CERTAINE OBSERVA∣TIONS OF DIVERS THINGS HAP∣pened in the three first troubles of France. Together with the true reporte of the most parte of the same.
The 26. Discourse.
The first Troubles.
That the Protestants, but for the late accident at Vassie, had bene preuented in the beginning of the first Ciuill warre.
FRance, notwithstanding the agreeing vpon and concluding of the Edict of Ia∣nuary* in the presence of the King, by the aduice of a very notable assembly of the wisest politicks of the Realme, who thereby entended to prouide some reme∣die against the diuers and vniuersall cō∣motions thereof, and to conforme it to the cōmon lawes, was not yet brought into tranquilitie: as well by reason the Protestants were so earnest to establish and confirme themselues in that libertie which they had obteyned, as also through the generall feare of the Catholickes, who could not endure such a noueltie. Some of the Princes and Lordes that held this parte being greatly agrieued at the sight of such encrease, did make a secret League to suppresse it. And whiles some of them were on their way to Paris, where they purposed to ioyne to their generall bodie fell out the disorder at Va•si•, where many being at the sermon were murdered, which deede being by other Historiographers alreadie described, I will meddle no far∣ther with. For my entent is only to note not so much ye grief that it bred to the Protestants, as the instruction, which they tooke toge∣ther with the fruite that vnto them did redound thereof. The Lord Page 347Prince of Condé was at Paris about the establishing of the pub∣licke exercise according to the Kings Edict, when this newes was brought him: which made him to growe into consultation with the wise•t Lordes and Gentlemen of his companie, who iudged this small storme to bee an assured forewarning of a greater, and there∣fore wished to looke farther then to things present. Immediatly he gaue notice to some of the chiefest in the Court of that that had happened, who therof tooke an alarum and counsailed him to seeke some preseruatiues and remedies for himselfe and the estate. He also warned all the French Churches to looke to themselues: of whom the most parte imagining to haue alreadie obteyned some assured rest, were more ententiue to the building of Churches, then to thinke vppon Militarie prouision for their owne defence. This bruite did wonderfully waken the gentlemen Protestants abroade in the Prouinces, and made them readie to prouide horse and armour, waiting what would bée done at the Court and how Paris would take it.
Shortly after there ariued the Lord of Guize, the Constable,* and the Marshall of S. Andrews, also the King of Nauarre whom they had drawne to their League, who forced the Prince of Cou∣dé to retire into the towne of Meaux with a good traine of No∣bilitie and Gentrie. Being come thether, with all speede he sent word to the Lord of Andelot and the Admirall, that not want of courage but of strength had driuen him to forsake Paris, wishing them with all diligence to march toward him. For Casar had not only passed Rubicon, but was euen seased of Rome, and his flagges be∣gan to waue abroade in the fieldes. Which presently they did with all their friends and furniture, howbeit not yet manifesting their armes as the League had done. There staied they fiue or sixe daies as well to deliberate of their affayres, as because of administring the supper, which was to be celebrated at Easter. The Lord Ad∣mirall, no nouice in matters of estate, foreseeing that the game waxed warme, shewed that it was requisite either in all diligence to strengthen themselues with men, either els to take them to their heeles: yea that he was afrayed they had alreadie stayed very long. But whiles they stoode vpon those poynts, many gentlemen came in from all parts vnlooked and vnsent for: so as in foure daies they were abont fiue hundred. This refeshing caused them to resolue vpon their departure, and that for two purposes. The one to trye whether they might winne the Court, and so enstall themselues a∣bout Page 348 the King and Queene, or, not able so to doe, to s••se vpon Orleans, there to forme a maine head, if they chaunced to bee dri∣uen to come to handie blowes. Hauing therefore in sixe daies ga∣thered a greater troope then they looked to haue gotten in a whole moneth, they tooke their way toward S. Claud, where their troope was refreshed with three hundred good horse, where also they were aduertised that the Lord of Guize and his assotiates had seased of the Court, which diligence falling out well for them, brake the Prince of Condees first purpose, who ment to haue done the same and so to haue authorised his doings vnder the Kings fauour for the preseruation of himselfe and the rest of the Protestants. From S. Claud they marched toward Chastres and Angeruile, and by the way met fiue or sixe troopes of gentrie. This bred some asto∣nishment to the contrary parte, when they began to consider the sudden encrease of our bodie, which consisted not of lesse then a thousand gentlemen, who made 1500. good horse better armed with courage then Corcelets. Then drew they toward Orleance, which was taken in such maner as the Historiographers doe set it doune. This we must note, that if the Prince of Condé had at that time had but a small power, he had bene oppressed or besieged: but when they perceiued him to bee so mightie as to keepe the fielde in subiection, also that he spake as boldly to his aduersaries as coldly to his King, they were not very earnest vpon him, whereby he had oportunitie to preuaile in sundrie attempts. This profite did he reape of being strong in the beginning.
Some men haue imagined either that these things were long * before premeditated, or els to haue so happely fallen out through the dillgence of the Captaines: But I, as one that was present and made curious search into the causes, dare affirme the contrary. True it is that most of the Nobilitie, hearing of the slaughter at Vassie, partly of a voluntarie good will, and partly for feare, de∣termined to drawe toward Paris, imagining (as it were at aduen∣ture) that their protectors might stand in some néed of them. Thus did the most renowmed depart out of their countries with some tenne, some twentie or thirtie of their friends, secretly armed, and lodging in Hosteries or Uillages, where they payd truely for eue∣rie thing, vntill they met both with the bodie and cause together. Many of them haue assured me that this only reason moued them: and I haue heard my Lords the Prince and Admirall many times confesse, that had not this benefit happened, they had bene in daun∣ger Page 349 to haue taken a bad course.
Hereby it appeareth what fruite is sometimes gotten of hurt∣full things, which at the first blush appearing ruinous, doe neuer∣thelesse * after the euent giue vs to weere that they bree our good in∣structions. Men may also learne, yea euen the best Captaines, not to attribute too much to their owne wisedome in the conduct of af∣faires either publique or priuate: For ableit it be a most necessarie instruction, yet sometimes it is as it were vayled, so as among ma∣ny waies and proceedings they can hardly tell which is the best to leane vnto in such vnlooked for stormes and troubles. And this fal∣leth out to the ende to humble them, and to make them from else where to seeke the cause of good successe. Silla, with whom no man now liuing dare compare for militarie knowledge, gaue out that himselfe through the benefite of fortune had bene saued and exal∣ted. And yet are there some at this day that will say that the for∣tune of the auncient heathen (which was vayne) and the order that God taketh in the conduct of inferiour matters (which is assured) are but cloakes where-vnder men doe shroude their ignorance: al∣so that man himselfe, according as he guideth his doings either well or ill, breedeth his owne mishap or felicitie, albeit sundrie ex∣periences be therto repugnant. They ought therfore to purge their mindes of such opinions, and to perswade them selues that notwithstanding man imagineth and purposeth, yet is it God that giueth accom∣plishment to his enterprises.
Whether the Lord Prince of Condé in the first troubles com∣mitted so great an ouersight as many haue giuen out, in that he seased not vpon the Court or Paris.
I Wil not denie but many skilful persons were * and peraduenture still bee of that opinion, as also my selfe was a while: But after I had throughly wayed and considered what happe∣ned at the beginning of this tragedie, as also what fell out afterward, I was reclaymed to the knowledge of those truer matters which shall appeare in the progresse of my speech. The Lord Prince of Condé seeing how his brother the King of Nauarre was by little and little slipt into a delicious kinde of life, and had suffered himselfe so much to be abused by the vayne and ritch promises and apparant honors of those that skorned him, that he was growne so farre as to giue ouer his partie, whereof ensued a wonderfull quailing to many which both openly and secretly seemed to fauour him, and as great an encouragement to the leagued to withstand him: did not thinke it good to leane to so rotten a foūdation, but ra∣ther to lay a better els where. In as much also as the Court and Paris are the two great lights of France, the one resembling the Sunne, the other the Moone (yet both subiect to ecclipse) he imagi∣ned that hauing some light from the one, he ought to seeke for the light of the other: and therefore endeuoured to plant the preaching of the Gospell in Paris: to the ende the same knowledge which be∣fore was hidden, and lay as it were buryed among the innumera∣ble multitude of people, might bring forth aboundance of fruite, as soone after did it appeare: for sometimes ye might see at the assem∣blies thirtie thousand persons. These goodly beginnings caused those of the Religion to seeke meanes to establish it, wherein ne∣uerthelesse they shewed themselues somewhat negligent. But when the effects of the League brake forth, they euidently percei∣ued that it was meet to do that which through ouer much forflow∣ing, was not now easely to be done: whereabout neuerthelesse they somewhat employed themselues, albeit with very small hope.
Page 351 Hauing more narowlie examined this matter, I finde that as the execution of this purpose to anie profite was in the beginning nothing easie: so in the end it was most difficult. I will first there∣fore spake of Paris, and shewe the lettes therein to be found. Eue∣rie man knoweth it to bee the seate of Iustice, which is of meruay∣lous authoritie, and as the fauour thereof woulde haue stoode the Protestants in great steade, so would the mislyke haue bredde won∣derfull damage. Nowe all the Senate with their whole trayne, except a verie fewe, did alwayes shewe themselues their capitall e∣nimies
The Cleargie of that Citie beeing most mightie and in greate reuerence, were euen madde to see those thinges common which touched them so neere the quicke, and vnder hande wrought a thou, sand practises there agaynst. The bodie of the Townehouse fea∣ring alterations, which they imagined to proceede of diuersitie of religion, endeauoured to bannish and driue it awaie. To the same ende tended the most parte of the Uniuersitie, and in manner all the inferiour and common people, with the fauourers and ser∣uauntes of the Catholike Lordes and Gentlemen. Neyther doe I yet speake of such as might happen to haue recourse to the Citie out of other places, but onelie of those that were then pre∣sent. As for the assured strength that the Protestants made ac∣count of, it consisted of three hundred Gentlemen, and as manie trayned souldiours, foure hundred schollers, and a fewe voluntarie Burgeses of no experience. And what else was all this agaynst in manner an infinite number of people, but a small flie agaynst an Elephant? I thinke that onelie the nouices of the couentes, toge∣ther with the Priestes wenches, comming sodainelie vppon them with fagot stickes in theyr handes, had beene able to haue with∣stoode them: and yet notwithstanding theyr weaknesse, they sette a good face vppon the matter vntill that the open force of the leagued Princes and Lordes did constrayne them to giue e∣uer.
But had they buckeled in the Towne (as considering the secret driftes of theyr enemses, they shoulde soone haue beene forced) coulde the Protestants haue beene able to fight three dayes, as they did at Tholouze? Truelie no, nor three houres as I thinke: neyther had there beene anie waie to maintaine them, but the pre∣sence of the King to fauour his Edict. Some will saie that the Prince of Condie abandoning Paris, committed the lyke errour Page 356 as Pompey: But if they marke it well, they shall finde that Pom∣peyes ouersight was without comparison greater than his: For hee had all Rome at his becke, where the Prince had scarce a hand∣full at Paris.
Before wee applie those auncient examples to the deedes of these dayes, wee must consider of the lykelyhoode betweene them. All the aforesayde difficulties doe perswade mee that the endeauou∣ring to establishe the exercise of religion at Paris, was a haughtie and valiant attempt▪ but without the helpe aforesayde to confirme it, it was vnpossible, as that which hath since fallen out, hath well declared.
Nowe let vs looke into the disposition of the Court. It is wel * inough knowen that at the conference at Poyssy the doctrine of the Gospell was propounded withall libertie, wherevpon many both greate and smal began to haue a tast thereof: But as a fire of straw maketh a greate blaze, and is by and by out againe for want of sub∣staunce: so after that that which they had receiued as a noueltie was a lyttle growen olde in their heartes, theyr affections thereto quayled, and most of them retourned to the former course of the Court, which is more fit to procure mirth and pastime and to breed wealth: yea, euen some Huguenots turnd theyr coates and follow∣ed this path.
The Court wee are in generall to take for the true i∣mage of the Prince: for as hee is, so is his traine. If hee bee wise, so will it bee: but if hee delyght in follie, it will also imitate him. And in case a householder through vse shapeth the manners of his children and familie by the patterne of his owne, what shall a King doe, in whome it lyeth to raise and cast downe? Heerevp∣pon the Courtiers seeing the King, his Brethren and Mother more inclined to Romish religion, also the King of Nauarre re∣uolted, conformed themselues to them, which redounded to the greate disgrace of the Prince of Condie, and those whome hee maintained.
Besides that, if hee had come first, hee coulde not haue soiour∣ned there long without incurring much hatred: for if to a Court you propounde reformation, take awaie vaine pleasures, and en∣tangle it in businesse, it will hate you euen vnto the death. Fi∣nallie, hauing manie enemies therein and more abroade, hee coulde not but haue verie small assuraunce. This maketh mee to thinke that the fouudation of the Court was not of anie more Page 357 certayntie than that of Paris. Howbeeit hee attempted another deuise, (but it was not put in execution) in my opinion of more apparaunce: which was his moouing of the Queene mother, to goe and carrie the King to Orleance: and some writers doe saie that it was motioned to her when shee feared the motions of the league, also that shee hearkened thereto: but all vanished a∣waie in smoake: neuerthelesse I suppose that if the effect heere∣of had ensued, all theyr weapons had beene sheathed vp a∣gayne.
For had the Court beene in place where it coulde not haue beene surprised, in respect of such force as might haue ben brought, and where it shoulde not haue beene forced, for no man durst haue discharged the Canon agaynst the walles that enuironed the King, they might haue parleyed and dealte on horsebacke vn∣till the affayres had beene somewhat reestablished according vn∣to the Edict of pacification: not withstanding euen to imagine that this remedie coulde haue vtterly extinguished the warres, I dare not presume: onelie it had sufficed if it had but delayed them for a while.
Of three things which I noted that happened before the armies tooke the fielde. The one pleasaunt, the other arteficiall, and the thirde lamen∣table.
THE Writers of greate Histories, who are to * represent more matters than there bee leaues vp∣pon a spread Oake, cannot alwayes expresse and Page 354 note euerie the perticulars that accompanie them: for if they shoulde binde themselues thereto, for euerie volume that they publish, they shoulde bee forced to sette out foure, and therefore it is enough for them to declare whatsoeuer is most notable. Where∣fore my selfe, if in reading things past I meete with ought eyther much or little, wherevppon a man to the ende to bring it into taste or reape anie profite, might dilate, doe somewhat delight so to doe, especiallie in those thinges whereof I haue beene an eie witnesse, which also may peraduenture somewhat serue to the vnderstan∣ding of the storie, which is the rich storehouse, whereto they that co∣uet goodly ornamentes ought to haue recourse: for that which I heere sette downe is but a Pedlers packe, conteyning wares of meane price, albeit vnlesse I bee deceiued, not falsefied or coun∣terfait.
The first matter that I meane to shew, is in what sort the Prince * of Conde and his troope ariued at Orleance. The daie before hee came hee sent the Lorde of Andelot to take the Towne, who comming vnknowen, perceiued there woulde bee some lette▪ wherevppon hee sent worde to the sayde Lorde to make speede to assist him, for hee was lykelie to haue some bickering. Nowe the whole companie beeing loth to loose so good a morcell desi∣red not to trot, but euen to galloppe, which was no sooner sayde but it was done. For sixe leagues off beganne the course: The Prince hauing with him as well in maisters as seruauntes aboute two thousande horse, taking the greate galloppe, the whole bodie did the lyke, and so continued euen to the verie gates.
Innumerable were the people that they mette by the waie going to Paris, who beholding the mysterie of this course, and withall, that none asked them anie question, did for the most part at the first thinke that all the fooles in Fraunce had beene there assembled, or else that it had beene for some wager: for as yet there was not anie noise of warre: Howbeit thinking better there∣of, and considering both the number and nobilitie, they grewe in∣to greate admiration, yet so as they coulde not but laughe at so for∣cible a motion, which did not beare downe the trees as the windes of Languedocke, but seemed rather to beare downe it selfe: for ordinarilie by the waie they might behold seruants cast downe, horses shouldered and tyred, and sumpters ouerthrowen, which bred continuall sporte euen in those which did runne.
Page 355 But they that the same daie were thrust forth of the towne did Ca∣tholikly bewaile, their dispossession from the staple of the pleasan∣test wines in France.
Concerning the second point, the matter is of more grauitie, as consisting in both generall and priuate accusations, defences, rea∣sons, * and other pollicies to perswade: which were the weapons wherewith so many great Captaines for the space of two moneths fought together, as also to comfort and hearten their confederates and partakers. For in these so new and extraordinarie alterations of estate, it was verie requisite to abolish all bad opinions out of the minds of those that knew not the drifts of the enterprisers: and as the assault was great, so was the defence forcible, as may appeare by reading the actions as well of the one part as of the other, which are inserted into the Annales. Some there are that weene if their cause be good, that it will so shew it selfe to all men, and therefore will not publish the truth thereof: wherein they ouershoote them∣selues. For albeit iust and true matters doe in time shew forth their light, yet is it in sundrie occurrences meete to anticipate them, and that men should betimes knowe that that will at length appeare, though not with so much fruit. Also as weedes doe many times for want of pulling vp, choke the good hearbes: so if the slanders which the aduersaries doe ordinarily obiect agaynst such things as bee good, be not refelled, they would no doubt many times thereby bee suppressed, besides that we are the more supported when (in whatso∣euer case) we haue proued that we walke vpright and labour with an euen hand.
To be briefe, in this world men are so slothful in publike duties, that without continuall calling vppon, they remaine immoueable. But they that haue but a bad cause in hand, haue more need of arte∣ficiall speeches to cloake that which being reauealed will bring it out of fauour: neither do I thinke them to be tongue tied, whereby we may perceiue that eloquence resembleth a two edged knife: but whatsoeuer men saie, it is a hard matter to disguise falsehood or ble∣mish the truth.
The third point consisteth in the parley néere to Toury in Beausse,* betweene the Queene Mother, the king of Nauare, & the Prince of Condie, to deuise vpon some meanes to appease the controuer∣sies fallen out. Many did imagine that the presence and conference of the greatest woulde bee of more efficacie than the sundrie em∣bassages from part to part: and albeit euteruiewes be sometimes Page 356 dangerous, yet was it concluded, the rather at the Queenes in∣stance, with the limitations ensuing: That on each side they shoulde bring one hundred Gentlemen with armour and speare: That no troops shuld come within two leagues of the place appointed: That thir∣tie light horse on each part should sixe houres before their meeting dis∣couer the fielde, which was as playne as the sea: That at the appoin∣ted houre the Queene and King of Nauarre should bee on horse backe in the place appointed, where the Prince and Admirall lykewise on horsebacke shoulde mee•e them to intreate together of the publyke af∣fayres.
