Act II. - Scene I.

Enter SIGISMUND, FREDERICK, and BALDWIN, with their train.

SIGISMUND. Now say, my lords of Buda and Bohemia, What motion is it that inflames your thoughts, And stirs your valours to such sudden arms?

FREDERICK. Your majesty remembers, I am sure, What cruel slaughter of our Christian bloods These heathenish Turks and pagans lately made Betwixt the city Zula and Danubius; How through the midst of Varna and Bulgaria, And almost to the very walls of Rome, They have, not long since, massacred our camp. It resteth now, then, that your majesty Take all advantages of time and power, And work revenge upon these infidels. Your highness knows, for Tamburlaine's repair, That strikes a terror to all Turkish hearts, Natolia hath dismiss'd the greatest part Of all his army, pitch'd against our power Betwixt Cutheia and Orminius' mount, And sent them marching up to Belgasar, Acantha, Antioch, and Caesarea, To aid the kings of Soria<381> and Jerusalem. Now, then, my lord, advantage take thereof,<382> And issue suddenly upon the rest; That, in the fortune of their overthrow, We may discourage all the pagan troop That dare attempt to war with Christians.

SIGISMUND. But calls not, then, your grace to memory The league we lately made with King Orcanes, Confirm'd by oath and articles of peace, And calling Christ for record of our truths? This should be treachery and violence Against the grace of our profession.

BALDWIN. No whit, my lord; for with such infidels, In whom no faith nor true religion rests, We are not bound to those accomplishments The holy laws of Christendom enjoin; But, as the faith which they profanely plight Is not by necessary policy To be esteem'd assurance for ourselves, So that we vow<383> to them should not infringe Our liberty of arms and victory.

SIGISMUND. Though I confess the oaths they undertake Breed little strength to our security, Yet those infirmities that thus defame Their faiths,<384> their honours, and religion,<385> Should not give us presumption to the like. Our faiths are sound, and must be consummate,<386> Religious, righteous, and inviolate.

FREDERICK. Assure your grace, 'tis superstition To stand so strictly on dispensive faith; And, should we lose the opportunity That God hath given to venge our Christians' death, And scourge their foul blasphemous paganism, As fell to Saul, to Balaam, and the rest, That would not kill and curse at God's command, So surely will the vengeance of the Highest, And jealous anger of his fearful arm, Be pour'd with rigour on our sinful heads, If we neglect this<387> offer'd victory.

SIGISMUND. Then arm, my lords, and issue suddenly, Giving commandment to our general host, With expedition to assail the pagan, And take the victory our God hath given. [Exeunt.]