The 22. Discourse.
That the Christian Princes well vnited, are able in fower yeres to expulse the Turkes out of Europe.
IT might better beséeme sundry excellent Cap∣taines * whome I take to bee yet liuing, as the L. Iohn Dorie the Italian, Lazarus Schuen∣dy the Germaine, or the Knight of Rome∣gas the French man, who haue bin employed in diuers warres against the Turkes, to dis∣course of such meanes as may best serue to suppresse their power, then mee who neuer sawe their streamers waue in the wind either by sea or by land, neither looked vpon their frontiers. Neuerthelesse, sith yet they haue layd open no parte of their goodly conceipts in this argument (howbeit I cannot thinke but they haue imparted some to their friends) I haue thought good as well for mine owne content, as also to instruct others, who per∣aduenture haue not employed their cogitations vpon such an hau∣tie exployt, to speake somewhat thereof: and that the rather because I suppose it to be most iust and necessarie to the vniuersall benefite of all Christendome. Yet not that I would men should thinke I Page 246 would at randon put forth any speeches depending onely vpon my owne imaginations: for so might they conteyne small assurance. But hauing read and ouer read the histories that entreate of their warres, & therwith noted what hath happened in our time, I haue accompted such a ground to bee sufficient to beare vp whatsoeuer we list to build therevpon. Here might I haue occasion to rehearse the originall and encrease of this tyrannous and vnpitifull Turkish Empire: but sith I haue alreadie declared it in an other small trea∣tise, I will vse no repetition. Such as are neighbours thereto doe * bat too much feele the waight thereof, neither ought they that bée farther of to bee ignorant that it is a horrible scourge of Gods vengeance, which hauing many yeeres agoe ouerthrowne the flo∣rishing Easterne Empire, and set deepe foote into the Westerne, doth yet threaten the rest to bring it vnder the intollerable yoake therof. The consideration of the greatnesse of this perrill which is so neere might bee sufficient to terrifie, and waken especially those that are in chiefest dignitie, to straine themselues to prouide for cō∣mon preseruation. For the fire by little & little taketh hold, & hath alreadie consumed the suburbes of Christendome, namely Hunga∣rie, with all the great coastes of the Adriatick sea, cōmonly called Sclauonia: So as by sea wee haue these barbarous people at the mouthes of our hauens, & vpon the land in our gates. Certaine it is that had it not bene for the famous victorie of Don Iohn of Au∣strich, a most valiant and noble Prince, together with the warre of Wallachie, wherein died 50000. Turkes, & now their last with the Persian, which hath cost them very deere, we should haue felt their forces. Al which losses notwithstanding, yet do they hold the Ile of Ciprus as a glorious monument of their tryumph, hauing withall quite rased to the very foundations the proud forteresse of Goletta in Affrick. Herein do we see yt as they haue lost men, they are able for euery one get 4. & where we haue lost land, by our vsuall procée∣dings it is almost vnpossible to recouer it out of their hāds. Thus do their losses breed their cōmoditie, whereas ours doe leade vs to destruction. Now to those that knowe them not, they seeme to be * on sleepe or letted for a great while: whereas contrariwise they do but take breath & prouide, neither tendeth their delay to any other ende but to gather force wherby their first assaults may be the more furious. One of the first solemne othes that all these tyrants of the house of Ottoman at their entrie into the Realme, do make, when they take their vsurped scepter, importeth, that they shall bee irre∣consiliable Page 247 enemies to the name of Christ: also that by continuall warre and all sortes of crueltie they shall endeuour to roote it out, wherwith as yet their effects haue euermore very well concurred: which course we are to beleeue they will stil continue. I haue heard of some that haue haunted among them, that if their Emperours should but a while surcease their inuasions against the Christians, they should encurre much reproach among their Priestes and men of warre, who perswade themselues that the sword of Mahumet must bring al the world into subiection to their Lord. These follies doe so puffe them vp and encourage them, that they ambitiously couet and embrace as much as euer did Alexander.
It may bee alleadged that they suffer the Christians to liue vn∣der * their dominions, which is true: But no otherwise then we suf∣fer the Oxen and Sheepe to liue in our fieldes, for the profite that we reape by them. Neither make they any other accompt of them then as of bruit beastes, and so doe vse them euen in their most vile seruice, whereto they dare not gainsay: for had they bene willing to disenhabite the land, long since had it bene desert. But they are not so vnaduised as to doe that: albeit a valiant minde would preferre death before the calamities and reproaches which they make them to endure. This might be vnto vs a goodly portraiture, still to be∣hold, to the end the horror of so many cruelties might encrease our care, and watching for feare least we fall into the same estate: For our own daunger conioyned with the compassion which we ought to take of their miseries, will haue the greater power to induce vs to seeke all conuenient remedies.
All this throughly considered, there is no fitter way then to v¦nite * all the Christian power together, and to goe and assaile those that are our destruction: for of all warres, this is the most necessa∣rie. It should not be made vpō ambition, or desire of glorie, neither in reuenge of any small iniuries, but for the preseruation of many thousand soules from the mortall infection of Mahumets doctrine, and to set the bodies free from the most horrible bondage that euer was. Likewise for the defence of lawes, honestie, vertue, know∣ledge and discipline, which the rage of these barbarous people doe pretend to burie in obliuion, and in liew therof to bring in impitie, vice, ignoraunce and thieuerie. This likewise reuealeth an other poynt worthie the noting in all humaine actions, namely Iustice, which ought to bée the foundation of them all. But it appeareth so cleerely as none can gainsay it. Page 248 Hereto also I will adde this word, that no act can be more iust then in that subdued parte of Europe to purchase the redresse of politick order, which in it comprehendeth all kindes of Iustice, publick and perticular. I suppose, if wee could either in eye or Image beholde only two sorts of the vyolence (besides innumerable others) which these barbarous wretches do practise against the poore Christians, our sloth would be turned into zeale. The first, that yeerely in the Prouinces that they haue subdued, they pull away, euen out of the mothers bosomes, fiue or sixe hundred small children, whome they transport to Constantinople, there to be instructed in their sect and armes. The second, that yeerely in their courses and roades here and there, they take at the least twise so many poore Christians whom they sell againe: whereby the father is caried one way, the sonne an other, the husband into the East, the wife into the West, there to bee slaues all the daies of their life, without hope of euer seeing one an other againe: such a seperation as is made with in∣comparable teares. Neither doe I here comprehend the spoyles of warres, which in some one voyage swalloweth vp 40. or 50000 soules. This is only the ordinarie that I set downe, the continu∣ance whereof in tenne or twelue yeeres will breede, if we well note it, a great extraordinarie.
Many there are that confesse this to bee true, and there settle * themselues, without proceeding any farther, as imagining the mis∣chiefe to bee so farre of that it can neuer come neere to them, and therefore doe leaue to those that are neerer thereunto, the feeling that they ought to haue thereof. This is no small ouersight, which sheweth that they regard only their owne interest, a matter at this day too common among most men: for there are so fewe that take care either to pitie others, or respect Iustice, as humanitie and e∣quitie doe seeme to be vtterly extinguished. In like error remayned our forefathers, I meane those that were neere neighbours to the Countries now left in pray: for through their retchlesnesse & small care to fauour them, they are lost, and haue left their neighbours in perpetuall feare of falling into the like inconuenience. Also as eue∣ry man is readie to seeke goodly cloakes to couer his faults, so are there some, who to the ende to excuse their sloth, would pers•ade vs that the Turkish power is so limited with Seas, Mountaines and fortified Frontiers. that it can encrease no farther. We are to pray that it be so, but for the more certaintie, to beleeue the contra∣rie, for feare of surprising: and I suppose that such as shall peruse Page 249 the histories will scarce cleaue to these mens aduice. For they shall finde that in two hundred and eightie yeeres it hath stretched one way from the Caspian portes vnto Strigon, a towne on the hether borders of Hungary, which are almost fower hundred leagues of ground. Truely we must haue very strong borders to stay those whom neither the mountaines of Armeny, the straights of Helle∣spont, neither the great riuer of Danow•, could stoppe from their passage. Neither is this any great matter in respect of the Em∣pires, Nations, Realmes and Armies that they haue destroyed in approaching vnto vs. It is then but meere flatterie to imagine that they will thus stay pitched in so fayre a way, and a signe of small iudgement to thinke that vnder colour that they are yet a great way from vs, wee should be free from feare, and refuse to as∣sist those that doe continually beare their impetuositie.
I knowe that sometimes a great power stayeth a time without * doing any great exployt, as wee see that for these fortie yeeres they haue not much encroched toward Germany, but likewise that not many yeeres before they conquered almost all Hungary and made Transiluany tributarie. And thinking well therof I finde that they shall neede so small successe to terrifie all Christendome, that I do alreadie apprehende that inconuenience. It is well knowne that Sultan Soliman twise besieged the towne of Vienna in Austrich, which Charles the 5. succoured. But if at this day Solimans suc∣cessors making the like enterprise should carie it away (for we must thinke it to be neither vnpossible, neither vneasie, to those that can bring into the fielde 200000. Horse, to force a towne) what would followe but the forrage and destruction of all Germany, and the Turkish warres to be transported to the shores of Rhine? As also for Italy, shall they not haue a fayre passage through the Alpes to goe to ransacke it? Or what Armie durst make head against such a multitude after they haue ouerthrowne our Frontiers? Wee must confesse that it is well with vs that GOD is our watchman and rampier: for had he not so bene, wee had alreadie felt that which we shall not faile to feele hereafter, vnlesse we helpe our selues with those remedies which GOD of his goodnesse putteth into our hands.
Now let vs see to whom it appertaineth to care for the vniuer∣sall * good. Wee may easely iudge that it is to the Emperours, Kings, Princes and Commonwelths, vnder whome God hath subdued the Nations to yeeld them obedience: In respect whereof Page 250 they ought to gouerne them in Iustie, and defend them from op∣pression. And like as the Shepheard still watcheth that the woolfe surprise none of his flocke, so ought they by continuall diligence to stop the horrible 〈◊〉 that this cruell nation cōtinueth against their subiects. If we looke well about vs, we shall see that there are fewe countries crempt therfro: For the borde•s of Poleland, Germany, Spayne and France on the side of Prouence and Languedocke, doe often enough trye how grieuous the bondage of these barba∣rous people is. That is the whole bodie of Christendome▪ The rest are but Isles, as England, Scotland, Denmarke and Sue∣den,* which are in maner almost Ilands, This doth the more asto∣nish me, that hauing such warnings wee still are so drousie. Now the matter that maketh Princes so smally affected hereto, is that they grow altogether attentiue to their own perticuler greatnesse, whereof ensueth the forgetting to doe things beneficiall to Chri∣stendome. Another cause, in part depending vpon this first is feare & suspition that each hath of other, which do engender such priuat mischiefes, as make them to negle•• the publique calamities. Thus do we see how couetousnesse and domesticall mallice do hinder ho∣norable and profitable resolutions. And so •eng as their harts shal be thus disposed, it will be hard to enterprise enterprise any matter of impor∣tance. It is therefore necessarie for the remedying hereof to seeke meanes not vtterly to plucke from them all these hurtfull passions, (for so must they bee a•ewe cast againe) but to deminish them in them, to the ende they afterward the more at their ease put on those affections which they ought to heare to the common cause.
The best way to draw to this effect were, if they that beare grea∣test * sway in Christendome could with liuely perswasions and dili∣gent sollicitations, shewing to all men how neere and sharpe the Lyons teeth & talents are, open their eyes and vnstop their eares: for that were a good beginning to compasse the principall poynt of remiting their willes. The first person that should effectually per∣swad• ought * to bee the Pope, whose dignitie is in great reuerence among Catholique Princes, whom he should solemnely send vnto. For they seeing him leaue his ordinary crye after them which he yet vseth, saying: Cut the throates of such of your subiects as will not acknowledge me, and that his phrase were •ee•ed, would bee much perswaded by the vertue of these inductions, as Princes were by o∣ther Popes in the first voyages for the recouerie of the Holy land. The second person necessarie is the Emperour, for albeit his po∣wer *Page 251 doth not now concurre with his title, yet ought that sacred dignitie wherewith he is clothed to bee in great reuerence among all Christian Potentates: whose exhortations would likewise be of great eff〈…〉 throughout all Germany. The third person meete & * necessarie 〈◊〉 the rest should be the K. of Spayne, in respect of his mightnesse & power, whervpō his word being builded, the ve∣ry feare of his euill will would make euery one to be the readier to doe well. These in my opinion being well vnited, might easely lay the foundations of so stately a practise. In olde time mens-zeale was framed to diuers iust matters, or such as so seemed: for then one perticuler person endued with eloquence and experience was able to stirre them vp, as did Peten the Hermite, who hauing dis∣couered all ye East countries led thether the first troopes. But now that euery man looketh but to himselfe, it is requisite to wordes to ioyne authoritie and feare: therein imitating Themistocles, who comming to certaine confederates of the Athenians to craue mo∣ney at their hands, the sooner to perswade them, tolde them that he brought them two Gods Loue & Force. Euen so who so desireth to doe any good in this matter, must in laying open the necessitie speake Magistratlike, as we tearme it. Who so doubteth that these thrée persons cannot be linked together in this desire & pursuite, is deceiued: for the state as well of the persons as of the affayres doth inuite them, rather thē force them backward, as we may easely see.
