previous next

The oration of Maurice Fitzgerald.

"YE worthie men, we came not hither, nor were we called into this countrie to be idle, nor to liue deliciouslie: but to trie fortune, and to séeke aduentures. We stood somtimes vpon the top of the wheele, and the game was on our side; but now the whéele is turned, & we cast downe: and yet no doubt she will turne againe, and we shall be on the top. For such is the mutabilitie of fortune, & such is the uncerteine state & course of this world, that prosperitie and adversitie doo interchangeablie, and by course the one follow the other. After daie commeth the night; and when the night is passed, the daie returneth againe. The sun riseth, and when he hath spred his beames all the daie time, then he commeth to his fall: and as soone as the night is past, he is againe come and returned to his rising againe. We who before this haue made great triumphs, & haue had fortune at will, are now shut vp on euerie side by our enimies. We be destitute of vittels, and can haue no reléefe neither by land nor yet by sea: our fréends cannot helpe vs, and our enimies readie to deuoure vs. Likewise Fitzstephans, whose valiantnesse and noble enterprise hath made waie vnto vs into this Iland, he now is also shut vp in a weake hold and feeble place, too weake and slender to hold and kéepe out so great a force. Whie then doo we tarie? And wherefore doo we so linger? Is there anie hope of reléefe from home? No no, the matter is otherwise, and we in woorse case. For as we be odious and hatefull to the Irishmen, euen so we now are reputed: for Irishmen are become hatefull to our owne nation and countrie, and so are we odious both to the one and to the other. Wherfore forsomuch as fortune fauoreth the forward, and helpeth the bold; let vs not longer delaie the matter, nor like sluggards lie still: but whiles we are yet lustie, and our vittels not all spent, let vs giue the onset vpon our enimies: for though we be but few in number in respect of them, yet if we will be of valiant minds and lustie courages, as we were woont to be, we may happilie haue the victorie and conquest of these naked wretches and vnarmed people". These spéeches he vsed as the sicke man is woont to doo, who in hope of recouerie of his health, dooth manie times beare out a good countenance, and dissemble his inward greefe and heauinesse. When he had fullie ended his talke and spoken his mind, Reimond, who was also in the like anguish and heauinesse spake thus.

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: