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 in nine moneths the Princes army marched almost three hundred leagues compassing in manner the whole Realme of France: also what successe they had in this voiage.

FOrce it was for the Lords, Princes, and Admirall after their ouerthrow to goe * farre enough from the victorious army, as well for their owne safeties as vpon sundrie other respects afore, as it were by the way, mencioned, which counsaile redounded to their profite through the follie of the Catholikes, who suffered this small snowball without let to roule so long, that in short time it grew as great as a house: for the autho∣ritie of the Princes stirred vp & gathered many: the L. Admiralls foresight and inuention compassed profitable things, & the bodie of the Reisters which amounted to 3000. gaue credite to the armie. Page  450 they endured much vntill they came into Gascogne where they strengthened themselues with shot, wherof they stod in great need, especially for the warranting of their horsemen from surprises by night which in those quarters through the neighbourhoode of both townes and castles are verie cōmon. They dispearsed them among the cornets of Reisters & other French troopes, so as as wel in the open as close Countrie they were still readie to defend themselues. He that giueth a notable Captaine respite to bring forth that which his imagination hath conceiued, he doth not onelie heale vp his old woundes, but also ministreth strength to his languishing members, & therefore he should rather endeauour still to diuert & combet him, so to break the course of his purposes: The longest aboad yt this half army made in anie place was about the quarters of Agen & Mon∣tauban, where it spent almost al the winter, & through the good en∣tertainment that it there had, it was restored as it were with new mens bodies. Heereto ought all such as haue anie militarie offices to haue regard, and not to do as the couetous labourers, who gran∣ting no release to their lands doe make them barren: for when for the increase of their owne glorie they doe euen tier their souldiours for lacke of refreshing, they doe vtterlie ouerthrowe them. Also if the North winde together with the moisture of the Moone, doe e∣uen weare the stones, how much sooner will the delicate bodie of a man bee worne out with such labours & rigorous toyles▪ Where∣fore the best rule is infayre weather to emploie themselues well, and in foule to take some rest, except extreame necessitie constray∣neth to the contrarie. In this voiage they verie well followed the rule of Hanniball in Italie, which was to giue the enemies Countrie to be a praie to their owne men, so often as occasion re∣quired that they should bee contented: for who so list to aduenture wanted no commodities: such plentie raigned in those Prouinces.

The first power that ioyned with the Princes was the Countie of Montgomeries, who returned victorious out of Bearne, which * truly was a braue exploit and is at large set downe in the histories: for through his diligence he preuented the power of the L. of erid who besieged Nauarrins which alreadie was tired with his long abode therabout, neither is it to be demanded whether he was wel welcommed at his comming. About the ende of Winter they marched toward Tholouze, where began a kinde of most violent warre in respecte of the fires permitted, howbeit onely against the houses of those that belonged to the Court of Parliament. The Page  451 cause heereof was sayd to be for that they had euermore bene most sharpe in burning the Lutherans and Huguenotes, as also for the beheading Captain of Rapin a gentlemā Protestant who brought them from the king the edice of peace. They found this reuenge to be verie hard, howbeit it was sayd that it might bee a warning for them to be more moderate afterward, as in deed they haue so shew∣ed themselues. This companie is one of the most notable in the realme, & many learned men therein, albeit they might haue vsed more clemencie. The L. Marshall d. Anuil was then in the sayde towne with a good power, & was bitten by slanderers who repor∣ted that he had intelligence with his coosen the L. Admirall, & yet throughout all that voiage no man warred so sore vpon the Prin∣ces armie as he, for he ouerthrew foure or fiue companies of their horse. This report was vndoubtedly false, and that I well knowe, notwithstanding whatsoeuer may since haue fallen out. The army * went on euen into the County of Roussillon, where albeit it belon∣ged to the Spaniard it vsed some some sacking. Thence it marched along Languedocke, and comming neere to Rhosne Countie Lo∣dowicke went ouer with part of the armie to assaile some holdes: But the chiefe intent of these Captaines tended to get some foot∣men out of Daulphine to the increase of their bodie, as also they thought to haue done out of Gascogne & Languedock, which de∣sire could not be brought to anie good effect: for when the souldiers vnderstood that it was to march toward Paris and into the heart of France, withall that they considered the miseries which thēselues▪ & their companions that had bidden by it had indured the last winter, euerie man fled from it as from a deadly downfall, desiring rather without cōparison to stay & folow the war in their own countries, neuerthelesse they gathered together aboue 3000. shot determined to passe any whether: which were distributed among the regimēts, but they were al on horsback. Necessity forced thē so to do in respect of the tediousnesse of their iourney & sharpnesse of the winter: & al∣beit it sometimes bred pesturing, yet came there profit of it, in yt as occasion fell out their footmen were alwaies Iustie & fresh, neither was there much sicknesse among them in respect yt they were euer wel lodged & entertained. The L. Admirall a man of great experi∣ence in such affaires well perceiued, albeit there were some treatie of peace, that yet it was harde to purchase any good vnlesse they did approch to Paris, and therewithall knowing that beyonde the riuer of Loire, hee shoulde finde greate fauour and helpe, Page  452 did hasten the voiage: but the difficultie of passing the mountains of Sauenes and Viuarets were some stay, but more his sicknes that tooke him at S. Steuens in Forest, & was like to haue caried him awaie: which if it had fallen out, peraduenture there woulde haue ensued change of counsayle: for hauing lost the henge where vpon the whole gate was turned, they could hardly haue found such ano∣ther. True it is that Countie Lodouicke was a braue Captaine and well thought of among the French, howbeit hee was not yet come to the authoritie & experience of the other, neither dare I af∣firme, if he had died, whether they woulde haue proceeded in theyr carrier or not. In the end God sent him health to the great conten∣tation of all men: after the which the armie marched so swiftly that it ariued at Rhene le Duc in Burgundie. There had lyke to haue ben giuen a terrible sentence for the peace, which neuertheles was but good for the setting of it forward.