But in this which I am now about to say consisteth more diffi∣cultie, * namely in framing the other Princes to ioyne with them, a∣mong which the most Christian King is most necessarie: for he be∣ing vnited with the rest, who would afterward bee behinde, sith al∣most all other Potentates are confederate vnto them? Or who durst doe any thing contrary to their power, but should immediatly be oppressed? Whervpō I gather that if this perticuler league be∣tweene these 4. were once well knit, the general would vndoubted∣ly soone ensue. Now the most Christian King cannot be hereunto bound before he be wonne to consent to breake his league with the Turke: which I feare will hardly be compassed without great rea∣sons and good assurance: for peraduenture he wil be loath to plucke downe the outward proppes which his father and grandfather of happie memorie reared vp for the assurance of their estate, which hetherto haue not bene shaken: besides that his Counsailors will feare in so waightie a matter to make any rash alteration.
This therefore they may alleadge in this case, whereof I haue Page 252 briefly spoken other where. Namely, that King Frances the first finding England, Spayne, Germany, the Low countries, & some * partes of Italy to bee confederate against him for the oppressing of his estate, whereof ensued the losse of the Dutchy of Millan, with the denyall of his soueraigne rights to Flanders and Arthoise, and therewith hauing the warres oftentimes within the bowels of his Realme, fearing more hurtfull losses, was forced for his safetie to haue recourse vnto extraordinarie remedies: namely to enter league with Soliman Emperour of the Turks, so to anoy his ene∣mies: likewise that the feare hereof hath many times seemed to re∣straine them frō the execution of greater purposes against France. That his sonne Henry being to withstand the like endeuours, did also vse the same forraine fauour, wherein he had good successe. That if the Realme when it florished and abounded in all things stoode in néede of such helpe, much more necessary is it now while it is deuided, weakened and poore; because the auncient hatred of those that seeke the abasing thereof may yet gather strength and force. This mooueth them to feare perpetuall reproach with mani∣fest daunger to the state, if they should counsaile their maister to depriue himselfe of such succour, the losse whereof may embolden the neighbors to more willingly the assaile him. That they are not ignorant but that the confederacie with the Turke beareth appa∣rance of vniustice: howbeit for counterpaize thereof, that the profite which it yéeldeth is so great, that in these daies wherein wee liue, which are replenished with suspition & surprises, it may without infamie be tollerated: considering that the Catholique King, what∣soeuer regard he hath to conscience and honor, maketh no doubt of confederating himselfe with the Persian, who is a Mahumetist as well as the other: And who can tell, wil they say, whether the most Christian King, when vnder colour of vniuersall benefite he may haue made of his friend his foe, if he should bee afterward assailed, be assured of the loue of those Princes with whome he hath bene at so great controuersie▪ Without manifest testimonie therefore of a good reunion and assurance to his Realme, they would be loath to perswade him to abandon his auncient confederaties. Moreouer, yt although al Christian Princes should vnite themselues to assaile the Turkes and atchieue great victories against them, yet is it like∣ly that all the fruites of their labours both by sea and land shall re∣dound to the profite of the house of Austrich, which alreadie is clambred so high, that all the neighbours begin to stand in feare Page 253 thereof, and so should their maister reape nothing but labour and cost, which poynt is to be considered of. These, in my opinion, are the chiefe reasons that our Kings officers can alieadge, which it * were requisite to ouerthrowe by better before wee bring them to the league aforesayd. I thinke if the Princes afore named would proceede sincerely, & vnto words adioyning good demonstrations, this might be compassed. For besides the equitie of the matter, the desire of many good men which seeke no more but the exaltation of the name of Christ shall accompanie them. But if they labour with subte•tie (as men doe many times) there will no fruite come of it, but they shall be requited with subteltie. Howbeit, I will be∣léeue that they meane very well: which if they doe, there resteth no more but to aunswer to that which hath bene propounded, and so to decide the difficulties aforesayd: whereof I will not speake, in that I can say little in respect of that which so many heads as well in Spayne as Italy are able to set downe: neither doe I doubt but these Princes would graunt to the most Christian King good as∣surance, to induce him to enter into this confederatie. For if there arise any controuersie vpon this saying: The assurance is not strong enough, or vpon the aunswer, we can giue no other: the same were an euident token of a bad minde to the common benefite, in him whō we should see vnwilling to yeeld vnto reason. For if it should happen such a King as he of France to bee assotiated, it would af∣terward be an easie matter to make all the other Potentates to en∣ter into the generall vnion, yea euen the King of Poleland now raiguing. And withall if any one would be slacke when he should see the whole bodie set forward, the same should deserue to bee for∣red thereto.
Yet were all this in vaine and to no purpose, vnlesse withall or∣der * be taken to appea•e all present warres, also to prouide for such as may arise as well betwene Prince and Prince, as betwene them and their subiects. It seemeth that at this day there is small cause of controuersie betweene them, sith the Duke of Anieow is decea∣sed, who was at debate with the Catholique King, hauing wonne for all his paines the onely towne of Cambray, which some may thinke to bee rather an occasion to breede discord betweene the two Kings, of Spayne and France: which neuerthelesse I cannot be∣leeue; for they will neuer so farre ouershoote themselues, as for so small a matter to hazard both their Realmes into charges, cala∣mitie and destruction. Neither (to speake as a Christian) should Page 254 any man wish two so mightie Monarchies to goe together by the eares. For so should they bring their confederates to partaking, and of a priuate controuersie make a generall warre. And no doubt the Turke would thereof take occasion to worke wonderfull prac∣tises against vs, which for want of withstanding through our do∣mesticall dissentions, would breede our great hinderances. Some man will adde that the small Potentates will bee glad the great ones should feede each vpon other: truely if the great ones should seeke to deuoure them, they might haue great reason to wish it: but seeing them willing to vndertake to do that which may profite all, all ought likewise to wish their good and to helpe them therein. The true meanes therefore to take away the feare from some and couetousnesse from other some, were ioyntly to employ themselues in these high enterprises.
As for the warres of Princes against their subiects, it were good * (if it were possible) to quench them: because they are sufficient to diuert them from all other intents. To which purpose I say that subiects are to remember that their soueraigne Princes are as the visible Images of God, whom he hath established vpon the earth as his Lieutenants, to driue men to liue in Pietie, Iustice and ho∣nestie, and to defend them from oppression. In respect whereof they are to yeeld vnto them all honor, fidelitie, seruice & obedience, as also the Princes are to beare them like goodwill as a father doth to his childe, and neuer to driue them into necessitie, least they en∣ter into dispayre. Through the maintenaunce of this goodly con∣cord, states doe florish; whereas contrariwise the breach thereof ha∣steneth their destruction, as hath bene lately tryed to the great hurt of all France, and is yet in practise in Flanders to the desolation therof. It is a lamentable matter to see those that worship one self Christ thus to pursue each other with fire & blood like wild beastes, and the whiles to suffer these Mahumetistes to tryumph ouer the liues, lands, and spoyles of the poore Christians of the East coun∣tries. For if this alteration of the Low countries were ceased, all Christendome should seeme to be at peace. But this reconsiliation * will not be 〈…〉y purchased: howbeit, al lets must be ouercome, to the ende to creepe out of these long miseries that make both the as∣sailants and defendants miserable. The Catholique Maiestie, who, as it is sayd, is very courteous, and thereof daily sheweth great proofes in most but my selfe, should diligently looke hereto: for all this bloodie tragedie is played at his costs. Now is there no Page 255 question of state, but only for religion: whereof, albeit no man as∣keth my counsaile, neither wil beléeue me, yet I will speake a word or two. The way were, in my opinion, to proceede by gentlenesse, not to iudge by foreiudgement: and to frame the lawes according to the natures, and not to leane so much to the reportes of some, as to the iust complaints of many subiects: as being assured that consciences cannot bee forced without merueilous force. Finally, the successe of things past may haue taught that those princes who by warres haue endeuoured to accompany the vehemencie of their Priests, haue disfigured their dominiōs & deminished their great∣nesse. And what Iesuite is there, how skilfull soeuer, that is able to perswade those that bee no Iesuites, that God delighteth in so much blood as on both sides is shed? The people of the Low coun∣tries are of a free nature, the affections of whose hearts are remoo∣ued by clemencie and vnfayned humanitie: but by stripes and iniu∣ries they be prouoked and alienated. The surest counsaile therfore were to graunt to those that are in armes the permission which they craue to serue God, to the ende they may yeeld also the obe∣dience that man doth require: for it is to be supposed that if this bee not willingly done, time will wrest it by force: which may as well breede fauourable accidents to the losers, as it hath done to the winners. The liueliest sting and sharpest pricke to mooue the Spa∣nyards to peace, is the remembrance of the folly of France, wher∣by they may say: We haue scaped fayre. This difficultie shall not let * me from proceeding in my discourse, and by diuers examples to shewe that this enterprise against the Turkes, ought to be vnto vs in great recommendation. Our grandfathers had courage enough to assaile their grandfathers euen in their owne cities and fieldes, which they watered with the blood of these misereants: which proo∣ueth that the children are not inuincible. Wherfore the better to see those notable victories, we may reade the historie of Paulus Aemi∣lius, who treateth of the conquest of the Holy land. It is meruei∣lous to see how zealous euery man then was to employe himselfe in these forrein expeditiōs, wherfro neither the dangers could ter∣rifie the yong, nor the tediousnesse of the way the old: but both sorts either sold or morgaged part of their goods to furnish & set forth thē selues therin. Euen that excellent Prince Godfrey of Bollein to ye same effect sould his Dutchy to the Bishop of Liedge: He was the first Westerne Prince that gloriously tryumphed as well of the Sarazens as of the Turkes, in taking from them the realme of Ie∣rusalem,Page 256 and driuing them away. Many other vayages haue since bene made by diuers Emperours & Kings which haue had good & bad successe: wherof I will speake in time conuenient. At this time it shall suffise to beholde in these by oyles the zeale of so many noble personages: the consent of nations: the magnanimitie of gentrie: the liberalitie of all men: & finally the high prowesse & conquestes of so many warriors, to the end by the motions therof our affectiōs now as it were asleepe, may awake & bustle themselues to ye same ende which our auncesters shot at. For it were a great signe of de∣generating from the auncient vertue, if we should not stirre against these our terrible enemies that approach euen to our doores, sith they trauailed aboue 600. leagues out of France to seeke them. And yet are wee to feare them much more then they, because their power is fower times as much againe as it was then. This may bee a warning to Princes (being resolued to enter into this enter∣prise) to be the more carefull to lay the foundations so sure as they may not be shaken. For if through negligence or haste there should happen any default, it would be somewhat troublesome to redresse, and it would fall out as to those that build a beautifull Bridge vpō weake pillers, who are afterward for the repayring thereof driuen to breake it downe againe.
