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.
That the respite which his Maiestie gaue to the Prince of Con∣de, without sending any armie against him, was a meanes for him to preuaile of a great Prouince, without the sup∣port whereof he could not haue continued the warre.

THE Protestants whole refuge in these last * troubles cōsisted in retiring to Rochel, which hauing embraced the Gospell and reiected the doctrine of the Pope, rested alreadie at their deuotion. The towne is reasonable large and wel seated vpon the sea coast in a soyle aboun∣ding with victuals, full of rich Marchants and good artificers: which was very profitable for the preseruation of sundrie families, & the reaping of al commodities necessarie for the Souldiers and whole armie, both by sea & by land. Now, after the Lord of Andelots arriuall, the Captaines were aduised to lose no time: so as hauing taken some artillerie out of Rochell, they assay∣led the townes of Poictow and Xantoigne, which then were but weake and meanly prouided of garrisons, and so became maisters of as many as they might: as Nyort, Fontenay, S. Maixant, Saintes, S. Iohn d'Angely, Ponts, and Coignac. Afterward they tooke also Blay and Angolesme, some being wonne easely, others with batterie and assault. To bee briefe, in lesse then two moneths, of poore vagabonds, as at the first they were, they had gotten into their hands meanes sufficient to cōtinue a long warre. In all these places they lodged about thirtie companies of footmen, and seauen or eight cornets of horse, which was a great ease to the countrie, and so formed a braue politicke and militarie order as well for the Frenchmen as for the guiding of the armie. Herein do I consider how necessitie being followed by occasion the Protestants could helpe themselues with both. Being oppressed with the first, they layd open all inuentions of the minde and strength of bodie to es∣chue destruction. And when the second came in place they found Page  416 themselues readie to embrace it. I sometime heard the Lord Ad∣mirall applie the goodly saying of Themistocles to the state of the affayres of that time, viz. We were lost, if we had not bene lost: there∣by meaning that had we not fled, we could not haue recouered that good spring, which was farre better then the same that we had be∣fore. I knowe not how it fell out that the Catholikes did no soo∣ner knowe that they whome they had driuen from about them did settle themselues a farre of, and so send remedies there against, for vndoubtedly if they had it might haue cut off halfe our conquestes: but I thinke that at Paris they were so glad to see those Prouin∣ces and Townes which before had made them so sharpe warre a∣bandoned, that many of their harts were so puffed vp, that after∣ward they disdained the Protestants effects who thought Rochell only able to resist them, wherein in three moneths they might bee shut vp. These be the forecastes of man after some fauourable ac∣cident.

The Queene of Nauarre perceiuing these stirres, was very di∣ligent * to draw to those quarters, bringing with her her childrē and some good power, which serued as well to authorise the cause as to strengthen the armie. She feared least staying in her owne countries she should bee forced as well by the commotions of her subiects as by other power to let her sonne go to the Court, where vndoubtedly at the least in outward shewe he should be driuen to change his religion. In consideratiō wherof she made no difficulty, for the keeping of their consciences vnspotted, to leaue her countrie for a pray. A most rare example in this world wherein wealth and honor are in such accompt, that vnto many they be euen a domesti∣call God whom they serue. Now likewise, a maruellous encrease vnto the Protestants armie were the troopes which the Lord of Acier brought out of Daulphine, Prouence, and Languedoc. The Prince had before written as well to him, as to others the most notable in the sayd Prouinces to send him some good power to succour him and to withstand the armie Royall which came vp∣pon him, least so many Princes and excellent Captaines should encurre so great disaduantage as to see themselues besieged in the townes: Whereof so farre were they from fa••ing, that it seemed they had dispeopled the places; they came from: so many men did they bring: for they were not lesse then eighteene thousand bearing armes, who vnder the conduct of the Lord of Acier marched. But as the same was one way the 〈…〉ole support of the armie, so on the Page  417 other, it was the losse of sundrie places which the Catholikes af∣ter their departure seased vpon. And many times I haue heard di∣uers Colonels reporte their departure in such numbers as if they should haue gone to seeke newe habitations: for had the halfe onely come yet had they bene too many.

These could not neuerthelesse ioyne with the Prince of Condé* without a great inconuenience that befell them: for two of their re∣giments were ouerthrowne by the Duke of Montpensier: the cause arising (as I haue vnderstoode) of that the Lords of Mou∣uans and Pierregoord finding some discommoditie in lodging so close as vntill then they had bene forced, would needes scatter, wée∣ning that hauing two thousand harquebuziers no lesse then an ar∣mie could serue to offend them. The said Mouuans was as braue a souldier as any in the Realme, but his great valour & experience brought him to attempt that which turned to his destructiō: which is it also that many times bréedeth the losse of both Captaines and troopes: He tought valiantly, and both he and his fellow with two thousand of their men dyed in the fielde. The Catholikes haue re∣ported vnto me one course that they then tooke, which I like well of: That was, that fearing least the Lord of Acier, who lodged but two leagues of, should come to the rescue, they did at the same time that they charged vpō the said Mouuans quarter with their whole footmen, sende into the Lord of Aciers quarter eight or nine hun∣dred speares and many harquebuziers on horsebacke, with a great sound of Trumpets crying Battaile Battaile: which they did, to the ende to make him thinke that their drift was against himselfe. Thus did they linger him while they performed their enterprise, wherefro they caried seuenteene flagges. This losse grieued the Price and his partakers: howbeit, the comming in of so many o∣ther regiments did soone blot out his sorow. For the man of warre euen during his action against the enemie, endeuoureth to abolish the memorie of all sorowfull accidents, least the same should demi∣nish this first furie which being in him doth sometimes make him terrible.