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The contents of the chapters following in the description of Ireland.

  • 1 The names of Ireland, with the com|passe of the same, also what shires or counties it conteineth, the diuision or partition of the land, and of the language of the people. Chap. 1.
  • 2 Of the nature of the soile and other incidents. Chap. 2.
  • 3 The names of the ciuities, boroughs, and hauen towns in Ireland. Chap. 3.
  • 4 Of the strange and woonderfull pla|ces in Ireland. Chap. 4.
  • 5 Of the lords spirituall of Ireland, their names and dignities. Chap. 5.
  • 6 The lords temporall, as well Eng|lish as Irish, which inhabit the coun|trie of Ireland. Chap. 6.
  • 7 The names or surnames of the lear|ned men and authors of Ireland, and what bookes they wrote. Chap. 7.
  • 8 The disposition and maners of the meere Irish, commonlie called the wild Irish. Chap. 8.
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TO THE RIGHT HO|norable sir Henrie Sidneie knight, lord deputie generall of Ireland, lord president of Wales, knight of the most noble order of the garter, and one of hir maiesties priuie councell within hir realme of England.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 _MY verie good Lord, there haue beene diuerse of late, that with no small toile, and great commendation, haue throughlie imploied themselues, in culling and packing togi|ther the scrapings and fragments of the historie of Ireland. A|mong which crue, my fast friend, and inward companion, maister Edmund Campion did so learnedlie bequite himselfe, in the penning of certeine breefe notes, concerning that coun|trie, as certes it was greatlie to be lamented, that either his theame had not beene shorter, or else his leasure had not beene longer. For if Alexander were so rauisht with Homer his historie, that notwithstanding Thersites were a crabbed and a rugged dwarfe, being in outward feature so deformed, and in inward conditions so crooked, as he seemed to stand to no better steed, than to lead apes in hell: yet the vali|ant capteine, weighing how liuelie the golden poet hath set forth the ouglie dandeprat in his colours, did sooner wish to be Homer his Thersites, than to be the Alex|ander of that doltish rithmour, which vndertooke with his woodden verses to blase his famous and mar|tiall exploits: how much more ought Ireland (being in sundrie ages seized of diuerse good and couragi|ous Alexanders) sore to long and thirst after so rare a clarke, as maister Campion, who was so vpright in conscience, so deepe in iudgement, so ripe in eloquence, as the countrie might haue beene well assu|red to haue had their historie trulie reported, pithilie handled, and brauelie polished.