I haue here afore made mention of two foundations, consisting * the one vpon the iustice of the warre, the other vpon ye necessity: which both are throughly to bee considered, because by seeing the grounds to be good, we conceiue the better hope of the ende which we pretend. Now it remaineth that we proéeed in the rest, the prin∣cipall whereof dependeth vpon the will of the Princes, whence the generall vnion must grow. For yt is it which beareth vp the whole frame and maketh it to moue. And in as much as the matter that may hinder it is to bee ouercome (as wee haue seene) we are to be∣leeue that after diuers negotiations and iourneys too and fro, the Princes may in the ende growe to resolution. This compassed, it were good to summon some notable assembly wherein to deliberate vpon the whole, & to sweare to whatsoeuer may be concluded. And sith ye Emperor should be one of the chief dealers & withal of grea∣test dignitie, he to appoynt the place (so as the Pope would not be ielous) where the Embassadours of the greatest Princes might méete, whether also the meaner will come in person, for that the Emperour himselfe should be there. To which purpose the towne of Ausbourg (in my opinion) might well serue for them all, where Page 257 also with the aduice of many other skilfull Captaines they might better determine all matters.
Hauing formed such a confederacie, it were requifite to go on & to prouide fit means to continue the warre at the least foure yeres, * to yt end none might giue it soouer ouer without incurring reproch and displeasure of al the other Princes, either else not to enter ther∣into at all. For to begin this warre, and then to leaue it vnfinished, would breede too great inconuenience, as hauing forced a mighty enimie to play double or quit, wherinto being entred, he might per∣aduenture attempt such deuises as before he neuer thought vppon. True it is that it is hard so sure to bind those Princes which depend but of themselues, howbeit, all that might be must be done: for or∣dinarie experience teacheth, that onely three or foure leagued toge∣ther, can hardly long agree. And sometime before the first peece be performed, some one shrinketh, who then wanteth no reasons nor ex∣cuses therefore.
Then must they prouide for treasure, for forein wars are neuer wel * conducted without abundance, & want doth oft make them to de∣caie. In the first warr against yt Mahumetists, the zeale & affecti∣on was so great yt most men waged thēselues of their owne goods. Afterward they were holpen with ye treasure which through yt Croi∣sats that the Popes published, was leauied in sundrie realmes and prouinces. This help, whether it now proceeded of the Popes or of the authority of princes, & were tearmed either Croisade or contri∣bution, would be necessarie to helpe the Potentates to defray their charges. For hauing gathered among their subiects an extraordi∣narie summe (yet not immoderate) & thereto laying part of their or∣dinarie reuenues, it would suffice to maintain great armies. How∣beit sith in our smal wars we stil find want of money, it were meet to lay a good foundation for treasure a yere before the enterprisiug of any thing: for beeing of sufficient abilitie before they begin, they should afterward hardly incurre any want. It may bee said that to threaten the enimie so far before hand, were as much as to giue him time to prouide: but hauing well waied all, it were a greater incon∣uenience, according to the prouerbe, To take shipping without bis∣quet. Besides, it is to be imagined that their pride & glory is such, & they so much contemne the Christians, that they will take it to bee rather some brag to terrifie thē, than any preparation to assaile thē. As for power, I thinke no man can denie but that Christendome is at this daie verie mightie. For all Countries are full of men these *Page 258 domestical warres haue greatly exercised in armes. The art of war is also better knowen than it hath bene these 150. yeeres, whereto the knowledge of histories both Greeke & Latine, conioyned with experience, haue bene a great helpe. We see likewise that their cou∣rages are no whi• quailed, as wee doe but too often proue to our great griefe and losse. Of souldiours therefore hauing both •now & good, we must looke for Captaines, for they bee the men who tho∣rough their wisedome & magnanimitie are great helps to the win∣ning of the victories. In this point we of force confesse that Chri∣stendome hath not now any of so great experience, as euen in our daies we haue seene: as the Duke of Alua, the Duke of Guize, the Constable of France, the Admirall of Chastillion, and for the sea Andrew Dorie. Howbeit we cannot likewise saie that it is vtterly vnprouided▪ for although those that remain be but yong, yet do they follow the steps of the others, neither want they any thing but the subiect of a braue war, the more to display their vertue: besides that many times good hap accompanieth young heads, as appeared in Don Iohn of Austria at Lepanto, the Duke of Anguien at Seri∣solles, the Duke of Sanoy at S, Quintins, the Earle of Aigmōt at Graueling, & especially the Prince of Parma in Flāders. We are to thinke that we liue in a time wherin the large schooles are o∣pen for Captaines to learne to frame themselues & grow good. Let vs therefore content our selues with those that yet liue, & hope well of their conduct. I will name none particularly, for they be suffici∣ently knowen, who in Spaine, France, Italy & Germany haue pur∣chased fame.
Now are we to looke to discipline, wherof I wil say thus much, * that without great care that it be diligently obserued & kept, we are not to look for any good issue of the war. We see how ye ciuil wars haue quite corrupted it, and the infection is shed ouer all nations, though ouer some more than othersome. It were meet therefore at the first to establish rules which may be put in practise, & thereto to ad both a punishment & reward: for if we carry our accustomed disor¦ders into these wars, we shal soone become a praie to the Turkes. Titus Liuius discoursing how ye Romaines attained to their great conquests, among other things attributeth it to their good obserua∣tion of order & discipline. Yet do I not herein require as great per∣fection as in those daies, but rather to fit the coat to the bodie, & the laws to the vertue. I doubt not but ther is yet enough spred abroad among our Christian nations: Whereof if a great part were gathe∣red Page 259 into one armie, it would suffice to bring forth good fruit. These * be the principall preparatiues which the Princes should consider of betimes. For the rest, which neuerthelesse are necessary, as wepons, vessels, artillerie, & munition, they are much easier to bée gotten. Philip of Macedon Alexander the greats father prepared for such things as he needed for his wars a yere or two before hand: but he died before he could begin, & his sonne finished them: & yet it serued his turne wel, that he found all things redie, but especially he made great account of fiue or six old Captains whom his father left him. Another Philip the father of Perseus, purposing wars against the Romaines, made no lesse preparation, though his sonne imploied it but badly. And we are as greatly to feare the Turkish nation as they did the others, for it holdeth at this day the greatest Empire in ye world. Many there are yt being badly informed of their customes, * do take thē to be barbarous people, giuen to cruelty, & wanting all other good qualities, wherin they are deceiued: for among all soldi∣ers in the world, they shew themselues most sober, obedient of their Captains, & diligent. For a while they had small vse of the harque∣buze, but now they can help thēselues therewt against vs, & do begin to arme their horsmen with certain light breastplates & morions to couer the foreparts of their bodies & heads, although they retain the vse of the bow & target: & it is a great meruaile considering how many Christian soldiers do daily go to them & denie their faiths, yt they haue no sooner taken our fashions which are better thā theirs. Footmen with the pike & corcelet they haue none, which in my opi∣nion is our aduantage, as being a verie profitable kind of soldiers. All this ought to hasten vs to preuent thē before they conforme thē∣selues to vs in things wherin we exceed thē: neither is to be doub∣ted but in time they will imitate Pyrrhus & Hanibal, who brought their souldiers to take vp many of the Romaine fashions both in wepons & discipline, as hauing by experience in their wars against thē, found the same to be better than their own. I leaue it therfore to any good Captains iudgement, if they should thus doe (considering their great numbers of people) whether it were possible to stande before them: if they should arme but 50000. horsmen after our ma∣ner, surely the same would suffice to fight with al the horse in Chri∣stendome: but they put in their general armies well neere 200000 which is an incredible matter.
I heard a French Gentleman yt was at Sighet when Sultan Soli∣man* besieged it, say yt there he saw 150000. which •raue him into Page 260 admiration, seeing all the earth couered with horse & men as thicke as trees in a large forrest. When we in our smal warres see 10. or 12000. horse, we thinke them able to fight with the whole worlde, what then would we saie if we should see these wonderfull troops? They haue euermore vsed to march thus: yea, the Sarazens whome they succeeded in ye law of Mahumet vsed mightie armies, though not so strong in horse. I will not stand vppon the description of the large extent of their dominions, as being a thing sufficiently know∣en, onely I will saie that in Europe they holde more land than all France, Spaine & Italy doe containe, from whence they take theyr best men of warre, where also they keepe them, partly in garrisons and partly vppon their conquered landes which they diuide among them, with charge to bee alwayes readie to serue vppon anie the great Lords commandements, so as out of the sayd Prouinces of Europe, they are able to bring into the field neere 100000. horse, which is a token yt the barbarousnesse that we take to be in them, is not altogether deuoide of wisedome and pollicie. They vse not to fortefie many holdes, for no man dare enterprise to assault anie of their chiefest, but he shall straight waies be assured of a mightie po∣wer at hand readie to make him giue ouer quicklie. As their lande power is great, so is not their strength by sea anie whit smaller, which now they are more iealous to keepe well than euer heereto∣fore, through the remembrance of their great losse receiued by the good hap and prowesse of Don Iohn of Austria. They neuer em∣pouerish themselues in warres as Christian Princes doe, for their warfare and order of paie doth somewhat differ from ours, and the coine that theyr Emperour taketh out of his treasurie at Constan∣tinople in the time of warre, hee supplieth againe in time of peace. To bee briefe, they be most mightie enimies: against whom whosoeuer shall deale, he had not neede to forget anie thing at home (as wee vse to say) but doe as they that enter the liftes, who before they do come, loke to increase their strength & courage: to see to see their defensiue armes sit, and their offensiue sharp, to the end either to ouercome, or die valiantly.
Now are we to enter into the chiefe point of this matter, which is, of the meanes how to assaile these terrible enimies, in what pla∣ces, * & with what power, to the end within the time afore noted to at∣chiue a happie conclusion. And although in ye assembly before men∣cioned, wherat should appere sūdrie princes & Captains, they may argue of this point to ye end to grow to some resolution: yet will I Page 261 not let as briefly as I may, to saie my minde, according as I pur∣posed at the first, alwaies submitting the same to the censures of such as are more skilfull than my selfe, to correct the imperfections therof. My discourse tēdeth rather to kindle ye affections of valiant persons to enterprise, than to giue anie counsayle in the proceeding in so haughtie a purpose, whose euents may not easily bee forseene, wherin the chiefest Captaines (whose poore scholler I shal account it an honour for me to be) shall not bee too sufficient to giue aduice. The better neuerthelesse to behaue our selues in such a warre, I thought good to set down some examples of but ancestors, who sun∣drie times fought against the same nation, to the end that what they wisely executed may be to vse a rule, by fitting it to our time, as al∣so we may eschue and auoid their ouersights.
I will not enter into search of matters beyonde Godfrey of Bolleine (albeit there were greate warres before betweene the Emperours of Constantinople and the Saracens) in whose daies the Christian Princes beganne to confederate themselues agaynst them. The first armie that was sent went vnder the leading of Pe∣ter the Hermite, who passed euen into the lesser Asia, and at the first acchieued a few valiant exploites: but he and all his men were af∣terward ouerthrowen by the Souldan of Nicee. Likewise two o∣ther armies as they marched, were broken by the Hungarians, a nation which at that time had scarcely attayned the rudimentes of Christianitie, and as yet did holde of the auncient fiercenesse of the Hunnes: so as these first expeditions yeelded small fruit and great hurt. The cause of which disorders & inconueniences proceeded (as I thinke) of the want of authoritie and experience of their leaders, who vpon a zeale, assembled al these troups gathered out of diuers nations, in whom peraduenture they founde not conuenient obedi∣ence, and wanting foundation both in purpose and prouision, could not long holde out, neither among their friendes, neither agaynst their enimies.
The histories reporte that in the first expedition there were unlesse than 100000. able men. And the Hungarians ouer∣threw the others (which were not so many) because by the way they •ell to spoyle, which argueth that they vsed small discipline. Wee can therefore make no account of the greacnesse of a multitude, if there be no order among them, which especially fayleth when their Captaines be either insufficient or want authoritie. Shortly after did Godfrey of Bolein tooke vppon him his notable voiage about Page 262 the yeere 1086. toward the end of the raigne of the Emperor Hen∣rie the fourth. This voyage was better looked to and ordered than the former, and had many more excellent Captaines: for besides himselfe, who was alreadie a famous Captaine, he had his two bre∣thren Baulduine and Eustace Earle of Flanders Hugh, Philippe the French kings brother, Robert of Normandie, the sonne of William King of England, and many other Lords & Gentlemen: yea, if we list to beleeue such as haue written the particularity, ther∣of, we shall find there were in that armie aboue 40000. horse and 150000, 〈◊〉 al fighting men, a great part wherof (which was me〈…〉 about their owne expenses.
