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Title: Machiavelli, Volume I
Author: Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527
Language: English
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Published by DAVID NUTT
at the Sign of the Phoenix


Edinburgh: T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty




[Sidenote: The Life of a Day.]

'I am at my farm; and, since my last misfortunes, have not been in
Florence twenty days. I spent September in snaring thrushes; but at the
end of the month, even this rather tiresome sport failed me. I rise with
the sun, and go into a wood of mine that is being cut, where I remain
two hours inspecting the work of the previous day and conversing with
the woodcutters, who have always some trouble on hand amongst themselves
or with their neighbours. When I leave the wood, I go to a spring, and
thence to the place which I use for snaring birds, with a book under my
arm--Dante or Petrarch, or one of the minor poets, like Tibullus or
Ovid. I read the story of their passions, and let their loves remind me
of my own, which is a pleasant pastime for a while. Next I take the
road, enter the inn door, talk with the passers-by, inquire the news of
the neighbourhood, listen to a variety of matters, and make note of the
different tastes and humours of men.

'This brings me to dinner-time, when I join my family and eat the poor
produce of my farm. After dinner I go back to the inn, where I generally
find the host and a butcher, a miller, and a pair of bakers. With these
companions I play the fool all day at cards or backgammon: a thousand
squabbles, a thousand insults and abusive dialogues take place, while we
haggle over a farthing, and shout loud enough to be heard from San

'But when evening falls I go home and enter my writing-room. On the
threshold I put off my country habits, filthy with mud and mire, and
array myself in royal courtly garments. Thus worthily attired, I make my
entrance into the ancient courts of the men of old, where they receive
me with love, and where I feed upon that food which only is my own and
for which I was born. I feel no shame in conversing with them and asking
them the reason of their actions.

'They, moved by their humanity, make answer. For four hours' space I
feel no annoyance, forget all care; poverty cannot frighten, nor death
appal me. I am carried away to their society. And since Dante says "that
there is no science unless we retain what we have learned" I have set
down what I have gained from their discourse, and composed a treatise,
_De Principalibus_, in which I enter as deeply as I can into the science
of the subject, with reasonings on the nature of principality, its
several species, and how they are acquired, how maintained, how lost. If
you ever liked any of my scribblings, this ought to suit your taste. To
a prince, and especially to a new prince, it ought to prove acceptable.
Therefore I am dedicating it to the Magnificence of Giuliano.'

[Sidenote: Niccolò Machiavelli.]

Such is the account that Niccolò Machiavelli renders of himself when
after imprisonment, torture, and disgrace, at the age of forty-four, he
first turned to serious writing. For the first twenty-six or indeed
twenty-nine of those years we have not one line from his pen or one word
of vaguest information about him. Throughout all his works written for
publication, there is little news about himself. Montaigne could
properly write, 'Ainsi, lecteur, je suis moy-mesme la matière de mon
livre.' But the matter of Machiavelli was far other: 'Io ho espresso
quanto io so, e quanto io ho imparato per una lunga pratica e continua
lezione delle cose del mondo.'

[Sidenote: The Man.]

Machiavelli was born on the 3rd of May 1469. The period of his life
almost exactly coincides with that of Cardinal Wolsey. He came of the
old and noble Tuscan stock of Montespertoli, who were men of their hands
in the eleventh century. He carried their coat, but the property had
been wasted and divided. His forefathers had held office of high
distinction, but had fallen away as the new wealth of the bankers and
traders increased in Florence. He himself inherited a small property in
San Casciano and its neighbourhood, which assured him a sufficient, if
somewhat lean, independence. Of his education we know little enough. He
was well acquainted with Latin, and knew, perhaps, Greek enough to serve
his turn. 'Rather not without letters than lettered,' Varchi describes
him. That he was not loaded down with learned reading proved probably a
great advantage. The coming of the French, and the expulsion of the
Medici, the proclamation of the Republic (1494), and later the burning
of Savonarola convulsed Florence and threw open many public offices. It
has been suggested, but without much foundation, that some clerical work
was found for Machiavelli in 1494 or even earlier. It is certain that on
July 14, 1498, he was appointed Chancellor and Secretary to the Dieci di
Libertà e Pace, an office which he held till the close of his political
life at fall of the Republic in 1512.

[Sidenote: Official Life.]

The functions of his Council were extremely varied, and in the hands of
their Secretary became yet more diversified. They represented in some
sense the Ministry for Home, Military, and especially for Foreign
Affairs. It is impossible to give any full account of Machiavelli's
official duties. He wrote many thousands of despatches and official
letters, which are still preserved. He was on constant errands of State
through the Florentine dominions. But his diplomatic missions and what
he learned by them make the main interest of his office. His first
adventure of importance was to the Court of Caterina Sforza, the Lady of
Forlì, in which matter that astute Countess entirely bested the teacher
of all diplomatists to be. In 1500 he smelt powder at the siege at Pisa,
and was sent to France to allay the irritations of Louis XII. Many
similar and lesser missions follow. The results are in no case of great
importance, but the opportunities to the Secretary of learning men and
things, intrigue and policy, the Court and the gutter were invaluable.
At the camp of Cæsar Borgia, in 1502, he found in his host that
fantastic hero whom he incarnated in _The Prince_, and he was
practically an eye-witness of the amazing masterpiece, the Massacre of
Sinigaglia. The next year he is sent to Rome with a watching brief at
the election of Julius II., and in 1506 is again sent to negotiate with
the Pope. An embassy to the Emperor Maximilian, a second mission to the
French King at Blois, in which he persuades Louis XII. to postpone the
threatened General Council of the Church (1511), and constant
expeditions to report upon and set in order unrestful towns and
provinces did not fulfil his activity. His pen was never idle. Reports,
despatches, elaborate monographs on France, Germany, or wherever he
might be, and personal letters innumerable, and even yet unpublished,
ceased not night nor day. Detail, wit, character-drawing, satire,
sorrow, bitterness, all take their turn. But this was only a fraction of
his work. By duty and by expediency he was bound to follow closely the
internal politics of Florence where his enemies and rivals abounded. And
in all these years he was pushing forward and carrying through with
unceasing and unspeakable vigour the great military dream of his life,
the foundation of a National Militia and the extinction of Mercenary
Companies. But the fabric he had fancied and thought to have built
proved unsubstantial. The spoilt half-mutinous levies whom he had spent
years in odious and unwilling training failed him at the crowning moment
in strength and spirit: and the fall of the Republic implied the fall of
Machiavelli and the close of his official life. He struggled hard to
save himself, but the wealthy classes were against him, perhaps afraid
of him, and on them the Medici relied. For a year he was forbidden to
leave Florentine territory, and for a while was excluded from the
Palazzo. Later his name was found in a list of Anti-Medicean
conspirators. He was arrested and decorously tortured with six turns of
the rack, and then liberated for want of evidence.

[Sidenote: After his Fall.]

For perhaps a year after his release the Secretary engaged in a series
of tortuous intrigues to gain the favour of the Medici. Many of the
stories may be exaggerated, but none make pleasant reading, and nothing
proved successful. His position was miserable. Temporarily crippled by
torture, out of favour with the Government, shunned by his friends, in
deep poverty, burdened with debt and with a wife and four children, his
material circumstances were ill enough. But, worse still, he was idle.
He had deserved well of the Republic, and had never despaired of it, and
this was his reward. He seemed to himself a broken man. He had no great
natural dignity, no great moral strength. He profoundly loved and
admired Dante, but he could not for one moment imitate him. He sought
satisfaction in sensuality of life and writing, but found no comfort.
Great things were stirring in the world and he had neither part nor lot
in them. By great good fortune he began a correspondence with his friend
Francesco Vettori, the Medicean Ambassador at Rome, to whom he appeals
for his good offices: 'And if nothing can be done, I must live as I came
into the world, for I was born poor and learnt to want before learning
to enjoy.' Before long these two diplomats had co-opted themselves into
a kind of Secret Cabinet of Europe. It is a strange but profoundly
interesting correspondence, both politically and personally. Nothing is
too great or too small, too glorious or too mean for their pens. Amid
foolish anecdotes and rather sordid love affairs the politics of Europe,
and especially of Italy, are dissected and discussed. Leo X. had now
plunged into political intrigue. Ferdinand of Spain was in difficulty.
France had allied herself with Venice. The Swiss are the Ancient Romans,
and may conquer Italy. Then back again, or rather constant throughout,
the love intrigues and the 'likely wench hard-by who may help to pass
our time.' But through it all there is an ache at Machiavelli's heart,
and on a sudden he will break down, crying,

  Però se aleuna volta io rido e canto
  Facciol, perchè non ho se non quest' una
  Via da sfogare il mio angoscioso pianto.

Vettori promised much, but nothing came of it. By 1515 the
correspondence died away, and the Ex-Secretary found for himself at last
the true pathway through his vale of years.

[Sidenote: The true Life.]

The remainder of Machiavelli's life is bounded by his books. He settled
at his villa at San Casciano, where he spent his day as he describes in
the letter quoted at the beginning of this essay. In 1518 he began to
attend the meetings of the Literary Club in the Orti Oricellarii, and
made new and remarkable friends. 'Era amato grandamente da loro ... e
della sua conversazione si dilettavano maravigliosamente, tenendo in
prezzo grandissimo tutte l'opere sue,' which shows the personal
authority he exercised. Occasionally he was employed by Florentine
merchants to negotiate for them at Venice, Genoa, Lucca, and other
places. In 1519 Cardinal Medici deigned to consult him as to the
Government, and commissioned him to write the History of Florence. But
in the main he wrote his books and lived the daily life we know. In 1525
he went to Rome to present his History to Clement VII., and was sent on
to Guicciardini. In 1526 he was busy once more with military matters and
the fortification of Florence. On the 22nd of June 1527 he died at
Florence immediately after the establishment of the second Republic. He
had lived as a practising Christian, and so died, surrounded by his wife
and family. Wild legends grew about his death, but have no foundation. A
peasant clod in San Casciano could not have made a simpler end. He was
buried in the family Chapel in Santa Croce, and a monument was there at
last erected with the epitaph by Doctor Ferroni--'Tanto nomini nullum
par elogium.' The first edition of his complete works was published in
1782, and was dedicated to Lord Cowper.

[Sidenote: His Character.]

What manner of man was Machiavelli at home and in the market-place? It
is hard to say. There are doubtful busts, the best, perhaps, that
engraved in the 'Testina' edition of 1550, so-called on account of the
portrait. 'Of middle height, slender figure, with sparkling eyes, dark
hair, rather a small head, a slightly aquiline nose, a tightly closed
mouth: all about him bore the impress of a very acute observer and
thinker, but not that of one able to wield much influence over others.'
Such is a reconstruction of him by one best able to make one. 'In his
conversation,' says Varchi, 'Machiavelli was pleasant, serviceable to
his friends, a friend of virtuous men, and, in a word, worthy to have
received from Nature either less genius or a better mind.' If not much
above the moral standard of the day he was certainly not below it. His
habits were loose and his language lucid and licentious. But there is no
bad or even unkind act charged against him. To his honesty and good
faith he very fairly claims that his poverty bears witness. He was a
kind, if uncertain, husband and a devoted father. His letters to his
children are charming. Here is one written soon before his death to his
little son Guido.--'Guido, my darling son, I received a letter of thine
and was delighted with it, particularly because you tell me of your full
recovery, the best news I could have. If God grants life to us both I
expect to make a good man of you, only you must do your fair share
yourself.' Guido is to stick to his books and music, and if the family
mule is too fractious, 'Unbridle him, take off the halter and turn him
loose at Montepulciano. The farm is large, the mule is small, so no harm
can come of it. Tell your mother, with my love, not to be nervous. I
shall surely be home before any trouble comes. Give a kiss to Baccina,
Piero, and Totto: I wish I knew his eyes were getting well. Be happy and
spend as little as you may. Christ have you in his keeping.'--There is
nothing exquisite or divinely delicate in this letter, but there are
many such, and they were not written by a bad man, any more than the
answers they evoke were addressed to one. There is little more save of a
like character that is known of Machiavelli the man. But to judge him
and his work we must have some knowledge of the world in which he was to
move and have his being.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Sidenote: State of Italy.]

At the beginning of the sixteenth century Italy was rotten to the core.
In the close competition of great wickedness the Vicar of Christ easily
carried off the palm, and the Court of Alexander VI. was probably the
wickedest meeting-place of men that has ever existed upon earth. No
virtue, Christian or Pagan, was there to be found; little art that was
not sensuous or sensual. It seemed as if Bacchus and Venus and Priapus
had come to their own again, and yet Rome had not ceased to call herself

[Sidenote: Superstition.]

'Owing to the evil ensample of the Papal Court,' writes Machiavelli,
'Italy has lost all piety and all religion: whence follow infinite
troubles and disorders; for as religion implies all good, so its absence
implies the contrary. To the Church and priests of Rome we owe another
even greater disaster which is the cause of her ruin. I mean that the
Church has maintained, and still maintains Italy divided.' The Papacy is
too weak to unite and rule, but strong enough to prevent others doing
so, and is always ready to call in the foreigner to crush all Italians
to the foreigner's profit, and Guicciardini, a high Papal officer,
commenting on this, adds, 'It would be impossible to speak so ill of the
Roman Court, but that more abuse should not be merited, seeing it is an
infamy, and example of all the shames and scandals of the world.' The
lesser clergy, the monks, the nuns followed, with anxious fidelity, the
footsteps of their shepherds. There was hardly a tonsure in Italy which
covered more than thoughts and hopes of lust and avarice. Religion and
morals which God had joined together, were set by man a thousand leagues
asunder. Yet religion still sat upon the alabaster throne of Peter, and
in the filthy straw of the meanest Calabrian confessional. And still
deeper remained a blind devoted superstition. Vitellozzo Vitelli, as
Machiavelli tells us, while being strangled by Cæesar Borgia's assassin,
implored his murderer to procure for him the absolution of that
murderer's father. Gianpaolo Baglioni, who reigned by parricide and
lived in incest, was severely blamed by the Florentines for not killing
Pope Julius II. when the latter was his guest at Perugia. And when
Gabrino Fondato, the tyrant of Cremona, was on the scaffold, his only
regret was that when he had taken his guests, the Pope and Emperor, to
the top of the Cremona tower, four hundred feet high, his nerve failed
him and he did not push them both over. Upon this anarchy of religion,
morals, and conduct breathed suddenly the inspiring breath of Pagan
antiquity which seemed to the Italian mind to find its finest climax in
tyrannicide. There is no better instance than in the plot of the Pazzi
at Florence. Francesco Pazzi and Bernardo Bandini decided to kill
Lorenzo and Giuliano de' Medici in the cathedral at the moment of the
elevation of the Host. They naturally took the priest into their
confidence. They escorted Giuliano to the Duomo, laughing and talking,
and playfully embraced him--to discover if he wore armour under his
clothes. Then they killed him at the moment appointed.

[Sidenote: Pagan influence.]

Nor were there any hills from which salvation might be looked for.
Philosophy, poetry, science, expressed themselves in terms of
materialism. Faith and hope are ever the last survivors in the life of a
man or of a nation. But in Italy these brave comforters were at their
latest breath. It is perhaps unfair to accept in full the judgment of
Northern travellers. The conditions, training, needs of England and
Germany were different. In these countries courage was a necessity, and
good faith a paying policy. Subtlety could do little against a
two-handed sword in the hands of an angry or partially intoxicated
giant. Climate played its part as well as culture, and the crude
pleasures and vices of the North seemed fully as loathsome to the
refined Italian as did the tortuous policy and the elaborate infamies of
the South to their rough invaders. Alone, perhaps, among the nations of
Europe the Italians had never understood or practised chivalry, save in
such select and exotic schools as the Casa Gioiosa under Vittorino da
Feltre at Mantua. The oath of Arthur's knights would have seemed to them
mere superfluity of silliness. _Onore_ connoted credit, reputation, and
prowess. _Virtù_, which may be roughly translated as mental ability
combined with personal daring, set the standard and ruled opinion.
'Honour in the North was subjective: _Onore_ in Italy objective.'
Individual liberty, indeed, was granted in full to all, at the
individual's risk. The love of beauty curbed grossness and added
distinction. Fraud became an art and force a science. There is liberty
for all, but for the great ones there is licence. And when the day of
trial comes, it is the Churchmen and the Princes who can save neither
themselves nor man, nor thing that is theirs. To such a world was
Machiavelli born. To whom should he turn? To the People? To the Church?
To the Princes and Despots? But hear him:--

    'There shall never be found any good mason, which will beleeve
    to be able to make a faire image of a peece of marble ill hewed,
    but verye well of a rude peece. Our Italian Princes beleeved,
    before they tasted the blowes of the outlandish warre, that it
    should suffice a Prince to know by writinges, how to make a
    subtell aunswere, to write a goodly letter, to shewe in
    sayinges, and in woordes, witte and promptenesse, to know how to
    canvas a fraude, to decke themselves with precious stones and
    gold, to sleepe and to eate with greater glory then other: To
    kepe many lascivious persons about them, to governe themselves
    with their subjects, covetously and proudely: To roote in
    idlenes, to give the degrees of the exercise of warre for good
    will, to dispise if any should have shewed them any laudable
    waie, minding that their wordes should bee aunswers of oracles:
    nor the sely wretches were not aware that they prepared
    themselves to be a pray to whome so ever should assaulte them.
    Hereby grew then in the thousand fowre hundred and nintie and
    fowre yere, the great feares, the sodaine flightes and the
    marveilous losses: and so three most mighty states which were in
    Italie, have bene dievers times sacked and destroyed. But that
    which is worse, is where those that remaine, continue in the
    very same errour, and liev in the verie same disorder and
    consider not, that those who in olde time would keepe their
    states, caused to be done these thinges, which of me hath beene
    reasoned, and that their studies were, to prepare the body to
    diseases, and the minde not to feare perills. Whereby grewe that
    Cæsar, Alexander, and all those men and excellent Princes in
    olde time, were the formost amongst the fighters, going armed on
    foote: and if they lost their state, they would loose their
    life, so that they lievd and died vertuously.'

Such was the clay that waited the moulding of the potter's hand.
'Posterity, that high court of appeal, which is never tired of
eulogising its own justice and discernment,' has recorded harsh sentence
on the Florentine. It is better to-day to let him speak for himself.

[Sidenote: _The Prince_.]

The slender volume of _The Prince_ has probably produced wider
discussion, more bitter controversy, more varied interpretations and a
deeper influence than any book save Holy Writ. Kings and statesmen,
philosophers and theologians, monarchists and republicans have all and
always used or abused it for their purposes. Written in 1513, the first
year of Machiavelli's disgrace, concurrently with part of the
_Discorsi_, which contain the germs of it, the book represents the
fulness of its author's thought and experience. It was not till after
Machiavelli's death, that it was published in 1532, by order of Clement
VII. Meanwhile, however, in manuscript it had been widely read and
favourably received.

[Sidenote: Its purpose.]

The mere motive of its creation and dedication has been the theme of
many volumes. Machiavelli was poor, was idle, was out of favour, and
therefore, though a Republican, wrote a devilish hand-book of tyranny to
strengthen the Medici and recover his position. Machiavelli, a loyal
Republican, wrote a primer of such fiendish principles as might lure the
Medici to their ruin. Machiavelli's one idea was to ruin the rich:
Machiavelli's one idea was to oppress the poor: he was a Protestant, a
Jesuit, an Atheist: a Royalist and a Republican. And the book published
by one Pope's express authority was utterly condemned and forbidden,
with all its author's works, by the express command of another (1559).
But before facing the whirlwind of savage controversy which raged and
rages still about _The Prince_, it may be well to consider shortly the
book itself--consider it as a new book and without prejudice. The
purpose of its composition is almost certainly to be found in the plain
fact that Machiavelli, a politician and a man of letters, wished to
write a book upon the subject which had been his special study and lay
nearest to his business and bosom. To ensure prominence for such a book,
to engage attention and incidentally perhaps to obtain political
employment for himself, he dedicated it to Lorenzo de' Medici, the
existing and accepted Chief of the State. But far and above such lighter
motives stood the fact that he saw in Lorenzo the only man who might
conceivably bring to being the vast dream of patriotism which the writer
had imagined. The subject he proposed to himself was largely, though not
wholly, conditioned by the time and place in which he lived. He wrote
for his countrymen and he wrote for his own generation. He had heard
with his ears and seen with his eyes the alternate rending anarchy and
moaning paralysis of Italy. He had seen what Agricola had long before
been spared the sight of. And what he saw, he saw not through a glass
darkly or distorted, but in the whitest, driest light, without flinching
and face to face. 'We are much beholden,' writes Bacon, 'to Machiavelli
and others that wrote what men do, and not what they ought to do.' He
did not despair of Italy, he did not despair even of Italian unity. But
he despaired of what he saw around him, and he was willing at almost any
price to end it. He recognised, despite the nominal example of Venice,
that a Republican system was impossible, and that the small
Principalities and Free Cities were corrupt beyond hope of healing. A
strong central unifying government was imperative, and at that day such
government could only be vested in a single man. For it must ever be
closely remembered, as will be pointed out again, that throughout the
book the Prince is what would now be called the Government. And then he
saw with faithful prophecy, in the splendid peroration of his hope, a
hope deferred for near four hundred years, he saw beyond the painful
paths of blood and tyranny, a vision of deliverance and union. For at
least it is plain that in all things Machiavelli was a passionate
patriot, and _Amo la patria mia più dell' anima_ is found in one of the
last of many thousand letters that his untiring pen had written.

The purpose, then, of _The Prince_ is to lay down rules, within the
possibilities of the time, for the making of a man who shall create,
increase, and maintain a strong and stable government. This is done in
the main by a plain presentation of facts, a presentation condensed and
critical but based on men and things as they actually were. The ethical
side is wholly omitted: the social and economical almost entirely. The
aspect is purely political, with the underlying thought, it may be
supposed, that under the postulated government, all else will prosper.

[Sidenote: The Book; New States.]

Machiavelli opens by discussing the various forms of governments, which
he divides into Republics and Principalities. Of the latter some may be
hereditary and some acquired. Of hereditary states he says little and
quotes but one, the Duchy of Ferrara. He then turns to his true subject,
the acquisition and preservation of States wholly new or new in part,
States such as he saw himself on every side around him. Having gained
possession of a new State, he says, you must first extirpate the family
of your predecessor. You should then either reside or plant colonies,
but not trust to garrisons. 'Colonies are not costly to the Prince, are
more faithful and cause less offence to the subject States: those whom
they may injure being poor and scattered, are prevented from doing
mischief. For it should be observed that men ought either to be caressed
or trampled out, seeing that small injuries may be avenged, whereas
great ones destroy the possibility of retaliation: and so the damage
that has to be inflicted ought to be such that it need involve no fear
of reprisals.' There is perhaps in all Machiavelli no better example of
his lucid scientific method than this passage. There is neither excuse
nor hypocrisy. It is merely a matter of business calculation. Mankind is
the raw material, the State is the finished work. Further you are to
conciliate your neighbours who are weak and abase the strong, and you
must not let the stranger within your gates. Above all look before as
well as after and think not to leave it to time, _godere li benefici del
tempo_, but, as did the Romans, strike and strike at once. For
illustration he criticises, in a final and damning analysis, the career
of Louis XII. in Italy. There was no canon of statecraft so absolute
that the King did not ignore it, and in inevitable Nemesis, there was no
ultimate disaster so crowning as not to be achieved.

[Sidenote: Conquests.]

After observing that a feudal monarchy is much less easy of conquest
than a despotism, since in the one case you must vanquish many lesser
lordships while in the other you merely replace slaves by slaves,
Machiavelli considers the best method of subjugating Free Cities. Here
again is eminent the terrible composure and the exact truth of his
politics. A conquered Free City you may of course rule in person, or you
may construct an oligarchy to govern for you, but the only safe way is
to destroy it utterly, since 'that name of Liberty, those ancient usages
of Freedom,' are things 'which no length of years and no benefits can
extinguish in the nation's mind, things which no pains or forethought
can uproot unless the citizens be utterly destroyed.'

Hitherto the discussion has ranged round the material politics of the
matter, the acquisition of material power. Machiavelli now turns to the
heart of his matter, the proper character and conduct of a new Prince in
a new Principality and the ways by which he shall deal most fortunately
with friend and foe. For fortune it is, as well as ability, which go to
the making of the man and the maintenance of his power.

[Sidenote: Cæsar Borgia.]

In the manner of the day Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, and Theseus are led
across the stage in illustration. The common attribute of all such
fortunate masters of men was force of arms, while the mission of an
unarmed prophet such as Savonarola was foredoomed to failure. In such
politics Machiavelli is positive and ruthless: force is and must be the
remedy and the last appeal, a principle which indeed no later generation
has in practice set at naught. But in the hard dry eyes of the
Florentine Secretary stood, above all others, one shining figure, a
figure to all other eyes, from then till now, wrapped in mysterious and
miasmatic cloud. In the pages of common history he was a tyrant, he was
vicious beyond compare, he was cruel beyond the Inquisition, he was
false beyond the Father of Lies, he was the Antichrist of Rome and he
was a failure: but he was the hero of Niccolò Machiavelli, who, indeed,
found in Cæsar Borgia the fine flower of Italian politics in the Age of
the Despots. Son of the Pope, a Prince of the Church, a Duke of France,
a master of events, a born soldier, diplomatist, and more than half a
statesman, Cæsar seemed indeed the darling of gods and men whom original
fortune had crowned with inborn ability. Machiavelli knew him as well as
it was possible to know a soul so tortuous and secret, and he had been
present at the most critical and terrible moments of Cæsar's life. That
in despite of a life which the world calls infamous, in despite of the
howling execrations of all Christendom, in despite of ultimate and
entire failures, Machiavelli could still write years after, 'I know not
what lessons I could teach a new Prince more useful than the example of
his actions,' exhibits the ineffaceable impressions that Cæsar Borgia
had made upon the most subtle and observant mind of modern history.

[Sidenote: Cæsar's Career.]

Cæsar was the acknowledged son of Pope Alexander by his acknowledged
mistress Vannozza dei Cattani. Born in 1472, he was an Archbishop and a
Cardinal at sixteen, and the murderer of his elder brother at an age
when modern youths are at college. He played his part to the full in the
unspeakable scandals of the Vatican, but already 'he spoke little and
people feared him.' Ere long the splendours of the Papacy seemed too
remote and uncertain for his fierce ambition, and, indeed, through his
father, he already wielded both the temporal and the spiritual arms of
Peter. To the subtlety of the Italian his Spanish blood had lent a
certain stern resolution, and as with Julius and Sulla the lust for
sloth and sensuality were quickened by the lust for sway. He unfrocked
himself with pleasure. He commenced politician, soldier, and despot. And
for the five years preceding Alexander's death he may almost be looked
upon as a power in Europe. Invested Duke of Romagna, that hot-bed of
petty tyranny and tumult, he repressed disorder through his governor
Messer Ramiro with a relentless hand. When order reigned, Machiavelli
tells us he walked out one morning into the market-place at Cesena and
saw the body of Ramiro, who had borne the odium of reform, lying in two
pieces with his head on a lance, and a bloody axe by his side. Cæsar
reaped the harvest of Ramiro's severity, and the people recognising his
benevolence and justice were 'astounded and satisfied.'

But the gaze of the Borgia was not bounded by the strait limits of a
mere Italian Duchy. Whether indeed there mingled with personal ambition
an ideal of a united Italy, swept clean of the barbarians, it is hard to
say, though Machiavelli would have us believe it. What is certain is
that he desired the supreme dominion in Italy for himself, and to win it
spared neither force nor fraud nor the help of the very barbarians
themselves. With a decree of divorce and a Cardinal's hat he gained the
support of France, the French Duchy of Valentinois, and the sister of
the King of Navarre to wife. By largesse of bribery and hollow promises
he brought to his side the great families of Rome, his natural enemies,
and the great Condottieri with their men-at-arms. When by their aid he
had established and extended his government he mistrusted their good
faith. With an infinity of fascination and cunning, without haste and
without rest, he lured these leaders, almost more cunning than himself,
to visit him as friends in his fortress of Sinigaglia. 'I doubt if they
will be alive to-morrow morning,' wrote Machiavelli, who was on the
spot. He was right. Cæsar caused them to be strangled the same night,
while his father dealt equal measure to their colleagues and adherents
in Rome. Thenceforth, distrusting mercenaries, he found and disciplined
out of a mere rabble, a devoted army of his own, and having
unobtrusively but completely extirpated the whole families of those
whose thrones he had usurped, not only the present but the future seemed
assured to him.

He had fulfilled the first of Machiavelli's four conditions. He rapidly
achieved the remaining three. He bought the Roman nobles so as to be
able to put a bridle in the new 'Pope's mouth.' He bought or poisoned or
packed or terrorised the existing College of Cardinals and selected new
Princes of the Church who should accept a Pontiff of his choosing. He
was effectively strong enough to resist the first onset upon him at his
father's death. Five years had been enough for so great an undertaking.
One thing alone he had not and indeed could not have foreseen. 'He told
me himself on the day on which (Pope) Julius was created, that he had
foreseen and provided for everything else that could happen on his
father's death, but had never anticipated that, when his father died, he
too should have been at death's door.' Even so the fame and splendour of
his name for a while maintained his authority against his unnumbered
enemies. But soon the great betrayer was betrayed. 'It is well to cheat
those who have been masters of treachery,' he had said himself in his
hours of brief authority. His wheel had turned full cycle. Within three
years his fate, like that of Charles XII., was destined to a foreign
strand, a petty fortress, and a dubious hand. Given over to Spain he
passed three years obscurely. 'He was struck down in a fight at Viana in
Navarre (1507) after a furious resistance: he was stripped of his fine
armour by men who did not know his name or quality and his body was left
naked on the bare ground, bloody and riddled with wounds. He was only
thirty-one.' And so the star of Machiavelli's hopes and dreams was
quenched for a season in the clouds from which it came.

[Sidenote: The Lesson.]

It seems worth while to sketch the strange tempestuous career of Cæsar
Borgia because in the remaining chapters of _The Prince_ and elsewhere
in his writings, it is the thought and memory of Valentinois, transmuted
doubtless and idealised by the lapse of years, that largely inform and
inspire the perfect Prince of Machiavelli. But it must not be supposed
that in life or in mind they were intimate or even sympathetic.
Machiavelli criticises his hero liberally and even harshly. But for the
work he wanted done he had found no better craftsman and no better
example to follow for those that might come after. Morals and religion
did not touch the purpose of his arguments except as affecting policy.
In policy virtues may be admitted as useful agents and in the chapter
following that on Cæsar, entitled, curiously enough, 'Of those who by
their crimes come to be Princes,' he lays down that 'to slaughter fellow
citizens, to betray friends, to be devoid of honour, pity and religion
cannot be counted as merits, for these are means which may lead to power
but which confer no glory.' Cruelty he would employ without hesitation
but with the greatest care both in degree and in kind. It should be
immediate and complete and leave no possibility of counter-revenge. For
it is never forgotten by the living, and 'he deceives himself who
believes that, with the great, recent benefits cause old wrongs to be
forgotten.' On the other hand 'Benefits should be conferred little by
little so that they may be more fully relished.' The cruelty proper to a
Prince (Government, for as ever they are identical) aims only at
authority. Now authority must spring from love or fear. It were best to
combine both motives to obedience but you cannot. The Prince must
remember that men are fickle, and love at their own pleasure, and that
men are fearful and fear at the pleasure of the Prince. Let him
therefore depend on what is of himself, not on that which is of others.
'Yet if he win not love he may escape hate, and so it will be if he does
not meddle with the property or women-folk of his subjects.' When he
must punish let him kill. 'For men will sooner forget the death of their
father than the loss of their estate.' And moreover you cannot always go
on killing, but a Prince who has once set himself to plundering will
never stop. This is the more needful because the only secure foundation
of his rule lies in his trust of the people and in their support. And
indeed again and again you shall find no more thorough democrat than
this teacher of tyrants. 'The people own better broader qualities,
fidelities and passions than any Prince and have better cause to show
for them.' 'As for prudence and stability, I say that a people is more
stable, more prudent, and of better judgment than a Prince.' If the
people go wrong it is almost certainly the crime or negligence of the
Prince which drives or leads them astray. 'Better far than any number of
fortresses is not to be hated by your people.' The support of the people
and a national militia make the essential strength of the Prince and of
the State.

[Sidenote: National Defence.]

The chapters on military organisation may be more conveniently
considered in conjunction with _The Art of War_. It is enough at present
to point out two or three observations of Machiavelli which touch
politics from the military side. To his generation they were entirely
novel, though mere commonplace to-day. National strength means national
stability and national greatness; and this can be achieved, and can only
be achieved, by a national army. The Condottiere system, born of sloth
and luxury, has proved its rottenness. Your hired general is either a
tyrant or a traitor, a bully or a coward. 'In a word the armour of
others is too wide or too strait for us: it falls off us, or it weighs
us down.' And in a fine illustration he compares auxiliary troops to the
armour of Saul which David refused, preferring to fight Goliath with his
sling and stone.

[Sidenote: Conduct of the Prince.]

Having assured the external security of the State, Machiavelli turns
once more to the qualities and conduct of the Prince. So closely packed
are these concluding chapters that it is almost impossible to compress
them further. The author at the outset states his purpose: 'Since it is
my object to write what shall be useful to whosoever understands it, it
seems to me better to follow the practical truth of things rather than
an imaginary view of them. For many Republics and Princedoms have been
imagined that were never seen or known to exist in reality. And the
manner in which we live and in which we ought to live, are things so
wide asunder that he who suits the one to betake himself to the other is
more likely to destroy than to save himself.' Nothing that Machiavelli
wrote is more sincere, analytic, positive and ruthless. He operates
unflinchingly on an assured diagnosis. The hand never an instant
falters, the knife is never blunt. He deals with what is, and not with
what ought to be. Should the Prince be all-virtuous, all-liberal,
all-humane? Should his word be his bond for ever? Should true religion
be the master-passion of his life? Machiavelli considers. The first duty
of the Prince (or Government) is to maintain the existence, stability,
and prosperity of the State. Now if all the world were perfect so should
the Prince be perfect too. But such are not the conditions of human
life. An idealising Prince must fall before a practising world. A Prince
must learn in self-defence how to be bad, but like Cæsar Borgia, he must
be a great judge of occasion. And what evil he does must be deliberate,
appropriate, and calculated, and done, not selfishly, but for the good
of the State of which he is trustee. There is the power of Law and the
power of Force. The first is proper to men, the second to beasts. And
that is why Achilles was brought up by Cheiron the Centaur that he might
learn to use both natures. A ruler must be half lion and half fox, a fox
to discern the toils, a lion to drive off the wolves. Merciful,
faithful, humane, religious, just, these he may be and above all should
seem to be, nor should any word escape his lips to give the lie to his
professions: and in fact he should not leave these qualities but when he
must. He should, if possible, practise goodness, but under necessity
should know how to pursue evil. He should keep faith until occasion
alter, or reason of state compel him to break his pledge. Above all he
should profess and observe religion, 'because men in general judge
rather by the eye than by the hand, and every one can see but few can
touch.' But none the less, must he learn (as did William the Silent,
Elizabeth of England, and Henry of Navarre) how to subordinate creed to
policy when urgent need is upon him. In a word, he must realise and face
his own position, and the facts of mankind and of the world. If not
veracious to his conscience, he must be veracious to facts. He must not
be bad for badness' sake, but seeing things as they are, must deal as he
can to protect and preserve the trust committed to his care. Fortune is
still a fickle jade, but at least the half our will is free, and if we
are bold we may master her yet. For Fortune is a woman who, to be kept
under, must be beaten and roughly handled, and we see that she is more
ready to be mastered by those who treat her so, than by those who are
shy in their wooing. And always, like a woman, she gives her favours to
the young, because they are less scrupulous and fiercer and more
audaciously command her to their will.

[Sidenote: The Appeal.]

And so at the last the sometime Secretary of the Florentine Republic
turns to the new Master of the Florentines in splendid exhortation. He
points to no easy path. He proposes no mean ambition. He has said
already that 'double will that Prince's glory be, who has founded a new
realm and fortified it and adorned it with good laws, good arms, good
friends, and good examples.' But there is more and better to be done.
The great misery of men has ever made the great leaders of men. But was
Israel in Egypt, were the Persians, the Athenians ever more enslaved,
down-trodden, disunited, beaten, despoiled, mangled, overrun and
desolate than is our Italy to-day? The barbarians must be hounded out,
and Italy be free and one. Now is the accepted time. All Italy is
waiting and only seeks the man. To you the darling of Fortune and the
Church this splendid task is given, to and to the army of Italy and of
Italians only. Arm Italy and lead her. To you, the deliverer, what gates
would be closed, what obedience refused! What jealousies opposed, what
homage denied. Love, courage, and fixed fidelity await you, and under
your standards shall the voice of Petrarch be fulfilled:

            Virtu contro al furore
  Prenderà l'arme e fia il combatter corto:
              Chè l'antico valore
  Negl' Italici cor non è ancor morto.

Such is _The Prince_ of Machiavelli. The vision of its breathless
exhortation seemed then as but a landscape to a blind man's eye. But the
passing of three hundred and fifty years of the misery he wept for
brought at the last, almost in perfect exactness, the fulfilment of that
impossible prophecy.

[Sidenote: The Attack.]

There is no great book in the world of smaller compass than _The Prince_
of Machiavelli. There is no book more lucidly, directly, and plainly
written. There is no book that has aroused more vehement, venomous, and
even truculent controversy from the moment of its publication until
to-day. And it is asserted with great probability that _The Prince_ has
had a more direct action upon real life than any other book in the
world, and a larger share in breaking the chains and lighting the dark
places of the Middle Ages. It is a truism to say that Machiavellism
existed before Machiavelli. The politics of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, of
Louis XI. of France, of Ferdinand of Spain, of the Papacy, of Venice,
might have been dictated by the author of _The Prince_. But Machiavelli
was the first to observe, to compare, to diagnose, to analyse, and to
formulate their principles of government. The first to establish, not a
divorce, but rather a judicial separation between the morals of a man
and the morals of a government. It is around the purpose and possible
results of such a separation in politics, ethics, and religion that the
storm has raged most fiercely. To follow the path of that storm through
near four centuries many volumes would be needed, and it will be more
convenient to deal with the more general questions in summing up the
influence of Machiavelli as a whole. But the main lines and varying
fortunes of the long campaign may be indicated. During the period of its
manuscript circulation and for a few years after its publication _The
Prince_ was treated with favour or at worst with indifference, and the
first mutterings were merely personal to the author. He was a scurvy
knave and turncoat with neither bowels nor conscience, almost
negligible. But still men read him, and a change in conditions brought a
change in front. He had in _The Prince_, above all in the _Discorsi_,
accused the Church of having ruined Italy and debauched the world. In
view of the writer's growing popularity, of the Reformation and the
Pagan Renaissance, such charges could no longer be lightly set aside.
The Churchmen opened the main attack. Amongst the leaders was Cardinal
Pole, to whom the practical precepts of _The Prince_ had been
recommended in lieu of the dreams of Plato, by Thomas Cromwell, the
_malleus monachorum_ of Henry VIII. The Catholic attack was purely
theological, but before long the Jesuits joined in the cry. Machiavelli
was burnt in effigy at Ingoldstadt. He was _subdolus diabolicarum
cogitationum faber_, and _irrisor et atheos_ to boot. The Pope himself
gave commissions to unite against him, and his books were placed on the
Index, together, it must be admitted, with those of Boccaccio, Erasmus,
and Savonarola so the company was goodly. But meanwhile, and perhaps in
consequence, editions and translations of _The Prince_ multiplied apace.
The great figures of the world were absorbed by it. Charles V., his son,
and his courtiers studied the book. Catherine de Medici brought it to
France. A copy of _The Prince_ was found on the murdered bodies of Henry
III. and Henry IV. Richelieu praised it. Sextus V. analysed it in his
own handwriting. It was read at the English Court; Bacon was steeped in
it, and quotes or alludes to it constantly. Hobbes and Harrington
studied it.

But now another change. So then, cried Innocent Gentillet, the Huguenot,
the book is a primer of despotism and Rome, and a grammar for bigots and
tyrants. It doubtless is answerable for the Massacre of St. Bartholomew.
The man is a _chien impur_. And in answer to this new huntsman the whole
Protestant pack crashed in pursuit. Within fifty years of his death _The
Prince_ and Machiavelli himself had become a legend and a myth, a
haunting, discomforting ghost that would not be laid. Machiavellism had
grown to be a case of conscience both to Catholic and Protestant, to
Theologian, Moralist, and Philosopher. In Spain the author, damned in
France for his despotism and popery, was as freshly and freely damned
for his civil and religious toleration. In England to the Cavaliers he
was an Atheist, to the Roundheads a Jesuit. Christina of Sweden
annotated him with enthusiasm. Frederick the Great published his
_Anti-Machiavel_ brimming with indignation, though it is impossible not
to wonder what would have become of Prussia had not the Prussian king so
closely followed in practice the precepts of the Florentine, above all
perhaps, as Voltaire observed, in the publication of the
_Anti-Machiavel_ itself. No doubt in the eighteenth century, when
monarchy was so firmly established as not to need Machiavelli, kings and
statesmen sought to clear kingship of the supposed stain he had
besmirched them with. But their reading was as little as their
misunderstanding was great, and the Florentine Secretary remained the
mysterious necromancer. It was left for Rousseau to describe the book of
this 'honnête homme et bon citoyen' as 'le livre des Républicains,' and
for Napoleon, the greatest of the author's followers if not disciples,
to draw inspiration and suggestion from his Florentine forerunner and to
justify the murder of the Due d'Enghien by a quotation from _The
Prince_. 'Mais après tout,' he said, 'un homme d'Etat est-il fait pour
être sensible? N'est-ce pas un personnage--complètement excentrique,
toujours seul d'un côté, avec le monde de l'autre?' and again 'Jugez
done s'il doit s'amuser à ménager certaines convenances de sentiments si
importantes pour le commun des hommes? Peut-il considérer les liens du
sang, les affections, les puérils ménagements de la société? Et dans la
situation où il se trouve, que d'actions séparées de l'ensemble et qu'on
blâme, quoiqu'elles doivent contribuer au grand oeuvre que tout le monde
n'aperçoit pas? ... Malheureux que vous êtes! vous retiendrez vos éloges
parce que vous craindrez que le mouvement de cette grande machine ne
fasse sur vous l'effet de Gulliver, qui, lorsqu'il déplaçait sa jambe,
écrasait les Lilliputiens. Exhortez-vous, devancez le temps, agrandissez
votre imagination, regardez de loin, et vous verrez que ces grands
personnages que vous croyez violents, cruels, que sais-je? ne sont que
des politiques. Ils se connaissent, se jugent mieux que vous, et, quand
ils sont réellement habiles, ils savent se rendre maîtres de leurs
passions car ils vont jusqu'à en calculer les effets.' Even in his
carriage at Waterloo was found a French translation of _The Prince_
profusely annotated.

[Sidenote: The Defence.]

But from the first the defence was neither idle nor weak. The assault
was on the morals of the man: the fortress held for the ideas of the
thinker. He does not treat of morals, therefore he is immoral, cried the
plaintiff. Has he spoken truth or falsehood? Is his word the truth and
will his truth prevail? was the rejoinder. In Germany and Italy
especially and in France and England in less degree, philosophers and
critics have argued and written without stint and without cease. As
history has grown wider and more scientific so has the preponderance of
opinion leaned to the Florentine's favour.

It would be impossible to recapitulate the arguments or even to indicate
the varying points of view. And indeed the main hindrance in forming a
just idea of _The Prince_ is the constant treatment of a single side of
the book and the preconceived intent of the critic. Bacon has already
been mentioned. Among later names are Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibnitz. Herder
gives qualified approval, while Fichte frankly throws down the glove as
_The Prince's_ champion. 'Da man weiss dass politische Machtfragen nie,
am wenigsten in einem verderbten Volke, mit den Mitteln der Moral zu
lösen sind, so ist es unverständig das Buch von Fürsten zu verschreien.
Macchiavelli hatte einen Herrscher zu schildern, keinen Klosterbruder.'
The last sentence may at least be accepted as a last word by practical
politicians. Ranke and Macaulay, and a host of competent Germans and
Italians have lent their thought and pens to solve the riddle in the
Florentine's favour. And lastly, the course of political events in
Europe have seemed to many the final justification of the teaching of
_The Prince_. The leaders of the Risorgimento thought that they found in
letters, 'writ with a stiletto,' not only the inspirations of patriotism
and the aspirations to unity, but a sure and trusted guide to the
achievement. Germany recognised in the author a schoolmaster to lead
them to unification, and a military instructor to teach them of an Armed
People. Half Europe snatched at the principle of Nationality. For in
_The Prince_, Machiavelli not only begat ideas but fertilised the ideas
of others, and whatever the future estimation of the book may be, it
stands, read or unread, as a most potent, if not as the dominant, factor
in European politics for four hundred years.

[Sidenote: The _Discorsi_.]

The _Discorsi_, printed in Rome by Blado, 1537, are not included in the
present edition, as the first English translation did not appear until
1680, when almost the entire works of Machiavelli were published by an
anonymous translator in London. But some account and consideration of
their contents is imperative to any review of the Florentine's political
thoughts. Such Discorsi and Relazioni were not uncommon at the time. The
stronger and younger minds of the Renaissance wearied of discussing in
the lovely gardens of the Rucellai the ideas of Plato or the allegories
of Plotinus. The politics of Aristotle had just been intelligibly
translated by Leonardo Bruni (1492). And to-day the young ears and eyes
of Florence were alert for an impulse to action. They saw glimpses, in
reopened fields of history, of quarries long grown over where the ore of
positive politics lay hid. The men who came to-day to the Orti
Oricellarii were men versed in public affairs, men of letters,
historians, poets, living greatly in a great age, with Raphael, Michael
Angelo, Ariosto, Leonardo going up and down amongst them. Machiavelli
was now in fair favour with the Medici, and is described by Strozzi as
_una persona per sorgere_ (a rising man). He was welcomed into the group
with enthusiasm, and there read and discussed the _Discorsi_. Nominally
mere considerations upon the First Decade of Livy, they rapidly
encircled all that was known and thought of policy and state-craft, old
and living.

[Sidenote: Their Plan.]

Written concurrently with _The Prince_, though completed later, the
_Discorsi_ contain almost the whole of the thoughts and intents of the
more famous book, but with a slightly different application. '_The
Prince_ traces the progress of an ambitious man, the _Discorsi_ the
progress of an ambitious people,' is an apt if inadequate criticism.
Machiavelli was not the first Italian who thought and wrote upon the
problems of his time. But he was the first who discussed grave questions
in modern language. He was the first modern political writer who wrote
of men and not of man, for the Prince himself is a collective

'This must be regarded as a general rule,' is ever in Machiavelli's
mouth, while Guicciardini finds no value in a general rule, but only in
'long experience and worthy discretion.' The one treated of policy, the
other of politics. Guicciardini considered specifically by what methods
to control and arrange an existing Government. Machiavelli sought to
create a science, which should show how to establish, maintain, and
hinder the decline of states generally conceived. Even Cavour counted
the former as a more practical guide in affairs. But Machiavelli was the
theorist of humanity in politics, not the observer only. He
distinguished the two orders of research. And, during the Italian
Renaissance such distinction was supremely necessary. With a crumbled
theology, a pagan Pope, amid the wreck of laws and the confusion of
social order, _il sue particolare_ and _virtù_, individuality and
ability (energy, political genius, prowess, vital force: _virtù_ is
impossible to translate, and only does not mean virtue), were the
dominating and unrelenting factors of life. Niccolò Machiavelli, unlike
Montesquieu, agreed with Martin Luther that man was bad. It was for both
the Wittenberger and the Florentine, in their very separate ways, to
found the school and wield the scourge. In the naked and unashamed
candour of the time Guicciardini could say that he loathed the Papacy
and all its works. 'For all that, he adds, 'the preferments I have
enjoyed, have forced me for my private ends to set my heart upon papal
greatness. Were it not for this consideration, I should love Martin
Luther as my second self.' In the _Discorsi_, Machiavelli bitterly
arraigns the Church as having 'deprived Italians of religion and
liberty.' He utterly condemns Savonarolà, yet he could love and learn
from Dante, and might almost have said with Pym, 'The greatest liberty
of the Kingdom is Religion. Thereby we are freed from spiritual evils,
and no impositions are so grievous as those that are laid upon the

[Sidenote: Religion.]

The Florentine postulates religion as an essential element in a strong
and stable State. Perhaps, with Gibbon, he deemed it useful to the
Magistrate. But his science is impersonal. He will not tolerate a Church
that poaches on his political preserves. Good dogma makes bad politics.
It must not tamper with liberty or security. And most certainly, with
Dante, in the _Paradiso_, he would either have transformed or omitted
the third Beatitude, that the Meek shall inherit the earth. With such a
temperament, Machiavelli must ever keep touch with sanity. It was not
for him as for Aristotle to imagine what an ideal State should be, but
rather to inquire what States actually were and what they might actually
become. He seeks first and foremost 'the use that may be derived from
history in politics'; not from its incidents but from its general
principles. His darling model of a State is to be found where Dante
found it, in the Roman Republic. The memory and even the substance of
Dante occur again and again. But Dante's inspiration was spiritual:
Machiavelli's frankly pagan, and with the latter Fortune takes the place
of God. Dante did not love the Papacy, but Machiavelli, pointing out how
even in ancient Rome religion was politic or utilitarian, leads up to
his famous attack upon the Roman Church, to which he attributes all the
shame and losses, political, social, moral, national, that Italy has
suffered at her hands. And now for the first time the necessity for
Italian Unity is laid plainly down, and the Church and its temporal
power denounced as the central obstacles. In religion itself the
Secretary saw much merit. 'But when it is an absolute question of the
welfare of our country, then justice or injustice, mercy or cruelty,
praise or ignominy, must be set aside, and we must seek alone whatever
course may preserve the existence and liberty of the state.' Throughout
the _Discorsi_, Machiavelli in a looser and more expansive form,
suggests, discusses, or re-affirms the ideas of _The Prince_. There is
the same absence of judgment on the moral value of individual conduct;
the same keen decision of its practical effect as a political act. But
here more than in _The Prince_, he deals with the action and conduct of
the people. With his passion for personal and contemporary incarnation
he finds in the Swiss of his day the Romans of Republican Rome, and
reiterates the comparison in detail. Feudalism, mercenaries, political
associations embodied in Arts and Guilds, the Temporal power of the
Church, all these are put away, and in their stead he announces the new
and daring gospel that for organic unity subjects must be treated as
equals and not as inferiors. 'Trust the people' is a maxim he repeats
and enforces again and again. And he does not shrink from, but rather
urges the corollary, 'Arm the people.' Indeed it were no audacious
paradox to state the ideal of Machiavelli, though he nominally preferred
a Republic, as a Limited Monarchy, ruling over a Nation in Arms. No
doubt he sought, as was natural enough in his day, to construct the
State from without rather than to guide and encourage its evolution from
within. It seemed to him that, in such an ocean of corruption, Force
_was_ a remedy and Fraud no sluttish handmaid. 'Vice n'est-ce pas,'
writes Montaigne, of such violent acts of Government, 'car il a quitté
sa raison à une plus universelle et puissante raison.' Even so the
Prince and the people could only be justified by results. But the public
life is of larger value than the private, and sometimes one man must be
crucified for a thousand. Despite all prejudice and make-belief, such a
rule and practice has obtained from the Assemblies of Athens to the
Parliaments of the twentieth century. But Machiavelli first candidly
imparted it to the unwilling consciences and brains of men, and it is he
who has been the chosen scape-goat to carry the sins of the people. His
earnestness makes him belie his own precept to keep the name and take
away the thing. In this, as in a thousand instances, he was not too
darkly hidden; he was too plain. 'Machiavelli,' says one who studied the
Florentine as hardly another had done, 'Machiavelli hat gesündigt, aber
noch mehr ist gegen ihn gesündigt worden.' Liberty is good, but Unity is
its only sure foundation. It is the way to the Unity of Government and
People that the thoughts both of _The Prince_ and the _Discorsi_ lead,
though the incidents be so nakedly presented as to shock the timorous
and vex the prurient, the puritan, and the evil thinker. The people must
obey the State and fight and die for its salvation, and for the Prince
the hatred of the subjects is never good, but their love, and the best
way to gain it is by 'not interrupting the subject in the quiet
enjoyment of his estate.' Even so bland and gentle a spirit as the poet
Gray cannot but comment, 'I rejoice when I see Machiavelli defended or
illustrated, who to me appears one of the wisest men that any nation in
any age hath produced.'

[Sidenote: The Art of War.]

Throughout both _The Prince_ and the _Discorsi_ are constant allusions
to, and often long discussions on, military affairs. The Army profoundly
interested Machiavelli both as a primary condition of national existence
and stability, and also, as he pondered upon the contrast between
ancient Rome and the Florence that he lived in, as a subject fascinating
in itself. His _Art of War_ was probably published in 1520. Before that
date the Florentine Secretary had had some personal touch both with the
theory and practice of war. As a responsible official in the camp before
Pisa he had seen both siege work and fighting. Having lost faith in
mercenary forces he made immense attempts to form a National Militia,
and was appointed Chancellor of the Nove della Milizia. In Switzerland
and the Tyrol he had studied army questions. He planned with Pietro
Navarro the defence of Florence and Prato against Charles V. At Verona
and Mantua in 1509, he closely studied the famous siege of Padua. From
birth to death war and battles raged all about him, and he had personal
knowledge of the great captains of the Age. Moreover, he saw in Italy
troops of every country, of every quality, in every stage of discipline,
in every manner of formation. His love of ancient Rome led him naturally
to the study of Livy and Vegetius, and from them with regard to
formations, to the relative values of infantry and cavalry and other
points of tactics, he drew or deduced many conclusions which hold good
to-day. Indeed a German staff officer has written that in reading the
Florentine you think you are listening to a modern theorist of war. But
for the theorist of those days a lion stood in the path. The art of war
was not excepted from the quick and thorough transformation that all
earthly and spiritual things were undergoing. Gunpowder, long invented,
was being applied. Armour, that, since the beginning, had saved both man
and horse, had now lost the half of its virtue. The walls of fortresses,
impregnable for a thousand years, became as matchwood ramparts. The
mounted man-at-arms was found with wonder to be no match for the
lightly-armoured but nimble foot-man. The Swiss were seen to hold their
own with ease against the knighthood of Austria and Burgundy. The Free
Companies lost in value and prestige what they added to their corruption
and treachery. All these things grew clear to Machiavelli. But his
almost fatal misfortune was that he observed and wrote in the mid-moment
of the transition. He had no faith in fire-arms, and as regards the
portable fire-arms of those days he was right. After the artillery work
at Ravenna, Novara, and Marignano it is argued that he should have known
better. But he was present at no great battles, and pike, spear, and
sword had been the stable weapons of four thousand years. These were
indeed too simple to be largely modified, and the future of mechanisms
and explosives no prophet uninspired could foresee. And indeed the
armament and formation of men were not the main intent of Machiavelli's
thought. His care in detail, especially in fortifications, of which he
made a special study, in encampments, in plans, in calculations, is
immense. Nothing is so trivial as to be left inexact.

[Sidenote: The New Model.]

But he centred his observation and imagination on the origin, character,
and discipline of an army in being. He pictures the horror, waste, and
failure of a mercenary system, and lays down the fatal error in Italy of
separating civil from military life, converting the latter into a trade.
In such a way the soldier grows to a beast, and the citizen to a coward.
All this must be changed. The basic idea of this astounding Secretary is
to form a National Army, furnished by conscription and informed by the
spirit of the New Model of Cromwell. All able-bodied men between the
ages of seventeen and forty should be drilled on stated days and be kept
in constant readiness. Once or twice a year each battalion must be
mobilised and manoeuvred as in time of war. The discipline must be
constant and severe. The men must be not only robust and well-trained,
but, above all, virtuous, modest, and disposed to any sacrifice for the
public good. So imbued should they be with duty and lofty devotion to
their country that though they may rightly deceive the enemy, reward the
enemy's deserters and employ spies, yet 'an apple tree laden with fruit
might stand untouched in the midst of their encampment.' The infantry
should far exceed the cavalry, 'since it is by infantry that battles are
won.' Secrecy, mobility, and familiarity with the country are to be
objects of special care, and positions should be chosen from which
advance is safer than retreat. In war this army must be led by one
single leader, and, when peace shines again, they must go back contented
to their grateful fellow-countrymen and their wonted ways of living. The
conception and foundation of such a scheme, at such a time, by such a
man is indeed astounding. He broke with the past and with all
contemporary organisations. He forecast the future of military Europe,
though his own Italy was the last to win her redemption through his
plans. 'Taken all in all,' says a German military writer, 'we may
recognise Machiavelli in his inspired knowledge of the principles of
universal military discipline as a true prophet and as one of the
weightiest thinkers in the field of military construction and
constitution. He penetrated the essence of military technique with a
precision wholly alien to his period, and it is, so to say, a new
psychological proof of the relationship between the art of war and the
art of statecraft, that the founder of Modern Politics is also the first
of modern Military Classics.'

But woe to the Florentine Secretary with his thoughts born centuries
before their time. As in _The Prince_, so in the _Art of War_, he closes
with a passionate appeal of great sorrow and the smallest ray of hope.
Where shall I hope to find the things that I have told of? What is Italy
to-day? What are the Italians? Enervated, impotent, vile. Wherefore, 'I
lament mee of nature, the which either ought not to have made mee a
knower of this, or it ought to have given mee power, to have bene able
to have executed it: For now beeing olde, I cannot hope to have any
occasion, to be able so to doo: In consideration whereof, I have bene
liberall with you who beeing grave young men, may (when the thinges said
of me shall please you) at due times, in favoure of your Princes, helpe
them and counsider them. Wherin I would have you not to be afraied, or
mistrustfull, because this Province seemes to bee altogether given to
raise up againe the things deade, as is seene by the perfection that
Poesie, painting, and writing, is now brought unto: Albeit, as much as
is looked for of mee, beeing strooken in yeeres, I do mistrust. Where
surely, if Fortune had heretofore graunted mee so much state, as
suffiseth for a like enterprise, I would not have doubted, but in most
short time, to have shewed to the world, how much the auncient orders
availe: and without peradventure, either I would have increased it with
glory, or lost it without shame.'

[Sidenote: _The History of Florence_.]

In 1520 Machiavelli was an ageing and disappointed man. He was not
popular with any party, but the Medici were willing to use him in minor
matters if only to secure his adherence. He was commissioned by Giulio
de Medici to write a history of Florence with an annual allowance of 100
florins. In 1525 he completed his task and dedicated the book to its
begetter, Pope Clement VII.

In the History, as in much of his other work, Machiavelli enriches the
science of humanity with a new department. 'He was the first to
contemplate the life of a nation in its continuity, to trace the
operation of political forces through successive generations, to
contrast the action of individuals with the evolution of causes over
which they had but little control, and to bring the salient features of
the national biography into relief by the suppression of comparatively
unimportant details.' He found no examples to follow, for Villani with
all his merits was of a different order. Diarists and chroniclers there
were in plenty, and works of the learned men led by Aretino, written in
Latin and mainly rhetorical. The great work of Guicciardini was not
published till years after the Secretary's death. Machiavelli broke away
from the Chronicle or any other existing form. He deliberately applied
philosophy to the sequence of facts. He organised civil and political
history. He originally intended to begin his work at the year 1234, the
year of the return of Cosimo il Vecchio from exile and of the
consolidation of Medicean power on the ground that the earlier periods
had been covered by Aretino and Bracciolini. But he speedily recognised
that they told of nothing but external wars and business while the heart
of the history of Florence was left unbared. The work was to do again in
very different manner, and in that manner he did it. Throughout he
maintains and insistently insinuates his unfailing explanation of the
miseries of Italy; the necessity of unity and the evils of the Papacy
which prevents it. In this book dedicated to a Pope he scants nothing of
his hatred of the Holy See. For ever he is still seeking the one strong
man in a blatant land with almost absolute power to punish, pull down,
and reconstruct on an abiding foundation, for to his clear eyes it is
ever the events that are born of the man, and not the man of the events.
He was the first to observe that the Ghibellines were not only the
Imperial party but the party of the aristocrats and influential men,
whereas the Guelphs were the party not only of the Church but of the
people, and he traces the slow but increasing struggle to the triumph of
democracy in the Ordinamenti di Giustizia (1293). But the triumph was
not final. The Florentines were 'unable to preserve liberty and could
not tolerate slavery.' So the fighting, banishments, bloodshed, cruelty,
injustice, began once more. The nobles were in origin Germanic, he
points out, the people Latin; so that a racial bitterness gave accent to
their hate. But yet, he adds impartially, when the crushed nobility were
forced to change their names and no longer dared be heard 'Florence was
not only stripped of arms but likewise of all generosity.' It would be
impossible to follow the History in detail. The second, seventh and
eighth books are perhaps the most powerful and dramatic. Outside affairs
and lesser events are lightly touched. But no stories in the world have
been told with more intensity than those of the conspiracies in the
seventh and eighth books, and none have given a more intimate and
accurate perception of the modes of thought and feeling at the time. The
History ends with the death of Lorenzo de Medici in 1492. Enough has
been said of its breadth of scope and originality of method. The spirit
of clear flaming patriotism, of undying hope that will not in the
darkest day despair, the plangent appeal to Italy for its own great sake
to rouse and live, all these are found pre-eminently in the History as
they are found wherever Machiavelli speaks from the heart of his heart.
Of the style a foreigner may not speak. But those who are proper judges
maintain that in simplicity and lucidity, vigour, and power, softness,
elevation, and eloquence, the style of Machiavelli is 'divine,' and
remains, as that of Dante among the poets, unchallenged and insuperable
among all writers of Italian prose.

[Sidenote: Other Works.]

Though Machiavelli must always stand as a political thinker, an
historian, and a military theorist it would leave an insufficient idea
of his mental activities were there no short notice of his other
literary works. With his passion for incarnating his theories in a
single personality, he wrote the _Life of Castruccio Castracani_, a
politico-military romance. His hero was a soldier of fortune born Lucca
in 1281, and, playing with a free hand, Machiavelli weaves a life of
adventure and romance in which his constant ideas of war and politics
run through and across an almost imaginary tapestry. He seems to have
intended to illustrate and to popularise his ideals and to attain by a
story the many whom his discourses could not reach. In verse Machiavelli
was fluent, pungent, and prosaic. The unfinished _Golden Ass_ is merely
made of paragraphs of the _Discorsi_ twined into rhymes. And the others
are little better. Countless pamphlets, essays, and descriptions may be
searched without total waste by the very curious and the very leisurely.
The many despatches and multitudinous private letters tell the story
both of his life and his mind. But the short but famous _Novella di
Belfagor Arcidiavolo_ is excellent in wit, satire, and invention. As a
playwright he wrote, among many lesser efforts, one supreme comedy,
_Mandragola_, which Macaulay declares to be better than the best of
Goldoni's plays, and only less excellent than the very best of
Molière's. Italian critics call it the finest play in Italian. The plot
is not for nursery reading, but there are tears and laughter and pity
and anger to furnish forth a copious author, and it has been not ill
observed that _Mandragola_ is the comedy of a society of which _The
Prince_ is the tragedy.

[Sidenote: The End.]

It has been said of the Italians of the Renaissance that with so much of
unfairness in their policy, there was an extraordinary degree of
fairness in their intellects. They were as direct in thought as they
were tortuous in action and could see no wickedness in deceiving a man
whom they intended to destroy. To such a charge--if charge it
be--Machiavelli would have willingly owned himself answerable. He
observed, in order to know, and he wished to use his knowledge for the
advancement of good. To him the means were indifferent, provided only
that they were always apt and moderate in accordance with necessity, A
surgeon has no room for sentiment: in such an operator pity were a
crime. It is his to examine, to probe, to diagnose, flinching at no
ulcer, sparing neither to himself or to his patient. And if he may not
act, he is to lay down very clearly the reasons which led to his
conclusions and to state the mode by which life itself may be saved,
cost what amputation and agony it may. This was Machiavelli's business,
and he applied his eye, his brains, and his knife with a relentless
persistence, which, only because it was so faithful, was not called
heroic. And we know that he suffered in the doing of it and that his
heart was sore for his patient. But there was no other way. His record
is clear and shining. He has been accused of no treachery, of no evil
action. His patriotism for Italy as a fatherland, a dream undreamt by
any other, never glowed more brightly than when Italy lay low in shame,
and ruin, and despair. His faith never faltered, his spirit never
shrank. And the Italy that he saw, through dark bursts of storm, broken
and sinking, we see to-day riding in the sunny haven where he would have
her to be.


CONTENTS             PAGE


THE PRINCE            251












_Menfss. Iulij_.



ELIZABETH, by the Grace of God, Quene

of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande,

defender of the faithe, and of the Churche

of Englande, and Irelande, on yearth

next under God, the supreme


Although commonlie every man, moste worthie and renoumed Soveraine,
seketh specially to commend and extolle the thing, whereunto he feleth
hymself naturally bent and inclined, yet al soche parciallitie and
private affection laid aside, it is to bee thought (that for the
defence, maintenaunce, and advauncemente of a Kyngdome, or Common weale,
or for the good and due observacion of peace, and administracion of
Justice in the same) no one thinge to be more profitable, necessarie, or
more honourable, then the knowledge of service in warre, and dedes of
armes; bicause consideryng the ambicion of the worlde, it is impossible
for any realme or dominion, long to continue free in quietnesse and
savegarde, where the defence of the sweard is not alwaies in a
readinesse. For like as the Grekes, beyng occupied aboute triflyng
matters, takyng pleasure in resityng of Comedies, and soche other vain
thinges, altogether neclecting Marciall feates, gave occasion to Philip
kyng of Macedonia, father to Alexander the Great, to oppresse and to
bring theim in servitude, under his subjeccion, even so undoubtedly,
libertie will not be kepte, but men shall be troden under foote, and
brought to moste horrible miserie and calamitie, if thei givyng theim
selves to pastymes and pleasure, forssake the juste regarde of their
owne defence, and savegarde of their countrie, whiche in temporall
regimente, chiefly consisteth in warlike skilfulnesse. And therefore the
aunciente Capitaines and mightie Conquerours, so longe as thei
florished, did devise with moste greate diligence, all maner of waies,
to bryng their men to the perfect knowledge of what so ever thing
appertained to the warre: as manifestly appereth by the warlike games,
whiche in old time the Princes of Grecia ordained, upon the mount
Olimpus, and also by thorders and exercises, that the aunciente Romaines
used in sundrie places, and specially in Campo Martio, and in their
wonderful sumptuous Theaters, whiche chiefly thei builded to that
purpose. Whereby thei not onely made their Souldiours so experte, that
thei obtained with a fewe, in faightyng againste a greate houge
multitude of enemies, soche marveilous victories, as in many credible
Histories are mencioned, but also by the same meanes, their unarmed and
rascalle people that followed their Campes, gotte soche understandyng in
the feates of warre, that thei in the daie of battaile, beeyng lefte
destitute of succour, were able without any other help, to set
themselves in good order, for their defence againste the enemie, that
would seke to hurte theim, and in soche daungerous times, have doen
their countrie so good service, that verie often by their helpe, the
adversaries have been put to flight, and fieldes moste happely wone. So
that thantiquitie estemed nothing more happie in a common weale, then to
have in the same many men skilfull in warlike affaires: by meanes
whereof, their Empire continually inlarged, and moste wonderfully and
triumphantly prospered. For so longe as men for their valiauntnesse,
were then rewarded and had in estimacion, glad was he that could finde
occasion to venter, yea, and spende his life, to benefite his countrie:
as by the manly actes that Marcus Curcius, Oracius Cocles, and Gaius
Mucius did for the savegarde of Rome and also by other innumerable like
examples dooeth plainly appeare. But when through long and continuall
peace, thei began to bee altogether given to pleasure and delicatenesse,
little regardyng Marciall feates, nor soche as were expert in the
practise thereof: Their dominions and estates, did not so moche before
increase and prospere, as then by soche meanes and oversight, thei
sodainly fell into decaie and utter ruine. For soche truly is the nature
and condicion, bothe of peace and warre, that where in governemente,
there is not had equalle consideration of them bothe, the one in fine,
doeth woorke and induce, the others oblivion and utter abholicion.
Wherfore, sith the necessitie of the science of warres is so greate, and
also the necessarie use thereof so manifeste, that even Ladie Peace her
self, doeth in maner from thens crave her chief defence and
preservacion, and the worthinesse moreover, and honour of the same so
greate, that as by prose we see, the perfecte glorie therof, cannot
easely finde roote, but in the hartes of moste noble couragious and
manlike personages, I thought most excellente Princes, I could not
either to the specialle gratefiyng of your highnesse, the universall
delight of all studious gentlemen, or the common utilitie of the publike
wealth, imploie my labours more profitablie in accomplishyng of my
duetie and good will, then in settyng foorthe some thing, that might
induce to the augmentyng and increase of the knowledge thereof:
inespecially thexample of your highnes most politike governemente over
us, givyng plaine testimonie of the wonderfull prudente desire that is
in you, to have your people instructed in this kinde of service, as well
for the better defence of your highnesse, theim selves, and their
countrie, as also to discourage thereby, and to be able to resist the
malingnitie of the enemie, who otherwise would seeke peradventure, to
invade this noble realme or kyngdome.

When therfore about x. yeres paste, in the Emperours warres against the
Mores and certain Turkes beyng in Barberie, at the siege and winnyng of
Calibbia, Monesterio and Africa, I had as well for my further
instruction in those affaires, as also the better to acquainte me with
the Italian tongue, reduced into Englishe, the booke called The arte of
Warre, of the famous and excellente Nicholas Machiavell, whiche in times
paste he beyng a counsailour, and Secretarie of the noble Citee of
Florence, not without his greate laude and praise did write: and havyng
lately againe, somwhat perused the same, the whiche in soche continuall
broiles and unquietnesse, was by me translated, I determined with my
self, by publishyng thereof, to bestowe as greate a gift (sins greater I
was not able) emongeste my countrie men, not experte in the Italian
tongue, as in like woorkes I had seen before me, the Frenchemen,
Duchemen, Spaniardes, and other forreine nacions, moste lovyngly to have
bestowed emongeste theirs: The rather undoubtedly, that as by private
readyng of the same booke, I then felt my self in that knowledge
marveilously holpen and increased, so by communicatyng the same to many,
our Englishemen findyng out the orderyng and disposyng of exploictes of
warre therein contained, the aide and direction of these plaine and
briefe preceptes, might no lesse in knowledge of warres become
incomperable, then in prowes also and exercise of the same, altogether
invincible: which my translacion moste gracious Soveraine, together with
soche other thynges, as by me hath been gathered, and thought good to
adde thereunto, I have presumed to dedicate unto youre highnes: not
onely bicause the whole charge and furniture of warlike counsailes and
preparacions, being determined by the arbitremente of Governours and
Princes, the treatise also of like effecte should in like maner as of
right, depende upon the protection of a moste worthie and noble
Patronesse, but also that the discourse it self, and the woorke of a
forrein aucthour, under the passeport and safeconduite of your highnes
moste noble name, might by speciall aucthoritie of the same, winne
emongest your Majesties subjectes, moche better credite and estimacion.
And if mooste mightie Queen, in this kind of Philosophie (if I maie so
terme it) grave and sage counsailes, learned and wittie preceptes, or
politike and prudente admonicions, ought not to be accompted the least
and basest tewels of weale publike. Then dare I boldely affirme, that of
many straungers, whiche from forrein countries, have here tofore in this
your Majesties realme arrived, there is none in comparison to bee
preferred, before this worthie Florentine and Italian, who havyng frely
without any gaine of exchaunge (as after some acquaintaunce and
familiaritie will better appeare) brought with hym moste riche, rare and
plentiful Treasure, shall deserve I trust of all good Englishe lishe
hartes, most lovingly and frendly to be intertained, embraced and
cherished. Whose newe Englishe apparell, how so ever it shall seme by
me, after a grosse fasion, more fitlie appoincted to the Campe, then in
nice termes attired to the Carpet, and in course clothyng rather putte
foorthe to battaile, then in any brave shewe prepared to the bankette,
neverthelesse my good will I truste, shall of your grace be taken in
good parte, havyng fashioned the phraise of my rude stile, even
accordyng to the purpose of my travaile, whiche was rather to profite
the desirous manne of warre, then to delight the eares of the fine
Rethorician, or daintie curious scholemanne: Moste humblie besechyng
your highnes, so to accept my labour herein, as the first fruictes of a
poore souldiours studie, who to the uttermoste of his smalle power, in
the service of your moste gracious majestie, and of his countrie, will
at al tymes, accordyng to his bounden duetie and allegeaunce, promptlie
yeld hym self to any labour, travaile, or daunger, what so ever shal
happen. Praiyng in the mean season the almightie God, to give your
highnes in longe prosperous raigne, perfect health, desired
tranquilitie, and against all your enemies, luckie and joifull victorie.

Your humble subject and dailie oratour,


Citezein and Secretarie of Florence,
upon his booke of the Arte of Warre, unto
Laurence Philippe Strozze, one of the
nobilitie of Florence.

There have Laurence, many helde, and do holde this opinion, that there
is no maner of thing, whiche lesse agreeth the one with the other, nor
that is so much unlike, as the civil life to the Souldiours. Wherby it
is often seen, that if any determin in thexercise of that kinde of
service to prevaile, that incontinent he doeth not only chaunge in
apparel, but also in custome and maner, in voice, and from the facion of
all civil use, he doeth alter: For that he thinketh not meete to clothe
with civell apparell him, who wil be redie, and promt to all kinde of
violence, nor the civell customes, and usages maie that man have, the
whiche judgeth bothe those customes to be effeminate, and those usages
not to be agreable to his profession: Nor it semes not convenient for
him to use the civill gesture and ordinarie wordes, who with fasing and
blasphemies, will make afraied other menne: the whiche causeth in this
time, suche opinion to be moste true. But if thei should consider
thauncient orders, there should nothing be founde more united, more
confirmable, and that of necessitie ought to love so much the one the
other, as these: for as muche as all the artes that are ordeined in a
common weale, in regarde or respecte of common profite of menne, all the
orders made in the same, to live with feare of the Lawe, and of God
should be vaine, if by force of armes their defence wer not prepared,
which, well ordeined, doe maintain those also whiche be not well
ordeined. And likewise to the contrarie the good orders, without the
souldiours help, no lesse or otherwise doe disorder, then the habitacion
of a sumptuous and roiall palais, although it wer decte with gold and
precious stones, when without being covered, should not have wherewith
to defende it from the raine. And if in what so ever other orders of
Cities and Kyngdomes, there hath been used al diligence for to maintain
men faithfull, peaceable, and full of the feare of God, in the service
of warre, it was doubled: if for in what man ought the countrie to seke
greater faith, then in him, who must promise to die for the same? In
whom ought there to bee more love of peace, then in him, whiche onely by
the warre maie be hurte? In whome ought there to bee more feare of GOD,
then in him, which every daie committyng himself to infinite perilles,
hath moste neede of his helpe? This necessitie considered wel, bothe of
them that gave the lawes to Empires, and of those that to the exercise
of service wer apoincted, made that the life of Souldiours, of other
menne was praised, and with all studie folowed and imitated. But the
orders of service of war, beyng altogether corrupted, and a greate waie
from the auncient maners altered, there hath growen these sinisterous
opinions, which maketh men to hate the warlike service, and to flie the
conversacion of those that dooe exercise it. Albeit I judgeing by the
same, that I have seen and redde, that it is not a thyng impossible, to
bryng it again to the auncient maners, and to give it some facion of the
vertue passed, I have determined to the entente not to passe this my
idell time, without doyng some thyng, to write that whiche I doe
understande, to the satisfaction of those, who of aunciente actes, are
lovers of the science of warre. And although it be a bold thing to
intreate of the same matter, wher of otherwise I have made no
profession, notwithstanding I beleve it is no errour, to occupie with
wordes a degree, the whiche many with greater presumpcion with their
deedes have occupied: for as muche as the errours that I maie happen to
make by writing, may be without harme to any man corrected: but those
the whiche of them be made in doyng cannot be knowen without the ruine
of Empires. Therefore Laurence you ought to consider the qualitie of
this my laboure, and with your judgement to give it that blame, or that
praise, as shall seeme unto you it hath deserved. The whiche I sende
unto you, as well to shewe my selfe gratefull, although my habilitie
reche not to the benefites, which I have received of you, as also for
that beyng the custome to honour with like workes them who for
nobilitie, riches, wisedome, and liberalitie doe shine: I knowe you for
riches, and nobilitie, not to have many peeres, for wisedome fewe, and
for liberalitie none.




