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great wit, which the King well perceived, and did but jest at his demeanour and doings at court; for oft in his talk he thou’d" the King and the rest of his council, which they took in good part. “Well,” said the King, “when will you choose your counsellor f" Said the Bishop, “Never, if it be put to his choice.” “Thou liest brallaghe, bald Bishop,” said the Earl ; “as soon as thou wouldest choose a fair wench,f if thou hadst thy wish, and that should be within this hour.” With that the King and the lords laughed, and made game thereat, and asked the Earl if he said true. “By your hand,” said he to the King, and took the King by the hand, “there is not in London a better mutton master or butcher than yonder shorn priest is. I know him well enough,” said the Earl. “Well,” said the King, “we shall talk of these matters another time.” “I am ccntent,” said the Earl, “for I have 3 tales to tell thee of him, and I dare say it will make you all laugh that is here. If you tarry a while I shall tell you a good tale of this vicious prelate.” The King and the Lords could not hold the laughter, but the Earl never changed countenance, but told this tale as though he were among his fellows in his country. “Well,” said the King, “it is best for you to choose well your counsellor, and be well advised whom you will choose, for I perceive that your counsellor shall have enough to do in your cause, for anything that I perceive you can do.” “Shall I choose now 7" said the Earl.” “If you so think good,” said the King. “Well, I can see no better man than you, and by Saint Bride I will choose none other.” “Well,” said the King; “by Saint Bride! it was well requisitef for you to choose so, for I thought your tale could not well excuse your doings unless you had well chosen.” “Do you think that I am a fool 7” said the Earl ; “No 1" said he, “I am a man in deed both in the field and in the town.” The King laughed, and made sport, and said, “A wiser man might have chosen worse.” “Well,” said the Bishop, “he is as you see, for all Ireland cannot rule yonder gentleman.” “No” said the King, “then he is meet to rule all Ireland, seeing all Ireland cannot rule him "; and so made the Earl Deputy of Ireland during his life, and so sent him to his country with great gifts, and so the Earl came to Ireland. During which time there fell a contention between O’Donell and O'Neyll. O'Neyll went with a certain Scots, whose captain was called O’Laghlen, and entered O'Donyll's country. Being therein, upon a night, O'Donyll came upon them in the night, having certain mares driven before them through O'Neyll's camp, by reason whereof they were overtrodden and broken upon and slain, for the most part, such a number that O'Neyll was a
Lack of knowledge sometime better than wisdom.
This was a worthy prince.
The King's advice.
A true tale.
The Earl sent Deputy into Ireland.
A[n] onset in the
* “thow it,” MS.
Laghlen, a Scot,
The Earl married a daughter in Connaght, whereof contention rose.
Provision for the battle called Cnocketwoe.
At Cnoktwo the council called of A’Neyll.
long time wanted men to serve his turn. This captain, called Laghlen, was a very good man amongst his men, and being the morning after that battle found dead amongst his men, he was put standing by a tree. And his men, being fond of him, brought him a gentlewoman, thinking that he was but in a trance, and brought him also such things as in his lifetime he had pleasure in, and offered these things to be given him, so that he would speak to them. And when they saw that he would not speak to them, they said they would not bury under the earth so good a man as he was ; with divers other trifling doings, which I now pass over.
The Battle of Knoctuo.”
After this the Earlf married another daughter of his to a great man in Connoght, which was not so used as the Earl could be pleased with ; and said he would be revenged upon this Irishman, who stood at a defiance with the Earl and all his partakers. The Earl sent to all the Irish lords that then was his friends, as O'Neyll, O'Rely, O'Conner of Afaley, and all the power of the English Pale so many as he could possibly] make, for the Earl understood that all the Irish in Ireland were divided between him and his adversaries. They was a great number, whereof he had good experience. Therefore he made the better provision of all things, and best men in all the English Pale, both spiritual and temporal; and being a 20 mile east of Cnocke-two, called the noblemen to Council. Amongst all were certain bishops and men of law.
