The Office and parts of the Lord High Generall of the Armie.
THE FIRST DIALOGVE.
VVherein is set foorth the partes to be expected in so high a Commander: the foure principall qualities which the Romanes considered in the Comman∣ders of their armies; how needefull it is to haue graue and experimented of∣ficers in the Campe.
*THe Generall, the Prince with the aduise of his prudent Councell, doth elect, chuse, and appoint: and being an office of highest degree and greatest charge in the field, it ought to be encommended vnto a personage indued with partes befitting the function. Therefore, as he is the Officer highest in degree, so ought he, not only to know per∣fectly the partes of euery other officer,* but also to excell them all, in religion, wisedome, experience, policie, grauitie, secrecie, counsell, modestie, tempe∣rance, valour, magnanimitie, vigilancie, care, constancie, liberalitie, and reso∣lution; with all other good partes incident to a perfect man of warre: and how much all these good partes (and many more) ought to be in the personage elected to this high and carefull dignitie, by our former discourses you may easily con∣ceiue and gather; to the ende that he, being their Chieftaine and head, may not Page 169 onely know how to gouerne them both in generall and in particular, in all Mar∣tiall actions:*but also in his vertuous life and cariage, be a patterne, light, & lan∣terne vnto the whole Armie, to imitate: for in our old prouerbe we say: such hunt, such hound, such maister, such man: and so by consequence, such Chiefe, such followers. For most commonly a wise, valiant and vertuous Generall, will chuse wise, valiant, & vertuous Captaines, and officers: good & vertuous Cap∣taines, will, as neare as they can, chuse honest, sober, and vertuous souldiers, or at the least, reforme their faults, and do their best to bring them to the due forme of Militarie discipline. And as it is very hard for euery Commaunder to haue all the good partes incident to his function, yet such as are indued with many, or the most of these partes, are best to be esteemed; and so consequently the rest. For the accidents of warre are so diuerse and manifold,* that it altereth many times the humours of men: except being endued with constancie and magnanimitie; which singular vertues few men possesse: but greatly to bee wished in all high Commaunders.
Now to discourse and reason in particular vpon the partes due to a Generall, our discourses would bee ouer long; wherefore I will name the foure principall, which the ancient Greekes and Romanes did consider in such personages as they elected to bee conductors of their Armies:* which were, 1 to be very expert and skilfull in the Art of warre, 2 to be valiant and magnanimous, 3 to bee of great grauitie and authoritie; and 4 to be fortunate in their successes: the which parts me thinkes, a Prince ought to regard & consider, in the election of his Generall.
These partes and qualities do seeme to be very good indeede; but yet, I pray, declare more particularly thereof, that we may the better vnderstand the same.
I say (Gentlemen) that those Republikes would haue their Captaines Generall to haue great experience in Martiall actions,1 whereby they might pru∣dently commaund and gouerne therein; and therefore did they alwayes elect and chuse personages of great experience and practise, and of ripe yeares and iudge∣ment vnto this office: yea with such consideration & care, that of the Romanes, af∣ter that the two Scipios were slaine,* and their Armies ouerthrowen, by Asdruball the Carthagenian in Spayne; none of their best experimented durst take vpon him the former charge,* but onely young Scipio, called afterward Africanus, being sonne to one of the slaine Consuls, although contradicted by sundry Se∣nators, and chiefly by Quintus Fabius Maximus,* alledging his young yeares, who onely offered himselfe, and resolutely tooke vpon him the determination to go to that Prouince, and accepted the defence of the same: shewing himselfe therein the most valiant and noblest Gentleman then left in the Romaine Repu∣blike, and one that had bene nuzled vp in warre euen from a child; but not aboue 28. yeares of age; which caused the Senators (as I sayd) to misdoubt, that by rea∣son of his young yeares, he should want the due skill, experience, and prudence, conuenient for the gouernement of the Romaine Armie.
But yet there haue bene many Princes in the world, who being of young age began to gouerne,* and conduct their Armies: as Alexander being but a ve∣ry youth, conquered all Asia, and put all the whole world in a maze.