In the meane time the two troopes consisting of choice men; and for the most parte Lordes to houer eight hundred pates asun∣der: the Marshall de Anuil commaunding ouer the one, and the Earle of Rochefoucault ouer the other. Hauing thus beheld ey∣ther other for the space of halfe an houre, each coueting to see one his brother, another his vnkle, cousen, friende, or olde companion, they •raued leaue of theyr superiours, which was hardlie graunted, in respect that at the first they were forbidden to meete for feare of iniuryes and affrayes. But so farre were they from quarelling, that contrariwise there was nothing but salutations and embra∣cings of such as could not forbeare ye demonstration of amitie vnto those whome parentage or honestie had vnited vnto them: not∣withstanding the contrarie tokens that they bare. For the King of Nauarres troope was clothed in cassockes of crimson veluet and redde scarfes, and the Prince of Condes in white. The Catho∣likes imagining the Protestants to bee lost, exhorted them to see to themselues, & not to enter obstinatlie into this miserable warre, wherein neere kinsmen must murther one another: heereto they aunswered, that they detested it, howbeit if they had not recourse to theyr defence, they were assured of lyke intreatie as many other Protestants had receiued, who were cruellie slaine in sundrie parts of France.
To be briefe, each prouoked other to peace, and to persuade their superiours to hearken thereto. Some who a parte did more deep∣lie consider of these things, bewayled publike discord as the spring of future mischiefes: Then waighing with themselues that all these greetings would bee conuerted into bloudie murthers, vppon the least token of battayle that the superiours shoulde giue: that the •iseardes being shut and readie, furie hauing •ayled their sight, one brother woulde scarce pardon another, the water euen stoode Page 357 in their eyes. My selfe was then among the Protestants, and I may truelie saie that on the other side there were a douzen of my friendes: whome I accounted as deere as my owne brethren, who also bare mee the lyke affection: In the meane time as well con∣science as honour bounde each one not to fayle in the one or the o∣ther. Priuate amitie did as thē liue, but since these great calamities had course, and conuersation discontinued, it is euen dead in many. The Queene and Prince of Conde hauing conferred two long houres together, when they coulde growe to no agreement, depar∣ted, each verie sorie that they had no better succesie.
Of the Prince of Condies promise somewhat rashlie made to the Queene mother that hee would depart the Realme of France, and why it was not perfor∣med.
AFter the ariuall of a great number of the ordi∣narie * bandes and parte of the olde infanterie at Paris, the King of Nauarre, the Constable and the Duke of Guize, who contemned the Protestants as rebelles, thought themselues strong inough to make them afrayde, and in battayle araie marched towarde Chasteau∣dun. The Prince vnderstanding heereof craued the aduice of such Captaines as accompanied him, what were to bee done: who all with one consent declared, that sith they had hetherto as well in deedes as wordes set so good a face on the matter, if nowe they shoulde at the beginning of the warre suffer themselues to bee shutte vp and besieged in a Towne, it would bee some testimonie of cowardlynesse, and greatly disgrace the Protestants affayres Page 358 as well with foraine nations as with such of the Frenchmen as tooke: heir partes: withall considering that their power alreadie grew well toward sixe thousand footmen and two thousand horse, also that by the report of the spies the enimies were not yet aboue foure thousand footmen and three thousand speares: to whom not∣withstanding they were not so well armed, they were no whit infe∣riour in courage: that nothing ought therefore to let them from taking the field with all speed, and fighting with the enimie, if oc∣casion might so serue: for they could neuer haue them at a better ad∣uantage, considering how theyr power would from time to time in∣crease.
Upon this resolution ehey encamped a league and a halfe from *Orleance, whether the Queene sent new Embassadours to enter parley: for both sides did greatly feare the vniuersall desolations ensuing of warre, if once it were begun. At the two first meetings they argued sufficiently, though to small resolution: onely it was a∣greed, that the Catholike and leagued Lordes and Princes should depart each to his owne home, and then would the Prince of Con∣die obey whatsoeuer the king should command for the wealth of the Realme. Soone after they marched to Chasteaudun and no far∣ther, which the Protestants presumed to bee but a dissimulation. Some will saie, that in the sayd parlies the Prince of Conde ha∣zarded himselfe into ouer great peril: but he was still stronger than the enimie, and his men too warie to be deceiued, albeit in one point they ouershoot thēselues vpon simplicitie: which was in deliuering to ye king of Nauarre when he came to ye parley the towne of Bois∣gencie (which was nothing worth) for his fafety, but was neuer re∣stored them again: this did greatly chafe them, as perceiuing that thence forth they must talke with the bridle in hand. Now as daily there came some from the Queene to the Prince of Conde, to per∣swade him to peace, which hee seemed greatly to desire, among the rest was imploied the Bishop of Valence, a man in learning and e∣loquence most excellent, when he lyst to shew forth eyther the one or the other. Hee with his fayre speech so qualyfied the Prince, that he increased his desire of a good accord: and finally told him that in as much as many reproched him to be the author of the war, it were his part to make euident his iustificatiō by al good offers & braue ef∣fects: also yt if at the next enteruiew he wold tel ye Queene yt rather than to sée ye real me hazarded to fire & sword, he wold be cōtent with his friends to depart the same, shee could haue nothing to answere, Page 359 much lesse his enimies who had promised to returne to their habita∣tions▪ likewise that of this motion might ensue some good resolu∣tion that should stay all wepons, which being laid downe, all things might after ward be easily reestablished. This sayd he departed, lea∣uing in the Prince (who was loth to be constrained to fight agaynst his owne nation) & certaine impression to followe this counsayle, which he imparted to some that were desirous of peace, & therefore gainsayd it not.
It was agreed that two dayes after he should meete the Queene* a league and a halfe thence, so to proue if any thing might be deter∣mined, which he did. There after many speeches the said Prince did in the end make her the offer aforesaid, namely to depart the realme, so to testifie his zeale to the quiet thereof: which she tooke holde of before the word was out of his mouth, telling him that that in deed was the true meanes to preuent all mischiefes feared, for the which all France should be bound vnto him: also that the King comming to his maioritie would bring all into good order, wherby euery man should haue cause to be content. Nowe although the Prince was a man that would not be easily danted, neyther wanted his tongue, yet was he at this time astonished, as not thinking to haue bene ta∣ken so short: & because it waxed late, she tolde him that in the mor∣ning she would send to knowe what conditions hee would demand. Thus she departed in good hope, and the Prince returned to his campe laughing (but betweene his teeth) with the chiefe of his Gentlemen which had heard all his talke. Some scratching their heads where they itched not: others shaking them: some were pen∣siue, and the younger sort gybed oue at another, each one deuising with what occupation he should be forced to get his liuing iu a forein land. At night they determined the next morning to call all the Captaines together to haue their aduice in so waightie a mat∣ter.
In the morning they entered into counsayle, where the Admirall* propounded, that in as much as this matter concerned all, it was in his opinion, good to impart it vnto al, which was done, and the Co∣lonels and Captaines were sent to demaund the aduice as well of the Gentrie as footemen: But they imediatly aunswered, thatsith France had bredde them, it should also be their scpulture, likewise that so long as anie drop of bloud rested in them, it shoulde bee im∣ployed in defence of their religion. With all they requested the Prince to remember his generall promise that hee would not for∣sake Page 360 them: This being reported to the Counsaile ha•ted the con∣clusion of those that were there to deliberate, who considering of the generall disposition of all, were the rather confirmed in their opini∣ons, which did concurre wt the same▪ neither were there aboue three or foure that vsed anie speech, the matter being so euident: and I do yet in part remem•er the particularities there deducted. The Lord Admirall declared vnto the Prince, that albeit he supposed that the Queene in accepting of his offer meant no harme, as one that desiring to deliuer the state out of miserie means conuenient〈…〉ot that he thought those which had weapon on hand, did circū•ent her to the end to betraie him: that he neither ought, neither could performe that that, was propoūded & himself, had promised, in respect that beforè he stoode bounde in stronger bandes: and besides all this, that if he should now absent himselfe, he should vtterly loose his credit & condemne the cause that he had takē in hand, which besides the equitie therof, being authorised by the Kings edict, ought to bee maintayned euen with ha∣zarde of life. The Lord of Andelots speech was this: My Lord the enimies power lyeth but fiue small leagues hence: if it perceiue•• amōg vs either feare, breaking vp, or other alteràtiō whatsoeuer, it wil with •••ord and speare driue vs euen into the Ocean sea. If you none shoulde forsake vs it will bee sayde that yee doe it for feare, which I knowe neuer▪ harboured in your heart. Wee are your poore seruantes, and you our maister, diuide vs not then, sith wee fight for religion and life: so many parleyes are but snares layde to intrappe vs as appeareth by the effectes else, where: The best waie therefore to come to a spee∣die agreement is, that you will vouchsafe to bring vs within halfe a league of those that, wish vs to departe the Realme: so may wee perad∣uenture within an houre after growe to some good resolution: for wee can neuer bee perfect friendes before wee haue skirmished a little to∣gether.
Then stepped foorth the Lorde of Boucarde, one of the brauest Gentlemen in the Realme, whose head was fraught both with fire and Lead. My Lorde (sayde hee) hee that either giueth ouer or put∣teth of the set looseth it, which is more true in this matter now in hand than in the tenis court: I haue alreadie seene fiftie yeeres, in which time I may haue learned alittle discretion: I would bee loth to walke vp and downe a foraine lande with a tooth picker in my mouth, and in the meane time lett some flattering neighbour bee the maister of my house, & fatten himselfe with my re••newes. God willing for my parte I will die in my Countrie in defence of our alters and hearthes: Page 361 I beseech you therefore my Lorde, and doe wish you not to abandon so many good men that haue chosen you, but to excuse your selfe to the Queene, and imploie vs with speede while we are willing to bite. Lit∣tle more was there spoken, except a generall approbation of all men.
Then the Lord Prince began to speake, and for the iustification of his offer sayd, that he made it, because they went about couertlie to taxe him, with the cause of the warre; as also for that if his absence might breede theyr peace he would thinke himselfe happie, as not re∣specting his owne particular affayres: lyke••se that hee did well per∣ceiue seeing the enemies power so neere, and theyr resolution, that they woulde impute his humilitie to cowardlynesse; whereby it should breed no rest but rather destruction to the cause that hee maintayned: and that in consideration thereof hee was resolued to followe theyr coun∣sayle, and to liue and die with them. Thus sayde, they all shooke handes in confirmation thereof.
At the breaking vp of the Counsaile Theodore Beza with o∣thers of his companions made vnto him a verie wise and pi•hre ex∣hortation to comfort him in his resolution, alleadging vnto him the inconueniences▪ ensuing the departure from the same, and so be∣sought him not to giue ouer the good worke hee had begun, which God, whose honour it concerned, woulde bring to perfection. A∣bout the same time came the Lorde of Frense, Robertet, Serr•∣tarie of the commaundementes, whome the Queene had sent to knowe, vppon what conditions the Lorde Prince woulde departe: Whose •unswere was, That it was a matter of waight, neyther was hee yet resouled thereof, in respect that many murmured thereat: but when it was concluded hee woulde eyther sende or bring the Queene worde himselfe. But Roberter by some particular speeches per∣ceiued that matters were altered, and so returned to the Queene, whome hee certefyed that shee must haue more than paper to thrust him out withall, who afterwarde went her waie.
Heereby may Princes and great Lordes learne in matters of * importance not to binde themselues by promise before they haue throughly consulted thereof with the wise: for albeit their meaning may be good, yet may a man after some forte stumble, because the sodainnesse of the matter may make him neglect diuerse circum∣staunces therein to bee considered▪ Yea, although one shoulde thinke vpon all that were requisite to bee noted, yet may many doe it much beter. The worthinesse also of the matter in hande Page 362 may be such, and the number of confederates so great, that euen the cheefest must haue respect as well to the one as to the other, As likewise they must imagine that they to whome they promise, al∣though thinges vnreasonable, will neuerthelesse vpon want o• per∣formance finde themselues greeued, and complaine thereof.
By what occasion the warre did first breake foorth betweene the two armies.
DUring the parlies afore mentioned, there * was as it were a truc• betweene both armies, which caused that there was no∣thing enterprized at Paris or Orleance: But when the Prince of Conde and his associats did well per•eiue that wordes were to weake to remedy the present al∣terations, hee determined to adde effects, and so immediately after the resolution vpon the offer made vnto the Queene, hee called aside •eauen or eight of his cheefest captaines, and consulted vpon the most conue∣nient meanes to buckle with the enemy, for the truc• was ended the daie before) who all were of opinion that they must be preuen∣ted by diligence, considering that they had two aduauntages: the one that the Duke of Guise, the Constable, and the Marshall of S. Andrewes were then absent, and so none but the king of Nauarre with the armie: the other, that the companies of men of armes were lodged scattering from the maine battaile: That if they shoulde march forward by daie, theyr light horse or forragers might giue them warning, and therefore it were best to vse greate diligence in the night, and so come vppon them in the dawning: for thus might they vndoubtedlie be surprised: likewise that because they had not ordinarily vsed any camizadoes, they might nowe the more easilie put this in execution, while the enimy least doubled anie such thing. As for the waie, it was most easie, as being al plaine fields between them.
Page 363 About one houre after the campe departed, and came betimes to Fe•te, where the Generalles opened their intents to the Cap∣taines, willing them to cause their souldiours to put on shirtes, and resolue them to beare themselues manfully in this so valyaunt an enterprise. By eight of clocke at night the troops were in the field, who after publike praier (as was then vsed among the Protestants) began to march with such a courage, as I may in truth affirme, that in souldiours I neuer see greater. Before the departure did a gen∣tleman commit a most villanous act, in forcing of a maiden, whose calling together, with the shortnesse of the time were causes that it could not be punished. This did many take to be a bad signe in this enterprise. Presuming to finde the enemies in their lodginges, the order to fight was this.
First the Lord Admirall marched formost with eight hundred speares, to ouerthrowe whatsoeuer horsemen hee shoulde finde in armes: then followed 1200. harquebuts in foure troopes, with charge to assayle the watch of the enimies footmen, and thence to enter theyr quarters. Next marched eight hundred harquebuts, sup∣ported with two great battayles of pikes, to seaze vppon their artil∣lerie: after all came the Prince of Condee with one thousand horse in foure squadrons, and the rest of the harque buzerie: Now are we to vnderstand that considering at what time they set forward, they should by all reason haue reached to the enimies lodging by three of the clocke in the morning: for the waie lay ouer a playne field, nei∣ther was there any straight passage, but that the footemen might march a whole league in an houre and a halfe: but when they had gone two leagues, the guides perceiued that they went wrong, and thinking to recouer their waie, they strayed farther out, remayning as men amazed, and not knowing where they were, to the no small discontent of the Captaines. To be briefe, hauing thus trauayled vntill one houre after daie, they found themselues a long league of from the enimies lodgings, whose scoutes descried the head of the Princes armie, and so returning with al speed gaue a great alarum. Heerevpon tooke they counsayle what was best to bee done: but in the meane time they hearde the Canon discharged in the enemies campe, for a warning to call in their horsemen, which brake theyr deuise for passing any farther, as well for that they we•e descried, as also that they had yet a great waie to goe, albeit if they had bene within halfe a league, they were resolued to haue gone forward and fought. Thus was this enterprise which in ontward appearaunce Page 360 seemed verie certaine was vtterlie broken of.
I haue asked the opinion of sundrie good Captaines then pre∣sent in the aduersaries campe, what successe might haue followed if * the Protestants had come in time, who all affirme that they woulde haue fought, albeit they were preuented by their separation from their most affectionate Captaines, and the greatest parte of theyr horsemen. The Lorde Marshall of Anuille, a watchfull and verie skilfull Captaine, was with his light horse lodged at the head of the Catholikes armie, wo tolde mee that hee waked and was in armes almost all the night, neuerthelesse if our whole power had come in time, theyr armie had beene in daunger, which is not in deede to bée doubted: for albeit the hazardes of warre bee vncertaine, yet the aduauntage of a surprise, doth import apparaunt losse to those that suffer themselues to bee so farre ouertaken. All the faulte was layde vppon the guides, who to cleere themselues said that the Lord of Andelots putting the footemen in araie at the departure from the lodgings made their march the flower: but I thinke this excuse more subtil than true, considering there was neither bush nor hedge to stoppe them. In deede if the Countrie had beene straighter, it might haue had some likelihood. Both armies, albeit somewhat a∣sunder stoode in araie vntill two of the clocke afternoone. Af∣terwarde the Prince of Condie went to lodge at Lorges, a small league of: and the King of Nauarre with all speede certe∣fied the Lorde of Guize and the Constable, who laie at Chasteau∣dun of all that happened, who immediatlie came to him. Then fea∣ring to be assayled by night, because the Princes armie was strong in footmen, and their owne lodgings verie vnfit for horsemen, they made at the head of theyr battayle grounde vppon the comming in, fiue or sixe great heapes of fagots with strawe inough vnder them, to kindle if they were assaulted, to the ende by the light thereof to discharge three or foure vollees of artillerie, which woulde haue greatly annoied the assaylauntes: There are that disdayne such inuentions, albeit they may sometime be to good purpose. In the morning they fell agayne into araie, but see not one another, ney∣ther did anie but the light horsemen skirmishe. The Captaines of both sides perceiuing that it was harde to surprize one another, also that theyr lodgings were verie discommodious, and moued by a certayne kinde of necessitie to get some townes which might stande them in greate steade to continue the warre, as Bloyse and Boisgencie, did in the morning sende awaie their carriage and ar∣tillerie, Page 361 and in the afternoone followed, parting after this sort with∣out bactaile or losse. *
Heere will I declare an accident which happened two houres after this separation, which if it had fallen out when they were to∣gether, the Prince of Condie had beene in daunger to haue beene ouerthrowen. It was this: There fell such a horrible raine and tempest, continuing almost an houre, that I am assured that of his foure thousand harque buziers, ten coulde not haue discharged: be∣sides that, most of them sought to the couert, which was such an oc∣casion of victorie to the Catholiks, as well in that they were strong in horse, as also for that the winde and raine so beate in their ene∣mies faces, that euen the fiercest had inough to doe to withstande the rage of the weather. This is the truth of all occurrences a∣mong the Protestants in this expedition: but the particularities of the King of Nauarres armie are they that were present, and so may haue knowen them, to describe.
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 Y•oyes regiment consisting wholly of French men, did skirmish herein ••eter then the t•o 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 wo•ne 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.
Of the reasons that mooued the Prince of Condées armie to breake vp after the taking of Boisgencie: also how he con∣uerted that necessitie into profite. And of the purposes of the King of Nauarre.