Why a good man ought not to exersise warfare as his arte, 33

Deedes of armes ought to be used privatly in time of peace for exersise,
and in time of warre for necessetie and renoume, 36

The strength of an armie is the footemen, 38

The Romaines renued their Legions and had men in the flower of their
age, 38

Whether men of armes ought to be kept, 40

What is requisete for the preparyng of an armie, 42

Out of what contrie souldiers ought to be chosen, 43

Souldiers ought to bee chosen, by thaucthoritie of the Prince, of suche
men as be his oune subjectes, 44

The difference of ages, that is to be taken in the chosinge of
souldiours for the restoring of an olde power and for the making of a
newe, 44

The weapons or power that is prepared, of the naturall subjectes, of a
common weale bringeth profit and not hurte, 47

What cause letted the Venetians, that they made not a Monarchi of the
worlde, 48

How an armie maye bee prepared in the countrie, where were no exersise
of warre, 49

The custome that the Romaines used, in the chosyng of their souldiours,

The greater number of men is best, 53

Whether the multitude of armed men ar occation of confusion and of
dissorder, 55

How to prohibite, that the Capitaines make no discension, 57


What armour the antiquetie used, 61

The occation of the boldenes of the duchemen, 64

Whiche maner of armyng menne is better either the Duche or Romaine
fasion, 64

Diverse examples of late dayes, 66

An example of Tigran, 69

Whether the footemen or the horsemen ought to bee estemed moste, 70

The cause whie the Romaines were overcome of the parthians, 71

What order, or what vertue maketh, that footemen overcum horsemen, 71

Howe the antiquitie exersised their men to learne them to handle their
weapons, 73

What the antiquitie estemed moste happie in a common weale, 75

The maner, of maintainyng the order, 77

What a legion is, of Grekes called a Falange, and of Frenchemen
Catterva, 77

The devision of a legion, and the divers names of orders, 78

The order of batellraye, and the manner of appoincting the battels, 82

How to order, CCCC.L. men to doo some severall feate, 88

The fation of a battaile that the Suisers make like a crosse, 90

What carriages the Capitaines ought to have, and the number of carriages
requisite to every band of men, 91

Diverse effectes caused of diverse soundes, 93

Whereof cometh the utilitie, and the dissorder of the armies that are
now a daies, 93

The manner of arminge men, 97

The number of carriages that men of armes and lighte horsemen ought to
have, 98


The greatest dissorder that is used now a dayes in the orderinge of an
armie, 102

How the Romaines devided their armie in Hastati, Principi and Triarii,

The manner that the Romaines used to order them selves agayne in the
overthrow, 103

The custom of the Greekes, 103

A maine battaile of Suissers, 104

How manie legions of Romaine Citesens was in an ordinarie armie, 105

The manner how to pitche a fielde to faighte a battaile, 106

Of what number of faighting men an armie oughte to be, 110

The description of a battaile that is a faighting, 111

An exsample of Ventidio faighting against the Parthians, 114

An example of Epaminondas, 115

How the Artillerie is unprofitable, 116

How that a maine battaile of Suissers cannot ocupie more then fower
pikes, 120

How the battailes when thei cum to be eight or ten, maye be receyved in
the verie same space, that received the fyve, 123

The armes that the Standarde of all tharmie ought to have, 125

Divers examples of the antiquetie, 126


Whether the fronte of the armie ought to bee made large, 132

To how many thinges respecte ought to be had, in the ordringe of an
armie, 133

An example of Scipio, 134

In what place a Capitain maie order his armie with savegarde not to be
clene overthrowen, 135

Aniball and Scipio praised for the orderynge of their armies, 135

Cartes used of the Asiaticans, 137

Diverse examples of the antiquitie, 137

The prudence which the Capitaine ought to use, in the accidence that
chaunse in faightinge, 138

What a Capitaine ought to doo, that is the conqueror, or that is
conquered, 140

A Capitaine ought not to faighte the battaile, but with advauntage,
excepte he be constrained, 142

How to avoide the faightinge of the fielde, 144

Advertismentes that the Capitaine ought to have, 146

Speakyng to souldiers helpeth muche to make them to be curagious and
bolde, 146

Whether all the armie ought to bee spoken unto, or onely to the heddes
thereof, 147


The manner how to leade an armie gowinge thorough suspected places, or
to incounter the enemie, 152

An example of Aniball, 156

Wether any thing oughte to bee commaunded with the voise or with the
trompet, 159

The occations why the warres made now a dayes, doo impoverish the
conquerors as well as the conquered, 162

Credite ought not to be given to thinges which stand nothinge with
reason, 164

The armie ought not to knowe what the Capitaine purposeth to doo, 165

Diverse examples, 167


The maner how to incampe an armie, 175

How brode the spaces and the wayes ought to be within the campe, 182

What waye ought to be used when it is requiset to incampe nere the
enemie, 184

How the watche and warde ought to be apoincted in the campe, and what
punishmente they ought to have that doo not their dutie, 186

How the Romanies prohibited women to be in their armies and idell games
to be used, 188

How to incampe accordinge to the nomber of men, and what nomber of menne
maie suffise againste, what so ever enemie that wer, 191

How to doo to be assured, of the fideletie of those that are had in
suspition, 193

What a Capitaine ought to doo beinge beseged of his enemies, 194

Example of Coriliano and others, 195

It is requiset chiefly for a Capitain to kepe his souldiers punished and
payed, 197

Of aguries, 197

Moste excellent advertismentes and pollicies, 198

The occation of the overthrowe of the Frenchmen at Garigliano, 202


Cities are strong, either by nature or by industrie, 205

The maner of fortificacion, 205

Bulwarkes ought not to be made oute of a towne distante from the same,

Example of Genoa, 208

Of the Countes Catherin, 208

The fation of percullesies used in Almaine, 210

Howe the battelmentes of walles were made at the first, and how thei are
made now adaies, 210

The provisions that is mete to bee made, for the defence of a towne, 212

Divers pollicies, for the beseginge and defendinge of a toune or
fortres, 214

Secrete conveing of letters, 219

The defence againste a breache, 219

Generall rules of warre, 222










Forasmuch as I beleve that after death, al men maie be praised without
charge, al occasion and suspecte of flatterie beyng taken awaie, I shal
not doubte to praise our Cosimo Ruchellay, whose name was never
remembred of me without teares, havyng knowen in him those condicions,
the whiche in a good frende or in a citezien, might of his freendes, or
of his countrie, be desired: for that I doe not knowe what thyng was so
muche his, not excepting any thing (saving his soule) which for his
frendes willingly of him should not have been spent: I knowe not what
enterprise should have made him afraide, where the same should have ben
knowen to have been for the benefite of his countrie. And I doe painly
confesse, not to have mette emongest so many men, as I have knowen, and
practised withal, a man, whose minde was more inflamed then his, unto
great and magnificent thynges. Nor he lamented not with his frendes of
any thyng at his death, but because he was borne to die a yong manne
within his owne house, before he had gotten honour, and accordynge to
his desire, holpen any manne: for that he knewe, that of him coulde not
be spoken other, savyng that there should be dead a good freende. Yet it
resteth not for this, that we, and what so ever other that as we did
know him, are not able to testifie (seeyng his woorkes doe not appere)
of his lawdable qualities. True it is, that fortune was not for al this,
so muche his enemie, that it left not some brief record of the
readinesse of his witte, as doeth declare certaine of his writinges, and
settyng foorthe of amorous verses, wherin (although he were not in love)
yet for that he would not consume time in vain, til unto profounder
studies fortune should have brought him, in his youthfull age he
exercised himselfe. Whereby moste plainly maie be comprehended, with how
moche felicitie he did describe his conceiptes, and how moche for
Poetrie he should have ben estemed, if the same for the ende therof, had
of him ben exercised. Fortune having therfore deprived us from the use
of so great a frende, me thinketh there can bee founde no other remedie,
then as muche as is possible, to seke to enjoye the memorie of the same,
and to repeate suche thynges as hath been of him either wittely saied,
or wisely disputed. And for as much as there is nothyng of him more
freshe, then the reasonyng, the whiche in his last daies Signior
Fabricio Collonna, in his orchard had with him, where largely of the
same gentilman were disputed matters of warre, bothe wittely and
prudently, for the moste parte of Cosimo demaunded, I thought good, for
that I was present there with certain other of our frendes, to bring it
to memorie, so that reading the same, the frendes of Cosimo, whiche
thether came, might renewe in their mindes, the remembraunce of his
vertue: and the other part beyng sorie for their absence, might partly
learne hereby many thynges profitable, not onely to the life of
Souldiours, but also to civil mennes lives, which gravely of a moste
wise man was disputed. Therfore I saie, that Fabricio Collonna
retournyng out of Lombardie, where longe time greatly to his glorie, he
had served in the warres the catholike kyng, he determined, passyng by
Florence, to rest himself certain daies in the same citee, to visite the
Dukes excellencie, and to see certaine gentilmen, whiche in times paste
he had been acquainted withal. For whiche cause, unto Cosimo it was
thought beste to bid him into his orchard, not so muche to use his
liberalitee, as to have occasion to talke with him at leasure, and of
him to understande and to learne divers thinges, accordyng as of suche a
man maie bee hoped for, semyng to have accasion to spende a daie in
reasonyng of suche matters, which to his minde should best satisfie him.
Then Fabricio came, accordyng to his desire, and was received of Cosimo
together, with certain of his trustie frendes, emongest whome wer Zanoby
Buondelmonti, Baptiste Palla, and Luigi Allamanni, all young men loved
of him and of the very same studies moste ardente, whose good qualities,
for as muche as every daie, and at every houre thei dooe praise
themselves, we will omit. Fabricio was then accordyng to the time and
place honoured, of all those honours, that thei could possible devise:
But the bankettyng pleasures beyng passed, and the tabel taken up, and
al preparacion of feastinges consumed, the which are sone at an ende in
sight of greate men, who to honorable studies have their mindes set, the
daie beyng longe, and the heate muche, Cosimo judged for to content
better his desire, that it wer well doen, takyng occasion to avoide the
heate, to bring him into the moste secret, and shadowest place of his
garden. Where thei beyng come, and caused to sit, some upon herbes, some
in the coldest places, other upon litle seates which there was ordeined,
under the shadow of moste high trees, Fabricio praiseth the place, to be
delectable, and particularly consideryng the trees, and not knowyng some
of them, he did stande musinge in his minde, whereof Cosimo beeyng a
ware saied, you have not peradventure ben acquainted with some of these
sortes of trees: But doe not marvell at it, for as muche as there bee
some, that were more estemed of the antiquitie, then thei are commonly
now a daies: and he tolde him the names of them, and how Barnardo his
graundfather did travaile in suche kinde of plantyng: Fabricio replied,
I thought it shuld be the same you saie, and this place, and this
studie, made me to remember certaine Princes of the Kyngdome of Naples,
whiche of these anncient tillage and shadow doe delight. And staiyng
upon this talke, and somewhat standyng in a studdie, saied moreover, if
I thought I should not offende, I woud tell my opinion, but I beleeve I
shall not, commonyng with friendes, and to dispute of thynges, and not
to condemne them. How much better thei should have doen (be it spoken
without displeasure to any man) to have sought to been like the
antiquitie in thinges strong, and sharpe, not in the delicate and softe:
and in those that thei did in the Sunne, not in the shadowe: and to take
the true and perfecte maners of the antiquitie: not those that are false
and corrupted: for that when these studies pleased my Romaines, my
countrie fell into ruin. Unto which Cosimo answered. But to avoide the
tediousnesse to repeate so many times he saied, and the other answered,
there shall be onely noted the names of those that speakes, without
rehersing other.

Then COSIMO saied, you have opened the waie of a reasoning, which I have
desired, and I praie you that you will speake withoute respecte, for
that that I without respecte will aske you, and if I demaundyng, or
repliyng shall excuse, or accuse any, it shal not be to excuse, or
accuse, but to understande of you the truth.

FABRICIO. And I shall be very well contented to tell you that, whiche I
understand of al the same that you shall aske me, the whiche if it shall
be true, or no, I wil report me to your judgemente: and I will be glad
that you aske me, for that I am to learne, as well of you in askyng me,
as you of me in aunswerynge you: for as muche as many times a wise
demaunder, maketh one to consider many thynges, and to knowe many other,
whiche without havyng been demaunded, he should never have knowen.

COSIMO. I will retourne to thesame, that you said first, that my
graundfather and those your Princes, should have doen more wisely, to
have resembled the antiquitie in hard thinges, then in the delicate, and
I will excuse my parte, for that, the other I shall leave to excuse for
you. I doe not beleve that in his tyme was any manne, that so moche
detested the livyng in ease, as he did, and that so moche was a lover of
the same hardenesse of life, whiche you praise: notwithstandyng he knewe
not how to bee able in persone, nor in those of his sonnes to use it,
beeyng borne in so corrupte a worlde, where one that would digresse from
the common use, should bee infamed and disdained of every man:
consideryng that if one in the hottest day of Summer being naked, should
wallowe hymself upon the Sande, or in Winter in the moste coldest
monethes upon the snowe, as Diogenes did, he should be taken as a foole.
If one, (as the Spartans were wonte to doe) should nourishe his children
in a village, makyng them to slepe in the open aire, to go with hedde
and feete naked, to washe them selves in the colde water for to harden
them, to be able to abide moche paine, and for to make theim to love
lesse life, and to feare lesse death, he should be scorned, and soner
taken as a wilde beast, then as a manne. If there wer seen also one, to
nourishe himself with peason and beanes, and to despise gold, as
Fabricio doeth, he should bee praised of fewe, and followed of none: so
that he being afraied of this present maner of livyng, he left
thauncient facions, and thesame, that he could with lest admiracion
imitate in the antiquitie, he did.

FABRICIO. You have excused it in this parte mooste strongly: and surely
you saie the truthe: but I did not speake so moche of this harde maner
of livyng, as of other maners more humaine, and whiche have with the
life now a daies greater conformitie. The whiche I doe not beleve, that
it hath been difficulte to bryng to passe unto one, who is nombred
emongest Princes of a citee: for the provyng whereof, I will never seke
other, then thexample of the Romaines. Whose lives, if thei wer well
considred, and thorders of thesame common weale, there should therin be
seen many thinges, not impossible to induce into a cominaltie, so that
it had in her any good thing.

COSIMO. What thynges are those, that you would induce like unto the

FABRICIO. To honour, and to reward vertue, not to despise povertie, to
esteme the maners and orders of warfare, to constrain the citezeins to
love one an other, to live without sectes, to esteme lesse the private,
than the publike, and other like thinges, that easily might bee with
this time accompanied: the which maners ar not difficult to bring to
passe, when a man should wel consider them, and entre therin by due
meanes: for asmoche as in thesame, the truth so moche appereth, that
every common wit, maie easely perceive it: which thing, who that
ordeineth, doth plant trees, under the shadowe wherof, thei abide more
happie, and more pleasantly, then under these shadowes of this goodly

COSIMO. I will not speake any thyng againste thesame that you have
saied, but I will leave it to bee judged of these, whom easely can
judge, and I will tourne my communicacion to you, that is an accusar of
theim, the whiche in grave, and greate doynges, are not followers of the
antiquitie, thinkyng by this waie more easely to be in my entent
satisfied. Therfore, I would knowe of you whereof it groweth, that of
the one side you condempne those, that in their doynges resemble not the
antiquitie? Of the other, in the warre, whiche is your art, wherin you
are judged excellent, it is not seen, that you have indevoured your
self, to bryng the same to any soche ende, or any thyng at all resembled
therein the auncient maners.

FABRICIO. You are happened upon the poincte, where I loked: for that my
talke deserved no other question: nor I desired other: and albeit that I
could save my self with an easie excuse, not withstandyng for my more
contentacion, and yours, seyng that the season beareth it, I will enter
in moche longer reasoning. Those men, whiche will enterprise any thyng,
ought firste with all diligence to prepare theim selves, to be ready and
apte when occasion serveth, to accomplish that, which thei have
determined to worke: and for that when the preparacions are made
craftely, thei are not knowen, there cannot be accused any man of any
negligence, if firste it be not disclosed by thoccasion: in the which
working not, is after seen, either that there is not prepared so moche
as suffiseth, or that there hath not been of any part therof thought
upon. And for as moche as to me there is not come any occasion to be
able, to shewe the preparacions made of me, to reduce the servise of
warre into his auncient orders, if I have not reduced it, I cannot be of
you, nor of other blamed: I beleve this excuse shuld suffise for answere
to your accusement.

COSIMO. It should suffice, when I wer certain, that thoccasion were not

FABRICIO. But for that I know, that you maie doubt whether this occasion
hath been cum, or no, I will largely (when you with pacience will heare
me) discourse what preparacions are necessary first to make, what
occasion muste growe, what difficultie doeth let, that the preparacions
help not, and why thoccasion cannot come, and how these things at ones,
which some contrary endes, is most difficill, and most easie to do.

COSIMO. You cannot do bothe to me, and unto these other, a thing more
thankfull then this. And if to you it shall not be tedious to speake,
unto us it shal never be grevous to heare: but for asmoch as this
reasonyng ought to be long, I will with your license take helpe of these
my frendes: and thei, and I praie you of one thyng, that is, that you
will not bee greved, if some tyme with some question of importaunce, we
interrupte you.

[Sidenote: Why a good man ought never to use the exercise of armes, as
his art.]

FABRICIO. I am moste well contented, that you Cosimo with these other
younge men here, doe aske me: for that I beleve, that youthfulnes, will
make you lovers of warlike thinges, and more easie to beleve thesame,
that of me shalbe saied. These other, by reason of havyng nowe their
hedde white, and for havyng upon their backes their bloude congeled,
parte of theim are wonte to bee enemies of warre, parte uncorrectable,
as those, whom beleve, that tymes, and not the naughtie maners,
constraine men to live thus: so that safely aske you all of me, and
without respecte: the whiche I desire, as well, for that it maie be unto
me a little ease, as also for that I shall have pleasure, not to leave
in your mynde any doubt. I will begin at your woordes, where you saied
unto me, that in the warre, that is my arte, I had not indevoured to
bryng it to any aunciente ende: whereupon I saie, as this beyng an arte,
whereby men of no maner of age can live honestly, it cannot bee used for
an arte, but of a common weale: or of a kyngdome: and the one and the
other of these, when thei bee well ordeined, will never consente to any
their Citezeins, or Subjectes, to use it for any arte, nor never any
good manne doeth exercise it for his particulare arte: for as moche as
good he shall never bee judged, whom maketh an excersise thereof, where
purposing alwaies to gaine thereby, it is requisite for hym to be
ravenyng, deceiptfull, violente, and to have many qualities, the whiche
of necessitie maketh hym not good: nor those menne cannot, whiche use it
for an arte, as well the greate as the leaste, bee made otherwise: for
that this arte doeth not nourishe them in peace. Wherfore thei ar
constrained either to thinke that there is no peace, or so moche to
prevaile in the tyme of warre, that in peace thei maie bee able to kepe
them selves: and neither of these two thoughtes happeneth in a good man:
for that in mindyng to bee able to finde himself at all tymes, dooe
growe robberies, violence, slaughters, whiche soche souldiours make as
well to the frendes, as to the enemies: and in mindyng not to have
peace, there groweth deceiptes, whiche the capitaines use to those,
whiche hire them, to the entent the warre maie continue, and yet though
the peace come often, it happeneth that the capitaines beyng deprived of
their stipendes, and of their licencious livyng, thei erecte an ansigne
of adventures, and without any pitie thei put to sacke a province. Have
not you in memorie of your affaires, how that beyng many Souldiours in
Italie without wages, bicause the warre was ended, thei assembled
together many companies, and went taxyng the tounes, and sackyng the
countrie, without beyng able to make any remedie? Have you not red, that
the Carthagenes souldiours, the first warre beyng ended which thei had
with the Romaines, under Matho, and Spendio, twoo capitaines,
rebelliously constituted of theim, made more perillous warre to the
Carthaginens, then thesame whiche thei had ended with the Romaines? In
the time of our fathers, Frances Sforza, to the entente to bee able to
live honourably in the time of peace, not only beguiled the Millenars,
whose souldiour he was, but he toke from them their libertie and became
their Prince. Like unto him hath been all the other souldiours of Italie
whiche have used warfare, for their particulare arte, and albeeit thei
have not through their malignitie becomen Dukes of Milein, so moche the
more thei deserve to bee blamed: for that although thei have not gotten
so moch as he, thei have all (if their lives wer seen) sought to bring
the like thynges to passe. Sforza father of Fraunces, constrained Quene
Jone, to caste her self into the armes of the king of Aragon, havyng in
a sodain forsaken her, and in the middest of her enemies, lefte her
disarmed, onely to satisfie his ambicion, either in taxyng her, or in
takyng from her the Kyngdome. Braccio with the verie same industrie,
sought to possesse the kyngdome of Naples, and if he had not been
overthrowen and slaine at Aquila, he had brought it to passe. Like
disorders growe not of other, then of soche men as hath been, that use
the exercise of warfare, for their proper arte. Have not you a Proverbe,
whiche fortefieth my reasons, whiche saieth, that warre maketh Theves,
and peace hangeth theim up? For as moche as those, whiche knowe not how
to live of other exercise, and in the same finding not enie man to
sustayne theym, and havyng not so moche power, to knowe how to reduce
theim selves together, to make an open rebellion, they are constrayned
of necessetie to Robbe in the highe waies, and Justice is enforced to
extinguishe theim.

COSIMO. You have made me to esteme this arte of warfare almoste as
nothyng, and I have supposed it the moste excellentes, and moste
honourableste that hath been used: so that if you declare me it not
better, I cannot remaine satisfied: For that when it is thesame, that
you saie, I knowe not, whereof groweth the glorie of Cesar, of Pompei,
of Scipio, of Marcello, and of so many Romaine Capitaines, whiche by
fame are celebrated as Goddes.

FABRICIO. I have not yet made an ende of disputyng al thesame, that I
purposed to propounde: whiche were twoo thynges, the one, that a good
manne could not use this exercise for his arte: the other, that a common
weale or a kingdome well governed, did never permitte, that their
Subjectes or Citezeins should use it for an arte. Aboute the firste, I
have spoken as moche as hath comen into my mynde: there remaineth in me
to speake of the seconde where I woll come to aunswere to this your
laste question, and I saie that Pompey and Cesar, and almoste all those
Capitaines, whiche were at Rome, after the laste Carthagenens warre,
gotte fame as valiaunt men, not as good, and those whiche lived before
them, gotte glorie as valiaunte and good menne: the whiche grewe, for
that these tooke not the exercise of warre for their arte: and those
whiche I named firste, as their arte did use it. And so longe as the
common weale lived unspotted, never any noble Citezein would presume, by
the meane of soche exercise, to availe thereby in peace, breakyng the
lawes, spoilyng the Provinces, usurpyng, and plaiyng the Tyraunte in the
countrie, and in every maner prevailyng: nor any of how lowe degree so
ever thei were, would goe aboute to violate the Religion, confederatyng
theim selves with private men, not to feare the Senate, or to followe
any tirannicall insolence, for to bee able to live with the arte of
warre in all tymes. But those whiche were Capitaines, contented with
triumphe, with desire did tourne to their private life, and those whiche
were membres, would be more willyng to laie awaie their weapons, then to
take them, and every manne tourned to his science, whereby thei gotte
their livyng: Nor there was never any, that would hope with praie, and
with this arte, to be able to finde theim selves. Of this there maie be
made concernyng Citezeins, moste evidente conjecture, by the ensample of
Regolo Attillio, who beyng Capitain of the Romaine armies in Affrica,
and havyng as it wer overcome the Carthegenens, he required of the
Senate, licence to retourne home, to kepe his possessions, and told
them, that thei were marde of his housbandmen. Whereby it is more clere
then the Sunne, that if thesame manne had used the warre as his arte,
and by meanes thereof, had purposed to have made it profitable unto him,
havyng in praie so many Provinces, he would not have asked license, to
returne to kepe his feldes: for as moche as every daie he might
otherwise, have gotten moche more, then the value of al those
possessions: but bicause these good men and soche as use not the warre
for their arte, will not take of thesame any thing then labour,
perilles, and gloris, when thei are sufficiently glorious, thei desire
to returne home, and to live of their owne science. Concernyng menne of
lowe degree, and common souldiours, to prove that thei kepte the verie
same order, it doeth appeare that every one willingly absented theim
selves from soche exercise, and when thei served not in the warre, thei
would have desired to serve, and when thei did serve, thei would have
desired leave not to have served: whiche is wel knowen through many
insamples, and inespecially seeyng how emonge the firste privileges,
whiche the Romaine people gave to their Citezeins was, that thei should
not be constrained against their willes, to serve in the warres.
Therefore Rome so long as it was well governed, whiche was untill the
commyng of Graccus, it had not any Souldiour that would take this
exercise for an arte, and therefore it had fewe naughtie, and those few
wer severely punished. Then a citee well governed, ought to desire, that
this studie of warre, be used in tyme of peace for exercise, and in the
time of warre, for necessitie and for glorie: and to suffer onely the
common weale to use it for an arte, as Rome did, and what so ever
Citezein, that hath in soche exercise other ende, is not good, and what
so ever citee is governed otherwise, is not well ordeined.

COSIMO. I remain contented enough and satisfied of thesame, whiche
hetherto you have told, and this conclusion pleaseth me verie wel whiche
you have made, and as muche as is loked for touching a common welth, I
beleve that it is true, but concerning Kinges, I can not tell nowe, for
that I woulde beleve that a Kinge would have about him, whome
particularly should take suche exercise for his arte.

FABRICIO. A kingdome well ordred ought moste of all to avoide the like
kinde of men, for only thei, are the destruction of their king, and all
together ministers of tiranny, and alledge me not to the contrarie anie
presente kingdome, for that I woll denie you all those to be kingdomes
well ordered, bicause the kingdomes whiche have good orders, give not
their absolute Empire unto their king, saving in the armies, for as much
as in this place only, a quicke deliberation is necessarie, and for this
cause a principall power ought to be made. In the other affaires, he
ought not to doe any thing without councell, and those are to be feared,
which councell him, leaste he have some aboute him which in time of
peace desireth to have warre bicause they are not able without the same
to live, but in this, I wilbe a little more large: neither to seke a
kingdome altogether good, but like unto those whiche be nowe a daies
where also of a king those ought to be feared, whiche take the warre for
theire art, for that the strength of armies without any doubte are the
foote menne: so that if a king take not order in suche wise, that his
men in time of peace may be content to returne home, and to live of
their owne trades, it will follow of necessitie, that he ruinate: for
that there is not found more perilous men, then those, whiche make the
warre as their arte: bicause in such case, a king is inforsed either
alwaies to make warre, or to paie them alwaies, or else to bee in
perill, that they take not from him his kingdome. To make warre alwaies,
it is not possible: to paie them alwaies it can not be: see that of
necessitie, he runneth in peril to lese the state. The Romaines (as I
have saide) so long as they were wise and good, would never permitte,
that their Citizeins should take this exercise for their arte, although
they were able to nurrishe them therin alwaies, for that that alwaies
they made warre: but to avoide thesame hurte, whiche this continuall
exercise might doe them, seyng the time did not varie, they changed the
men, and from time to time toke such order with their legions, that in
xv. yeres alwaies, they renewed them: and so thei had their men in the
floure of their age, that is from xviij. to xxxiij. yeres, in which time
the legges, the handes, and the yes answere the one the other, nor thei
tarried not till there strengthe should decaie, and there naghtines
increase, as it did after in the corrupted times. For as muche as
Octavian first, and after Tiberius, minding more their own proper power,
then the publicke profite, began to unarme the Romaine people, to be
able easely to commaunde them, and to kepe continually those same armies
on the frontries of the Empire: and bicause also they judged those, not
sufficient to kepe brideled the people and Romaine Senate, they ordeined
an armie called Pretoriano, which laie harde by the walles of Rome, and
was as a rocke on the backe of the same Citie. And for as much as then
thei began frely to permitte, that suche men as were apoincted in suche
exercises, should use the service of warre for their arte, streight waie
the insolence of theim grewe, that they became fearful unto the Senate,
and hurtefull to the Emperour, whereby ensued suche harme, that manie
were slaine thorough there insolensie: for that they gave, and toke
awaie the Empire, to whome they thought good. And some while it hapned,
that in one self time there were manie Emperours, created of divers
armies, of whiche thinges proceded first the devision of the Empire, and
at laste the ruine of the same. Therefore kinges ought, if thei wil live
safely, to have there souldiours made of men, who when it is time to
make warre, willingly for his love will go to the same, and when the
peace cometh after, more willingly will returne home. Whiche alwaies
wilbe, when thei shalbe men that know how to live of other arte then
this: and so they ought to desire, peace beyng come, that there Prince
doo tourne to governe their people, the gentilmen to the tending of
there possessions, and the common souldiours to their particular arte,
and everie one of these, to make warre to have peace, and not to seke to
trouble the peace, to have warre.

COSIMO. Truely this reasonyng of yours, I thinke to bee well considered,
notwithstanding beyng almost contrarie to that, whiche till nowe I have
thought, my minde as yet doeth not reste purged of all doubte, for as
muche as I see manie Lordes and gentelmen, to finde them selves in time
of peace, thorough the studies of warre, as your matches bee, who have
provision of there princes, and of the cominaltie. I see also, almost al
the gentelmen of armes, remaine with neir provision, I see manie
souldiours lie in garison of Cities and fortresses, so that my thinkes,
that there is place in time of peace, for everie one.

FABRICIO. I doe not beleve that you beleve this, that in time of peace
everie man may have place, bicause, put case that there coulde not be
brought other reason, the small number, that all they make, whiche
remaine in the places alledged of you, would answer you. What proporcion
have the souldiours, whiche are requiset to bee in the warre with those,
whiche in the peace are occupied? For as much as the fortreses, and the
cities that be warded in time of peace, in the warre are warded muche
more, unto whome are joyned the souldiours, whiche kepe in the fielde,
whiche are a great number, all whiche in the peace be putte awaie. And
concerning the garde of states, whiche are a small number, Pope July,
and you have shewed to everie man, how muche are to be feared those, who
will not learne to exercise any other art, then the warre, and you have
for there insolence, deprived them from your garde, and have placed
therin Swisers, as men borne and brought up under lawes, and chosen of
the cominaltie, according to the true election: so that saie no more,
that in peace is place for everie man. Concerning men at armes, thei al
remaining in peace with their wages, maketh this resolution to seme more
difficulte: notwithstandyng who considereth well all, shall finde the
answere easie, bicause this manner of keping men of armes, is a
corrupted manner and not good, the occasion is, for that they be men,
who make thereof an arte, and of them their should grow every daie a
thousande inconveniencies in the states, where thei should be, if thei
were accompanied of sufficient company: but beyng fewe, and not able by
them selves to make an armie, they cannot often doe suche grevous
hurtes, neverthelesse they have done oftentimes: as I have said of
Frances, and of Sforza his father, and of Braccio of Perugia: so that
this use of keping men of armes, I doe not alowe, for it is a corrupte
maner, and it may make great inconveniencies.

COSIMO. Woulde you live without them? or keping them, how would you kepe

[Sidenote: A kinge that hath about him any that are to much lovers of
warre, or to much lovers of peace shal cause him to erre.]

FABRICIO. By waie of ordinaunce, not like to those of the king of
Fraunce: for as muche as they be perilous, and insolent like unto ours,
but I would kepe them like unto those of the auncient Romaines, whom
created their chivalry of their own subjectes, and in peace time, thei
sente them home unto their houses, to live of their owne trades, as more
largely before this reasoning ende, I shal dispute. So that if now this
part of an armie, can live in such exercise, as wel when it is peace, it
groweth of the corrupt order. Concerning the provisions, which are
reserved to me, and to other capitaines, I saie unto you, that this
likewise is an order moste corrupted: for as much as a wise common
weale, ought not to give such stipendes to any, but rather thei ought to
use for Capitaines in the warre, their Citezeins, and in time of peace
to will, that thei returne to their occupations. Likewise also, a wise
king either ought not to give to suche, or giving any, the occasion
ought to be either for rewarde of some worthy dede, or else for the
desire to kepe suche a kinde of man, as well in peace as in warre. And
bicause you alledged me, I will make ensample upon my self, and saie
that I never used the warre as an arte, for as muche as my arte, is to
governe my subjectes, and to defende them, and to be able to defende
them, to love peace, and to know how to make warre, and my kinge not so
muche to rewarde and esteeme me, for my knowledge in the warre, as for
the knowledge that I have to councel him in peace. Then a king ought not
to desire to have about him, any that is not of this condicion if he be
wise, and prudently minde to governe: for that, that if he shal have
about him either to muche lovers of peace, or to much lovers of warre,
they shall make him to erre. I cannot in this my firste reasoning, and
according to my purpose saie more, and when this suffiseth you not, it
is mete, you seke of them that may satisfie you better. You maie now
verie well understand, how difficulte it is to bringe in use the
auncient maners in the presente warres, and what preparations are mete
for a wise man to make, and what occasions ought to be loked for, to be
able to execute it. But by and by, you shall know these things better,
if this reasoning make you not werie, conferring what so ever partes of
the auncient orders hath ben, to the maners nowe presente.

COSIMO. If we desired at the first to here your reason of these thinges,
truly thesame whiche hetherto you have spoken, hath doubled our desire:
wherefore we thanke you for that we have hard, and the rest, we crave of
you to here.

FABRICIO. Seyng that it is so your pleasure, I will begin to intreate of
this matter from the beginning, to the intent it maye be better
understode, being able by thesame meane, more largely to declare it. The
ende of him that wil make warre, is to be able to fight with every enemy
in the fielde and to be able to overcum an armie. To purpose to doe
this, it is convenient to ordeine an hoost. To ordein an hoost, their
must be found menne, armed, ordered, and as well in the small, as in the
great orders exercised, to knowe howe to kepe araie, and to incampe, so
that after bringing them unto the enemie, either standing or marching,
they maie know how to behave themselves valiantly. In this thing
consisteth all the industrie of the warre on the lande, whiche is the
most necessarie, and the most honorablest, for he that can wel order a
fielde against the enemie, the other faultes that he should make in the
affaires of warre, wilbe borne with: but he that lacketh this knowledge,
although that in other particulars he be verie good, he shal never bring
a warre to honor: for as muche as a fielde that thou winnest, lesing?
img 94 doeth cancell all other thy evill actes: so like wise lesing it,
all thinges well done of thee before, remaine vaine. Therfore, beyng
necessarie first to finde the menne, it is requiset to come to the
choise of them. They whiche unto the warre have given rule, will that
the menne be chosen out of temperate countries, to the intente they may
have hardines, and prudence, for as muche as the hote countrey, bredes
prudente men and not hardy, the colde, hardy, and not prudente. This
rule is good to be geven, to one that were prince of all the world,
bicause it is lawfull for him to choose men out of those places, whiche
he shall thinke beste. But minding to give a rule, that every one may
use, it is mete to declare, that everie common weale, and every
kingdome, ought to choose their souldiours out of their owne countrie,
whether it be hote, colde, or temperate: for that it is scene by olde
ensamples, how that in every countrie with exercise, their is made good
souldiours: bicause where nature lacketh, the industry supplieth, the
which in this case is worthe more, then nature, and taking them in other
places, you shal not have of the choise, for choise is as much to saie,
as the best of a province, and to have power to chuse those that will
not, as well as those that wil serve. Wherfore, you muste take your
choise in those places, that are subjecte unto you, for that you cannot
take whome you liste, in the countries that are not yours, but you muste
take suche as will goe with you.

COSIMO. Yet there maie bee of those, that will come, taken and lefte,
and therefore, thei maie be called chosen.

[Sidenote: Oute of what Countrie is best to chuse Souldiours to make a
good election.]

FABUICIO. You saie the truthe in a certaine maner, but consider the
faultes, whiche soche a chosen manne hath in himselfe, for that also
many times it hapneth, that he is not a chosen manne. For those that are
not thy subjectes, and whiche willyngly doe serve, are not of the beste,
but rather of the worste of a Province, for as moche as if any be
sclanderous, idell, unruly, without Religion, fugetive from the rule of
their fathers, blasphemours, Dise plaiers, in every condicion evill
brought up, bee those, whiche will serve, whose customes cannot be more
contrarie, to a true and good servise: Albeit, when there bee offered
unto you, so many of soche men, as come to above the nomber, that you
have appoincted, you maie chuse them: but the matter beyng naught, the
choise is not possible to be good: also, many times it chaunceth, that
thei be not so many, as will make up the nomber, whereof you have nede,
so that beyng constrained to take them al, it commeth to passe, that
thei cannot then bee called chosen men, but hired Souldiours. With this
disorder the armies of Italie, are made now a daies, and in other
places, except in Almaine, bicause there thei doe not hire any by
commaundemente of the Prince, but accordyng to the will of them, that
are disposed to serve. Then consider now, what maners of those aunciente
armies, maie bee brought into an armie of men, put together by like

COSIMO. What waie ought to bee used then?

FABRICIO. The same waie that I saied, to chuse them of their owne
subjectes, and with the auethoritie of the Prince.

COSMO. In the chosen, shall there bee likewise brought in any auncient

FABRICIO. You know well enough that ye: when he that should commaunde
theim, were their Prince, or ordinarie lorde, whether he were made
chief, or as a Citezein, and for the same tyme Capitaine, beyng a common
weale, otherwise it is harde to make any thyng good.


FABRICIO. I will tell you a nane: For this time I will that this suffise
you, that it cannot be wrought well by other waie.

[Sidenote: Whether it be better to take menne oute of townes or out of
the countrie to serve.]

COSIMO. Having then to make this choyse of men in their owne countries,
whether judge you that it be better to take them oute of the citie, or
out of the countrie?

FABRICIO. Those that have written of such matters, doe all agree, that
it is best to chuse them out of the countrie, being men accustomed to no
ease, nurished in labours, used to stonde in the sunne, to flie the
shadow, knowing how to occupy the spade, to make a diche, to carrie a
burden, and to bee without any deceite, and without malisiousnes. But in
this parte my opinion should be, that beyng two sortes of souldiours, on
foote, and on horsebacke, that those on foote, should be chosen out of
the countrie, and those on horseback, oute of the Cities.

[Sidenote: Of what age Souldiours ought to bee chosen.]

COSIMO. Of what age would you choose them?

FABRICIO. I would take them, when I had to make a newe armie, from xvii.
to xl. yeres: when it were made alredy, and I had to restore them, of
xvii. alwaies.

COSIMO. I doe not understonde well this distinction.

FABRICIO. I shall tell you: when I should ordaine an hooste to make
warre, where were no hooste alredy, it should be necessarie to chuse all
those men, which were most fitte and apte for the warre, so that they
were of servisable age, that I might bee able to instructe theim, as by
me shalbe declared: but when I would make my choise of menne in places,
where a powre were alredy prepared, for suppliyng of thesame, I would
take them of xvii. yeres: for as much as the other of more age be alredy
chosen and apoincted.

COSIMO. Then woulde you prepare a power like to those whiche is in our

FABRICIO. Ye truly, it is so that I would arme them, Captaine them,
exercise and order them in a maner, whiche I cannot tell, if you have
ordred them so.

COSIMO. Then do you praise the keping of order?

FABRICIO. Wherefore would you that I should dispraise it?

COSIMO. Bicause many wise menne have alwaies blamed it.

FABRICIO. You speake against all reason, to saie that a wise man blameth
order, he maie bee well thought wise, and be nothyng so.

COSIMO. The naughtie profe, which it hath alwaies, maketh us to have
soche opinion thereof.

FABRICIO. Take hede it be not your fault, and not the kepyng of order,
the whiche you shall knowe, before this reasonyng be ended.

COSIMO. You shall doe a thyng moste thankfull, yet I will saie
concernyng thesame, that thei accuse it, to the entente you maie the
better justifie it. Thei saie thus, either it is unprofitable, and we
trustyng on the same, shall make us to lese our state, or it shall be
verteous, and by thesame meane, he that governeth may easely deprive us
thereof. Thei alledge the Romaines, who by meane of their owne powers,
loste their libertie. Thei alledge the Venicians, and the Frenche king,
whiche Venicians, bicause thei will not be constrained, to obeie one of
their owne Citezeins, use the power of straungers: and the Frenche kyng
hath disarmed his people, to be able more easely to commaunde them, but
thei whiche like not the ordinaunces, feare moche more the
unprofitablenesse, that thei suppose maie insue thereby, then any thyng
els: the one cause whiche thei allege is, bicause thei are unexperte:
The other, for that thei have to serve par force: for asmoche as thei
saie, that the aged bee not so dissiplinable, nor apte to learne the
feate of armes, and that by force, is doen never any thyng good.

[Sidenote: By what meanes souldiours bee made bolde and experte.]

FABRICIO. All these reasons that you have rehearsed, be of men, whiche
knoweth the thyng full little, as I shall plainly declare. And firste,
concernyng the unprofitablenesse, I tell you, that there is no service
used in any countrie more profitable, then the service by the Subjectes
of thesame nor thesame service cannot bee prepared, but in this maner:
and for that this nedeth not to be disputed of, I will not lese moche
tyme: bicause al thensamples of auncient histores, make for my purpose,
and for that thei alledge the lacke of experience, and to use
constraint: I saie how it is true, that the lacke of experience, causeth
lacke of courage, and constrainte, maketh evill contentacion: but
courage, and experience thei are made to gette, with the maner of armyng
theim, exercisyng, and orderyng theim, as in proceadyng of this
reasonyng, you shall heare. But concernyng constrainte, you ought to
understande, that the menne, whiche are conducted to warfare, by
commaundement of their Prince, thei ought to come, neither altogether
forced, nor altogether willyngly, for as moche as to moche willyngnesse,
would make thinconveniencies, where I told afore, that he should not be
a chosen manne, and those would be fewe that would go: and so to moche
constraint, will bring forth naughtie effectes. Therefore, a meane ought
to be taken, where is not all constrainte, nor all willingnesse: but
beyng drawen of a respecte, that thei have towardes their Prince, where
thei feare more the displeasure of thesame, then the presente paine: and
alwaies it shall happen to be a constrainte, in maner mingled with
willingnesse, that there cannot growe soche evil contentacion, that it
make evill effectes. Yet I saie not for all this, that it cannot bee
overcome, for that full many tymes, were overcome the Romaine armies,
and the armie of Aniball was overcome, so that it is seen, that an armie
cannot be ordained so sure, that it cannot be overthrowen. Therefore,
these your wise men, ought not to measure this unprofitablenesse, for
havyng loste ones, but to beleve, that like as thei lese, so thei maie
winne, and remeadie the occasion of the losse: and when thei shall seke
this thei shall finde, that it hath not been through faulte of the waie,
but of the order, whiche had not his perfeccion and as I have saied,
thei ought to provide, not with blamyng the order, but with redressing
it, the whiche how it ought to be doen, you shall understande, from
poinct to poinct. Concernyng the doubte, leste soche ordinaunces, take
not from thee thy state, by meane of one, whiche is made hedde therof, I
answere, that the armure on the backes of citezeins, or subjectes, given
by the disposicion of order and lawe, did never harme, but rather
alwaies it doeth good, and mainteineth the citee, moche lenger in
suretie, through helpe of this armure, then without. Rome continued free
CCCC. yeres, and was armed. Sparta viii.C. Many other citees have been
disarmed, and have remained free, lesse then xl. For as moche as citees
have nede of defence, and when thei have no defence of their owne, thei
hire straungers, and the straunges defence, shall hurte moche soner the
common weale, then their owne: bicause thei be moche easier to be
corrupted, and a citezein that becommeth mightie, maie moche soner
usurpe, and more easely bryng his purpose to passe, where the people bee
disarmed, that he seketh to oppresse: besides this, a citee ought to
feare a greate deale more, twoo enemies then one. Thesame citee that
useth straungers power, feareth at one instant the straunger, whiche it
hireth, and the Citezein: and whether this feare ought to be, remember
thesame, whiche I rehearsed a little a fore of Frances Sforza. That
citee, whiche useth her own proper power, feareth no man, other then
onely her owne Citezein. But for all the reasons that maie bee saied,
this shall serve me, that never any ordeined any common weale, or
Kyngdome, that would not thinke, that thei theim selves, that inhabite
thesame, should with their sweardes defende it.

And if the Venicians had been so wise in this, as in all their other
orders, thei should have made a new Monarchie in the world, whom so
moche the more deserve blame, havyng been armed of their first giver of
lawes: for havyng no dominion on the lande, thei wer armed on the sea,
where thei made their warre vertuously, and with weapons in their
handes, increased their countrie. But when thei were driven to make
warre on the lande, to defende Vicenza, where thei ought to have sent
one of their citezens, to have fought on the lande, thei hired for their
capitain, the Marques of Mantua: this was thesame foolishe acte, whiche
cut of their legges, from climyng into heaven, and from enlargyng their
dominion: and if thei did it, bicause thei beleved that as thei knewe,
how to make warre on the Sea, so thei mistrusted theim selves, to make
it on the lande, it was a mistruste not wise: for as moche as more
easely, a capitain of the sea, whiche is used to fight with the windes,
with the water, and with men, shall become a Capitaine of the lande,
where he shall fight with men onely, then a capitaine of the lande, to
become a capitain of the sea. The Romanies knowyng how to fight on the
lande, and on the sea, commyng to warre, with the Carthaginens, whiche
were mightie on the sea, hired not Grekes, or Spaniardes, accustomed to
the sea, but thei committed thesame care, to their Citezeins, whiche
thei sent on the land, and thei overcame. If thei did it, for that one
of their citezeins should not become a tiraunt, it was a feare smally
considered: for that besides thesame reasons, whiche to this purpose, a
little afore I have rehearsed, if a Citezein with the powers on the sea,
was never made a tiraunt in a citee standyng in the sea, so moche the
lesse he should have been able to accomplishe this with the powers of
the lande: whereby thei ought to se that the weapons in the handes of
their Citezeins, could not make tirantes: but the naughtie orders of the
governement, whiche maketh tirannie in a citee, and thei havyng good
governement, thei nede not to feare their owne weapons: thei toke
therefore an unwise waie, the whiche hath been occasion, to take from
them moche glorie, and moche felicitie. Concernyng the erroure, whiche
the kyng of Fraunce committeth not kepyng instructed his people in the
warre, the whiche those your wise men alledge for ensample, there is no
man, (his particulare passions laied a side) that doeth not judge this
fault, to be in thesame kyngdome, and this negligence onely to make hym
weake. But I have made to greate a digression, and peradventure am come
out of my purpose, albeit I have doen it to aunswere you, and to shewe
you, that in no countrie, there can bee made sure foundacion, for
defence in other powers but of their owne subjectes: and their own
power, cannot be prepared otherwise, then by waie of an ordinaunce, nor
by other waie, to induce the facion of an armie in any place, nor by
other meane to ordein an instruction of warfare. If you have red the
orders, whiche those first kynges made in Rome, and inespecially Servio
Tullo, you shall finde that the orders of the Classi is no other, then
an ordinaunce, to bee able at a sodaine, to bryng together an armie, for
defence of thesame citee. But let us retourne to our choise, I saie
againe, that havyng to renewe an olde order, I would take them of xvii.
havyng to make a newe armie, I would take them of all ages, betwene
xvii. and xl. to be able to warre straight waie.

[Sidenote: Of what science soldiours ought to bee chosen.]

COSIMO. Would you make any difference, of what science you would chuse

FABRICIO. The aucthours, which have written of the arte of warre, make
difference, for that thei will not, that there bee taken Foulers,
Fishers, Cookes, baudes, nor none that use any science of
voluptuousnesse. But thei will, that there bee taken Plowmen, Ferrars,
Smithes, Carpenters, Buchars, Hunters, and soche like: but I would make
little difference, through conjecture of the science, concernyng the
goodnesse of the man, notwithstandyng, in as moche as to be able with
more profite to use theim, I would make difference, and for this cause,
the countrie men, which are used to till the grounde, are more
profitable then any other. Next to whom be Smithes, Carpentars, Ferrars,
Masons, wherof it is profitable to have enough: for that their
occupacions, serve well in many thynges: beyng a thyng verie good to
have a souldiour, of whom maie be had double servise.

[Sidenote: Howe to chose a souldiour.]

COSIMO. Wherby doe thei knowe those, that be, or are not sufficient to

FABRICIO. I will speake of the maner of chusing a new ordinaunce, to
make an armie after, for that parte of this matter, doeth come also to
be reasoned of, in the election, which should be made for the
replenishing, or restoring of an old ordinaunce. I saie therfore, that
the goodnesse of one, whiche thou muste chuse for a Souldiour, is knowen
either by experience, thorough meane of some of his worthy doynges, or
by conjecture. The proofe of vertue, cannot be founde in men whiche are
chosen of newe, and whiche never afore have ben chosen, and of these are
founde either fewe or none, in the ordinaunce that of newe is ordeined.
It is necessarie therefore, lackyng this experience, to runne to the
conjecture, whiche is taken by the yeres, by the occupacion, and by the
personage: of those two first, hath been reasoned, there remaineth to
speake of the thirde. And therefore, I saie how some have willed, that
the souldiour bee greate, emongest whom was Pirrus. Some other have
chosen theim onely, by the lustinesse of the body, as Cesar did: whiche
lustinesse of bodie and mynde, is conjectured by the composicion of the
members, and of the grace of the countenaunce: and therefore, these that
write saie, that thei would have the iyes lively and cherefull, the
necke full of sinowes, the breaste large, the armes full of musculles,
the fingers long, little beallie, the flankes rounde, the legges and
feete drie: whiche partes are wont alwayes to make a manne nimble and
strong, whiche are twoo thynges, that in a souldiour are sought above al
other. Regarde ought to bee had above all thynges, to his customes, and
that in hym bee honestie, and shame: otherwise, there shall bee chosen
an instrumente of mischief, and a beginnyng of corrupcion: for that
lette no manne beleve that in the dishoneste educacion, and filthy
minde, there maie take any vertue, whiche is in any parte laudable. And
I thinke it not superfluous, but rather I beleve it to bee necessarie,
to the entente you maie the better understande, the importaunce of this
chosen, to tell you the maner that the Romaine Consuls, in the beginnyng
of their rule, observed in the chosing of their Romain legions: in the
whiche choise of men, bicause thesame legions were mingled with old
souldiours and newe, consideryng the continuall warre thei kepte, thei
might in their choise procede, with the experince of the old, and with
the conjecture of the newe: and this ought to be noted, that these men
be chosen, either to serve incontinently, or to exercise theim
incontinently, and after to serve when nede should require. But my
intencion is to shew you, how an armie maie be prepared in the countrie,
where there is no warlike discipline: in which countrie, chosen men
cannot be had, to use them straight waie, but there, where the custome
is to levie armies, and by meane of the Prince, thei maie then well bee
had, as the Romaines observed, and as is observed at this daie emong the
Suisers: bicause in these chosen, though there be many newe menne, there
be also so many of the other olde Souldiours, accustomed to serve in the
warlike orders, where the newe mingled together with the olde, make a
bodie united and good, notwithstanding, that themperours after,
beginning the staciones of ordinarie Souldiours, had appoincted over the
newe souldiours, whiche were called tironi, a maister to exercise theim,
as appeareth in the life of Massimo the Emperour. The whiche thyng,
while Rome was free, not onely in the armies, but in the citee was
ordeined: and the exercises of warre, beyng accustomed in thesame, where
the yong men did exercise, there grewe, that beyng chosen after to goe
into warre, thei were so used in the fained exercise of warfare, that
thei could easely worke in the true: but those Emperours havyng after
put doune these exercises, thei wer constrained to use the waies, that I
have shewed you. Therefore, comyng to the maner of the chosen Romain, I
saie that after the Romain Consulles (to whom was appoincted the charge
of the warre) had taken the rule, myndyng to ordeine their armies, for
that it was the custome, that either of them should have twoo Legions of
Romaine menne, whiche was the strength of their armies, thei created
xxiiii. Tribunes of warre, and thei appoincted sixe for every Legion,
whom did thesame office, whiche those doe now a daies, that we call
Conestables: thei made after to come together, all the Romain men apte
to beare weapons and thei put the Tribunes of every Legion, seperate the
one from the other. Afterwarde, by lot thei drewe the Tribes, of whiche
thei had firste to make the chosen, and of thesame Tribe thei chose
fower of the best, of whiche was chosen one of the Tribunes, of the
first Legion, and of the other three was chosen, one of the Tribunes of
the second Legion, of the other two there was chosen one of the Tribunes
of the third, and the same last fell to the fowerth Legion. After these
iiij, thei chose other fower, of which, first one was chosen of the
Tribunes of the seconde Legion, the seconde of those of the thirde, the
thirde of those of the fowerth, the fowerth remained to the first.
After, thei chose other fower, the first chose the thirde, the second
the fowerth, the thirde the fiveth, the fowerth remained to the seconde:
and thus thei varied successively, this maner of chosyng, so that the
election came to be equall, and the Legions wer gathered together: and
as afore we saied, this choise might bee made to use straighte waie, for
that thei made them of men, of whom a good parte were experiensed in the
verie warfare in deede, and all in the fained exercised, and thei might
make this choise by conjecture, and by experience. But where a power
must be ordeined of newe, and for this to chuse them out of hande, this
chosen cannot be made, saving by conjecture, whiche is taken by
consideryng their ages and their likelinesse.

COSIMO. I beleve all to be true, as moche as of you hath been spoken:
but before that you procede to other reasonyng, I woll aske of you one
thing, which you have made me to remember: saiyng that the chosen, that
is to be made where men were not used to warre, ought to be made by
conjecture: for asmoche as I have heard some men, in many places
dispraise our ordinaunce, and in especially concernyng the nomber, for
that many saie, that there ought to bee taken lesse nomber, whereof is
gotten this profite, that thei shall be better and better chosen, and
men shal not be so moche diseased, so that there maie bee given them
some rewarde, whereby thei maie bee more contented, and better bee
commaunded, whereof I would understande in this parte your opinion, and
whether you love better the greate nomber, than the little, and what
waie you would take to chuse theim in the one, and in the other nomber.

FABRICIO. Without doubte it is better, and more necessary, the great
nomber, then the little: but to speake more plainly, where there cannot
be ordeined a great nomber of men, there cannot be ordeined a perfect
ordinaunce: and I will easely confute all the reasons of them
propounded. I saie therefore firste, that the lesse nomber where is many
people, as is for ensample Tuscane, maketh not that you have better, nor
that the chosen be more excellent, for that myndyng in chosing the
menne, to judge them by experience, there shall be founde in thesame
countrie moste fewe, whom experience should make provable, bothe for
that fewe hath been in warre, as also for that of those, mooste fewe
have made triall, whereby thei might deserve to bee chosen before the
other: so that he whiche ought in like places to chuse, it is mete he
leave a parte the experience, and take them by conjecture. Then being
brought likewise into soche necessitie, I would understande, if there
come before me twentie young men of good stature, with what rule I ought
to take, or to leave any: where without doubte, I beleve that every man
will confesse, how it is lesse errour to take them al, to arme theim and
exercise theim, beyng not able to knowe, whiche of theim is beste, and
to reserve to make after more certaine chosen, when in practisyng theim
with exercise, there shall be knowen those of moste spirite, and of
moste life: which considered, the chusing in this case a fewe, to have
them better, is altogether naught.

Concernyng diseasing lesse the countrie, and men, I saie that the
ordinaunce, either evill or little that it bee, causeth not any disease,
for that this order doeth not take menne from any of their businesse, it
bindeth them not, that thei cannot go to doe any of their affaires: for
that it bindeth them onely in the idell daies, to assemble together, to
exercise them, the whiche thyng doeth not hurt, neither to the countrie,
nor to the men, but rather to yong men it shall bryng delite: For that
where vilie on the holy daies thei stande idell in tipplyng houses, thei
will go for pleasure to those exercises, for that the handlyng of
weapons, as it is a goodly spectacle, so unto yong men it is pleasaunt.
Concernyng to bee able to paie the lesse nomber, and for this to kepe
theim more obediente, and more contented, I answere, how there cannot be
made an ordinaunce of so fewe, whiche maie be in maner continually
paied, where thesame paiment of theirs maie satisfie them. As for
ensample, if there were ordeined a power of v. thousande men, for to
paie them after soche sorte, that it might be thought sufficient, to
content them, it shal bee convenient to give theim at least, ten
thousaunde crounes the moneth: first, this nomber of men are not able to
make an armie, this paie is intolerable to a state, and of the other
side, it is not sufficiente to kepe men contented, and bounde to be able
to serve at al times: so that in doyng this, there shall be spent moche,
and a small power kept, whiche shall not be sufficient to defend thee,
or to doe any enterprise of thine. If thou shouldest give theim more, or
shouldest take more, so moche more impossibilitie it should be, for thee
to paie theim: if thou shouldest give them lesse, or should take lesse,
so moche the lesse contentacion should be in them, or so moche the lesse
profite thei shal bring thee. Therfore, those that reason of makyng an
ordinaunce, and whilest thei tary at home to paie them, thei reason of a
thing either impossible, or unprofitable, but it is necessarie to paie
them, when thei are taken up to be led to the warre: albeit, though
soche order should somewhat disease those, in time of peace, that are
appoincted in thesame, which I se not how, there is for recompence all
those benefites, whiche a power brynges, that is ordeined in a countrie:
for that without thesame, there is nothyng sure. I conclude, that he
that will have the little nomber, to be able to paie them, or for any of
the other causes alledged of you, doeth not understande, for that also
it maketh for my opinion, that every nomber shall deminishe in thy
handes, through infinite impedimentes, whiche men have: so that the
little nomber shall tourne to nothing: again havyng thordinaunce greate,
thou maiest at thy pleasure use fewe of many, besides this, it must
serve thee in deede, and in reputacion and alwaies the great nomber
shall give thee moste reputacion. More over, makyng the ordinaunce to
kepe menne exercised, if thou appoincte a fewe nomber of men in many
countries, the handes of men bee so farre a sonder, the one from the
other, that thou canst not without their moste grevous losse, gather
them together to exercise them, and without this exercise, the
ordinaunce is unprofitable, as hereafter shall be declared.

COSIMO. It suffiseth upon this my demaunde, that whiche you have saied:
but I desire now, that you declare me an other doubt. Thei saie, that
soche a multitude of armed men, will make confusion, discension and
disorder in the countrie where thei are.

[Sidenote: How to provid againste soche inconveniences as souldiours
maie cause.]

FABRICIO. This is an other vaine opinion, the cause wherof, I shall tell
you: soche as are ordeined to serve in the warres, maie cause disorder
in twoo maners, either betwene them selves, or against other, whiche
thinges moste easely maie be withstode, where the order of it self,
should not withstande it: for that concernyng the discorde emong theim
selves, this order taketh it waie, and doeth not nourishe it, for that
in orderyng them, you give them armour and capitaines. If the countrie
where you ordein them, bee so unapte for the warre, that there are not
armours emong the men of thesame, and that thei bee so united, that thei
have no heddes, this order maketh theim moche fearser against the
straunger, but it maketh them not any thyng the more disunited, for that
men well ordered, feare the lawe beyng armed, as well as unarmed, nor
thei can never alter, if the capitaines, which you give them, cause not
the alteracion, and the waie to make this, shall be tolde now: but if
the countrie where you ordein them, be warlike and disunited, this order
onely shal be occasion to unite them: bicause this order giveth them
armours profitable for the warre, and heddes, extinguishers of
discencion: where their owne armours bee unprofitable for the warres,
and their heddes nourishers of discorde. For that so sone as any in
thesame countrie is offended, he resorteth by and by to his capitain to
make complaint, who for to maintain his reputacion, comforteth hym to
revengement not to peace. To the contrary doeth the publike hed, so that
by this meanes, thoccasion of discorde is taken awaie, and the occasion
of union is prepared, and the provinces united and effeminated, gette
utilitie, and maintain union: the disunited and discencious, doe agree,
and thesame their fearsnesse, which is wont disordinately to worke, is
tourned into publike utilitie. To minde to have them, to doe no hurt
against other, it ought to bee considered, that thei cannot dooe this,
except by meane of the heddes, whiche governe them. To will that the
heddes make no disorder, it is necessarie to have care, that thei get
not over them to much auctoritie. And you must consider that this
auctoritie, is gotten either by nature, or by accidente: and as to
nature, it behoveth to provide, that he which is boren in one place, be
not apoincted to the men billed in the same, but be made hedde of those
places, where he hath not any naturall aquaintance: and as to the
accident, the thing ought to be ordeined in suche maner, that every yere
the heddes maie be changed from governement to goverment: for as muche
as the continuall auctoritie over one sorte of menne, breedeth among
them so muche union, that it maie turne easely to the prejudice of the
Prince: whiche permutations howe profitable they be to those who have
used theim, and hurtefull to them that have not observed theim, it is
well knowen by the kingdome of the Assirians, and by the Empire of the
Romaines: where is seene, that the same kingdome indured a M. yeres
without tumulte, and without any Civill warre: whiche preceded not of
other, then of the permutations, whiche from place to place everie yere
thesame Capitaines made, unto whome were apoincted the charge of the
Armies. Nor for any other occasion in the Romaine Empire, after the
bloud of Cesar was extinguished, there grewe so many civill warres,
betwene the Capitaines of the hostes, and so many conspiracies of the
forsaied capitaines against the Emperours, not onely kepyng continually
still those capitaines alwayes in one governement. And if in some of
those firste Emperoures, of those after, whom helde the Empire with
reputacion, as Adriane, Marcus, Severus, and soche like, there had been
so moche foresight, that thei had brought this custome of chaungyng the
capitaines in thesame Empire, without doubte it should have made theim
more quiete, and more durable: For that the Capitaines should have had
lesse occasion to make tumultes, the Emperours lesse cause to feare, and
the senate in the lackes of the successions, should have had in the
election of the Emperour, more aucthoritie, and by consequence should
have been better: but the naughtie custome, either for ignoraunce, or
through the little diligence of menne, neither for the wicked, nor good
ensamples, can be taken awaie.

COSIMO. I cannot tell, if with my questionyng, I have as it were led you
out of your order, bicause from the chusyng of men, we be entred into an
other matter, and if I had not been a little before excused, I should
thinke to deserve some reprehension.

[Sidenote: The nomber of horsemen, that the Romanies chose for a Legion,
and for a Consailes armie.]

FABRICIO. Let not this disquiete you, for that all this reasonyng was
necessary, myndyng to reason of the ordinaunce, the which beyng blamed
of many, it was requsite to excuse it, willyng to have this first parte
of chusyng men to be alowed. But now before I discend to the other
partes, I will reason of the choise of men on horsebacke. Of the
antiquitie, these were made of the moste richeste, havyng regard bothe
to the yeres, and to the qualitie of the man, and thei chose CCC. for a
Legion, so that the Romain horse, in every Consulles armie, passed not
the nomber of vi. C.

COSIMO. Would you make an ordinaunce of hors, to exercise them at home,
and to use their service when nede requires?

[Sidenote: The choosing and ordering of horsemen, that is to be observed
at this present.]

FABRICIO. It is most necessary, and it cannot be doen otherwise, minding
to have the power, that it be the owne proper, and not to purpose to
take of those, which make thereof an art.

COSIMO. How would you choose them?

FABRICIO. I would imitate the Romans, I would take of the richest, I
would give them heads or chief Captains, in the same manner, as nowadays
to other is given, and I would arm them and exercise them.

COSIMO. To these should it be well to give some provision?

FABRICIO. Yea marie, but so much only as is necessary to keep the horse,
for as much as bringing to thy subjects expenses, they might justly
complain of thee, therefore it should be necessary, to pay them their
charges of their horse.

COSIMO. What number would you make? and how would you arme them?

FABRICIO. You pass into another matter. I will tell you in convenient
place, which shall be when I have told you, how footmen ought to be
armed, and how a power of men is prepared, for a day of battle.


[Sidenote: Howe the Romaines armed their souldiers and what weapons thei

I beleeve that it is necessarye, men being founde, to arme them, and
minding to doo this, I suppose that it is a needefull thing to examine,
what armoure the antiquitie used, and of the same to chose the best. The
Romanes devided their foote men in heavie and lighte armed: Those that
were light armed, they called by the name of Veliti: Under this name
were understoode all those that threwe with Slinges, shot with
Crossebowes, cast Dartes, and they used the most parte of them for their
defence, to weare on their heade a Murion, with a Targaet on their arme:
they fought out of the orders, and farre of from the heavie armed, which
did weare a head peece, that came downe to their shoulders, a Corselet,
which with the tases came downe to the knees, and they had the legges
and armes, covered with greaves, and vambraces, with a targaet on the
left arme, a yarde and a halfe long, and three quarters of a yarde
brode, whiche had a hoope of Iron upon it, to bee able to sustaine a
blowe, and an other under, to the intente, that it being driven to the
earth, it should not breake: for to offende, they had girte on their
left flanke a swoorde, the length of a yearde and a naile, on their
righte side, a Dagger: they had a darte in every one of their handes,
the which they called Pilo, and in the beginning of the fight, they
threwe those at the enemie. This was the ordering, and importaunce of
the armours of the Romanes, by the which they possessed all the world.
And although some of these ancient writers gave them, besides the
foresayde weapons, a staffe in their hande like unto a Partasen, I
cannot tell howe a heavy staff, may of him that holdeth a Targaet be
occupied: for that to handle it with both hands, the Targaet should bee
an impediment, and to occupye the same with one hande, there can be done
no good therewith, by reason of the weightynesse thereof: besides this,
to faight in the strong, and in the orders with such long kinde of
weapon, it is unprofitable, except in the first front, where they have
space enough, to thrust out all the staffe, which in the orders within,
cannot be done, for that the nature of the battaile (as in the order of
the same, I shall tell you) is continually to throng together, which
although it be an inconvenience, yet in so doing they fear lesse, then
to stande wide, where the perill is most evident, so that all the
weapons, which passe in length a yarde and a halfe, in the throng, be
unprofitable: for that, if a man have the Partasen, and will occupye it
with both handes, put case that the Targaet let him not, he can not
hurte with the same an enemy, whom is upon him, if he take it with one
hande, to the intent to occupy also the Targaet, being not able to take
it, but in the middest, there remayneth so much of the staff behind,
that those which are behinde him, shall let him to welde it. And whether
it were true, either that the Romans had not this Partasen, or that
having it, did little good withal, read all the battailes, in the
historye thereof, celebrated of Titus Livius, and you shall see in the
same, most seldom times made mencion of Partasens, but rather alwaies he
saieth, that the Dartes being thrown, they laid their hands on their
sweardes. Therefore I will leave this staffe, and observe, concerning
the Romanes, the swoorde for to hurte, and for defense the Targaet, with
the other armours aforesaide.

[Sidenote: A brave and a terrible thing to the enemies.]

The Greekes did not arme them selves so heavyly, for their defense, as
the Romans dyd: but for to offend the enemies, they grounded more on
their staves, then on their swoordes, and in especiallye the Fallangye
of Macedonia, which used staves, that they called Sarisse, seven yardes
and a halfe long, with the which they opened the rankes of their
enemies, and they keept the orders in their Fallangy. And although some
writers saie, that they had also the Targaet, I can not tell (by the
reasons aforesayde) howe the Sarisse and they coulde stande together.
Besides this, in the battaile that Paulus Emilius made, with Persa king
of Macedonia, I do not remember, that there is made any mention of
Targaettes, but only of the Sarisse, and of the difficultie that the
Romane armie had, to overcome them: so that I conjecture, that a
Macedonicall Fallange, was no other wise, then is now a dayes a battaile
of Suizzers, the whiche in their Pikes have all their force, and all
their power. The Romanes did garnish (besides the armours) the footemen
with feathers; the whiche thinges makes the fight of an armie to the
friendes goodly, to the enemies terrible. The armour of the horsemen, in
the same first Romane antiquitie, was a rounde Targaet, and they had
their head armed, and the rest unarmed: They had a swoorde and a staffe,
with an Iron head onely before, long and small: whereby it happened,
that they were not able to staye the Targaet, and the staffe in the
incountring broke, and they through being unarmed, were subjecte to
hurtes: after, in processe of time, they armed them as the footemen,
albeit they used the Targaette muche shorter, square, and the staffe
more stiffe, and with twoo heades, to the entente, that breaking one of
the heades, they mighte prevaile with the other. With these armours as
well on foote, as on horsebacke, the Romanes conquered all the worlde,
and it is to be beleeved, by the fruiet thereof, whiche is seene, that
they were the beste appointed armies, that ever were: and Titus Livius
in his history, doeth testifie verye often, where comming to comparison
with the enemies armies, he saieth: But the Romanes, by vertue, by the
kinde of their armours, and piactise in the service of warre, were
superiours: and therfore I have more particularly reasoned of the
armours of conquerours, then of the conquered. But nowe mee thikes good,
to reason onelye of the manner of arming men at this presente. Footemen
have for their defence, a breast plate, and for to offende, a launce,
sixe yardes and three quarters long, which is called a pike, with a
swoorde on their side, rather rounde at the poinct, then sharpe. This is
the ordinarie arming of footemen nowe a dayes, for that fewe there be,
which have their legges armed, and their armes, the heade none, and
those fewe, beare insteede of a Pike, a Halberde, the staffe whereof as
you know, is twoo yardes and a quarter long, and it hath the Iron made
like an axe. Betweene them, they have Harkebutters, the which with the
violence of the fire, do the same office, which in olde time the
slingers did, and the Crosseboweshoters. This maner of arming, was found
out by the Dutchemen, inespeciallye of Suizzers, whom being poore, and
desirous to live free, they were, and be constrayned to fight, with the
ambition of the Princes of Almaine, who being riche, were able to keepe
horse, the which the same people could not do for povertye. Wherby it
grewe, that being on foote, minding to defende them selves from the
enemies, that were on horsebacke, it behooveth them to seeke of the
aunciente orders, and to finde weapons, whiche from the furie of horses,
should defende them: This necessitie hath made either to be maintayned,
or to bee founde of them the aunciente orders, without whiche, as everye
prudente man affirmeth, the footemen is altogether unprofitable.
Therefore, they tooke for their weapon the Pike, a moste profitable
weapon, not only to withstande horses, but to overcome them: and the
Dutchemen have by vertue of these weapons, and of these orders, taken
such boldnesse, that XV. or XX. thousande of them, will assault the
greatest nomber of horse that maye be: and of this, there hath beene
experience enough within this XXV. yeres. And the insamples of their
vertue hath bene so mightie, grounded upon these weapons, and these
orders, that sence King Charles passed into Italie, everye nation hath
imitated them: so that the Spanish armies, are become into most great

COSIMO. Which maner of arming, do you praise moste, either these
Dutchemens, or the auncient Romanes?

[Sidenote: Whether the Romanes maner in arming of men, be better then
the arming of men, that is used nowe a daies.]

FABRICIO. The Romane without doubte, and I will tell the commoditie, and
the discommoditie of the one, and the other. The Dutche footemen, are
able to withstande, and overcome the horses: they bee moste speedie to
marche, and to be set in araye, being not laden with armours: of the
other part, they be subjecte to all blowes, both farre of, and at hande:
because they be unarmed, they bee unprofitable unto the battaile on the
lande, and to everye fighte, where is strong resistaunce. But the
Romanes withstoode, and overcame the horses, as well as the Dutchemen,
they were safe from blowes at hande, and farre of, being covered with
armours: they were also better able to charge, and better able to
sustaine charges, having Targaettes: they might more aptly in the preace
fight with the swoorde, then these with the Pike, and though the
Dutchemen have likewise swoordes, yet being without Targaets, they
become in suche case unprofitable: The Romanes might safelye assault
townes, having their bodies cleane covered with armour, and being better
able to cover themselves with their Targaettes. So that they had no
other incommoditie, then the waightynesse of their armours, and the pain
to cary them: the whiche thinges thei overcame, with accustomyng the
body to diseases, and with hardenyng it, to bee able to indure labour.
And you knowe, how that in thinges accustomed, men suffer no grief. And
you have to understand this, that the footemen maie be constrained, to
faight with footemen, and with horse, and alwaies those be unprofitable,
whiche cannot either sustain the horses, or beyng able to sustain them,
have notwithstandyng neede to feare the footemen, whiche be better
armed, and better ordeined then thei. Now if you consider the Duchemen,
and the Romaines, you shall finde in the Duchemen activitie (as we have
said) to overcome the horses, but greate dissavauntage, when thei
faighte with menne, ordeined as thei them selves are, and armed as the
Romaines were: so that there shall be this advauntage more of the one,
then of thother, that the Romaines could overcome the men, and the
horses, the Duchemen onely the horses.

COSIMO. I would desire, that you would come to some more particulare
insample, whereby wee maie better understande.

[Sidenote: An ensample whiche proveth that horsemen with staves, cannot
prevaile against footemen with Pikes, and what great advauntage the
armed have, againste the unarmed. The victory of Carminvola against the

FABRICIO. I saie thus, that you shall finde in many places of our
histories, the Romain footemen to have overcome innumerable horses, and
you shall never finde, that thei have been overcome of men on foote, for
default that thei have had in their armour, or thorowe the vantage that
the enemie hath had in the armours: For that if the maner of their
armyng, should have had defaulte, it had been necessarie, that there
should folowe, the one of these twoo thynges, either that findyng soche,
as should arme theim better then thei, thei should not have gone still
forwardes, with their conquestes, or that thei should have taken the
straungers maners, and should have left their owne, and for that it
folowed not in the one thing, nor in the other, there groweth that ther
maie be easely conjectured, that the maner of their armyng, was better
then thesame of any other. It is not yet thus happened to the Duchemen,
for that naughtie profe, hath ben seen made them, when soever thei have
chaunsed to faight with men on foote prepared, and as obstinate as thei,
the whiche is growen of the vauntage, whiche thesame have incountred in
thenemies armours. Philip Vicecounte of Milaine, being assaulted of
xviii. thousande Suizzers, sent against theim the Counte Carminvola,
whiche then was his capitaine. He with sixe thousande horse, and a fewe
footemen, went to mete with them, and incounteryng theim, he was
repulsed with his moste greate losse: wherby Carminvola as a prudente
man, knewe straight waie the puisaunce of the enemies weapons, and how
moche against the horses thei prevailed, and the debilitie of the
horses, againste those on foote so appoincted: and gatheryng his men
together again, he went to finde the Suizzers, and so sone as he was
nere them, he made his men of armes, to a light from their horse, and in
thesame mane, faightyng with them he slue theim all, excepte three
thousande: the whiche seyng them selves to consume, without havyng
reamedy, castyng their weapons to the grounde, yelded.

COSIMO. Whereof cometh so moche disavauntage?

[Sidenote: The battailes when thei are a faightyng, doe throng

FABRICIO. I have a little afore tolde you, but seyng that you have not
understoode it, I will rehearse it againe. The Duchemen (as a little
before I saied unto you) as it were unarmed, to defende themselves, have
to offende, the Pike and the swearde: thei come with these weapons, and
with their orders to finde the enemies, whom if thei bee well armed, to
defende theim selves, as were the menne of armes of Carminvola, whiche
made theim a lighte on foote, thei come with the sweard, and in their
orders to find them, and have no other difficultie, then to come nere to
the Suizzers, so that thei maie reche them with the sweard, for that so
sone as thei have gotten unto them, thei faight safely: for asmoche as
the Duch man cannot strike thenemie with the Pike, whom is upon him, for
the length of the staffe, wherefore it is conveniente for hym, to put
the hande to the sweard, the whiche to hym is unprofitable, he beyng
unarmed, and havyng against hym an enemie, that is all armed. Whereby he
that considereth the vantage, and the disavantage of the one, and of the
other, shall see, how the unarmed, shall have no maner of remeady, and
the overcommyng of the firste faight, and to passe the firste poinctes
of the Pikes, is not moche difficulte, he that faighteth beyng well
armed: for that the battailes go (as you shall better understande, when
I have shewed you, how thei are set together) and incounteryng the one
the other, of necessitie thei thrust together, after soche sorte, that
thei take the one thother by the bosome, and though by the Pikes some
bee slaine, or overthrowen, those that remain on their feete, be so
many, that thei suffice to obtaine the victorie. Hereof it grewe, that
Carminvola overcame them, with so greate slaughter of the Suizzers, and
with little losse of his.

COSIMO. Consider that those of Carminvola, were men of armes, whom
although thei wer on foote, thei were covered all with stele, and
therefore thei wer able to make the profe thei did: so that me thinkes,
that a power ought to be armed as thei, mindyng to make the verie same

FABRICIO. If you should remember, how I tolde you the Romaines were
armed, you would not thynke so: for as moche as a manne, that hath the
hedde covered with Iron, the breaste defended of a Corselet, and of a
Targaet, the armes and the legges armed, is moche more apt to defende
hymself from the Pike, and to enter emong them, then a man of armes on
foote. I wil give you a little of a late ensample. There wer come out of
Cicelie, into the kyngdome of Naples, a power of Spaniardes, for to go
to finde Consalvo, who was besieged in Barlet, of the Frenchemen: there
made against theim Mounsier de Vhigni, with his menne of armes, and with
aboute fower thousande Duchemen on foote: The Duchemen incountered with
their Pikes lowe, and thei opened the power of the Spaniardes: but those
beyng holp, by meane of their bucklers and of the agiletie of their
bodies, mingled togethers with the Duchemen, so that thei might reche
them with the swearde, whereby happened the death, almoste of all theim,
and the victorie to the Spaniardes. Every man knoweth, how many Duchemen
were slaine in the battaile of Ravenna, the whiche happened by the verie
same occasion: for that the Spanishe souldiours, got them within a
swerdes length of the Duche souldiours, and thei had destroied them all,
if of the Frenche horsemen, the Duchemen on foote, had not been
succored: notwithstandyng, the Spaniardes close together, brought
themselves into a safe place. I conclude therefore, that a good power
ought not onely to be able, to withstande the horses, but also not to
have fear of menne on foote, the which (as I have many tymes saied)
procedeth of the armours, and of the order.

[Sidenote: How to arme men, and what weapons to appoincte theim, after
the Romaine maner, and Duche facion.]

COSIMO. Tell therefore, how you would arme them?

FABRICIO. I would take of the Romaine armours, and of the Duchemennes
weapons, and I would that the one haulfe, should bee appoincted like the
Romaines, and the other haulfe like the Duchemen: for that if in sixe
thousande footemen (as I shall tell you a little hereafter) I should
have thre thousande men with Targaettes, after the Romain maner, and two
thousande Pikes, and a thousand Harkebutters, after the Duche facion,
thei should sufice me: for that I would place the Pikes, either in the
fronte of the battaile, or where I should feare moste the horses, and
those with the Targaetes and sweardes, shall serve me to make a backe to
the Pikes, and to winne the battaile, as I shall shewe you: so that I
beleeve, that a power thus ordayned, should overcome at this daye, any
other power.

COSIMO. This which hath beene saide, sufficeth concerning footemen, but
concerning horsemen, wee desire to understand which you thinke more
stronger armed, either ours, or the antiquitie.

[Sidenote: The victorie of Lucullo, against Tiarane king of Armenia; For
what pupose horsemen be most requisite.]

