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12.36. The causes of lets whie this con|quest could not nor had his full perfection. Chap. 36.

The causes of lets whie this con|quest could not nor had his full perfection. Chap. 36.

HAppie and for euer happie had Ireland béene, which being valiantlie conquered, well replenished with townes, and fortified with castels from sea to sea of the first (1) aduen|turers, who were then minded to haue established a good order and gouernment, had not they through the secret malice and treacherie of some men béene cal|led awaie and sent from home. Yea happie had it beene, if the first conquerors (being noble and valiant men) might according to their deserts haue had the charge of gouernment committed vnto them. For whie, a nation which at the first comming ouer of our men, when they were galled with our arrows, and a|fraid of our force, they were then easie to be recla|med. But partlie by meanes of trifling and delai|eng of time, which is alwaies dangerous, and partlie by reason that the best seruitors being called home from thense, new rulers tooke too much ease, and liued in too much securitie; nothing was doone to anie pur|pose: and therevpon the people of that countrie tooke hart of grace, and practised our manners in shooting and the vse of our weapons: and by little and little they became so well expert and skilfull therein, that whereas at the first they were easie to be ouercom|med, were now strong and hardie, and not onlie able to resist, but also readie to put vs in danger and ha|zard. And the causes herof whoso listeth to search, shall easilie find out the same: for if you will read ouer the bookes of the kings & prophets, examine the course of the old testament, and well consider the examples of these our latter daies; you shall find it most certeine and true, that no nation, no state, no citie, nor com|mon-wealth was euer ouerthrowne by the enimie, nor ouercome by the aduersarie but onelie for sinne Sin the cause of ouerthrows by the enimie. and wickednesse. And albeit the Irish people and nation for their sinfull and abhominable life did well deserue to be ouerthrowne and ouerrun by stran|gers; yet was it not Gods will and plesure that they should vtterlie be brought into subiection: neither was it his good will & pleasure that the Englishmen, though they had brought some of them into subiecti|on, EEBO page image 53 yet they should not therefore haue the whole em|pire and entire souereigntie ouer them: for both were sinfull people and merited not anie fauour at Gods hand, but deserued to be seuerelie punished, and ther|fore neither the one (albeit he were a conqueror, and had the ouer hand) could yet obteine a seat (2) in Pal|las castell, nor yet the other be fullie subdued & broght into perfect subiection. The Irish people are said to haue the foure men whome they account to be great prophets, and whome they haue in great veneration and credit (3) Merlin, Bracton, Patrike, and Co|lumkill, The foure Irish pro|phets. whose books and prophesies they haue among themselues in their owne language, and all they in|treating and speaking of the conquest of this land, doo affirme that the same shall be assailed with often warres, the strifes shall be continuall, and the slaugh|ters great. But yet they doo not assure nor warrant anie perfect or full conquest vnto the English nation (4) not much before dooms daie. And albeit the whole land of Ireland, from sea to sea, haue for the most part béene in the power of the Englishmen, and by them fortified and replenished with sundrie and ma|nie castels, though sometimes to their perilles and smarts: yet Bracton saith, that the king who shall make the absolute and finall conquest, shall come from out of the deserts and mounteins of saint Pa|trike, and vpon a sundaie at night shall with force breake into a castell builded in the fastnesse of Opha|lie: and vntill that time the English nation shall from time to time be in continuall troubles with the Irishrie, sauing that they shall hold and inioie the whole land bordering vpon the east coasts of the seas.

(1) The course of this historie dooth at full de|clare in particulars, how the first aduenturers were maligned, & as much as might be descredited. First Robert Fitzstephans, whose seruice was counted no|table, and his fidelitie to his prince and king trustie and assured: yet fell he into the kings displeasure, was cast into prison, and albeit deliuered out againe, yet the king conceiuing some gelousie of him, had him ouer into Normandie, where he serued two yeares in his warres: and although he were againe afterward sent ouer into Ireland, yet was he not in anie authoritie or office. The earle Strangbow although he came ouer with the king his speciall li|cence, yet his good successe was so enuied at, that the king made proclamation, that all his subiects be|ing in Ireland with the earle, should returne & come home; and that no vittels, no munition, nor anie re|léefe should be transported out of anie of his domini|ons into Ireland. And albeit the earle afterwards were reconciled to the king, yet was he faine to yéeld vnto him all his land and dominion of Leinster vn|to the kings deuotion, & to receiue the same againe to be holden of the king. Reimond who could not be charged, nor spotted with anie vntruth: yet the trea|cherous Heruie with his false informations so in|ueigled and falselie informed the king against him, that he was sent for home, and not trusted with anie gouernement. Hugh de Lacie, who (as the historie saith) was the first that made waie into Ulster, who fortified the prouince of Leinster and Meth with ma|nie strong holds & castels, and brought all the coun|trie to a peaceable state; he was suspected to haue meant the impropriation of the whole land to his owne vse, and was dismissed of his charge and go|uernement, and sent for home: and in place and lieu of these were sent ouer William Fitzaldelme, Phi|lip of Chester, and others, in whome was no value at all, but onelie to pill and poll the people, and to heape vp treasure and riches.

(2) Pallas was the daughter of Iupiter, who for hir excellent gift in inuention, is said and fained by the poets to be borne of the braine of Iupiter with|out anie moother, she inuented the order of warres, and deuised the maner of fightings, she maketh men to be bold, and giueth the victorie. And bicause Eng|glishmen could not obteine a full and a perfect victo|rie: therefore they were said not to sit in Pallas castell.

(2) There were two Merlins, and both were pro|phesiers: the one was named Merlinus Calidonius, or Syluestris, bicause his dwelling and habitation was néere or by a wood called Calidonia, he was borne in the marches of Scotland, but a man verie excellent|lie well learned in philosophie, and in knowledge of all naturall causes; and by diligent obseruations he would gesse maruellouslie at the euents of manie things. Wherevpon he was taken for a phrophesier, and reputed for a magician or a diuinor. He was in the time of king Arthur, about the yeare fiue hun|dred and thréescore, and of this Merlin it is spoken in this historie. The other Merlin was before this man and in the time of Uortiger: about the yeare of our Lord foure hundred and thréescore, and he was named Ambrosius Merlinus, who was also excellentlie well learned, both in philosophie and the art magike; but his sentences were so darkelie couched, that no|thing could be conceiued nor vnderstood by them be|fore the euent.

(4) Much adoo there hath béene, and manie books written, concerning the full conquest of this land: so manie heads, so manie reasons. But if men would haue the truth plainelie told, it is soone to be séene how the verie cause proceedeth and is continued for want of a generall reformation. But Pluto hath so blinded mens eies, that séeing they can not nor will not see: but hereof I shall more at large write in an other place.

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