So soone as they were assembled they marched forward, and so * followed their businesse, that they finished their conquest in 3 yeres ouer a great part of the lesser Asia, Siria, & Mesopotamia. In this warre they had many reencounters, but the most notable were two great battailes which they woune, and two principall sieges Nice & Hierusalem, where they were the conquerours. Many Christi∣ans were also once besieged at Antioch, but they sharply repulsed yt Sarazens and Turkes, with great slaughter. Finallie, hauing ex∣pulsed them out of the farthest Prouinces, they established the Realme of Hierusalem, where Godfrey of Bolleine raigned and his successours after him: who so list nowe to consider the time that was spent in so great a conquest, shall find it but short for the win∣ning of more land than all Germanie and Scotland doe containe. Great was the defence & assalt, but 2. great battels & 2. sieges yel∣ded the whole victory, wherby we may beleeue yt the hardest enter∣prises are ouercome with valor & good order. Neither wil I let slip the inconueniences of those long iourneyes: for the tediousnesse of the way, the distemperance of the aire, & the continual trauaile bred sundrie diseases among those great troopes, which were holpen for∣ward by the excesse of the mouth too much vsed in these north parts. These brought the losse of many, euē of the better sort yt wanted no abilitie. Now haue the Turkes taken order yt we shall not need to go so far to seeke them, for they are come abroad euē to some of our gates, others haue them within fiftie leagues of them, and the far∣thest within an hundred. We shall not neede to feare the hearts of Asia, for our batable grounds shall be in as good a temperature as France: yea, euen Constantinople standeth in the same climate as Strigon, so as we shal need to feare no more but our enimies yron.
But to proceede, we are to vnderstand that after the posteritie of Page 263Godfrey of Bolleine had inioyed the lande aboue 80. yeeres, ciuill * dissention crept in among them, and some of them calling the Sara∣zens to their aide, grew so strong that they droue out the rest. This afterward moued diuerse Christian Princes to ioyne againe in the recouerie of that which was lost so as in fiue or six score yeres they made sixe or seauen notable voiages. wherein went personally the Emperours Fredericke Barbarossa, Frederick the second, Con∣rade king of Germanie, some kings of France and of England, wherof neuerthelesse grew smal profit. At the beginning the Chri∣stians had goodly victories, but in the end they had the foile, & were neuer able to expell the Turkes and Saracens out of the lands that they had recoueres. All these later losses proceeded of sundrie cau∣ses, as of particular warres leauied by some of the princes that stai∣ed behinde in their lands that were gone yt voiages: of want of wine & other prouision: of the small perseuerance of them that were lea∣gued, of the pestilence that fell in the armie: & finally, of such hinde∣rances as the Emperors of Greece did vnderhand work to the we∣steru forces: enuying, as it shuld seme, their generosity, & being loth they shuld conquere the land which yt Sarazens had won frō the said Empire. These are the deformities of the former enterprises, which ought to be warily shunned for feare of disgracing the present: for it is a double fault, to know the former ouer sightes, & yet to fall into thē again. Other princes yt followed the aforenamed haue but defē∣ded * & yelded to ye Turkish rage, which ouerflowing in ye family of the Ottomans, hath for these 300. yeres stil increased to our great losse & destruction: howbeit euen in the middest of our disorders we haue not wanted some excellēt persons, who with very smal means haue withstood the meruailous force of these barbarous nations, & whiles life hath lasted, ben a rampier to all Christendome. One was Iohn Huniades the Father of Mathy Coruine, chosen to be king of Hungary. Another Scanderbeg Prince of Albania, who both were surnamed The scourges of the Turkes, because of the great slaughters that they made in those battailes that they won. Wher∣in we are to note Gods power & wisedome, who with weak & smal things can pluck down the pride of the mighty. They like wise haue held long wars vpon the seas, yea, the Sarazens haue ben so strong therin, ye oftentimes they haue made great discents in the costes of Christendome, and haue taken land in sundrie places, as in Spaine, the most part whereof they possessed a•o•t 780. yeeres also in Si∣cil where they remained aboue two hundred •e•res. Page 264 But the Turkes great power vpon the seaneuer appeared so much as after the losse of: Constantinople: For hauing so commodious a harborow, they thereof tooke occasion to thinke vppon sea matters, shewing themselues terrible in the conquest of Ilandes and firme land, where they haue descended. The Christians alwaies, so much as they might; withstoode them, but in the end by litle & litle were through their great force oppressed, so as for theyr more assurance they haue bene driuen 〈◊〉 them with the Mediterranean and Adriaticke sea: abandoning vnto them almost all that is beyonde the same.
Diuerse are the reasons that leade me to thinke the time to set vp∣pon * them as conuenient now as euer. First the want of experience in their greate Lord, who is sayde to be rather a Philosopher than a souldiour, as neuer wearing armour as his grandfathers Selim and Soliman, the conquer•rs of sundrie countries did. For the Turkish nation hauing such leaders doe notable things. Then their losses in the Persian warres haue much weakened them, whereof we are to gather that their great prosperitie which so long hath accompa∣nied them, doth now begin to droope. Thirdly, Don Iohns victory hath eased vs of one errour wherein wee were, which is, that wee thought thē to be by sea inuincible, & withal taught vs what aduā∣tage in ioyning we haue ouer them: wherein wee should scarcelie haue bene confirmed but by this experience. All this together con∣sidered should the more incline vs to take the occasion when it is of∣fered: for we must imagine that time altereth things, & men grow into experience, good hap returneth, & inuentions increase. I know our sinnes are the chiefe causes that God vseth them as scourges to smite vs, but we neede not doubt but they haue like wise fourefolde procured his wrath. And who knoweth whether their time bee not come to receiue the same that they haue inflicted vpon others? We ought to be assured that in his iust iudgementes toward his, hee al∣wayes mixeth his abundaunt mercie with his wrath, and they that be vesselles of his wrath, shall soone or late feele his vengeance without mercie.
To this purpose I will alleade a foolish Prophetie contained in their Alcaron where I haue read it, not that I thinke anie truth * to be harboured in theyr false Oracles vnderpropped with lies: but because sometime the wicked haue at vnawares foretolde thinges that haue afterward come to passe: This it is. In the later dayes it shal come to passe, that the Musulmans, that is to say, the Turkish na∣tion, Page 265 shall straie from the lawes of the great Prophet Mahumet, gi∣uing themselues to all iniquitie: Then shall the Christian swoord arise and thrust them out of their Empire. Such as haue ben conuersant among them do report that their wise men doe sometimes set these speeches before them, and they feare them: as indeede they ought, sith they were neuer so corrupt as at these dayes, or so worthie grie∣uous punishment.
I haue bene long before I could speake of the meanes to assayle * these so mightie aduersaries: and the rather because I haue imagi∣ned the former matters verie requisite for the better vnderstanding of that which I wil saie. To begin therefore I wil set to your view some counsayles of our forefathers, out of the which we may ga∣ther good instructions, who for the like causes haue often beene stir∣red vp to frame braue purposes. Guic ciardine the historiographer, who well noted such things as happened in his time, reporteth that when Selim had conquered all Aegypt, and obtayned sundrie victo∣ries else where, all Christendome grew into great feare. His owne wordes because they deserue consideration I will set downe. The Pope (sayth he) with all the Court of Rome astonished at such successe,*and to the end to prouide against so great a mischiefe, shewing that he would first craue Gods helpe, commanded sundrie deuout processions at Rome, wherin himselfe went barefoote: Then calling vpon the help of men, hee sent his Mandats to all Christian Princes, admonishing them of this great danger, and perswading them to laie aside all disor∣ders and contentions, speedely to attend to the defence of religion and their common safetie, which was continuallie opposed to great danger, if with courage and vnited force they transported not the warre into Turkie, and so inuaded not the enimie in his owne Countrie. Here vp∣pon the opinions of sundrie skilfull men of warre and others that knew the Countries & dispositiō as wel of the Princes as of the power of the Turks, being taken, it was thought necessary to make great prouision of money by the voluntarie contributions of Princes & an vniuersal im∣postio be leuied ouer all Christendome. That the Emperour with the Hungarian and Polonian horsemen, warlyke nations & such as were practised in continuall wars agaynst the Turkes, as also with such the strength of Germanie as might beseeme so great an enterprise, shoulde sayle along Danowe into Bosina in olde time tearmed Misia, and so into Thrace, and to approch vnto Constantinople, the imperiall sea of the Ottomans. That the French King with the forces of his Realme, the Ʋenecians and other Potentates of Italy, accompanied Page 266 with the footmen of Zuitzerland, should passe from the port of Brun∣duse in Albanie, a very easie and short cut, to inuade Greece, a landful of Christian inhabitants, as well in respect hereof, as for the intollera∣ble yoake of the Turkes, most readie to rebell: That the kings of Eng∣land, Spaine, and Portugall, as well in their nauies at Carthagene, and the hauens thereabout should take their course with 200. shippes full of Spanish footmen & other souldiors to the straights of Gallipolis, thence to make roads to Constantinople, hauing first seazed vpon the Dard∣anes, that is, their Castles standing vppon the mouth of the straight. That the Pope should take the same course with an hundred great gal∣lies. With these preparatiues sufficient to couer both sea and land, the Turkes estates being inuaded in so many places, who make their chit∣fest account of defence in the plaine field, it seemeth (especially adding therto the innocation of Gods name, that of so holy a warre there could not be hoped but a happie end.
This deliberation of the most excellent Captaines then liuing. I * finde to be so well grounded, that I thinke we might borowe much of theirs but had the execution thereof insued, we should the better haue séene what it had ben, howbeit the death of Selim comming on, asswaged the feare of these Princes, & so consequently their desire to proceed, whereby they passed but to wordes. Now as since there haue followed great alterations, so are we to frame our selues ac∣cording to the disposition of matters, & somwhat to vary from this platforme, but rather in the particularities, than principall pointes thereof.
First we may be certaine that it is to small purpose to inuade the Turkes by lande onely, or by sea onely: for leauing them ei∣ther of those gaps open, they will thereby so molest vs, as that they will turne vs from the other, in kindling the flames farther within our houses, than we can do in theirs. In respect wherof it is requi∣site to set their whole estate in Europein combustion, by following the wars in euery part thereof, which is vnpossible to be performed wtout a mighty power as wel by sea as by lād, which our ancestors thought expedient, as also it is (as Guicciardine saith) the perfect meanes to abridge any warre: for being strong, ye shal soone bring your enimies to reason either by victory or composition: Wheras contrariwise when it is weakly followed, it groweth ruinous. Whē Caesar inuaded Pompey, who had seazed vpon all Greece and the Easterne Prouinces he made himselfe strong both by sea and land, wherein neuerthelesse his competitor exceeded him. The like did Page 267Augustus against Marke Anthonie, who possessed the same coun∣tries which now ye Turks inioy, & both of thē had neere 1000. ves∣sels, & aboue 35. legions by land. But because it is an easie matter to know, that for the well inuading of those countries, both ye pow∣ers must be matched together, I wil speak no more therof. As for ye partition of these princes forces, which Guicciardine mentioneth, it is not amisse, nor the inuasiō of 3. sides: albeit I think it were bet∣ter for vs to stick to two. For I consider that ye whole defence of the Turks lands consisteth in 2. great armies, the one vpon the land, yt other vpon ye sea, neither hathhe anie fortified places as we haue, so as ye losse of one of these props is ye opening of a gate vnto vs, which is ye reason why I would wish we should make but 2. strong bodies wherwith to attempt our enterprises. Moreouer, if we should strike into Slauonia or Greece wt a body of 18. or 20000. men, they wold ere we were aware, fal vpō vs with some 100. or 120000. wherby we wanting assured places of retreat, this bodie would be quite o∣uer whelmed. This other reason wil I also adde: that if both our ar∣mies as wel by sea as by land do shoot at Constantinople, and by winning litle & litle do attaine therto, must it not needs follow, yt in performing this purpose, they shal seaze not only vpō Slauonia, but also vpon all the land of Romagnia, which shal be a pray to toe con∣queror.