It is true, that many times for precise and forcible causes, it is necessary Page 170 that Kings and Princes should bee present with their owne Armies in person, although their age & experience be not great.* But when this commeth to passe, they commonly carrie with them, most ancient, graue and experimented Cap∣taines: as did Alexander, of the best and of most authoritie, which Philip, his fa∣ther had for his Conductours and Counsellours of warre: and many other of all nations haue done the like, as in our time did king Philip of Spayne, whē he made Don Iohn de Austria his Captaine Generall,* hee chose and appointed for his assi∣ster, Counsellour, and Lieutenant, Don Luis de Zuniga the grand Commendador of Castille: and many of our English kings haue done the like; as did the famous con∣querour Edward the third,* who sent with his eldest sonne the braue Prince of Wales, for Coadiutors, Counsellours, and Captaines, the valiant Earles of War∣wick, Suffolk, Salisbury and Oxenford; at their honorable iourney into France, where at the battell of Poytiers they ouerthrew the whole power of France, and tooke their king Iohn with his sonne Philip, and a great number of the French no∣bilitie prisoners.
Then how fortuned it that Don Sebastian king of Portugall, carried not such experienced personages about him, at his disastred iourney made into Barba∣ry, being himselfe so young, and without experience of warre?
*You must note therein the proud and insufferable nature of mans mind; especially of them two Prouinces, Spayne and Portugall, which will not willingly endure any stranger to carrie any office and dignitie amongst them:* and men of experience and conduction hee had none in his owne Realme, by reason of his long continued peace.
Yet me thinkes, that his determination was great and honorable.
It was so great, as was well seene by the successe he had: and truly none can denie but that he carried a braue minde,* and an high conceit: but yet by rea∣son of his young age, and lesse skill, he wanted conuenient prudence to the con∣duction of so honorable an action: for his presumption and boldnesse aboun∣ded, to his owne, and his peoples ouerthrow, which hath growen to a by word a∣mong the Spaniards, to the Portugals reproch; saying; Pocos, y locos, y mal auentu∣rados. But I trust in God, that if it please him to blesse vs no worse then hither un∣to he hath done,* and to giue vs mindes and prudence to preuent their mischiefes in time, we shall one day yet say by them, Muchos, presuntuosos, y mal disgracia∣dos: for surely their pretences and desseignes are most ambitious and cruell a∣gainst all Christian Princes and Countries, especially against vs, vpon whom they watch but time and opportunitie to poure out their whole pots of poyson: wherefore it standeth vs vpon,* all true and valiant English harts, to arme our selues first with the feare, and honour of God; then with prudence, magnanimi∣tie, courage & valorous resolution against this proud nation, the Popes mynions; Spaniardes I meane. But indeede, had Don Sebastian bene of such Martiall pru∣dence, and valour in the same,* as was his grand father Charles the fift: or was Hen∣rie the fift, Edward the third: and other noble kings of England and France, or as Henrie the third now king of France and Nauarre, and as was George Scanderbeg, and the last Prince of Orange, with sundry such others, hee would haue imita∣ted them: who, in all their actions did annexe and couple vnto them, ancient and experimented Captaines, although they were most braue men themselues: Page 171 as did Charles the fift chuse for his Generall at his enterprise vpon Tunez, A∣lonzo de Aualos,*Marquis de Guasto; and in Germany he chose Ferdinando de Tole∣do, Duke of Alua: and so did sundry of the other aboue named Princes, the like.
THE SECOND DIALOGVE.
VVherein is discoursed of militarie valour: and the sundry parts therof: as mili∣tary prudence, with sundry stratagems of warre: with many other martiall points.
WEll now, sith you haue declared vnto vs the first point, and qua∣lity of a Generall (which is experience) I pray proceede to the rest.
The second I spake of, was to haue militarie valour and prudence.
How is this military valour to be vnderstood?
Military valour,* is to be vnderstood with vs, as true Magnanimitie with the Latinists: which is, besides his care in the actions of warre; he is to haue in∣dustrie to practise them, and readinesse to effect them, and constancy and true fortitude of mind in all perillous and daungerous successes,* as had Edward the third at the battel of Cressy, and his son, the braue Prince of Wales, at the battel of Poitiers; and as had our noble Henry the fift at Agincourt field: and as had of late, this present king of Fraunce and Nauarre, in his honourable battell, against his re∣bell, the Duke de Mayne, with all his braue assistants, vpon an Ashwednesday, be∣ing the fourth of March in Anno. 1590. By whose magnanimity and martiall valour (next vnder God) was the victory most honourably atchieued, euen at such time of extremity, as his troupes were disarayed and ready to flie; who most magnanimously, in the very pinch and point of that disaray, rushed boldly a∣mongst them, saying; C'est moy, mes enfants, Voyez, icy vostre Roy. It is I my childrē, loe here your King: whereby they were so comforted, and encouraged, that they regathered themselues, made a fresh head, and conquered in fine their con∣quering enemies.
