strait argumentis thay resolue.
Sum a doctryne and sum a nothir hald.
For prayer, nor price, trow ze thay wald fald
Bot held the glose, and text of the decreis,
As trew iugis. I schrew thame ay that leis.

Schortlie to mak ane end off this debait,
The arbiteris than summar and plane.
The sentence gaue, and proces fulminait,
The scheip suld pas befoir the volff agane,
And end his pley. Than wes he nathing fane,
For fra thair sentence couth he not appeill.
On clerkis I do it, gif this sentence wes leill.

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