The politicke and militarie discourses of the Lord de La Nouue VVhereunto are adioyned certaine obseruations of the same author, of things happened during the three late ciuill warres of France. With a true declaration of manie particulars touching the same. All faithfully translated out of the French by E.A.
La Noue, François de, 1531-1591., Aggas, Edward.
Of the 〈…〉 Lord of Guizes laide to Oleance: also of the 〈…〉 Admiralls iourney 〈◊〉 Normandie.

GRem hope had the Duke of Guize now *〈…〉 what a godly victorie hee had obtained, albeit 〈◊〉 cost him deere: as hauing taken the Generall of his ad∣uerse partie, and did remaine without companion, hauing the whole gouern∣ment in himselfe. Neither was he slack in publishing it abroade, as also he tooke good order to refresh his armie, whereto he saide himselfe constray∣ned. In the meane time all his imaginations tende to the prepa∣ring of all sortes of engins and prouision to assayle the towne of Orleance, giuing out that the denne whereinto Foxes retyred be∣ing once taken; they might afterward hunt them all ouer France. Neither had the Lord Admirall lesse neede to rest his people, who grieuing that they were beaten did many times finde cause of mu∣tenie. Wherefore he passed ouer the riuer of Loire, as well to re∣fresh them as to furnish them a new at the charges of diuerse the enemies small townes, but meanely defended, and a good quarter paie, where the souldiour had the rdle somewhat at will, to the end in parte to recouer his losses. This en•••ase of libertie encouraged Page  385 them a fresh & put them in better hope. Heereto hee condescended, partly by counsayle, and partly vpon necessite, so to auoide mutu∣ie, euen of the Reisters, whome the Catholikes did with greate promises vnder hand labour to retire: as also he feared the retrait of some of his French souldiours, who in aduersities were readie i∣nough to turne their coates.

After this he came and pitched at Iargeau, a towne standing vp∣pon * the riuer of Loire, hauing a bridge, to the ende so to haue a free passage ouer, and thence resolued to march into Normandie, there to receiue the money that was alreadie come out of England: for his Reisters threathed to take him prisoner. His cariages were left at Orleance, to the end to make the more speed, where his brother the Lord Andelot was left to gouerne. The Duke of Guize per∣ceiuing this departure, came & pitched his camp before the towne & his first attempt was to winne the suburbs at the foot of the bridge, commonly called Portereau, so to stop all saylies on that side. The Lord of Feuquiers had intrenched it, as meaning there to haue safe∣ly lodged the Germaines and French footmen that escaped from the battell of Dreux, vntill they had bene forced awaie, & it might haue bene kept foure or fiue dayes agaynst all handie blowes, so as there had come no ordinance. In the meane time while it was as∣saulted there felt such a hap that the towne had lyke to haue bene ta∣ken (so wonderfull are the euents of warre) but especiallie through the default of the Lancek nights. The Duke of Guize minded not that daie to force it, but rather to marke the countenaunce of those that were within: Howbeit as a warie Captaine he came furnish∣ed both with needle and threed as we saie, not onely to be prouided for euerie occasion, but also to frame occasions wherby to preuaile. Wherfore hee committed to the Lord of Cipiere an excellent Cap∣taine one thousand and two hundred French harquebuziers, two light Culuerines, and six Cornets of horse, and marched after him selfe with another small troope. At their comming (which was vp∣pon the Gascognes quarter) they found them abroade at the skir∣mish, and their trenches and barriers wel furnished: but while they held them plaie there, certaine straglers abrode certefied them that the Lanceknights quarter set no great countenaunce on the mat∣ter, wherevpon they sent foure or fiue hundred harquebuziers to∣gether with sme horse to〈…〉e that corner.