This fortitude, moreouer doth wonderfully ayde and helpe to the ouerthrow∣ing and quenching of all disordinate appetites:* and to the end you may the better vnderstand me, I will declare the parts more particularly. To little purpose were it for a Captaine Generall to be experienced,* as before I haue sayd, if his experi∣ence and skill did not manifest the same with his valiant actions: and to put the same in execution, it is necessary that he be carefull, vigilant, and diligent in all the matters which hee is to attempt, and put in practise, and moreouer to haue a naturall instinct and humour befitting the same:* as particularly to know the qualities of the enemies Commander; whether he be ouer bold, rash, and inconsiderate, or timerous, sober, and reposed in his actions: and whether he bee Page 172 subtill,* politike, and diligent, or blunt, base minded, and sluggish: whether he be a man desirous to come to fact of armes, or a man of delay, auoyding the same: al∣so to know what counsellours, conductors, and officers he hath, and in fine of what determinations: whether his enemies Army bee of new reared people and Bisognios, or of practised, skilfull, and auncient bandes, and of what nation they be: what desseignes and intents they hold, and vnto what end they aspire: and also to consider and paralleill his owne forces with the strength and powers of the aduersary: helping himselfe in most of these matters, with good and trustie espi∣als, and those to be well rewarded and payed,* the which many times are as souer∣aigne Antidotes against the poysonous practises of the enemy: as the most brauest and skilfullest Commanders of the world haue vsed: as did Lewes the eleuenth, king of •raunce,* against Phillip, Duke of Burgundy, and as did Charles the fift, a∣gainst the Protestants in Germany: and as now doth king Phillip of Spaine, too too much in all nations; and (no doubt) other Princes do practise the same: whereby many desseignes bee often discouered, and thereby preuented without fact of armes, onely with military prudence: the which may be effected and done with continuall diligence,* and ceaselesse care. For a braue mind and of high con∣ceit, ought neuer to bee tired in toyling after vertue, and to attaine with cost of trauell the glorious issues of his deepe desseignes: as did our famous King, Henry the eight, and others his predecessors, in their honourable attempts and atchiue∣ments in Fraunce: and as did Charles the fift in his actions in Germany and Italy: & as did Alexander, Iulius Caesar, Hanniball, and Scipio, with many others more in their honourable enterprises and conquests.
And for asmuch, as from such military care and diligence, there is to be expec∣ted good successe,* it is conuenient that the Captaine Generall bee very industri∣ous, to know howe to inuente newe occasions of warre, to entertaine the e∣nemy with long delay, if the case so require it; imitating Quintus Fabius Maximus, when he warred against Hanniball. And many times to corrupt with money; as did Lewes the second king of Fraunce often practise; and as did Monsier dela Tres∣moille, Monsieur de Leuy and Triuultio, Generals to Lewes the twelth King of Fraunce, when hee corrupted with money the Switzers which serued vnder the pay of Lodowik Sforza, Duke of Millan, vpon whom they layed hands, and vilely deliuered him to his enemies, the French: and as did the Prince of Parma, with the traytors, Yorke, and Stanley, and the betraying and deliuery of Sutphen vnto the Spaniards. And as principally doth King Phillip of Spain corrupt with his gol∣den Pistolets the most parts of Europe;* according to their grand Captaine, Gonsalo Fernandes, saying: that Princes, Generals, and great Commanders, ought by one meanes, or other seeke to ouercome, and gaine their purposes: bee it by right or by wrong, a Spanish principle.
Moreouer he may by cunning meanes, and fained letters, cause the enemies Captaines to be suspected,* and blemished; as did Burbon and Tryuultio, the King of Fraunce his Generals, being besieged, and very hardly distressed within Myllau, by the Emperour Maximilian, who sent of politike purpose, a seruant of Triuul∣tios (who spake the Switzer tong perfectly well) with fained letters vnto the Cap∣taines of that nation, then seruing in Maximilians Campe, thereby to cause them to be suspected and doubted,* the which faining messenger being taken by Page 173 the Sentinels and watches, cunningly (like Synon at Troy) humbly beseeched them his life and pardon, and that he would deliuer them certaine things which he had to deliuer vnto the Colonels and Captaines of the Switzers: the which be∣ing graunted him,* he drew out of his shoe the deuised letter, which he carried to cause a suspition to grow vpon these Captaines: the which being seene and read by the Emperour, holding for certaine their contents to be true, and mistrusting some treason,* as they had before vsed vnto Lodowik Sforza, raised presently his campe, and withdrew himselfe, with lesse constancy and credit, then to his honor and reputation was conuenient.