THE principall Captaines and such as were best practised in worldly affayres, * did well for esee that their armie would not long continue whole, because they did in parte want the necessarie founda∣tions thereof, so as they feared this dis∣sipation, as men feare least the fall of some great Dake shaken with ye windes should light vpon some wall and cast it downe, or vpon a number of small plantes bearing fruite: which caused them to giue counsaile while it was in force to hazard th• fielde, whereof they missed. Now after the taking of Boisgencie, when they see the contrary power placed at Bloys which standeth vpon the riuer of Loyre, and that the warre grewe long, their first heate began to coole, as also at the same time began their treasure wherewith to wage Souldiers (who had alreadie cons•med all Page 369 that they had gathered as well a•Orleance as els where) to faile.
This necessitie opened the gates to diuers discontentmens, whereof the most parte had but simple foundations, albeit the prin∣cipall motion proceeded of the naturall impatiencie of the French nation, which if it by and by see not the imagined effects, doe grow out of liking and murmureth. Neither will I conceale but that some euen of the chiefe of the Nobilitie, too much affected to their goods, either endued with somwhat an ambitious hope, or els ouer delicate and tender, endeuouring to hide these defaults, did call the equitie of the warre into question. This being knowne, they were requested to departe, least their speeches should alienate the minds of others. As for the greater parte of the Nobilitie and Gentrie, which could not bee maintained or placed in the neerest Garrisons and might serue els where, it was thought good to employe them in their owne countries, where debate began to breake foorth be∣tweeene the Protestants and Catholickes, especially in Poictou, Xaintogne, and Angolesme. Thether sent they the Earle of Ro∣chfoucault: to Lyons the Lord of Soubize: and to Bourges the Lord of Iuoy with his regiment. Also seeing the Germaines, Sui•zers and Spanyards, did alreadie enter into France in fauour of the Catholickes, they sent the Lord of Andelot into Germa∣nie, and the Lord of Briquemaud into England to seeke for helpe and succour: By this meanes did the towne of Orleance remaine freed and safe from that which would most haue mole∣sted it: forreine negotiation well established: and the preseruation of those Countries, from whence they had succour prouided for. Thus were the difficulties that happened among the Prin∣ces partie, determined, so as the hope of the successe of this warre was not much deminished, whereof I doe not much meruaile. For sith in extremities, wise and valiant persons can finde reme∣dies, why should they dispayre in such as are not so farre growne▪ In the meane time in matter of warre, want of money is no small inconuenience, neither is it any losse to haue to deale with volun∣tarie persons; which is a burden of it selfe hard to be borne, where∣by a man is soone oppressed, and this doth none so well knowe as he that hath proued it.
The King of Nauarre and his assotiates considering that it was not good to lose time, which ought to be precious to those that * haue power at commaunde, encreased their campe as well with French men as Straungers, and besought the Queene to bring Page 370 the King into the armie, to the ende the Hugueno•s, who 〈…〉ned it the King of Nauarres, or the Duke of Guizes, might be forced to call it the Kings campe, as also the more to 〈…〉horise the warre that was prosecuted in his name, which she did: And they met at Chartres where they resolued to set vpon Bourges, before it were fortified: for, sayd they, so mightie a citie, not past twentie leagues distant from Orleance, did but too much benefice the Princes af∣fayres. Thether they marched and assaulting it found no such resi∣stance as was looked for, whereby it fell into their hands. Then be∣ing with this so sudden victorie, which, sayd they, was the cutting off of one of the Protestants armes, puffed vp and very ioyfull, they entered deliberation of their affayres. Many were very ear∣nest to besiege Orleance, whose reasons were these. That the two chiefe heades that moeued all this bodie, namely the Prince of Condé and the Admirall were there, so the same being taken they might ea∣sely make the rest of the bodie immoueable. That the strangers that looked vp and euen tickled to come into France, when they should but heare of the siege thereof, would not bee very willing to set forward. That they had men enowe to begin the siege: for placing and fortifying two thousandmen in the little gate to bridle the towne on that side, they should still haue tenne thousand footmen & three thousand horse, who might suffice vnto the ariuall of other their power that was mar∣ching. Finally, that the towne was but weake, as being neither well flancked, nor well diched, and hauing no counterscarpe: Onely there was a rampier wherein thirtie Canons would in sixe daies make a breach of two hundred foote. But, sayd they, if ye giue those Hugue∣notes any respite to finish their fortifications, wherein they labour al∣readie, wee shall not bee possibly able to winne it. That they should re∣member that that towne was no small thorne in the foote of France, but euen a very great darte which pierced the bowelles thereof and kept it from breathing.
Others of the contrary opinion did thus replie. That by their in∣telligences*in Orleance they were assured that the two regiments of Gascogns and Prouincials amounting to aboue 3000. souldiers were in it: Also fiue or sixe hundred other souldiers of those that had bene in Bourges and were now retired thether. Moreouer foure hundred gentlemen: Then the townsmen able to beare armes being no lesse then three thousand persons. All together aboue seuen thousand men, be∣sides such as hearing of the siege, drawing thether, would likewise enter thereinto. That a towne furnished with so many men and great store Page 371 of victuals was not easie to be taken. That in consideration aforesayd, it were to no purpose with twelue thousand men to pitch their campe against it, considering how many seuerall campes for the well enclosing thereof they must make. Moreouer, that to vndertake such a peece of worke without at the least two hundred thousand of poulder, twelue thousand bullets, and two thousand Pyoners, all which the Kings whole power was not able to gather together in one moneth, were as a man should say, to take shipping without Biscuit. That they had else∣where more easie worke which was requisite to be prouided for: name∣ly, to take from the enemies the towne of Rcan whilest it were yet weake, for that the Englishmen being by them drawne thether might there frame a great armie, to goe afterward where they list, in respect whereof that arme must be speedily cut off. As for whatsoeuer power the Lord of Andelot might bring in, if they would send there against 1500. horse and 4000. shot, the same vnder the fauour of the countries, townes and riuers might suffice either to stoppe or cut them in peeces. Then hauing atchieued al this, they should haue a very fit time, with∣out daunger of empeachment to plant a notable siege before Orleance, wherewith to winne it either speedily by maine force, or at the length, by mynes and sappe, or finally by building fortes round about it. This last counsaile tooke place and was followed, and to bee plaine with you, I take it was the better: for in the towne there were for the defence thereof aboue fiue thousand straungers, besides the enha∣bitants: store of munition: the Rauelines begunne and the fortifi∣cations of the Iles almost finished. True it is the Lord Constable sayd that he would haue nothing but sodden Apples to beate them downe withall, but when he was brought to see them he confessed that he had bene misenformed. Our Captaines did often growe into cōmunication of the siedge: but the Lord Admirall laughed at them, saying, that to a towne able to furnish three thousand men for an issue they could not approach without daunger, much lesse bring their artillerie. Likewise that the examples of Mets & Pa∣doa where two mightie Emperours in assayling such bodies as were too strong from them, had the foyle, were goodly mirrours to all such as would goe about to besiedge places well furnished.
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 R•an 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.
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〈1 page missing〉
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 ga•es 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.
Of sixe notable occurrences in the battaile of Dreux.
AMong all the battailes fought during our ci∣uill * warres in France, was there none more notable then the battaile of Dreux, in respect as well of the experimented Captaines there present, as for the obstinacie in fight. Howbeit to say the truth it was an accident worthie la∣mentation, through the powring foorth of the blood of aboue fiue hundred gentlemen of both sides into the bo∣some of the sea▪ together with the losse of sundrie Princes, Lordes and sufficient Captaines: but sith things are so fallen out, wee are not forbidden to applie them to our instructions, albeit it were bet∣ter neuer to returne to the like folly, that cost so deere. Now, many things there happened, which euery man did not peraduenture note, and that is it that hath caused me to set them downe, to the ende that such as ouer sleightly doe passe ouer the notable feates of armes without consideration of whatsoeuer may profite them, may be more diligent hereafter: for that is the way to learne to be a Captaine.
Page 380 The first thing that happened, albeit it were not of any great * importance, may yet be noted as an extraordinary matter. That is, that although both armies were aboue two long houres within a Canon shot each of other, as well to put themselues in aray, as to comtemplate their aduersaries, yet was there not any skirmish small or great before the generall battell, albeit in many other bat∣tels that haue bene fought the same haue bene the for〈…〉mers, as at Cerisolles, Sienne & Graueling. Neuerthelesse, shee may not say that the battels must of necessitie beginne by such actions, but for the most parte men are led thereto by the qualitie of the place, either when they finde themselues strong in shot, either to trie their enemies, either vpon some other consideration. There euery man stoode fast, imagining in himselfe that they that came against him were no Spaniards, Englishmen, or Italians, but Frenchmen, and those of the brauest: among whom were their companions, friends and kinsefolkes, as also that within one houre they were to s•ay each other. This bred some horror, neuerthelesse without quay∣ling in courage they thus stayed vntill that the armies mooued to ioyne.
The second notable matter was the generositie of the Suitzers,* whom we may say to haue there made a worthie profe of their va∣lour: for the great bodie of that battell wherein they were, being at the first onset ouerthrowne, and their troope shrewdly endomaged by the Prince of Condées squadron, yet stood they fast in the place where they had bene aranged, albeit they were alone and that their horsemen had forsaken them. Yea a pretie way from the auant∣garde, three or foure hundred of the Protestants Harque•uziers seeing them so fit, set vpon them and flewe many, and yet could not make them giue place: A battell of Launceknights likewise did assault them, whom they ouerthrewe and followed beating vp∣pon them aboue two hundred paces. They were afterward also beset with two Cornets of Reistres, whom they withstoode, and lastly with one of Reistres & Frenchmen together, who made them to retire, albeit with small disorder, towarde their men that had bene behoulders of their valour. And notwithstanding their Colonel and almost al their Captaines were left dead in the place, yet did they by such resistance purchace great glorie.
The third act was the Lord of Guizes long patience, whereby * he attained to the victorie: for after the bodie of the battell which the Lord Constable led was wholy ouerthrowne except the Suit∣zers,Page 381 and himselfe taken, the sayd Lord stood fast, waiting whether they would rome to set vpon him: for as yet the Prince of Con∣dées footmen had not fought, whereto also parte of his horsemen still gathered into aray besides those that yet houered: but this a∣uantgard thus setting a good face on the matter, the Protestants durst not bite: In the meane time some of them stayed to charge the Suitzers, as is aforesayd: others to pursue those that fled, and many to spoyle the cariages, wherein they spent an houre and a halfe. Sundrie euen of the Lord of Guizes parte seeing him stand still so long while they that were ouerthrowne were pursued, wist not what to thinke of him, as if he had bene beside himselfe: and I beléeue some accused him of cowardlinesse, as the Romaines did Fabius Maximus almost in the like case: euen some of his aduersa∣ries began alreadie to crye that the victorie was theirs: but I re∣member that I heard the late Lord Admirall aunswer: We are de∣ceiued, for by and by wee shall see this great clowde dissolue vpon vs: And it so happened soone after, wherevpon ensued the chaunge of fortune. Hereby did the Lord of Guize well shewe that he did but watch for oportunitie: and could patiently behould the disordering of the Prince of Condées great troopes (which at the beginning being ioyned againe might haue troubled him shrewdly) about these small actions afore rehearsed: But after he did see them so scattered, he marched with such a bould countenance that he found but small resistance. Wee are not therefore suddenly to iudge of the entents of these great Captaines: for the effects doe afterward discouer their considerations to bee otherwise then many would imagine.
The fourth thing worthie memorie was the long continuance of * the battaile: for ordinarily in battailes in one houre we see al wonne and lost, yea that of Montcontour lasted not so long: but this be∣ginning about one of the clocke after noone lasted vntill fiue: yet must wee not imagine that they fought all this while, for they had many pawses, and sometimes gaue small onsets, and sometime great, which caried away the best men, and this continued vntill darke night. Truely the courage on both sides was wonderfull, as the great number of the dead did sufficiently testifie, which as many men say, amounted to aboue seauen thousand men, of whome the most were slayne rather in fight then in flight. But the chiefe cause of the prolonging of it was as I thinke because the Kings armie was strong in footmen, and the Prince of Condées in horsemen. Page 382 For the one could not breake the great battailes, neither the other driue away the horses. If wee doe well consider all battailes that haue bene fought since the Suizers battell, which fought againe the next day, wée shall finde none comparable to this, yea the battell of S. Laurence was ended in halfe an houre.
The fifth accident was the taking of the two Generalles of the * armies, a rare matter, because that they ordinarily doe neuer fight but in the ende and vpon extremitie: and many times a battell is al∣most wonne before they came to this poynt. But these stayed not so long, for in the beginning each of them endeuoured to set his men an example not to dallie. The Lord Constable was first ta∣ken and sore wounded, hauing likewise bene wounded in seauen battailes that he had bene in, which is testimonie sufficient of his courage: and the Lord Prince was likewise taken toward the ende and wounded also. Herevpon may growe a question, whether a Generall ought to aduenture so farre? Whereto it may bee aun∣swered, that this is not to be termed aduenturing, when the maine battaile marcheth to the charge, and so he departe not out of his place: Besides that these hauing good seconds, did the lesse feare the daunger of their persons: for the one had the Lord of Guize, and the other the Admirall, who both also were farre enough in the conflict.
The six• was the maner how both the armies parted, which ma∣ny * times happeneth otherwise then there it did. Wee lightly see that the end of a battaile is the flight of the partie ouercome, which is withall pursued two or three leagues, and sometimes farther. But here we may say was no pursuite, but the Protestants retired an easie pace and in order, hauing yet two battailes of Reistres and one of French horsemen, in all amounting vnto about 1200. horse. But the Lord of Guize, who was weake in horse, not willing to abandon his footmen, was content to haue followed fiue or sixe hundred paces after them. Thus as well the one as the other be∣ing wearie, the night comming on parted them. He tooke his lod∣ging in the fielde where the battaile was fought, and the Admirall went to a Uillage a long league of, whether his footmen with all his cariages were retired. Some hould opinion that the battaile was not lost because the losers were not quite disordered, but ther∣in they are deceiued. For he that getteth the field, winneth the Ar∣tillerie and taketh the footmens Ensignes, hath tokens enowe of the victorie: albeit it may bee sayd that it was not at the full, as if Page 383 plaine flight had ensued. If anie man should replie that often times they had seene the two armies retire each from other in good order, as at Roche-abeille, also the fridaie before the battail of Moncon∣tour: It is true, but then had they not had any maine fight as heere, but onely great skirmishes, wherein eyther parte kept their aduan∣tage of the ground. There are yet liuing many Gentlemen & Cap∣taines able to remember what was there done, & stil to deliuer some obseruations thereupon.
Finallie, I thought good to set downe yet one thing aboue my * number, as also it happened after the battaile, which was the curte∣sie and honestie that the Lord of Guize beeing the conquerour vsed toward the Lord Prince of Condie his prisoner, which most men of each parte did not thinke that hee would haue done: for it is well e∣nough knowen how odious in ciuill watres the chiefe of either fac∣tion is, as also what things are imputed vnto them, so as if they fall into their enimies hands, after many reproches which they are for∣ced to beare, their liues also are in daunger. Howbeit here it fell out contrarie: for being brought before him, hee spake reuerentlie vnto him, and with verie modest speeches, wherein hee coulde not gather that hee meant to gird or checks him. Also so long as he soiourned in the campe, he oftentimes did eate with him: likewise because vp∣pon this daie of battayle they coulde haue but few beds brought, the rather for that the carriages were halfe rifled and scattered, be offe∣red him his bed, which the sayd Lord Prince would not accept, but for the one halfe. Thus did these two mightie Princes beeing as it were capital enimies, both in one bed, the one triumphing, the other a prisoner, take theyr rests together. It may be sayd that the Lorde Marshall of Anuill• hauing him in custodie (for to him he yeelded himselfe) would not suffer him to haue any iniurie offered, because his father was also a prisoner: I confesse he would haue done what in him had lien, but surely if the Lorde of Guize woulde haue hurt him, his credite and reputation was then such as no man coulde haue letted him. Such braue actions are not, in my minde, to bee buried in obliuion, because that all that professe armes ought to stu∣dy to imitate them, and to abondon all crueltie and vnworthy de∣me a••res whereinto in these ciuil warres so many doe fall for that they either cannot or will not bridle their malice. To the enimy that resisteth we are to shewe our selues haughty: but being ouer∣come honesty willeth that we shew him curtesy. Some man might yet crosse me and say that hee might well ynough shewe him this Page 384 curtesy, considering what hee had before procured at Orleance a∣gainst the saide Prince: To whome I will aunswere that heare I meane to commend the beautifull actions of vertue when by chance I mèete with anie; but not to speake of other's which are not to my purposes: so that when I see them shine in what man so lower, I will honour them.
Of the 〈…〉 Lord of Guizes laide to O•leance: also of the 〈…〉 Admiralls iourney 〈◊〉 Normandie.
GRem hope had the Duke of Guize now *〈…〉 what a go•dly victorie hee had obtained, albeit 〈◊〉 cost him deere: as hauing taken the Generall of his ad∣uerse partie, and did remaine without companion, hauing the whole gouern∣ment in himselfe. Neither was he slack in publishing it abroade, as also he tooke good order to refresh his armie, whereto he saide himselfe constray∣ned. In the meane time all his imaginations tende• to the prepa∣ring of all sortes of engins and prouision to assayle the towne of Orleance, giuing out that the denne whereinto Foxes retyred be∣ing once taken; they might afterward hunt them all ouer France. Neither had the Lord Admirall lesse neede to rest his people, who grieuing that they were beaten did many times finde cause of mu∣tenie. Wherefore he passed ouer the riuer of Loire, as well to re∣fresh them as to furnish them a new at the charges of diuerse the enemies small townes, but meanely defended, and a good quarter paie, where the souldiour had the •rdle somewhat at will, to the end in parte to recouer his losses. This en•••ase of libertie encouraged Page 385 them a fresh & put them in better hope. Heereto hee condescended, partly by counsayle, and partly vpon necess•ite, so to auoide mutu∣•ie, euen of the Reisters, whome the Catholikes did with greate promises vnder hand labour to retire: as also he feared the retrai•t of some of his French souldiours, who in aduersities were readie i∣nough to turne their coates.
