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Red Ferret still. 107
But it would have done your heart good to witness how hospitably the natives welcomed the Lord-Lieutenant, her Majesty's Governor-General! How they, who had them, threw up their greasy caps with a " Cead mille falthe"—being interpreted, " A hundred thousand good wishes " at the least; and, with shoutings and triumphings, how they regarded Essex as one who had already achieved their salvation, by the overthrow of all enemies, real and imaginary. For 'tis wonderful how (to speak in their own figure) the Irish be grateful rather in hoping than on experience.
Now the Earl, when he had landed, rode into the Castle, and was sworn into his office, receiving the Sword. Immediately he called upon the Council to report to him on the state of Ireland.
So there were lists, and schemes, and statements, plans, and maps, and instructions. Much contradictory matter, omissions, extenuations, overdraughts. In effect, 'twas as difficult to sift the true from the false, and the needful from the useless, as it had been to begin all anew. For there was neither order, nor form, nor exactness in any thing, nay, nor in any man. Honesty, in the report o' the Council, but little; nor yet in the returns of the Army. For, first, the troops already in Ireland had been drawn into idle, miserable journeys, whereby they were rendered weak and unserviceable. Many were already sick from this harassing, and for lack of proper food. There was not provision of any sort to sustain them for a single week! Secondly, the army was both undisciplined and dissolute. And lastly, the Council was inefficient, if not actually mischievous, as her Majesty confessed, imputing to them almost the losing of the kingdom. These things, therefore, Essex wrote of complaining, with this word that, as he was her Majesty's minister in this the greatest cause she ever had, so he entreated their Lordships to forget his person if they would, but so to honour and regard his office that he might be enabled to reduce the so great rebellion.
And my Lord set himself to understand the people with whom he had to deal; their temper and conditions: and to learn the uses and customs they had; enquiring why it was they should ever be poor and uncivilized, as it were scorning good rule and domestical comfort: apt for revolt, like the raging sea casting up mire and dirt. And one Dymok, an ingenious person who had noted these things, much helped my Lord in untwisting the contrary humours of the natives. Three Sorts in Ireland. 109
"For," he said, "first you shall separate the whole into three sorts: to wit, the English settlers who are in pale and rule, but be in a continued progress of derogation. Secondly, the Anglo-Irish, a mixed folk opposite to all government but by their lewd wills: thirdly, the mere Irish, whose Lords keep them savage for their own ends."
Now the degenerate and the mixed folk and the mere Irish be all one in rebellion. As occasion shall serve they'll bond them, too, with the wild Scot, or with any marauder comes."
"Then we shall have enemies of our kin," said Essex faltering; "the Anglo-Irish?"
"Ay, my Lord, and they the bitterest. The MacMahons and MacSwines, who were Fitz Urse and De Vere, you shall find more desperate wild than the O'Beirnes or O'Mores. There is the Desmond, too, a Geraldine, and he untameable, worse than Tyr Oen himself."
And then Master Dymok shewed my Lord how unfitted our laws were for a mixed people; witnessing that, whether for good or for evil, they were neither observed nor obeyed: all men seeking to evade what was once said to be the Law. To wit: though her Grace had abolished the infamous use of Coyne and Livery within the Pale, yet the degenerate English had resorted to it: and though there were injunctions against marriages, fosterings, and allyings with the mere Irish, yet would they covet these connections more than any. Nor was there any element of good government in their own customs: for with them the inheritance descendeth not by succession from father to son, or from elder to younger, but they attain to it by election; all the Sept making choice of one who hath shewed himself most valiant; wherefore the more barbarous and cruel the sooner will he be preferred. First he shall be Taunist, then Chief. And, as with the Princes, so with the meaner sort. No man is lord of his own longer than he can hold it. So are there perpetual stirs among them.
"Well," said Essex, " an they love such laws 'twill be hard to persuade them to adopt ours. It can only be by good government among the English settlers, and a fair ensample. Oh, 'tis a miserable country where the poor is the slave of the rich—where the weak must bend to the strong—where the peaceful and industrious shall be spoiled and trampled on by the violent and profligate! Hast The Counciljlaytth my Lord. 111
the catalogue of their forces, Master Dymok? We must
go meet them."
"I have, my Lord; here is the Schedule. In all, nigh
■ But these be scattered through the country?"
"CNial, who brings the most to the field, hath some ten
"I should meet him first! To-morrow"
"By your leave, good my Lord, the Council thinks
not so." "Not'"