previous next

The oration or speech which Herueie made.

WHEN Reimond had ended his speech, & the whole companie being in a muttering, and as it were men well pleased and verie well allowing his mind and opinion: then Herueie stood vp and spake to them all in this maner. "Reimond hath verie exquisetlie discoursed with vs of pitie and mercie, and in set speeches vttering his eloquence, hath shewed his mind and declared his opinion; persuading and inducing vs to beléeue, that a strange land were to be conquered sooner by mercie and fond pitie than by sword and fire. But I praie you, can there be a worsse waie than so to thinke? Did Iulius Cesar or Alexander of Macedonie by such means or in such order conquer the whole world? Did the nations from out of all places run to submit themselues vnder their yoke and empire, in respect of their pitie & mercie, & not rather compelled so to doo for feare & perforce? For people, whiles they are yet proud and rebellious, they are (all pitie and mercie set apart; by all manner of waies and means to be subdued: but when they are once brought into subiection and bondage, and redie to serue and obeie, then they are with all courtesie to be intreated and dealt withall: so that the state of the gouernment may be in safetie and out of danger. Herein and in this point must pitie be vsed, but in the other seueritie or rather crueltie is more necessarie: here clemencie is to be shewed, but in the other rigour without fauour is to be exhibited and vsed. Reimond persuadeth that mercie is to be extended, as vpon a people alreadie subdued and subiected; or as though the enimies were so few and of so small a number, as against whome no valiant seruice nor chiualrie can be exploited, and yet they redie to ioine with vs: whereby our force may be increased, and our power augmented. But alas! Doo not we sée how that the whole nation and people of Ireland are wholie bent, and not without cause altogither conspired against vs?

"Suerlie me thinketh Reimond is contrarie vnto himselfe; for why, his comming hither was not to dispute of pitie, nor to reason of mercie; but to conquer the nation and to subdue the people. O what an example of impious pitie were it then, to neglect our owne safetie, and to haue remorse and compassion vpon others distresses? Moreouer, we haue here in the fields, and in armour more enimies than friends, we are in the middle of perils and dangers, our enimies being round about vs in euerie place: and shall we thinke this to be nothing, but that we must be also in the like distresse and danger among our selues. Round about vs our enimies are infinit, and within our selues some there be which practise our destruction. And if it should happen that our captiues and prisoners should escape and breake loose out of their bonds, which are but verie weake and slender, no doubt they will foorthwith take our owne armours and weapons against vs. Well well, the mouse is in the cupbord, the fire is in the lap, and the serpent is in the bosome; the enimie is at hand readie to oppresse his aduersarie, and the gest is in place with small courtesie to requit his host. And I praie you dooth not Reimond execute that in his facts and dooings, which he denieth in his words? Are not his spéeches contrarie to his deeds? Let him answer me to this. If our enimies when they come in good araie and well appointed to giue the onset, and to wage the battell against vs, if they should happen to haue the victorie and the ouerhand ouer vs, would they deale in pitie & mercie? Would they grant vs our liues? Would they put vs to ransome? Tush what néed manie words when the déeds are apparant? Our victorie is to be so vsed, that the destruction of these few may be a terror to manie; wherby all others and this wild and rebellious nation may take an example, and beware how they meddle and incounter with vs. Of two things we are to make choise of one; for either we must valiantlie and couragiouslie stand to performe what we haue taken in hand; and all fond pitie set aside, boldlie and stoutlie to ouerthrow and vanquish this rebellious and stubborne people: or (if we shall after the mind and opinion of Reimond altogither be pitifull and full of mercie) we must hoise vp our sailes and returne home, leauing both the countrie and our patrimonie to this miserable and wretched people." Herueies opinion was best liked, and the whole companie allowed his iudgement, wherevpon the captiues (as men condemned) were brought to the rockes, and after their lims were broken, they were cast headlong into the seas, and so drowned.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: