THE BEGINNING, CONTINVANCE, AND DECAY OF ESTATES: VVherein are handled many notable Questions concer­ning the establishment of Empires and Monarchies.

Written in French by R. de Lusing, L. of Alymes: and translated into English by I. F.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Bill. 1606.

TO THE MOST REVEREND Father in God, RICHARD, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury his Grace, Primate and Metropolitane of all England, and one of his Maiesties most Honorable Priuie Councell, &c.

MOst reuerend Father, it pleased your Graces right woorthy pre­decessor, to vouchsafe my vn­woorthy letters sent him in my trauailes, a gracious accep­tance. The greatest trouble they put him to, was to peruse them; so were the proofes he gaue of his vertue, and the signes of his loue towards me, the onely end and vse I euer had or made of them. Your Grace hath had the happines, with the merit, to succeed him in his dignities: his vertues were already yours in proprietie. Of his loue I may say, as of your Graces; that I then did, as I now doe, rather desire to deserue it, then deseruing it, desire to make bold vse of it. Loue that descends on vs from men of vertue and emi­nencie, is it selfe both hope and reward, hire and paiment. That to-boote which we call doing good, or a benefit, as it is [Page] an effect that true loue matched with ability, will euen striue to produce, so is it then most welcome when it cōmeth sooner imparted then expected. With this freedome of minde, and dutie of respect, I present to your Grace this new apparelled discourse: It hath alreadie put on the habit of three seuerall languages, and if my iudgement erre not, our English fashion will not ill become it. I met with it in my wandrings, and brought it along with me, with an intent, for my priuate ex­ercise of that tongue it first spake in, to translate it: that performed, my determination to recommend it to your Graces patronage, fell to be at this late dangerous time, when the di­uell (arch-enemie of trueth) and his execrable ministers held their generall counsaile how they might make but one fire­worke of our whole estate: but the consideration of your Gra­ces most iust imployments in so weightie a businesse, with­held me with a reuerend feare of their disturbance, till I weighed that euen this subiects handling might perhaps doe good to some bad that had a head, if not a hand (for so great a clock could not strike without many wheeles) in so damnable a proiect: since if they will needs out-strip former ages, or for­reine countries in strange plots of ruining kingdomes and cō ­mon wealths, they may by this discourse be drawen to practise them vpon the common enemie of Christendome, and not vpon vs that acknowledge with them one Iesus, one Bible, one Baptisme. Your Grace seeth the reasons and scope of these my well intended endeuours, which subiect their allowance or disallowance to your Graces most graue censure, so doth my vnworthy seruice with my selfe, to your much desired im­ployment, as

Your Graces most seruiceably deuoted, IOHN FINET.

The Epistle Dedicatorie of the Author to the Duke of Sauoy.

OF all we admire in these times there is nothing comparable to the for­tune of the Ottomans, and the in­crease of their greatnesse; if we ex­amine their beginning and meanes, for they are by nation Tartarians, sprung from the most base and re­mote parts of Asia, in former times as vnknowen as vnworthy: If we consider their conditions, they bewray no feeling of ciuili­ty or curtesie: If we regard the parts of their minde, where shall we see ought more rude, and rough hewen then the spirit of that people? What haue beene the souldiours they haue had through whose valor they haue aduantaged themselues by so many memorable victories? No better then slaues haled in their infancy from the breasts and laps of their mothers, children of tribute tythed euery yeere from amongst the miserable Christians ouer whom they command and domineere. Yet we see that with these fee­ble meanes they haue, in lesse then three hundred yeeres, conquered Asia as far as Tigris, and the Gulfe of Persia, possest themselues of Aegypt, Numidia, and all the red sea. More, hauing atchieued these glorious cōquests they haue beene seene to march, as they say, with colours flying tho­row Europe, to ouerrun large countries, seaze themselues [Page] of kingdomes and most puissant Estates, finally to become Monarches of Greece, and to haue caried the Empire of Constantinople; whose neighbours haue not bene exempt from the hauocke of their forces, so many armies ouer­throwen, so many Princes ruined, so many rich cities and townes sackt and rased. Their power, ouerflowing in hap­pinesse, is at this day the scourge of the East and the terror of the West: In sum, they are feareful to the whole world. But the greater is the astonishment, when we consider, that naked and vnarmed, they haue marched victorious ouer the bellies of the most warlicke nations vnder the heauens, the best prouided of forces and all munition necessary for the wars, that such a people as they vnskilled in nauigation should become masters almost of all the seas. Many haue gone about to search out the cause of this thriuing great­nesse, and I amongst others haue for my part with no small diligence perused such authors as haue written their histo­ry; but when I haue narrowly sifted all they haue said of that matter, I finde not this my honest appetite and curio­sity as I would contented; rather as one ill satisfied with the diuersity and negligence of their Historiographers, all of them nothing neere approching the course and know­ledge of the first and essentiall cause of this their so raised fortunes, I haue sought to please my selfe with setting down as I haue, the many acts and obseruations I haue thereof collected, and which well deserue to be published: not that I so far forget my selfe as to thinke my selfe able to flie a higher pitch then others whom I much honour and e­steeme; but because I haue taken cleane an other way; with this hope neuerthelesse, that huely representing and distin­guishing by order as I doe, the establishment of this Mo­narchy (answerable to what may be vnderstoode there­of) the apparence and truth of my discourse wil somwhat inlighten this subiect & affoord me an honest excuse vp­on the defects which may be discouered in my opinion. The argument then of this book consisteth of three points, [Page] whereunto the order of the whole discourse hath refe­rence: In the first place I summarily handle the meanes they haue practised for their aduancement and greatnesse; secondly with what cunning and deceit they maintaine what they haue gotten: and lastly how we may be able to assaile them, and turne the chance of their victories and powers. This my trauaile (most mighty Prince) taketh his flight straight to your Highnesse to range it selfe vnder the shelter of your protection, armed with the allowable opinion, that your Aighnesse as a generous Prince cannot but take especiall pleasure to heare, see, & waigh such spe­culations. To say the truth, the ordinary discourses of your Highnesse table are no other but sundry questions, which it pleaseth your Highnesse vsually to propound to all those noble spirits that attend you; but aboue all, when any one awaketh matter cōcerning either Estate affaires, or the atchieuement of deedes of armes; then is the time your Highnesse lendeth an attentiue eare to such as discourse thereof, and to all mens admiration resolueth the most dif­ficult points of the matter in handling, wherein you disco­uer a iudgment so far beyonde the vulgar and surpassing your age, as we cannot but confesse that the propositions you make are so many proofes and resolutions which you deliuer, and please to draw from out the capacity of your seruants. Which considering often with my selfe, I finde forthwith allaied in me the heat of the intention I had to dedicate this my booke to your Highnesse, but at the same instant finding represented before mine eies; the excellen­cy of your iudgment, together with your noble and gentle disposition, which knoweth how to accommodate your greatnesse to the honest designes of your subiects, such especially as reuerence you like me, feare immediatly va­nisheth and my desire gathereth strength, with assurance that you wil be so gratious, as, though I be the least of your seruants, you will not spare to entertaine and honour this my little labour with your iudgment: practising vpon me [Page] what the Sunne (common father of generation) doth on the earth, bestowing his beames indifferently as well vpon the low plants as high trees. It may please your highnesse then to vouchsafe to receiue this treatise with the like coū ­tenance as you would ought else especially labored, in i­mitation of the diuine Maiesty (only Idea of all perfecti­on) which as well excepteth the offering of the poore widow, as the presents of great Princes. Againe, it may please your highnes not to thinke amisse so farforth to pro­tect the whole discourse, that it may, supported by your authority, passe with that credit as I wish among men, and remaine free from the many censures of such as take no o­ther delight then in reprehending other mens inuentions. This assurance will make me lift my head higher then o­therwise I would, for two causes: The one for the honour and particular contentment I shall receiue hauing per­formed ought pleasing to your Highnesse, the other for the testimony I shall heereby haue of the participation of your fauour beyond my merit and expectation: for which I offer vp my selfe not to die vngrate­full, as

Your Highnesse most humble Subiect and vassall, R. de LVSING.

To the Reader.

THe world had neuer more Bookes, Bookes neuer lesse woorthy matter: learned, vnlearned, all will be writing, and of these the most affecting the glo­rious names of Authors, become the authors of their inglorious names.

Pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli.
The Readers skill,
Makes Bookes thriue well or ill.

But the true life of a worke, and sound discretion of the wri­ter, appeere not more in the well handling, then wise choice of a subiect. I know diuers courses may meete with one end, as many waies leade to one citie, so may one theame entertaine a world of inuentions; but of these (like the same meate serued in in seuerall fashions) some few onely shall carry the true pleasing relish and temper; the rest (as knots in names) stand rather for ornaments or flourishing differences, then matters regardable or of consequence: well may the will or appetite for a time transport vs, but reason as soueraigne must in the end controle and checke vs. In the compasse of my obseruations, I haue seene discourses and stiles, otherwise hollow and vnsound, sway euen the best iudgements, not alone to allowance, but imitation. Whether this were the infection of ignorance, that seasing the most might spread to the best; or the tyrannie of fashion, which must, how­soeuer monstrous, (if our selues will not seeme monstrous) be followed, I know not: one thing I am sure of; time hath discoue­red their weaknesse, and trueth his concealed daughter is come to light, when such light owles liue (or to say better) die con­fined [Page] to perpetuall obscuritie. This worke seemes to haue passed the pikes of such dangers; it hath for a sufficient time vndergone the view and censure of the best discerning nations of Europe: it hath beene taught to speake both their and the old Roman lan­guage: if England should not now affoord it kind entertainment, I should thinke it in an error (not to say of iudgement) of custom, as being not yet cleere of the imputation it carries of harshnesse towards euen woorthy strangers; but since I finde (as doe them­selues that suffer) that this discourteous fault is laid vpon the common sort, and the contrary extolled in the gentrie & persons of more eminent quality, Vilia miretur vulgus: We will appeale from their ignorance, to the more generous and better bredde vn­derstandings. And to awake these, let me tell them, they shall finde it a discourse not faint or languishing, but such as like a wel breathed runner, gathers more strength towards the end of the race, then was bewraied in the beginning. Now to others which shal perhaps obiect, that the scope hereof lying out of our distance, asketh as small heede, as it smally concerneth vs; I answere, that then the gout or gangrene is not to be regarded because the great toe onely hath it. Time and sinne may one day (which God turne from vs) make vs more sensible, and this subiects debating more necessary: such as it now is, or may prooue (Reader) I heere ex­pose it to thy view and censure. I know some acquainted with me and my courses, will expect rather matter of mine owne, then o­thers inuention. They haue reason in this, howsoeuer I haue abi­litie: but I cannot yet forget an honest learned Physician I once obserued, who (it seemes) to spare others, so spent his owne spirits in the personall practise of his medicinall conclusions, as his bodie yet suffers the iniuries of such selfe-offered violence. I am not so charitable; neither hold I him the vnwisest, that out of others triall frameth his owne confirming. It is time that begets iudge­ment and assurance. And to this purpose I will close with a saying of that euer most reuerenced Master of moralitie Seneca, Non ignoro etiam quae in speciem laborant, dignitatem dico & eloquentiae famam, & quicquid ad alienum suffragium venit, mora conualescere.

I. F.
The Table of the Chapters of the first Booke.
  • THe Turke hath applied his thoughts wholly to the warres. Chap. 1.
  • He hath alwaie [...] sought to make offensiue war. Chap. 2.
  • He hath made no account of fortresses. Chap. 3.
  • He hath trained vp his souldiours to valour and hardinesse. Chap. 4.
  • He hath maintained his souldiours in military discipline. Chap. 5.
  • He hath made no reckning of other forces then his owne. Chap. 6.
  • He hath to power ioyned cunning and deceit. Chap. 7.
  • He hath beene alwaies serued in his warre by good and valiant Cap­taines. Chap. 8.
  • He hath made no skip in his enterprises. Chap. 9.
  • He hath not spent time vpon enterprises of small importance. Chap. 10.
  • He hath laide hold on occasion. Chap. 11.
  • He hath behaued himselfe with nimblenesse and celerity vpon his occasions. Chap. 12.
  • He hath gone himselfe in person to the warre. Chap. 13.
  • He hath euermore gone well appointed to the wars. Chap. 14.
  • He hath neuer fought out of season. Chap. 15.
  • He hath neuer diuided his forces. Chap. 16.
  • He hath not long held warre with one alone. Chap. 17.
The Table of the Chapters of the Second Booke.
  • OF religion. Chap. 1.
  • Of the direct dependency of the Turkes subiects vpon their so­ueraigne. Chap. 2.
  • How he hath depriued his subiects of strength. Chap. 3.
  • The causes that may moue a people to fury. Chap. 4.
  • The common remedy applied by the Turke against the force and fury of the people. Chap. 5.
  • How the Turke curbeth the power of the great men of his Estate. Chap. 6.
  • [Page] How he confoundeth the practises of forraine Princes his neigh­bours. Chap. 7.
The Table of the Chapters of the Third Booke.
  • THe causes of the fall and ruine of Estates. Chap. 1.
  • From what coniectures the continuance of Estates may be ga­thered. Chap. 2.
  • That the Monarchy of the Turke is comprehended within the num­ber of great Estates. Chap. 3.
  • Whether the Empire of the Turkes draw towards an end. Chap. 4.
  • By what kinde of causes the Empire of the Turke might most easily faile. Chap. 5.
  • That it is not an impossible thing for the Christians with open force to vanquish the Turke. Chap. 6.
  • Why the leagues amongst Christian Princes are commonly of small effect. Chap. 7.
  • The defects which may be obserued in the leagues of the yeeres 1537. and 1571. Chap. 8.
  • A league which may be treated without danger of the former de­fects. Chap. 9.
  • Wherein consisteth the greatest forces of the Turke. Chap. 10.
  • Where the Turke might be most easily assailed to ouercome him, ei­ther by sea or by land. Chap. 11.
  • Of the inward causes whereby the Empire of the Turke may come to ruine. Chap. 12.
  • Of the mixt causes. Chap. 13.
  • How particular persons may be gained. Chap. 14.
  • How the people of the Turke may be wrought from his obedience. Chap. 15.

CONSIDERATIONS VPON THE GREAT­nesse of the Turkish Empire.
Wherein are handled the manner how it is become so great, the meanes whereby it is maintained, and how it would be easie to bring it to ruine.

  • 1 The summe of this discourse.
  • 2 The diuision thereof into 3. principall parts.
  • 3 The argument of the first booke.
  • 4 Steps to the Turkish greatnesse.

FIrst: My purpose is to ex­amine in this treatise how the Empire of the Turke is growne to that height and greatnesse. 2: And the bet­ter to effect it I will diuide the whole discourse into three principall parts. The first, what way he hath taken to attaine to the top of such a raised greatnesse as his now is. The second, with what meanes and arre he behaueth and maintaineth himselfe therein; and finally I will declare [Page 2] how the pride of this Tyrant may be abated; his greatnesse diminished, and his Empire ruined. 3: The subiect then of the first booke shall be to examine what haue beene his courses in his conquests; and though they haue beene without any order, reason or faith: yet will it be no hard matter to discerne, by the successe of such counsailes as he hath put in practise in his most difficult enterprises, the good from the bad, and also to separate in the course of his actions all whatsoeuer hath beene profitable; from what hath beene hurtfull and ill vndertaken: heerin imi­tating the Bee which from bitter herbes sucks most sweete hony. These are in my opinion the steps and dessignes he hath followed to attaine to his greatnesse, wherby as by degrees he hath built his strange fortune which makes vs at this day so much to feare him.

  • 1 First he hath applied himselfe wholy to the wars.
  • 2 His war hath beene alwaies offensiue.
  • 3 He hath made slender account of fortresses.
  • 4 He hath fashioned his wisdome to valour and hard­nesse.
  • 5 He hath maintained his great and mighty armies in military discipline and policy.
  • 6 He hath made no reckoning of other forces then of his owne.
  • 7 He hath to power ioyned cunning and deceipt.
  • 8 He hath beene serued by excellent Captaines.
  • 9 He hath not made any skip in his enterprises.
  • 10 He hath not spent time vpon matters of small impor­tance.
  • 11 He hath laid hold on occasions.
  • 12 He hath speedily put in execution his dessignes.
  • 13 He hath gone in person to the war.
  • 14 Well appointed.
  • 15 In a fit season.
  • 16 He hath not diuided his forces.
  • 17 He hath not long continued war with one alone.

That he hath applied his thoughts wholly to the wars.

  • 1 Bookes held by the Gothes a let to armes.
  • 2 Charles the 8. his expedition to Naples.
  • 3 Christians held vnfit for wars, because so intent to studie.
  • 4 The Turkes wholly addicted to the wars.
  • 5 The Romans most martiall.
  • 6 Barbarous nations most warlike and prompt in their at­tempts.
  • 7 The Turks despisers of Liberall arts.
  • 8 They inuade Italy.
  • 9 Their military vertues.
  • 10 Whether liberall artes disable their followers for the wars.
  • 11 The vse of History and the Mathematikes.
  • 12 Letters and armes fitly maried together.
  • 13 Learning and valour necessary in a Commander, obedience in a Souldier.

1 AT the time that the Gothes made a most fearefull sacke of Greece, and as a violent streame ouerflowed her fruitfull plaines, ransacking her many cities and rich townes; amongst o­ther spoiles there fel into their hands a great number of bookes of all sorts of professions; wherewith not knowing what to doe, as vnprofitable stuffe, they would haue burnt them, if one amongst the rest had not opposed himselfe: who stepping foorth cried out; it was requisite they should carefully pre­serue them, and leaue (quoth he) this poison amongst the Grecians, since in time they will bereaue them of all mar­tiall courage, as ordinarily they do all such as apply them­selues too much to the like learning and knowledge, ma­king [Page 4] them become tender, effeminate, and altogether vn­fit for the vse of armes; so as failing of courage they will prooue more easily the pray of our fortunate conquest.

2 When Charles the eight of France with so smal an army made his way thorough Italy,1494. Guicciard. li. 1. and that without vnsheath­ing his sword or couching his lance, he became master of the kingdome of Naples, and of the greater part of Tho­seany; the French Nobilitie reasoning among themselues whence such a base cowardlinesse, as they had founde a­mongst the Italians, should proceed, imputed the cause thereof to the studie of learning, as that which softeneth the courage, and is not fit for ought but to make a man fearefull, vnapt, and of a weake resolution for the wars.

3 Heeretofore and at this day, the Turkes haue and doe esteeme the Christians of little valour in martiall affaires, becaus of the varietie of Arts whereunto they vsually ad­dict themselues; and though a man be so smally durable as he cannot attaine to perfection in diuers sciences, nor so inable himselfe to the attention of sundry matters as hee may game the mastery for which he striueth; yet all men will busie themselues about knowledge, and intermeddle with all Arts and practises, not heeding that in stead of for­warding themselues, they recoile from that perfect know­ledge which is requisite for them, and so remaine vnfur­nished, or but weakely grounded in one onely profession.

4 On the contrarie, the Turkes fashion their whole des­signes to the war, and bend all their thoughts and studies to the exercise of armes, reiecting all other courses, and pleasing themselues onely in what may stand them in stead for that profession.

5 There is nothing more true (and we finde it in histo­ries) then that the Romanes were most excellent Souldi­ers, but especially before they opened their gates to Arts and Sciences presented them by the Greeks, and that they gaue themselues ouer to the pleasures of the East. Then were they at the best for true cariage of marshall affaires when their Consuls scorned not to hold the plough; when [Page 5] Physicians, Surgeons, & men of such like profession were in no credit amongst them. And to say the truth, we finde that if afterward they did atchieue any worthy enterprise, it was not by meanes of any valour which was remaining with them, but by the reputation & strength they had formerly gotten. For proofe heereof we may plainly perceiue that as soone as they had giuen entertainement to forraine sci­ences, made tender by study, they receiued notable and dis­honorable ouerthrowes, as well at the hands of Iugurtha, Mithridates, the Cimbrians, Numantins, Spartans, the Par­thians, as of others.

6 For confirmation whereof we obserue in ancient histo­ries, that the most warlike people, & withal such as haue per­formed the memorablest acts, haue beene the most grosse, rude and inured to paine and hardnesse, far from all ciuili­ty; free from such delicacy and wantonnesse as is corrupt­ly stept in amongst vs; such as had no learning or taste of any knowledge or action which might allay or neuer so litle shake their couragious resolutions and warlike dessignes. Of this composition were long since and are at this daie the Scythians, who sometimes made their worthy armes re­sound as far as the most remote parts of the East, as far as the Danow and the bankes of Nilus. It is not long since that they,Zingis. conducted by Quingus their King, ouerran all the East, harrowed the plaine country, and replenished all with misery and desolation. The memory of the fa­mous acts of great Tamberlane is yet fresh, who only hi­therto may vaunt that he hath in a ranged battel vanquish­ed the Turkish armies, & led their Cōmander captiue, ma­king him serue as his footstoole.1397. In our time the Mogores, a grosse and ignorant people sprung out of Scythus (or to say better) out of Tartaria, haue atchieued great conquests towards India. Euery man also knowes that the great Cham, as rude & rough hewen as these, is neuerthelesse one of the most mighty potentates of the world, ruling ouer a people of the least ciuilitie that can be imagined. But not to wander out of Europe, let vs behold the Swizzers, & [Page 6] we shall finde that for knowledge and ciuility they are no better then these, yet haue they performed many worthy exploits as well at Nancy, 1477. Dijon, Nouare, Marignan, Dreux, as else where:1513. In such sort as, not infected with our vani­ty,1515. they giue (as a man may say) the law to the mightiest Princes that seeke their assistance.

7 Now the Turks aboue all nations haue euer profest to follow this course of life so barbarous and rude, and euen at this day they contemne all knowledge and profession of whatsoeuer arte, be it neuer so noble or industrious; a­mong the rest they abhor painting and ingrauing, neither make they any account of architecture: and in very deede we see that they haue euer held it an especiall offence to­wards God, to ingraue or paint him. As for learning they recken it as meere foolery: In a word, there are none a­mongst them so slenderly esteemed as men learned and seene in any kinde of knowledge. In their garments they affect not stuffes wrought, imbroidered or curiously cut and fashioned, but such as are whole and lasting; laces, fringes and other ornaments are by them reiected: beaten and massie gold is only in request amongst them. In the wars they seeke rather to appeere fearce and terrible, then gallantly set forth and apparelled: their whole delight is set vpon war and armes; insomuch as it is hard to finde any one of them who will not manifest by his fashion of liuing that he is rather borne for the wars then ought else: so as when there is any leuying of Souldiours, such as are left at home hold themselues highly iniured; so honorably doe they esteeme of the life of a souldier. Whence it proceedeth, that they are so feared in all their attempts, either for be­seeging, battering, or forcing of places of greatest strength; for skirmishing on foote or on horsebacke, in set battailes by sea or by land, or for fortifying and defending.

8 Whereof they gaue sufficient proofe when hauing gotten Ottranto they valiantly made it good against the forces of all Italy;1480. euen till the death of their master Ma­homet the 2.1482. leauing behinde them, trenches, bulwarkes, [Page 7] ramparts and all other sorts of fortifications, so well con­triued and disposed, as they haue serued since for patterns and models to our Commanders of Christendome.

9 Such is their laborious vertue in the wars, as there is no place so strong, or enterprise so difficult which will not prooue easie at the enforcing of their powers.

10 Returning now to that I said concerning knowledge: I expect that some one should say: And what I praie, is learning a let to military vertue, or a meanes to hinder a man from becomming a perfect souldier? surely no: I am of a contrary opinion, and I ground it in part vpon the experience of such Captaines as I will heere reckon. Alexander the great and Caesar who were of the principall most aduenturous, and politicke Masters of the wars were most excellently seene in all sorts of knowledge; for my owne part I hold it very difficult for any without the aide of Historie or the Mathematiques, to deserue the name of a great Captaine and sage conductor of armies:

11 Since Historie by the variety of examples both of good and bad successe furnisheth a man with heedfulnesse and discretion, with resolution and aduice in all occurrents, and makes him more considerate in what he vndertaketh; like as the Mathematikes refine his knowledge and iudge­ment, as well in engines of war as in fortifying.

12 In conclusion, it is not to be denied but that learning is most proper to mould and perfectly fashion a heart and courage borne and disposed to armes: for this cause they would in old time, that Pallas armed should signifie vnto vs the marrying of letters with armes. Now to come againe to the Turkes rudenesse, we shall finde (examining some of their Princes) that somewhat must be abated. Let vs con­sider what were Mahomet the 2. and Selim and Soliman his sonnes (the most valiant Princes of the race of the Otto­mans) and we shall see that they delighted in reading Hi­stories, and in studying the Mathematikes: so as though nature dispose a man to hardinesse and magnanimitie, it is sure that if he be wholy vnfurnished of artes and learning, [Page 5] he will be of a disposition doubtfull, vnassured, vnresolued and without any true stomacke or valour; parts especially required in a Souldier. This hath beene seene in those of the Ottomans which wanted the vertues of the three aboue named; and amongst others Baiazet the second and Corcas his sonne can witnesse it. These indeed had in some mea­sure the knowledge of good letters, but these performed no valiant act, because they had not hearts and courages borne to the wars.

13 Whence it followeth that the study of learning auai­leth much to the forming of a wise and discreet Captaine, and to helpe him to attaine to the perfection worthy his name; nature withall disposing him to valour and gene­rositie.

As for the priuat Souldier I hold that he needes not know more then to obey it, not being necessary he should be instructed in so excellent an vnderstanding of matters as the Commander, considering that humaine Sciences and the liberall arts in an vnsetled minde make it embrace ciui­lity, wantonnesse and ease in stead of trauell; make vs loue quietnesse; feare death, flie hunger and thirst, with other paines and periles of the wars: In sum, they imprint in a man rather a desire to husband his life then to lauish it for the glory and good of his country, and for his particular honour: which is more dangerous in a souldier then in a man of any other profession: for this reason such an one neede know no more then to obey, goe well armed, and valiantly defend himselfe against his enemy.

That he hath alwaies sought to make offensiue war.

  • 1 Of offensiue and defensiue war.
  • 2 The authors opinion thereof.
  • 3 Others opinions.
  • [Page 9] 4 Reasons in behalfe of the offensiue, and inconueniences of the defensiue war.
  • 5 Commodities of the offensiue war.
  • 6 Spoiles in our enemies or our owne countrie: their diffe­rence.
  • 7 Machiauel confuted.
  • 8 The chiefe cause of the Turkish greatnesse hath beene the Christians idlenesse.
  • 9 The war vpon the Turke must be offensiue.
  • 10 Examples of good successe in that kind.

1 IT is a doubt often disputed, and not yet resolued, whether it be better to assaile the enemy at his own home, or to attend till he assaile vs: The Lord of Langei, Machiauell, and others of our times haue discoursed heereof to the full.

2 For my part I am of opinion (as also the worthiest cap­taines haue beene) that it is alwaies better to assaile, then stay till we be assailed: Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Sci­pio, Caesar, and many other Romans serue to approue it; and all these would haue laughed at such as should haue other­wise counselled them.

3 Yet some there are in our times which haue endeuored to proue the contrarie by demonstrations subtill enough (but vnsound) and to this very purpose of the Turke, to wit, that it were better to attend him then to seeke him out vpon his owne dunghill: These are counsailes more curi­ous then well grounded, whereof consequently ensue few effects of moment: we may couple such men with those vaunting Ingenours or Artists, who discoursing vpon some worke of their inuention promise of it wondrous effects, and set foorth some simple module which serueth but for demonstration only; but when it commeth (as they say) to the push, and that they must put their instrument to his true triall and vse, then is it that they are far to seeke, and that they confesse the difference betweene an essentiall ef­fect [Page 10] and a superficiall flourish, such as their first module afforded. Iust in this manner these contemplatiue state-Philosophers will attend the Turke at their owne home, whom they dare scarce looke in the face neither in nor out of his country.

4 It is most certaine that hee which assaileth hath alwaies more resolution and courage then he that attendeth. For he hath already formed his determination and prouision when the other goeth by heeresaie and likelihoods: more­ouer in assailing, the war is vndertaken with more aduan­tage, and commodity then otherwise it would be; and he which mindeth to force a country or prouince may make his vse of all such aduantages and commodities as he fin­deth may serue his turne in the country he intendeth to conquer. As among others, if he haue set on foote some practise, or hatched some treason in the minds of two or three, such of the subiects of the prince he assaileth as he knoweth offended or malecontent. Or if he haue plotted some matter of purpose for an vniuersall rebellion. All which incountring with the dessignes of the supposed con­querour, he makes them serue his turne with more aduan­tage in going to seeke out the enemy; then he should doe in staying for him at his owne home. By these meanes Charles the eight King of France found the way open to the conquest of Naples; 1494. and Lewes the 12. possest himselfe of the estate of Milan: 1499. by the like occasion also the Empire of the Mamelucks subiected their neckes to the yoake of Se­lim the first.1516.

5 But of all this we may collect a more sure proofe of my proposition then when the enemy is at our doores, and that the astonishment surpriseth vs, ouerthroweth and con­foundeth all counsaile and courage; at such a time vnex­pected disorders hem vs in on euery side; necessitie presseth vs; all things become suspected and difficult, so as most commonly we know not to what Saint to recom­mend vs; nor what course were best to be taken; for since we must haue an eie, misdoubt, make prouisions in sundry [Page 11] places, bestowe garrisons where most need requireth; we shall finde that applying remedies on the one side our af­faires will grow desperate on the other. Moreouer by di­stributing garrisons in this sort, it must needs follow that we so much the more weaken the body of our armie, and that through this constraint we quit the field to the more strong; which disaduantage commonly drawes with it the ruine of our whole estate.

If contrariwise we will preserue all our forces in one bo­die, we leaue to the assailer many passages and places where he may set downe and fortifie himselfe there to hold vs play and traine vs on at his pleasure; but if it should so hap­pen that the assailer were encountred by him which atten­deth with equall force, with as braue a countenance, and like courage, the retraict and defence rest at his election, so he be a Captaine wise, and aduised, such as was Solyman when he marched into Hungarie, and when the Empe­rour Charles the 5. went couragiously to meet him.

6 And because the Disastrous chance of war may some­times light vpon the assailer be he neuer so warie and vali­ant; it is to be presupposed (that being granted) that he will sell his skin at so deare a rate, as the forces of the assai­led shall remaine thereby so disordred, as he will not be able to offend the vanquished, or disturbe his affaires, notwithstanding that his countrey be farre distant from the countrey assailed: this may be seene by the example of the ouerthrow the French receiued, and the taking of their King prisoner before Pauye insomuch as that losse (be­sides that of their Prince) did not afford ought to the victorious whereby he might aduantage himselfe vpon the kingdome of France.1524. Also it is much more easie to set a foote againe an armie discomfited, abroad then at home; because if fortune haue shewed her selfe aduerse and our foe at our home, then is the time that such as are malecontents and mutinous lift vp their heades, and that our people stand amazed and for the most part vntractable. Then must we trauaile amaine to put our men in hart, then must [Page 12] we make much of those few good men, the remaines of a battell to bestowe in our Townes and trust them with the gouernment thereof. On the other side if these losses be­tide vs far from our home and in another country, the feare and the stonishment will be the lesse amongst our subiects, and they more pliable and forward to succour vs, were it but to keepe the danger aloofe from themselues.

7 Me thinkes Machiauel much abuseth himselfe when he so opiniatiuely mainteineth,Mac. disput. lib. 2. c. 12. that if the Romans had recei­ued out of Italy the blowes Hannibal gaue them by the o­uerthrow of * three armies,At the riuer of Trebia, where Sempronius was slaine, at the lake of Thrasi­menus where Flaminius was ouercome, and at Cannas where Terentius Varro and L. Paulus lost the field. that they had neuer beene able more to haue held vp their head or re-established their affaires as they did: Machiauel laieth this ground; That they had neuer found meanes againe to set a foote so soone as they did the residue of their forces, had it beene out of Italy. Marke I praie how he erreth; for it is well knowen that the ouerthrowes they had in their owne country made them lose, besides their souldiours, many good townes, and bred reuolt in their Colonies which followed the for­tunes of the victorious, with diuers other accidents that shooke their estate; all, which had not succeeded with such disaster if the losse had befell them far from Italy: for in this case both heart and meanes had serued them more a­bundantly then they did, to assemble new forces and as great as they had lost.Maharbals sai­ing to Hanni­bal, was, Vince­re seu Hanni­bal, sed victo­ria vti nescis. Liu. Dec. 3. l. 2. It is also certaine that if Hannibal had knowen how to make good vse of his victory the Ro­mans had beene vtterly ouerthrowen. It must needes be, that their meanes and power were very great, and that God had an especiall hand in their affaires, seeing that in such disorder they should recouer themselues; & that with such corage, as they refused to serue their turns with those which had by flight escaped from their ouerthrows, neither made they any account of redeeming those which were taken pri­soners, nay rather in stead of doing this they depriued some of them of all honour and confined others into Sicily. It seemeth to me that these reasons may serue to confute those of Machiauel, and that it is high time we returne to that [Page 13] principall point concerning the fortune of the Turke.

8 We will say then that the faint-hearted slacknesse of the Christians hath made way to the Turke for the inlarging of his limits, so as they abut almost of all sides vpon Eu­rope, and hath beene a meanes that he can now not only at­tend the enemie (as Machiauel saith) but goe to rowse him at his owne home. It is the course he hath obserued and taken; to ruine his neighbours round about him, and increase his power, which he hath so doone as he hath cleane bereaued vs of all stomacke to assaile him, yea or once to dare to attempt it. For though there be Princes enow which hold it necessary for the good of Christen­dome to set vpon him at his home, yet to this day we see none that will begin to strike the first stroake, or set first hand to the breaking of this ice.