FABRICIO. I beleeve that in these daies, having respect to the Saddelles
bolstered, and to the stiroppes not used of the antiquitie, they stande
more stronglye on horsebacke, then in the olde time: I thinke also they
arme them more sure: so that at this daye, a bande of men of armes,
paysing very muche, commeth to be with more difficultie withstoode, then
were the horsemen of old time: notwithstanding for all this, I judge,
that there ought not to be made more accompt of horses, then in olde
time was made, for that (as afore is sayde) manye times in our dayes,
they have with the footemen receyved shame and shall receyve alwayes,
where they incounter, with a power of footemen armed, and ordered, as
above hath bene declared. Tigrane king of Armenia, had againste the
armie of the Romanes, wherof was Capitayne Lucullo, CL. thousande
horsemen, amongest the whiche, were many armed, like unto our men of
armes, which they called Catafratti, and of the other parte, the Romanes
were about sixe thousande, with xxv. thousand footemen: so that Tigrane
seeing the armie of the enemies, saide: these be horses enough for an
imbassage: notwithstanding, incountering together, he was overthrowen:
and he that writeth of the same fighte, disprayseth those Catafratti,
declaring them to be unprofitable; for that hee sayeth, because they had
their faces covered, they had muche a doe to see, and to offende the
enemie, and they falling, being laden with armour coulde not rise up
again, nor welde themselves in any maner to prevaile. I say therefore,
that those people or kingdomes, whiche shall esteeme more the power of
horses, then the power of footemen be alwaies weake, and subjecte to all
ruine, as by Italie hath been seene in our time, the whiche hath beene
taken, ruinated, and over run with straungers, through not other fault,
then for having taken litle care, of the service on foote, and being
brought the souldiours therof, all on horsebacke. Yet there ought to bee
had horses, but for seconde, and not for firste foundaion of an armie:
for that to make a discovery, to over run and to destroy the enemies
countrie, and to keepe troubled and disquieted, the armie of the same,
and in their armours alwayes, to let them of their victuals, they are
necessary, and most profitable: but concerning for the daye of battaile,
and for the fighte in the fielde, whiche is the importaunce of the
warre, and the ende, for which the armies are ordeined, they are more
meeter to follow the enemie being discomfited then to do any other thing
which in the same is to be done, and they bee in comparison, to the
footemen much inferiour.

COSIMO. There is happened unto mee twoo doubtes, the one, where I knowe,
that the Parthians dyd not use in the warre, other then horses, and yet
they devided the worlde with the Romanes: the other is, that I woulde
that you should shewe, howe the horsemen can be withstoode of footemen,
and wherof groweth the strength of these, and the debilitie of those?

[Sidenote: The reason why footmen are able to overcome horsemen; How
footmen maie save them selves from horsemen; The exercise of Souldiours,
ought to be devided into thre partes; What exercises the auncient common
weales used to exercise their youth in, and what commoditie insued
thereby; How the antiquitie, learned their yong soldiours, to handell
their weapons; What thantiquitie estemed moste happie in a common weale;
Mouster Maisters; for thexercisyng of yong men unexperte.]

FABRICIO. Either I have tolde you, or I minded to tell you, howe that my
reasoning of the affaires of warre, ought not to passe the boundes of
Europe: when thus it is, I am not bounde unto you, to make accompte of
the same, which is used in Asia, yet I muste saye unto you thus, that
the warring of the Parthians, was altogether contrarye, to the same of
the Romanes: for as muche as the Parthians, warred all on horsebacke,
and in the fight, they proceeded confusedlye, and scattered, and it was
a maner of fighte unstable, and full of uncertaintie. The Romanes were
(it maye be sayde) almoste al on foote, and thei fought close together
and sure, and thei overcame diversly, the one the other, according to
the largenesse, or straightnesse of the situation: for that in this the
Romaines were superiours, in thesame the Parthians, whom might make
greate proofe, with thesame maner of warryng, consideryng the region,
which thei had to defende, the which was moste large: for as moche as it
hath the sea coaste, distant a thousande miles, the rivers thone from
thother, twoo or three daies journey, the tounes in like maner and the
inhabitauntes few: so that a Romaine armie heavie and slowe, by meanes
of their armoures, and their orders, could not over run it, without
their grevous hurt (those that defended it, being on horsebacke mooste
expedite) so that thei were to daie in one place, and to morowe distaunt
fiftie miles. Hereof it grewe, that the Parthians might prevaile with
their chivalrie onely, bothe to the ruine of the armie of Crassus, and
to the perill of thesame, of Marcus Antonius: but I (as I have told you)
doe not intende in this my reasonyng, to speake of the warfare out of
Europe, therfore I will stand upon thesame, whiche in times past, the
Romaines ordained, and the Grekes, and as the Duchemen doe now adaies.
But let us se to the other question of yours, where you desire to
understande, what order, or what naturall vertue makes, that the
footemen overcome the horsmen. And I saie unto you first that the horses
cannot go, as the footmen in every place: Thei are slower then the
footemen to obeie, when it is requisite to alter the order: for as
moche, as if it be nedefull, either goyng forward, to turne backwarde,
or tournyng backwarde, to go forwarde, or to move themselves standing
stil, or goyng to stand still, without doubt, the horsemen cannot dooe
it so redilie as the footemen: the horsemen cannot, being of some
violence, disordained, returne in their orders, but with difficultie,
although thesame violence cease, the whiche the footemen dooe moste
easely and quickly. Besides this, it happeneth many tymes, that a hardie
manne shall be upon a vile horse, and a coward upon a good, whereby it
foloweth, that this evill matchyng of stomackes, makes disorder. Nor no
man doeth marvell, that a bande of footemenne, susteineth all violence
of horse for that a horse is a beaste, that hath sence, and knoweth the
perilles, and with an ill will, will enter in them: and if you consider,
what force maketh theim go forwarde, and what holdeth them backwarde,
you shall se without doubt thesame to be greater, whiche kepeth them
backe, then that whiche maketh them go forwardes: For that the spurre
maketh theim go forwarde, and of the other side, either the swearde, or
the Pike, kepeth theim backe: so that it hath been seen by the olde, and
by the late experience, a bande of footemen to bee moste safe, ye,
invinsible for horses. And if you should argue to this, that the heate,
with whiche thei come, maketh theim more furious to incounter who that
would withstande them, and lesse to regard the Pike, then the spurre: I
saie, that if the horse so disposed, begin to see, that he must run upon
the poincte of the Pike, either of himself, he wil refrain the course so
that so sone as he shall feele himself pricked, he will stande still
atones, or beeyng come to theim, he will tourne on the right, or on the
lefte hande. Whereof if you wil make experience, prove to run a horse
against a walle: you shall finde fewe, with what so ever furie he come
withall, will strike against it. Cesar havyng in Fraunce, to faighte
with the Suizzers, a lighted, and made every manne a light on foote, and
to avoide from the araies, the horses, as a thyng more meete to flie,
then to faight. But notwithstandyng these naturall impedimentes, whiche
horses have, thesame Capitaine, whiche leadeth the footemen, ought to
chuse waies, whiche have for horse, the moste impedimentes that maie
bee, and seldome tymes it happeneth, but that a manne maie save hymself,
by the qualitie of the countrie: for that if thou marche on the hilles,
the situacion doeth save thee from thesame furie, whereof you doubt,
that thei go withail in the plain, fewe plaines be, whiche through the
tillage or by meanes of the woddes, doe not assure thee: for that every
hillocke, every bancke, although it be but small, taketh awaie thesame
heate, and every culture where bee Vines, and other trees, lettes the
horses: and if thou come to battaile, the very same lettes happeneth,
that chaunceth in marchyng: for as moche as every little impedemente,
that the horse hath, abateth his furie. One thyng notwithstandyng, I
will not forgette to tell you, how the Romaines estemed so moche their
orders, and trusted so moche to their weapons, that if thei shuld have
had, to chuse either so rough a place to save theim selves from horses,
where thei should not have been able, to raunge their orders, or a place
where thei should have nede, to feare more of horses, but ben able to
deffende their battaile, alwaies thei toke this, and left that: but
bicause it is tyme, to passe to the armie, having armed these
souldiours, accordyng to the aunciente and newe use, let us see what
exercises the Romaines caused theim make, before the menne were brought
to the battaile. Although thei be well chosen, and better armed, thei
ought with moste greate studie be exercised, for that without this
exercise, there was never any souldiour good: these exercises ought to
be devided into three partes, the one, for to harden the bodie, and to
make it apte to take paines, and to bee more swifter and more readier,
the other, to teach them, how to handell their weapons, the third, for
to learne them to kepe the orders in the armie, as well in marchyng, as
in faightyng, and in the incampyng: The whiche be three principall
actes, that an armie doeth: for asmoche, as if an armie marche, incampe,
and faight with order, and expertly, the Capitaine leseth not his
honoure, although the battaile should have no good ende. Therfore, all
thauncient common weales, provided these exercises in maner, by custome,
and by lawe, that there should not be left behinde any part thereof.
Thei exercised then their youth, for to make them swift, in runnyng, to
make theim readie, in leapyng, for to make them strong, in throwyng the
barre, or in wrestlyng: and these three qualities, be as it were
necessarie in souldiours. For that swiftnesse, maketh theim apte to
possesse places, before the enemie, and to come to them unloked for, and
at unwares to pursue them, when thei are discomfaicted: the readinesse,
maketh theim apte to avoide a blowe, to leape over a diche, to winne a
banke: strength, maketh them the better able to beare their armours, to
incounter the enemie, to withstande a violence. And above all, to make
the bodie the more apte to take paines, thei used to beare greate
burthens, the whiche custome is necessarie: for that in difficulte
expedicions it is requisite many tymes, that the souldiour beside his
armours, beare vitualles for many daies, and if he were not accustomed
to this labour, he could not dooe it: and without this, there can
neither bee avoided a perill, nor a victorie gotten with fame.
Concernyng to learne how to handell the weapons, thei exercised theim,
in this maner: thei would have the yong menne, to put on armour, whiche
should waie twise as moche, as their field armour, and in stede of a
swearde, thei gave them a cudgell leaded, whiche in comparison of a
verie swearde in deede, was moste heavie; thei made for every one of
them, a poste to be set up in the ground, which should be in height twoo
yardes and a quarter, and in soche maner, and so strong, that the blowes
should not slur nor hurle it doune, against the whiche poste, the yong
man with a targaet, and with the cudgell, as against an enemie did
exercise, and some whiles he stroke, as though he would hurte the hedde,
or the face, somewhile he retired backe, an other while he made
forewarde: and thei had in this exercise, this advertisment, to make
theim apt to cover theim selves, and to hurte the enemie: and havyng the
counterfaight armours moste heavy, their ordinarie armours semed after
unto them more lighter. The Romanies, would that their souldiours should
hurte with the pricke, and not with the cutte, as well bicause the
pricke is more mortalle, and hath lesse defence, as also to thentent
that he that should hurt, might lye the lesse open, and be more apt to
redouble it, then with cuttes. Dooe not marvaile that these auncient
men, should thinke on these small thynges, for that where the
incounteryng of men is reasoned of, you shall perceive, that every
little vauntage, is of greate importaunce: and I remember you the same,
whiche the writers of this declare, rather then I to teache you. The
antiquitie estemed nothing move happie, in a common weale, then to be in
thesame, many men exercised in armes: bicause not the shining of
precious stones and of golde, maketh that the enemies submit themselves
unto thee, but onely the fear of the weapons: afterwarde the errours
whiche are made in other thynges, maie sometymes be corrected, but those
whiche are dooen in the warre, the paine straight waie commyng on,
cannot be amended. Besides that, the knowlege to faight, maketh men more
bold, bicause no man feareth to doe that thing, which he thinketh to
have learned to dooe. The antiquitie would therefore, that their
Citezeins should exercise themselves, in all marcial feates, and thei
made them to throwe against thesame poste, dartes moche hevier then the
ordinarie: the whiche exercise, besides the makyng men expert in
throwyng, maketh also the arme more nimble, and moche stronger. Thei
taught them also to shote in the long bowe, to whorle with the sling:
and to all these thynges, thei appoincted maisters, in soche maner, that
after when thei were chosen for to go to the warre, thei were now with
mynde and disposicion, souldiours. Nor there remained them to learn
other, then to go in the orders, and to maintain them selves in those,
either marchyng, or faightyng: The whiche moste easely thei learned,
mingeling themselves with those, whiche had long tyme served, whereby
thei knewe how to stande in the orders.

COSIMO. What exercises would you cause theim to make at this present?

[Sidenote: The exercises that souldiers ought to make in these daies;
The exercise of swimmyng; Tiber, is a river runnyng through Rome the
water wher of will never corrupte; Thexercise of vautyng, and the
commoditie thereof; An order that is taken in certain countries,
concerning exercises of warre; What knowledge a Souldiour ought to have;
A Cohorte is a bande of men; Of what nomer and of what kind of armours
and weapons, a maine battaile ought to bee, and the distributing and
appoinetyng of thesame; veliti are light armed men; Thecapitaines that
ar appointed to every band of men; Twoo orders observed in an armie; How
a captain muste instructe muste instructe his souldiours how thei ought
to governe themselves in the battaile.]

FABRICIO. A good many of those, whiche have been declared, as runnyng,
and wrestlyng, makyng theim to leape, makyng theim to labour in armours,
moche heavier then the ordinarie, making them shoote with Crosse bowes,
and longe bowes, whereunto I would joyne the harkabus, a newe instrument
(as you know) verie necessarie, and to these exercises I would use, al
the youth of my state, but with greater industrie, and more
sollicitatenesse thesame parte, whiche I should have alreadie appoincted
to serve, and alwaies in the idell daies, thei should bee exercised. I
would also that thei should learne to swimme, the whiche is a thyng
verie profitable: for that there be not alwaies bridges over rivers,
boates be not alwaies readie: so that thy army not knowyng howe to
swime, remaineth deprived of many commodities: and many occasions to
woorke well, is taken awaie. The Romaines for none other cause had
ordained, that the yong men should exercise them selves in Campus
Martius, then onely, for that havyng Tiber at hande, thei might, beyng
weried with the exercise on lande, refreshe theim selves in the water,
and partly in swimmyng, to exercise them selves. I would make also, as
the antiquitie, those whiche should serve on horsebacke to exercise, the
whiche is moste necessarie, for that besides to know how to ride, thei
muste knowe how on horsebacke thei maie prevaile of them selves. And for
this thei had ordeined horses of wood, upon the which thei practised, to
leape by armed, and unarmed, without any helpe, and on every hande: the
whiche made, that atones, and at a beck of a capitain, the horsmen were
on foote, and likewise at a token, thei mounted on horsebacke. And soche
exercises, bothe on foote and on horsebacke, as thei were then easie to
bee doen, so now thei should not be difficult to thesame common weale,
or to thesame prince, whiche would cause them to be put in practise of
their yong men. As by experience is seen, in certaine citees of the
Weste countrie, where is kepte a live like maners with this order. Thei
devide all their inhabiters into divers partes: and every parte thei
name of the kinde of those weapons, that thei use in the warre. And for
that thei use Pikes, Halbardes, Bowes, and Harkebuses, thei call them
Pike menne, Halberders, Harkebutters, and Archars: Therefore, it is mete
for all the inhabiters to declare, in what orders thei will be
appoincted in. And for that all men, either for age, or for other
impedimentes, be not fitte for the warre, every order maketh a choise of
men, and thei call them the sworen, whom in idell daies, be bounde to
exercise themselves in those weapons, wherof thei be named: and every
manne hath his place appoincted hym of the cominaltie, where soche
exercise ought to be made: and those whiche be of thesame order, but not
of the sworen, are contributaries with their money, to thesame expenses,
whiche in soche exercises be necessarie: therfore thesame that thei doe,
we maie doe. But our smal prudence dooeth not suffre us, to take any
good waie. Of these exercises there grewe, that the antiquitie had good
souldiours, and that now those of the Weste, bee better men then ours:
for as moche as the antiquitie exercised them, either at home (as those
common weales doe) or in the armies, as those Emperours did, for
thoccasions aforesaied: but we, at home will not exercise theim, in
Campe we cannot, bicause thei are not our subjectes, and for that we are
not able to binde them to other exercises then thei them selves liste to
doe: the whiche occacion hath made, that firste the armies bee
neclected, and after, the orders, and that the kyngdomes, and the common
weales, in especially Italians, live in soche debilitie. But let us
tourne to our order, and folowyng this matter of exercises, I saie, how
it suffiseth not to make good armies, for havyng hardened the men, made
them strong, swift, and handsome, it is nedefull also, that thei learne
to stande in the orders, to obeie to signes, to soundes, and to the
voice of the capitain: to knowe, standyng, to retire them selves, goyng
forwardes, bothe faightyng, and marchyng to maintain those: bicause
without this knowlege, withal serious diligence observed, and practised,
there was never armie good: and without doubt, the fierce and disordered
menne, bee moche more weaker, then the fearfull that are ordered, for
that thorder driveth awaie from men feare, the disorder abateth
fiercenesse. And to the entente you maie the better perceive that,
whiche here folowyng shalbe declared, you have to understande, how every
nation, in the orderyng of their men to the warre, have made in their
hoste, or in their armie, a principall member, the whiche though thei
have varied with the name, thei have little varied with the nomber of
the menne: for that thei all have made it, betwene sixe and viii. M.
men. This nomber of men was called of the Romaines, a Legion, of Grekes
a Fallange, of Frenchemen Caterva: this verie same in our tyme of the
Suizzers, whom onely of the auncient warfare, kepe some shadowe, is
called in their tongue that, whiche in ours signifieththe maine
battaile. True it is, that every one of them, hath after devided it,
accordyng to their purposes. Therefore me thinkes beste, that wee
grounde our talke, upon this name moste knowen, and after, according to
the aunciente, and to the orders now adaies, the beste that is possible
to ordaine it; and bicause the Romaines devided their Legion, whiche was
made betwene five and sixe thousande men, in ten Cohortes, I will that
wee devide our main battaile, into ten battailes, and that we make it of
sixe thousande menne on foote, and we will give to every battaile,
CCCCL. men, of whiche shall be, CCCC. armed with heavie armour, and L.
with light armour: the heavie armed, shall be CCC. Targettes with
sweardes, and shalbe called Target men: and C. with Pikes, whiche shalbe
called ordinarie Pikes: the light armed shalbe, L. men armed with
Harkabuses, Crosse bowes, and Partisans, and smal Targaettes, and these
by an aunciente name, were called ordinarie Veliti: all of the ten
battailes therefore, comes to have three thousande Targaet men, a
thousande ordinarie Pikes, CCCC. ordinarie Veliti, all whiche make the
nomber of fower thousande and five hundred men. And we saied, that we
would make the maine battaile of six thousande; therefore there must be
added an other thousande, five hundred men, of whiche I will appoinet a
thousande with Pikes, whom I will call extraordinarie Veliti, and thus
my menne should come (as a little before I have saied) to bee made halfe
of Targaetes, and halfe of Pikes and other weapons. I would appoinete to
everie battaile, or bande of men, a Conestable, fower Centurions and
fouretic peticapitaines, and moreover a hedde to the ordinarie Veliti.
with five peticapitaines; I would give to the thousande extraordinarie
Pikes, three Conestabelles, ten Centurions, and a hundred
peticapitaines; to the extraodrinarie Veliti, two Conestabelles, v.
Centurions, and l. peticapitaines: I would then apoinet a generall hed,
over all the main battaile: I would that every Conestable should have an
Ansigne, and a Drum. Thus there should be made a manne battaile of ten
battailes, of three thousande Targaet men, of a thousande ordinarie
Pikes, of a thousande extraordinarie of five hundred ordinarie Veliti,
of five hundred extraordinarie, so there should come to bee sixe
thousande men, emongeste the whiche there should bee M.D.
peticapitaines, and moreover, xv. Conestables, with xv. Drummes, and xv.
Ansignes, lv. Centurions, x. heddes of the ordinarie Veliti, and a
Capitaine over all the maine battaile with his Asigne and Drume, and I
have of purpose repeated this order the oftener, to the intent, that
after when I shall shewe you, the maners of orderyng the battailes, and
tharmies, you should not be confounded: I saie therefore, how that, that
king, or that common weale, whiche intendeth to ordeine their subjectes
to armes, ought to appoincte theim with these armoures and weapons, and
with these partes, and to make in their countrie so many maine
battailes, as it were able: and when thei should have ordained them,
according to the forsaid distribucion, minding to exercise them in the
orders, it should suffice to exercise every battaile by it self: and
although the nomber of the men, of every one of them, cannot by it self,
make the facion of a juste armie, notwithstandyng, every man maie learne
to dooe thesame, whiche particularly appertaineth unto hym: for that in
the armies, twoo orders is observed, the one, thesame that the men ought
to doe in every battaile, and the other that, whiche the battaile ought
to doe after, when it is with the other in an armie. And those men,
whiche doe wel the first, mooste easely maie observe the seconde: But
without knowyng thesame, thei can never come to the knowlege of the
seconde. Then (as I have saied) every one of these battailes, maie by
them selves, learne to kepe the orders of the araies, in every qualitie
of movyng, and of place, and after learne to put them selves togethers,
to understande the soundes, by meanes wherof in the faight thei are
commaunded, to learne to know by that, as the Gallics by the whissell,
what ought to be doen, either to stande still, or to tourne forward, or
to tourne backwarde or whiche waie to tourne the weapons, and the face:
so that knowyng how to kepe well the araie, after soche sorte, that
neither place nor movyng maie disorder them, understandyng well the
commaundementes of their heddes, by meanes of the sounde, and knowyng
quickly, how to retourne into their place, these battailes maie after
easly (as I have said) beyng brought many together, learne to do that,
whiche all the body together, with the other battailes in a juste armie,
is bounde to dooe. And bicause soche universall practise, is also not to
bee estemed a little, ones or twise a yere, when there is peace, all the
main battaile maie be brought together, to give it the facion of an
whole armie, some daies exercisyng theim, as though thei should faight a
fielde, settyng the fronte, and the sides with their succours in their
places. And bicause a capitaine ordeineth his hoste to the fielde,
either for coumpte of the enemie he seeth, or for that, of whiche
without seyng he doubteth, he ought to exercise his armie in the one
maner, and in the other, and to instructe theim in soche sorte, that
thei maie knowe how to marche, and to faight, when nede should require,
the wyng to his souldiours, how thei should governe theim selves, when
thei should happen to be assaulted of this, or of that side: and where
he ought to instructe theim how to faight againste the enemie, whom thei
should see: he must shewe them also, how the faight is begun, and where
thei ought to retire: being overthrowen, who hath to succeade in their
places, to what signes, to what soundes, to what voices, thei ought to
obeie, and to practise them in soche wise in the battaile, and with
fained assaultes, that thei may desire the verie thyng in deede. For
that an armie is not made coragious, bicause in thesame be hardie menne,
but by reason the orders thereof bee well appoineted: For as moche as if
I be one of the first faighters, and do knowe, beyng overcome, where I
maie retire, and who hath to succeade in my place, I shall alwaies
faight with boldnes, seing my succour at hand. If I shall be one of the
seconde faighters, the first being driven backe, and overthrowen, I
shall not bee afraied, for that I shall have presuposed that I maie bee,
and I shall have desire to be thesame, whiche maie give the victory to
my maister, and not to bee any of the other. These exercises bee moste
necessarie, where an armie is made of newe, and where the old armie is,
thei bee also necessarie: for that it is also seen, how the Romaines
knew from their infancie, thorder of their armies, notwithstandyng,
those capitaines before thei should come to thenemie, continually did
exercise them in those. And Josephus in his historie saieth, that the
continuall exercises of the Romaine armies, made that all thesame
multitude, whiche folowe the campe for gain, was in the daie of battaile
profitable: bicause thei all knewe, how to stande in the orders, and to
faight kepyng the same: but in the armies of newe men, whether thou have
putte theim together, to faight straight waie, or that thou make a power
to faight, when neede requires, without these exercises, as well of the
battailes severally by themselves, as of all the armie, is made nothing:
wherefore the orders beying necessarie, it is conveniente with double
industrie and laboure, to shewe them unto soche as knoweth them not, and
for to teache it, many excellent capitaines have travailed, without any

COSIMO. My thinkes that this reasoning, hath sumwhat transported you:
for asmoche, as havyng not yet declared the waies, with the whiche the
battailes bee exercised, you have reasoned of the whole armie, and of
the daie of battaile.

[Sidenote: The chief importance in the exercisyng of bandes of men;
Three principall for thorderyng of menne into battaile raie; The manner
how to bryng a bande of men into battaile raie after a square facion;
The better waie for the ordring of a band of men in battaile raie, after
the first facion; How to exercise men, and to take soche order, whereby
a band of men that were by whatsoever chance disordred maye straighte
wai be brought into order againe; What advertisement ought to bee used
in tourning about a whole bande of menne, after soche sorte, as though
it were but one bodie; How to order a band of menne after soche sort
that thei maie make their front againste thenemie of whiche flanke thei
list; How a band of man oughte to be ordered, when in marchyng thei
should bee constrained to faighton their backes.]

FABRICIO. You saie truth, but surely thoccasion hath been the affection,
whiche I beare to these orders, and the grief that I feele, seyng thei
be not put in use: notwithstanding, doubt not but that I will tourne to
the purpose: as I have saied, the chief importaunce that is in
thexercise of the battailes, is to knowe how to kepe well the armies:
and bicause I tolde you that one of these battailes, ought to bee made
of fower hundred men heavie armed, I wil staie my self upon this nomber.
Thei ought then to be brought into lxxx. rankes, and five to a ranke:
afterward goyng fast, or softly, to knit them together, and to lose
them: the whiche how it is dooen, maie bee shewed better with deedes,
then with wordes. Which nedeth not gretly to be taught, for that every
manne, whom is practised in servise of warre, knoweth how this order
procedeth, whiche is good for no other, then to use the souldiours to
keepe the raie: but let us come to putte together one of these
battailes, I saie, that there is given them three facions principally,
the firste, and the moste profitablest is, to make al massive, and to
give it the facion of two squares, the second is, to make it square with
the front horned, the thirde is, to make it with a voide space in the
middest: the maner to put men together in the first facion, maie be of
twoo sortes, tho together in the first facion, maie be of twoo sortes,
thone is to double the rankes, that is, to make the seconde ranke enter
into the first, the iiii. into the third, the sixt into the fift, and so
foorth, so that where there was lxxx. rankes, five to a ranke, thei maie
become xl. rankes, x. to a ranke. Afterward cause theim to double ones
more in thesame maner, settyng the one ranke into an other, and so there
shall remain twentie rankes, twentie men to a ranke: this maketh twoo
squares aboute, for as moche as albeit that there bee as many men the
one waie, as in the other, notwithstandyng to wardes the hedde, thei
joine together, that the one side toucheth the other: but by the other
waie, thei be distant the one from the other, at least a yarde and a
haulfe, after soche sorte, that the square is moche longer, from the
backe to the fronte, then from the one side to thother: and bicause we
have at this presente, to speake often of the partes afore, of behinde,
and of the sides of these battailes, and of all the armie together,
knowe you, that when I saie either hedde or fronte, I meane the parte
afore, when I shall saie backe, the part behind, when I shall saie
flankes, the partes on the sides. The fiftie ordinarie veliti of the
battaile, muste not mingle with the other rankes, but so sone as the
battaile is facioned, thei shalbe set a long by the flankes therof. The
other waie to set together the battaile is this, and bicause it is
better then the firste, I will set it before your ives juste, how it
ought to bee ordeined. I beleve that you remember of what nomber of
menne, of what heddes it is made, and of what armours thei are armed,
then the facion, that this battaile ought to have, is (as I have saied)
of twentie rankes, twentie men to a ranke, five rankes of Pikes in the
front, and fiftene rankes of Targaettes on the backe, twoo Centurions
standying in the fronte, twoo behinde on the backe, who shall execute
the office of those, whiche the antiquitie called Tergiductori. The
Conestable with the Ansigne, and with the Drumme, shall stande in
thesame space, that is betwene the five rankes of the Pikes, and the
fiftene of the Targeaettes. Of the Peticapitaines, there shall stande
one upon every side of the ranckes, so that every one, maie have on his
side his men, those peticapitaines, whiche shalbe on the left hande, to
have their men on the right hand, those Peticapitaines, whiche shall be
on the right hand, to have their menne on the left hande: The fiftie
Veliti, muste stande a long the flankes, and on the backe of the
battaile. To mynde now, that this battaile maie be set together in this
facion, the men goyng ordinarily, it is convenient to order them thus.
Make the men to be brought into lxxx. rankes, five to a ranke, as a
little afore we have said, leavyng the Veliti either at the hedde, or at
the taile, so that thei stande out of this order: and it ought to be
ordeined, that every Centurion have behinde his back twentie rankes, and
to bee nexte behinde every Centurion, five rankes of Pikes, and the
reste Targaettes. The Conestable shall stande with the Drum, and the
Ansigne, in thesame space, whiche is betwene the Pikes, and the
Targaettes of the seconde Centurion, and to occupie the places of three
Targaette men. Of the Peticapitaines, twentie shall stand on the sides
of the rankes, of the first Centurion, on the lefte hande, and twentie
shall stande on the sides of the rankes, of the last Centurion on the
right hande. And you muste understande, that the Peticapitaine, whiche
hath to leade the Pikes, ought to have a Pike, and those that leade the
Targaettes, ought to have like weapons. Then the rankes beyng brought
into this order, and mindyng in marchyng, to bryng them into battaile,
for to make the hedde, the first Centurion must be caused to stande
still, with the firste twentie rankes, and the seconde to proceade
marchyng, and tournyng on the right hand, he must go a long the sides of
the twentie rankes that stande still, till he come to bee even with the
other Centurion, where he must also stande still, and the thirde
Centurion to procede marchyng, likewise tournyng on the right hand, and
a long the sides of the rankes that stande still, must go so farre, that
he be even with the other twoo Centurions, and he also standyng still,
the other Centurion must folowe with his rankes, likewise tournyng on
the right hande, a longe the sides of the rankes that stande still, so
farre that he come to the hed of the other, and then to stand still, and
straight waie twoo Centurions onely, shall depart from the front, and go
to the backe of the battaile, the whiche cometh to bee made in thesame
maner, and with thesame order juste, as a little afore I have shewed
you. The Veliti muste stande a long, by the flankes of thesame,
accordyng as is disposed in the first waie, whiche waie is called
redoublyng by right line, this is called redoublyng by flanke: the first
waie is more easie, this is with better order, and commeth better to
passe, and you maie better correcte it, after your owne maner, for that
in redoublyng by righte line, you muste bee ruled by the nomber, bicause
five maketh ten, ten twentie, twentie fourtie, so that with redoublyng
by right line, you cannot make a hedde of fiftene, nor of five and
twentie, nor of thirtie, nor of five and thirtie, but you must go where
thesame nomber will leade you. And yet it happeneth every daie in
particulare affaires, that it is convenient to make the forwarde with
sixe hundred, or eight hundred men, so that to redouble by right line,
should disorder you: therefore this liketh me better: that difficultie
that is, ought moste with practise, and with exercise to bee made easie.
Therefore I saie unto you, how it importeth more then any thyng, to have
the souldiours to know how to set themselves in araie quickly, and it is
necessarie to keepe theim in this battaile, to exercise theim therin,
and to make them to go apace, either forward or backward, to passe
through difficulte places, without troublyng thorder: for asmoche as the
souldiours, whiche can doe this well, be expert souldiours, and although
thei have never seen enemies in the face, thei maie be called old
souldiours, and contrariwise, those whiche cannot keepe these orders,
though thei have been in a thousande warres, thei ought alwaies to be
reputed new souldiours. This is, concernyng setting them together, when
thei are marching in small rankes: but beyng set, and after beyng broken
by some accident or chaunce, whiche groweth either of the situacion, or
of the enemie, to make that in a sodaine, thei maie come into order
againe, this is the importaunce and the difficultie, and where is
nedefull moche exercise, and moche practise, and wherin the antiquitie
bestowed moche studie. Therefore it is necessarie to doe twoo thynges,
firste to have this battaile full of countersignes, the other, to keepe
alwaies this order, that those same men maie stand alwaies in the ranke,
which thei were firste placed in: as for insample, if one have begon to
stande in the seconde, that he stande after alwaie in that, and not
onely in that self same rancke, but in that self same place: for the
observyng whereof (as I have saied) bee necessarie many countersignes.
In especially it is requisite, that the Ansigne bee after soche sorte
countersigned, that companyng with the other battailes, it maie be
knowen from theim, accordyng as the Conestable, and the Centurions have
plumes of fethers in their heddes differente, and easie to be knowen,
and that whiche importeth moste, is to ordaine that the peticapitaines
bee knowen. Whereunto the antiquitie had so moche care, that thei would
have nothing els written in their hedde peces, but the nomber that thei
were named by, callyng them firste, seconde, thirde, and fourthe xc. And
yet thei were not contented with this, but made every souldiour to have
written in his Targaet, the nomber of the ranke, and the nomber of the
place, in whiche ranke he was appoineted. Then the menne being
countersigned thus, and used to stande betwene these limites, it is an
easie thyng, thei beyng disordered, to sett theim all againe quickly
into order: considering, that the Ansigne standyng still, the
Centurions, and the Peticapitaines maie gesse their places by the iye,
and beyng brought the left of the left, the right of the right, with
their accustomed distance, the souldiours led by their rule, and by the
differences of the cognisances, maie be quickly in their proper places,
no otherwise, then as if the boordes of a tunne should bee taken a
sunder, whiche beyng first marked, moste easely maie bee set together
again, where thesame beyng not countersigned, were impossible to bryng
into order any more. These thynges, with diligence and with exercise,
are quickely taught, and quickly learned, and beyng learned, with
difficultie are forgotten: for that the newe menne, be led of the olde,
and with tyme, a Province with these exercises, may become throughly
practised in the war. It is also necessarie to teache theim, to tourne
theim selves all at ones, and when neede requires, to make of the
flankes, and of the backe, the fronte, and of the front, flankes, or
backe, whiche is moste easie: bicause it suffiseth that every manne doe
tourne his bodie, towardes thesame parte that he is commaunded, and
where thei tourne their faces, there the fronte commeth to bee. True it
is, that when thei tourne to any of the flanckes, the orders tourne out
of their proporcion: for that from the breast to the backe, there is
little difference, and from the one flancke to the other, there is verie
moche distance, the whiche is al contrarie to the ordinarie order of the
battaile: therefore it is convenient, that practise, and discrecion, doe
place them as thei ought to be: but this is small disorder, for that
moste easely by themselves, thei maie remedie it. But that whiche
importeth more, and where is requisite more practise, is when a battaile
would tourne all at ones, as though it were a whole bodie, here is meete
to have greate practise, and greate discrecion: bicause mindyng to
tourne, as for insample on the left hande, the left corner must stande
still, and those that be next to hym that standeth still, muste marche
so softly, that thei that bee in the right corner, nede not to runne:
otherwise all thing should be confounded. But bicause it happeneth
alwaies, when an armie marcheth from place to place, that the battailes,
whiche are not placed in the front, shall be driven to faight not by
hedde, but either by flancke, or by backe, so that a battaile muste in a
sodaine make of flancke, or of backe, hedde: and mindyng that like
battailes in soche cace, maie have their proporcion, as above is
declared, it is necessarie, that thei have the Pikes on thesame flancke,
that ought to be hedde, and the Peticapitaines, Centurions, and
Conestables, to resorte accordyngly to their places. Therefore to mynde
to dooe this, in plasyng them together, you must ordeine the fower skore
rankes, of five in a ranke, thus: Set all the Pikes in the first twentie
rankes, and place the Peticapitaines thereof, five in the first places,
and five in the last: the other three score rankes, whiche come after,
bee all of Targaettes, whiche come to bee three Centuries. Therefore,
the first and the laste ranke of every Centurion, would be
Peticapitaines, the Conestable with the Ansigne, and with the Drumme,
muste stande in the middest of the first Centurie of Targaettes, and the
Centurions in the hed of every Centurie. The bande thus ordained, when
you would have the Pikes to come on the left flancke, you must redouble
Centurie by Centurie, on the right flancke: if you would have them to
come on the right flancke, you must redouble theim on the lefte. And so
this battaile tourneth with the Pikes upon a flancke, and the Conestable
in the middeste: the whiche facion it hath marchyng: but the enemie
commyng, and the tyme that it would make of flancke hedde, it nedeth not
but to make every man to tourne his face, towardes thesame flancke,
where the Pikes be, and then the battaile tourneth with the rankes, and
with the heddes in thesame maner, as is aforesaied: for that every man
is in his place, excepte the Centurions, and the Centurions straight
waie, and without difficultie, place themselves: But when thei in
marchyng, should bee driven to faight on the backe, it is convenient to
ordein the rankes after soch sorte, that settyng theim in battaile, the
Pikes maie come behinde, and to doe this, there is to bee kepte no other
order, then where in orderyng the battaile, by the ordinarie, every
Centurie hath five rankes of Pikes before, to cause that thei maie have
them behind, and in all the other partes to observe thorder, whiche I
declared firste.

COSIMO. You have tolde (if I dooe well remember me) that this maner of
exercise, is to bee able to bryng these battailes together into an
armie, and that this practise, serveth to be able to order theim selves
in the same: But if it should happen, that these CCCCL. men, should have
to doe an acte seperate, how would you order them?

[Sidenote: How a battaile is made with twoo hornes; The orderyng of a
battaile with a voide space in the middeste.]

FABRICIO. He that leadeth them, ought then to judge, where he will place
the Pikes, and there to put them, the whiche doeth not repugne in any
part to the order above written: for that also, though thesame bee the
maner, that is observed to faighte a fielde, together with thother
battailes, notwithstandyng it is a rule, whiche serveth to all those
waies, wherein a band of menne should happen to have to doe: but in
shewyng you the other twoo waies of me propounded, of ordering the
battailes, I shal also satisfie you more to your question: for that
either thei are never used, or thei are used when a battaile is a lone,
and not in companie of other, and to come to the waie of ordering them,
with twoo hornes, I saie, that thou oughteste to order the lxxx. rankes,
five to a ranke, in this maner. Place in the middest, one Centurion, and
after hym xxv. rankes, whiche muste bee with twoo Pikes on the lefte
hande, and with three Targaettes on the right, and after the first five,
there must be put in the twentie folowyng, twentie Peticapitaines, all
betwene the pikes, and the Targaettes, excepte those whiche beare the
Pike, whom maie stand with the Pikes: after these xxv. rankes thus
ordered, there is to be placed an other Centurion, and behinde hym
fiftene rankes of Targaettes: after these, the Conestable betwene the
Drum and the Ansigne, who also must have after him, other fiftene rankes
of Targaettes: after this, the thirde Centurion must be placed, and
behinde hym, xxv. rankes, in every one of whiche, ought to bee three
Targaettes on the lefte flancke, and twoo Pikes on the right, and after
the five first rankes, there must be xx. Peticapitaines placed betwene
the Pikes, and the Targaettes: after these rankes, the fowerth Centurion
must folowe. Intendying therefore, of these rankes thus ordered, to make
a battaile with twoo hornes, the first Centurion must stand still, with
the xxv. rankes, whiche be behinde him, after the second Centurion muste
move, with the fiftene rankes of Targaettes, that bee behinde hym, and
to tourne on the right hande, and up by the right flancke of the xxv.
rankes, to go so farre, that he arrive to the xv. ranke, and there to
stande still: after, the Conestable muste move, with the fiftene rankes
of Targaettes, whiche be behinde hym, and tournyng likewise on the right
hande, up by the right flancke of the fiftene rankes, that wer firste
moved, muste marche so farre, that he come to their heddes, and there to
stand stil: after, the thirde Centurion muste move with the xxv. rankes,
and with the fowerth Centurion, whiche was behinde, and turnyng up
straight, must go a long by the right flanck of the fiftene last rankes
of the Targaettes, and not to stande still when he is at the heddes of
them, but to followe marchyng so farre, that the laste ranke of the xxv.
maie come to be even with the rankes behinde. And this dooen, the
Centurion, whiche was hedde of the firste fiftene rankes of Targaettes,
must go awaie from thens where he stoode, and go to the backe in the
lefte corner: and thus a battaile shall be made of xxv. rankes, after
twentie men to a rank, with two hornes, upon every side of the front,
one horn, and every one, shall have ten rankes, five to a ranke, and
there shall remain a space betwene the twoo hornes, as moche as
containeth ten men, whiche tourne their sides, the one to thother.
Betwene the two hornes, the capitain shall stande, and on every poinct
of a horne, a Centurion: There shall bee also behinde, on every corner,
a Centurion: there shal be twoo rankes of Pikes, and xx. Peticapitaines
on every flancke. These twoo hornes, serve to kepe betwene theim the
artillerie, when this battaile should have any withit, and the cariages:
The Veliti muste stande a long the flankes, under the Pikes. But mindyng
to bring this horned battaile, with a voide space in the middeste, there
ought no other to bee doen, then of fiftene rankes, of twentie to a
ranke, to take eight rankes, and to place them on the poinctes of the
twoo hornes, whiche then of hornes, become backe of the voide space, in
this place, the cariages are kept, the capitain standeth, and the
Ansigne, but never the Artillerie, the whiche is placed either in the
front, or a long the flankes. These be the waies, that a battaile maie
use when it is constrained to passe alone through suspected places:
notwithstandyng, the massive battaile without hornes, and without any
soche voide place is better, yet purposyng to assure the disarmed, the
same horned battaile is necessarie. The Suizzers make also many facions
of battailes, emong which, thei make one like unto a crosse: bicause in
the spaces that is betwen the armes therof, thei kepe safe their
Harkebuters from the daunger of the enemies: but bicause soche battailes
be good to faight by theim selves, and my intente is to shew, how many
battailes united, do faight with thenemie, I wil not labour further in
describing them.

COSIMO. My thinkes I have verie well comprehended the waie, that ought
to be kept to exercise the men in these battailes: But (if I remember me
well) you have saied, how that besides the tenne battailes, you joyne to
the maine battaile, a thousande extraordinarie Pikes, and five hundred
extraordinarie Veliti: will you not appoincte these to be exercised?

[Sidenote: To what purpose the Pikes and Velite extraordinarie must

FABRICIO. I would have theim to bee exercised, and that with moste great
diligence: and the Pikes I would exercise, at leaste Ansigne after
Ansigne, in the orders of the battailes, as the other: For as moche as
these should doe me more servise, then the ordinarie battailes, in all
particulare affaires: as to make guides, to get booties, and to doe like
thynges: but the Veliti, I would exercise at home, without bringing them
together, for that their office being to faight a sonder, it is not
mete, that thei should companie with other, in the common exercises: for
that it shall suffice, to exercise them well in the particular
exercises. Thei ought then (as I firste tolde you, nor now me thynkes no
labour to rehearse it againe) to cause their men to exercise them selves
in these battailes, whereby thei maie knowe how to kepe the raie, to
knowe their places, to tourne quickly, when either enemie, or situacion
troubleth them: for that, when thei knowe how to do this, the place is
after easely learned, which a battaile hath to kepe, and what is the
office thereof in the armie: and when a Prince, or a common weale, will
take the paine, and will use their diligence in these orders, and in
these exercisyng, it shall alwaies happen, that in their countrie, there
shall bee good souldiours, and thei to be superiours to their
neighbours, and shalbe those, whiche shall give, and not receive the
lawes of other men: but (as I have saied) the disorder wherein thei
live, maketh that thei neclecte, and doe not esteme these thynges, and
therefore our armies be not good: and yet though there were either hed,
or member naturally vertuous, thei cannot shewe it.

COSIMO. What carriages would you, that every one of these battailes
should have?

[Sidenote: Neither Centurion nor Peticapitaine, ought not to ride; What
carriages the Capitaines ought to have, and the nomber of carrages
requisite to every bande of menne.]

FABRICIO. Firste, I would that neither Centurion, nor Peticapitain,
should be suffered to ride: and if the Conestable would nedes ride, I
would that he should have a Mule, and not a horse: I would allowe hym
twoo carriages, and one to every Centurion, and twoo to every three
Peticapitaines, for that so many wee lodge in a lodgyng, as in the place
therof we shall tell you: So that every battaile will come to have
xxxvi. carriages, the whiche I would should carrie of necessitie the
tentes, the vesselles to seeth meate, axes, barres of Iron, sufficient
to make the lodgynges, and then if thei can carry any other thyng, thei
maie dooe it at their pleasure.

COSIMO. I beleve that the heddes of you, ordeined in every one of these
battailes, be necessarie: albeit, I would doubt, lest that so many
commaunders, should confounde all.

[Sidenote: Without many capitaines, an armie cannot be governed; To what
purpose Ansignes ought to serve; For what purpose Drummes oughte to bee
used; The propertie that soundes of instrumentes have in mens myndes.]

FABRICIO. That should bee, when it were not referred to one man, but
referryng it, thei cause order, ye and without theim, it is impossible
to governe an armie: for that a wall, whiche on every parte enclineth,
requireth rather to have many proppes, and thicke, although not so
strong, then fewe, though thei were strong: bicause the vertue of one a
lone, doeth not remedie the ruine a farre of. And therefore in tharmies,
and emong every ten men, it is convenient that there bee one, of more
life, of more harte, or at leaste wise of more aucthoritie, who with
stomacke, with wordes, and with example, maie kepe them constante, and
disposed to faight, and these thynges of me declared, bee necessarie in
an armie, as the Heddes, the Ansignes, and the Drummes, is seen that wee
have theim all in our armies, but none doeth his office. First to mynde
that the Peticapitaines doe thesame, for whiche thei are ordeined, it is
necessarie (as I have said) that there bee a difference, betwene every
one of them and their men, and that thei lodge together, doyng their
duties, standyng in thorder with them: for that thei placed in their
places, bee a rule and a temperaunce, to maintaine the raies straight
and steddie, and it is impossible that thei disorder, or disorderyng,
dooe not reduce themselves quickly into their places. But we now adaies,
doe not use them to other purpose, then to give theim more wages, then
to other menne, and to cause that thei dooe some particulare feate: The
very same happeneth of the Ansigne bearers, for that thei are kept
rather to make a faire muster, then for any other warlike use: but the
antiquitie used theim for guides, and to bryng theim selves againe into
order: for that every man, so sone as the Ansigne stoode still, knewe
the place, that he kept nere to his Ansigne, wherunto he retourned
alwaies: thei knewe also, how that the same movyng, or standyng, thei
should staie, or move: therfore it is necessarie in an armie, that there
be many bodies, and every bande of menne to have his Ansigne, and his
guide: wherfore havyng this, it is mete that thei have stomackes inough,
and by consequence life enough. Then the menne ought to marche,
accordyng to the Ansigne: and the Ansigne to move, accordyng to the
Drumme, the whiche Drumme well ordered, commaundeth to the armie, the
whiche goyng with paces, that answereth the tyme of thesame, will come
to kepe easilie thorders: for whiche cause the antiquitie had Shalmes,
Flutes, and soundes perfectly tymed: For as moche as like as he that
daunseth, proceadeth with the tyme of the Musick, and goyng with thesame
doeth not erre, even so an armie obeiyng, in movyng it self to thesame
sounde, doeth not disorder: and therefore, thei varied the sounde,
accordyng as thei would varie the mocion, and accordyng as thei would
inflame, or quiete, or staie the mindes of men: and like as the soundes
were divers, so diversly thei named them: the sounde Dorico, ingendered
constancie, the sounde Frigio, furie: whereby thei saie, that Alexander
beyng at the Table, and one soundyng the sounde Frigio, it kendled so
moche his minde, that he laied hande on his weapons. All these maners
should be necessarie to finde again: and when this should bee
difficulte, at least there would not be left behind those that teache
the Souldiour to obeie, the whiche every man maie varie, and ordeine
after his owne facion, so that with practise, he accustome the eares of
his souldiours to knowe it: But now adaies of this sounde, there is no
other fruicte taken for the moste part, then to make a rumour.

COSIMO. I would desire to understande of you, if ever with your self you
have discourced, whereof groweth so moche vilenesse, and so moche
disorder, and so moche necligence in these daies of this exercise?

[Sidenote: A notable discourse of the aucthour, declaryng whereof
groweth so moche vilenes disorder and necligence in these daies,
concernyng the exercises of warre.]

FABRICIO. With a good will I will tell you thesame, that I thinke. You
knowe how that of the excellente men of warre, there hath been named
many in Europe, fewe in Affric, and lesse in Asia: this grewe, for that
these twoo laste partes of the worlde, have had not paste one kyngdome,
or twoo, and fewe common weales, but Europe onely, hath had many
kyngdomes, and infinite common weales, where menne became excellent, and
did shewe their vertue, accordyng as thei were sette a woorke, and
brought before their Prince, or common weale, or king that he be: it
followeth therefore, that where be many dominions, there rise many
valiaunt menne, and where be fewe, fewe. In Asia is founde Ninus, Cirus,
Artasercses, Mithridates: and verie fewe other, that to these maie be
compared. In Africk, is named (lettyng stande thesame auncient Egipt)
Massinissa, Jugurta, and those Capitaines, whiche of the Carthaginens
common weale were nourished, whom also in respecte to those of Europe,
are moste fewe: bicause in Europe, be excellente men without nomber, and
so many more should be, if together with those should bee named the
other, that be through the malignitie of time extincte: for that the
worlde hath been moste vertuous, where hath been moste states, whiche
have favoured vertue of necessitie, or for other humaine passion. There
rose therfore in Asia, fewe excellente menne: bicause thesame Province,
was all under one kyngdome, in the whiche for the greatnesse thereof,
thesame standing for the moste parte of tyme idell, there could not
growe men in doynges excellent. To Africke there happened the verie
same, yet there were nourished more then in Asia, by reason of the
Carthaginens common weale: for that in common weales, there growe more
excellent men, then in kingdomes, bicause in common weales for the most
part, vertue is honoured, in Kyngdomes it is helde backe: wherby
groweth, that in thone, vertuous men are nourished, in the other thei
are extincte. Therefore he that shall consider the partes of Europe,
shall finde it to have been full of common weales, and of princedomes,
the whiche for feare, that the one had of the other, thei wer
constrained to kepe lively the warlike orders, and to honor them, whiche
in those moste prevailed: for that in Grece, besides the kyngdome of the
Macedonians, there were many common weales, and in every one of theim,
were bred moste excellente men. In Italie, were the Romaines, the
Sannites, the Toscanes, the Gallie Cisalpini. Fraunce, and Almainie, wer
ful of common weales and princedomes. Spaine likewise: and although in
comparison of the Romaines, there are named fewe other, it groweth
through the malignitie of the writers, whom folowe fortune, and to theim
for the moste parte it suffised, to honour the conquerours: but it
standeth not with reason, that betwene the Sannites, and the Toscanes,
whom fought CL. yeres with the Romaine people, before thei wer overcome,
there should not growe exceadyng many excellente menne. And so likewise
in Fraunce, and in Spaine: but that vertue, whiche the writers did not
celebrate in particuler menne, thei celebrated generally in the people,
where thei exalte to the starres, the obstinatenesse that was in them,
to defende their libertie. Beyng then true, that where bee moste
dominions, there riseth moste valiaunt menne, it foloweth of necessitie,
that extinguishyng those, vertue is extincte straighte waie, the
occasion decaiyng, whiche maketh menne vertuous. Therefore, the Romaine
Empire beyng after increased, and havyng extinguished all the common
weales, and Princedomes of Europe, and of Afrike, and for the moste part
those of Asia, it lefte not any waie to vertue, excepte Rome: whereby
grewe, that vertuous menne began to be as fewe in Europe, as in Asia:
the whiche vertue, came after to the laste caste: For as moche, as all
the vertue beyng reduced to Roome, so sone as thesame was corrupted,
almoste all the worlde came to bee corrupted: and the Scithian people,
were able to come to spoile thesame Empire, the whiche had extinguished
the vertue of other, and knewe not howe to maintaine their owne: and
after, although through the inundacion of those barberous nacions,
thesame Empire was devided into many partes, this vertue is not renued:

[Sidenote: The causes why the aunciente orders are neclected.]

The one cause is, for that it greveth theim moche, to take againe the
orders when thei are marde, the other, bicause the maner of livyng now
adaies, having respect to the Christian religion, commaundeth not
thesame necessitie to menne, to defende themselves, whiche in olde tyme
was: for that then, the menne overcome in warre, either were killed, or
remained perpetuall slaves, where thei led their lives moste miserably:
The tounes overcome, either were rased, or the inhabiters thereof driven
out, their goodes taken awaie, sent dispersed through the worlde: so
that the vanquished in warre, suffered all extreme miserie: of this
feare, men beyng made afraied, thei wer driven to kepe lively the
warlike exercises, and thei honoured soche as were excellente in theim:
But nowe adaies, this feare for the moste part is not regarded: of those
that are overcom, fewe bee killed, none is kepte longe in prison: for
that with facelitie, thei are sette at libertie: the citees also, whiche
a thousande tymes have rebelled, are not destroied, the men wherof, are
let a lone with their goodes, so that the greateste hurte that is
feared, is but a taske: in so moche, that men will not submit them
selves to the orders of warre, and to abide alwaies under those, to
avoide the perilles whereof thei are little afraied: again these
Provinces of Europe, be under a verie fewe heddes, in respecte as it
hath been in times past: for that al Fraunce, obeieth one kyng, al
Spain, an other: Italie is in fewe partes, so that the weake citees, are
defended with leanyng to hym that overcometh, and the strong states, for
the causes aforesaied, feare no soche extreme ruine.

COSIMO. Yet ther hath ben seen many tounes that have ben sacked within
this xxv. yeres, and lost their dominions, whose insample, ought to
teache other how to live, and to take again some of those old orders.

FABRICIO. You saie true: but if you note what tounes have gone to sacke,
you shall not finde that thei have been the heddes of states, but of the
members; as was seen sacked Tortona, and not Milaine: Capua, and not
Napelles, Brescia, and not Venice, Ravenna, and not Roome: the whiche
insamples maketh those that governe, not to chaunge their purposes, but
rather maketh them to stande more in their opinion, to be able to redeme
again all thynges with taskes, and for this, thei will not submit theim
selves to the troubles of thexercises of warre, semyng unto them partly
not necessarie, partly, an intrinsicate matter, whiche thei understande
not: Those other, whiche bee subjectes to them, whom soche insamples
ought to make afraied, have no power to remedie it: and those Princes,
that have ones loste their estates, are no more able, and those which as
yet kept them, know not, nor wil not. Bicause thei will without any
disease rain by fortune, and not by their vertue: for that in the worlde
beyng but little vertue, thei see fortune governeth all thynges. And
thei will have it to rule theim, not thei to rule it. And to prove this
that I have discoursed to bee true, consider Almaine, in the whiche,
bicause there is many Princedomes, and common weales, there is moche
vertue, and all thesame, whiche in the present service of warre is good,
dependeth of the insamples of those people: who beyng all gellious of
their states, fearing servitude, the which in other places is not
feared, thei all maintaine theim selves Lordes, and honourable: this
that I have saied, shall suffice to shewe the occacions of the presente
utilitie, accordyng to my opinion: I cannot tell, whether it seeme
thesame unto you, or whether there be growen in you any doubtyng.

COSIMO. None, but rather I understande all verie well: onely I desire,
tournyng to our principall matter, to understande of you, how you would
ordein the horses with these battailes, and how many, and how thei
should be governed, and how armed.

[Sidenote: The armyng of horsemen; The weapons that light horsmenne
should have; The nombre of horsmen requisite for a maine bataille of six
thousand men; The nombre of carrages that men of armes and light horsmen
ought to have.]

FABRICIO. You thinke peraventure, that I have left it behinde: whereat
doe not marvell, for that I purpose for twoo causes, to speake therof
little, the one is, for that the strengthe, and the importaunce of an
armie, is the footemen, the other is, bicause this part of service of
warre, is lesse corrupted, then thesame of footemen. For that though it
be not stronger then the old, yet it maie compare with thesame,
nevertheles ther hath been spoken a little afore, of the maner of
exercisyng them. And concernyng tharmyng them, I would arme them as thei
doe at this present, as wel the light horsemen, as the menne of armes:
but the light horsemen, I would that thei should be all Crossebowe
shuters, with some Harkebutters emong them: the whiche though in the
other affaires of warre, thei bee little profitable, thei be for this
most profitable, to make afraied the countrie menne, and to drive them
from a passage, that were kept of them: bicause a Harkebutter, shall
feare them more, then twentie other armed. But commyng to the nomber, I
saie, that having taken in hand, to imitate the service of warre of the
Romaines, I would not ordein more then three hundred horse, profitable
for every maine battaile, of whiche I would that there were CL. men of
armes, and CL. light horsmen, and I would give to every one of these
partes, a hedde, making after emong them fiftene peticapitaines for a
bande, givyng to every one of them a Trompet, and a standarde: I would
that every ten menne of armes, should have five carriages, and every ten
light horsemen twoo, the whiche as those of the footemen, should carrie
the tentes, the vesselles, and the axes, and the stakes, and the rest of
their other harneis. Nor beleve not but that it is disorder, where the
menne of armes have to their service fower horse, bicause soche a thyng
is a corrupt use: for that the men of armes in Almaine, are seen to bee
with their horse alone, every twentie of theim, havyng onely a carte,
that carrieth after them their necessary thynges. The Romaine horsemen,
were likewise a lone: true it is, that the Triary lodged nere them,
whiche wer bound to minister helpe unto theim, in the kepyng of their
horses the whiche maie easely be imitated of us, as in the distributyng
of the lodgynges, I shall shewe you. Thesame then that the Romaines did,
and that whiche the Duchmen doe now a daies, we maie doe also, ye, not
doyng it, we erre. These horses ordained and appoincted together with a
main battaile, maie sometymes be put together, when the battailes bee
assembled, and to cause that betwene theim bee made some sight of
assault, the whiche should be more to make them acquainted together,
then for any other necessitie. But now of this part, there hath been
spoke sufficiently, wherefore let us facion the armie, to be able to
come into the field against the enemie, and hope to winne it: whiche
thyng is the ende, for whiche the exercise of warre is ordeined, and so
moche studie therein bestowed.


COSIMO. Seeing that we chaunge reasonyng, I will that the demaunder be
chaunged: bicause I would not be thought presumptuous, the which I have
alwaies blamed in other: therfore, I resigne the Dictatorship, and give
this aucthoritie to hym that will have it, of these my other frendes.

ZANOBI. We would be moste glad, that you should procede, but seyng that
you will not, yet tell at leaste, whiche of us shall succede in your

COSIMO. I will give this charge to signor Fabricio.

FABRICIO. I am content to take it, and I will that we folowe the
Venecian custome, that is, that the youngeste speake firste: bicause
this beyng an exercise for yong men, I perswade my self, that yong
menne, bee moste apt to reason thereof, as thei be moste readie to
execute it.

COSIMO. Then it falleth to you Luigi: and as I have pleasure of soche a
successour, so you shal satisfie your self of soche a demaunder:
therefore I praie you, let us tourne to the matter, and let us lese no
more tyme.

[Sidenote: The greateste disorder that is used now a daies in pitching
of a fielde; The order how a Romain Legion was appoincted to faight; The
maner that the Grekes used in their Falangi, when thei fought against
their enemies; The order that the Suizzers use in their main battailes
when thei faight; Howe to appoincte a main battaile with armour and
weapons, and to order thesame after the Greke and Romain maner.]

FABRICIO. I am certain, that to mynde to shewe wel, how an armie is
prepared, to faight a fielde, it should be necessarie to declare, how
the Grekes, and the Romaines ordeined the bandes of their armies:
Notwithstandyng, you your selves, beeyng able to rede, and to consider
these tnynges, by meanes of the auncient writers. I will passe over many
particulars: and I will onely bryng in those thynges, whiche I thinke
necessarie to imitate, mindyng at this tyme, to give to our exercise of
warre, some parte of perfection: The whiche shall make, that in one
instant, I shall shewe you, how an armie is prepared to the field, and
how it doeth incounter in the verie faight, and how it maie be exercised
in the fained. The greatest disorder, that thei make, whiche ordeine an
armie to the fielde, is in giving them onely one fronte, and to binde
them to one brunt, and to one fortune: the whiche groweth, of havyng
loste the waie, that the antiquitie used to receive one bande within an
other: bicause without this waie, thei can neither succour the formoste,
nor defende them, nor succede in the faight in their steede: the whiche
of the Romaines, was moste excellently well observed. Therefore,
purposyng to shewe this waie, I saie, how that the Romaines devided into
iii. partes every Legion, in Hastati, Prencipi, and Triarii, of which,
the Hastati wer placed in the first front, or forward of the armie, with
thorders thicke and sure, behinde whom wer the Prencipi, but placed with
their orders more thinne: after these, thei set the Triarii, and with so
moche thinnes of orders, that thei might, if nede wer, receive betwene
them the Prencipi, and the Hastati. Thei had besides these, the
Slingers, and Crosbowshoters, and the other lighte armed, the whiche
stoode not in these orders, but thei placed them in the bed of tharmie,
betwene the horses and the other bandes of footemen: therefore these
light armed, began the faight, if thei overcame (whiche happened seldom
times) thei folowed the victorie: if thei were repulced, thei retired by
the flanckes of the armie, or by the spaces ordained for soche purposes,
and thei brought them selves emong the unarmed: after the departure of
whom, the Hastati incountered with the enemie, the whiche if thei saw
themselves to be overcome, thei retired by a little and little, by the
rarenesse of thorders betwene the Prencipi, and together with those,
thei renued the faight if these also wer repulced, thei retired al in
the rarenesse of the orders of the Triarii, and al together on a heape,
began againe the faight: and then, if thei were overcome, there was no
more remeady, bicause there remained no more waies to renue them again.
The horses stoode on the corners of the armie, to the likenes of twoo
winges to a bodie, and somewhiles thei fought with the enemies horses,
an other while, thei rescued the fotmen, according as nede required.
This waie of renuyng theim selves three tymes, is almoste impossible to
overcome: for that, fortune muste three tymes forsake thee, and the
enemie to have so moche strengthe, that three tymes he maie overcome
thee. The Grekes, had not in their Falangi, this maner of renuyng them
selves, and although in those wer many heddes, and many orders,
notwithstandyng, thei made one bodie, or els one hedde: the maner that
thei kepte in rescuyng the one the other was, not to retire the one
order within the other, as the Romaines, but to enter the one manne into
the place of the other: the which thei did in this maner. Their Falange
brought into rankes, and admit, that thei put in a ranke fiftie menne,
commyng after with their hedde againste the enemie, of all the rankes
the foremoste sixe, mighte faight: Bicause their Launces, the whiche
thei called Sarisse, were so long, that the sixt ranke, passed with the
hedde of their Launces, out of the first ranke: then in faightyng, if
any of the first, either through death, or through woundes fell,
straight waie there entered into his place, thesame man, that was
behinde in the second ranke, and in the place that remained voide of the
seconde, thesame man entred, whiche was behind hym in the thirde, and
thus successively, in a sodaine the rankes behinde, restored the faultes
of those afore, so that the rankes alwaies remained whole, and no place
of the faighters was voide, except the laste rankes, the whiche came to
consume, havyng not menne behinde their backes, whom might restore
theim: So that the hurte that the first rankes suffered, consumed the
laste, and the firste remained alwaies whole: and thus these Falangi by
their order, might soner be consumed, then broken, for that the grosse
bodie, made it more immovable. The Romaines used at the beginnyng the
Falangi, and did set in order their Legions like unto them: after, this
order pleased them not, and thei devided the Legions into many bodies,
that is, in bandes and companies: Bicause thei judged (as a little afore
I saied) that thesame bodie, should have neede of many capitaines, and
that it should be made of sunderie partes, so that every one by it self,
might be governed. The maine battailes of the Suizzers, use at this
present, all the maners of the Falangi, as well in ordryng it grosse,
and whole, as in rescuyng the one the other: and in pitchyng the field,
thei set the main battailes, thone to the sides of the other: and though
thei set them the one behinde the other, thei have no waie, that the
firste retiryng it self, maie bee received of the seconde, but thei use
this order, to the entent to bee able to succour the one thother, where
thei put a maine battaile before, and an other behinde thesame on the
right hande: so that if the first have nede of helpe, that then the
other maie make forewarde, and succour it: the third main battaile, thei
put behind these, but distant from them, a Harkebus shot: this thei doe,
for that thesaid two main battailes being repulced, this maie make
forwarde, and have space for theim selves, and for the repulced, and
thesame that marcheth forward, to avoide the justling of the one the
other: for asmoche as a grosse multitude, cannot bee received as a
little bodie: and therefore, the little bodies beyng destincte, whiche
were in a Romaine Legion, might be placed in soche wise, that thei might
receive betwene theim, and rescue the one the other. And to prove this
order of the Suizzers not to be so good, as the auncient Romaines, many
insamples of the Romain Legions doe declare, when thei fought with the
Grekes Falangi, where alwaies thei were consumed of theim: for that the
kinde of their weapons (as I have said afore) and this waie of renuyng
themselves, could do more, then the massivenesse of the Falangi. Havyng
therefore, with these insamples to ordaine an armie, I have thought
good, partly to retaine the maner of armyng and the orders of the Grekes
Falangi, and partely of the Romain Legions: and therfore I have saied,
that I would have in a main battaile, twoo thousande pikes, whiche be
the weapons of the Macedonicall Falangi, and three thousande Targaettes
with sweardes, whiche be the Romain weapons: I have devided the main
battaile, into x. battailes, as the Romaines their Legion into ten
Cohortes: I have ordeined the Veliti, that is the light armed, to begin
the faight, as the Romaines used: and like as the weapons beyng mingled,
doe participate of thone and of the other nacion, so the orders also doe
participate: I have ordained, that every battaile shall have v. rankes
of Pikes in the fronte, and the rest of Targaettes, to bee able with the
front, to withstande the horses, and to enter easely into the battaile
of the enemies on foot, having in the firste fronte, or vawarde, Pikes,
as well as the enemie, the whiche shall suffice me to withstande them,
the Targaettes after to overcome theim. And if you note the vertue of
this order, you shal se al these weapons, to doe fully their office, for
that the Pikes, bee profitable against the horses, and when thei come
against the footemenne, thei dooe their office well, before the faight
throng together, bicause so sone as thei presse together, thei become
unprofitable: wherefore, the Suizzers to avoide this inconvenience, put
after everye three rankes of Pikes, a ranke of Halberdes, the whiche
they do to make roome to the Pikes, which is not yet so much as
suffiseth. Then putting our Pikes afore, and the Targaettes behinde,
they come to withstande the horses, and in the beginning of the fight,
they open the rayes, and molest the footemen: But when the fight is
thrust together, and that they become unprofitable, the Targaettes and
swoords succeede, which may in every narowe place be handled.

LUIGI. Wee looke nowe with desire to understande, howe you would ordeyne
the armie to fighte the fielde, with these weapons, and with these

[Sidenote: The nomber of men that was in a Counsulles armie; How the
Romaines placed their Legions in the field; How to order an armie in the
fielde to fighte a battaile, according to the minde of the authour; How
the extraordinary pikes bee placed in the set battaile; The place where
thextraordinarie archars and harkebutters, and the men of armes and
lighte horsmen ought to stande when the field is pitched, and goeth to
faighte the battaile; The ordinarie archars and harkebutters are placed
aboute their owne battailes; The place where the generall hedde of a
maine battaile muste stande, when thesame power of men is appoincted to
faight; What menne a general capitain of a maine battaile oughte to have
aboute hym; The place wher a general capitain of all thearmie must stand
when the battaile is ready to be fought and what nomber of chosen men
oughte to be aboute hym; How many canons is requisite for an armie, and
of what sise they ought to bee; Where the artillerie ought to be placed
when thearmie is reedie to fight; An armie that were ordered as above is
declared, maie in fighting, use the Grekes maner, and the Roman fashion;
To what purpose the spaces that be betwene every bande of men do serve.]

FABRICIO. And I will not nowe shewe you other, then this: you have to
understande, how that in an ordinarye Romane armie, which they call a
Consull armie, there were no more, then twoo Legions of Romane Citezens
which were sixe hundred horse, and about aleven thousande footemen: they
had besides as many more footemen and horsemen, whiche were sente them
from their friends and confiderates, whome they divided into twoo
partes, and called the one, the right horne and the other the left
horne: nor they never permitted, that these aiding footemen, should
passe the nomber of the footemen of their Legions, they were well
contented, that the nomber of those horse shoulde be more then theirs:
with this armie, which was of xxii. thousand footemen, and about twoo
thousande good horse, a Consul executed all affaires, and went to all
enterprises: yet when it was needefull to set against a greater force,
twoo Consulles joyned together with twoo armies. You ought also to note
in especially, that in all the three principall actes, which an armie
doth that is, to march, to incampe, and to fight, the Romanes used to
put their Legions in the middeste, for that they woulde, that the same
power, wherein they most trusted, shoulde bee moste united, as in the
reasoning of these three actes, shall be shewed you: those aiding
footemen, through the practise they had with the Legion Souldiours, were
as profitable as they, because they were instructed, according as the
souldiours of the Legions were, and therefore, in like maner in pitching
the field, they pitched. Then he that knoweth how the Romaines disposed
a Legion in their armie, to fight a field, knoweth how they disposed
all: therefor, having tolde you how they devided a Legion into three
bandes, and how the one bande received the other, I have then told you,
how al tharmie in a fielde, was ordained. Wherefore, I minding to ordain
a field like unto the Romaines, as they had twoo Legions, I will take
ii. main batailes, and these being disposed, the disposicion of all an
armie shalbe understode therby: bycause in joyning more men, there is no
other to be doen, then to ingrosse the orders: I thinke I neede not to
rehearse how many men a maine battaile hath, and howe it hath ten
battailes, and what heades bee in a battaile and what weapons they have,
and which be the ordinarie Pikes and Veliti, and which the
extraordinarie for that a litle a fore I told you it destinctly, and I
willed you to kepe it in memorie as a necessarie thing to purpose, to
understande all the other orders: and therfore I will come to the
demonstracion of the order without repeating it any more: Me thinkes
good, that the ten battailes of one main battaile be set on the left
flanke, and the tenne other, of the other main battaile, on the right:
these that are placed on the left flanke, be ordeined in this maner,
there is put five battailes the one to the side of the other in the
fronte, after suche sorte, that betweene the one and the other, there
remaine a space of three yardes, whiche come to occupie for largenesse
Cvi. yardes, of ground, and for length thirtie: behinde these five
battailes, I would put three other distante by right line from the
firste thirtie yardes: twoo of the whiche, should come behinde by right
line, to the uttermoste of the five, and the other should kepe the space
in the middeste, and so these three, shall come to occupie for bredth
and length, as moche space, as the five doeth. But where the five have
betwene the one, and the other, a distaunce of three yardes, these shall
have a distance of xxv. yardes. After these, I would place the twoo last
battailes, in like maner behinde the three by right line, and distaunte
from those three, thirtie yardes, and I would place eche of theim,
behinde the uttermoste part of the three, so that the space, whiche
should remain betwen the one and the other, should be lxviii. yardes:
then al these battailes thus ordered, will take in bredth Cvi. yardes,
and in length CL. Thextraordinarie Pikes, I would deffende a long the
flanckes of these battailes, on the left side, distante from them
fiftene yardes, makyng Cxliij. rankes, seven to a ranke, after soche
sorte, that thei maie impale with their length, all the left sixe of the
tenne battailes in thesame wise, declared of me to be ordained: and
there shall remain fourtie rankes to keepe the carriages, and the
unarmed, whiche ought to remaine in the taile of the armie, distributyng
the Peticapitaines, and the Centurions, in their places: and of the
three Conestables, I would place one in the hedde, the other in the
middeste, the third in the laste ranke, the whiche should execute the
office of a Tergiductore, whom the antiquitie so called hym, that was
appoincted to the backe of the armie. But retournyng to the hedde of the
armie, I saie how that I would place nere to the extraordinarie pikes,
the Veliti extraordinarie, whiche you knowe to be five hundred, and I
would give them a space of xxx. yardes: on the side of these likewise on
the left hande, I would place the menne of armes, and I would thei
should have a space of a Cxii. yardes: after these, the light horsemen,
to whom I would appoinct as moche ground to stande in, as the menne of
armes have: the ordinarie veliti, I would leave about their owne
battailes, who should stand in those spaces, whiche I appoincte betwene
thone battaile and thother: whom should be as their ministers, if
sometyme I thought not good to place them under the extraordinarie
Pikes: in dooyng or not doyng whereof, I would proceade, accordyng as
should tourne best to my purpose. The generall hedde of all the maine
battaile, I would place in thesame space, that were betwene the first
and the seconde order of the battailes, or els in the hedde, and in
thesame space, that is betwene the laste battaile of the firste five,
and the extraordinarie Pikes, accordyng as beste should serve my
purpose, with thirtie or fourtie chosen men about hym, that knewe by
prudence, how to execute a commission, and by force, to withstande a
violence, and thei to be also betwen the Drumme and the Ansigne: this is
thorder, with the whiche I would dispose a maine battaile, whiche should
bee the disposyng of halfe the armie, and it should take in breadth
three hundred fourscore and twoo yardes, and in length as moche as above
is saied, not accomptyng the space, that thesame parte of the
extraordinarie Pikes will take, whiche muste make a defence for the
unarmed, whiche will bee aboute lxxv. yardes: the other maine battaile,
I would dispose on the righte side, after the same maner juste, as I
have disposed that on the lefte, leavyng betwene the one main battaile,
and thother, a space of xxii. yardes: in the hedde of whiche space, I
would set some little carriages of artillerie, behynde the whiche,
should stande the generall capitaine of all the armie, and should have
about hym with the Trumpet, and with the Capitaine standerde, twoo
hundred menne at least, chosen to be on foote the moste parte, emongest
whiche there should be tenne or more, mete to execute all
commaundementes, and should bee in soche wise a horsebacke, and armed,
that thei mighte bee on horsebacke, and on foote, accordyng as neede
should require. The artillerie of the armie, suffiseth ten Cannons, for
the winning of Townes, whose shotte shoulde not passe fiftie pounde: the
whiche in the fielde should serve mee more for defence of the campe,
then for to fight the battaile: The other artillerie, should bee rather
of ten, then of fifteene pounde the shotte: this I would place afore on
the front of all the armie, if sometime the countrie should not stande
in such wise, that I mighte place it by the flancke in a sure place,
where it mighte not of the enemie be in daunger: this fashion of an
armie thus ordered, may in fighting, use the order of the Falangi, and
the order of the Romane Legions: for that in the fronte, bee Pikes, all
the men bee set in the rankes, after such sorte, that incountering with
the enemie, and withstanding him, maye after the use of the Falangi,
restore the firste ranckes, with those behinde: on the other parte, if
they be charged so sore, that they be constrayned to breake the orders,
and to retire themselves, they maye enter into the voide places of the
seconde battailes, which they have behinde them, and unite their selves
with them, and making a new force, withstande the enemie, and overcome
him: and when this sufficeth not, they may in the verie same maner,
retire them selves the seconde time, and the third fight: so that in
this order, concerning to fight, there is to renue them selves, both
according to the Greeke maner, and according to the Romane: concerning
the strength of the armie, there cannot be ordayned a more stronger: for
as much, as the one and the other borne therof, is exceedingly well
replenished, both with heades, and weapons, nor there remayneth weake,
other then the part behinde of the unarmed, and the same also, hath the
flanckes impaled with the extraordinarie Pikes: nor the enemie can not
of anye parte assaulte it, where he shall not finde it well appointed,
and the hinder parte can not be assaulted: Because there can not bee an
enemie, that hath so much puissaunce, whome equallye maye assault thee
on everye side: for that hee having so great a power, thou oughtest not
then to matche thy selfe in the fielde with him: but when he were three
times more then thou, and as well appointed as thou, hee doth weaken him
selfe in assaulting thee in divers places, one part that thou breakest,
will cause all the reste go to naughte: concerning horses, although he
chaunce to have more then thine, thou needest not feare: for that the
orders of the Pikes, which impale thee, defende thee from all violence
of them, although thy horses were repulced. The heades besides this, be
disposed in such place, that they may easyly commaunde, and obeye: the
spaces that bee between the one battaile, and the other, and betweene
the one order, and the other, not onely serve to be able to receyve the
one the other, but also to give place to the messengers, whiche should
go and come by order of the Capitayne. And as I tolde you firste, howe
the Romanes had for an armie, aboute foure and twentie thousande men,
even so this oughte to bee: and as the other souldiours tooke ensample
of the Legions, for the maner of fighting, and the fashion of the armie,
so those souldiours, whiche you shoulde joyne to oure twoo mayne
battailes, oughte to take the forme and order of them: whereof having
put you an ensample, it is an easye matter to imitate it, for that
increasing, either twoo other mayne battailes unto the armie, or as many
other souldiours, as they bee, there is no other to bee done, then to
double the orders, and where was put tenne battailes on the lefte parte,
to put twentie, either ingrossing, or distending the orders, according
as the place, or the enemie shoulde compell thee.

LUIGI. Surelye sir I imagine in suche wise of this armie, that mee
thinkes I nowe see it, and I burne with a desire to see it incounter,
and I woulde for nothing in the worlde, that you shoulde become Fabius
Maximus intendyng to kepe the enemie at a baie, and to deferre the daie
of battaile: bicause I would saie worse of you, then the Romain people
saied of hym.

[Sidenote: The descripcion of a battaile that is a faightyng.]