The L. of Marshall of Cosse gouernor of the kings armie was * expresly charged to keepe the Princes army from comming nere to Paris, yea to fight if he see the game fayre, wherevpon he coasted it in full deliberation so to doe: Finding it placed in a reasonable strong seat, he thought with his artillerie, which the other wanted, to take awaie the aduantages thereof, also by skirmishes of shotte to make them forsake certaine passages that they had. Onelie one ditch did they at the first abandon, where happened great charges & recharges of the horsmen, wherin either part when their turn came were pursued. The Captaines which on the Catholiks part gaue the first onsette, where the Lordes of La Vallette, Strossie, and Chastre who bare themselues wel, & on the Protestants side those that bare the first brunt were the Lord of Bricquemaud Marshall of the fielde, the Countie Montgommerie and Genlis: and in this action did the Princes (albeit as yet verie young) in theyr countenaunces, shew theyr desires to fight, wherby it was thought that in time they would proue most excellent Captaines. In the end the Catholikes seeing how hard it was to force their enemies, withdrew to their lodginges, as also did the Princes who hauing considered that their staie might be hurtfull, as also that they wan∣ted pouder, marched by great ionrneis vnto La Charitee and other * townes their partakers there to furnish themselues anewe with all commodities necessarie.

Shortlie after there was a truce taken betweene both armies, which grew to a peace, wherevpon euerie man laid downe his wea∣pons. Page  453 It had bene verie noisome lieng so long in the field, in heate, in colde, in bad wayes, and almost alwayes in the enemies lande, where the verie peasant made them as sharp warre as the souldier, which inconueniences many times troubled that great Captaine Hannibal when he was in Italie. It is therefore a braue schoole point to marke how men can fit their counsayles to necessitie: such labours are in the beginning so odious, that they make the sculdi∣ours to murmure against their owne Captaines: but being a litle accustomed & hardned in these painful exercises, they begin to grow into a good opinion of themselues; when they see that they haue as it were ouercome yt which terrefieth so many, & chieflie the delicate. These be the braue galleryes & beautifull walks of the souldiours, & then their bed of honour is the graue wherinto a harquebuze shot may haue ouerthrowen them. But in truth all this is worthie re∣ward & commendation, namely when they that tread these pathes, and endure these labours, doe maintaine an honest cause, and in their proceedings shew themselues replenished with valor and mo∣nestie. *

Now if anie man in this woful warre laboured sore both in bodie & minde, we may saie that it was the Admirall: for the waightiest part of the burthen of the affaires and military labours did he with great constancie and facilitie beare, as also hee bare him selfe as re∣uerentlie among the Princes his superiours, as modestie with his inferiours. Godlinesse he alwayes helde in great estimation, and bare greate loue to iustice, which made him to be esteemed & hono∣red of all that part which he had taken: he neuer ambiciously sought offices or honors, but in eschuing them was in respect of his suffici∣encie and honestie forced to take them. When hee dealt with wea∣pons he shewed himselfe as skilful in them as anie Captaine of his time, and alwayes couragiouslie hazarded himselfe to all daungers. In aduersities he was noted to be endued with magnanimitie and inuention to get out, and shewed himselfe alwayes free from glo∣sing and dissimulation. In summe, he was a man worthie to restore any weake and corrupt estate. Thus much I thought good by the waie to saie of him, as hauing knowen and kept his companie, yea, and profited in his schoole, and so should doe him iniurie if I should not make true and honest mention of him.