After this he came and pitched at Iargeau, a towne standing vp∣pon * the riuer of Loire, hauing a bridge, to the ende so to haue a free passage ouer, and thence resolued to march into Normandie, there to receiue the money that was alreadie come out of England: for his Reisters threathed to take him prisoner. His cariages were left at Orleance, to the end to make the more speed, where his brother the Lord Andelot was left to gouerne. The Duke of Guize per∣ceiuing this departure, came & pitched his camp before the towne & his first attempt was to winne the suburbs at the foot of the bridge, commonly called Portereau, so to stop all saylies on that side. The Lord of Feuquiers had intrenched it, as meaning there to haue safe∣ly lodged the Germaines and French footmen that escaped from the battell of Dreux, vntill they had bene forced awaie, & it might haue bene kept foure or fiue dayes agaynst all handie blowes, so as there had come no ordinance. In the meane time while it was as∣saulted there felt such a hap that the towne had lyke to haue bene ta∣ken (so wonderfull are the euents of warre) but especiallie through the default of the Lancek nights. The Duke of Guize minded not that daie to force it, but rather to marke the countenaunce of those that were within: Howbeit as a warie Captaine he came furnish∣ed both with needle and threed as we saie, not onely to be prouided for euerie occasion, but also to frame occasions wherby to preuaile. Wherfore hee committed to the Lord of Cipiere an excellent Cap∣taine one thousand and two hundred French harquebuziers, two light Culuerines, and six Cornets of horse, and marched after him selfe with another small troope. At their comming (which was vp∣pon the Gascognes quarter) they found them abroade at the skir∣mish, and their trenches and barriers wel furnished: but while they held them plaie there, certaine straglers abrode certefied them that the Lanceknights quarter set no great countenaunce on the mat∣ter, wherevpon they sent foure or fiue hundred harquebuziers to∣gether with s•me horse to〈…〉e that corner.
As the same instant the Lord of Cipiere discharged his artil∣lerie into the barriers of the French: The LaunceknightesPage 386 at the mouing and sounde thereof were astonied and giuing ouer their guard fled, at which time the Catholique souldiers entred the suburbs, & so came behind the French men who defended thēselues brauely: by this meanes went all to wracke, neither is it possible to imagine greater disorder then was there: for ye bridge being pestred with the stuffe that they were conueying into the towne, they that fled could not get by; Neither could they shut the turne pike gates, or lift vp the draw bridge, whervpon the most part fell to swimming ouer the riuer. Thus through yron, fire, and water aboue eight hun∣dred men were lost: But the feare that was brought into the towne was greater than the hurt, and it was openly sayde that the Iles which they had fortefied were wonne, yea, that they fought at the chiefe gate, which daunted euen the boldest. The Lorde of Ande∣lot (who was a knight without feare) seeing such a confusion and feare sayd: All that be Gentlemen followe mee: for wee must either driue backe the enimie or die for it. They can but one waie come to vs, and there but ten men in front: with one hundred of ours wee may beate a thousand of theirs. Be of good cheere and let vs goe. As hee went he behelde the feare, slight and disorder, hee heard a thousande lamentable cries, & had as many aduices giuen him: In the meane time without anie feare he passed the bridges and came to the turn• pike verie glad that the enemie was no farther forwarde: but lyke∣wise it was time for him to come, for they were at the drawe bridge readie to enter amaine, which neuerthelesse was drawen, and the gate shut with shall losse. Now it is to bee noted that it was a long halfe houre from the enterprise against the suburbes and the com∣ming of the Lord of Andelot thether, all which time the gate stoode open and no man to keep it, which not withstanding the Catholikes entered not, whether it were that they staied to spoyle and kill, ey∣ther else that they wanted some valyant Captaine to guide & leade them. But vndoubtedly if in the beginning they had made a gene∣ral head agaynst the town, they had wonne it, so great was the feare and so small the remedies: At the least they had beene sure of the Iles, which had bene as much as to haue had the towne within fif∣teene dayes after. I haue since demanded of some good Captaines of the Catholikes how it chanced that they perceiued our astonish∣ment no sooner: But they told me that themselues were also ama∣zed to see that they had so sodainly conquered so much people. But that they thought that a certaine bruite raysed among them that we had purposely forsaken the turne pike, which was filled with Page 387 pouder wherewith when a great number of them had beene passed, to haue made them to leape, did state them. Thus did the Catho∣likes loose a braue occasion, and the Protestants escape as great a daunger. These extraordinarie euents ought to quicken vp the fore∣sight of the defendants, & to prouoke the assaylaunts to diligence, to the end the first put not off that which ought to be done this day vn∣till to morrow, and the other remember to accompanie their troops that giue the onset with such Captaines as can readilie perceiue, and speedely take aduauntage when it is offered. Of so good suc∣cesse did not onelie the Duke of Guize, but also his whole armie, which exceeded twentie thousand, conceiue great hope. Whereas contrariwise many of them that were within were shaken with as sh••ude an a••aint, and would gladlie haue beene content that the Lord Admirall could haue flowen backe vnto them: but by litle and litle the Lorde of Andelot cured the feeblenesse of such apprehensi∣ons with haughty and persuasiue speeches.
Long time was afterward spent in assaulting the turne pikes, * (which since were surprised through the negligence of some of those that were within, and in playing vppon the defences of the Iles. The Duke of Guize determined with twentie Canons to pla•e two daies vpon them and to giue a fierce assaulte, and in re∣spect of their weaknesse in my opinion, he would haue wonne them. But in the meane time there fell out a chaunce vnlooked for, no lesse straunge and rare than the former, which troubled the whole feast: which was the wounding of the saide Duke by a Gentleman named Poltrot, and his death within a few dayes after. This quai∣led their o•rages and hope of all the souldiours in his armie, to see themselues depriued of so notable a Generall. Insomuch that the Queene beeing wearie of so many miseries and notable slaugh∣ters, vndertooke the treatie of peace: and thence foorth was there nothing but patleyes on eyther side, vntill it was concluded where∣in the Lorde Prince of Condie and the Lorde Constable were the chiefe instrumentes and dealers. Nowe let vs speake of the 〈◊〉Admiralls expedition, who fearing the forcing of Orleance•e solued wholie vppon diligence, as also in sixe dayes hee marched 〈◊〉〈…〉ie leagues with his power of horsemen, who consisted of two thousand Reisters, fiue hundred French horse, and one thou∣sande ••arq•ebuziers on horsebacke, as also they had onelie one thousande and two hundred horses, but no cart for their carria∣〈…〉
Page 388 In this sort we vsed such diligenee that sometimes we preuen∣ted the fame of our comming in diuerse places where wee ariued. The sayde Lorde Admirall beeing come to Cane, assaulted it with the helpe of certaine English men, whome the Earle of War∣wicke & Beauois la Nocle, who were in Newhauen, had sent him. The Castle being furiously beaten did yeelde vppon composition. Therein was the Marquez of Elboeuf, to whome wee vsed all cur∣tesie. Our Reisters also receiued their paie, which they liked better than the Normandie Cidre: and as wee prepared to returne to suc•our Orleance, the Prince of Condie writ to the Admirall that the peace was concluded, which news conuerted his desire to fight into another desire, namely to visite his house. This was the end of the first ciuill warre, which had continued a whole yeere: A tearme that seemed rather long than short to the natural impatiencie of our nation, which in some places ouerflowed in cruelties more mee•e for barbarous people than Frenchmen: whereof the Protestants did indure the most part. And this peace did many good men like of a great deale the better, because it ended all these inhumanities.
The second troubles.
Of the causes of the taking of armes in the second trou∣bles. Also how the purposes where vpon the Prote∣stants had built themselues proued vaine.
MAny are the writings that haue beene published in iustification of the leauie of * armes in the yeere 1507. as also o∣thers contrariwise to condemne them, whereof such histories as intreate of things passed haue at large discoursed, to the which all such as gladly woulde exactly search the particularities of all these publike actions are to ha•e re∣course. For my part I am content briefly vpon this point to touch Page 389 some such as are as true as the same that haue ben published, which I haue learned of those that on the one side had in part the conduct of the affaires. The edict of pacification concluded before Orleance had greatly satisfied almost all France, as well in appearance as in effect, because thereby all miseries ceasing, euerie man inioyed rest with safetie of bodie & libertie of minde. Howbeit the hatred & enuy of some, as also the mistrust of others was not quite extinguished, but lay hidden and vnperceiued. But as time doth commonly bring all things to perfection, so these seeds together with many worse, brought forth such fruit as returned vs into our former discords: the chiefe of the religion who looked to the safetie as well of thēselues as of other made a general collection of all that was wrought & stil practised against them, affirming that vndoubtedly their enemies endeuoured by little and little to vndermine them, & then euen at once to giue them their deaths wound. Of the causes that they al∣leaged some were manifest, and some secret. Concerning the first, they consisted in the razing of sundrie townes, and the building of Citadels in the places were they had their publike exercise: also in murthers in sundrie places cōmitted, & the slaughter of diuerse no∣table Gentlemen, whereof they could haue no iustice. In the ordi∣narie threats that shortly they should not lift their heads so high: & especially in ye comming of Suitzers, albeit the Duke of Alua was already passed into Flanders, vnder a cloked feare of whose passage they were leauied. And for the secret they propounded certaine in∣tercepted letters comming from Rome & Spaine, wherin the pur∣poses that should be put in execution were more plainly discouered: The resolution concluded with the Duke of Alua at Bayon to root out all the Huguenots in France, and the Rogues in Flaunders, whereof they were aduertised by such as were not doubted of. All these things with many more that I omit did greatly waken those that were loth to be taken sleeping: and I remember that the chiefe of the religiō met thrise at Vallery & Chastillon, whether came 10 or 12. of the notablest Gentlemen to determine vpon these present wars, also to seeke some lawfull & honest meanes of safetie among so many terrors without proceeding to the vttermost extremities. Howbeit rather by the counsaile of the L. Admirall than of anie o∣ther, euery one was desired a while to haue patience, for that in so waightie affaires as these, which brought with them many mis∣chiefes, men ought rather to be drawen by necessitie, than to runne headlong vpon will: withal that in short time they should see more. Page 390 But at thirde meeting which was within a moneth, their braines were better heat as well vpon the considerations aforesayde, as tho∣rough new aduices giuen them, namelie one which the Prince and Lord Admirall did affirme to proceede from a Courtier greatly af∣fected to the Protestants, who assured them that there had bene a se∣cret counsayle holden, wherin it was determined to seaze vpon them two, the one to be put to death, the other to be kept prisoner: at the same time to place 2000. Suitzers at Paris, two thousand at Orleance, & the rest to bee sent to Poictiers: Then to disanull the Edict of pacification, and to make an other vtterlie contrarie thereto: and not to doubte thereof. This was easie to be beleeued, and the rather for that al∣readie they see the Zuitzers, who they had beene so of•en promised should bee sent backe, march toward Paris. Wherevpon some more sensitiue and impatient than the rest grewe into these speeches▪ What? shall wee tarrie vntill they come and binde vs hande and foote and so drawe vs vnto their scaffoldes at Paris, there by our shamefull deaths to glutte others crueltie? What aduice shall wee yet expecte? Doe wee not alreadie see the foraine enemie march armed toward vs, and threaten to bee reuenged on vs, as well for so many iniuries done to them at Dreux, as also for those harms which in our defences we haue done to the Catholikes? Haue wee forgotten that aboue three thou∣sand of our religion haue since the peace endured violent deaths, for whome (whatsoeuer our complayntes) wee can haue no redresse but friuolous aunsweres and fraudulent delayes? Yet if it were our Kings will wee shoulde bee thus iniuried and contemned, wee might perad∣uenture the better beare it: But sith wee know that all this is wrought by those who shrouding themselues vnder his name doe purpose to debarre vs all accesse vnto his person, and to alienate his good will from vs, to the ende that beeing destitute of all ayde and supporte we may remayne theyr bonde men, and bee a praie vnto them: shall wee beare such insolencies? Our Fathers did patientlie for the space of fortie yeeres and more suffer, vppon whome they made proofe of all sortes of punishmentes for the name of Iesus, which cause our selues doe also defende. And now that non onelie families and bo∣roughes, but also whole townes haue vnder the authoritie and benefite of two royall edictes manefestly declared theyr fayth, wee shall make our selues vnworthie these two goodlie titles Christian and Gentle∣man, which wee esteeme to bee most honourable ornamentes, if tho∣rough our neglygence and cowardlynesse in loosing our selues▪ wee suf∣fer such a multitude of people to perish. Wherefore we beseech you that Page 391 haue taken vpon you the common defence to enter some speedie resolu∣tion, for the matter will heare no longer delayes. Other assistaunts at this counsayle were moued, not so much at the vehemencie, as truth of this speech.
But as there are alwayes some full of consideration, the same did replie that they perceiued the eminent daunger, howbe∣it that the safegard was from them hidden. For if we will (sayd they) flie to complaintes & supplications, it is most euident that the same do rather prouoke those to whome they be exhibited, than procure anie re∣medie. If likewise we take armes with how many reproches, slanders, & curses shall we bee ouerwhelmed by those who imputing vnto vs the blame of the miseries ensuing, when they cannot discharge their rage vppon vs, will ease their choller vppon our poore families dispear∣sed in diuerse places? howbeit in as much as among many mischiefes we must alwayes choose the least, it seemeth there is lesse inconuenience in suffering the first violences of our enemies, than in beginning with thē & so become guiltie of a publike & general cōmotion. Then spake the Lord of Andelot and sayd: Your opinion my maisters that spake last is grounded vpon some discretion and apparant equitie: But the prin∣cipall phisicall drugges, meete to purge this exceeding humour which now aboundeth in the vniuersall bodie of Fraunce, namely Fortitude and Magnanimitie doe therein want. I woulde therefore weete of you, if you carrie vntill wee bee banished into forraine Countries, lie bound in prisons, lurke in forrests, ouerrunne by the people, contemned by the souldiours, and condemned by the authoritie of the mightiest, (all which we are not farre fro) what will all our passed patience and humilitie stand vs in stead? What profite can wee reape in our inno∣cencie? To whome shal we complayne? Or who wil vouchsafe to heare vs? It is time to see that wee be no longer deceiued, and to haue re∣course to our defence which is as iust as necessarie, neither to care though they tearme vs the authours of the warre: for themselues are they that in so many sortes haue infringed the publike agreementes and couenants, and that haue brought euen into our bowels sixe thousande forraine souldiers, who in effect haue already proclaimed it against vs, so as if we giue them such aduantage as to strike vs first, our mischiefe will be past remedy.
Small speech was there afterwarde, other than an approba∣tion * to take force in hande, so to preuent the imminent destructi∣tion. Howbeit if there were any difficulties in the rosolution heere∣of, so was there no lesse in learning howe to proceede in this newe Page 392 approch. Some wished the Captaines to seaze vpon Orleance, & confederate towne, and then to certefie their maiesties that percei∣uing the approch of ye Suitzers, they were thether withdrewen with theyr friends for their safeties: also that by returuing them home, they would likewise depart euerie man to his owne house. Hereto it was aunswered, that these men had forgotten how that at Orle∣ance there was a great gate fortefied and kept by a sufficient num∣ber of Catholikes, whereby they might alwayes let in men of warre into the towne: also that nowe it was time to defend them∣selues with yron and steele, and not with wordes or writing. O∣thers thought it good abroade in the Prouinces to seaze vppon as many townes as they might, and then to stand vpon the defensiue, whose aduice was not admitted neyther, because that: (as it was sayde) in the first troubles of a hundred that the Protestants helde, within eight moneths they had not twelue lefte, for want of power to succour them. Finally, they concluded to take armes, & in the be∣ginning of this warre to obserue foure things. First to seaze vpon fewe townes, but the same to bee of importaunce: Secondlie, to frame a Iustie armie: Thirdlie, to cut in peeces the Suitzers, vnder whose fauour the Catholikes would alwayes bee the maisters of the field: Lastlie, to indeauour to banish the Cardinall of Loraine from the Court, as him whome many did imagine to bee a conti∣nua salliciour of the King to root out the Protestants. Great diffi∣culties were there propounded concerning the two last pointes. For, sayde some, the Cardinall and the Suitzers did continuallie march with the Kings person, so as assayling the one, and endea∣uouring to terrefie the other, euerie man woulde affirme their enterprise to be directlie agaynst the royall maiestie and no other: but they were decided by this aunswere: That the euent shoulde discouer their intentes, euen as they gaue testimonie of King Charles the seauenth, who beeing but Dolphine tooke armes, but neyther against his Father nor the Realme. Moreouer, that it was well knowen that the French in bodie had neuer attempted against their Princes person: Finallie, that if this theyr first successe fell out fauourable, it might cutte off the course of a long and ruinous warre, in that they shoulde haue opportunitie to open vnto the King the truth of matters, which yet was concealed from him, whereof might ensue a newe confirmation of the ediots, namelie, when they that purposed to preuent shoulde finde themselues pre∣uented.
Page 393 This was the resolution taken among those men that were then present, who albeit they were indued with great knowledge, expe∣rience, valour, and discretion, yet al that they had so diligentlie fore∣cast and examined, when it came to effecte, was wonderfull wide from their expectation, & other things almost vnthought of, as ac∣coūted eyther to sure or difficult, redoūded to their greatest benefit. Whereof it followeth that wee may heereby perceiue that good successe doth not alwayes followe good deliberatious. Howbeit all this haue I not heere spoken to the ende to controll those that I haue named, of whose vertue I haue euermore greatly admired, neither to cause men in their affaires to neglect discretion or dili∣gence, but onelie to aduertise them that the accomplishment of a∣nie our workes consisteth not in the purposes of man, but in Gods disposition.
Now let vs marke the successe of these enterprises. For the first * points which concerned the townes it was determined to surprise onelie three, viz. Lions, Tholouse, and Troy, and that for the com∣moditie in diuerse respects ensuing of the same. But the purposes of those that vndertooke the charge of seazing vpon them fell out to be in vaine. Concerning strength of the field, the Protestants were in the beginning stronger than the Catholikes, but within a mo∣neth and a halfe after the taking of armes the Catholikes were the mightier, whereby they forced them to haue recourse to straungers whom they had called to their succour. The execution of the Suit∣zers had as bad successe, as well for that this purpose was discoue∣red, as through want of power. Now rested no more but the fourth point, which beeing of smallest importaunce was brought to passe, and that was the parting of the Cardinall of Loraine from the Court, who notwithstanding was of as greate authoritie there as before time. But thereof grew another inconuenience to the Pro∣testantes. Which was, that they stirred vp the Kings hatred and indignation agaynst them, in that by theyr occasion hee was forced with feare and speed to retyre to Paris, so as euer after he bare them a grudge. This had beene but an vnhappie beginning of the warre vnto them if other effectes had not recompensed the first defaultes: which neuerthelesse happened rather by the motions of diuerse particular Gentlemen, together with the disposition of sundrie the inhabitants of townes, than through anie the great deli∣berations afore mēcioned, wherof ensued the seazure of sundry both good & had, of which the neerest were Orleāce, Auxerre & Soissōs.Page 394 True it is that secretly they were warned to shirre vpon one prefix∣ed daie, albeit there was no great account made of other than the afore rehearsed.
That the Prince of Condies attempt of three things for a proud face vpon the beginning of his enterprise, wher∣at the Catholikes at the first were astonied.