FABRICIO. Doubt not: Doe you not heare the artillerie? Ours have alredie
shotte, but little hurte the enemie: and thextraordinarie Veliti,
issuyng out of their places together with the light horsemen, moste
speadely, and with moste merveilous furie, and greateste crie that maie
be, thei assaulte the enemie: whose artillerie hath discharged ones, and
hath passed over the heddes of our footemen, without doyng them any
hurt, and bicause it cannot shoote the seconde tyme, the Veliti, and our
horsemen, have nowe gotten it, and the enemies for to defende it, are
come fore warde, so that neither our ordinaunce, nor thenemies, can any
more doe their office. Se with how moche vertue, strengthe and agilitie
our men faighteth, and with how moche knowledge through the exercise,
whiche hath made them to abide, and by the confidence, that thei have in
the armie, the whiche, see, how with the pace therof, and with the men
of armes on the sides, it marcheth in good order, to give the charge on
the adversarie: See our artillerie, whiche to give theim place, and to
leave them the space free, is retired by thesame space, from whens the
Veliti issued: See how the capitaine incourageth them, sheweth them the
victorie certain: See how the Veliti and light horsemen bee inlarged,
and retourned on the flanckes of tharmie, to seke and view, if thei maie
by the flanck, doe any injurie to the adversaries: behold how the armies
be affronted. Se with how moche valiauntnesse thei have withstode the
violence of thenemies, and with how moche silence, and how the capitain
commaundeth the menne of armes, that thei sustain, and not charge, and
that thei breake not from the order of the footemen: see how our light
horsemen be gone, to give the charge on a band of the enemies
Harkebutters, whiche would have hurt our men by flancke, and how the
enemies horse have succoured them, so that tourned betwene the one and
the other horse, thei cannot shoote, but are faine to retire behinde
their owne battaile: see with what furie our Pikes doe also affront, and
how the footemen be now so nere together the one to the other, that the
Pikes can no more be occupied: so that according to the knowlege learned
of us, our pikes do retire a little and a little betwen the targaettes.
Se how in this while a great bande of men of armes of the enemies, have
charged our men of armes on the lefte side, and how ours, accordyng to
knowlege, bee retired under the extraordinarie Pikes, and with the help
of those, giving again a freshe charge, have repulced the adversaries,
and slain a good part of them: in so moche, that thordinarie pikes of
the first battailes, be hidden betwene the raies of the Targaettes, thei
havyng lefte the faight to the Targaet men: whom you maie see, with how
moche vertue, securitie, and leasure, thei kill the enemie: see you not
how moche by faightyng, the orders be thrust together? That thei can
scarse welde their sweardes? Behold with how moche furie the enemies
move: bicause beyng armed with the pike, and with the swerd unprofitable
(the one for beyng to long, the other for findyng thenemie to well
armed) in part thei fall hurt or dedde, in parte thei flie. See, thei
flie on the righte corner, thei flie also on the lefte: behold, the
victorie is ours. Have not we wonne a field moste happely? But with more
happinesse it should bee wonne, if it were graunted me to put it in
acte. And see, how there neded not the helpe of the seconde, nor of the
third order, for our first fronte hath sufficed to overcome theim: in
this part, I have no other to saie unto you, then to resolve if any
doubt be growen you.

[Sidenote: Questions concerning the shotyng of ordinaunce.]

LUIGI. You have with so moche furie wonne this fielde that I so moche
mervaile and am so astonied, that I beleve that I am not able to
expresse, if any doubt remain in my mynde: yet trustyng in your
prudence, I will be so bolde to tell thesame that I understande. Tell me
firste, why made you not your ordinaunce to shoote more then ones? And
why straighte waie you made them to retire into tharmie, nor after made
no mension of them? Me thought also, that you leveled the artillerie of
the enemie high, and appoincted it after your own devise: the whiche
might very well bee, yet when it should happen, as I beleve it chaunseth
often, that thei strike the rankes, what reamedie have you? And seyng
that I have begun of the artillerie, I will finishe all this question,
to the intente I nede not to reason therof any more. I have heard many
dispraise the armours, and the orders of the aunciente armies, arguyng,
how now a daies, thei can doe little, but rather should bee altogether
unprofitable, havyng respecte to the furie of the artillerie: bicause,
this breaketh the orders, and passeth the armours in soche wise, that it
semeth unto them a foolishenesse to make an order, whiche cannot bee
kepte, and to take pain to beare a harneis, that cannot defende a man.

[Sidenote: An aunswere to the questions that were demaunded, concernyng
the shoting of ordinaunce; The best remedie to avoide the hurte that the
enemie in the fielde maie doe with his ordinaunce; A policie against
bowes and dartes; Nothyng causeth greater confusion in an armie, than to
hinder mennes fightes; Nothing more blindeth the sight of men in an
armie, then the smoke of ordinaunce; A policie to trouble the enemies
sight; The shotte of greate ordinaunce in the fielde, is not moche to
bee feared of fotemenne; Bicause menne of armes stand closer together
then light horsmen, thei ought to remaine behinde the armie till the
enemies ordinaunce have done shootyng; The artillerie is no let, why the
auncient orders of warfar ought not to be used in these daies.]

FABRICIO. This question of yours (bicause it hath many heddes) hath
neede of a long aunswere. It is true, that I made not thartillery to
shoote more than ones, and also of thesame ones, I stoode in doubte: the
occasion was, for asmoche as it importeth more, for one to take hede not
to be striken, then it importeth to strike the enemie. You have to
understande, that to purpose that a pece of ordinaunce hurte you not, it
is necessarie either to stande where it cannot reche you, or to get
behinde a wall, or behinde a banke: other thing there is not that can
witholde it: and it is nedefull also, that the one and the other be
moste strong. Those capitaines whiche come to faight a field, cannot
stand behind a wal, or behind bankes, nor where thei maie not be
reached: therfore it is mete for them, seyng thei cannot finde a waie to
defende them, to finde some mean, by the whiche thei maie be least
hurte: nor thei cannot finde any other waie, then to prevente it
quickly: the waie to prevent it, is to go to finde it out of hande, and
hastely, not at leasure and in a heape: for that through spede, the
blowe is not suffered to bee redoubled, and by the thinnesse, lesse
nomber of menne maie be hurt. This, a bande of menne ordered, cannot
dooe; bicause if thesame marche hastely, it goweth out of order: if it
go scattered, the enemie shall have no paine to breake it, for that it
breaketh by it self: and therfore, I ordered the armie after soche
sorte, that it might dooe the one thyng and the other: for as moche as
havyng set in the corners thereof, a thousande Veliti, I appoincted that
after that our ordinaunce had shotte, thei should issue out together
with the light horsemen, to get the enemies artillerie: and therfore, I
made not my ordinance to shoote again, to the intente, to give no tyme
to the enemie to shoote: Bicause space could not be given to me, and
taken from other men, and for thesame occasion, where I made my
ordinaunce not to shoote the seconde tyme, was for that I would not have
suffered the enemie to have shot at al, if I had could: seyng that to
mynde that the enemies artillerie be unprofitable, there is no other
remedie, but to assaulte it spedely: for as moche as if the enemies
forsake it, thou takeste it, if thei will defende it, it is requisite
that thei leave it behind, so that being possessed of enemies, and of
frendes, it cannot shoote. I would beleve, that with out insamples these
reasons should suffice you, yet beyng able to shewe olde ensamples, to
prove my saiynges true, I will. Ventidio commyng to faight a field with
the Parthians, whose strength for the moste part, consisted in bowes and
arrowes, he suffered theim almoste to come harde to his campe, before he
drewe out his armie, the whiche onely he did, to be able quickly to
prevent them: and not to give them space to shoote. Cesar when he was in
Fraunce, maketh mencion, that in faighting a battaile with the enemies,
he was with so moche furie assaulted of them, that his menne had no time
to whorle their Dartes, accordyng to the custome of the Romaines:
wherfore it is seen, that to intende, that a thyng that shooteth farre
of, beyng in the field, doe not hurte thee, there is no other remedy,
then with as moche celeritie as maie bee, to prevente it. An other cause
moved me to procede, without shotyng the ordinaunce, whereat
peradventure you will laugh: yet I judge not that it is to be
dispraised. Ther is nothyng that causeth greater confusion in an armie,
then to hinder mennes fightes: whereby many moste puisaunte armies have
been broken, by meanes their fighte hath been letted, either with duste,
or with the Sunne: yet there is nothyng, that more letteth the sight
then the smoke that the artillerie maketh in shotyng: therfore, I would
thinke that it wer more wisedome, to suffer the enemie to blinde
hymself, then to purpose (thou being blind) to go to finde hym: for this
cause, either I would not shote, or (for that this should not be proved,
considering the reputacion that the artillerie hath) I would place it on
the corners of the armie, so that shootyng, it should not with the smoke
thereof, blinde the front of thesame, whiche is the importaunce of my
men. And to prove that it is a profitable thyng, to let the sight of the
enemie, there maie be brought for insample Epaminondas, whom to blind
the enemies armie, whiche came to faight with hym, he caused his light
horsemen, to run before the fronte of the enemies, to raise up the
duste, and to lette their sight, whereby he gotte the victorie. And
where it semeth unto you, that I have guided the shot of the artillerie,
after my owne devise, making it to passe over the heddes of my men, I
answer you, that most often tymes, and without comparison, the greate
ordinaunce misse the footemen, moche soner than hitte theim: for that
the footemen are so lowe, and those so difficult to shoote; that every
little that thou raisest theim, thei passe over the heddes of men: and
if thei be leveled never so little to lowe, thei strike in the yearth,
and the blowe cometh not to theim: also the unevenesse of the grounde
saveth them, for that every little hillocke, or high place that is,
betwene the men and thordinance, letteth the shot therof. And concernyng
horsmen, and in especially men of armes, bicause thei ought to stand
more close together, then the light horsemen, and for that thei are
moche higher, maie the better be stroken, thei maie, untill the
artillerie have shotte, be kepte in the taile of the armie. True it is,
that the Harkebutters doe moche more hurt, and the field peces, then the
greate ordinance, for the whiche, the greatest remedy is, to come to
hande strokes quickly: and if in the firste assaulte, there be slaine
some, alwaies there shall bee slaine: but a good capitaine, and a good
armie, ought not to make a coumpte of a hurte, that is particulare, but
of a generall, and to imitate the Suizzers, whom never eschue to faight,
beyng made afraied of the artillerie: but rather punishe with death
those, whiche for feare thereof, either should go out of the ranke, or
should make with his body any signe of feare. I made them (so sone as
thei had shotte) to bee retired into the armie, that thei might leave
the waie free for the battaile: I made no more mencion of theim, as of a
thyng unprofitable, the faight beyng begun. You have also saied, that
consideryng the violence of this instrument, many judge the armours, and
the auncient orders to be to no purpose, and it semeth by this your
talke, that men now a daies, have founde orders and armours, whiche are
able to defend them against the artillerie: if you knowe this, I would
bee glad that you would teache it me: for that hetherto, I never sawe
any, nor I beleve that there can any be founde: so that I would
understande of soche men, for what cause the souldiours on foote in
these daies, weare the breastplate, or the corselet of steele, and thei
on horsebacke go all armed: bicause seyng that thei blame the aunciente
armyng of men as unprofitable, considryng the artillery, thei ought to
despise also this? I would understande moreover, for what occasion the
Suizzers, like unto the auncient orders, make a battaile close together
of sixe, or eight thousande menne, and for what occasion all other have
imitated theim, this order bearyng the verie same perill, concernyng the
artillerie, that those other should beare, whiche should imitate the
antiquitie. I beleve thei should not knowe what to answere: but if you
should aske soche Souldiours, as had some judgement, thei would aunswere
first, that thei go armed, for that though thesame armoure defende theim
not from the artillerie: it defendeth them from crossebowes, from Pikes,
from sweardes, from stones, and from all other hurt, that commeth from
the enemies, thei would answere also, that thei went close together,
like the Suizzers, to be able more easely to overthrow the footemen, to
be able to withstand better the horse and to give more difficultie to
the enemie to breake them: so that it is seen, that the souldiours have
to fear, many other thynges besides the ordinance: from which thynges,
with the armours, and with the orders, thei are defended: whereof
foloweth, that the better that an armie is armed, and the closer that it
hath the orders, and stronger, so moche the surer it is: so that he that
is of thesame opinion, that you saie, it behoveth either that he bee of
smalle wisedome, or that in this thyng, he hath studied verie little:
for as moche as if we see, that so little a parte of the aunciente maner
of armyng, whiche is used now a daies, that is the pike, and so little a
parte of those orders, as are the maine battailes of the Suizzers, dooe
us so moche good, and cause our armies to bee so strong, why ought not
we to beleve, that the other armours, and thother orders whiche are
lefte, be profitable? Seyng that if we have no regard to the artillerie,
in puttyng our selves close together, as the Suizzers, what other orders
maie make us more to feare thesame? For as moche as no order can cause
us so moche to feare thesame, as those, whiche bryng men together.
Besides this, if the artillerie of the enemies should not make me
afraied, in besiegyng a Toune, where it hurteth me with more safegarde,
beyng defended of a wall, I beyng not able to prevente it, but onely
with tyme, with my artillerie to lette it, after soche sorte that it
maie double the blowe as it liste, why should I feare thesame in the
field, where I maie quickly prevent it? So that I conclude thus, that
the artillerie, according to my opinion, doeth not let, that the
aunciente maners cannot be used, and to shewe the auncient vertue: and
if I had not talked alreadie with you of this instrument, I would of
thesame, declare unto you more at length: but I will remit my self to
that, whiche then I saied.

LUIGI. Wee maie now understande verie well, how moche you have aboute
the artillerie discoursed: and in conclusion, my thinkes you have
shewed, that the preventyng it quickly, is the greatest remedie, that
maie be had for thesame, beyng in the fielde, and havyng an armie
againste you. Upon the whiche there groweth in me a doubte: bicause me
thinkes, that the enemie might place his ordinaunce in soche wise, in
his armie, that it should hurt you, and should be after soche sort
garded of the footemen, that it could not be prevented. You have (if you
remember your self well) in the orderyng of your armie to faight, made
distaunces of three yardes, betwene the one battaile and the other,
makyng those distaunces fiftene, whiche is from the battailes, to
thextraordinarie pikes: if thenemie, shuld order his armie like unto
yours, and should putte the artillerie a good waie within those spaces,
I beleve that from thens, it should hurte you with their moste greate
safegard: bicause menne can not enter into the force of their enemies to
prevent it.

[Sidenote: A generall rule againste soche thynges as cannot bee

FABRICIO. You doubt moste prudently, and I will devise with my self,
either to resolve you the doubte, or shewe you the remedie: I have tolde
you, that continually these battailes, either through goyng, or thorowe
faightyng, are movyng, and alwaies naturally, thei come to drawe harde
together, so that if you make the distaunces of a small breadth, where
you set the artillerie, in a little tyme thei be shootte up, after soche
sort, that the artillerie cannot any more shoote: if you make theim
large, to avoide this perill, you incurre into a greater, where you
through those distances, not onely give commoditie to the enemie, to
take from you the artillerie, but to breake you: but you have to
understande, that it is impossible to keepe the artillerie betwene the
bandes, and in especially those whiche go on carriages: For that the
artillerie goeth one waie, and shooteth an other waie: So that havyng to
go and to shoote, it is necessary, before thei shote, that thei tourne,
and for to tourne theim, thei will have so moche space, that fiftie
cartes of artillerie, would disorder any armie: therfore, it is mete to
kepe them out of the bandes, where thei may be overcome in the maner, as
a little afore we have shewed: but admit thei might be kept, and that
there might be found a waie betwen bothe, and of soche condicion, that
the presyng together of men should not hinder the artillerie, and were
not so open that it should give waie to the enemie, I saie, that it is
remedied moste easely, with makyng distances in thy armie against it,
whiche maie give free passage to the shot of those, and so the violence
thereof shall come to be vain, the which maie be doen moste easely: for
asmoche, as the enemie mindyng to have his artillerie stand safe, it
behoveth that he put them behinde, in the furthest part of the
distances, so that the shot of the same, he purposyng that thei hurt not
his owne men, ought to passe by right line, and by that very same
alwaies: and therefore with givyng theim place, easely thei maie bee
avoided: for that this is a generall rule, that to those thynges, whiche
cannot be withstoode, there must bee given waie, as the antiquitie made
to the Eliphantes, and to the carres full of hookes. I beleve, ye, I am
more then certaine, that it semeth unto you, that I have ordered and
wonne a battaile after my own maner: notwithstanding, I answeer unto you
this, when so moche as I have saied hetherto, should not suffice, that
it should be impossible, that an armie thus ordered, and armed, should
not overcome at the first incounter, any other armie that should bee
ordained, as thei order the armies now adaies, whom most often tymes,
make not but one front, havyng no targaettes, and are in soche wise
unarmed, that thei cannot defende themselves from the enemie at hand,
and thei order theim after soche sorte, that if thei set their battailes
by flanck, the one to the other, thei make the armie thinne: if thei put
the one behind the other, havyng no waie to receive the one the other,
thei doe it confusedly, and apt to be easly troubled: and although thei
give three names to their armies, and devide them into thre companies,
vaward, battaile, and rereward, notwithstandyng it serveth to no other
purpose, then to marche, and to distinguis the lodgynges: but in the
daie of battaile, thei binde them all to the first brunte, and to the
first fortune.

LUIGI. I have noted also in the faightyng of your fielde, how your
horsemen were repulced of the enemies horsemen: for whiche cause thei
retired to the extraordinaire Pikes: whereby grewe, that with the aide
of theim, thei withstode, and drave the enemies backe? I beleve that the
Pikes maie withstande the horses, as you saie, but in a grosse and
thicke maine battaile, as the Suizzers make: but you in your army, have
for the hedde five rankes of Pikes, and for the flancke seven, so that I
cannot tell how thei maie bee able to withstande them.

[Sidenote: A Battaile how greate so ever it bee, cannot atones occupy
above v. rankes of Pikes.]

FABRICIO. Yet I have told you, how sixe rankes of pikes wer occupied at
ones, in the Macedonicall Falangi, albeit you ought to understande, that
a maine battaile of Suizzers, if it were made of a thousande rankes, it
cannot occupie more then fower, or at the most five: bicause the Pikes
be sixe yardes and three quarters longe, one yarde and halfe a quarter,
is occupied of the handes, wherefore to the firste ranke, there
remaineth free five yardes and a half, and a halfe quarter of Pike: the
seconde ranke besides that whiche is occupied with the hande, consumeth
a yarde and half a quarter in the space, whiche remaineth betwene the
one ranke and thother: so that there is not left of pike profitable,
more then fower yardes and a halfe: to the thirde ranke, by this verie
same reason, there remaineth three yardes and a quarter and a halfe: to
the fowerth, twoo yardes and a quarter: to the fift one yard and halfe a
quarter: the other rankes, for to hurte, be unprofitable, but thei serve
to restore these firste rankes, as we have declared, and to bee a
fortificacion to those v. Then if five of their rankes can withstande
the horse, why cannot five of ours withstande theim? to the whiche also
there lacketh not rankes behinde, that doeth sustain and make them the
very same staie, although thei have no pikes as the other. And when the
rankes of thextraordinarie pikes, which are placed on the flanckes,
should seme unto you thinne, thei maie bee brought into a quadrante, and
put on the flancke nere the twoo battailes, whiche I set in the laste
companie of the armie: From the whiche place, thei maie easely
altogether succour the fronte, and the backe of the armie, and minister
helpe to the horses, accordyng as nede shall require.

LUIGI. Would you alwaies use this forme of order, when you would pitche
a fielde.

[Sidenote: An advertiement concernyng the pitchying of a field.]

FABRICIO. No in no wise: for that you ought to varie the facion of the
armie, according to the qualitie of the situacion, and the condicion and
quantitie of the enemie, as before this reasonyng dooe ende, shall bee
shewed certaine insamples: but this forme is given unto you, not so
moche as moste strongeste of all, where in deede it is verie strong, as
to the intente that thereby you maie take a rule, and an order to learne
to knowe the waies to ordeine the other: for as moche, as every science
hath his generalitie, upon the whiche a good part of it is grounded. One
thing onely I advise you, that you never order an armie, after soche
sorte, that those that faight afore, cannot bee sucoured of theim,
whiche be set behind: bicause he that committeth this errour, maketh the
greateste parte of his armie to bee unprofitable, and if it incounter
any strength, it cannot overcome.

LUIGI. There is growen in me, upon this parte a doubte. I have seen that
in the placyng of the battailes, you make the fronte of five on a side,
the middeste of three, and the last partes of twoo, and I beleve, that
it were better to ordain them contrariwise: for that I thinke, that an
armie should with more difficultie bee broken, when he that should
charge upon it, the more that he should entre into the-same, so moche
the stronger he should finde it: and the order devised of you, me
thinkes maketh, that the more it is entered into, so moche the weaker it
is founde.

[Sidenote: How the front of the armie ought to bee made; How the middell
part of the armie ought to be ordered.]

FABRICIO. If you should remember how to the Triarii, whom were the
thirde order of the Romain Legions, there were not assigned more then
sixe hundred men, you would doubt lesse, havyng understode how thei were
placed in the laste companie: For that you should see, how I moved of
this insample, have placed in the last companie twoo battailes, whiche
are nine hundred men, so that I come rather (folowyng the insample of
the Romaine people) to erre, for havyng taken to many, then to fewe: and
although this insample should suffice, I will tell you the reason, the
which is this. The first fronte of the armie, is made perfectly whole
and thicke, bicause it must withstande the brunt of the enemies, and it
hath not to receive in it any of their felowes: and for this, it is
fitte that it bee full of menne: bicause a fewe menne, should make it
weake, either thinnesse, or for lacke of sufficiente nomber: but the
seconde companie, for as moche as it must first receive their frendes,
to sustain the enemie, it is mete that it have greate spaces, and for
this it behoveth, that it be of lesse nomber then the first: for that if
it wer of greater nomber, or equall, it should bee conveniente, either
not to leave the distaunces, the whiche should be disorder, or leavyng
theim, to passe the boundes of thoseafore, the whiche should make the
facion of the armie unperfecte: and it is not true that you saie, that
the enemie, the more that he entereth into the maine battaile, so moche
the weaker he findeth it: for that the enemie, can never faight with the
seconde order, except the first be joined with thesame: so that he
cometh to finde the middest of the maine battaile more stronger, and not
more weaker, havyng to faight with the first, and with the seconde order
altogether: the verie same happeneth, when the enemie should come to the
thirde companie: for that there, not with twoo battailes, whiche is
founde freshe, but with all the maine battaile he must faight: and for
that this last part hath to receive moste men, the spaces therof is
requisite to be greatest, and that whiche receiveth them, to be the
leste nomber.

[Sidenote: The orderyng of the hinder part of tharmy.]

LUIGI. It pleaseth me thesame that you have told: but answere me also
this: if the five first battailes doe retire betwene the three seconde
battailes, and after the eight betwene the twoo thirde, it semeth not
possible, that the eight beyng brought together, and then the tenne
together, maie bee received when thei bee eight, or when thei be tenne
in the verie same space, whiche received the five.

[Sidenote: The retire of the Pikes, to place the Targaet men.]

FABRICIO. The first thyng that I aunswere is, that it is not the verie
same space: For that the five have fower spaces in the middeste, whiche
retiryng betwene the thre, or betwene the twoo, thei occupie: then there
remaineth thesame space, that is betwene the one maine battaile and
other and thesame that is, betwene the battailes, and the extraordinarie
Pikes, al the whiche spaces makes largenesse: besides this, it is to bee
considered, that the battailes kepe other maner of spaces, when thei bee
in the orders without beyng altered, then when thei be altered: for that
in the alteracion: either thei throng together, or thei inlarge the
orders: thei inlarge theim, when thei feare so moche, that thei fall to
fliyng, thei thrust them together, when thei feare in soche wise, that
thei seke to save them selves, not with runnyng a waie, but with
defence: So that in this case, thei should come to be destingueshed, and
not to be inlarged. Moreover, the five rankes of the Pikes, that are
before, so sone as thei have begun the faighte, thei ought betwene their
battailes to retire, into the taile of the armie, for to give place to
the Targaet men, that thei maie faighte: and thei goyng into the taile
of the armie, maie dooe soche service as the capitain should judge, were
good to occupie theim aboute, where in the forward, the faight beyng
mingled, thei should otherwise bee altogether unprofitable. And for this
the spaces ordained, come to bee for the remnaunte of the menne, wide
inough to receive them: yet when these spaces should not suffice, the
flankes on the sides be men, and not walles, whom givyng place, and
inlargyng them selves, maie make the space to containe so moche, that it
maie bee sufficient to receive theim.

[Sidenote: How the pikes that are placed on the flankes of the armie
ought to governe them selves when the rest of the armie is driven to

LUIGI. The rankes of the extraordinarie Pikes, whiche you place on the
flanckes of the armie, when the first battailes retire into the second,
will you have them to stande still, and remain with twoo homes to the
armie? Or will you that thei also retire together, with the battailes?
The whiche when thei should do, I see not how thei can, havyng no
battailes behinde with distaunces that maie receive them.

[Sidenote: Thexercise of the army in generall; The nomber that is mete
to be written in the Ansigne of every band of men; The degrees of
honours in an armie, whiche soche a man ought to rise by, as should bee
made a generall capitain.]

FABRICIO. If the enemie overcome theim not, when he inforceth the
battailes to retire, thei maie stande still in their order, and hurte
the enemie on the flanck, after that the firste battailes retired: but
if he should also overcome theim, as semeth reason, beyng so puisaunte,
that he is able to repulce the other, thei also ought to retire: whiche
thei maie dooe excellently well, although thei have not behinde, any to
receive them: bicause from the middest thei maie redouble by right line,
entring the one ranke into the other, in the maner whereof wee reasoned,
when it was spoken of the order of redoublyng: True it is, that to mynde
redoublyng to retire backe, it behoveth to take an other waie, then
thesame that I shewed you: for that I told you, that the second ranke,
ought to enter into the first, the fowerth into the thirde, and so
foorth: in this case, thei ought not to begin before, but behinde, so
that redoublyng the rankes, thei maie come to retire backewarde not to
tourne forward: but to aunswere to all thesame, that upon this foughten
field by me shewed, might of you bee replied. I saie unto you again,
that I have ordained you this armie, and shewed this foughten field for
two causes, thone, for to declare unto you how it is ordered, the other
to shewe you how it is exercised: thorder, I beleve you understande
moste well: and concernyng the exersice, I saie unto you, that thei
ought to be put together in this forme, as often times as maie be: for
as moche as the heddes learne therby, to kepe their battailes in these
orders: for that to particulare souldiours, it appertaineth to keepe
well the orders of every battaile, to the heddes of the battailes, it
appertaineth to keepe theim well in every order of the armie, and that
thei knowe how to obeie, at the commaundement of the generall capitain:
therefore, it is conveniente that thei knowe, how to joyne the one
battaile with thother, that thei maie knowe how to take their place
atones: and for this cause it is mete that thansigne of every battaile,
have written in some evident part, the nomber therof: as well for to be
able to commaunde them, as also for that the capitain, and the
souldiours by thesame nomber, maie more easely knowe theim againe: also
the maine battailes, ought to be nombred, and to have the nomber in
their principal Ansigne: Therefore it is requisite, to knowe of what
nomber the maine battaile shall be, that is placed on the left, or on
the right horne of what nombers the battailes bee, that are set in the
fronte, and in the middeste, and so foorthe of the other. The antiquitie
would also, that these nombers should bee steppes to degrees, of honors
of the armies: as for insample, the first degree, is the Peticapitain,
the seconde, the hedde of fiftie ordinarie Veliti, the thirde, the
Centurion, the fowerth, the hedde of the first battaile, the fifte, of
the second, the sixt, of the thirde, and so forthe, even to the tenth
battaile, the whiche must be honoured in the seconde place, nexte the
generall capitaine of a maine battaile: nor any ought to come to thesame
hedde, if first, he have not risen up by all these degrees. And bicause
besides these heddes, there be the three Conestables of the
extraordinarie Pikes, and twoo of the extraordinarie Veliti, I would
that thei should be in the same degree of the Conestable of the first
battaile: nor I would not care, that there were sixe men of like degree,
to thintent, that every one of them might strive, who should doe beste,
for to be promised to be hedde of the seconde battaile. Then every one
of these heddes, knowyng in what place his battaile ought to be sette
in, of necessitie it must folowe, that at a sounde of the Trompette, so
sone as the hedde standarde shall bee erected, all the armie shall be in
their places: and this is the first exercise, whereunto an armie ought
to bee accustomed, that is to set theim quickly together: and to doe
this, it is requisite every daie, and divers times in one daie, to set
them in order, and to disorder them.

LUIGI. What armes would you that thansignes of all the armie, shoul'd
have beside the nomber?

[Sidenote: The armes that oughte to bee in the standarde, and in the
ansignes of an armie; The second and thirde exercise of an armie; The
fowerth exercise of an armie; The soundes of the instrumentes of
musicke, that the antiquitie used in their armies; What is signified by
the sounde of the Trompet.]

FABRICIO. The standarde of the generall Capitaine oughte to have the
armes of the Prince of the armie, all the other, maie have the verie
same armes, and to varie with the fieldes, or to varie with the armes,
as should seme beste to the Lorde of the armie: Bicause this importeth
little, so that the effect growe, that thei be knowen the one from the
other. But let us passe to the other exercise: the which is to make them
to move, and with a convenient pace to marche, and to se, that marehyng
thei kepe the orders. The third exercise is, that thei learne to handle
themselves in thesame maner, whiche thei ought after to handle
theimselves in the daie of battaile, to cause the artillerie to shoote,
and to bee drawen out of the waie, to make the extraordinarie Veliti to
issue out, after a likenes of an assault, to retire theim: To make that
the firste battailes, as though thei wer sore charged, retire into the
spaces of the second: and after, all into the thirde, and from thens
every one to retourne to his place: and in soche wise to use theim in
this exercise, that to every manne, all thyng maie be knowen, and
familiar: the which with practise, and with familiaritie, is brought to
passe moste quickly. The fowerth exercise is, that thei learne to knowe
by meane of the sounde, and of the Ansigne, the commaundemente of their
capitaine: for as moche as that, whiche shall be to them pronounced by
voice, thei without other commaundemente, maie understande: and bicause
the importaunce of this commaundement, ought to growe of the sounde, I
shall tell you what soundes the antiquitie used. Of the Lacedemonians,
accordyng as Tucidido affirmeth, in their armies were used Flutes: for
that thei judged, that this armonie, was moste mete to make their armie
to procede with gravetie, and with furie: the Carthaginens beyng moved
by this verie same reason, in the first assaulte, used the violone.
Aliatte kyng of the Lidians, used in the warre the violone, and the
Flutes: but Alexander Magnus, and the Romaines, used hornes, and
Trumpettes, as thei, that thought by vertue of soche instrumentes, to
bee able to incourage more the myndes of Souldiours, and make theim to
faight the more lustely: but as we have in armyng the armie, taken of
the Greke maner, and of the Romaine, so in distrihutyng the soundes, we
will keepe the customes of the one, and of the other nacion: therefore,
nere the generall capitain, I would make the Trompettes to stand, as a
sounde not onely apt to inflame the armie, but apte to bee heard in all
the whole tumoult more, then any other sounde: all the other soundes,
whiche should bee aboute the Conestables, and the heddes of maine
battailes I would, that thei should bee smalle Drummes, and Flutes,
sounded not as thei sounde theim now but as thei use to sounde theim at
feastes. The capitaine then with the Trompet, should shewe when thei
must stande still, and go forward, or tourne backward, when the
artillerie must shoote, when the extraordinarie Veliti must move, and
with the varietie or distinccion of soche soundes, to shewe unto the
armie all those mocions, whiche generally maie bee shewed, the whiche
Trompettes, should bee after followed of the Drummes, and in this
exercise, bicause it importeth moche, it behoveth moche to exercise the
armie. Concernyng the horsemen, there would be used likewise Trompettes,
but of a lesse sounde, and of a divers voice from those of the
Capitaine. This is as moche as is come into my remembraunce, aboute the
order of the armie, and of the exercise of thesame.

LUIGI. I praie you let it not be grevous unto you to declare unto me an
other thyng, that is, for what cause you made the light horsmen, and the
extraordinarie Veliti, to goe with cries, rumours, and furie, when thei
gave the charge? And after in the incountering of the rest of tharmie,
you shewed, that the thing folowed with a moste greate scilence? And for
that I understande not the occasion of this varietie, I would desire
that you would declare it unto me.

[Sidenote: The cries, and rumours, wher with the firste charge is given
unto the enemies, and the silence that ought to bee used after, when the
faight is ones begunne.]

FABRICIO. The opinion of auncient capitaines, hath been divers about the
commyng to handes, whether thei ought with rumour to go a pace, or with
scilence to go faire and softely: this laste waie, serveth to kepe the
order more sure, and to understande better the commaundementes of the
Capitaine: the firste, serveth to incourage more the mindes of men: and
for that I beleve, that respecte ought to bee had to the one, and to the
other of these twoo thynges, I made the one goe with rumour, and thother
with scilence: nor me thinkes not in any wise, that the continuall
rumours bee to purpose: bicause thei lette the commaundementes, the
whiche is a thyng moste pernicious: nor it standeth not with reason,
that the Romaines used, except at the firste assaulte to make rumour:
for that in their histories, is seen many tymes to have happened, that
through the wordes, and comfortinges of the capitain the souldiours that
ranne awaie, were made to stande to it, and in sundrie wise by his
commaundemente, to have varied the orders, the whiche should not have
followed, if the rumoures had been louder then his voyce.


LUIGI. Seng that under my governement, a field hath been wonne so
honourably, I suppose that it is good, that I tempt not fortune any
more, knowyng how variable, and unstable she is: and therefore, I desire
to give up my governement, and that Zanobi do execute now this office of
demaundyng, mindyng to followe the order, whiche concerneth the
youngeste: and I knowe he will not refuse this honoure, or as we would
saie, this labour, as well for to doe me pleasure, as also for beyng
naturally of more stomach than I: nor it shall not make hym afraied, to
have to enter into these travailes, where he maie bee as well overcome,
as able to conquere.

ZANOBI. I am readie to do what soever shall please you to appoinete me,
although that I desire more willingly to heare: for as moche as
hetherto, your questions have satisfied me more, then those should have
pleased me, whiche in harkenyng to your reasonyng, hath chaunced to come
into my remembraunce. But sir, I beleve that it is good, that you lese
no tyme, and that you have pacience, if with these our Ceremonies we
trouble you.

FABRICIO. You doe me rather pleasure, for that this variacion of
demaunders, maketh me to knowe the sundrie wittes and sunderie appetites
of yours: But remaineth there any thyng, whiche seemeth unto you good,
to bee joyned to the matter, that alreadie hath been reasoned of?

ZANOBI. Twoo thinges I desire, before you passe to an other parte: the
one is, to have you to shewe, if in orderyng armies, there needeth to
bee used any other facion: the other, what respectes a capitaine ought
to have, before he conducte his men to the faight, and in thesame an
accidente risyng or growyng, what reamedie maie be had.

[Sidenote: To deffende moche the fronte of an armie, is most perillous;
What is beste for a capitaine to dooe, where his power is, moche lesse
then thenemies power; A general rule; The higher grounde ought to be
chosen; An advertisement not to place an armie wher the enemie maie se
what the same doeth; Respectes for the Sonne and Winde; The variyng of
order and place maie cause the conquered to become victorius; A policie
in the ordering of men and pitchyng of a fielde; How to compasse about
the enemies power; How a capitaine maie faight and bee as it were sure,
not to be overcome; How to trouble the orders of the enemie; What a
capitaine oughte to dooe when he hath not so many horsmen as the enemie;
A greate aide for horsemen; The policies used betwene Aniball and

FABRICIO. I will inforce my self to satisfie you, I will not answere now
distinctly to your questions: for that whileste I shall aunswere to one,
many tymes it will come to passe, that I muste aunswere to an other. I
have tolde you, how I have shewed you a facion of an armie, to the
intent, that accordyng to thesame, there maie bee given all those
facions, that the enemie, and the situacion requireth: For as moche as
in this case, bothe accordyng to the power thereof, and accordyng to the
enemie, it proceadeth: but note this, that there is not a more perillous
facion, then to deffende moche the front of tharmie, if then thou have
not a most puisant, and moste great hoste: otherwise, thou oughtest to
make it rather grosse, and of small largenesse, then of moche largenes
and thin: for when thou hast fewe men in comparison to thenemie, thou
oughtest to seke other remedies, as is to ordain thine army in soche a
place, wher thou maiest be fortefied, either through rivers, or by
meanes of fennes, after soch sort, that thou canst not bee compassed
aboute, or to inclose thy self on the flanckes with diches, as Cesar did
in Fraunce. You have to take in this cace, this generall rule, to
inlarge your self, or to draw in your self with the front, according to
your nomber, and thesame of the enemie. For thenemies being of lesse
nomber, thou oughtest to seke large places, havyng in especially thy men
well instructed: to the intent thou maiest, not onely compasse aboute
the enemie, but to deffende thy orders: for that in places rough and
difficulte, beyng not able to prevaile of thy orders, thou commeste not
to have any advauntage, hereby grewe, that the Romaines almoste alwaies,
sought the open fieldes, and advoided the straightes. To the contrarie,
as I have said, thou oughtest to doe, if thou hast fewe menne, or ill
instructed: for that then thou oughteste to seeke places, either where
the little nomber maye be saved, and where the small experience dooe not
hurte thee: Thou oughtest also to chuse the higher grounde, to be able
more easily to infest them: notwithstandyng, this advertisment ought to
be had, not to ordaine thy armie, where the enemie maie spie what thou
doest and in place nere to the rootes of the same, where the enemies
armie maie come: For that in this case, havyng respecte unto the
artillerie, the higher place shall gette thee disadvauntage: Bicause
that alwaies and commodiously, thou mightest of the enemies artillerie
bee hurte, without beyng able to make any remedy, and thou couldest not
commodiously hurte thesame, beyng hindered by thine owne men. Also, he
that prepareth an armie to faight a battaile, ought to have respecte,
bothe to the Sunne, and to the Winde, that the one and the other, doe
not hurte the fronte, for that the one and the other, will let thee the
sight, the one with the beames, and the other with the duste: and
moreover, the Winde hindereth the weapons, whiche are stroken at the
enemie, and maketh their blowes more feable: and concerning the Sunne,
it sufficeth not to have care, that at the firste it shine not in the
face, but it is requisite to consider, that increasyng the daie, it
hurte thee not: and for this, it should bee requsite in orderyng the
men, to have it all on the backe, to the entente it should have to passe
moche tyme, to come to lye on the fronte. This waie was observed of
Aniball at Canne, and of Mario against the Cimbrians. If thou happen to
be moche inferiour of horses, ordaine thine armie emongeste Vines, and
trees, and like impedimentes, as in our time the Spaniardes did, when
thei overthrewe the Frenchmenne at Cirignuola. And it hath been seen
many times, with all one Souldiours, variyng onely the order, and the
place, that thei have become of losers victorers: as it happened to the
Carthageners, whom havyng been overcome of Marcus Regolus divers tymes,
were after by the counsaill of Santippo a Lacedemonian, victorious: whom
made them to go doune into the plaine, where by vertue of the horses,
and of Eliphantes, thei were able to overcome the Romaines. It semes
unto me, accordyng to the auncient insamples that almoste all the
excellente Capitaines, when thei have knowen, that the enemie hath made
strong one side of his battaile, thei have not set against it, the moste
strongest parte, but the moste weakest, and thother moste strongest thei
have set against the most weakest: after in the beginning the faighte,
thei have commaunded to their strongest parte, that onely thei sustaine
the enemie, and not to preace upon hym, and to the weaker, that thei
suffer them selves to be overcome, and to retire into the hindermoste
bandes of the armie. This breadeth twoo greate disorders to the enemie:
the firste, that he findeth his strongest parte compassed about, the
second is, that semyng unto him to have the victorie, seldome tymes it
happeneth, that thei disorder not theim selves, whereof groweth his
sodain losse. Cornelius Scipio beyng in Spain, againste Asdruball of
Carthage, and understanding how to Asdruball it was knowen, that he in
the orderyng the armie, placed his Legions in the middest, the whiche
was the strongest parte of his armie, and for this how Asdruball with
like order ought to procede: after when he came to faighte the battaile,
he chaunged order, and put his Legions on the hornes of the armie, and
in the middest, placed all his weakeste men: then commyng to the handes,
in a sodain those men placed in the middeste, he made to marche softly,
and the hornes of the armie, with celeritie to make forwarde, so that
onely the hornes of bothe the armies fought, and the bandes in the
middest, through beyng distaunt the one from the other, joyned not
together, and thus the strongest parte of Scipio, came to faight with
the weakest of Asdruball, and overcame hym. The whiche waie was then
profitable, but now havyng respect to the artillerie, it cannot be used:
bicause the same space, whiche should remain in the middest, betwene the
one armie and the other, should give tyme to thesame to shoote: The
whiche is moste pernicious, as above is saied: Therefore it is requisite
to laie this waie aside, and to use, as a little afore we saied, makyng
all the armie to incounter, and the weakest parte to give place. When a
capitaine perceiveth, that he hath a greater armie then his enemie,
mindyng to compasse hym aboute, before he be aware let hym ordaine his
fronte equall, to thesame of his adversaries, after, so sone as the
faight is begun, let hym make the fronte by a little and little to
retire, and the flanckes to deffende, and alwaies it shall happen, that
the enemie shal find hymself, before he be aware compassed about. When a
capitain will faight, as it wer sure not to be broken, let hym ordaine
his armie in place, where he hath refuge nere, and safe, either betwene
Fennes, or betwene hilles, or by some strong citee: for that in this
case, he cannot bee followed of the enemie, where the enemie maie be
pursued of him: this poincte was used of Aniball, when fortune began to
become his adversarie, and that he doubted of the valiauntnesse of
Marcus Marcello. Some to trouble the orders of the enemie, have
commaunded those that were light armed, to begin the faight, and that
beyng begunne, to retire betwene the orders: and when the armies were
after buckled together, and that the fronte of either of them were
occupied in faightyng, thei have made theim to issue out by the flanckes
of the battaile, and thesame have troubled and broken. If any perceive
hymself to bee inferiour of horse, he maie besides the waies that are
alredie shewed, place behinde his horsemen a battaile of Pikes, and in
faightyng take order, that thei give waie to the Pikes, and he shall
remain alwaies superiour. Many have accustomed to use certain fotemenne
lighte armed, to faighte emong horsemen, the whiche hath been to the
chivalrie moste greate helpe. Of all those, which have prepared armies
to the field, be moste praised Aniball and Scipio, when thei fought in
Africk: and for that Aniball had his armie made of Carthaginers, and of
straungers of divers nacions, he placed in the first fronte thereof
lxxx. Elephantes, after he placed the straungers, behinde whom he sette
his Carthaginers, in the hindermoste place, he putte the Italians, in
whom he trusted little: the whiche thing he ordained so, for that the
straungers havyng before theim the enemie, and behinde beyng inclosed of
his men, could not flie: so that being constrained to faight thei should
overcome, or wearie the Romaines, supposyng after with his freshe and
valiaunte men, to be then able easely to overcome the Romaines, beeyng
wearied. Against this order, Scipio set the Astati, the Prencipi, and
the Triarii, in the accustomed maner, to bee able to receive the one the
other, and to rescue the one the other: he made the fronte of the armie,
full of voide spaces, and bicause it should not be perceived but rather
should seme united, he filled them ful of veliti, to whom he commaunded,
that so sone as the Eliphantes came, thei should avoide, and by the
ordinarie spaces, should enter betwene the Legins, and leave open the
waie to the Eliphauntes, and so it came to passe, that it made vaine the
violence of theim, so that commyng to handes, he was superiour.

ZANOBI. You have made me to remember, in alledging me this battaile, how
Scipio in faighting, made not the Astati to retire into thorders of the
Prencipi, but he devided theim, and made theim to retire in the hornes
of the armie, to thintent thei might give place to the Prencipi, when he
would force forwarde: therfore I would you should tell me, what occasion
moved hym, not to observe the accustomed order.

[Sidenote: Cartes full of hookes made to destroie the enemies; The
remedy that was used against Cartes full of hookes; The straunge maner
that Silla used in orderyng his army against Archelaus; How to trouble
in the faighte the armie of the enemies; A policie of Caius Sulpitius,
to make his enemies afraied; A policie of Marius againste the Duchmenne;
A policie of greate importaunce, while a battaile is a faightyng; How
horsemen maie bee disordered; How the turke gave the Sophie an
overthrowe; How the Spaniardes overcame the armie of Amilcare; How to
traine the enemie, to his destruccion; A policie of Tullo Hostilio and
Lucius Silla in dessemlyng of a mischaunce; Sertorius slue a man for
telling him of the death of one of his capitaines; Howe certaine
captaines have staied their men that hath been running awaie; Attillius
constrained his men that ran awaie to tourne again and to faight; How
Philip king of Macedonia made his men afraied to run awaie; Victorie
ought with all celeritie to bee folowed; What a capitaine ought to dooe,
when he should chaunce to receive an overthrowe; How Martius overcame
the armie of the Carthaginers; A policie of Titus Dimius to hide a
losse, whiche he had received in a faight; A general rule; Aniball;
Scipio; Asdruball; A Capitaine ought not to faight without advantage,
excepte he be constrained; How advauntage maie bee taken of the enemies;
Furie withstode, converteth into vilenesse; What maner of men a
capitaine ought to have about him continually, to consult withall; The
condicions of the capitain of the enemies, and of those that are about
hym is moste requisite to bee knowen; A timerous army is not to be
conducted to faight; How to avoide the faightyng of a fielde.]

FABRICIO. I will tell you. Aniball had putte all the strengthe of his
armie, in the seconde bande: wherefore Scipio for to set againste
thesame like strengthe, gathered the Prencipi and the Triarii together:
So that the distaunces of the Prencipi, beyng occupied of the Triarii,
there was no place to bee able to receive the Astati: and therefore he
made the Astati to devide, and to go in the hornes of the armie, and he
drewe them not betwene the Prencipi. But note, that this waie of openyng
the first bande, for to give place to the seconde, cannot bee used, but
when a man is superiour to his enemie: for that then there is commoditie
to bee able to dooe it, as Scipio was able: but beyng under, and
repulced, it cannot be doen, but with thy manifest ruine: and therefore
it is convenient to have behinde, orders that maie receive thee, but let
us tourne to our reasonyng. The auncient Asiaticans, emongest other
thynges devised of them to hurt the enemies, used carres. The whiche had
on the sides certaine hookes, so that not onely thei served to open with
their violence the bandes, but also to kill with the hookes the
adversaries: against the violence of those, in thre maners thei
provided, either thei sustained theim with the thickenesse of the raies,
or thei received theim betwene the bandes, as the Eliphantes were
received, or els thei made with arte some strong resistence: As Silla a
Romaine made againste Archelaus, whom had many of these cartes, whiche
thei called hooked, who for to sustaine theim, drave many stakes into
the grounde, behinde his first bandes of men, whereby the cartes beyng
stopped, lost their violence. And the newe maner that Silla used against
hym in orderyng the armie, is to bee noted: for that he put the Veliti,
and the horse, behinde, and all the heavie armed afore, leavyng many
distaunces to be able to sende before those behinde, when necessite
required: whereby the fight beyng begun, with the helpe of the horsemen,
to the whiche he gave the waie, he got the victorie. To intende to
trouble in the faight the enemies armie, it is conveniente to make some
thyng to growe, that maie make theim afraied, either with showyng of
newe helpe that commeth, or with showyng thynges, whiche maie represente
a terrour unto theim: after soche sorte, that the enemies begiled of
that sight, maie be afraied, and being made afraied, thei maie easely
bee overcome: the whiche waies Minutio Rufo used, and Accilio Glabrione
Consulls of Rome. Caius Sulpitius also set a greate many of sackes upon
Mules, and other beastes unprofitable for the warre, but in soche wise
ordained, that thei semed men of armes, and he commaunded, that thei
should appere upon a hill, while he were a faightyng with the
Frenchemen, whereby grewe his victorie. The verie same did Marius, when
he foughte against the Duchemen. Then the fained assaultes availyng
moche, whilest the faight continueth, it is conveniente, that the very
assaultes in deede, dooe helpe moche: inespecially if at unwares in the
middest of the faight, the enemie might bee assaulted behinde, or on the
side: the whiche hardely maie be doen, if the countrie helpe thee not:
for that when it is open, parte of thy men cannot bee hid, as is mete to
bee doen in like enterprises: but in woddie or hille places, and for
this apt for ambusshes parte of thy men maie be well hidden, to be able
in a sodain, and contrary to thenemies opinion to assaut him, whiche
thyng alwaies shall be occasion to give thee the victorie. It hath been
sometyme of greate importaunce, whilest the faighte continueth, to sowe
voices, whiche doe pronounce the capitaine of thenemies to be dedde, or
to have overcome on the other side of the armie: the whiche many times
to them that have used it, hath given the victorie. The chivalrie of the
enemies maie bee easely troubled, either with sightes, or with rumours,
not used: as Creso did, whom put Camelles againste the horses of the
adversaries, and Pirrus sette againste the Romaine horsemen Eliphantes,
the sighte of whiche troubled and disordered them. In our time, the
Turke discomfited the Sophi in Persia, and the Soldane in Surria with no
other, then with the noise of Harkabuses, the whiche in soche wise, with
their straunge rumours, disturbed the horses of those, that the Turke
mighte easely overcome them: The Spaniardes to overcome the armie of
Amilcare, put in the firste fronte Cartes full of towe drawen of oxen,
and comming to handes, thei kindeled fire to thesame, wherfore the oxen
to flie from the fire, thrust into the armie of Amilcar, and opened it.
Thei are wonte (as we have saied) to begile the enemie in the faight,
drawyng him into their ambusshes, where the Countrie is commodious for
the same purpose, but where it were open and large, many have used to
make diches, and after have covered them lightly with bowes and yearth,
and lefte certain spaces whole, to be able betnene those to retire:
after, so sone as the faight hath been begunne, retiryng by those, and
the enemie folowing them, hath fallen in the pittes. If in the faight
there happen thee, any accident that maie feare thy souldiours, it is a
moste prudente thyng, to knowe how to desemble it, and to pervert it to
good, as Tullo Hostilio did, and Lucius Silla: whom seyng while thei
fought, how a parte of his men wer gone to the enemies side, and how
thesame thing had verie moche made afraied his men, he made straighte
waie throughout all the armie to be understoode, how all thing proceded,
accordyng to his order: the whiche not onely did not trouble the armie,
but it increased in them so moche stomack, that he remained victorious.
It happened also to Silla, that havyng sente certaine souldiours to doe
some businesse, and thei beyng slain he saied, to the intent his armie
should not be made afraied thereby, that he had with crafte sent theim
into the handes of the enemies, for that he had found them nothyng
faithfull. Sertorius faightyng a battaile in Spaine, slue one, whom
signified unto hym the death of one of his capitaines, for feare that
tellyng the very same to other, he should make theim afraied. It is a
moste difficult thyng, an armie beyng now moved to flie, to staie it,
and make it to faight. And you have to make this distinccion: either
that it is all moved, and then to be impossible to tourne it, or there
is moved a parte thereof, and then there is some remedie. Many Romain
capitaines, with making afore those whiche fled, have caused them to
staie, making them ashamed of running awaie, as Lucius Silla did, where
alredy parte of his Legions beyng tourned to flight, driven awaie by the
men of Mithridates, he made afore them with a swearde in his hande
criyng: if any aske you, where you left your capitaine, saie, we have
left hym in Boecia, where he faighteth. Attillius a consull set againste
that ran awaie, them that ranne not awaie, and made them to understande,
that if thei would not tourne, thei should be slaine of their frendes,
and of their enemies. Philip of Macedonia understanding how his men
feared the Scithian Souldiours, placed behinde his armie, certaine of
his moste trustie horsemen, and gave commission to theim, that thei
should kill whom so ever fledde: wherfore, his men mindyng rather to die
faightyng, then fliyng, overcame. Many Romaines, not so moche to staie a
flight, as for to give occasion to their men, to make greater force,
have whileste thei have foughte, taken an Ansigne out of their owne
mennes handes, and throwen it emongeste the enemies, and appoincted
rewardes to hym that could get it again. I doe not beleve that it is out
of purpose, to joyne to this reasonyng those thynges, whiche chaunce
after the faight, in especially beyng brief thinges, and not to be left
behinde, and to this reasonyng conformable inough. Therefore I saie, how
the fielde is loste, or els wonne: when it is wonne, the victorie ought
with all celeritie to be folowed, and in this case to imitate Cesar, and
not Aniball, whom staiyng after that he had discomfited the Romaines at
Canne, loste the Empire of Rome: The other never rested after the
victorie, but folowed the enemie beyng broken, with greater violence and
furie, then when he assalted hym whole: but when a capitaine dooeth
loese, he ought to see, if of the losse there maie growe any utilite
unto hym, inespecially if there remain any residue of tharmie. The
commoditie maie growe of the small advertisment of the enemie, whom
moste often times after the victorie, becometh negligent, and giveth
thee occasion to oppresse hym, as Marcius a Romaine oppressed the armie
of the Carthaginers, whom having slain the twoo Scipions, and broken
their armie, not estemyng thesame remnaunt of menne, whiche with Marcius
remained a live, were of hym assaulted and overthrowen: for that it is
seen, that there is no thing so moche to bee brought to passe, as
thesame, whiche the enemie thinketh, that thou canst not attempte:
bicause for the moste parte, men bee hurte moste, where thei doubt
leaste: therefore a capitain ought when he cannot doe this, to devise at
least with diligence, that the losse bee lesse hurtfull, to dooe this,
it is necessarie for thee to use meanes, that the enemie maie not easely
folowe thee, or to give him occasion to make delaie: in the first case,
some after thei have been sure to lese, have taken order with their
heddes, that in divers partes, and by divers waies thei should flie,
havyng appoincted wher thei should after assemble together: the which
made, that thenemie (fearing to devide the armie) was faine to let go
safe either all, or the greatest part of them. In the seconde case, many
have cast before the enemie, their dearest thinges, to the entent that
he tariyng about the spoile, might give them more laisure to flie. Titus
Dimius used no small policie to hide the losse, whiche he had received
in the faight, for asmoche as havyng fought untill night, with great
losse of his menne, he made in the night to be buried, the greatest part
of them, wherefore in the mornyng, the enemies seyng so many slaine of
theirs, and so fewe of the Romaines, belevyng that thei had the
disavauntage, ran awaie. I trust I have thus confusedly, as I saied,
satisfied in good part your demaunde: in dede about the facions of the
armies, there resteth me to tell you, how some tyme, by some Capitaines,
it hath been used to make theim with the fronte, like unto a wedge,
judgyng to bee able by soche meane, more easely to open the enemies
armie. Against this facion, thei have used to make a facion like unto a
paire of sheres, to be able betwene thesame voide place, to receive that
wedge, and to compasse it about, and to faight with it on every side:
whereupon I will that you take this generall rule, that the greatest
remedie that is used againste a devise of the enemie, is to dooe
willingly thesame, whiche he hath devised that thou shalt dooe perforce:
bicause that doyng it willingly, thou doest it with order, and with thy
advauntage, and his disadvauntage, if thou shouldest doe it beyng
inforced, it should be thy undoyng: For the provyng whereof, I care not
to reherse unto you, certain thynges alredy tolde. The adversary maketh
the wedge to open thy bandes: if thou gowest with them open, thou
disorderest hym, and he disordereth not thee. Aniball set the Elephantes
in the fronte of his armie, to open with theim the armie of Scipio.
Scipio went with it open, and it was the occasion of his victorie, and
of the ruine of hym. Asdruball placed his strongest men in the middest
of the fronte of his armie, to overthrowe Scipios menne: Scipio
commaunded, that by them selves thei should retire and he broke theim:
So that like devises when thei are foreseen, bee the causes of the
victorie of him, against whom thei be prepared. There remaineth me also,
if I remember my self well, to tell you what respectes a Capitaine ought
to have, before he leade his men to faight: upon whiche I have to tell
you firste, how a capitaine ought never to faight a battaile, except he
have advauntage, or be constrained. The vantage groweth of the
situacion, of the order, of havyng more, or better menne: the necessitie
groweth when thou seest how that not faightyng, thou muste in any wise
lose, as should bee for lackyng of money, and for this, thy armie to bee
ready all maner of waies to resolve, where famishemente is ready to
assaulte thee, where the enemie looketh to bee ingrosed with newe men:
in these cases, thou oughtest alwaies to faight, although with thy
disadvauntage: for that it is moche better to attempte fortune, where
she maie favour thee, then not attemptyng, to see thy certaine ruine:
and it is as grevous a faulte in this case, in a capitain not to faight,
as to have had occasion to overcome, and not to have either knowen it
through ignoraunce, or lefte it through vilenesse. The advauntages some
tymes the enemie giveth thee, and some tymes thy prudence: Many in
passyng Rivers have been broken of their enemie, that hath been aware
thereof, whom hath taried, till the one halfe hath been of the one side,
and the other halfe on the other, and then hath assaulted them: as Cesar
did to the Suizzers, where he destroied the fowerth parte of theim,
through beyng halfe over a river. Some tyme thy enemie is founde wearie,
for havyng folowed thee to undescritely, so that findyng thy self freshe
and lustie, thou oughtest not to let passe soche an occasion: besides
this, if the enemie offer unto thee in the mornyng betymes to faight,
thou maiest a good while deferre to issue out of thy lodgyng, and when
he hath stoode long in armour, and that he hath loste that same firste
heate, with the whiche he came, thou maiest then faight with him. This
waie Scipio and Metellus used in Spaine: the one against Asdruball, the
other against Sertorius. If the enemie be deminished of power, either
for havyng devided the armie, as the Scipions in Spain, or for some
other occasion, thou oughteste to prove chaunce. The greateste parte of
prudent capitaines, rather receive the violence of the enemies, then go
with violence to assalte them: for that the furie is easely withstoode
of sure and steddie menne, and the furie beyng sustained, converteth
lightly into vilenesse: Thus Fabius did againste the Sannites, and
against the Galles, and was victorious and his felowe Decius remained
slain. Some fearing the power of their enemies, have begun the faight a
little before night, to the intent that their men chaunsyng to bee
overcome, might then by the helpe of the darkenesse thereof, save theim
selves. Some havyng knowen, how the enemies armie beyng taken of
certaine supersticion, not to faight in soche a tyme, have chosen
thesame tyme to faighte, and overcome: The whiche Cesar observed in
Fraunce, againste Arionistus, and Vespasian in Surrie, againste the
Jewes. The greatest and moste importaunte advertismente, that a
capitaine ought to have, is to have aboute hym faithfull menne, that are
wise and moste expert in the warre, with whom he must continually
consulte and reason of his men, and of those of the enemies, whiche is
the greater nomber, whiche is beste armed, or beste on horsebacke, or
best exercised, whiche be moste apte to suffer necessitie, in whom he
trusteth moste, either in the footemen, or in the horsemen: after thei
ought to consider the place where thei be, and whether it be more to the
purpose for thenemie, then for him: which of theim hath victualles moste
commodious: whether it be good to deferre the battaile, or to faight it:
what good might bee given hym, or taken awaie by tyme: for that many
tymes, souldiours seyng the warre to be delaied, are greved, and beyng
wearie, in the pain and in the tediousnesse therof, wil forsake thee. It
importeth above all thyng, to knowe the capitain of the enemies, and
whom he hath aboute hym, whether he be rashe, or politike, whether he be
fearfull, or hardie: to see how thou maiest truste upon the aidyng
souldiours. And above all thyng thou oughtest to take hede, not to
conducte the armie to faight when it feareth, or when in any wise it
mistrusteth of the victorie: for that the greatest signe to lose, is
thei beleve not to be able to winne: and therfore in this case, thou
oughtest to avoide the faightyng of the fielde, either with doyng as
Fabius Maximus, whom incampyng in strong places, gave no courage to
Aniball, to goe to finde hym, or when thou shouldest thinke, that the
enemie also in strong places, would come to finde thee, to departe out
of the fielde, and to devide the menne into thy tounes to thentent that
tediousnesse of winnyng them, maie wearie hym.

ZANOBI. Cannot the faightyng of the battaile be otherwise avoided, then
in devidyng the armie in sunderie partes and placyng the men in tounes?

[Sidenote: Fabius Maximus.]

FABRICIO. I beleve that ones alreadie, with some of you I have reasoned,
how that he, that is in the field, cannot avoide to faight the battaile,
when he hath an enemie, which will faight with hym in any wise, and he
hath not, but one remedie, and that is, to place him self with his armie
distant fiftie miles at leaste, from his adversarie, to be able betymes
to avoide him, when he should go to finde hym. For Fabius Maximus never
avoided to faight the battaile with Aniball, but he would have it with
his advauntage: and Aniball did not presume to bee able to overcome hym,
goyng to finde hym in the places where he incamped: where if he had
presupposed, to have been able to have overcome, it had been conveniente
for Fabius, to have fought the battaile with hym, or to have avoided.

[Sidenote: Philip king of Macedonia, overcome by the Romaines; How
Cingentorige avoided the faightyng of the fielde with Cesar; The
ignorance of the Venecians; What is to be doen wher soldiours desire to
faight, contrary to their capitaines minde; How to incourage souldiers;
An advertisment to make the soldiour most obstinately to faight.]

Philip Kyng of Macedonia, thesame that was father to Perse, commyng to
warre with the Romaines, pitched his campe upon a verie high hill, to
the entent not to faight with theim: but the Romaines wente to find hym
on thesame hill, and discomfaited hym. Cingentorige capitain of the
Frenche menne, for that he would not faight the field with Cesar, whom
contrarie to his opinion, had passed a river, got awaie many miles with
his men. The Venecians in our tyme, if thei would not have come to have
fought with the Frenche kyng, thei ought not to have taried till the
Frenche armie, had passed the River Addus, but to have gotten from them
as Cingentorige, where thei havyng taried knewe not how to take in the
passyng of the men, the occasion to faight the battaile, nor to avoide
it: For that the Frenche men beyng nere unto them, as the Venecians went
out of their Campe, assaulted theim, and discomfited theim: so it is,
that the battaile cannot bee avoided, when the enemie in any wise will
faight, nor let no man alledge Fabius, for that so moche in thesame
case, he did flie the daie of battaile, as Aniball. It happeneth many
tymes, that thy souldiours be willyng to faight, and thou knoweste by
the nomber, and by the situacion, or for some other occasion to have
disadvauntage, and desirest to make them chaunge from this desire: it
happeneth also, that necessitie, or occasion, constraineth thee to
faight, and that thy souldiours are evill to be trusted, and smally
disposed to faight: where it is necessarie in thone case, to make theim
afraied, and in the other to incourage theim: In the firste case, when
perswacions suffiseth not, there is no better waie, then to give in
praie, a part of them unto thenemie, to thintent those that have, and
those that have not fought, maie beleve thee: and it may very wel be
doen with art, thesame which to Fabius Maximus hapned by chaunce.
Tharmie of Fabius (as you knowe) desired to faight with Aniballs armie:
the very same desire had the master of his horses: to Fabius it semed
not good, to attempte the faight: so that through soche contrary
opinions, he was fain to devide the armie: Fabius kept his men in the
campe, the other fought, and commyng into great perill, had been
overthrowen, if Fabius had not rescued him: by the whiche insample the
maister of the horse, together with all the armie, knewe how it was a
wise waie to obeie Fabius. Concernyng to incourage theim to faight, it
should be well doen, to make them to disdain the enemies, shewyng how
thei speake slaunderous woordes of them, to declare to have intelligence
with them, and to have corrupted part of them, to incampe in place,
where thei maie see the enemies, and make some light skirmishe with
them, for that the thyng that is dailie seen, with more facilitie is
despised: to shewe theim to bee unworthie, and with an oracion for the
purpose, to reprehende them of their cowardnesse, and for to make them
ashamed, to tell theim that you will faight alone, when thei will not
beare you companie. And you ought above all thyng to have this
advertismente, mindyng to make the Souldiour obstinate to faight, not to
permitte, that thei maie send home any of their substaunce, or to leave
it in any place, till the warre bee ended, that thei maie understande,
that although fliyng save their life, yet it saveth not theim their
goodes, the love whereof, is wonte no lesse then thesame, to make men
obstinate in defence.

ZANOBI. YOU have tolde, how the souldiours maie be tourned to faight,
with speakyng to theim: doe you meane by this, that all the armie must
bee spoken unto, or to the heddes thereof?

[Sidenote: It is requisite for excellent Capitaines to bee good orators;
Alexander Magnus used openly to perswade his armie; The effecteousnes of
speking; Souldiours ought to be accustomed to heare their Capitaine
speake; How in olde time souldiers were threatened for their faltes;
Enterprises maie the easelier be brought to passe by meanes of religion;
Sertorius; A policie of Silla; A policie of Charles the seventh king of
Fraunce against the Englishmen; How souldiers maiebee made to esteme
little their enemies; The surest wai to make souldiours moste obstinat
to faight; By what meanes obstinatenesse to faighte is increased.]

FABRICIO. TO perswade, or to diswade a thyng unto fewe, is verie easie,
for that if woordes suffise not, you maie then use aucthoritie and
force: but the difficultie is, to remove from a multitude an evill
opinion, and that whiche is contrary either to the common profite, or to
thy opinion, where cannot be used but woordes, the whiche is meete that
thei be heard of every man, mindyng to perswade them all. Wherfore, it
was requisite that the excellente Capitaines were oratours: for that
without knowyng how to speake to al the army, with difficultie maie be
wrought any good thing: the whiche altogether in this our tyme is laied
aside. Rede the life of Alexander Magnus, and you shall see how many
tymes it was necessarie for hym to perswade, and to speake publikly to
his armie: otherwise he should never have brought theim, beyng become
riche, and full of spoile, through the desertes of Arabia, and into
India with so moche his disease, and trouble: for that infinite tymes
there growe thynges, wherby an armie ruinateth, when the capitain either
knoweth not, or useth not to speake unto thesame, for that this speakyng
taketh awaie feare, in courageth the mindes, increaseth the obstinatenes
to faight, discovereth the deceiptes, promiseth rewardes, sheweth the
perilles, and the waie to avoide theim, reprehendeth, praieth,
threatened, filleth full of hope, praise, shame, and doeth a11 those
thynges, by the whiche the humaine passions are extincte or kendled:
wherefore, that prince, or common weale, whiche should appoincte to make
a newe power, and cause reputacion to their armie, ought to accustome
the Souldiours thereof, to heare the capitain to speake, and the
capitain to know how to speake unto them. In kepyng desposed the
souldiours in old tyme, to faight for their countrie, the religion
availed moche, and the othes whiche thei gave them, when thei led theim
to warfare: for as moche as in al their faultes, thei threatned them not
onely with those punishementes, whiche might be feared of men but with
those whiche of God might be looked for: the whiche thyng mingled with
the other Religious maners, made many tymes easie to the auncient
capitaines all enterprises, and will doe alwaies, where religion shall
be feared, and observed. Sertorius prevailed, by declaryng that he spake
with a Stagge, the whiche in Goddes parte, promised hym the victorie.
Silla saied, he spoke with an Image, whiche he had taken out of the
Temple of Apollo. Many have tolde how God hath appered unto them in
their slepe, whom hath admonished them to faight. In our fathers time,
Charles the seventh kyng of Fraunce, in the warre whiche he made
againste the Englishemen, saied, he counsailed with a maide, sent from
God, who was called every where the Damosell of Fraunce, the which was
occacion of his victorie. There maie be also used meanes, that maie make
thy men to esteme little the enemie, as Agesilao a Spartaine used, whom
shewed to his souldiours, certain Persians naked, to the intent that
seyng their delicate members, thei should not have cause to feare them.
Some have constrained their men to faight through necessitie, takyng
awaie from them all hope of savyng theim selves, savyng in overcommyng.
The whiche is the strongest, and the beste provision that is made, to
purpose to make the souldiour obstinate to faight: whiche obstinatenesse
is increased by the confidence, and love of the Capitaine, or of the
countrie. Confidence is caused through the armour, the order the late
victorie, and the opinion of the Capitaine. The love of the countrie, is
caused of nature: that of the Capitain, through vertue, more then by any
other benefite: the necessities maie be many, but that is strongest,
whiche constraineth thee; either to overcome, or to dye.


[Sidenote: How the Romaines marched with their armies; How the Romaines
ordered their armie when it happened to be assaulted on the waie; How
the main battailes ought to marche; The orderyng of an armie after soche
sorte, that it maie marche safelie through the enemies countrie and be
alwaies in a redines to faight; The place in the armie wher the bowmen
and Harkabutters are appoincted; The place in the armie wher
thextraordinarie Pikes are appoincted. The place in the armie wherthe
generall capitain must be; Where the artillerie must be placed. The
light horsmenne must be sente before to discover the countrie and the
menne of armes to come behind tharmy; A generall rule concernyng horse;
Wher the carriages and the unarmed are placed; The waie must be made
plaine wher the armie shall marche in order; How many miles a day an
armie maie marche in battaile raie, to bee able to incampe before sunne
set; The orderyng of the armie, when it is assaulted on the vawarde; The
orderyng of tharmie when thenemie commes to assaulte it behinde; How the
armie is ordered when it is assaulted of any of the sides; doen when the
army is assaulted on twoo sides.]

FABRICIO. I have shewed you, how an armi, is ordained to faight a fielde
with an other armie, which is seen pitched against it, and have declared
unto you, howe the same is overcome, and after many circumstaunces, I
have likewise shewed you, what divers chaunces, maie happen about
thesame, so that me thinkes tyme to shewe you now, how an armie is
ordered, againste thesame enemie, whiche otherwise is not seen, but
continually feared, that he assaulte thee: this happeneth when an armie
marcheth through the enemies countrie, or through suspected places.
Firste, you must understande, how a Romaine armie, sent alwaies
ordinarely afore, certaine bandes of horsemen, as spies of the waie:
after followed the right horne, after this, came all the carriages,
whiche to thesame apperteined, after this, came a Legion, after it, the
carriages therof, after that, an other legion, and next to it, their
carriages, after whiche, came the left horne, with the carriages thereof
at their backe, and in the laste part, folowed the remnaunte of the
chivalrie: this was in effecte the maner, with whiche ordinarily thei
marched: and if it happened that the armie were assaulted in the waie on
the fronte, or on the backe, thei made straight waie all the carriages
to bee drawen, either on the right, or on the lefte side, accordyng as
chaunsed, or as thei could beste, havyng respecte to the situacion: and
all the men together free from their impedimentes, made hedde on that
parte, where the enemie came. If thei were assaulted on the flancke,
thei drue the carriages towardes thesame parte that was safe, and of the
other, thei made hedde. This waie beyng well and prudently governed, I
have thought meete to imitate, sending afore the light horsemen, as
exploratours of the Countrie: Then havyng fower maine battailes I would
make them to marche in araie, and every one with their carriages
folowyng theim. And for that there be twoo sortes of carriages, that is
partainyng to particulare souldiours, and partainyng to the publike use
of all the Campe, I would devide the publike Carriages into fower
partes, and to every maine battaile, I would appoinct his parte,
deviding also the artillerie into fower partes, and all the unarmed, so
that every nomber of armed menne, should equally have their
impedimentes. But bicause it happeneth some times, that thei marche
through the countrie, not onely suspected, but so daungerous, that thou
fearest every hower to be assaulted, thou art constrained for to go more
sure, to chaunge the forme of marchyng, and to goe in soche wise
prepared, that neither the countrie menne, nor any armie, maie hurte
thee, findyng thee in any parte unprovided. In soche case, the aunciente
capitaines were wont, to marche with the armie quadrante, whiche so thei
called this forme, not for that it was altogether quadrante, but for
that it was apte to faight of fower partes, and thei saied, that thei
wente prepared, bothe for the waie, and for the faight: from whiche
waie, I will not digresse, and I will ordaine my twoo maine battailes,
whiche I have taken for to make an armie of, to this effect. Mindyng
therefore, to marche safely through the enemies Countrie, and to bee
able to aunswere hym on every side, when at unwares the armie might
chaunce to be assaulted, and intendyng therefore, accordyng to the
antiquitie, to bryng thesame into a square, I would devise to make a
quadrant, that the rome therof should be of space on every part Clix.
yardes, in this maner. First I would put the flanckes, distant the one
flanck from the other, Clix. yardes, and I would place five battailes
for a flancke, in a raie in length, and distant the one from the other,
twoo yardes and a quarter: the whiche shall occupie with their spaces,
every battaile occupiyng thirtie yardes, Clix. yardes. Then betwen the
hedde and the taile of these two flanckes, I would place the other tenne
battailes, in every parte five, orderyng them after soche sorte, that
fower should joyne to the hedde of the right flanck, and fower to the
taile of the lefte flancke, leaving betwene every one of them, a
distance of thre yardes: one should after joyne to the hedde of the
lefte flancke, and one to the taile of the right flancke: and for that
the space that is betwene the one flancke and the other, is Clix.
yardes, and these battailes whiche are set the one to the side of the
other by breadth, and not by length, will come to occupie with the
distaunces one hundred yardes and a halfe yarde, there shall come
betwene theim fower battailes, placed in the fronte on the right
flancke, and the one placed in thesame on the lefte, to remaine a space
of fiftie and eighte yardes and a halfe, and the verie same space will
come to remaine in the battailes, placed in the hinder parte: nor there
shall bee no difference, saving that the one space shall come on the
parte behind towardes the right horne, and thother shall come on the
parte afore, towardes the lefte home. In the space of the lviii. yardes
and a halfe before, I would place all the ordinarie Veliti, in thesame
behinde, the extraordinarie, which wil come to be a thousande for a
space, and mindyng to have the space that ought to be within the armie,
to be every waie Clix. yardes, it is mete that the five battailes,
whiche are placed in the hedde, and those whiche are placed in the
taile, occupie not any parte of the space, whiche the flanckes keepe:
and therefore it shall be convenient, that the five battailes behinde,
doe touche with the fronte, the taile of their flanckes, and those
afore, with the taile to touche he hedde, after soche sorte, that upon
every corner of the ame armie, there maie remaine a space, to receive an
other battaile: and for that there bee fower spaces, I would take fower
bandes of the extraordinarie Pikes, and in every corner I would place
one, and the twoo Ansignes of the foresaied Pikes, whiche shall remain
overplus, I would sette in the middest of the rome of this armie, in a
square battaile, on the hedde whereof, should stande the generall
capitaine, with his menne about him. And for that these battailes
ordeined thus, marche all one waie, but faight not all one waie, in
puttyng them together, those sides ought to be ordained to faight,
whiche are not defended of thother battailes. And therfore it ought to
be considered, that the five battailes that be in the front, have all
their other partes defended, excepte the fronte: and therfore these
ought to bee put together in good order, and with the Pikes afore. The
five battailes whiche are behinde, have all their sides defended, except
the parte behinde, and therefore those ought to bee put together in
soche wise, that the Pikes come behind, as in the place therof we shall
shewe. The five battailes that bee in the right flancke, have all their
sides defended, except the right flancke. The five that be on the left
flanck, have all their partes defended, excepte the lefte flancke: and
therefore in orderyng the battailes, thei ought to bee made, that the
Pikes maie tourne on the same flanck, that lieth open: and the
Peticapitaines to stand on the hedde, and on the taile, so that nedyng
to faight, all the armour and weapons maie be in their due places, the
waie to doe this, is declared where we reasoned of the maner of orderyng
the battailes. The artillerie I would devide, and one parte I would
place without, on the lefte flancke, and the other on the right. The
light horsemen, I would sende afore to discover the countrie. Of the
menne of armes, I would place part behinde, on the right home, and parte
on the lefte, distante about thirtie yardes from the battailes: and
concerning horse, you have to take this for a general rule in every
condicion, where you ordaine an armie, that alwaies thei ought to be
put, either behinde, or on the flanckes of thesame: he that putteth them
afore, over against the armie, it behoveth hym to doe one of these twoo
thinges, either that he put them so moche afore, that beyng repulced,
thei maie have so moche space, that maie give them tyme, to be able to
go a side from thy footemen, and not to runne upon them, or to order
them in soche wise, with so many spaces, that the horses by those maie
enter betwene them, without disorderyng them. Nor let no man esteme
little this remembraunce, for as moche as many capitaines, whom havyng
taken no hede thereof, have been ruinated, and by themselves have been
disordered, and broken. The carriages and the unarmed menne are placed,
in the rome that remaineth within the armie, and in soche sorte equally
devided, that thei maie give the waie easely, to whom so ever would go,
either from the one corner to the other, or from the one hedde, to the
other of the armie. These battailes without the artillerie and the
horse, occupie every waie from the utter side, twoo hundred and eleven
yardes and a halfe of space: and bicause this quadrante is made of twoo
main battailes, it is convenient to distinguishe, what part thone maine
battaile maketh, and what the other: and for that the main battailes are
called by the nomber, and every of theim hath (as you knowe) tenne
battailes, and a generall hed, I would cause that the first main
battaile, should set the first v. battailes therof in the front, the
other five, in the left flanck, and the capitain of the same should
stande in the left corner of the front. The seconde maine battaile,
should then put the firste five battailes therof, in the right flanck,
and the other five in the taile, and the hedde capitain of thesame,
should stande in the right corner, whom should come to dooe the office
of the Tergiductor. The armie ordained in this maner, ought to be made
to move, and in the marchyng, to observe all this order, and without
doubte, it is sure from all the tumultes of the countrie men. Nor the
capitain ought not to make other provision, to the tumultuarie
assaultes, then to give sometyme Commission to some horse, or Ansigne of
Veliti, that thei set themselves in order: nor it shall never happen
that these tumultuous people, will come to finde thee at the drawyng of
the swerd, or pikes poincte: for that men out of order, have feare of
those that be in araie: and alwaies it shall bee seen, that with cries
and rumours, thei will make a greate assaulte, without otherwise commyng
nere unto thee, like unto barking curres aboute a Mastie. Aniball when
he came to the hurte of the Romaines into Italie, he passed through all
Fraunce, and alwaies of the Frenche tumultes, he took small regarde.
Mindyng to marche, it is conveniente to have plainers and labourers
afore, whom maie make thee the waie plaine, whiche shall bee garded of
those horsemen, that are sent afore to viewe the countrie: an armie in
this order maie marche tenne mile the daie, and shall have tyme inough
to incampe, and suppe before Sunne goyng doune, for that ordinarely, an
armie maie marche twentie mile: if it happen that thou be assaulted, of
an armie set in order, this assaulte cannot growe sodainly: for that an
armie in order, commeth with his pace, so that thou maiest have tyme
inough, to set thy self in order to faight the field, and reduce thy
menne quickly into thesame facion, or like to thesame facion of an
armie, which afore is shewed thee. For that if thou be assaulted, on the
parte afore, thou needeste not but to cause, that the artillerie that be
on the flanckes, and the horse that be behinde, to come before, and
place theimselves in those places, and with those distaunces, as afore
is declared. The thousande Veliti that bee before, must go out of their
place, and be devided into CCCCC. for a parte, and go into their place,
betwene the horse and the hornes of tharmy: then in the voide place that
thei shal leave, the twoo Ansignes of the extraordinarie Pikes muste
entre, whiche I did set in the middest of the quadrante of the armie.
The thousande Veliti, whiche I placed behinde, must departe from thesame
place, and devide them selves in the flanckes of the battailes, to the
fortificacion of those: and by the open place that thei shal leave, all
the carriages and unarmed menne must go out, and place themselves on the
backe of the battaile. Then the rome in the middeste beyng voided, and
every man gone to his place: the five battailes, whiche I placed behinde
on the armie, must make forward in the voide place, that is betwene the
one and the other flanck, and marche towardes the battailes, that stand
in the hedde, and three of theim, muste stande within thirtie yardes of
those, with equall distances, betwene the one and the other, and the
other twoo shal remain behinde, distaunte other thirtie yardes: the
whiche facion maie bee ordained in a sodaine, and commeth almoste to bee
like, unto the firste disposicion, whiche of tharmy afore we shewed. And
though it come straighter in the fronte, it commeth grosser in the
flanckes, whiche giveth it no lesse strength: but bicause the five
battailes, that be in the taile, have the Pikes on the hinder parte, for
the occasion that before we have declared, it is necessarie to make
theim to come on the parte afore, mindyng to have theim to make a backe
to the front of tharmie: and therfore it behoveth either to make them to
tourne battaile after battaile, as a whole body, or to make them quickly
to enter betwen thorders of targettes, and conduct them afore, the
whiche waie is more spedy, and of lesse disorder, then to make them to
turn al together: and so thou oughtest to doe of all those, whiche
remain behind in every condicion of assault, as I shal shewe you. If it
appere that thenemie come on the part behinde, the first thyng that
ought to bee dooen, is to cause that every man tourne his face where his
backe stode, and straight waie tharmie cometh to have made of taile,
hed, and of hed taile: then al those waies ought to be kept, in orderyng
thesame fronte, as I tolde afore. If the enemie come to incounter the
right flancke, the face of thy armie ought to bee made to tourne
towardes thesame side: after, make all those thynges in fortificacion of
thesame hedde, whiche above is saied, so that the horsemen, the Veliti,
and the artillerie, maie be in places conformable to the hed thereof:
onely you have this difference, that in variyng the hed of those, which
are transposed, some have to go more, and some lesse. In deede makyng
hedde of the right flancke, the Veliti ought to enter in the spaces,
that bee betwene the horne of the armie, and those horse, whiche were
nerest to the lefte flancke, in whose place ought to enter, the twoo
Ansignes of the extraordinarie Pikes, placed in the middest: But firste
the carriages and the unarmed, shall goe out by the open place, avoidyng
the rome in the middest, and retiryng themselves behinde the lefte
flancke, whiche shall come to bee then the taile of the armie: the other
Veliti that were placed in the taile, accordyng to the principall
orderyng of the armie, in this case, shall not move: Bicause the same
place should not remaine open, whiche of taile shall come to be flancke:
all other thyng ought to bee dooen, as in orderyng of the firste hedde
is saied: this that is told about the makyng hed of the right flanck,
must be understode to be told, havyng nede to make it of the left
flanck: for that the very same order ought to bee observed. If the
enemie should come grose, and in order to assaulte thee on twoo sides,
those twoo sides, whiche he commeth to assaulte thee on, ought to bee
made stronge with the other twoo sides, that are not assaulted, doublyng
the orders in eche of theim, and devidyng for bothe partes the
artillerie, the Veliti, and the horse. If he come on three or on fower
sides, it is necessarie that either thou or he lacke prudence: for that
if thou shalt bee wise, thou wilte never putte thy self in place, that
the enemie on three or fower sides, with a greate nomber of men, and in
order, maie assault thee: for that mindyng, safely to hurte thee, it is
requisit, that he be so great, that on every side, he maie assault thee,
with as many men, as thou haste almoste in al thy army: and if thou be
so unwise, that thou put thy self in the daunger and force of an enemie,
whom hath three tymes more menne ordained then thou, if thou catche
hurte, thou canste blame no man but thy self: if it happen not through
thy faulte, but throughe some mischaunce, the hurt shall be without the
shame, and it shal chaunce unto thee, as unto the Scipions in Spaine,
and to Asdruball in Italie but if the enemie have not many more men then
thou, and intende for to disorder thee, to assaulte thee on divers
sides, it shal be his foolishnesse, and thy good fortune: for as moche
as to doe so, it is convenient, that he become so thinne in soche wise,
that then easely thou maiste overthrow one bande, and withstande an
other, and in short time ruinate him: this maner of ordering an armie
against an enemie, whiche is not seen, but whiche is feared, is a
necessarie and a profitable thing, to accustome thy souldiours, to put
themselves together, and to march with soche order, and in marchyng, to
order theimselves to faight, accordyng to the first hedde, and after to
retourne in the forme, that thei marched in, then to make hedde of the
taile, after, of the flanckes, from these, to retourne into the first
facion: the whiche exercises and uses bee necessarie, mindyng to have an
armie, throughly instructed and practised: in whiche thyng the Princes
and the capitaines, ought to take paine. Nor the discipline of warre is
no other, then to knowe how to commaunde, and to execute these thynges.
Nor an instructed armie is no other, then an armie that is wel practised
in these orders: nor it cannot be possible, that who so ever in this
time, should use like disciplin shall ever bee broken. And if this
quadrante forme whiche I have shewed you, is somewhat difficulte, soche
difficultnesse is necessarie, takyng it for an exercise: for as moche as
knowyng well, how to set theim selves in order, and to maintaine theim
selves in the same, thei shall knowe after more easely, how to stand in
those, whiche should not have so moche difficultie.

