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CONARUS.

MOGALL being thus dispatched, as ye haue heard, his sonne Conarus was admitted king,
Conarus the sonne of Mogall succéedeth his father. who (as is reported) was priuie to the conspiracie deuised against his father, and as he came to the gouernment by wicked means, so in the end he vsed himselfe much what accordinglie in the same; for after he had for a time dissembled his naughtie nature, he began at the last openlie to shew himselfe in his right colours, committing first of all the administration of publike affaires vnto men of base condition and vile nature. His chiefe delight Conarus giuē to excessiue gluttonie. was altogither in banketting and costlie fare, not regarding the ancient temperancie in féeding, vsed amongest his woorthie ancestors.

In wasting therefore his kinglie reuenues vpon such riotous excesse, he was nothing abashed to require in an open assemblie of his nobles, a subsidie to be granted, towards the maintenance of such roiall chéere, as he iudged to stand with his honor to haue dailie in his house. And therefore whereas the rents that belonged to the crowne were not sufficient to furnish the charges, he requested a generall contribution to be leuied through the realme, of euerie person according to their abilities, for the maintenance of such superfluous expenses as he dailie vsed in excessiue banketting. The lords maruelling to heare him moue anie such demand, and considering withall the occasion thereof, they asked respit to make their answer till the next day: which being granted, in the night following they communed The lords conspire against Conarus. secretlie togither, and in the end concluded, not onelie to denie his request, but also to depose him of all kinglie gouernement, sith his naughtie life required no lesse.

The next day therefore when they were againe set downe in the councell-chamber, one of them in name of the residue tooke vpon him to speake, declaring that the lords and commons The answere of the lords to the demand of Conarus. of the realme maruelled not a little how it should come to passe, that the king hauing no warres wherewith to consume his treasure, should yet be inforced to demand a tallage for maintenance of his estate and charges of his houshold; but the fault was knowen well inough to rest in such as he most vnworthilie had preferred to rule things vnder him, who being come of naught did nothing but deuise means how to cause the king to spoile his naturall subiects of their goods and possessions, therewith to inrich themselues, but (saith he) as they shal be prouided for well inough yer long, and so aduanced as they snall not need to thirst for other mens liuings, that is to wit, euen to a faire paire of gallowes, there to end their liues with shame, as a number of such other loosengers had often doone before them: so it is conuenient that the K. sith his skill is so small in the administration of his office, should be shut vp in some one chamber or other, and such a one to haue the gouernance of the realme, as may be thought by common assent of the lords most meet to take it vpon him.

The king hearing this tale, started vp,. & with a lowd voice began to call them traitors; adding, that if they went about anie hurt to his person, they shuld deerelie abide the bargaine. But notwithstanding these words, such as were appointed therto, caught him Conarus is taken and committed to close kéeping. Conarus his ministers are punished for their offenses. Argadus is chosen to gouerne the realme. betwixt them, and had him forth to a place assigned, where they laid him vp, maugre all his resistance. In like maner, all such as had borne offices vnder him, were attached and had to prison, where the most part of them, vpon examination taken of their offenses, suffered death according to their iust demerits.

Then was the rule of the realme committed vnto one Argadus, a man of noble birth, and ruler of Argile, who vnder the name of a gouernour tooke vpon him the publike regiment, vntill other aduise might be taken. This mans studie in the beginning was onelie to clense the countrie of all misdooers, and to see the peace kept to the quiet of the people; & finallie in all his dooings shewed himselfe a perfect patterne of an vpright iusticer. But Argadus an vpright iusticer. Prosperitie changeth conditions. within a few yeares after (as it often happeneth) prosperous successe changed his former mind to an euill disposition, whereby he ordered things after his owne selfewill more than by reason, without the aduise of his péeres. And further, to the manifest ruine of the commonwealth, he nourished ciuill discord and sedition amongest the nobles, supposing it to make for his welfare, so long as they were at ods. He also maried a Pictish ladie, the better to strengthen himselfe by this his forren aliance.

Herevpon the péeres of the realme, vnderstanding what mischiefe might insue by these manifold and sundrie abuses of the gouernour, caused a parlement to be called, where, in presence of the whole assemblie, they laid vnto his charge, how that (through his Argadus is rebuked. misgouernement and presumption, not onelie in coupling himselfe in mariage with a wife of a strange nation, but also for attempting manie other things preiudiciall to the estate of the realme, without consent of the nobles or commons of the same) he had deserued grieuous punishment; his trespasse being so much the greater, in that considering the meane how he came to that dignitie, he answered not their expectation, nor performed the trust and credit which was gerrerallie committed vnto him.

Argadus hearing himselfe thus charged, and not able to laie anie likelie excuse, fell vpon Argadus confesseth his fault. his knées, & partlie confessing his fault with teares gushing from his eies, besought them of pardon, wholie submitting himselfe to be ordered at their discretion. The lords being Argadus is permitted to continue in his office. mooued with this humble submission of Argadus, vpon promise he should redresse all his former misdemeanours, were contented that he should continue still in the administration. But such as had beene his chiefest councellors were committed to ward. After this sharpe Argadus amendeth his former misgo uernance, and ruleth himselfe by better aduise. admonition and warning thus giuen, Argadus did nothing touching the gouernement of the common-wealth, without aduise of his peeres; and soone after, amongest other things, he tooke order for the limiting how far the authoritie of inferiour officers, as bailiffes, boroughmaisters, constables, and such other should extend. But especiallie he trauelled most diligentlie for the punishing of theeues and robbers, of whome none escaped with life that fell into his hands. Moreouer, he ordeined by statute, that no man exercising anie publike A notable statute. Fine cookerie banished. office, should taste of anie drinke that might make him drunked. He also banished all such persons as vsed with dressing of delicat meats, and (as I may call them) deintie dishes, or banketing chéere, to allure mens appetites from the old rude fare accustomed amongest their elders, who sought not to follow their delicious appetites, but onlie prouided to susteine nature, which is satisfied with a little, & that void of costlie furniture. Argadus thus being occupied in reforming the state of the common-wealth, brought manie euill dooers into good frame and order, and such as were vpright liuers of themselues, indeuored still to procéed forward to better and better. At length, in the eight yeare of his gouernement, Conarus de parteth out of this world. 162. H. B. Conarus being consumed with long imprisonment, departed out of this life, in the fourteenth yeare after the beginning of his reigne.

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