Also he ought to haue great industry and skill to know how to encampe his Army,* and to dislodge the enemy, cutting him from victuals and other commo∣dities; with blocking vp of all passages and straights about the besieged place, and to reknowledge and consider all the places of most strength and commoditie: wherefore it is needefull that he bee both learned and skilled in Geographie, as well of the countrey & prouince where he warreth, as of al other parts in generall; well informing himselfe of the situations and dispositions of the same,* of what temperature they be, of what firtilite they are, of what thinges they abound, and of what things they want, what maner of people do inhabite thē, & those of what cōditions & maner of life; what religiō they hold, with what lawes they be gouer∣ned, what Princes do rule them, and what power and valour they are of. All the which considerations, and many more stratagems are to be attained with lear∣ning, & often reading of histories; as by all braue Commanders which euer were yet, may well be vnderstood, and therefore let no man thinke, but that a souldier ought to be learned and read,* the which conioyned with experience, makes him a perfect man of warre: and without this learning and reading a souldier may haunt many yeares the warres, and neuer attaine to the deepe points of soldierie, the which by much reading and fewer yeares of experience, may be farre better perfected:* as was seene by Lucullus the Romaine commander, and many others of other nations.
And also to haue the more particular skill and knowledge herein,* it importeth much to haue drawne plats, mappes, and models of euery seuerall prouince, countrey, and region, with the descriptions of their mountaines, valleys, hils, champain fields, forrests, woods, riuers, brookes, fennes, lakes, pastures, and ara∣ble grounds, and whether their fields be open or inclosed, narrow or large; what straights and passages difficult to passe, what strong places and castels, what townes, cities, and boroughs, what Noble mens places, and houses of pleasure, and what distance there is betwixt place, & place; wherby to giue assured directi∣ons and traces vnto euery action they pretend and attempt; as did many of our fa∣mous Commanders in their honourable warres in Fraunce and Scotland, and as did the Marquis de Pescara and Antonio de Leyua,* and other imperiall Captaines in their warres with the French, in the prouinces of Naples, Lombardy, and Pie∣mont, who with a farre lesser number, badly payed, and worse preparations of war, with only industry, courage, pollicy, & boldnesse, came to atchieue many en∣terprises, and to great encounters, layed many Ambuscados, and gaue many surpri∣ses and Camisadas to the enemy, therereby gaining both honour and victory: as was seene in the battell of Pauia,* where Francis the French King was taken pri∣soner, Page 174 and his Army quite ouerthrowne, with the states that he held in Italy. The like did many of our braue English Kings in France, Scotland and other places, namely at the battell of Poytiers, Agincourt fielde, and else where, where with a small number of English souldiers, the whole strength and cheualry of Fraunce was ouerthrowne, slayne, and taken prisoners, onely by valour and martiall in∣dustry. All the which was performed with wonderfull diligence, speede, secre∣cy, and resolution, which bee matters of great importance in the conduction of warre.
*How say you, that it is a very important thing to execute the effect of warre with great speede and diligence, sith you said but euen now, that it was a great point to know how to entertaine the enemy with delayes, as did Quintus Fa∣bius with Hannyball?
*It is true, that in good martiall discipline, that Generall is more to bee accounted of, and esteemed, which knoweth how to ouercome with policy, wise∣dome, stratagems, and prudence, then with dint of sword and rigour of weapons. For battels are subiect vnto a thousand hazards, and perils, as to the temerity and rashnesse of heady Captaines and souldiers, and vnto the cowardize sometimes of some particulars; with a number of such accidentall fortunes: and therefore in effect, prudence and patience, and not pride and rashnesse, do produce good and happy euents in warre:* and therefore the Emperour Octauius Augustus did more esteeme the kingdome of Mauritania, then all the other prouinces which he pos∣sest, for that he had gayned the same without bloud, and the king of Naples Don Alonso,* being chalenged by his Competitor and enemy, the Duke of Aniou to come to battell, he refused the same, saying; that it was the part of a good Cap∣taine to knowe howe to gayne, and not to come to battell at the enemies ap∣petite.
