FINN'S MAXIMS
FOR THE FIANNA OF OLD


"Finn had under him a man called Geena mac Luga. Whom Finn gave a captaincy of a band. But, mac Luga proved slothful and selfish, for ever vaunting himself and his weapon-skill, and never training his men to the chase of deer or boar, and he used to beat his hounds and his serving men. At last the Fians under his command, came before Finn at Loch Lena, in Killarney, and there they laid their complaint against mac Luga, and said: "Chose now, O Finn, whether you will have us or the son of Luga by himself."

"Then Finn sent for mac Luga and questioned him, but mac Luga could say nothing to the point as to why the Fianna would none of him. Then Finn taught him the things befitting a youth of noble birth and a captain of men, and they were these:

Maxims of the Fianna

" Son of Luga, if armed service be thy design, in a great man's household be quiet, be surly in the narrow pass."

"Without a fault of his beat not thy hound: until thou ascertain her guilt, bring not a charge against thy wife."

"In battle meddle not with a buffoon, for, O mac Luga, he is but a fool."

"Censure not any if he be of grave repute; stand not up to take part in a brawl; have naught to do with a madman or a wicked one."

"Two-thirds of thy gentleness be shown to women and to those that creep on the floor (little children) and to poets, and be not violent to the common people"

"Utter not swaggering speech, nor say thou wilt not yeild what is right; it is a shameful thing to speak too stiffly unless that it be feasible to cary out thy words"

"So long as thou shalt live, thy lord (meaning king or captain) forsake not; neither for gold nor for other reward in the world abandon one whom thou art pledged to protect."

"To a chief do not abuse his people, for that is no work for a man of gentle blood."

"Be no tale-bearer, nor utterer of falsehoods; be not talkative nor rashly cesorious. Stri not up strife against thee, however good a man thou be."

"Be no frequenter of the drinking house, nor given to carping the old; meddle not with a man of mean estate."

"Dispense thy meat freely; have no niggard for thy familiar."

"Force not thyself upon a chief, nor give him cause to speak ill of thee."

"Stick to thy gear; hold fast to thy arms till the stern fight with its weapon-glitter be ended."

"Be more apt to give than to deny, and follow after gentleness, O son of Luga."

"And the son of Luga, it is written, heeded these counsels, and gave up his bad ways, abd he became one of the best of Finn's men."


THE CHARACTER OF FINN

"Suchlike things also Finn taught to all his followers, and the best of them became like himself in valour and gentleness and generosity. Each of them loved the repute of his comrades more than his own, and each would say that for all noble qualities there was no man in the breadth of the world worthy to be thought of beside Finn."

"It was said of him that 'he gave away gold as if it were the leaves of the woodlands, and silver as if it were the foam of the sea'; and that whatever he had bestowed upon any man, if he fell out with him afterwards, he was never known to bring it against him."


BACK TO HOME PAGE


Hosted by www.Geocities.ws

1