The Christian forces would I wish to be thus diuided. The K. of *Spain, as the mightiest prince Christian, to arme as many gallies & galeasses as he were able. The Pope, ye Venetians, wt other the po∣tentates of Italy to ioyne with him, & I think, if they list to straine thēselues, they be able to set forth 300. galleis & 12. galeasses, be∣sides other smal vessels for ye transport of victuals & horse, which be but the dependances of ye campe. If any demand whether ye number may stay the Turks power by sea, I thinke yea: for Don Iohn had but 200 galleis whē he wan ye battell against thē. As also when the armies, whether by land or by sea do excéed a competēd quantity, ye rest do but bréed confusiō. The soldiers for the furnishing of the said vessels might be leuied in Spain & Italy, notwithstanding it would amoūt to 30000. For ye land, the Emperor likewise shold prepare a mighty army, to inuade through Hungary, consisting of the power of all Germany, the low countries, Sueden, Denmark, Boheme & Hungary, thereto also adioining his that now raigneth in Pole. lande, which vnited together woulde vndoubtedly amount vnto 35000 horse, and 30000 footemen and 10000 pioners. Page 268 The other part of the land forces to come from the most Christian king of France, the Queene of England, the king of Scots with the Suitzers and Grisons, who vnder some notable Captaine should ioyne with the Emperor, and in my opinion, would amount vnto some 20000. footemen & 5000. horse. This power would I take to be sufficient to obtayne some braue victorie, containing at ye least 125000. fighting men, which seemeth to be a great num∣ber, but if we also consider all Christendome, it is to be thought ve∣rie small: neither doe I thinke they will be grieued with maintai∣ning it foure yeeres, sith so they may reape this benefit, to inioy for∣tie in peace and safetie. Charles the fift onely of his owne and part of the Empire brought before Metz 80000. men, and the armie that Maximilian lastly raised against the Turks in the yere 1556. amounted vnto 60000. so as we shall performe no newe thing, but onely in the continuance thereof.
Concerning Captaines ouer the Hungarians, the Emperour himselfe might command, who cannot imploie his hignesse in anie * act more worthie his greatnesse, and he to be accompanied with his vnkles and brethren. The Dukes of Saxonie, Casimire and other Germaine Princes, Earles, and Colonels, among whom he should finde both prowesse and good conduct. As for the French and what should thereto be adioyned, we may easily finde Princes enowe to command: but I will name but two, whome I take to bee most meete, namely, the king of Nauarre, who in desire of wel doing and courage, giueth place to none: and the Duke of Lorraine, whose auncestours hauing bene scourges to the Turkish nation, it is to be presumed that their auncient good hap may accompanie his valor. So as it should rest in the King to appoint which of them shoulde haue charge, or if he should commit it to them both alternatiuely, I am sure neither of them should want a goodly traine, as wel of the one as of the other religion. The nauie likewise woulde haue some mightie Captaine. And in as much as many doe certainly beleeue that the Duke of Sauoy (a Prince of great expectation & an imita∣tour of his Fathers magnanimitie) will enter alliance in Spaine, it may be the Catholike king may honour him with that office: for that authoritie is requisite to rule so much nobilitie and Gentrie as should there be found of both nations, who are not easie to be go∣uerned. Howbeit considering what experience ought to be in such a head, I knowe none more capable than the Prince of Parma, who iustly deserueth to be commended for the best Captain in Christen∣dome. Page 269 But I feare that euerie mans desire to be employed in this expedition, would moderate the iealousies of the first and seconde places, also that such debates would easily be decided.
When I consider what Princes, Lords, Gentlemen, Captaines * and notable Souldiours shall be in these expeditions, I knowe not how such power can possiblie be beaten: For if in al Christendome there were anie vertue, discretion, magnanimitie, arte or industrie, the most exquisite thereof would vndoubtedly be brought thether by those, who enflamed with a desire of well doing, would liberallie in so noble an assemblie shew forth whatsoeuer the fairest of their per∣fections, one would seke by coūsel, another by boldnes, another by diligence, each to outgoe his companion. The like shall wee see a∣mong our nobilitie: not coutentious enuies, but honest emulations, who might be most notable in well obeying and better commaun∣ding. When ye haue in an armie a number of such people as can leade the waie to others, and take sure holde without letting goe, they make all the rest to fight well. Neither can I thinke that there be many such among the Turks, who being for the most part slaues doe fight for feare of punishment, rather than for loue of true glorie.
These armies should be readie as well by land as by sea, to march * wheresoeuer they shall be appointed at the beginning of May. But al the difficultie resteth in knowing how to inuade, for we may pro∣ceede therein after sundrie manees. I would thinke that the Chri∣stians should wholy purpose at the beginning of their war to grow to battayle with these barbarous people: for sith their Empire con∣sisteth onely vpon the good will of nations, we shall see wonderfull alterations, if at the first ariual they may in•ur•e anie notable ouer∣throw: But it is a question whether they maye bee easily drawen thereto: for commonly we see that if the enimie perceiue his aduer∣saries deuises, he will still seeke to leade him to contrarie purposes. This doe I confesse to be often put in practise: but we are to hope with so mightie and proude enimies as the Turkes, that it wil fall out as with a greate Boare whome the dogges haue het: for what soeuer he first seeth, man or dogge, by and by he maketh towarde it with wonderfull furie.
We neuer found in writing that they haue bene slowe to bat∣tayle, for that they still seeke to vphold the reputation of their name and armies. When they heare of the Christians preparation to wars, they proceede in lyke sort, and before we can come within 50. Page 270 leagues of their frontiers, they are so diligent that they haue sacked halte ours. Whereby we know that they would soone couer the vi∣sard, as we saie: and hauing throughly considered heereof, I finde that it would be a great aduantage vnto vs: for the heare and furie of Northerne nations is at the first verie forcible, but by delayes quaileth.
Now let vs see wherein the land armie should consist, namelie, in 18000. Reistres, 10000. speares armed after the French & I∣talian * manner, 2000. harquebuzes on horseback, and 10000. Hun∣garian and Polonian speares to serue for light horsemen. For the power must be receiued, each after the manner of his owne nation. The footmen to be composed of 20000. harquebuziers and 30000 speares, in all amounting to 40000. horse and 50000. footmen, all fighting men.
Likewise for artillerie for the fielde, twentie Canons, and twentie greate Culuerines, accompanied with the pioners a∣foresayd, and virtuall sufficient for such an armie. The thinking of all this maketh vs to reioyce, but when we dreame vpon the expen∣ses, it danteth vs: for it will require monthly 800000. Crownes, which riseth to a great deale in a whole yeere. Furthermore, least such an armie if it should go farre from the great riuers, or enter in∣to the land, should be much hindred for want of victuals and forage, it shall be forced to keep along the riuer of Danow, and there to be∣gin their first purposes, so might they abound in all necessarie pro∣uision, which should be brought by the same. It is also meete to haue a bridge of boates accompanied with armed gallies to follow it, so to keepe both shores of the said riuer as well for forages as for the siege of such places as stand thervpon.
I thinke that Strigonia is one of the first places that the Turks * holde: but neither it, nor anie other that they possesse are (as I vn∣derstand) of any strength: for when they doubt that any shall be as∣salted they put in 8. or 10000. souldiours, and looke for no other for∣tification: and it is harde with ordinarie meanes onelie to wreast from them anie that is in theyr handes. Wherefore whether they should fortune to bee the first or the last in the fielde, I am of opi∣nion, to the ende to binde them to fight, it were good to make shew and that in earnest, to set vppon some places of importaunce, there∣by to make them to approche with theyr armie, so as they shoulde hardlie escape battayle, when they are come so neere with theyr carriage, footemen, and artillerie. For when they come but with Page 271 thirtie or fortie thousande horse to succour what so is besieged, they cannot by anie meanes be ouercome by reason of the swiftenesse of theyr horse, which neuerthelesse dooth greatly molest a campe. I woulde also lyke verie well, that in tenne or twelue dayes be∣fore * the armie shoulde marche, the Captaines euerie other daie shoulde cast them into seuerall orders of battayle, whereby to choose the best to help themselues withall when neede shoulde re∣quire. For it doe much better conceiue the trueth of thinges by liuely representations, than by forecast figured vppon paper: And by them is the generall the better resolued in his conception, and the inferiour Captaines to bee the better prouided to the prac∣tise.
Heerein doo wee in our pettie warres ordinarilie faile, in that wee neuer looke to the ordering of battayles vntill within two dayes before wee must fight: and then dooth the Generall sette downe a fayre order in writing howe bee will haue it, which hee sendeth vnto the leaders of the regimentes as well of the horsemen as of the footemen. For such ordering many times, as beeing made ouer rashly and without ripe deliberation, proueth verie vnfit. *
It is verie requisite that a Generall bee in minde verie per∣fecte in the order which hee purposeth to obserue as well in the large fieldes as in the straightes, least hee bee amazed, or dri∣uen into much consultation when his businesse commeth vppon him. For the chiefe groundes beeing well layde, if through a∣nie accident the order bee to be altered, it is easilie performed. There bee some that will saie, that in so dooing wee shall warne the enimie of our order, whereby hee maye prouide to preuent vs.
I graunt if wee still vse but one forme, it may be so. But when wee practise sundrie, wee shall put all men in doubt which we will cleaue vnto, sauing the Generall, who is to reserue the best in me∣morie. For the well ordering of this armie, it were good to haue the aduice of such Captaines as hauing serued in Hungarie, doe by experience best knowe the most conuenient formes. And sith I am entered so farre into this point, I am content for the sa∣tisfying of those yt be curious, to deliuer my opinion concerning whatsoeuer may serue agaynst these barbarous people. In this case we are to cōsider of two kinds of coūtries, ye one large, ye other Page 272 straight. Concerning ye large or plaine, as we terme it, which is the most parte of Hungarie, the battayle may be so aranged, that the e∣nimies innumerable strength of horse (which wil amoūt to 200000 at the least) shall not without great losse endomage them, and verie hardly breake them.
The order were to dispearse the horsemen among the footmen, as * vpō the like consideration the late Duke of Guize did at the battel of Dreux. I woulde therefore make a strong bodie of my armie consisting of eight battayles of footmen, each comprehending 2500 pikes, so as the sayd rankes should euerie of them containe ninetie men, & be 28. men thick, besides the Ensignes, & to the flanks wold I ioyne 1000 harquebuziers. They should be all ordered in an e∣qual front with sufficient spaces to set in araie 2000. horse in foure squadrons, each of them of fiue hundred men, & fortie horse in front, two somewhat for warder than the other two. These seauen spa∣ces might serue them for places of aduantage, and assured retraits to fall into order againe: for it would be too hot to come vpon them into place where they should be so succoured by the harquebuzerie and pikes: yea, in my minde it were meere rashnesse. Likewise in as much as the flankes of the battayles are not commonly armed but with harquebuziers, which is but a weake defence against a great armie of horse, I would thinke it were good both the flankes of the two battayles standing vppon the wings of the armie to bee fortefied with some other instrumentes like vnto those which the Duke of Alua inuented and vsed when the Prince of Orenge pas∣sed ouer Meuse or better, which might be easily brought thether by two hundred pioners, and those should suffice for one of each flanks: as for the rest they shall neede none, as well for that the force of this order shall supplie that want, as also because it would be ouer∣cumbersome. On the right and lefte point without the battayles should stand at each sixe thousand horse, euery squadron of one thou∣sand, and in two bodies the one to support the other. And if anie man aske wherefore I make them so great, I saie, it is because the Turkes, as I haue heard, doe make theirs (especiallie in any great combats) of fiue or sixe thousand speares, which swallowe vp three hundred horse, as a lion would doe a mouse. And therefore we must sette strength agaynst strength. Then woulde I diuide my 5000. harquebuziers into ten troopes, placing sixe, as it were, for the ad∣uenturers, at the heads of the battayles toward the wings, and the other foure at the taile. I would also place two thousand harquebu∣ziers Page 273 on horseback at ye head of the horsemen vpon the wings to serue in the first skirmishes. Thus doe ye see in this great bodie 28000. horse, 20000. Corcelets, & 13000. harquebuzes aranged which as I thinke, will not take aboue 4000. cōmon paces in length, wherin there is no great disproportion: and I haue thus stretched it out to the ende to debarre the enemie from all hope of enclosing it. There would be likewise in ye first ranke of this great front almost 1900. men, which is sufficient. The rest of the men I would thus ap∣poynt. I would make two small bodies, which should be set in aray 800. paces behinde the two winges of the armie: because the first shockes doe begin there. In either of them would I place 4500. Corcelets in two battailes and 2500. Harquebuzes: then in the spaces and poynts 4000. horse in eight squadrons, which for the two bodies would amount vnto 22000. men: euery wherof should stirre when they perceiued any of the first troopes to yeeld: for vn∣doubtedly they should so make them to holde fast. I would also place betweene these two troopes and 500. paces behinde them 3000. horse in three squadrons, whom the Emperour, or in his ab∣sence his Lieutenant should accompanie when it were requisite to fight: And this should be the Holy ancker, as we tearme it, which should vpon great necessitie moue forward. Yet doe there remaine 1000. Corcelets, 2000. Harquebuzes, and 1000. Reistres or Hungarian horsemen, that should be appoynted to the keeping of the Campe, which the Pioners should fortifie with small trenches for the safegard of the cariages: for if through negligence the ene∣mie, who might appoynt twentie or thirtie thousand horse to doe the feate, should peraduenture be suffered to sacke it, wee should af∣terward bee driuen through the inconueniences both generall and perticuler to breake vp our Campe. This armie thus ordered were able in my opinion to stand in a plaine fielde against ye whole power of the Turkes, who being destitute of Corcelets, Pikes and armed squadrons, can hardly ouerthrowe our battailes. Wee see likewise how our horse are surely prouided for in the spaces: wher∣by I suppose that either the enemie must be endued with an extra∣ordinarie valour, or our men shewe great cowardlinesse if they lose the battaile. This order haue I not here set downe as the best of all: for other men may peraduenture deuise some more conuenient: but it is done to the ende to inuite sundrie Captaines to seeke what may be more profitable.
