Visión del presente estado de Irlanda
Discoursed by way of a dialogue beetwen Eudoxus and Irenius
Iren: Some perhapps I have; and whoe that will by this occasion marke and compare ther customes shall finde many more. But ther are fewer I thinke, remayning of the Gaules or Spanyardes then of the Scythians, by reason that the partes, which they then possessed lying upon the Coast of the Westerne and Southerne Sea, were sithence contynually visited with strangers and forreyne people, repayring thither for trafficke, and for fishing, which is very plentifull upon the coastes: for the trade and enterdeale of seacoste nacons one with another worketh more civility and good fashions, all sea men being naturally desirous of new fashions, then the Inland dwellers which are seldome seene of forreyners; yet some of them as I have noted, I will recounte unto you. And first I will, for the better creditt of the rest, shewe you one out of ther Statutes, amongst which it is enacted that noe man shall weare his beard but only on the upper lyp, like mustachios, shaving all the rest of his chinne. And this was the auncient manner of the Spanyardes, as yett it is of all the Mahometans, to cut all ther beardes close, save onely muschachos, which they weare longe. And the cause of this use was for that they, being bred in an hot country, found much hayre on ther faces and other partes to be noyous unto them: for which cause they did cutt yt most away, like as contraryly all other ncaons, brought upp in could countryes doe use to nourish ther hare, to keep them the warmer, which was the cause that the Scythians and Scottes woare glibbes, as I shewed you, to keep ther heades warme, and long beardes to defend ther faces from could. From them also I thinke came saffron shirtes and smockes, which was devised by them in those hotte countryes, wher saffron is very common and rife, for avoyding that evill which commeth of much swetnes, and longe wearing of lynnen. Also the women amongst the ould Spanyardes had the charge of all hushould affayres, both at home and abroad, as Boemius wrighteth, though now theise Spanyardes use it quite otherwise. And soe have the Irish women the trust and care of all thinges, both at home, and in the feilde. Likewise rownd lether targettes, as the Spanyarde fashion, who used it, for the most part, paynted, which in Ireland they use alsoe, in many places, colored after ther rude fashion. Moreover ther manner of ther womens ryding on the wrong syde of the horse, I meane with ther faces toward their right syde, as the Irish use, is, as they say, ould Spanish, and as some say Africane, ffor amongst them the women (they say) use to ride acrosse: Also the deep smock sleve hanging to the grownd, which the Irish women use, (they say), was ould Spanish, and is used yet in Barbary: and yett that should seme rather to be an oulde Irish fashion; for in Armory the fashion of the Manche, which is geven in armes by many, being indeed nothing ells but a sleve, is fashioned much like to that sleve. And that Knightes in ould tymes used to weare ther mistres favor or loves sleve, upon ther armes, as appereth by that is wrighten of Sir Launcelott, that he wore the sleve of the fayre mayd of Asteroth in a tourney, whereat Quene Guenouer was much displeased.
Eudox: Your conceit is very good, well fitting for things soe farre from certayntye of knowledge and learning, only upon lykelyhoodes and conjectures. But have you any customes remayning from the Gaules or Bryttans?
Iren: I have observed a few of eyther; and whoe will better search into them may find more. And first the possession of their Bardes was, as Cęsar writeth, usuall amongst the Gaules; and the same was also common amongst the Brittans, and is not yett altogether left of with the Walshe, which are ther posterity. ffor all the fashions of the Brittons, as he testifieth, were much like. The longe dearts came also from the Gaules, as ye may read in the same Ceasaer, and in John Boemius. Likewise the said Jo. Boemius wrighteth, that the Gaules used swordes, a hanfull broad, and soe doe the Irish nowe. Also that they used long wicker sheilds in battell that should cover their whole bodyes, and soe doe the Northerne Irish. But because I have not seen such fashioned targettes in the Southerne partes, but only amongst those Northerne people, and Irish Scottes, I doe thinke that they were brought in rather by the Scythians, then by the Gaules. Alsoe the Gaules used to drincke ther enymyes blood, and to paynte themselves therewith: soe alsoe they wright, that the ould Irish were wonte, and soe have I sene some of the Irish doe, but not theire enymyes but frendes bloode. As namely at the execution of a notable traytor at Lymbricke, called Murrogh Obrien, I saw an ould woman, which was his foster mother, tooke up his heade, whilst he was quartered, and sucked up all the blood running thereout, saying, that the earth was not worthy to drincke it, and therewith also steeped her face and brest, and tare her heare, crying and shriking out most terribly.
Eudox: Yee have very well runne thorough such customes as the Irish have deryved from the first ould nacons which inhabited that land, namely, the Scythians, the Spanyardes, the Gaules, the Brittanes. It nowe remayneth that you now take in hand the customes of the ould English which are amonst the Irish: of which I doe not thinke that yee shall have much to find fault with any, consideringe that by the Englishe most of the ould badd Irish Customes were abolished, and more cyvill fashions brought in their steade.
Iren: You thinke otherwise, Eudox: then I doe; for the chiefest abuses which are nowe in that realme, are growne from the English, that are now much more lawlesse and lycencious then the very wild Irish: so that as much care as was then by them had to reforme the Irish, so much and more must nowe be used to reforme them; soe much tyme doth alter the manners of men.
Eudox: That semeth very strange which you say, that men should soe muche degenerate from their first natures as to grow wild.
Iren: Soe much can libertye and ill examples doe.
Eudox: What liberty had the English ther, more then they had here at home? Were not the lawes planted amonge them at the first, and had they not governors to curbe and keepe them still in awe and obedience?
Iren: They had, but it was such for the most part, as did more then good[,] for they had governors for the most part of them selves, and commonly out of the two familiyes of the Gerldines and the Butlers, both adversaryes and corivales one against the other. Who though, for the most part, they were but deputyes under some of the Kinges of Englands sonns, brethren, or other nere kinsmen, who were the Kinges leiutenantes yet they swayed soe much as they had all the rule, and the others but the tytle. Of which Butlers and Geraldines, albeit I must confesse they were very braue worthy men, as also of other the peres of that realme, made Lorde Deputyes, and lord Justices and signories at sundry times, yet thorough greatnes of their late conquests and seignories they grewe insolent, and evill bente both that regall authority, and also ther private powers, one against another, to the utter subversion of them selves and strenthining of the Irish againe. This you may reade playnly discovered by a letter written from the Citizens of Corke out of Ireland, to the earle of Shressburye then in England, and remayning yet upon recorde, both in the Tower of London, and alsoe amongst the Cronicles of Ireland. Wherein it is by them complained, that the English Lords and Gentlemen, who then had great possessions in Ireland, began thorough pride and insolencye, to make private warrs one against another, and, when the other parte was weake, they would wage and drawe in the Irish to take ther part, by which meanes they both greatly encoraged and enabled the Irish, which till that tyme had bene shut upp within the mountaynes of Slewlougher, and weakened and disabled them selves, in soe much that there revenews were wonderfully impayred, and some of them, which are ther reckoned to have bene able to have spent xij or xiij hundred pounds per annum, of owld rent, that I may say noe more, besides ther comodetyes of Creekes and havens, were now scarce able to dispend the third part. From which disorder, and thorough ther huge calamityes which have come vpon them therby, they are now almost growne to be almost as lewde as the Irish: I meane of such English as were planted towardes the West; for the English pale hath preserved it selfe, thorough nearenes of the state, in reasonable civilitye, but rest which dwell aboue in Connagh and Munster, which is the sweetest soyle of Ireland, and some in Leinster and Ulster, ar degenerate and growen to be as very Patchcockes as the wild Irishe, yea, some of them haue quite shaken of ther English names, and put on Irishe that they might be altogether Irishe.
Eudox: Is it possible that any should soe farr growe out of frame that they should in soe short space, quite forgett ther Country and ther owne names? that is a most dangerous LETHARGIE, much worse then that of MESSILA CARVINUS, who, being a most learned man, thorough sicknes forgot his owne name. But can you counte us any of this kynde?
Iren: I cannot but by the reporte of the Irishe themselves, who report, that the Macmaghons, in the North, were auncyently English; to witt, descended from the Fitz Ursulas, which was a noble family in England, and that the same appered by the significacon of their Irish names. Lykewise that the Macswinies, now in Ulster, were aunciently of the Veres of England, but that they themselves, for hatred of the English, soe disguised ther names.
Eudox: Could they ever conceyve any such devilish dislike of ther owne naturall Country, as that they would be ashamed of ther name, and bite of the dugge from which they sucked lyfe?
Iren: I wote well ther should be none: but prowd heartes doe oftentymes, like wanton coultes, kicke at ther mothers, as we reade Alcibiades and Themistocles did, who, being banished out of Athens, fledd unto the Kinge of Asia, and ther stirred him upp to warr against ther Country, in which warrs they them selves wer cheiftaynes. Soe that, they sayd, did theise Macswynes and Macmahons, or rather Veres or Fitz Ursulaies, for private despite, turne themselves against England. For at suche tyme as Robert Vere, Earl of Oxford, was in the Barons warrs against King Richard the seconde, thorough the mallice of the Peeres, banished the realme and proscribed, he with his kynsman Fitz Ursula fledd into Ireland, wher being prosecuted, and afterwardes in England put to death, his kinsmen there remayning behinde in Ireland, rebelled, and conspiring with the Irishe, did quite cast of ther Englishe names and alleigaunce; since which tyme they have so remained, and have euer sithence bene counted meere Irish. The verye like is also euer soe reported of Macswynes, Mackmahons and Mackshehaies of Mounster, howe they lykewise were auncyently English, and ould followers to the Earle of Desmond, untill the raigne of King Edward the fourth: at which tyme the Earle of Desmonde that then was, called Thomas, being thorough false subbornacon, as they say, of the Queene for some offence, by her against him conceyved, brought to his death at Tredagh most unjustly, notwithstanding that he was a very good and sounde subjecte to the kinge. Therupon all his kinsemen of the Geraldines, which then was a mighty family in Mounster, in reveng of that huge wronge, rose into armes against the kinge, and utterly renownced and forsware all obedience to the Crowne of England; to whom the sayd Mackswynes, Mackshehayes, and Mackmahons, ther servantes and followers, did the like, and have euer sithence so contynued. And with them, they say, all the people of Mounster went, and many other of them, which were mere English, thenceforth ioyned with the Irish against the King, and termed themselves very Irish, taking on them Irishe habites and customes, which would never since be cleane wyped awaye, but the Contagion thereof hath remayned still amongst ther posterityes. Of which sorte, they say, be most of the surnames which end in an, as Shinian, Mangan, &c. the which nowe account them selves naturall Irish. Other great howses ther bee of the ould Englishe in Ireland, which thorough lycentious conversinge with the Irish, or marrying, or fostering with them, or lacke of meete nurture, or other such unhappy occasions, have degendred from ther auncyent dignityes, and are nowe growen as Irish as Ohanlans breach, (as the proverbe ther is,) of which sorte ther are two most pittifull exsamples above the rest: to witt the Lord Breningham, who being the most auncyent Barron in England, is nowe waxen the most salvage Irish, naming himselfe Irish like Noccorish: and the other the great Mortimer, who forgetting howe great he was once in England, or English at all, is now become the most barbarous of them all, and is now called Macnemarra; and [not] much better then he is the ould Lord Courrie, who having lewdly wasted all the land and signoryes that he had and aliened them unto the Irishe, is himselfe also now growne quite Irishe.
