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10.24. The oration of Reimond. Chap. 24.

The oration of Reimond. Chap. 24.

YE renowmed, and worthie, & noble men, whose fame for valiantnesse and chiualrie is carried and spread beyond and through the o|cean seas: we are now to looke well vnto our selues, and to haue good regard to our honor and cre|dit. You haue heard how grauelie my vncle Mau|rice hath declared, how pithilie he hath aduised, and how prudentlie he hath counselled vs what we shall doo in this our distresse and present necessitie. Wher|fore we are well to consider thereof, & to determine and resolue our selues what we will doo. The time is short, the perils imminent, and the dangers great, and therefore no delaies are now to be vsed. It is no time now to sit in long councels, nor to spend much time in speeches; but in present perils we must vse present remedies. Ye sée the enimies both at sea and land round about vs, and no waie is there to escape; but we must either giue the aduenture vpon them like men, or die here like beasts: for our vit|tels faile vs, and our prouision waxeth scant & short, and we know not how to renew the same. And how little comfort we are to looke for out of England, and what small helpe we shall haue from the king, I haue alreadie at large declared vnto you. I know his excellencie dispraiseth not our actiuities, but yet he fauoreth not our successes: he discommendeth not our valiantnesse, but yet enuieth at our glorie: in words he reporteth well of our seruices, but he yet secretlie hindereth the same: he feareth that which we meane not, and doubteth of that which we thinke not. To trust therefore vnto them, who care not for vs; to looke for helpe from them, who mind not anie; and to wait for reléefe where none is meant; it were but a meere follie, and a lost labor on our parts, and in the end like to returne to our owne shame, reproch, & confusion. Wherefore being out of all hope of anie further helpe or supplie; and out of all doubt of anie further comfort or reléefe: let vs as becommeth no|ble, lustie, and valiant men, trie the course of for|tune, and prooue the force of the enimie. Let it ap|peere vnto them as it is knowen vnto vs, of what race we came, and from whom we descended. Cam|ber (as it is well knowen) the first particular king of Cambria our natiue countrie was our ancestor, and he the sonne of that noble Brutus, the first and sole monarch of all England, whose ancestor was Tros the founder of the most famous citie of Troie, and he descended from Dardanus the sonne of Iupiter, from whom is deriued vnto vs not onlie the [...]me EEBO page image 18 of ancient nobilitie, but also a certeine naturall in|clination of valiant minds, & couragious stomachs, bent to follow all exploits in prowesse and chiualrie, and wherein all our ancestors haue béene verie skil|full and expert. And shall we now like sluggards de|generate from so noble a race, and like a sort of cow|ards be afraid of these naked and vnarmed rascalls, in whome is no valor of knowledge nor experience in armes? Shall such a rabble of sauages pinne vs vp within the walles of this little Dublin, and make vs afraid of them; when in times past all the princes of Gréece kept warres for ten yeares & od moneths continuallie against our ancestors in the famous ci|tie of Troie, and could not preuaile against them, vntill they vsed treasons and practised treacheries, which bred vnto them a more infamous victorie than a glorious triumph? Shall the honor of our ancestors be withered by our sluggishnesse, and the glorie of their prowesse be buried in our cowardnesse? Shall we be afraid of a few, and vnarmed, when they with|stood infinit multitudes of the most worthiest and va|liantest personages then in all the world? Let it ne|uer be said, that the bloud of the Troians shall be stained in our pusillanimitie, and receiue reproch in our follie.