Compare 1577 edition: 1 2 Howbeit, although the glose of his fine abbridgement, being matcht with other mens dooings, bare a surpassing kind of excellencie: yet it was so hudled vp in hast, as in respect of a Campion his absolute perfection, it seemed rather to be a woorke roughlie hewed, than smoothlie planed. Vpon which ground the gentleman being willing that his so tender a suckling, hauing as yet but greene bones, should haue beene swadled and rockt in a cradle, till in tract of time the ioints thereof were knit, and growen stron|ger: yet notwithstanding he was so crost in the nicke of this determination, that his historie in mitching wise wandred through sundrie hands, and being therewithall in certeine places somewhat tickle toon|ged (for maister Campion did learne it to speake) and in other places ouer spare, it twitled more tales out of schoole, and drowned weightier matters in silence, than the author (vpon better view and longer search) would haue permitted. Thus much being by the sager sort pondered, and the perfection of the historie earnestlie desired: I, as one of the most that could doo least, was fullie resolued to inrich maister Campion his chronicle, with further additions. But weighing on the other side, that my course packthred could not haue beene sutablie knit with his fine silke, and what a disgrace it were, bungerlie to botch vp a rich garment, by clouting it with patches of sundrie colours, I was forthwith reclai|med from my former resolution, reckoning it for better, that my pen should walke in such wise in that craggie and balkish waie, as the truth of the matter being forprised, I would neither openlie borrow, nor priuilie imbezell ought to anie great purpose from his historie. But as I was hammering that worke by stealths on the anuill, I was giuen to vnderstand by some of mine acquaintance, that o|thers had brought our raw historie to that ripenesse, as my paine therein would seeme but needlesse. Wherevpon being willing to be eased of the burden, and loath also in lurching wise to forstall anie man his trauell, I was contented to leaue them thumping in the forge, and quietlie to repaire to mine vsuall and pristinat studies, taking it not to stand with good maners, like a flittering flie to fall in an other man EEBO page image 6 his dish. Howbeit the little paine I tooke therein was not so secretlie mewed within my closet, but it slipt out at one chinke or other, and romed so farre abroad, as it was whispered in their eares, who before were in the historie busied. The gentlemen conceiuing a greater opinion of me, than I was well able to vphold, dealt verie effectuallie with me, that as well at their instance, as for the affection I bare my natiue coun|trie, I would put mine helping hand to the building and perfecting of so commendable a worke. Hauing breathed for a few daies on this motion, albeit I knew that my worke was plumed with downe, and at that time was not sufficientlie feathered to flie: yet I was by them weied not to beare my selfe coy, by gi|uing my entier friends in so reasonable a request a squemish repulse. Wherefore, my singular good lord, here is laid downe to your lordship his view a briefe discourse, with a iagged historie of aragged weale|publike. Yet as naked as at the first blush it seemeth, if it shall stand with your honor his pleasure (whom I take to be an expert lapidarie) at vacant houres to insearch it, you shall find therein stones of such estima|tion, as are worth to be coucht in rich and pretious collars. And in especiall your lordship, aboue all others, in that you haue the charge of that countrie, maie here be schooled, by a right line to leuell your gouerne|ment. For in perusing this historie, you shall find vice punished, vertue rewarded, rebellion suppressed, loi|altie exalted, hautinesse disliked, courtesie beloued, briberie detested, iustice imbraced, polling officers to their perpetuall shame reprooued, and vpright gouernours to their eternall fame extolled. And trulie to my thinking, such magistrats as meane to haue a vigilant eie to their charge, can not bestow their time better, than when they sequester themselues from the affaires of the wealepublike, to recreat and quicken their spirits by reading the chronicles that decipher the gouernement of a wealepublike. For as it is no small commendation for one to beare the dooings of manie, so it breedeth great admiration, ge|nerallie to haue all those qualities in one man harboured, for which particularlie diuerse are eternised. And who so will be addicted to the reading of histories, shall readilie find diuerse euents worthie to be re|membred, and sundrie sound examples dailie to be followed. Vpon which ground the learned haue, not without cause, adiudged an historie to be the marrow of reason, the creame of experience, the sap of wis|dome, the pith of iudgement, the librarie of knowledge, the kernell of policie, the vnfoldresse of trea|cherie, the kalendar of time, the lanterne of truth, the life of memorie, the doctresse of behauiour, the register of antiquitie, the trumpet of chiualrie. And that our Irish historie being diligentlie heeded, yeeldeth all these commodities, I trust the indifferent reader, vpon the vntwining thereof, will not de|nie. But if anie man his stomach shall be found so tenderlie niced, or so deintilie spiced, as that he maie not, forsooth, digest the grosse draffe of so base a countrie, I doubt not, but your lordship, who is thoroughlie acquainted with the woorthinesse of the Iland, will be soone persuaded to leaue such quaint and licou|rous repastours, to feed on their costlie and delicate woodcocks, & willinglie to accept the louing present of your heartie welwiller. The gift is small, the giuer his good will is great, I stand in good hope, that the greatnesse of the one will counterpoise the smalnesse of the other. Wherefore that I maie the sooner vnbroid the pelfish trash that is wrapt within this treatise, I shall craue your lordship to lend me either your eares in hearing, or your eies in reading the tenor of the discourse following.


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