ZANOBI. I beleve as you saie, that these orders bee verie necessarie,
and I for my parte, knowe not what to adde or take from it: true it is,
that I desire to know of you twoo thynges, the one, if when you will
make of the taile, or of the flancke hedde, and would make them to
tourne, whether this be commaunded by the voice, or with the sounde:
thother, whether those that you sende afore, to make plain the waie, for
the armie to marche, ought to be of the verie same souldiours of your
battailes, or other vile menne appoincted, to like exercise.

[Sidenote: Commaundementes of Capitaines being not wel understoode, maie
be the destruction of an armie; Respect that is to be had in
commaundementes made with the sounde of the Trompet; In commaundmentes
made with the voice, what respect is to be had; Of Pianars.]

FABRICIO. Your firste question importeth moche: for that many tymes the
commaundementes of Capitaines, beyng not well understoode, or evill
interpreted, have disordered their armie: therfore the voices, with the
whiche thei commaunde in perilles, ought to bee cleare, and nete. And if
thou commaunde with the sounde, it is convenient to make, that betwene
the one waie and the other, there be so moche difference, that the one
cannot be chaunged for the other: and if thou commaundest with the
voice, thou oughteste to take heede, that thou flie the general voices,
and to use the particulares, and of the particulars, to flie those,
whiche maie be interpreted sinisterly. Many tymes the saiyng backe,
backe, hath made to ruinate an armie; therfore this voice ought not to
be used, but in steede therof to use, retire you. If you will make theim
to tourne, for to chaunge the hedde, either to flanck, or to backe, use
never to saie tourne you, but saie to the lefte, to the right, to the
backe, to the front: thus all the other voices ought to be simple, and
nete, as thrust on, march, stande stronge, forwarde, retourne you: and
all those thynges, whiche maie bee dooen with the voice, thei doe, the
other is dooen with the sounde. Concernyng those menne, that must make
the waies plaine for the armie to marche, whiche is your seconde
question, I would cause my owne souldiours to dooe this office, as well
bicause in the aunciente warfare thei did so, as also for that there
should be in the armie, lesser nomber of unarmed men, and lesse
impedimentes: and I would choose out of every battaile, thesame nomber
that should nede, and I would make theim to take the instrumentes, meete
to plaine the grounde withall, and their weapons to leave with those
rankes, that should bee nereste them, who should carrie them, and the
enemie commyng, thei shall have no other to doe, then to take them
again, and to retourne into their araie.

ZANOBI. Who shall carrie thinstrumentes to make the waie plaine withall?

FABRICIO. The Cartes that are appoincted to carrie the like

ZANOBI. I doubte whether you should ever brynge these our souldiours, to
labour with Shovell or Mattocke, after soche sorte.

[Sidenote: The victualles that thantiquitie made provision of, for their

FABRICIO. All these thynges shall bee reasoned in the place thereof, but
now I will let alone this parte, and reason of the maner of the
victualing of the armie: for that me thinketh, havyng so moche
traivailed theim, it is tyme to refreshe them, and to comfort them with
meate. You have to understande, that a Prince ought to ordaine his
armie, as expedite as is possible, and take from thesame all those
thynges, whiche maie cause any trouble or burthen unto it, and make unto
hym any enterprise difficulte. Emongest those thynges that causeth moste
difficultie, is to be constrained to keepe the armie provided of wine,
and baked bread. The antiquitie cared not for Wine, for that lackyng it,
thei dranke water, mingeled with a little vinegre, to give it a taste:
For whiche cause, emong the municions of victualles for the hoste,
vineger was one, and not wine. Thei baked not the breade in Ovens, as
thei use for Citees, but thei provided the Meale, and of thesame, every
Souldiour after his owne maner, satisfied hym self, havyng for
condimente Larde and Baken, the whiche made the breade saverie, that
thei made, and maintained theim strong, so that the provision of
victualles for the armie, was Meale, Vineger, Larde, and Bacon, and for
the horses Barley. Thei had ordinarely heardes of greate beastes and
small, whiche folowed the armie, the whiche havyng no nede to bee
carried, caused not moche impedimente. Of this order there grewe, that
an armie in old time, marched somtymes many daies through solitarie
places, and difficulte, without sufferyng disease of victualles: for
that thei lived of thyngs, whiche easely thei might convey after them.
To the contrarie it happeneth in the armies, that are now a daies,
whiche mindyng not to lacke wine, and to eate baked breade in thesame
maner, as when thei are at home, whereof beyng not able to make
provision long, thei remaine often tymes famished, or though thei be
provided, it is dooen with disease, and with moste greate coste:
therfore I would reduce my armie to this maner of living: and I would
not that thei should eate other bread, then that, which by themselves
thei should bake. Concernyng wine, I would not prohibite the drinkyng
thereof, nor yet the commyng of it into the armie, but I would not use
indevour, nor any labour for to have it, and in the other provisions, I
would governe my self altogether, like unto the antiquitie: the whiche
thing, if you consider well, you shall see how moche difficultie is
taken awaie, and how moche trouble and disease, an armie and a capitaine
is avoided of, and how moche commoditie shall bee given, to what so ever
enterprise is to bee dooen.

ZANOBI. We have overcome thenemie in the field, marched afterward upon
his countrie, reason would, that spoiles be made, tounes sacked,
prisoners taken, therefore I would knowe how the antiquitie in these
thynges, governed them selves.

[Sidenote: The occasions why the warres made nowe adaies, doe
impoverishe the conquerors as well as the conquered; The order that the
Romaines toke, concerning the spoile and the booties that their
souldiours gotte; An order that the antiquitie tooke, concernyng their
soldiours wages.]

FABRICIO. Beholde, I will satisfie you. I beleve you have considered,
for that once alredie with some of you I have reasoned, howe these
present warres, impoverishe as well those lordes that overcome, as those
that leese: for that if the one leese his estate, the other leeseth his
money, and his movables: the whiche in olde time was not, for that the
conquerour of the warre, waxed ritche. This groweth of keepyng no compte
in these daies of the spoiles, as in olde tyme thei did, but thei leave
it to the discreacion of the souldiours. This manner maketh twoo moste
great disorders: the one, that whiche I have tolde: the other that the
souldiour becometh more covetous to spoyle, and lesse observeth the
orders: and manie times it hath been seen, howe the covetousnesse of the
praye, hath made those to leese, whome were victorious. Therefore the
Romaines whiche were princes of armies, provided to the one and to the
other of these inconvenienses, ordainyng that all the spoyle should
apertaine to the publicke, and that the publicke after should bestowe
it, as shoulde be thought good: and therfore thei had in tharmie the
questours, whom were as we would say, the chamberlaines, to whose charge
all the spoyle and booties were committed: whereof the consull was
served to geve the ordinarie pay to the souldiours, to succour the
wounded, and the sicke, and for the other businesse of the armie. The
consull might well, and he used it often, to graunte a spoyle to
soldiours: but this grauntyng, made no disorder: for that the armie
beyng broken all the pray was put in the middest, and distributed by
hedde, accordyng to the qualitee of everie man: the which maner thei
constituted, to thintente, that the soldiours should attend to overcome,
and not to robbe: and the Romaine Legions overcame the enemies, and
folowed them not, for that thei never departed from their orders: onely
there folowed them, the horsemenne with those that were light armed, and
if there were any other souldiours then those of the legions, they
likewyse pursued the chase. Where if the spoyle shoulde have ben his
that gotte it, it had not ben possible nor reasonable, to have kepte the
legions steddie, and to withstonde manie perils; hereby grewe therefore,
that the common weale inritched, and every Consull carried with his
triumphe into the treasurie, muche treasure, whiche all was of booties
and spoiles. An other thing the antiquetie did upon good consideration,
that of the wages, whiche they gave to every souldiour, the thirde parte
they woulde shoulde be laied up nexte to him, whome carried the ansigne
of their bande, whiche never gave it them againe, before the warre was
ended: this thei did, beyng moved of twoo reasons, the first was to
thintente, that the souldiour should thrive by his wages, because the
greatest parte of them beyng yonge men, and carelesse, the more thei
have, so muche the more without neede thei spende, the other cause was,
for that knowyng, that their movabelles were nexte to the ansigne, thei
should be constrained to have more care thereof, and with more
obstinatenesse to defende it: and this made them stronge and to holde
together: all which thynges is necessarie to observe, purposinge to
reduce the exercise of armes unto the intier perfection therof.

ZANOBI. I beleeve that it is not possible, that to an armie that
marcheth from place to place, there fal not perrilous accidentes, where
the industerie of the capitaine is needefull, and the worthinesse of the
souldiours, mindyng to avoyde them. Therefore I woulde be glad, that you
remembring any, would shew them.

[Sidenote: Captaines mai incurre the daunger of ambusshes twoo maner of
wayes; How to avoide the perill of ambusshes; Howe ambusshes have ben
perceived; Howe the Capitaine of the enemies ought to be esteemed; Where
men be in greatest perill; The description of the countrey where an army
muste marche, is most requiset for a Capitaine to have; A most
profitable thyng it is for a capitayne to be secrete in all his
affaires; An advertisment concernyng the marchyng of an armie; The
marching of an armie ought to be ruled by the stroke of the Drumme; The
condicion of the enemie ought to be considered.]

FABRICIO. I shall contente you with a good will, beyng inespetially
necessarie, intendyng to make of this exercise a perfecte science. The
Capitaines ought above all other thynges, whileste thei marche with an
armie, to take heede of ambusshes, wherein they incurre daunger twoo
waies, either marchynge thou entrest into them, or thoroughe crafte of
the enemie thou arte trained in before thou arte aware. In the first
case, mindyng to avoide suche perill, it is necessarie to sende afore
double warde, whome may discover the countrey, and so muche the more
dilligence ought to be used, the more that the countrey is apte for
ambusshes, as be the woddie or hilly countries, for that alwaies thei be
layd either in a wodde, or behind a hille: and as the ambusshe not
forseene, doeth ruin thee, so forseyng the same, it cannot hurte thee.
Manie tymes birdes or muche duste have discovered the enemie: for that
alwayes where the enemie cometh to finde thee, he shall make great
duste, whiche shall signifie unto thee his comyng: so often tymes a
Capitaine seyng in the places where he ought to passe, Doves to rise, or
other of those birdes that flie in flockes, and to tourne aboute and not
to light, hath knowen by the same the ambusshe of the enemies to be
there, and sendynge before his men, and sertainely understandyng it,
hath saved him selfe and hurte his enemie. Concernyng the seconde case,
to be trained in, (which these our men cal to be drawen to the shot)
thou ought to take heede, not straight way to beleve those thinges,
which are nothyng reasonable, that thei be as they seeme: as shoulde be,
if the enemie should set afore thee a praie, thou oughtest to beleeve
that in the same is the hooke, and that therin is hid the deceipte. If
many enemies be driven away by a fewe of thine, if a fewe enemies
assaulte manie of thine, if the enemies make a sodeine flight, and not
standynge with reason, alwaies thou oughtest in suche cases to feare
deceipte, and oughtest never to beleeve that the enemie knoweth not how
to doe his businesse, but rather intendyng that he may begile thee the
lesse, and mindyng to stand in lesse peril, the weaker that he is, and
the lesse craftier that the enemie is, so muche the more thou oughtest
to esteeme him: and thou muste in this case use twoo sundrie poinctes,
for that thou oughtest to feare him in thy minde and with the order, but
with wordes, and with other outewarde demonstracion, to seeme to dispyse
him: because this laste way, maketh that the souldiours hope the more to
have the victorie: the other maketh thee more warie, and lesse apte to
be begyled. And thou hast to understand, that when men marche thoroughe
the enemies countrey, they ar in muche more, and greater perils, then in
fayghtyng the fielde: and therefore the Capitaine in marchyng, ought to
use double diligence: and the first thyng that he ought to doo, is to
get described, and payncted oute all the countrie, thorough the which he
must marche, so that he maye know the places, the number, the distances,
the waies, the hilles, the rivers, the fennes, and all the quallites of
them: and to cause this to bee knowen, it is convenient to have with him
diversly, and in sundrie maners such men, as know the places, and to
aske them with diligence, and to se whether their talke agree, and
accordyng to the agreyng therof, to note: he oughte also to sende afore
the horsemen, and with them prudente heddes, not so muche to discover
the enemie, as to viewe the countrey, to se whether it agree with the
description, and with the knowledge that they have of the same. Also the
guydes that are sente, ought to be kepte with hope of rewarde, and feare
of paine. And above all thynges it ought to be provided, that the armie
knowe not to what businesse he leadeth them: for that there is nothyng
in the warre more profitable, then to keepe secret the thynges that is
to be dooen: and to thintente a suddeine assaulte dooe not trouble thy
soldiours, thou oughteste to see them to stande reddie with their
weapons, because the thynges that ar provided for, offend lesse. Manie
for to avoyde the confusion of marchyng, have placed under the
standerde, the carriages, and the unarmed, and have commaunded them to
folow the same, to the intente that in marchyng needyng to staye, or to
retire, they might dooe it more easely, which thyng as profitable, I
alowe very muche. Also in marchyng, advertismente ought to be had, that
the one parte of the armie goe not a sunder from the other, or that
thoroughe some goyng fast, and some softe, the armie become not slender:
the whiche thynges, be occation of dissorder: therfore the heddes muste
be placed in suche wise, that they may maintaine the pace even, causing
to goe softe those that goe to fast, and to haste forward the other that
goe to sloe, the whiche pace can not bee better ruled, then by the
stroke of the drumme. The waies ought to be caused to be inlarged, so
that alwaies at least a bande of iiii. hundred men may marche in order
of battaile. The custome and the qualitie of the enemie ought to be
considered, and whether that he wil assaulte thee either in the mornyng,
or at none or in the evenynge, and whether he be more puisante with
fotemen or horsemen, and accordyng as thou understandest, to ordeine and
to provide for thy self. But let us come to some particular accidente.
It hapneth sometime, that thou gettyng from the enemie, because thou
judgest thy selfe inferiour, and therfore mindynge not to faight with
him, and he comyng at thy backe, thou arivest at the banke of a river,
passyng over the which, asketh time, so that the enemie is redie to
overtake thee and to fayght with thee. Some, which chaunsing to bee in
suche perill, have inclosed their armie on the hinder parte with a
diche, and fillyng the same full of towe, and firyng it, have then
passed with the armie without beyng able to be letted of the enemie, he
beyng by the same fire that was betwene them held backe.

[Sidenote: Annone of Carthage.]

ZANOBI. I am harde of beliefe, that this fyre coulde stay theim, in
especially because I remember that I have harde, howe Annone of
Carthage, beyng besieged of enemies, inclosed him selfe on the same
parte, with wodde, which he did set on fire where he purposed to make
eruption. Wherfore the enemies beyng not intentive on the same parte to
looke to him, he made his armie to passe over the same flame, causing
every man to holde his Target before his face for to defend them from
the fire, and smoke.

[Sidenote: Nabide a spartayne; Quintus Luttatius pollecie to passe over
a river; How to passe a ryver without a bridge; A polecie of Cesar to
passe a river, where his enemie beyng on the other side therof sought to
lette hym.]

FABRICIO. You saye well: but consider you howe I have saied, and howe
Annone did: for as muche as I saied that they made a diche, and filled
it with towe, so that he, that woulde passe over the same, should be
constrained to contende with the diche and with fire: Annone made the
fire, without the diche, and because he intended to passe over it, he
made it not great, for that otherwise without the diche, it shoulde have
letted him. Dooe you not knowe, that Nabide a Spartan beyng besieged in
Sparta of the Romaines, set fire on parte of his towne to let the way to
the Romaines, who alredie wer entred in? And by meane of the same flame
not onely hindered their way, but drave them oute: but let us turne to
our matter. Quintus Luttatius a Romaine, havyng at his backe the Cimbri,
and commyng to a river, to thentente the enemie should give him time to
passe over, semed to geve time to them to faight with him: and therfore
he fained that he would lodge there, and caused trenches to be made, and
certaine pavilions to be erected, and sent certayne horsemen into the
countrie for forredge: so that the Cimbrise beleevyng, that he incamped,
they also incamped, and devided them selves into sundrie partes, to
provide for victuals, wherof Luttatius being aware, passed the river
they beyng not able to let him. Some for to passe a river havynge no
bridge, have devided it, and one parte they have turned behynde their
backes, and the other then becomynge shalower, with ease they have
passed it: when the rivers be swift, purposyng to have their footemen to
passe safely, they place their strongest horses on the higher side, that
thei may sustain the water, and an other parte be lowe that may succour
the men, if any of the river in passyng should be overcome with the
water: They passe also rivers, that be verie deepe, with bridges, with
botes, and with barrelles: and therfore it is good to have in a
redinesse in an armie wherewith to be able to make all these thynges. It
fortuneth sometime that in passyng a river, the enemie standynge agaynst
thee on the other banke, doeth let thee: to minde to overcome this
difficultie, I know not a better insample to folow, then the same of
Cesar, whome havynge his armie on the banke of a river in Fraunce, and
his passage beynge letted of Vergintorige a Frenche man, the whiche on
the other side of the river had his men, marched many daies a longe the
river, and the like did the enemie: wherfore Cesar incamping in a woddie
place, apte to hide men, he tooke out of every legion three cohortes,
and made them to tarie in the same place, commaundynge theim that so
soone as he was departed, they shoulde caste over a bridge, and should
fortefie it, and he with his other menne folowed on the waye: wherfore
Vergintorige seyng the number of the legions, thinkyng that there was
not left anie parte of theim behinde, folowed also his way: but Cesar
when he supposed that the bridge was made, tourned backewarde, and
findynge all thinges in order, passed the river without difficultee.

ZANOBI. Have ye any rule to know the foordes?

[Sidenote: How to know the Foordes of a river.]

FABRICIO. Yea, we have: alwaies the river, in that parte, whiche is
betwene the water, that is stilleste, and the water that runneth
fastest, there is least depth and it is a place more meete to be looked
on, then any other where. For that alwaies in thesame place, the river
is moste shallowest. The whiche thyng, bicause it hath been proved many
tymes, is moste true.

ZANOBI. If it chaunce that the River hath marde the Foorde, so that the
horses sincke, what reamedy have you?

[Sidenote: Howe to escape oute of a straight where the same is besette
with enemies; Howe Lutius Minutius escaped out of a strayght wherin he
was inclosed of his enemies; Howe some Capitaynes have suffered them
selves to be compassed aboute of their enemies; A polecie of Marcus
Antonius; A defence for the shotte of arrowes.]

FABRICIO. The remedie is to make hardels of roddes whiche must be placed
in the bottome of the river, and so to passe upon those: but let us
folowe our reasonyng. If it happen that a capitain be led with his
armie, betwen two hilles, and that he have not but twoo waies to save
hymself, either that before, or that behinde, and those beyng beset of
thenemies, he hath for remidie to doe the same, which some have doen
heretofore: that which have made on their hinder parte a greate trenche,
difficult to passe over, and semed to the enemie, to mynde to kepe him
of, for to be able with al his power, without neding to feare behinde,
to make force that waie, whiche before remaineth open. The whiche the
enemies belevyng, have made theim selves stronge, towardes the open
parte, and have forsaken the inclosed and he then castyng a bridge of
woode over the Trenche, for soche an effect prepared, bothe on thesame
parte, with out any impedimente hath passed, and also delivered hymself
out of the handes of the enemie. Lucius Minutus a Consul of Rome, was in
Liguria with an armie, and was of the enemies inclosed, betwene certaine
hilles, whereby he could not go out: therefore he sente certaine
souldiours of Numidia on horsebacke, whiche he had in his armie (whom
were evill armed, and upon little leane horses) towardes the places that
were kepte of the enemies, whom at the first sight made the enemies, to
order theim selves together, to defende the passage: but after that thei
sawe those men ill apoincted, and accordyng to their facion evill
horsed, regardyng theim little, enlarged the orders of their warde,
wherof so sone as the Numidians wer a ware, givyng the spurres to their
horses, and runnyng violently upon theim, passed before thei could
provide any remedy, whom beyng passed, destroied and spoiled the
countrie after soche sorte, that thei constrained the enemies, to leave
the passage free to the armie of Lucius. Some capitaine, whiche hath
perceived hymself to be assaulted of a greate multitude of enemies, hath
drawen together his men, and hath given to the enemie commoditie, to
compasse hym all about, and then on thesame part, whiche he hath
perceived to be moste weake, hath made force, and by thesame waie, hath
caused to make waie, and saved hymself.

Marcus Antonius retiryng before the armie of the Parthians, perceived
how the enemies every daie before Sunne risyng, when he removed,
assaulted him, and all the waie troubled hym: in so moch, that he
determined not to departe the nexte daie, before None: so that the
Parthians beleving, that he would not remove that daie, retourned to
their tentes. Whereby Marcus Antonius might then all the reste of the
daie, marche without any disquietnesse. This self same man for to avoide
the arrowes of the Parthians, commaunded his men, that when the
Parthians came towardes them, thei should knele, and that the second
ranke of the battailes, should cover with their Targaettes, the heddes
of the firste, the thirde, the seconde, the fowerth the third, and so
successively, that all the armie came, to be as it were under a
pentehouse, and defended from the shotte of the enemies. This is as
moche as is come into my remembraunce, to tell you, which maie happen
unto an armie marchyng: therefore, if you remember not any thyng els, I
will passe to an other parte.


ZANOBI. I beleve that it is good, seyng the reasonyng must be chaunged,
that Baptiste take his office, and I to resigne myne, and wee shall come
in this case, to imitate the good Capitaines (accordyng as I have nowe
here understoode of the gentilman) who place the beste souldiours,
before and behinde the armie, semyng unto theim necessarie to have
before, soche as maie lustely beginne the faight, and soche as behinde
maie lustely sustaine it. Now seyng Cosimus began this reasonyng
prudently, Baptiste prudently shall ende it. As for Luigi and I, have in
this middeste intertained it, and as every one of us hath taken his part
willingly, so I beleve not, that Baptiste wil refuse it.

BAPTISTE. I have let my self been governed hetherto, so I minde to doe
still. Therfore be contente sir, to folowe your reasonyng, and if we
interrupte you with this practise of ours, have us excused.

[Sidenote: How the Grekes incamped; Howe the Romaines incamped; The
maner of the incamping of an armie; The lodging for the generall

FABRICIO. You dooe me, as all readie I have saied, a moste greate
pleasure; for this your interrupting me, taketh not awaie my fantasie,
but rather refresheth me. But mindyng to followe our matter I saie, how
that it is now tyme, that we lodge this our armie, for that you knowe
every thyng desireth reste and saftie, bicause to reste, and not to
reste safely, is no perfecte reste: I doubte moche, whether it hath not
been desired of you, that I should firste have lodged them, after made
theim to marche, and laste of all to faight, and we have doen the
contrary: whereunto necessitie hath brought us, for that intendyng to
shewe, how an armie in going, is reduced from the forme of marching, to
thesame maner of faightyng, it was necessarie to have firste shewed, how
thei ordered it to faight. But tournyng to our matter, I saie, that
minding to have the Campe sure, it is requisite that it be strong, and
in good order: the industrie of the Capitaine, maketh it in order, the
situacion, or the arte, maketh it stronge. The Grekes sought strong
situacions, nor thei would never place theim selves, where had not been
either cave, or bancke of a river, or multitude of trees, or other
naturall fortificacion, that might defende theim: but the Romaines not
so moche incamped safe through the situacion, as through arte, nor thei
would never incampe in place, where thei should not have been able to
have raunged all their bandes of menne, accordyng to their discipline.
Hereby grewe, that the Romaines might kepe alwaies one forme of
incamping, for that thei would, that the situacion should bee ruled by
them, not thei by the situacion: the which the Grekes could not observe,
for that beyng ruled by the situacion, and variyng the situacion and
forme, it was conveniente, that also thei should varie the maner of
incampyng, and the facion of their lodgynges. Therefore the Romaines,
where the situacion lacked strength thei supplied thesame with arte, and
with industrie. And for that I in this my declaracion, have willed to
imitate the Romaines, I will not departe from the maner of their
incamping, yet not observyng altogether their order, but takyng thesame
parte, whiche semeth unto me, to be mete for this present tyme. I have
told you many tymes, how the Romaines had in their consull armies, twoo
Legions of Romaine men, whiche were aboute a leven thousande footemen,
and sixe hundred horsemen, and moreover thei had an other leven
thousande footemen, sente from their frendes in their aide: nor in their
armie thei had never more souldiers that were straungers, then Romaines,
excepte horsemenne, whom thei cared not, though thei were more in nomber
then theirs: and in all their doynges, thei did place their Legions in
the middeste, and the aiders, on the sides: the whiche maner, thei
observed also in incampyng, as by your self you maie rede, in those
aucthoures, that write of their actes: and therefore I purpose not to
shewe you distinctly how thei incamped, but to tell you onely with what
order, I at this presente would incampe my armie, whereby you shall then
knowe, what parte I have taken out of the Romaine maners. You knowe,
that in stede of twoo Romaine Legions, I have taken twoo maine battailes
of footemen, of sixe thousande footemen, and three hundred horsemen,
profitable for a maine battaile, and into what battailes, into what
weapons, into what names I have devided theim: you knowe howe in
orderyng tharmie to marche, and to faight, I have not made mencion of
other men, but onely have shewed, how that doublyng the men, thei neded
not but to double the orders: but mindyng at this presente, to shew you
the maner of incampyng, me thinketh good not to stande onely with twoo
maine battailes, but to bryng together a juste armie, made like unto the
Romaines, of twoo maine battailes, and of as many more aidyng men: the
whiche I make, to the intent that the forme of the incampyng, maie be
the more perfect, by lodgyng a perfecte armie: whiche thyng in the other
demonstracions, hath not semed unto me so necessarie. Purposing then, to
incampe a juste armie, of xxiiii. thousande footemen, and of twoo
thousande good horsemenne, beeyng devided into fower maine battailes,
twoo of our owne menne, and twoo of straungers, I would take this waie.
The situacion beyng founde, where I would incampe, I would erecte the
hed standarde, and aboute it, I would marke out a quadrant, whiche
should have every side distante from it xxxvii. yardes and a half, of
whiche every one of them should lye, towardes one of the fower regions
of heaven, as Easte, Weste, Southe, and Northe: betwene the whiche
space, I would that the capitaines lodgyng should be appoincted. And
bicause I beleve that it is wisedom, to devide the armed from the
unarmed, seyng that so, for the moste parte the Romaines did, I would
therefore seperate the menne, that were cumbered with any thing, from
the uncombered. I would lodge all, or the greatest parte of the armed,
on the side towardes the Easte, and the unarmed, and the cumbred, on the
Weste side, makyng Easte the hedde, and Weste the backe of the Campe,
and Southe, and Northe should be the flanckes: and for to distinguishe
the lodgynges of the armed, I would take this waie. I would drawe a line
from the hedde standarde, and lead it towardes the Easte, the space of
CCCCC.x. yardes and a half: I would after, make two other lines, that
should place in the middeste the same, and should bee as longe as that,
but distante eche of theim from it a leven yardes and a quarter: in the
ende whereof, I would have the Easte gate, and the space that is betwene
the twoo uttermoste lines, should make a waie, that should go from the
gate, to the capitaines lodging, whiche shall come to be xxii. yardes
and a halfe broad, and CCCClxxii. yardes and a halfe longe, for the
xxxvii. yardes and a halfe, the lodgyng of the Capitaine will take up:
and this shall bee called the Capitaine waie. Then there shall be made
an other waie, from the Southe gate, to the Northe gate, and shall passe
by the hedde of the capitaine waie, and leave the Capitaines lodgyng
towardes theaste, whiche waie shalbe ix.C.xxxvii. yardes and a halfe
long (for the length therof wilbe as moche as the breadth of all the
lodgynges) and shall likewise be xxii. yardes and a half broad, and
shalbe called the crosse waie. Then so sone as the Capitaines lodgyng,
were appoincted out, and these twoo waies, there shall bee begun to be
appoincted out, the lodginges of our own two main battailes, one of the
whiche, I would lodge on the right hand of the capitaines waie, and the
other, on the lefte: and therefore passing over the space, that the
breadth of the crosse waie taketh, I would place xxxii. lodgynges, on
the lefte side of the capitain waie, and xxxii. on the right side,
leavyng betwene the xvi. and the xvii. lodgyng, a space of xxii. yardes
and a halfe, the whiche should serve for a waie overthwart, whiche
should runne overthwarte, throughout all the lodgynges of the maine
battailes as in the distributyng of them shall bee seen.

[Sidenote: The lodgings for the men of armes, and their Capitaine; Note,
which is breadth and whiche length in the square campe; The lodgings for
the lighte horsemen, and their capitain; The lodgings for the footemen
of twoo ordinary main battailes; The lodgings for the conestables; The
nomber of footemen appoincted to every lodging; The lodynges for the
chiefe Capitaines of the maine battayles and for the treasurers,
marshals and straungers; Lodginges for the horsemen, of the
extraordinarie mayne battailes; The lodgynges for the extraordinarie
Pykes and Veliti; How the Artillerie must be placed in the Campe;
Lodgynges for the unarmed men, and the places that are apoineted for the
impedimentes of the campe.]

Of these twoo orders of lodgynges in the beginnyng of the head, whiche
shall come to joygne to the crosse waye, I would lodge the Capitaine of
the men of armes, in the xv. lodgynges, which on everie side foloweth
next, their men of armes, where eche main battaile, havyng a CL. men of
armes, it will come to ten men of armes for a lodgyng. The spaces of the
Capitaines lodgynges, should be in bredth xxx. and in length vii. yardes
and a halfe. And note that when so ever I sai bredeth, it signifieth the
space of the middest from Southe to Northe, and saiyng length, that
whiche is from weste to Easte. Those of the men of armes, shoulde be xi.
yardes and a quarter in length, and xxii. yardes and a halfe in bredeth.
In the other xv. lodgynges, that on everie syde should folowe, the
whiche should have their beginnyng on the other side of the overthwarte
way, and whiche shall have the very same space, that those of the men of
armes had, I woulde lodge the light horsemen: wherof beynge a hundred
and fiftie, it will come to x. horsemen for a lodgyng, and in the xvi.
that remaineth, I woulde lodge their Capitaine, gevynge him the verie
same space, that is geven to the Capitain of the men of armes: and thus
the lodginges of the horsemen of two maine battailes, will come to place
in the middest the Capitaine way, and geve rule to the lodginges of the
footemen, as I shall declare. You have noted how I have lodged the CCC.
horsemen of everie main battaile with their Capitaines, in xxxii.
lodgynges placed on the Captaine waie, havynge begun from the crosse
waie, and how from the xvi. to the xvii. there remaineth a space of
xxii. yardes and a halfe, to make awaie overthwarte. Mindyng therefore
to lodge the xx. battailes, which the twoo ordinarie maine battailes
have, I woulde place the lodgyng of everie twoo battailes, behinde the
lodgynges of the horsemen, everie one of whiche, should have in length
xi. yardes and a quarter, and in bredeth xxii. yardes and a half as
those of the horsemens, and shoulde bee joigned on the hinder parte,
that thei shoulde touche the one the other. And in every first lodgyng
on everie side which cometh to lie on the crosse waie, I woulde lodge
the Counstable of a battaile, whiche should come to stand even with the
lodgyng of the Capitayne of the men of armes, and this lodgyng shall
have onely of space for bredeth xv. yardes, and for length vii. yardes
and a halfe. In the other xv. lodgynges, that on everie side followeth
after these, even unto the overthwarte way, I would lodge on everie part
a battaile of foote men, whiche beyng iiii. hundred and fiftie, there
will come to a lodgyng xxx. The other xv. lodgynges, I woulde place
continually on every side on those of the light horse men, with the
verie same spaces, where I woulde lodge on everie part, an other
battaile of fote men, and in the laste lodgyng, I would place on every
parte the Conestable of the battaile, whiche will come to joigne with
the same of the Capitaine of the lighte horsemen, with the space of vii.
yardes and a halfe for length, and xv. for bredeth: and so these two
firste orders of lodgynges, shal be halfe of horsemen, and halfe of
footemen. And for that I woulde (as in the place therof I have tolde
you) these horse menne shoulde be all profitable, and for this havynge
no servauntes whiche in kepyng the horses, or in other necessarie
thynges might helpe them, I woulde that these footemen, who lodge
behynde the horse, should bee bounde to helpe to provide, and to keepe
theim for their maisters: and for this to bee exempted from the other
doynges of the Campe. The whiche maner, was observed of the Romanies.
Then leavyng after these lodgynges on everie parte, a space of xxii.
yardes and a halfe, whiche shoulde make awaye, that shoulde be called
the one, the firste waye on the righte hande, and the other the firste
waie on the lefte hand, I woulde pitche on everie side an other order of
xxxii. double lodgynges, whiche should tourne their hinder partes the
one againste the other with the verie same spaces, as those that I have
tolde you of, and devided after the sixtenth in the verie same maner for
to make the overthwarte waie, where I would lodge on every side iiii.
battailes of footemen, with their constables in bothe endes. Then
leavyng on every side an other space of xxii. yardes and a halfe, that
shoulde make a waie, whiche shoulde be called of the one side, the
seconde waie on the right hande, and on the other syde, the seconde way
on the lefte hande, I would place an other order on everie side of
xxxii. double lodgynges, with the verie same distance and devisions,
where I would lodge on everie side, other iiii. battailes with their
Constables: and thus the horesemenne and the bandes of the twoo
ordinarie maine battailes, should come to be lodged in three orders of
lodgynges, on the one side of the capitaine waie, and in three other
orders of lodgynges on the other side of the Capitaine waie. The twoo
aidyng maine battels (for that I cause them to be made of the verie same
nation) I woulde lodge them on everie parte of these twoo ordinarie
maine battailes, with the very same orders of double lodgynges, pitchyng
first one order of lodgynges, where should lodge halfe the horsemen, and
half the foote men, distance xxii. yardes and a halfe from the other,
for to make a way whiche should be called the one, the thirde waie on
the right hande, and the other the thirde waie on the lefte hande. And
after, I woulde make on everie side, twoo other orders of lodgynges, in
the verie same maner destinguesshed and ordeined, as those were of the
ordinarie maine battelles, which shall make twoo other wayes, and they
all should be called of the numbre, and of the hande, where thei should
be placed: in suche wyse, that all this side of the armie, shoulde come
to be lodged in xii. orders of double lodgynges, and in xiii. waies,
reckenynge captaine waie, and crosse waie: I would there should remayne
a space from the lodgynges to the Trenche of lxxv. yardes rounde aboute:
and if you recken al these spaces, you shall see that from the middest
of the Capitaines lodgyng to the easte gate, there is Dx. yardes. Now
there remaineth twoo spaces, whereof one is from the Capitaines lodgyng
to the Southe gate, the other is from thense to the Northe gate: whiche
come to be (either of them measurynge them from the poincte in the
middest) CCCC.lxxvi. yardes. Then takyng out of everie one of these
spaces xxxvii. yardes and a halfe, whiche the Capitaynes lodgynge
occupieth, and xxxiiii. yardes everie waie for a market place, and xxii.
yardes and a halfe for way that devides everie one of the saied spaces
in the middest, and lxxv. yardes, that is lefte on everie part betweene
the lodgynges and the Trenche, there remaineth on every side a space for
lodginges of CCC. yardes broade, and lxxv. yardes longe, measurynge the
length with the space that the Captaines lodgynge taketh up. Devidynge
then in the middest the saied lengthe, there woulde be made on every
hande of the Capitaine xl. lodgynges xxxvii. yardes and a halfe longe,
and xv. broade, whiche will come to be in all lxxx. lodgynges, wherin
shall be lodged the heddes of the maine battailes, the Treasurers, the
Marshalles of the fielde, and all those that shoulde have office in the
armie, leavyng some voide for straungers that shoulde happen to come,
and for those that shall serve for good will of the Capitaine. On the
parte behinde the Capitaines lodgynge, I would have a way from Southe to
Northe xxiii. yardes large, and shoulde be called the bed way, whiche
shall come to be placed a longe by the lxxx. lodgynges aforesayd: for
that this waie, and the crosseway, shall come to place in the middest
betweene them bothe the Capitaines lodgynge, and the lxxx. lodgynges
that be on the sides therof. From this bed waie, and from over agaynst
the captaines lodgyng, I would make an other waie, which shoulde goe
from thens to the weste gate, lykewyse broade xxii. yardes and a halfe,
and should aunswer in situation and in length to the Captaine way, and
should be called the market waie. These twoo waies beynge made, I woulde
ordeine the market place, where the market shall bee kepte, whiche I
woulde place on the head of the market way over against the capitaines
lodgynge, and joigned to the head way, and I woulde have it to be
quadrante, and woulde assigne lxxxx. yardes and three quarters to a
square: and on the right hande and lefte hande, of the saied market
place, I would make two orders of lodginges, where everie order shal
have eight double lodginges, which shall take up in length, ix. yardes,
and in bredeth xxii. yardes and a halfe, so that there shall come to be
on every hande of the market place, xvi. lodgynges that shall place the
same in the middest which shall be in al xxxii. wherin I woulde lodge
those horsemen, which shoulde remaine to the aidyng mayne battailes: and
when these should not suffise, I woulde assigne theim some of those
lodginges that placeth between them the Capitaines lodgynge, and in
especially those, that lie towardes the Trenche. There resteth now to
lodge the Pikes, and extraordinarie Veliti, that everie main battaile
hath, which you know accordynge to our order, how everie one hath
besides the x. battailes M. extraordinarie Pikes, and five hundreth
Veliti: so that the twoo cheefe maine battailes, have two thousande
extraordinarie Pikes, and a thousande extraordinarie Veliti, and the
ayders as many as those, so that yet there remaineth to be lodged, vi.
M. menne, whome I woulde lodge all on the weste side, and a longe the
Trenche. Then from the ende of the hed waye, towardes Northe, leavyng
the space of lxxv. yardes from them to the trenche, I woulde place an
order of v. double lodgynges, whiche in all shoulde take up lvi. yardes
in lengthe, and xxx. in bredeth: so that the bredeth devided, there will
come to everie lodgyng xi. yardes and a quarter for lengthe, and for
bredeth twoo and twentie yardes and a half. And because there shall be
x. lodgynges, I will lodge three hundred men, apoinctyng to every
lodging xxx. men: leavyng then a space of three and twentie yardes and a
quarter, I woulde place in like wise, and with like spaces an other
order of five double lodgynges, and againe an other, till there were
five orders of five double lodgynges: which wil come to be fiftie
lodgynges placed by right line on the Northe side, every one of them
distante from the Trenche lxxv. yardes, which will lodge fifteene
hundred men. Tournyng after on the lefte hande towardes the weste gate,
I woulde pitche in all the same tracte, whiche were from them to the
saied gate, five other orders of double lodgynges, with the verie same
spaces, and with the verie same maner: true it is, that from the one
order to the other, there shall not be more then a xi. yardes and a
quarter of space: wherin shall be lodged also fifteene hundred men: and
thus from the Northe gate to the weste, as the Trenche turneth, in a
hundred lodginges devided in x. rewes of five double lodgynges in a
rowe, there will be lodged all the Pikes and extraordinarie Veliti of
the cheefe maine battayles. And so from the west gate to the Southe, as
the Trenche tourneth even in the verie same maner, in other ten rewes of
ten lodgynges in a rewe, there shall be lodged the pikes, and
extraordinarie Veliti of the aidyng mayne battailes. Their headdes or
their counstables may take those lodgynges, that shal seeme unto them
moste commodious, on the parte towardes the trenche. The Artillerie, I
woulde dispose throughoute all the Campe, a longe the banke of the
Trenche: and in all the other space that shoulde remaine towardes weste,
I woulde lodge all the unarmed, and place all the impedimentes of the
Campe. And it is to be understoode, that under this name of impedimentes
(as you know) the antiquitee mente all the same trayne, and all those
thynges, which are necessarie for an armie, besides the souldiours: as
are Carpenters, Smithes, Masons, Ingeners, Bombardiers, althoughe that
those might be counted in the numbre of the armed, herdemen with their
herdes of motons and beeves whiche for victuallyng of the armie, are
requiset: and moreover maisters of all sciences, together with publicke
carriages of the publicke munition, whiche pertaine as well to
victuallyng, as to armynge. Nor I would not distinguishe these lodginges
perticularly, only I would marke out the waies which should not be
occupied of them: then the other spaces, that betweene the waies shall
remaine, whiche shall be fower, I woulde appoincte theim generally for
all the saied impedimentes, that is one for the herdemen, the other for
artificers and craftes men, the thirde for publicke carriages of
victuals, the fowerth for the municion of armour and weapons. The waies
whiche I woulde shoulde be lefte without ocupiyng them, shal be the
market waie, the head waye, and more over a waie that shoulde be called
the midde waye, whiche should goe from Northe to Southe, and should
passe thoroughe the middest of the market waie, whiche from the weste
parte, shoulde serve for the same purpose that the overthwarte way doeth
on the east parte. And besides this, a waye whiche shall goe aboute on
the hinder parte, alonge the lodgynges of the Pikes and extraordinarie
Veliti, and all these wayes shall be twoo and tweentie vardes and a
halfe broade. And the Artilerie, I woulde place a longe the Trenche of
the Campe, rounde aboute the same.

BAPTISTE. I confesse that I understand not, nor I beleeve that also to
saye so, is any shame unto me, this beyng not my exercise:
notwithstandyng, this order pleaseth me muche: onely I woulde that you
shoulde declare me these doubtes: The one, whie you make the waie, and
the spaces aboute so large. The other, that troubleth me more, is these
spaces, whiche you apoincte oute for the lodgynges, howe they ought to
be used.

[Sidenote: The Campe ought to be all waies of one facion.]

FABRICIO. You must note, that I make all the waies, xxii. yardes and a
halfe broade, to the intente that thorowe them, maie go a battaile of
men in araie, where if you remember wel, I tolde you how every bande of
menne, taketh in breadth betwene xviii. and xxii. yardes of space to
marche or stande in. Nowe where the space that is betwene the trenche,
and the lodgynges, is lxxv. yardes broade, thesame is moste necessarie,
to the intent thei maie there order the battailes, and the artillerie,
bothe to conducte by thesame the praies, and to have space to retire
theim selves with newe trenches, and newe fortificacion if neede were:
The lodginges also, stande better so farre from the diches, beyng the
more out of daunger of fires, and other thynges, whiche the enemie,
might throwe to hurte them. Concernyng the seconde demaunde, my intent
is not that every space, of me marked out, bee covered with a pavilion
onely, but to be used, as tourneth commodious to soch as lodge there,
either with more or with lesse Tentes, so that thei go not out of the
boundes of thesame. And for to marke out these lodginges, there ought to
bee moste cunnyng menne, and moste excellente Architectours, whom, so
sone as the Capitaine hath chosen the place, maie knowe how to give it
the facion, and to distribute it, distinguishyng the waies, devidyng the
lodgynges with Coardes and staves, in soche practised wise, that
straight waie, thei maie bee ordained, and devided: and to minde that
there growe no confusion, it is conveniente to tourne the Campe, alwaies
one waie, to the intente that every manne maie knowe in what waie, in
what space he hath to finde his lodgyng: and this ought to be observed
in every tyme, in every place, and after soche maner, that it seme a
movyng Citee, the whiche where so ever it goweth, carrieth with it the
verie same waies, the verie same habitacions, and the verie same
aspectes, that it had at the firste: The whiche thing thei cannot
observe, whom sekyng strong situacions, must chaunge forme, accordyng to
the variacion of the grounde: but the Romaines in the plaine, made
stronge the place where thei incamped with trenches, and with Rampires,
bicause thei made a space about the campe, and before thesame a ditche,
ordinary broad fower yardes and a halfe, and depe aboute twoo yardes and
a quarter, the which spaces, thei increased, according as thei intended
to tarie in a place, and accordyng as thei feared the enemie. I for my
parte at this presente, would not make the listes, if I intende not to
Winter in a place: yet I would make the Trenche and the bancke no lesse,
then the foresaied, but greater, accordyng to necessitie. Also,
consideryng the artellerie, I would intrench upon every corner of the
Campe, a halfe circle of ground, from whens the artillerie might
flancke, whom so ever should seke to come over the Trenche. In this
practise in knowyng how to ordain a campe, the souldiours ought also to
be exercised, and to make with them the officers expert, that are
appoincted to marke it out, and the Souldiours readie to knowe their
places: nor nothyng therein is difficulte, as in the place thereof shall
bee declared: wherefore, I will goe forewarde at this tyme to the warde
of the campe, bicause without distribucion of the watche, all the other
pain that hath been taken, should be vain.

BAPTISTE. Before you passe to the watche, I desire that you would
declare unto me, when one would pitche his campe nere the enemie, what
waie is used: for that I knowe not, how a man maie have tyme, to be able
to ordaine it without perill.

FABRICIO. You shall understande this, that no Capitaine will lye nere
the enemie, except he, that is desposed to faight the fielde, when so
ever his adversarie will: and when a capitaine is so disposed, there is
no perill, but ordinarie: for that the twoo partes of the armie, stande
alwaies in a redinesse, to faight the battaile, and thother maketh the
lodginges. The Romaines in this case, gave this order of fortifiyng the
Campe, unto the Triarii: and the Prencipi, and the Astati, stoode in
armes. This thei did, for as moche as the Triarii, beyng the last to
faight, might have time inough, if the enemie came, to leave the woorke,
and to take their weapons, and to get them into their places. Therfore,
accordyng unto the Romaines maner, you ought to cause the Campe to be
made of those battailes, whiche you will set in the hinder parte of the
armie, in the place of the Triarii. But let us tourne to reason of the

[Sidenote: Theantiquitie used no Scoutes; The watche and warde of the

I thinke I have not founde, emongest the antiquitie, that for to warde
the campe in the night, thei have kepte watche without the Trenche,
distaunte as thei use now a daies, whom thei call Scoutes: the whiche I
beleve thei did, thinkyng that the armie might easely bee deceived,
through the difficultie, that is in seeyng them againe, for that thei
might bee either corrupted, or oppressed of the enemie: So that to
truste either in parte, or altogether on them, thei judged it perillous.
And therefore, all the strength of the watche, was with in the trenche,
whiche thei did withall diligence kepe, and with moste greate order,
punished with death, whom so ever observed not thesame order: the whiche
how it was of them ordained, I will tell you no other wise, leaste I
should bee tedious unto you, beyng able by your self to see it, if as
yet you have not seen it: I shall onely briefly tell that, whiche shall
make for my purpose, I wold cause to stand ordinarely every night, the
thirde parte of the armie armed, and of thesame, the fowerth parte
alwaies on foote, whom I would make to bee destributed, throughout all
the banckes, and throughout all the places of the armie, with double
warde, placed in every quadrante of thesame: Of whiche, parte should
stande still, parte continually should go from the one corner of the
Campe, to the other: and this order, I would observe also in the daie,
when I should have the enemie nere.

[Sidenote: Dilligence ought to be used, to knowe who lieth oute of the
Campe, and who they be that cometh of newe; Claudius Nero; The justice
that ought to be in a campe. The fauts that the antiquitie punisshed
with Death; Where greate punishementes be, there oughte likewise to bee
great rewardes; It was no marvel that the Romaines became mightie
Princes; A meane to punishe and execute Justice, without raising
tumultes; Manlius Capitolinus; Souldiours sworen to kepe the discipline
of warre.]

Concernyng the givyng of the watche worde, and renuyng thesame every
evening, and to doe the other thynges, whiche in like watches is used,
bicause thei are thynges well inough knowen, I will speake no further of
them: onely I shall remember one thyng, for that it is of greate
importaunce, and whiche causeth great saulfgarde observyng it, and not
observyng it, moche harme: The whiche is, that there be observed greate
diligence, to knowe at night, who lodgeth not in the Campe, and who
commeth a newe: and this is an easie thing to see who lodgeth, with
thesame order that wee have appoincted: for as moche as every lodgyng
havyng the determined nomber of menne, it is an easie matter to see, if
thei lacke, or if there be more menne: and when thei come to be absente
without lisence, to punishe them as Fugetives, and if there bee more, to
understande what thei be, what they make there, and of their other
condicions. This diligence maketh that the enemie cannot but with
difficultie, practise with thy capitaines, and have knowlege of thy
counsailes: which thing if of the Romaines, had not been diligently
observed, Claudius Nero could not, havyng Aniball nere hym, depart from
his Campe, whiche he had in Lucania, and to go and to retourne from
Marca, without Aniball should have firste heard thereof some thyng. But
it suffiseth not to make these orders good, excepte thei bee caused to
bee observed, with a greate severtie: for that there is nothyng that
would have more observacion, then is requisite in an armie: therefore
the lawes for the maintenaunce of thesame, ought to be sharpe and harde,
and the executour therof moste harde. The Romaines punished with death
him that lacked in the watch, he that forsoke the place that was given
hym to faight in, he that caried any thynge, hidde out of the Campe, if
any manne should saie, that he had doen some worthy thing in the faight,
and had not doen it, if any had fought without the commaundemente of the
Capitaine, if any had for feare, caste awaie his weapons: and when it
happened, that a Cohorte, or a whole Legion, had committed like fault,
bicause thei would not put to death all, thei yet tooke al their names,
and did put them in a bagge, and then by lotte, thei drue oute the
tenthe parte, and so those were put to death: the whiche punishemente,
was in soche wise made, that though every man did not feele it every man
notwithstandyng feared it: and bicause where be greate punishementes,
there ought to be also rewardes, mindyng to have menne at one instant,
to feare and to hope, thei had appoincted rewardes to every worthie
acte: as he that faighting, saved the life of one of his Citezeins, to
hym that firste leapte upon the walle of the enemies Toune, to hym that
entered firste into the Campe of the enemies, to hym that had in
faightyng hurte, or slaine the enemie, he that had stroken him from his
horse: and so every vertuous act, was of the Consulles knowen and
rewarded, and openly of every manne praised: and soche as obtained
giftes, for any of these thynges, besides the glorie and fame, whiche
thei got emongest the souldiours, after when thei returned into their
countrie, with solemne pompe, and with greate demonstracion emong their
frendes and kinsfolkes, thei shewed them. Therefore it was no marveile,
though thesame people gotte so moche dominion, having so moche
observacion in punishemente, and rewarde towardes theim, whom either for
their well doyng, or for their ill doyng, should deserve either praise
or blame: Of whiche thynges it were convenient, to observe the greater
parte. Nor I thinke not good to kepe secrete, one maner of punishmente
of theim observed, whiche was, that so sone as the offendour, was before
the Tribune, or Consulle convicted, he was of the same lightely stroken
with a rodde: after the whiche strikyng, it was lawfull for the
offendour to flie, and to all the Souldiours to kill hym: so that
straight waie, every man threwe at hym either stones, or dartes, or with
other weapons, stroke hym in soche wise, that he went but little waie a
live, and moste fewe escaped, and to those that so escaped, it was not
lawfull for them to retourne home, but with so many incommodities, and
soche greate shame and ignomie, that it should have ben moche better for
him to have died. This maner is seen to be almoste observed of the
Suizzers, who make the condempned to be put to death openly, of thother
souldiours, the whiche is well considered, and excellently dooen: for
that intendyng, that one be not a defendour of an evill doer, the
greateste reamedie that is founde, is to make hym punisher of thesame:
bicause otherwise, with other respecte he favoureth hym: where when he
hymself is made execucioner, with other desire, he desireth his
punishemente, then when the execucion commeth to an other. Therefore
mindyng, not to have one favored in his faulte of the people, a greate
remedie it is, to make that the people, maie have hym to judge. For the
greater proofe of this, thinsample of Manlius Capitolinus might be
brought, who being accused of the Scenate, was defended of the people,
so longe as thei were not Judge, but becommyng arbitratours in his
cause, thei condempned hym to death. This is then a waie to punishe,
without raisyng tumultes, and to make justise to be kepte: and for as
moche as to bridell armed menne, neither the feare of the Lawes, nor of
menne suffise not, the antiquitie joined thereunto the aucthoritie of
God: and therefore with moste greate Ceremonies, thei made their
souldiours to sweare, to kepe the discipline of warre, so that doyng
contrariewise, thei should not onely have to feare the Lawes, and menne,
but God: and thei used all diligence, to fill them with Religion.

[Sidenote: Women and idell games, were not suffered by the antiquitie,
to bee in their armies.]

BAPTISTE. Did the Romaines permitte, that women might bee in their
armies, or that there might be used these idell plaies, whiche thei use
now a daies.

FABRICIO. Thei prohibited the one and thother, and this prohibicion was
not moche difficulte: For that there were so many exercises, in the
whiche thei kept every daie the souldiours, some whiles particularely,
somewhiles generally occupied that thei had no time to thinke, either on
Venus, or on plaies, nor on any other thyng, whiche sedicious and
unproffitable souldiours doe.

BAPTISTE. I am herein satisfied, but tell me, when the armie had to
remove, what order kepte thei?

[Sidenote: Ordre in the removing the armie by the soundes of a Trumpet.]

FABRICIO. The chief Trumpet sounded three tymes, at the firste sound,
thei toke up the Tentes, and made the packes, at the seconde, thei laded
the carriage, at the thirde, thei removed in thesame maner aforsaied,
with the impedimentes after every parte of armed men, placyng the
Legions in the middeste: and therefore you ought to cause after thesame
sorte, an extraordinarie maine battaile to remove: and after that, the
particulare impedimentes therof, and with those, the fowerth part of the
publike impedimentes, which should bee all those, that were lodged in
one of those partes, whiche a little afore we declared: and therfore it
is conveniente, to have every one of them, appointed to a maine
battaile, to the entente that the armie removyng, every one might knowe
his place in marchyng: and thus every maine battaile ought to goe awaie,
with their owne impedimentes, and with the fowerth parte of the publike
impedimentes, followyng after in soche maner, as wee shewed that the
Romaines marched.

BAPTISTE. In pitchyng the Campe, had thei other respectes, then those
you have tolde?

[Sidenote: Respectes to be had for incampyng; How to choose a place to
incampe; How to avoide diseases from the armie; The wonderfull
commoditie of exercise; The provision of victualles that ought alwaies
to bee in a readinesse in an armie.]

FABRICIO. I tell you again, that the Romaines when thei encamped, would
be able to kepe the accustomed fashion of their maner, the whiche to
observe, thei had no other respecte: but concernyng for other
consideracions, thei had twoo principall, the one, to incampe theim
selves in a wholesome place, the other, to place themselves, where
thenemie could not besiege theim, nor take from them the waie to the
water, or victualles. Then for to avoide infirmitie, thei did flie from
places Fennie, or subjecte to hurtfull windes: whiche thei knewe not so
well, by the qualitie of the situacion, as by the face of the
inhabitours: for when thei sawe theim evill coloured, or swollen, or
full of other infeccion, thei would not lodge there: concernyng thother
respecte to provide not to be besieged, it is requisite to consider the
nature of the place, where the friendes lye, and thenemies, and of this
to make a conjecture, if thou maiest be besieged or no: and therefore it
is meete, that the Capitaine be moste experte, in the knowlege of
situacions of countries, and have aboute him divers men, that have the
verie same expertenes. Thei avoide also diseases, and famishment, with
causyng the armie to kepe no misrule, for that to purpose to maintain it
in health, it is nedefull to provide, that the souldiours maie slepe
under tentes, that thei maie lodge where bee Trees, that make shadowe,
where woodde is for to dresse their meate, that thei go not in the
heate, and therefore thei muste bee drawen out of the campe, before daie
in Summer, and in Winter, to take hede that thei marche not in the
Snowe, and in the Froste, without havyng comoditie to make fire, and not
to lack necessarie aparel, nor to drink naughtie water: those that fall
sicke by chaunce, make them to bee cured of Phisicions: bicause a
capitain hath no reamedie, when he hath to faight with sicknesse, and
with an enemie: but nothing is so profitable, to maintaine the armie in
health, as is the exercise: and therfore the antiquitie every daie, made
them to exercise: wherby is seen how muche exercise availeth: for that
in the Campe, it kepeth thee in health, and in the faight victorious.
Concernyng famishemente, it is necessarie to see, that the enemie hinder
thee not of thy victualles, but to provide where thou maieste have it,
and to see that thesame whiche thou haste, bee not loste: and therefore
it is requisite, that thou have alwaies in provision with the armie,
sufficiente victuall for a monethe, and then removyng into some strong
place, thou muste take order with thy nexte frendes, that daily thei
maie provide for thee, and above al thinges bestowe the victual with
diligence, givyng every daie to every manne, a reasonable measure, and
observe after soche sorte this poincte, that it disorder thee not:
bicause all other thyng in the warre, maie with tyme be overcome, this
onely with tyme overcometh thee: nor there shall never any enemie of
thyne, who maie overcome thee with famishemente, that will seeke to
overcome thee with iron. For that though the victory be not so
honourable, yet it is more sure and more certaine: Then, thesame armie
cannot avoide famishemente, that is not an observer of justice, whiche
licenciously consumeth what it liste: bicause the one disorder, maketh
that the victualls commeth not unto you, the other, that soche victuall
as commeth, is unprofitably consumed: therefore thantiquitie ordained,
that thei should spende thesame, whiche thei gave, and in thesame tyme
when thei appoincted: for that no souldiour did eate, but when the
Capitaine did eate: The whiche how moche it is observed of the armies
nowe adaies, every manne knoweth, and worthely thei can not bee called
menne of good order and sober, as the antiquitie, but lasivious and

BAPTISTE. You saied in the beginnyng of orderynge the Campe, that you
woulde not stande onely uppon twoo maine battailes, but woulde take
fower, for to shewe how a juste armie incamped: therfore I would you
shoulde tell me twoo thynges, the one, when I shoulde have more or lesse
men, howe I ought to incampe them, the other, what numbre of souldiours
should suffice you to faight against what so ever enemie that were.

[Sidenote: Howe to lodge in the Campe more or lesse menne, then the
ordinarie; The nombre of men that an army ought to be made of, to bee
able to faighte with the puisantest enemie that is; Howe to cause men to
do soche a thing as shold bee profitable for thee, and hurtfull to them
selves; Howe to overcome menne at unwares; How to tourne to commoditie
the doynges of soche, as use to advertise thy enemie of thy
proceadynges; How to order the campe, that the enemie shal not perceive
whether the same bee deminished, or increased; A saiyng of Metellus;
Marcus Crassus; How to understand the secretes of thy enemie; A policie
of Marius, to understande howe he might truste the Frenchmen; What some
Capitaines have doen when their countrie have been invaded of enemies;
To make the enemie necligente in his doynges; Silla Asdruball; The
policie of Aniball, where by he escaped out of the danger of Fabius
Maximus; A Capitayne muste devise how to devide the force of his
enemies; How to cause the enemie to have in suspect his most trusty men;
Aniball Coriolanus; Metellus against Jugurte; A practis of the Romayne
oratours, to bryng Aniball out of Credit with Antiochus; Howe to cause
the enemie to devide his power; Howe Titus Didius staied his enemies
that wer going to incounter a legion of men that were commyng in his
ayde; Howe some have caused the enemie to devide his force; A policie to
winne the enemies countrie before he be aware; Howe to reforme sedicion
and discorde; The benefitte that the reputacion of the Capitaine
causeth, which is only gotten by vertue; The chiefe thyng that a
capitayne ought to doe; When paie wanteth, punishment is not to be
executed; The inconvenience of not punisshynge; Cesar chaunsynge to
fall, made the same to be supposed to signifi good lucke; Religion
taketh away fantasticall opinions; In what cases a Capitaine ought not
to faight with his enemie if he may otherwyse choose; A policie of
Fulvius wherby he got and spoyled his enemies Campe; A policie to
disorder the enemie; A policie to overcome the enemie; A policie; How to
beguile the enemie; Howe Mennonus trained his enemies oute of stronge
places to bee the better able to overcom them.]

FABRICIO. To the first question I answer you, that if the armie be more
or lesse, then fower or sixe thousande souldiours, the orders of
lodgynges, may bee taken awaie or joined, so many as suffiseth: and with
this way a man may goe in more, and in lesse, into infinite:
Notwithstandynge the Romaines, when thei joigned together twoo consull
armies, thei made twoo campes, and thei tourned the partes of the
unarmed, thone against thother. Concernyng the second question, I say
unto you, that the Romaines ordinary armie, was about xxiiii. M.
souldiours: but when thei were driven to faight against the greatest
power that might be, the moste that thei put together, wer L. M. With
this number, thei did set against two hundred thousand Frenchemen, whome
assaulted them after the first warre, that thei had with the
Carthageners. With this verie same numbre, thei fought againste
Anniball. And you muste note, that the Romaines, and the Grekes, have
made warre with fewe, fortefiyng themselves thorough order, and thorough
arte: the west, and the easte, have made it with multitude: But the one
of these nacions, doeth serve with naturall furie: as doe the men of the
west partes, the other through the great obedience whiche those men have
to their kyng. But in Grece, and in Italy, beyng no naturall furie, nor
the naturall reverence towardes their king, it hath been necessary for
them to learne the discipline of warre, the whiche is of so muche force,
that it hath made that a fewe, hath been able to overcome the furie, and
the naturall obstinatenesse of manie. Therefore I saie, that mindyng to
imitate the Romaines, and the Grekes, the number of L. M. souldiers
ought not to bee passed, but rather to take lesse: because manie make
confucion, nor suffer not the discipline to be observed, and the orders
learned, and Pirrus used to saie, that with xv. thousande men he woulde
assaile the worlde: but let us pas to an other parte. We have made this
our armie to winne a field and shewed the travailes, that in the same
fight may happen: we have made it to marche, and declared of what
impedimentes in marchyng it may be disturbed: and finally we have lodged
it: where not only it ought to take a littell reste of the labours
passed, but also to thinke howe the warre ought to be ended: for that in
the lodgynges, is handeled many thynges, inespecially thy enemies as yet
remainyng in the fielde, and in suspected townes, of whome it is good to
be assured, and those that be enemies to overcome them: therfore it is
necessarie to come to this demonstracion, and to passe this difficultie
with the same glorie, as hitherto we have warred. Therfore comynge to
particular matters, I saie that if it shoulde happen, that thou wouldest
have manie men, or many people to dooe a thyng, whiche were to thee
profittable, and to theim greate hurte, as should be to breake downe the
wall of their citie, or to sende into exile many of them, it is
necessarie for thee, either to beguile them in such wise that everie one
beleeve not that it toucheth him: so that succouryng not the one the
other, thei may finde them selves al to be oppressed without remedie, or
els unto all to commaunde the same, whiche they ought to dooe in one
selfe daie, to the intente that every man belevyng to be alone, to whome
the commaundement is made, maie thinke to obey and not to remedie it:
and so withoute tumulte thy commaundement to be of everie man executed.
If thou shouldest suspecte the fidelitie of anie people, and woulde
assure thee, and overcome them at unawares, for to colour thy intente
more easelie, thou canst not doe better, then to counsel with them of
some purpose of thine, desiryng their aide, and to seeme to intende to
make an other enterprise, and to have thy minde farre from thinkyng on
them: the whiche will make, that thei shall not think on their owne
defence, beleevyng not that thou purposest to hurte them, and thei shal
geve thee commoditie, to be able easely to satisfie thy desire. When
thou shouldest perceive, that there were in thine armie some, that used
to advertise thy enemie of thy devises, thou canst not doe better,
myndynge to take commoditie by their traiterous mindes, then to commen
with them of those thynges, that thou wilte not doe, and those that thou
wilt doe, to kepe secret, and to say to doubte of thynges, that thou
doubtest not, and those of whiche thou doubtest, to hide: the which
shall make thenemie to take some enterprise in hand, beleving to know
thy devises, where by easly thou maiest beguile and opresse hym. If thou
shouldest intende (as Claudius Nero did) to deminishe thy armie,
sendynge helpe to some freende, and that the enemie shoulde not bee
aware therof, it is necessarie not to deminishe the lodgynges, but to
maintayne the signes, and the orders whole, makyng the verie same fires,
and the verye same wardes throughout all the campe, as wer wont to be
afore. Lykewise if with thy armie there should joigne new men, and
wouldest that the enemie shoulde not know that thou werte ingrosed, it
is necessarie not to increase the lodgynges: Because keepyng secrete
doynges and devises, hath alwaies been moste profitable. Wherfore
Metellus beyng with an armie in Hispayne, to one, who asked him what he
would doe the nexte daie, answered, that if his sherte knew therof, he
would bourne it. Marcus Craussus, unto one, whome asked him, when the
armie shoulde remove, saied beleevest thou to be alone not to here the
trumpet? If thou shouldest desire to understande the secretes of thy
enemie, and to know his orders, some have used to sende embassadours,
and with theim in servauntes aparel, moste expertest men in warre: whom
havynge taken occasion to se the enemies armie, and to consider his
strengthe and weakenesse, it hath geven them oportunitie to overcome
him. Some have sente into exile one of their familiars, and by meanes of
the same, hath knowen the devises of his adversarie. Also like secrettes
are understoode of the enemies when for this effecte there were taken
any prisoners. Marius whiche in the warre that he made with the Cimbrie,
for to know the faieth of those Frenchmen, who then inhabited Lombardie,
and were in leage with the Romaine people, sent them letters open, and
sealed: and in the open he wrote, that they shoulde not open the sealed,
but at a certaine time, and before the same time demaundyng them againe,
and finding them opened, knew thereby that their faithe was not to be
trusted. Some Capitaines, being invaded, have not desired to goe to
meete the enemie, but have gone to assaulte his countrey, and
constrained him to retorne to defende his owne home: The whiche manie
times hath come wel to passe, for that those soldiours beginnyng to fil
them selves with booties, and confidence to overcome, shall sone make
the enemies souldiours to wexe afraide, when they supposynge theim
selves conquerours, shal understand to become losers: So that to him
that hath made this diversion, manie times it hath proved well. But
onely it may be doen by him, whiche hath his countrey stronger then that
of the enemies, because when it were otherwise, he should goe to leese.
It hath been often a profitable thyng to a capitaine, that hath been
besieged in his lodgynges by the enemie, to move an intreatie of
agreemente, and to make truse with him for certaine daies: the which is
wonte to make the enemies more necligente in all doynges: so that
avaylynge thee of their necligence, thou maiest easely have occacion to
get thee oute of handes. By this way Silla delivered him selfe twise
from the enemies: and with this verie same deceipte, Asdruball in
Hispayne got oute of the force of Claudious Nero, whome had besieged
him. It helpeth also to deliver a man out of the daunger of the enemie,
to do some thyng beside the forsaied, that may keepe him at a baye: this
is dooen in two maners, either to assaulte him with parte of thy power,
so that he beyng attentive to the same faight, may geve commoditie to
the reste of thy men to bee able to save theim selves, or to cause to
rise some newe accidente, which for the strayngenesse of the thynge,
maie make him to marvell, and for this occasion to stande doubtefull,
and still: as you knowe howe Anniball dyd, who beynge inclosed of Fabius
Maximus, tied in the nighte small Bavens kindeled beetweene the hornes
of manie Oxen, so that Fabius astonied at the strangenesse of the same
sight, thought not to lette him at all the passage. A Capitayne oughte
amonge all other of his affaires, with al subtiltie to devise to devide
the force of the enemie, either with makyng him to suspecte his owne
menne, in whome he trusteth, or to give him occasion, that he maye
seperate his menne, and therby to be come more weake. The fyrste way is
dooen with keepyng saulfe the thynges of some of those whiche he hath
aboute him, as to save in the warre their menne and their possessions,
renderynge theim their children, or other their necessaries withoute
raunsome. You know that Anniball havynge burned all the fieldes aboute
Rome, he made onely to bee reserved saulfe those of Fabius Maximus. You
know how Coriolanus comyng with an armie to Rome, preserved the
possessions of the nobilitie, and those of the comminaltie he bourned,
and sacked. Metellus havinge an armie againste Jugurte, all the
oratours, whiche of Jugurte were sente him, were required of him, that
they woulde geve him Jugurte prisoner, and after to the verie same men
writyng letters of the verie same matter, wrought in suche wise, that in
shorte tyme Jugurte havyng in suspecte all his counsellours, in diverse
maners put them to death. Anniball beynge fled to Antiochus, the Romaine
oratours practised with him so familiarly, that Antiochus beyng in
suspecte of him, trusted not anie more after to his counselles.
Concernyng to devide the enemies men, there is no more certainer waie,
then to cause their countrie to be assaulted to the intente that being
constrained to goe to defende the same, they maie forsake the warre.
This way Fabius used havynge agaynst his armie the power of the
Frenchemen, of the Tuscans, Umbries and Sannites. Titus Didius havyng a
few men in respecte to those of the enemies, and lookynge for a legion
from Rome, and the enemies purposinge to goe to incounter it, to the
intente that they should not goe caused to bee noised through all his
armie, that he intended the nexte daie to faighte the field with the
enemies: after he used means, that certaine of the prisoners, that he
had taken afore, had occasion to runne awaie. Who declaryng the order
that the Consull had taken to faighte the nexte daie, by reason wherof
the enemies beyng afraide to deminishe their owne strength, went not to
incounter the same legion, and by this way thei wer conducted safe. The
which means serveth not to devide the force of the enemies, but to
augmente a mans owne. Some have used to devide the enemies force, by
lettyng him to enter into their countrie, and in profe have let him take
manie townes, to the intente that puttynge in the same garrisons, he
might thereby deminishe his power, and by this waie havynge made him
weake, have assaulted and overcomen him. Some other mindyng to goe into
one province, have made as though they woulde have invaded an other, and
used so much diligence, that sodenly entryng into the same, where it was
not doubted that they woulde enter, they have first wonne it, before the
ennemie coulde have time to succour it: for that thy enemie beynge not
sure, whether thou purposest to tourne backe, to the place fyrste of
thee threatned, is constrained not to forsake the one place, to succour
the other, and so many times he defendeth neither the one nor the other.
It importeth besides the sayde thynges to a Capitaine, if there growe
sedicion or discorde amonge the souldiours, to knowe with arte howe to
extynguishe it: The beste waie is to chastise the headdes of the
faultes, but it muste be doen in such wise, that thou maiest first have
oppressed them, before they be able to be aware: The way is if they be
distante from thee, not onely to call the offenders, but together with
theim all the other, to the entente that not beleevynge, that it is for
any cause to punishe them, they become not contumelius, but geve
commoditie to the execution of the punishemente: when thei be present,
thou oughtest to make thy selfe stronge with those that be not in
faulte, and by meane of their helpe to punishe the other. When there
hapneth discorde amonge them, the beste waye is, to bryng them to the
perill, the feare whereof is wonte alwaies to make them agree. But that,
which above all other thynge kepeth the armie in unitee, is the
reputacion of the Capitaine, the whiche onely groweth of his vertue:
because neither bloud, nor authoritie gave it ever without vertue. And
the chiefe thyng, whiche of a Capitain is looked for to be doen, is, to
keepe his souldiours punisshed, and paied: for that when so ever the
paie lacketh, it is conveniente that the punisshement lacke: because
thou canst not correcte a souldiour, that robbeth, if thou doest not
paie him, nor the same mindynge to live, cannot abstaine from robbynge:
but if thou paiest him and punisshest him not, he beecometh in everie
condicion insolente: For that thou becomest of small estimacion, where
thou chaunsest not to bee able to maintaine the dignitie of thy degree,
and not mainetainyng it, there foloweth of necessitee tumulte, and
discorde, whiche is the ruine of an armie. Olde Capitaines had a
troubell, of the which the presente be almoste free, whiche was to
interprete to their purpose the sinister auguries: because if there fell
a thunderbolte in an armie, if the sunne were darkened or the Moone, if
there came an erthequake, if the Capitaine either in gettyng up, or in
lightynge of his horse fell, it was of the souldiours interpreted
sinisterously: And it ingendred in them so moche feare, that comynge to
faight the fielde, easely they should have lost it: and therefore the
aunciente Capitaines so sone as a lyke accidente grewe, either they
shewed the cause of the same, and redused it to a naturall cause, or
they interpreted it to their purpose. Cesar fallyng in Africa, in comyng
of the sea saied, Africa I have taken thee. Moreover manie have declared
the cause of the obscuryng of the Moone, and of earthquakes: which thing
in our time cannot happen, as well because our men be not so
supersticious, as also for that our religion taketh away altogether such
opinions: al be it when they should chaunse, the orders of the
antiquitie ought to be imitated. When either famishement, or other
naturall necessitie, or humaine passion, hath broughte thy enemie to an
utter desperation, and he driven of the same, cometh to faight with
thee, thou oughtest to stande within thy campe, and as muche as lieth in
thy power, to flie the faight. So the Lacedemonians did against the
Masonians, so Cesar did against Afranio, and Petreio. Fulvius beyng
Consul, against the Cimbrians, made his horsemen manie daies continually
to assaulte the enemies, and considered how thei issued out of their
campe for to folow them: wherfore he sette an ambusshe behinde the Campe
of the Cimbrians, and made them to be assaulted of his horsmen, and the
Cimbrians issuyng oute of their campe for to follow them. Fulvio gotte
it, and sacked it. It hath ben of great utilitie to a Capitaine, havyng
his armie nere to the enemies armie, to sende his menne with the enemies
ansignes to robbe, and to burne his owne countrey, whereby the enemies
beleevynge those to bee menne, whiche are come in their aide, have also
runne to helpe to make them the pray: and for this disorderyng them
selves, hathe therby given oportunitie to the adversary to overcome
them. This waie Alexander of Epirus used againste the Illirans and
Leptenus of Siracusa against the Carthaginers and bothe to the one and
to the other, the devise came to passe most happely. Manie have overcome
the enemie, gevyng him occasion to eate and to drinke oute of measure,
fayning to have feared, and leaving their Campes full of wyne and herdes
of cattell, wherof the enemie beyng filled above all naturall use, have
then assaulted him, and with his destruction overthrowen him. So Tamirus
did against Cirus, and Tiberius Graccus agaynst the Spaniardes. Some
have poysoned the wine, and other thynges to feede on, for to be able
more easely to overcome them. I saied a littel afore how I founde not,
that the antiquetie kepte in the night Scoutes abroade, and supposed
that they did it for to avoide the hurte, whiche might growe therby:
because it is founde, that through no other meane then throughe the
watche man, whiche was set in the daie to watche the enemie, hath been
cause of the ruin of him, that set him there: for that manie times it
hath hapned, that he beyng taken, hath been made perforce to tell theim
the token, whereby they might call his felowes, who commyng to the
token, have been slaine or taken. It helpeth to beguile the enemie
sometime to varie a custome of thine, whereupon he having grounded him
self, remaineth ruinated: as a Capitaine did once, whome usinge to cause
to be made signes to his men for comynge of the enemies in the night
with fire, and in the daie with smoke, commaunded that withoute anie
intermission, they shoulde make smoke and fire, and after commynge upon
them the enemie, they should reste, whome beleevyng to come without
beynge seen, perceivyng no signe to be made of beyng discovered, caused
(through goeyng disordered) more easie the victorie to his adversarie.
Mennonus a Rodian mindynge to drawe from stronge places the enemies
armie, sente one under colour of a fugitive, the whiche affirmed, howe
his armie was in discorde, and that the greater parte of them wente
awaie: and for to make the thynge to be credited, he caused to make in
sporte, certaine tumultes amonge the lodgynges: whereby the enemie
thvnkyng thereby to be able to discomfaighte them, assaultynge theim,
were overthrowen.