MAns courage vrged by necessitie doth in∣crease,* as also his former apprehensions beeing some what quailed, he standeth in the lesse feare to hazarde himselfe vnto whatsoeuer difficult and dangerous at∣tempts, as it then happened to the Pro∣testants. For they seeing the naked swoord threatning of them, resolued to saue themselues rather with the arme than the legge and therefore winking at sundrie respects thought it best valiantlie to beginne. Their first and principall act was a gene∣rall taking of armes vppon one selfe daie, which bred great astonish∣ment euen to some of their owne parte, who were ignoraunt of the matter, & much terrour to the Catholiks, who peraduenture 〈◊〉 if they had begun first, haue dealt more rigorously thā ye Protestants did: neuerthelesse in the meane time it grieued them to see so many townes taken, which they dissembled: albeit some of them sayde, The brethren haue now taken vs tardie, but the daie will come that wee shall haue our reuenge, wherein they shewed themselues as good as their wordes: For before the yeere was ouer, they gaue them to weete that they had, sayde but the truth. Some helde opinion that so many aduertisementes as were to bee giuen to the Prouinces, woulde breede the discouerie of the enterprise, ho wheit that happe∣ned in fewe places, neuerthelesse in those of most importaunce: much more vnpossible is it in these dayes so to proceede in re∣specte of mannes indiscretion, the which is such as it can con∣ceale nothing. Wee may note in auncient time examples in manner much lyke vnto this (excepte that the one did •ende Page 395 to offend, the other to defend, as when Mithridates within his do∣minions vpon a lyke daie procured the slaughter of fortie thousand Romaines. Likewise when three score townes of Greece were by a certayne daie appointed by the Romaine Consul seazed & sacked by his legions without anie fore knowledge or perceuerance of one or other vntill the verie time of the execution thereof. But such acti∣ons happen but seldome, by reason that they which haue once beene caught and scaped agayne, doe grow so vigilant and suspitious that euen the wagging of euery leafe doth waken them, and each shadow make them to start.
The second notable action consisted in that with lesse than fiue * hundred horse, they durst aduenture vpon six thousand Suitzers, and make them to retyre. True it is that according to their platforme * they should haue bene more, viz. a certayn number of harquebuziers on horsebacke, who fayled them, not in comming into the fielde, but of comming in time to the place appoynted, so as in respect of theyr small power the Captaines of the Protestants stayed and duist not aduenture vpon a generall charge against this greate troope which seemed a forrest. Moreouer, theyr great race that they had runne, had almost tyred all their horses, and yet haue I heard them affirme that had their troope of Picardie which consisted of an hundred and fiftie horse come in time they would haue hazarded the field, in making their harquebuziers to alight, and charging with their squadrons on three sides. Howbeit although they had so done, yet had the euent bene doubtfull. All passed in skirmishes, wherin some of each part were slaine and wounded. I haue heard that this great battayle set a countenance worthie Suitzers: for without any feare they stood fast a while, and then retyred close still turning their head as dooth the wilde Bore whome the hunters doe pursue, vntill that seeing no lykelyhoode to force them, they gaue them ouer.
The third deed was the occupying of the towne of Saint Denis, and two other small villages at hande which the Prince of Condie* caused to be entrenched, where he planted himselfe with al his pow∣er to laie siege to that side of Paris. All these effects comming into consideration euen of the best Captaines of the Catholikes, they grew astonied, as imagining that the Prince did spedely expect some great force, and had verie good intelligences as well in Paris as in the Court. Otherwise (sayd they) being so weake, he neuer durst come so boldly to lodge so neere vs, neither would the Admirall (being a most warie and good warriour) without some hidden groundes haue coun∣sayled Page 396 it. This made them to forbeare vntill they had assembled their power. Diuerse there were that thought it hard (conside∣ring that theyr strength was good as consisting of almost ten thou∣sand men) to suffer this small handfull of people by theyr dailie and continuall skirmishes to face them euen to their gates, thinking it a great shame that an Ant shoulde bes•ege an Elephant. But in my opinion the others considerations were the wiser, who affir∣med it to be a manifest token of follie, by a battayle which is vncer∣tayne agayust fooles (for so they tearmed vs) who nowe haue no counsayle but despayre, or treasure, but their horse and armour, to hazarde the whole bodie of the state, which is as it were enclosed within the walles of Paris: also that hauing in their handes so sa∣cred a matter as the kings person, they must doe all things surelie: and that shortly they shoulde perceiue most honourable fruites pro∣ceede of this aduice. Thus betweene the wisedome of some and the rashnesse of others, there was as it were a discordant concorde be∣tweene them for a fewe daies, yea, euen vntill the greate game was playde, which was so rude, that the Protestants were forced to for∣sake theyr lodgings: He therefore yt vpon this example shoulde goe about to builde auie greate or aduenturous purposes might perad∣uenture commit an incurable errour: For the matters which wee would compare doe not alwayes in euerie parte resemble: besides that these accidents are such as it is much if a whole age bringeth forth two or three.
Of the most notable occurrences happened at the departure from Saint Denis.
IT doth many times fall out yt〈◊〉 mightie Cap∣taine * albeit he cannot attaine to his purposed intents, doth neuerthelesse in his proceedings shew forth such valour, yt men cannot but com∣mend him as they did the Prince of Condie for his braue exploits during his aboade at S. Denis. Due of his purposes tended to bring Page 397 the Parisians into such want of victuals, & other wise so to mo•est thē yt as well themselues as such others as were thether retired, should he forced to hear•en to peace, Here of grew the enterprises of Cha∣renton bridge, S. Claude & Poyssy, whereby to bridle the riuer, which neuerthelsse were to small purpose, & was like to haue bred the destruction of the Protestants. Some would metuaile how such excellent Captaines, who could not be ignorant what great armies had afore time (w〈…〉ning to performe the like attempt) lost their la∣bore, as did that of Duke Charles of Burgundie, which I thinke they had not quite forgottē, wold vndertake such an enterprise. But they did it, as finding themselues in place where occasion inuited them to attempt that which the cōmon voice cried vpon them to do. Moreouer, they supposed that to lie stil & enterprise nothing would be a great diminishing of their credit: besides that, seeing their peo∣ple so well disposed; they accompted most difficult enterprises, easie to be compassed.
The Prince of Condies second intent was to draw the army that * layin closed in Paris to battel, in hope that the same being won the warre would be at end, which his purpose spedde no better than the former. As for the third, he made account that albeit he were forced to abandon S. Denis, yet the townes which should be seazed as well vpon the riuer of Marne as of Seine, might faour & support him in the placing of his power vntil the comming of his Germaines whō he had sēt for for to assist him. But this purpose also in respect they could surprise but two, viz. Lagny & Montereau, as the rest vauish∣ed in smoke. The L. Constables attempts were brought to better effect. His first purpose was after the refreshing of his power to force the Protestants to battaile thinking that he must needs ouer∣come them in respect of the aduantages he had them at, which hee had almost done. He also made account to disappoint them of their lodgings, and to send them farther from the Parisians, who had no great onlight that such good husbands & so diligent to cleere them shoulde looke to their accomptes: But death debarred him that benefite: and to saie •roth if hee had liued and had his health, hee would haue made them to haue made more hast than they did. Tru∣ly as wel the one as the other bare themselues as great Captaines but tending to diuerse endes, viz. to defend and offend, theyr acti∣tions likewise were in parte different.
It well be seemed the Protestants to bee oft on horsebacke, to * enterprise sometimes to some purpose, sometimes desperatelie,〈1 page missing〉
Page 400 him that their heartes or hope were not yet daunted: and there∣fore bringing their small armie well resolued into the fielde, they shewed themselues before the suburbs of the citie, burning a village and some windmilles within view of the towne, so to testifie them that all the Protestants were not all deade: also that there was yet some exercise prouided: but no man issued by reason (as it is to be presumed) of the losse of the Lorde Constable. This the Prote∣stants bragge preserued their credit: how be it perceiuing that their soiourning there would be their ouerthrow, the next morrowe they raised their campe and marched toward Montereau, whither they sent for the rest of their power that Iay at Estampes & Orleance, to come to them, which greatly increased their armie.
Of the voiages of both the armies toward Lorraine, but to se∣uerall intents.
SO soone as the French power which ye P. of Condie expected were ioyned * wt him the contrary armie wherof the D. of Aniow was generall, dailie in∣creasing, followed him at the heeles. Diuers Catholiks my good friends haue assured me that vpon anie fit oc∣casion he meant to haue fought: for the olde Captaines that counsayled him therto, very wel foreseeing that if the Protestants should ioyne with their Reisters (who were alreadie setting forward) the war would grow long, or els they must fight an vncertaine battayle, were vpon these considerations earnestly princ∣ked thereto. But withall when they beheld the importance of their Generalls person who rested vnder their weapons, also the dispaire of their aduersaries, the same did somewhat stay them. They vsed two cunning pollicies as well to stay them as to surprise thē: for in warre such subtilties are allowed, at the lest they are practised: The first was a parley of peace, wherein ye most notable of the Ptotestāts (as the Car. of Chastillon) were imploied: which stil cooled the heat of the battell. The other was two abstinences from wars each for 2 or 3. daies, to the end, as it was said, the better to confer of the arti∣cles Page 401 propounded. The one was neere to Montereau, the other by Chaalons: but the last had like to haue ben verie preiudicial vnto ye Protestants, by reasō the P. of Condy staied in a very bad lodginge & sore scattered while the Catholiks armie did approch, & had it not ben for the County Brissacks enterprise against certaine cornets of harquebuziers on horseback whō he ouerthrew, the said Prince had still soiourned there 2. daies, where vndoubtedly he had bene fought withal, & peraduenture surprised by his aduersaries who were very strong, the rather through the ariual of 1500. Burguignion speres, who under the conduct of the Earl of Arem bergue, one of the fa∣mousest Captains of the low countries, were ioyned vnto him. But when during the abstinence he see such slaughter, hee thought it no greate safetie to trust to wordes, & therefore in 3. daies space mar∣ched aboue 20. leagues through the rain, & so bad waies, that it was to be wondered how the carriages and artillerie could follow, for there was nothing lost either in the one or the other, so good was ye order & so greate the diligence. Monsieur his armie seeing this departure pursued no farther: yea, some of them boasted that they had driuen the Protestants out of the realme: others hauing better foresight perceiuing that they could no longer be stopped from ioy∣ning with their Germains thought it best to let them go & then to seeke how to keepe them from comming in again. But there were some likewise, & they no small number that laide great fault in di∣uerse of Monsieurs counsailors for suffring them so to escape with out battaile, saying that the Admirall had secret intelligence with them, which was a very false imagination, wherat himselfe vsed to scorne, & many times he assured me there was no such matter, ne∣uerthelesse he would endeuour still to maintaine thē in ye suspition.
Now will I rehearse some stirs & follies of the Protestants du∣ring their small abode in Lorraine: as also the voluntarie liberali∣tie * whereof they made demonstration in the middest of all their po∣uertie that there inuironed them: an action which I take in these daies to be vnpractiseable. Many were persuaded (as also the voice so went) that they could not set foot in Lorrain but they should heare the Reisters cockes sing: but hauing there soiourned 4. or 5. daies they had no more speech of them than when they were before Paris, which bred sundrie mutinies, euē among some of the nobilitie, who in their ordinarie speeches did somewhat rudclie gird at their Ge∣nerals: so great is the impaciencie of our nation: But they vnder∣standing hereof endeuoured to remedie it. Page 402 Likewise as men can hardlie abandon their naturall inclinations, so the perswasions which their heads vsed were different: for the P. of Condie beeing of a pleasant disposition did so conuenient∣lie gird these chollerike and busie persons that hee made euen those that most exceeded either in the one or the other to laugh. On the other side the Admirall with his graue speeches did so shame them that in the end they were forced to appease and quiet themselues. At the same time my selfe asked him of his best counsayle in case Monsieur should followe vs? We would march, sayd he, towarde Bacchara, where the Reisters should make their assemblie: also that it were not for vs to fight without them, and that after the enimies first heat was somwhat quailed: But, what if the Reisters were not there, would some man saie, what coulde the Protestants then doe? I thinke they coulde haue blowen theyr fingers, for the weather was verie colde. Now was all the Towne soone conuerted into mirth when as they vnderstoode certainelie that Duke Iohn Casimire, (a Prince endued with all Christian vertues, and one to whome the Protestants are highlie bound) did march and was at hande. Then was there nothing but singing and leaping, yea, they that had most cried out did leape highest. These their behauiours did verie wel verefie the saying of Titus Liuius, that ye Gauls are soone an∣grie, and so consequently soone merrie againe, which passions if they be not, after the imitation of the sages, moderated by reason do easilie exceede.
The Prince of Condie vnderstanding by his agents in Ger∣manie that the Reisters looked vppon theyr ioyning with him to * finger at the lest 100000. crowns, was in greater care than before he had bene for his mennes mutinies, because hee had not 2000. There was it expedient for him to make of necessitie vertue: and as well himselfe as the L. Admiral being in great credice with the Protestants, employed all their cunning, credite, and eloquence to perswade euerie man to depart with whatsoeuer his abilitie would beare toward this so necessarie contribution, wherevppon depended the contentation of those whome so diligently they had waited for. Hereof thēselues gaue the first example in giuing their own siluer vessel: The ministers in their Sermons exhorted heereto, and the most zealous Captaines prepared their men: for in so extra∣ordinarie a matter they had neede to vse all kindes of instru∣ments. There did sundrie of the Gentry shewe a greate readinesse to discharge themselues loyallie: But the chiefe brunt of this Page 403 battaile appeared whē they came to vrge the scholers of Lady Pico∣ree, whose propertie it was to be readie to take, and slacklie to for∣goe: howbeit partly by loue & partly by feare they quit themselues better than men looked for: yea, this liberalitie was so generall, that euen the souldiours lackies and boies gaue euerie one some∣what, so as in the end it was accounted a dishonour to haue giuen but little. Some such of these there were as made the Gentlie a∣shamed in parting more voluntarilie with their gold, than they had done with their siluer.
To bee briefe, the whole beeing gathered together there was in monie, in plate, and in chaines of golde aboue foure score thou∣sand Frankes: which came in so good season, that without it they could hardly haue appeased their Reisters. I knowe that many of them were vrged to giue by example, shame, and persuasions, but certainlie a great part did it vpon zeale and affection, as appeared in that they offered more than was required of them. Was it not a deede worthie wonder to see an armie vnpaide, and vnprouided of all meanes, who thought it a meruaile to part with their smal com∣modities for their owne wants, now not to spare to furnish others therwith, who peraduenture did giue them no thanks? Now would it be vnpossible to doe the lyke, for that all Gentlemanlike actions are almost out of vse.
Of the returne of the two armies toward Orleance and Paris: also of the course that the P. of Condie tooke in victualling, marching, and lodgiug of his men.
AFter the ioyning of the Reisters there needed * no long consultation to knowe what were best to be done. For the generall voice imported to transport the warre to Paris. This did some de∣sire peraduenture the rather to the ende to see their owne houses, but the most part knewe it to be the best waie to attaine to peace: neither were the Generalles ignorant that to continue the warre, their ar∣mies Page 404 could not misse artillerie, pouder, money, and other commo∣dities that are to be wreasted from the marchant and the artificer, whereof vnlesse they drewe towarde Orleance (which was their nource mother) they should be depriued, which made them to yéeld to the common desire. In this good minde did the Protestants re∣turne, beeing of opinion that the enimies armie would coast them, as well to debarre them from dismantelling diuerse small and weake Townes, as also to spie occasion to intrappe some one of their troopes. Then did Fraunce abounde in all sortes of virtu∣alles, and yet were they to vse greate arte and diligence to feede an vnpayd armie of aboue twentie thousand men, whom the Coun∣trie fauoured not as they did the other, beeing but meanely furni∣shed with munition. The Lorde Admirall had an especiall care aboue all things to haue expert commissaries, and to cause them to haue carriage according to the Protestant want, and was wont when so euer there was anie question of forming the bodie of an armie, to saie: Let vs beginne the shaping of this monster by the bel∣lie.
Nowe because our horsemen did commonlie lodge scattering * abroade in the good villages, the sayde commissaries besides theyr ordinarie carriages kept still in euery cornet a baker and two horse of burthen, which came no sooner to their quarter but they fell to making of bread, and so sent it to the footemen. All these small helpes proceeding from fortie cornets (for there about wee then were) being gathered together, amounted vnto a great deale: yea, and thence sometimes they sent both flesh and wine, whereto the Gentrie were so affectionate that from their lodgings they would not spare their carriages for conduct of whatsoeuer was requisite. The small Townes that were taken were reserued for the muni∣tionaries, and they threatned the rest that kept no garrisons to fire all a league rounde about if they sent in no prouision: where∣by our footmen who lodged close were ordinarilie well prouided. I doe not heere speake of the booties which as well the footemen as horsemen wonne from the aduersaries, neyther is it anie doubt but this denouring animall passing through so many Prouinces, could still finde soule pasture where with was sometimes mixed the poore mans garment, yea, and the friendes to, so sore did necessitie and desire to catch incite those that wanted no excuses to coulour their spoile. Of these fruites were many prouided of those things which besides foode the soldiour is to buy, as garments & weapons Page 405 which are most ne•essarie things.
Now must I speake of the lodging of the armie which they were * forced to scatter abroade, and that for two principall reasons. The one for the commoditie of virtuall, the other that it might be vnder couert, whereby to be defended from the iniurie of the winter: for without this help it could not consist. I know this to be a verie bad kinde of lodging: also that in imperial & royall warres men would beware of committing such ouer sights, least they might be straight wayes surprised: But in ciuill warres both partes were forced and accustomed so to doe, at the least in France. The footmen were lodged in two bodies, viz. in a maine battayle and an auantgarde, and the horsemen in the villages next to hand. Uppon anie earnest allarum the horsemen drewe to their quarters: likewise if one se∣uerall lodging were assayled, the others went straight to the re∣scue.
Among the Cornets there were many harquebuziers on horsback, and when they were come to their quarter, all the wayes were very well fortefied: and many times they prouided themselues in the Churches and Castles, so to holde out two good houres vntill they might haue succour. I haue sometimes seene one of the Generals march with fiue or sixe hundred men and beate back the enimie that had assayled some lodging. Howbeit notwithstanding whatsoeuer watch on all sides, yet there happened many surprises, albeit the waies were beaten both night and daie. Many times wee had our best aduice from the Picorers, who buzzing abroade like flyes did ordinarilie meet with the enimie, and so some one brought in word, for these men to flie are as swift as hares, and when they goe about some bootie they euen flie. The head towarde the enimie who had light horsmen did commonlie consist of fiue hundred good horse, and as many harquebuziers on horsebacke, with small store of carriage, except horse of burthen, which was done to the end to keepe the eni∣mies busie, that they should make no enterprise, also that the armie might alwayes haue warning.