But this is principally to be vnderstood, when a Prince is set vpon and distressed in his own coūtry, as was then the said king Don Alonso, & the case being such, let no Prince nor Generall vse the temeritie and rashnesse, as did Lewes the King of Hungaria,* who ioyned in battell vnaduisedly with Solyman the great Turke, being badly counselled thereunto by the Archbishop Tomeres, being farre inferiour to his enemy in numbers: yea, although he were equall, yet were it better to weary him with delayes, and cause him by such lingerings to be weary of the acti∣on; and so retire in fine. And therefore to this ende the Signory of Venice will haue their Generals to be rather warie and long delayers,* then rash and furious warriours, not sparing any cost to prolong the same, alwaies auoyding the doubt∣full and vncertaine successes of battell, yea although they hold for certaine to gaine; if it be thought to cost much bloud, yet better to be refused: as Iulius Cae∣sar declared very well, saying: that hee ought to bee accompted an vniust Cap∣taine if he did not more esteeme the safety of his Army, and the life of his souldi∣ers, then his owne proper commodity and life. For those which do measure the hope of the victory, without the due consideration of the profit or losse, that succeedes the same, doe desire vaine and disordinate things, and do find many times the euents and issues contrary to their thoughts: as it chaunced vnto the French at the battell of Poytiers,* where although they were in full hope of victo∣ry, yet they lost therein a number of their nobility, with their King and his sonne Page 175 taken prisoners: and againe, as it befell the sayd French at the battell of Rauenna, where although they remained victors,* yet they lost Monsieur de Foyx their Ge∣nerall, and many of his braue Captaines, whereby those which remained were constrained to retire, and passe ouer the Alpes, with more then good speede. Therefore to entertaine the enemy with long delayes, without bringing ones selfe into the daunger of fact of armes, and to be at choise to accept or refuse the bat∣tell, if it be presented,* there is to be vsed many policies, deuises, and stratagems, and to attempt the venturous effects (of necessity) speede, and diligence is to be required; as in lodging Ambuscados, to giue Camisadas, to sallie in skirmish, and to make incursions and great Caualgados to surprise victuals and conuoies, to pre∣uent their allodgements, to possesse straights and passages, to cut them from vic∣tuals, and such like peeces of seruice: and especially if there be two of the ene∣mies powers seperated the one from the other, and being necessary to fight with them before they come to ioyne; then I say, is wonderfull dispatch, speede and se∣crete conduction to be required:* as did Claudius Nero a Romaine Captaine, when he defeated and slew Asdruball Barquinus, who was come out of Spaine into Italy to ioyne with his brother Hannyball. The like did the Duke of Bauier, before that fresh aydes were come to ioyne with his enemy, the Emperor Frederik. And as did the Duke of Alua, holding Graue Lodwike besieged within Monts in Hen∣nault, who vnderstanding, and seeing his brother the Prince of Orange, com∣ming with a strong power to relieue him, the very same night that he approched neare, gaue him a most furious Camisado, and slew many of his people, whereby he was enforced the next day to returne without effecting his intent.* And in the conquest of any country, city, or prouince, there is also great celerity and quicke dispatch to be vsed by the Captaines, and Generals; as was performed by the Duke de Alua, and the Marquis Sancta Cruz in their Portugall wars, preuenting by their martiall prudence, many difficulties, not otherwise easie to be dispatched, if the Portugals had had more wit, valour, and counsell, then they had. And howe much this celerity in some cases doth auaile, may well be seene by the braue ex∣ploites of Sir Francis Drake,* and Captaine Caerleil, at Sant Domingo, Carthagena, and Nombre de Dios, with other parts of the Indies. Sundry other examples might be recited of actions performed with celeritie, and secrecy: and for not applying quickenesse & celerity in the execution, many times actions haue bin greatly hin∣dered, and great inconueniences haue ensued: as it happened vnto Hanniball; who hauing the victory and conquest of all Italy in his handes after the battell of Can∣nas,* lost all those aduantages, only for not pursuing the aforesayd victory. But yet in all these occurrants and occasions,* there is great care and consideration to be had, to conserue the Army what possible may be, and not to hazard the souldiers with daungerous assaultes; for commonly in such attempts the brauest men go to wracke, as was well to be seene among the Spaniards in the expugnation of Ha∣erlem, Mastricht, Sluce, and other fortes of the low countries. And therefore Sci∣pio the younger, when being perswaded by some of his Captaines to take Numan∣tia by battery and assault, he aunswered them, saying: that he esteemed more the sauing of one Romaines life, then the killing of all those within Numantia; conside∣ring that the best men are commonly lost in such attempts.