Eudox: In truth this which you tell is a most shamfull hearing, and to be reformed with most sharpe sensures in soe greate personages, to the terrour of the meaner: for wher the lords and cheife men wax so barbarous and bastard like, what shalbe hoped of the pesantes, and baser people? And hereby sure you have made a fayre waye unto your selfe to lay open the abuses of ther vile customes, which yee have now next to declare, the which, noe doubte, but are very bad and barbarous, being borowed from the Irish, as there apparell, ther language, their riding, and many other the lyke.
Iren: Yee cannot but thinke them sure to be very brute and uncyvill; for were they at the best that they weare of ould, when they were brought in, they should in soe long an alteracon of tyme seeme very strang and uncouth. For it is to be thought, that the use of all Englande, was in the raigne of Henry the seconde, when Ireland was first planted with Englishe, very rude and barberous, soe as yf the same should be nowe used in England by any, it would seme worthy of sharpe correction, and of newe lawes for reformacon; but it is but even the other day since England grewe cyvill: therfore in countyng the evill customes of the Englishe ther, I will [not] have regard whether the beginninge thereof were Englishe or Irish, but will have respect only to the inconvenyence thereof. And first I have to find faulte with the abuse of language, that is, for the speaking of Irishe amongst the English, which as it is unnaturall that any people should love another language more then ther owne, soe it is very inconvenient, and the cause of many other evills.
Eudox: It semeth strang to me that the English should take more delight to speake that language more then ther owne, whereas they should (me thinkes) rather take scorne to acquiante ther tonges therto: for it hath alwayes bene the use of the conqueror to dispose the language of the conquered, and to force him by all meanes to learne his. So did the Romains alwayes use, insomuch that ther is almost not a nacon in the world, but is sprinkled with their language. It were good therfore (me thinkes) to search out the originall course of this evill; for, the same beinge dicovered, a redresse thereof wilbe the more easily provided: for I thinke it were strange, that the English being soe many, and the Irish soe fewe, as they then were left, the fewer should drawe the more unto their use.
Iren: I suppose that the chief cause of bringing in the Irish language, amongst them, was specially ther fostering, and marrijng with the Irish, which are twoe most dangerous infections; for first the child that sucketh the milke of the nurse, must of necessitie learne his first speach of her, the which being the first that is enured to his tongue, is after most plesing unto him, insomuch as though he afterwardes be taught English, yet the smacke of the first will alwayes abide with him; and not only of the speach, but of the manners and condicons. For besydes the yonge children bee like apes, which affect and Imitate what they have seene done before them, specially by their nourses whom they love soe well: moreover they drawe into themselves, together with their sucke, even the nature and disposition of ther norses: for the mind followeth much the temperature of the body; and alsoe the wordes are the image of the minde, soe as, the[y] proceeding from the minde, the mynd must be needes affected with the wordes. Soe that the speach being Irish, the hart must needes be Irishe; for out of the aboundance of the hart, the tonge speaketh. The next is the marryinge with the Irish, which how dangerous a thinge it is in all comonwelths appeareth to every symplest sence; and thoughe some greate ones have used such matches with ther vassales, and have of them neverthelesse raysed worthie yssue, as Telamon did with Tecmissa, Alexander the great with Roxane, and Julius Cesar with Cleopatre, yet the example is so perillous, as it is not to be ventured: for in stead of those fewe good, I could counte unto them infinite many evell. And indeed how can such matching but bring forth an evill race, seing that comonly the child taketh most of his nature of the mother, besydes speach, mannors, and inclynation, which are for the most part agreable to the condicons of ther mothers? for by them they are first framed and fashioned soe as [if] they receyve any thing from, they will hardly ever after forgoe. Therfore are theise twoe evill customes of fostering and maryinge with the Irishe most carefully to be restrayned; for of them twoe, the third, that is the evill custome of language which I spake of, cheifly proceedeth.
Eudox: But are ther not lawes alredye appointed, for avoyding of this evill?
Iren: Yes, I thinke there be; but as good never a whit as never the better. For what doe statutes avayle without penaltyes, or lawes without charge of execution? for soe ther is another like lawe enackted against wearing of Irish apparell, but never the more it is observed by any, or executed by them that have the charge: for they in ther private discresions thinke it not fitt to be forced upon the pore wretches of that Countrye, which are not worth the price of English apparell, nor expediente to be practysed against the better sorte, by reason the the Country (say they) doe yeeld noe better: and were ther better to be had, yet theise were fitter to be used, as namely, the mantle in travelling, because ther be noe Innes wher meate or beding might be had, soe that his mantle serves him then for a bed: the lether quilted Jacke in jorninge and in Campinge, for that it is fittest to be under his shirte of maile, for any occasion of suddayne service, as ther happen many, and to cover his thine bretch on horsbacke. the great lynnen rowle which the women weare, to keepe ther heades warme after cutting their hayre, which they use in any sicknesse. Besydes ther thicke foulded lynnen shirtes, ther longe sleved smocke, ther halfe-sleved coates, ther silken fillottes, and all the rest, they will devise some colour for, eyther of necessity, or of antiquity, or of comlynesse.
Eudox: But what couler soever they alledge, me thinke it is not expedient, that the execution of a lawe once ordayned should be left to the discression of the officer, but that without partialitie or regard, yt should be fulfilled aswell on Englishe as Irishe.
Iren: But they thincke this pricisenes in reformacon of apparell not to be soe materiall, or greatly pertinent.
Eudox: Yes surely but yt is; for mens apparell is comonly made accordinge to theire condicons, and theire condicons are oftentymes goverened by theire garmentes: for the person that is gowned is by his gowne put in minde of gravitie, and also restrayned from lightnes by the very aptnes of his weede. Therefore yt is wrytten by Aristotle, then when Cyrus had overcome the Lydeans that were a warlike nacon, [and] devised to bringe them to a more peacable life, he chaunged theire apparrell and musicke, and in steade of theire shorte warlike coate, clothed them in long garmentes like wyves, and in steade of theire warlike musicke, appointed to them certen lascyvious layes, and loos gigges, by which in shorte space theire mindes were [so] mollified and abated, that they forgot theire former feircenes, and became most tender and effeminate: whereby it appeareth, that there is not a little in the garment to the fashioninge of the mynde and condicons. But bee [all] these, which you have described, the fashions of the Irishe weedes?
Iren: Noe: all these which I have rehearsed to you, bee not Irish garmentes, but Englishe; for the quilted leather Jacke is oulde Englishe; for yt was the proper weede of the horseman, as you may reade in Chaucer, where he describeth Sir Thopas apparrell and armor, when he went to fighte against the gyant, which shecklaton, is that kinde of gilden leather with which they use to Imbroder their Irishe Jackes. And there likewise by all that discripcon yee may see the very fashion and manner of the Irishe horseman most lively sett out, in his longe hose, his shoes of costlie cordwaine, his hacqueton, and his haberjon, with all the rest thereunto belonginge.
Eudox: I surely thought that that manner had bene kindly Irishe, for yt is farre differinge from that we have nowe; as also all the furniture of his horse, his stronge brasse bytt, his sliding raynes, his shanke pillyon without stirruppes, his manner of mountinge, his fashion of rydinge, his charginge of speare aloft above hande, [and] the forme of his speare.
Iren: Noe sure; they bee native Englishe, and brought in by the Englishe men first into Ireland: nether is the same yet accounted an uncomelie manner of rydinge; for I have hearde some greate warryors say, that, in all these services which they had seene abroade in forraygne countreyes, they never sawe a more comelie horseman then the Irish man, nor that cometh on more bravely in the charge; nether is his manner of mountinge unsemely; though he lacke stirrops, but more readie then with styroppes; for in his gettinge up, his horse is still goinge, whereby he gayneth way. And therefore the styrrop was called soe in scorne, as yt were a stayre to gett up, beinge derived out of the oulde Englishe worde sty, which is, to mounte.
Eudox: It seemeth then that you finde no faulte with this manner of rydinge; whie then woulde you have the gilded jacke layed awaye?
Iren: I would not have that laied away, but the abuse thereof to bee put awaye; for beinge used to the ende that it was framed, that is, to be worne in warre under a shirte of male, yt is allowable, as also the shirt of mayle, and all his other furniture: but to be worne daylie att home, as in Townes and civill places, yt is a rude habitt and most uncomelie, seeminge like a players painted coote.
Eudox: But yt is worne, they saye, likewise of Irishe footmen; howe doe you allowe of that? for I should thinke yt were unseemelye.
Iren: Noe, not as yt is used in warre, for yt is then worne likewise of footmen under their shirts of mayle, the which footmen they call Galloglasses; the which name doth discover him to be allso auncyent Englishe, for Gallogla signifies an Englishe servitor or yeoman. And he being so armed, in a long shirte of mayle downe to the calfe of his legge, with a long broade axe in his hande, was then pedes gravis armaturę, and was insteade of the armed footeman that nowe weareth a Corselett, before the corslett were used, or allmost invented.
Eudox: Then him belike you allowe in your streighte reformacon of oulde customes.
Iren: Both him and the kearne allso (whome only I toke to bee the proper Irishe souldyer) cann I allowe, soe that they use that habite and cutome of theires in the warres onely, when they are ledd forth to the service of their Prince, and not usuall[y] at home, and in civill places, and besides doe laye aside the evill wylde uses which the galloglasses and kerne doe use in theire evill trade of lief.
Eudox: What be those?
Iren: Marry, these be the most loathlie and barbarous condicons of any people, I thincke, under heaven; for, from the tyme that they enter into that coorse, they doe use all the beastlie behavior that may bee to oppresse all men: they spoile aswell the subjecte as the enemye; they steale, they are cruell and bloodye, full of revenge, and delighte in deadly execucon, licensious, swearers, and blasphemers, comon ravishers of weomen, and murtherers of children.
Eudox: Those bee most villanous condicons; I mervayle then that ever they bee used or imployed, or allmost suffered to lyve: what good cann there bee then in them?
Iren: Yet sure they are very valiaunt, and hardye, for the most parte greate endurors of colde, labor, hunger, and all hardnes, very actyve and stronge of hande, verye swyfte of foote, very vigillant and circumspecte in their enterprises, very present in perills, very greate scorners of death.
Eudox: Truelie, by this that yee saye, yt seemes the Irishman is a very brave souldier.
Iren: Yea truelie, eaven in that rude kinde of service hee beareth himselfe very couragiouslie. But where he cometh to experience of service abroade, or is putt to a peece, or a pyke, he maketh as worthie a souldier as any nacon he meeteth with. But lett us I pray you turne againe to our discourse of evill customes amongest the Irishe.
Eudox: Me seemes, all this which you speake of, concerneth the Customes amongest the Irishe very materially; for theire uses in warre are of noe smale importance to be considered, aswell to reforme those which are evill, as to confirme and contynew those which are good. But followe you your owne coorse, and shewe what other theire Customes you have to dislike of.
