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 good discipline which for the space of two mo∣neths onelie, was obserued among the Prince of Con∣dies troopes both of horsemen and footmen. Also of the originall of Picoree or prouling.

IN the beginning of this warre the Ge∣neralls * and Captaines had yet fresh in their remembrances the goodly marti∣all discipline obserued in the armies of King Frances, and his sonne Henrie, which sundrie Souldiours also had not forgotten, the memorie whereof did somewhat containe those that nowe tooke armes, in their dueties: howbeit the continuall exhortations of their Preachers, who admonished them to beware of oppressing the poore commons, together with the zeale of religion where with most of them were led, being then in strength were of greatest force in working this effecte. Page  366 Thereby were al men without constraint voluntarily brideled from committing those actions which often times horror of punishment is not able to restraine: but chiefely the nobilitie in this beginning shewed themselues worthie their name: for marching ouer the Champion Countries (where they haue without comparison grea∣ter libertie to spoyle, than in the Townes) they neyther spoyled nor misused theyr hostes, but were content with a little: & their heads and most of themselues that had brought anie wealth from home paide honestly for all things: Then should we not see anie running out of the villages, neither heare any cries or complaintes. To bee briefe, all was a well ordered disorder. If anie one in anie troope had committed any offence, he was imediatly banished, or deliuered into the executioners hands: yea, his owne companions durst not excuse the offender, so much did they detest mischiefe and oue ver∣tue. In the campe at Vassadoune also, neere Orleance, where the Prince of Conde soiourned a fortnight, the footmen made demon∣stration how they were touched with the same feeling: they were lodged in the fieldes, and consisted of sixe and thirtie Eusignes at the most.

Then did I marke foure or fiue notable accidents. First, among * all this great troope yee should neuer heare Gods name blasphea∣med: for if anie rather rather of custome than mallice chaunced to doe it, he was sharply reproued, which greatly repressed the rest. Secondly, there was not a paire of Dice or Cardes, the fountains of many braules and thefts, walking in any quarter. Thirdly, all women who neuer vse to haunt such places, but for dissolution, were banished. Fourthly, no man forsooke his Ensigne to goe on forra∣ging, but were content with such victualles as were distributed a∣mong them, or the small paie that they receiued. Lastly, euening & morning at the setting and raising of the watch, they vsed publike prayer, and the Psalmes sounded in the aire. In these actions might wee perceiue Godlynesse in those that are not much trou∣bled therewith in the warres: and albeit Iustice was seuerely exe∣cuted, yet did few feele the rigour thereof: for there were but fewe disorders. Truly many wondred to see them so well disposed, and my late brother the Lord of Telignie and my selfe discoursing ther∣of with the Lord Admirall, did greatly commend it, wherevpon he sayd vnto vs: It is in deede a goodly matter if it would continue: But I feare this people will powre foorth all their goodnesse at once, so as within these two moneths they will haue nothing but mallice left: I Page  367 haue a great while gouerned the footmen and doe knowe them. They willfulfill the prouerbe, A yong sainct an olde deuill. If this faile we may make a crosse vpon the chimney: wee smiled hereat, but tooke no farther eede thereof, vntill experience taught vs that herein he was a Prophet.

The first disorder happened at the taking of Boisgency which * the Prouincials wonne by two holes that they mined in the wall, where they practised more crueltie and spoyle against the Prote∣stants there dwelling that could not get foorth, then against the Catholicke Souldiers that held it against them: ye they euen forced some women. This example became a br••ge to the Gas∣coynes, who soone after shewed that in playing with their handes they would not be surmounted. But the Lord of Yoyes regiment consisting wholly of French men, did skirmish herein ••eter then the to former: as if there had bene any reward alotted to the worst doer. Thus did our footmen lose their virginitie, and of this vnlawfull coniunction ensued the procreation of Ladie Picoree, who is since growne into such dignitie that she is now 〈◊〉Madam: yea, if this ciuill warre continue I doubt she will become a Princesse. This peruerse custome immediatly crept in among the Nobilitie: whereof parte hauing tasted the first delicates here administred, would neuer after eate any other meate. Thus the perticuler mischiefe grewe generall, and still wone more and more into the whole bodie. Sundrie remedies did I see ministred, in * hope to restrayne the mallice of this humour, which albeit they somewhat profited, yet were they not strong enough altoge∣ther to expell it. Among others, the Lorde Admirall tooke paynes therein, who was a fit Phisition to cure this disease: for he would not be entreated, neither were the friuolous excuses of the guiltie, which he esteemed not of, able to breede their escape. In his iorney into Normandie he heard of a Captaine of the Ar∣goulets that had sacked a Uillage, whether he presently sent, but could catch no more but the Captaine with foure or fiue souldiers, who immediatly had their condemnation, and were trussed vp boo∣ted and spurred with their cassackes on their backes and their clout for an Ensigne, where also to the enriching of the monument, he caused to be layd at their féete their conquered spoyles, as womens apparell, sheetes, and table clothes, entermixed with hennes and gammns of bacon: which was a warning as it were written in great letters to all others of the same trade, to beware of the like Page  368 behauiour. Neuer did you see wiser men then the rest were for a moueth after: but then they returned to the practise of their good customes, which without seueritie will not be forgotten. As also in fauour of the Catholickes this I will say, that at the beginning they likewise were well ordered, & did not much anoy the cōmons, whose nobilitie did also shine among them: Howbeit, I cannot well tell how long they so contiuued: but I haue heard that they also did by and by spred their sayles and tooke the same course as the other. Thus albeit our disorders may somtimes procure sport, yet haue we greater cause to weepe when wee see so many of those that deale with armes, through their bad behauiours, deserue the name of theeues rather then souldiers.