Page 176*A Generall ought also to bee very constant in hazardes and perils; for many times it happeneth, that the determinations which men do take in pleasant mo∣tions, and with great vigour of minde, before the very daunger; but the perill being once presented, and when it is most neede to put the businesse in execu∣tion, then being amazed and striken with chilly feare, doe they leaue off the at∣temptes, and dishonorably retire; and will by no meanes be reencouraged there∣unto: as did
*And hee is to bee accounted an excellent Generall, which contemneth and des∣piseth all imminent daungers, in respect to conserue his reputation and honour: as many of our famous kings of England haue done, in their owne persons, and as many times Henry,* now present king of Fraunce and Nauarre, hath done in ma∣ny encounters which he hath had: and as did the Countie Lodron, when Castra∣neo the Emperour Ferdinando his Generall forsooke the Army vnder his charge in Hungaria, and fled away with the most part of the horsemen, for feare of the Turkes; the sayd Countie Lodron being with those footemen which remained, was by them most humbly entreated to be their Conductor and Generall in that disastred successe, seeing that he, which was their Generall and Commander had so shamefully forsaken them: the which the sayd Countie accepted with great modestie, vsing vnto them many graue speeches, and honorable wordes, with abhorring the fowle flying away of his companion, and encouraging them braue∣ly to defend themselues, with their manfull resisting of their enemies, without imagining or thinking vpon any thing else, then valiantly to fight, and couragi∣ously to ouercome. Then an ancient Almaine souldier, seeing this Countie so full of spirite, and constant, sayd in gracious maner thus vnto him; My Lord, let it not seeme vnto you so great a wonder the flying away of our Generall, seeing that he was mounted vpon so gallant a courser, as he was; which seemed that hee expe∣cted to see how his horse would runne. Now, the Countie vnderstanding the craftie meaning of this old souldier, dismounted with all dexteritie from his horse, and drawing out his curtilax, cut off his horse legges, saying vnto them with a chearefull countenaunce;* My good companions, and deare countreymen, this day will I be both Captaine and souldier, and will fight on foote euen as you doe; Performe you the partes of valiant men, for not to deceiue mine opinion of you; & gaine ye the victory, or dye most honorably with reuenging your deathes; and finishing this warre with your end and mine.
*Now to conclude with this militarie vertue: Great Commaunders and Cap∣taines Generals, should not suffer themselues to bee ouerruled with disordinate lustes,* and appetites: for in a noble personage one onely vice is inough to ob∣scure and blemish a number of good vertues, as was seene by Alexander, and Phi∣lip his father, by the fowle excesse of wine drinking; and by many others stained with such other vices.* And per contra, one singular vertue did wonderfully grace and exalte the possessors thereof: and if it finde foundation of Nobilitie and Il∣lustrious Bloud, it frameth thereupon the fabrica and building of a most excellent Personage: and if it finde no such foundation, yet it layeth sufficient foundation of it selfe: which hath bene seene in many Captaines, who from base degree and state, haue ascended to bee great Commaunders and Princes, by their wise and vertuous cariage, and by their modestie in maners, and by their singular absti∣nence; Page 177 whereof we haue many and singular examples of sundry vertuous men: as of Francis Sforza,* Duke of Millan, who imitating Scipio Aphricanus, would not once touch or abuse a most bewtifull yong mayden, which was taken by his soul∣diers in the Castell of Casa noua, and presented vnto him, whom he receiued into his pauillion; being a matter of more importance to suppresse the vices insulting in the minde,* then to encounter a mightie enemy. And by this example of him selfe, might this Generall, and many other such, which haue bene in the world, reforme their Campes; not permitting their souldiers and people of warre, to grow licentious, and to soyle themselues in vices, sith that nothing doth make them more effeminate,* and more vnprofitable for warre then the same: as well appeared in the expugnation and sacke of Numantia, being there ouerthrowen so many Conductors and Consuls,* without performing any thing: for being the Romaine Armie so corrupted with vices, vntill Scipio Aemilianus came to com∣maund; who reformed the same, and banished all light women and bad house∣wiues out of his campe, and caused his souldiers to forsake and shake off all kinde of curiositie and daintinesse, compelling them to eate their meate standing, and continually to practise their weapons: the which reformations were of such im∣portancie and effect, that within a short time after, those of Numantiae sallying forth to skirmish, with their accustomed confidence and courage, they were con∣strained to retire, and turne their heeles: whom, at their returne into the Citie, being reprehended & blamed by their Generall, for so flying from the Romanes, whom they had so often before time beaten, they answered him, saying; that the Romane souldiers were the very same,* but that their Commaunder was another, and a man of more valour and better gouernement then those before passed.