Iren: There is amongest the Irishe, a certen kinde of people called the bardes, which are to them insteade of Poetts, whose profession is to sett forth the prayses and disprayese of men in theire Poems or rymes; the which are had in soe high regarde and estimacon amongest them, that none dare displease them for feare to runne into reproach through theire offence, and to be made infamous in the mouthes of all men. For theire verses are taken up with a generall applause, and usuallye sonnge att all feaste meetings, by certen other persons whose proper function that is, which also receave for this same, great rewardes, and reputacon besides.
Eudox: Doe you blame this in them, which I would otherwise have thought to have ben worthie of good accompte, and rather to have ben mayntayned and augmented amongest them, then to have ben disliked? for I have reade that in all ages Poetts have bene had in specyall reputacon, and that me seemes not without greate cause; for besides theire sweete invencons, and most wyttie layes, they are alwayes used to sett forth the praises of the good and vertuous, and to beate downe and disgrace the bad and vicyous. Soe that many brave younge mindes have oftentymes, through the hearinge the prayses and famous Eulogies of worthie men songe and reported unto them, benn stirred up to affecte the like commendacons, and soe to stryve unto the like desertes. Soe they say that the Lacedemonians were more enclyned to desire of honor with the excellent verses of the Poett Tyrteus, then with all the exhortacons of theire Captaines, or authorities of theire rulers and Magistrates.
Iren: It is most true that such Poettes, as in theire wrytinge doe labor to better the Manners of men, and through the sweete bayte of theire nombers, to steale into the younge spirittes a desire of honor and vertue, are worthy to be had in greate respecte. But these Irish bardes are for the most parte of another mynde, and soe far from instructinge younge men in Morrall discipline, that they themselves doe more deserve to be sharplie decyplined; for they seldome use to chuse unto themselves the doinges of good men, for the ornamentes of theire poems, but whomesoever they finde to bee most lycentious of lief, most bolde and lawles in his doinges, most daungerous and desperate in all partes of disobedience and rebellious disposicon, him they sett up and glorifie in their rymes, him they prayse to the people, and to younge men make an example to followe.
Eudox: I mervayle what kinde of speaches they cann finde, or what face they cann put on, to prayse such lewde persons as lyve so lawleslie and licensiouslie upon stealthes and spoiles, as most of them doe; or howe can they thincke that any good mynde will applaude the same?
Iren: There is none soe bad, Eudoxus, but that shall finde some to fauor his doinges; but such licentious partes as these, tendinge for the most parte to the hurte of the English, or mayntenance of theire owne lewd libertye, they themselves, beinge most desirous therto, doe most allowe. Besides these evill thinges beinge deckt and suborned with the gay attyre of goodlie wordes, may easilie deceave and carry awaye the affeccon of a younge mynde, that is not well stayed, but desirous by some bolde adventure to make profe of himselfe; for beinge (as they all bee) brought up idlelie, without awe of parents, without precepts of masters, without feare of offence, not beinge directed, nor imployed in anye coorse of lief, which may carry them to vertue, will easilie be drawen to followe such as any shall sett before them: for a younge mynde cannot but rest; yf he bee not still busied in some goodnes, he will finde himselfe such busines as shall soone busye all about him. In which yf he shall finde any to prayse him, and to geve hym encorragement, as those Bardes and rymers doe for little rewarde, or a share of a stollen cowe, then waxeth he moste insolent and halfe mad with the love of himselfe, and his owne lewde deedes. And as for wordes to sett forth such lewdenes, yt is not hard for them to geve a goodlie glose and paynted showe thereunto, borrowed even from the prayses which are proper unto vertue yt selfe. As of a most notorius theife and wicked outlawe, which had lyved all his tyme of spoiles and robberies, one of theire Bardes in his praise findes, That he was none of those idle mylkesoppes that was brought up by the fyer side, but that most of his dayes he spent in armes and valiant enterprises; that he never did eate his meate before he had wonne yt with his sworde; that he laye not slugginge all night in a cabben under his mantle, but used commonly to kepe others wakinge to defend theire lyves, and did light his Candle at the flame of their howses to leade him in the darknes; that the day was his night, and the night his daye; that he loved not to lye woinge of wenches to yealde to him, but where he came he toke by force the spoile of other mens love, and left but lamentacon to theire lovers; that his musicke was not the harpe, nor layes of love, but the Cryes of people, and clashinge of armor, and that fynally, he died not wayled of manye, but [made] many wayle when he died, that dearlye bought his death. Doe you not thinke, Eudoxus, that many of these prayses might be applied to men of best desert? yet are they all yeilded to moste notable traytors, and amongest some of the Irish not smallye accompted of. For the same, when yt was first made and soung vnto a person of high degree, they were bought as their manner is, for fortie crownes.
Eudox: And well worth sure. But tell me I pray you, have they any arte in their composicons? or bee they any thinge wyttye or well favored, as poems shoulde bee?
Iren: Yea truly; I haue caused diuers of them to be translated unto me that I might understande them; and surelye they savored of sweete witt and good invencon, but skilled not of the goodly ornamentes of Poetrie: yet were they sprinckled with some prettye flowers of theire owne naturall devise, which gave good grace and comlines unto them, the which yt is greate pittye to see soe good an ornament abused, to the gracinge of wickednes and vice, which woulde with good usage serve to bewtifie and adorne vertue. This evill custome therefore needeth reformacon. And nowe next after the Irishe Kerne, me seemes the Irish Horse boyes woulde come well in order, the use of which though necessarye (as tymes nowe bee) doe enforce, yet in the reformacon of that Realme they shoulde be cutt of. For the cause whie they must bee nowe permitted is the wante of convenient innes for lodginge of travellers on horsebacke, and of Ostelers to tende theire horses by the waye. But when thinges shalbe reduced to a better passe, this needeth specially to be reformed; for out of the frye of these rakehelly horseboyes, growinge up in knavery and villany, are theire kerne contynewally supplied and mayntayned. For hauinge benn once brought up an idle horseboye, he will never after falle to labor, but is only made fitt for the halter. And these allso (the which is one fowle over-sight) are for the most parte bred up amongest Englishmen, and Souldyers, of whome learninge to shoote a peece, and beinge made acquainted with all the trades of the Englishe, they are afterwardes, when they become kerne, made more fytt to cutt theire throates. Next to this there is another much like, but much more lewde and dishonest; and that is, of theire Carrowes, which is a kinde of people that wander up and downe gentlemens howses, lyvinge only upon Cardes and dyce, the which, though they have little or nothinge of theire owne, yet will they playe for much moneye, which if they wynne, they waste most lightlie, and yf they loose, they paye as slenderlye, but make recompence with one stealth or another, whose only hurte is not, that they themselves are Idle Losselles, but that through gayminge they drawe others to like lewdnes and idlenes. And to these maye bee added another sorte of like loose fellowes, which doe passe up and downe amongest gentlemen by the name of Jesters, but are in deede notable Roges, and partakers not only of many stealthes by settinge forth other mens goodes to bee stollen, but allso pryvie to many trayterous practizes, and common Carryers of newes, with desier whereof you woulde wonder howe muche the Irishe are fedd: for they use commonly to sende up and downe to knowe news, and yf any meete another, his second worde is, What newes? In soe much that hereof is toulde a pretty jest of a Frenchman, whoe havinge bene sometyme in Ireland, where he maked theire greate enquirye for newes, and meetinge afterwardes in Fraunce an Irishman whome he knewe in Ireland, first saluted him, and afterwardes thus merelye: Sir, I praye you (quoth he) tell me of curtesie, have you hearde yet any thinge of the newes that ye so much enquired for in your Countrye?
Eudox: This argueth sure in them a greate desier of innovacon, and therefore these occasions which norishe the same are to be taken awaye, as namelie, these Jesters, Carrowes, Mora-shite, and all such straglers, for whom me seemes the shorte riddance of a Marshall were meeter then any ordinance or prohibicon to restrayne them. Therefore, I praye you, leave all this brablement of such loose Runnagates, and passe to some other Customes.
Iren: There is a greate use amonge the Irishe, to make greate assemblies togeather upon a Rath or hill, there to parlie (as they saye) about matters and wronges betwene Towneship and Towneship, or one private person and another. But well I wott, that knowe, yt hath bene oftentymes approved, that in these meetinges many mischiefes have benn both practized and wrought: for to them doe commonly resorte all the scumme of loose people, where they may freelie meete and conferre of what they list, which ells theye could not doe without suspicon or knowledge of others. Besides, at these parlies I have divers tymes knowen that many Englishmen, and other good Irishe subjectes, have benn villanouslie murdered, by movinge one quarrell or another amongest them. For the Irishe never come to those Rathes but armed, whether on horsebacke or on foote, which the English nothinge suspectinge, are then commonly taken at advantagge like sheepe in the pynfolde.
Eudox: It may bee Iren: that abuse maye bee in these meetings. But these rounde hilles and square bawnes, which you see soe stronglie trenched and throwen upp, were (they saye) at first ordayned for the same purpose, that people mighte assemble themselves thereon; and therefore auncientlye they were called Folkmotes, that is, a place for people to meete or talke of any thinge that concerned any difference betweene parties and Towneshipes, which seemeth yet to me very requisite.
Iren: You say very true, Eudox: the first makinge of these high hilles was at first indeede to very good purpose for people to meete; but though the tymes when they were first made, might well serve to good occasions, as perhappes they did then in England, yet thinges being since altred, and nowe Ireland much differing from that stae of England, the goode use that then was of them is nowe turned to abuse; for those hills wherof you speake, were (as ye may gather by reading) appointed for two special uses, and built by two severall nations. The one are those which you call Folke-motes, the which were builte by the Saxons, as the woorde bewraieth; for it signifieth in Saxone a meetinge of folke or people, and those are for the most parte in forme fower square, well trenched for the meetinge of that [blank] . The others that are rounde, were cast up by the Danes, as the name of them doth betoken; for they are called Daneraths, that is, hilles of the Danes, the which were by them devised, not for parlies and Treaties, but appointed as fortes for them to gather unto in troblesome tyme, when any tumult arose; for the Danes, beinge but a fewe in comparison of the Saxons, used this for theire safetie. They made these smale rounde hilles, soe stronglye fenced, in every quarter of the hundred, to the ende that yf in the night, or at any other tyme, any crye or uprore shoulde happen, they might repayre with all speede unto theire owne forte, which was appointed for theire quarter, and there remayne sayfe, tyll they could assemble themselves in greate strengthe: for they were made so stronge, with one smale entrance, that whosover came thither first, were he one or twoe, or like fewe, he or they might rest saife, and defend themselves against manie, tyll more succor came unto them; and when they were gathered to a sufficient nomber they marched to the next fort, and soe forward tyll they mett with the perill, or knewe the occasion thereof. But besides these twoe sortes of hilles, there were auncientlie divers others; for some were raysed, where there had bene a greate battayle, as a memorye or trophes thereof; others, as monuments of buryalls of the carcasses of all those that were slaine in any fyghte, upon whome they did throwe up such rounde mounts, as memorialls for them, and sometimes did cast up great heapes of stones, as you may read the like in many places of the Scripture, and other whiles they did throw up many round heapes of earth in a circle, like a garland, or pitch many long stones on ende in compasse, every one of which they say, betokened some worthie person of note there slayne and buried; for this was theire auncyent custome, before Christianitie came in amongest them that church-yardes were inclosed.