9 But if euer God gaue vs the courage vertuously to at­tempt this enterprise in reuenge of the oppression and wrongs Christendome hath endured at his hands; we must not thinke to vndertake it by other meanes then those he hath himselfe put in practise against vs, & that is to seeke him out at his owne home and nobly to embrace the des­signes himselfe hath obserued; which doing, and hauing God to guide, we shall doubtlesse obtaine those victories of him which he hath had of vs. Admit he haue beene for a time our Schoole-master, and that we haue learned of him to our cost, it is now high time that wee shew how we haue profited by his instructions, and that we know how to put them in practise and pay the interests of our da­mages.

10 Now to make it appeere that it is not a matter of that difficultie and danger that some imagine, let vs note these examples which are in a maner familiar vnto vs. Had not Andrew Dorea the courage with a small number of ships to enter into Greece where he got Patras and Coron? 1532. Don Iohn of Austria, did he not affoord a notable proofe hereof in the yeare 1571. when being Generall of the league, he sought the enemie out in the inmost parts of the Leuant [Page 14] where he gaue him battaile with that courage, that though he were inrferior to him in men & galleies, yet failed he not (assisted by God) to ouerthrow the most puissant & great armie that the Ottomans euer set foorth by sea against the Christians: There is nothing the Turke so much feareth, as to be set vpon by the Christians, both because he knowes they haue valor in them, as also for the iealousie he con­ceiueth of the great number of them vnder his obedi­ence: All which would without question rise in armes if they might but once see the Christians Coulours flying, and so accompanied, as that they might to some purpose make head against the Ottamans.

That he hath made no account of Fortresses.

  • 1 We must endeuour as well to keepe as conquer.
  • 2 The reason and vse of Colonies amongst the ancient.
  • 3 Their discommodities.
  • 4 The causes of rebellions.
  • 5 An other discommoditie of Colonies.
  • 6 The Portugals manner of planting Colonies.
  • 7 Their benefite.
  • 8 Fortresses the second meanes of preseruing an estate.
  • 9 Their vse and necessitie.
  • 10 Machiauels vaine opinion confuted.
  • 11 Forces euer in readinesse, the third meanes of preseruing an Estate.
  • 12 Whether is better to maintaine Fortresses vpon the borders, or to haue an armie euer ready.
  • 13 How the Turks cuntries liue in peace by means of the latter.
  • 14 In keeping the second meanes, in getting the third is most approoued.
  • 15 Whence the power of the Turke doth grow.
  • 16 Wars abroad beget peace at home.

[Page 15] 1 PRinces generally striue by all meanes to preserue not onely their own estates, but such prouinces also as they haue conquered; obseruing what the time, the humour of the people, and their meanes will permit. But because each one takes a different course, and of this difference hap­neth both good and euill, I iudge it necessarie to say som­what thereof by way of discourse: I will spare to meddle with the forme each one keepeth in the politicke gouern­ment of his dominions or principalities; and will draw my selfe within compasse of handling, in three seuerall points, all that may be said or alleaged vpon this subiect. First then we will speake of Colonies, next of Fortresses, and last of Armies, entertained for the defence of the coun­trey.

2 Colonies haue beene one of the meanes which the An­cients haue most ordinarily obserued; and at this day they are practised to mainteine a subdued people vnder the obedience of a new soueraigntie. Such then as allowed of this manner of preseruing Estates, by way of Colonies be­stowed the lands of those they had conquered vpon their naturall subiects, equally distributing them according to their merits; supposing that in so doing, they should sowe the countrey conquered with new men, which might be­haue themselues with a like deuotion and dutifull obser­uance towards them, as vassals performe toward their Soueraigne.

3 The Grecians vsed them first; and then the Romanes: but this manner of assurance is not so commendable, as many may suppose, insomuch as it draweth after it these two dangerous consequents. The first is, that when a Prince depriueth such of their goods as are naturall ow­ners thereof, to bestow them vpon his owne subiects, it winneth him and his immortall hatred, accompanied with an euerlasting thirst of reuenge, and of regaining their li­bertie, [Page 16] for though such as are so despoiled of their goods be but few in number in regard of the Colony, yet it is to be imagined that they haue many kinsfolkes and friends interessed in their miseries, and that there need but three or foure men of resolution to draw all the rest to a mutinie and reuolt. If this be held a difficult matter, yet is it a thing naturall to become wise by anothers mishaps, and to feare and be prouident lest we fall into the like inconuenience as our neighbours. The apprehension of which calamitie makes vs ofttimes conceiue worse of the euill then it deser­ueth, especially when the actions of the conquering prince are grounded rather vpon force then reason, as or­dinarily they are.

4 Most commonly the rebellions and insurrections of people and cities, happen not so much for the outrage done to a whole communaltie, as for the iniuries particu­larly receiued by some of those which haue reuolted: but howsoeuer, such wounds alwaies breed the vniuersall de­struction of a common weale. [...]t. lib. 3. c. 8. Rer. Hisp. Ri [...] Neap. l. 2. Reg. Hisp. [...] de Christ [...]oem. lib 1. To this purpose we may alledge the example of Roderick King of Spaine, who ha­uing rauished Cuba the daughter of Count Iulian, the in­dignity of the fact entred so far into the harts of al the No­bles of the country, as euery one took the wrong to be his, and hauing thereupon taken armes to aide the father in his reuenge, it grew to a worse matter; for hereby they gaue the Moores entrance into the Estate who put to death their King: and were themselues beholders of the spoile of their country by persecuting vengeance vpon so infamous an act performed by the disordinat lust of him who ought to haue reproued and chastised it in others.

5 The other discommodity which they meete who will settle the establishment of their fortunes vpon the erecti­ons of Colonies is, that in succession of time those men so remoued from their owne country into another newly sub­dued, fashion themselues vnto the climat, humors, and complexions, and to the same minde of preseruing their estate, as those amongst whom they are sent to inhabit. [Page 17] And hauing thither transported their goods and begotten children, they thenceforth make more reckoning of the country whither they are come as Colonies, then of their na­turall country whence they were displaced: like trees which planted in an other soile change much both of their nature and taste. This the more easily happeneth to Colonies by how much the more remote they are from their natiue place of abode. For proofe, finde we not that euen the neighbour Colonies of Italy during the time of the second Punicke war would not in any wise contribute to the neces­sities of Rome their originall mother?Lin. dec. 3. li. 7. 7. Annal. v. c. 545. Olymp. 144.

6 The Portugals obseruing these inconueniences haue to assure the Indies, practised a manner of Colonies much more sure, tolerable, and lesse enuied; which is thus: They plant their Colonies not all at once, but few at a time by Carauans or companies according as neede requireth, to inhabite the countries by them newly discouered; yet not throughly to people them, but after as they shall see they thriue, and so accordingly they by little and little re­plenish the Colonie. Goa is the best prouided of all they haue established, and there they contract alliances with the ancient inhabitants, and take and giue their daughters in mariages: by this meanes (which is as I haue said the more plausible) they liue free from violence, assured of the good wils of the first inhabitants who inrich themselues greatly by their trafficke and commodities. In this manner they multiply and are scarcely perceiued how, growing to such a multitude of people as they serue to inlarge and establish the name and gouernment of the Portugals. From yeare to yeare they ad to this increase which serueth them instead of a fortresse amongst such as they subdue, and in such prouinces as they will people and accustome to their fa­shions and rule.

7 Time and experience make it plainly appeare, that these formes of Colonies are more tollerable and sure then any heeretofore practised, for in these the naturall inhabi­tants are so farre from being thrust out of their houses, as [Page 18] on the contrarie, they are therein maintained and more confirmed in the peaceable inoying o [...] their goods. More­ouer the vnion and commixture of blood one with ano­ther softning their naturall roughnesse, retaineth and re­doubleth the affection as well of the auncient inhabitants, as of those of the Colony. The Spaniards do the like in the West Indies that which I finde most notable heerein, is, that the one and the other rest not satisfied onely with establishing Colonies, but further they conuert and in­struct the Indians in the Christian faith, to Gods glorie and theirs: It is that which the king of Spaine performeth and continueth by meanes of such religious orders as he hath planted among them: for not being able to store so many and so large countries as those are with naturall Spaniards and Portugals, they by this conuersion and Baptisme, make those people become Portugals and Spaniards.

8 Hauing discoursed of the forme of Colonies, and how the conquering Prince may profit himselfe by them, it is now time that we come to the second thing which may af­ford assurance to an estate. The meanes are many, but the Christians most vsually make choise of fortifications, as seeming to them most strong bridles to raine in and curbe both the auncient and newly subdued prouinces. There they appoint their Magazins for munition and other pro­uision for the wars; there they bestow garisons of souldi­ers for their defence; some places they fortifie vpon the frontiers, where they constitute for Gouernors and offi­cers, creatures of their owne fashioning, the better to con­taine all vnder the obedience of the victorious.

9 Yet is it that which Machiauell reproueth and reiect­eth as vnprofitable:Dis. l. 2. c. 24. but because they are reasons or opini­nions so weake as that like Spyders cobwebs, they are easily broken, I will not spend time farther to confute them; onely I will say thus much, that Alfonso king of Naples, a most iudicious prince, whose authoritie should carrie cre­dit, alwaies esteemed this practise of fortification most [Page 19] necessarie and profitable, especially in a countrey newly conquered, and not to leaue it open and consequently subiect to iniurie and reuolt. The proceedings in this kinde, of Francis Sforce duke of Milan, of the Emperor Charles the 5. and of so many other Princes and Captaines which haue woone reputation and renowne amongst men, are such as who well considereth them will laugh at the opinion of Machiauel. Without seeking any further, haue we not the French for example? who made no account of erecting cittadels in the Ile of Sicily: but after they had conquered it,1281. 13. Ap. they assoone lost it not without a most la­mentable slaughter executed on them by the inhabitants; but contrariwise deriuing their wisdome from their owne miserie, after they once tooke in hand to make fortresses in sundry places of Italy, there was no meanes but by peace to dislodge them.1516. The Mamelucks who were in the same error of not trusting to Fortresses, found themselues in lesse then two daies depriued by Selim of the most part of their liues, estate, and powers. The Spaniard imbracing the indifferency of this opinion, and desirous to gratifie the Flemings whom they thought to appease by this mo­deration, returned into their hands the strong holdes of their Prouinces: which they had no sooner done, but they were neere-hand expelled the Low-countries.

10 And though all these examples are but too sufficient to confute the opinion of Machiauel, yet will I bring him once more vpon the stage, and sift him a little better: See heere the substance of what he saith: Either thou art able (saith he) to bring sufficient store of men into the field (in which case fortresses are not any waies necessarie) or thou hast not meanes to leauie such forces as are requisite to de­fend and warrant thy estate, and then they are vnprofita­ble. Marke, I praie, the wrong course he taketh, walking as he doth in extreames, without keeping the meane, most necessarie in these propositions: to say the truth, he is much mistaken; since this matter as others, should be di­stinguished by the portions and qualities thereof, the bet­ter [Page 20] and more easily to vnderstand it. In my opinion then (which I deliuer not to exclude others) we must say thus: Either a Prince hath meanes to leuie men out of hand by an ordinarie continuance of armes, or else he must haue time to doe it, be it either by leuying a sufficient number of his subiects trained vp to armes, and by the assistance of friends and associats, or of neighbours, which in regard of their particular interest, will willingly ioyne with him, that he may protect them from the same iniurie he may himselfe receiue. In these two first cases, Fortresses would prooue more profitable then necessarie: or else a Prince is of that power as he is able at once to assemble so manie men as he will keepe or winne the field from the enemie, or will be able, at least, commodiously to succour the place besieged. In these two respects, Cittadels are necessarie though not much profitable, because they by their con­stant defence, stoppe and intertaine the enemie, affoord by such temporising, meanes and leasure to order matters; for (as the Venetians say) Chi ha tempo, ha vita, who hath time, hath life.

11 The third meanes for a Prince to preserue his estate, is that which those allow of, who not trusting to Fortresses, and making no account of Colonies, doe ordinarily inter­taine strong companies of horse and foote, and in such numbers, as they may alwaies containe their subiects in na­turall obedience, hinder rebellions, and which most im­porteth, repell, and oppose the enemy, and as occasion re­quireth, visit him at his owne home. In time passed the Mamelucks practised this forme of gouernment;Aemil. lib. 3. Tuicae. and the Turkes at this day obserue it in all points. The Visconti sometime Lords of Milan, vsed this forme of preseruing their estates, and amongst others Azzo-Visconti ordinarily gaue intertainment (yea euen in time of peace) to 22000. horse, and they did him no small seruice.

12 A man may yet put one doubt more of this matter, the resolution whereof shall fit very well for the course and concluding of the discourse. That is, which is best either [Page 21] to erect Cittadels or alwaies to maintaine a great army. Experience (our common Mistres) teacheth vs that for the conseruation of great Princes estate sortresses are the best; because they doe not so much incumber nor dislike the subiect as doth an army, whose troupes dispersed in di­uers parts of the country waste and disorder all: on the other side souldiours shut vp in a fortresse are not so inso­lent and licentious as those commonly are which keepe the field, yea and that oft-times with more hauocke then if the enemy himselfe had ransaked and ouerrun it. The liberty which armies dispersed thorowout an estate chal­lenge and assume to themselues, is such as makes them forget all policy and military discipline: the example of the Milanois heerein will not be beside the purpose. They neuer complained of the Garrison of the Castle,1765. but when it came to that that Lewes the 12. would haue lodged his horse within the towne they presently reuolted; whereup­on ensued the losse of the estate. What was it that wrought the reuolt of the Flemings? was it not the obstinate muti­ning of only 1500. Spaniards, who crying after their paie ouerran and made spoile of all the country? The selfe same Spanish nation disquieted the Estate of Milan vnder the Marques of Guasto and the Ile of Sicily vnder Ferdinand Gonzaga. 1526. Paul. Iou. lib. 7. de Vita vir. ill. The Sorians and the Egyptians no sooner saw Se­lims standards displaced but they rebelled against the Ma­melucks, whose armies had maruellously oppressed them, they hauing beene constrained to maintaine them at their owne charges.

13 Whereto I know may be replied, that the Turke ne­uerthelesse peaceably holdeth his estate after the same manner we speake of, his forces being euermore on foote and in a readinesse: it is true, and so is it that to cleere this, two principall reasons may be alledged. The one that he hath depriued such his subiects as are Christians and of a different law, of all vse of armes; and that he hath brought them to this passe that they cannot vant to hold any thing in propriety: which was not practised towards [Page 22] the aboue mentioned; moreouer all assemblies vpon what­soeuer cause are expresly forbidden them: he keeps them vnder and makes no more reckning of them then of sheepe pend vp in a fould vsing them like brute beasts, not once vouchsafing to imploy them in the wars. The other reason is that they haue no power of themselues to oppose the Turkes so mighty forces; and (which is worst of all) they neuer haue had any forraine succour to incourage them to such an enterprise.

14 I will forbeare to diue any deeper into this subiect; me thinkes we may see sufficiently by this how much more supportable are Cittadels, then armies ordinarily intertai­ned. But if we speake of conquering, I allow that armies are more to be preferred before fortresses, considering that we thereby inioy meanes to embrace all occasions offered, and at an instant to execute both the will and designe of a Prince so prouided.

15. To say the truth it is that which the Ottamans haue practised, to aduance their Empire to such greatnesse as at this day we see it; it is that which hath heaped on them the honors of so many victories, and which hath endowed them with authoritie, reputation and meanes. They haue alwaies had (as they yet haue) their armies in a readinesse, and haue fought with their neighbours in a manner with as much aduantage as a man armed against one that is naked.

16 Some I know will maruell how such a number of peo­ple so armed, can containe themselues from reuolting. I am of opinion, that if they were not ordinarily imploied as they are, in attempts of warre, that in the end their multi­tudes growen ranke with quiet, would easily be drawen to rebellion or mutinies; which the souldiers of Alexander the Great can witnesse, for whilest the enemy kept them in doings, who were then they more hardy and valerous? but after their victories, who more insolent and vnsufferable? The Roman armies, how fortunate were they whilest they had continuall warre, atchieuing all their interprises in a [Page 23] manner as they could wish? but after their conquest they became so turbulent and vnquiet, as they assumed to them­selues the authoritie of creating Emperors, and for the most part so licentiously, as euery armie made his particu­lar choise, so as there was no remedie but to trie by fight who should carie it; which occasioned the ouerthrow of the state. The French, haue they not euermore faithfully serued their king against strangers? but so soone as they had peace with the English, and after with the Spaniard, they filled euery corner of their country with sedition, sackings, cruelties, and slaughters; and that with such obstinate per­sisting, as the contagion thereof hath not beene able for 25. yeeres space to be remooued. But that which is most to be lamented, is the scandall they haue brought vp­on the church. This selfe thing may be appropriated to the Flemings, and the cause may be imputed to idlenesse, and the exceeding plentie wherein they liued. The exam­ple of Bajazet the second shall serue to close vp this dis­course, for he being giuen ouer to his ease; the soldiours, who could not brooke such idlenesse, so awaked the cou­rage of his two sonnes, Selim and Acomath, as all the forces of the Empire (which had established the Turkish scepter) were diuided into two, and it lacked not much of being vtterly ouerthrowne, euery one for his part seconding the rebellions of the sonnes against the father.

That he hath trained vp his soldiours to valour and hardinesse.

  • 1 Why the armies of these daies consist not of so good souldiers as in former times.
  • 2 Principall causes of victories.
  • 3 What care is to be had in leuying of good souldiers: and this to be wrought by a fourefould meanes.
  • 4 By election.
  • [Page 24] 5 Exercise.
  • 6 Honors and profit.
  • 7 The Turkes proceeding heerein.

1 IT is seldome seene that the armies of these times consist of good souldiours, for the more we vary from the course our forefathers tooke to bring them to perfection, by so much the more are we depriued of that happinesse which were to be desired and seriously sought after by Princes, and those which as Commanders would reape honor and pro­fite by the wars.

2 Victory (which dependeth of the diuine will) deri­ueth her successe and principall ground from the multitude of men, but especially from the wisdome of the Comman­ders and from the valour and generositie of the Souldi­our.

3 It is requisite then that we looke more narrowlie then we doe vnto their choice, and that they be such as we may honour and profit our selues by them: now we must deli­uer how we may light vpon, or make good and hardy soul­diours, which is doone in my opinion by a foure fold meanes, by election, exercise, honor, and profit.

4 By election, because all those which we leuie for the wars haue not that naturall inclination to valour and cou­rage, nor a constitution of bodie fit to indure the trauailes and dangers incident thereunto. Moreouer a gallant fa­shion and spirite are not found in euery one, much lesse a resolution to attend, defie, and assaile the enemy; also e­uery mans hart will not serue him to enter the trenches, throw himselfe desperatly into the dike, scall the wals, of­fer himselfe valiantly, to make good a breach in despite of the Cannon, of stones, of wilde-fire, and of death it selfe: Their complexions perhaps will not brooke that they should spend the whole day in continuall turmoiles with­out eating, and the night without rest, so as where some [Page 25] make account that Antwerpe is able to make 30000. men, Venice 40000. Gant 60000. Paris 100000. all fit and able to beare armes, me thinkes they should be vnderstood that they are such as haue the age required, but not the disposition proper to such a profession. For proofe hereof haue we not of late seene that the Prince of Parma hath ranged vnder the obedience of the King of Spaine euen with small forces those of Gant & Antwerp which had for­merly together with those of the low countries rebelled a­gainst their Soueraigne?1584. & 1585. The Romans held in such e­steeme this manner of making choise of their Souldiours as when they would expresse a leuy of men they termed it Delectum agere vel habere to make a choise. In our times no man hath beene more carefull and circumspect in the choise of his souldiours (at the least of the Captaines of I­taly) then Cosmo de Medici Duke of Florence; and indeede he was prouided of the best and most approued souldiours of his time.

5 To election we are to adde exercise,Veget. lib. 1. c. 15. without the which there is no forwardnesse or constitution of body be it neuer so strong, able to attaine to the perfection requisite to ex­ecute and accomplish, as appertaineth to a good, braue, and noble souldiour.

6 But if the Generall be so wise as to ioine to exercise profit and honor,Eo enim impen­ditur labor & periculum apli­risque vnde emo­lumentum & honos speratur: T. Liu. then is it that there is no danger or diffi­culty be it neuer so great which his souldiours will not o­uercome; no incounter which they will not force; no en­terprise which they will not happily compasse. As for a Prince there is no mony better bestowed then that where­with his Captaines whet and intertaine the courage of the Souldiour.Plut. lib. 2. c. 5. & 6. li. 1 [...]. c. 4. Gel. lib. 5. cap. 6. This was the cause why the Romans beside the ordinarie pay of their armies, ordained crownes for them which had in the wars saued the life of a citizen, first entred the breach, or boorded a ship: these were termed Coronae Ciuicae, Murales, & Nauales.

7 The Turkes, to our confusion, are not inserior to the Romans, be it either for the choice they make of their soul­diours, [Page 26] or for rewarding them. For they chuse from among the nations vnder their obedience, the most warlike, and take of them but the flower and such as are most proper for the wars, sparing not afterwards to recompence them at the full. It is a thing incredible with what continuall excercise they inure their souldiours, in so much that euen from the cradle (if a man may so say) they traine them vp vnto the wars. The intertainment the Turke giueth them is sufficient; but as for the rewards, honours, and commo­dities he shareth among them, it is hardly to be expressed: There is not any Prince at this day liuing that may in this regard bee compared to him; and which is more, the mea­nest of his souldiers vpon his vertuous behauiour in armes is capable of attaining to the most eminent charges and dignities of his estate, and of inriching himselfe with ine­stimable treasure. To confirme this, the goods which Meehmet Bassa left behinde him, (who of a Christian Apostate aspired to that greatnesse) were valued at two Mil­lians of Crownes. In a word they are sure that rewarde wai­teth alwaies vpon valour. Moreouer the prowesse of the priuate souldiours cannot be smothered amongst them, it is rather immediatly discouered and notice taken thereof. Of all the Ottoman Princes Mahomet the second was the most bountifull, for he gaue beyond measure, so as some­time he increased the souldiours pay a thousand fould. Selim the first did the like; and it is worth the noting, that as those two surpassed the residue in liberality, so did they in honourable and triumphant victory.

That he hath maintained his Souldiers in military Discipline.

  • 1 A very great army may be easily ouerthrowne by a meane army.
  • [Page 27] 2 The cause hereof, and benefit of the latter.
  • 3 Care is to be had that an army be not ouercharged with baggage.
  • 4 A Generall-with more ease may command a meane, then too great an army.
  • 5 Souldiers are animated by the perswasion and presents of their chiefe commander.
  • 6 They are in seruice to be well acquainted with one an other.
  • 7 The incumbrance of huge and ouer great Armies.
  • 8 How it commeth to passe that the Turkes so great numbers of men proue victorious.
  • 9 Defects in Christian armies.
  • 10 Obedience of the Turkes.
  • 11 Battailes lost through disobedience of the Souldiours.
  • 12 The military discipline of the Turkes notable.

1 THe happy successe of battailes by those of ancient times with such wisdome at­chiued, makes it most apparent vnto vs that most commonly the meane armies haue ouercome the great. Alexander the Great, diuers Grecian Captaines, a­mongst others Miltiades and Themistocles, and among the Romans Lucullus, Scylla, Pompey and Caesar alwaies assailed and vanquished the barbarous people rather with vne­quall then equall numbers, if we respect the multitude; but they went far beyond them if we consider their mili­tarie vertue. In these latter times the Commanders of the Emperour Charles the 5. and of King Philip his sonne haue likewise gained the victory of many armies greater then this.

2 To such as demaund the reason of it, I wil answere that it was because the principall strength and sinew of an army consisteth, in affection, in military Discipline, and in a well disposed order in the day of battell: without which parts an army is as fraile as glasse. A few may be more ea­sily and orderly ranged then many. Vertue vnited is al­waies [Page 28] more powerfull then separated and disiointed. Hence is it that bodies of an indifferent stature are for the most part more vigorous then such as are ouer great and huge, which the Poet (speaking of Fidaeus) expresly sig­nifieth in these words. Maior in exiguo regnabat corpore virtus. Great vertue in a little body raignd. And Virgil alluding to the Bees saith, Ingentes animi angusto in corpore versantur. In slender bodies they haue mighty mindes: questionlesse a meane army must needes be more stable and vnited then a great, because multitude is naturally ac­companied with confusion, commonly waited vpon by disorder.

3 Moreouer, it is a thing of high consideration to be able to take such order that a campe be not incombred with baggage: rather that it be free and manageable, so as it may be euery where commodiously cōducted, ranged and euer in a readinesse to gaine and make good dangerous & difficult straites and passages; that it be not tired and dis­couraged for the long marches it must often vndertake; that it doe not faint for such accidents as diuersly chance, nor for any exploits or executions which present them­selues vnexpected. All which a meane campe will be more proper to performe then a great: for it shall not neede so great a quantity of victuals, nor so great an incombrance of baggage or cariage as the other.

4 Moreouer seeing it is more profitable and necessary that an army be conducted & gouerned by one only Generall; and that it depend of no other then him; It will be more easily effected in a meane then a great army, especially compounded of diuers nations. And this dependance shall be better ordered if the Generall can content himselfe with small store of luggage and that well trussed vp. The multitude of meane causes slacketh alwaies the course of the efficient, and keepeth backe the fruite thereof. A lit­tle army hath not neede of so much luggage as a great.

5 And it is much better that the Captaine himselfe know his souldiours and they him; then to rely vpon the credit [Page 29] and report of such as are vnder his charge; for the souldiour that shall heare himselfe named by his Captaine aduanceth himselfe so much the more, and becommeth more desirous of honor. Whereas if he see himselfe forgotten and vntes­pected of him which commandeth, he groweth distasted and out of heart, and almost carelesse how matters haue their procedings. Who doubteth that the presence of the Captaine or Generall of an army doth not serue as a motiue to the souldiour to make him diligently preserue his repu­tation, and to shunne the reproch of cowardise? which he will not so carefully performe, if he finde himselfe out of the presence of his Commander, or that his Commander make as if he did not see him.

6 It is good also that the souldiers frequent brotherly together, for that assureth them more, and maketh them trust to one anothers assistance in time of the most crosse fortunes. All these parts incounter and are intertained more easily in a meane, then in a great armie.

7 Which is often attended vpon by more inconuenien­ences then the other, as by famine, plagues, contagious mutinies and dissentions. There is yet another dangerous inconuenience which is most vsually the companion of a multitude; that is, that they forme to themselues a confi­dence of their owne forces greater then they ought: of this confidence followeth a contempt of the aduerse power, of this contempt a presumption, author of infinite mischiefes.

8 But how happeneth it then (will some say) that the Turkes haue euery where gained the victorie by multi­tude? Would you know how? Because they haue betimes trained vp and instructed their great armies, to keepe so good an order, as well in execution, iudgement, military discipline, readinesse, as disposition to armes, that they are become as tractable, and easie to manage as ours though meane and few in number.

9 On the other side we haue suffered our armies to slide into such insolencie and libertie, as we can hardly rule and [Page 30] conduct them without so many dangers, confusions and luggage, as it were enough to trouble Captaines of great policie and experience; and to say the trueth, see wee not that the Turke more easily furnisheth an hundred thousand men with vittailes, then we fiftie thousand? for besides that his souldiers make not, as ours, any account of the diuersitie of vittailes, of delicacie or of toothsome morsels, they drinke no Wine nor Beere, which importeth the consideration of almost the one halfe of our munition and charge.

10 What need I speake of obedience, nurse of the or­der obserued amongst them? since it was neuer seene that the Turkes euer lost battaile through disorder, much lesse left off pursuing any attempt for their souldiers mutinies.

11 Whereas almost all the battailes we haue bid them, had not beene lost, but by the meere disorder and disobe­dience of our men. Whereto may we impute the misera­ble losse of Nicapolie, 1396. but to the disordinate rashnesse of the French, who serued at that time in the armie? Sigis­mond king of Bohemia (afterward Emperour) seeing that contrary to his will and commandement they aduanced themselues as couragiously as vnaduisedly. What shall we speake of the ouerthrowe of the same Sigismond which hapned some few yeeres after?1409. came it not to passe by meanes of the disordering of his infantery? which being not yet fully set in battaile array were couered with a cloud of arrowes, let flie by the enemy so to the purpose as they were all hewen in peeces euen vnder the noses of his horse; which seeing themselues destitute of foote were strooke with such a feare as they betooke themselues to flight not without the losse of many good souldiours and worthy Captaines, all to the shame and confusion of the Christi­ans. Ladislaus King of Polonia, 1444. was he not ouercome at Varna through the disorders of the Bishops of Strigonia and Varadin? who to the end to chace inconsideratly the ene­my, shaken and flying in one part of his army, forsooke their rankes to pursue them, so making way for them: who [Page 31] laying hold on the occasion came with the rest of their ar­my to charge them there where they lay most open, in such sort as they wan the victory most miserably slaughtering the Christians.1541. At Buda, 1538. at Exechium, 1560. at Gerba, and in sun­dry other places where we haue bene ouercome, it procee­ded rather of our disorders then of the Turkish forces.

12 So as we must acknowledge that the Turke excelleth vs both in number of good Souldiours and in all other mi­litary discipline: He is followed with such numbers of men as it seemeth he relieth wholy on their multitude, but it is in so good a manner as if he respected nought but order & military discipline, parts (to our dishonor) far from vs.

That he hath made no reckning of other forces then his owne.

  • 1 The wars are to be maintained by our owne strength, neither must we rely vpon forraine powers.
  • 2 The good and ill that resulteth of both these.
  • 3 Conditions of confederate forces.
  • 4 Other inconueniences which arise from assistance of for­raine powers.
  • 5 Examples of Leagues against the Turkes.
  • 6 Their defects, hindrances of their successe.
  • 7 The Turkes not accustomed to make Leagues with any, but vsing their owne forces, haue ouerthrowne many ar­mies confederates.
  • 8 With whom they might well haue ioyned in league to their aduantage.

1 ALl high enterprises either for preserua­tion of an estate, or for denouncing of warre, haue beene ill plotted and as ill caried when they haue relied vpon the assistance and fauour of a third power, and not of our owne; seeing that from [Page 32] hopes and proiects so ill grounded we neuer come to in­ioy the fruits which such a succour, the desseigne of him that enterpriseth, & his extraordinary preparation promi­sed vs; rather they are infallibly attended on by some la­mentable accident which vtterly ouerthroweth them.

2 Since oftentimes it falleth out that the expectation of such succour promised, serueth rather to slacke the course of our endeauours, and lessen the preparation of the enter­prise, then otherwise to forward or better them; were it not for the confidence of such succour he that attempteth would prepare his forces proportionable to his proiect, and not trust to outward helpes either of friend or confe­derat. Who doubteth, when we so repose our selues vp­on an others forces, and that he is at charge for our loues sake, that he doth not make vs more backward to prouide and disburse of oure owne store? But this is not all: the worst is, that while we thus expect, time wasteth vnprofita­bly, and occasion (which once escaped cannot be laid hold on) is let slip and lost without recouery: for whilst we so attend our assistants our practises are discouered.

3 And who will beleeue that a friend or associat will em­brace the desseign of him he assisteth, or wish his good for­tune with such harty affection, as he wil not be ready vpon the least occasion he shall desire to finde, to leaue him in the lurch? And without question this occasion will offer it selfe at any time whensoeuer he hath a purpose to dissolue the league and couenants agreed vpon betweene them; es­pecially if he be the stronger and more mighty, and finde not himselfe interessed in the successe of the enterprise, for which he tooke armes and became confederate.

4 We may also adde another defect and imperfection; & that is, if the succour we attend be to be assembled from diuers places, or, that the windes (if it be by sea) or some vnlooked for accident (if by land) hinder by so many meanes the preparations for the war and intended voiage, as that the season fit for execution escapeth him that enter­priseth; so as before he begin to march or set forward to [Page 33] the Rendeuous his opportunities of attempting or atchie­uing any memorable act, vtterly faile him in a matter which he had before discreetely enough plotted and disposed: moreouer he cannot beare swaie as master of the confede­rate forces, insomuch as he which sendeth succours may vnderhand deliuer to his Commanders memorials and in­structions more strict and limited, then the necessitie of the vndertaken affaire would permit. Also the least distaste either of the Prince which assisteth, or of the Captaine which conducteth such succours, serueth oft-times to dis­misse the promised forces, deceiue the others expectati­on, and bring all he vndertaketh to nothing: So as he re­maineth not onely more weake by this disappointment, but his owne forces also become vnprofitable, and conse­quently himselfe exposed to all wrong and ruine: for as if one only wheele of a clocke be out of temper, it sufficeth to disorder the whole motion; so where the vndertaker faileth but of one part of his promised troupes, the effects, which in part depend thereon, likewise faile, and the course of his warlike designes remaine crossed and peruerted. I will not forget also to say that a campe consisting of such borrowed peeces, hath necessarily need of many heads to command it, and an armie compounded of so manie heads (because of the diuersity of opinions and affections) will most commonly haue the woorse when it commeth to handie blowes.