[Sidenote: The enemie ought not to be brought into extreme desperacion;
How Lucullus constrained certaine men that ran awaie from him to his
enemies, to fayght whether they wold or not.]

Besides thesaied thynges, regarde ought to be had not to brynge the
enemie into extreme desperacion: whereunto Cesar had regarde, faightyng
with the Duchemen, who opened them the waie, seyng, howe thei beyng not
able to flie, necessitie made them strong, and would rather take paine
to followe theim, when thei fled, then the perill to overcome them, when
thei defended them selves. Lucullus seyng, how certaine Macedonian
horsemenne, whiche were with hym, went to the enemies parte, straight
waie made to sounde to battaile, and commaunded, that the other men
should folowe hym: whereby the enemies beleving, that Lucullus would
begin the faight, went to incounter the same Macedonians, with soche
violence, that thei were constrained to defende themselves: and so thei
became against their willes, of fugetives, faighters. It importeth also
to knowe, how to be assured of a toune, when thou doubteste of the
fidelitie thereof, so sone as thou haste wonne the fielde, or before,
the whiche certain old insamples maie teache thee.

[Sidenote: A policie wher by Pompey got a towne; How Publius Valerius
assured him self of a towne; A policie that Alexander Magnus used to be
assured of all Tracia, which Philip kynge of Spaine did practise to be
asured of England when he wente to sainct Quintens; Examples for
Capitaines to winne the hartes of the people.]

Pompei doubtyng of the Catinensians, praied them that thei would bee
contente, to receive certaine sicke menne, that he had in his armie, and
sendyng under the habite of sicke persones, most lustie menne, gotte the
toune. Publius Valerius, fearyng the fidelitie of the Epidannians,
caused to come, as who saieth, a Pardon to a churche without the toune,
and when al the people wer gone for Pardon, he shutte the gates,
receivyng after none in, but those whom he trusted. Alexander Magnus,
mindyng to goe into Asia, and to assure himself of Thracia, toke with
him all the principall of thesame Province, givyng theim provision, and
he set over the common people of Thracia, men of lowe degree, and so he
made the Princes contented with paiyng theim, and the people quiete,
havyng no heddes that should disquiete them: But emong all the thynges,
with the whiche the Capitaines, winne the hartes of the people, be the
insamples of chastitie and justice, as was thesame of Scipio in Spaine,
when he rendered that yong woman, moste faire of personage to her
father, and to her housebande: the whiche made him more, then with force
of armes to winne Spain.

Cesar having caused that woodde to bee paied for, whiche he had occupied
for to make the Listes, about his armie in Fraunce, got so moche a name
of justice, that he made easier the conquest of thesame province. I
cannot tell what remaineth me, to speake more upon these accidentes, for
that concerning this matter, there is not lefte any parte, that hath not
been of us disputed. Onely there lacketh to tell, of the maner of
winnyng, and defendyng a toune: the whiche I am readie to doe willingly,
if you be not now wearie.

BAPTISTE. Your humanitie is so moche, that it maketh us to followe our
desires, without beyng afraied to be reputed presumptuous, seyng that
you liberally offer thesame, whiche we should have been ashamed, to have
asked you: Therefore, we saie unto you onely this, that to us you cannot
dooe a greater, nor a more gratefuller benefite, then to finishe this
reasonyng. But before that you passe to that other matter, declare us a
doubte, whether it bee better to continewe the warre, as well in the
Winter, as thei use now adaies, or to make it onely in the Sommer, and
to goe home in the Winter, as the antiquitie did.

[Sidenote: Warre ought not to be made in winter; Rough situacions, colde
and watrie times, are enemies to the oder of warre; An overthrowe caused
by winter.]

FABRICIO. See, that if the prudence of the demaunder were not, there had
remained behinde a speciall part, that deserveth consideracion. I
answere you againe, that the antiquitie did all thynges better, and with
more prudence then wee: and if wee in other things commit some erroure,
in the affaires of warre, wee commit all errour. There is nothing more
undiscrete, or more perrillous to a Capitayne, then to make warre in the
Winter, and muche more perrill beareth he, that maketh it, then he that
abideth it: the reason is this. All the industrie that is used in the
discipline of warre, is used for to bee prepared to fighte a fielde with
thy enemie, because this is the ende, whereunto a Capitayne oughte to
goo or endevour him selfe: For that the foughten field, geveth thee the
warre wonne or loste: then he that knoweth best how to order it, and he
that hath his army beste instructed, hath moste advauntage in this, and
maye beste hope to overcome. On the other side, there is nothing more
enemie to the orders, and then the rough situacions, or the colde watery
time: for that the rough situacions, suffereth thee not to deffende thy
bandes, according to thee discipline: the coulde and watery times,
suffereth thee not to keepe thy men together, nor thou canst not bring
them in good order to the enemy: but it is convenient for thee to lodge
them a sunder of necessitie, and without order, being constrayned to
obeye to Castells, to Boroughes, and to the Villages, that maye receyve
thee, in maner that all thy laboure of thee, used to instructe the army
is vaine. Nor marvayle you not though now a daies, they warre in the
Winter, because the armies being without discipline, know not the hurt
that it dooth them, in lodging not together, for that it is no griefe to
them not to be able to keepe those orders, and to observe that
discipline, which they have not: yet they oughte to see howe much harme,
the Camping in the Winter hath caused, and to remember, how the
Frenchmen in the yeare of oure Lorde God, a thousande five hundred and
three, were broken at Gariliano of the Winter, and not of the
Spaniardes: For as much as I have saide, he that assaulteth, hath more
disadvauntage then he that defendeth: because the fowle weather hurteth
him not a littell, being in the dominion of others and minding to make
warre. For that he is constrayned, either to stande together with his
men, and to sustaine the incommoditie of water and colde, or to avoide
it to devide his power: But he that defendeth, may chuse the place as he
listeth, and tary him with his freshe men: and he in a sodayne may set
his men in araye, and goo to find a band of the enemies men, who cannot
resiste the violence of them. So the Frenchemen were discomfited, and so
they shall alwayes be discomfited, which will assaulte in the Winter an
enemye, whoo hath in him prudence. Then he that will that force, that
orders, that discipline and vertue, in anye condition availe him not,
let him make warre in the fielde in the winter: and because that the
Romaines woulde that all these thinges, in which they bestowed so much
diligence, should availe them, fleedde no otherwise the Winter, then the
highe Alpes, and difficulte places, and whatsoever other thing shoulde
let them, for being able to shewe their arte and their vertue. So this
suffiseth to your demaund, wherefore we wil come to intreate of the
defending and besieging of tounes, and of their situacions and


[Sidenote: Tounes and Fortresses maie be strong twoo waies; The place
that now a daies is moste sought to fortifie in; How a Toune walle ought
to bee made; The walle of a toune ought to bee high, and the diche
within, and not without; The thickenes that a Toune walle ought to bee
of, and the distaunces betwene everie flancker, and of what breadth and
deapth the dich ought to bee; How the ordinaunce is planted, for the
defence of a toune; The nature of the batterie.]

You oughte to knowe, how that tounes and fortresses, maie bee strong
either by nature, or by industrie; by nature, those bee strong, whiche
bee compassed aboute with rivers, or with Fennes, as Mantua is and
Ferrara, or whiche bee builded upon a Rocke, or upon a stepe hille, as
Monaco, and Sanleo: For that those that stande upon hilles, that be not
moche difficulct to goe up, be now a daies, consideryng the artillerie
and the Caves, moste weake. And therfore moste often times in building,
thei seke now a daies a plain, for to make it stronge with industrie.
The firste industrie is, to make the walles crooked, and full of
tournynges, and of receiptes: the whiche thyng maketh, that thenemie
cannot come nere to it, bicause he maie be hurte, not onely on the
front, but by flancke. If the walles be made high, thei bee to moche
subjecte to the blowes of the artillerie: if thei be made lowe, thei bee
moste easie to scale. If thou makeste the diches on the out side
thereof, for to give difficultie to the Ladders, if it happen that the
enemie fill them up (whiche a great armie maie easely dooe) the wall
remaineth taken of thenemie. Therefore purposyng to provide to the one
and thother foresaid inconveniences, I beleve (savyng alwaies better
judgement) that the walle ought to be made highe, and the Diche within,
and not without. This is the moste strongeste waie of edificacion, that
is made, for that it defendeth thee from the artillerie, and from
Ladders, and it giveth not facilitie to the enemie, to fill up the
diche: Then the walle ought to be high, of that heighth as shall bee
thought beste, and no lesse thick, then two yardes and a quarter, for to
make it more difficult to ruinate. Moreover it ought to have the toures
placed, with distances of CL. yardes betwen thone and thother: the diche
within, ought to be at leaste twoo and twentie yardes and a halfe broad,
and nine depe, and al the yearth that is digged out, for to make the
diche, muste be throwen towardes the Citee, and kepte up of a walle,
that muste be raised from the bottome of the diche, and goe so high over
the toune, that a man maie bee covered behinde thesame, the whiche thing
shal make the depth of the diche the greater. In the bottome of the
diche, within every hundred and l. yardes, there would be a slaughter
house, which with the ordinaunce, maie hurte whom so ever should goe
doune into thesame: the greate artillerie that defende the citee, are
planted behinde the walle, that shutteth the diche, bicause for to
defende the utter walle, being high, there cannot bee occupied
commodiously, other then smalle or meane peeses. If the enemie come to
scale, the heigth of the firste walle moste easely defendeth thee: if he
come with ordinaunce, it is convenient for hym to batter the utter
walle: but it beyng battered, for that the nature of the batterie is, to
make the walle to fall, towardes the parte battered, the ruine of the
walle commeth, finding no diche that receiveth and hideth it, to
redouble the profunditie of thesame diche: after soche sorte, that to
passe any further, it is not possible, findyng a ruine that with holdeth
thee, a diche that letteth thee, and the enemies ordinaunce, that from
the walle of the diche, moste safely killeth thee. Onely there is this
remedie, to fill the diche: the whiche is moste difficulte to dooe, as
well bicause the capacitie thereof is greate, as also for the
difficultie, that is in commyng nere it, the walle beeyng strong and
concaved, betwene the whiche, by the reasons aforesaied, with
difficultie maie be entered, havyng after to goe up a breache through a
ruin, whiche giveth thee moste greate difficultie, so that I suppose a
citee thus builded, to be altogether invinsible.

BAPTISTE. When there should bee made besides the diche within, a diche
also without, should it not bee stronger?

FABRICIO. It should be without doubt, but mindyng to make one diche
onely, myne opinion is, that it standeth better within then without.

BAPTISTE. Would you, that water should bee in the diches, or would you
have them drie?

[Sidenote: A drie diche is moste sureste.]

FABRICIO. The opinion of men herein bee divers, bicause the diches full
of water, saveth thee from mines under grounde, the Diches without
water, maketh more difficulte the fillyng of them: but I havyng
considered all, would make them without water, for that thei bee more
sure: For diches with water, have been seen in the Winter to bee frosen,
and to make easie the winnyng of a citee, as it happened to Mirandola,
when Pope Julie besieged it: and for to save me from mines, I would make
it so deepe, that he that would digge lower, should finde water.

[Sidenote: An advertisemente for the buildyng and defending of a Toune
or Fortresse; Small fortresses cannot bee defended; A toune of war or
Fortresse, ought not to have in them any retiring places; Cesar Borgia;
The causes of the losse of the Fortresse of Furlie, that was thought
invincible; Howe the houses that are in a toune of war or Fortresse
ought to be builded.]

The Fortresses also, I would builde concernyng the diches and the walles
in like maner, to the intent thei should have the like difficultie to be
wonne. One thyng I will earnestly advise hym, that defendeth a Citee:
and that is, that he make no Bulwarkes without distaunte from the walle
of thesame: and an other to hym that buildeth the Fortresse, and this
is, that he make not any refuge place in them, in whiche he that is
within, the firste walle beyng loste, maie retire: That whiche maketh me
to give the firste counsaile is, that no manne ought to make any thyng,
by meane wherof, he maie be driven without remedie to lese his firste
reputacion, the whiche losyng, causeth to be estemed lesse his other
doinges, and maketh afraied them, whom have taken upon theim his
defence, and alwaies it shall chaunce him this, whiche I saie, when
there are made Bulwarkes out of the Toune, that is to bee defended,
bicause alwaies he shall leese theim, little thynges now a daies, beyng
not able to bee defended, when thei be subject to the furie of
ordinance, in soche wise that lesyng them, thei be beginning and cause
of his ruine. When Genua rebelled againste king Leus of Fraunce, it made
certaine Bulwarkes alofte on those hilles, whiche bee about it, the
whiche so sone as thei were loste, whiche was sodainly, made also the
citee to be loste. Concernyng the second counsaile, I affirme nothyng to
be to a Fortresse more perilous, then to be in thesame refuge places, to
be able to retire: Bicause the hope that menne have thereby, maketh that
thei leese the utter warde, when it is assaulted: and that loste, maketh
to bee loste after, all the Fortresse. For insample there is freshe in
remembraunce, the losse of the Fortresse of Furly, when Catherin the
Countesse defended it againste Cesar Borgia, sonne to Pope Alexander the
vi. who had conducted thether the armie of the king of Fraunce: thesame
Fortresse, was al full of places, to retire out of one into an other:
for that there was firste the kepe, from the same to the Fortresse, was
a diche after soche sorte, that thei passed over it by a draw bridge:
the fortresse was devided into three partes, and every parte was devided
from the other with diches, and with water, and by Bridges, thei passed
from the one place to the other: wherefore the Duke battered with his
artillerie, one of the partes of the fortresse, and opened part of the
walle: For whiche cause Maister Jhon Casale, whiche was appoincted to
that Warde, thought not good to defende that breache, but abandoned it
for to retire hymself into the other places: so that the Dukes men
having entered into that parte without incounter, in a sodaine thei
gotte it all: For that the Dukes menne became lordes of the bridges,
whiche went from one place to an other. Thei loste then this Fortresse,
whiche was thought invinsible, through two defaultes, the one for havyng
so many retiryng places, the other, bicause every retiryng place, was
not Lorde of the bridge thereof. Therefore, the naughtie builded
Fortresse, and the little wisedome of them that defended it, caused
shame to the noble enterprise of the countesse, whoe had thought to have
abidden an armie, whiche neither the kyng of Naples, nor the Duke of
Milaine would have abidden: and although his inforcementes had no good
ende, yet notwithstandyng he gotte that honoure, whiche his
valiauntnesse had deserved: The whiche was testified of many Epigrammes,
made in those daies in his praise. Therefore, if I should have to builde
a Fortresse, I would make the walles strong, and the diches in the maner
as we have reasoned, nor I would not make therein other, then houses to
inhabite, and those I would make weake and lowe, after soche sorte that
thei should not let him that should stande in the middest of the Market
place, the sight of all the walle, to the intente that the Capitain
might see with the iye, where he maie succour: and that every manne
should understande, that the walle and the diche beyng lost, the
fortresse were lost. And yet when I should make any retiryng places, I
would make the bridges devided in soche wise, that every parte should be
Lorde of the bridges of his side, ordainyng, that thei should fall upon
postes, in the middest of the diche.

BAPTISTE. You have saied that littel thynges now a daies can not bee
defended, and it seemed unto me to have understoode the contrarie, that
the lesser that a thyng wer, the better it might be defended.

[Sidenote: The fortifiyng of the entrance of a Toune.]

FABRICIO. You have not understoode well, because that place cannot be
now a daies called stronge, wher he that defendeth it, hath not space to
retire with new diches, and with new fortificacions, for that the force
of the ordinance is so much, that he that trusteth uppon the warde of
one wall and of one fortification only, is deceived: and because the
Bulwarkes (mindyng that they passe not their ordinarie measure, for that
then they shoulde be townes and Castels) be not made, in suche wise that
men maie have space within them to retire, thei are loste straight waie.
Therefore it is wisdom to let alone those Bulwarkes without, and to
fortifie thenterance of the toune, and to kever the gates of the same
with turnyngs after suche sort, that men cannot goe in nor oute of the
gate by right line: and from the tournynges to the gate, to make a diche
with a bridge. Also they fortifie the gate, with a Percullis, for to bee
abell to put therin their menne, when they be issued out to faight, and
hapnyng that the enemies pursue them, to avoide, that in the mingelynge
together, they enter not in with them: and therfore these be used, the
which the antiquitie called Cattarratte, the whiche beyng let fall,
exclude thenemies, and save the freendes, for that in suche a case, men
can do no good neither by bridges nor by a gate, the one and the other
beynge ocupied with prease of menne.

BAPTISTE. I have seene these Perculleses that you speake of, made in
Almayne of littell quarters of woodde after the facion of a grate of
Iron, and these percullises of ouers, be made of plankes all massive: I
woulde desire to understande whereof groweth this difference, and which
be the strongest.

[Sidenote: Battelments ought to be large and thicke and the flanckers
large within.]

FABRICIO. I tell you agayne, that the manners and orders of the warre,
throughe oute all the worlde, in respecte to those of the antiquitie, be
extinguesshed, and in Italye they bee altogether loste, for if there bee
a thing somewhat stronger then the ordinarye, it groweth of the insample
of other countries. You mighte have understoode and these other may
remember, with howe muche debilitie before, that king Charles of Fraunce
in the yere of our salvation a thousande CCCC. xciiii. had passed into
Italie, they made the batelmentes not halfe a yarde thicke, the loopes,
and the flanckers were made with a litle opening without, and muche
within, and with manye other faultes whiche not to be tedious I will let
passe: for that easely from thinne battelments the defence is taken
awaye, the flanckers builded in the same maner, moste easylye are
opened: Nowe of the Frenchemen is learned to make the battelment large
and thicke, and the flanckers to bee large on the parte within, and to
drawe together in the middeste of the wall, and then agayn to waxe wider
unto the uttermost parte without: this maketh that the ordinaunce
hardlye can take away the defence. Therfore the Frenchmen have, manye
other devises like these, the whiche because they have not beene seene
of our men, they have not beene considered. Among whiche, is this kinde
of perculles made like unto a grate, the which is a greate deale better
then oures: for that if you have for defence of a gate a massive
parculles as oures, letting it fall, you shutte in your menne, and you
can not though the same hurte the enemie, so that hee with axes, and
with fire, maye breake it downe safely: but if it bee made like a grate,
you maye, it being let downe, through those holes and through those open
places, defende it with Pikes, with crosbowes, and with all other kinde
of weapons.

BAPTISTE. I have seene in Italye an other use after the outelandishe
fashion, and this is, to make the carriage of the artillery with the
spokes of the wheele crooked towardes the Axeltree. I woulde knowe why
they make them so: seeming unto mee that they bee stronger when they are
made straighte as those of oure wheeles.

[Sidenote: Neither the ditche, wall tillage, nor any kinde of
edificacion, ought to be within a mile of a toune of warre.]

FABRICIO. Never beleeve that the thinges that differ from the ordinarie
wayes, be made by chaunce: and if you shoulde beleeve that they make
them so, to shewe fayrer, you are deceaved: because where strength is
necessarie, there is made no counte of fayrenesse: but all groweth, for
that they be muche surer and muche stronger then ours. The reason is
this: the carte when it is laden, either goeth even, or leaning upon the
righte, or upon the lefte side: when it goeth even, the wheeles equally
sustayne the wayght, the which being equallye devided betweene them,
doth not burden much, but leaning, it commeth to have all the paise of
the cariage on the backe of that wheele upon the which it leaneth. If
the spokes of the same be straight they wil soone breake: for that the
wheele leaning, the spokes come also to leane, and not to sustaine the
paise by the straightnesse of them, and so when the carte goeth even,
and when they are least burdened, they come to bee strongest: when the
Carte goeth awrye, and that they come to have moste paise, they bee
weakest. Even the contrarie happeneth to the crooked spokes of the
Frenche Cartes, for that when the carte leaning upon one side poincteth
uppon them, because they bee ordinary crooked, they come then to bee
straight, and to be able to sustayne strongly al the payse, where when
the carte goeth even, and that they bee crooked, they sustayne it halfe:
but let us tourne to our citie and Fortresse. The Frenchemen use also
for more safegarde of the gates of their townes, and for to bee able in
sieges more easylye to convey and set oute men of them, besides the
sayde thinges, an other devise, of which I have not seene yet in Italye
anye insample: and this is, where they rayse on the oute side from the
ende of the drawe bridge twoo postes, and upon either of them they
joigne a beame, in suche wise that the one halfe of them comes over the
bridge, the other halfe with oute: then all the same parte that commeth
withoute, they joygne together with small quarters of woodde, the whiche
they set thicke from one beame to an other like unto a grate, and on the
parte within, they fasten to the ende of either of the beames a chaine:
then when they will shutte the bridge on the oute side, they slacke the
chaines, and let downe all the same parte like unto a grate, the whiche
comming downe, shuttethe the bridge, and when they will open it, they
drawe the chaines, and the same commeth to rise up, and they maye raise
it up so much that a man may passe under it, and not a horse, and so
much that there maye passe horse and man, and shutte it againe at ones,
for that it falleth and riseth as a window of a battelment. This devise
is more sure than the Parculles, because hardely it maye be of the
enemye lette in such wise, that it fall not downe, falling not by a
righte line as the Parculles, which easely may be underpropped. Therfore
they which will make a citie oughte to cause to be ordained all the
saide things: and moreover aboute the walle, there woulde not bee
suffered any grounde to be tilled, within a myle thereof, nor any wall
made, but shoulde be all champaine, where should be neither ditch nor
banck, neither tree nor house, which might let the fighte, and make
defence for the enemie that incampeth.

[Sidenote: Noote; The provision that is meete to be made for the defence
of a toune.]

And noote, that a Towne, whiche hathe the ditches withoute, with the
banckes higher then the grounde, is moste weake: for as muche as they
make defence to the enemye which assaulteth thee, and letteth him not
hurte thee, because easely they may be opened, and geve place to his
artillerye: but let us passe into the Towne. I will not loose so muche
time in shewing you howe that besides the foresayde thinges, it is
requisite to have provision of victualles, and wherewith to fight, for
that they be thinges that everye man underdeth, and without them, all
other provision is vaine: and generally twoo thinges oughte to be done,
to provide and to take the commoditie from the enemie that he availe not
by the things of thy countrey: therfore the straw, the beastes, the
graine, whiche thou canste not receive into house, ought to be
destroied. Also he that defendeth a Towne, oughte to provide that
nothing bee done tumultuouslye and disordinatelye, and to take suche
order, that in all accidentes everye man maye knowe what he hath to doo.

[Sidenote: What incoragethe the enemy most that besiegeth a toune; What
he that besiegeth and he that defendeth oughte to doo; Advertisementes
for a besieged towne; Howe the Romaines vitaled Casalino besieged of
Aniball; A policie for the besieged.]

The order that oughte to be taken is thus, that the women, the olde
folkes, the children, and the impotent, be made to keepe within doores,
that the Towne maye be left free, to yong and lustie men, whom being
armed, must be destributed for the defence of the same, appointing part
of them to the wall, parte to the gates, parte to the principall places
of the Citie, for to remedie those inconveniences, that might growe
within: an other parte must not be bound to any place, but be ready to
succour all, neede requiring: and the thing beeing ordained thus, with
difficultie tumulte can growe, whiche maye disorder thee. Also I will
that you note this, in the besieging and defending of a Citie, that
nothing geveth so muche hoope to the adversarye to be able to winne a
towne, as when he knoweth that the same is not accustomed to see the
enemie: for that many times for feare onely without other experience of
force, cities have bene loste: Therefore a man oughte, when he
assaulteth a like Citie, to make all his ostentacions terrible. On the
other parte he that is assaulted, oughte to appoincte to the same parte,
whiche the enemie fighteth againste, strong men and suche as opinion
makethe not afraide, but weapons onely: for that if the first proofe
turne vaine, it increaseth boldenesse to the besieged, and then the
enemie is constrained to overcome them within, with vertue and
reputacion. The instrumentes wherwith the antiquitie defended townes,
where manie: as balistes, onagris, scorpions, Arcubalistes, Fustibals,
Slinges: and also those were manie with which thei gave assaultes. As
Arrieti, Towers, Musculi Plutei, Viney, Falci, testudeni, in steede of
which thynges be now a daies the ordinance, the whiche serve him that
bessegeth, and him that defendeth: and therfore I will speake no forther
of theim: But let us retourne to our reasonyng and let us come to
particular offences. They ought to have care not to be taken by famine,
and not to be overcome through assaultes: concernyng famin, it hath ben
tolde, that it is requiset before the siege come, to be well provided of
vitualles. But when a towne throughe longe siege, lacketh victuals, some
times hath ben seen used certaine extraordinarie waies to be provided of
their friendes, whome woulde save them: inespeciall if through the
middest of the besieged Citie there runne a river, as the Romaines
vittelled their castell called Casalino besieged of Anibal, whom being
not able by the river to sende them other victual then Nuttes, wherof
castyng in the same great quantitie, the which carried of the river,
without beyng abel to be letted, fedde longe time the Casalinians. Some
besieged, for to shew unto the enemie, that they have graine more then
inough and for to make him to dispaire, that he cannot, by famin
overcome theim, have caste breade oute of the gates, or geven a Bullocke
graine to eate, and after have suffered the same to be taken, to the
intent that kilde and founde full of graine, might shewe that
aboundance, whiche they had not. On the other parte excellent Capitaines
have used sundrie waies to werie the enemie.

[Sidenote: A policie of Fabius in besieging of a toune; A policie of
Dionisius in besiegynge of a toune.]

Fabius suffered them whome he besieged, to sowe their fieldes, to the
entente that thei should lacke the same corne, whiche they sowed.

Dionisius beynge in Campe at Regio, fained to minde to make an agreement
with them, and duryng the practise therof he caused him selfe to be
provided of their victuales, and then when he had by this mean got from
them their graine, he kepte them straight and famished them.

[Sidenote: Howe Alexander wanne Leucadia.]

Alexander Magnus mindyng to winne Leucadia overcame all the Castels
aboute it, and by that means drivyng into the same citie a great
multitude of their owne countrie men, famished them.

[Sidenote: The besieged ought to take heed of the first brunte; The
remedie that townes men have, when the enemies ar entred into the towne;
How to make the townes men yeelde.]

Concernynge the assaultes, there hath been tolde that chiefely thei
ought to beware of the firste bronte, with whiche the Romaines gotte
often times manie townes, assaultyng them sodainly, and on every side:
and thei called it _Aggredi urbem corona_. As Scipio did, when he wanne
newe Carthage in Hispayne: the which brunte if of a towne it be
withstoode, with difficultie after will bee overcome: and yet thoughe it
should happen that the enemie were entred into the citie, by overcomynge
the wall, yet the townes men have some remedie, so thei forsake it not:
for as much as manie armies through entring into a toune, have ben
repulced or slaine: the remedie is, that the townes men doe keepe them
selves in highe places, and from the houses, and from the towers to
faight with them: the whiche thynge, they that have entered into the
citie, have devised to overcome in twoo manners: the one with openyng
the gates of the citie, and to make the waie for the townes men, that
thei might safely flie: the other with sendynge foorthe a proclamacion,
that signifieth, that none shall be hurte but the armed, and to them
that caste their weapons on the grounde, pardon shall be graunted: the
whiche thynge hath made easie the victorie of manie cities.

[Sidenote: How townes or cities are easelie wonne; How duke Valentine
got the citie of Urbine; The besieged ought to take heede of the
deciptes and policies of the enemie; How Domitio Calvino wan a towne.]

Besides this, the Citees are easie to bee wonne, if thou come upon them
unawares: whiche is dooen beyng with thy armie farre of, after soche
sort, that it be not beleved, either that thou wilte assaulte theim, or
that thou canst dooe it, without commyng openly, bicause of the distance
of the place: wherefore, if thou secretely and spedely assaulte theim,
almoste alwaies it shall followe, that thou shalte gette the victorie. I
reason unwillingly of the thynges succeded in our tyme, for that to me
and to mine, it should be a burthen, and to reason of other, I cannot
tel what to saie: notwithstanding, I cannot to this purpose but declare,
the insample of Cesar Borgia, called duke Valentine, who beyng at Nocera
with his menne, under colour of goyng to besiege Camerino, tourned
towardes the state of Urbin, and gotte a state in a daie, and without
any paine, the whiche an other with moche time and cost, should scante
have gotten. It is conveniente also to those, that be besieged, to take
heede of the deceiptes, and of the policies of the enemie, and therefore
the besieged ought not to truste to any thyng, whiche thei see the
enemie dooe continually, but let theim beleve alwaies, that it is under
deceipte, and that he can to their hurte varie it. Domitio Calvino
besiegyng a toune, used for a custome to compasse aboute every daie,
with a good parte of his menne, the wall of the same: whereby the Tounes
menne, belevyng that he did it for exercise, slacked the Ward: whereof
Domicius beyng aware, assaulted and overcame them.

[Sidenote: A policie to get a towne.]

Certaine Capitaines understandyng, that there should come aide to the
besieged, have apareled their Souldiours, under the Ansigne of those,
that should come, and beyng let in, have gotte the Toune.

[Sidenote: How Simon of Athens wan a towne; A policie to get a towne;
How Scipio gotte certaine castels in Afrike.]

Simon of Athens set fire in a night on a Temple, whiche was out of the
toune, wherefore, the tounes menne goyng to succour it, lefte the toune
in praie to the enemie. Some have slaine those, whiche from the besieged
Castle, have gone a foragyng, and have appareled their souldiours, with
the apparell of the forragers, whom after have gotte the toune. The
aunciente Capitaines, have also used divers waies, to destroie the
Garison of the Toune, whiche thei have sought to take. Scipio beyng in
Africa, and desiring to gette certaine Castles, in whiche were putte the
Garrisons of Carthage, he made many tymes, as though he would assaulte
theim, albeit, he fained after, not onely to abstaine, but to goe awaie
from them for feare: the whiche Aniball belevyng to bee true, for to
pursue hym with greater force, and for to bee able more easely to
oppresse him, drewe out all the garrisons of theim: The whiche Scipio
knowyng, sente Massinissa his Capitaine to overcome them.

[Sidenote: Howe Pirrus wan the chiefe Citie of Sclavonie; A policie to
get a towne; How the beseiged are made to yelde; Howe to get a towne by
treason; A policie of Aniball for the betraiyng of a Castell; How the
besieged maie be begiled; How Formion overcame the Calcidensians; What
the besieged muste take heede of; Liberalitie maketh enemies frendes;
The diligence that the besieged ought to use in their watche and ward.]

Pirrus makyng warre in Sclavonie, to the chiefe citee of the same
countrie, where were brought many menne in Garrison, fained to dispaire
to bee able to winne it, and tourning to other places, made that the
same for to succour them, emptied it self of the warde, and became easie
to bee wonne. Many have corrupted the water, and have tourned the rivers
an other waie to take Tounes. Also the besieged, are easely made to
yelde them selves, makyng theim afraied, with signifiyng unto them a
victorie gotten, or with new aides, whiche come in their disfavour. The
old Capitaines have sought to gette Tounes by treason, corruptyng some
within, but thei have used divers meanes. Sum have sente a manne of
theirs, whiche under the name of a fugetive, might take aucthoritie and
truste with the enemies, who after have used it to their profite. Some
by this meanes, have understode the maner of the watche, and by meanes
of the same knowledge, have taken the Toune. Some with a Carte, or with
Beames under some colour, have letted the gate, that it could not bee
shutte, and with this waie, made the entrie easie to the enemie. Aniball
perswaded one, to give him a castle of the Romaines, and that he should
fain to go a huntyng in the night, makyng as though he could not goe by
daie, for feare of the enemies, and tournyng after with the Venison,
should put in with hym certaine of his menne, and so killyng the
watchmen, should give hym the gate. Also the besieged are beguiled, with
drawyng them out of the Toune, and goyng awaie from them, faining to
flie when thei assault thee. And many (emong whom was Anibal) have for
no other intente, let their Campe to be taken, but to have occasion to
get betwene theim and home, and to take their Toune. Also, thei are
beguiled with fainyng to departe from them, as Formion of Athens did,
who havyng spoiled the countrie of the Calcidensians, received after
their ambassadours, fillyng their Citee with faire promises, and hope of
safetie, under the which as simple menne, thei were a little after of
Formione oppressed. The besieged ought to beware of the men, whiche thei
have in suspecte emong them: but some times thei are wont, as well to
assure them selves with deserte, as with punishemente. Marcellus
knoweyng how Lucius Bancius a Nolane, was tourned to favour Aniball so
moche humanitie and liberalitie, he used towardes him, that of an
enemie, he made him moste frendely. The besieged ought to use more
diligence in the warde, when the enemie is gone from theim, then when he
is at hande. And thei ought to warde those places, whiche thei thinke,
that maie bee hurt least: for that many tounes have been loste, when
thenemie assaulteth it on thesame part, where thei beleve not possible
to be assaulted. And this deceipt groweth of twoo causes, either for the
place being strong, and to beleve, that it is invinsible, or through
craft beyng used of the enemie, in assaltyng theim on one side with
fained alaroms, and on the other without noise, and with verie assaltes
in deede: and therefore the besieged, ought to have greate advertisment,
and above all thynges at all times, and in especially in the night to
make good watche to bee kepte on the walles, and not onely to appoincte
menne, but Dogges, and soche fiearse Mastives, and lively, the whiche by
their sente maie descrie the enemie, and with barkyng discover him: and
not Dogges onely, but Geese have ben seen to have saved a citee, as it
happened to Roome, when the Frenchemen besieged the Capitoll.

[Sidenote: An order of Alcibiades for the dew keping of watch and

Alcibiades for to see, whether the warde watched, Athense beeyng
besieged of the Spartaines, ordained that when in the night, he should
lifte up a light, all the ward should lift up likewise, constitutyng
punishmente to hym that observed it not.

[Sidenote: The secrete conveighyng of Letters; The defence against a
breach; How the antiquitie got tounes by muining under grounde.]

Isicrates of Athens killed a watchman, which slept, saiyng that he lefte
him as he found him. Those that have been besieged, have used divers
meanes, to sende advise to their frendes: and mindyng not to send their
message by mouth, thei have written letters in Cifers, and hidden them
in sundrie wise: the Cifers be according, as pleaseth him that ordaineth
them, the maner of hidyng them is divers. Some have written within the
scaberde of a sweard: Other have put the Letters in an unbaked lofe, and
after have baked the same, and given it for meate to hym that caried
theim. Certaine have hidden them, in the secreteste place of their
bodies: other have hidden them in the collor of a Dogge, that is
familiare with hym, whiche carrieth theim: Some have written in a letter
ordinarie thinges, and after betwene thone line and thother, have also
written with water, that wetyng it or warming it after, the letters
should appere. This waie hath been moste politikely observed in our
time: where some myndyng to signifie to their freendes inhabityng within
a towne, thinges to be kept secret, and mindynge not to truste any
person, have sente common matters written, accordyng to the common use
and enterlined it, as I have saied above, and the same have made to be
hanged on the gates of the Temples, the whiche by countersignes beyng
knowen of those, unto whome they have been sente, were taken of and
redde: the whiche way is moste politique, bicause he that carrieth them
maie bee beguiled, and there shall happen hym no perill. There be moste
infinite other waies, whiche every manne maie by himself rede and finde:
but with more facilitie, the besieged maie bee written unto, then the
besieged to their frendes without, for that soche letters cannot be
sent, but by one, under colour of a fugetive, that commeth out of a
toune: the whiche is a daungerous and perilous thing, when thenemie is
any whit craftie: But those that sende in, he that is sente, maie under
many colours, goe into the Campe that besiegeth, and from thens takyng
conveniente occasion, maie leape into the toune: but lette us come to
speake of the present winnyng of tounes. I saie that if it happen, that
thou bee besieged in thy citee, whiche is not ordained with diches
within, as a little before we shewed, to mynde that thenemie shall not
enter through the breach of the walle, whiche the artillerie maketh:
bicause there is no remedie to lette thesame from makyng of a breache,
it is therefore necessarie for thee, whileste the ordinance battereth,
to caste a diche within the wall which is battered, and that it be in
bredth at leaste twoo and twentie yardes and a halfe, and to throwe all
thesame that is digged towardes the toun, whiche maie make banke, and
the diche more deper: and it is convenient for thee, to sollicitate this
worke in soche wise, that when the walle falleth, the Diche maie be
digged at least, fower or five yardes in depth: the whiche diche is
necessarie, while it is a digging, to shutte it on every side with a
slaughter house: and when the wall is so strong, that it giveth thee
time to make the diche, and the slaughter houses, that battered parte,
commeth to be moche stronger, then the rest of the citee: for that soche
fortificacion, cometh to have the forme, of the diches which we devised
within: but when the walle is weake, and that it giveth thee not tyme,
to make like fortificacions, then strengthe and valiauntnesse muste bee
shewed, settyng againste the enemies armed menne, with all thy force.
This maner of fortificacion was observed of the Pisans, when you
besieged theim, and thei might doe it, bicause thei had strong walles,
whiche gave them time, the yearth beyng softe and moste meete to raise
up banckes, and to make fortificacions: where if thei had lacked this
commoditie, thei should have loste the toune. Therefore it shall bee
alwaies prudently doen, to provide afore hand, makyng diches within the
citee, and through out all the circuite thereof, as a little before wee
devised: for that in this case, the enemie maie safely be taried for at
laisure, the fortificacions beyng redy made. The antiquitie many tymes
gotte tounes, with muinyng under ground in twoo maners, either thei made
a waie under grounde secretely, whiche risse in the toune, and by
thesame entered, in whiche maner the Romaines toke the citee of Veienti,
or with the muinyng, thei overthrewe a walle, and made it ruinate: this
laste waie is now a daies moste stronge, and maketh, that the citees
placed high, be most weake, bicause thei maie better bee under muined:
and puttyng after in a Cave of this Gunne pouder, whiche in a momente
kindelyng, not onely ruinateth a wall, but it openeth the hilles, and
utterly dissolveth the strength of them.

[Sidenote: The reamedie against Caves or undermuinynges; What care the
besieged ought to have; What maketh a citee or campe difficulte to bee
defended; By what meanes thei that besiege ar made afraied; Honour got
by constancie.]

The remedie for this, is to builde in the plain, and to make the diche
that compasseth thy citee, so deepe, that the enemie maie not digge
lower then thesame, where he shall not finde water, whiche onely is
enemie to the caves: for if thou be in a toune, which thou defendest on
a high ground, thou canst not remedie it otherwise, then to make within
thy walles many deepe Welles, the whiche be as drouners to thesame
Caves, that the enemie is able to ordain against thee. An other remedie
there is, to make a cave againste it, when thou shouldeste bee aware
where he muineth, the whiche waie easely hindereth hym, but difficultly
it is foreseen, beyng besieged of a craftie enemie. He that is besieged,
ought above al thinges to have care, not to bee oppressed in the tyme of
reste: as is after a battaile fought, after the watche made, whiche is
in the Mornyng at breake of daie, and in the Evenyng betwen daie and
night, and above al, at meale times: in whiche tyme many tounes have
been wonne, and armies have been of them within ruinated: therefore it
is requisite with diligence on all partes, to stande alwaies garded, and
in a good part armed. I will not lacke to tell you, how that, whiche
maketh a citee or a campe difficult to be defended, is to be driven to
kepe sundred all the force, that thou haste in theim, for that the
enemie beyng able to assaulte thee at his pleasure altogether, it is
conveniente for thee on every side, to garde every place, and so he
assaulteth thee with all his force, and thou with parte of thine
defendest thee. Also, the besieged maie bee overcome altogether, he
without cannot bee, but repulced: wherefore many, whom have been
besieged, either in a Campe, or in a Toune, although thei have been
inferiour of power, have issued out with their men at a sodaine, and
have overcome the enemie. This Marcellus of Nola did: this did Cesar in
Fraunce, where his Campe beeyng assaulted of a moste great nomber of
Frenchmen, and seeyng hymself not able to defende it, beyng constrained
to devide his force into many partes, and not to bee able standyng
within the Listes, with violence to repulce thenemie: he opened the
campe on thone side, and turning towardes thesame parte with all his
power, made so moche violence against them, and with moche valiantnes,
that he vanquisshed and overcame them. The constancie also of the
besieged, causeth many tymes displeasure, and maketh afraied them that
doe besiege. Pompei beyng against Cesar, and Cesars armie beeyng in
greate distresse through famine, there was brought of his bredde to
Pompei, whom seyng it made of grasse, commaunded, that it should not bee
shewed unto his armie, least it shoulde make them afraide, seyng what
enemies they had against theim. Nothyng caused so muche honour to the
Romaines in the warre of Aniball, as their constancie: for as muche as
in what so ever envious, and adverse fortune thei were troubled, they
never demaunded peace, thei never made anie signe of feare, but rather
when Aniball was aboute Rome, thei solde those fieldes, where he had
pitched his campe, dearer then ordinarie in other times shoulde have
been solde: and they stoode in so much obstinacie in their enterprises,
that for to defende Rome, thei would not raise their campe from Capua,
the whiche in the verie same time that Roome was besieged, the Romaines
did besiege.

I knowe that I have tolde you of manie thynges, the whiche by your selfe
you might have understoode, and considered, notwithstandyng I have doen
it (as to daie also I have tolde you) for to be abell to shewe you
better by meane therof, the qualitie of this armie, and also for to
satisfie those, if there be anie, whome have not had the same commoditie
to understand them as you. Nor me thinkes that there resteth other to
tell you, then certaine generall rules, the whiche you shal have moste
familiar, which be these.

[Sidenote: Generall rules of warre.]

The same that helpeth the enemie, hurteth thee: and the same that
helpeth thee, hurteth the enemie.

He that shall be in the warre moste vigilant to observe the devises of
the enemie, and shall take moste payne to exercise his armie, shall
incurre least perilles and maie hope moste of the victorie.

Never conducte thy men to faight the field, if first them hast not
confirmed their mindes and knowest them to be without feare, and to be
in good order: for thou oughteste never to enterprise any dangerous
thyng with thy souldiours, but when thou seest, that they hope to

It is better to conquere the enemie with faminne, then with yron: in the
victorie of which, fortune maie doe much more then valiantnesse.

No purpose is better then that, whiche is hidde from the enemie untill
thou have executed it.

To know in the warre how to understande occasion, and to take it,
helpeth more then anie other thynge.

Nature breedeth few stronge menne, the industrie and the exercise maketh

Discipline maie doe more in warre, then furie.

When anie departe from the enemies side for to come to serve thee, when
thei be faithfull, thei shalbe unto thee alwaies great gaines: for that
the power of thadversaries are more deminisshed with the losse of them,
that runne awaie, then of those that be slaine, although that the name
of a fugetive be to new frendes suspected, to olde odius.

Better it is in pitchyng the fielde, to reserve behynde the first front
aide inoughe, then to make the fronte bigger to disperse the souldiours.

He is difficultely overcome, whiche can know his owne power and the same
of the enemie.

The valiantenesse of the souldiours availeth more then the multitude.

Some times the situacion helpeth more then the valiantenesse.

New and sudden thynges, make armies afrayde.

Slowe and accustomed thinges, be littell regarded of them. Therfore make
thy armie to practise and to know with small faightes a new enemie,
before thou come to faight the fielde with him.

He that with disorder foloweth the enemie after that he is broken, will
doe no other, then to become of a conquerour a loser.

He that prepareth not necessarie victualles to live upon, is overcome
without yron.

He that trusteth more in horsemen then in footemen, more in footemen
then in horsemen, must accommodate him selfe with the situacion.

When thou wilte see if in the daie there be comen anie spie into the
Campe, cause everie man to goe to his lodgynge.

Chaunge purpose, when thou perceivest that the enemie hath forseene it.

[Sidenote: How to consulte.]

Consulte with many of those thinges, which thou oughtest to dooe: the
same that thou wilt after dooe, conferre with fewe.

Souldiours when thei abide at home, are mainteined with feare and
punishemente, after when thei ar led to the warre with hope and with

Good Capitaines come never to faight the fielde, excepte necessitie
constraine theim, and occasion call them.

Cause that thenemies know not, how thou wilte order thy armie to faight,
and in what so ever maner that thou ordainest it, make that the firste
bande may be received of the seconde and of the thirde.

In the faight never occupie a battell to any other thyng, then to the
same, for whiche thou haste apoineted it, if thou wilt make no disorder.

The sodene accidentes, with difficultie are reamedied: those that are
thought upon, with facilitie.

[Sidenote: What thynges are the strength of the warre.]

Men, yron, money, and bread, be the strengthe of the warre, but of these
fower, the first twoo be moste necessarie: because men and yron, finde
money and breade: but breade and money fynde not men and yron.

The unarmed riche man, is a bootie to the poore souldiour.

Accustome thy souldiours to dispise delicate livyng and lacivius

This is as muche as hapneth me generally to remember you, and I know
that there might have ben saied manie other thynges in all this my
reasonynge: as should be, howe and in howe manie kinde of waies the
antiquitie ordered their bandes, how thei appareled them, and how in
manie other thynges they exercised them, and to have joygned hereunto
manie other particulars, the whiche I have not judged necessarie to
shew, as wel for that you your self may se them, as also for that my
intente hath not been to shew juste how the olde servis of warre was
apoincted, but howe in these daies a servis of warre might be ordained,
whiche should have more vertue then the same that is used. Wherfore I
have not thought good of the auncient thynges to reason other, then
that, which I have judged to suche introduction necessarie. I know also
that I might have delated more upon the service on horsebacke, and after
have reasoned of the warre on the Sea: for as muche as he that
destinguissheth the servis of warre, saieth, how there is an armie on
the sea, and of the lande, on foote, and on horsebacke. Of that on the
sea, I will not presume to speake, for that I have no knowledge therof:
but I will let the Genoues, and the Venecians speake therof, whome with
like studies have heretofore doen great thinges.

Also of horses, I wil speake no other, then as afore I have saied, this
parte beynge (as I have declared) least corrupted. Besides this, the
footemen being wel ordained, which is the puissance of the armie, good
horses of necessitie will come to be made.

[Sidenote: Provisions that maie bee made to fill a Realme full of good
horse; The knowledge that a capitaine oughte to have.]

Onely I counsel him that would ordayne the exercise of armes in his owne
countrey, and desireth to fill the same with good horses, that he make
two provisions: the one is, that he destribute Mares of a good race
throughe his dominion, and accustome his menne to make choise of coltes,
as you in this countrie make of Calves and Mules: the other is, that to
thentente the excepted might finde a byer, I woulde prohibet that no man
should kepe a Mule excepte he woulde keepe a horse: so that he that
woulde kepe but one beaste to ride on, shoulde be constrained to keepe a
horse: and moreover that no man should weare fine cloathe except he
which doeth keepe a horse: this order I under stande hath beene devised
of certaine princes in our time, whome in short space have therby,
brought into their countrey an excellente numbre of good horses. Aboute
the other thynges, as much as might be looked for concernynge horse, I
remit to as much as I have saied to daie, and to that whiche they use.
Peradventure also you woulde desire to understand what condicions a
Capitaine ought to have: wherof I shal satisfie you moste breeflie: for
that I cannot tell how to chose anie other man then the same, who
shoulde know howe to doe all those thynges whiche this daie hath ben
reasoned of by us: the which also should not suffise, when he should not
knowe howe to devise of him selfe: for that no man without invencion,
was ever excellent in anie science: and if invencion causeth honour in
other thynges, in this above all, it maketh a man honorable: for everie
invention is seen, although it were but simple, to be of writers
celebrated: as it is seen, where Alexander Magnus is praised, who for to
remove his Campe moste secretely, gave not warnyng with the Trumpette,
but with a hatte upon a Launce. And was praised also for havyng taken
order that his souldiours in buckelynge with the enemies, shoulde kneele
with the lefte legge, to bee able more strongly to withstande their
violence: the whiche havyng geven him the victorie, it got him also so
muche praise, that all the Images, whiche were erected in his honour,
stoode after the same facion. But because it is tyme to finishe this
reasonyng, I wil turne againe to my first purpose, and partly I shall
avoide the same reproche, wherin they use to condempne in this towne,
such as knoweth not when to make an ende.

[Sidenote: The auctor retorneth to his first purpose and maketh a littel
discorse to make an ende of his reasonyng.]

If you remembre Cosimus you tolde me, that I beyng of one side an
exalter of the antiquitie, and a dispraiser of those, which in waightie
matters imitated them not, and of the other side, I havynge not in the
affaires of war, wherin I have taken paine, imitated them, you coulde
not perceive the occasion: wherunto I answered, how that men which wil
doo any thing, muste firste prepare to knowe how to doe it, for to be
able, after to use it, when occasion permitteth: whether I doe know how
to bryng the servis of warre to the auncient manners or no, I will be
judged by you, whiche have hearde me upon this matter longe dispute
wherby you may know, how much time I have consumed in these studies: and
also I beleeve that you maie imagen, how much desire is in me to brynge
it to effecte: the whiche whether I have been able to have doen, or that
ever occasion hath been geven me, most easely you maie conjecture: yet
for to make you more certaine and for my better justificacion, I will
also aledge the occasions: and as much as I have promised, I will
partely performe, to shew you the difficultie and the facelitie, whiche
bee at this presente in suche imitacions.

[Sidenote: A prince may easelie brynge to intiere perfection the servis
of warre; Two sortes of Capitaines worthie to bee praysed.]

Therfore I saie, how that no deede that is doen now a daies emong men,
is more easie to be reduced unto the aunciente maners, then the service
of Warre: but by them onely that be Princes of so moche state, who can
at least gather together of their owne subjectes, xv. or twentie
thousande yong menne: otherwise, no thyng is more difficulte, then this,
to them whiche have not soche commoditie: and for that you maie the
better understande this parte, you have to knowe, howe that there bee of
twoo condicions, Capitaines to bee praised: The one are those, that with
an armie ordained through the naturalle discipline thereof, have dooen
greate thynges: as were the greater parte of the Romaine Citezeins, and
suche as have ledde armies, the which have had no other paine, then to
maintaine them good, and to se them guided safely: the other are they,
whiche not onely have had to overcome the enemie, but before they come
to the same, have been constrained to make good and well ordered their
armie: who without doubte deserve muche more praise, then those have
deserved, which with olde armies, and good, have valiantely wrought. Of
these, such wer Pelopida, and Epaminonda, Tullus Hostillius, Phillip of
Macedony father of Alexander, Cirus kyng of the Percians, Graccus a
Romaine: they all were driven first to make their armies good, and after
to faighte with them: they all coulde doe it, as well throughe their
prudence, as also for havynge subjectes whome thei might in like
exercises instruct: nor it shuld never have ben otherwise possible, that
anie of theim, though they had ben never so good and ful of al
excellencie, should have been able in a straunge countrey, full of men
corrupted, not used to anie honest obedience, to have brought to passe
anie laudable worke. It suffiseth not then in Italie, to know how to
governe an army made, but first it is necessarie to know how to make it
and after to know how to commaunde it: and to do these things it is
requisit they bee those princes, whome havyng much dominion, and
subjectes inoughe, maie have commoditie to doe it: of whiche I can not
bee, who never commaunded, nor cannot commaunde, but to armies of
straungers, and to men bounde to other, and not to me: in whiche if it
be possible, or no, to introduce anie of those thynges that this daie of
me hath ben reasoned, I will leave it to your judgement.

Albeit when coulde I make one of these souldiours which now a daies
practise, to weare more armur then the ordinarie, and besides the armur,
to beare their owne meate for two or three daies, with a mattocke: When
coulde I make theim to digge, or keepe theim every daie manie howers
armed, in fained exercises, for to bee able after in the verie thyng in
deede to prevaile? When woulde thei abstaine from plaie, from
laciviousnesse, from swearynge, from the insolence, whiche everie daie
they committe? when would they be reduced into so muche dissepline, into
so much obedience and reverence, that a tree full of appels in the
middest of their Campe, shoulde be founde there and lefte untouched? As
is redde, that in the auncient armies manie times hapned. What thynge
maye I promis them, by meane wherof thei may have me in reverence to
love, or to feare, when the warre beyng ended, they have not anie more
to doe with me? wher of maie I make them ashamed, whiche be borne and
brought up without shame? whie shoulde thei be ruled by me who knowe me
not? By what God or by what sainctes may I make them to sweare? By those
that thei worship, or by those that they blaspheme? Who they worship I
knowe not anie: but I knowe well they blaspheme all. How shoulde I
beleeve that thei will keepe their promise to them, whome everie hower
they dispise? How can they, that dispise God, reverence men? Then what
good fashion shoulde that be, whiche might be impressed in this matter?
And if you should aledge unto me that Suyzzers and Spaniardes bee good
souldiours, I woulde confesse unto you, how they be farre better then
the Italians: but if you note my reasonynge, and the maner of procedyng
of bothe, you shall see, howe they lacke many thynges to joygne to the
perfection of the antiquetie. And how the Suyzzers be made good of one
of their naturall uses caused of that, whiche to daie I tolde you: those
other are made good by mean of a necessitie: for that servyng in a
straunge countrie, and seemyng unto them to be constrained either to
die, or to overcome, thei perceivynge to have no place to flie, doe
become good: but it is a goodnesse in manie partes fawtie: for that in
the same there is no other good, but that they bee accustomed to tarie
the enemie at the Pike and sweardes poincte: nor that, which thei lacke,
no man should be meete to teache them, and so much the lesse, he that
coulde not speake their language.

[Sidenote: The Auctor excuseth the people of Italie to the great
reproche of their prynces for their ignorance in the affaires of warre.]

But let us turne to the Italians, who for havynge not had wise Princes,
have not taken anie good order: and for havyng not had the same
necessitie, whiche the Spaniardes have hadde, they have not taken it of
theim selves, so that they remaine the shame of the worlde: and the
people be not to blame, but onely their princes, who have ben chastised,
and for their ignorance have ben justely punisshed, leesinge moste
shamefully their states, without shewing anie vertuous ensample. And if
you will see whether this that I say be trew: consider how manie warres
have ben in Italie since the departure of kyng Charles to this day,
where the war beyng wonte to make men warlyke and of reputacion, these
the greater and fierser that they have been, so muche the more they have
made the reputacion of the members and of the headdes therof to bee
loste. This proveth that it groweth, that the accustomed orders were not
nor bee not good, and of the newe orders, there is not anie whiche have
knowen how to take them. Nor never beleeve that reputacion will be
gotten, by the Italians weapons, but by the same waie that I have
shewed, and by means of theim, that have great states in Italie: for
that this forme maie be impressed in simple rude men, of their owne, and
not in malicious, ill brought up, and straungers. Nor there shall never
bee founde anie good mason, whiche will beleeve to be able to make a
faire image of a peece of Marbell ill hewed, but verye well of a rude

[Sidenote: A discription of the folishenesse of the Italian princes;
Cesar and Alexander, were the formoste in battell; The Venecians and the
duke of Ferare began to have reduced the warfare to the Aunciente
maners; He that despiseth the servis of warre, despiseth his own

Our Italian Princes beleved, before thei tasted the blowes of the
outlandishe warre, that it should suffice a Prince to knowe by
writynges, how to make a subtell answere, to write a goodly letter, to
shewe in saiynges, and in woordes, witte and promptenesse, to knowe how
to canvas a fraude, to decke theim selves with precious stones and gold,
to slepe and to eate with greater glorie then other: To keepe many
lascivious persones aboute them, to governe theim selves with their
subjectes, covetuously and proudely: To rotte in idlenesse, to give the
degrees of the exercise of warre, for good will, to despise if any
should have shewed them any laudable waie, minding that their wordes
should bee aunswers of oracles: nor the sely wretches were not aware,
that thei prepared theim selves to bee a praie, to whom so ever should
assaulte theim. Hereby grewe then in the thousande fower hundred nintie
and fower yere, the greate feares, the sodain flightes, and the
marveilous losses: and so three most mightie states which were in
Italie, have been divers times sacked and destroied. But that which is
worse, is where those that remaine, continue in the verie same erroure,
and live in the verie same disorder, and consider not, that those, who
in old time would kepe their states, caused to be dooen these thynges,
which of me hath been reasoned, and that their studies wer, to prepare
the body to diseases, and the minde not to feare perilles. Whereby grewe
that Cesar, Alexander, and all those menne and excellente Princes in old
tyme, were the formoste emongest the faighters, goyng armed on foote:
and if thei loste their state, thei would loose their life, so that thei
lived and died vertuously. And if in theim, or in parte of theim, there
might bee condempned to muche ambicion to reason of: yet there shall
never bee founde, that in theim is condempned any tendernesse or any
thynge that maketh menne delicate and feable: the whiche thyng, if of
these Princes were redde and beleved, it should be impossible, that thei
should not change their forme of living, and their provinces not to
chaunge fortune. And for that you in the beginnyng of this our
reasonyng, lamented your ordinaunces, I saie unto you, that if you had
ordained it, as I afore have reasoned, and it had given of it self no
good experience, you might with reason have been greved therewith: but
if it bee not so ordained, and exercised, as I have saied, it maie be
greeved with you, who have made a counterfaite thereof, and no perfecte
figure. The Venecians also, and the Duke of Ferare, beganne it, and
followed it not, the whiche hath been through their faulte, not through
their menne. And therfore I assure you, that who so ever of those,
whiche at this daie have states in Italie, shall enter firste into this
waie, shall be firste, before any other, Lorde of this Province, and it
shall happen to his state, as to the kyngdome of the Macedonians, the
which commyng under Philip, who had learned the maner of settyng armies
in order of Epaminondas a Thebane, became with this order, and with
these exercises (whileste the reste of Grece stoode in idlenesse, and
attended to risite comedes) so puisant, that he was able in few yeres to
possesse it all, and to leave soche foundacion to his sonne, that he was
able to make hymself, prince of all the world. He then that despiseth
these studies, if he be a Prince, despiseth his Princedome: if he bee a
Citezein, his Citee. Wherefore, I lamente me of nature, the whiche
either ought not to have made me a knower of this, or it ought to have
given me power, to have been able to have executed it: For now beyng
olde, I cannot hope to have any occasion, to bee able so to dooe: In
consideracion whereof, I have been liberall with you, who beeyng grave
yong menne, maie (when the thynges saied of me shall please you) at due
tymes in favour of your Princes, helpe theim and counsaile them, wherein
I would have you not to bee afraied, or mistrustfull, bicause this
Province seemes to bee altogether given, to raise up againe the thynges
dedde, as is seen by the perfeccion that poesie, paintyng, and writing,
is now brought unto: Albeit, as moche as is looked for of me, beyng
strooken in yeres, I do mistruste. Where surely, if Fortune had
heretofore graunted me so moche state, as suffiseth for a like
enterprise, I would not have doubted, but in moste shorte tyme, to have
shewed to the worlde, how moche the aunciente orders availe: and without
peradventure, either I would have increased it with glory, or loste it
without shame.

       *       *       *       *       *

The ende of the seventh and laste booke of the arte of warre, of
Nicholas Machiavell, Citezein and Secretarie of Florence, translated out
of Italian into Englishe: By Peter Whitehorne, felow of Graise Inne.




To thentente that such as rede this booke maie without difficultie
understande the order of the battailes, or bandes of men, and of the
armies, and lodgynges in the Campe, accordynge as they in the
discription of theim are apoincted, I thinke it necessarie to shewe you
the figure of everie one of them: wherefore it is requiset firste, to
declare unto you, by what poinctes and letters, the footemen, the
horsemen, and everie other particuler membre are set foorthe.


.} Signifieth {Targetmen.

'} {Pikemen.

c} {a Capitaine of ten men.

v} {Veliti ordinarie.  (Those men that shoot with harcabuses or bowes)

r} {Veliti extraordinari.

C} {a Centurion or captaine of a hundred men.

k} {a Constable or a captaine of a band of fower hundred and fiftie men.

H} {The hed captain of a maine battel.

G} {The general Captaine of the whole armie.

t} {The Trompet.

d} {The Drum.

b} {The Ansigne.

s} {The Standerde.

m} {Men of Armes.

l} {Light horsemen.

A} {Artillerie or ordinance.

In the first figure nexte folowyng, is discribed the forme of an
ordinarie battaile or bande of fower hundred and fiftie men, and in what
maner it is redoubled by flanke. And also how with the verie same order
of lxxx. rankes, by chaungyng onely to the hinder parte the five rankes
of Pikes which were the formost of everie Centurie, thei maye likewise
in bringyng them in battaile raie, come to bee placed behinde: whiche
may be doen, when in marchyng, the enemies should come to assaulte them
at their backes: accordynge as the orderyng therof is before declared.
Fol. 87.

In the seconde figure, is shewed how a battaile or bande of men is
ordered, whiche in marchyng should be driven to faight on the flanke:
accordyng as in the booke is declared. Fol. 87.

In the thirde figure, is shewed how a battaile or bande of men, is
ordered with two hornes, fol. 88, and after is shewed how the same maie
be made with a voide place in the middest: accordynge as the orderyng
therof, in the booke moste plainely is declared, fol. 89.

In the fowerth figure, is shewed the forme or facion of an armie
apoincted to faight the battaile with the enemies: and for the better
understandynge thereof, the verie same is plainlier set foorthe in the
figure next unto it, wherby the other two figures next folowyng maie the
easier be understoode: accordynge as in the booke is expressed. Fol.

In the fifte figure, is shewed the forme of a fower square armie: as in
the booke is discribed. Fol. 152.

In the sixte figure, is shewed howe an Armie is brought from a fower
square facion, to the ordinarie forme, to faight a fielde: accordyng as
afore is declared. Fol. 156.

In the seventh figure, is discribed the maner of incamping: according as
the same in the booke is declared. Fol. 174.


This is the maner of ordering of CCCC. men, into lxxx. rankes, five to a
ranke, to bring them into a iiii square battaile with the Pikes on the
front, as after foloweth.


This is the foresaied lxxx. rankes of iiii. C. men brought into a fower
square battaile with the Pikes on the fronte. And the fiftie Veliti on
the sides and on the backe.

C                    C
C v v v v v v v v v v C


This is the maner of ordering of CCCC. men, into lxxx. rankes, five to a
ranke, to bring them into a iiii square battaile with the Pikes on the
side, as after foloweth.


This is the foresaied lxxx. rankes of iiii. C. men brought into a fower
square battaile with the Pikes on the side.



These are the nombers of rankes appoincted to make the horned battaile
of, and the square battaile with the voide space in the middest, as
after foloweth.

''''''''''''''''''''''''' ...............
''''''''''''''''''''''''' ...............
......................... ...............
......................... ...............


............... .........................
............... .........................
............... '''''''''''''''''''''''''
............... '''''''''''''''''''''''''

 .......          ........
 .......          ........
 .......          ........
 .......    d     ........
 .......    k     ........
 .......    b     ........
 .......          ........
 .......          ........
 .......          ........
 .......          ........


     A           A     A     A     A     A
llm mCrCCC    Cu,,uCCu,,uCCu,,uCCu,,uCCu,,uCA
llm mrrr,,,   vu,,uvvu,,uvvu,,uvvu,,uvvu,,uvA
llm mrrrdkb   vdk bvvdk bvvdk bvvdk bvvdk bv
lltksdkb,,,   vc..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uv   t G
llm mrrr,,,   vc..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uv   lll
ktm mrrr,,,   vc..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uv  ....
lsm mCr(,,,   Cu..uCCu..uCCu..uCCu..uCCu..uC
llm m   ,,,
llm m   ,,,               .....
llm m   ,,,                dHb
llm m   ,,,               .....
,,,   Cu..uC      Cu..uC      Cu..uC
,,,   vu,,uv      vu,,uv      vu,,uv
,,,   vdk bv      vdk bv      vdk bv
CdkbC  vu..uv      vu..uv      vu..uv
,,   vu..uv      vu..uv      vu..uv
,,,   vu..uv      vu..uv      vu..uv
,,,   Cu..uC      Cu..uC      Cu..uC
,,,   Cu,,uC                  Cu,,uC
,,,   vu,,uv                  vu,,uv
,,,   vdk bv                  vdk bv
,,,   vu..uv                  vu..uv
dkb   vu..uv                  vu..uv
,,,   vu..uv                  vu..uv
C C   Cu..uC                  Cu..uC

The cariages and the unarmed.

  A     A     A     A     A     A
A Cu,,uCCu,,uCCu,,uCCu,,uCCu,,uC   C CCrCm mll
A vu,,uvvu,,uvvu,,uvvu,,uvvu,,uv   ,,,rrrm mll
m vdk bvvdk bvvdk bvvdk bvvdk bv   dkbrrrm mll
s vu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uv   ,,,dkbm mll
llvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uv   ,,,rrrtksll
..vu.. vvu..uvvu..uvvu..uvvu..uv   ,,,rrrm mtk
Cu..uCCu..uC  ..uCCu..uCCu..uC   ,,,rrrm msl
,,,   m mll
,,,   m mll
dHb           ,,,   m mll
....          ,,,   m mll
Cu,,uC      Cu,,uC      Cu,,uC   ,,,
vu,,uv      uv,,uv      uv,,uv   ,,,
vdk bv      vdk bv      vdk bv   ,,,
vu..uv      vu..uv      vu..uv  CdkbC
vu..uv      vu..uv      vu..uv   ,,,
vu..uv      vu..uv      vu..uv   ,,,
Cu..uC      Cu..uC      Cu..uC   ,,,
Cu,,uC                  Cu,,uC   ,,,
vu,,uv                  uv,,uv   ,,,
vdk bv                  vdk bv   ,,,
vu..uv                  vu..uv   ,,,
vu..uv                  vu..uv   dkb
vu..uv                  vu..uv   ,,,
Cu..uC                  Cu..uC   C C


A ) ,,,, C) ,,,, C) ,,,, C),,,,C),,,,))v) vCvC),,,,C) ,,,, C A
  u ,,,, uu ,,,, uu ,,,, uu,,,,uu,,,,uvvvvvvvvu,,,,uu ,,,, u
  u ,,,, uu  dkb uu  dkb uu dkbuu dkbuvvvvvvvvu dkbuu ,,,, u
  u  dkb uu .... uu .... uu....uu....u)vv vvvCu....uu  dkb u  A
A u ,,,, uu .... uu .... uu....uu....uvvvvvvvvu....uu ,,,, u
  u ,,,, uu .... uu .... uu....uu....uvvvvvvvvu....uu ,,,, u A
  ) ,,,, C) .... C) .... C)....C)....C)v) vCvC)....)) ,,,, C
A ) uuuC                                            )  uuu C
  ,,,,....                                          ....,,,, A
  ,,,,....    ....                                  ....,,,,
  ,,dkb...    dHb                                    ..dkb,,
A ,,,,....    ....                                  ....,,,,
  ,,,,....                                          ....,,,, A
  ) n n nC                                          ) n n nC
A ) u u uC                                          ) u u uC
  ,,,,....                                          ....,,,,
  ,,,,....                  ...III..                ....,,,, A
  ,, dkb..                  .. mm ..                .. dkb,,
A ,,,,....                  .. tGs..                ....,,,,
  ,,,,....                  ........                ....,,,,
  ) n n nC                                          ) n n nC A
  ) u u uC               ),,,,C),,,,C               ) u u uC
A ,,,,....               u,,,,uu,,,,u               ....,,,,
  ,,,,....               u,,,,uu,,,,u               ....,,,, A
  ,, dkb..               u dkbuu dkbu               .. dkb,,
  ,,,,....               u,,,,uu,,,,u               ....,,,,
  ,,,,....               u,,,,uu,,,,u               ....,,,,
A ) n n nC               ),,,,C),,,,C               ) n n nC

A ) u u uC                                          ) u u uC A
  ,,,,....                                          ....,,,,
  ,,,,....                                          ....,,,,
  ,, dkb..                                          .. dkb,,
A ,,,,....                                          ....,,,, A
  ,,,,....                                          ....,,,,
  ) n n nC                                          ) n n nC
  ) u u uC                                          ) u u uC
A ,,,,....                                          ....,,,, A
  ,,,,....                                  ....    ....,,,,
  ,, dkb..                                  d Hb    .. dkb,,
  ,,,,....                                  ....    .. dkb,,
A ,,,,....                                          ....,,,, A
  ) n n nC                                          ) n n nC
  ) ,,,, C)....C ) r) rC rC )....C)....C)....C)....C) ,,,, C
  u ,,,, uu....urrrrrrrrrrrru....uu....uu....uu....uu ,,,, C
A u ,,,, uu....urr dkb dkb ru....uu....uu....uu....uu ,,,, u A
  u  dkb uu dkbu rrrrrrrrrrru dkbnu dkbuu dkbuu dkbuu  dkb u
  u ,,,, uu,,,,urr dkb dkb ru,,,,uu,,,,uu,,,,uu,,,,uu ,,,, u
  u ,,,, uu,,,,u rrrrrrrrrrru,,,,uu,,,,uu,,,,uu,,,,uu ,,,, u
A ) ,,,, C),,,,C ) r) rC rC ),,,,u),,,,C),,,,C),,,,C) ,,,, C A

  mmmm mmmm                                        mmmm mmmm
  mmmm mmmm                                        mmmm mmmm
  mmmm mmmm                                        mmmm mmmm
  mmmtksmmm                                        mmmtksmmm
  mmmm mmmm                                        mmmm mmmm
  mmmm mmmm                                        mmmm mmmm
  mmmm mmmm                                        mmmm mmmm

      A      A      A       A     A
mmmmmmmm CvC)u, ,uC)u, ,uC)u, ,uC)u,,uC)u,
mmmmmmmm vvvru, ,urru, ,urru, ,urru,,urru,,
mmmmmmmm vvvrudkburrudkburrd k brrdk brrudk
mmmtksmmmvvvru. .urru. .urru. .urru..urru..
mmmmmmmm vvvru. .ruur. .urru. .urru..urru..
mmmmmmmm vvv)u. .uC)u. .uC)u. .uC)u..uCCu .
mmmmmmmm vvv),,,,,C
         dkbr,,,...r       ....        .lll
         vvvr,dkb..r       dHb         . .m
         vvvr,,,...r       ....        ...t
         vvvr,,,...r                   ....
         vvvr,,,...r      )u, ,uC      )u,,
         )vCr,dkb .r      ru. ,ur      ru,,
            r,,,...r      rudkbur      ru,d
            r,,,...r      ru. .ur      ru..
            r,,,...r      ru. .ur      ru..
            ),,,...C      )u. .uC      )u.
            r,,,...r      )u. .uC
            r,dkb..r      ru, ,ur
            r,,,...r      rudkbur
            r,,,...r      ru. .ur
            ),,, ..C      ru. .ur
            ),,,...C      )u. .uC
            r,,,...r      )u. .uC
            ),,, ..C
            r, dkb,r

   A     A       A     A      A
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JAMES Duke of Lenox, Earle of March, Baron of Setrington, Darnly,
Terbanten, and Methuen, Lord Great Chamberlain and Admiral of Scotland,
Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, and one of his Majesties
most honourable Privy Counsel in both kingdomes.

Poysons are not all of that malignant and noxious quality, that as
destructives of Nature, they are utterly to be abhord; but we find many,
nay most of them have their medicinal uses. This book carries its poyson
and malice in it; yet mee thinks the judicious peruser may honestly make
use of it in the actions of his life, with advantage. The Lamprey, they
say, hath a venemous string runs all along the back of it; take that
out, and it is serv'd in for a choyce dish to dainty palates; Epictetus
the Philosopher, sayes, Every thing hath two handles, as the fire brand,
it may be taken up at one end in the bare hand without hurt: the other
being laid hold on, will cleave to the very flesh, and the smart of it
will pierce even to the heart. Sin hath the condition of the fiery end;
the touch of it is wounding with griefe unto the soule: nay it is worse;
one sin goes not alone but hath many consequences. Your Grace may find
the truth of this in your perusal of this Author: your judgement shall
easily direct you in finding out the good uses of him: I have pointed at
his chiefest errors with my best endeavors, and have devoted them to
your Graces service: which if you shall accept and protect, I shall

Your Graces humble and devoted servant,



Questionless some men will blame me for making this Author speak in our
vulgar tongue. For his Maximes and Tenents are condemnd of all, as
pernicious to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all humane
Societies. Herein I shall answer for my self with the Comoedian,
_Placere studeo bonis quam plurimis, et minimé multos lædere_: I
endeavor to give content to the most I can of those that are well
disposed, and no scandal to any. I grant, I find him blamed and
condemned: I do no less my self. Reader, either do thou read him without
a prejudicate opinion, and out of thy own judgement taxe his errors; or
at least, if thou canst stoop so low, make use of my pains to help thee;
I will promise thee this reward for thy labor: if thou consider well the
actions of the world, thou shalt find him much practised by those that
condemn him; who willingly would walk as theeves do with close lanternes
in the night, that they being undescried, and yet seeing all, might
surprise the unwary in the dark. Surely this book will infect no man:
out of the wicked treasure of a mans own wicked heart, he drawes his
malice and mischief. From the same flower the Bee sucks honey, from
whence the Spider hath his poyson. And he that means well, shall be here
warnd, where the deceitfull man learnes to set his snares. A judge who
hath often used to examine theeves, becomes the more expert to sift out
their tricks. If mischief come hereupon, blame not me, nor blame my
Author: lay the saddle on the right horse: but _Hony soit qui mal y
pense_: let shame light on him that hatcht the mischief.



to the Magnificent LAURENCE sonne

They that desire to ingratiate themselves with a Prince, commonly use to
offer themselves to his view, with things of that nature as such persons
take most pleasure and delight in: whereupon we see they are many times
presented with Horses and Armes, cloth of gold, pretious stones, and
such like ornaments, worthy of their greatness. Having then a mind to
offer up my self to your Magnificence, with some testimony of my service
to you, I found nothing in my whole inventory, that I think better of,
or more esteeme, than the knowlege of great mens actions, which I have
learned by a long experience of modern affairs, and a continual reading
of those of the ancients. Which, now that I have with great diligence
long workt it out, and throughly sifted, I commend to your Magnificence.
And, however I may well think this work unworthy of your view; yet such
is your humanity, that I doubt not but it shall find acceptance,
considering, that for my part I am not able to tender a greater gift,
than to present you with the means, whereby in a very short time you may
be able to understand all that, which I, in the space of many years, and
with many sufferances and dangers, have made proof and gaind the
knowledge of. And this work I have not set forth either with elegancy of
discourse or stile, nor with any other ornament whereby to captivate the
reader, as others use, because I would not have it gain its esteem from
elsewhere than from the truth of the matter, and the gravity of the
subject. Nor can this be thought presumption, if a man of humble and low
condition venture to dilate and discourse upon the governments of
Princes; for even as they that with their pensils designe out countreys,
get themselves into the plains below to consider the nature of the
mountains, and other high places above; and again to consider the plains
below, they get up to the tops of the mountains; in like manner to
understand the nature of the people, it is fit to be a Prince; and to
know well the dispositions of Princes, sutes best with the understanding
of a subject. Your Magnificence then may be pleased, to receive this
small present, with the same mind that I send it; which if you shall
throughly peruse and consider, you shall perceive therein that I
exceedingly wish, that you may attain to that greatness, which your own
fortune, and your excellent endowments promise you: and if your
Magnificence from the very point of your Highness shall sometime cast
your eyes upon these inferior places, you shall see how undeservedly I
undergoe an extream and continual despight of Fortune.