When O'Neyll saw them he said, “My Lord of Kyldare, command the bishops to go home and pray, for bishops' counsels ought not to be taken in matters of war, for their; perfection is to pray, to preach, and $ to make fair weather, and not to be privy to manslaughter nor blood shedding, but in preaching and teaching the Word of God; and I assure you it is a presumption for any proud prelate to come where as such matters is to be done, for it is contrary to his religion.”
And so A'Conore asked the Earl what he would do with the judges and men of law in his company. “We have no matters of pleading, no matters of arguments, no matters to debate, nor to be discussed by pen and ink, but by the bow, spear, and sword, and the valiant hearts of gentlemen and men of war by their fierce and lusty doings, and not by the simple, sorry, and weak and doubtful stomachs of learned men; for I never saw those that was learned ever give good counsel in matters of war, for they were always doubting,
* This heading is in Carew's hand. + Originally “he.” but altered by another hand as above. : “for their " is written twice by mistake, and the first is altered in a more modern hand to “from them,” which does not make sense. § The words in italics are interlined by another hand. | “his” is altered to “this” by another hand.
staying, and persuading more in frivolous and uncertain words, more than Ector or Launselot's doings. Away with them They are overbold to press amongst this company; for our matter is to be discussed by valiant and stout stomachs of prudent and wise men of war, practised in this same faculty, and not matters of law nor matters of religion.” The Baron of Delven, called Richard,” said his learning was not such that with a glorious tale he could utter his stomach ; “but I promise to God and to the Prince I shall be the first that shall throw the first spear amongst the Irish in this battle ; say now on whos[o] will, for I have done.” The Lord of Gormanstoune said that it was good to be advised what is to be done, for after a good advisement there shall come a good end, for a hasty man never lacked woe. “Let us understand the matter ere we take this weighty matter in hand, for many perils may fall unless we take the better keepf thereof. Let us understand the quarrel again, and debate the matter whether we shall proceed or no, ere we begin; and let the King be privy to this weighty and uncertain enterprise, for we may put the whole realm in hazard if we speed not well, for I understand that they are many against us; and this is so much as I at this time mean to say.” This Council was at three of the clock afternoon before the day of battle. Then, within a few miles from the field appointed, Sir Nicholas, Lord of Houthe, said, “The sayings of A’Neyll and A'Conore is not to be disallowed; let it be as they have said. And my Lord of Gormanstoune's opinion is good, so it had been spoken before our coming to the field; and for that, here is my opinion, seeing the time is short.” For at this time appeared upon a hill two miles from the English camp above two hundred horsemen; whereunto Gerot, the Earl's son, would have been at them, and asked of the Council to go to them. But the Lords of the Council said that none should go till they had gone all, and so stayed this lusty and stalworth gentleman; of which young Gerot was very sorry, as though he should never have his fill in fighting. “Well,” said the Lord of Houth to answer the Lord of Gormanstoune, “this matter was determined before we came hither deliberately by the Council, and if it were not, the time is not now to argue the cause, our enemies being in sight, And for the displeasure of our Prince, if we win this battle, as I am [as]sured we shall, tho' the King frown a little with his countenance, his heart will rejoice. And admits he will be offended upon losing this field, he that shall live let him bear the blame or burden, and as for my part I am assured to win this battle or to lose my life, and then all the world is gone with me. Waylle que waylle powrra [et]c.; for I will be a-foot in the woward that day myself. But to the matter; let us send away our sons and heirs, to revenge our quarrel if need so require, and prescribe our battles in perfect order this night, that every man shall know to-morrow his charge, for it is not when we shall go to fight that we should trouble us with discussing that matter.” “Well,” said the Earl, “my dear cousin, you hath well spoken; be it as you hath said.” “No” said young Gerott, the Earl's son; “by God's blood, I will not go home and leave so many of my friends in battle, for I mean to live and die amongst you all.” “Well,” said the Lord of Houth ; “boy, thou speakest natural, for ever thy kind is such one” from thy first generation and first coming into