This work begins: "In 1621, when the Polish ambassadors presented to Paul the Fifth the banners taken from the infidels, and piously besought him for relics, the venerable Pontiff replied: "Why ask ye me for relics'?-you have but to pick up a little of your Polish earth every particle of which is the relic of a martyr." In what words then, might Christendom now address that longsuffering, and most heroic nation? In the beginning of the seventeenth century, Catholic Poland generously shed her blood at Chocim, and subsequently under the walls of Vienna, braving and repelling on those two memorable occasions, the attack of seven hundred thousand Turks. She fought for the common good of Europe, but encircled by a halo of glory, and cheered on by plaudits the loudest and most enthusiastic. Poor Poland! she was then formidable by her power, and illustrious by her achievements."