Eudox: Yee have very well declared the originall of these mountes and greate stones encompassed, which some vaynely terme the olde Gyants Tryvetts, and thincke that these huge stones woulde not ells bee brought into order or reared up without the strengthe of gyants. And others as vaynelie thincke that they were never placed there by mans hand or arte, but only remayned there since the beginninge, and were afterwards discovered by the deluge, and layed open by the washinge of the waters, or other like casullytie. But lett them dreame their owne imaginacons to please themselves; but yee have satisfied me much better, both by that I see some confirmacon thereof in the Holy Wrytt, and allso remember that I have red in many historyes and Cronicles the lie mounts and stones oftentimes menconed.
Iren: There bee many greate authorities, I assure you, to prove the same; but as for these meetinges on hilles, whereof wee were much speakinge, yt is verye inconvenient that any such shoulde be permitted, specially in a people soe evill mynded as they nowe bee and diverslie showe themselves.
Eudox: But yt is very needfull me seemes for many other purposes, as for the countrye to gather togeather when there is any imposicon to be laied upon them, to the which they then all agree att such meetings to cutt and devide upon themselves, accordinge to theire holdinges and abilities. Soe as yf att these assemblies there bee any officers, as Constables, Bayliffes, or such like amongest them, there cann be noe perill or doubte of such bad practices.
Iren: Nevertheles, daungerous are such assemblies, whether for cesse or ought ells, the Constables and Officers beinge allso of the Irishe; and yf there happen there to bee of the English, even to them they may proue perillous. Therefore for avoydinge of all such evill occasions, they were best to be abolished.
Eudox: But what is that which you call cesse? yt is a word sure unused amongest us here; therefore I pray you expounde the same.
Iren: Cesse is none other but that your selfe called imposicon, but yt is in a kinde unacquainted perhappes unto you. For there are cesses of sondry sortes; one the cessinge of souldiors upon the country; for Ireland being a country of warr as yt is handled, and all wayes full of souldyors, they which have the goverment, whether they finde yt the most ease to the Queenes purse, or most ready meanes at hande for the victualinge of souldiors, or that necessitie enforceth them thereunto, doe scatter the army abrode the country, and place them in townes to take their victualls of them, att such vacant tymes as they lye not in campe, nor are otherwise imployed in service. Another kinde of Cesse, is the imposinge of provision for the Governors house keepinge, which though yt be most necessary, and be allso, for avoyding of all the evilles formerly therein used, lately brought to a composicon, yet yt is not without greate inconveniences, no lesse then here in England, or rather much more. The like Cesse is allso charged upon the country sometymes for victuallinge of the souldyors, when they lie in garrison, at such tymes as when there is none remayninge in the Queenes store, or that the same cannot convenientlie bee conveyed to theire place of garrison. But these twoe are not easie to be redressed when necessity thereto compelleth; but as the former, as yt is not necessary, soe yt [is] most hurtfull and offensyve to the poore Country, and nothinge convenient to the souldyor himselfe, whoe during his lyinge at Cesse, useth all kinde of outragious disorder and villanie, both towards the poore men that victell and lodge them, and allso to all the rest of the Country round about them, whome they abuse, spoile, and afflicte by all the meanes they cann invent: for they will not only content themselves with such victualls as theire hostes doe provide them, nor yet as the place will afford, but they will have theire meate provided for them, and aqua vitę sent for; yea and money besides layed at his trencher, which yf he wante, then about the howse he walketh with the wretched poore man and the sillye poore wief, whoe are glade to purchase theire peace with any thinge. By which vyle manner of abuse, the country people, yea and the very English which dwell abrode and see, and sometimes feele these outrages, growe into greate detestacon of the souldyor, and thereby into hatred of the very goverment, which draweth upon them such evilles: And therefore this yee may also joyne with the former evill customes which yee haue to reprove in Ireland.
Eudox: Trulie this is one not the least, and though the persons, of whom yt is used be of better note then the former rogish sorte which yee reckoned, yet the faulte [is] no lesse worthye of a Marshall.
Iren: That were a hard corse, Eudoxus, to redres every abuse by a Marshall: yt would seeme to you evill sugery to cutt of every unsounde sicke part of the body, which, beinge by other due meanes recovered, might afterwards doe very good service to the body againe, and haply helpe to save the whole: Therefore I thincke better that some good salve for redres of this evill be sought forth, then the least parte suffred to perishe. But hereof wee have to speake in another place. Nowe we will proceede to the other like defectes, amonge which there is one generall inconvenience which rayneth allmost throughout all Ireland: and that of the Lords of land, and fre-holders, whoe doe not there use to sett out theire lands to farme, or for terme of yeres, to their tennants, but only from yere to yere, and some during pleasure; nether indeede will the Irishe tennant or husband otherwise take his lande then so longe as he list himselfe. The reason hereof in the tennant is, for that the landlords there use most shamefully to racke theire tenants, layinge upon him coygnie and livery at pleasure, and exactinge of him besides his covenante, what he please. So that the poore husbandman either dare not binde himselfe to him for longer tyme, or that he thinketh by his contynuall libertie of chainge to keepe his landlorde the rather in awe from wronginge of him. And the reason whie the landlord will not longer covenante with him is, for that he daylie looketh for chainge and alteracon, and hovereth in expectacon of newe worldes.
Eudox: But what evill commeth hereby to the commonwealth? or what reason is yt that any landlord should not sett, nor any tennante take his land as himselfe list?
Iren: Marry, the evilles that commeth hereby are greate, for by this meanes both the landlord thinketh that he hath his tennante more at commaund, to followe him into waht accon soever he will enter, and allso the tennant, beinge left at his liberty, is fitt for every variable occasion of chainge that shalbe offered by tyme: and so much allso the more willinge and ready is hee to runne into the same, for that he hath no such estate in any his holdinge, no suche buyldinge upon any farme, no such costs ymployed in fencing and hubandinge the same, as might withholde him from any such willfull corse, as his lords cause, and his owne lewde disposicon may carry him unto. All which he hath forborne, and spared soe much expence, for that he had no former estate in his tenement, but was only a tennante at will or little more, and soe at will may leave yt. And this inconvenience maye be reason enough to ground any ordinance for the good of a Common-wealth, against the private behoofe or will of any landlord that shall refuse to graunte any such terme or estate unto his tennante as may tend to the good of the whole Realme.
Eudox: Indeede me seemes yt is a greate willfulnes in any such landlord to refuse to make any longer farmes to theire tennants, as may, besides the generall good of the Realme, be also greatly for theire owne profit and avayle: For what reasonable man will not thinke that the tenement shalbe made much the better for the lords behoofe, yf the tennante may by such meanes be drawen to buylde himselfe some handsome habitacon thereof, to dytch and enclose his grounde, to manure and husband yt as good farmers use? For when his tennants terme shalbe expired, yt will yeilde him, in the renewinge his lease, both a good fyne, and allso a better rente. And also it wil be for the good of the tenent likewise, whoe by such buyldinges and inclosures shall receave many benefitts: first, by the handsomenes of his howse, he shall take greate comforte of his lief, more saife dwellinge, and a delight to keepe his saide howse neate and cleanely, which nowe beinge, as they commonly are, rather swyne-steades then howses, is the chiefest cause of his soe beastlie manner of life, and saluaige condicon, lyinge and lyvinge together with his beaste in one howse, in one rowme, and in one bed, that is the cleane strawe, or rather the fowle dounghill. And to all these other commodities he shall in shorte tyme finde a greater added, that is his owne wealth and riches encreased, and wonderfully enlarged, by keepinge his cattle in enclosures, where they shall allwayes have fresh pasture, that nowe is all trampled and over runne; warme cover, that nowe lyeth open to all weather; saife beinge, that nowe are contynually filched and stollen.
Iren: Yee have well, Eudoxus, accompted the commodities of this one good ordinance, amongest which this that yee have named last is not the leaste: for all thother beinge most beneficiall both to the Landlord and the tenantes, this chiefly redoundeth to the good of the commonwealth, to have the lande thus inclosed, and well fenced. For yt is both a principall barre and impeachment unto theves from stealinge of cattle in the night, and allso a gaule against all rebelles and outlawes, that shall rise up in any nombers against government; for the theefe thereby shall have much adooe, first to bringe forth, and afterwards to dryve [away] his stollen pray but through the common high wayes, where he shall soone bee descryed and mett wythall: And the rebell or open enemye, yf any suche shall happen, either at home, or from abroade, shall easilie be founde when he commeth forth, and be well encountered withall by a fewe in soe straight passages and strong enclosures. This, therefore, when we come to the reforminge of all these evill customes before menconed, is needefull to be remembred. But nowe by this tyme me seemes that I have well runne through the evill uses which I have observed in Ireland. Nevertheles I will note that many more there bee, and infinitely many more in the private abuses of men. But those that are most generall, and tendinge to the hurte of the common wealth, as they have come to my remembrance, I have as breifly as I could rehearsed unto you. And therefore I thincke best that wee passe to our thirde parte, in which wee noted inconvenience that is in religion.
Eudox: Surelie you have very well handled these rwoe former, and yf you shall as well goe thorough the thirde likewise, yee shall meritt a very good meede.
Iren: Little have I to saye of religion, both because the partes thereof bee not many, yt selfe beinge but one, and my selfe have not been much conversant in that callinge, but as lightlye passinge bye I have seene or hearde: Therefore the faulte which I finde in religion is but one, but the same universall thoroughout all that countrye; that is, that they are all Papists by theire profession, but in the same soe blindlie and brutishlie informed, for the most parte, as that you would rather thincke them Atheists or Infidelles, for not one amongest an hundred knoweth any ground of religion, and any Article of his faythe, but canne perhappes, say his pater noster, or his Ave Maria, without any knowledge or understandinge what one worde thereof meaneth.
Eudox: This is truly a moste pyttifull hearinge that so many sowles shulde falle into the Devilles handes at once and lacke the blessed comfort of the sweete gospell and Christs deare passyon. Aye me, how commeth yt to passe, that beinge a people, as they are, tradinge with soe many nacons and frequented of soe many, yet they have not tasted any parte of those happie Joyes, nor once bene lightned with the morning starre of truth, but lye mellinge in such sperituall darknes hard by hell mouthe, eaver ready to fall in, yf God happilie helpe not?
Iren: The generall faulte commeth not of any late abuse either in the people or their priests, whoe can teach [noe] better then [they] knowe, nor showe noe more light than they have seene, but in the first instruccon, and planting religion in all that Realme, which was I reade in the tyme of Pope Calestine, whoe, as yt is wrytten, did first sende over thither Pallidaius, whoe thence decreasinge, he afterwards sent over St. Patricke, being by nacon a Brytton, whoe converted the people, beinge then infidelles, from paganisme, and Christened them: in which Popes tyme and longe before, yt is certen that religion was generally corrupted with theire popish trumpery. Therfore what other could they learne, then suche trashe as was taught them and drincke of that Cuppe of fornicacon [with] which the purple harlott had then made all nacons drounken?
Eudox: What, doe you then blame and find faulte with soe good an acte in that good Pope, as the reducinge of such a greate people to Christendome, bringing soe many sowles to Christe? yf that were ill, what is good?