Ireland, for thou art to be borne withall, thou worthy gentleman and lion's heart.” The Lords of Kyllen and Tremlestone thought the number of Irishmen very great, as they were credibly informed by certain spials which brought them word, and that the number of younglingst were not the sixth man to a man; and said in plain terms, that a good giving back were better than asn] evil standing, and in further time better provision might be made to serve such a turn. “It is well spoken,” said the Baron of Slane and the Lord of Donesany. “O good God!” said the Lord of Houthe ; “by our blessed Lady, that bliste in the north church of Houth, you four might have spoken these words in some other ground than this is, and our enemies now being in sight and the night at hand.” “Well,” said the Earl; “call to me the captain of the galoglas, for he and his shall begin this game, for it is less force of their lusts; than it is of our young men.” “I am glad,” said the captain; “you can do me no more honour, by God's blood s” and took his axe in his hand, and began to flourish. “No,” said the Lord of Houth, “I will be the beginner of this dance, and my kinsmen and friends, for we will not hazard our English good[s] upon the Irish blood; howbeit it is well spoken by the captain of the galloglas, nor they shall not be mixed among us.” Then all things was according to the matter prepared ; the bowmen put in two wings, which the Lords of Gormanstoune and Kyllen had the charge, being good men that day; the billmen in the main battle, which the Lord of Houthe was leader, and in the woward himself; the galoglas and the Irish in another quarter; the horsemen on the left side the battle under the guiding of the worthy Baron of Delven, by reason there was a little wall of two foot height of the other side the battle, which would somewhat have troubled the horseInen. After all things put in order, they went to supper, and after to their lodging to rest the residue of the night. The ground was appointed, and all such things as was necessary for such a purpose. At midnight a horseman came from the Irish camp to the Earl, and willed him to get away and save his life, and said it was but folly to fight, for this man was afore this time a horse boy with the Earl, and gave him first horses. The Earl came incontinent to the Lord of Houth, being in a sound sleep, to tell it him, and a long while he was ere he could wake him, for he called upon him divers times, which the Earl marvelled, for he could not awake him by his voice he slept so sad ; and at length awoke by stirring of him, and blamed him, who answered that all things was before determined in his mind, and so nothing else in his mind to trouble him, but sleep; “for it must be ours or theirs,” said the Lord of Howthe ;” “therefore my mind is settled, but before this I could not rest well,” [et]c. “Well,” said the Earl, “here is the business; this man is come to me as a trusty friend;” and so told the whole matter as he told the Earl before. “Well,” said the Lord of Houth, “suffer him to pass, and I pray you tell this tale to no more, for it would sooner do harm than good;” and with that he arose and incontinent after the day appeared. And so they went, and prepared themselves in good order of battle, and did appoint young Gerot, a valiant young gentleman, with a chosen company for relief, fearing so great a number of enemies would enclose them about, being far less in number than they. The Irish, as O'Kelly, McWilliam, O'Brens, and the rest, all that night was watching, drinking, and playing at cards, who should have this prisoner and that prisoner; and thus they passed the night over, and at morrow they prepared to battle in such order as their custom was. They set forward their galoglasse and footmen in one main battle, and all their horsemen on their left side, and so came OIl. The Earl of Kyldare, after his battle set, willed that they should stand within that little wallst of two foot high that was made afore by those that dwelled there for safeguard of their corns, and rode upon a black horse, and made his oration, “My friends and kinsmen, I say to you that there is against ust great number of people without weapon, for a great number of them hath but one spear and a knife. Without wisdom or good order, they march to battle, as drunken as
Baron of Delven's short answer.
The T L. of Gor-
Sir Nicholas L. of
The L. of Howthe
* Inserted by another hand.
f i. e. “heed.”
† Opposite every mention of “the Lord of Houthe ” Carew has written “St. Laurence" in the margin.
i Interlined by a different hand.
| “mytt,” MS., with an “a” over the “m” by a different hand.
The Earl of Kyldare's answer.
The L. of Howthe to young Gerot.
Kellen and Trem-
The Baron of
The captain of the
The order of the
* “oume,” MS., “from '' is interlined.