5 We may illustrate these discommodities with exam­ples that touch vs neere, and are familiar vnto vs, and were not long since practised; for this cause I will more willing­ly, then otherwise I would, heere produce them. In our time we haue seene two most memorable leagues between the Pope, the king of Spaine, and the Venetians, consent­ing and vnited to vndertake one warre against the Turke: the one was vnder Pope Paul the third,1537. and the other in the life time of Pius Quintus. The first was caried with an excessiue charge, yet without any effect woorthy so great an assembly: The cause in my opinion proceeded of the [Page 34] difficulty that was found to ioyn in one body the confede­rat forces, and draw them together at the Rendeuous in due season: for they met not till the end of September. Al­though an other inconuenience may be alledged to this purpose, which ouerthrew, the good successe of such a holy and Christian attempt; yet it may appeere that to auoide the shame and dishonour that followed thereof, it had beene easie to haue performed somewhat of more memorable consequence, then was the taking of Castle-nouo, if we had knowen how to husband the times and occasions fit for the imployment of so combined a power. Concerning the se­cond, which was (as I said) in the time of Pius Quintus, 1570. the army of the Venetians, very gallant and strong, spent all the sommer in attending the Galleis of Spaine which were to conuoy succours into the Ile of Cypres then attempted by the Turke; so as this slacknesse of assembling the Galleyes was a cause that the army became almost quite vnfurnished of good souldiours drawen together to their great costs by reason of the plague which had made a most pitifull ha­uocke amonge them. Notwithstanding all this they for­beare not to make towards Cypres so late, as by the way they receiued the newes of the lamentable taking of Nicosia: Which made them imagine that the Turkes had, vpon that commodity, most strongly manned their Galleys (as it was likely enough) with land Souldiours, and that therefore there was more appearance of danger thē of good successe in assailing them: vpon which consideration they held it best to turne their course homeward and refer that businesse to an other time; hauing then thus dishonorably behaued themselues: returning they incountred so many misfor­tunes, as well weather beaten by reason of the Winter then approching, they at length arriued at their home sorely brused and spoiled. The yeare following the army of the consederats met, notwithstanding all this very late, yet vn­dertooke they to incounter the enemy, of whome they got that so renowned victory in the yeare 1571. if God had permitted vs to reape thereby those worthy fruits that we [Page 35] had reason to expect. Now for all this Cypres was not re­couered but remained to the infidell as the reward and wa­ges of his valour. The third yeare of the league the king of Spaine, in stead of pursuing his enterprise against the Turke as he had determined, caused Don Iohn of Austria Admirall of his fleete to stay at Messina, because he then doubted that the French would assaile Flanders, with such forces as they had that yeare rather suffered to take breath then wholy cased and dismissed: So as the whole season was spent vnprofitably without attempting ought worthy such preparation, as the confederates had in due time set forth. This was an occasion of excessiue charge, and that the armies did not once stirre till it was too late, attending what their neighbours would do, who, as I haue said, see­med to threaten the King of Spaine with some attempt vpon his country of Flanders. In the meane time the Vene­tians, tired with the charge and trouble they were at to no purpose, treated a peace with the Turke.

6 Who will make any question now (those things well weighed and considered) that if the leagues (both the first and second) had beene well caried without these cros­sings, iealousies and suspitions which accompanied them, (though vainly and vpon no ground) but that they would haue brought foorth some woorthie and honorable fruite, to the glory and honour of God, the peace of his church, the encrease and establishment of the Christian common­wealth? This may be enough to prooue that forces com­pounded of diuers nations, depending of many and diffe­rent heads, are in marching more slowe, and at a time of need lesse effectuall then others. It may appeere to some that I heereby inferre, that leagues betweene Princes are vnprofitable, and therefore not to be made: so farre is it from me to maintaine that opinion, as I rather willingly embrace the contrarie: but I reserue a time to handle how and in what manner it would be good to make such a league, (especially against the Turke) when I shall arriue at the place appointed for this purpose, to the end I may [Page 36] discourse of it at full.Vid. l. 3. c. 7. 8. 9. Now let vs returne to the argument of discourse in handling.

7 The Ottomans neuer made league, either offensiue or defensiue with any: and neuer had helpe of strangers: on the contrarie, they haue alwaies had to doe with armies compounded of different nations confederate, and con­ducted by sundrie Commanders, all which (as ill vnited, not vnderstanding one another) they haue euermore van­quished. Moreouer we haue ordinarily seene them more forward and deliuer about their enterprises being alone, then accompanied; and consequently more vnited in their force, more nimble in execution, and (it must needes fol­low) more renowned and fortunately victorious.

8 Yet they had no lacke of whom where with to practise their associations (if they had approoued them as good & necessarie) as among other with the Soldan of Caito, with the kings of Carmania and of Persia, and with many other great princes al of their owne sect and religion, who would not (as it is to be supposed) haue set light by their league and amitie; especially then when they saw them so in­crease in power and greatnesse. But they haue euer made verie slender account of such practizes and confederacies, esteeming them vnprofitable for him, who of himselfe hath a high courage, and forces answerable wherewithal to goe thorough with a conquest, which they iudge will ad­mit no sharing or diuision, since the ambition of rule striues to be alone and brookes no fellowship, no not be­tweene brothers; as little betweene father and sonne. It is true, the Turkes haue sometime taken to their seruice some few troopes of Allarbs paied as mercenaries, in like manner as now a daies the French entertaine the Switzers and other forreigne nations; but they neuer termed them, as they now vse, Confederates or Associates, titles inuented pur­posely to giue colour and applause to such leuies.

That he hath to power ioyned cunning and deceit.

  • 1 Machiauels peruerse opinion of not obseruing faith, reiected.
  • 2 The ground of a Princes authoritie and estimation laide by the obseruation of his faith.
  • 3 Confutation of Machiauels opinion.
  • 4 Breach of faith a heinous crime.
  • 5 Other mischiefes that spring out of Machiauels position.
  • 6 To obserue faith is godly, honest, and profitable.
  • 7 What we are to conceiue of the Turkes falshood and periury:

MAchiauel amongst other vertues where­with hee would adorne his imagined Prince,Princ. c. 18. woonderfully commendeth dis­loyaltie in a great person, affirming that he ought not to make reckoning to ob­serue his treaties of peace or ought else he vndertaketh, at the least when his game is faire: and that he may at such a time without scruple of conscience, or other honest respect, violate his faith, breake the lawes of nations, and his oath. A thing questionlesse vnbefitting a magnanimous spirit, and which ought neuer to haue place among the actions of a Christian Prince, to the end he may not by so foule and dishonest a staine disgrace the residue of his vertuous operations. This makes me esteem this axiom so lewd and detestable, that we should blush, so much as to imagine it, much lesse to propound it as a pre­cept for Princes; who are not to professe other then Iu­stice and generositie. It is good for none but those whose case is desperate, and who respect not that their posteritie condemne them for men of foule and cauterized soules.

2 To say the trueth, no man can with reason gainsay, re­nowne and a good reputation, as well at home as abroad, [Page 38] to be the most firme foundation of all principalitie. And what reputation can a Prince haue either among his owne people or strangers, if he be noted for a disloyall, vnfaith­full, and periurde person, one that stands neither to his word nor agreement?

3 Machiauel to conceale the fault he not ignorantly committeth, saith, that this is sometimes most requisite for the good of Princes affaires, since occasion once passed is irrecouerable. What more meere folly could he disco­uer to his confusion, then in thus concluding, that a Prince is not to regard the bond of his faith, if the good of his estate present an occasion to violate it? Truely none at all: neither were it necessarie according to Gods lawes, or the carriage of humane affaires, that Christian Princes were of that minde; for it would prooue the direct course neuer to see but fire and sword amongst vs.

4 Such as are good detest these opinions,1539 as did hereto­fore Frances the first; who professing faith and honour, re­iected such counsaile when the Emperour Charles the 5. about the establishment of the affaires of Flanders, passed thorow France, and vpon the Kings word, crossing his country came to Paris. That word this Noble Prince pre­ferred before the greatest good that could betide his e­state, if he would haue retained the Emperour, and con­strained him to forgoe the places and estates he held in Lombardy and Italy, whereto the King pretended a right, which he often vnprofitably disputed, as did also Henry the second.

5 By the same reason a man may also say that sometimes it is well done to ransacke Churches, robbe Altars, op­presse innocents, and succour the wicked: for there is not any vice so detestable, or crime so hainous that sometime carrieth not with it a shew and colour of good, and pro­ueth not profitable to him which in due season performeth it; were it for nought else but because he attaineth the ef­fects of his corrupt will. If that were not, should wee haue so many murtherers, falsifiers, sacrilegious persons and [Page 39] men giuen ouer to all reprochfull vices? if thereby they did not reape some temporall commodity?

6 I will yet adde further, and maintaine it to the end, that for a man to keepe his promised faith, and be so accounted of by the world, is a worke of God and without compari­son much better then to violate it and embrace such a dam­nable opinion as that of Machiauel, yea though the profit were immediat and such as might afford wherewithall to ballance his breach of faith and promise: Not to keepe touch with one is enough to incurre the suspition and ill conceit of all; neither is there any which will not thinke he doth God good seruice in performing the like towards all such Princes as shall take such courses; which will yet far­ther administer matter for an other repentance, to see that when they shall tell or meane truth no man will beleeue or trust them. I could illustrate this proposition with infinite examples but I will content my selfe with that one of Duke Valentine sonne of Pope Alexander the 6. cited by Ma­chiauel, as a perfect Captaine; who without respect of truth, his oath, reuerence of religion, or honour, which is so charily to be preserued amongst men ordinarily, aban­doned himselfe to all disloialty, breach of faith, and what­soeuer other wicked and traiterous courses; so they caried with them some shew of present commodity. This man during the life of his father went thorow with certaine his designes, borne out rather by the Popes authority then any fortunate successe of his mischieuous attempts. After the death of his father it was quickly seene how smally du­rable are all such estates as are founded vpon deceit.Iou. lib 8. hist. For he found himselfe immediatly forsaken of his friends and pursued by his enimies; so as more liuely to expresse what he came to, after he had most maliciously hatched & atchi­ued so high enterprises, he serued (as they say) but for a cipher, and was as one that had no being, leauing nought behind him but only the footsteps and a cursed memory of his wickednesse, which made his life and name infamous to all posterity.

[Page 40] 7 Some one will tell me that the Turkes haue done the like, and haue vsed all sortes of cunning, deceit and tre­chery, towards their neighbours, and that neuerthelesse they haue thriued by it. It is true, but the causes are dif­ferent, and yet we see that the most disloiall amongst them were not the most assured in the forces of their trecheries. Amurath the second, Mahymeth the second, Baiazeth the second, Selim the second, were held the most subtile Princes of their race; but we must grant that if those their wicked procedings thriued for a time, it was more through the coldnesse and dissentions of the Christians when they should haue reuenged and repelled their iniuries, then that we should therefore beleeue that it is well done to proue periured and disloiall. Amurath the second made proofe of it to his cost, and hauing receiued an ouerthrow at the handes of Ladislaus King of Polonia,At the Moun­taine Hemus. he speedily made peace with him and turned his forces against Caramania, where whilest he was busied, Ladislaus iudging (so perswa­ded and backt by Pope Eugenius) that hee should not doe amisse to falsifie his faith with a Barbarous Turke of so insolent a nature, and so capital an enimie of Christendome as all breach of peace might seeme as a true performance thereof; resolued to make war vpon him on the sodaine, which proued so dangerous as Amurath was neere tum­bling from the top of an high and glorious fortune to the lowest degree of misery; so as his estate was neuer more shaken and endangered; if the Christian army (which fol­lowed their victory) had not, as I haue said, disordered thē ­selues: Whereupon the glory and triumph fell to the In­fidels to the great misery and confusion of the Christians.At Varna. Selim the second,1444. hauing vnlooked for, attempted vpon the Venetians to the preiudice of his vowed faith pulled vpon his necke the forces of the league,1570. & had too late re­pented himselfe if God in regard of our sinnes had not in such sort sealed vp the eies of the Christians as they could not see nor make their benefit of the gate his diuine Maie­sty had set open to a more high enterprise then the losse [Page 41] they receiued at Lepanto. Soliman that was held the most wise Prince of all the Ottomans (if wisdome be able to shine where there is no light of true faith and Christian beleefe) hauing vnderstood at such time as he caused his army by Sea to fall downe towards Ottranto the yeare 1537. that Mercurin de Gatinaro and the Citizens of Castro were made prisoners after they had surrendred the place con­trary to promise, hee foorthwith commanded that they should be released, saying that disloialtie to violate their faith and word once passed, was not the meanes to win the hearts and likings of strange nations.

That he hath beene alwaies serued in his wars by good and vali­ant Captaines.

  • 1 Whether an experienced Commander and rawe Souldiers: or experienced Souldiers and an vnskilfull Comman­der be the better.
  • 2 The first best allowed and the reasons.
  • 3 Examples heereof.

1 IT is ordinarily disputed amongst Soul­diers and martiall men, which is the better, a good Captaine emploied about the conducting of an armie consisting of raw Souldiers, or an armie of old Souldiers committed to the command of a raw and vnexperienced Captaine.

2 As for me (if my opinion may carie credit amongst so many, sufficient to decide this question) I hold it better that a worthy and valiant Captaine should haue the charge of an armie of vntrained men without experience, then that an armie of old Souldiers trained and beaten to the wars, should be recommended to a Captaine, yet a nouice and [Page 42] vnskild in the profession of armes. The reasons proper for the maintaining of this proposition are so plaine to such as without being obstinate or passionate, in behalfe of either party, will entertaine them, as they are not to be gainsaid: for is it not much more fit and easie that a good Captaine make and fashion a campe of rawe Souldiers, then that good and experienced Souldiers prepare and fashion their Captaine to the conduct of an armie? who can without shame denie that an armie doth not rather obey the voice and command of their Captaine, then the Captaine of his armie?Male impera­tur cum vu [...]gus regit duces. Senec. trag. otherwise it were as they say, to set the cart before the horse.

3 Now we must come to such examples as may instruct and make cleere the truth of my proposition. If we will as we ought, examine how many times the Christians haue beene ouerthrowne by the Turkes, we shall vndoubtedly finde, that it hath euermore hapned rather through want of experience,1396. courage, sufferance, concord, and authori­tie in the Commanders; then for any other default. So at the battailes of Nicepolis, for that such like Captaines did set light by the Turkes forces, and tooke not a sufficient suruey of them, they receiued a most shamefull ouerthrow, a woorthy reward of their weake experience, in not know­ing how to fight with those barbarous nations,1526. whom they might well thinke wanted neither skill nor valour. Did not Lewes king of Hungary by meanes of the Bishop of Tomerea (who brought him almost to the slaughter) in­dure the like disgrace, at the battaile of Mogoria, for want of experience in matter of warre, and of iudgement suffi­ciently to discouer the enemies forces, and the passages of the countrey where he was to buckle with him? In like sort was not the vnskilfulnesse of the Italians cause of that vi­ctorie the Turkes gained at Grado, who had then for their leader Homarbay, Generall of the Turkish armie? Also the yeare 1537. at Exechium (Mahomet Iahiaoglis being Gouernour vnder Soliman of Belgrad and the frontiers of Hungarie in the time of king Iohn) the great Caziauer [Page 43] losing his courage, did he not abandone to spoile, death, and ruine a faire and strong armie, which he commanded for the Princes of Germany and Italy, some one troupe excepted, which dishonorably togither with him saued themselues by flight? Also before this heauie losse, did not Anthony Grimani Generall of the Venetian armie faile of courage when with great aduantage he might haue charged the Turkes,Sabel En. 10. l. 9. and put them to the woorse?1471. The very like want of experience and valour was seene in an other Venetian Generall, who shamefully left the Ile of Negropont to the spoile of the enemy. To conclude, haue not the Christians beene so many times put to the woorse neere about Buda, for want of valiant and experienced Captaines, as it cannot without griefe be related? On the contrarie, the Ottomans haue neuer suffered misfortune of warre; at the least for lacke of authoritie, command, or wisedome in managing their armies: for they themselues haue in person conducted them, and beene present at all their high exploits and important enterprises by them at­chieued. They haue likewise euermore committed the charge of their difficult actions and affaires of warre to the most valiant and experienced Captaines amongst them, whom they had formerly well knowen, trained vp, and ex­ercised to such charges by infinite proofes of their courage and wisdome in most dangerous and difficult occasions. In summe, experience is that which perfecteth valor. The Turkish Emperors haue alwaies giuen to their Captaines ample power & commission freely to dispose of their most important affaires, wherin they haue bene thus happy that we cannot finde that euer such Captaines lost battaile for lacke of command or obedience; or that they euer for want of courage or experience in the arte military, made stay or question of their proceedings. Of all the Bashas that euer had the managing of matters of importance, & had grea­test hand in the affaires of their Masters, Acomet was the chiefe (who serued Mahomet the 2. and added much to his greatnes by obteining many glorious victories) insomuch [Page 44] as he was no lesse feared then his Soueraign. To him Sinam may be ioyned who liued vnder Selim the first, and being slaine at the battaile of Matarea (wherein he wan the victo­rie for his Master) Selim said of him that the death of so worthy a man as he, was cause of such great griefe vnto him as it equalled the ioy he conceiued for so happy a victory: such also was Barbarossa that famous pirat, who for his ma­ny warlike acts wan the renowne of a valiant Captaine, and was most highly reputed of his Master Soliman, for whom he performed many memorable enterprises as wel by sea as by land. Hence we may gather that vndoubtedly a great Prince cannot doe worse then commit the charges of his wars, the dignities and conducts of his armies, to them which inioy his fauour but vnworthily: he should consi­der the deserts of others, & especially of such as with more sufficiencie would render an honorable account of so wor­thy an imploiment. We see it fall out oftentimes that for default of wel measured elections a Prince plungeth him­selfe and his estate in a thousand dangers and confusions through the insufficiency of his vnskilful ministers: the ex­amples of such infortunate euents would fill this volume if I would stand to relate all such as my memory presenteth vnto me. But omitting all I will only put you in minde of the Emperour Charles the fifth well knowen for most iudi­cious in all his elections, meruellous in his actions, mighty for the great number of his excellent Captaines bredde and trained vp vnder him; all which can witnesse the care he had in his choice, and in very deede they did him such seruice as by their meanes he enlarged his do­minions with many rich Prouin­ces, adorned his scepter with most memorable victo­ries, and his house with triumphes to his im­mortall glory.

That he hath made no skippe in his enterprises.

  • 1 Vnited vertue strongest.
  • 2 The strength of kingdomes by their situation.
  • 3 What it is to skippe in an enterprise.
  • 4 Kingdomes preserued by the coniunction of their subiect prouinces.
  • 5 Confirmation of the Roman Empire.
  • 6 The meanes of establishing an Empire by confederacies.
  • 7 The French as quicke in losing as in conquering countries.
  • 8 We are not to indeauor so much to conquer as to keepe.
  • 9 The Portugals and Spaniards distracted gouernment.
  • 10 Industrie of the Ottomans in conquering.
  • 11 An admonition to Christians.
  • 12 Horror of the Turkes.

1 NOthing would be so strong as a poinct, if it were to bee found in nature; at the least if the rules of the Mathe­matiques be true as they be held, be­cause being most simple, it cannot be corrupted either by inward beginnings, or outward causes; so is a body more induring and power­full, the neerer it approcheth to the resemblance of a poinct, that is to say, the more it is vnited and compact in it selfe. And in very deede as nature vnable to bring to passe that all the world should be one only body, made it continued and ioining one part vpon another; and as to preserue this continuation, she in all she may opposeth Vacuum, which is onely able to corrupt and destroy her:

2 So estates become more durable, and of greater abi­litie to maintaine themselues when they are (as I may say) sowed, linked, and bound together, the one helping to [Page 46] entertaine and preserue the other. Hence we may gather that such prouinces as haue their situation trussed vp to­gether in a round forme, are more strong and mightie then such as extend themselues in length: as for example, one may say of France in comparison of Italy, because this latter resembling a legge stretched out is lesse fit to defend it selfe then France, which is round, as her prouinces lie and are situate: whereby she is consequently not only more vnited in her forces then Italy, but also more nimble and able to maintaine herselfe then the other.

3 Now let vs come to our discourse and make it appeare what it is we vnderstand by this discontinuation, and that which we tearme to skip in our enterprises. It is properly when we regard not the contiguity (if I may so say) or neere adioyning of our estates; and that happeneth as of­ten as we leaue an enimy behind vs, at one side of vs, or otherwise, in such sort, as he may crosse, cut off, beseege, or inclose vs when we so inconsideratly skip or stride; we may likewise saie that he truly skips who crosseth from one country to another so far distant, as by that time he hath finished his voiage, his strength failes him and his troopes proue so out of heart and tired, as they become vtterly vn­profitable. We may alledge for example that which befell the Emperours of Germany, the king of France and of Eng­land in their voiages of the holy land, for the length of the iourny, the far distance of the country, the diuersity of the Climate, the change of the aire, and many other such like inconueniences, so tired and discouraged them by rea­son of the trauailes and miseries they had suffered vpon the way, as they could not attempt any matter of importance, or goe thorow with their enterprise according to their proiect: not vnlike a ball which stirreth not from the place where it is once setled, through want of that moo­uing power which should tosse and raise it. So if these Princes at the first arriuall did affoord any proofe of their courage, valour, and likelihood of good fortune; the lan­guishing of the principall motiue suddenly made them [Page 47] lose their aduantages, and reduced the whole to tearmes vnwoorthy the merit of their holy intentions and trauels.

4 We must then allow that it is requisite for the preser­uation of estates, either that their prouinces touch and in­tertaine the one the other, or that their forces be of ability to maintaine themselues of themselues: for this continua­tion hath of it selfe such force and efficacie for the lasting and preseruation of estates, as we see that common-weales and meane kingdomes haue thereby longer maintained themselues then great and rich monarchies. Wee may alledge for example the common-weales of Sparta and of Venice; of the kingdomes of Persia and France, whose rule hath much longer endured then that of the Sarazins, of the Mamelucks, or of other more mighty Empires. The cause proceedeth, as I haue said, of the vnion of that enter­tainment and coniunction of prouinces, abutting the one vpon the other, which is of such vertue and efficacie to giue strength and continuance to a monarchie, as it almost exceedeth conceit and imagination.

5 The Romans which saw wel enough that the inlarging of their Empires limits, trained after it a consequence of a necessary dispersing of their forces, endeuored by al means possible to reunite this body, augmented and made huge by their aduantageous conquests; reducing to their obe­dience and rule, all they got both by maintaining suffici­ent forces vpon the frontiers of their Empire or garrisons in places of importance, as also by establishing Colonies, and infranchising many strong townes, with bestowing on them the like liberties as the people of Rome enioyed, by them tearmed Municipia. In other places also they in­stituted certaine fraternities and assemblies of people, with prerogatiues of the Romanes priuiledges, which they named Conuentus: Moreouer, they committed estates and intire kingdoms to the gouernment of certaine Princes held and esteemed as friends of the people of Rome. By these meanes ioyning them to their loue as well by gratifying them with their liberty and bounty, as with [Page 48] other priuiledges, honours and dignities, whereof they did partake in their towne as in right of Citizens: They tearmed these townes and people their confederates, and the Kings their friends. As for example in Africke they had Massinissa, and Iuba; in Asia, Eumenes, Prusias and the King of Egypt. In Europe those of Marseilles, Autum, Auerg [...], Rennes and others; making account more to auaile themselues by such confederacies and amities then by meanes more strickt and seuere: so then power is esta­blished and continued either by our owne forces, or by an­nexing of the forces of our friends which serue vs as a continued rampart and conducteth vs out of danger euen into the country which we intend to inuade, and that with so much the greater aduantage, when vpon some part it confineth with the country of our confederates.

6 But because we are neuer able with good assurance (es­pecially Princes amongst whom this is a tickle point) to maintaine so good intelligence, it is requisite if we will make this vse of an other, to make him confident either through the hope of participation in our conquests, or else by intimating vnto him (if he be our inferiour) an euident assurance in our proceedings, and such a plainnesse and in­tegrity in all our other actions, as euen that may rid him of the distrust he might conceiue of being one day praied vp­on and brought vnder by that insolencie which accompa­nieth the prosperitie of fortune, and may serue to stretch the conscience of a conquering Prince. After we haue in this manner framed an impression of our integritie in the heart of our neighbour, we may march in his countrey as securely as in our owne, and rest assured that we shall by him be furthered and assisted.

7 The French could neuer keepe any countrey by them conquered abroad, vnlesse it were Piemont and Sauoy: for it one day they had gained a foote of land, they were enforced to forgoe it the next, no sooner winning it, but they lost it.

8 We commonly say, that there is no lesse vertue in him [Page 49] that keepeth them in him that getteth.Non min [...]r est virtus quàm quaerere, part [...] tueri. I affirme that there is neede of more dexterity in keeping then in getting, for an amazement of the people we inuade, a rebellion in our behalfe, or any other such like sturre makes vs easily masters of that whereto we aspire; but to preserue what we get, we must maintaine a continuall counsaile which must haue all the parts thereto appertaining, as grauity of iudg­ment, ripe deliberation, nimblenesse to dissemble, indu­stry ioyned with a daily heedefulnesse and patience to at­tend occasions. The French (which are reputed the most warlike nation vnder the sunne,) are but too sodaine, o­pen, impatient and of too stirring a nature; for proofe you shall obserue that what they atchieue not when they first attempt, they almost neuer compasse it: all their boil­ling heat is soone exhaled and spent by the sodaine feruen­cie of their courage, which most commonly transports them beyond all moderation and aduice most requisite in what wee vndertake, without heeding the end for which they begā. This negligence together with their impatience hath made way to all the misfortunes which out of their countrie they haue induced: The voyage of the Terseras and certaine other attempts vpon the Portugales haue not long since confirmed this opinion, and made the wound of their vnhappines bleede a fresh. Lews the eleuenth, a prince of an approued wisdome and cleare sighted in mat­ters of estate, would neuer lend any eare to the perswasi­ons of sending an army into Italie or other remote parts; reiecting all such practises, as well for the reason formerly alledged, as because of the infidelitie which he thought to be in the Italians, and particularly in them of Genoa. If Charles the 8. his sonne, Lewes the 12. Francis the first, and Henry his sonne had inherited this their predecessors opi­nion, they had not with such excessiue charge, mishap, and misery attempted Italy.

9 Heere some one will obiect that neuerthelesse the do­minion of the Portugals is of 90. yeares continuance or thereabout in the Indies, so far distant from the first spring [Page 50] and originall. The like appeareth in the gouernment of Philip King of Spaine spread and diuided in so many pla­ces aswell in Europe as in India. Surely it is not possible to imagine a greater distance then from Lisbon to Ormus, Goa, Malaca, and Ternate, so as from Portugale to their farthest Conquests, there are no lesse then twentie thou­sand miles; and although they endeuour to ioyne these estates so seuered, by the neerenesse of sundry fortresses heere and there bestowed in the midway (as Zofala, Mo­hambique, Melinde, which belongeth to a certaine King their Ally, besides other like meanes) yet all these are but weake sinewes long to sustaine the vnion of so far separated members. But it is Gods pleasure that by how much the foundations of this rule are more feeble and subiect to be shaken, by so much the more we should admire the omni­potency of his diuine Maiesty, whereby they are main­tained, fortified, and protected. The dominion likewise of the King of Spaine is spread into so many parts of Asia (especially by meanes of annexing the crowne of Portugale) of Afrike, of Europe, and of the new found world, as there appeareth in this preseruation a greater mi­racle then counsail or humane prouidence, for in very deed to rule so many and so seuered nations differing in religion, manners and tongues without stirring from home, is it not a worke of heauen rather then of humane policy or dis­course? God therefore which hath of his goodnesse made him owner of so many and so goodly countries, hath not denied him wisedome and counsaile to know how to or­der and maintaine them, as he doth, vnder his obedi­ence.

10 The Ottomans haue ordinarily behaued themselues more iudiciously in this one part of conquering (without inconsiderat skipping) then in any other of their actions. For neither couetousnesse of inriching or inlarging their estate, nor the easinesse of attempting, nor the intice­ments of peoples insurrections, nor the thirst of reuenge (which commonly makes Princes mighty in men and [Page 51] mony, forget themselues when the maintenance of their authority & credit is called in question, especially percei­uing the law in their hands to execute more readily then can particular persons) nor any such like motiues haue beene able, as I said, to induce the Turkes indiscreetly to skip or to ingage themselues in any enterprise far from home. Rather on the contrary they haue marched faire and soft from country to country, and deuoured (as they continue still to doe) all such as confine and are neigh­bours vnto them. Hence hath growen the consequence of so many happie victories, the benefite of so great and rich conquests; the course of so easily preseruing what they haue gotten.

11 I haue said that for the most part they haue not in­consideratly skipped or strid in their enterprises, as the Christians doe and haue done: and as we see, when any of them haue taken such waies to greatnesse, the fruits and effects haue not prooued answerable to their proiect and promised fortunes. This vnhappinesse, common with the error founded vpon the reasons formerly alledged, ought hencefoorth to serue as an instruction to make vs become more wise and regardfull then we yet are, to the end that after we haue by an holy and vniuersall amendment ap­peased the wrath of God, we may war against them with the same policies and aduantages as they haue practised in raising themselues to our cost and confusion. These examples also should admonish vs of what is to be feared, to wit, least failing to chastice & humble our selues, his di­uine Maiesty inflict vpon vs a more seuere punishment, then that we haue hitherto indured, and for this cause open a more large gate to those infidels vtterly to ruine and de­stroy vs.

12 Now lest any one should thinke I haue against rea­son held that the Turkes haue not, as we, forgotten thus inconsideratly to skip, I will recite certaine examples to that purpose. The first then that did it, was Mahomet the second, which vnfortunatly attempted Italy, Soliman per­formed [Page 52] the like against the same country, after the inter­prise of Diu in the Indies, which was vndertaken the yeare 1537. then that of the yeare 1542. that of Ormus 1552. and finally vpon good grounds the attempting of Malta which was so valiantly defended by the Knights of the or­der, as (next the honour due vnto the diuine Maiestie) all those braue Gentlemen, who with their grand Master Parisot, made it good against the Infidels, deserue to be consecrated to all praise, and to a most glorious and eter­nall memory.

That he hath not spent time vp­on enterprises of small importance.

  • 1 Get the greater, the lesse will follow.
  • 2 The besieging of some small holde, may be the hinderance of the whole expedition, this exemplified.
  • 3 The Turkes discretion in their expeditions and sieges.
  • 4 The best course is, to become masters of the field.
  • 5 Error in the siege of Malta.

1NAture as wise and prouident, doth not busie her-selfe about the birth of euerie particular thing, but rather setteth her hand to the generation of the substance, which without any further paine, is af­terward attended on by the accidents euery where inseparably accompanying her. In like sort a good and discreet Captaine in the carriage of his enterpri­ses, should not aime at ought else but to conquer the pla­ces of importance; for of their consequence other infe­rior parts of the estate come tumbling in (as it were) of themselues, which as vnseparable accidents or qualities, [Page 53] vndoubtedly follow the first examples of greater moment, whereon dependeth and subsisteth the others being.

2 We haue often seene, that a paltrie Sconce (either be­cause of the naturall strength of the situation, thicknesse of the wall, goodnesse of the matter, couragious obstinacy of the defenders, or some other accident not foreseene or dreampt of, hath stopt the proceeding of a royall armie, and hath prooued it selfe as able to withstand the force thereof, as a citie greater, richer, and more peopled. And though we become after masters of such blocke-houses and small fortes, yet that is no furtherance to a more im­portant conquest; or helpe to the enterprise begun. We finde written that the Emperour Maximilian, because he to no purpose spent so much time about Asola (which he striued to subdue by the way, for the reputation and credit of the armie, he conducted to Milan) inconsiderately lost the occasion offered him to become Lord of that Duke­dome; and performed not any thing after to the good of his affaires. The French also, after they had passed the Alpes in the time of Lewes the 12. thriued not in their at­tempts of the kingdome of Naples; hauing vpon an ill ground vndertaken Rocca-Secea, where they engaged both their honors and liues; for hauing besieged it cer­taine daies, and giuen the assault in vaine, they lent leasure and courage to the Spaniards, to bethinke themselues: made their powers lesse valued for so badde a beginning, and discouraged the people for euer attempting any thing in their behalfe, as no doubt they had done if they might haue seene a fortunate and better digested proceeding then theirs was, the name of the Spaniard being then odi­ous amongst them. This fault made the Spaniards so bold as to say, that the rest of the kingdome was reserued for them, and not for the other, who had so ill husbanded their opportunities. In the yere 1556. holding on the said designe for the conquest of Naples, did they not vainely spend time, money, their forces, and paines at Ciuitella, to the ruine of that goodly armie which Henry the 2. of [Page 54] France sent thither vnder the command of the Duke of Guyse: who was neuerthelesse a valiant and discreet Cap­taine, and who had perhaps done better if his particular interest, or the ouermuch trust he reposed in the Popes Nephewes, had not blinded him: Other reasons may be alleaged for the small good this armie did the king, who had conceiued of it great and honorable hopes; but I will referre them to such as write that Historie. The Spaniards also haue thrice attempted the Ile of Gerbes,1560. and euerie time lost a goodly and florishing armie, able to haue per­formed a farre greater matter then they could hope for by getting the henroust (if I may so tearme it.) The yeare after the battell of Lepanto the armie of the confederates,1572. which was then in the Leuant, hauing their forces aug­mented by the arriuall of Don Iohn, made Ochiallo Gene­rall of the Turkish armie, retire to Modon, as fearing those of whom he had made triall the yeere before. If they had put him to it as they should haue done, no doubt but they had found him dismaide, and hardly bestead how to de­fend as well the fortresses as his armie by sea: for he had not left aboue 60. gallies, to garde the hauen, and had be­stowed the rest of his forces one yeare. But when he sawe they went to besiege Nauaria neere Modon, and that they had no saying to him at his landing, as he feared they would, he tooke heart at grasse, and after made a iest of the designes of the Christians armie, which he in such sort held plaie and entertained, as it performed nothing woor­thie such a power assembled immediately vpon the good successe of a former victory.

3 The Turkes in what concerneth the ordering, com­moditie, and assurance, in their enterprises, surpasse (to say the very trueth) all other nations for well managing of war­like affaires: for they neuer attempted place that the de­signe thereof was not farre more woorth then the paine they emploied about it; or that the enterprise did not de­serue the like or more expence: carying themselues thus, they are by the effect of their enterprises growne mightie, [Page 55] for force and meanes, and haue opened the way to the encrease of their greatnesse and successe of their affaires: which in such sort assuring (wherein they haue aimed prin­cipally at profit) they haue more and more weakened our forces, not without an euident consequence of extreame danger: when they tooke in hand the conquest of Cypres, they were wise enough not to bestow time in taking Cery­nes a fortres almost impregnable. They foresaw that it was of small moment, at the least not to import much in that they intended to compasse, but they rather directed their course and indeuours against Nicosia, as against the principall place of all the Iland, whereabouts they so well imploied their paines as they caried it. By which conquest it was found that Cerynes soone followed, (as of a necessa­ry consequence) the disaster of their capitall towne.