And what though our enimies be neuer so manie, and we in respect of them but a handfull; shall we therefore be afraied; as though victorie stood in multi|tude, and conquest in great numbers? No no, kings be not so saued nor princes doo so conquer: for a few men well disposed and a small number well incou|raged, are sufficient to incounter with a greater number, being wretches and sluggards. For fortune though she be purtraied to be blind, as one void of right iudgement; and to stand vpon a rolling stone, as being alwaies fléeting and mooueable: yet for the most part she helpeth such as be of bold minds and of valiant stomachs. If time did serue as matter is full and plentious, I could hereof recite manie yea infi|nite examples. (1) Thomiris the Scithian queene, did not she with a few hundreds incounter with the great monarch Cyrus, hauing manie thousands, and tooke him and slue him. Alexander with a few Mace|donians, did not he ouercome Darius the great mo|narch of the Persians, and take him, his wife, and daughters prisoners, & made a conquest of all Per|sia? (2) Leonides the Spartan, did not he with six hundred men breake into the campes of the mightie Xerxes, and there slaie fiue thousand of them? Let vs come a little néerer euen to our selues, who haue had in our owne persons, and in this land the like succes|ses, namelie you my right honourable earle at Wa|terford, and my vncle Fitzstephans at Wexford; and I my selfe at Dundorogh: small were our compa|nies, and little was our force in respect of theirs, and yet we few thorough our valiantnesse ouercame and conquered them being manie.

What shall I trouble you with the recitall of ex|amples, sith time shall sooner faile than matter want: and shall we then giue ouer and be white liue|red? Shall we like cowards couer our progenie, our nation, and our selues also, with perpetuall shame and infamie? God forbid. My mind then and opinion is, that we doo issue out vpon them, as se|cretlie and as suddenlie as we maie, and boldlie giue the onset vpon them. And forsomuch as Rothorike of Connagh is the generall of the field, in whom lieth the chiefe force, and on whom all the rest doo depend, it shall be best to begin with him, and then if we can giue the ouerthrow vnto him, all the residue will flie, and we shall obteine a glorious victorie: but if we shall fall into their hands and be killed, yet shall we leaue an honourable report and an immortall fame to all our posteritie. When Reimond had ended his spéeches and finished his oration, euerie one so well liked thereof, as with one consent they gaue ouer, and yéelded to his resolution and opinion.

(1) Cyrus the sonne of Cambises the first mo|narch Sleidan. de [...] sum imper. lib. 1. of Persia, after that he had subdued all A|sia, he minding to doo the like in Scithia did inuade the same: Thomiris being then quéene thereof. And on a certeine time hauing pitched his tents in a faire and pleasant soile, suddenlie as though he had beene afraied of his enimies he fled, and left his tents full of wines and vittels. Which when the quéene heard, she sent hir onelie sonne a yoong gentleman with the third part of hir host and armie to follow and pur|sue Cyrus: who when he came to the forsaken tents, and finding there such abundance & plentie of wine and vittels, wherevnto the Scithians had not before beene accustomed, they fell so hungerlie to their vit|tels, and dranke so liberallie of the wines, that they were ouerladen and ouercommed with surfetting. Which when Cyrus heard of, he suddenlie and secret|lie in the night came vpon them, and finding them all asléepe, killed them all. Thomiris hearing of this, was not so much grieued with sorrow for the death of hir sonne, as inflamed with the desire to be reuen|ged. And she likewise faining hir selfe to flie, Cyrus by pursuing of hir was brought into certeine nar|row streicts, where she taking the aduantage of him, tooke him, killed him, and siue all his companie, to the number of two thousand: insomuch that there was not one left to returne with message to declare the same?

(2) Leonides was king of Sparta or Lacede|monia, who being aduertised that the mightie mo|narch Xerxes minding to continue the warres with his father Darius had appointed and begun against all Gréece, & that he had made preparation therefore fiue yeares togither, dooth also prepare himselfe to withstand the same. And notwithstanding that Xer|xes had in his armie thrée hundred thousand of his owne subiects, and two hundred thousand of stran|gers: yet Leonides hauing gotten Xerxes within the streicts of Thermipolis, and he hauing but foure thousand soldiers gaue the onset vpon the monarch, and fought the battels thrée daies togither with him, and at length gaue him the ouerthrow.

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