THE THIRD DIALOGVE.
VVherein is discoursed of the other two vertues, Authoritie, and Fortune; and their due significations: and in fine, what Counsellours are to bee chosen, and coupled vnto the Lord high Generall of an Armie Royall: with other points.
NOw, sith you haue at large declared vnto vs the partes, appertei∣ning vnto Militarie valour, and vertue; I pray proceede vnto the o∣ther qualities of a Generall.
The two remaining be,* Authoritie, & Fortune; the which doe imitate and follow the others, as the shaddow doth the body. For a vertue (as I haue before declared) doth put in execution and practise the Militarie preceptes: and the wise Captaine Generall doth thereof make an ha∣bite; whereby ariseth and springeth (of necessitie) the fame of his valour and ho∣norable actes; the which doth accredite him, and encrease to him authoritie.
I vnderstood that the authoritie in a Captaine Generall, was, to be no∣bly borne, and descended of illustrious bloud.
It importeth him much to bee such; the better to be respected and fol∣lowed Page 178 of those noble men and gentlemen,* which doe follow the warres: for per∣aduēture they would not so incline vnto him, nor obey him with such subiection, if he were not such: therefore how much nobler the personage of a Generall is, so much the more is hee obliged to adorne and furnish himselfe with the good partes and vertues which before I haue spoken of: for high title and fauour ma∣keth not a man wise, prudent, and vertuous, if he be not such of himselfe. For by these vertues;* & by his seuere punishing of the bad, & by his liberall rewarding of the good, which be two of the firmest pillers that a Generall can hold, he shall as∣cend vnto the top of true perfection.
Doe you say, that a Generall is to punish with seueritie: and alwayes I haue vnderstood, that it is more securitie for Princes, to be beloued for their cle∣mencie, then to be feared for their rigour?
*I vnderstand that in Martiall causes, clemencie is to be vsed towardes the enemy humbly yeelded: For, for to conquere it is a humane thing, but to pardon and forgiue, is a thing diuine. And in truth, none can bee termed a true victorie, if the same be not accompanied with some clemencie: and therefore Francis the French king,* after the battell of Pauia, was wont to say, That kingdomes might be conque∣red by force, and gained and conserued by riches, but the good fortune thereof, when it seemed most prosperous, turned her taile at pleasure (and in one moment in a maner) turned topsie turuie all that she had exalted in many yeares space. But the preparati∣ons, occasions, and meanes how to vse this clemencie, and mercy, and thereby to aduaunce mens noble fames, is not a thing which euery Prince attaineth, and he may bee accounted in euery point happy who hath the same, and knoweth rightly how to vse it,* as did our famous king Edward the third, and his victorious sonne Edward Prince of Wales, vnto king Iohn of France, and Philip his sonne, af∣ter the memorable battell of Poitiers; and as did Philip Duke of Millan, vnto Don Alonso of Naples; and the Soldan Saladine, vnto the Christian women in Hierusa∣lem. For although the generous and haughty mindes do reioyce in victories, they do yet neuerthelesse grieue at others calamities: and therefore Alexander wept for Darius: and Iulius Caesar for Pompeius: and Marcellus for Syracusa: and Scipio for Numantia.
*But the rigour of iustice ought to be exercised vpon the owne souldiers of the campe, and people of warre, their offences deseruing it: for in true discipline of warrre, one is not to offend twise. And it importeth much for a Captaine Gene∣rall to be both beloued and feared; as was Hanniball, who being but a particular Gētleman of Carthage, without any other Signiories or state, & had for his great enemies, the most principall Senators of the same Republike, and the Armie vn∣der his charge being of sundry nations, yet is it not in writing that euer there was seene any mutinie amongst his souldiers, nor any disagreeing in so many yeares as he warred in Spaine, France, and Italie; by reason that he chastened with rigour the delictes and offences committed by his people of warre, and rewarded their noble actes with great liberalitie and kindnesse; and payed them their due payes alwayes in good time.
Without doubt Hanniball must needes be well serued and obeyed, if he payed his souldiers so royally and well.
I finde no foundation more sure and firme then to doe the same, to the Page 179 end to haue an Armie well conducted and gouerned.* For, if the souldiers be not payed, of necessitie they must be suffered to robbe, spoyle, raunge, and ransack, whereby to sustaine themselues, as too too much hath bene seene in these ciuill warres of France and Flanders:* the which, if they were well and duly payed, then all these inconueniences should cease; and would serue with more warinesse and care, as men bound thereunto, and would feare punishment, if they should by hap offend.