4 In all the executions of their hardy dessignes they haue alwaies at the very first beene Masters of the field, which hath so furthered them as thereby the strongest holds of the country, which they could not otherwise haue gotten but by force of armes, haue beene surrendred vp vnto them. Such fortresses being vnable long to hold out when all hope of succour is cast off by the opposition of so strong and mighty armies as theirs are.

5 At the war of Malta it seemeth God did dull them,1560. ouerthrowing the policies and practises which are ordi­nary with them. For the Bassa (who would needes begin with S. Hermes because it seemed commodious to stop vp the hauen and after to get the suburbs where the knights made their aboade) consumed much time about it, and lost the better part of his best souldiours. In the meane space the season of the yeare spent so fast, and the resoluti­ons and valour of them in the towne prooued such, as in the end he grew confounded, perceiuing too late how flenderly he had preuailed, and that he must necessarilie begin a new with the principall place, which he should haue at the first attempted, if God (as I said) for the good of Christendome, had not blinded him in his enterprise. [Page 56] Dorgut Raiz Vice-roy of Argiers, who was to second this Basha in all his warre, and to whom he was commanded to communicate his designes assoone as he should arriue, (which he did some few weekes after his first setting downe and beginning to batter) soone discouered his error, and could vpbraid him with it, telling him he shuld haue gone right on to the fountaine, without stooping to the shallow streames. So as after the taking of S. Hermes, they did not performe or attempt any matter of importance, but as men tired and discouraged, they trust vp bagge and bag­gage to be gone assoone as the succour appeared before Malta; these leauing behinde them the memorie and testimonie of their shame, and ill grounded aduise, and the knights of their honour and valour.

That he hath laid hold on occasions.

  • 1 Occasion pourtraied.
  • 2 It is to be obserued.
  • 3 Examples of the Ottomans diligence in laying hold on oc­casions offered by the Christians.
  • 4 The difficulties of a defensiue and offensiue league.
  • 5 The false guesse of the selfe-ruine of the Turkish Empire.
  • 6 The weaker Princes are easily subdued by the mightier.
  • 7 Other occasions offered by the Christians to forward the Turkish greatnesse.

1 THe ancient Romans signified vnto vs by the picture of occasion (whom they adored as a goddesse, putting wings to her feete, supported with a bowle, be­hinde bald, and before hairie) that we must bee diligent to apprehend her when shee presenteth her-selfe, and not in any case to let her slippe: considering that if she once escape vs, she lea­ueth vs nought but a vaine and vexing repentance.

[Page 57] 2 And to say the truth, in all a mans actions. There is nothing more commendable then to be able to make the best vse of occasion and especially in mater of war. In as much as he that knoweth his aduantage, how to take it and to carry the time before him is furnished with the principall adorning vertue of a Captaine, occasion being no other thing, then an opportunity that the time more by accident then prouidence offereth vnto vs, for the well performing of what we haue in hand, and for the abstaining and well comming off from a dessine vnsesonably attempted, as the euent of the aboue mentioned interprise may sufficiently witnesse. This is that these Infidels haue studied at such times as God hath made them his instruments to afflict and chastice vs, and this is that we ought to doe against them, for the glorifying of Gods diuine Maiesty, not yet for ought I see pleased with vs. In a word all such as haue inlarged their estates haue either inioyed or hammered out some notable occasion which they wisely laid hold on, and haue consequently reaped the fruites of an vnusu­all aduancement. The Grecian and Romane histories can teach vs this, but I omit them as too far from vs, to betake my selfe to such as are more familiar and neere vnto vs. Pepin and Charlemaine were by the Romish church called into Italy:735. the like was Charles of Aniou into the king­dome of Naples. 800. Those of Aragon were inuited to Sicily by the people and to the conquest of the kingdome of Naples by Queene Ione the second:1263. The house of Austria is at this day inriched with many goodly kingdomes brought them by their alliance and mariages: one where­of subiected vnto them the Lowe countries,1476. the other gaue them Spaine with her apurtenances, the third for a perfect raising of this howses gretnesse, annexed vnto it the crowne of Portugale and the east Indies,1579. so as if we neerely consider humaine casualties, we shall finde that force without occasion is fruitlesse or smally auaileable.

3 The Ottomans haue not attained to the height of so mightie an Empire but by such occasions as we haue too [Page 58] carelesly,The Christians ministred occa­sion to the Otta­mans of their owne ouer­throw vnworthily, and as of our free bounty, presen­ted vnto them. The first sprang from the negligence and cowardice of the Emperors of Greece, who through their extreame lasciuiousnesse and sloath (Sardanapalus and He­liogabalus like) became deformed monsters of all loosenes and riot:1 The first oc­casion: the sloth of the Emperours of Greece. So as abandoning themselues to all voluptuous­nesse and excesse, that martiall vigor which had till then honored and preserued them, began by little and little to decline amongst them, and next amongst their people, (these framing their manners after their gouernours) which prepared meanes and occasions for the Turke to set foote one while into some inferiour prouince, and ere long into a mighty kingdome.2. Occasion: enuie of the Emperours of Greece. The second occasion which shewed it selfe fauorable and proper for the Turkes, was, when the Grecians vpon a malicious enuy began to disfauour and oppose the dessignes of the Christian Princes which had by league vnited themselues for the conquest of the holy land, and so ill aduised they were as insteade of seconding them they crossed them in all they might, to the end to stop the fortunat proceeding of their woorthy armies, not hee­ding poore soules that they thereby befriended the Turke; who did but watch his opportunities. For they well obser­uing this fault, and temporising the occasion which after appeared, failed not to spie when they might surprise them (as they did) all beaten, tired, and disunited in force and meanes, whereupon it finally insued that the Christians were vtterly expelled Iury,About anno 1290. by the Turkes, who after tur­ned their armies against the Greekes themselues and berea­ued them of their Empire. These were mischiefes and wounds by them well deserued, neither are they to be pit­tied, but so far forth, as they haue bread the calamities and ruines which haue and doe still continue to afflict Chri­stendome.3. Occasion: the ciuill wars of the Emperors of Greece.

The iarres and diuisions of the Princes of Greece mini­stred the third time an occasion to the Turkish thriuing greatnesse:Iohn Paleolo­gus. This hapned at such time as the Emperour of Constantinople was so ill aduised, as to craue the aide of [Page 59] Amurath the first to defend him. This Prince which lay still in waite, willingly sent his troupes, not to succour, but to discouer the country for the better aduancement of his designes; and in very deed the souldiers returning from that voiage, deliuered so aduantageous reports of the ri­ches, pleasantnesse, and fruitfulnesse of that country, paint­ing it out vnto him so abounding in all commodities ne­cessarie for the life of man, as he foorthwith resolued to at­tempt it,1363. so as not long after without bidding, he in person passed the Streight, and so well husbanded the occasion to settle himselfe in Europe, as since his successors haue there made the principall seate of their Empire. The di­uorce and separation of the Greeke church from the Ro­maine,4. Occasion: the separation of the Greeke Church from the Roman. prepared a large way for the fourth occasion, em­braced by the Turks, more aduantageously to ouertop vs: since this diuision was a meane to distaste and allay the courage of the Princes of either partie, neither hath it euer since beene possible to reconcile or vnite them by a­ny good or firme intelligence, so as remaining in this sort diuided, they haue neuer beene able to enterprise ought woorthy Christian pietie, or the greatnesse of their pow­ers and monarchies; thereby to cut off and ouerthrow (as they might and ought) the proceeding of the common enemie of Christendome; who getting by his negligence, scope and libertie, is growne greater to our vniuersall hurt, which those princes haue euermore fostered; a disease now by their obstinate diuision growen remedilesse.5. Occasion: the Turkes aide called into Ita­ly. This euill hath prooued the more lamentable because of the discord amongst other Christian Princes which refuse to make their benefit of others calamities, or to acknowledge them as corrections comming from the hand of God.

This mischief grew greater at such time as some Poten­tates of Italy inconsiderately called the Turke to their suc­cour, shewing him the way into our seas farther then was conuenient. In this regard our portes stood open vnto them, they entred and conuersed with vs as with friends and associats, a thing most abhominable before God and [Page 60] man, and of most dangerous consequence. And to the end I be not held an outlasher, I will reckon some of those that haue so ouershot themselues. Alfonso the second king of Naples,1498. and Lodouick Sforsa duke of Milan, were those that brought in Baiazet the second: that against the French, this against the Venetians. Isabell Queene of Hungarie craued aide likewise of Soliman, 1540. against Ferdinand king of the Romans.1543. Francis the first of France, and Henry the second that succeeded him, d [...]d not onely let in the Turkish power into our seas, but suffered them also to land at Nice and in Corsica, leading captiue at their re­turne, an infinite multitude of poore Christians, (without respect of amitie, age, or sexe, which they snatched vp in those places and along the Adriatick coasts.

The sixt occasion obserued and embraced by the Turkes,6. occas. the plurality of the Christian Princes. may be said in my opinion to proceed from the consideration they haue had of the pluralitie of Christian Princes, supposing (as it is true) that it could not be with­out that iealousie and suspicion which ech man particular­ly conceiueth of his owne estate, ranke, and dignitie, and and so the whole being deuided into diuers gouernments, it must follow the parts should be more feeble and scanted of meanes to vndertake against him: since (as we haue saide) vertue vnited in one entire body, is alwaies more strong then separated into many parcels. That which is woorse, is, that in this diuision of Monarchies, the ambi­tious thirst of greatnesse, hath taken dangerous footing amongst Princes, and hath bred (as by a necessarie conse­quence) discord, separation of willes, diuersitie of de­signes, and varietie of pretences, of all which partialities, hath sprung suspition, the common plague amongst prin­ces. This suspicion like a canker hath contaminated the vnion and rid the meanes how to knit and establish a holy league and confidence amongst them for a defensiue or of­fensiue war.

4 Now to make a defensiue league against the Turke is in these daies a hard matter in so much as the princes of [Page 61] Christendome are so far from one another, and some es­pecially from the enemy, as like men out of danger they weigh it not esteeming themselues most assured: And to vndertake to establish an offensiue league is no lesse diffi­cult seeing the profit of their conquest cannot be drawne to a proportionable equality, it may be also euery man feares the greatnesse of his companion (although neuer so much his partner for aide and common association) but aboue all he that hath the most commodious hauens or his Prouinces most proper for the mannaging of the war. Or else he who can better maintaine his conquests would proue the most suspected and maligned. These considera­tions hinder them from vniting and assembling themselues as they ought for the common good.

5 Moreouer euery one flattereth himselfe that time and the worlds ordinarie change will breede ruine and alterati­on in the estate of the Ottomans, and settle their affaires without being constrained to expose themselues to dan­ger, trauell, and charge.

6 Another reason and inconuenience may yet be alled­ged that each of these princes being weake in respect of the other they cānot so couragiously resolue to vndertake what were profitable and necessary for them; whence it groweth that the feeblenesse of their strength is yet made more fee­ble by this irresolution; so as a mighty power charging them they shal remain subiect to the discretion of the indi­screet enemy: by these means the lords of the seueral parts of Lombardy became the pray of the Venetians who sub­dued them with as much facility as resolution; But had the repulse when they attempted the state of Milan, vt­most limit of their power, dominion, and conquests. Af­ter the same sort also the French in time past brought vnder all the Prouinces of Gaull, but when they would enter the confines of Spain, the opposition of that neighbour-great­nesse stopped their course and was a rampart to defend them from further proceedings. In the very like manner the Turkes hauing deuoured all the Princes of Greece, [Page 62] Macedonia, 1408. Bulgaria, and Seruia attempting the inuasion of Hungaria,1412. they had their hands full, since the valour of these Kings and people (so fashioned,1438. hardned and enured, of a long time to the wars, as they were the better able to make head against them) discouered it selfe to be greater then the consideration of their indifferent estate could well beare, as witnesse the exploits of Ladislaus and Mathias Coruin, who found the Turkes play to their cost. But so soone as those Kings and people did forgoe this first va­lour and suffered the exercise of armes to degenerat,1521. Soli­man ouercame them both at Belgrade and at Mogacia. 1526. Af­ter the Turks had gone thus far, they met with that bar of the house of Austria seconded by the German forces, and supported by the power of the king of Spaine; who shewed himselfe alwaies fearelesse of the Turkish forces: As for the Venetians they haue euermore (backt with the Popes and the Spaniards power) behaued themselues most honora­bly: one happinesse there is that those places of Christen­dome which border neerest vpon the Turke were neuer in more mighty hands, nor had euer so few Princes to rule them, as at this day: whence groweth an infallible conse­quent that they are more easily defended and maintained, especially hauing that particular coniunction of the power of Spaine, which is such as the Turke cannot stur without incurring an apparant danger; It being manifest that be­sides that the king of Spaine is of ability without feare to resist him, he can also with his owne forces curbe him and bring him to reason. So as the Turke awed by so mighty a king, will not, as he was wont, so so one bend his forces a­gainst the Christians his neighbours. The Muscouit on the one side, and the kings of Polonia and Persia on the other, are of such power and courage, as they will alwaies make the fame of their particular forces, to be both respe­cted and feared.

7 The diuersitie of opinions in matter of religion, haue made way to the seuenth occasion,7 Occasion: the diuersity of opinions in Re­ligion. haue disunited the courages, spent the forces of the Christians, & haue made [Page 63] them rise vp in armes one against an other. In the meane time the Turke getteth footing, groweth great in sight of all men, and is become a terror to Christian Princes.

Disloyall and traiterous Renegades or Apostates,8 Occasion: treason and disloialtie. are those which haue discouered to the Turkes the Christians secrets, haue acquainted them with the aduantages of landing and inuading, haue beene guides to their armies into the very hearts of our richest countries, and haue opened the doore of the eight occasion.

But for the ninth,9 Occasion: the Turkes peace with some Chri­stians, to warre with others. let vs consider what subtilties they haue practized, and whereon that hath beene principally grounded. I am of opinion, that the better to order their affaires, and seize vpon the Christians with more security, their leagues, treaties of peace, and suspensions of armes, passed betweene them and our Princes, haue beene their greatest furtherances: for the Turkes neuer warred with anie Christian Prince or Infidel either to defend their owne estate, or with hostilitie to assaile an others, but they first of all made their countrey sure against the power of their neighbours, but aboue all, such as (see­ing them elsewhere busied) had meanes to disquiet their affaires, inuade their territories, and assaile them at vna­wares. The peace they haue so long maintained, with the Polonians can testifie as much: Againe the quiet they haue suffered the Venetians to inioy for these many yeares sufficiently bewraieth with what care they handle this bu­sinesse. The continued peace they keepe with the French teacheth vs likewise with what prouidence and wisdome their matters are caried; to the end not to receiue any in­combrance or interruption by meanes of strange enmities, at such time as they proceed in their enterprises; They take truce with the Emperour alwaies to their aduantage; and lately intending to war vpon Persia they dealt for a suspen­sion of armes with the King of Spaine, so as making all sure on one side they in a trice assaile the other, heereby so well playing their parts, as hauing the law in their hands they remaine as arbitrators of peace and war, pursuing al­waies [Page 64] the course of their dessines with an aduantage too great vnworthy and preiudicious to the Princes of Chri­stendome; whose greater part is so awed by their forces, as they haue often chosen to enter into conditions of a dis­honest peace or truce though neuer so vnassured, rather then to expose themselues to the danger of their mighty armies: not heeding that thereby they haue lost many faire occasions of doing good vpon them: whereof we neede not seeke farther for examples then now that the King of Persia keepeth them in continuall war (at least if such newes as comes thence be true) and that he hath lately giuen them an ouerthrow neere Taurijs of aboue foure score thousand men. Which if it be so, what better occasion can you de­sire (ô ye Princes of Christendome) to set vpon them and reuenge the dishonour of our passed iniuries? Can it be o­therwise but that in their former incounters and in this last they must haue lost the flower of their captaines and choice souldiours, and is it possible that the swelling pride of their command and greatnesse should not shortly vndergoe some change and decrease if you will intertain the occasion which God offereth you? ô but you sleepe and are alto­gether vnprouided to assaile them. They are our sins that hinder vs and haue bred the disorders of ciuill wars which disquiet France and the Low countries, with such obstina­cie and cruelty as these Princes haue worke enough to or­der their owne affaires: their neighbours in the meane time hauing their eares filled with the noice thereof, looking what will become of such sturs and fearing lest the fire which so cruelly burneth their neighbours house, should fasten vpon theirs, which makes them stand vpon their guard to keepe out such broiles & disorders. In the mean time the Turke wanteth no time to recouer his losses; and to laugh at oure inconsiderate follies; follies indeede for vs, but wisdome for him. It is a maruelous matter to con­sider with what succes and aduice he hath quieted his neighbours, in such sort as he hath beene neuer knowen to haue had two quarrels in hand at one time. Imitating [Page 65] heerein the wisdome of the Romans who had an especiall care not to haue two enemies to deale with at once, but if they assailed one, they tooke order by deuice and friendly meanes that the other were lookers on, or associats in their trauailes. Selim the first, which warred with the Persians, so ordered the rest of his estate, as during all the time he was imploied that way,1514. the Souldan of Egvpt neuer distur­bed him: his sonne Amurath continuing the same enter­prise, neuer receiued let of any Christian potentate.

The dessignes of the Princes of Europe,1536. & the wars they haue so long and so wilfully maintained one against the o­ther, haue affoorded the Turks a large passage for the tenth occasion to benefit themselues by their obstinacies & diui­sions;10 Occasi [...]n: Christian Prin­ces warring one vpon an other. neither haue they omitted nimbly to lay holde on it to some purpose for the good of their affaires. What enmities were euermore cruelly exercised with fire and sword then those our ancestors and we our selues haue seene betweene France and Spaine? What malice was e­uer more deepely rooted then that of the two Kings? What nations are there in the world more mighty or more valiant then these are; and hence let vs consider what pro­fit, what comfort would haue redounded to Christendome, and what fearefull ruine to the Turke, if by some holy league they had beene vnited; such vndoubtedly as there should haue beene no memory of them, whereas they are now most mighty, and most dreadfull. If we will descend to particulars, was there euer Prince that had better meanes to conquer the Turke then Charles the fifth? For besides his valour, inuincible courage, and other notable parts which shined in him, he had sufficient force to execute his enter­prises: he was followed by Captaines of incomparable vertue, his souldiers were most resolute, his people and Prouinces were all most desirous of so holy a war, he had hauens and roades fit wherein to harbour his ships, and in a word he had whatsoeuer was necessary, but how? He was alwaies constrained to haue an eie behinde him, to stand vpon his gard, because of his neighbours who spared [Page 66] not to molest him as soone as he did but once aime at so holy an interprise. King Philip his sonne hath met with the like incombrances: so as we may well say our sinnes haue ministred occasions enowe to the Turkes to assaile vs with such aduantage, as it hath beene an increase and establi­shing to his estate, we alwaies shrinking at the cruell shocke of his mighty forces. Amongst all the Ottomans Amurath the first was the most diligent to hunt after, and embrace occasions, who (as we haue already deliuered) sent his supplies to the Emperour of constantinople,1360. passed the straights in person and got into his hands the two Castles. Baiazet the first, his sonne shewed himselfe nolesse poli­ticke and prompt to discouer his aduantages,1363. patient to at­tend his occasions, and diligent to gather the fruits where­with his hopes presented him.

That he hath behaued himselfe with nimblenesse and celeritie vp­on his occasions.

  • 1 The fortune of warre consisteth not in discerning but in the vse of occasion.
  • 2 Celeritie in wars most expedient.
  • 3 The Turkes readinesse and wisdome in that kinde.
  • 4 Furtherance of this celeritie.
  • 5 Impediments of the Christians in their expeditions.
  • 6 Treasure requisite.
  • 7 Exact obedience in Captaines and Souldiers and an obser­uation of militarie discipline.
  • 8 Strength and abilitie of men and horse.
  • 9 Examples of the Turkes celerity.
  • 10 In their sea-actions and their order:
  • 11 Defects of the Christians shipping.

[Page 67] 1 BEcause this Chapter, in regard of the continuance of the matter in handling, is but as one dependencie and coniun­ction with the former, we will still make vse of this word Occasion, heeretofore discoursed vpon, as of a table wherein is represented all whatsoeuer our forefathers haue concei­ted of it; and what we ought to admit thereof: following this path we are to remember that who in time laieth not hold on occasion, shall neuer more inioy a like time to re­couer it with the like commoditie of wel doing as he once had, if he had knowne how to entertaine it as hee ought. To discouer then the opportunitie of affaires, is not al that is required:Veg. lib. 3. c. 26. That which most importeth, is to serue our turnes with it at an instant, when it presenteth it selfe, to guide our intentions to that perfection we aime at.

2 Celeritie is an especiall matter in all affaires of impor­tance, but aboue all in the warres, wherein it is more neces­sarie then in any our actions. Because (as saide Selim the first) the least delay we therin vse, turneth to a grosse error, especially since it bereaues vs of the commoditie and ad­uantage offered to put in execution, what we had wisely and with studie determined: Hannibal a woorthy and re­nowned captaine, was noted of slownesse, not in resoluing but in embracing his occasions of victory which might haue assuredly established his affaires. That great Pompey was likewise subiect to the same imperfection, which did vtterly vndoe him. In a word, no motion wanting speedi­nesse, can be of much force, or produce woorthy effects: Violent agitations loose alike their force with their swift­nesse, but such as are naturall attaine it, and fortifie them­selues in it.

3 This is that the Turkes know well enough how to pra­ctise, fashioning themselues to quicknesse, nimblenesse, habilitie, and to a certaine store of whatsoeuer may seeme necessarie to that purpose, so as their promptnesse and [Page 68] forecast hath neuer omitted the occasions presented vnto them without reaping the fruites and glory thereof.

4 But some one will say, that it is requisite for the sud­dainnesse of occasion that many things relie in the power of him that will follow this course. I grant it, for they in­deed who will fitly make vse of such aduantage, must be alwaies in armes, and heerein also the Turke surpasseth vs, for he continually entertaineth so many souldiers, as it were hard to take him vnprouided, or to finde him (when need requireth) without a mightie army, which serueth to hear­ten him, and to awake his courage: but aboue all, he hath so great a number of horse ordinarily in a readinesse, as that is but too sufficient to make him proudly humour his owne will; so as thought and execution are in a manner one with him. This is yet farther accompanied with a powerfull commoditie which addeth facillititie to his promptnesse; and this is, that his horse and foot are light­ly armed, and without incombrance of luggage, so as by this meanes he more easily assembleth his troups, ordreth them, and conducteth them wheresoeuer he pleaseth, without distinction of time. Againe, sobrietie and sparing (familiar among his souldiers) make much to the aduance­ment of his enterprises, contenting themselues, as they do to drinke water and eat rice and salted flesh, which they re­duce into powder, so as euery one carrieth with him his prouision almost for a moneth, and when that faileth, they liue by the bloud of their horses, which they salt them­selues, like as doe the Muscouites and Tartars.

5 On the other side, when our souldiers march, they must haue such store of munition follow them, to their so strange confusion and hinderance, as they are neuer able to goe thorow speedily with any notable attempt. This bringeth a twofold let to their enterprises. The first in their prouision, which in the vnmeasurablenesse thereof is neuer made in due time. The second, in the conuoy thereof, ne­uer so well ordered as it ought, whereof the euent of the enterprise of Exechium, is but too true a testimonie, the [Page 69] souldiers then suffering more in regard of the famine and difficultie of conueying victuals vnto them,1538. then of-the enemies forces.Qui frumen­tum necessari­umque com­meatum non praeparat vin­citur sine ferro. Liu. l. 3. c. 26. Whose attempt had beene vnprofitable if the campe had not beene disordered by this inconueni­ence, whereby the souldiers became halfe dead for hun­ger, and grew so feeble, as the courage to defend them­selues vtterly failed them. Which the General of the Tur­kish armie foreseeing, waited till such time, as the famine had brought them low, and made them strengthlesse, that he might vpon their enforced retrait assaile them behinde, and so wearie them with continuall skirmishing as they should at length chace and ouerthrow themselues, as in­deed it came to passe. I remember I haue heard one wor­thie to be credited,1557. say to this purpose; that when Emanuel Philibert Duke of Sauoy, deceassed, was Generall of the armie in Flanders, he found no difficultie in the wars more important then the discommoditie of proportioning and carriage of necessarie prouision as he had oftentimes ap­prooued. On the contrarie, it may be said to the Christi­ans shame and confusion, that neuer any of the Turkish ar­mies were knowen, through such default, to suffer extrea­mitie or to be disordered.

6 Let vs now come to the point of sodaine execution, and to the instruments thereof, and let vs dwell somewhat thereupon. I finde the most necessarie and profitable is to haue alwaies store of money in our coffers: and that is a hard matter, especially for such as are not prouident, and that in all things so pamper themselues as the Christians doe; but not for the Turke, for he hath (when and what he will) in store to serue his need for the warres, and for whatsoeuer belongeth thereto. This is the sinew of warre, and the onely meanes to hasten forward occasion, and at­taine (as he doth) to a happie end of his enterprises, but at his returne home, he obserueth a barbarous and insolent course of remboursing his charge: After he hath perfor­med what he vndertooke, he repaieth himselfe by new im­positions, whereto he enforceth his subiects to contribute: [Page 70] This to him is easie: but to vs the most difficult materiall point is the procuring of money: for the greater part of Christian Princes are so bad husbands and of so small fore­caste, that they haue scarce one crosse in store: and are al­waies at the borrowing hand, or enforced to pawne their lands and demaines. And though the Christians be not so couetous as the Turkes, yet they are of so good a hold fast, as no small time will serue to draw money from them, so as while that is doing, occasion hath alreadie turned her backe and left vs nought, but the shame and sorrow of our enterprises ill successe and effect. And if it chance that we hold on our courses, it is with such head­long rashnesse and ill aduice in all we doe, but particularly in prouiding of armes, horse, munition, and other neces­saries, as all being performed out of season, there is neither the forwardnesse, the array, the election, the aboundance, the resolution, nor the well disposing of matters which would otherwise haue beene, and which we see to be in our aduersaries.

7 There is another thing which addeth much assurance to the Turkes designes, and makes them more easily to execute: and this is the incredible obedience of the Cap­taines towards their Generall, and of the souldiours to­wards their Captaines and such is the loue amongst them as there is no danger or difficulty (be it neuer so great) which they will not easily ouercome, so willingly they per­forme what is inioyned them. It was neuer heard that any reuolt or mutiny stopt or slacked the course of their con­quest.

8 They haue yet another most considerable aduantage and that is the strong constitution of their men, spirit and speed of their horse. Where on the contrary our forces dare scarce bouge vnlesse they be backed and strengthned by forrain succors either Almines or Switzers, people faint and of little courage vpon a sodaine and vnexpected acti­on, as being framed of a dull and slow mettall seruing for nought but to make good the intire body of a battaile, and [Page 71] be vnto it as a solide and vnmoueable rampart.1542. The in­counters they haue had with the Turke at Buda and else­where haue taught vs how vnprofitable they are & of how slender effect for the speedy and happy aduancement of the affaires of Christendome in those parts: Moreouer the Turkes horse are of more speede and strength then ours: the spanish Genet is indeede nimble and full of Spirit, but wanteth strength and breath: Contrariwise the horse of Germany is able and strong but tender withall and not rea­dy vpon the hand, so as he is more proper to make a stand and defend then to assaile, skirmish, or giue the chace. The Napolitane is good and strong but of such a nimble­nesse as is not held for perfect speede, on the other side the enemy hath the Hungarian good for seruice, the Bar­bary horse of incredible swiftnesse, the Valachian, the Tur­kish, and the Moore almost hard for induring of trauaile and well breathed, so as we may conclude that he inioyeth whatsoeuer is necessary for the war, better, more redy, and in greater aboundance then we, and that this is it which makes him speedily and with aduantage, to serue his turne with all occasions which present themselues.

9 There are so many examples of this aduantageous ce­lerity in their actions as they are almost innumerable; but I will only note two or three which may seeme in a manner prodigious so admirable hath beene their successe. Amu­rath the second hauing intelligence of the great forces lea­uied by Ladislaus King of Hungary (with whom he had formerly concluded a peace) with an intent to ouerrunne him,1444. being then busie in the wars of Caramania; he so­dainly quitted that interprise, and with such maruelous speed crossed all the Helespont as in seuen daies he ariued at Varna with fower score thousand men, In like manner Sche­der Bassa imploied by Baiazet the second to diuert the at­tempt of the Venetians vpon Milan, 1498. came with such extra­ordinary speed as he appeered in the territory of Treuiso before they could haue newes so much as of his departure, lesse of his arriuall in those parts.1516. Selim the first marched so [Page 72] speedily from Cesaria to Aleppo, crossing the mountaine Aman with his army and artillery, as he came vpon the Souldan before he dreampt of him supposing him to be as then rather vpon his way to encounter the Persian then to attempt him.

10 This particular dilligence of the Ottomans is not to be limited all only with their land wars: they haue performed as much by sea, so vigilant and wary haue they shewed themselues in exalting the honour of their names, and of their great estate, by them maintained euen vnto this day: And since they are so incredibly nimble and aduised in maritine exploits, I hold it not from the purpose to touch briefly the order they obserue in assembling their forces. They reiect the vessels and ships of great burden as ouer­heauy and vnwealdy if the wind faile them, rather hinde­ring then furthering him that conducteth them. Their Gallies and Galliots are speedy, well manned and well ap­pointed.

11 Wee on the contrary drag with vs a great number of ships and Gallions as our best strength and choice prouisi­on, but they are in proofe the cause of such incombrance to the seruice in hand, as we for the most part waste the sea­son vnprofitably and spend our opertunities in rigging and attending them; being also oft times enforced to dis­order our Gallies, to the end these great cartes may keepe with vs. Hence groweth yet another discommodity, and that is, that hauing placed a kinde of hope in our ships, we in forgoing them, finde our selues too weake and failing of courage to assaile the enemy; who is not to be forced to fight but when he please,Antiently cal­led Nicoplu a city of Epirus. hauing too open a field to flie and espy his occasion, as it hapned at Preueza the yeare 1537. and at the battaile of Lepanto which was the yeare 1571. for then the ships of the league remained behind with a good number of souldiours vnprofitable for that action, in regard they could not ariue there time enough. The yeare after they encountred the like discommodity: since for the very same cause the army of the league, good­ly [Page 73] and mighty fought not at all, neither performed ought worthy so great a preparation. And when the Gallies of the Pope and Venetians met, and that they attended Don Iohn (who aboade still at Missina, because of the then be­ginning troubles of Flanders) the army of the Turk being then commanded by Oechially, 1572. he once presented battaile, but because of the aduantage of the winde which without other helpes draue our ships, and fearing the incounter of our round vessels, he made his escape by meanes of a cer­taine stratagem, which for the strangenesse thereof put the counsailes and iudgments of our army to a plunge. In verie deede it is worthy the noting: for seeing the whole strength of our ships vnited with such confederat Gallies as were then there, make towards him, he gaue comman­dement that in euery one of his Gallies they should put fire to a barrell of powder and row backewards (not making for al this any shew of flight, the prowes of their gallies still appeering towards them) and as soone as the smoake had couered his fleete he halled on a maine, and in an instant hoissing vp al his sailes shaped his course to Napolis in Ro­mania, our ships not daring to follow him.

In regarde he had gotten the aduantage of them they bearing but their mizen sailes, and knowing how dange­rous it was for them being ignorant of his designes, to breake company: eight daies after we comming neere to­gether there followed some light skirmishes, but so soone as they perceiued vs to faint, as being depriued of our ships, they charged vs with the whole army, in like sort as when we had them for succour they retired. So as it was then found by experience that the great ships serued but to keepe vs from buckling with the enemy.

I haue made mention of this incountre in my commen­taries of the notable occurrants of these times written in Latine, and somewhat more at large then I heere deliuer, for I was present in the army during all that voiage, vnder the command of the Duke de Mayne.

That he hath gone himselfe in person to the war.

  • 1 A question concerning the Princes presence in the wars:
  • 2 The first commodity is, if the Prince be there in person, it ads courage to the souldiour.
  • 3 The second is, it causeth plenty of all things in his army.
  • 4 The third, it increaseth the army.
  • 5 The fourth, it worketh facility and speede in aduice and ex­ecution.
  • 6 Of the power of Lieutenant Generalls in the wars.
  • 7 The fift commodity, is the Princes authority and dignity.
  • 8 The first discommodity growing from the princes presence, is, that thereby the enemy proceedes more prouidently.
  • 9 The second, that his Commanders vse lesse diligence in dis­charge of their places.
  • 10 The third, is emulation of the leaders, whence groweth con­tention.
  • 11 The fourth, the emulation of the Lieutenant generall to­ward the Prince.
  • 12 Examples to this purpose pro and contra.
  • 13 The preposition defined by distinction.
  • 14 The Ottomans wars in their persons haue succeeded well.
  • 15 Exhortation to Christian princes to vndertake wars against the Turke.

1 WHether the prince should in person goe to the war, or else send his Lieutenant, is a question often disputed with such reasons and earnestnesse by sundry graue personages, as whatsoeuer may be now deliuered to that purpose would proue but an vnprofitable repetition of what hath bene former­ly digested by so many rare spirits. This then excusing me, [Page 75] I will referre the deciding thereof to men of more experi­ence then my selfe; yet will I not forbeare by way of dis­course to deliuer my opinion; and cite such examples as may helpe for the clearing of these doubts. First then we are to recken the commodities the Kings presence affoor­deth in his armie, and so in order of the other conse­quences.

2 Whereof one of the principall is, that it putteth spirit and courage into the souldiers, it so neerely presseth them as they must of force, as it were, make their valour appeare, especially when they ioine battell where the Maiestie and life of the Prince, yea and their owne too is in hazard. Then is it that the honest desire of preseruing their masters life groweth feruent in them, and so much the more by how much it is farre more pretious then the life of a cap­taine or generall, either mercenary or subiect which the Prince might haue sent to command them. This occasion more then any other moueth them more freely to hazard their liues and meanes for their Princes seruice, which they would not so couragiously performe vnder any other that should command in his stead. They likewise expect grea­ter and more assured rewards from him then from others.