The Christian armie thus in presence of the Turkes, they after Page 274 a few Canon shot I presume they will begin, both because they be * very proude, and also that they bee ordinarily fower against one, which greatly embouldeneth them, and will peraduenture come with some three or fourescore thousande horse to charge gallantly vpon the flanckes of our formost horse, yea euen in the middest of the head: but I would thinke they should at this onset be well bea∣ten and repulsed with ye losse of some fower or fiue thousand horse: howbeit their horse being very swift, they wil returne behind their maine battell to fall in aray againe. Then I imagine that hauing discharged some two volees of their Artillerie, whereof they haue plentie, they will giue a strong charge with their whole bodie: whereof so much as should strike into the battailes or spaces would bée handled God knoweth how. But peraduenture the horsemen on the flanckes may bee ouerthrowne: which so happening, the o∣ther 2. small bodies appointed for their support should mooue: who finding the victorers in disorderly pursuite (which alwaies for the most part happeneth) should so brauely inuade them, as also should some of the Squadrons, who stepping out of the spaces aforesaid, should come vpon their slanckes, that they should bée quite broken. So should also their Harquebuzerie, being ioyned with ours, beare the punishment of their rashnesse. Neuerthelesse, the Chri∣stians should not vndiscréetly pursue them, for they are very skil∣full in rallying themselues, and would peraduenture so doe within two Canon shot, and so enclose fower or fiue thousand of the most eager vppon the chase, as their forefathers did D. Iohn of Bur∣gundie, and all the French Nobilitie in their battaile against A∣murathes. Wherefore, it were requisite for the whole Christian armie to march and sende after them some twentie thousand horse by squadrons, each supporting other, except the Hungarian and Polonian horse, who might goe more dispersedly in chase. And it may seeme enough to chase them thus one league. To be briefe, I suppose that in so notable a iourney they might bée defeated of halfe their footmen, all their Artillerie and cariages, and aboue twentie thousand horse: but in case but one quarter of such an ex∣ployt were at the first performed, yet would it breede great repu∣tation, and in the Souldiers harts confirme a confidence to ouer∣come. For he who in warre winneth the first aduantages, concei∣ueth a great hope of the issue.
Now must wee speake one worde of the straight countries. It * seemeth the armie to bée there in more safetie then in the large, by Page 275 reason of the great numbers of their footmen: and there if the e∣nemie should offer vpon them, they might alter their order accor∣ding to the places, being still diligent to keepe their aduantages of the Woodes, Uallies and Artillerie. But especially they ought to beware of aranging their bodie in any such sorte, that the first ouerthrowne should strike into the second: for that was the losse of the battaile of Poictiers, where King Iohn had fiftie thousande men, and the English were but tenne thousand. This so fauoura∣ble successe once obteyned, no doubt afterwarde (the rest of the great Artillerie prouided at Vienna being caused to march) wee might in three moneths take from them fower or fiue of the best townes standing vppon Danowe, as Strigon, Bude, Pest and o∣thers, which the enhabitants there about do better knowe. True it is there would be great lettes, and the Turkish armie, being refre∣shed, would not faile to fauour their places, where wee might see braue skirmishes. In the meane tyme, wee to keepe that earnest for our first yeeres worke: I leaue to your imagination whether all Christendome would reioyce, when they should heare of such a victorie obteyned ouer those who for these two hundred yeeres haue but tryumphed of our destruction. Yea euen the small babes would sing foorth the praises of such valiant persona∣ges, by whome such notable exploytes should haue bene per∣formed.
Now let vs come to the Nauie, which being so mightie must * not the whiles lye idely in the Hauens, but make saile to execute matters worthie thereof. My best counsaile were that it should conforme it selfe to the lande power, in trying to bring the ene∣mie to a daie of battaile: which peraduenture might bee easely done, as being of no lesse pride by Sea then by lande: so as see∣ing vs drawe towarde Greece, they will by and by bee vpon our armie, neither shall wee neede to counterfaite the besiedging of any place to bring them thereto. And sith the battaile of Lepanto hath made them wise, the Christians must also bee well resolued in their inuentions and other necessarie meanes to attaine to the victorie. There are other reasons, besides the equitie of a cause and vrgent necessitie, that stirre vp men to fight couragiously: As the presence of noble persons which detest cowardlinesse and ex∣alt prowesse: secondly the Captaines orations, wherein they exhort their souldiers to behaue themselues manfully in solemne iorneys: Thirdly, confidence which encreaseth when we see men well dis∣posed Page 267 and the armie well ordered: Finally hope of reward, which is a good spurre to such purposes. And aboue all other the Spanish and Italian Captaines are meetest to take order herein, in whom, being accompanied with choise of valiant persons, we are to thinke that neither order, courage, nor prouocation shall want. I will for∣beare to discourse of the putting of Nauies in aray, as one not so skilfull in Sea matters, notwithstanding the order by Don Iohn obserued at Lepanto, I haue alwaies thought to bee most conue∣nient and well inuented.
Some too fearefull or ouer circumspect person may say, that the * hazarding of all our strength at once is the way to bring all Chri∣stendome into great daunger. Whereto I aunswer, that he which voluntarily entereth the carrier, doth purpose to runne: and so he that shippeth himselfe in a warre, as the assailant, must aduenture, otherwise all his former preparations and threates are in vayne. For it is a greater daunger to suffer a mans selfe to be by little and little deuoured and to do nothing. An other as farre too eager, con∣sidering of all this power, would to the contrary that wee should march directly to Constantinople, and not to stay els where: but as this speech is a token of courage, so is it a signe of small expe∣rience (at the least as I thinke) because armies march not in poste. Moreouer, they doe ordinarily meete with barres and stops which they must first breake. For vndoubtedly the Turkes being certified of these great preparations of the Christians both by sea and by land, will set against them three hundred thousand fighting men, a∣gainst whom they must march with leaden héeles and Iron hands, and take as great heede of ouersight by rashnesse as by retchles∣nesse, especially in actions of great importance.
Now presuppose the Turkes Nauie doe offer to fight with vs: I must not thinke our Souldiers to bee by sea any whit of lesse discretion, courage and felicitie then vpon the land: for I make cer∣taine accompt of their victorie. But admit these barbarous people purposing onely to trye our men should fight neere to their aduan∣tages, and then hauing lost twentie or thirtie gallies should retire to the couert of their Townes and Castles: yet should we so winne great fame and bee thought bolde that durst aduenture to inuade them euen in the face of some of their Houlds. Then if any mans courage so encreased as needes he would to Constantinople, wee might tell him that besides the reasons afore named, we should bée too farre of, and that the Turkish armie will still be as strong as the Page 277 Christian. Againe, that although we had more fauourable successe, yet were it too much presumption to thinke at once to winne that proude Citie, without any armie by lande, within two hundred leagues thereof: as also that if they should perceiue that wee would take that course, they would presently thrust in twentie thousand Souldiers, and bring as many horsemen into the fielde to fauour it, all which they might raise in Natolie. And herevpon wee are to note that Mahumet the second at the taking thereof besieged it with two mightie armies, one by sea, an other by land: the Chri∣stians hauing at that tyme but fifteene or sixteene thousand men to defend it. But our best counsaile were to bestowe the time vntill the ende of September in conquering of Moroca, inuading the same at the head, namely by Coron & Modon, either by those Castles that kéepe the mouth of the gulfe of Leganto, to the end afterward to fortifie it after our best maner at the falling of that peece of an Ile where the famous citie of Corinth was in olde time builded. The like enterprise made Andrew Dorie in the yeere 1532. who by force tooke Coron, Patras, & Lepanto, places which were af∣terward lost againe for lacke of succour. Hauing therefore left a strong garrison of footmen in the conquered places, seuen or eight hundred horses, and prouision of victualles sufficient with thirtie gallies, whose slaues might serue for Pyoners, the rest of the Na∣nie might bee dismissed vntill the spring. These through Gods great fauour might be the effects of the first yeere.
Now are we to discourse of the effects of the second yere, when * I thinke wee should not finde the Turke so proude as before: but much more warie and aduised: for experience teacheth those things which otherwise we neither would nor could knowe. The armies should be readie to march in the beginning of May, with like pur∣pose againe to come to battaile if the Turkes would offer it. But if they list to take a surer course and not to attempt any thing out of season, then must the Captaines shewe forth their braue polli∣cies, whereby to force them to the combate without their Houlds, as Hanniball did, who by subteltie drewe the Romaines to three battailes, which he wonne soone after his ariuall in Italy. The most ordinary meanes to be practised to that entent, is to besiege places of importance: for if this mooue not the enemie to hazard himselfe, it is a signe of small courage and lesse force. I doubt not but into those which they minde to vse to delay vs withall, they will put 8. or 10000. Souldiers, well victualled and furnished with all sortes Page 278 of munition,, whiles themselues will lodge their armie some sixe leagues of to relieue them as aportunitie may shall ser•is. And to say the truth such exployts will bee difficult, chiefly for any towne standing vpon this great Riuer: But that must bee no let but that we proceede and with plentie of Pyoners, and instruments enowe to set teme thousand men on worke, we raise trenches both offen∣siue and desensiur, and builde as many Fortes as may bee requisite for the more conuenient assaulting of the besieged, and safe defence against the enemies armie, vsing withall whatsoeuer our bridges. And I think certainely that vp planting fiftie Canons before such places as may be but weakely fortified, we shall in fower daies see breach sufficient for a horse to goe in at. Then comming to haudie blowes with them, wee being strong and they weake, and withall hauing the aduantage of the qualitie and goodnesse of our armour, may easely he we them in peeces, vnlesse Christian courtesie list to spare any. During these actions it will stande our horsemen on hande to bee very watchfull, in going to safeconduct the bictuall and forrage: wherein may bee braue enterprises, and either parte may lay great ambushes, to trye the sufficiencie of the Captaines, together with the baliancie of the younger sorte. And if the first yeere wee may reach to Bude; I thinke that, in the second wee may reach vnto place where Draue falleth into Danowe. This don• the imperiall power should bee placed in fome conuenient ground to vnderprop this newe couquest, vntill the townes conuenient to bee kept for the assurance of passage bee fortified and made defen∣sible: then to retire to their garrisons to passe ouer the wiuter. Concerning the Nauie, tyme of yeere comming on it should set forwarde to the Ile of Negroponte, to put the Turke therefro: which if their armie should peraduenture offer to let, then the same to be fought withall: For in this expedition, the watch word should bee Fight: but if they lye aloofe, then to goe forwarde with their enterprise. But still this is to be noted, that assailing the land, they must alwaies bée prouided as if themselues should be assailed by sea. Then hauing diligently fortifled the best Hauens with men, virtuall and vessels, the armie might sco••e some parte of the en∣tries into the great Ocean, and so to rec•i•e to wintering.
