The oration and speeches of Mac Morogh to his souldiors and people.
MAC Morogh beheld his men, & perceiuing them to be somewhat dismaied and
out of heart, framed his speech to recomfort them, and thus saith vnto them. "Ye
men of Leinster, truth and kindred in all aduentures hath hitherto ioined us in one
fellowship: wherefore let vs now plucke vp our hearts and like men stand to our
defense. For why, that wicked and ambitious man Rothorike, the author of all
wickednesse & mischiefe, who desirous to haue the sole souereignetie and dominion
dooth now determine (which God forbid) either to driue vs cleane out of our
countrie, or vtterlie to destroie vs: and marke you now how he lifteth vp his head
and looketh aloft. He is so proud and glorieth so much in his great multitude,
that by ambition and pride he measureth & valueth his force and strength: but yet
(for all that) manie times a small number being valiant and well appointed are better
and haue preuailed against great troops, being but sluggards and vnarmed. If
he make chalenge and pretend title to Leinster, bicause the same sometimes hath
beene tributarie to some one king of Conagh, then by the same reason (1) we also
maie demand and chalenge all Conagh: for both thereof and of all Ireland our
ancestors haue béene the sole gouernors & monarchs. But to the purpose and to
speake plainelie, he séeketh not to rule and to reigne as a monarch, but to vsurpe
and destroie as a tyrant, to driue vs out of our countrie, to succéed into euerie
mans right & inheritance; and so alone to rule the rost, and to be master ouer
"Manie there are which doo brag of their great multitudes, and put their trust
therein: but let them be well assured that we Leinster men though we be but few
in number; yet we neuer were nor yet are affraid to incounter euen with the best
& proudest. For why, victorie is not gotten, neither dooth it stand alwaies in the
great multitude of people, but in vertue and valiantnesse, in strength and courage.
We on our sides against pride, haue humilitie: against wrongs, equitie: against
arrogancie, modestie: and against intemperance, discretion & moderation: and
these vertues are to fight for vs. Men doo not alwaie atteine vnto victorie by great
troops and multitudes of people, but by vertues. The lawes of all nations doo
grant and allow to resist and withstand force and iniurie with force and strength:
it is a fauourable cause to fight for our countrie, and to defend our patrimonie.
And forsomuch as they contend for the gaine, but we to eschew the losse; let vs
be of a good courage: we stand vpon a good ground, and our seat is naturallie
verie strong of it selfe, as also by our industrie made more strong: but by reason
of the streictnesse thereof, the greater the companie is therin, the more comberous
and troublesome it will be: and yet to win the victorie, a small companie being valiant,
couragious, and of a good agréement shall serue and be sufficient."
(1) There be (as is said) fiue portions of Ireland, and euerie of them (except
Meth which was reserued to the monarch for the time being for his diet) had their
particular princes, & none of these did hold anie one of the other: but of some
one of them choise was made by the whole estates of the land to be the monarch;
and he for the time being did take and receiue homage and fealtie of all the others,
not in respect that he was a particular prince, but bicause he was the monarch.
And this Mac Morogh allegeth for him selfe, denieng that he held anie of his lands
of the king of Connagh otherwise than in respect that he was the monarch.