Iren: I doe not blame the Christendome of them: for to be sealed with the marke of the Lambe, by what hand soe ever yt bee done rightlie, I hould yt a good and gracious marke, for the generall profession which [they] then take upon them at the Crosse and fayth in Christe. I nothinge doubte but through the powerfull grace of that mighty Savior [it] will worke salvacon in many of them. But nevertheless since they drouncke not of the pure springe of life, but only tasted of such troubled waters as were brought unto them, the dragges thereof have brought a greate Contagion in theire sowles, the which daylie encresinge and beinge still more augmented with theire owne lewde lyves and filthie conversacon, hath nowe breed in them this generall disease that cannot but only with very stronge purgacons, bee clensed and carried awaye.
Eudox: Then for this defecte you finde no faulte with the people themselves, nor with the preists which take the charge of sowles, but with the first ordinance and institucon thereof.
Iren: Not so, Eudox: for the sinne or ignorance of the prieste shall not excuse the people, nor the authoritie of theire greate pastor, Peters successor, shall not excuse the prieste, but they all shall dye in their sinnes: for they have all erred and gone out of the waye together.
Eudox: But yf this ignorance of the people bee sucha burthen unto the Pope, is yt not a like blott to them that nowe holde that place, in that they which nowe are in the light themselves suffer a people under their care to wallowe in such deadly darknes? for I doe not see that the fault is changed but the faultines.
Iren: That which you blame, Eudoxus, is not I suppose any fault of will in these godly fathers which have charge thereof, nor any defecte of zeale for reformacon, but the inconvenience of the tyme and troublous occasions, wherewith that wretched Realme hath bene contynually turmoyled; for instruccon in religion needeth quiett tymes, and ere wee seeke to settle a sounde discypline in the cleargie, wee must purchase [peace] unto the layetie, for yt is yll tyme to preach amongest swords, and most hard, or rather ympossible, yt is to settle a good opinion in the myndes of men for matters of religion dowbtfull, which have dowbtles evill opinion of ourselves; for ere a newe be brought in, the oulde must be removed.
Eudox: Then belike yt is meete that some fitter tyme bee attended, that God sende peace and quietnes there in Civill matters before yt be attempted in ecclesiasticall. I would rather have thought that as yt is said, correccon shoulde begynne at the howse of God, and that the care of the soule should have benn preferred before the care of the bodye.
Iren: Most true, Eudoxus, the care of the sowle and sowle matters are to be preferred before the care of the body, in consideracon of the worthines thereof, but not in the tyme of reformacon; for if you should knowe a wicked person dangerouslie sicke, havinge nowe both sowle and body greatly diseased, yet both recoverable, would you not thincke yt ill advertisement to bringe the preacher before the phisicon? for yf his body were neglected, yt is like that his languishinge sowle being disquieted by his diseasefull body, would utterly refuse and loath all sprituall comfort. But yf his body were first recured, and brought to good frame, should there not then bee found best tyme to to recure his sowle also? Soe yt is in the stae of a Realme: Therefore as I saide yt is expedient, first to settle such a coorse of goverment there, as thereby both Civill disorders and ecclesiasticall abuses may be reformed and amended, whereto needeth not any such greate distance of tymes, as yee suppose I requier, but one joynte resolucon for both, that each might second and confirme the other.
Eudox: That wee shall see when wee come thereto: in the meane tyme I consider thus much, as you have delyvered, touchinge the generall faulte which yee suppose in religion, to weete, that it is popishe; but doe you finde no particular abuses therein, in the ministers thereof?
Iren: Yes verilie; for what ever disorders yee see in the Church of England yee may finde there, and many more: namelie, grosse symonie, greedy covetousnes, fleshlie incontinece, careles slougth, and generally all disordered lief in the common clergiemen. And besides all these, they have theire owne particular enormities; for all the Irishe preists, which now enjoye the church lyvings there, are in a manner meere laymen, soe like Laymen [that they] lyve like laymen, followe all kindes of hubandrye and other worldly affaires, as the other Irishe laymen doe. They nether reade scriptures, nor preach to the people, nor mynister the Sacrament of Communion; but the Baptisme they doe, for they christen yet after the popish fashion, and with the popish lattine mynistracon, only they take the tythes and offeringes, and gather what fruits ells they may of theire lyvinge; the which they convert as badly. And some of them they saye pay as due tributts and shares of theire lyving to their Bishoppes, (Ispeake of those which are Irish) as they receve them dulye.
Eudox: But is that suffered amongest them? It is wonder but that the governors redres such shamefull abuses.
Iren: Howe can they, since they knowe them not? for the Irishe Bishops have theire cleargie in such awe and subjeccon under them, that they dare not complaine of them, soe as they may doe to them what they please, for they knowinge theire owne unworthynes and incapacitie, and that they are therefore removable att theire bishops will, yeilde what pleaseth him, and he taketh what he listeth: yea, and some of them whose dyoceses are in remote partes, somewhat out of the worldes eye, doe not att all bestowe the benefices, which are in theire owne devocon, upon any, but keepe them in theire owne hands, and sett theire owne servants and horseboyes to take up the Tythes and fraucts of them, with the which some of them purchase greate lands, and buylde fayre castells upon the same. Of which abuse yf any question bee moved, they have a very seemelie coulor of excuse, that they have no worthie mynisters to bestowe them upon, but keepe them soe unbestowed for any such sufficient person as any shall bringe unto them.
Eudox: But is there no lawe or ordinance to meete with this mischeife? nor hath yt never before benne looked into?
Iren: Yes, it seemes yt hath; for there is a statute there enacted in Ireland, which seemes to have benn grounded upon a good meaninge--That whatsoever Englisheman beinge of good conversacon and sufficiency, shalbee brought unto any of those Byshops, and nominated unto any lyvinge within their dyoces that is presently voide, that he shall without contradiccon bee admytted thereunto before any Irishe.
Eudox: This is surelie a very good lawe, and well provided for this evill, whereof yee speake: and whie is not the same observed?
Iren: I thincke yt is well observed, and that none of the bishops transgres the same, but yet yt worketh no reformacon hereof for many respects. First there are no such sufficient Englishe mynisters sent over as might bee presented to any bysshop for any lyvinge, but the moste parte of such Englishe as come over thither of them selves are either unlearned, or men of some bad note, for the which they have forsaken England. So as the Bisshop, to whome they shalbe presented, may justly rejecte them as incapable and insufficient. Secondly, the Bishhop himselfe is perhappes an Irishe man, whoe beinge made judge by that lawe of the sufficiency of the mynister, may at his owne will, dislike of the Englisheman, as unworthye in his opinion, and admytt of any other Irishe whome he shall thincke more fitt for his turne. And yf he shall at the instance of any Englishman of countennance there, whome he will not displease, accept of any such Englishe minister as shalbe tendred unto him, yet he will under hand carry such a hard hande over him, or by his officers wring him so sore, that he will soone make him weary of his poor lyvinge. Lastlye, the benefices themselves are so meane, and of soe smale proffitt in those Irishe countryes, through the ill husbandry of the Irishe people which inhabite them, that they will not yeilde any competent maynetenance for any honest mynister to lyve upon, scarslie to buy him a gowne. And were all this redressed, as happely yt might bee, yet what good should any Englishe mynister doe amongst them, by preachinge or teachinge which either cannot understande him, or will not heare him? Or what comfort of lief shall he have, where his parishioners are soe insacyable, soe intractable, soe ill-affected to him, as they usually bee to all the English? or fynally, how dare allmost any honeste mynisters, that are peacefull civill men, commit his saifetie to the handes of suche neighbors, as the boldest captaines dare scarcelye dwell by?
Eudox: Little good then I see is by that statute wrought, howe ever well intended; but the reformacon thereof must growe higher, and be brought from a stronger ordinance then the commaundement or penaltye of a lawe, which none dare enforme or complaine of when yt is broken: but have you any more of these abuses in the cleargie?
Iren: I coulde perhappes reckon more, but I perceave mye speach to growe to longe, and these may suffice to judge of the generall disorders which raigne amongst them; as for the particulers, they are too manie to bee reckoned. For the cleargie there, except some fewe grave fathers which are in high place about the state, and some others which are lately planted in theire new colledge, are generally bad, lycentious, and most disordered.
Eudox: Yee have then, as I suppose, gone through these three first partes which ye purposed unto your selfe, to wyte, the inconveniences which ye observed in the lawes, in the customes, and in the religion of that Land. The which me seemes, you have soe thoroughlie touched, as that nothinge more remayneth nowe to be spoken thereof.
Iren: Not so thoroughlie as ye suppose, that nothinge more can remayne, but soe generally as I purpost; that is, to lay open the generall evilles of that realme, which doe hinder the good reformacon thereof; for to accounte the particuler faultes of private men, should be a worke infinite; yet some there bee of that nature, that though they bee in pryvate men, yet theire evill reacheth to a generall hurte, as the extorcon of sheriffes, subsheriffes, and their bayliffes, the corrupcon of victuallers, cessors, and purveryors, the disorders of shenescalles, captaines, and their souldyers, and many such like: All which I wil only name here, that theire reformacon may bee mynded in place where yt moste concerneth. But there is one very foule abuse which, by the waye, I may not omitt, and that is in captaines, whoe notwithstandinge that they are speciallie imployed to make peace thorough stronge execucon of warre, yet they doe soe dandle theire doinges, and dally in their service to them commytted, as yf they would not have the enemye subdued, or utterly beaten downe, for feare leaste afterwardes they should neede imployment, and soe be dischrged of paye: for which cause some of them that are layed in Garrison doe so handle the matter, that they will doe noe greate hurte to the enemyes, yet for colour sake some men they will kill, even halfe with the consent of the enemy, being persons either of base regard, or enemies to the enemy, whose heades eftsones they sende in to the Governor for a commendacon of theire greate endevors, telling howe waightie a service they have performed by cuttinge of such and such daingerous Rebelles.
Eudox: Trulye this is a pretty mockery, and not to be permitted by the Governors.
Iren: Yes, but how cann the Governors knowe readily what persons those weare, and what the purpose of theire killinge was? yea, and what will yee saye, if the captaines doe justifye this theire course by ensample of some of theire Governors, whoe, under Benedicite, I doe tell yt to you, doe practise the like sleights in theire goverments?
Eudox: Is it possible? Take heed what you saye, Irenius.
Iren: To you, you only, Eudoxus, I doe tell yt, and that even with greate heartes griefe, and inward trouble of mynde, to see her Majestie soe much abused by some whome they put in specyall trust of theire affayres: of which some, beinge marshall men, will not will not doe allwayes what they may for quietinge of things, but will rather wincke at some faultes, and suffer them unpunished, leaste they havinge put all thinges in that assurance of peace that they might, they shoulde seeme afterwards not to be needed, nor contynued in theire goverments with soe greate a charge to her Majestie. And therefore they doe cunningly carry theire coorse of goverment, and from one hande to another doe bandy the service like a Tennys-balle, which they will never strike quite awaye, for feare leaste afterwards they should want sportes.
Eudox: Doe you speake of under magistrates, Irenius, or of principall governors?
