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.
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That but for the forreine ayde that the Lorde of Andelot brought in, the Protestants affayres had bene but in bad case, and many mens mindes shrewdly daunted, as well through the taking of Bourges and Roan, as for the ouer∣throw of the Lord of Duras.

GReatly did it grieue the Prince of Con∣dé from time to time to heare of the * voyadge of the armie against Roan, for that he had no meane to succour so principal a towne whose apparant losse he plainly perceiued: for he tooke it to tende greatly to the empayring of his credite: neither could he doe any more then send worde oftentimes to the Lord of Andelot to hasten his returne, but especially to beware that the power which wayted for him did not surprise him. Howbeit, as all negotiations in Germanie are long, so much time did weare a∣way whereby the aduersarie had oportunitie to preuaile against him, namely by the taking of the sayd towne, which being coura∣giouslie assaulted was as obstinatly defended. The great Cap∣taines who before had taken such strong townes as Dauuilliers, Mariembourg, Callais & Thionuille did imagine that so weake a place, so greatly commaunded and hauing no fortification of any accompt, would quayle at the first noyse of the Canon: but by the resistance which the forte of S. Katherin, that defendeth the hill, did make, they found that they should haue somewhat to doe to driue all the Pigeons out of that Douecoate. Therein together with the Earle of Montgommerie were seauen or eight hundred Souldiers of the olde bandes, and two Ensignes of Englishmen vnder the gouernment of Maister Kiligree, who very well dis∣charged their dueties, notwithstanding the Artillerie that played in Courtine did greatly molest them: for vpon the day of the great assault, the defendants did thereby lose aboue foure hundred Soul∣diers, which was a great number. There was also a fierce assault Page  373 giuen without any order, but at the third it was wonne. I haue heard that the Duke of Guize commaunded their leaders that al∣beit they forced the Rampier, they should not neuerthelesse runne scattered here and there wheresoeuer the spoyle of so rich a towne might drawe them, but to march in sundrie troopes of two or three hundred men a peece straight to the Market place: which if they found abandoned then the Souldier to seeke his aduenture: for he doubted that those men who had fought so couragiously, would there yet worke their last spite, which neuerthelesse they did not, albeit it was a wise foresight. For it hath bene seene in other Townes, that when the assailants haue pierced euen to the Mar∣ket place, they haue bene driuen backe beyond the Rampier with great slaughter of those that were scattered abroad about pillage. It is also sayd, that the spoyle lasted but three daies, which is such an order as ought to bee taken with whatsoeuer townes a man list to preserue: namely, one day to gather the bootie, an other to transport it, and the third to compound. Howbeit, in these affayres the superiours doe lengthen or shorten the tearme as they please, or as they knowe that they may procure obedience: and this obe∣dience doth much sooner appeare in poore and small houlds, then in great and rich townes.

This was one of the principall acts of our first tragedies, and so much the more notable in that there was a King slayne, foure thousand men on both sides either slayne or wounded, and the se∣cond Citie in France for wealth, abandoned to the spoyle of the Souldier. This was heauy newes to the Prince of Condé, name∣ly, in respect of his brother, as also he was greatly grieued at the hanging of three persons famous in armes, Lawe and Deuinitie, viz. Decroze, Mandreuille and Marlorate: which reproach so prouoked the Protestants likewise, that they endeuoured to be re∣uenged vpon other prisoners whom they had taken, of whom one was a Counsailor in the Court of Parliament of Paris, and the o∣ther an Abbot. The King, sayd the Catholickes, may hang his rebellious subiects: wherto the Protestants replied, that his name shrowded other mens mallice: wherefore according to the prouerbe, they would make such bread such brewisse. Albeit in the meane time we ought to be sorie, yea euen ashamed of such rigorous reuenges: and much more shamefull is it for ye satisfying of perticuler wrath. to make an entrie to new crueltie. But ours were no ciuill warres, if they should not bring foorth such fruites.

Page  374 Shortly after the Prince of Condé heard of the ouerthrowe of * a small armie of Gascognes which the Lord of Duras was bring∣ing vnto him, conteyning at the least fiue thousand persons, defea∣ted by the Lord of Mouluc, which encreased his care, notwithstan∣ding in all these aduersities he quayled not either in courage or countenance. This mishap, as I haue heard, light vpon the Lord of Duras, through two especiall reasons. The one, that to the end to bring with his troopes two Canons he marched heauely: the other, that vpon the commoditie of this ordinance he stayed by the way to beate certaine Castles replenished with great booties. Thus had his enemies oportunitie to ouertake him, whose strēgth consisting in horse did by and by ouerthrowe him: for such as are to bring any succour must alwaies free themselues from comber∣some cariage, and crowne their expeditions with diligence.

During these affayres I remember I once heard the Lord Ad∣mirall,* talking of these matters, say vnto the Prince of Condé, That one mischiefe followeth an other: howbeit that he must yet expect the third aduenture, meaning his brothers passage, which would either lift them vp againe or quite cast them downe. As in deede if it had miscaried they looked to haue bene besieged, which so happening, they were very secretly resolued that one of them should haue gone into Germany to haue endeuoured there to haue yet raised some power, being of opinion that the Prince of Condé, in respect of the greatnesse of his familie, should bee the best able to perswade the Protestant Princes of Germany to assist him in a cause wherein themselues did partly participate. Howbeit, all the difficultie consisted in the conueying of him thether safely: where∣vpon some gentlemen there present did euidently declare that go∣ing from one of his partakers houses to another, and alwaies mar∣ching by night, and resting all day, he might easely passe with twentie horse and no more. But he was not put to that plonge: for within tenne or twelue daies after they had newes that the Lord of Andelot hauing passed the chiefest difficulties of his iorney, was come within thirtie leagues of Orleance: which was also supplied with a second comforte, viz. that the Earle of Rochefou∣ault accompanied with three hundred gentlemen, and the remain∣der of the Lord of Duras armie would very shortly ioyne with him. Wherevpon the Prince of Condé sayd: Our enemies haue gi∣uen vs two shrewde checkes in taking our rookes (meaning Ran and Bourges) but I hope that now we may catch their knights, if they take Page  375 the fielde. Neither is it to bee demaunded whether euery man re∣ioyced or was glad at Orleance: for commonly the Souldier the more oportunitie that he hath to hurt and molest his enemie that iniureth him, the gladder he is, such sway doe wrath beare among thē. And how should not their affections be sometimes alittle spot∣ted with blood, when many Clergie mens are so red with the dye of reuēge, in whose harts should nothing but charitie be harbored.