CHAP. 1.

How many sorts of Principalities there are, and how many wayes they are
attained to, 263

CHAP. 2.

Of hereditary Principalities, 264

CHAP. 3.

Of mixt Principalities, 265

CHAP. 4.

Wherefore Darius his Kingdome, taken by Alexander, rebelled not against
his successors after Alexanders death, 273

CHAP. 5.

In what manner Cities and Principalities are to be governed, which
before they were conquered, lived under their own laws, 276

CHAP. 6.

Of new Principalities that are conquered by ones own armes and valor,

CHAP. 7.

Of new Principalities gotten by fortune and other mens forces, 281

CHAP. 8.

Concerning those who by wicked means have attaind to a Principality, 289

CHAP. 9.

Of the Civil Principality, 293

CHAP. 10.

In what manner the forces of all Principalities ought to be measured,

CHAP. 11.

Concerning Ecclesiastical Principalities, 299

CHAP. 12.

How many sorts of Military discipline there be; and touching mercenary
soldiers, 302

CHAP. 13.

Of Auxiliary Soldiers, mixt and natives, 307

CHAP. 14.

What belongs to the Prince touching military discipline, 310

CHAP. 15.

Of those things in respect whereof men, and especially Princes are
prais'd or disprais'd, 313

CHAP. 16.

Of Liberality and Miserableness, 315

CHAP. 17.

Of Cruelty and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov'd or
feared, 318

CHAP. 18.

In what manner Princes ought to keep their word, 321

CHAP. 19.

That Princes should take a care not to incur contempt or hatred, 325

CHAP. 20.

Whether the Citadels and many other things, which Princes make use of,
are profitable or dammageable, 335

CHAP. 21.

How a Prince ought to behave himself to gain reputation, 339

CHAP. 22.

Touching Princes Secretaries, 343

CHAP. 23.

That Flatterers are to be avoyded, 344

CHAP. 24.

Wherefore the Princes of Italy have lost their States, 347

CHAP. 25.

How great power Fortune hath in humane affairs, and what means there is
to resist it, 349

CHAP. 26.

An exhortation to free Italy from the Barbarions, 353


Written by

Secretary and Citizen of Florence.


How many sorts of Principalities there are, and how many wayes they are
attained to.

All States, all Dominions that have had, or now have rule over men, have
been and are, either Republiques or Principalities. Principalities are
either hereditary, whereof they of the blood of the Lord thereof have
long time been Princes; or else they are new; and those that are new,
are either all new, as was the Dutchy of Millan to Francis Sforce; or
are as members adjoyned to the hereditary State of the Prince that gains
it; as the Kingdom of Naples is to the King of Spain. These Dominions so
gotten, are accustomed either to live under a Prince, or to enjoy their
liberty; and are made conquest of, either with others forces, or ones
own, either by fortune, or by valor.


Of Hereditary Principalities.

I will not here discourse of Republiques, because I have other where
treated of them at large: I will apply my self only to a Principality,
and proceed, while I weave this web, by arguing thereupon, how these
Principallities can be governed and maintained. I say then that in
States of inheritance, and accustomed to the blood of their Princes,
there are far fewer difficulties to keep them, than in the new: for it
suffices only not to transgress the course his Ancestors took, and so
afterward to temporise with those accidents that can happen; that if
such a Prince be but of ordinary industry, he shall allwaies be able to
maintain himself in his State, unless by some extraordinary or excessive
power he be deprived thereof; and when he had lost it, upon the least
sinister chance that befalls the usurper, he recovers it again. We have
in Italy the Duke of Ferrara for example hereof, who was of ability to
resist the Venetians, in the year 84, and to withstand Pope Julius in
the tenth for no other reason, than because he had of old continued in
that rule; for the natural Prince hath fewer occasions, and less heed to
give offence, whereupon of necessity he must be more beloved; and unless
it be that some extravagant vices of his bring him into hatred, it is
agreeable to reason, that naturally he should be well beloved by his own
subjects: and in the antiquity and continuation of the Dominion, the
remembrances and occasions of innovations are quite extinguished: for
evermore one change leaves a kind of breach or dent, to fasten the
building of another.


Of mixt Principalities.

But the difficulties consist in the new Principality; and first, if it
be not all new, but as a member, so that it may be termed altogether as
mixt; and the variations thereof proceed in the first place from a
natural difficulty, which we commonly finde in all new Principalities;
for men do willingly change their Lord, beleeving to better their
condition; and this beliefe causes them to take armes against him that
rules over them, whereby they deceive themselves, because they find
after by experience, they have made it worse: which depends upon another
natural and ordinary necessity, forcing him alwaies to offend those,
whose Prince he newly becomes, as well by his soldiers he is put to
entertain upon them as by many other injuries, which a new conquest
draws along with it; in such manner as thou findest all those thine
enemies, whom thou hast endammaged in the seizing of that Principality,
and afterwards canst not keep them thy friends that have seated thee in
it, for not being able to satisfie them according to their expectations,
nor put in practice strong remedies against them, being obliged to them.
For however one be very well provided with strong armies, yet hath he
alwaies need of the favor of the inhabitants in the Countrey, to enter
thereinto. For these reasons, Lewis the twelfth, King of France,
suddenly took Milan, and as soon lost it; and the first time Lodwick his
own forces served well enough to wrest it out of his hands; for those
people that had opened him the gates, finding themselves deceived of
their opinion, and of that future good which they had promised
themselves, could not endure the distastes the new Prince gave them.
True it is, that Countreys that have rebelled again the second time,
being recovered, are harder lost; for their Lord, taking occasion from
their rebellion, is less respective of persons, but cares only to secure
himself, by punishing the delinquents, to clear all suspicions, and to
provide for himself where he thinks he is weakest: so that if to make
France lose Milan the first time, it was enough for Duke Lodwick to make
some small stir only upon the confines; yet afterwards, before they
could make him lose it the second time, they had need of the whole world
together against him, and that all his armies should be wasted and
driven out of Italy; which proceeded from the forenamed causes: however
though both the first and second time it was taken from him. The
generall causes of the first we have treated of; it remains now that we
see those of the second; and set down the remedies that he had, or any
one else can have that should chance to be in those termes he was,
whereby he might be able to maintain himself better in his conquest than
the King of France did. I say therefore, that these States which by
Conquest are annexed to the ancient states of their conqueror, are
either of the same province and the same language, or otherwise; and
when they are, it is very easy to hold them, especially when they are
not used to live free; and to enjoy them securely, it is enough to have
extinguished the Princes line who ruled over them: For in other matters,
allowing them their ancient conditions, and there being not much
difference of manners betwixt them, men ordinarily live quiet enough; as
we have seen that Burgundy did, Britany, Gascony, and Normandy, which so
long time continued with France: for however there be some difference of
language between them, yet can they easily comport one with another; and
whosoever makes the conquest of them, meaning to hold them, must have
two regards; the first, that the race of their former Prince be quite
extinguished; the other, that he change nothing, neither in their lawes
nor taxes, so that in a very short time they become one entire body with
their ancient Principality. But when any States are gaind in a Province
disagreeing in language, manners, and orders, here are the difficulties,
and here is there need of good fortune, and great industry to maintain
them; and it would be one of the best and livelyest remedies, for the
Conqueror to goe in person and dwell there; this would make the
possession hereof more secure and durable; as the Turk hath done in
Greece, who among all the other courses taken by him for to hold that
State, had he not gone thither himself in person to dwell, it had never
been possible for him to have kept it: for abiding there, he sees the
disorders growing in their beginnings, and forthwith can remedy them;
whereas being not there present, they are heard of when they are grown
to some height, and then is there no help for them. Moreover, the
Province is not pillaged by the officers thou sendest thither: the
subjects are much satisfied of having recourse to the Prince near at
hand, whereupon have they more reason to love him, if they mean to be
good; and intending to do otherwise, to fear him: and forrein Princes
will be well aware how they invade that State; insomuch, that making his
abode there, he can very hardly lose it. Another remedy, which is also a
better, is to send Colonies into one or two places, which may be as it
were the keys of that State; for it is necessary either to do this, or
to maintain there many horse and foot. In these colonies the Prince
makes no great expence, and either without his charge, or at a very
small rate, he may both send and maintain them; and gives offence only
to them from whom he takes their fields and houses, to bestow them on
those new inhabitants who are but a very small part of that State; and
those that he offends, remaining dispersed and poore, can never hurt
him: and all the rest on one part, have no offence given them, and
therefore a small matter keeps them in quiet: on the other side, they
are wary not to erre, for fear it befalls not them, as it did those that
were dispoild. I conclude then, that those colonies that are not
chargeable, are the more trusty, give the less offence; and they that
are offended, being but poor and scattered, can do but little harme, as
I have said; for it is to be noted, that men must either be dallyed and
flattered withall, or else be quite crusht; for they revenge themselves
of small dammages; but of great ones they are not able; so that when
wrong is done to any man, it ought so to be done, that it need fear no
return of revenge again. But in lieu of Colonies, by maintaining
soldiers there, the expence is great; for the whole revenues of that
State are to be spent in the keeping of it; so the conquest proves but a
loss to him that hath got it, and endammages him rather; for it hurts
that whole State to remove the army from place to place, of which
annoyance every one hath a feeling, and so becomes enemie to thee; as
they are enemies, I wis, who are outraged by thee in their own houses,
whensoever they are able to do thee mischief. Every way then is this
guard unprofitable. Besides, he that is in a different Province, (as it
is said) should make himself Head and defender of his less powerfull
neighbors, and devise alwaies to weaken those that are more mighty
therein, and take care that upon no chance there enter not any foreiner
as mighty as himself; for it will alwaies come to pass, that they shall
be brought in by those that are discontented, either upon ambition, or
fear; as the Etolians brought the Romans into Greece; and they were
brought into every countrey they came, by the Natives; and the course of
the matter is, that so soon as a powerfull Stranger enters a countrey,
all those that are the less powerfull there, cleave to him, provoked by
an envy they beare him that is more mighty than they; so that for these
of the weaker sort, he may easily gain them without any pains: for
presently all of them together very willingly make one lump with that he
hath gotten: He hath only to beware that these increase not their
strengths, nor their authorities, and so he shall easily be able by his
own forces, and their assistances, to take down those that are mighty,
and remain himself absolute arbitre of that Countrey. And he that playes
not well this part, shall quickly lose what he hath gotten; and while he
holds it, shall find therein a great many troubles and vexations. The
Romans in the Provinces they seiz'd on, observed well these points, sent
colonies thither, entertained the weaker sort, without augmenting any
thing their power, abated the forces of those that were mighty, and
permitted not any powerfull forreiner to gain too much reputation there.
And I will content my self only with the countrey of Greece for example
hereof. The Achayans and Etolians were entertained by them, the Macedons
kingdome was brought low, Antiochus was driven thence, nor ever did the
Achayans or Etolians deserts prevail so far for them, that they would
ever promise to enlarge their State, nor the perswasions of Philip
induce them ever to be his friends, without bringing him lower; nor yet
could Antiochus his power make them ever consent that he should hold any
State in that countrey: for the Romans did in these cases that which all
judicious Princes ought to do, who are not only to have regard unto all
present mischiefs, but also to the future, and to provide for those with
all industry; for by taking order for those when they are afarre off, it
is easie to prevent them; but by delaying till they come near hand to
thee, the remedy comes too late; for this malignity is grown incurable:
and it befalls this, as the physicians say of the hectick feaver, that
in the beginning it is easily cur'd, but hardly known; but in the course
of time, not having been known in the beginning, nor cured, it becomes
easie to know, but hard to cure. Even so falls it out in matters of
State; for by knowing it aloof off (which is given only to a wise man to
do) the mischiefs that then spring up, are quickly helped; but when, for
not having been perceived, they are suffered to increase, so that every
one sees them, there is then no cure for them: therefore the Romans,
seeing these inconvenients afar off, alwaies prevented them, and never
sufferd them to follow; for to escape a war, because they knew that a
war is not undertaken, but deferred for anothers advantage; therefore
would they rather make a war with Philip and Antiochus in Greece, to the
end it should not afterwards be made with them in Italy, though for that
time they were able to avoid both the one and the other, which they
thought not good to do: nor did they approve of that saying that is
ordinarily in the mouthes of the Sages of our dayes, _to enjoy the
benefits of the present time_; but that rather, to take the benefit of
their valor and wisdome; for time drives forward everything, and may
bring with it as well good as evil, and evil as good. But let us return
to France, and examine if any of the things prescribed have been done by
them: and we will speak of Lewis, and not of Charles, as of whom by
reason of the long possession he held in Italy we better knew the wayes
he went: and you shall see he did the clean contrary to what should have
been done by him that would maintain a State of different Language and
conditions. King Lewis was brought into Italy by the Venetians ambition,
who would have gotten for their shares half the State of Lombardy: I
will not blame his comming, or the course he took, because he had a mind
to begin to set a foot in Italy; but having not any friends in the
country, all gates being barred against him, by reason of King Charles
his carriage there, he was constrained to joyn friendship with those he
could; and this consideration well taken, would have proved lucky to
him, when in the rest of his courses he had not committed any error. The
King then having conquered Lombardy, recovered presently all that
reputation that Charles had lost him; Genua yeelded to him, the
Florentines became friends with him; the Marquess of Mantua, the Duke of
Ferrara, the Bentivolti, the Lady of Furli, the Lord of Faenza, Pesaro
Rimino, Camerino, and Piombino, the Lucheses, Pisans and Sienses, every
one came and offered him friendship: then might the Venetians consider
the rashness of the course they had taken, who, only to get into their
hands two Townes in Lombardy, made the King Lord of two thirds in Italy.
Let any man now consider with how small difficulty could the King have
maintained his reputation in Italy, if he had followed these aforenamed
rules, and secured and defended those his friends, who because their
number was great, and they weak and fearful, some of the Church, and
others of the Venetians were alwaies forced to hold with him, and by
their means he might easily have been able to secure himself against
those that were mightiest: but he was no sooner got into Milan, than he
took a quite wrong course, by giving ayd to Pope Alexander, to seize
upon Romania, and perceiv'd not that by this resolution he weakned
himself, ruining his own friends, and those had cast themselves into his
bosom, making the Church puissant, by adding to their Spiritual power,
they gaind their authority, and so much temporal estate. And having once
got out of the way, he was constrained to go on forward; insomuch as to
stop Alexanders ambition, and that he should not become Lord of all
Tuscany, of force he was to come into Italy: and this sufficed him not,
to have made the Church mighty, and taken away his own friends; but for
the desire he had to get the Kingdome of Naples, he divided it with the
King of Spain: and where before he was the sole arbitre of Italy, he
brought in a competitor, to the end that all the ambitious persons of
that country, and all that were ill affected to him, might have
otherwhere to make their recourse: and whereas he might have left in
that Kingdome some Vice-King of his own, he took him from thence, to
place another there, that might afterward chace him thence. It is a
thing indeed very natural and ordinary, to desire to be of the getting
hand: and alwaies when men undertake it, if they can effect it, they
shall be prais'd for it, or at least not blam'd: but when they are not
able, and yet will undertake it, here lies the blame, here is the error
committed. If France then was able with her own power to assail the
Kingdome of Naples, she might well have done it; but not being able, she
should not have divided it: and if the division she made of Lombardy
with the Venetians, deserv'd some excuse, thereby to set one foot in
Italy; yet this merits blame, for not being excused by that necessity.
Lewis then committed these five faults; extinguisht the feebler ones,
augmented the State of another that was already powerful in Italy,
brought thereinto a very puissant forreiner, came not thither himself to
dwell there, nor planted any colonies there: which faults while he
liv'd, he could not but be the worse for; yet all could not have gone so
ill, had he not committed the sixt, to take from the Venetians their
State; for if he had not enlarg'd the Churches territories nor brought
the Spaniard into Italy, it had bin necessary to take them lower; but
having first taken those other courses, he should never have given way
to their destruction; for while they had been strong, they would alwaies
have kept the others off from venturing on the conquest of Lombardy. For
the Venetians would never have given their consents thereto, unless they
should have been made Lords of it themselves; and the others would never
have taken it from France, to give it them: and then they would never
have dar'd to go and set upon them both together. And if any one should
say, that King Lewis yeelded Romania to Alexander, and the Kingdome of
Naples to Spain, to avoid a war; I answer with the reasons above
alledged, that one should never suffer any disorder to follow, for
avoiding of a war; for that war is not sav'd, but put off to thy
disadvantage. And if any others argue, that the King had given his word
to the Pope, to do that exploit for him, for dissolving of his marriage,
and for giving the Cardinals Cap to him of Roan; I answer with that
which hereafter I shall say touching Princes words, how they ought to be
kept. King Lewis then lost Lombardy, for not having observ'd some of
those termes which others us'd, who have possessed themselves of
countries, and desir'd to keep them. Nor is this any strange thing, but
very ordinary and reasonable: and to this purpose I spake at Nantes with
that French Cardinal, when Valentine (for so ordinarily was Cæsar Borgia
Pope Alexanders son call'd) made himself master of Romania; for when the
Cardinal said to me, that the Italians understood not the feats of war;
I answered, the Frenchmen understood not matters of State: for had they
been well vers'd therein, they would never have suffer'd the Church to
have grown to that greatness. And by experience we have seen it, that
the power hereof in Italy, and that of Spain also, was caused by France,
and their own ruine proceeded from themselves. From whence a general
rule may be taken, which never, or very seldom fails, _That he that
gives the means to another to become powerful, ruines himself_; for that
power is caus'd by him either with his industry, or with his force; and
as well the one as the other of these two is suspected by him that is
grown puissant.


Wherefore Darius his Kingdome taken by Alexander, rebelled not against
Alexanders Successors after his death.

The difficulties being consider'd, which a man hath in the maintaining
of a State new gotten, some might marvaile how it came to pass, that
Alexander the great subdued all Asia in a few years; and having hardly
possessed himself of it, died; whereupon it seemed probable that all
that State should have rebelled; nevertheless his Successors kept the
possession of it, nor found they other difficulty in holding it, than
what arose among themselves through their own ambition. I answer, that
all the Principalities whereof we have memory left us, have been
governed in two several manners; either by a Prince, and all the rest
Vassals, who as ministers by his favor and allowance, do help to govern
that Kingdom; or by a Prince and by Barons, who not by their Princes
favor, but by the antiquity of blood hold that degree. And these kinds
of Barons have both states of their own, and Vassals who acknowledge
them for their Lords; and bare them a true natural affection. Those
States that are govern'd by a Prince and by Vassals, have their Prince
ruling over them with more authority; for in all his countrey, there is
none acknowledged for superior, but himself: and if they yeeld obedience
to any one else, it is but as to his minister and officer, nor beare
they him any particular good will. The examples of these two different
Governments now in our dayes, are, the Turk, and the King of France. The
Turks whole Monarchy is govern'd by one Lord, and the rest are all his
Vassals; and dividing his whole Kingdom into divers Sangiacques or
Governments, he sends several thither, and those he chops and changes,
as he pleases. But the King of France is seated in the midst of a
multitude of Lords, who of old have been acknowledg'd for such by their
subjects, and being belov'd by them, enjoy their preheminencies; nor can
the King take their States from them without danger. He then that
considers the one and the other of these two States, shall find
difficulty in the conquest of the Turks State; but when once it is
subdu'd, great facility to hold it. The reasons of these difficulties in
taking of the Turks Kingdom from him, are, because the Invader cannot be
called in by the Princes of that Kingdom, nor hope by the rebellion of
those which he hath about him, to be able to facilitate his enterprize:
which proceeds from the reasons aforesaid; for they being all his
slaves, and oblig'd to him, can more hardly be corrupted; and put case
they were corrupted, little profit could he get by it, they not being
able to draw after them any people, for the reasons we have shewed:
whereupon he that assails the Turk, must think to find him united; and
must rather relie upon his own forces, than in the others disorders: but
when once he is overcome and broken in the field, so that he cannot
repair his armies, there is nothing else to be doubted than the Royal
blood, which being once quite out, there is none else left to be feard,
none of the others having any credit with the people. And as the
conqueror before the victory could not hope in them; so after it, ought
he not to fear them. The contrary falls out in Kingdoms governed as is
that of France: for it is easie to be enterd by the gaining of any Baron
in the Kingdom; for there are alwaies some malecontents to be found, and
those that are glad of innovation. Those for the reasons alledg'd are
able to open thee a way into that State, and to further thy victory,
which afterwards to make good to thee, draws with it exceeding many
difficulties, as well with those that have ayded thee, as those thou
hast supprest. Nor is it enough for thee to root out the Princes race:
for there remaine still those Lords who quickly will be the ring-leaders
of new changes; and in case thou art not able to content these, nor
extinguish them, thou losest that State, whensoever the occasion is
offerd. Now if thou shalt consider what sort of government that of
Darius was, thou shalt find it like to the Turks dominion, and therefore
Alexander was necessitated first to defeat him utterly, and drive him
out of the field; after which victory Darius being dead, that State was
left secure to Alexander, for the reasons we treated of before: and his
successors, had they continued in amity, might have enjoy'd it at ease:
nor ever arose there in that Kingdome other tumults, than those they
themselves stir'd up. But of the States that are order'd and grounded as
that of France, it is impossible to become master at such ease: and from
hence grew the frequent rebellions of Spain, France, and Greece against
the Romans, by reason of the many Principalities those States had:
whereof while the memory lasted, the Romans were alwayes doubtfull of
the possession of them; but the memory of them being quite wip't out, by
the power and continuance of the Empire, at length they enjoy'd it
securely; and they also were able afterwards fighting one with another,
each of one them to draw after them the greater part of those provinces,
according as their authority had gain'd them credit therein: and that
because the blood of their ancient Lords was quite spent, they
acknowledg'd no other but the Romans. By the consideration then of these
things, no man will marvaile that Alexander had so little trouble to
keep together the State of Asia; and that others have had such great
difficulties to maintain their conquest, as Pyrrhus, and many others;
which proceeds not from the small or great valour of the conquerour, but
from the difference of the subject.


In what manner Cities and Principalities are to be govern'd, which,
before they were conquer'd, liv'd under their own Laws.

When those States that are conquered, as it is said, have been
accustomed to live under their own Laws, and in liberty, there are three
wayes for a man to hold them. The first is to demolish all their strong
places; the other, personally to goe and dwell there; the third, to
suffer them to live under their own Laws, drawing from them some
tribute, and creating therein an Oligarchy, that may continue it in thy
service: for that State being created by that Prince, knowes it cannot
consist without his aid and force, who is like to doe all he can to
maintain it; and with more facility is a City kept by meanes of her own
Citizens, which hath been us'd before to live free, than by any other
way of keeping. We have for example the Spartans and the Romans; the
Spartans held Athens and Thebes, creating there an Oligarchy: yet they
lost it. The Romans to be sure of Capua, Carthage, and Numantia,
dismantell'd them quite, and so lost them not: they would have kept
Greece as the Spartans had held them, leaving them free, and letting
them enjoy their own Laws; and it prospered not with them: so that they
were forc'd to deface many Cities of that province to hold it. For in
truth there is not a surer way to keep them under, than by
demolishments; and whoever becomes master of a City us'd to live free,
and dismantells it not, let him look himselfe to bee ruin'd by it; for
it alwayes in time of rebellion takes the name of liberty for refuge,
and the ancient orders it had; which neither by length of time, nor for
any favours afforded them, are ever forgotten; and for any thing that
can be done, or order'd, unlesse the inhabitants be disunited and
dispers'd, that name is never forgotten, nor those customes: but
presently in every chance recourse is thither made: as Pisa did after so
many yeeres that she had been subdu'd by the Florentines. But when the
Cities or the Provinces are accustomed to live under a Prince, and that
whole race is quite extirpated: on one part being us'd to obey; on the
other, not having their old Prince; they agree not to make one from
among themselves: they know not how to live in liberty, in such manner
that they are much slower to take armes; and with more facility may a
Prince gaine them, and secure himselfe of them. But in Republiques there
is more life in them, more violent hatred, more earnest desire of
revenge; nor does the remembrance of the ancient liberty ever leave
them, or suffer them to rest; so that the safest way, is, either to
ruine them, or dwell among them.


Of new Principalities, that are conquer'd by ones own armes and valour.

Let no man marvaile, if in the discourse I shall make of new
Principalities, both touching a Prince, and touching a State, I shall
alledge very famous examples: for seeing men almost alwayes walk in the
pathes beaten by others, and proceed in their actions by imitation; and
being that others wayes cannot bee exactly follow'd, nor their vertues,
whose patterne thou set'st before thee, attain'd unto; a wise man ought
alwayes to tread the footsteps of the worthiest persons, and imitate
those that have been the most excellent: to the end that if his vertue
arrive not thereto, at least it may yeeld some favour thereof, and doe
as good Archers use, who thinking the place they intend to hit, too
farre distant, and knowing how farr the strength of their bow will
carry, they lay their ayme a great deale higher than the mark; not for
to hit so high with their arrow, but to bee able with the help of so
high an aime to reach the place they shoot at. I say, that in
Principalities wholly new, where there is a new Prince, there is more
and lesse difficulty in maintaining them, as the vertue of their
Conquerour is greater or lesser. And because this successe, to become a
Prince of a private man, presupposes either vertue, or fortune; mee
thinks the one and other of these two things in part should mitigate
many difficulties; however he that hath lesse stood upon fortune, hath
maintain'd himselfe the better. Moreover it somewhat facilitates the
matter in that the Prince is constrain'd, because he hath not other
dominions, in person to come and dwell there. But to come to these who
by their own vertues, and not by fortune, attain'd to be Princes; the
excellentest of these are Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and such like;
and though of Moses we are not to reason, he onely executing the things
that were commanded him by God; yet merits he well to be admir'd, were
it only for that grace that made him worthy to converse with God. But
considering Cyrus, and the others, who either got or founded Kingdomes,
we shall find them all admirable; and if there particular actions and
Lawes be throughly weigh'd, they will not appeare much differing from
those of Moyses, which he receiv'd from so Sovraigne an instructer. And
examining their lives and actions, it will not appeare, that they had
other help of fortune, than the occasion, which presented them with the
matter wherein they might introduce what forme they then pleas'd; and
without that occasion, the vertue of their mind had been extinguish'd;
and without that vertue, the occasion had been offer'd in vaine. It was
then necessary for Moses to find the people of Israel slaves in Ægypt,
and oppress'd by the Ægyptians, to the end that they to get out of their
thraldome, should bee willing to follow him. It was fit that Romulus
should not be kept in Albia, but expos'd presently after his birth, that
he might become King of Rome, and founder of that City. There was need
that Cyrus should find the Persians discontented with the Medes
government, and the Medes delicate and effeminate through their long
peace. Theseus could not make proof his vertue, had not he found the
Athenians dispers'd. These occasions therefore made these men happy, and
their excellent vertue made the occasion be taken notice of, whereby
their countrey became enobled, and exceeding fortunate. They, who by
vertuous waies, like unto these, become Princes, attain the Principality
with difficulty, but hold it with much ease; and the difficulties they
find in gaining the Principality, arise partly from the new orders and
courses they are forc'd to bring in, to lay the foundation of their
State, and work their own security. And it is to be consider'd, how
there is not any thing harder to take in hand, nor doubtfuller to
succeed, nor more dangerous to mannage, than to be the chief in bringing
in new orders; for this Chief finds all those his enemies, that thrive
upon the old orders; and hath but luke warme defenders of all those that
would do well upon the new orders, which luke-warme temper proceeds
partly from fear of the opposers who have the laws to their advantage;
partly from the incredulity of the men who truly beleeve not a new
thing, unless there be some certain proof given them thereof. Whereupon
it arises, that whensoever they that are adversaries, take the occasion
to assayle, they do it factiously; and these others defend but cooly, so
that their whole party altogether runs a hazzard. Therefore it is
necessary, being we intend throughly to discourse this part, to examine
if these innovators stand of themselves, or if they depend upon others;
that is, if to bring their work to effect, it be necessary they should
intreat, or be able to constrain; in the first case they allwayes
succeed ill, and bring nothing to pass; but when they depend of
themselves, and are able to force, then seldom it is that they hazzard.
Hence came it that all the prophets that were arm'd, prevail'd; but
those that were unarm'd, were too weak: for besides what we have
alledg'd, the nature of the people is changeable, and easie to be
perswaded to a matter; but it is hard also to settle them in that
perswasion. And therefore it behoves a man to be so provided, that when
they beleeve no longer, he may be able to compel them thereto by force.
Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus would never have been able to cause
their Laws to be obey'd, had they been disarm'd; as in our times it
befel Fryer Jerome Savanarola, who perished in his new constitutions,
when the multitude began not to beleeve him; neither had he the means to
keep them firme, that had beleev'd; not to force beleefe in them that
had not beleev'd him. Wherefore such men as these, in their proceedings
find great difficulty, and all their dangers are in the way, and these
they must surmount by their vertue; but having once master'd them, and
beginning to be honored by all, when they have rooted those out that
envi'd their dignities, they remain powerful, secure, honorable, and
happy. To these choice examples, I will add one of less remark; but it
shall hold some proportion with them, and this shall suffice me for all
others of this kind, which is Hiero the Siracusan. He of a private man,
became Prince of Siracusa, nor knew he any other ayd of fortune than the
occasion: for the Siracusans being oppress'd, made choyce of him for
their Captain, whereupon he deserv'd to be made their Prince: and he was
of such vertue even in his private fortune, that he who writes of him,
sayes, he wanted nothing of reigning, but a Kingdom; this man
extinguish'd all the old soldiery, ordaind the new; left the old
allyances, entertained new; and as he had friendship, and soldiers that
were his own, upon that ground he was able to build any edifice; so that
he indured much trouble in gaining, and suffered but little in


Of new Principalities, gotten by fortune, and other mens forces.

They who by fortune only become Princes of private men, with small pains
attain to it, but have much ado to maintain themselves in it; and find
no difficulty at all in the way, because they are carried thither with
wings: but all the difficulties arise there, after they are plac'd in
them. And of such sort are those who have an estate given them for
money, by the favor of some one that grants it them: as it befell many
in Greece, in the cities of Jonia, and Hellespont; where divers Princes
were made by Darius, as well for his own safety as his glory; as also
them that were made Emperors; who from private men by corrupting the
soldiers, attaind to the Empire. These subsist meerly upon the will, and
fortune of those that have advanced them; which are two voluble and
unsteady things; and they neither know how, nor are able to continue in
that dignity: they know not how, because unless it be a man of great
understanding and vertue, it is not probable that he who hath always
liv'd a private life, can know how to command: neither are they able,
because they have not any forces that can be friendly or faithful to
them. Moreover those States that suddenly fall into a mans hands, as all
other things in nature that spring and grow quickly, cannot well have
taken root, nor have made their correspondencies so firm, but that the
first storm that takes them, ruines them; in case these, who (as it is
said) are thus on a sudden clambred up to be Princes, are not of that
worth and vertue as to know how to prepare themselves to maintain that
which chance hath cast into their bosoms, and can afterwards lay those
foundations, which others have cast before they were Princes. For the
one and the other of these wayes about the attaining to be a Prince, by
Vertue, or by Fortune, I will alledge you two examples which have been
in the dayes of our memory. These were Francis Sforza, and Cæsar Borgia;
Francis by just means and with a great deal of vertue, of a private man
got to be Duke of Millan; and that which with much pains he had gaind,
he kept with small ado. On the other side Cæesar Borgia (commonly termed
Duke Valentine) got his state by his Fathers fortune, and with the same
lost it; however that for his own part no pains was spar'd, nor any
thing omitted, which by a discreet and valorus man ought to have been
done, to fasten his roots in those Estates, which others armes or
fortune had bestowed on him; for (as it was formerly said) he that lays
not the foundations first, yet might be able by means of his
extraordinary vertues to lay them afterwards, however it be with the
great trouble of the architect, and danger of the edifice. If therefore
we consider all the Dukes progresses, we may perceive how great
foundations he had cast for his future power, which I judge a matter not
superfluous to run over; because I should not well know, what better
rules I might give to a new Prince, than the pattern of his actions; and
however the courses he took, availd him not, yet was it not his fault,
but it proceeded from an extraordinary and extream malignity of fortune.
Pope Alexander the sixt, desiring to make the Duke his son a great man,
had a great many difficulties, present and future: first he saw no way
there was whereby he might be able to make him Lord of any State, that
was not the Churches; and if he turnd to take that from the Church, he
knew that the Duke of Milan, and the Venetians would never agree to it;
for Faenza and Riminum were under the Venetians protection. Moreover, he
saw that the armes of Italy, and those whereof in particular he might
have been able to make some use, were in their hands, who ought to fear
the Popes greatness; and therefore could not any wayes rely upon them:
being all in the Orsins and Colonies hands, and those of their faction.
It was necessary then, that those matters thus appointed by them should
be disturbed, and the States of Italy disordered, to be able safely to
master part of them, which he then found easie to do, seeing the
Venetians upon three considerations had us'd the means to bring the
French men back again into Italy: which he not only did not withstand,
but furthered, with a resolution of King Lewis his ancient marriage. The
King then past into Italy with the Venetians ayd, and Alexanders
consent; nor was he sooner arrived in Milan, than the Pope had soldiers
from him for the service of Romania, which was quickly yeelded up to him
upon the reputation of the Kings forces. The Duke then having made
himself master of Romania, and beaten the Colonies, desiring to hold it,
and proceed forward, two things hindered him: the one, his own soldiers,
which he thought were not true to him; the other, the French mens good
wills; that is to say, he feared that the Princes soldiers, whereof he
had served himself, would fail him, and not only hinder his conquest,
but take from him what he had gotten; and that the King also would serve
him the same turn. He had experience of the Orsini upon an occasion,
when after the taking of Faenza he assaulted Bolonia, to which assault
he saw them go very cold. And touching the King, he discovered his mind,
when having taken the Dutchy of Urbin, he invaded Tuscany; from which
action the King made him retire; whereupon the Duke resolved to depend
no more upon fortune, and other mens armes. And the first thing he did,
was, to weaken the Orsini, and Colonnies factions in Rome: for he gain'd
all their adherents that were gentlemen, giving them large allowances,
and honoring them according to their qualities with charges and
governments; so that in a few months the good will they bare to the
parties was quite extinguisht, and wholly bent to the Duke. After this,
he waited an occasion to root out the Orsini, having before dispersed
those of the family of Colonnia, which fell out well to his hand; and he
us'd it better. For the Orsini being too late aware, that the Dukes and
the Churches greatness was their destruction, held a Council together in
a dwelling house of theirs in the country adjoyning to Perusia. From
thence grew the rebellion of Urbin, and the troubles of Romania, and
many other dangers befell the Duke, which he overcame all with the help
of the French: and having regained his reputation, trusting neither
France, nor any forrein forces, to the end he might not be put to make
trial of them again, he betook himself to his sleghts; and he knew so
well to disguise his intention, that the Orsins, by the mediation of
Paul Orsine, were reconciled to him, to whom the Duke was no way wanting
in all manner of courtesies whereby to bring them into security, giving
them rich garments, money, and horses, til their own simplicities led
them all to Sinigallia, into his hands. These heads being then pluck'd
off, and their partisans made his friends; the Duke had laid very good
foundations, to build his own greatness on, having in his power all
Romania with the Dutchy of Urbin, and gained the hearts of those people,
by beginning to give them some relish of their well being. And because
this part is worthy to be taken notice of, and to be imitated by others,
I will not let it escape. The Duke, when he had taken Romania, finding
it had been under the hands of poor Lords who had rather pillag'd their
subjects, than chastis'd or amended them, giving them more cause of
discord, than of peace and union, so that the whole countrey was fraught
with robberies, quarrels, and other sorts of insolencies; thought the
best way to reduce them to termes of pacification, and obedience to a
Princely power, was, to give them some good government: and therefore he
set over them one Remiro D'Orco, a cruel hasty man, to whom he gave an
absolute power. This man in a very short time setled peace and union
amongst them with very great reputation. Afterwards the Duke thought
such excessive authority serv'd not so well to his purpose, and doubting
it would grow odious, he erected a civil Judicature in the midst of the
countrey, where one excellent Judge did Preside, and thither every City
sent their Advocate: and because he knew the rigors past had bred some
hatred against him, to purge the minds of those people, and to gain them
wholly to himself, he purpos'd to shew, that if there was any cruelty
used, it proceeded not from any order of his, but from the harsh
disposition of his Officers. Whereupon laying hold on him, at this
occasion, he caus'd his head to be struck off one morning early in the
market place at Cesena, where he was left upon a gibbet, with a bloody
sword by his side; the cruelty of which spectacle for a while satisfied
and amaz'd those people. But to return from whence we have digressd: I
say, that the Duke finding himself very strong, and in part out of doubt
of the present dangers, because he was arm'd after his own manner, and
had in some good measure suppress'd those forces, which, because of
their vicinity, were able to annoy him, he wanted nothing else to go on
with his Conquest, but the consideration of France: for he knew, that
the King, who now, though late, was advis'd of his error, would never
suffer him: and hereupon he began to seek after new allyances, and to
waver with France, when the French came towards Naples against the
Spaniards, who then besieged Gagetta; and his design was only to be out
of their danger, which had been effected for him, had Pope Alexander
lived. And thus were his businesses carried touching his present estate.
As for the future, he had reason to doubt lest the new successor to the
Papacy would not be his friend, and would endeavor to take that from him
that Alexander had bestowed on him; and he thought to provide for this
foure waies: First by rooting out the races of all those Lords he had
dispoyled, whereby to take those occasions from the Pope. Secondly, by
gaining all the gentlemen of Rome, whereby he might be able with those
to keep the Pope in some awe. Thirdly, to make the Colledge of Cardinals
as much at his devotion as possibly might be. Fourthly, by making of so
large Conquests, before the Popes death, as that he might be able of
himself to withstand the first fury of his enemies. Three of these fowre
at Pope Alexanders death he had effected, and the fourth he had neare
brought to a point. For of those Lords he had stript, he put to death as
many as he could come at, and very few escap'd him: he gaind him the
Roman Gentlemen: and in the Colledge he had made a great faction. And
touching his new Conquest, he had a designe to become Lord of Tuscany.
And he had possessed himself already of Perusia, and Pombin, and taken
protection of Pisa: and so soon as he should have cast off his respect
to France (which now he meant to hold no longer) being the French were
now driven out of the Kingdome of Naples by the Spaniards, so that each
of them was forc'd to buy his friendship at any termes; he was then to
leap into Pisa. After this Lucca and Siena were presently to fall to
him, partly for envy to the Florentines, and partly for fear. The
Florentines had no way to escape him: all which, had it succeeded with
him, as without question it had, the very same year that Alexander dy'd,
he had made himself master of so great forces, and such reputation, that
he would have been able to have stood upon his own bottom, without any
dependance of fortune, or resting upon others helps, but only upon his
own strength and valor. But Alexander dy'd five years after that he had
begun to draw forth his sword: and left him setled only in the State of
Romania, with all his other designes in the ayre, sick unto death,
between two very strong armies of his enemies; and yet was there in this
Duke such a spirit and courage; and he understood so well, how men are
to be gaind, and how to be lost, and so firm were the grounds he had
laid in a short time, that, had he not had those armies upon his back,
or had been in health, he would have carried through his purpose in
spight of all opposition; and that the foundations he grounded upon were
good, it appeard in that Romania held for him above a moneth, and he
remained secure in Rome, though even at deaths doore: and however the
Baglioni, Vitelli, and Orsini came into Rome; yet found they none would
take their parts against him. And this he was able to have effected,
that if he could not have made him Pope whom be would, he could have
hindred him that he would not should be Pope. But had he been in health
when Alexander dy'd, every thing had gone easily with him; and he told
me on that day that Julius the second was created Pope, that he had
fore-thought on all that which could happen, in case his father chanc'd
to dye, and for every thing provided its remedy, this onely excepted,
that he foresaw not that he should at the same time be brought unto
deaths dore also. Having then collected all the Dukes actions, me thinks
I could not well blame him, but rather (as I have here done) set him as
a pattern to be followed by all those who by fortune and others armes
have been exalted to an Empire. For he being of great courage, and
having lofty designes, could not carry himself otherwise; and the only
obstacle of his purposes was the brevity of Alexanders life, and his own
sickness. Whoever therefore deemes it necessary in his entrance into a
new Principality, to secure himself of his enemies, and gain him
friends, to overcome either by force or by cunning, to make himself
beloved, or feared of his people, be followed and reverenced by his
soldiers, to root out those that can, or owe thee any hurt, to change
the ancient orders with new wayes, to be severe, and yet acceptable,
magnanimous, and liberall; to extinguish the unfaithfull soldiery, and
create new; to maintain to himself the armities of Kings and Princes, so
that they shall either with favor benefit thee, or be wary how to offend
thee; cannot find more fresh and lively examples than the actions of
this man. He deserves to be found fault withall for the creation of
Julius the second, wherein an evil choice was made for him: for, as it
is said, not being able to make a Pope to his mind, he could have
withheld any one from being Pope; and should never have consented that
any one of those Cardinals should have got the Papacy, whom he had ever
done harme to; or who having attaind the Pontificate were likely to be
afraid of him: because men ordinarily do hurt either for fear, or
hatred. Those whom he had offended, were among others, he who had the
title of St. Peter ad Vincula, Colonna, St. George, and Ascanius; all
the others that were in possibility of the Popedome, were such as might
have feard him rather, except the Cardinal of Roan, and the Spaniards;
these by reason of their allyance and obligation with him, the other
because of the power they had, having the Kingdome of France on their
party; wherefore the Duke above all things should have created a
Spanyard Pope, and in case he could not have done that, he should have
agreed that Roan should have been, and not St. Peter ad Vincula. And
whoever beleeves, that with great personages new benefits blot on the
remembrance of old injuries, is much deceiv'd. The Duke therefore in
this election, was the cause of his own ruine at last.

    Till wee come to this seaventh Chapter, I find not any thing
    much blame-worthy, unlesse it be on ground he layes in the
    second Chapter; whereupon hee builds most of this Fabrick, viz.
    That Subjects must either be dallyed or flatterd withall, or
    quite crusht. Whereby our Author advises his Prince to support
    his authority with two Cardinall Vertues, Dissimulation, and
    Cruelty. He considers not herein that the head is but a member
    of the body, though the principall; and the end of the parts is
    the good of the whole. And here he goes against himselfe in the
    twenty sixt Chapter of his Rep. 1. 1. where hee blames Philip of
    Macedon for such courses, terming them very cruell, and against
    all Christian manner of living; and that every man should refuse
    to be a King, and desire rather to live a private life, than to
    reigne so much to the ruine of mankind. The life of Cæsar
    Borgia, which is here given as a paterne to new Princes, we
    shall find to have been nothing else but a cunning carriage of
    things so, that he might thereby first deceive and inveigle, and
    then suppresse all those that could oppose or hinder his
    ambition. For if you runne over his life, you shall see the
    Father Pope Alexander the sixt and him, both imbarqued for his
    advancement, wherein they engag'd the Papall authority, and
    reputation of Religion; for faith and conscience these men never
    knew, though they exacted it of others: there was never promise
    made, but it was only so farre kept as servd for advantage;
    Liberality was made use of: Clemency and Cruelty, all alike, as
    they might serve to worke with their purposes. All was
    sacrific'd to ambition; no friendship could tye these men, nor
    any religion: and no marvell: for ambition made them forget both
    God and man. But see the end of all this cunning: though this
    Cæsar Borgia contrived all his businesse so warily, that our
    Author much commends him, and hee had attaind neere the pitch of
    his hopes, and had provided for each misadventure could befall
    him its remedy; Policy shewd it selefe short-sighted; for hee
    foresaw not at the time of his Fathers death, he himself should
    bee brought unto deaths doore also. And me thinks this Example
    might have given occasion to our Author to confesse, that surely
    there is a God that ruleth the earth. And many times God cutts
    off those cunning and mighty men in the hight of their purposes,
    when they think they have neare surmounted all dangers and
    difficulties. 'To the intent that the living may know, that the
    most high ruleth in the Kingdome of men, and giveth it to
    whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.'
    Daniel. 4. 17.


Concerning those who by wicked meanes have attaind to a Principality.

But because a man becomes a Prince of a private man two wayes, which
cannot wholly be attributed either to Fortune or Vertue, I think not fit
to let them passe me: howbeit the one of them may be more largely
discoursed upon, where the Republicks are treated of. These are, when by
some wicked and unlawfull meanes a man rises to the Principality; or
when a private person by the favour of his fellow Citizens becomes
Prince of his countrey. And speaking of the first manner, it shall be
made evident by two Examples, the one ancient, the other moderne,
without entring otherwise into the justice or merit of this part; for I
take it that these are sufficient for any body that is forc'd to follow
them. Agathocles the Sicilian, not of a private man onely, but from a
base and abject fortune, got to be King of Siracusa. This man borne but
of a Potter, continued alwayes a wicked life throughout all the degrees
of this fortune: neverthelesse he accompanied his lewdnesse with such a
courage and resolution, that applying himselfe to military affaires, by
the degrees thereof he attained to bee Prætour of Siracusa, and being
setled in that degree, and having determined that he would become
Prince, and hold that by violence and without obligation to any other,
which by consent had been granted him: and to this purpose haveing had
some private intelligence touching his designe with Amilcar the
Carthaginian, who was imployd with his army in Sicily, one morining
gatherd the people together and the Senate of Syracusa, as if he had
some what to advise with them of matters belonging to the Commonwealth,
and upon a signe given, caus'd his souldiers to kill his Senatours, and
the richest of the people; who being slaine, he usurp'd the Principality
of that City without any civill strife: and however he was twice broken
by the Carthaginians, and at last besieged, was able not onely to defend
his own City, but leaving part of his own army at the defence thereof,
with the other invaded Affrique, and in a short time freed Siracusa from
the siege, and brought the Carthaginians into extreme necessity, who
were constraind to accord with him, be contented with the possession of
Affrique, and quitt Sicily to Agathocles. He then that should consider
the actions and valour of this man, would not see any, or very few
things to be attributed unto Fortune; seeing that as is formerly sayd,
not by any ones favour, but by the degrees of service in warre with many
sufferings and dangers, to which he had risen, he came to the
Principality; and that hee maintained afterwards with so many resolute
and hazardous undertakings. Yet cannot this be term'd vertue or valour
to slay his own Citizens, betray his friends, to be without faith,
without pitty, without religion, which wayes are of force to gaine
dominion, but not glory: for if Agathocles his valour bee well weighd,
in his enturing upon, and comming off from dangers, and the greatnesse
of his courage, in supporting and mastering of adversities, no man can
see why he should be thought any way inferiour even to the ablest
Captaines. Notwithstanding his beastly cruelty and inhumanity with
innumerable wickednesses, allow not that he should be celebrated among
the most excellent men. That cannot then be attributed to Fortune or
Vertue, which without the one or the other was attaind to by him. In our
dayes, while Alexander the sixth held the sea, Oliverotte of Fermo, who
some few yeeres before had been left young by his parents, was brought
up under the care of an uncle of his on the mothers side, called John
Foliani, and in the beginning of his youth given, by him to serve in the
warres under Paulo Vitelli: to the end that being well instructed in
that discipline, he might rise to some worthy degree in the warrs.
Afterwards when Paulo was dead, he served under Vitellozzo his brother,
and in very short time, being ingenious, of a good personage, and brave
courage, he became one of the prime men among the troops he served in:
but thinking it but servile to depend upon another, he plotted by the
ayd of some Citizens of Fermo (who lik'd rather the thraldome of their
City than the liberty of it) and by the favour of the Vitelli, to make
himselfe master of Fermo; and writ to John Foliani, that having been
many yeeres from home, he had a mind to come and see him and the City,
and in some part take notice of his own patrimony; and because he had
not imployd himselfe but to purchase honour, to the end his Citizens
might perceive, that he had not vainely spent his time, he had a desire
to come in good equipage and accompanied with a hundred horse of his
friends and servants; and he intreated him that he would be pleasd so to
take order, that he might be honourably received by the inhabitants of
Fermo, which turnd as well to his honor that was his uncle, as his that
was the nephew. In this, John faild not in any office of courtesie due
to his nephew: and caused him to be well receivd by them of Fermo, and
lodged him in his own house: where having passed some dayes, and stayd
to put in order somewhat that was necessary for his intended villany, he
made a very solemne feast, whether he invited John Foliani, and all the
prime men of Fermo: and when all their chear was ended, and all their
other entertainments, as in such feasts it is customary, Oliverotto of
purpose mov'd some grave discourses; speaking of the greatnesse of Pope
Alexander, and Cæsar his son, and their undertakings; where unto John
and the others making answer, he of a sudden stood up, saying, that
those were things to be spoken of in a more secret place, and so retir'd
into a chamber, whether John and all the other Citizens followd him; nor
were they sooner set downe there, than from some secret place therein
camp forth diverse souldiers, who slew John and all the others: after
which homicide Oliverotto got a horsebacke and ravaged the whole towne,
and besieged the supreme Magistrate in the palace, so that for feare
they were all constraind to obey him, and to settle a government,
whereof hee made himselfe Prince; and they being all dead who, had they
been discontented with him, could have hurt him; he strengthned himselfe
with new civill and military orders, so that in the space of a yeer that
he held the Principality, he was not only secure in the City of Fermo,
but became fearefull to all his neighbours; and the conquest of him
would have prov'd difficult, as that of Agathocles, had he not let
himselfe been deceivd by Cæsar Borgia, when at Sinigallia, as before was
said, he took the Orsini and Vitelli: where he also being taken a yeere
after he had committed the parricide, was strangled together with
Vitellozzo (whome he had had for master both of his vertues and vices.)
Some man might doubt from whence it should proceed, that Agathocles, and
such like, after many treacheries and crueltyes, could possibly live
long secure in his own countrey, and defend himselfe from his forrein
enemies, and that never any of his own Citizens conspir'd against him,
seeing that by means of cruelty, many others have never been able even
in peaceable times to maintaine their States, much lesse in the
doubtfull times of warre. I beleeve that this proceeds from the well, or
ill using of those cruelties: they may bee termd well us'd (if it bee
lawfull to say well of evill) that are put in practice only once of
necessity for securities sake, not insisting therein afterwards; but
there is use made of them for the subjects profit, as much as may be.
But those that are ill us'd, are such as though they bee but few in the
beginning, yet they multiply rather in time, than diminish. They that
take that first way, may with the help of God, and mens care, find some
remedy for their State, as Agathocles did: for the others, it is
impossible they should continue. Whereupon it is to be noted, that in
the laying hold of a State, the usurper thereof ought to runne over and
execute all his cruelties at once, that he be not forced often to
returne to them, and that he may be able, by not renewing of them, to
give men some security, and gaine their affections by doing them some
courtesies. Hee that carries it otherwise, either for fearefullnesse, or
upon evill advice, is alwayes constraind to hold his sword drawne in his
hand; nor ever can hee rely upon his subjects, there being no
possibility for them, because of his daily and continuall injuries, to
live in any safety: for his injuries should bee done altogether, that
being seldomer tasted, they might lesse offend; his favours should bee
bestowd by little, and little to the end they might keep their taste the
better; and above all things a Prince must live with his subjects in
such sort, that no accident either of good or evill can make him vary:
for necessity comming upon him by reason of adversities, thou hast not
time given thee to make advantage of thy cruelties; and the favours
which then thou bestowest, will little help thee, being taken as if they
came from thee perforce, and so yeeld no returne of thanks.


Of the Civill Principality.

But comming to the other part, when a principall Citizen, not by
villany, or any other insufferable violence, but by the favour of his
fellow-citizens becomes Prince of his native countrey: which we may
terme a Civill Principality; nor to attaine hereunto is Vertue wholly or
Fortune wholly necessary, but rather a fortunate cunning: I say, this
Principality is climb'd up to, either by the peoples help, or the great
mens. For, in every City we finde these two humours differ; and they
spring from this, that the people desire not to be commanded nor
oppressed by the great ones, and the great ones are desirous to command
and oppresse the people: and from these two several appetites, arise in
the City one of these three effects, either a Principality, or Liberty,
or Tumultuary licentiousnesse. The Principality is caused either by the
people, or the great ones, according as the one or other of these
factions have the occasion offerd; for the great ones seeing themselves
not able to resist the people, begin to turne the whole reputation to
one among them, and make him Prince, whereby they may under his shadow
vent their spleenes. The people also, not being able to support the
great mens insolencies, converting the whole reputation to one man,
create him their Prince, to be protected by his authority. He that comes
to the Principality by the assistance of the great ones, subsists with
more difficulty, than he that attaines to it by the peoples favour; for
he being made Prince, hath many about him, who account themselves his
equalls, and therefore cannot dispose nor command them at his pleasure.
But he that gaines the Principality by the peoples favor, finds himselfe
alone in his throne, and hath none or very few neare him that are not
very supple to bend: besides this, the great ones cannot upon easie
termes be satisfied, or without doing of wrong to others, where as a
small matter contents the people: for the end which the people propound
to themselves, is more honest than that of the great men, these desiring
to oppresse, they only not to be oppressed. To this may be added also,
that the Prince which is the peoples enemy, can never well secure
himselfe of them, because of their multitude; well may hee bee sure of
the Nobles, they being but a few. The worst that a Prince can look for
of the people become his enemy, is to be abandoned by them: but when the
great ones once grow his enemies, he is not only to feare their
abandoning of him, but their making of a party against him also: for
there being in them more forecast and craft, they alwayes take time by
the forelocks whereby to save themselves, and seeke credit with him who
they hope shall get the mastery. The Prince likewise is necessitated
alwayes to live with the same people, but can doe well enough without
the same great men; he being able to create new ones, and destroy them
again every day, and to take from them, and give them credit as he
pleases: and to cleare this part, I say, that great men ought to be
considerd two wayes principally, that is, if they take thy proceedings
so much to heart, as to engage their fortunes wholly in thine, in case
they lye not alwayes catching at spoyle, they ought to be well honourd
and esteem'd: those that bind themselves not to thy fortune, are to be
considerd also two wayes; either they doe it for lack of courage, and
naturall want of spirit, and then shouldst thou serve thy selfe of them,
and of them especially that are men of good advice; for if thy affaires
prosper, thou dost thy selfe honour thereby; if crost, thou needst not
feare them: but when they oblige not themselves to thee of purpose, and
upon occasion of ambition, it is a signe they think more of themselves
than of thee: and of these the Prince ought to beware, and account of
them as his discoverd enemyes: for alwayes in thy adversity they will
give a hand too to ruine thee. Therefore ought hee that comes to be
Prince by the peoples favour, keepe them his friends: which he may
easily doe, they desiring only to live free from oppression: but he that
becomes Prince by the great mens favour, against the will of the people,
ought above all things to gaine the people to him, which he may easily
effect, when he takes upon him their protection: And because men when
they find good, where they look for evill, are thereby more endered to
their benefactour, therefore growes the people so pliant in their
subjection to him, as if by their favours he had attaind his dignity.
And the Prince is able to gaine them to his side by many wayes, which
because they vary according to the subject, no certaine rule can be
given thereupon; wherefore we shall let them passe I will only conclude,
that it is necessary for a Prince to have the people his friend;
otherwise in his adversities he hath no helpe. Nabis Prince of the
Spartans supported the siege of all Greece, and an exceeding victorious
army of the Romans, and against those defended his native countrey and
State, and this suffic'd him alone, that as the danger came upon him, he
secur'd himself of a fewer; whereas if the people had been his enemy,
this had nothing availd him. And let no man think to overthrow this my
opinion with that common proverb, that He who relyes upon the people,
layes his foundation in the dirt; for that is true where a private
Citizen grounds upon them, making his account that the people shall free
him, when either his enemyes or the Magistrates oppresse him: In this
case he should find himself often deceiv'd, as it befell the Gracchyes
in Rome, and in Florence George Scali: but he being a Prince that
grounds thereupon, who can command, and is a man of courage, who hath
his wits about him in his adversityes, and wants not other preparations,
and holds together the whole multitude animated with his valour and
orders, shall not prove deceiv'd by them, and shall find he hath layd
good foundations. These Principalityes are wont to be upon the point of
falling when they goe about to skip from the civil order to the
absolute: for these Princes either command of themselves, or by the
Magistrate; in this last case their State is more weak and dangerous,
because they stand wholly at the will and pleasure of these Citizens,
who then are set over the Magistrates, who especially in adverse times
are able with facility to take their State from them either by rising up
against them, or by not obeying them; and then the Prince is not at hand
in those dangers to take the absolute authority upon him: for the
Citizens and subjects that are accustomed to receive the commands from
the Magistrates, are not like in those fractions to obey his: and in
doubtfull times he shall alwayes have greatest penury of whom he may
trust; for such a Prince cannot ground upon that which he sees in
peaceable times, when the Citizens have need of the State; for then
every one runs, and every one promises, and every one will venture his
life for him, where there is no danger neare; but in times of hazzard,
when the State hath need of Citizens, there are but few of them then,
and so much the more is this experience dangerous, in that it can be but
once made. Therefore a prudent Prince ought to devise a way whereby his
Citizens alwayes and in any case and quality of time may have need of
his government, and they shall alwaies after prove faithfull to him.


In what manner the Forces of all Principalities ought to be measured.

It is requisite in examining the quality of those Principalities, to
have another consideration of them, that is, if a Prince have such
dominions, that he is able in case of necessity to subsist of himself,
or else whether he hath alwaies need of another to defend him. And to
cleer this point the better, I judge them able to stand of themselves,
who are of power either for their multitudes of men, or quantity of
money, to bring into the field a compleat armie, and joyn battel with
whoever comes to assail them: and so I think those alwaies to stand in
need of others help, who are not able to appear in the field against the
enemy, but are forc'd to retire within their walls and guard them.
Touching the first case, we have treated already, and shall adde somwhat
thereto as occasion shall require. In the second case, we cannot say
other, save only to encourage such Princes to fortifie and guard their
own Capital city, and of the countrey about, not to hold much account;
and whoever shall have well fortified that town, and touching other
matters of governments shall have behaved himself towards his subjects,
as hath been formerly said, and hereafter shall be, shall never be
assaild but with great regard; for men willingly undertake not
enterprises, where they see difficulty to work them through; nor can
much facility be there found, where one assails him, who hath his town
strong and wel guarded, and is not hated of his people. The cities of
Germany are very free; they have but very little of the countrey about
them belonging to them; and they obey the Emperor, when they please, and
they stand not in fear, neither of him nor any other Potentate about
them: for they are in such a manner fortified, that every one thinks the
siege of any of them would prove hard and tedious: for all of them have
ditches, and rampires, and good store of Artillery, and alwaies have
their publick cellars well provided with meat and drink and firing for a
yeer: besides this, whereby to feed the common people, and without any
loss to the publick, they have alwaies in common whereby they are able
for a year to imploy them in the labor of those trades that are the
sinews and the life of that city, and of that industry whereby the
commons ordinarily supported themselves: they hold up also the military
exercises in repute, and hereupon have they many orders to maintain
them. A Prince then that is master of a good strong city, and causeth
not himself to be hated, cannot be assaulted; and in case he were, he
that should assail him, would be fain to quit him with shame: for the
affairs of the world are so various, that it is almost impossible that
an army can lie incampt before a town for the space of a whole yeer: and
if any should reply, that the people having their possessions abroad, in
case they should see them a fire, would not have patience, and the
tedious siege and their love to themselves would make them forget their
Prince: I answer that a Prince puissant and couragious, will easily
master those difficulties, now giving his subjects hope, that the
mischief will not be of durance; sometimes affright them with the
cruelty of their enemies, and other whiles cunningly securing himself of
those whom he thinks too forward to run to the enemy. Besides this by
ordinary reason the enemy should burne and waste their countrey, upon
his arrival, and at those times while mens minds are yet warme, and
resolute in their defence: and therefore so much the less ought a Prince
doubt: for after some few dayes, that their courages grow coole, the
dammages are all done, and mischiefs received, and there is no help for
it, and then have they more occasion to cleave faster to their Prince,
thinking he is now more bound to them, their houses having for his
defence been fired, and their possessions wasted; and mens nature is as
well to hold themselves oblig'd for the kindnesses they do, as for those
they receive; whereupon if all be well weigh'd, a wise Prince shall not
find much difficulty to keep sure and true to him his Citizens hearts at
the beginning and latter end of the siege, when he hath no want of
provision for food and ammunition.


Concerning Ecclesiastical Principalities.

There remains now only that we treat of the Ecclesiastical
Principalities, about which all the difficulties are before they are
gotten: for they are attained to either by vertue, or Fortune; and
without the one or the other they are held: for they are maintaind by
orders inveterated in the religion, all which are so powerfull and of
such nature, that they maintain their Princes in their dominions in what
manner soever they proceed and live. These only have an Estate and
defend it not; have subjects and govern them not; and yet their States
because undefended, are not taken from them; nor their subjects, though
not govern'd, care not, think not, neither are able to aliene themselves
from them. These Principalities then are only happy and secure: but they
being sustained by superior causes, whereunto humane understanding
reaches not, I will not meddle with them: for being set up and
maintained by God, it would be the part of a presumptuous and rash man
to enter into discourse of them. Yet if any man should ask me whence it
proceeds, that the Church in temporal power hath attaind to such
greatness, seeing that till the time of Alexander the sixt, the Italian
Potentates, and not only they who are entituled the potentates, but
every Baron and Lord though of the meanest condition in regard of the
temporality, made but small account of it; and now a King of France
trembles at the power thereof; and it hath been able to drive him out of
Italy, and ruine the Venetians; and however this be well known, me
thinks it is not superstitious in some part to recall it to memory.
Before that Charles King of France past into Italy, this countrey was
under the rule of the Pope, Venetians, the King of Naples, the Duke of
Milan, and the Florentines. These Potentates took two things principally
to their care; the one, that no forreiner should invade Italy; the other
that no one of them should inlarge their State. They, against whom this
care was most taken, were the Pope and the Venetians; and to restrain
the Venetians, there needed the union of all the rest, as it was in the
defence of Ferrara; and to keep the Pope low, they served themselves of
the Barons of Rome, who being divided into two factions, the Orsini and
Colonnesi, there was alwaies occasion of offence between them, who
standing ready with their armes in hand in the view of the Pope, held
the Popedome weak and feeble: and however sometimes there arose a
couragious Pope, as was Sextus; yet either his fortune, or his wisdome
was not able to free him of these incommodities, and the brevity of
their lives was the cause thereof; for in ten years, which time, one
with another, Popes ordinarily liv'd, with much ado could they bring low
one of the factions. And if, as we may say, one had near put out the
Colonnesi, there arose another enemy to the Orsini, who made them grow
again, so that there was never time quite to root them out. This then
was the cause, why the Popes temporal power was of small esteem in
Italy; there arose afterwards Pope Alexander the sixt, who of all the
Popes that ever were, shewed what a Pope was able to do with money and
forces: and he effected, by means of his instrument, Duke Valentine, and
by the ocasion of the French mens passage, all those things which I have
formerly discoursed upon in the Dukes actions: and however his purpose
was nothing at all to inlarge the Church dominions, but to make the Duke
great; yet what he did, turnd to the Churches advantage, which after his
death when the Duke was taken away, was the heir of all his pains.
Afterwards succeeded Pope Julius, and found the Church great, having all
Romania, and all the Barons of Rome being quite rooted out, and by
Alexanders persecutions, all their factions worne down; he found also
the way open for the heaping up of moneys, never practised before
Alexanders time; which things Julius not only follow'd, but augmented;
and thought to make himself master of Bolonia, and extinguish the
Venetians, and chase the French men out of Italy: and these designes of
his prov'd all lucky to him, and so much the more to his praise in that
he did all for the good of the Church, and in no private regard: he kept
also the factions of the Orsins and Colonnesi, in the same State he
found them: and though there were among them some head whereby to cause
an alteration; yet two things have held them quiet; the one the power of
the Church, which somewhat affrights them; the other because they have
no Cardinals of their factions, who are the primary causes of all the
troubles amongst them: nor shall these parties ever be at rest, while
they have Cardinals; because they nourish the factions both in Rome, and
abroad; and the Barons then are forced to undertake the defence of them:
and thus from the Prelates ambitions arise the discords and tumults
among the Barons. And now hath Pope Leo his Holiness found the Popedome
exceeding puissant, of whom it is hoped, that if they amplified it by
armes, he by his goodness, and infinite other vertues, will much more
advantage and dignifie it.


How many sorts of Military discipline there are and touching Mercenary

Having treated particularly of the qualities of those Principalities,
which in the beginning I propounded to discourse upon, and considered in
some part the reasons of their well and ill being, and shewd the waies
whereby many have sought to gain, and hold them, it remains now that I
speak in general of the offences and defences, that may chance in each
of the forenamed. We have formerly said that it is necessary for a
Prince to have good foundations laid; otherwise it must needs be that he
go to wrack. The Principal foundations that all States have, as well
new, as old, or mixt, are good laws, and good armes; and because there
cannot be good laws, where there are not good armes; and where there are
good armes, there must needs be good laws, I will omit to discourse of
the laws, and speak of armes. I say then that the armes, wherewithall a
Prince defends his State, either are his own, or mercenary, or
auxiliary, or mixt. Those that are mercenary and auxiliar, are
unprofitable, and dangerous, and if any one holds his State founded upon
mercenary armes, he shall never be quiet, nor secure, because they are
never well united, ambitious, and without discipline, treacherous, among
their friends stour, among their enemies cowardly; they have no fear of
God, nor keep any faith with men; and so long only defer they the doing
of mischief, till the enemy comes to assul thee; and in time of peace
thou art despoyled by them, in war by thy enemies: the reason hereof is,
because they have no other love, nor other cause to keep them in the
field, but only a small stipend, which is not of force to make them
willing to hazard their lives for thee: they are willing indeed to be
thy soldiers, till thou goest to fight; but then they fly, or run away;
which thing would cost me but small pains to perswade; for the ruine of
Italy hath not had any other cause now a dayes, than for that it hath
these many years rely'd upon mercenary armes; which a good while since
perhaps may have done some man some service, and among themselves they
may have been thought valiant: but so soon as any forrein enemy
appeared, they quickly shewed what they were. Whereupon Charles the King
of France, without opposition, made himself master of all Italy: and he
that said, that the causes thereof were our faults, said true; but these
were not those they beleeved, but what I have told; and because they
were the Princes faults, they also have suffered the punishment. I will
fuller shew the infelicity of these armes. The mercenary Captains are
either very able men, or not: if they be, thou canst not repose any
trust in them: for they will alwaies aspire unto their own proper
advancements, either by suppressing of thee that art their Lord, or by
suppressing of some one else quite out of thy purpose: but if the
Captain be not valorous, he ordinarily ruines thee: and in case it be
answered, that whoever shall have his armes in his hands, whether
mercenary or not, will do so: I would reply, that armes are to be
imployed either by a Prince, or Common-wealth. The Prince ought to go in
person, and performe the office of a commander: the Republick is to send
forth her Citizens: and when she sends forth one that proves not of
abilities, she ought to change him then; and when he does prove
valorous, to bridle him so by the laws, that he exceed not his
commission. And by experience we see, that Princes and Republiques of
themselves alone, make very great conquests; but that mercenary armes
never do other than harme; and more hardly falls a Republick armed with
her own armes under the obedience of one of her own Citizens, than one
that is armed by forrein armes. Rome and Sparta subsisted many ages
armed and free. The Swissers are exceedingly well armed, and yet very
free. Touching mercenary armes that were of old, we have an example of
the Carthagians, who near upon were oppress'd by their own mercenary
soldiers, when the first war with the Romans was finished; however the
Carthagians had their own Citizens for their Captains. Philip of Macedon
was made by the Thebans after Epaminondas his death, General of their
Armies; and after the victory, he took from them liberty. The Milaneses
when Duke Philip was dead, entertaind Francis Sforza into their pay
against the Venetians, who having vanquisht their enemie at Caravaggio,
afterwards joyned with them, where by to usurp upon the Milaneses his
Masters. Sforza his father, being in Joan the Queen of Naples pay, left
her on a sudden disarmed; whereupon she, to save her Kingdom, was
constraind to cast her self into the King of Arrragon's bosome. And in
case the Venetians and the Florentines have formerly augmented their
State with these kind of armes, and their own Captains, and yet none of
them have ever made themselves their Princes, but rather defended them:
I answer, that the Florentines in this case have had fortune much their
friend: for of valorous Captains, which they might any way fear, some
have not been victors, some have had opposition, and others have laid
the aim of their ambitions another way. He who overcame not, was John
Aouto, of whose faith there could no proof be made, being he vanquisht
not; but every one will acknowledge, that, had he vanquisht, the
Florentines were at his discretion. Sforza had alwaies the Bracceschi
for his adversaries, so that they were as a guard one upon another.
Francis converted all his ambition against Lombardy. Braccio against the
Church, and the Kingdome of Naples. But let us come to that which
followed a while agoe. The Florentines made Paul Vitelli their General,
a throughly advis'd man, and who from a private fortune had rose to very
great reputation: had he taken Pisa, no man will deny but that the
Florentines must have held fast with him; for had he been entertained in
their enemies pay, they had no remedy; and they themselves holding of
him, of force were to obey him. The Venetians, if we consider their
proceedings, we shall see wrought both warily and gloriously, while
themselves made war, which was before their undertakings by land, where
the gentlemen with their own Commons in armes behav'd themselves
bravely: but when they began to fight by land, they lost their valor,
and follow'd the customes of Italy; and in the beginning of their
enlargement by land, because they had not much territory, and yet were
of great reputation, they had not much cause to fear their Captains; but
as they began to extend their bounds, which was under their Commander
Carminiola, they had a taste of this error: for perceiving he was
exceeding valorous, having under his conduct beaten the Duke of Milan;
and knowing on the other side, how he was cold in the war, they judg'd
that they could not make any great conquest with him; and because they
neither would, nor could cashier him, that they might not lose what they
had gotten, they were forced for their own safeties to put him to death.
Since they have had for their General Bartholomew of Berganio, Robert of
St. Severin, the Count of Petilian, and such like: whereby they were to
fear their losses, as well as to hope for gain: as it fell out
afterwards at Vayla, where in one day they lost that, which with so much
pains they had gotten in eight hundred years: for from these kind of
armes grow slack and slow and weak gains; but sudden and wonderfull
losses: And because I am now come with these examples into Italy, which
now these many years, have been governd by mercenary armes, I will
search deeper into them, to the end that their course and progress being
better discoverd, they may be the better amended. You have to
understand, that so soon as in these later times the yoak of the Italian
Empire began to be shaken off, and the Pope had gotten reputation in the
temporality, Italy was divided into several States: for many of the
great cities took armes against their Nobility; who under the Emperors
protection had held them in oppression; and the Pope favored these,
whereby he might get himself reputation, in the temporality; of many
others, their Citizens became Princes, so that hereupon Italy being come
into the Churches hands as it were, and some few Republicks, those
Priests and Citizens not accustomed to the use of armes, began to take
strangers to their pay. The first that gave reputation to these soldiers
was Alberick of Como in Romania. From his discipline among others
descended Brachio and Sforza, who in their time were the arbitres of
Italy; after these followed all others, who even till our dayes have
commanded the armes of Italy; and the success of their valor hath been,
that it was overrun by Charles, pillaged by Lewis, forc'd by Ferdinand,
and disgrac'd by the Swissers. The order which they have held, hath
been, first whereby to give reputation to their own armes to take away
the credit of the Infantry. This they did, because they having no State
of their own, but living upon their industry, their few foot gave them
no reputation, and many they were not able to maintain; whereupon they
reduc'd themselves to cavalery, and so with a supportable number they
were entertained and honored: and matters were brought to such termes,
that in an army of twenty thousand soldiers you should not find two
thousand foot. They had moreover us'd all industry to free themselves
and their soldiers of all pains and fear, in their skirmishes, not
killing, but taking one another prisoners, and without ransome for their
freedom; they repaired not all to their tents by night, nor made
palizado or trench thereabout, nor lay in the field in the summer: and
all these things were thus contrived and agreed of among them in their
military orders, whereby (as is said) to avoid pains and dangers,
insomuch as they have brought Italy into slavery and disgrace.


Of Auxiliary Soldiers, mixt, and native.

The Auxiliary forces, being the other kind of unprofitable armes, are,
when any puissant one is called in, who with his forces comes to assist
and defend thee; such as in these later times did Pope Julius use, who
having seen the evil proof of his mercenary soldiers in the enterprize
of Ferrara, applied himself to the Auxiliaries, and agreed with
Ferdinand King of Spain, that with his Forces he should aid him. These
armes may be profitable and advantagious for themselves; but for him
that calls them in, hurtfull; because in losing, thou art left defeated;
and conquering, thou becomest their prisoner. And however that of these
examples the ancient stories are full fraught; yet will I not part from
this of Pope Julius the second, which is as yet fresh: whose course
could not have been more inconsiderate, for the desire he had to get
Ferrara, putting himself wholly into strangers hands: but his good
fortune caused another cause to arise, that hindred him from receiving
the fruit of his evil choice; for his Auxiliaries being broken at
Ravenna, and the Swissers thereupon arriving, who put the Conquerors to
flight beyond all opinion, even their own and others, he chanced not to
remain his enemies prisoner, they being put to flight, nor prisoner to
his Auxiliaries, having vanquished by other forces than theirs. The
Florentines being wholly disarmed, brought ten thousand French to Pisa
for to take it: by which course they ran more hazzard, than in any time
of their troubles. The Emperor of Constantinople, to oppress his
neighbors, brought into Greece ten thousand Turks, who when the war was
ended, could not be got out thence, which was the beginning of Greeces
servitude under the Infidels. He then that will in no case be able to
overcome, let him serve himself of these armes; for they are much more
dangerous than the mercenaries; for by those thy ruine is more suddenly
executed; for they are all united, and all bent to the obedience of
another. But for the mercenaries to hurt thee, when they have
vanquished, there is no more need of time, and greater occasion, they
not being all united in a body, and being found out and paid by thee,
wherein a third that thou mak'st their head, cannot suddenly gaine so
great authority, that he can endammage thee. In summe, in the
mercenaries their sloth and lazinesse to fight is more dangerous: in the
auxiliaries their valour. Wherefore a wise Prince hath alwayes avoyded
these kind of armes, and betaken himselfe to his owne, and desired
rather to loss with his owne, than conquer with anothers, accounting
that not a true victorie which was gotten with others armes. I will not
doubt to alleadge Cæsar Borgia, and his actions. This Duke entred into
Romania with auxiliarie armes, bringing with him all French souldiers:
but afterwards not accounting those armes secure, bent himselfe to
mercenaries, judging lesse danger to be in those, and tooke in pay the
Orsini and the Vitelli, which afterwards in the proof of them, finding
wavering, unfaithful, and dangerous, he extinguishd, and betook himselfe
to his owne; and it may easily be perceiv'd what difference there is
between the one and the other of these armes, considering the difference
that was between the Dukes reputation, when he had the French men alone,
and when he had the Orsini and Vitelli; but when he remaind with his
own, and stood of himselfe, we shall find it was much augmented: nor
ever was it of grate esteeme, but when every one saw, that he wholly
possessed his owne armes. I thought not to have parted from the Italian
examples of late memory; but that I must not let passe that of Hiero the
Siracusan, being one of those I formerly nam'd. This man (as I said
before) being made general of the Siracusans forces, knew presently that
mercenary souldiery was nothing for their profit in that they were
hirelings, as our Italians are; and finding no way either to hold, or
cashier them made them all bee cut to peeces, and afterwards waged warre
with his owne men, and none others. I will also call to memory a figure
of the old Testament serving just to this purpose. When David presented
himselfe before Saul to goe to fight with Goliah the Philistins
Champion, Saul to encourage him, clad him with his owne armes, which
David when he had them upon back, refused, saying, he was not able to
make any proofe of himself therein, and therefore would goe meet the
enemy with his own sling and sword. In summe, others armes either fall
from thy shoulders, or cumber or streighten thee. Charls the seventh,
Father of Lewis the eleventh, having by his good fortune and valour set
France at liberty from the English, knew well this necessity of being
arm'd with his owne armes, and settled in his Kingdome the ordinances of
men at armes, and infantry. Afterwards King Lewis his sonne abolisht
those of the infantry, and began to take the Swissers to pay; which
errour follow'd by the others, is (as now indeed it appeares) the cause
of that Kingdomes dangers. For having given reputation to the Swissers,
they have renderd all their own armes contemptible; for this hath wholly
ruind their foot, and oblig'd their men at armes to forrein armes: for
being accustomed to serve with the Swissers, they think they are not
able to overcome without them. From whence it comes that the French are
not of force against the Swissers, and without them also against others
they use not to adventure. Therefore are the French armies mixt, part
mercenaries, and part natives, which armes are farre better than the
simple mercenaries or simple auxiliaries, and much inferiour to the
natives; and let the said example suffice for that: for the Kingdome of
France would have been unconquerable, if Charles his order had been
augmented and maintaind: but men in their small wisdome begin a thing,
which then because it hath some favour of good, discovers not the poyson
that lurkes thereunder, as I before said of the hectick feavers.
Wherefore that Prince which perceives not mischiefes, but as they grow
up, is not truely wise; and this is given but to few: and if we consider
the first ruine of the Romane Empire, we shall find it was from taking
the Goths first into their pay; for from that beginning the forces of
the Romane Empire began to grow weak, and all the valour that was taken
hence was given to them. I conclude then that without having armes of
their owne, no Principality can be secure, or rather is wholly oblig'd
to fortune, not having valour to shelter it in adversity. And it was
alwayes the opinion and saying of wise men, that nothing is so weak and
unsetled, as is the reputation of power not founded upon ones owne
proper forces: which are those that are composed of thy subjects, or
Citizens, or servants; all the rest are mercenary or auxiliary; and the
manner how to order those well, is easie to find out, if those orders
above nam'd by me, shall be but run over, and if it shall be but
consider'd, how Philip Alexander the Great his Father, and in what
manner many Republicks and Princes have armd and appointed themselves,
to which appointments I referre my selfe wholly.