Hetherto haue I saide nothing of the enhabitants of Greece,* who haue long groned after their deliuexie, because I wot not what seruice may bee rea•ed at their handes▪ 〈◊〉, as the boyce goeth, their courages are so quayled through the great tyraunie Page 279 that mo•esseth them, and they so vnprouided of weapons and mar∣tiall knowledge, that I dure not ad•owe that they would make a∣ny great stirre so soone. In all those Prouinces; lying on this side of Constantinople, which together are at this day called Roma∣nia, there bee many more Christians then Turkes: and in many places for fower Turkish families wee shall finde aboue ten Chri∣stian: but they bee so quayled and terrified, that when they be layd on with slaues they dare not complaine.
Some man will laugh at me sore for iudgeing the euents of warre, as if they should fall out as I prescribe them: But I am not so presumpe•ous as to imagine that men can forsee the things that are to them vnknowne. For I doe onely discourse here vpon by likely reasons, leaning vnto certaine rules and experiences as men are accustomed in humaine affaires: as also I speake of Coū∣tries, Townes, Riuers, and Passages; not that I haue bene there, but by noting their ••ituation in the Cardes: and withall to cause the common forte to conceiue-good hope in this enterprise, know∣ing well enough that in matter concerning battailes, men doe or∣dinarily take counsaile in the field, and it is the proper duetie of the Captaines there present to deliberate vpon such matters.
The third yeere comining on, I thinke the like cheerefulnesse * as had moued so many braue warriers to employe themselues in the two former, would still bee of like force in them. And albeit the enemies Iron, their owne passed labours and sicknesse shall haue taken some away, yet many other, who hetherto shall not haue stirred from home, being desirous to perticipate in the com∣mon commendation, would goe to supplye the emptie roumes, so as there would bee no want of men. The tyme to take the fielde thus drawing on, the armie by land hauing passed Draue, should march to the riuer of Saue, whether it is not past twentie Hunga∣rian leagues: here doe I not thinke that the barbarous people will meete with them in grosse by the way, but rather employe their whole studies and endeuours to stoppe their passages ouer the ri∣uer, which is such an aduantage as (being good Captaines) they will preuaile of. Uppon those tearmes may a man see on both sides the practise of all sortes of braue pollicies and inuentions. But because experience hath alwaies taught that a mightie ri∣uer can hardly bridle a mightie armie (for if they can not passe vnder the fauour of some commodious place together with their Artillerie; they will doe it by subteltie, dallying in one parte Page 280 while they cast their bridges and doing their endeuours in an o∣ther) I will speake no more thereof, sauing that I am perswaded that they may compasse it in eight daies. This done, the most pro∣fitable exployt will consist in the assault of Belgrade, a famous towne standing vpon the fall of Saue into Danowe, neither haue any action be〈…〉, in my opinion, of greater difficultie then this. For besides that wee shall finde the-towne well prouided for de∣fence, wee must also haue an especiall eye to the Turkish armie, which will not bee farre of: keepe some great bridge vpon Saue: haue an other passage on the side of Danowe: make Fortes and Trenches: and goe safely on forraging with conducts, so as the ta∣king of it were a notable peece of worke. And to iudge thereof, may wee not boldly say that those that are accustomed to conquer, will surmount all these difficulties: This place once wonne, must speedily bee repayred and a strong garrison left therein: as being the most conuenient place to establish a great storehouse wherein to gather all necessarie prouision. There about doe there fall three great riuers not farre asunder into Danowe: namely Draue, Saue, and Tibise, which springeth about the borders of Transiluania, which are as great at the Rhine or Mense, By these fower cha∣nels might wee bring all commodities, in case wee first take order that the Turkes remayning in some places in the harte of the coun∣trie molest not the boates. Also because wee shall not haue spent past halfe the yere, the rest may be employed in driuing them forth, which peraduenture may be easely done.
Hauing thus spoken of the exployts of the land power, we must * likewise say somewhat of the Nauie, which in the beginning of May should make saile toward the conquered Ile of Negroponte: where if the Turkish were desirous of battaile, it should not be re∣fused: but if it would not aduenture, but lye in waite for good opor∣tunitie, the best deuise were to surprise and force the towne of Salo∣nike, in olde tyme called Thessalonica, which is in the borders of Macedon vpon the sea coast, and being but weake might soone bée wonne. Then by all meanes possible to deuise how to make it de∣fensible, because it were good there to leaue a strong garrison both of footmen and horsemen to scoure the countrie. Here it is to bée noted, that whatsoeuer were to bee left in the conquered Houlds should bee an ouerplus of men aboue the number: for the armies both by sea and land should still retayne their number furnished ac∣cording as is prescribed, to the ende to bee alwaies prepared to the Page 281 battaile. Wee might as well haue enterprised vpon the coastes of Sclauonia, where the Turkes doe keepe many townes, but by sea∣sing vpon these, which are more easie to be taken, we shall come be∣hinde them, and so make them thinke as well vpon flight as fight. Hauing thus soiourned there one moneth or two, it might scoure the Iles of the maine sea, as well to the ende to sacke all the Turks there to bee found, as also to assure the Christian enhabitants. It may bee the Turkes fearing the first heate of the Christians, may suffer our armie to trye it selfe two or three moneths in the siedges of Forts, and then while they be al occupied about some one place, to come vpon them fresh and lustely as they did at Gerbes where the Spanish forces were defeated: for the which the Spanyards likewise toward the ende of the siedge of Malta in parte requited them and ouerthrewe fiue or sixe thousand Turkes. For this in∣conuenience I hope the Captaines will well enough prouide for being surprised: and before our armie withdrawe to their winte∣ring, it were good to leaue fortie gallies in the Ile of Candy, there to bée readie vpon neede. In the winter time likewise it were not amisse on the edge of Hungary to deale with the Walachians and Moldanians, the Turkes subiects, though his great enemies, in re∣spect of their remembrance of the iniuries and mischiefes lately in∣flicted vpon them, to procure them to rise against them, and to send some choyse of men waged to ioyne with the Christian forces, or to worke any other profitable commotions. As for the Transilua∣nians, the Turkes tributaries, they will also be easely stirred vp: so as this supplye would stande vs in great steade to withstande the Tartarians, if peraduenture the Turkes should procure them to in∣uade Christendome, to the ende to turne away our power from them. For 50000. Duckats by moneth they can cause 50000. horsemen to march, who as Grashoppers doe make innumerable waste. It were good also at the same tyme to practise with the en∣habitants of Greece to declare themselues at the next spring, whē they should see the armies both by land and sea set forward, and so fall vpon the Turkes scattered and dwelling in those Prouinces.
The effects of the fourth yeere which wee haue appoynted for * the ende of this glorious conquest, should be more notable then the former: wherefore it were most expedient that the good vnion of the Princes should continue, least necessary prouision should fayle. Neither is it likely but it should perseuer, considering that prospe∣ritie hauing alwaies accompanied these enterprises, euery man re∣plenished Page 282 with hope would straine himself to attaine to the wished ende. With greater courage therefore and the same men of other yeeres should the whole armie by land take the fielde more tymely then aforetyme. At Belgrade should there bee alreadie prouided plentie of munition for the Artillerie, with a surplusage of two thousand horse to performe the furniture therof, and three hundred Chariots for victuals at the least: for going from thence they must giue ouer the riuers. Thus should they march to performe their worke toward the towne of Sophy, which is the beginning of Bul∣garie: for that doe the Cardes shewe to bee the direct way to Con∣stantinople, not past two hundred french leagues therfro. It stan∣deth in a plaine and is vnfortified. It is likely the Turkes will not there make their head, but hauing gotten out the enhabitants, and either consumed or transported the victuals, that they will leaue quite emptie and goe to Philippopoli, there to make vp their whole campe. The same is a towne of Thrace, & famous through the battaile that Brutus and Cassius there lost. It standeth in a fruitfull soyle vppon a small hill, at the foote whereof runneth a small riuer scarce wadeable. This were a fit place and well chosen to make great resistance, yea and to hazard a fielde: for it is not so neere their Empire that by the losse of a fielde they may being in feares bee preuented, neither so farre of but that they may, if For∣tune so farre frowne vpon them, there gather vp good relliques of their armie: wherefore I suppose they will fight there, yea and their Emperour came thether in person: And how can he suffer vs to inuade him euen to his denne and not defend himselfe after the examples of the noblest beastes? Albeit also that this nation bee replenished with al vniustice and crueltie, yet are they withall fierce and hardie, and such as make great accompt of their reputation. The Christians likewise should haue matter whereon to encrease their hope, considering there are no more great Riuers or strong Houldes before they come to Constantinople: their onely hinde∣rance will bee a mightie armie to resist them, whereat valiant per∣sons doe reioyce: neither is there any other thing that troubleth them but when they are forced to fight against Hunger, Thirst, Sicknesse, great heate or extreme colde, because there is no ver∣tue but may be suppressed by such inconueniences.
The Christian armie may, as I suppose, ariue at Philippopoli about the middest of June, where if the Turkes should be entren∣ched, and lodged in any ground of aduantage, it will be hard pul∣ling Page 283 of them foorth: But because they haue neuer vsed so to doe, especially their Emperour being present, I will rather presume that they wil after their wonted maner come bouldly into the field, as did the first Baiazet against Tamerlane, notwithstanding his armie were innumerable. I thinke the Turkish power would a∣mount vnto 220000. men, and the Christians to fourescore thou∣sand: for some must haue bene left in the last warres in garrisons, and some to safeconduct victualles, &c. And I dare assure that as well the one parte as the other will bee well bent to ouercome, be∣cause this battaile should bee as it were a definitiue sentnce of the whole warre. Of the order I will not speake, for if the same which I haue before prescribed bee not good, they may deuise of a bet∣ter, and there referre the euent to God, who (as wee are to hope) will fauour those that worshippe him, against such as doe disho∣nor him.
When I consider with my selfe of this great warre and stately * armies, and conferre them with our small ones in these partes, I remember the aunswer of Alexander to Antipater, whom he left in Macedonia at his going to the conquest of Asia. Antipater wrote vnto him that certaine of his enemies were risen against him and had alreadie brought into the fielde tenne or twelue thousand men, and therefore did desire him to sende him succour: he retur∣ned him this aunswer: All your small warres in Macedonia, now that I fight against the mightie armies of Daryus, and am conque∣ring of the great Empire of Asia, doe seeme vnto me to bee battailes betweene Cattes and Rattes, and therefore resist them as well as you may.
Some man may say, that sometime in our ciuill warres we may note some braue martiall exploytes, albeit with small power, as at the battailes of Dreux, S. Denis, Montcontour fought in France, with the siedges of Roan and Rochell: also seuen or eight great ouerthrowes in Flanders, with the siedges of Harlem, Maistrict, Tournay and Oudenard: I graunt it: howbeit they are no whit to be compared to the battaile of Lepanto which D. Iohn wonne. As also I beléeue the siedge of Malta which withstoode foure score thousand Canon shot, and that of Nicosia in Cyprus, which as some write bare out fifteene, are to be preferred before the afore al∣leadged. The wars against Infidels are the same which our braue Captaines & souldiers ought to seeke 100. leagues of, where they ought likewise to flee 50. from the ciuill, which by their continuall Page 284 course doe deuoure and consume, and that with small husbandrie the flower of kingdomes and Commonwelths.
I neede not to deseribe the maner of this great battaile, for wee must imagine that in the former conflicts were neuer seene such * stomackes or so furious charges. To be briefe, after three howers fight I suppose they will leaue vs but a bloodie victorie: But such as may there perish, shall build to themselues more honorable se∣pulchers than those that are purchased by perticuler quarels, wher∣in the soules doe for the most parte encurre shipwracke. In this case shall their desire be iust, and their cause good, both which con∣ioyned with that excellent courage that many shall haue here she∣wed, will breede perpetuall renowme, which shall yet crowne the posteritie of noble persons that still may remayne. The Turkes thus ouerthrowne and their campe spoyled, wee shall bée driuen to soiourne eight or tenne daies at Philippopoli, which after this great losse would make no resistance, to rest our selues and prouide for the wounded: and there were it requisite to hazard sundrie Greekes seuerally to goe to carie newes of this good successe to Salonike, as also to sende the Nauie worde, to the ende the same might drawe toward Constantinople: for it were hard to besiedge it without both the powers togethers. The Turkes losse in this battaile cannot bee such but he shall saue 130000. men, of whome some may scatter ouer the countrie to see to the preseruation of their families which they may haue left so abroade, but the great bodie will drawe toward Constantinople with their Emperour, there to make their last resistance, for in the plaine fielde dare they shewe themselues no more. Because also the towne is nothing strong, we must imagine they would with all diligence raise forti∣fications of earth, make their planes, & erect their spurres to plant their Artillerie vpon: All the victuall also there about would they take into the towne, leauing for the defence thereof at the least fortie thousand men: but for their great Lord, it is to be presumed that he would passe forward into Natolia, which is the lesser Asia, with all his treasure and Concubines, there to prouide for newe succour.