Concerning the order of the march, all the troopes had theyr meeting nominated at a certaine houre in place conuenient, for the * diuision of the lodgings: and thence they repayred each to his quar∣ter, as also they vsed greate speede when they were to trauayle sundrie wayes. One inconuenience there was in marching thus scatteringlie, namelie, that oftentimes they did vse ma∣ny false allarums. Neuerthelesse it was neuer noted that the Page 406Prince of Condie had euer anie notable surprise. Neither woulde I that anie man should build anie rule vpon these examples which necessitie engendered, vnlesse vppon the lyke reason as then bare swaie: for so may they be vsed in accomodating them to time, place, and persons. But the surest waie were to reforme our customes by the ancient militarie rules, wherin is more perfection than in those which wee now a dayes doe practise. Yet must we not saie that these great Captaines ought to haue done otherwise than they did, for they neuer fayled in ought that either could or should be done. As also their most notable actions are since their deathes vanished away.
Of the new forces out of sundrie Prouinces that met at Or∣leance, which inuitéd the Prince of Condy to vndertake the voiage to Chartres.
IN the first ciuill warres most of the *Protestants, namely their heads, toke this for a principle: That it was hard without an armie in ye field to make anie honourable warre or profitable peace. In consideration heereof they exhorted their partakers to helpe to make a braue power, the benefit wher of should redound to the whole body, which was the reason that made so many readie to come in. But they found an inconuenience in aban∣doning to this effecte such good places as before they held in the prouinces, for afterward they had no place of retreate, as also they haue somtimes failed in the other point, viz. by keeping ouer ma∣ny. Wherin we may learne to auoid all extremities. Which not∣withstanding, yet were not the prouinces free frō war as wel in the first troubles as in these. Yea, who so list well to consider the dea∣lings of the Baron of Adrets, and other the braue exploites of sun∣drie Captaines both Catholikes and Protestants, recorded in the histories, shall see miserable matters valiantly and wisely executed. Page 407 But because I haue tied my selfe to speake of no more than I haue either seene or learned in good places, I haue abstained from ente∣ring the carrier of vnknowen Countries for feare of stumbling. Now the Prince of Condie being enformed that his forces out of Gascoyne and Daulphine amounting neere to sixe thousand men were ariued at Orleance thought it good to imploie them, & there∣fore sent them worde to be ready, as also to prouide pouder and shot with three or foure bad peeces of artillerie that were left: for albe∣it the Catholiks accounted the Protestants fierie people, yet were they alwayes but meanelie prouided of such instrumentes, neither haue they, as themselues, anie Saint Anthonie, whome men saie to be president of this element. His intent was before his enimies knew his purpose to haue enuironed the town that he meant to be∣siege, whereof he thought none so commodious for his affayres as Chartres, which being taken he purposed to fortefie, so to keepe a continuall thorne in the Parisians foote, and vnder the fauour ther∣of somewhat to preserue his Countries which were behinde. To * this effect being aboue twentie leagues of he sent three thousande horse to enclose it, which diligence turned to no greate profite, for a regiment of footmen which lay but foure leagues off did neuerthe∣lesse enter thereinto, which was the safegard of the towne. The L. of Ligniers did commaund therein, who had in all two and twentie companies, neyther did anie man spare for all remedies for forti∣fication, which are vsuall in such lowe places as are preuented. The assailants also for their parts noted those places that seemed most assaultable, which on euery side were so bad, that it was hard to say which was worst, and hauing discouered a mountaine which com∣manded vpon the flanke of a Courtine, without farther considerati∣on they tooke it, and at the first blush it promised much, howbeit the remedies there agaynst were easie: For the Prince hauing but fiue field peeces and foure light Culuerines, what were they able to do agaynst so many men of defence and labour as were therein. And in two daies and two nights it was so crossed and entrenched, that they durst not enter vpon them. The French man is so sodain, that he will immediatly discouer yt which cannot be found without long search. And through this redinesse I haue seene the discouerers of places commit so many ouer sights, that I thinke it a most profita∣ble rule to looke twice, yea thrice vpon a thing before we resolue or settle our iudgement thereof. After the breach was made, we knew that to giue the assault on that side was to loose our men wilfullie: Page 408 and as we were preparing for a new batterie in some weaker place the peace was concluded, which ouerthrew all militarie actions. True is the Prouerbe, that there is no well to the good men, for the place must be verie bad wherein they cannot find meanes to accommodate themselues. Men should neuer keepe anie long siege agaynst such places, in deede to let an armie lie before it 3. weekes or a moneth it may be done, whiles another is leauied in fauour of the besieged.
During our abode there the Lord Admirall attempted a braue * enterprise, which was determined in manner ensuing: The contra∣rie armie being beyond the riuer of Sein, durst not (I wot not why) approch the Princes maine power, yet would it not omitte anie op∣portunitie to fauour the besieged. And to the same effect was the Lord of Vallet a famous Captaine, sent with eighteene cornets of horsemen to surprise one of our troopes in their lodgings, to hinder our forage, to breake off our victuals, and to keepe vs in often alla∣rums. He approched within foure leagues of the camp, and lodged verie close, from whence he began greatlie to molest vs: The Lord *Admirall haere of aduertised, tooke vppon him to prouide remedie thereto. And vsing commonlie to march strong, for feare sayd he, of want of game, he tooke 3500. horse, & departed so earlie, that by the Sunne rising he was in these horsmens quarters, of whom many, notwithstanding their good watch kept in the fielde, were ouerta∣ken, so as there were foure cloutes taken but few men slayne. The Lord of Vallet who lodged in Oudan gathered together foure or fiue hundred horse, with whom albeit a thousand of ours did folow, he retired in good order, often making head agaynst vs, as indeede he had both skill and experience. Hereby we see that it is not good soiourning long in the face of a strong power of horse vnlesse a man be as stronglie lodged. For before he be aware he may be sur∣prised as it were with a sodaine storme: and the same may be vpon him in manner as soone as his sentinels, scoutes, or discouerers: for it marcheth assured, seareth nothing, and still sayth to the foremost, On, charge and follow all that thou findest. In such affayres the wi∣sest and most circumspect are sometimes ouertaken.
The second peace concluded at Lon-iumeau.
THroughout the whole troubles in Fraunce wee * haue still seene it fall out that they haue spoken of peace in the middest of all the war, so willing was euerie man to shew himself to like of so health some a matter: as also there haue ben diuerse concluded, but none worse to the Protestants than this. The treatie hereof was againe begun while the Prince lay before Char∣tres, who sent the Cardinall of Chastillon with other Gentlemen, to meete with the kings deputies at Lon-iumeau, where they so folowed it, that the articles were agreed vpon which were sent some to Paris & others to Chartres, there to decide the chiefe difficulties arising therein. Now as a good peace was not onely greatly desi∣red, but also as necessarie, so were there few that staied to consider what maner of one this was: but as if ye verie name had also brought the effect, most of the Protestants were fully resolud, yt it must bee accepted: And to speake plainly that was it that forced the P. & Ad∣miral, who saw such readinesse euen in the nobilitie, to condescend therto & to accept of it. It was as a whirle winde which they could not resist, but that it carried thē awaie. True it is that the P. was of himselfe somwhat inclined vnto it, but the Admiral stil doubted of the obseruation thereof: for he almost perceiued that they meant to be reuenged of the Protestants for ye iniurie receiued at the iourney of Meaux. Yea, euen then some such of the Catholiks as could con∣ceale nothing, gaue out openly that shortly they would haue a day. One of our agents also for the peace, sending word that hee had oft heard such speeches, & perceiued great indignation hidden in some of their hearts with whom they did conferre, wished it might be lo∣ked vnto, as noting some singular euent. Some likewise euen of the court, who sometime stole speeches out of the closet, sent their friends & kinsmen word yt vndoubtedly they would be deceiued vn∣lesse they wrought surely: which might haue sufficed to wakē those yt slept so soundly vpō ye sweet pillow of peace: but notwithstanding al aduice, ye brook which alredy ouerflowed could not be restrained. It may be meruailed yt these Captains being of such credit wt their partakers, could not persuade thē to that which was so profitable: Page 410 howbeit if we consider what these voluntarie persons were, also the violent desire to visite a mans home, we shall perceiue yt the anchor of apparant necessitie being broken, the shippe that is driuen with such vehement windes cannot be staied.
Sundry whole Cornets and diuerse perticular persons euen be∣fore the raising of the siege from before Chartres were departed * without asking leaue toward Xantoigne and Poictou. This hu∣mour also tooke place among the footmen, euen those that dwelte farthest off. Many also sayde that sith the King offered the last E∣dict of pacification, it might not be refused: Other of the Gentrie gaue out that they would retire into theyr owne Prouinces for the preseruation of their families whome the enimies cruelties often∣times murthered: The footmen complayned of the want of paie, and that ordinarily their victuals failed them. Thus might not the Generals of the Protestants cleaue to such aduertisements as they receiued, and so reiect the peace, least they should haue remayned o∣uer weake. Heerevppon they sometimes discoursed in this man∣ner.
That the most of their French forces abandoning them, they should be driuen to stand vpon their defence: but it would bee a great disgrace vnto them, in that it now was the time of yeere that armies vsed to take the field. To part with their Reisters whome they should distri∣bute in their townes they would not doe it, for so they shoulde deuoure themselues: likewise to lodge them in a fortefied campe, that remedie would last but a while. To be briefe, that they must trie the hazarde of a peace. Then could they haue wished to haue had some townes for the assurance therof: but when they requested anie other pledge than the edicts, oathes & promises, they were dismissed as men that did despise or contemne the authoritie roiall, which caused them to accept that which was vsuallie offered. Thus did the Protestants dismisse their strangers, retire into their houses, and euery man per∣ticularly lay awaie their weapons: weening (at the least the com∣mon sort, that the Catholiks would haue done the like: who were content onely to promise it, but in effect to performe nothing: but remaining still armed, kept the townes & passages ouer the riuer, so as within two moneths after they had the Protestants as it were at their discretions. Yea, some of them that insisted most vppon peace were forced to saie: We haue committed follie, and therefore must not thinke much to tast thereof, albeit this drinke be like to be verie bitter.
The third troubles.
Of the Protestants diligent retrait in the last troubles: also of the Lord of Martigues braue resolution when he came to Saumure.
HUmane affaires are subiect to many al∣terations, * for the better representing of the inconstancie whereof, the Ethnikes haue figured a turning whéele whereon things are sometime vp and sometime downe: and who so list well to note the dissimilitude of the ground of this warre with the former, shal perceiue the same. For in the former the Protestants did preuent and proudlie assayle, where in this they were preuented, and retired vpon shamefull necessitie, abandoning those Prouinces and Townes which before had serued for their preseruation. When they see tenne companies of footmen brought vnto Orle∣leance, they well knew that their businesse went amisse: but most of all were they moued to departe the Prouinces about Paris be∣cause the Prince had like to haue beene besette in his owne house by sundrie companies of men of armes and footemen that easily ap∣proched towarde him. Himselfe also hauing giuen aduice heereof to the Admirall and other his neerest neighbors, did together with them and their families retire to Rochel by wading through the riuer of Loyre at an vnaccustomed foode. Likewise he warned the Protestants farther off to take armes, and sauing themselues so well as they might to drawe towarde him, seeking passage ouer the riuer by foord or boate: The Catholikes scoffinglie tolde him that he néeded not haue taken so hotte an allarum, also that they had practised nothing agaynst them, whereto he answered, that hee had Page 412 rather leaue them the neasts than they shold haue caught the birds: also that if he had wel remembred their promise to be reuenged for Meaux, like wise that they would make the brethren ru〈…〉e when theyr turne came, he wold haue departed sooner that he might haue gone an easier pace. These were their common speeches: for the grauer matters on either 〈◊〉 are written in the histories: I know that warre is miserable and with all bringeth many mischiefes: but this vile small peace that lasted but sixe monethes was farre worse for the Protestants, who being murthered in their houses, durst not defende themselues. These and other matters prouoked and disposed them to seeke theyr safetie in assembling together.
The Lord of Andelot being in Britaine was aduised to assem∣ble all the power that he might, and to march into Poictou: where∣vppon he gaue them order to meete him in Anieow, which was * done: and when all were come together, his troope consisted of no lesse than a thousand good horse and two thousand harquebuziers, wherewith hee turned his head to the riuer of Loyre, to the end to seeke some commodious passage. But the same daie that bee came to the shoare therof, there fell out an vnlooked for aduenture wher∣fro the Catholikes escaped with honour. Hee was lodged verie scatteringly, as hauing no greate allarum of enemies, and had gi∣uen the Captaines of his troopes charge, after they were ariued in their quarters, to seeke for some foorde or wadeable place, but two houres after they were lodged the Lord of Martigues who was going to the Duke of Montpensier at Saumure, was aduer∣tised that a number of Protestantes (without naming of anie) were come to lodge in his way.
Now hee hauing alreadie passed a small riuer called Sorgne by boat, thoght it to late to retire, & therfore yt it was requisit he make way with the sword whatsoeuer sh〈…〉ld happen, his cariages he had sent awaie on the other side of Loire and his troop consisted of three hundred speares, and fiue hundred harquebuzieres. Also in as much as hee was driuen to march a long a banke of earth which kept in the riuer, where there coulde but tenne men or sixe horses passe in front, hee placed at his head an hundred Gascogne harquebu∣ziers of his garde, and two bundred others: his horsemen in the the middest, then the rest of his footmen behinde, and fiftie speares for scourers.
This done he sayde vnto them: Companions and friendes, the Protestants are vppon our waie: wee must eyther goe ouer them or Page 413 bee lost: for flie wee cannot: Let euerie man therefore prepare to fight well with his arme and march gallantlie with his feete to winne Sanmure, wee haue but eight small leagues thether, and shall not bee in safetie before we come there.
This sayde, they all promised not to fayle in theyr dueties, and in this resolution they marched on. The two first troopes that hee mette were two companies of horsemen that were taking their lodgings, whome hee easilie scattered, and Captaine Bois∣uert was slayne in the fight: There hee hearde that the Lorde of Andelot was at hande, wherevppon hee hasted the more to preuent him: But not withstanding whatsoeuer his diligence, hee founde him horsed with a fewe men, as hauing had the allarum by some runawayes. There was giuen a braue charge, wherein the Lord of Martignes lieuetenaunt was slayne, and the Lorde of Ande∣lot forced to permitte him free passage. He suffered not his soul∣diours to spoyle the carryages that stoode in the waies, but made them to march on. Within one league of the same place hee mette a companie of Captaine Cognees horse marching, whome with harquebuze shotte hee sent backe a pace: agayne a quarter of a league from Rosiers there mette him two hundred harquebu∣ziers whome the Lorde of la None sent towarde the allarum to succour the rest: but the Lorde of Martigues footemen beeing all olde souldiours and the others newe, did so disorder them as they were forced to abandon the village, and leaue him free pas∣sage.
Finallie, within two leagues of Saumure hee founde yet another companie of footemen lodged in a Church, whome hee forced and tooke theyr Ensigne, and so at the shutting in of the euening came safe with his men well wearyed with fighting and marching, hauing lost but twentie of them, but slayne foure times as many of his enemies, and scarred aboue a thou∣sande.
This exploit did I thinke good to sette downe, as seeming to bee replenished with a braue determination: albeit it was •o meruayle that the Lorde of Andelots troopes entered not within them: for they were sodainelie surprised, beeing all scat∣tered a sunder, besides that the horsemen were in too straight a roome to fight well, and although they had beene gathered agayne together▪ yet were the enemies alreadie in safe∣tie. Page 414 Thus do we see how much it standeth a body in hand both to march in order and to be well determined: and this is it that causeth those small troopes that are willing in valour to supplie their weaknesse, ordinarily to ouercome.
Notwithstanding this checke, yet was not the Lord of Andelot past hope of passage ouer the riuer: hauing therfore closed his men in two bodies, he caused them to trye euery where: In the ende they found a foord as it were miraculously, where no man had in mans memorie passed: and the next morning both he and all his being very glad that they had met that which they hoped not of, he passed ouer vnto the other side. Remaining in these vncerteynties, I could him that it were good for vs to consider what wee had to doe if our passage were stopped: wherevpon he aunswered. What can wee el• doe but take some extreeme partie, either to dye as Soul∣diers, or to saue our selues as Souldiers? My opinion is, sayd he, that wee all ioyne and so retire seauen or eight leagues hence into the open countrie, and thence to aduertise the Lordes of Montpensier and Martigues that we be fled & are scattered, euery man seking to escape the daunger, which they will soone beleeue. In the meane time we will encourage and prepare our men to ouercome: Then if they approach neere vnto vs, as vndoubtedly they will (rather to spoile than to fight) let vs valiantlie set vppon them, so shall we b•eake them, and after∣warde will no troope for one moneths space bee so bolde as to come before vs, thus maye wee easilie gette into Germanie, or vp the ri∣uers.
This readie and couragious counsayle of so gallant a knight, is no more (in my opinion) to bee concealed than the braue determina∣tion of the Lord of Martigues, two personages vndoubtedly wor∣thie the best militarie offices. The last wo•ne farre greater honour in his passage, and the first much more profite, as getting him and his into safetie: For within eight dayes after hee ioyned with the Prince of Condie, which was a greate strengthening vnto him. This the Protestants so badde a beginning and en∣terie into the warre by such headelong retreates was a foreto∣ken, that they would vse these remedies in the continuation there∣of, which also came to passe, albeit in the former they had but verie seldome had anie such happe, whereof if there bee anie that desire to knowe the causes, I will set them downe.
It proceeded of the contempt of discipline, and the multi∣plication of vice, the which dooth breede greate disorder, and Page 415 engendreth bouldnesse in many (not in all) who vnder colour of ne∣cessitie doo take vpon them too much libertie.
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.
Of the first progresse of both the armies, when being in their prime they sought with like desire to fight.
AFter the ouerthrowe of Mouuans the Catho∣licke* armie retired to Chastellerault, fearing least the Protestants being so mightie would come vpon them in some bad ground. There was also the Duke of Anieow who brought other power very resolute in that their Cap∣taine to whome they bare great honor and re∣uerence was such a Prince. And in my opinion there had not of long time bene seene so many Frenchmen in both the armies. The Prince of Condé his places furnished, had in his eighteene thousand Harquebuziers and three thousand good horse: and I take that in Monsiers were at the least eighteene thousand Souldiers and foure thousand Speares, besides the Suitzers: so as on both sides might haue bene found aboue fiue and thirtie thousand Frenchmen, all trayned, and peraduenture as bould Souldiers as any in Christendome. The Protestants finding themselues strong would haue sought to ioyne, and came within two leagues of Chastellerault: But the Prince hauing aduice that the other campe was planted vppon a strong ground almost enuironed with a small marish, whereto was in some places adioyned a slight Trench, ment not rashly to attempt any thing, but sought meanes to drawe them foorth to battell. Hereto was he enuited by the heate that he perceiued in his souldiers: likewise by his great number, for he doubted that such an armie wanting pay would not long continue great, as also that the sharpenesse of winter would soone deminish it. It may be that in the Catholike army some of these considerations might likewise take place. But there was a good vniformity in this, that both the generalls were touched with equall desire to ioyne and like purpose each to goe liue vpon his enemies land, so to preserue his owne from the ex∣treeme spoyle which whole armies doe make.