What belongs to the Prince touching military Discipline.

A prince then ought to have no other ayme, nor other thought, nor take
any thing else for his proper art, but warr, and the orders and
discipline thereof: for that is the sole arte which belongs to him that
commands, and is of so great excellency, that not only those that are
borne Princes, it maintains so; but many times raises men from a private
fortune to that dignity. And it is seene by the contrary, that when
Princes have given themselves more to their delights, than to the
warres, they have lost their States; and the first cause that makes thee
lose it, is the neglect of that arte; and the cause that makes thee
gaine it, is that thou art experienc'd and approvd in that arte. Francis
Sforza by being a man at armes, of a private man became Duke of Milan;
and his sons by excusing themselves of the troubles and paines belonging
to those imployments of Princes, became private men. For among other
mischiefes thy neglect of armes brings upon thee, it causes thee to be
contemnd, which is one of those disgraces, from which a Prince ought to
keepe himselfe, as hereafter shall be sayd: for from one that is disarmd
to one that is armd there is no proportion; and reason will not, that he
who is in armes, should willingly yeeld obedience to him that is
unfurnishd of them, and that he that is disarmd should be in security
among his armed vassalls; for there being disdaine in the one, and
suspicion in the other, it is impossible these should ever well
cooperate. And therefore a Prince who is quite unexperienced in matter
of warre, besides the other infelicities belonging to him, as is said,
cannot be had in any esteeme among his souldiers, nor yet trust in them.
Wherefore he ought never to neglect the practice of the arte of warre,
and in time of peace should he exercise it more than in the warre; which
he may be able to doe two wayes; the one practically, and in his labours
and recreations of his body, the other theoretically. And touching the
practick part, he ought besides the keeping of his own subjects well
traind up in the discipline and exercise of armes, give himselfe much to
the chase, whereby to accustome his body to paines, and partly to
understand the manner of situations, and to know how the mountaines
arise, which way the vallyes open themselves, and how the plaines are
distended flat abroad, and to conceive well the nature of the rivers,
and marrish ground, and herein to bestow very much care, which knowledge
is profitable in two kinds: first he learnes thereby to know his own
countrey, and is the better enabled to understand the defence thereof,
and afterwards by meanes of this knowledge and experience in these
situations, easily comprehends any other situation, which a new he hath
need to view, for the little hillocks, vallies, plaines, rivers, and
marrish places. For example, they in Tuscany are like unto those of
other countries: so that from the knowledge of the site of one country,
it is easie to attain to know that of others. And that Prince that wants
this skill, failes of the principall part a Commander should be furnisht
with; for this shows the way how to discover the enemy, to pitch the
camp, to lead their armies, to order their battells, and also to besiege
a town at thy best advantage, Philopomenes Prince of the Achayans, among
other praises Writers give him, they say, that in time of peace, he
thought not upon any thing so much as the practise of warre; and
whensoever he was abroad in the field to disport himselfe with his
friends, would often stand still, and discourse with them, in case the
enemies were upon the top of that hill, and we here with our army,
whether of us two should have the advantage, and how might we safely goe
to find them, keeping still our orders; and if we would retire our
selves, what course should we take if they retir'd, how should we follow
them? and thus on the way, propounded them all such accidents could
befall in any army; would heare their opinions, and tell his owne, and
confirme it by argument; so that by his continuall thought hereupon,
when ever he led any army no chance could happen, for which he had not a
remedy. But touching the exercise of the mind, a Prince ought to read
Histories, and in them consider the actions of the worthiest men, marke
how they have behav'd themselves in the warrs, examine the occasions of
their victories, and their losses; wherby they may be able to avoyd
these, and obtaine those; and above all, doe as formerly some excellent
man hath done, who hath taken upon him to imitate, if any one that hath
gone before him hath left his memory glorious; the course he took, and
kept alwaies near unto him the remembrances of his actions and worthy
deeds: as it is said, that Alexander the great imitated Achilles; Cæsar
Alexander, and Scipio Cyrus. And whoever reads the life of Cyrus,
written by Xenophon, may easily perceive afterwards in Scipio's life how
much glory his imitation gaind him, and how much Scipio did conforme
himselfe in his chastity, affability, humanity, and liberality with
those things, that are written by Xenophon of Cyrus. Such like wayes
ought a wise Prince to take, nor ever be idle in quiet times, but by his
paines then, as it were provide himself of store, whereof he may make
some use in his adversity, the end that when the times change, he may be
able to resist the stormes of his hard fortune.


Of those things, in respect whereof, men, and especially Princes, are
praised, or dispraised.

It now remaines that we consider what the conditions of a Prince ought
to be, and his termes of government over his subjects, and towards his
friends. And because I know that many have written hereupon; I doubt,
lest I venturing also to treat thereof, may be branded with presumption,
especially seeing I am like enough to deliver an opinion different from
others. But my intent being to write for the advantage of him that
understands me, I thought it fitter to follow the effectuall truth of
the matter, than the imagination thereof; And many Principalities and
Republiques, have been in imagination, which neither have been seen nor
knowne to be indeed: for there is such a distance between how men doe
live, and how men ought to live; that he who leaves that which is done,
for that which ought to be done, learnes sooner his ruine than his
preservation; for that man who will professe honesty in all his actions,
must needs goe to ruine among so many that are dishonest. Whereupon it
is necessary for a Prince, desiring to preserve himselfe, to be able to
make use of that honestie, and to lay it aside againe, as need shall
require. Passing by then things that are only in imagination belonging
to a Prince, to discourse upon those that are really true; I say that
all men, whensoever mention is made of them, and especially Princes,
because they are placed aloft in the view of all, are taken notice of
for some of these qualities, which procure them either commendations or
blame: and this is that some one is held liberal, some miserable,
(miserable I say, nor covetous; for the covetous desire to have, though
it were by rapine; but a miserable man is he, that too much for bears to
make use of his owne) some free givers, others extortioners; some
cruell, others pitious; the one a Leaguebreaker, another faithfull; the
one effeminate and of small courage, the other fierce and couragious;
the one courteous, the other proud; the one lascivious, the other
chaste; the one of faire dealing, the other wily and crafty; the one
hard, the other easie; the one grave, the other light; the one
religious, the other incredulous, and such like. I know that every one
will confesse, it were exceedingly praise worthy for a Prince to be
adorned with all these above nam'd qualities that are good: but because
this is not possible, nor doe humane conditions admit such perfection in
vertues, it is necessary for him to be so discret, that he know how to
avoid the infamie of those vices which would thrust him out of his
State; and if it be possible, beware of those also which are not able to
remove him thence; but where it cannot be, let them passe with lesse
regard. And yet, let him not stand much upon it, though he incurre the
infamie of those vices, without which he can very hardly save his State:
for if all be throughly considerd, some thing we shall find which will
have the colour and very face of Vertue, and following them, they will
lead the to thy destruction; whereas some others that shall as much
seeme vice, if we take the course they lead us, shall discover unto us
the way to our safety and well-being.

    The second blemish in this our Authours book, I find in his
    fifteenth Chapter: where he instructs his Prince to use such an
    ambidexterity as that he may serve himselfe either of vertue, or
    vice, according to his advantage, which in true pollicy is
    neither good in attaining the Principality nor in securing it
    when it is attaind. For Politicks, presuppose Ethiques, which
    will never allow this rule: as that a man might make this small
    difference between vertue, and vice, that he may indifferently
    lay aside, or take up the one or the other, and put it in
    practise as best conduceth to the end he propounds himselfe. I
    doubt our Authour would have blamd Davids regard to Saul when 1
    Sam. 24. in the cave he cut off the lap of Sauls garment, and
    spared his head; and afterwards in the 26. when he forbad
    Abishai to strike him as he lay sleeping. Worthy of a Princes
    consideration is that saying of Abigal to David 1 Sam. 25. 30.

    'It shall come to passe when the Lord shall have done to my Lord
    according to all that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall
    have appointed thee Ruler over Israel, that this shall be no
    grief to thee, nor offence of heart unto my Lord, that thou hast
    forborne to shed blood, etc.'

    For surely the conscience of this evill ground whereupon they
    have either built, or underpropped their tyranny, causes men, as
    well _metus_ as _spes in longum projicere_, which sets them a
    work on further mischiefe.


Of Liberality, and Miserablenesse.

Beginning then at the first of the above mentioned qualities, I say that
it would be very well to be accounted liberall: neverthelesse,
liberality used in such a manner, as to make thee be accounted so,
wrongs thee: for in case it be used vertuously, and as it ought to be,
it shall never come to be taken notice of, so as to free thee from the
infamie of its contrary. And therefore for one to hold the name of
liberal among men, it were needfull not to omit any sumptuous quality,
insomuch that a Prince alwayes so dispos'd, shall waste all his
revenues, and at the end shall be forc'd, if he will still maintaine
that reputation of liberality, heavily to burthen his subjects, and
become a great exactour; and put in practise all those things that can
be done to get mony: Which begins to make him hatefull to his subjects,
and fall into every ones contempt, growing necessitous: so that having
with this liberality wrong'd many, and imparted of his bounty but to a
few; he feels every first mischance, and runs a hazard of every first
danger: Which he knowing, and desiring to withdraw himself from, incurs
presently the disgrace of being termed miserable. A Prince therefore not
being able to use this vertue of liberality, without his own damage, in
such a sort, that it may be taken notice of, ought, if he be wise, not
to regard the name of Miserable; for in time he shall alwaies be
esteemed the more liberal, seeing that by his parsimony his own revenues
are sufficient for him; as also he can defend himself against whoever
makes war against him, and can do some exploits without grieving his
subjects: so that he comes to use his liberality to all those, from whom
he takes nothing, who are infinite in number; and his miserableness
towards those to whom he gives nothing, who are but a few. In our dayes
we have not seen any, but those who have been held miserable, do any
great matters; but the others all quite ruin'd. Pope Julius the second,
however he serv'd himself of the name of Liberal, to get the Papacy, yet
never intended he to continue it, to the end he might be able to make
war against the King of France: and he made so many wars without
imposing any extraordinary tax, because his long thrift supplyed his
large expences. This present King of Spain could never have undertaken,
nor gone through with so many exploits, had he been accounted liberal.
Wherefore a Prince ought little to regard (that he may not be driven to
pillage his subjects, that he may be able to defend himself, that he may
not fall into poverty and contempt, that he be not forced to become an
extortioner) though he incurre the name of miserable; for this is one of
those vices, which does not pluck him from his throne. And if any one
should say, Cæsar by his liberality obtained the Empire, and many others
(because they both were, and were esteemd liberal) attaind to exceeding
great dignities. I answer, either thou art already come to be a Prince,
or thou art in the way to it; in the first case, this liberality is
hurtful; in the second, it is necessary to be accounted so; and Cæsar
was one of those that aspired to the Principality of Rome. But if after
he had gotten it, he had survived, and not forborne those expences, he
would quite have ruined that Empire. And if any one should reply; many
have been Princes, and with their armies have done great exploits, who
have been held very liberal. I answer, either the Prince spends of his
own and his subjects, or that which belongs to others: in the first, he
ought to be sparing; in the second, he should not omit any part of
liberality. And that Prince that goes abroad with his army, and feeds
upon prey, and spoyle, and tributes, and hath the disposing of that
which belongs to others, necessarily should use this liberality;
otherwise would his soldiers never follow him; and of that which is
neither thine, nor thy subjects, thou mayest well be a free giver, as
were Cyrus, Cæsar and Alexander; for the spending of that which is
anothers, takes not away thy reputation, but rather adds to it, only the
wasting of that which is thine own hurts thee; nor is there any thing
consumes itself so much as liberality, which whilest thou usest, thou
losest the means to make use of it, and becomest poore and abject; or to
avoid this poverty, an extortioner and hatefull person. And among all
those things which a Prince ought to beware of is, to be dispised, and
odious; to one and the other of which, liberality brings thee. Wherefore
there is more discretion to hold the stile of Miserable, which begets an
infamy without hatred, than to desire that of Liberal, whereby to
incurre the necessity of being thought an extortioner, which procures an
infamy with hatred.


Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better to be belov'd, or

Descending afterwards unto the other fore-alledged qualities, I say,
that every Prince should desire to be held pitiful, and not cruel.
Nevertheless ought he beware that he ill uses not this pitty. Cæsar
Borgia was accounted cruel, yet had his cruelty redrest the disorders in
Romania, setled it in union, and restored it to peace, and fidelity:
which, if it be well weighed, we shall see was an act of more pitty,
than that of the people of Florence, who to avoyd the terme of cruelty,
suffered Pistoya to fall to destruction. Wherefore a Prince ought not to
regard the infamy of cruelty, for to hold his subjects united and
faithfull: for by giving a very few proofes of himself the other way, he
shall be held more pittiful than they, who through their too much pitty,
suffer disorders to follow, from whence arise murthers and rapines: for
these are wont to hurt an intire universality, whereas the executions
practised by a Prince, hurt only some particular. And among all sorts of
Princes, it is impossible for a new Prince to avoyd the name of cruel,
because all new States are full of dangers: whereupon Virgil by the
mouth of Dido excuses the inhumanity of her Kingdom, saying,

  _Res dura et Regni novitas me talia cogunt
  Moliri et latè fines custode tenere._

  My hard plight and new State force me to guard
  My confines all about with watch and ward.

Nevertheless ought he to be judicious in his giving belief to any thing,
or moving himself thereat, nor make his people extreamly afraid of him;
but proceed in a moderate way with wisdome, and humanity, that his too
much confidence make him not unwary, and his too much distrust
intolerable; from hence arises a dispute, whether it is better to be
belov'd or feard: I answer, a man would wish he might be the one and the
other: but because hardly can they subsist both together, it is much
safer to be feard, than be loved; being that one of the two must needs
fail; for touching men, we may say this in general, they are unthankful,
unconstant, dissemblers, they avoyd dangers, and are covetous of gain;
and whilest thou doest them good, they are wholly thine; their blood,
their fortunes, lives and children are at thy service, as is said
before, when the danger is remote; but when it approaches, they revolt.
And that Prince who wholly relies upon their words, unfurnished of all
other preparations, goes to wrack: for the friendships that are gotten
with rewards, and not by the magnificence and worth of the mind, are
dearly bought indeed; but they will neither keep long, nor serve well in
time of need: and men do less regard to offend one that is supported by
love, than by fear. For love is held by a certainty of obligation, which
because men are mischievous, is broken upon any occasion of their own
profit. But fear restrains with a dread of punishment which never
forsakes a man. Yet ought a Prince cause himself to be belov'd in such a
manner, that if he gains not love, he may avoid hatred: for it may well
stand together, that a man may be feard and not hated; which shall never
fail, if he abstain from his subjects goods, and their wives; and
whensoever he should be forc'd to proceed against any of their lives, do
it when it is to be done upon a just cause, and apparent conviction; but
above all things forbeare to lay his hands on other mens goods; for men
forget sooner the death of their father, than the loss of their
patrimony. Moreover the occasions of taking from men their goods, do
never fail: and alwaies he that begins to live by rapine, finds occasion
to lay hold upon other mens goods: but against mens lives, they are
seldome found, and sooner fail. But where a Prince is abroad in the
field with his army, and hath a multitude of soldiers under his
government, then is it necessary that he stands not much upon it, though
he be termed cruel: for unless he be so, he shall never have his
soldiers live in accord one with another, nor ever well disposed to any
brave piece of service. Among Hannibals actions of mervail, this is
reckoned for one, that having a very huge army, gathered out of several
nations, and all led to serve in a strange countrey, there was never any
dissention neither amongst themselves, nor against their General, as
well in their bad fortune as their good. Which could not proceed from
any thing else than from that barbarous cruelty of his, which together
with his exceeding many vertues, rendred him to his soldiers both
venerable and terrible; without which, to that effect his other vertues
had served him to little purpose: and some writers though not of the
best advised, on one side admire these his worthy actions, and on the
otherside, condemn the principal causes thereof. And that it is true,
that his other vertues would not have suffic'd him, we may consider in
Scipio, the rarest man not only in the dayes he liv'd, but even in the
memory of man; from whom his army rebel'd in Spain: which grew only upon
his too much clemency, which had given way to his soldiers to become
more licentious, than was well tollerable by military discipline: for
which he was reprov'd by Fabius Maximus in the Senate, who termed him
the corrupter of the Roman soldiery. The Locrensians having been
destroyed by a Lieutenant of Scipio's, were never reveng'd by him, nor
the insolence of that Lieutenant punisht; all this arising from his
easie nature: so that one desiring to excuse him in the Senate, said,
that there were many men knew better how to keep themselves from faults,
than to correct the faults of other men: which disposition of his in
time would have wrong'd Scipio's reputation and glory, had he therewith
continu'd in his commands: but living under the government of the
Senate, this quality of his that would have disgrac'd him not only was
conceal'd, but prov'd to the advancement of his glory. I conclude then,
returning to the purpose of being feard, and belov'd; insomuch as men
love at their own pleasure, and to serve their own turne, and their fear
depends upon the Princes pleasure, every wise Prince ought to ground
upon that which is of himself, and not upon that which is of another:
only this, he ought to use his best wits to avoid hatred, as was said.


In what manner Princes ought to keep their words.

How commendable in a Prince it is to keep his word, and live with
integrity, not making use of cunning and subtlety, every one knows well:
yet we see by experience in these our dayes, that those Princes have
effected great matters, who have made small reckoning of keeping their
words, and have known by their craft to turne and wind men about, and in
the end, have overcome those who have grounded upon the truth. You must
then know, there are two kinds of combating or fighting; the one by
right of the laws, the other meerly by force. That first way is proper
to men, the other is also common to beasts: but because the first many
times suffices not, there is a necessity to make recourse to the second;
wherefore it behooves a Prince to know how to make good use of that part
which belongs to a beast, as well as that which is proper to a man. This
part hath been covertly shew'd to Princes by ancient writers; who say
that Achilles and many others of those ancient Princes were intrusted to
Chiron the Senator, to be brought up under his discipline: the moral of
this, having for their teacher one that was half a beast and half a man,
was nothing else, but that it was needful for a Prince to understand how
to make his advantage of the one and the other nature, because neither
could subsist without the other. A Prince then being necessitated to
know how to make use of that part belonging to a beast, ought to serve
himself of the conditions of the Fox and the Lion; for the Lion cannot
keep himself from snares, nor the Fox defend himself against the Wolves.
He had need then be a Fox, that he may beware of the snares, and a Lion
that he may scare the wolves. Those that stand wholly upon the Lion,
understand not well themselves. And therefore a wise Prince cannot, nor
ought not keep his faith given when the observance thereof turnes to
disadvantage, and the occasions that made him promise, are past. For if
men were all good, this rule would not be allowable; but being they are
full of mischief, and would not make it good to thee, neither art thou
tyed to keep it with them: nor shall a Prince ever want lawfull
occasions to give colour to this breach. Very many modern examples
hereof might be alledg'd, wherein might be shewed how many peaces
concluded, and how many promises made, have been violated and broken by
the infidelity of Princes; and ordinarily things have best succeeded
with him that hath been nearest the Fox in condition. But it is
necessary to understand how to set a good colour upon this disposition,
and to be able to fain and dissemble throughly; and men are so simple,
and yeeld so much to the present necessities, that he who hath a mind to
deceive, shall alwaies find another that will be deceivd. I will not
conceal any one of the examples that have been of late. Alexander the
sixth, never did any thing else than deceive men, and never meant
otherwise, and alwaies found whom to work upon; yet never was there man
would protest more effectually, nor aver any thing with more solemn
oaths, and observe them less than he; nevertheless, his cousenages all
thriv'd well with him; for he knew how to play this part cunningly.
Therefore is there no necessity for a Prince to be endued with all above
written qualities, but it behooveth well that he seem to be so; or
rather I will boldly say this, that having these qualities, and alwaies
regulating himself by them, they are hurtfull; but seeming to have them,
they are advantageous; as to seem pittiful, faithful, mild, religious,
and of integrity, and indeed to be so; provided withall thou beest of
such a composition, that if need require to use the contrary, thou
canst, and knowest how to apply thy self thereto. And it suffices to
conceive this, that a Prince, and especially a new Prince, cannot
observe all those things, for which men are held good; he being often
forc'd, for the maintenance of his State, to do contrary to his faith,
charity, humanity, and religion: and therefore it behooves him to have a
mind so disposd, as to turne and take the advantage of all winds and
fortunes; and as formerly I said, not forsake the good, while he can;
but to know how to make use of the evil upon necessity. A Prince then
ought to have a special care, that he never let fall any words, but what
are all season'd with the five above written qualities, and let him seem
to him that sees and hears him, all pitty, all faith, all integrity, all
humanity, all religion; nor is there any thing more necessary for him to
seem to have, than this last quality: for all men in general judge
thereof, rather by the sight, than by the touch; for every man may come
to the sight of him, few come to the touch and feeling of him; yvery man
may come to see what thou seemest, few come to perceive and understand
what thou art; and those few dare not oppose the opinion of many, who
have the majesty of State to protect them: And in all mens actions,
especially those of Princes wherein there is no judgement to appeale
unto men, forbeare to give their censures, till the events and ends of
things. Let a Prince therefore take the surest courses he can to
maintain his life and State: the means shall alwaies be thought
honorable, and commended by every one; for the vulgar is over-taken with
the appearance and event of a thing: and for the most part of people,
they are but the vulgar: the others that are but few, take place where
the vulgar have no subsisteance. A Prince there is in these dayes, whom
I shall not do well to name, that preaches nothing else but peace and
faith; but had he kept the one and the other, several times had they
taken from him his state and reputation.

    In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth Chap, our Author
    descends to particulars, perswading his Prince in his sixteenth
    to such a suppleness of disposition, as that upon occasion he
    can make use either of liberality or miserableness, as need
    shall require. But that of liberality is to last no longer than
    while he is in the way to some designe: which if he well weigh,
    is not really a reward of vertue, how ere it seems; but a bait
    and lure to bring birds to the net. In the seventeenth Chap, he
    treats of clemency and cruelty, neither of which are to be
    exercis'd by him as acts of mercy or justice; but as they may
    serve to advantage his further purposes. And lest the Prince
    should incline too much to clemency, our Author allows rather
    the restraint by fear, than by love. The contrary to which all
    stories shew us. I will say this only, cruelty may cut of the
    power of some, but causes the hatred of all, and gives a will to
    most to take the first occasion offerd for revenge. In the
    eighteenth Chap, our Author discourses how Princes ought to
    govern themselves in keeping their promises made: whereof he
    sayes they ought to make such small reckoning, as that rather
    they should know by their craft how to turne and wind men about,
    whereby to take advantage of all winds and fortunes. To this I
    would oppose that in the fifteenth Psal. v. 5. He that sweareth
    to his neighbor, and disappointeth him not, though it were to
    his own hindrance. It was a King that writ it, and me thinks the
    rule he gave, should well befit both King and Subject: and
    surely this perswades against all taking of advantages. A man
    may reduce all the causes of faith-breaking to three heads. One
    may be, because he that promised, had no intention to keep his
    word; and this is a wicked and malitious way of dealing. A
    second may bee, because hee that promisd, repents of his promise
    made; and that is grounded on unconstancy, and lightness in that
    he would not be well resolved before he entred into covenant.
    The third may be, when it so falls out, that it lyes not in his
    power that made the promise to performe it. In which case a man
    ought to imitate the good debter, who having not wherewithall to
    pay, hides not himself, but presents his person to his creditor,
    willingly suffering imprisonment. The first and second are very
    vitious and unworthy of a Prince: in the third, men might well
    be directed by the examples of those two famous Romans, Regulus
    and Posthumius. I shall close this with the answer of Charles
    the fifth, when he was pressed to break his word with Luther for
    his safe return from Wormes; _Fides rerum promissarum etsi toto
    mundo exulet, tamen apud imperatorem cam consistere oportet_.
    Though truth be banisht out of the whole world, yet should it
    alwaies find harbour in an Emperors breast.

[Sidenote: _Gulielmus Xenocarus_ in vit. Car. Quinti.]


That Princes should take a care, not to incurre contempt or hatred.

But because among the qualities, whereof formerly mention is made, I
have spoken of those of most importance, I will treat of the others more
briefly under these qualityes that a Prince is to beware, as in part is
above-said, and that he fly those things which cause him to be odious or
vile: and when ever he shall avoid this, he shall fully have plaid his
part, and in the other disgraces he shall find no danger at all. There
is nothing makes him so odious, as I said, as his extortion of his
subjects goods, and abuse of their women, from which he ought to
forbear; and so long as he wrongs not his whole people, neither in their
goods, nor honors, they live content, and he hath only to strive with
the Ambition of some few: which many waies and easily too, is
restrain'd. To be held various, light, effeminate, faint-hearted,
unresolv'd, these make him be contemnd and thought base, which a Prince
should shun like rocks, and take a care that in all his actions there
appear magnanimity, courage, gravity, and valor; and that in all the
private affairs of his subjects, he orders it so, that his word stand
irrevocable: and maintain himself in such repute, that no man may think
either to deceive or wind and turn him about: that Prince that gives
such an opinion of himself, is much esteemed, and against him who is so
well esteemed, hardly are any conspiracies made by his subjects, or by
forreiners any invasion, when once notice is taken of his worth, and how
much he is reverenced by his subjects: For a Prince ought to have two
fears, the one from within, in regard of his subjects; the other from
abroad, in regard of his mighty neighbors; from these he defends himself
by good armes and good friends; and alwayes he shall have good friends,
if he have good armes; and all things shall alwaies stand sure at home,
when those abroad are firme, in case some conspiracy have not disturbed
them; and however the forrein matters stand but ticklishly; yet if he
have taken such courses at home, and liv'd as we have prescribed, he
shall never be able (in case he forsake not himself) to resist all
possibility, force and violence, as I said Nabis the Spartan did: but
touching his subjects, even when his affairs abroad are setled, it is to
be fear'd they may conspire privily; from which a Prince sufficiently
secure himself by shunning to be hated or contemned, and keeping himself
in his peoples good opinion, which it is necessary for him to compass,
as formerly we treated at large. And one of the powerfullest remedies a
Prince can have against conspiracies, is, not to be hated nor dispised
by the universality; for alwaies he that conspires, beleeves the Princes
death is acceptable to the subject: but when he thinks it displeases
them, he hath not the heart to venture on such a matter; for the
difficulties that are on the conspirators side, are infinite. By
experience it is plain, that many times plots have been laid, but few of
them have succeeded luckily; for he that conspires, cannot be alone, nor
can he take the company of any, but of those, who he beleeves are
malecontents; and so soon as thou hast discover'd thy self to a
malecontent, thou givest him means to work his own content: for by
revealing thy treason, he may well hope for all manner of favour: so
that seeing his gain certain of one side; and on the other, finding only
doubt and danger, either he had need be a rare friend, or that he be an
exceeding obstinate enemy to the Prince, if he keeps his word with thee.
And to reduce this matter into short termes: I say, there is nothing but
jealousie, fear, and suspect of punishment on the conspirators part to
affright him; but on the Princes part, there is the majesty of the
principality, the laws, the defences of his friends and the State, which
do so guard him, that to all these things the peoples good wills being
added, it is unpossible any one should be so head-strong as to conspire;
for ordinarily where a traytor is to feare before the execution of his
mischiefe, in this case he is also to feare afterwards, having the
people for his enemy when the fact is commited, and therefore for this
cause, not being able to hope for any refuge. Touching this matter, many
examples might be brought; but I will content my selfe to name one which
fell out in the memory of our Fathers. Annibal Bentivolii, grand Father
of this Annibal who now lives, that was Prince in Bolonia, being slaine
by the Canneschi that conspir'd against him, none of his race being
left, but this John, who was then in swadling clouts; presently the
people rose upon this murder, and slew all the Canneschi which proceeded
from the popular affection, which the family of the Bentivolii held then
in Bolonia: which was so great, that being there remain'd not any, now
Anniball was dead, that was able to manage the State; and having notice
that in Florence there was one borne of the Bentivolii, who till then
was taken for a Smiths sonne: the citizens of Bolonia went to Florence
for him, and gave the government of their City to him, which was rul'd
by him, untill John was of fit yeares to governe. I conclude then, that
a Prince ought to make small account of treasons, whiles he hath the
people to friend: but if they be his enemies and hate him, he may well
feare every thing, and every one. And well ordered States, and discreet
Princes have taken care withall diligence, not to cause their great men
to fall into desperation, and to content the people, and so to maintaine
them: for this is one of the most important businesses belonging to a
Prince. Among the Kingdomes that are well orderd and governd in our
dayes, is that of France, and therein are found exceeding many good
orders, whereupon the Kings liberty and security depends: of which the
chiefe is the Parliament, and the authority thereof: for he that founded
that Kingdome, knowing the great mens ambition and insolence; and
judgeing it necessary there should be a bridle to curbe them; and on the
other side knowing the hatred of the Commonalty against the great ones,
grounded upon feare, intending to secure them, would not lay this care
wholly upon the King, but take this trouble from him, which he might
have with the great men, in case he favourd the Commonalty; or with the
Commonalty, in case he favourd the great men; and thereupon set up a
third judge, which was that, to the end it should keep under the great
ones, and favour the meaner sort, without any imputation to the King. It
was not possible to take a better, nor wiser course then this; nor a
surer way to secure the King, and the Kingdome. From whence we may draw
another conclusion worthie of note, that Princes ought to cause others
to take upon them the matters of blame and imputation; and upon
themselves to take only those of grace and favour. Here againe I
conclude, that a Prince ought to make good esteeme of his Nobility; but
not thereby to incur the Commons hatred: It would seeme perhaps to many,
considering the life and death of many Romane Emperours, that they were
examples contrary to my opinion, finding that some have liv'd worthily,
and shewd many rare vertues of the minde, and yet have lost the Empire,
and been put to death by their owne subjects, conspiring against them.
Intending then to answer these objections, I shall discourse upon the
qualities of some Emperours, declaring the occasions of their ruine, not
disagreeing from that which I have alledgd; and part thereof I will
bestow on the consideration of these things, which are worthy to be
noted by him that reads the actions of those times: and it shall suffice
me to take all those Emperours that succeeded in the Empire from Marcus
the Philosopher to Maximinus, who were Mercus and Commodus his sonne,
Pertinax, Julian, Severus, Antonius, Caracalla his sonne, Macrinus,
Heliogabalus, Alexander, and Maximin. And first it is to be noted, that
where in the other Principalities, they are to contend only with the
ambition of the Nobles, and the insolence of the people; the Romane
Emperours had a third difficulty, having to support the cruelty and
covetousnesse of the souldiers, which was so hard a thing, that it
caused the ruine of many, being hard to satisfy the souldiers, and the
people; for the people love their quiet, and therefore affect modest
Princes; and the souldiers love a Prince of a warlike courage, that is
insolent, cruell, and plucking from every one: which things they would
have them exercise upon the people, whereby they might be able to double
their stipends, and satisfie their avarice and cruelty: whence it
proceeds, that those Emperours who either by Nature or by Art, had not
such a reputation, as therewith they could curbe the one and the other,
were alwayes ruind: and the most of them, specially those who as new men
came to the principality, finding the difficulty of those two different
humours, applyed themselves to content the souldiers, making small
account of wronging the people, which was a course then necessary; for
the Princes not being able to escape the hatred of every one, ought
first endeavour that they incurre not the hatred of any whole
universality; and when they cannot attaine thereunto, they are to
provide with all industry, to avoyd the hatred of those universalities
that are the most mighty. And therefore those Emperors, who because they
were but newly call'd to the Empire, had need of extraordinary favours,
more willingly stuck to the soldiers, than to the people; which
neverthelesse turnd to their advantage, or otherwise, according as that
Prince knew how to maintaine his repute with them. From these causes
aforesayd proceeded it, that Marcus Pertinax, and Alexander, though all
living modestly, being lovers of justice, and enemies of cruelty,
courteous and bountifull, had all from Marcus on ward, miserable ends;
Marcus only liv'd and dy'd exceedingly honoured: for he came to the
Empire by inheritance, and was not to acknowledge it either from the
soldiers, nor from the people: afterwards being accompanyed with many
vertues, which made him venerable, he held alwayes whilst he liv'd the
one and the other order within their limits, and was never either hated,
or contemnd. But Pertinax was created Emperour against the soldiers
wills, who being accustomed to live licentiously under Commodus, could
not endure that honest course that Pertinax sought to reduce them to:
Whereupon having gotten himself hatred, and to this hatred added
contempt, in that he was old, was ruind in the very beginning of his
government. Whence it ought to be observed, that hatred is gaind as well
by good deeds as bad; and therefore as I formerly said, when a Prince
would maintaine the State, he is often forced not to be good: for when
that generality, whether it be the people, or soldiers, or Nobility,
whereof thou thinkst thou standst in need to maintain thee, is
corrupted, it behoves thee to follow their humour, and content them, and
then all good deeds are thy adversaries. But let us come to Alexander
who was of that goodnesse, that among the prayses given him, had this
for one, that in fourteen yeers wherein he held the Empire, he never put
any man to death, but by course of justice; neverthelesse being held
effeminate, and a man that suffered himselfe to be ruled by his mother,
and thereupon fallen into contempt, the army conspird against him. Now
on the contrary discoursing upon the qualities of Commodus, Severus,
Antonius, Caracalla, and Maximinus, you shall find them exceeding
cruell, and ravinous, who to satisfie their soldiers, forbeare no kinde
of injury that could be done upon the people; and all of them, except
Severus, came to evill ends: for in Severus, there was such
extraordinary valour, that while he held the soldiers his freinds,
however the people were much burthend by him, he might alwayes reigne
happily: for his valour rendred him so admirable in the souldiers and
peoples sights; that these in a manner stood amazd and astonishd, and
those others reverencing and honoring him. And because the actions of
this man were exceeding great, being in a new Prince, I will briefly
shew how well he knew to act the Foxes and the Lions parts; the
conditions of which two, I say, as before, are very necessary for a
Prince to imitate. Severus having had experience of Julian the Emperours
sloth, perswaded his army (whereof he was commander in Sclavonia) that
they should doe well to goe to Rome to revenge Pertinax his death, who
was put to death by the Imperiall guard; and under this pretence, not
making any shew that he aspird unto the Empire, set his army in march
directly towards Rome, and was sooner come into Italy, than it was
knowne he had mov'd from his station. Being ariv'd at Rome, he was by
the Senate chosen Emperour for feare, and Julian slaine. After this
beginning, two difficulties yet remaind to Severus, before he could make
himselfe Lord of the whole State; the one in Asia, where Niger the
Generall of those armies had gotten the title of Emperour, the other in
the West with Albinus, who also aspird to the Empire: and because he
thought there might be some danger to discover himselfe enemy to them
both, he purposed to set upon Niger, and cozen Albinus, to whom he writ,
that being elected Emperour by the Senate, he would willingly
communicate it with him; and thereupon sent him the title of Cæsar, and
by resolution of the Senate, tooke him to him for his Colleague; which
things were taken by Albinus in true meaning. But afterwards when
Severus had overcome and slaine Niger, and pacified the affaires and in
the East, being returned to Rome, he complaind in the Senate of Albinus,
how little weighing the benefits received from him, he had sought to
slay him by treason, and therefore was he forc'd to goe punish his
ingratitude: afterwards he went into France, where he bereft him both of
his State and life, whoever then shall in particular examine his
actions, shall finde he was a very cruell Lion, and as crafty a Fox: and
shall see that he was alwayes feard and reverenc'd by every one, and by
the armies not hated; and shall nothing marvell that he being a new man,
was able to hold together such a great Empire: for his extraordinary
reputation defended him alwayes from that hatred, which the people for
his extortions might have conceiv'd against him. But Antonius his sonne,
was also an exceeding brave man, and endued with most excellent
qualities, which causd him to be admird by the people, and acceptable to
the souldiers, because he was a warlike man, enduring all kind of
travell and paines, despising all delicate food, and all kinde of
effeminacy, which gaind him the love of all the armies: neverthelesse
his fiercenesse and cruelty were such, and so hideous, having upon many
particular occasions put to death a great part of the people of Rome,
and all those of Alexandria, that he grew odious to the world, and began
to be feard by those also that were neare about him; so that he was
slaine by a Centurion in the very midst of his army. Where it is to be
noted, that these kinde of deaths, which follow upon the deliberation of
a resolv'd and obstinate minde, cannot by a Prince be avoyded: for every
one that feares not to dye, is able to doe it; but a Prince ought to be
lesse afraid of it because it very seldome falls out. Only should he
beware not to doe any extreame injury to any of those of whom he serves
himself, or that he hath near about him in any imployment of his
Principality, as Antonius did: who had reproachfully slaine a brother of
that Centurion; also threatned him every day, and neverthelesse
entertaind him still as one of the guards of his body, which was a rash
course taken, and the way to destruction, as befell him. But let us come
to Commodus for whom it was very easie to hold the Empire, by reason it
descended upon him by inheritance, being Marcus his sonne, and it had
been enough for him to follow his fathers footsteps, and then had he
contented both the people and the soldiers: but being of a cruell and
savage disposition, whereby to exercise his actions upon the people, he
gave himselfe to entertaine armies, and those in all licentiousnesse. On
the other part not maintaining his dignity, but often descending upon
the stages to combate with fencers, and doing such other like base
things, little worthy of the Imperiall majesty, he became contemptible
in the soldiers sight; and being hated of one part, and despisd of the
other, he was conspird against, and slaine. It remaines now, that we
declare Maximinus his conditions, who was a very warlike man; and the
armies loathing Alexanders effeminacy, whereof I spake before, when they
had slain him, chose this man Emperour, who not long continued so,
because two things there were that brought him into hatred and contempt;
the one because he was very base, having kept cattell in Thrace, which
was well knowne to every one, and made them to scorne him; the other,
because in the beginning of his Principality having delayd to goe to
Rome, and enter into possession of the Imperiall throne, he had gaind
the infamy of being thought exceeding cruell, having by his Prefects in
Rome, and in every place of the Empire, exercisd many cruelties,
insomuch that the whole world being provok'd against him to contempt for
the basenesse of his blood; on the other side upon the hatred conceiv'd
against him for feare of his crulty; first Affrica, afterwards the
Senate, with all the people of Rome and all Italy, conspired against
him, with whom his own army took part; which incamping before Aquileya,
and finding some difficulty to take the town, being weary of his
cruelties, and because they saw he had so many enemies, fearing him the
lesse, slew him. I purpose not to say any thing either of Heliogabalus,
Macrinus, or Julian, who because they were throughly base, were sudenly
extinguished: but I will come to the conclusion of this discourse; and I
say, that the Princes of our times have lesse of this difficulty to
satisfie the Soldiers extraordinarily in their government; for
notwithstanding that there be some considerations to be had of them, yet
presently are those armies dissolved, because none of these Princes do
use to maintaine any armies together, which are annex'd and inveterated
with the governments of the provinces, as were the armies of the Romane
Empire. And therefore if then it was necessary rather to content the
soldiers than the people, it was because the soldiers were more
powerfull than the people: now is it more necessary for all Princes,
(except the Turk and the Souldan) to satisfie their people than their
soldiers, because the people are more mighty than they; wherein I except
the Turk, he alwayes maintaining about his person 12000 foot, and 15000
horse, upon which depends the safety and strength of his Kingdome; and
it is necessary that laying aside all other regard of his people, he
maintaine these his friends. The Souldans Kingdome is like hereunto,
which being wholy in the souldiers power, he must also without respect
of his people keep them his friends. And you are to consider, that this
State of the Souldans differs much from all the other Principalities:
For it is very like the Papacy, which cannot be termd an hereditary
Principality: nor a new Principality: for the sons of the deceasd Prince
are not heires and Lords thereof, but he that is chosen receives that
dignity from those who have the authority in them. And this order being
of antiquity, cannot be termd a new Principality, because therein are
none of those difficulties that are in new ones: for though the Prince
be new, yet are the orders of that state ancient, and ordaind to receive
him, as if he were their hereditary Prince. But let us returne to our
matter; whosoever shall consider our discourse before, shall perceive
that either hatred, or contempt have caus'd the ruine of the afore-named
Emperors; and shall know also, from it came that part of them proceeding
one way, and part a contrary; yet in any of them the one had a happy
success, and the others unhappy: for it was of no availe, but rather
hurtful for Pertinax and Alexander, because they were new Princes, to
desire to imitate Marcus, who by inheritance came to the Principality:
and in like manner it was a wrong to Caracalla, Commodus, and Maximus,
to imitate Severus, because none of them were endued with so great valor
as to follow his steps therein. Wherefore a new Prince in his
Principality cannot well imitate Marcus his actions; nor yet is it
necessary to follow those of Severus: but he ought make choyce of those
parts in Severus which are necessary for the founding of a State; and to
take from Marcus those that are fit and glorious to preserve a State
which is already established and setled.


Whether the Citadels and many other things which Princes often make use
of, are profitable or dammageable.

Some Princes, whereby they might safely keep their State, have disarmed
their subjects; some others have held the towns under their dominion,
divided into factions; others have maintain'd enmities against
themselves; others have appli'd themselves to gain them, where they have
suspected at their entrance into the government; others have built
Fortresses; and others again have ruined and demolished them: and
however that upon all these things, a man cannot well pass a determinate
sentence, unless one comes to the particulars of these States, where
some such like determinations were to be taken; yet I shall speak of
them in so large a manner, as the matter of it self will bear. It was
never then that a new Prince would disarme his own subjects; but rather
when he hath found them disarmed, he hath alwaies arm'd them. For being
belov'd, those armes become thine; those become faithful, which thou
hadst in suspicion; and those which were faithful, are maintaind so; and
thy subjects are made thy partisans; and because all thy subjects cannot
be put in armes, when thou bestowest favors on those thou armest, with
the others thou canst deal more for thy safety; and that difference of
proceeding which they know among them, obliges them to thee; those
others excuse thee, judgeing it necessary that they have deservd more,
who have undergone more danger, and so have greater obligation: but when
thou disarmst them, thou beginst to offend them, that thou distrustest
them, either for cowardise, or small faith; and the one or the other of
those two opinions provokes their hatred against thee; and because thou
canst not stand disarmed, thou must then turn thy self to mercenary
Soldiery, whereof we have formerly spoken what it is, and when it is
good; it can never be so much as to defend thee from powerful enemies,
and suspected subjects; therefore as I have said, a new Prince in a new
Principality hath alwaies ordaind them armes. Of examples to this
purpose, Histories are full. But when a Prince gains a new State, which
as a member he adds to his ancient dominions, then it is necessary to
disarme that State, unless it be those whom thou hast discoverd to have
assisted thee in the conquest thereof; and these also in time and upon
occasions, it is necessary to render delicate and effeminate, and so
order them, that all the arms of thy State be in the hands of thy own
Soldiers, who live in thy ancient State near unto thee. Our ancestors
and they that were accounted Sages, were wont to say that it was
necessary to hold Pistoya in factions, and Pisa with Fortresses; and for
this cause maintaind some towns subject to them in differences, whereby
to hold it more easily. This, at what time Italy was ballanc'd in a
certain manner, might be well done; but mee thinks it cannot now a dayes
be well given for a precept; for I do not beleeve, that divisions made
can do any good; rather it must needs be, that when the enemy approaches
them, Cities divided are presently lost; for alwaies the weaker part
will cleave to the forrein power, and the other not be able to subsist.
The Venetians (as I think) mov'd by the aforesaid reasons, maintaind the
factions of the Guelfes and Gibellins, in their townes; and however they
never suffered them to spill one anothers blood, yet they nourish'd
these differences among them, to the end that the citizens imployd in
these quarrels, should not plot any thing against them: which as it
proved, never serv'd them to any great purpose: for being defeated at
Vayla, presently one of those two factions took courage and seizd upon
their whole State. Therefore such like waies argue the Princes weakness;
for in a strong principality they never will suffer such divisions; for
they shew them some kind of profit in time of peace, being they are able
by means thereof more easily to mannage their subjects: but war comming,
such like orders discover their fallacy. Without doubt, Princes become
great, when they overcome the difficulties and oppositions that are made
against them; and therefore Fortune especially when she hath to make any
new Prince great, who hath more need to gain reputation than an
hereditary Prince, causes enemies to rise against him, and him to
undertake against them: to the end he may have occasion to master them,
and know that ladder, which his enemies have set him upon, whereby to
rise yet higher. And therefore many think, that a wise Prince when he
hath the occasion, ought cunningly to nourish some enmity, that by the
suppressing thereof, his greatness may grow thereupon. Princes,
especially those that are new, have found more faith and profit in those
men, who in the beginning of their State, have been held suspected, than
in those who at their entrance have been their confidents. Pandulphus
Petrucci, Prince of Siena, governd his State, more with them that had
been suspected by him, than with the others. But of this matter we
cannot speak at large, because it varies according to the subject; I
will only say this, that those men, who in the beginning of a
Principality were once enemies, if they be of quality so that to
maintain themselves they have need of support, the Prince might alwaies
with the greatest facility gain for his; and they are the rather forced
to serve him faithfully, insomuch as they know it is more necessary for
them by their deeds to cancel that sinister opinion, which was once held
of them; and so the Prince ever draws from these more advantage, than
from those, who serving him too supinely, neglect his affairs. And seing
the matter requires it, I will not omit to put a Prince in mind, who
hath anew made himself master of a State, by means of the inward helps
he had from thence that he consider well the cause that mov'd them that
favor'd him to favor him, if it be not a natural affection towards him;
for if it be only because they were not content with their former
government, with much pains and difficulties shall he be able to keep
them long his friends, because it will be impossible for him to content
them. By these examples then which are drawn out of ancient and modern
affaires, searching into the cause hereof, we shall find it much more
easie to gain those men for friends, who formerly were contented with
the State, and therefore were his enemies: than those, who because they
were not contented therewith, became his fiends, and favor'd him in
getting the mastery of it. It hath been the custome of Princes, whereby
to hold their States more securely, to build Citadels, which might be
bridles and curbs to those that should purpose any thing against them,
and so to have a secure retreat from the first violences. I commend this
course, because it hath been used of old; notwithstanding Nicholas
Vitelli in our dayes hath been known to demolish two Citadels in the
town of Castello, the better to keep the State; Guidubaldo Duke of Urbin
being to return into his State, out of which he was driven by Cæsar
Borgia, raz'd all the Fortresses of that Countrey, and thought he should
hardlyer lose that State again without them. The Bentivolii returning
into Bolonia, used the like courses. Citadels then are profitable, or
not, according to the times; and if they advantage thee in one part,
they do thee harme in another; and this part may be argued thus. That
Prince who stands more in fear of his own people than of strangers,
ought to build Fortresses: but he that is more afraid of strangers than
of his people, should let them alone. Against the house of Sforza, the
Castle of Milan, which Francis Sforza built, hath and will make more
war, than any other disorder in that State: and therefore the best
Citadel that may be, is not to incurre the peoples hatred; for however
thou holdest a Fortress, and the people hate thee, thou canst hardly
scape them; for people, when once they have taken armes, never want the
help of strangers at their need to take ther parts. In our dayes we
never saw that they ever profited any Prince, unless it were the
Countess of Furli, when Count Hieronymo of Furli her husband was slain;
for by means thereof she escap'd the peoples rage, and attended aid from
Milan, and so recover'd her State: and then such were the times that the
stranger could not assist the people: but afterwards they serv'd her to
little purpose, when Cæsar Borgia assaild her, and that the people which
was her enemy, sided with the stranger. Therefore both then, and at
first, it would have been more for her safety, not to have been odious
to the people, than to have held the Fortresses. These things being well
weigh'd then, I will commend those that shall build up Fortresses, and
him also that shall not; and I will blame him, howsoever he be, that
relying upon those, shall make small account of being hated by his


How a Prince ought to behave himself to gain reputation.

There is nothing gains a Prince such repute as great exploits, and rare
tryals of himself in Heroick actions. We have now in our dayes Ferdinand
King of Arragon the present King of Spain: he in a manner may be termed
a new Prince; for from a very weak King, he is now become for fame and
glory, the first King of Christendome, and if you shall wel consider his
actions, you shall find them all illustrious, and every one of them
extraordinary. He in the beginning of his reign assaild Granada, and
that exploit was the ground of his State. At first he made that war in
security, and without suspicion he should be any waies hindred, and
therein held the Barons of Castiglias minds busied, who thinking upon
that war, never minded any innovation; in this while he gaind credit and
authority with them, they not being aware of it; was able to maintain
with the Church and the peoples money all his soldiers, and to lay a
foundation for his military ordinances with that long war, which
afterwards gaind him exceeding much honor. Besides this, to the end he
might be able hereamong to undertake greater matters, serving himself
alwaies of the colour of religion, he gave himself to a kind of
religious cruelty, chasing and dispoyling those Jewes out of the
Kingdome; nor can this example be more admirable and rare: under the
same cloke he invaded Affrick and went through with his exploit in
Italy: and last of all hath he assaild France, and so alwaies proceeded
on forwards contriving of great matters, which alwaies have held his
subjects minds in peace and admiration, and busied in attending the
event, what it should be: and these his actions have thus grown, one
upon another, that they have never given leisure to men so to rest, as
they might ever plot any thing against them. Moreover it much avails a
Prince to give extraordinary proofes of himself touching the government
within, such as those we have heard of Bernard of Milan, whensoever
occasion is given by any one, that may effectuate some great thing
either of good or evil, in the civil government; and to find out some
way either to reward or punish it, whereof in the world much notice may
be taken. And above all things a Prince ought to endeavor in all his
actions to spread abroad a fame of his magnificence and worthiness. A
Prince also is well esteemed, when he is a true friend, or a true enemy;
when without any regard he discovers himself in favor of one against
another; which course shall be alwaies more profit, than to stand
neuter: for if two mighty ones that are thy neighbors, come to fall out,
or are of such quality, that one of them vanquishing, thou art like to
be in fear of the vanquisher, or not; in either of these two cases, it
will ever prove more for thy profit, to discover thy self, and make a
good war of it: for in the first case, if thou discoverest not thy
selfe, thou shalt alwaies be a prey to him that overcomes, to the
contentment and satisfaction of the vanquisht; neither shalt thou have
reason on thy side, nor any thing else to defend or receive thee. For he
that overcomes, will not have any suspected friends that give him no
assistance in his necessity: and he that loses, receives thee not,
because thou wouldest not with thy armes in hand run the hazzard of his
fortune. Antiochus passed into Greece, thereunto induc'd by the
Etolians, to chace the Romans thence: and sent his Ambassadors to the
Achayans, who were the Romans friends, to perswade them to stand
neuters; on the other side the Romans moved them to joyne armes with
theirs: this matter came to be deliberated on in the council of the
Achayans, where Antiochus his Ambassador encouraged them to stand
neuters, whereunto the Romans Ambassador answerd; Touching the course,
that is commended to you, as best and profitablest for your State, to
wit, not to intermeddle in the war between us, nothing can be more
against you: because, not taking either part, you shall remain without
thanks, and without reputation a prey to the conqueror. And it will
alwaies come to pass that he who is not thy friend, will requite thy
neutrality; and he that is thy friend, will urge thee to discover thy
self by taking arms for him: and evil advised Princes; to avoyd the
present dangers, folow often times that way of neutrality, and most
commonly go to ruine: but when a Prince discovers himself strongly in
favor of a party; if he to whom thou cleavest, overcomes; however that
he be puissant, and thou remainest at his disposing, he is oblig'd to
thee, and there is a contract of friendship made; and men are never so
openly dishonest, as with such a notorious example of dishonesty to
oppress thee. Besides victories are never so prosperous, that the
conqueror is like neglect all respects, and especially of justice. But
if he to whom thou stickst, loses, thou art received by him; and, while
he is able, he aydes thee, and so thou becomest partner of a fortune
that may arise again; the second case, when they that enter into the
lists together, are of such quality, that thou needest not fear him that
vanquisheth, so much the more is it discretion in thee to stick to him;
for thou goest to ruine one with his assistance, who ought to do the
best he could to save him, if he were well advised; and he overcomming,
is left at thy discretion; and it is unpossible but with thy ayd he must
overcome. And here it is to be noted, that a Prince should be well aware
never to joyn with any one more powerfull than himself, to offend
another, unless upon necessity, as formerly is said. For when he
overcomes, thou art left at his discretion, and Princes ought avoid as
much as they are able, to stand at anothers discretion. The Venetians
took part with France against the Duke of Milan, and yet could have
avoided that partaking, from which proceeded their ruine. But when it
cannot be avoyded, as it befel the Florentines when the Pope and the
King of Spain went both with their armies to Lombardy, there the Prince
ought to side with them for the reasons aforesaid. Nor let any State
think they are able to make such sure parties, but rather that they are
all doubtfull; for in the order of things we find it alwaies, that
whensoever a man seeks to avoid one inconvenient, he incurs another. But
the principal point of judgement, is in discerning between the qualities
of inconvenients, and not taking the bad for the good. Moreover a Prince
ought to shew himself a lover of vertue, and that he honors those that
excel in every Art. Afterwards ought he encourage his Citizens, whereby
they may be enabled quickly to exercise their faculties as well in
merchandise, and husbandry, as in any other kind of traffick, to the end
that no man forbear to adorne and cultivate his possessions for fear
that he be despoyled of them; or any other to open the commerce upon the
danger of heavy impositions: but rather to provide rewards for those
that shall set these matters afoot, or for any one else that shall any
way amplifie his City or State. Besides he ought in the fit times of the
year entertain the people with Feasts and Maskes; and because every City
is devided into Companies, and arts, and Tribes, he ought to take
special notice of those bodies, and some times afford them a meeting,
and give them some proof of his humanity, and magnificence; yet withall
holding firme the majestie of his State; for this must never fail in any


Touching Princes Secretaries.

It is no small importance to a Prince, the choyce he makes, of servants
being ordinarily good or bad, as his wisdome is. And the first
conjecture one gives of a great man, and of his understanding, is, upon
the sight of his followers and servants he hath about him, when they
prove able and faithful, and then may he alwaies be reputed wise because
he hath known how to discern those that are able, and to keep them true
to him. But when they are otherwise, there can be no good conjecture
made of him; for the first error he commits, is in this choyce. There
was no man that had any knowledge of Antonio of Vanafro, the servant of
Pandulfus Petrucci Prince of Sicily, who did not esteem Pandulfus for a
very discreet man, having him for his servant. And because there are
three kinds of understandings; the one that is advised by it self; the
other that understands when it is informed by another; the third that
neither is advised by it self nor by the demonstration of another; the
first is best, the second is good, and the last quite unprofitable.
Therefore it was of necessity, that if Pandulfus attaind not the first
degree, yet he got to the second; for whenever any one hath the
judgement to discerne between the good and the evil, that he does and
sayes, however that he hath not his distinction from himself, yet still
comes he to take notice of the good or evil actions of that servant; and
those he cherishes, and these he suppresses; insomuch that the servant
finding no means to deceive his master, keeps himself upright and
honest. But how a Prince may throughly understand his servant, here is
the way that never fails. When thou seest the servant study more for his
own advantage than thine, and that in all his actions, he searches most
after his own profit; this man thus qualified, shall never prove good
servant, nor canst thou ever relie upon him: for he that holds the
Sterne of the State in hand, ought never call home his cares to his own
particular, but give himself wholly over to his Princes service, nor
ever put him in minde of any thing not appertaining to him. And on the
other side the Prince to keep him good to him, ought to take a care for
his servant, honoring him, enriching, and obliging him to him, giving
him part both of dignities and offices, to the end that the many honors
and much wealth bestowed on him, may restrain his desires from other
honors, and other wealth, and that those many charges cause him to fear
changes that may fall, knowing he is not able to stand without his
master. And when both the Princes and the servants are thus disposed,
they may rely the one upon the other: when otherwise, the end will ever
prove hurtfull for the one as well as for the other.


That Flatterers are to be avoyded.

I will not omit one principle of great inportance, being an errour from
which Princes with much difficulty defend themselves, unlesse they be
very discreet, and make a very good choice; and this is concerning
flatterers; whereof all writings are full: and that because men please
themselves so much in their own things, and therein cozen themselves,
that very hardly can they escape this pestilence; and desiring to escape
it, there is danger of falling into contempt; for there is no other way
to be secure from flattery, but to let men know, that they displease
thee not in telling thee truth: but when every one hath this leave, thou
losest thy reverence. Therefore ought a wise Prince take a third course,
making choyce of some understanding men in his State, and give only to
them a free liberty of speaking to him the truth; and touching those
things only which he inquires of, and nothing else; but he ought to be
inquisitive of every thing, and hear their opinions, and then afterwards
advise himself after his own manner; and in these deliberations, and
with every one of them so carrie himself, that they all know, that the
more freely they shall speak, the better they shall be liked of: and
besides those, not give eare to any one; and thus pursue the thing
resolved on, and thence continue obstinate in the resolution taken. He
who does otherwise, either falls upon flatterers, or often changes upon
the varying of opinions, from whence proceeds it that men conceive but
slightly of him. To this purpose I will alledge you a moderne example.
Peter Lucas a servant of Maximilians the present Emperor, speaking of
his Majesty, said that he never advised with any body, nor never did any
thing after his own way: which was because he took a contrary course to
what we have now said: for the Emperor is a close man, who communicates
his secrets to none, nor takes counsel of any one; but as they come to
be put in practise, they begin to be discovered and known, and so
contradicted by those that are near about him; and he as being an easy
man, is quickly wrought from them. Whence it comes that what he does to
day, he undoes on the morrow; and that he never understands himself what
he would, nor what he purposes, and that there is no grounding upon any
of his resolutions. A Prince therefore ought alwayes to take counsell,
but at his owne pleasure, and not at other mens; or rather should take
away any mans courage to advise him of any thing, but what he askes: but
he ought well to aske at large, and then touching the things inquird of,
be a patient hearer of the truth; and perceiving that for some respect
the truth were conceald from him, be displeased thereat. And because
some men have thought that a Prince that gaines the opinion to bee wise,
may bee held so, not by his owne naturall indowments, but by the good
counsells he hath about him; without question they are deceivd; for this
is a generall rule and never failes, that a Prince who of himselfe is
not wise, can never be well advised, unlesse he should light upon one
alone, wholly to direct and govern him, who himself were a very wise
man. In this case it is possible he may be well governd: but this would
last but little: for that governor in a short time would deprive him of
his State; but a Prince not having any parts of nature, being advised of
more then one, shall never be able to unite these counsels: of himself
shall he never know how to unite them; and each one of the Counsellers,
probably will follow that which is most properly his owne; and he shall
never find the meanes to amend or discerne these things; nor can they
fall out otherwise, because men alwayes prove mischievous, unlesse upon
some necessity they be forc'd to become good: we conclude therefore,
that counsells from whencesoever they proceed, must needs take their
beginning from the Princes wisdome, and not the wisdome of the Prince
from good counsells.

    In this Chapter our Authour prescribes some rules how to avoyd
    flattery, and not to fall into contempt. The extent of these two
    extreames is so large on both sides, that there is left but a
    very narrow path for the right temper to walke between them
    both: and happy were that Prince, who could light on so good a
    Pilote as to bring him to Port between those rocks and those
    quicksands. Where Majesty becomes familiar, unlesse endued with
    a super-eminent vertue, it loses all awfull regards: as the
    light of the Sunne, because so ordinary, because so common, we
    should little value, were it not that all Creatures feele
    themselves quickned by the rayes thereof. On the other side,
    _Omnis insipiens arrogantiâ et plausibus capitur_, Every foole
    is taken with his owne pride and others flatteryes: and this
    foole keeps company so much with all great wise men, that hardly
    with a candle and lantern can they be discernd betwixt. The
    greatest men are more subject to grosse and palpable flatteries;
    and especially the greatest of men, who are Kings and Princes:
    for many seek the Rulers favour. _Prov._ 28. 26. For there are
    divers meanes whereby private men are instructed; Princes have
    not that good hap: but they whose instruction is of most
    importance, so soone as they have taken the government upon
    them, no longer suffer any reproovers: for but few have accesse
    unto them, and they who familiary converse with them, doe and
    say all for favour. Isocrat, to Nicocles, All are afraid to give
    him occasion of displeasure, though by telling him truth. To
    this purpose therefore sayes one; a Prince excells in learning
    to ride the great horse, rather than in any other exercise,
    because his horse being no flatterer, will shew him he makes no
    difference between him and another man, and unlesse he keepe his
    seate well, will lay him on the ground. This is plaine dealing.
    Men are more subtile, more double-hearted, they have a heart and
    a heart neither is their tongue their hearts true interpreter.
    Counsell in the heart of man is like deepe waters; but a man of
    understanding will draw it out. _Prov._ 20. 5. This
    understanding is most requisite in a Prince, inasmuch as the
    whole Globe is in his hand, and the inferiour Orbes are swayed
    by the motion of the highest. And therefore surely it is the
    honour of a King to search out such a secret: _Prov._ 25. 2. His
    counsellours are his eyes and eares; as they ought to be dear to
    him, so they ought to be true to him, and make him the true
    report of things without disguise. If they prove false eyes, let
    him pluck them out; he may as they use glasse eyes, take them
    forth without paine, and see never a whit the worse for it. The
    wisdome of a Princes Counsellours is a great argument of the
    Princes wisdome. And being the choyce of them imports the
    Princes credit and safety, our Authour will make him amends for
    his other errours by his good advice in his 22 Chap. whether I
    referre him.


Wherefore the Princes of Italy have lost their States.

When these things above said are well observ'd, they make a new Prince
seeme as if he had been of old, and presently render him more secure and
firme in the State, than if he had already grown ancient therein: for a
new Prince is much more observd in his action, than a Prince by
inheritance; and when they are known to bee vertuous, men are much more
gaind and oblig'd to them thereby, than by the antiquity of their blood:
for men are much more taken by things present, than by things past, and
when in the present they find good, they content themselves therein, and
seeke no further; or rather they undertake the defence of him to their
utmost, when the Prince is not wanting in other matters to himself; and
so shall he gaine double glory to have given a beginning to a new
Principality, adornd, and strengthnd it with good lawes, good arms, good
friends, and good examples; as he shall have double shame, that is born
a Prince, and by reason of his small discretion hath lost it. And if we
shall consider those Lords, that in Italy have lost their States in our
dayes, as the King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and others; first we
shall find in them a common defect, touching their armes, for the
reasons which have been above discoursd at length. Afterwards we shall
see some of them, that either shall have had the people for their
enemies; or be it they had the people to friend, could never know how to
assure themselves of the great ones: for without such defects as these,
States are not lost, which have so many nerves, that they are able to
maintaine an army in the feld. Philip of Macedon, not the father of
Alexander the Great, but he that was vanquished by Titus Quintius, had
not much State in regard of the greatnesse of the Romanes and of Greece
that assail'd him; neverthelesse in that he was a warlike man and knew
how to entertaine the people, and assure himself of the Nobles, for many
yeares he made the warre good against them: and though at last some town
perhaps were taken from him, yet the Kingdome remaind in his hands
still. Wherefore these our Princes who for many yeares had continued in
their Principalities, for having afterwards lost them, let them not
blame Fortune, but their own sloth; because they never having thought
during the time of quiet, that they could suffer a change (which is the
common fault of men, while faire weather lasts, not to provide for the
tempest) when afterwards mischiefes came upon them, thought rather upon
flying from them, than upon their defence, and hop'd that the people,
weary of the vanquishers insolence, would recall them: which course when
the others faile, is good: but very ill is it to leave the other
remedies for that: for a man wou'd never go to fall, beleeving another
would come to take him up: which may either not come to passe, or if it
does, it is not for thy security, because that defence of his is vile,
and depends not upon thee; but those defences only are good, certaine,
and durable, which depend upon thy owne selfe, and thy owne vertues.


How great power Fortune hath in humane affaires, and what meanes there
is to resist it.

It is not unknown unto me, how that many have held opinion, and still
hold it, that the affaires of the world are so governd by fortune, and
by God, that men by their wisdome cannot amend or alter them; or rather
that there is no remedy for them: and hereupon they would think that it
were of no availe to take much paines in any thing, but leave all to be
governd by chance. This opinion hath gain'd the more credit in our
dayes, by reason of the great alteration of things, which we have of
late seen, and do every day see, beyond all humane conjecture: upon
which, I sometimes thinking, am in some parte inclind to their opinion:
neverthelesse not to extinguish quite our owne free will, I think it may
be true, that Fortune is the mistrisse of one halfe of our actions; but
yet that she lets us have rule of the other half, or little lesse. And I
liken her to a precipitous torrent, which when it rages, over-flows the
plaines, overthrowes the trees, and buildings, removes the earth from
one side, and laies it on another, every one flyes before it, every one
yeelds to the fury thereof, as unable to withstand it; and yet however
it be thus, when the times are calmer, men are able to make provision
against these excesses, with banks and fences so, that afterwards when
it swels again, it shall all passe smoothly along, within its channell,
or else the violence thereof shall not prove so licentious and hurtfull.
In like manner befals it us with fortune, which there shewes her power
where vertue is not ordeind to resist her, and thither turnes she all
her forces, where she perceives that no provisions nor resistances are
made to uphold her. And if you shall consider Italy, which is the seat
of these changes, and that which hath given them their motions, you
shall see it to be a plaine field, without any trench or bank; which had
it been fenc'd with convenient vertue as was Germany, Spain or France;
this inundation would never have causd these great alterations it hath,
or else would it not have reach'd to us: and this shall suffice to have
said, touching the opposing of fortune in generall. But restraining my
selfe more to particulars, I say that to day we see a Prince prosper and
flourish and to morrow utterly go to ruine; not seeing that he hath
alterd any condition or quality; which I beleeve arises first from the
causes which we have long since run over, that is because that Prince
that relies wholly upon fortune, runnes as her wheele turnes. I beleeve
also, that he proves the fortunate man, whose manner of proceeding meets
with the quality of the time; and so likewise he unfortunate from whose
course of proceeding the times differ: for we see that men, in the
things that induce them to the end, (which every one propounds to
himselfe, as glory and riches) proceed therein diversly; some with
respects, others more bold, and rashly; one with violence, and th'other
with cunning; the one with patience, th'other with its contrary; and
every one of severall wayes may attaine thereto; we see also two very
respective and wary men, the one come to his purpose, and th'other not;
and in like maner two equally prosper, taking divers course; the one
being wary the other head-strong; which proceeds from nothing else, but
from the quality of the times, which agree, or not, with their
proceedings. From hence arises that which I said, that two working
diversly, produce the same effect: and two equaly working, the one
attains his end, the other not. Hereupon depends the alteration of the
good; for if to one that behaves himself with warinesse and patience,
times and affaires turne so favourably, that the carriage of his
businesse prove well, he prospers; but if the times and affaires chance,
he is ruind, because he changes not his manner of proceeding: nor is
there any man so wise, that can frame himselfe hereunto; as well because
he cannot go out of the way, from that whereunto Nature inclines him: as
also, for that one having alwayes prosperd, walking such a way, cannot
be perswaded to leave it; and therefore the respective and wary man,
when it is fit time for him to use violence and force, knows not how to
put it in practice, whereupon he is ruind: but if he could change his
disposition with the times and the affaires, he should not change his
fortune. Pope Julius the second proceeded in all his actions with very
great violence, and found the times and things so conformable to that
his manner of proceeding that in all of them he had happy successe.
Consider the first exploit he did at Bolonia, even while John Bentivolio
lived: the Venetians were not well contented therewith; the King of
Spaine likewise with the French, had treated of that enterprise; and
notwithstanding al this, he stirrd up by his own rage and fiercenesse,
personally undertook that expedition: which action of his put in
suspence and stopt Spaine and the Venetians; those for feare, and the
others for desire to recover the Kingdome of Naples; and on the other
part drew after him the King of France; for that King seeing him already
in motion, and desiring to hold him his friend, whereby to humble the
Venetians, thought he could no way deny him his souldiers, without doing
him an open injury. Julius then effected that with his violent and heady
motion, which no other Pope with all humane wisdome could ever have
done; for if he had expected to part from Rome with his conclusions
settled, and all his affaires ordered before hand, as any other Pope
would have done, he had never brought it to passe: For the King of
France would have devised a thousand excuses, and others would have put
him in as many feares. I will let passe his other actions, for all of
them were alike, and all of them prov'd lucky to him; and the brevity of
his life never sufferd him to feele the contrary: for had he litt upon
such times afterwards, that it had been necessary for him to proceed
with respects, there had been his utter ruine; for he would never have
left those wayes, to which he had been naturally inclind. I conclude
then, fortune varying, and men continuing still obstinate to their own
wayes, prove happy, while these accord together: and as they disagree,
prove unhappy: and I think it true, that it is better to be heady than
wary; because Fortune is a mistresse; and it is necessary, to keep her
in obedience to ruffle and force her: and we see, that she suffers her
self rather to be masterd by those, than by others that proceed coldly.
And therefore, as a mistresse, shee is a friend to young men, because
they are lesse respective, more rough, and command her with more

    I have considered the 25 Chapter, as representing me a full view
    of humane policy and cunning: yet me thinks it cannot satisfie a
    Christian in the causes of the good and bad successe of things.
    The life of man is like a game at Tables; skill availes much I
    grant, but that's not all: play thy game well, but that will not
    winne: the chance thou throwest must accord with thy play.
    Examine this; play never so surely, play never so probably,
    unlesse the chance thou castest, lead thee forward to advantage,
    all hazards are losses, and thy sure play leaves thee in the
    lurch. The sum of this is set down in Ecclesiastes chap. 9. v.
    11. The race is not to the swift, nor the battell to the strong:
    neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of
    understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and
    chance hapeneth to them all. Our cunning Author for all his
    exact rules he delivere in his books, could not fence against
    the despight of Fortune, as he complaines in his Epistle to this
    booke. Nor that great example of policy, Duke Valentine, whome
    our Author commends to Princes for his crafts-master, could so
    ruffle or force his mistresse Fortune, that he could keep her in
    obedience. Man can contribute no more to his actions than vertue
    and wisdome: but the successe depends upon a power above. Surely
    there is the finger of god; or as Prov. 16. v. 33. 'The lot is
    cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the
    Lord.' It was not Josephs wisdome made all things thrive under
    his hand; but because the Lord was with him; and that which he
    did, the Lord made it to prosper, Gen. 39. Surely this is a
    blessing proceeding from the divine providence, which beyond
    humane capacity so cooperateth with the causes, as that their
    effects prove answerable, and sometimes (that we may know there
    is something above the ordinary causes) the success returns with
    such a supereminency of worth, that it far exceeds the vertue of
    the ordinary causes.


An Exhortation to free Italy from the Barbarians.

Having then weighed all things above discours'd, and devising with my
self, whether at this present in Italy the time might serve to honor a
new Prince, and whether there were matter that might minister occasion
to a wise and valorous Prince, to introduce such a forme, that might do
honor to him, and good to the whole generality of the people in the
countrey: me thinks so many things concurre in favor of a new Prince,
that I know not whether there were ever any time more proper for this
purpose. And if as I said, it was necessary, desiring to see Moses his
vertue, that the children of Israel should be inthrald in Ægypt; and to
have experience of the magnanimity of Cyrus his mind, that the Persians
should be oppress'd by the Medes; and to set forth the excellency of
Theseus, that the Athenians should be dispersed; so at this present now
we are desirous to know the valor of an Italian spirit, it were
necessary Italy should be reduc'd to the same termes it is now in, and
were in more slavery than the Hebrews were; more subject than the
Persians, more scatterd than the Athenians; without head, without order,
battered, pillaged, rent asunder, overrun, and had undergone all kind of
destruction. And however even in these later dayes, we have had some
kind of shew of hope in some one, whereby we might have conjectur'd,
that he had been ordained for the deliverance hereof, yet it prov'd
afterwards, that in the very height of all his actions he was curb'd by
fortune, insomuch that this poore countrey remaining as it were without
life, attends still for him that shall heal her wounds, give an end to
all those pillagings and sackings of Lombardy, to those robberies and
taxations of the Kingdome, and of Tuscany, and heal them of their soars,
now this long time gangren'd. We see how she makes her prayers to God,
that he send some one to redeem her from these Barbarous cruelties and
insolencies. We see her also wholly ready and disposed to follow any
colours, provided there be any one take them up. Nor do we see at this
present, that she can look for other, than your Illustrious Family, to
become Cheiftain of this deliverance, which hath now by its own vertue
and Fortune been so much exalted, and favored by God and the Church,
whereof it now holds the Principality: and this shall not be very hard
for you to do, if you shall call to mind the former actions, and lives
of those that are above named. And though those men were very rare and
admirable, yet were they men, and every one of them began upon less
occasion than this; for neither was their enterprize more just than
this, nor more easie; nor was God more their friend, than yours. Here is
very great justice: for that war is just, that is necessary; and those
armes are religious, when there is no hope left otherwhere, but in them.
Here is an exceeding good disposition thereto: nor can there be, where
there is a good disposition, a giant difficulty, provided that use be
made of those orders, which I propounded for aim and direction to you.
Besides this, here we see extraordinary things without example effected
by God; the sea was opened, a cloud guided the way, devotion poured
forth the waters, and it rain'd down Manna; all these things have
concurred in your greatness, the rest is left for you to do. God will
not do every thing himself, that he may not take from us our free will,
and of that glory that belongs to us. Neither is it a marvel, if any of
the aforenamed Italians have not been able to compass that, which we may
hope your illustrious family shall: though in so many revolutions of
Italy, and so many feats of war, it may seem that the whole military
vertue therein be quite extinguisht; for this arises from that the
ancient orders thereof were not good; and there hath since been none
that hath known how to invent new ones. Nothing can so much honor a man
rising anew, as new laws and new ordinances devised by him: these things
when they have a good foundation given them, and contain in them their
due greatness, gain him reverence and admiration; and in Italy their
wants not the matter wherein to introduce any forme. Here is great
vertue in the members, were it not wanting in the heads. Consider in the
single fights that have been, and duels, how much the Italians have
excel'd in their strength, activity and address; but when they come to
armies, they appear not, and all proceeds from the weakness of the
Chieftaines; for they that understand the managing of these matters, are
not obeyed; and every one presumes to understand; hitherto there having
not been any one so highly raised either by fortune or vertue, as that
others would submit unto him. From hence proceeds it, that in so long
time, and in so many battels fought for these last past 20 years, when
there hath been an army wholly Italian, it alwaies hath had evil
success; whereof the river Tarus first was witness, afterwards
Alexandria, Capua, Genua, Vayla, Bolonia, Mestri. Your Illustrious
family then being desirous to tread the footsteps of these Worthyes who
redeem'd their countreys, must above all things as the very foundation
of the whole fabrick, be furnished with soldiers of your own natives:
because you cannot have more faithful, true, nor better soldiers; and
though every one of them be good, all together they will become better
when they shall find themselves entertained, commanded, and honored by
their own Prince. Wherefore it is necessary to provide for those armes,
whereby to be able with the Italian valor to make a defence against
forreiners. And however the Swisse infantry and Spanish be accounted
terrible; yet is there defect in both of them, by which a third order
might not only oppose them, but may be confident to vanquish them: for
the Spaniards are not able to indure the Horse, and the Swisse are to
feare the foot, when they incounter with them, as resolute in the fight
as they; whereupon it hath been seen, and upon experience shall be
certain, that the Spaniards are not able to beare up against the French
Cavalery, and the Swisses have been routed by the Spanish Foot. And
though touching this last, there hath not been any entire experience
had, yet was there some proof thereof given in the battel of Ravenna,
when the Spanish Foot affronted the Dutch battalions, which keep the
same rank the Swisses do, where the Spaniards with their nimbleness of
body, and the help of their targets entred in under their Pikes, and
there stood safe to offend them, the Dutch men having no remedy: and had
it not been for the Cavalery that rusht in upon them, they had quite
defeated them. There may then (the defect of the one and other of these
two infantries being discoverd) another kind of them be anew ordained,
which may be able to make resistance against the Horse, and not fear the
Foot, which shall not be a new sort of armes, but change of orders. And
these are some of those things which ordained a new, gain reputation and
greatness to a new Prince. Therefore this occasion should not be let
pass, to the end that Italy after so long a time may see some one
redeemer of hers appear. Nor can I express with what dearness of
affection he would be received in all those countreys which have
suffered by those forrein scums, with what thirst of revenge, with what
resolution of fidelity, with what piety, with what tears. Would any
gates be shut again him? Any people deny him obedience? Any envy oppose
him? Would not every Italian fully consent with him? This government of
the Barbarians stinks in every ones nostrils. Let your Illustrious
Family then undertake this worthy exployt with that courage and those
hopes wherewith such just actions are to be attempted; to the end that
under your colours, this countrey may be enabled, and under the
protection of your fortune that saying of Petrarch be verifyed.

  _Virtù contr' al fuore
  Prendera l'arme, e fia il combatter corto:
  Che l'antico valore
  Ne gli Italici cor non è morto._

  Vertue against fury shall advance the fight,
  And it i' th' combate soon shall put to flight:
  For th' old Roman valor is not dead,
  Nor in th' Italians brests extinguished.


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