3 Againe, the king is alwaies better followed; he is atten­ded on with the consequence of farre greater prouisions either of victuals, munition, money, or whatsoeuer may be necessary for the enterprise, than his lieutenant, who hath his power limited, his allowance stinted, and cannot dispose but in part of the credit and authority of his ma­ster, to whom he remaineth as countable. Moreouer, the subiect fixeth his eies and affection vpon his Prince, and la­uisheth his life and meanes according as the businesse is,1525. and he is addicted. Francis the first, King of France, being before Pauy powred money foorth (as a man may say) by bushels, yet Odet de Lautrey his lieutenant generall, lost the Duchy of Millan for lacke of three hundred thousand crownes that were assigned him for his charges, but were neuer deliuered him. Whereupon the Switzers failing of [Page 76] their entertainment (whom he had till then fed with hopes of pay) he was constrained to fight with such disaduantage as hee miscaried,1522. Guic. lib. 14. and his whole army was put to flight; which had not happened if the King had beene there in person, for either money had not failed, or else the credit and authority that accompanieth the Princes presence had wrought them to patience and contained them in en­tire deuotion.

4 Moreouer the great train of Nobility and men of qua­lity that the Prince bringeth with him is a strengthening to his army, and addeth to it life and beauty, euery man stri­uing to appeare more gallant then other; which they would not vouchsafe to doe nor to subiect themselues, comman­ded but by an ordinary Generall; for there are alwaies a­bout the King, by election or necessity, many great perso­nages equall in power and dignity, and some differing too in rancke and charge, either as being Princes of the bloud, or for honor and authority woon by desert, al which would perhaps doe little for the Generall, but would most wil­lingly obey and expose all for their King and master to whom they owe a duty both of nature and benefit. These great mens followers serue also to increase the army.

5 Beside these considerations the King bringeth euer­more with him a resolution of his enterprises, wherein a Generall most commonly proceedeth with a restraint and aduise, as fearing in his too forward attempting, to exceed his commission. In the meane while, time passeth, and oc­casion escapeth, most often to the Princes hinderance and blot to his reputation.

6 In this regard if the wisedome and loyalty of the Cap­taine be approued, Princes ought not too strictly to limit their charges: but if they doubt of them, it is indiscretion to put them into their hands, as we may see by these exam­ples. Don Emanuel King of Portugal hauing sent the Duke of Braganza General into Africke, he fortunately wan and made sure for his Prince the towne of Aza Azamor: but that performed hee would not take Marocco (as at that [Page 77] time he might haue easily done) though he were counsel­led thereto by the wisest and greatest of his army, because that (said he) it went beyond his Commission: Lopez Zoares Generall for the same King lost in like manner the opportunity to take the city of Aden, of especiall impor­tance for the affaires of his master (for it standeth iust in the mouth of the Red sea) though the inhabitants would haue deliuered him the keies. Insomuch as hee should haue ta­ken vpon him (as he said) more then his commission allow­ed him. The thing was of that consequence as hee might well haue forborne the obseruation of his fast, to swallow such a morsell. Neither had the seruice beene one of the least, he could haue performed for his master.

7 In conclusion we are to grant that the presence of the king bringeth with it a certaine greatnesse, and more aweth the enimy then his Lieutenant; as it was seene at the enter­prise of Tunise; for Barbarossa sharply tooke vp and repro­ued those who said that the Emperour Charles the fift was himselfe in person in the Christian army, inferring heereby that he should then haue his hands fuller then he made account, and that nothing could be lacking in the enemies campe, when their Prince was there present. This is that may be saide of the good redoundeth from the presence of the king in his army. Let vs now see what may be alledged on the contrary.

8 First it may be said that the King which goeth to the wars in person ministreth greater occasion then he would to his enemy to prouide himselfe of forces, meanes and friendes: and affordeth him matter also of pretending a more glorious victory, with the hopes whereof and of rich spoiles, he putteth courage in his men, disposing them to attempt valiantly all things be they neuer so hazardous, so hartning them to fight.

9 It may be said likewise that the presence of the King maketh his Captaines lesse heedefull and diligent at all occurrants and aduantages, because they in part relie vpon the vigilant eye of the Prince, who is to carry away the [Page 78] whole honour of the enterprise, their valour remaining as dimmed and eclipsed. This hapned at the battaile of Pauie.1523. For the Commanders relying vpon the kings pre­sence and discreet carriage of matters, had no regard but of their pleasures in stead of diligently bethinking themselues of the duty of their seuerall charges, which in the ende turned to the ruine and dishonor both of their masters and themselues.

10 Againe an army where the King is in person, is al­waies replenished with Princes and great personages, all which promising themselues great matters, seeke not but to excel one another in place and command, whence grow among them iealosies, enuies, and sundry differences bree­ding infinite disorders, to the ouerthrow or hinderance of their Masters affaires. Who is not without his part of feare to discontent some in contenting others? This plague of ambition, is such as it will sometimes so wrest the con­sciences and honours of these great men, as they will not sticke to hinder the seruice of their Masters only to oppose the fortune and woorth of such a one, as they see out-strip­peth them in preferment; yea oft times their ambition groweth so extreame, as for despitethey wil vtterly forsake their Princes seruice: Their vertue and valour being per­haps in the meane time not of the meanest, and such as if it were well imploied would gaine honour and victory to the army.

11 There is yet another discommodity, and that is, that the king carying with him the party, whō in his absence he intendeth to constitute his Lieutenant, he in the mean time repineth at his Masters worthy exploites, considering how the honour should haue beene his, if alone he had the ma­naging of the army; againe, knowing that all such misfor­tunes or discomfitures, as may befall, it shall be attributed to the insufficiencie of the Prince, and not to him, he the lesse regardeth it. In a word, the glory we pretend, and the iealousie we haue of our particular honors, are two especiall powers, to shake and curbe generous spirits. The [Page 79] Emperour Charles the fift, had sufficient triall of it: for some of his Captaines and Lieutenants could oft times with small store of money, and few men, gaine triumphant victories, as well at Milan and Naples as else where, which perhaps in presence of the Emperour, would not haue beene so fortunately atchieued.

Notwithstanding all that hath beene said, the question is not yet fully determined, rather it remaineth diuersly ballancing to and fro, as appeareth by these and the fol­lowing examples.

12 Charles of France,About 1364. surnamed the Sage, neuer set foot out of his studie to command his armies, yet knew he so well how to make the best vse of his Captaines valour, and manage his affaires sutable to the time, that he finally re­couered his whole kingdome, and expelled thence the English, who possessed the greater part thereof. On the contrarie, the Emperour Ferdinand, who warred by his Captaines, himselfe not stirring out of Vienna, receiued great and dangerous ouerthrowes. Charles the fift, on the other side, wan more honour and victories by the valour of his Captaines, then euer he did in those warres and en­terprises himselfe vndertooke in person.1524. If the attempt vpon Marseilles had taken effect, it might haue beene tru­ly said that his Captaines had beene in all places victori­ous: witnesse Pauie, the Bicock, Landrino, Naples, Co­ron, Genoua, Rome, and Africk; but where he went in person, as in Saxony, at Tunis, Dura, and Vienna, his for­tune prooued indifferent betweene good and bad. But at Argiers, in Piemont, and at Metz, he encountred on all sides such misfortune, as it deemed (as a man may say) the luster of his renowne and victories formerly gained.

13 Marke the effects of successe and fortune so diffe­rent, as it were a hard matter to passe a sound and determi­ned iudgement vpon this proposition: so as the more I imagine by the contrarietie of these examples to inlighten it, the more obscure me thinkes I make it; the finall deci­ding thereof, may be framed thus. The King which vn­dertaketh [Page 80] the conduct of an armie, is either a discreet and aduised Captaine, or else he is altogither vnskilled in the mysterie of warre. In this last case I should thinke that it were most for his good, to relie vpon an others relation and execution, especially if priuie to his owne imperfecti­ons, he want a dexteritie to make the best vse of another mans valour, wisedome and counsaile. But if so be he be capable of the gouernment, and conduct of an armie, and that he haue courage to execute, in mine opinion he can­not doe better then to vndertake the warre and attempt himselfe in person: for if in all militarie vertues he equall the most valiant of his armie, he will surpasse them in for­tune, credit, and authoritie, and in all the other good parts aboue mentioned. Kings compounded of these excellent parts, alwaies crowne their eminency with honourable tri­umphes. Theodosius the Emperour, Charles the Great, and sundrie others can witnesse this sufficiently; Lewes the 12. of France, hauing beene alwaies conquerour, and neuer conquered in whatsoeuer he vndertooke himselfe in person, was put besides the kingdome of Naples, by means of a battaile which his captaines lost neere the riuer of Ga­rillion,1503. Guicc. lib. 6. for lacke of resolution and aduice; which mis­chance was by that good prince so lamented, as he made a vow, thence forward to command personally in his wars; And to say the truth, if the Captaine be not discreet, vali­ant, and of long approoued experience, it is strange if he euer performe woorthy act: in such cases the presence of one only Turnus is more auaileable then of a thousand such Captaines.

14 The Turkish Emperours who goe themselues to the wars, haue tasted the sweetnesse thereof by so many and so notable victories, as we are at this day their admirers. Selim the first was wont to say that battailes gained in the Princes absence were not to be tearmed accomplished vi­ctories, and we see that they haue scarce euer enterprised ought which hath not taken effect in the ende. Yea it hath beene obserued that when their Captaines haue beene [Page 81] ouerthrowne, if they themselues went afterward in person, they alwaies returned victorious. Amurath the second went himselfe after Carambeius generall of his army (who was ouerthrowen by Ladislaus King of Polonia) to war vp­on that Prince,1444. whom he ouercame and cut his whol army in peeces:1481. 1522. Mezat Bassa was imploied by Mahomet the se­cond in the enterprise of Rhodes, which he shamefully aban­doned; but Soliman going himselfe in person, caried it by plaine force, and chased thence the Knights of Saint Iohn of Ierusalem, who disquieted his estate by their ordinary excursions in the Leuant.1469. & 1407. 1474. 1583. Amurath Captaine of the said Mahomet receiued a notable ouerthrow at the hands of Vsumcassan King of Persia: but Mahomet going after him­selfe in person vanquished the enemy already victorious, and put him to a desperat plunge. The Mamelucks ouer­threw Querseolus and Calubeius, Baiazet the second Com­manders: Selim the first after personally vndertaking them, ouercame them, and wholy rooted out both them and their Empire. Amurath the third now raigning hath been so ma­ny times beaten by Cudabenda King of Persia in person, and through the vnskilfulnesse of his Commanders, that a man may well say that neuer any of the race of the Ottomans re­ceiued so notable ouerthrowes as this hath: Whereto may be added,1585. that he met with last of all before Taures; where he lost about 80000. men together with the Bassa Generall of his army; a great blot to the glory of his ance­stors, yet the losse being so far off from his estate, he recei­ued not so great a shake as if it had beene neere him or in his country.

15 But who will take hold of such aduantages to doe good vpon him, seeing the greatest Princes of Christen­dome are turmoiled in ciuill wars and troubles of their owne estates? surely none: Nay rather he is like to ga­ther strength more then euer, which he would not so easily doe, if he were to incounter the Christians well appointed, resolute and in a readinesse ioyntly, and with one consent to make their benifit of so goodly an occasion.

That he hath euermore gone well appointed to the wars.

  • 1 That our deliberations may take good effect, we must proue all courses, but vndertake nothing rashly.
  • 2 Rather superfluous then but necessary prouision is to be made of what belongeth to the wars.
  • 3 Aduantages of errours committed in military prouision.
  • 4 The wisdome of the Romaines and Turkes in their proui­sion.

1 NOthing can be imagined more conten­ting the spirit then the happy successe of that euery one vndertaketh answerable to his condition: much more a great Prince when he hath resolued vpon anie thing, espeically the war, is not to for­get any one thing of what soeuer may perfect his designe, which he ought to conceale and keepe to himselfe all he may. We haue one notable example hereof yet fresh in memory, and that is of the Prince of Parma Alexander Farnese, who for a time had the managing of the trou­bles and wars in Flanders, where he almost neuer attempted any thing which according to his intent, he did not per­forme: In very truth his actes were such as he deserueth to be reckoned as one of the most iudicious, wise, and adui­sed Princes of our age, particularly in this point of making prouision of things necessary in due season. And to say the truth, who soeuer disposeth his affaires, is euermore at­tended on rather by shame, reproch, and repentance, then honour, glory, and contentment: That Prince which once loseth his reputation by this default, hardly recouereth it, but remaineth infamous; he is lesse feared of his neighbors, and which is more, he himselfe entreth into a certaine ill [Page 83] conceit, and distrust of himselfe, which in such sort ac­companieth him, as in whatsoeuer he afterward a new vn­dertaketh, he resteth vnassured, doubtfull, confounded in all his determinations, and is vncapable of constant and resolued counsaile, carying alwaies the repentance of his former fault with a sorow which tormenteth his verie soule, so much the more strangely, by how much such a Prince is the greater, or is well conceited of himselfe.

2 This is an aduertisment which should open the eies of all such not to vndertake any thing but what is well dige­sted, and with such order and forecast, as there be rather abundance then necessity: for when the prouision is small and that it neuer so little miscary, it depriueth the Prince, not of courage but of confidence and aduice, of whose lacke insueth the want of wherwithall to warrant and shelter his reputation, vnlesse it be that he will say, I had not thought, words most dangerous in the wars where he can erre but once, and vnwoorthy euer to proceede out of the mouth of one wise and aduised, vnlesse he meane that the misse of these two vertuous partes be to be borne with­all.

3 Prospero Colonna a great Captaine proued this to his cost at such time as he vndertooke to assaile Parma with­out cannon or other munition of war requisite wherewith to take such to taske as were the French souldiours then in the towne.Iou. lib. 20. For they sent him away well laden with blowes, shame and displeasure, vnable to performe ought of what he too vnaduisedly attempted. Fredericke of Bossola met with the like at the same place for want of counsaile, mony, and other meanes which are not borne as Pompers souldi­ours in striking the ground with our foot: Guicciardin was then within the towne and had a command within that gar­rison.

And though the Captaine be wise, yet if the armie once discouer that their prouisions faile them, that they be far from succours, farre from places of retrait: then is it, loe that they become astonished, that feare and disobedi­ence [Page 84] seiseth them, and that all these meete in one, make a foule adoe; which the enemie perceiuing (as it is vnpossi­ble but he should) will if he be wise, make his benefite of our necessitie; which will serue him as a rampart and bridge at his pleasure to assaile and harme vs, but to pre­serue himselfe safe and vntouched: It is that the Turkes taught our men at Exechium.

4 The Romans more wary, neuer fought but in grosse and answerable to the proportion of the enterprise, their armies were either Pretorian or Consulary: the Turke hath alwaies sent to the field mighty forces, and aduantagioussy furnished; neither hath he euer quitted enterprise for lacke of men, munition, or money. What was his prouision of artillery at the siege of Malta, but in a manner infinite. For not to reckon his other charge, he there discharged threescore thousand cannon shot. At the siege of Nice, where the French were, Barbarossa Generall of the Turkish armie, brought such store of artillerie, as the French that were at their own doores had lacke of powder to continue their portion of batterie which they had vndertaken; and were constrained to borrow of the Turkes, to whom they should rather haue lent; since the enterprise was theirs, and they brought the other thither.

He hath neuer fought out of season.

  • 1 Especiall wisdome to be vsed in giuing battaile.
  • 2 Errors of Charles the 5. and other Christian Princes in their Sea-fights.
  • 3 The Turkes wisedome in that kinde.
  • 4 Sea actions vnseasonably vndertaken.
  • 5 Aduantages that the Turke hath in such cases aboue the Christians.

[Page 85] 1 EVery man is able to resolue that he wil fight with whatsoeuer force shall present it self,Capienda saepi­us seius in ma­lis praeceps via est. & with hopes of victory,Sencca. Agamem. or else to sel his life at a deare rate; but to perform it against heauē and time, was neuer heard of; for in such cases courage, wis­dome, and power become danted, so as consequently there followeth a despaire rather then any honorable fruit of a la­bor & indeuor wel imploied. In a word, who so precipitates his enterprise without attending fit time and season, seeketh nought else but to lose his time, his pain, charge, and reputa­tion (which is the maine point) to his ruine and confusion.

2 The Emperour Charles the fifth might make vs wise, since hauing obstinatly vndertaken the seege of Metz our of due season, and without mature aduice; he was con­strained to rise from before it with such a disorder, shame, and losse, as he afterwards hardly thriued; Not long be­fore that, for lacke of applying himselfe to the time when he enterprised vpon Algiers, how many ships and men lost he? so many as it was a long time ere hee could recouer himselfe, learning this lesson to his cost, That earth cannot force heauen. And though the valour and policy of the Turke can challenge no part in that action, yet can he make vse of the Christian losses to his aduantage. Now if tem­pests and inconstancy of weather opposed this prince both at Algiers and Metz, they did not lesse at such time as he attempted the voiage of Tripoli in Barbary: for the con­trariety of windes made him waste much time at Saragossa, and after by the like constraint and violence, as much at Malta, during which time the most part of his souldiours died, and in the end vtterly despairing to reach Tripoli in due season, the army a boade at Gerbes, where it was after ouerthrowne as well by tempest as by the Turkes, who knew well enough how to aduantage themselues by this disorder. The first yeere of the war of Cypres, the armies of the Pope and of the Venetians incountred notable losses by tempest of sea, euen in the mouthes of their own hauens, and all for too late assembling themselues.

[Page 86] 3 The Turke neuer fought, especially by sea, but when the season and opportunity would permit him.

4 Some one that may perhaps long to ouerthrow this po­sition will alledge that the Princes of Christendome haue neuerthelesse in the winter attempted voiages by sea. It may be, but I should thinke it was either in regard of the hope they had, not to incounter the Turke as they might, in the sommer, then for any assurance they had or might haue in the well-speeding of a voiage inconsiderately at­temted.

5 In breefe, if we must aduenture beyond reason, it were better we did it fighting against the Turkes, then against the windes, with the Moores then with stormes and ship­wrackes. To say the very truth, our Princes of Christen­dome haue their forces and estates so far separated one from the other, that before we can reduce them to one consent and body; time and opportunities are fled. But the Turke hath his powers so limited and ranged, not de­pending but of one only head, as he is alwaies in a readines to repell all assaults almost before the threatning of them can be with him. In conclusion, if all these reasons suffice not to cleare the proposition, yet should they teach vs at the least to proue wise, resolute & aduised hence forward not to enterprise ought so out of season, as that we should be driuen to fight with time rather then men; they should teach vs to gaine rather then to lose occasions; to abound rather then want; to seeke to be honoured and to thriue rather then to receiue dishonour and losse: but the maine point in all is to haue God on our side as our chiefe strength and most assured conductor.

That he hath neuer diuided his forces.

  • 1 Wisdome of the Turkes in vndertaking one, not many wars at once.
  • 2 Diuision of forces dangerous.
  • [Page 87] 3 Those few good Commanders that are found in a confused multitude are not to be farre separated.
  • 4 The ouerthrow of one army may breed terror in the rest.
  • 5 Prouision cannot be made at once for many expeditions.

1 SVch hath beene the wisdome and fore­sight of the Ottomans, as they haue ne­uer almost had to do with two enemies at once. Contrariwise they haue so well ordered their enterprises as the finish­ing of one hath drawen on the begin­ning of an other; but when they forsooke this beaten and sure way,1481. then loe miserie ouertooke them, as it hapned to Mahomet the second, who would needes warre with three armies at one time, sending one for Italy, at such time as he tooke Ottranto: the other to Rhodes, where his Ge­nerall and armie were well beaten: the third he himselfe went to conduct against the Mammoelucks, if by death he had not beene preuented. He had in these three armies aboue three hundred thousand men, besides his armie at sea, consisting of aboue fiue hundred saile. The voyages and designes ill digested, all these three armies were dis­comfited; for that of Italy, though it tooke Ottranto, got nothing by it; seeing that assoone as the souldiers vnder­stood of their masters death,1482. they quitted the place vpon composition.

2 But me thinkes this proposition, whereby I maintaine that it is not good at once to set a foote diuers enterprises, may be thus impugned. That the successe of the Turkes death, and the commotion it wrought amongst his peo­ple, was cause that those armies miscaried, and not the se­paration of them and their enterprises. I confesse as I ought, that whatsoeuer betideth vs, necessarily hapneth by way of a first or exciting cause. But to come to the ground of our principall matter; without farther subti [...]t­sing this discourse, it is easily seene how hard it is for a prince to prouide sufficiently at one time for sundry enter­prises, [Page 88] at the least vpon a sound foundation thereby to reape honorable fruites: since all diuision of forces bringeth with it a debility, and becommeth rather a subiect of in­iurie then to be able to iniure others, to be beaten then to beat, to be others pray rather then to pray vpon others: for as a body diuided by parcells is not of that weight taking it seuerally, as when it is reduced to the first vnitie: In like sort the forces of a prince, when they are diuided and disunited haue not that vertue and subsistance as they would haue in their vnitie and well-ordered consunction: for proofe, who considereth that Mahomet had three hun­dred thousand men, will say that the vnitie of such force was inuincible; but diuided it proued not so (though in­deed each of these powers by it self (at the least in regard of the Christians) was a most mightie army, had it had pro­portion squared to what it would attempt) and if this masse of 300000. souldiours had marched in one intire body it had beene easie for them to haue attained their purpose, one seconding another as he might haue done with that of Rhodes, Patros, and Ottranto, which he had in this case vndoubtedly conquered.

3 An other reason may be yet alledged, and that is, that it is hard to finde such Captaines as are fit for the conduct of armies; that in these great assemblies of forces there are few resolute souldiours; and that they which are such being once by their diuision (as a man may say) diminished, it is a kinde of gelding the army of those which may serue by their example to assure and incourage the other confused multitude.

4 Moreouer when we vndertake three enterprises at once (as Mahomet, who serueth to this purpose did) if it happen but one of them to faile, the newes of their misaduenture, maketh the rest (vndoubtedly depending the one vpon the other) to faile of resolution.

5 Again, as we haue before deliuered, it is necessary that the war be vndertaken in grosse, and that assay be made of our forces as soone as may be, that we may not be driuen [Page 89] long to entertaine a great army (which for delay of execu­tion doth oft times disband, breake vp and ouerthrow it selfe with it selfe, but especially with answerable prouisions the better to inioy great happinesse with smal charge; which will neuer befall him that diuideth his forces and at once attempteth in diuers places. We will then conclude that the Ottomans for the most part haue not had but one enter­prise in hand at once, and that to atchieue it they haue so well prouided for it, as the victory hath remained on their side.

That he hath not long held warre with one alone.

  • 1 Why the Turkes haue not continued war with one alone.
  • 2 A long war addeth courage and experience to the enemy.
  • 3 It moueth neighbours out of the feare of their owne like mi­sery to aide the oppressed.
  • 4 The Turkes manuer of shifting his wars, and making peace at his pleasure.

1 WHat more assured testimony can wee haue of a continued wisdome, or to say better of a well caried subtilty amongst the Ottomans, then in that they haue al­waies come off well in concluding their wars,This was Li­curgus rule to the Lacedemo­nians. and haue not maintained them long against one and the selfe same enemy? The practise of this policy hath beene most aduantageous vnto them;P [...]ut. vitu. Lic. such people as they haue not been able at the first to sub­due, they haue left in peace, yet haue not forborn in the meane time to turne their armes elsewhere. I haue fa­shioned to my selfe two especiall causes of this discreet course.

2 The first is the feare they haue euer had lest they [Page 90] might make good souldiours of those against whom they should wilfully maintaine a lingering war. A thing ill pra­ctised by the Spaniards in Flanders and the low-countries; for continuing war many yeres together against them, they haue acquainted that people (before soft and effeminate) with the fearfull clashe of their armes, they haue so encou­raged and imboldened them, as at this day there are few nations more industrious about their fortifications, or more resolute in the field.

3 The other occasion which hath withheld the Turke from making war long time together vpon one people, is, in mine opinion the feare he hath to incite their neighbour Princes to take armes against him. For if the compassion & fire which burneth our neighbours house doc not mooue vs, the feare of the like to light on vs will make vs bestirre our selues.

4 The Turke then following these steps one while assai­leth the Venetians, despoiling them now of a Prouince, then of a good towne or place of strength. And hauing there made vp his mouth he praieth next vpon the Hunga­rians, doubting lest he might pull vpon his necke a gene­rall league of the other of Italy. He euermore pretendeth in shew that hee will attempt no further: rather that hee meaneth to plant the vtmost of his limits at the place by him last conquered: In the meane time he forgetteth not to be watchfull where he may sease himselfe of some other place of more importance, more easily to incroch vpon vs. After he hath gotten from the Hungarians some peece of their country, he retireth himselfe before their neighbours be assembled, or that they haue meanes couragiously to reuenge themselues of their iniuries. In conclusion he so well behaueth himselfe as he hath neuer suffered vs to fa­sten vpon him whatsoeuer wars he hath made vpon vs, and he hath alwaies so timely made his retraite, as he hath not enforced the neighbours of the country assailed to ioyne and be in league together; he in the meane time resting vp­on his aduantages of hauing a great number of souldiours [Page 91] well trained and entertained in continuall wars whereby they become more experienced in all occurrents, then ours; by these meanes attaining to the triumphes of so many crownes and estates.

The end of the first booke.


Of Religion.

  • 1 Religion the principall bridle of the subiects.
  • 2 Excellencie of the Christian religion.
  • 3 The vainnesse and abhomination of the Mahometan reli­gion.
  • 4 Disputation of religion forbidden amongst the Turkes.
  • 5 The great Turkes example is a confirmation of his religion.
  • 6 So are the calamities of the Christians, and of others diffe­rent from them in opinions.

IN like sort as by the dispo­sing of what hath beene be­fore handled we haue made it apparent by what wayes & meanes the Turke is become great; so are we now to de­liuer the manner how he holdeth, and maintaineth what he hath already gotten.

1 All such as haue gone a­bout to lay the foundation of souerantie haue begun with religion, as that wherof prin­ces [Page 92] must necessarily make vse, to containe their people in obedience and worship of one God true or false; if this were not, it were impossible they should acknowledge one Soueraigne in earth▪ were they without the feare & know­ledge of one Supreame in heauen: We might alleage anci­ent histories whereby it would appeare that all such as haue gone about the establishment of a monarchy, haue had an especiall care to grounde it on the pretence of religion, by whose mysterie and ceremonies they helde in those whom they sought to range to their lawes, by this scruple making them more tractable and pliant to receiue instruction; Nu­ma Pompilius, Vid Pluit in their liues. Lycurgus, Sertorius, and others are sufficient proofes, whose credit grew from the communication they gaue out they had with som Diuinity; others that could not hit of the way to frame a new religion fortified themselues neuerthelesse with a pretence of it, in reforming the old, as did not long since Ismael King of Persia and his Coo­sine Harduellas, who performed great matters in the partes of Asia by introducing a new superstition of reli­gion.About 1499.

2 But to the purpose, we must auow that as there is no re­ligion more true, so is there none more fauorable to Prin­ces then the Christian, for the quiet and preseruation of their estate and minde. In somuch as this by way of con­science subiecteth to the king & all other superiours (how­soeuer peruerse and vitious) the heart, the person, & goods of the subiect; what greater reason or instrument of state can we meete with then that which bringeth the people vn­der a full and perfect obedience? If our Sauiour Christ submitted himselfe to the law of the Emperour and paid taxe and custom for himselfe and Saint Peter, who will doubt that his disciples are not to doe the like as true obser­uers of his precepts? I remember a discourse written by the Iesuites of a certaine Prince of a country newly dscouered in India, who as one very politicke and wise perceiming the simplicity and purity of the Christian doctrine, though himselfe were an Idolater, permitted that his subiects [Page 93] should be baptized, cathechized and instructed in our faith; and was present at their baptisme; furthering to his power all the actions of the Iesuites; because (said he) I am as­sured if these men obserue their law as they are bound, they will faile neither of loialty nor obedience, and will pay me my tributes and reuenues without fraude or contra­diction.

3 Let vs now enter into the principall matter of the sub­iect which we haue vndertaken to handle. The law of Ma­homet is full fraught with fables and grosse absurdities, and so far from reason to maintaine them, as it would be an easie matter by way of some holy manifestation of their er­rors to alter the estate & gouernment of the Turkish Em­pire. What more strange impertinency can there be then that of their Alcaron? It is impossible to deuise more absur­dities, dreames and cousenings, then those their law giuer Mahomet hath introduced: but he perceiuing well enough that the foundation of his falfe doctrine was such as it would be easie to ouerthrow it; knew cunningly how ma­nie ways to remedie it. First he framed all the precepts of his law according to naturall sense, and made them sutable to the course of things base and earthly, therby to make their obseruation so much the more pleasing and easie to be admitted and maintained, as being founded vpon the pleasures of the flesh and the world; he could neuer better charm the reason and lull asleepe the spirite of that dull and wholly illiterate nation, then to tie them to the performance of a law altogether sensuall.

4 The other meanes he held to make his law lasting, was the expresse forbidding to enter into disputation about any one point of it, vnlesse it were with the edge of the sword: In regard whereof he tearmed it, the law of the sword. Thus the Prince of the Turke who hath in his hand the sword & force, is also consequently the Arbitrator & Iudge of the doubts and controuersies which arise in his law, and determineth them as he seeth good, so as he is wise enough to suffer any newe opinion to take footing. For as soone [Page 94] as that hapneth he turneth his sword against the authours thereof, and that with such rigour and cruelty as he vtterly rooteth them out not leauing so much as a seed or any par­cell of them. The troubles and dissentions which heresies haue brought in amongst the Christians serue him for ex­amples, he seeth such histories daily verified; he is very well informed of them, and turneth them to the best vse beyond the experience his predecessors haue had of such fruites as spring from a new interpretation of their law. Harduclles in a very small space wan such credit amongst that barbarous people, that by means of a certaine new in­terpretation of the points of their sect, he busied all Asia, where he sowed so many troubles, as he well neere indan­gered the whole estate of Baiazet the second.

5 But that which maketh the law of this cursed race more durable is, that the Emperour himselfe obserueth it with that deuotion, honoreth it with that reuerence, embraceth it with that religion, and preserueth it in that credit and au­thority; as it is hard to imagine a man more deuout and affected towards it.

6 Againe, the misery and vexations that the Turks (de­priued of all other light but that their mother sense affor­deth them) beholde other nations dispersed thorow their dominions and of a contrary beleefe to indure, wholy weddeth their dull soules to this false doctrine: neither is there that misery which that vile Mahometane race make not all those to suffer who embrace not their religion, but aboue all the Christians.

Of the direct dependency of the Turkes subiects vpon their Soueraigne.

  • 1 Subiects must haue their eies chiefly vpon their Soue­raigne.
  • 2 Tyrants strength and guard of strangers.
  • [Page 95] 3 The absolute authority of the Ottomans.
  • 4 The Princes seuour, the subiects safetie.
  • 5 His subiects exact obedience and the cause thereof.
  • 6 Rebllions whence procceding.

1 THe best cement that can be made to giue long continuance to an estate, is to worke so, as that the subiects, of what­soeuer qualitie or condition they be, may haue alwaies neede of him that is their Commander, to the end they may immediatly depend vpon him and reuerence him: but be­cause it is hard to bring all the world to this passe, especi­ally in a great monarchy: those at the least are to be drawen to it, as farfoorth as is possible, who should be the sinewes and supporters of the Princes power.

2 This moued such Tyrants as durst not assure them­selues of such people as they had subdued, to haue about them Captaines, Souldiours, and seruants which were strangers and had neither kinsfolkes, nor friendes in that country, but relied absolutely vpon them. This heereto­fore was the maner of the Soldans of Egypt; and though they be courses so violent, barbarous and vnworthy of Christian Princes, as they should neuer be set before them, yet may they somewaies aduantage them in the considera­tion of their ends and aime of their intentions, applying them and appropriating them so far forth as Christian po­licy and the interest of faith may permit.

3 Now then we will deliuer what vse the Turke in these times makes of them. He to establish his Empire and am­plifie his greatnesse and authority, intitleth himselfe not only Prince and Monarch of his estates, but Lord also and peaceable Master of the persons, habilities, goods, hou­ses, and possessions of his vastals; neither is there inheri­tance or succession so assured, be it neuer so lawfull, but it dependeth of the disposition and free wil of the Turke, so as if any aske of his subiects whose house it is wherein he [Page 96] dwelleth, and to whom belongeth the land he tilleth, he makes no other answeare, but that they are the great Turks his Master; moreouer they all tearme themselues slaues of their Prince: whence followeth that they can not any waie maintaine the quiet possession of their goods, nor account of any thing as of their owne but by his especiall fauour. Much more if they aime at raising themselues to any emi­nent place of honour they are to beg it of the magnificence and pleasure of their Prince; meanes which serue to curbe those barbarous people, yet to be reiected of Christians and abhorred of lawfull Princes, who receiue and hold their monarchies of the hand of God. There are more ho­nest precepts to be giuen, whereby they may purchase and preserue the loue and obedience of their people, without vsing such cruelties and tyrannies. But because the argu­ment propounded requireth that I relate the meanes this barbarons race hath obserued to become great, and that I am fallen into that matter, I will continue it: yet not as approuing any such course, or as indeuoring to set them downe, by them to forme a receiuable example, or to in­duce Christian Princes to make them their paterne of go­uerning their estates.

4 By this former discourse then we haue deliuered how the Turkes subiects haue neede of him, some to preserue what they haue gotten, others to attaine to dignities and places of honour. And in a word, their being and life de­pending indifferently vpon the Prince, their principall care is to winne his fauour.