Iren: I doe speake of noe particulars, but the truth may be founde out by tryall and reasonable insighte into some of theire doinges. And yf I shoulde saye there is some blame thereof in some of the principall Governors, I thincke I might allso shewe some reasonable proffe of my speach. For by that which I and many have observed, the like might be gathered. As for ensample, some of them feinge the ende of theire goverment to drawe nighe, and some mischeefe or troublous practise growinge up, which afterwards may worke trouble to the next succeding governor, will not attempt the redres or cuttinge of thereof, either for feare they shoulde leave the realme unquiett att the ende of their goverment, or that the next that commeth shoulde receave the same to quiett, and soe happely wynne more prayse thereof then they before. And therefore they will not as I say, seeke at all to redres that evill, but will eyther by graunting proteccon for a tyme, or houldinge some enparlance with the rebell, or by treaty of commissioners, or other like devises, onely smother and keepe downe the flame of the mischiefe, soe as yt may not breake out in theire tyme of goverment: what comes afterwards they care not, or rather wishe the worst. This coorse hath bene noted in some governors.
Eudox: Surelie Irenius this, yf yt were true, should bee worthye of an heauy judgment: but yt ys hardlye to be thought, that any governor should soe much either envye the good of that realme which is putt into his hande, or defraude her Majestie, whoe trusteth him soe much, or maligne his successor which shall possesse his place, as to suffer an evill to growe up, which he might tymelye have kept under, or perhaps to nourishe yt with colloured countenance, or suche synister meanes.
Iren: I doe not certenly avouch, Eudoxus: but the sequell of thinges doth in a manner prove, and playnely speake soe much, that the governors usually are envyous one of anothers greater glorie, which yf they woulde seeke to excell by better governinge, it shoulde be a most laudable emulacon. But they doe quite otherwise: for this (as yee maye marke,) is the common order of them, that whoe commeth next in place will not followe that coorse of government, how ever good, which his predecessor helde, or for desdaine of himselfe, or dowbte to have his doinges drowned in another mans prayse, but will straighte take a way quite contrarye to the former: as yf the former thought by keepinge under the Irishe, to reforme them, the next, by discontynencinge the Englishe will curry favor with the Irishe and soe make his government seeme plausible in viewe, as havinge all the Irishe at his commaund: but he that comes next after will perhappes follow neither thone nor thother, but will dandle thone and thother in suche sorte, as he will sucke sweete out of them both, and leave bitternes to the poore lande, which yf he that comes after shall seeke to redres, he shall perhappes finde such crosses as he shalbe hardly able to beare, or doe any good that might worke disgrace of his predecessors. Ensmples hereof yee maye see in the governors of late tymes sufficientlye, and in others of former tymes more manifestlye, when the government of that Realme was commytted sometymes to the Geraldynes, as when the Howse of Yorke helde the Crowne of England; sometymes to the Butlers, as when the Howse of Lancaster gott the same. And other whiles, when an Englishe governor was appointed, he perhappes founde enemies of both. And this is the wretchednes of that fatall kingdome which, I thincke, therefore in old tyme was not called amisse Ranna or Sacra Insula, takingeSacra for accursed.
Eudox: I am sorrie to heare soe much as yee reporte; and nowe I begynne to conceave somewhat more of the cause of her contynuall wretchednes then heretofore I founde, and I wishe that this inconvenyence were looked into: for sure me seemes yt is more waightie then all the former, and more hardly to be redressed in the governor then in the governed; as a maladie in a vitall parte is more incurable then in an externall.
Iren: You saye very true; but nowe that wee have thus ended all the abuses and inconveniences of that goverment, which was our first parte, it followes next to speake of the seconde part, which was of the meanes to cure and redres the same, which wee must labor to reduce to the first begynninge thereof.
Eudox: Right soe Irenius: for by that which I have noted in all this your discourse, yee suppose that the whole ordinance and institucon of that realmes goverment was, both att first when yt was placed, evill plotted, and allso since, through other oversighte, rune more out of square, [to] that disorder which yt is nowe come unto; like as twoe indirect lynes, the further they are drawen out, the further they goe asunder.
Iren: I doe see, Eudoxus and as yee saye, soe thincke, that the longer that goverment thus contynueth, in the worse case will that Realme bee; for yt is all in vayne that they nowe stryve and endeavor by fayre meanes and peaceable plotts to redres the same without first removinge all those inconveniences, and newe framinge, as yt were in the forge, all that is worne out of fashion: for all other meanes wilbe but lost labor, by patchinge up one hole to make many; for the Irish doe strongly hate and abhor all reformacon and subjeccon to the Englishe, by reason that, havinge bene once subdued by them, they were thrust out of all theire possessions. Soe as nowe they feare, that yf they were againe brought under, they shoulde likewise be expelled out of all, which is the cause that they hate Englishe goverment, accordine to the sayinge, Quem metuunt oderunt: therefore the reformacon must nowe be with the strength of a greater power.
Eudox: But, me thinckes, that might bee by makinge of good lawes, and establishinge of newe statuts, with sharpe penalties and punishments for amendinge of all that is presently amisse, and not as ye suppose, to begynne all as yt were anewe, and to alter the whole forme of the goverment; which how daingerous a thinge it is to attempte, you your selfe must needs confesse, and they which have the managinge of the Realmes whole pollycie, cannot, without greate cause, feare and refrayne: for all innovacon is perillous, in soe much as though yt be meante for the better, yet soe many accidents and fearefull events maye come betweene, as that it may hazard the losse of the whole.
Iren: Very true, Eudoxus; all chainge is to be shunde, where the affayres stand in such state as that they may contynue in quitnes, or bee assured at all to abide as they are. But that in the Realme of Ireland wee see muche otherwise, for every day wee perceave the troubles growinge more upon us, and one evill growinge upon another, in soe much as there is noe parte founde nor assertayned, but all have theire eares upright, waytinge when the watchworde shall come that they shoulde all rise generally into rebellyon, and cast awaye the Englishe sujeccon. To which there nowe little wanteth; for I thincke the worde be alreadye geven, and there wanteth nothinge but opportunitie, which trulye is the death of one noble person, whoe, beinge himselfe most stedfast to his noble Queene and his Countrye, coastinge upon the Southe Sea, stoppeth the ingate of all that evill which is looked for, and holdeth in all those which are at his backe, with the terror of his greatnes, and thassurance of his most immoveable loyalltye: And therefore where you thincke, that good and sounde lawes might amend and reforme thinges amisse there, you thincke surely amisse. For yt is vayne to prescribe lawes, where no man careth for keepinge of them, nor feareth the daunger for breaking of them. But all the realme is first to be reformed, and lawes afterwards to be made for keepinge and contynuinge yt in that reformed estate.
Eudox: Howe then doe you thincke is the reformacon thereof to begynne, yf not by the lawes and ordinances?
Iren: Even by the sworde; for all those evilles must first be cutt awaye with a stronge hande, before any good cann bee planted; like as the corrupt branches and unwholsome lawes are first to bee pruned, and the fowle mosse clensed or scraped awaye, before the tree cann bringe forth any good fruicte.
Eudox: Doe you blame me, even nowe, for wyshinge Kerne, Horse-boyes, and Carrowes to be cleane cutt of, as too violent a meanes, and doe your selfe nowe prescribe the same medicyne? Is not the sworde the most violent redres that may be used for any evill?
Iren: It is soe; but yet where no other remedye maye be found, nor no hope of recovery had, there must needes this violent meanes bee used. As for the loose kinde of people which you woulde have cutt of, I blamed yt, for that they might otherwise perhappes bee brought to good, as namely by this way which I sett before you.
Eudox: Is not your waye all one with the former, in effecte, which you founde falte with, save onely this ods, that I saye by the halter, and you saye by the sworde? what difference is there?
Iren: There is surely greate, when you shall understand yt; for by the sworde, which I named, I doe not meane the cuttinge of of all that nacon with the sworde, which farr bee yt from me, that ever I should thinke soe desperatelie, or wishe soe uncharitablie, but by the sworde I meane the Royall power of the Prince, which ought to stretch yt selfe forth in ther cheife strengthe to the redressinge and cutting of of those evilles, which I before blamed, and not of the people which are evill. For evill people by good ordynance and goverment may be made good; but the evill that is of yt selfe evill, will never become good.
Eudox: I praye you then declare your minde at large, howe you woulde wishe that sworde, which you meane, to bee used to the reformacon of those evilles.
Iren: The first thinge must bee to sende over into that realme such a stronge power of men, as that shall perforce bringe in all that rebellyous rout of loose people, which either doe nowe stande out in open armes, or in wanderinge companies doe keepe the woodes, spoilinge and infestinge the good subjecte.
Eudox: You speake nowe, Iren., of an infynite charge to her Majestie, to sende over such an armye as shoulde treade downe all that standeth before them on foote, and laye on the grounde all the stiffe-necked people of that lande; for there is nowe but one Outlawe of any greate reckoninge, to wytt, the Earle of Tyrone, abroade in armes, against whome you see what huge charges shee hath bene att this last yere, in sendinge of men, providinge of victualls, and makinge heade against him: yet there is litle or nothinge at all done, but the Queenes treasure spente, her people wasted, the poore countrye troubled, and the enemye nevertheles brought into no more subjeccon then he was, or list outwardlye to showe, which in effecte is none, but rather a scorne of her power, and emboldeninge of a proud Rebell, and an encouragement unto all like lewdelie disposed traytors that shall dare to lifte up theire heele against theire Soveraigne Lady. Therefore yt were harde counsell to drawe such an exceedinge charge upon her, whose event should be soe uncerten.
Iren: True indeede, yf the event shoulde bee uncerten; but the certentie of theffecte hereof shalbe soe infallable as that noe reason cann gayne say yt, nether shall the charge of all this armie, which I demaund, bee much greater then soe much as in this last twoe yeres warres hath vainlye benn expended. For I dare undertake that it hath cost the Queene above 200000 poundes allready, and for the present charge, that shee is nowe att there, amounteth to the very nere 2000 poundes a monthe whereof cast yee the counte; yet nothinge is done. The which some, had yt benn imployed as yt shoulde bee, woulde have effected al this that I now goe aboute.
Eudox: Howe meane you to have yt imployed, but to be spent in the paye of souldyors, and provision of victuall?
Iren: Right soe, but yt is nowe not disbursed at once, as yt might bee, but drawen out into a longe length, by sendinge over nowe 20000 poundes, and next halfe yere 10000 pounds; soe as the souldyer in the meane tyme, is for wante of due provision of victuall, and goode payement of his due, sterved and consumed; that of a 1000, which came over lustie able men, in halfe a yere there are not lefte 500. And yet is the Queenes charge never the les, but what is not paied in present mony is accompted in debte, which will not be longe unpaied; for the Captaine, halfe of whose souldyors are deade, and thother quarter never mustered, nor seene, comes shortlye to demand payment here of his whole accompte, where, by good meanes of some greate ones, and privie sharinge with the officers and servants of other some, he receiveth his debte, much lesse perhapps then was due, yett much more indeede then he justlye deserved.
Eudox: I take this, sure, to be no good husbandrye; for what must needes be spent, at once, where is inough, as to have it drawne out into longe delaies, seinge that thereby both the service is much hindered, and yett nothinge saved: but yt may be the Queenes treasure is soe greate a some together, but beinge paide as yt is, now some and then some, yt is noe great burden unto her, nor any great ympoverishment to her coffers, seinge by such delaye of time that it daylie cometh in soe fast as shee poureth it out.