Page 419 Thus they both raised their campes and tooke their way to Lu∣signan,* neere whereto was a small quarter of land, good in all per∣fection, where each entended to lodge: and albeit they were both neere together, yet could neither heare newes of other, which is not very straunge, for we see it many times come so to passe. Both parties therefore hauing appoynted their generall meeting at a great borowe named Pamprow, plentifull in victualles, the Mar∣shals of both the campes came thether much about one time with their troopes, from whence they beate each other forward and back∣ward twise or thrise, so desirous was euery man to catch that bone to knawe vpon, which in the ende was giuen ouer. Howbeit, ei∣ther of them knowing very well that they should haue support, stood stiffe, and would not flee but retired a quarter of a league of, where they set themselues in battaile aray: Afterward came the Lord Admirall and d'Andelot with fiue Cornets of horse onely, and on the behalfe of the Catholickes came seauen or eight hun∣dred Speares. It is now, sayd the Lord Admirall, no speaking of lod∣ging but of fighting: and with all speede aduertised the Prince, who was a long league of, to set forwarde, in the meane time he would set a good face on the matter. He commaunded them to stand in a∣ray vpon a small rising, so to take from the enemies the viewe of a valley least they should discouer him: and this did he to the ende to make thē think that we had some great power both of horsemen & footmen hidden therein. Being thus in aray within a Canon shot each of other, he willed a Captaine of harquebuziers on horseback to set forwarde fiue hundred paces, and to stay neere to a hedge, which he did: But as these people albeit they can discharge run∣ning are not neuerthelesse skilfull souldiers, so had they not stayed there sixe paternosters while but halfe of them moued to skirmish, and after marched their whole Cornet to support them: The ene∣mies seeing this, imagined they would haue comen to them, which made them to close themselues & with three or foure great troopes of Speares begin to set forward. Truely at that time I saw these two Captaines very sorie that they had not foreseene the folly of that foole, but more because they wist not what counsaile to take, seeing their enemies much stronger then themselues: Howbeit, when they came to conclude, each of them concluded otherwise then his nature or custome did import. The Lord of Andelot who neuer found any thing too hot, sayd that they ought to retire the pace: that the enemie being the stronger would giue vs the foyle: Page 420 and that wee should not respect the shame, considering that he that scapeth the perill, besides the profite that he reapeth doth al∣so enioy the honor. The Lord Admirall, a man of great conside∣ration, was obstinatly bent to abide, saying that it was neces∣sarie with a good countenance to hide our weakenesse, and imme∣diatly sent to reuoke the harquebuziers, wherevpon the enemie stayed.
Now, albeit this counsaile was profitable, yet was the Lord of Andelots the surer and to be preferred; at the least in my opinion, * who thought it good to rehearse this small action somewhat at large, to the ende that such as would bee instructed in deedes of armes may reape this fruite, viz. When any action of importance commeth in question to remoue the Argolets out of the front, and in their place to commit some warie Captaine accompanied with good Speares: For he that hath this place is a guide to the rest; and vpon his aduice they all doe mooue, and who doth otherwise doth erre as he who marching in an vnknowne countrie doe com∣mit the conduct to such a guide as knoweth not the way. Herein wee may also note that albeit there bee no ielouzie betweene Cap∣taines, yet, euen in a very euident, matter wee shall see contrarietie of opinions. But herein my most wonder is that each of them contraried his naturall disposition and vsuall maner of procee∣dings. For the one being as actiue as a Marcellus determined ve∣rie wisely: and the other slawe and very consideratiue as a Fabius did giue a very aduenterous opinion. To reporte the cause hereof I cannot, except that vppon sudden motions men doe not alwaies obserue the order accustomed in their actions. Wee may also see how bouldnesse sometime standeth vs in steade: But according to the prouerbe, These things may well bee done once, but it is not good to vse them often in respect of the daunger. I did since aske the Lord of Martigues, who commanded ouer this troope of speares, whether be knewe that the Lordes Admirall and Andelot were among these fiue Cornets▪ He tould me no, for had he knowne it it should haue cost them all their liues but they would haue had them quicke or dead: and that they tooke them to haue bene the Marshals of the lodgings troopes, which also they would haue charged, had it not bene for a doubt least they had bene supported by a maine power of harquebuzerie, which to their seeming appea∣red in a village behinde, who in deede were but varlets that at∣tended the comming of their foo•men.
Page 421 Within one houre after each parte looked for a greater game: * for on all sides they might discerne the Footmens Ensignes come in•arthing on with the squadrons of horsemen, and it was late be∣fore all were come, so as there was nothing done but a great skir∣mish; which the night brake of. There was but the Catholikes〈…〉ntguard who seeing the match but euill made of them onely against the Protestants whole campe vsed a proper pollicie where∣with to make vs suppose that their maine battaile had bene there: for they caused the Drammes of their French Regiments to strike vp after the Suitzers maner: which confirmed our opinion that their whole power was present, neither was there any speech but of battaile in the morning. As also they charged that none of their bands should straggle foorth: likewise that they should in fight stande onely vppon the defensiue, least by the taking of any prisoner the trueth might bee reuealed: all this if wee had kno∣wen they had bene set vppon the same night. They strooke vp the watch and caused to make great fires, but hauing taken their repaist with small noyse they departed, some to Iasnueil where Monsiere was lodged with the battaile, and the rest to the Bor∣rowe of Sansay which is but a league of. At three of the clocke af∣ter midnight was the Prince aduertised of their departure, and at fine followed vppon their tayle with his whole power, doubting that all theirs was not come thether. Thus doe wee in one day see two braue occasions lost, the first by the Catholikes, the se∣cond by the Protestants, albeit neither of them are greatly to bée blamed, as being hard to bee discouered at the instant, and in two or three houres they were past. True it is that some aduice would haue bewrayed them at the full, but this is a benefite of good happe which dependeth not vpon the sufficiencie of the Cap∣taines.
All that I haue reported of the former day is yet but a small * matter in respect of that which happened the next day at Iasnueil, and it seemeth yt the guider of all things purposed for certaine daies to laugh to skorne so many excellent Captaines there present: for many things which then happened and fell out were rather by chaunce and in a maner vnlookedfor, then through any counsaile. The Protestants were determined to follow the enemie euen into ye bodie of his armie, also to fight with him whersoeuer they might find him. Herevpō the L. Admiral followed their steps which were euident enough, and the Prince marched after. But where as there Page 422 were two waies, the one leading to the borowe of Sansay, the other to Iasnueil, the Prince through a mist that arose afore breake of day, strayed and tooke the way to Iasnueil. The forefront which being strong, the Lord Admirall had set before him, about eight of the clocke in the morning came vpon the borowe of Sansay, where fiue or sixe hundred horse were lodged, who were forced to retire more then the pace, lost all their cariages, and were pursued very farre. In the meane time the Prince continuing the way that he had taken, after he had marched two leagues lighted vpon the fore∣front of Monsiers armie, not hearing any newes of his aduant-guard. Then seeing himselfe beset, he thought it best to set a good countenance, and seeing the countrie was strong, he placed his Harquebuziers, who were aboue twelue thousand, formost and be∣gan the skirmish: he also sent word to the Admirall (albeit he wi•• not where he was) that he had bene forced to make as if he would fight, seeing himselfe so neere the enemie, willing him with all di∣ligence to returne to him. Before the messenger was in the midde way, the Lord Admirall heard the Canon rore, wherevpon he doubted of that which was happened, and marched toward the noyse with all that he could gather: but when he came to the place the Sunne was going downe, whereby they could haue no time to consult, discouer, or enterprise any matter in grosse: But al went away in great skirmishes as braue as any that had bene seene of long time, which somewhat amazed Monsiers armie by reason it stood vpon a very discommodious ground, which notwithstanding it still set a good face on the matter. They see not one an other, as being hidden with hedges and small vallies, neither was there any but the loose Shot perceiued. I could well note that our men were full of courage, but the conduct was not alike: for they discharged as it had bene for salutation and remayned too close to∣gether, yea a whole regiment assailed at once, where contrariwise Monsiers came scattered shooting slowly and marching in small troopes, so as two hundred harquebuziers could keepe a whole re∣giment of Protestants occupied. Howbeit, they could not keepe some of ours from entring euen into the first tentes, which their heate cost them dere: for the Lord of la Valette twise charged them with three hundred Speares, and slewe some hundred and fiftie. Now may some man aske, if the Princes whole armie had come with him what would haue ensued? I am of opinion that the other would haue bene shrewdly shaken, for their battaile ground was so Page 423 straight that they had not enough to haue set them in aray: when they should haue come to fight wee might haue cast vppon their flanckes (which was al vpon a strong ground) tenne thousand har∣quebuziers, supported with one thousand horse: Then with the rest of the footmen and aboue one thousand & fiue hundred horse haue charged vpon their front, who could hardly haue borne it. The Ca∣tholick Captaines there present, if they list to say the truth cannot greatly gainsay this, for they neuer were so, pestered as then, as my selfe haue heard euen of the best, who haue not concealed it from me. The night comming on the Prince went to take his lod∣ging at Sansay, which was but a league and a halfe of.
One thing worthie laughter which then happened I will not * suppresse: and it was this. While wee houered, all our footmens cariage came and stayed along a woods side not farre from the taile of our men of warre, and there prouided them selues, wee∣ning they should haue pitched in that place, & making aboue 4000. fires they perceiued not the retiring of the armie by reason of the night, whereby many maisters had but had suppers. Some of the Catholickes watch haue confessed vnto me, that seeing so many fires and hearing such noyse they tooke it certainly to be our armie and expected the battaile in the morning: wherevpon they were the more diligent in fortifying all the waies. The late Captaine Ga∣ries also could me that himselfe offered to goe and discouer what it might bee: but they would venture nothing against those braue Souldiers. About midnight the Prince was aduertised that all the cariages were as it were enclosed and it was accompted lost, neuerthelesse, he sent foure or fiue Cornets to get it away, and an houre after commanded one thousand horse and two thousand har∣quebuziers to goe to the rescue if the enemie followed. The first commers found our maisters the •arlets and lackies camped very orderly, warming themselues, singing and making good cheare, yea a farre of men would haue thought them to haue bene 10000. men, neither were they any more afeard then if they had bene in some strong towne: They began to laugh at this rascaldrie, which for the most part is as fearfull as a Hare euen in place of assurance: and yet there in the middest not of great daunger onely but euen of death, was nothing but mirth: for they had very well supped with their maisters victuals. They came to the head of this braue campe where the valiantest lackies and boyes had set their watch and sen∣tinels, who from as farre as they could perceiue any, albeit a hun∣dred〈1 page missing〉
Page 426 began to play into the squadrons which sometimes it ••••maged. There might a man see aboue 40000. men (the most French) in aray and not farre asunder, their courages as fierce as their coun∣tenances braue, and many of them did but waite for the token of battaile.
Now must ye vnderstande that vetweene the two armies there * was but a plaine fielde without any aduantage, which may make some man maruaile why they ioyned not: But on the other side ye must weete that there had not bene so sharpe a winter seene in 20. yeeres before, neither was it only a hard frost but withall there fell so terrible a sleete that a footman could scarce march without fal∣ling, much lesse the horse, for it was so slipperie that a horse could not passe a bancke of three or foure foote high. And whereas be∣tweene the two armies there were many such made for partition of lands, the same were as good as trenches: so as who so had at∣tempted to assaile must of force haue bene wholy disordered. This caused them to stand fast each looking who would first begin this hazard or rather follie. No man would trie the passage, only there was some small skirmish, and one houre before night they retired each into his quarter. The next morning they set themselues a∣gaine in battaile aray discharging their artillerie as the day before: some also that went to skirmish, either brake or put their legges or armes out of ioynt, and more there were hurt by this incōuenience then by any harquebuze shot. The third day they shewed the like countenance, but could finde no meanes to ioyne without falling into great disaduantage. But the fourth day Monsier retired a league of, not to refresh his men (as we vse to say) but to warme them vnder couert against the iniurie of time, for they were no longer able to beare the colde which killed diuers as well of the one as of the other. It is a manifest abuse obstinatly to labour to ouer∣come the sharpnesse of the weather: for sith euen the hardest things are thereby broken, much more must man who is sensible giue place: as also that which followed teacheth that we ought not, but vpon great necessitie, to make the souldier beare more then he may. For within a fewe daies such violent and lanquishing diseases sea∣sed vpon them, that in one moneth I am assured there dyed aboue three thousand of ours, besides those that retired home: and I haue heard that on the other part there were as many or more that tooke the same course. Euery mans desire to fight, together with the presence of their Generalles, made them to beare euen to extremi∣tie: Page 427 howbeit, if I should not lye, Monsiers parte endured most through want of the couert and victuals that we had. Some Cor∣nets of horse of both campes were lodged within halse a league or three quarters of a league each of other: howbeit when they retur∣ned to their lodgings they were all so sterued with colde that they had no mindes to molest their enemies, not so much as to giue one alarum, as if there had bene some perfect truce betweene them.
On the morowe after the departure of Monsiers armie there * fell out a braue occasion, which the Lord Admirall had before fore∣seene, and was reasonably hotly pursued, which neuerthelesse had not the hoped successe. He gessed that the Catholickes, who the daies before were lodged half along the hedges, would (being got∣ten a little aloofe) scatter into the good villages, which in déede they did, so as in the bodie of the armie there remayned none but Mon∣siers owne person, the artillerie, the Suitzers, three or foure hun∣dred horse, and about twelue hundred harquebuziers. The rest were some one league, some two leagues of. Now, about nine of the clocke in the morning, so soone as the Princes horse were arri∣ued, they sent foorth twelue or foreteene thousand harquebuziers with foure small peeces, determining to set full vpon the bodie of the enemies armie, which was but a small league and a halfe of. They knewe well enough that there was a small brooke with di∣uers foords ouer it, which by the report of their guides they tooke not to bee very difficult: also hauing ouer night discouered and ta∣sted the guardes thereof they found them forceable. Thus they marched making a braue head: and when they came to the passage which was within a quarter of a league of their campe, they found it kept by some footmen, who doubted no such matter. The same did they charge very liuely, but could not force it, & so stayed there vpon the skirmish. Their campe hauing hereof taken a very hot alarum, began to shoote of Canon after Canon to call in their scat∣tered people, and very certaine it is that at the beginning they were greatly astonied: then their Captaines prouided for the reen∣forcing of the guard of this passage: howbeit, within a good quar∣ter of an houre after the Lord Admirall set vpon an other passage which was also as well defended: but could they haue bene wonne there was some likelihood that their armie might haue bene ouer∣taken: For before they could haue had the succour of a thousand men, wee should at the first comming haue set in their faces 1500. horse and 6000. harquebuziers, which would haue shaken them Page 428 shrewdly. About two houres after, being encreased they planted some peeces vpon a rising: and after some shot on each side the colde caused euery man to retire.
As well the gentrie as common Souldiers on both sides did * much murmure against their Captaines, in that without any pro∣fite they were made a pray vnto the frostes and colde, as also they complayned that famine assaulted them, so as if they would not prouide for them in safe & fortified places, they being no loger able to endure such extremities, would place themselues. Hereto was there no contradiction, for their Captaines entents did concurre with their desires. The Catholicks went to lodge beyond Loyre, about Saumure: The Protestants returned to Montreuill-bellay and Touars. In this last action I consider that many good occa∣sions doe fall out when the armies are lodged scatteringly, which should dispose their leaders to watch diligently for feare of trying one vnfortunate houre. At the least ought they to labour to be able with Alexander to say: I haue slept soundly, for Antipater hath watched for me. Some there are that thinke that the readers can gather but small instruction in the view of things not performed, which they tearme vnperfect workes: but I am not of their minde. For whensoeuer any action together with the circumstances there∣of is truely set downe, albeit it reacheth but halfe the way, yet may there still bee some fruite gathered thereof: euen as men may take some examples by such as liue but to the third or fourth parte of the common course of mans life: for vertue will somewhat appeare in all parts of mans age or actions, and this shall cause me yet to set downe here one bould attempt, which albeit it came not to ef∣fect, is neuerthelesse worthie to be knowne.
The Countie of Brissack was the dealer and attempter thereof * during the aboade of both armies. He was bould, and for his age very wise: but his excessiue desire of glorie did euen rauish him to high and difficult attempts. The Lords Admirall and Andelot were lodged in the towne of Montreuill-belay with their cornets which were great. In one of the suburbes at hand was there also two cōpanies of footmen in the rou〈…〉e of a simple watch, as well before their lodgings as at the gates. The gentlemen did onely keepe the rounds euery houre about the walles, and this seemed to suffice. For by reason that vppon the way from Saumure there were in a great suburbe beyond the riuer sixe or seauen regiments of footmen, the towne was couered on that side: On the other side Page 429 there were great marishes a league about, which could not be pas∣sed but in certaine places, also nine or tenne Cornets of horsemen lodged in the villages on the hether side, who beate the waies both night and day. All this so assured the towne as there was small likelihood that it could fall into any daunger. Now as in these ci∣uill warres men haue alwaies had good aduertisements, by reason that the secrete enemies are still hidden in the parties bowels, so the sayd Countie was first aduertised of the small watch kept in the towne: secondly that by going two leagues about out of the high way he might come, without the daunger of our horsemens watch. Howbeit he would not trust hereto: but for his better assu∣rance requested a French Captaine and an Italian by night to goe and discouer the truth. One of them did assure me that they came to the foote of the wall, and with a long pike and a corde with an yron hooke vpon it, they gat vp (for it was but lowe) and about nine of the clocke at night came euen to the Lord Admirals lod∣ging, and returned againe vndescried. He vnderstanding of this fa∣cilitie was very glad thereof, and therevpon layed his purpose a∣foresaid in maner following. Himselfe would with a thousand cho∣sen and nimble harquebuziers & fiue hundred horse depart in such time that he might come to Montreuill-bellay by three of ye clock in the morning, so to haue at the least two houres of night to fa∣uour his retraict if he should faile of his purpose: but in case he did compasse it he should haue made great fires about the Castle, so to aduertise the Catholicke armie which was at Saumure to march with all speede to his succour, as assuring himselfe not to be forced without the Canon, neither is it to bée doubted but in sixe houres they might haue bene there. So doing he should take two notable Captaines in the middest of their assurance, and 100. gentlemen of name: moreouer he should disperse this aduantguard there lod∣ged, which would neuer haue abidden the comming of the Catho∣licks succour, so sore would they haue bene astonied, yea & peraduē∣ture other inconueniences might haue ensued. I for my parte who was then there & haue wel viewed both the inside & the outside, al∣so the state of the affaires do not think the execution therof to haue bene vnpossible: But as it is requisite that God should watch ouer thē that sleep & vpon the preseruation of cities: so when the Coun∣tie was vpon his way to performe his enterprise, he light vpon an vnlooked for mishap which ouerthrew all his entent. For hauing to yt effect see forward with 12. ladders & his men well resolued, being Page 430 within two good leagues of the towne, by chaunce he met with two hundred Protestants horsemen that were going to beate about who seeing this great troope of horsemen and footmen in the fielde, did suddenly returne and giue the alarum both to the towne and to the other quarters of the horsemen, whereby the Countie was forced to retire. Afterward the Lord Admirall caused greater watch vpon the waies and to beate the fieldes oftner, albeit he ne∣uer knewe of this enterprise nor my selfe neither, vntill after the peace concluded. Truely I doe greatly commend this valiant en∣terprise of this yong noble gentleman, to whom the only daring to attempt it was an honor. Howbeit, I meruaile not that the Lord Admirall neuer doubted any such matter, for he must, as a man should say, haue foreseene it by inspiration. Neuerthelesse, it is good for a man when he is neere a great power and such resolute Cap∣taines to haue a double care, and to thinke that the desire of honor will furnish them of wings.
