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 Prince of Condées purposes when he sawe his forreine succour approach, and how he came before Paris, from whence after he had there soiourned eleuen daies & done nothing, he departed toward Normandie.

IN as much as good counsailes are the foun∣taines * of good exploytes, and encrease of force the instruments to atteyne thereto, the Lords Prince of Condé and Admirall finding their succour to be at hand, deuised with themselues vpon the choyse of some good purpose: Final∣ly, with their most trustiest they resolued to march toward Paris, not meaning to force it (for they doubted that the enemies would immediatly thrust in their armie thereinto) but only to terrifie the Parisians whome they accompted the bellowes of the warres and kitchen that fedde the same, as imagining that they seeing their countrie houses forreyed and burnt and so many insolent Souldiers lodged euen within their towne, would either vrge the King and Queene to hearken vnto peace, or els so quarel with those that should be so enclosed within their walles, that they should euen force them into the field, where they might finde opor∣tunitie to fight with them, and so recouer that aduantage that they lost at the skirmish of Tally: and that in the meane time they would send into Normandie, to make readie the hundred and fiftie thou∣sand crownes which (as the voyce went) were borowed of certaine English Marchants, and vpon good pawnes: for therevpon did their only hope to wage the forreine armie wholly depend: as also because necessitie constrayned them to cause it to liue out of their

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Page  378 Thus did spite & shame resolue them to attempt a difficult mat∣ter, which before vpō ripe deliberation, whē it was more easie, they * accompted vnprofitable: and the like haue I seene happen many times, euen among many good men of warre. At night therefore order being giuen out, euery man armed himselfe and marched by by waies toward the side of the Suburbes of S. Germain, where they vnderstood that the trenches were small and the gard weake, which was true. Now the Lord of Guize had some inckeling of this enterprise, that it should be performed at midnight: whervpon he kept all his horsemen and footmen in armes al the night long in the trenches euery one in his quarter appoynted: But when the clocke had stroke foure in the morning and that they perceiued no noyse from our campe, they all sayd that it was but some false allarum, and that the Protestants harts would not serue to set vp∣pon them, also that it was to no purpose (considering the extreame colde) to freeze them vp a whole nights space vpon a simple suspi∣tion, peraduenture without any ground. To be briefe, one after an other they all returned each one to his lodging, so as there remay∣ned no more but ye ordinary guard. The Protestants in the meane time fetthing a great compasse for feare of descrying, lost them∣selues, so as they could not come néere the place that they should assayle before broad day: wherevpon perceiuing themselues disco∣uered and the alarum great, they retired: but had they come three quarters of an houre sooner, it was likely they might in that place haue forced the trenches. In this enterprise we may see how some mens impatiencie had like to haue put them to a great foyle, also how the small foresight of the others in the conduct of their men made them lose the occasion that they had vndertaken, and so re∣maine a scorne to their enemies. I haue heard that the Lordes of Guize and Constable did feare the forcing of those Suburbes ra∣ther for the shame then for the hurt, as affirming that the same would haue bene the destruction of the Protestants if they had ta∣ken them. For whiles they had bene dispersed about the spoyle, they made accompt to haue sent foorth at sundrie gaes and other places foure or fiue thousande Harquebuziers, and two thousande Corcelets to fall vpon thē, who surprizing them would haue slaine a great parte and put the rest to flight. We did so farre ouershoote our selues as three daies after to purpose the like againe, and I be∣leeue we should haue bene well beaten. But at the chaunge of our watch one of our chiefe Captaines retired to ye Catholicks, which Page  379 stayed the execution thereof. The first day he was much made of: The second they laughed him to scorne: and the third he repented that he had forsaken his friends. The Prince of Condé fearing least he should bewray the wants in his armie, departed the next morning, wherein he did wisely, for the Lord of Guize (whose Spanyards and Gascognes were now come) was determined with his whole power the next morning by breake of day to haue set vpon him if he had stayed but one day longer: And considering of the maner of his purposed proceeding (as I haue bene enfor∣med) I suppose he would haue brought vs into a bad case by rea∣son that wee were lodged too scatteringly being so neere to them: which is one bad custome engendred by these ciuill warres. The Prince thus departed, directed his course toward Normandie for the purposes afore mentioned, and within two daies after the Kings armie followed, still coasting of him vntill they came to the plaines of Dreux where both the armies met.