THE DYNASTS ACT iv
The Austrian officers arrange themselves as directed, and the body of the Austrians now file past their Conqueror, laying down their arms as they approach; some with angry gestures and words, others in moody silence.
Listen, I pray you, Generals gathered here. I tell you frankly that I know not why Your master wages this wild war with me. I know not what he seeks by such injustice, Unless to give me practice in my trade— That of a soldier—whereto I was bred : Deemed he my craft might slip from me, unplied ? Let him now own me still a dab therein!
Permit me, your Imperial Majesty, To speak one word in answer; which is this, No war was wished for by my Emperor : Russia constrained him to it!
If that be,
You are no more a European power.— I would point out to him that my resources Are not confined to these my musters here ; My prisoners of war, in route for France, Will see some marks of my resources there! Two hundred thousand volunteers, right fit, Will join my standards at a single nod, And in six weeks prove soldiers to the bone, Whilst your recruits, compulsion's scavengings, Scarce weld to warriors after toilsome years.
But I want nothing on this Continent : The English only are my enemies. Ships, colonies, and commerce I desire, Yea, therewith to advantage you as me. Let me then charge your Emperor, my brother,
To turn his feet the shortest way to peace__