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Petar I Petrovic Njegos (Saint Petar of Cetinje)

Speeches to Montenegrins before battles against Turks on Martinici and on Krusa, 1796

[Source: History of Montenegro, Zemun, 1850, pages 92-93, 98-99.]

Battle on Martinici occured on July 11, 1796 and battle on Krusa on September 22, 1796.

Translated by Stefan Branisavljevic

Speech before Martinici battle
Speech before Krusa battle

Speech of Petar I Petrovic delivered to Montenegrins in July 1796 before departure in battle against Mahmud-pasha Busatlija on Martinici

Gentle knights and dear brothers!

Our mortal enemy did not want after my appeals to give up of further bloodshed and leave our unfortunate brothers Highlanders, but I have faith in Almighty God that you will today disgracefully expel cruel devil from our boundary. He recruited unnumbered army but his army is miserable and weak, and more than anything else - God's might will help us. Here we came, my dear knights and honorable heroes, to shed our blood with foe; we came to lighten cheek before all world; we came to show enemy of our faith, our name and our most beloved freedom that we are Montenegrins, that we are the people, the people who are willing to fight for its freedom till last drop of blood and sacrifices our dearest life on the boundary of our immortal ancestors: but we do not allow damned enemy of Christianity to pass alive in our free and lovable mountains which our great-grandfathers, our grandfathers, our fathers and we ourselves justly flowed by blood!

Is here, among you, my dearest sons and chosen bloom of my state, saved by God, someone who would not voluntarily rise, love and save by blood and life his good, glory and knighthood?! Is here, courageous knights, someone who is hesitating to fight on this heroic field? I am, dear sons and beloved brothers, convinced that none is here because you do not tolerate cowards, because you consider cowards as the worst humans, because free mountains do not bear cowards, but brave knights who know price of heroism, who know price of people's pride and glory, which is yours and with you born wreath!

You are, dear sons, free people, you do not have other reward for your holy liberating struggle than protection of your free will; you know that only reward for free hero is preservation of freedom and dear fatherland, therefore who fights for any other value is not valiant hero, but paid slave whose knighthood has no price, who has no heroic pride and freedom.

Therefore, dear sons and my courteous brothers, our great-grandfathers had fight for, and we do fight and our descendants will fight for. Hence take up arms and on bloody field, dear knights, to show enemy what are capable the free mountains! To show that in our chests beats immortal Serb heart and Serb blood bubbles, to prove how muscles of mountain heroes overcome every foe on the battlefield.

I am delivering archiepiscopal blessing and commending you and me to merciful God, who sees everything and manages righteously, to be helpful to us.

Cetinje, June 1796.

Speech of Petar I Petrovic in September 1796 delivered to Montenegrins before departure in battle against Mahmud-pasha Busatlija on Krusa

Bless-gathered soldiers and brave knights,

Here came again time to challenge our strong muscles with blood-thirsty Agrarian tribe! Here, I say, time comes to show proven glory and bravery and dignified defense of our freedom which our bless-deceased ancestors faithfully protected. Your proven bravery shown on Martinici convinces me that you will be fiercer and braver in this new struggle. Your muscles are already hardened by flowing in bloody enemy's river. Enemies had enraged you like wild lynxes and in you breathes powerful spirit of bravery, spirit of knighthood. Attack enemy of our faith, of our dearest Serb name and most beloved feelings and show, glorious knights, by this day, what will leave the eternal memory in our kin and among our descendants. Today with joyful feeling our dear people expect to hear for your valiant deeds crowned by wreath of victory, and then they will compose dignified songs and knit wreaths of glory. Do not calculate with your vital muscles during battle. Be united more than ever against our common foe and do what is dignified to your name.

You know that Turks have been always scared, and they are scared of Montenegrins now, feared of Serb knights who are incapable to forsake their fatherland and even less capable to return home ashamed.

Let us pray to merciful God who his good will shown more than once in bloody sufferings and same great and rightful God will again show mercy to his faithful and lovingly sons. Mention God together with me, who always had helped us and will again help.

September 9, 1796.

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