5 Thi [...] dependency fortifieth it selfe & increaseth by the obedience and gouernment of great personages, imploi­ed by the Turke in his seruice, and fashioned by himselfe to this end, who are from their infancy brought vp at the Princes charge, and instructed euery one according as hee is naturally inclined either in the excercises of armes or any other laborious trade, so as such not knowing other father or benefactor then their soueraigne (from whom they re­ceiue both goods and honours): neuer thinke of kindred [Page 97] or friends, neither haue they any touch of bloud or natu­rall alliance, dedicating their body, minde and whole de­uotion to the only goood of their masters affaires, whose creatures they acknowledge themselues to be, to whatso­euer degree of honour they be preferred: neither is it in their power to amasse other wealth then that which is rawght them by the hands of the great Turke. To make it more plaine to the Reader who these are; they are the Spachi, Spachioglani and Ianizzars; in these consisteth the strength and guard of the Turkish Empire. I hold it not amisse to discouer in a word (as by the way) what is the forme and condition of these bandes and companies: so to deliuer a more cleare vnderstanding of their manner and power. The Spachi and Spachioglani are horse men, whereof there are a thousand in number, which march at the right hand of their Lord. The Selactari or Solupta­ri, are other thousand horse, which accompany the great Turke on the left hand, when he marcheth, as the Spaihio­glani on the right; of these two companies are chosen the Gouernours of Prouinces, and vpon these according to their merit, the Turke bestoweth his daughters in mariage. The Vlufezgi are other thousand which march after the aboue named, who in part are called out of the bands of Ianizzars, as men noted for their especiall valour: or they are such as haue beene slaues, and for their notable seruice performed toward their masters, or for hauing saued the life of some Bassa or Beglerbee in the wars, attaine to this degree of being one of the Turkes garde. The Charipies are of like number as the Vlufezgi, and march after them. The Ianizzars follow after, who are foote, and appointed for the guard of the Turke: These at their first institution were few in number, but now they amount to 4000: In these two sorts of foote and horse, consisteth the strength of the Turke, being as the seminarie of the Sangiaks, Bas­sas, and Lisirs. This great number we speake of, giue no armes or any other marke of hereditary gentry, being in such sort ordained as they cannot attribute to themselues [Page 98] any thing in particular, nor attaine to any preheminence, but such as by their vertue they may inuite their Prince to bestow vpon them. It is the onely meanes whereby the Turke gaineth all the obedience and loialtie he can wish; obedience in regard they are (as I haue said) trained vp vnto it from their infancie, which in them turneth to a naturall habite, placing the fruit of their labours in the assurance of such a seruitude: Loyaltie, in as much as they expect from him their whole aduancement, and ac­knowledge to receiue more benefits of him then of any other Prince; neither hath it beene knowne that they euer committed treason of importance, vnlesse it were the re­uolt of Gazeles at Damasco,1520. and of Acomat Bassa at Cairo,Iou. l. 13. in the time of Soliman. Which was but (as a man may say) a fire of stubble extinguished at the very first appearance and pursute of their Master. Now the Ianizars, and the other mentioned, who are the sinewes and principall foun­dation of the Ottomans greatnesse, and who receiue so ma­ny commodities by this dependencie, and doe daily ex­pect more; haue no more deere care, then to vphold their Masters safetie, and preserue the greatnesse of his estate, whereunto their owne fortune is linked.

6 To shew by what meanes the Turke maintaineth this dependencie, let me say that all dependency of the subiect vpon his Master and Soueraigne, may receiue an alteration either by

  • force
  • furie
    • of the people:
  • authoritie, of some great man of the country. by the support of a for [...]en Prince.

Matters thus disposed (not to enquire nicely after al sorts of inconueniences) it resteth that we see how he remedieth these kinde of accidents, and preuenteth the causes of such like infirmities as these, which in time might wea­ken and ruine his Empire: let vs begin then with the strength of the people.

How he hath depriued his Sub­iects of strength.

  • 1 Wherein consisteth the strength of an estate.
  • 2 The Turkish Empire maintained by the vse of armes, as that of the Romans.
  • 3 Tithing of Christian children by the Turkes.
  • 4 The manner of their education: and the commodity ac­creweth thereby to the Turkes.
  • 5 Great assemblies amongst them forbidden.

1 THe strength of an Estate consisteth in the valour of the Nobilitie, loue and faithfulnesse of the Subiect, reputation of armes, multitude of Souldiers, and commodities of horse, which may bee therein bred or nourished.

2 The Turke then which would attaine to this poinct, onely by armes, horse, and Souldiers, obserueth euermore this rule: He taketh away all vse of armes from such Pro­uinces as he hath newly reduced to his obedience, he for­biddeth them the commoditie of horses fit for the war, & endeuoureth all he may to choake in them the springing vp of men proper for the exercises of arms; and hath an ere that in all his dominions, not any man haue in his house weapons for the warre, no not so much as a knife, vnlesse without a point; Moreouer, he alloweth not any Iewe or Christian to haue or keepe any horse, imitating heerein the manner of the Romanes, who obserued both the one and the other, especially at the surprises and surrenders of townes; The principall conditions were alwaies, that they should forgoe their weapons, their horses, and deliuer hostages: hence is it that we reade so often in Caesar, Ar­ma proferri, iumenta produci, obsides dari iubet. Heereby [Page 100] depriuing the subdued people of all meanes to vndertake or maintaine a rebellion. Againe, Hostages gaue them a fu­ture assurance of the fidelitie and obedience of their sub­iects: for amongst such as they admitted, the chiefe of the Counsaile and such as were valiant men at armes, were the first mentioned: but aboue all, those of whom they might conceiue any doubt or suspition. We reade that Caesar hauing taken Auxerra (which was not one of the greatest not best peopled townes of France) drew thence sixe hun­dred Hostages: So as it is to be thought, that the rest after such an abatement, could not be of any great courage or strength to reuolt.

3 The Turke without troubling himselfe with the care how to traine after him an vnprofitable multitude of Ho­stages, in an instant riddeth his subiects hands of their best forces, and strangely armeth and fortifieth himselfe with themselues, against themselues; and heerein he thus proceedeth. He maintaineth in pay about two hundred Commissaries, who as Superintendents trauell vp and downe all the countries of his obedience, to see and ouer­see all that is saide and done by the Christians. These men goe throughout Grecia, Wallachia and Bosnia, and ex­tort by way of tenthes, the children from the bosomes of their fathers and mothers, according as they esteeme them fit and likely to be fashioned to the wars.

4 These childrē thus culled & assembled from al cuntries of his obedience are after sent to Constantinople and distri­buted amongst the Merchants, and Citizens by name, and inroulement; to the ende they may be there instructed in the lawe of Mahomet, and taught the Turkish tongue: After (when they come to the age to beare armes) to be of the number of Ianizzars. For during their youth they are trained vp to all such military exercises as may put valour in them, and make them souldiours; and this by particu­lar Masters appointed to teach them to shoote, wrastle, leape, vault, and so to harden their bodies as the tranailes of the wars may be after held but as pleasures and natu­rall [Page 101] actions. Thus the Turke by this tithing of Children assureth himselfe of his people in a two-folde manner; in despoiling as he doth the Prouinces of the flower of their martiall men; and applying them to his owne strength­ning both at home and abroade.

5 Hereunto he addeth the expresse forbidding his sub­iects all assemblies, or building of any strong houses, which may stead them in time of sedition or tumult, nei­ther are they allowed the vse of bels, by whose sound they might call themselues together to the execution of some plotted reuolt, or mutiny. In a word, they are naked of all meanes, to fortifie, to arme, to assemble themselues or to become any waies; fit for the wars; no other subiect is left them to worke vpon but the tillage of the land, whereto, as to al other mechanical artes, they apply them­selues; so becomming base, abiect, and vnapt for the wars.

The causes that may moue a people to fury.

  • 1 Despaire armeth the weake.
  • 2 How to auoid tumults and ciuill commotions.
  • 3 Feare amongst subiects is vpheld by Iustice, and plentie of thinges necessary.
  • 4 Praise of peace and Iustice.
  • 5 Execution of Iustice amongst the Turkes pleasing and tolle­rable, though vniust.
  • 6 An exhortation to Christian Princes to administer Iu­stice.

IT hath oft hapned, and in our times we haue had triall of it, that the people, though vnarmed, haue in their despaire and fury disquieted a whole estate, and brought the common-weale into an ex­ceeding distresse and perplexity. Furor [Page 102] arma ministrat (saith Virgil) Iam (que) faces & sax a volant. We haue the testimony of the Romans time, in those ciuill wars which hapned in Italy & in Sicily, & of the mischiefes which followed those rebellions; as much hath beene seene to happen in these times in the Ile of S. Domingo about the change of gouernment introduced vpon those con­quered people, forced to subiect themselues to a new kinde of seruitude. In very deede that people is not weake­ly armed which hath a heart, a good spirite, and a nimble hand.

2 This is the cause why the Turke to preuent these po­pular commotions, hath depriued the people of all sorts of armes, to the end they may forget both the vse and cou­rage to handle them, and that they may not by them take occasion to mutiny. Now to prouide that so barbarous a yoake driue them not to despaire, he maintaineth a general peace and tranquillity throughout his estate: he hath a care that iustice be equally distributed: that they haue plenty of victuals, and all other vsuall commodities, the better to lull asleepe their fury.

3 By these meanes euery one maketh the best of his for­tune and liueth quietly at home, embracing that naturall desire of holding his owne, which to performe euery man emploieth whatsoeuer may proceed out of himself: more­ouer this quiet and ease of minde doth so soften men, as they rest free from the thought of plotting or vndertaking sturs and rebellions: Iustice, quiet, and plenty, are three things which haue for their opposites, the violence of sol­diours in time of war, the corruption of Iudges in time of peace, and scartsiy and famine in both. The iniustice, the abuse, and auarice of officers and magistrates, are those which procure the subuersion and vnauoidable ruine of a country. I could adde to this discourse many examples & domesticall proofes, but not to enter into too deepe a sea I will spare them, and will content my selfe to say only that all those of ancient times, and such as haue had any touch of a good minde (either Christians or infidels) haue [Page 103] euermore confessed that the sincere execution of iustice is the strongest piller of all well ordered estates, as on the contrary iniustice is the ouerthrow, not alone of men and countries, but of beasts also.

To returne to our matter, it is sure that when the com­mon subiect hath wherewith to nourish, cloath, and hand­somely accommodate himselfe and family; when in the middest of armes he is safe in his owne home; when he standeth not in feare of forged crimes, or bribery of Iudges; then is it that he falleth asleepe in securitie, and careth not but to entertaine that tranquillitie, reiecting all thought of rebellions. This is it which the Turke (who warreth continually with his neighbours) putteth in pra­ctise to maintaine peace throughout his dominions, and to be beloued and faithfully serued of his subiects, whom he tieth to him with those strong bands, which are to say the truth (besides Iustice and tranquillitie) most proper for preseruation. A great helpe heereunto is his continuall imploying his Captaines and Souldiers in the wars, espe­cially out of his owne countrey, and to the spoile of his enemies.

5 Peace is the horne and true mother of abundance: Then is it that euery man tilleth his land without distur­bance, and quietly inioyeth and encreaseth his owne store, since as the Poet saith, Pax arua colit: Iustice Queene of vertues, is that which serueth as the base and most sure foundation to peace, which could not otherwise subsist, nor the lawes likewise; then is it that they gaine strength and vigour.

5 And though the forme of the Turkish Iustice be not without much vanitie and oppression, and though all mat­ters be determined amongst them by way of witnesses, who are alike bought and sold; and that iudgements passe as gold and siluer is stirring: yet the quicke dispatch they receiue, maketh them forget this inconuenience; and though the sentence of such Iudges be often pronoun­ced against all order of Iustice; yet is there thus much good [Page 104] gotten by it; that men consume not themselues bodie and goods in pleading and trotting after Lawyers and At­turnies, which haue their consciences as large as the other, who are bought more deerely: besides the delay, vexati­on and vncertainety of the iudgement. And though the sentence of such men be much displeasing, yet the people haue this to comfort them, that they many times see them endure most notable and exemplary punishment: for the Turke sometimes vpon the least complaint brought against them, putteth them to death, be they neuer so great perso­nages, as well to inrich himselfe with their spoiles, as to manifest himselfe to be a Prince most respectiue of iustice and equity, and to giue also a manner of satisfaction to his subiects so oppressed as Selim, left that example of Bostand Bassa.

6 Hence Christian Princes are to fetch an aduertisment how to be more carefull then they are in making their mi­nisters obserue a more vpright and speedy distribution of iustice amongst their subiects: not vpon the grounds and intents of this barbarous Turke; but rather because they are one day to render an account before God, who to this ende established them in place aboue others.

Questionlesse the long delaying of suites is the most damnable plague to be found at this day in all estates: The abuses committed otherwise by the ministers of Prin­ces are more to lerable then these; where the whole is in question. For this cause Princes ought to looke more neerely to this then to any other thing.

The common remedy applied by the Turke against the force and fury of the people.

  • 1 Another way of preuenting popular seditions, by hauing al­waies bands of foote and horse in a readinesse.
  • [Page 105] 2 The Turkes strength in his court.
  • 3 His other strengthes.
  • 4 Inconueniences that grew by the Romane Legions:
  • 5 Preuented by the Turke.

1 THough the meanes formerly deliuered be sufficient to keepe the Turkes sub­iects from rebelling, yet there are stron­ger by him practised, wholly to preuent and extinguish euen the least sparke of sedition, and to prouide against other like inconueniences. He maintaineth a great number of horse and foot alwaies armed, alwaies in pay, and distri­buted in garrisons thorow out his Empire, especially in places most proper to resist or assaile. These curbe the people, and vpon the least shew of rebellion lay hands on them, represse their insolency, and suffer not the least ap­parance of sedition to take roote, remouing the causes euen at the first without respect to any. This is the reason that there hath neuer beene knowen any popular rebellion in his estate.

2 The port of the great Turke, as they tearme it (as who would say his courte and gard) consisteth chiesely and or­dinarily of foure thousand horse, distributed into foure companies, to wit the Spahioglani, who are in al a thousand besides their seruants, which march not in their rancke but apart, and of these euery one hath seauen or eight. These range themselues on the right hand of their Lord where­soeuer he become; and the Solastri (equall in place and authority) on the left. These two sortes are accounted as children of the great Turke, and are nourished and brought vp in the Sarraglio at his charge (as hath beene said) and there trained vp in all exercises of armes. Af­ter these, march the companies of the Vlifezgi & Charipici, inferiour to the other in rancke and authority. Those on the right hand, these on the left, either consisting of a thousand horse. And wheresoeuer the great Turke goe, [Page 106] they neuer forsake him. These foure thousand horse to­gether with twelue thousand Ianizzars are the strength and gard of the person and port of the Turke, with these forces he is alwaies able to hold in awe and subiection a ci­ty more populous then Constantinople, and not stand in feare of any attempt against his person.

3 In other places of his Empire he bestowes other great numbers of the Ianizzars to be assistant to the Gouernors and Bassas, besides the succours they are to haue of such horse and foote as those are bound to furnish on whom the Turke hath at other times bestowed such arable lands as haue beene conquered by armes, whence he draweth one man or more as the necessity of his affaires requireth, and according as is the value of what they possesse. These are called Mozzellini. Such as are tied to this contributi­on may be compared to the Feudataries of our Prince, to­wards whose seruice they are to finde a light horse or mus­ket, and some of them two, more or lesse according to the imperiall institutions of such fees and tenures as so binde them. After all those we haue named, march the Alcanzi, or Aconizij, as a man would say Aduenturers, which haue no wages, & are appointed to march a daies iourny before the campe, pilling, harrowing, and hauocking all before them, whereof they are to answeare the fift parte clcere to the great Turke: of these there are thirty thousand, be­sides them there are the Azapi (of meane quality) but such as serue his turne for Gally-slaues, mariners and pioners to intrench, fill vp ditches, raise engines, and perform other such like seruill offices, their number is 40000. Ouer and aboue these vnder two Beglerbees or Lientenants generall, the one in Europe the other in Asia; he hath neere an hun­dred thousand horse in ordinary intertainment. The Beg­lerby of Grecia or Europ (which is as much to say as Prince of all Princes) hath his place of residency at Sophia a towne of Seruia. That of Asia abideth at Culhea a towne of Ga­latia. Each of these hath vnder his obedience many San­giacks (as much as to say sherifes or bailifs) the very chil­dren [Page 107] of the great Turke which gouerne in the Prouinces where they command are bound to obey them. This great multitude of horsemen are so well mounted and ar­med, as none can chuse or wish a more fit or direct meanes then their ordinary strength to hinder all popular reuolts or rebellions, be they neuer so great. That which hap­ned to Gazeles after the death of Selim doth sufficiently approue it;about 1529. he thought to stirre against Soliman, and to moue Syria to rebell; but he was preuented by that migh­ty power which Soliman found euen then in a readinesse, wherewith he ouerthrew him. These ordinary prouisions of war are the more terrible and effectual, in regard that all the people of his obedience are intirely disarmed of what­soeuer offensiue weapons.

4 The Romans obserued this custome, to distribute di­uers of their legions about the frontiers of Germany a­longst the Rhene and Danowb, to the same end and pur­pose as the Turke entertaineth his horse. But it seemeth that he proceedeth therein more discreetly then did the Romans, for they kept all their forces together in one place, and vnder one Generall, of whom depended the absolute command of the armies: whence it fell out that to accommodate themselues, they ouerthrew the houses of particular men, ruined, and famished the countrey, as well by the hauocke they made (which alwaies attendeth so great a multitude) as by their large prouisions most ne­cessary for an armie: The other prouinces farre distant were exempt from this oppression, yet not from contribu­tion, but those which sustained the armie, were so ouer­burdened, as their miserie incited them to rebell, and shake off their obedience. But contrariwise, the Turke which disperseth his horse and foote into diuers Prouinces, vnder the command of sixtie and six Sangiacks, draweth not af­ter him such disorder or ill satisfaction as did the Romans. Their great assemblie in one place was cause of seditions, debates, mutinies and other mischiefes, most difficult to be preuented. They did not perceiue how this manner of [Page 108] proceeding was a means that the Souldiers grew too much to affect their Captaines, and that the Captaines found themselues by them enabled to attempt (as they often did) many things to the preiudice of the Empire. And in very deed it oftentimes hapned that their armies made choice of their General for Emperour, in despite of the Senatours authoritie; either in regard of the valour they knew to be in them, or of some pecuniarie corrupting their affections, which the Senate could not remedy: And in trueth it was a very easie matter for the Generall, so farre from home, and holding his forces vnited in one body, to practise the Colonels, and the Colonels to bargaine and buie the harts and affections of the Souldiers, by them to possesse the Empire, so as sometime the armie of Spaine chose their Generall Emperour, and at the same time that of Germa­ny theirs: whereof we haue many examples, as also of the calamities and miseries which did thence accrew to the Estate and subiects.

5 It is an inconuenience whereto the Turke cannot be subiect; for keeping his troups and armies so spread abroad and disperst, they haue not the meanes to mutinie (especi­ally being in no place ouer strong) nor yet grow to affect their Beglerbyes or Gouernours, whom they seldome see or repaire to: much lesse can the Beglerbee in his owne behalfe easily winne or entice the hearts of the Sangiacks, or affections of the Souldiers, as he might well doe if the troupes were alwais together in time of peace, and abroad in one and the same prouince.

How the Turke represseth the power of the great men of his estate.

  • 1 The authoritie of a Prince (if his vertue be not eminent aboue all the great men of his kingdome) is by their ver­tue obscured, whence groweth the diminution of the sub­iects obseruance.
  • [Page 109] 2 From whence the authoritie of the Nobilitie doth proceed.
  • 3 The detestable crueltie of the Turkish Emperour against the next of his bloud.
  • 4 Vsage of great men taken by the Turkes.
  • 5 The vncertaine fortune and estate of the Turkes officers.

1 TO the end the dependencie and authoritie whereof wee haue hitherto entreated be without alteration maintained, it is requi­site that the Prince haue a care, that there be none in his countrey who for their great­nesse may incourage the people, and embolden them to attempt ought, backt by their authoritie, countenance and conduct.

2 This greatnesse may grow from three principall causes: either in regard they are Princes of the bloud, or for that they are noted to be nobly descended and rich, or else for the reputation they haue gotten, and a long while preser­ued, either by cunning, or by their owne valour, and merit: things that winne credit and name amongst the common people. Concerning the first cause, the children, bre­thren, and kinsmen of the Turke, are great by consangui­nitie. The Barons of the country obtaine the second ranke, whereto the noblenesse of their family calleth them: for the third, such ministers and officers as beare a stroake and swaie in matters of the highest consequence, are accoun­ted great.

3 The Ottaman Princes, of nature barbarous and cru­ell, ordinarily shelter themselues from these inconuenien­ces, with courses far from all humanity, in as much as with­out all respect of Law, religion, or other ciuill considera­tion, they vpon the least scruple that may be, ridde their hands by execrable murthers, of their neerest kinsfolkes and friends, yea euen of their fathers and brethren, alone to inioy and by their death to assure to themselues the qui­et possession of their kingdome. Selim the first murthered two of his brethren, procured the death of all his ne­phewes, [Page 110] yea and of his father also. He would often say that there was nothing more sweet then to raigne out of the suspition and shadow of his kindred; and that he de­serued pardon for what he had committed, since it was the same play and vsage he should haue receiued, if any other but himselfe had attained to the crowne. Amurath the third which now raigneth, made his entry by the death of his brother, and searched the establishing of his Empire, euen in the belly of his mother, then great with childe, making for this end, one end of her & what she went with­all: these cruelties are monstrous in the sight of God and man, and full of horror and infamie: yet hath it not beene knowen for all this, that euer any citie, any people, or armie, did reuolt or mutine. This inhumanitie is amongst them growne to that lawfull and ordinarie consequence, as they vsually put it in practise, without feare of blame or re­proch. The examples thereof are as infinite as their me­mories, stinking and abhominable. In a word, this but­chering is amongst them an hereditary succession, de­scending from one to another, which God would reuenge with our hands if we would amend our liues.

4 As for the Barons and Lords of the countrey, Maho­met the first, destroied their seed, expelling them out of his estate, as he did all the originarie Turkish Princes his allies; and if by chance there remaine any of the Otto­man race, he is so kept downe, as he traileth (as they say) his belly vpon the ground, liuing most poorely without all charge, and manage of affaires: so as neither valour nor riches can make him appeere or shine in the worlds eie; rather he remaineth eclipsed amongst the vulgar sort, without honour, credit, or estimation.

As for the Princes and mightie men of the countrey by them subdued, they know well enough how to ridde their hands of them, in sort as we haue before declared: so as neuer Empire was raised, or maintained with more execra­ble murthers, then this hath beene in these daies; they neither sparing Princes of their bloud, nor the chiefe Po­tentates [Page 111] of their prouinces; for they blinde them, if not kill them.

5 Now concerning the ministers and officers, who by long managing of waightie affaires, haue attained to Ho­norable places, authority and reputation; there is not one, be hee neuer so great, which at the least winke, wrath, and pleasure of his Lord, loseth not his life immediatly. Baiazet caused Acomat Bassa to be put to death, an ex­cellent man of armes and a woorthy Captaine, saying the too much reputation of the seruant was a cause of the too great ielousie of the master. Selim likewise put many to death, and amongst others Mustafa Bassa, whom he cau­sed to be strangled at Prusa, and after to be cast out to the dogs. This was his recompence for fauoring him in the vsurpation of the Empire against Baiazet his father then liuing, and for making riddance of his two brethren Aco­mat and Corcut. He suspected it was he that had reuealed his secret (as indeed he had) to Aladin and Amarath children of his brother Acomat, because contrary to his expectation he sought their death. It is in a manner an ordinary course with Princes that one light offence obscureth and maketh them forget a thousand good seruices performed for the good of their affaires. For my part I am of opinion that this rage, and inhumane cruelty familiar with the house of the Ottomans, is but a true and iust iudgment of God, who will by their parricid handes chastice the Apostasies and wickednesse of one by another, considering the greater part of them are Chri­stians who haue denied their faith, and by that miserable act climed vp to the height of those eminent charges and dignities they possesse. As not long since his diuine Ma­iestie permitted a poore simple souldiour to kill Mahomet Bassa, a man most mighty in credit and authority; but more rich of power and meanes; yet such a one as had beene a Christian and had taken vpon him the orders of Priesthood.

How he confoundeth the practises of forraine Princes his neighbours

  • 1 The diuorce of the Greeke church from the Romish confir­meth the Turkish Empire.
  • 2 What were requisite to stir vp the Turkish subiects to rebel­lion.
  • 3 The Greekes vtterly destitute of meanes for such procee­dings.
  • 4 His owne subiects throughly curbed.

1 ONe of the most assured meanes practi­sed by the Turke, as an infallible course of setling his estate against the intelli­gence which his people might hold with Christian princes, is the diuorce & separation he maintaineth betweene the Greeke & the Romish church, supposing while this schisme shall continue amongst them, that they will neuer establish betweene them a sound amity. This made the conquest of Constantinople easie vnto them; this hath forwarded the proceeding of his victories, and as it were, put into his hands all those rich and goodly Prouinces, whereof he is at this day the peaceable, but Tyrannicall owner: moreo­uer he so narrowly obserueth our vnhappie discord, as he by a perpetuall counsaill endeuoureth all he can possibly, that the Patriarkes render no obedience to the Pope: nei­ther is it long since Zacharias, Patriarcke of Constantino­ple, was like to be staked for hauing admitted the new Cal­lender and the reformation of the course of the yeere, made in the time of Gregorie the 13.

2 Now to returne to the principall point, it is to be pre­supposed [Page 113] that the proiects and carriage of popular rebelli­ons, cannot be vndertaken without the support and dire­ction of the mightiest for wealth, meanes, and authority, in the country which we would surprise; and that Princes will not bouge to set a foote these plots and enterprises, but by offered occasion of some fortresse which importeth the as­surance and consequence of the estate, and may serue for a refuge to recouer their decaied strength: or else that their destigne relieth vpon some promised succour, or finally vpon the consideration that those who inuite them to this conquest are so strong within themselues, as they may hope for an honorable issue of their enterprise.

3 These are all necessary particularities, but not any of them resteth now in the hands of the Greekes abased by extreame seruitude, and so far from hauing any fortresse at their deuotion, as they cannot once stir without being discouered; and though they were disposed to vndertake, they haue at their backe so great a number of men at arms, as at the least breath of a rebellion, they would cut them off before they should haue meanes once to peepe forth of their shels.

4 The Turke againe maketh them sure to him so many waies, though all barbarous and vnciuill, as he scarcely alloweth his subiects leaue to draw their breath, nor suffreth his mighty men once to hold vp their heades; or forraine Princes to be able in due time to attempt ought against him.

The end of the second Booke.


The causes of the fall and ruine of estates.

  • 1 Estates are subiect to change.
  • 2 Some of longer, some of lesse continuance.
  • 3 Great, small, and meane estates, and their causes of ruine; externall, internall, and mixt.
  • 4 Lesse estates come to their endes soonest by externall causes.
  • 5 The great by internall.
  • 6 The meane more durable, yet subiect to alteration.

1 THe order that nature ob­serueth in all things crea­ted doth plainly enough teach vs that whatsoeuer is borne passeth and hast­neth towards death; and that all things which haue a beginning necessarilie and interchangably roule towards their end. This proceedeth either of an ordinarie and naturall course, or of the violence and altera­tion of compound bodies. Hence we drawe this con­struction, that estates change, monarchies faile, and the ru­ine of one serueth as the raising to the other.

2 Againe, as of humaine bodies some are more strong, [Page 115] vigorous, and of a better composition then others, and so are of longer continuance; so we see the same difference in kingdomes and estates: in as much as some preserue themselues longer, either because by their nature they are more surely founded (as for example the Signory of No­bles is more lasting then the popular estate, and a Monar­chal estate more then a common-weale, because a Monar­chy keepeth the causes of corruption more aloofe from her; or is policed with better lawes) or because of the situ­ation which is naturally more strong then the other, as we see at this day in the Signorie of Venice.

3 But because this assertion is subiect to diuers obiectiōs, we will diuide it only into two propositions. First then of principalities, some are small, some great, some indifferent, either in regard of their subsistance or first essence, or of the comparison which may be made betweene them and their neighbours: Secondly, the efficient causes of the vtter ru­ine of estates are either inward, or outward, or mixt: The inward are to be fetched and conceiued in respect of the negligence, ignorance, and riot of Princes which giue themselues ouer to all voluptuousnesse; whereto may be added the factions, secret practises, ambitions, and despe­rate humors of subiects, with sundrie other occasions, all fit to bring estates to their vtter ruine. The outwad cau­ses are the stratagemes, armes, and force of the enemie. The mixt are such as participate of both, as are the rebel­lions of the people, treasons of particular men, put in exe­cution by forraine ayd and force. Since then it is so that all principalities are subiect to ruine by one of these three cau­ses; we are now to vnfold what maladies may infect, as well great and indifferent, as small estates; and draw all within the compasse of inward, outward, and mixt causes.

Now like as in naturall things naturall corruption is more tolerable then violent, so must we consider whether the alteration and impairing of estates and common weales chance by reason of age, or by the violence of some not forseene cause.

[Page 116] 4 Returning then to our former diuision and well exa­mining it, wee shall finde that small Estates come to their ends rather by meanes of outward causes (brought in by force and violence) then otherwise: In as much as their power being insufficient to withstand their mighty neigh­bours ambitious attempts, they are at the first incounter o­uerset with the storm of his conquests; in this maner the se­ueral Signories of Lombardy fel in subiection either of the Duke of Milan, or of the Venetiās; the free cities of Thos­cany became a pray to the Duke of Florence: The Princes of Africke to the King of Fez-Marocco, and Algiers.

5 On the contrarie, great Empires are vsually subuerted by meanes of inward causes; either by ease & plenty, which customarily makes Princes to swell with insupportable pride; by voluptuous riot (whereto people amidst their abundance are most prone) or else by insolency and pre­sumption seazing the great ones of the country when they see themselues much followed and reuerenced, all fit in­ticements to dispose a hart (but indifferently generous) to plot for his owne raising.

Nec quenquam iam ferre potest Caesarue priorem,
Pompeiusue parem.

Then is it (as one saith) that Caesar cannot brooke a superior, and that Pompey stomaketh an equall.

6 Meane estates vndergoe danger as well as the two for­mer, yet far lesse, since they hold the meane as the other the extreams, for they are not so vnfurnished of strength, as that it would be easie for euery one to inuade and oppresse them, neither are they of that greatnesse and wealth, as to afforde matter to particular men to grow mighty, or else a­bandon themselues immoderatly to delights & pleasures, or to transport themselues beyond the limits of reason. This is it that so long preserued the common weales of Sparta & of Venice, which euermore respectiuely intertai­ned a meane and equality.

The mixt causes of the ruine of Estates are inward trea­cheries and outward force. Treason hatched within an [Page 117] Estate much more indammageth a great then a small or meane Empire. For a monarke is not able to turne his eie vpon euery corner of his Kingdome; and sturring spirits are fortified in their attempts either with the hope of im­punity (the nourse of vices in all Estates and gouernments) or with the opinion they haue conceiued of not being dis­couered till such time as their proiects meete with some good successe. These things happen sooner, when the Prince is far off then at hand. Spaine can witnesse it, which was so vnhappily betraied by Count Iulian, Anno 714. as it thereby fell into the hands of the Moores. So was the Empire of the Mamelucks by the treason of Caierbeius possest by Selim Emperour of the Turkes.1516. Who would search more na­rowly into Christendome shall finde that the ciuill wars of France minister more examples for proofe of this then is necessary. Thus wee see that small estates are most to stand in feare of forraine force, since they haue not wherewithei­ther of or in themselues to be able to resist or to take breath: That the meane estates are alwaies lesse offended by out­ward force then the smallest, and more free from inward treason then the greatest.

From what coniectures the con­tinuance of estates may be gathered.

  • 1 Causes of the change of Estates.
  • 2 The ruine of Estates is most answearable to their begin­nings.
  • 3 The rootes of common wealths how maintained.
  • 4 Security especially to be auoided.

[Page 118] 1 I Will no farther extend the discourse of the former chapter, nor diue into the o­ther efficient causes of the ruine of e­states: for should I handle what might be farther said of this matter, I should wan­der too far frō the propounded subiect, and perhaps racke the argument beyond his due pitch. I will then tie my selfe only to the coniectures of the con­tinuance or fall of estates, omitting other causes, as also all that may be referred to the iudgement of the heauens, the influence of the stars, and to their vertue; sithence this knowledge is fraught with so many obscurities and contrarieties in what is written thereof, as I will spare to search too far into it: Though otherwise we are to imagine that nothing is made in vaine, and that those celestiall bo­dies moue not by chance, but rather by diuine order and disposition. Againe, the errors of their Ephimerides and the different supputation of the first masters of their profes­sion, make the knowledge to be vncertaine and their so surely grounded maximes to afford contrarie resolutions. Let vs not meddle then with the aspects of the stars, or the natiuities of estates, but regard and consider the effects of what is at our owne home without taking so high a flight. We say then that estates suffer either by the vnremouea­ble ordinance of God, or by the naturall course of time, wherewith in time they grow feeble, and change: or else by the wils of men, so vnstable and light, as they ordinari­ly breede an vniuersall alteration thorow out a whole estate and common-weale. We will only drawe our coniectures from naturall causes (not to meddle with the iudgement of the diuine Maiesty or mans inconstancy) nakedly and simply to speake of them as neere and familiar, to the end we may not enter into the chaos of causes heauenly and most remote.

2 So then we are to thinke that the continuance of estates is proportioned to their beginning. It is with them as with [Page 119] sensible creatures, which the more they hasten to arriue at the perfection of their being, the sooner also they faile and die: the contrarie is seene in those which with a slow and measured pase attaine to a more faire maturity and perfe­ction: as for example, among beastes the horse, amongst trees the willow are of no long indurance: but those that (as the Hart and Oliue) make by degrees and slowly to­wards their ripenes, are likewise more lasting. We may say the like of Empires and Estates: for as we see them slow or swift in their increase, so are they more swift or slow in their ruine. Haue not the French more then once conquered the duchy of Milan and the kingdome of Naples, and that as a man may say almost in a moment? so haue they many times lost it and all in a moment: such conquests resem­ble Torrents tumbling downe the mountaines, which in lesse then an hour, by reason of the great shoutes of waters they bring with them, become fearefull and dangerous; when soone after in an instant, we see them fallen and shal­low, so as a childe may wade thorow them without trouble or danger. Now not to leaue this conquest of Milan and Naples, we must to this purpose by examples contrary to the former make good the ground of our proposition: which to performe, I will set before you the manner how the Spaniards conquered and held these prouinces.