Now,* felicitie and good fortune, proceedes from knowledge, from fortitude, and from authoritie. For the Generall which knoweth what hee hath to doe, by skill and experience, and hath Militarie valour, to enterprise, and to execute with consideration and authoritie, that thereby his souldiers may both beleeue him, and follow him; such a one, without question, shall haue good successe: which is the very true felicitie and good fortune it selfe.
I neuer vnderstood, till now, that felicitie and good fortune did consist in science and knowledge: for I haue alwayes heard say; that fortune did most fa∣uour men of least wisedome, and in fine, fooles.
Such was the opinion amongst the Stoicke Philosophers; cōceiuing that as there was one Prima causa,* eternall, omnipotent, and of infinite wisedome, knowen and discerned by the order and harmonie of his workes: so in like sort, was there another causa, imprudent, foolish, and inconsiderate; whose operati∣ons were without order, or reason, or any wisedome at all; for that, with an irra∣tionall affection, it both gaue, and depriued men, of riches, dignitie and honour: the which they termed and intituled by the name of fortune; seeing her to bee a friend of men which did their matters,*fortè; which is to say, a casu, by chaunce, without conduction either of reason or prudence. But in very truth there is none other fortune but the prouidence of God, and the valour and abilitie of man: neither any other thing that maketh men disastred, & that things succeede them not, according to their desires, but onely the want of skill to practise their actions in due times; and with such conuenient meanes as the cases would require.
Truly, me thinkes, that if a Generall should obserue the rules by you declared of these foure principall parts and qualities: he should not fayle of good successe in the most of his actions.
So thinke I also:* presupposing therewithall that hee ought to know, and vnderstand all that which I haue spoken of the other officers of warre (and of much more yet vnspoken of) sith that they are his inferiours; to the end that he may perfectly know, how to commaund and gouerne them: for vnworthily shall hee commaund and gouerne in warres, which is ignorant and vnskilfull in the preceptes and rules thereof.
What more yet concerneth his office?
Marry,* to chuse vnto himselfe good Counsellours to assist him in his good gouernement: for much more needefull are the Counsels of men, wise and experimented in Martiall causes, then armour and weapons: for the greater mat∣ters are better effected with the intendement, then atchieued with the sword, many times.
But are not the personages knowne, who are to be of the Counsell of warre, by reason of their offices.
*Yea sir: for ordinarily these following, bee of the same: First the Cap∣taine Generall of the men at armes, lances, and light horse; 2 the Captaine Gene∣rall of the artillery, or Maister of the Ordinance: 3 the Camp-maister Generall, or Lord high Marshall. 4 the Colonels of the Infanterie; and 5 also the Treasurer of warre.* But there is (moreouer) respect to bee had vnto other graue personages; and in the election of those, the Generall ought to haue great consideration, and insight: for deepe, daungerous, and difficult matters, are to be consulted, dis∣puted, and reasoned with perfect intendements, & cleare iudgements. And ther∣fore there is not to be admitted vnto the same,* men of meane iudgements and of common sense: for those that are the Counsellours to a Prince, ought to be perso∣nages of great mindes, high conceites, & of equall intendement with the Prince. And that which he is particularly to consider of them, is, to see that they be per∣fect souldiers, and of great experience, and men of valorous determinations: but not rash, headie, and harebrainde: for those Counsels are sufficient honourable, which render securitie vnto doubtfull affaires. And on the contrary, those are most affrōtous, & miserable; whē being enterprised with temeritie, onely to shew a vaine presumption, and rigorous boldnesse of minde, they are wont to disturbe the good courses of the honorable enterprises, and of the victories whereof great hope is to be had. And because it is a most ordinarie thing amongst Counsellors to contradict one another, and to diminish one anothers authoritie, he must bee very carefull to foresee and procure,* that they be all louing friendes together: for that, the most part of the securitie of the campe consists in their vnitie, con∣cord, and loue: and that they all may loue him with entire affection: for hatred and feare be two bad Counsellors in warre.
This (Gentlemen) is all that I am able to say touching the officers and high Commaunders in warres: what other stratagems and policies of warre are, the Generall, and other high Conductors of enterprises, may by their owne Marti∣all prudence, and naturall instinct, inuent and put in practise, according to the occurrants and accidents of warre: for dayly new courses and inuentions are found out: to answer the which new stratagemes are deuised, & sic vicissitudo rerum.