As the same instant the Lord of Cipiere discharged his artil∣lerie into the barriers of the French: The LaunceknightesPage  386 at the mouing and sounde thereof were astonied and giuing ouer their guard fled, at which time the Catholique souldiers entred the suburbs, & so came behind the French men who defended thēselues brauely: by this meanes went all to wracke, neither is it possible to imagine greater disorder then was there: for ye bridge being pestred with the stuffe that they were conueying into the towne, they that fled could not get by; Neither could they shut the turne pike gates, or lift vp the draw bridge, whervpon the most part fell to swimming ouer the riuer. Thus through yron, fire, and water aboue eight hun∣dred men were lost: But the feare that was brought into the towne was greater than the hurt, and it was openly sayde that the Iles which they had fortefied were wonne, yea, that they fought at the chiefe gate, which daunted euen the boldest. The Lorde of Ande∣lot (who was a knight without feare) seeing such a confusion and feare sayd: All that be Gentlemen followe mee: for wee must either driue backe the enimie or die for it. They can but one waie come to vs, and there but ten men in front: with one hundred of ours wee may beate a thousand of theirs. Be of good cheere and let vs goe. As hee went he behelde the feare, slight and disorder, hee heard a thousande lamentable cries, & had as many aduices giuen him: In the meane time without anie feare he passed the bridges and came to the turn pike verie glad that the enemie was no farther forwarde: but lyke∣wise it was time for him to come, for they were at the drawe bridge readie to enter amaine, which neuerthelesse was drawen, and the gate shut with shall losse. Now it is to bee noted that it was a long halfe houre from the enterprise against the suburbes and the com∣ming of the Lord of Andelot thether, all which time the gate stoode open and no man to keep it, which not withstanding the Catholikes entered not, whether it were that they staied to spoyle and kill, ey∣ther else that they wanted some valyant Captaine to guide & leade them. But vndoubtedly if in the beginning they had made a gene∣ral head agaynst the town, they had wonne it, so great was the feare and so small the remedies: At the least they had beene sure of the Iles, which had bene as much as to haue had the towne within fif∣teene dayes after. I haue since demanded of some good Captaines of the Catholikes how it chanced that they perceiued our astonish∣ment no sooner: But they told me that themselues were also ama∣zed to see that they had so sodainly conquered so much people. But that they thought that a certaine bruite raysed among them that we had purposely forsaken the turne pike, which was filled with Page  387 pouder wherewith when a great number of them had beene passed, to haue made them to leape, did state them. Thus did the Catho∣likes loose a braue occasion, and the Protestants escape as great a daunger. These extraordinarie euents ought to quicken vp the fore∣sight of the defendants, & to prouoke the assaylaunts to diligence, to the end the first put not off that which ought to be done this day vn∣till to morrow, and the other remember to accompanie their troops that giue the onset with such Captaines as can readilie perceiue, and speedely take aduauntage when it is offered. Of so good suc∣cesse did not onelie the Duke of Guize, but also his whole armie, which exceeded twentie thousand, conceiue great hope. Whereas contrariwise many of them that were within were shaken with as sh••ude an a••aint, and would gladlie haue beene content that the Lord Admirall could haue flowen backe vnto them: but by litle and litle the Lorde of Andelot cured the feeblenesse of such apprehensi∣ons with haughty and persuasiue speeches.

Long time was afterward spent in assaulting the turne pikes, * (which since were surprised through the negligence of some of those that were within, and in playing vppon the defences of the Iles. The Duke of Guize determined with twentie Canons to plae two daies vpon them and to giue a fierce assaulte, and in re∣spect of their weaknesse in my opinion, he would haue wonne them. But in the meane time there fell out a chaunce vnlooked for, no lesse straunge and rare than the former, which troubled the whole feast: which was the wounding of the saide Duke by a Gentleman named Poltrot, and his death within a few dayes after. This quai∣led their orages and hope of all the souldiours in his armie, to see themselues depriued of so notable a Generall. Insomuch that the Queene beeing wearie of so many miseries and notable slaugh∣ters, vndertooke the treatie of peace: and thence foorth was there nothing but patleyes on eyther side, vntill it was concluded where∣in the Lorde Prince of Condie and the Lorde Constable were the chiefe instrumentes and dealers. Nowe let vs speake of the 〈◊〉Admiralls expedition, who fearing the forcing of Orleancee solued wholie vppon diligence, as also in sixe dayes hee marched 〈◊〉〈…〉ie leagues with his power of horsemen, who consisted of two thousand Reisters, fiue hundred French horse, and one thou∣sande ••arqebuziers on horsebacke, as also they had onelie one thousande and two hundred horses, but no cart for their carria∣〈…〉

Page  388 In this sort we vsed such diligenee that sometimes we preuen∣ted the fame of our comming in diuerse places where wee ariued. The sayde Lorde Admirall beeing come to Cane, assaulted it with the helpe of certaine English men, whome the Earle of War∣wicke & Beauois la Nocle, who were in Newhauen, had sent him. The Castle being furiously beaten did yeelde vppon composition. Therein was the Marquez of Elboeuf, to whome wee vsed all cur∣tesie. Our Reisters also receiued their paie, which they liked better than the Normandie Cidre: and as wee prepared to returne to sucour Orleance, the Prince of Condie writ to the Admirall that the peace was concluded, which news conuerted his desire to fight into another desire, namely to visite his house. This was the end of the first ciuill warre, which had continued a whole yeere: A tearme that seemed rather long than short to the natural impatiencie of our nation, which in some places ouerflowed in cruelties more meee for barbarous people than Frenchmen: whereof the Protestants did indure the most part. And this peace did many good men like of a great deale the better, because it ended all these inhumanities.