I finde it hath been by a long course of time, and infinite trauaile accompanied with all the paines and trou­bles, which those who set vp their rest vpon a conquest and resolue to abide out the wars, ordinarily indure. Hence their labour hath taken such roote, as nothing since hath been able to escape their hands, howsoeuer they haue been oft times galled and put to their plunges. It is requisite then that Empires haue their rootes to sustaine them, which must be deepe and sound, otherwise it is impossible they should long continue. Now that they may be such, there is an especiall wisedome and many yeeres requi­red.

3 The true rootes of an estate are the loue of the people [Page 120] towards their Prince, the sincere and holy distribution of Iustice amongst the subiects; military discipline well po­liced and obserued by the souldiours; honours, rewards, and benefits bestowed according to vertue and merit: that great men be not slightly set by, abased or contemned: that the common sort of people be intertained with all honest satisfaction: necessary prouisions for the maintenance of places of strength; well husbanding of the treasure; friendly intelligence with neighbour Princes; vncorrupt election of officers; modesty in their proceedings: these are the very true rootes able to fortifie and make monar­chies to flourish and raise them to eternity: which rootes can neuer proue setled spring, or send foorth worthy fruit, vnlesse they be planted in the soile of wisdome, aduice and industrie, and husbanded by the continuance of time.

4 It is often seene that great Conquests and victories at­tained without losse or labour, so blinde the Conquerour, as they make him become like one of those long reeds or canes which carry outwardly a good apparance, but are in­wardly hollow and of fraile substance. They cause him to contemne his companions, and those who assisted him in obtaining his victories, but more the subdued people, whence ordinarily followeth, that the higher is his fortune, the neerer is his fall. Wee haue straied sufficiently. It is now high time to returne to our principall discourse: and as we haue heretofore made it appeare that there are three sorts of estates; so wee are now to vnfold in what ranck of the three the Turke is to be bestowed.

That the monarchy of the Turke is comprehended within the num­ber of great estates.

  • 1 The substance of the ensuing Chapters.
  • [Page 121] 2 Greatnesse of the Turkish Empire.
  • 3 Compared with the Romaines.
  • 4 The marueilous successe thereof inwarre.

1 From the diuision of estates deliuered by vs in the former chapter, this is to take his foundation, and by these causes wee are to make choice of that of the three which is the surest; by what accidents or infirmities both the one and the o­ther may vndergoe a change, either outwardly or inward­ly, and in which rank of the three wee are to lodge the Turke. Some one perhaps will iudge this question super­fluous and vnprofitable, seeing his renowne, his conquests, and his long rule doe but too much teach vs what he is: notwithstanding all this I should not thinke it besides the purpose a little to particularize the causes of his greatnesse.

2 The estate of the Turke is held without question to bee one of the greatest and mightiest, as well in regard of the large circuit it containeth, as of his power: he is great be­cause of so many Prouinces reduced to his obedience; and though he haue not so great a share in Europe as the Ro­maines sometimes had, he hath to counteruaile this, more aduantaged himselfe in Asia and Africke: for when the fortune of the Romaines was at the greatest, and that they had their armes most at libertie, yet went they not beyond Euphrates: It is very true, that Traian went farther, but all the Prouinces he subdued were soone abandoned by Adri­an his successor.

The Turke hath not done so, for he hath extended his dominion as far as Tigris; he possesseth all Mesopotamia, or as they terme it Diarbecke. From thence he reacheth as far as Balsera or the Gulfe of Persia, which the Romans neuer saw, and the Gulfe of Arabia. And to say better, all is his from the red sea to the Cittie Aden, which is in the maine continent beyond the mouth of this sea, more then an hundred and fiftie miles: he hath also inlarged his do­minions [Page 122] toward the South far beyond Aegypt. In Africk all is his, except three places of strength which the king of Spaine holdeth, Pegnon de Veles, Oran, and Melila: Mau­ritania also is his, only three fortresses excepted, which are Tanger, Arsilla, and Mazagan, conquered by the Por­tugall: when I name Africk, I intend that country com­monly termed Barbary, and not Ethiopia.

3 Hauing now seene the largenes of his dominions, we are next to discourse of his meanes and power. I finde that he hath better established the one and the other, then the Romans euer did whē they were at their intirest great­nes, because in such a most large compasse of his country, there is no king or common weale beareth sway to distin­guish his dominions: which was otherwise with the Ro­manes, who had many such wedged in, within the conti­nent of their Empire.

There is not any one of his subiects that dareth to say that the house wherein he dwelleth, or the land he tilleth, is his owne. They acknowledge to hold all they haue of him: he ordinarily intertaineth diuers great and mighty armies both by sea and by land. So as it must needes be granted that he is greater in his estates, meanes and power, then e­uer were the Romans, for he so peaceably maintaineth what he hath conquered, as he can no waies vndergoe the troubles and wars which the Romans endured at the hands of Mithridate, the Parthians, Farnaces and others. More­ouer, next Europe the Gaules are not his enemies. The Cymbrians are his associats; so as he fostereth such a tran­quillity and obedience on all sides, as he amasseth inesti­mable treasure.

4 And more, (a thing worth the noting) in three hun­dred yeeres space since he began first to reigne, he hath re­ceiued but foure notable ouerthrowes (that excepted which he receiued the yeere past neere Tauris) But the Romaines in lesse time receiued more and greater at the only hands of the Carthaginians. In sum, there is not that nation in the world which can vaunt of so many victories [Page 123] in so short a space, or to haue triumphed of the captiuity or death of so many kings and great Princes, as the great Turke; or that haue with such happie successe and disci­pline so soone raised so mightie an Empire as his is at this day. Is it not a fearfull matter to heare it related that Ma­homet the second (an infidel) hath had such fauour of the heauens, as to haue beene able in the space of 32. yeeres raigne, to subdue two Empires, vsurpe twelue kingdomes, and take by force two hundred cities? That which affor­deth the greatest cause of wonder, is, that all this hath suc­ceeded in the very time when the art of military engines & fortifications were in their perfection, and wherewith we might haue armed our selues to withstand him. In con­clusion, what shal we say of Selim the first, who in lesse then foure yeeres space vanquished the Mamelucks, subdued all Syria, Palestina, the red sea, a great part of Arabia and all Aegypt? These are questionlesse goodly and notable Tro­pheys of the Turks greatnesse, but most dishonorable and dangerous for all Christendome.

Whether the Empire of the Turke draw towards an end.

  • 1 The Ottaman Empire leaneth toward ruine.
  • 2 The reasons are the bordering princes vpon the Turkes estate, and their prouiding for their safety.
  • 3 Made wise by others harmes they stand vpon their defen­siue war.
  • 4 They are bridled by strong fortresses.
  • 5 Contrary arguments.

1 WE haue discoursed as briefely as might be of the fall and ruine of estates, of their effi­cient causes, and vpon what coniectures a man might gather them. It is now time that we see and ex­amine in like sort whether the empire of the Turke be nere [Page 124] his end, and abatement of his greatnesse, according as a man may draw from coniectures it leaneth towards his de­clining; and though the foundation heereof be built vpon reasons so cleere and euident as they are not to be contrari­ed, yet will I alledge one that carrieth more apparence then all the other; and that is, that the greatnesse of his empire is at the highest that it may be by the ruine of Prin­ces by him expelled, vanquished and made away one after an other, whilest he hath in the meane time triumphed of their estates and rich spoiles; but now that he hath none to oppose him with hopes of so fauourable issue as had the o­ther: his ambition, heart, and courage will grow idle and languish; whence in time will spring the ruine of his Em­pire; Is he not already come to that passe? The Princes that confine vpon him, though more weake then he to bid him battaile, assaile, or defend, haue neuerthelesse so orde­red their affaires and meanes, as they are able at this day to sheeld themselues sufficiently from his attempts.

2 Amongst others the King of Persia, doth he not so ballance his power as he hath giuen him many great ouer­throwes, and one lately (as I haue said) neere Tauris? The Tartarians also hold him plaie and more prouoke him then he them; and of late they got from him Caffa a strong and wealthy towne; moreouer whilest he was busi­ed about the wars of Persia the Georgians took and sacked Xistis; but they were not able to hold it; so as the Turke hath repossessed himself of it. The Muscouit doth not on­ly defend himselfe from the incursions of the Turks, but he oft times also skirmisheth with them, commanding as he doth aboue an hundred and fifty thousand horse. The King of Polonia likewise more mighty then the Musco­uit, is so strong as he will not take wrong; but is able ra­ther at all times to repell the violence of his enemy. The house of Austria together with the aid of the Princes of Germanie, hath wherewithall to make their party good and to oppose him: the Venetians, vnited with Italy and Spaine (which in such a case will not abandon them) are [Page 125] likewise able enough to defend themselues and hold their owne. As for the king of Spain, he is so mighty by sea and by land, both of men and mony, as he dareth vndertake himselfe to incounter the Turke in battaile, much more to defend himselfe if assaulted. The King of Fez is not anie way awed by him, and is more strong then he, at the least in Africke; which he approued to the common hurt of Christendome by that ouerthrow and death of the King Don Sebastian of Portugall, where so many Christians mi­serably ended their daies. The last of those which abut vpon the Turke is Prester Iohn, who hath hitherto beha­ued himselfe so honorably against him, as he hath neuer shewed any token of fearing his forces. So as being now vnable by reason of the concord & stout opposition of his neighbours, to gaine farther ground; he must of necessity (vnlesse God in regard of our sinnes be otherwise pleased) begin to recoile; and that greatnesse which he hath built vpon others ruines must decay and lessen; since the mat­ter which gaue the increase is on his part wanting.

3 There is yet an other point which fortifieth this opini­on, and that is: that all such Princes as confine vpon the Turke, are by others example made more wise, aduised and considerat, then they were before the ruine of such as serued for a pray to the Ottomans; whereby they will dis­creetly looke to themselues how they courageously haz­zard their persons or estates at one battaile: they will ra­ther be content to stand vpon their defence, attending while time beget some apparent occasion, roundly and to the purpose to set vpon him.

4 Againe, there are at this day so many fortresses, so strong and so well appointed, as they are in a manner im­pregnable, so as the Turke is not like to finde the way so o­pen as heereto fore he did to carry them: but if he should put himselfe vpon that hazardous enterprise of forcing them one by one, it were as much as to become the author of his owne ruine.

5 Neither ought any man in opposing this,1570. alledge the [Page 126] losse of Cypres, since it hapned not so much through the Turkes power, as because of the distance of Venice, which was to supply them with men and munition. A man may by a contrary argument say as much of the sauing of Malta (speaking according to humaine causes) for it was not pro­tected either by the forces within it selfe,1565. or by the succor sent thither from other parts: but only because the Iland was so far distant from Constantinople as the army could not in due time and season receiue their prouisions and bee refreshed as was requisite, nor well imploie such as were sent thither. If it would please God that the Turke might often make such voiages, he would prepare vs faire occasi­ons to attempt the reuenge of the outrages Christendome hath by him sundry waies receiued.

By what kinde of causes the Em­pire of the Turkes might most easily faile.

  • 1 The power of the Turke not to be easily ouerthrowne by out­ward causes.
  • 2 The power of Princes & estates bordering vpon the Turke, as the Persians, Tartarians, Moscouits, Polonians, Germans, Venetians, Spaniards, &c.

1 AS wee haue at large intreated in the chapters going before by what causes all estates may be brought to their last end and ruine; so are we now to come to that of the Ottomans, as one of the greatest; and examine by what inconueniences it may vndergoe a change. I am of opi­nion that this their so raised greatnesse can hardly decay by vertue of outward causes; seeing the Princes bordering [Page 127] vpon their estate,Quae non pro­sunt singula, multa [...]uuant. are euery one in particular weake to as­saile them, as they might well doe if they were peaceably vnited.

2 This weakenesse presupposed, it followeth that it will proue a hard matter to ruine him by forraine force, whose strength and meanes it is requisit we examine to inlighten this opinion.

First, those that confine vpon the Turke next Africke, are the King of Fez, of Marocco, and Prester Iohn: next Asia, the Sophi and the Tartarians: in Europe the Duke of Muscouy, the King of Polonia, the Emperour, the Ve­netians, and the King of Spaine.

As for the King of Fez he hath men enow, but small store of mony, so as he hath not the meanes or ability to maintaine a lasting war: Againe, though I should suppose he were able to be at the charge, yet I finde him naked of other things necessarie to aduantage himselfe vpon the Turke, such as are places of strength to forward his pro­ceedings, and assure his retrait: so as he is like enough to come short of his aime: and if he should performe some worthy exploit in Africk, doubtles the King of Spaine his neighbour would soone be iealous of his good fortune. And in very deede this is not the point, for it is all one with Christendome whether the King of Fez be too strong for the Turke, or the Turke for the King of Fez, since both are the Christians enemies. As for Prester Iohn, all the world knoweth he hath enough to doe to defend him­selfe against the Turkes forces; neither is it long since he wan from him all the hauens he had vpon the red sea, and amongst others that of Archiech and Mazzua: now for the Sophi, if we search their histories we shall finde that the kings of Persia haue alwaies had the worse of the Turks, & among all other Mahomet the second ouercame Vsumcas­san; 1474. after him Selim the first did as much to Ismael whom he forced into the remotest parts of his country. Tarmas also met with the like measure at Solimans hands: and on the contrary we see that Cudabenda hath had such a hand [Page 128] of Amurath the third now raigning, as he hath often van­quished his armies, and now of late at Tauris: and though he haue atchieued most worthy victories, yet hath he no­thing aduantaged himselfe. In the Turkes country, he hath not wan one fortresse of importance, or ought else that might counteruaile the charge of his wars: This hath succeeded in regard the Soph [...]is strōg of horse, but vnpro­uided of foote, which should be the principal force of such as besiege or defend. Moreouer, to force places of strength there is required great store of cannon & other munition, all wanting to the Sophi, who may well meete the enemy in the feeld and bid him battaile, but not pursue and assaile him if he retire into his fortres; because of the aboue said defects of foot & artillery; & though he were prouided of them, yet wants he the skill how to vse thē like others. The example of Tauris approueth this sufficiently, for after he had this last yeere vanquished the armie of the Turks, and slaine an hundred thousand men, he could neuer take the Cittadell wherein the Turks had drawne all their mu­nition of war, and left aboue eight thousand men; neither is there any newes hitherto that he hath taken it & expel­led them thence. The Tartarians are as ill stored with foote and artillery as the Persians, and except that they last got of the Turke, it may be truly said that they neuer did him harme. As for the Moscouit which abutteth vp­on him (as doe also the Polonians) they haue in regarde of the Turke small store of men, horse and mony; so as the most they can doe is to hold their owne. Now con­cerning the Germans, they haue lost much of their ancient reputation by the ouerthrow they receiued of the Turke at Exechium, Buda, and sundry other places; so as they are glad to keepe home without daring to assaile him. The Venetians haue beene so vnfortunate, as they haue neuer moued war against the Turke but it hath succeeded con­trary to their hopes: and which is the worst of all, they ne­uer consented to anie treatie of peace, but they did for­goe some important member of their estate. And to [Page 129] say the truth Mahomet the second got Negropont, Scu­tari, and Groya; Baiazet tooke from them Lepanto and Modon, and after in a treaty of peace they made with him they parted with S. Moore; in an other treaty they left to Soliman Napoles of Maluasia: Selim the second wan by force the Ile of Cypres, Duleme, and Antiuari: And though these be heauy losses, yet in regard they were far distant from their estates they are more supportable then if they had beene neere hand, so ought they now more then euer aduise how to strengthen themselues against the Turke by their braue resolution and prouision, which they may better doe now then euer, in regard their forces are more liuely, and the members of their common-weale more vnited and compact then heeretofore. Now we are to come to the king of Spaine. Let vs say that he hath store of mony and all prouision necessary to be imploied in the wars; that he is not without sufficient numbers of foot and horse alwaie in pay; that hee hath the commodity extraordinarily to leuy so many men as may make the Turke stand in feare of him; that his forces by sea are good and strong, and that he can increase them at his pleasure; that he hath store of victuals, commodity of hauens, for conuenient landing in his countries; and in a word that he is so mighty, as that neither he standeth in awe of the Turk, neither dareth the Turke assaile him: yet this power and hability could neuer hitherto be imploied to the purpose against the common enemy of Christendome. Not for want of will or inclination thereto, but because he is hin­dred by the reuolt of Flanders. The suspition also and feare of his neighbours armes, would neuer permit him to display an vnited and firme power against the Turke: he hath rather beene enforced to wast his time and meanes vpon the particular preseruation of his estates somewhat distant one from an other, in stead of courageously exploi­ting them against the Turkes to the good and consolation of Christendome. But our sinnes are they especially which haue depriued vs of the glorious fruits and aduantages we [Page 130] might haue gained by so worthy a power. In conclusion, we must grant that since the Empire of the Turke cannot receiue any damage or alteration by outward causes (which are wont to ruine estates) it is necessary that inward causes either separate or mixt effect it; yet before we discourse of these two meanes I hold it not amisse a little to examine, whether his estate may be by maine and open force ouer­throwne.

That it is not an impossible thing for the Christians with open force to vanquish the Turke.

  • 1 The Turke is not inuincible.
  • 2 Examples of their sundry ouerthrowes.
  • 3 A comparison of their good and ill successe in battailes. All proofes that they may be conquered.

1 THe conclusion of the argument of the former chapter, is, that the Turke can­not by way of open force receiue harme or ruine of importance; because of the mighty power and meanes he hath of his owne. But heereby is not inferred that therefore Christian Princes should faile of courage or hope, to goe thorow with their affaires to his preiudice; ra­ther otherwise placing their confidence in the Almighty, they are to hope better then euer, for the reasons I shall heereafter alledge; by the handling wherof I hope to proue that so far is he from being inuincible, as on the contra­ry he may be easily vanquished as many experiences may resolue vs.

2 We haue elsewhere said that Baiazet the first was ouer­come and taken aliue at the battaile he fought at Mount-Stella against the great Tamberlain, 1397. vnder whose hands he [Page 131] died a captiue.1439. Carambeius Bassa of Amurath the second, was discomfited by Ladislaus King of Polonia in the valley of mount Hermus:1440. he came with an intention to reuenge himselfe of the losse and dishonor that the Bassa of Notalia had receiued at the hands of Iohn Huniades, which at one time recouered from him a part of Seruia and all Molda­uia: but instead of performing this he became himselfe prisoner of that King, and had almost al his army put to the sword. Baiazet the second sent Calibeius and Querscogles his sonne in law into Asia against Caitheus Soldan of Aegypt with a great army to reuenge the intertainment the Soldan had giuen Zizimus his brother,1482. whom he had suc­cored with men and mony against him: his army was ouer­throwne neere Adena a towne of Cilicia, where the Turke receiued the most notable ouerthrow that was euer giuen him. For of an hundred thousand which presented them­selues in the battaile, the third part remained not aliue; yet those that performed this noble execution, were scarce one against sixe; but the aduice of two Italians and of the Ma­meluckes so furthered the affaires of Caytheus, as he spied a time to charge the Turkes when they least expected it. Soliman left the siege of Vienna with losse of 60000.1529. men which were there slaine, hauing giuen twenty generall as­saults to the towne. The yeere following he assembled an other army of 200000. men, with intention cruelly to re­uenge the harmes he had receiued; but the Emperour Charles the fift went to meete him, with such forces, as the other fled so hastily as he had scarce leasure to saue his baggage. Don Iohn of Austria naturall sone of Charles the fifth in the yeere 1571. got at Lepanto that so renowned victory of the army of Selim the second; this hath since made them walke (as they say) with the bridle in their hands, and confesse they had passed too rash a iudgment vpon the power of the Christians either by sea or by land: I omit to speake of the prowesse & noble acts of Scander­beg against the Turkes, and how many times he ouerthrew the Commanders of Amurath the second: and valiantly [Page 132] recouered Albania the place of his birth whereof he and his predecessors had beene depriued by that Tyrant, nei­ther will I again cite the examples of Iohn Huniades or Ma­thew Coruin, who in a manner with a handfull of men op­posed and discomfited the Turkish forces, nor of the Por­tugals, though they haue at sundry times assailed the Turk neere the red sea, barred him of passage, and rid him of the meanes of farther issuing out of the mouth of that sea. What should I speake of the Tartarians, who but lately tooke from him Taurica Chersones (called at this day Pe­rocopsky) if the reports which come from those partes be credible?

3 Such as haue beene curious in the search of the Tur­kish history haue obserued, that in the space of two hun­dred and fourescore yeeres they haue fought with their neighbours thirty and sixe battailes, whereof they haue only gained eighteene and lost the rest. These are all signes and successes whereby a man may conclude that they are not inuincible, and that their fortune hath beene ballanced betweene gaine & losse, so as we may beleeue, if God for our offences did not busie the forces of Christian Princes elsewhere then against the Turke, where he hath had the ouerthrow once, he had had it thrice: by all these foregoing examples we may collect that this proud ene­my hath not his head so hard as it may not be broken, or else sorely brufed. And though Christian Princes are not of power sufficient apart and of themselues to take him to taske, yet may they doe it by ranging themselues to that vnion and concord, as that there be amongst them but one common fortune. This being granted (as I pre­sume it shall) we are to vnfold how they may purchase his ruine.

Why the leagues among Christian Princes are commonly of small effect.

  • 1 Leagues are concluded for the respect of honour and profit.
  • 2 The inequality of gaine bringeth a difficulty to the conclu­sion of leagues.
  • 3 Christian Princes the farther they are from the Turke, the lesse haue they feare of dangers wherewith other more neere him are possessed.
  • 4 No man vainely exposeth himselfe to an apparant danger but where an euident commodity inuites him.
  • 5 While each striues to protect his owne frontiers from the Turke, others are neglected.
  • 6 The inequality of aide begetteth a contention who shall com­mand most in the wars.
  • 7 Remedies against such difficulties and calamities.

1 THere are many respects and causes, which customarily make the leagues of Christian Princes altogether vneffectu­all, which may appeere to some a matter of hard disgestion, and for this cause I hold it requisite particularly to cleere it. It is a receiued maxime that all the actions of Princes are vndertaken for two principal causes, honor and profit: that the consideration of honor often masqueth vnder the pre­tence or good of their affaires: we will then only meddle with profit which we may tearme interest.

2 Now this interest (a common maske for all faces) can­not be a like equall betweene Christian Princes with one consent vndertaking the war against the Turke: for they diuersly confine vpon the common enemy, and this diuer­sity breedeth a difference also betweene their resolutions and interests; and though this be an inconuenience not in [Page 134] the case in handling to be contemned, yet the principall difficulty dependeth not heerein: It rather consisteth wholly in the concord of the treaty of the league, and this concorde is hard to be wrought for these following rea­sons.

3 All these Princes are not neighbours of the Turke in the same equallity: some are more strong then other: this difference of strength affordeth to some a commodity to defend themselues or offend him with their owne forces: others are weake, and consequently exposed to the incursi­ons and spoiles of the Turke. It is an infallible maxime, that the farther Princes are from the danger, the lesse for­ward are they to stir, prepare for the war, or contribute to the charge or meanes requisite for the vndertaking thereof with the like feruency and affection as they would if they saw themselues so neere to the mischiefe, and that there were apparant danger.

4 Againe, that Prince which seeth no great profit or in­terest in such an enterprise doth lesse regard it then he whō necessity inforceth to stand vpon his garde, and feare that tyrants inuasion. Moreouer, if the Princes vnited to this league and combination shall once know that they shall get little or smally aduantage their estate, it is not to be ex­pected (when they enter into it) that they will bring with them that courage, resolution, affection, and forwardnesse as the businesse would require. See then how the disposi­tion of the interest makes the beginning difficult, the pro­ceeding and issue vncertaine, by reason of the diuers alte­rations and varieties which accompany euery associated Prince, sutable to his passion or affection; Whereupon would vndoubtedly follow an impossibilitie of establish­ing this league, and vnion vpon so sure foundations, as that the beginning may be good, the middle and end better: since the effect without vnion amongst many agents re­maineth euermore as nothing or nothing woorth.

5 We fall then farre short of our reckoning, vnlesse wee can minister some remedy to the diuersities of this interest [Page 135] and profit. This inconuenience is attended on, and coun­terpeized by an other of as great or greater consideration: And this is the interest and particular consequence of the neighbourhood that euery one indifferently hath with the Turke; by the which indifferency, each one accor­ding as his feare is, will desire the warre may be vnderta­ken to his aduantage. As for example, Spaine feareth the neighbourhood of Algiers; Venice of Albania: hence will grow that the league taking effect, the Venetians will striue that the forces of the league may be imployed in the Leuant, the Spaniards toward the South: so as it will not be possible to manage the enterprise to both their sa­tisfactions.

6 There is yet another inconuenience that our Princes wil not be able by an equall portion to enter into the league, inasmuch as one wanteth meanes to contribute thereto in money more then a sixt part, another a fift part; others that haue no money, will contribute men or ships; others more mightie in both, will vndertake halfe or a second. These are all the portions by whose assemblie a league may be formed. Of their indifferencie groweth yet another diffi­cultie or inconuenience (as we list to tearme it) and that is, that whosoeuer contributeth the halfe, would likewise haue in his handes (as the greatest and mightiest) all the power and swaie. In which it will follow, that the other shall not vndertake or performe ought but by his aduice, direction, and assistance: If he will make a stand, they are not to go forward; if he list to march elsewhere, then their desires carrie them, they must follow him: If his affaires presse him to alter his resolution and minde, and that hee will retyre to his home, they are constrained to doe the like, so as all their charge, paines, and holy intentions, are vtterly ouerthrowne, and they oftentimes rest exposed to the iniurie and reuenge of their dangerous neighbour, a­gainst whom they iointly rose in armes.

7 These are, to say the trueth, considerations and incon­ueniences of that value and consequence (measuring them [Page 136] by their parts, and not by the whole) as we must conclude that none but God is able to tune this league to an agree­ing harmony, which we are most humbly to craue at his Almightie hands with a strong faith, a true amendment of life, and a more perfect charitie then this age affoordeth.

The defects which may be obserued in the leagues of the yeere 1537: and 1571.

  • 1 The conditions, successe and errors of the league in anno 1537.
  • 2 Of that of 1570.
  • 3 How a league may be established to auoide the formerly committed errors.

1 COntinuing the matter of the former chapter, it will not be beside the pur­pose, by the way to touch the defects which were found in two the most me­morable leagues that haue beene made in our time betweene the Princes of Christendome. The first resolued vpon in the time of Pope Paul the third,1537. betweene him, the Emperour Charles the fifth, and the Venetians. It was then, beside the condi­tions, agreed vpon that the Emperour and the Knightes of Malta should set foorth 82. Gallies, the Venetians a like number, the Pope 36. only. Andrew Doria was chosen Generall of the Emperours army, Vincentio Capelli of the Venetians, and Marco Grimani Patriarch of Aquileia of the Popes, hauing for his Lieutenant Paul Iustinian; and for the maine land seruice Ferdinand Gonzaga was chosen Generall. Moreouer it was concluded betweene the prin­ces, that whatsoeuer they should get from the Turkes with [Page 137] the forces of the league either in Greece or Dalmatia should be left to the Venetians as in recompence of their so great expence and losse that they should suffer by war­ring vpon the Turke. Soliman seeing the forces of the league assembled, made hast to lanch his Gallies foorth in­to the maine. Such was his diligence as they were within a few daies in a readinesse and went for Candy, where they made some hauocke, but of no great moment. After these roades Barbarossa made a stay of al the army in the gulfe of Larta, there to attend the Christians which came onward, but so slowly as the season passed without performing ought, or without that they once met together, and that which was yet worse, our men inforced by tempest, reti­red themselues to Corfú whence they set foorth. Barba­rossa followed them as far as Antipaxo within an hundred miles of Corfú, but perceiuing them to prepare themselues to fight he speedily retired to the gulfe of Larta, so as our army was resolued for Dirachium, otherwise called Drazo or la Velona, but that being a dangerous harbour for the gallies, they turned their force vpon Castell Nouo which they carried by assault: an exploit (to say the truth) of that small importance (respecting their charge and prouision) as it wan them as much dishonor as profit, the towne being won the Spaniards seazed themselues of it. The Veneti­ans disputed it as a thing appertaining to them according to the articles of the league; but it was to small purpose, wherefore quieting themselues since it was not to be reme­died they tooke an occasion thereupon to shift themselues of the league. The yeere following Soliman recouered Castle Nouo with the losse of those Spaniards which kept it, who were all put to the sword, those which escaped in­during a most miserable seruitude: and though the peace treated by the Venetian was somewhat disaduantageous, yet they indured that more willingly, then to be otherwise dealt with then was agreed vpon: other causes might be alleaged, as the ceasing of trafficke and many other dis­commodities, besides the impouerishing of their Estate, [Page 138] all which necessarily attende the intertainement of ar­mies.

2 The last league of the yeere 1571.1570. yeelded not much better fruits, for after a great charge, and the gaining of so famous a victorie, no other good redounded thence to the Christians, but that the Turke made an assay of their valour; and by little and little the confederate forces diui­ded themselues: the Venetians departing vpon occasion of almost the same iealousies, as in the former league.

3 It will be now time to deliuer how all these inconueni­ences may be stopped, and the league become firme and durable, without consideration of any particular interest, to the end that euery one may voluntarily in deuotion consent thereto to the glory of God with a free heart, and an vndaunted magnanimitie: In which case, the conditi­ons being rather free then forced on either side, we may reape thereby fruits woorthy and honorable: These two leagues heeretofore mentioned, hapned in a time so dan­gerous for the Venetians, as it was more then necessarie that the Christian Princes (though not interessed) should vnite their forces to assist and protect the other. So the one standing in the water vp to the throat, and incompas­sed with danger, and the other on the contrary, free from feare of perill, they entred into the couenants and condi­tions of the league, not such as they ought to haue beene to make them lasting; but such as were presented to men standing in neede of them, who inforced by necessitie, might not refuse them, to the end to cleere themselues of a neere threatning mischiefe. Leagues wil then be dura­ble when they shall be stablished at a time whē men are free and exempt from all constraint; and not to attend as they do, till the Turke affright one of the confederates, and that he be alreadie come into the field so strong both by sea and land, as the Venetians or some other of the confede­rates are already by him assailed. At such a time to seeke a remedy by their hastie assembling, is the way to imprint a certaine feare in their people; and make them flocke to­gether [Page 139] in the fold as sheepe in presence of the woolfe. It is requisite then that the league be contracted at leisure, in a time of peace, and in a season when the associates may be inuited, not by any vrgent danger, but voluntarily, and with such an alacritie of heart, as they may vnite their per­sons, their meanes, their powers, and their courages all to­gether to offend the common enemy.

A league which may be treated with­out danger of the former defects.

  • 1 The qualities of perfect leagues.
  • 2 The conditions of leagues, and what each of the confederates is to attempt vpon the enemie.
  • 3 The commoditie of them so concluded.
  • 4 Aduise for a generall contribution against priuate gaine.
  • 5 That the danger we stande in of the Turke, is greater then many suppose, and that therefore those that are most re­mote, ought willingly to contribute.
  • 6 What should mooue vs to ioyne in league against the Turke.

1 NOw then to reape the woorthie and ho­norable fruits of a holie league & asso­ciation, we are to remooue the defects and inconueniences which haue made the former leagues prooue abortiue: And the better to effect it, it is necessary that their treaties be voluntarie: that Princes voluntarily ioyne their powers & meanes to one end, though by diffe­rent courses: so as growing to capitulations, the one doe not aduantage himselfe vpon the straightning of the others affaires. This is it which equalling the conditions, will cause euery one to partake in the enterprise, without all suspect or particular iealousie: It is not enough that the defects [Page 140] of these leagues be discouered, if they make vs not more wise in the framing of other to come: to the end we may with all deuotion and sinceritie builde them on a strong and vnmooueable foundation; and thus in my opinion may be the manner of our proceeding.

2 It is not required that to establish this league and make it fructifie, the confederate forces should assemble in one place, but at one time: my meaning is, that our Princes must bee readie to assaile the enemie at once in diuers places, and that euery one bende his forces towards parts which are neerest to him, so to begin the warre to some purpose: As for example, the Spaniards should inuade the parts of Algiers: the Venetians and the Pope, of Alba­nia: the gallies of Sauoy, Malta, and Florence, should continue their ordinarie courses against the Turke; vnlesse they would ioyne with the Venetians or the king of Spain: the Polonians should set vpon Walachia: the Emperour and Princes of Germany vpon Hungary.

3 Questionlesse if each of these did in this manner as­saile him, their courage and force would be the greater, as would likewise be their desire to persist in their enterprise, without any respect of paines or expence, hoping all would redound to their honour, profit, and particular se­curitie: which they cannot expect from the other leagues, and this is that which hath in part made them defectiue. The enemie that should be so many waies set vpon, would be constrained to diuide his forces, which consequently would become lesse able to protect him, on all sides wher­soeuer he should be assailed. First, the gallies of Malta assisted with some other, and scouring (as they might) the Leuant seas, would keepe in such awe those that guarde Alexandria and Rhodes, as they would not dare to peepe out: Againe, if Spaine would inuade Barbarie, the gallies of Algiers would be sure to keepe home: so as the strength of Venice ioyned with that of the Church, would doe what they list, and would meete with no encounter by sea which they should not easily ouermatch: especially if at [Page 141] the same time the Emperour and the King of Polonia, would warre likewise vpon the Turke. We haue an exam­ple of the times which verifieth our position. When Soli­man vndertooke the warre of Hungary,1532. against Charles the 5. Andrew Doria Generall of his galleies, with a very small armie troubled all the Leuant, tooke by maine force Coron and Patras, and harrowed all those seas without controule or encounter of the enemies: whence followeth, that if the Christians would as I haue saide, at one instant set vpon the Turke, they would force him no doubt into a narrow straight.