Iren: Yt may be as you saide, but for the goeinge through of soe honorable a course I doubt not but yf the Queenes coffers be not soe well stored, which wee are not to looke into, but that the whole realme which now, as things are used, doe feele a continuall burthen of that wretched realme hangeinge upon theire backes, would, for a finall ryddance of that trouble, be once troubled for all; and put to all theire shouldiers, and helping hands, and hartes alsoe, to the defrayinge of that charge, most gladfullie and willinglye; and surely the charge, in effect, is nothinge to the infinite greate good which shold come thereby, both to the Queene, and all this realme genarallye, as when tyme serveth shalbe shewed.
Eudox: How manye men then would you require to the finnishing of this which yee take in hand? and how longe space would you have them intertained?
Iren: Verely, not above ten thousand footemen, and a 1000 horse, and all those not above the space of one year and a halfe; for I would still, as the heate of the service abateth, abate the nomber in paye, and make other provision for them, as I will show.
Eudox: Surely, yt semeth not much that you require, nor noe long time: but how would you have them used? would you leade forth your armye against the enymie, and seeke him where he is to fight?
Iren: No, Eudox., it would not be, for it is well knowne that he is a flying enimye, hidynge himself in woodes and bogges, from whence he will not draw forth, but into some straight passage or perilous forde where he knowes the armye most needes passe; there will he lye in wait, and, if hee finde advantage fitt, will dangerouslye hazard the troubled souldier. Therefore to seeke him owte that still flyeth, and follow him that cann hardlye be found, were vaine and bootlesse; but I would devide my men in garrison upon his countrye, in such places as I would thincke might most annoy him.
Eudox: But how can that bee, Iren., with so few men? for thenemy, as ye now see, is not all in one countyre, but some in Ulster, some in Connaug, and others in Leinster. So as to plainte stronge garrisons in all these places should neede many moe men then you speake of, or to plainte all in one, and to leave the rest naked, should be but to leave them to the spoyle.
Iren: I would wish the chiefe power of the armye to bee garrisoned in one countrye that is strongest, and the other upon the rest that are weakest: As for example, the Earle of Terrone is now counted the strongest; upon him would I laye 8000 men in garrison, 1000 upon Pheagh Mac-Hugh and the Cavanaghes, and 1000 upon some partes of Connaghe to be at the direction of the Governor.
Eudox: I see now all your men bestowed, but in what places would you sett theire garrison that they might rise out most convenientlye to service? and though perhaps I am ignorant of the places, yet I will take the mapp of Ireland before me, and make my eyes in the mean while my schole-maisters, to guid my understandinge to judge of your plott.
Iren: These 8000 in Ulster I would devide likewise into foure parts, so as theire should be 2000 footmen in everye garrison; the which I would thus place. Upon the Blackwater, in some convenient place, high upon the ryver as might bee, I would laye one garrison. Another would I put at Castlelisser or Castlefine thereaboutes, soe as they should have all the passages upon the river to Loghfoyle. the third I would place aboute Fermaugh or Bondroise, soe as they might lye betweene Connaugh and Ulster, to serve upon both sides, as occasion shalbe offered; and this therefore would I have stronger then any of the rest, because yt should be most enforced, and most ymployed, and that they might put wardes at Ballashanon, Belike, and all those passages. The rest would I sett aboute Mannaghan or Belterbert, soe as yt should fronte both upon thenymie that waye, and alsoe keepe the countye of Cavan an Meath in awe from passinge of straglers, and out gaders from those partes, whence they use to come forthe, and oftentymes worke much mischiefe. And to everye of theise garisons of 2000. footemen, I would have 200. horsemen added, for thone without thother can do but litle service. The foure garrisons, thus beinge placed, I would have to be victualled aforehand for half a yeare, which you will saie to be harde, consideringe the corruption and usuall wast of victualls. But why should they not be aswell victualed for soe longe tyme, as the shipes are usuallye for a yeare, and sometymes twoe, seinge it is easier to keepe them on land then on water? There breade would I have in flower, so as it might be baked still to serve there want. There drinke alsoe there brewed within them, from tyme to tyme, and their beef befor hande barrelled, the which maye be used as it is needed; for I make noe doubt but of freshe victuall they will sometimes purvay themselves amongst theire enymies Creete. Here unto would I alsoe have them have a store of hose and shooes, with such other necessaries as maye be needfull for souldiers, soe as they shall have no occasion to looke for reliefe from abroade, or occasion such trouble, for their contynuall supplye, as I see and have often proved in Ireland to be more coumberous to the Deputy, and more daungerous to them that relief them, then half the leadinge of an Armye; for the enemy, knowinge the ordinarye wayes by which theire relief most be brought them, useth commonlye to draw himselfe into the straught pasages thitherwarde and oftentymes doth daungerously distres them: besides, the pay of such force as should be sent for theire convoye, the charge of the carryages, the exactions of the countrye shalbe spared. But onely every halfe yeare the supplye brought by the Deputye himself, and his power, whoe shall then visite and overlooke all those garrisons, to see what is needed, to change what is expedient, and to directe what he shall best advise. And these fowre garrisons yssuinge forth, at such convenient tymes as they shall have intelligence or espeiall upon the enemie will soe drive him from one steade to another, and tennis him amongst them, that he shall finde noe where saif to keepe his creet, nor hide himself, but flyinge from the fyer shall fall into the water, and out of one daunger into another, that is shorte tyme his Creet, which is his most susteniance, shalbe waisted with prayeinge, or killed with drivinges, or starved for want of pasture on the woodes, and he himselfe brought so low, that he shall have no arte nor abbilitye to endure his wretchednesse, the which will surely come to passe in verie short space; for one winters well followinge of him will soe plucke him on his knees, that he will never be able to stand up againe.
Eudox: Doe you then thinke the winter tyme fittest for the services of Ireland? how falls it then that our most imployment be in sommer, and the armyes then ledd commonlye foorth?
Iren: It is surely misconceyved; for yt is not with Ireland as with other countryes, where the wars flame most in sommer, and the helmets glyster brightest in the faire sonneshine: But in Ireland the winter yeildeth best services, for then the trees are bare and naked, which use both to cloath and howse the kerne; the ground is could and wett, which useth to be his beddinge; the ayre is sharpe and bitter, which useth to blow through his naked sides and legges; the kyen are barren and without milke, which useth to be his onelye foode, neyther yf he kill them will they yeild hime flesh, nor yf hee keepe them will they give him foode; besides then being all in calf for the most parte, they will, through much chasing and driuinge, cast all theire calues, and loose all their milke, which should relief him the next sommer after.
Eudox: I doe well understand your reason; but by your leave, I have hard yt other wise saide, of some that weare outlawes, that in sommer they kept themselves quiet, but in winter would plaie theyre partes, and when the nights weare longest, then burne and spoyle most, soe that they might safelye returne before daye.
Iren: I have likewise harde and likewise sene proofe thereof trewe: but that was of such outlawes as war abiddinge in well inhabited countrye, as in Mounster, all a-bordringe to the English pale, as Pheah Mac Hugh, the Cavanaghes, the Mores, the Dempses, the Ketinges, the Kellies, or such like: For for them indeed the night is the fittest tyme for spoyleing and robbinge, because the nightes are then, as ye said, longest and darkest, and also the countryes all aboute are then fulle of corne, and good provision to be everye where gotten by them; but it is far otherwise with a stronge peopled enymye, that possesse a whole countrye, for thother beinge but a few, are indeede privillye lodged, and kept in out villages and corners nigh the woodes and mountaynes, by some of theire privie freinds, to whom they bringe theire spoyles and stealthes, and of whom they continuallye receive secreete relief; but the open enymye haveinge all his countrye wasted, what by him, and what by the soldiers, finddeth them succor in noe places. Townes there are none of which he may gett spoile, they are all burnt; Countrye houses and farmers there are none, they be all fleed; breade he hath none, he plowed not in sommer; flesh he hath, but if he kill yt in winter, he shall want milke in sommer, and shortly want life. Therefore yf they bee well followed but one winter, yee shall have litle worke to doe with them the next sommer.
Eudox: I doe now well perceave the dyfference, and doe verelye thinke that the winter tyme is there fyttest for service: withall I perceave the manner of youre handlinge the services, by draweinge sudden draughtes upon the enimye, when he looketh nott for you, and to watch advantage upon him, as he doth uppon you. By which straight keepinge of them in, and not sufferinge them longe at anye tyme to rest, I must needes thinke that they most sone be brought low, and dryven to great extremyties. All which when you have perfourmed, and brought them to the verye last cast, suppose that eyther they will offer to come in unto you and submit themselves, or that some of them will seeke to withdraw themselves, what is youre advise to doe? will you have them receaved?
Iren: Noe; but at the beginiynge of these warrs, and when the garrisons are well planted and fortyfied, I would wish a proclamacon wear made generally to come to there knowledge, that what persons soever would within twentye dayes absolutelye submite themselves, exceptinge onlelye the verye principall and ringeleaders, should find grace: I doubt not, but upon the setlinge of these garrisons, such a terror and nere consideracon of there perilous estate will be stricken into most that they will covett to draw awaye from theire leaders. And againe I well knowe that the rebells themselves (as I saw by proof in the Desmonds warrs) will turne awaye all theire rascall people, whom they thinke unserviseable, as ould men, woemen, children, and hyndes, which they call churles, which would onely wast theire victualls, and yeilde them no ayde; but theire cattell they will surely keepe awaye: These therefore though pollicye would turne then backe againe, that they might the reyther consume and afflict the other rebells, yett in a pittifull commisseration, I would wishe them to be received; the reyther for that this base sort of people doth not for the most parte rebell of himselfe, have no harte thereunto, but is of force drawne by the grand rebels into theire action, and caryed awaye with the violence of the streame, ells he should bee sure to loose all that he hath, and perhappes his life alsoe, the which now he caryeth with them, in hope to enjoy them theire, but he is there by the stronge rebells themselves turned out of all, so that the constraint hereof maye in him deserve pardon. Liewise yf anye of there able men or gentlemen shall offer to come awaie, and to bringe there creete with them, as some no doubte may steale them away prevelye, I wishe them alsoe to be receaved, for the disablinge of thenymye, but withall, that good assurance maye be taken of theire true behayvor and absolute submission, and that they then be not suffered to remaine anye longer in those parts, no nor about the garison, but sent awaye into the inner parts of the realme, and dispersed in such sorte as they shall not come togeather, nor easelye retorne yf they would: For if they might be suffered to remaine about the garrison, and there inhabite, as shall offer to till the ground, and yeild a great parte of the profitt thereof, and of theire cattell, to the coronell, wherewith they have heretofore tempted manie, they would (as I have by experience knowen) bee ever after such a gall and inconvenyence to them, as that theire profitt should not recompence theire hurte; for they will privilie releive theire friendes that are forth; they will send the enemye secrett advertisement of all there purposes and jorneyes which they meane to make upon them; they will also not stick to drawe the enimye upon them, yea and to betraye the forte it self, by discoverye of all defects and disadvantages yf anye bee, to the cuttinge of all theire throts. For avoydinge whereof and manye other inconveniences, I wish that they should be carried farr from thence into some other parts, soe as I saide, they come and submitt themselves, upon the first sommons: but afterwards I would have none received, but lefte to their fortune and miserable end: my reason is, for that those which afterwards remaine without, are stoute and obstinate rebells, such as will never be made dutyfull and obedient, nor brought to labor or civill conversation, havinge once tasted the licensious life, and beinge acquainted with spoyle and outrages, will ever after be readye for the like occasions, soe as there is no hope of theire amendement of recoverye, and therefore nedefull to be cutt of.
