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The oration of Reimond for the deliuerie of the prisoners taken.

REIMOND being verie desirous that the captiues taken might be deliuered, laboreth by all the waies he could how to compasse the same, & in presence of Herueie maketh these spéeches, and vseth these persuasions to all his companie. "Yée my noble and valiant companions and souldiers, for increase of whose honour, vertue and fortune séeme to contend; let vs now consider what is best to be doone with these our prisoners and captiues. For my part I doo not thinke it good, nor yet allow that anie fauour or courtesie should be at all shewed to the enimie. But vnderstand you, these are no enimies now, but men; no rebels, but such as be vanquished and cleane ouerthrowen, and in standing in defense of their countrie, by euill fortune and a worse destinie they are subdued. Their aduentures were honest and their attempts commendable, and therefore they are not to be reputed for théeues, factious persons, traitors, nor yet murtherers. They are now brought to that distresse and case, that rather mercie for examples sake is to be shewed, than crueltie to the increasing of their miserie is to be ministred. Suerlie our ancestors in times past (although in déed it be verie hard to be doone) were woont in times of good successe and prosperitie, to temperat their loose minds and vnrulie affections with some one incommoditie or other. Wherfore let mercie and pitie, which in a man is most commendable, worke so in vs, that we who haue ouercome others, may also now subdue our owne minds, and conquer our owne affections: for modestie, moderation, and discretion are woont to staie hastie motions, and to stop rash deuises. O how commendable and honorable is it to a noble man, that in his greatest triumph and glorie, he counteth it for a sufficient reuenge, that he can reuenge and be wreaked?

"Iulius Cesar, whose conquests were such, his victories so great, and his triumphs so manie, that the whole world was noised therewith; he had not so manie fréends who reioised for the same, but he had manie more enimies who maligned and enuied at him, not onelie in slanderous words and euill reports; but manie also secretlie conspired, deuised, and practised his death and destruction: and yet he was so full of pitie, mercie, and compassion, that he neuer commanded nor willed anie to be put to death for the same, sauing onelie one Domitius, whome he had of meere clemencie for his lewdnesse before pardoned, for his wickednesse released, and for his trecherie acquited. And thus as his pitie did much increase his honour, so did it nothing hinder his victories. O how beastlie then and impious is that crueltie, wherin victorie is not ioined with pitie? For it is the part of a right noble and a valiant nman, to count them enimies which doo wage the battell, contend and fight for the victorie; but such as be conquered, taken prisoners, and kept in bonds and captiuitie, to take and repute them for men, that hereby fortitude and force may diminish the battell and end the quarrell, as also humanitie may increase loue & make peace. It is therefore a great commendation and more praiseworthie to a noble man in mercie to be bountious, than in victorie to be cruell; for the one lieth onelie in the course of fortune, but the other in vertue: and as it had béene a great increase of our victorie, and an augmentation of honour, if our enimies had béene slaine in the field and ouerthrowen in the battell: so they being now taken and saued, and as it were men returned from rebels to the common societie and fellowship of men; if we should now kill them, it will be to our great shame, dishonor, and reproch for euer. And for so much as by the killing and destroieng of them we shall be neuer the néerer to haue the countrie, nor neuer sooner to be the lords of the land; and yet the ransoming of them verie good for the maintenance of the souldiers, the good fame of vs, and the aduancement of our honour: we must néeds thinke it better to ransome them than to kill them. For as it is requisit and meet, that a souldier in the field fighting in armes, should then thirst for the bloud of his enimies, trie the force of his sword, and valiantlie stand to his tackle for victorie: so when the fight is ended, the wars are ceassed, & the armor laid downe, and all fiercenes of hostilitie set apart; then in a noble man must humanitie take place, pitie must be shewed, and courtesie must be extended."

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