4 There is one point that would make the enterprise ea­sie, more forcible and lasting, but it would hardly be disge­sted, and that is to draw all Christian Princes which confine not with the Turke, to contribute vnto it. All these suppose themselues free from danger and make no reckning of o­thers sufferings, in whose behalfe they thinke they should not cōtribute, as those that were like to haue but the charge and the other the profit. In a word, all catholike Princes are so wedded to this particular interest, which is euer more differing and vnequall among them (as hath beene before alledged) as the league would neuer be thorowly concluded or of long continuance, this must of necessity be forgotten, and the only desire of the exaltation of the Church of God must be that which must range them to the necessarie point, whereof they need not trauell to seeke examples out of their owne houses, which if they would but imitate all would succeed wel, to inuite them to it I wil alledge one.

The principall aime of the league set on foote by God­frye of Buillion, Alcut 1088. and of so many Princes and Nobles some greater then himselfe which accompanied him, was not placed but vpon the particular honour of the Maiesty of God, whereabout euery man emploied himselfe with such zeale and deuotion, as without attending the succours or furtherance of any great King or Emperour, they drew to­gether an army of an hundred thousand horse and three [Page 142] hundred thousand foote, wherewith they subdued almost all the east.

5 Leauing apart all these considerations let vs come to the opinion that some haue of their being far from dan­ger, and we shall finde peraduenture that they are neerer thereto then they are aware.

When Amurath came first out of Asia into Europe was not Hungary (which is now subiect to the Turke) farther off from the confines of the Ottomans Empire then are now the countries of Saxony or of Bauiers,1363. then they of Franconia, the Swichzers and the French? yet we see it now most in his possession.

6 Shall we then say because we haue a mountaine before vs, or a riuer betweene vs, or some estate that seemeth to shelter vs, that therefore we should hold our selues happy and in security, and not be touched with others danger and misery? No surely. For if we be Christians we ought not only to haue compassion of others calamities, but afforde them also our good and charitable assistance: moreouer he that measureth future things but by the consequence of things present, findeth himselfe oft times beguiled; we are to haue such prouident care of what is present, & to come, that we may leaue to ours the same assurance we wish to our selues, to the end to preserue them by this prouidence from such danger as they might incur after vs. And though we should not carry that regard of our children and poste­rity, and that the consequence of our estate did not spur vs on to such an enterprise, shall there remaine in vs so little courage and charity, loue and deuotion to the glory of God, from whom we haue our being and of whom wee hold our powers, as that we should all forget to husband his vineyard, and expell thence such as intrude themselues into it and pollute it? wherefore serue all those heapes of treasure which the Princes of Lombardy amasse, one in enuy of an other? whereupon will those so mighty Prin­ces of Germany and the Imperiall townes spend their reue­nues and incomparable riches? what occasion can all of [Page 143] them finde more goodly then this to attaine to an immor­tall glory? It is then for the inlarging the kingdome of Christ that we must imploy all we haue, and for the deliue­rance of those sacred places ouer which those barbarous in­fidels tyrannize, to redeeme so many thousand of poore Christian slaues which suffer and grone vnder the yoake of that inraged dogge, to giue life to an infinite number of Christians, to reuenge their wrongs, to punish the iniurires & blasphemies which that tyrant and his helhounds haue breathed out against the glory of God, his holy name and church. And if humaine appetite must needs be an actor in this theater, it would be an easie matter for great Princes that send their forces, to vrge this consideration in the capi­tulations, that they should haue in fauour of their contri­butions part of the spoiles and conquests that they might happily obtaine. Againe, if the loue of the seruice of God had a working in them, they might vndertake in person the Generall conduct of the army, or command part of the confederat troupes. Godfrey a poore Prince, in comparison of those that now sway Christendome, alienated the Duchy of Bouillion for so godly a voyage. Stephen Count of Chartres did the like with his estate, as did also many great men, who had no other motiue thereunto then the enter­prise of the holy land. Charles the seuenth King of France, did he not succor the Emperour of Constantinople with a great number of horse which he sent him vnder the con­duct of the greatest personages of his kingdome? And must we sit idle with crossed armes whilest the cruell flames of this infidels tyranny burne and consume the houses of our neighbours?

Wherein consist the greatest forces of the Turke.

  • 1 Whether the Ianizzars be the chiefe strength of the Turke.
  • 2 That horse are more necessary in the war then foote.
  • [Page 144] 3 The progresse of the Turke before and after the institution of the Ianissars.
  • 4 Victories gotten by the horse.
  • 5 Ouerthrowes giuen by the enemies horse to the Christians.
  • 6 Conclusion that horse in seruice excell foote.

IT seemeth that the greatest part of such as discourse of the forces of the Turke at­tribute his chiefe strength to the band of Ianizzars, as the only sinew of his power: and amongst other reasons wherewith they striue to fortify their oppinion, this is one. It hath hapned many times that the army of the Ottomans hath beene so hardly laide to, as the battaile hath been in a manner lost, yet haue they gathered strength and kept themselues on foote, yea they haue gotten the victory, and all through the vertue and valour of these Le­gionaries.

2 Machiauel discourseth vpon this point,Machiauels opinion for foote. and as one much passionate holdeth himselfe to this argument, that foote are more necessary then horse in all exploites of war, and he laieth his principall foundation vpon the example of certaine Romaine Captaines, which (saith he) to breake into, and force the enemy on foote haue caused their men at armes to alight from their horses and fight on foote a­gainst them: It is a poore argument and of small impor­tance, since that for once that they made their horsemen alight, an hundred occasions were offered to make them mount on horse backe if they had the commodity of horse; he which is on horsebacke may when he please alight, but a footeman cannot get vp on horsebacke when hee will. This mony shall serue to pay Machiauel whom I leaue to proceed forward. I affirme, that in a ranged battaile, and in the plaine field the forces of the Turke consist and prin­cipally rely on the horse. The proofes are cleere and at hand, as the processe of this discourse shall discouer.

3 First no man is ignorant of the great victories the [Page 145] Turk got long time before the institution of the Ianizzars. Amurath the second the yeere 1420. was he that first or­dained them: yet Ottoman had before that taken Sebasta (a city of importance in Asia) where he slew aboue an hun­dred thousand of his enemies.1305. Orcan his sonne had dis­poiled the Emperour of Constantinople and of Bithinia at seuerall worthy incounters.1363. Amurath the first had passed Asia into Europe, with his forces tooke Gallipoli, Filipoli, and Andrinople; and we may thinke that he did not ob­taine those victories without dangerous and bloudy in­counters: he conquered also diuers other cities and wan many other victories of the Princes of Seruia and Bulgaria, whom he compelled to stoope vnder the yoake of his obe­dience.1396. Baiazet the first ouercame Sigismonde King of Bo­hemia, and put all those French to the sword which Charles the 6. of France sent to his succour. Calepin his sonne vn­derstanding that Sigismond had raised an army, vpon the newes of the ouerthrow giuen by Tamburlaine to Baiazet, to salue his losses went to meete him at Salumbezza, and so valiantly incountred him, as his whole army was cut in pee­ces, so as it cannot be said that the victories the Turke hath obtained since the institution of Ianizzars haue beene ei­ther greater or more memorable then the former, rather they were the steps to these other happy atchieuements. The beginning of things containe in them the efficient vertue of the whole. This disputation might proue great and might ballance on either side, if I did not ad waight to one of the opinions.

I will then say, that before the institution and seminary of Ianizzars,1397. the Turks receiued but one memorable ouer­throw at mount Stella at the hands of Tamburlan the most strong enemy that euer they assaied, and that after their institution they receiued more and greater, as were those of Vsumcassan, of Iohn Huniades, of Mathew Coruin, of the Mamelucks, of the great Scanderbag, of Don Iohn of Au­stria, of the Kings of Persia and others.

4 The second proofe which I will produce to fortifie the [Page 146] truth of my proposition, is, that all such as haue had the better hand of the Turkes, euer had it by the meanes of their horse, wherein they did exceed the enemy in num­ber and strength, as we haue so often saide of the Persians and of the Mamelucks. The great Sophi [...]mael, had he not vanquished Selim the second with the strength of his horse, if when he did set vpon the rier-ward, where the Turke was in person, the thunder of his Cannon had not so affrighted the horse, as they ran away with their masters, to the disordering of the whole armie? The onely thing that ouerthrew the fortune which the Persian had almost alreadie in his possession. Cudabeuda King of Persia, hath many times ouercome the Turkish forces, by the onely strength of his horse, whereof he hath more and is better armed then the other. The Hungarians in like sort haue many times put the Turkes to the woorse by their fight on horsebacke.

5 The third and strongest proofe of my assertion, is, that all the harmes we haue receiued of the Turke, haue come by his horse, as at Nicapolis, at Salembezza, at Varna, at the riuer of Moraua, at Exechium, at Buda and else­where.

6 And if it euer hapned that the Ianizzars recouered the battaile halle lost, it is to be imputed to this, that they were reserued for the rierward; so as it was easie for fresh men to repell those which were already weakned and tyred. But I thinke no man but will grant, that if instead of the Ianiz­zars they had beene as many horse, they had performed as much. As on the contrarie, if the other had kept in store some fresh troupes of horse, as the Turkes, they had dealt otherwise with them, and kept them well enough from be­reauing them of the victorie. In conclusion, the horse are they that defeat the enemie, and become masters of the field, that prepare the way for the foote to the beseeging of townes, and giue them time and leisure to force and take them.

Where the Turke might be most easily assailed to ouercome him either by sea or by land.

  • 1 Examples of sea victories.
  • 2 The goodnesse of our hauens.
  • 3 The number of our skilfull mariners.
  • 4 The Christians farre beyond the Turkes in maritime mat­ters.
  • 5 The Turkes horse fearefull to the Christians, vnprofitable at sea.
  • 6 That the Turkes are easily to be ouerthrowne at sea.

1 THere were much matter for doubt and disputation vpon this question, if rea­son and experience did not cleere it: for experience we haue it fresh in many ac­cidents; which instruct vs that an at­tempt by sea, would be lesse difficult to vs, and more hurtfull to the Turke, for the reasons and examples which I will deliuer. As often as our forces haue to some purpose put themselues into the Leuant seas, they haue beene euermore victorious, as at Metelin, at Cafalo­nia, at Preuesa, at Scorsolari. If any one opposing me ob­iect the ouerthrow of our armie at Gerbes,1580. which hapned about the same time, let him read the discourse of the Hi­storie, (as is requisite) and he shall finde that that chanced not through the force and valour of the enemy, but rather through our owne fault; insomuch as our armie could not take their opportunitie to dislodge in due time; but suf­fered themselues to be besieged by the hardnesse of the season, and by tempests; which so disordred them as it was easie for the enemie to force them. Grimani Generall of [Page 148] the Venetians, let slippe the occasion of a woorthy victo­rie, when he knew not how to take his time to charge the enemie, as he might well haue done at Sapienza. But on the contrarie,Vid. 181. as often as the Emperour Charles the fift set foorth an armie to some purpose, the Turke durst neuer looke abroad; as when he vndertooke the voyage of Tu­nis and of Algiers, where neuerthelesse he encountred many disasters, he brought before Tunis seauen hundred saile, and before Algiers fiue hundred onely. Thus much for experience.

2 Now we must see what reasons we haue in store to prooue that we may more easily assaile the Turke by sea then by land. Among others this may passe, that our seas are more frequented, and our ports more rich and safe then those of the Leuant. For first (set aside Constantino­ple) there is not thoroughout their obedience, any one Porte that may be equalled to those of Venice, Lisbone, Siuill, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Lubec, or Danske, &c. and very few also that may be compared with those of Naples, Genoua, Villa-Franca, Nessina, Palermo, Ragusa, Marsseilles, Tolon, Bourdeaux, New-Hauen, Rochelle, and Rouane, &c.

3 It is cleere then that we surmount the Turke not only in numbers of Portes and good harbers for the retraict and shelter of our armies, but also in Mariners and men accustomed and experienced in both the seas. Moreouer, there is not perhaps in the world a coast that affoordeth greater plentie of men then that of Genoua, Dalmatia, Sclauonia, Venice, Candye. Againe, there is not a nation to be found of more resolution or better proofe for sea af­faires, then are those of Marseilles. I omit to speake of the Catalonian, the Portugal, the Biskayan, the English, the Norman, the Hollander, and Zelander, all people mar­ueilous skilfull in Nauigation.

4 I would willingly demaund, what it auaileth the Turke to possesse a large and spacious sea bordering country, if it remaine vnhabited; neither were it enough if it were: for [Page 149] the exploits of maritime warre, it is requisite they be vali­ant, resolute, and such as can endure trauell and paine. Alongst all the coast of Africke, the Turke hath not one Hauen of account besides Algies. In all Egypt hee hath only Alexandria, and Dalmatia, at the least which are held in any consideration. In Soria, take away Saffo and Pam­philia, those neere Tirus, Ephesus, Cicize, and the rest so celebrated in ancient times, remaine at this day namelesse, and buried in their owne ruines. They haue Gallipoli which is of no great traffike: they haue that of Constanti­nople, whereof they steade and vaunt themselues most of all: Moreouer, all these Ports are not so good or so con­uenient as ours, either if we consider the forme, or the commoditie of situation, nor so well stored with artillerie as ours are.

5 Againe, fighting by sea, wee shall not need to feare their horse, whose encounter in regard of their multitude cannot be but a terror vnto vs; relying as they doe vpon them, as the principall nerue of their forces; but as for foote, we excell them in number and valour:

6 For conclusion, it is most certaine, if we could once depriue the Turke of the vse of the sea, he would be soone ouerthrowne by land with a sufficient number of gallies, which might be maintained in the Archipelago: we should cut him off from all trafficke with Egypt and Soria, as also keeping certaine gallies in the Straight and chanell, we should hinder the commerce of Asia and Constantinople, which he could not be long without, so that by continuing this manner of warring vpon him without intermission, we should by little and little heaue him out of the whole Empire of Greece, where there would be enough to satiate the greedie am­bition of the Chri­stians.

Of the inward causes whereby the Empire of the Turkes may come to ruine.

  • 1 Of inward causes by which an Estate may be ouerthrowne.
  • 2 The occasions of the change of the Turkish Empire, are, a defect that may happen of the Ottoman race:
  • 3 The hatred, contempt, and disobedience of the Turkes of­ficers and seruants:
  • 4 The discorde that may arise betweene his children about the succession.
  • 5 That it is hard now to stirre vp and maintaine dissention amongst them.
  • 6 Another occasion may be the Iannizzers libertie and inso­lencie towards their master:
  • 7 Another the rebellion and reuolt of his countries and their Gouernours.

1 AS we haue before deliuered by what outward causes the Empire of the Turks may soonest receiue an alterati­on, so we are now to handle the meanes whereby he may be inwardly weake­ned, and whether by the infirmities which are begotten in other estates, that of the Ottomans may be likewise distempered and corrupted; of the inward causes of this corruption, some concerne the Heads and Ministers, others are deriued from among the people. I will then produce some few examples noting the errors of such as sway a Soueraigne authority, and so orderly come to the other, to collect thence what may serue to procure the Turkes ruine.

2 That which would fall most to our purpose would be if the great Turke should die without heires of the true line [Page 151] and race of Ottoman. For in such a case it is likely the Beg­lerbyes, Vizirs, Bassas, Sangiacks, and the greatest persona­ges of the Turkish nation, would each one for himselfe in­deauour to possesse himselfe of whatsoeuer he could most easily compasse.

3 The second cause would be, if in regard of his cruelty, or negligence, the Prince should giue his subiects occasion to hate and contemne him: but the mischiefe would proue yet greater if it did arise from the cowardlinesse or sloath of the Prince. For his strength consisting wholly in the great numbers of his souldiours ordinarily intertained, how could he possibly containe such mighty armies in deuoti­on and quietnesse; if he did not daily busie them in the exercise of war? And lesse how could so many nations be held within compasse of feare and obedience without the feare of ordinary armes? It is not to be doubted then if they had a Prince who were giuen ouer to idlenesse and a loose life, or that they discried him to be a coward & sloth­full, but they would be forward to draw their swords a­gainst him, and thence worke their owne destruction. Ba­iazet the second had proofe of this, for abandoning him­selfe to all pleasures and resoluing vpon a priuat and retired course of life,1511. to spend his time in reading good authors; his sonne sought his destruction, and in the end fauored by the Ianizzars depriued him of his life and kingdome. For though Baiazet repressed the first violence of his sonnes ambition, yet he was at the last forced by the Ianizzars not only to pardon his rebellion, but also to send him with an army against his other sonne Accomat, who supposing his father ment to prefer Selim before himselfe, who was the elder, caused the noses and eares of his fathers messengers most shamefully to be cut off; the enormity of this fact ill digested, and worse interpreted was that which cancelled the greater faults of Selim, to take vengeance of this last & lesse outrage; whence it came to passe in the end that these same Ianizzars possest Selim of the empire, who soone af­ter put to death his vnhappy father. Amurath the third [Page 152] now raigning hauing withdrawne himselfe from the acti­ons of war to liue in ease and quiet hath lost much of his souldiours and seruants ancient obedience, zeale, and ob­seruance, such as they were wont to carry towards their Soueraignes greatnesse. The Bassa of Cairo who had the gouernment of Aegypt, named Ragusei, being summoned (according to their Emperious custome) to make his ap­pearance at the port, flatly refused to come thither and made his escape with a world of treasure which he had a­massed by extorsions and pilling of the people, during the time of his administration. The Ianizzars which were at those times appointed for the wars of Persia, would not once moue a foote to march thitherward: but as halfe in a mutiny said plainly they would not any more go vpon any enterprise vnlesse the great Turke their Lord would vn­chamber himselfe from among his concubines, and vnder­take the voyage himselfe in person, so as he was constrai­ned by vertue of giftes and increase of pay to win them to the war. Moreouer of late after the ouerthrow of Tauris, the Turke hauing appointed a new generall for the succo­ring of his vanquished army, and reenforcing of such as remained within the cittadell; all the commandements he could lay vpon him, could not preuaile so much with him as to get him to march forward, rather he grew to capitu­late with him, and that finished, he made the most adoe in the world to muster vp twenty thousand men, who refu­sed likewise to goe to that war, otherwise then vpon all the aduantages they could deuise to demand: not like sub­iects and slaues, but as if they had beene neighbours, al­lies, and confederates. These breaches already made in the obedience they were wont to render thir lord and Ma­ster, may perswade vs that they will easily rebell, vpon the first occasion that shall present it selfe without respect of their Princes greatnesse, or obseruation of their ancient military policy.

4 The third occasion might befall, if there were many brethren to debate the Empire after the death of their fa­ther, [Page 153] as it hapned between Zizimus, and Baiazet, sonnes of Mahomet, and betwene Acomat and Selim, sonnes of Ba­iazet. This Baiazet was fauoured of the Ianizzars against his brother. Zizimus was vpheld onely by the aid of the Soldan of Cairo,1482. and King of Persia. Selim likewise was borne by the Ianizzars and Bassas, and Acom [...]nt by forraine Princes: they incountred and fought cruel battailes, whose victories brought the whole Estate in danger: Baiazet and Selim remained conquerours, each one his party by meanes of the great numbers of men that accompanied them,1513. and of the valour of the souldiours of the old bandes which serued vnder them. Notwithstanding all these op­portunities which God so to the purpose prepared, not one Christian Prince once stirred, or so much as made of­fer to arme in fauour of the weaker of those which conten­ded: which would no doubt haue entangled both of them in a long and dangerous strife, enough finally to haue rui­ned or much decaied the house of the Ottomans, when they should haue called such an one to their succour as would haue rather blowen then quenched their fires. A­mongst all the Princes of Christendome there was none but the great master of Rhodes, which sent some supplies of artillery to Zizimus, and which after receiued and de­fended him from the hands of Baiazet, when he was dri­uen to retire himselfe to his protection.

5 These domestique quarrels cannot now become so strong (especially such as might happen betweene bre­thren) as then they might, considering that the Mame­lucks, who as neighbours might haue fomented and giuen intertainment to such differences, are now extinct and their name no more mentioned. They were in their time the only emulators of the Turkes glory: Rhodes hath made an exchange of her fortune, and is now in the power of this tyrant. Cypres beareth the like yoake. These two Ilands affoorded an especial commodity to sow dissentions among the Turks, to fauour and succour one of the parties.

6 The fourth cause would easily arise from the presump­tion [Page 154] and head-strong rashnesse of the Ianizzars, likely e­nough to attempt and execute as much as sometime did the Pretorian bands of the Romans, who made slender ac­count to fill the Empire with slaughters and massacres, wherein many Emperours ended their daies: they electing others at their pleasures against the authority of the Senat, and the loue and reuerence they ought to haue borne to­wards their country. The like may we hope or expect from the Ianizzars, that they will one day assume to themselues the same power and learne to performe the like, whereof they gaue an assaie at such time as they compelled Baiazet the second to resigne the Empire to Selim his sonne. They did almost the like when Soliman caused his sonne Musta­pha to be murthered; for they besieged him and inuironed his tent for certaine daies space, crying out they would know the cause of that yong Princes death. In the end by the deuise of the Bassa and with stoore of coyne, he wan to him foure thousand of them, who disengaged him of the feare and danger wherein he was plunged.

7 The fift cause may be fetched from the ambition or discontent of the great ones of the countrie, or of mini­sters swaying the supreame authority & credit in places of gouernment. Gazeles gouernour of Soria made way for a reuolt of the like quality, as did also Acomat Generall of Aegypt: Gazeles, assisted by the Mamelucks, Arabians and those of Rhodes, endeuoured to set himselfe vp against the great Turke: but he was discouered by Cayembeius whom he had acquainted with the conspiracy. This man either for feare (as looking into the danger of the enterprise) or for enuy of his companions greatnesse, reuealed all to his Master Soliman, who presently dispatched against him Fa­ratha Bassa, by whom he was vanquished in battaile. Aco­mat had not the leasure to proceed far in his attempt, for as he did inconsideratly precipitate himselfe into the triall thereof, so was he as speedily discouered, and in an instant suppressed and slaine, without hauing thriued ought in his dessignes.

Of the mixt causes.

  • 1 What are the mixt causes.
  • 2 How Estates are ouerthrowen by mixt causes.

1 IN this third booke we haue at large dis­coursed how by inward and outward causes, Estates may be indangered: now we must speake of causes compounded, of the one and the other, which, to dis­course more intelligibly, we tearm mixt, which likewise are of power of themselues to alter an Em­pire and to bring it, either by an vniuersall or a particular change, to a lamentable ruine. These mixt causes then are those whereby both the enemy abroad, and the subiect at home may by a common consent conspire against an E­state and subuert it.

2 One of the causes or meanes may be a popular insurre­ction nourished by the enemy, or else the conspiracy of some particular men set on by forraine practises; or to tearme it better, the treasons which subiects may hatch in fauour, and by the meanes and authority of their neigh­bours. This hapneth in a twofold manner, when the sub­iect beginneth and setteth on foote the practise, or when a stranger laieth the way open vnto them vnder some cou­lered pretence, or else when some one particular person or all a whole communalty frame the occasion thereof in re­gard of some displeasure or oppression. Finally, this falleth out also when the enemy abroad tempereth with one, two, or three, of the principall men to reuolt against their prince and take armes in hand to ouerturne and ruine the Estate.

How particular persons may be gained.

  • 1 How his people are to be prouoked to rebellion.
  • 2 How his great men and chiefe officers are to be gained.
  • 3 These courses at the first not succeeding, are to be oftner at­tempted.
  • 4 Wary proceeding is requisite, lest those that manage the bu­sinesse incurre danger.
  • 5 To whom such businesses are to be committed.

1 IT resteth now that we make it appeere how such practises may be set on foote and cherished: we will then beginne with the enterprise to bee plotted by some particular person, by whose assi­stance it may take effect. We must pre­suppose that this person is either priuat or publike, the priuat persons are those which suffer themselues most of­ten to be corrupted by mony, and with these there neede not so many ceremonies or bro [...]kings, but if they be pub­like persons of rancke and authority, either in regard of the greatnesse of their family, or managing of state affaires; there is far greater difficulty in corrupting them then the other: yet if we may but discouer in them the stinges of ambition and desire of greatnesse, and that we propose to them the assurance of speedy succours, for the execution of the des [...]gne; then is it that we bring them to dare any thing, especially if they haue neuer so little disposition to be reuenged of some receiued indignity. It is indeed a hard matter to worke particular and priuate persons without great vncertaineties and dangers.

2 But if we must haue to doe with the great persons of the Estate, we must warily make choice of our time, sound [Page 157] them whether they be male content or ill affected towards their Prince, either in respect that some one is aduanced to their preiudice, or for some other cause which may awake in them a longing to shake off their yoake and seaze them­selues of the Estate. These are the meanes and occasions, which should be chosen and diligently husbanded by our Christian Princes, smoothly and with dexterity to procure the ruine of the common enemy; putting on (as they say) the foxes skin when the lions is wanting. The dis­pleasure and ielousie which Faratha Bassa conceiued a­gainst Hebraim Bassa because he saw him raised by Soliman to greater honour and estimation then himselfe, so depri­ued him of all reason, as suffering the desire of reuenge by little and little to transport him, he began to plot a rebelli­on, but discouered he was forthwith put to death: the selfe same occasion was the ouerthrow of Pirrus and Mu­stapha raised by Soliman. In our time in the court of Amu­rath the third now raigning, these ielousies and hart-bur­nings haue beene great betweene Mahomet and Musta­pha, and since that betweene the same Mustapha and Cica­la (who hath outstript him) and all for fauour of their Master. If these humors and ill dispositions had beene well looked into and wisely imploied to their best vse by some great Prince of Christendome, they had beene fit matter to haue bred a dissention and reuolt amongst those barba­rous people.

3 Now though such practises should not perhaps at the first be of sufficient power to worke that vniuersall change which we wish in that tyrants Empire; yet are we not there­fore to desist as men dismaied; remembring that most commonly the beginnings of innouations and commoti­ons so extraordinary, are feeble, and that that wisdome sheweth it selfe like it selfe which can so diligently suckle and nourish them as they may attaine to a happy growth. I am of opinion, that when we incounter with instruments that are not without ambition, courage, and a thirst of reuenge; after we haue felt and sounded them once, twise, [Page 158] or thrise, we shall in the end make a breach in their loyalty and obedience; especially if we set before them (be it vn­der a true or false title) the certaintie of some mightie suc­cour, whereof they may see the preparatiues; for so they will the more couragiously attempt against the life and estate of their Prince.

4 Moreouer it is not to be forgotten, that when such practises shall be discouered by the Turke, and that he shal see the Christians more diligent then hitherto they haue beene, to sound the affections of his seruants and sub­iects: he will thereupon enter into such a distrust of them, as euen that will make him offer them some hard measure. This distrust will be enough to beget a thousand suspitions and hard conceits in his seruants, and subiects, either for the managing of affaires, or for the danger that the opi­nion of loyaltie incurreth, when it hath to deale with such a distrustfull and suspitious Prince, as this would prooue: so as by little and little it would worke vs out some occasi­on fitting our purpose, especially, if whilest this practise were hatching, and on foote, the children of the Turke should take armes one against the other, or that during their fathers life, they should dispute the possession of the Empire: for the ice being already broken, there would be a more easie passage and better successe, then if it had not beene taken in hand at all.

5 But because an especiall iudgement, patience, and much wisedome are requisite in such businesses, we must make choice of men furnished with all these parts, to the end they may wisely know when to take their opportuni­ties and times, to sow these dissentions, and that there be not want of mony to distribute amongst this people, which are farther in loue therewith, then any other nation the world affoordeth.

How the people of the Turke may be wrought from his obedience.

  • 1 How the Turkes Christian Subiects are to be wrought to rebellion.
  • 2 A place must be chosen for refuge of such as rebell.
  • 3 The vaine fooleries of their Alkoran are to be discouered.
  • 4 How bookes written to that purpose may come to his subiects hands.
  • 5 How such bookes are to be composed.
  • 6 What fruites are to be hoped from their reading.
  • 7 Exhortation to the Ianizzars.
  • 8 The conclusion of this worke.

1 THe Turke hath two sorts of people subiect to his Empire; one followeth the sect of Mahomet; the other the truth of the Gospel of Iesus Christ. The Mahometanes are quiet, as those which being of one and the same law, haue no cause to make any tumult. The Christians cannot stirre, as being ouer topped and awed by a greater power then their owne, which curbeth them so, as there is no better way to moue them to rebel, then to make them handle (as it were) and see the assurance of an approching succour, to prouide them of armes and all other furniture for the wars: for otherwise it is impossible they should dare to make the least shew once to mooue, whilest they haue the enemie ouer them alwaies in a readinesse and armed, who would in a moment confound them, especially being as they are naked and vnprouided of armes, offensiue or defensiue. Selim the second doubting the woorst, by the counsaile of Occhially, caused al the Christians inhabiting the sea coasts, [Page 160] to retire themselues farre vp into the maine land, to the end the presence of the Christian forces should not incou­rage them against him, as it hapned at such time as Andrew Dorea atchieued the enterprise of Patras and Coron.

2 If the Christians should euer vndertake the like dis­signe they ought to take especiall heede how they vnship their succours in those parts of the continent where the horse are at hand, since they were likely enough by their strength to choake at the first the reuolt of the Christians, for so mighty are they in horse, and of such speed and dex­terity, as they would in an instant beare downe before them whatsoeuer should oppose them. Wherefore it would be better to enter by Albania and by places mountanous and of difficult accesse, where the horse are not able to serue, as in the plaine. This is as much as we ment to say of such Christians as are vnder the Turkes dominions, all which I will imagine want not will to rebell, if the Princes of Chri­stendome would furnish them of meanes.

3 Now let vs see what way were best to be taken to pro­uoke the Mahometans to reuolt, and to fill their countries with troubles, and ciuill dissentions. If we will but consi­der how their religion is fraught with vntruthes, their Al­coran abounding in follies, we shall finde it easie to picke matter enough out of it to set them together by the eares, especially if wee doe but disperse among them certaine bookes fit to conuert them, or make them doubt of the foolish superstitions they obserue, composing them for Europe in the Sclauonian tongue, and for Asia in the Arabian.

4 But because it would be hard to conuey these bookes into the countries of the Turkes obedience but that they would soone perceiue the deuice and speedily remedy it: It were best beginning far off, in the Indies and in the parts of Asia and Africke held by the Portugales: for because of the trafficke which is great in those parts many Turkish Marchants and others ariue there from all quarters. They come to Mozambique in Africke, to Zophala and Quiloe [Page 161] in Asia. They descend also as low as the Moluccas, Co­chien, Goa, Dia, Ormus, and sundrie other parts apper­taining to the crowne of Portugale. These bookes also might be dispersed abroad in the countrie of the Gentiles, which are friends and confederates of the Christians, as in Calicut, Zailan, Cambeia, and others; and the like at Oran, Arzilla, and in other parts of Arabia subiect to the crowne of Spaine and Portugall, and in all other parts of Europe which border vpon the Turkes.

5 There must be a care had that the title of the booke be so coloured, as it doe not at the first discouer the intent of the author, but rather that it intice them to peruse it with a certaine curiosity and shew of pleasantnesse and delight. It is requisite also that the discourse be not fraught with a­ny disputations or subtill point against the Articles of their beleefe, but that contrariwise it be full of tales and matter fit to moue laughter; yet with some well conueied passage which may by the way discouer or make them doubt of the fables of their Alcoran.

6 The Turkish Marchants or others, into whose hands this booke should light, would cōfidently reade it in those parts where the Turke is not obeied. And though per­haps they durst not aduenture to carry it with them, yet the impression and substance of what they had read would re­maine fixt in their mindes, so as they would after relate it as newes to their friends and families, in such sort as it would grow by little and little to be diuulged thereabout, whence would spring a longing in others which should come and goe into those countries to buy & reade them: In this manner the Alcoran in processe of time would grow out of credit amongst them, and those things which with scruple and obseruation they collect thence, would turne to a iest and subiect of laughter, whence there could not but insue some schisme and diuision amongst them, for the most religious men of their sect and the most interested would oppose themselues wilfully to maintaine it. Neither [Page 162] would it make for the purpose to make mention in any sort of our Sauiour Christ, much lesse to let it be knowen that the author thereof were a Christian: for the immortall ha­tred they beare to that name would make it odious, and would bring it at the very first to be reiected. It should ra­ther be so contriued as if it came from some other of an o­ther sect, wherein a man might borrow the hand of the inhabitants of Cambaia, of India, of Arabia, or of Persia. In this manner it would be better welcome and would carrie with it more estimation and authority.

7 It were well also if there were framed and published a remonstrance to the Ianizzars in the Sclauoman tongue, whereby might be signified vnto them their originall, and howe in their infancy they were cruelly halled from the bosomes of their Christian fathers and mothers, conueyed into Turky, and there nusled vp in the sect of Mahomet, not hauing iudgement as then to distinguish of good and euill; that they are the pillers to vphold this Tyrant which hath set his foote vpon the throat of their fathers liberty, and which keepeth them as slaues vnder the yoake of a dis­honorable and barbarous seruitude. This would auaile much, especially if there were thereto annexed an exhorta­tion to take better knowledge of themselues, and hence, forward like good children to imbrace and free their mise­rable parents, which daily lament them; and aboue all to perswade them to returne to the deare bosome of the church wherin they were first, regeuerate and which atten­deth with spread armes to receiue them, entertaine them, and saue them.

8 These things well caried would in the end make the Turke so suspitious, and vntractable, as he would offer oc­casions enow to his people hencefoorth to rouse vp themselues, and better aduise how to shake off that cruell and vnsupportable yoake which so mightily oppresseth them, and to fashion themselues to a more happy and se­cure life for the quiet of their consciences and saluation of [Page 163] their soules. This is that whereof the Christians ought di­ligently to bethinke themselues; and not to worke one an others ruine and destruction, as they spare not to doe against the expresse commandement of God, which so often recommendeth vnto vs loue and cha­ritie towards our neighbours.


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