Eudox: Surelye of such desperat persons, as will follow the course of theire owne follye, there is noe comparison to bee hadd, and for the others yee have purposed a mercifull meanes, much more then they have deserved: but what shall be the conclusion of this warr? for you have prefixed a shorte tyme of theire contenewance.
Iren: The end I assure mee will be verie shorte, and much soner then cann bee, in soe great trouble (as yt semeth) hoped for, although there should none of them fall by the sword, nor be slaine by the soldier, yett thus beinge keepte from manurance, and theire cattle from runinge abroade, by this hard restrainte, they would quicklye consume themselves, and devoure one an other. The proof whereof I saw sufficientlye ensampled in those late warrs in Mounster; for notwithstandinge that the same was a most ritch and plentyfull countrye, full of corne and cattell, that you would have thought they could have beene hable to stand longe, yett eare one yeare and a half they weare brought to such wretchednes, as that anye stonye herte would have rewed the same. Out of everye corner of the woode and glenns they came creepinge forth upon theire handes, for theire legges could not beare them; they looked Anatomies [of] death, they spake like ghostes, crying out of theire graves; they did eate of the carrions, happye wheare they could find them, yea, and one another soone after, in soe much as the verye carcasses they spared not to scrape out of theire graves; and if they found a plott of water-cresses or shamrockes, theyr they flocked as to a feast for the time, yett not able long to contynewe therewithall; that in a shorte space there were none almost left, and a most populous and plentyfull countrye suddenly lefte voyde of man or beast: yett sure in all that warr, there perished not manye by the sworde, but all by the extreamytie of famyne which they themselves hadd wrought.
Eudox: It is a wonder that you tell, and more to bee wondred how yt should soe shortly come to passe.
Iren: It is most true, and the reason alsoe very readye; for ye must conceive that the strength of all that nation is the Kearne, Gallowglasse, Stocagh, Horsman, and Horseboy, the which haveing ben never used to have any thinge of theire owne, and now livinge of others, make no sparre of anye thinge but havocke and confusion of all they meete with, whether yt bee theire frindes goods, or there foes. And if they happen to gett never soe greate spoyles at anye tyme, the same they spoyle and waste at a tryce, as naturallye delightinge in spoyle, though it doe themselves noe good. On thother side, whatsoever they leave unspent, the soldier, when hee cometh there, he havocketh and spoyleth likewise, soe that betweene them both nothinge is very shortlye lefte. And yett this is verye necessarye to be done, for the sonne finyshinge of the warr; and nott onely this in this wise, but also all those subjects which border upon those parts, are wyther to bee removed and drawne awaye, or likewise to bee spoyled, that the enymie may finde no succor therebye: for what the soldyer spares the rebell will surelye spoyle.
Eudox: I doe now well understand you. But now when all thinges are brought to this passe, and all filled with these ruefull spectackles of soe manye wretched carcases starvinge, goodly countryes wasted, soe huge a desolation and confusion, as even I that doe but heare yt from you, and doe picture it in my mynd, doe greatlye pittye and commiserate it, yf it shall happen, that the state of this miserie and lamentable image of thinges shall bee toulde, and felingelye presented to her sacred majestye, beinge by nature full of mercie and clemencye, who is most inclynable to such pittyfull complants, and will not indure to here such tragidyes made of her people and poore subjects as some about her maie insinuate; then shee perhapps, for very compassion of such calamityes, will not onely stopp the streame of such violence, and returne to her wonted myldnes, but also cone them litle thankes which have beene the aucthors and counsellers of such blodye plattformes. Soe I remember that in the late government of that good lord Graye, where after long travell and many perillous assaies, he hadd brought thinges almost to this passe that ye speake of, that yt was even made ready for reformation, and might have ben brought to what her majestye would, like complainte was made against him, that he was a bloodye man, and regarded not the life of her subjectes noe more then dogges, but hadd wasted and consumed all, soe as now shee had nothinge left; but to reigne in theire ashes: her Majesties eare was sonne lent thereunto, all suddenlye turned topsye turvie; the noble Lord eftsoones was blamed; the wretched people pittied; and newe counsells plotted, in which it was concluded that a generall pardon should be sent over to all that would accepte of yt: upon which all former purposes were blancked, the Governor at a baye, and not onely all that greate and longe charge which shee hadd before beene at, quite lost and cancelled, but alsoe all that hope of good which was even at the doore putt backe, and clean frustrate. All which whether yt be trew, or not, your selfe cann well tell.
Iren: Too trewe, Eudox., the more the pittye, for I may not forgett soe memorable a thinge: neyther cann I be ignorante of that perillous devise, and of the whole meanes by which it was compassed, and verye cunninglye contrived, by soweinge first dyssension betweene him and an other noble personage, wherein they both at length found how notablie they had beene abused, and how therebye, under hand, this universal alteracon of thinges was brought aboute, but then to late to staie the same; for in the meane tyme all that was formerly done with longe labour and great toyle, was (as you saye) in a moment undone, and that good Lord blotted with the name of a bloody man, whom, who that well knewe, knewe to be most gentle, affable, lovinge and temperate; but that the necessitie of that present state of thinges enforced him to that violence, and almost changed his verrye naturall dispostion. But otherwise he was so farre from delighting in blodd, that oftentymes he suffred not just vengeance to fall where it was deserved: and even some of those which were afterwardes his accusers, had tasted to much of his mercye, and were from the gallowes brought to be his accusers. But his course indeede was this, that he spared not the heades and principalls of any mischevous practize or rebellion, but shewed sharpe judgement on them, cheifly for an example sake, that all the meaner sort, which also were then generally infected with that evill, might by terror thereof be reclaymed, and saved, yf it were [possible]. For in the last conspiracy of some of the English Pale, thinke you not that there were many more guyltie then [they] that felt the punishment? or was there any almost clere from the same? yet he towched onely a fewe of speciall note; and in the triall of them also even to prevent the blame of crueltie and parciall proceadinge as seekinge their blood, which he, in his great wisedome (as it seemeth) did fore-see would be objected against him; he, for avoydinge thereof, did use a singular discretion and regarde. For the Jury that went upon their triall, he made to be chosen out of their neerest kinnesmen, and their Judges he made of some their owne fathers, of others their uncles and dearest freindes, who when they coulde not but justly condemne them, yet uttered their judgment in aboundance of teares, and yett even herein he was accompted bloody and cruell.
Eudox: Indeede so have I heard it often so spoken, but I perceyve (as I alwaies verely thought) that it was most unjustly; for hee was alwaies knowne to be a most just, sincere, godly, and right noble man, far from suche stearnenesse, far from suche unrighteousnes. But in that sharpe execucon of the Spaniards at the forte of Seuawick, I heard it specially noted, and, if it were trewe as some reported, surely it was a great towche to him in honor, for some say that he promised them life; others that at the least he did put them in hope thereof.
Iren: Both the one and the other is most untrue; for this I can assure you, my self beinge as neare them as any, that hee was so farre from promisinge or putting [them] in hope, that when first their Secretary, called, as I remember Segnor Jeffrey, an Italian [being] sent to treate with the Lord Deputie for grace, was flatly refused; and afterwardes their Coronell, named Don Sebastian, came forth to intreate that they might part with their armes like souldiers, at least with their lyves, accordinge to the custome of warre and lawe of Nations, it was strongly denyed him, and tolde him by the Lord Deputie him selfe, that they coulde not iustly pleade either customme of warr, of lawe of Nations, for that they were not any lawfull enemyes; and if they were, willed them to shewe by what commission they came thither into another Prices domynions to warre, whether from the Pope or the Kinge of Spayne, or any other. Then when they saide they had not, but were onely adventurers that came to seeke fortune abroade, and serve in warrs amongst the Irishe, who desired to entertayne them, it was then tolde them, that the Irishe them selves, as the Earle and John of Desmonde with the rest, were no lawfull enemyes, but Rebells and traytors; and therefore they that came to succor them no better than rogues and runnagates, specially comminge with no licence, nor commission from their owne Kinge: so as it shoulde be dishonorable for him in the name of his Queene to condicon or make any tearmes with suche rascalls, but left them to their choyce, to yiedle and submitt themselves, or no. Wherupon the said Coronell did absolutely yeild him selfe and the fort, with all therein, and craved onely mercy, which it being thought good not to shew them, both for daiunger of themselves yf, being saved, they should afterwardes joyne with the Irishe, and also for terror of the Irish, who were muche imboldned by those forreyne succours, and also put in hope of more ere longe; there was no other way but to make that short ende of them which was made. Therefore most untruly and maliciously doe theis evill tongues backbite and sclaunder the sacred ashes of that most just and honorable personage, whose leaste vertue, of many most exceleent which abounded in his heroicke spirit, they were never able to aspire unto.
Eudox: Truly, Iren: I am right glad to be thus satisfied by you in that I have often heard questioned, and yet was never hable, to choke the mouthe of suche detractors with the certayne knowledge of their sclanderous untruthes: neither is the knowledge thereof impertinent to that which we formerly had in hand, I meane to the through prosecutinge of that sharpe course which yee have sett downe for the bringing under of those rebells of Ulster and Connaght, and preparinge a waye for their perpetuall reformacon, least happely, by any suche synister sugestions of creweltie and to muche bloodshed, all the plott might be overthrowne, and all the cost and labour therein imployed be utterly lost and cast away.
Iren: Yee say most true; for after that lordes callinge away from thence, the two lorde Justices contynued but a while: of which the one was of mynde, as it seemed, to have contynued in the footinge of his predecessor, but that he was curbed and restrayned. But the other was more myldely disposed, as was meete for his profession, and willinge to have all the woundes of that commonwealth healed and recured, but not with the heed as they shoulde bee. After, when [he] was gone Sir John Parrott, succeedinge, as it were, into another mans harvest, founde an open way to what course he list, the which he bent not to that poynt which the former governors intended, but rather quite contrary, as it were in scorne of the former, and in a vayne vaunt of his owne councells, with that which he was to willfully carried; for he did treade downe and disgrace all the Englishe, and sett up and countenance the Irishe all that he coulde, whether thinkinge thereby to make them more tractable and buxome to the goverment, wherein he thought muche amysse, or prively plotting some other purposes of his owne, as it partly afterwardes appeared. But surely his manner of goverement coulde not be sounde nor holsome for that Realme, beinge so contrary to the former. For it was even as two phesitions shoulde take one sick bodie in hande at two sundry tymes; of which the former woulde minister all thinges meete to purge and keepe under the bodie, the other to pamper and strengthen it sodaynely agayne, whereof what is to be looked for but a most daungerous relapse? That which we now see through his Rule, and the next after him, happened thereunto, beinge noe more daungerously sick then ever before. Therefore by all meanes it must be foreseene and assured, that after once entring into this course of reformacon, there bee afterwardes no remorse or drawinge back for the sight of any suche ruefull obiect as must therupon followe, nor for compassion of their calamities, seeinge that by no other meanes it is possible to recure them, and that theis are not of will, but of verie urgent necessitie.