Our power by land according as they could make their prepa∣rations, * should by little and little set forward, leauing a sufficient garrison in Philippopoli to keepe the waies. Thence should it passe to Adrianople, a great Citie, which being very weak, would neuer make resistance: where also it were good to leaue some gar∣rison, Page 283 and there to lay vp whatsoeuer victualles might bee gotten, wherof, through diligence we should neuer want. This order were likewise to be obserued, That the Souldier should neuer spoyle a∣ny but of the Turkish nation: also that all Christians should bee exempt from pillage and seruitude: so would they bring you in vir∣tuals from fiftie leagues about. Also good order and seuere iustice ought to bee established in great armies, otherwise through the multitude of wicked and vnthriftie persons all would runne into confusion, were not their mallice by such meanes brideled and pu∣nished. During three or fower daies rest at Adrianople, wee must cause our Nauie to set forward, whereto, hearing of this good suc∣cesse it will not be very slack. It should draw toward the straights of Hellespont, where it is likely the Turkes remembring their losses and not willing rashly to hazard, vsing the aduantage of the place, will settle themselues to fight, where they may bee flancked with the artillerie of the Castles: besides that they shall haue that commoditie that they cannot bee assailed without fower score or an hundred gallies in front.
The first day that our armie should shewe it selfe to the enemie * in good order to behould their countenance they will discharge sundrie Canons, which must be aunswered with the like: and so to retire considering the strength of the place. In the euening they should take counsaile, and the expert Marriners to giue their o∣pinions how to attempt nothing out of season. Finally, the Cap∣taines should resolue to land some of their men and artillerie on the side of Europe to beate and take some one of the Castles, to the ende to displace the Turkes from this aduantage: considering they shall there finde but fower or fiue hundred horse on that side, where on the side of Asia they shall meete with aboue two thousand. By breake of day they must put forth fower thousand Corcelets, sixe thousand Harquebuziers, and thirtie Canons out of the gallies, landed by the forsats or gallie slaues. While they shal thus march, the enemies horse will come to prouoke them, but the number of Musket shot shall scatter them well enough: So soone as night is come they shall make their approaches to the forteresse and the ar∣tillerie bring planted, they shall by breake of day fall to beating of it. This will make the Turkes to prouide to bring vppon them twentie thousand men to cut them in péeces: or els with some 150. gallies to inuade our Nauie there to doe the like, sith they shall finde it vnfurnished. But the Turkes liking best of this second Page 284 counsaile, will seeke to put in execution. Which our armie percei∣uing, they must goe on halfe the way with their furnished gallies, which may bee about two hundred, and so each armie deuided into three parts to ioyne bouldly: but after a long houres fight our men hauing the victorie, scarce the third parte of the enemies gallies shall saue themselues. The same tyme also may the Castle that our men shal haue besiedged, after the brunt of a furious assault be taken. Thus should wée become maisters of this proude passage where Xerxes built a wonderfull bridge of vesselles, and such as shall bée escaped, amounting to some one hundred gallies, may ca∣rie the newes of their mishappe to Constantinople. Our men ha∣uing then soiourned there fiue or sixe daies, as well to prouide for their wounded, as to take the other Castle, hauing put good gar∣risons into both shall take the way to Constantinople, where they may ariue within two daies after the armie by lande. Then on both sides knowing of the arriuall of their long looked for and victorious forces, it is not to bee demaunded what ioyes there will be.
But wee may in trueth affirme this last deede to bée more diffi∣cult then the rest. For a battaile, though well fought is but one * daies worke, whereas the forcing of so many men, couered with rampiers and prouided of all prouision to be atchieued in two mo∣neths, is a testimonie of the experience of the Captaines and va∣liancie of the Souldiers. The land armie being come within two leagues of the towne, the best Captaines with 20000. horse and 7. or 8000. Harquebuziers should goe within halfe a league therof to discouer the lodgings, and well to consider what may anoye or empeach their safetie. Neither is it to bee doubted but they may thereby growe to a hot skirmish: for the Turkes being so strong in the towne will shewe their couragies and small astonishment. The next day they shall come to take their lodgings betime, and to fur∣nish themselues with some sleight trenches at the head and middest of the flanckes. To the ende also the Nauie may conferre with the land power, and safely sende their prouisions, it will bee good at euery thousand steppes to make small fortes with trenches for the safetie of the passages from the sea, about which workes both the Pyoners and the most parte of the Souldiers may labour 7. or 8. daies. This done, they should goe neerer to discouer the towne, whereon they must stay at the least fower or fiue daies: for my self haue ordinarily seene that of hasty and rash discoueries haue ensued Page 285 great ouersights. Now must wee looke what way will bee best to giue the assault, which I would wish to doe but in one place: for se∣parating the armie the garde of the trenches may proue too weake, and so not bee able to beare their sailies. I would not thinke it a∣misse to place 6000. Corcelets, and as many Harquebuziers at the least, with 3000. horse vpon the flanckes in some place vnder co∣uert, hauing also the whole bodie of the armie to support them, which should not be aboue a Canonshot of. The first trench should bee made a thousand paces from the Campe in forme defensiue, with conuenient flanckers, and two long wings of fiue or sixe hun∣dred paces stretching toward the campe: also to the ende not to be easely enuironed behinde by any sudden sailie, it should bee made large enough to take 10000. men. The second should come within 500. paces of the towne, in forme offensiue, & at euery 100. paces some small circuite of Gabions for ye Ensignes to retire into, with a strong guard where they may fight a whole quarter of an houre. Within 20. paces farther they should place 25. Canons on three Gabions to shoote at the defences, the same to be defended by day with the harquebuzery of the trenches, and by night by some small defensiue trench on each side. Now thinke ye how many of their peeces may be dismounted in 5. or 6. daies from of their new forti∣fications made in hast. In this siedge it will be requisite to procéed with all diligence and force: for when they giue a mightie people time, the same doth in one moneth build a newe towne, hauing to worke but the length of 500. paces. Being once sure of the artille∣rie within, they should begin to make the great batterie, bringing their peeces within 200. paces of the wall, and there planting them with all possible assurance, they should make but two brea∣ches, howbeit those to bee both large and reasonable, wherevpon fiftie Canons assisted with the fauour of ten long Culuerings ha∣uing plaide some sixe daies, it is likely that the horses may passe. I will not speake of their saillies, skirmishes and other kindes of combats ordinarily to bee performed, as being generally better to bee imagined then perticulerly foreseene. Then ought the olde to giue counsaile: the young to aduenture: and those of middle age to preserue: In somme, euery man should looke for a share in the well doing. By Sea likewise other enterprises as well great as small wherewith to surprise were to bee delt in, in such sorte as this mor∣tall and bloodie tragedie might bee beautified with the diuersitie of so many newe actions.〈1 page missing〉
Page 288 fortie yeeres in this barbarous nations possession, shall bee restored to the auncient owners. Their Emperor Mahumet was 54. daies about the winning of it, & we shall not be much more than two mo∣neths, not withstanding it were defended with a farre greater pow∣er. But he in his victorie vsed all kind of crueltie, insolencie and v•∣lanie, which are vtterly to be shunned: and to the contrary we ought to vse all gentlenesse and moderation to warde the people: as wish∣ing rather their conuersion, and Iesus Christ honored in their tem∣ples, than to see their bloudie bodies scattered all ouer the streetes, although it be to be presumed, that many will be slayne in the heats thereof: neither will the souldiours be slacke in gathering vp so plentifull a praie, as in deede they shall haue deserued some recom∣pence: but the valyant mindes will neuer stand therevpon, but bee content with the honour and some faushion, or such like thing to bring home and hang in theyr closets, that their children seeing so honorable spoyles of their parents conquest in so honorable a place, may remember to initate their vertue.
The hystories do report that three dayes after the winning there∣of, *Mahumet went to the temple of Saint Sophie to giue solemne thanks to his false God: much rather ought yt Christians therefore to sing holy Hymnes to the true God whome they worship: and to sound forth the same, not in the temples onely, but also in the highe wayes and open fields for his fauour in atchieuing so triumphant and long wished a victorie. Then order being taken to preuent all mutinie among the nations for the pillage, and hauing limited thē a time to ordaine thereof, the souldiors should be sent to lodge each in his quarter, except such as should bee chosen to keepe the Towne, & then shoulde they also take order for the enhabiting thereof with gouernement conuenient. In as much also as great numbers of the Turkes may bee retired into sundrie townes in the inwarde parte of the lande, it were good to send two armies, each consisting of fifteene thousand men, with artillerie conuenient to scoure the same. Like wise to send forth an hundred or sixe score Galleies to bring all the coasts vnder the Christian obedien•e. The pioners al, so to be retayned for the for tefying of Constantinople, wherein it were good to lodge siue regiments of footemen for the gard there∣of with two thousand speares, and to leaue fifty Galleyes in the ha∣uen.
Farther, if Autumne should be anie thing begun, in which season it is no good trauayling either by sea or by land, the armies should Page 289 bee diuided into garrisous in the most meete places in Greece, Thrace, and other Prouinces: neither were it amisse for the Em∣perours maiestie there to keepe his Winter with the assistance of the counsayle of the Princes confederate, to the end their counte∣nance might cut off such disorders and insolencies as vsually wait vppon prosperitie.
These things thus executed, it were good (as is sayde in the be∣ginning) * to looke to the partition of the lande that shall haue beene conquered: and according to the expenses of each Prince and com∣mon wealth in these conquests, to adiudge to them theyr iust desert. Like wise to reserue sundrie places for such braue Captaynes as may haue behaued themselues valiantly and done anie notable ser∣uice. But I thinke it were better to stay the diuision vntill we haue the thing, rather than now to discourse thereof in vaine, ouely wee are to imagine, that if wee agree in the conquest, wee will not fall out in the partition.
But some man may heere scoffingly saie, that I haue dis∣coursed brauely in paper, and my selfe will confesse as much: howbeit hee cannot denie but such a troope as I haue heere descri∣bed, beeing in the field, woulde become it better, and I am sorie we are not alreadie come to it, that wee might with the swoorde per∣fourme that which I haue nowe shadowed with the penne. My in∣tent is onely to waken the Christians, and to beate it into them, neuerthelesse if in my speeches I haue strayed in some points tho∣rough want of knowledge of the places, fashions of the people, qua∣lities of Potentates, or any other thing meete for this or for that, I will neuer denie my fault, whereinto my good affection hath made me to fall.
To bee briefe, this will bee in my minde, the issue of so iust and * necessarie an enterprise. And in case all Christian Princes had not so many controuersies among themselues, and withal would haue taken more compassion of the miseries of those that reclayme the name of Jesus Christ, long since had wee brooken off halfe the scorges which doe nowe strike vs. This warre would breede no remorse of conscience, neyther shoulde wee see the mischiefes and confusions wherewith ours are replenished: but euerie thing woulde bee guided by martiall orders: and punishmentes, and re∣wardes ministred according to reason. Neyther is it to be doubted but such a voyage woulde bee as notable as euer was Godfreyes of Boullein.Page 290 The onely faulte why it is not put in practise, resteth in the Kings, Princes and Potentates that beare soueraigne dominion ouer the people, and much more profitable and honourable would it bee vnto them, than to stand quarrelling with their neighbours, or to suffer so much of their subiects bloud to be shedde vnder coulour of pietie, and so make their warres domesticall and perpetuall. I knowe wee haue some controuersies in religion among vs, which notwithstanding, the Protestants and Catholiks are still brethren, and grafted vpon one selfe stocke Iesus Christ. But with these pro∣phane Mahumetists, who worshippe an imaginarie God, which is (as the Scripture sayth) rather a deuill, and do pollute al honestlie and sack the world, what coniunction or fellowshippe can we haue? Agaynst these enimies, the rauishers of our goods, tormentours of our bodies and poisoners of our soules are wee to striue with our swoords. But among those that beare one selfe title, all controuer∣sies ought to be ended in modestie and truth.