Of the death of the Prince of Condé at Bassac.
THE Protestants hauing in the former * daies endured much, founde the more sweetnesse in their aboade in Poictow, whether they were retired: where they were aduertised that Monsiers armie was in the field, marching toward An∣golesme. There were newly come to him two thousand Reistres, and as I suppose to the end the sooner to ende the warre he purposed to force his enemies either to fight, or els to shut vp themselues in the townes. In the one he had the aduan∣tage: in the other he deminished their reputation. The Prince and Admirall vpon this aduice caused their men to close, determining to keepe themselues along the banckes of the riuer of Charente, so to behould their countenances, but to hazard nothing: as also to fauour their Houlds for the furnishing wherof with men they must Page 431 diminish there armie. There was nothing done worthie remem∣branee vntil the Catholiks came to Chasteaunueuf, which stādeth vpon the same riuer, where at theyr first comming they tooke the Castle which had but a bad keeper: And because the bridge was broken in two places, the Admirall himselfe to the end to discouer their countenance and the passage would needs come thether with 7. or 800. horse & as many harque buziers, hauing the riuer still be∣tweene thē, where he began a skirmish with some people whō they had sent ouer either by bôate or vpon some plankes sodeinly laide, which lasted not long: In the meane time it might bee easily per∣ceiued that they would labour to passe ouer there.
The Lord Admirall desiring as much as he might to preserue * his credite, and to giue his enimies to vnderstand that he would not giue them ground: foote by foote that he purposed to stop their pas∣sage yet for one daie: & in the same place appointed two regiments of footmen to lodge within a quarter of a league of the bridge, and eight hundred horse a little behinde. This done, with the rest of the auan•gard he retyred to Bassac, which was a league of, and the Prince came to Iarnae which is one league farther, but his com∣mandement was not performed: for both horsemen and footemen seeing that in the places appointed there were fewe houses and no virtuals or forrage, hauing quite forgotten the custome of the camp and wanting of prouision at home, tooke their quarters else where. Thus most of the troop departed to take their lodgings, so as there remayned but few vppon the place who setteled themselues halfe a league from the passage: whereof it ensued that the gard was very weake, neither could it approch neere inough to heare or giue alla∣rum to the enemies gard from time to time according as was de∣uised, so to haue made them beleeue that our whole auantgard had bene there lodged. The Catholikes who were resolued, albeit our whole campe would haue letted them, to seaze vppon this passage, through the diligence of the Lord of Biron not onelie repaired the olde bridge, but also made a new of such beates as are ordinarilie transported in armies royall, which was also finished before mid∣night: and then they began to passe ouer without anie noise both horsemen and footmen.
The Protestants that watched there did scarce perceiue their passage before breake of daie, whereof immediatly they certefied the L. Admiral, who vnderstanding that most of his men were lod∣ged scatteringlie, euen on the same side that the enemies came, sent Page 432 them worde of their passage, warning them to drawe to him with∣all speede so to retire together, in the meane time that hee woulde houer at Bassac: he also commaunded the carriages and footemen to retire which was performed. Now if then, yea an howre after his whole troopes had beene come together, they might easily haue departed, euen a soft pace. But the delay of time being at the leaste three howres, while he stayed for them, was the cheefe cause of our mishap: neither woulde hee loose such troopes conteining eight or nine corners of horse-men, and some ensignes of foote-men, whose captains were the County of Montgomery, the Lord of Acier, and Colonell Pluuiault.
In the end beeing all ioyned with him except Colonell A∣cier* who tooke the way to Angolesme, the enimies that still pas∣sed ouer weare waren so mighty, and come so neere vnto vs, also the skirmish so whot, that it appeared that needes wee must fight. Hereupon the Prince of Condee, who was already a good halfe league vpon his retraict, vnderstanding that they shoulde be forced to buckle, hauing the stonracke of a Lion woulde needes haue a share. When to the end to retire we forsooke, a small brooke, which coulde not be passed but in two or three places, the Catholicks set forwarde the flowre of their horsemen vnder the conduct of the Lordes of Guize, Martigues and Brissac, who ouerthrew fower cornets of Protestants, beeing vpon the retraict, where my selfe was taken prisoner: then did they set vpon the Lord of Andelot in a village, who bare their brunt wel ynough: hauing ouerpassed him they perceiued two great battailes of horse, among whome were the Prince and Admirall, who seeing themselues beset prepared to charge.
The Lorde Admirall gaue the first onset, and the Prince the second, which was fiercer then ye first: at the beginning they forced al yt came to turne their backs, & truely it was well fought on eue∣ry side. Howbeit in as much as the whole army of the Catholicks, still came on the Protestants were forced to flee after they had lost in the field, about a hundred Gentlemen, but especially the Princes owne person, who being borne downe coulde haue no succour, and hauing yeelded himselfe to the Lorde of Argences, there came a Gascoigne Gentleman named Montesquion and discharged a pistoll through his head whereof he died.
His death bred wonderfull sorrowe among the Protestantes, and as great ioy to some of his aduersaries, who supposed they Page 433 shoulde soone ouercome the whole body, nowe that they had cut of so good a head, howbeit, as some did greatly blame him, so others there were that commended his valour. As also this commendati∣on * may iustly be giuen him that in bouldnesse or curtesy no man of his time excelled him. Of speech hee was eloquent rather by na∣ture then art: he was liberall and affable vnto all men, and withall an excellent Captaine, although he loued peace. Hee bare him selfe better in aduersity then in prosperitie. His greatest commendati∣on of all was his stedfastnesse in religion. My best is, to holde my peace for feare of saying to little, albeit I thought good to speake somewhat, leaste I shoulde be accounted ingratefull to the memo∣ry, of so valiant a Prince. Many a worthy person both Catholike and Protestant, whome our ciuill stormes haue caried away, are to be lamented: for they honored our Fraunce and might well haue holpen to encrease it, had not discord prouoked the valour of the one to the destruction of the valour of the other. After this blowe the Protestantes army was wonderfully astonied, and it fell out well for them, that the country whereinto they were withdrawne was all full of water: for thereby were the Catholicks restrained, and they had time to recouer themselues▪ Hauing atchieued such a vic∣tory the Catholicks imagined, that such of our townes as were not very strong woulde bee amazed: But the Admirall had placed in them the most part of his footemen, thereby breake this first fu∣ry: so as when they set forward to assalt Coignac they well found that such catts were not caught without mittens: for therein were fowre regimentes of footemen, but as when they had sent three or fowre hundred shot vnto the parkeside to disceuer that part, they that were within sent foorth 10, or 1200, who sent them so quickly away that they came no more: as also they had in their army but sowre Canons, and as many Culuerines. Monsieur contenting him selfe with his victory, and perceiuing that hee coulde not per∣forme any greate matter, in his tender youth triumphing ouer moste excellent captaines, as also hee had good counsaile and as∣sistaunce of other worthy Captaines that accompanied him, retired to refresh his men.
In this action we are to gather that in whatsoeuer waighty and daungerous attempt, it must not bee followed to halues: for we must either quight leaue it off, or else employ whatsoeuer our senses and force. Page 434 Moreouer, this is to be noted, that when armies are lodged scatte∣ringly, they incurre viuerse inconueniences which the sufficiencie of the best Captaines is not able withstand.
Of the notable passage of the Duke of Aipont from the borders of Rhine, euen into Aquitaine.
MAny that shall heere see it set downe as it were for a meruayle that a forraine enimies armie coulde pierce so very far into the realme of France, wyll not peraduenture thinke it straunge: because that considering other examples, namelie that of the Emperour Charles the fifth, when hee came to besiege Saint Desier, they will not take such expeditions to be so extraordinarie as we wold make them beleeue for. Howbeit if they list well to waigh the length of the iourney, also the mightie and continuall lets and hinderances that this had, I doubt they wil be of another opinion. Yet will I confesse that ciuill warres doe greatly fauour the entrie of our neighbours, who otherwise with∣out the support of one of the factions neuer durst haue enterprised the same. But when on the one side the fauour is small, and on the other side the resistance great, we are the more to admire the deeds of those that haue so aduentured.
Touching that which is alleadged of the Emperour Charles, I will aunswere in fewe wordes. First, for his person hee was the mightiest Captaine in Christendome: then for his campe it consi∣sted of fiftie thousand men: lastlie, that at such time as hee came in the King of England had alreadie taken Bollein, which caused King Fraunces, who woulde not aduenture anie thing rashlie, to leaue the passage more free. Nowe the Duke of Biponts case is farre otherwise: for notwithstandinge he were a valyaunt Page 435 valyant Prince, yet did he not any thing neere approch the milita∣rie sufficiencie of the other: and a great helpe and ease it was for him that he was accompanied with the Prince of Orenge, Countie Lodowicke, & Countie Wolrad of Mansfield, besides other braue French Captaines, and two thousand footmen and horsemen of the same nation that ioyned with him. His number of Germaines was fiue thousand Lance knights and sixe thousand Reisters. With this small armie did he passe forward in purpose to ioyne with the Prin∣ces power.
The King vnderstanding that he prepared for their succour, did * immediatlie appoint a small armie vnder the leading of the Duke of Aumale to withstand him: and doubting of the weaknesse ther∣of, he also ioyned thereto another vnder the gouernment of the D. of Nemours. These two bodies vnited did in footmen exceede the Duke of Bipont, but in horse were inferiour vnto him. They de∣termined not to state his comming into the realme to molest them, and therefore marched euen into the borders of Germanie, and to∣ward Sauerne ouerthrew the regiment of one named Le Coche, composed of certaine straies gathered together who meant to haue ioyned with him. Neuerthelesse he entered into France on the side of Burgundie, whether they came to coast him, and vntill he came to the riuer of Loire which was little lesse than foure score leagues they neuer gaue him ouer, but still were either on his flankes or tayle, yea, many times the armies were in sight each of other, and had great skirmishes.
I haue oft heard the Prince of Orenge report that he meruay∣led in so long and difficult a waie that the Catholikes could neuer finde anie fit occasion to their aduauntage, for sometimes they had fayre offers by reason of the pestering with store of carriages. Nei∣ther can I omit this, that besides the braue forces of the Kings ar∣mie, they had other aduantages which were not smal, as the fauour of the townes, Countries, and riuers, yea, and one point more was to be noted, that is, their notise of the enemies purposes which con∣sisted in making of way and winning by power or pollicy some pas∣sage ouer Loire. For albeit both the Dukes of Nemours and Au∣male were braue Captains, yet notwithstanding all their pollicies and endeauours this armie gate to the sayd riuer. Some Catho∣likes reporte that the discorde that fell betweene them hindred di∣uerse braue enterprises which they might haue executed if they had still agreed. I wot not how it was, but if that were true it was no Page 436 meruaile that they fought no•, or rather that they were not fought with all▪ but thus 〈◊〉 I haue learned, that the enimies had small notice of their braules. This great barre, the riuer of Loire might also haue bene a second & verie great difficultie to staie this Dutch armie, in that so lowe it was not wadeable, besides that all the townes standing thervpon were enemies: but the passage ouer was in necessarie for them, that it so doubled the diligence, rashnesse, and inuentions of the French Protestants that they assayled the towne of Charite which had a goodly bridge, and finding it but badly fur∣nished with men, they pressed so sore vpon it, that what with counte∣naunce and threates, before anie succour came they had carried it a∣waie, which was vnto them a wonderfull ioy. For had not that ben, they were in a verie b•• case & must haue ben forced to haue sought the head of the fai•riuer, which would haue lengthned their way 60 leagues, and which was worse, taking that course they should haue pestured themselues in a hilly and wood Countrie where their hors∣men could haue stood them but in small stead.
I haue sometimes heard the Lord Admirall discoursing hereof among his familiars, account this passage of the straungers almost impossible For (sayd he) we cannot helpe them by reason of Mon∣siers armie which lyeth in our waie, and as for them they haue another vpō their arm; also so difficult a riuer to stop their course, that it is to be feared that they shal not wel void this inconuenience without shame or losse. Agayn albeit they had passed it yet the 2. armyes ioyned together wil haue ouerthrowen them before we can come neere by 20 leagues to succour them: but when we hard of the successe of La Charite, also yt they were determined to trie al dangers to ioyn with him, he grew into better hope and sayd: This is a Princes good prognostication, les vs by diligence and resolution perfect it. This caused the Lordes, Princes of Nauarre & Conde the same, who had allowed and re∣ceiued leaue for generalles of the Protestants to march toward the marches of Limosin, so to drawe neere the armie of Monsieur, and to keepe it still occupied: and to saie the truth wee were dayly as it were in a foure waiting when we should heare that two such migh∣tie armies had oppressed our Reisters: but it fel out otherwise: for they watched their opportunitie so •itlie and speedely, that beeing guided by their French troopes, wherein the Lorde of Auy bare * himselfe most valyantlie, they out went them and drew to the place where the Lorde Admirall had sent them worde that he woulde meet them with ten thousand harquebuziers, and two thousand and fiue hundred horse.
Page 437 Thus did these two armies ioyne with greate ••a•ulation. I will not heere •axe the Generalls and braue Captaines of the Ca∣tholikes for suffering them to passe, because I 〈◊〉 not what rea∣sons they had to diuert them, neither will I extreamely command those that passed, but rather must thinke it to haue ben a great good hap for them, the lyke whereof doe sometimes appeare in militarie action: where in great Captaines in their warre are to learne in their greatest extremities not to abandon all hope: for one onely fa∣uourable accident which commonly followeth the diligent and shunneth the slothfull, may suffice to free them. Both the armies being then verie mightie (for there were in the Kings campe aboue thirtie thousand men, and in the Princes full 25000.) were forced for theyr better commoditie of virtualles to seuer themselues (for the countrie of Limosin is but barren) but they drew togither ward againe about Yries La Perche.
The Lord Admirall perceiuing that the barrennesse of the * Countrie forced them to lodge sc••teringlie also that beeing crag∣gie and full of wood, the places for the armies were oftentimes verie discommodious, determined rather to preuent then to bee pre∣uented. Wherefore hee counsayled the Princes to goe and sur∣prise the Catholike armie which was not farre of at a place called Roch-labelle. They set forward before breake of daie, in purpose to giue battayle, and came so fitlie that before anie allarum taken, they were within a quarter of a league of the enemies front, who were lodged strongly, and the Lord of Stossy at the noise comming in with fiue hundred harquebuziers to support three hundred of his men who kept watch at the chiefe entrie, found the skirmishe verie hot. And wee may well saie that hee bare himselfe verie valyant∣lie: for hee helde foure thousande Protestant harquebuziers plaie a long houre, which time stood the Catholike armie in good stead to set themselues in order.
The Lorde Admirall meruailing that they could not force the passage, sent thether Captaine Bruel a skilfull man. Hee by and by perceiued that our shotte endeauoured to ouercome the others rather by multitude than by arte, wherefore to make short worke, hee spake to the Captaines, and hauing ordered the troopes, assayled their flanks, and withal setting forwarde foure Cornets to sustayne them, he beganne a sharpe onsette wherein our men hauing broken certain casemates that couered the enimies did so disorder thē that soone after they fled, leauing diuerse of their Page 438 men• dead with 22. of their officers: also their Colonell prisoner, who that daie had done Monsieur good seruice: for had it not bene his resistance the Protestants had come without le•te to their ordi∣nance: But because it rayned all the daie, and the Catholike army was placed vpon the aduauntage, they could not worke anie great effect and therfore retired, hauing shewed themselues too rigorous in their execution, for they tooke verie fewe prisoners, wherea• the Catholikes were •ore prouoked, and reuenged themselues intime and place. It is a commendation to fight well, but it deserueth no lesse praise to b• genele and courteous to those whome the first fur•e of our weapons haue pardoned, and into whose handes our selues may another time fal, vnlesse there be great cause to the contrarie. And in skirmishes skill and pollicie is in my opinion as necessarie as violence, which experience doth 〈◊〉 coufirme. For if the lande be somewhat couerd, a man may vse sundrie aduantages, which the Spaniards and Italians can verie wel practise, as being ingenious people: but it is alwaies most profitable to order their men in smal troopes, to assayle on the flankes ere they bee aware, to place the troope that beareth the brunt verie well, and finallie to come reso∣solutely to the sword.
The siege of Poictiers.
MAny enterprises doe men attempt in the * wars, which were neuer premeditated, as also they giue ouer others long be∣fore thought vppon, which proceedeth of the alterations which time bringeth foorth: and as it is a signe of valiant•e well to execute, so is it also a token of wisedome well to deliberate, both which partes are necessarie in a Captaine: al∣beit there be none so perfect in this art, but that sometime they erre and stumble, especially in ciuill warres: which may the rather ex∣cuse the errour that the Protestants are sayd to haue committed in besieging Poictiers. Thus stood the case. After the departure from Page 439Roch-labelle either armie both needed and were alike desirous to refresh themselues in some fatter Countrie than Limof•n, to which generall disposition their Captaines were forced to yeelde (for in ciuill warres some time the cart goeth before the horse) and therefore recoiled drawing toward those quarters that had not ben ea•ē. The Lordes Princes and Admiral considering that in their absence the Countie of Lude had assayled Nyort (which through the diligence of the Lord of Thelignie, who transported his forces thether, was rescued) and being grieued that anie man shoulde come to molest their Prouince from whence they had all their commodities, which was to them of as great importance as to drie vp their milch cowe, did determine to purge it and seaze vppon Saint Maixant, Lusig∣nen, and Mirebeau (making as then no mention of Poictiers) to the end the sayd Prouince might monethlie yeeld them 60000. franks, all garrisons paide, besides the profits of the sea, which also amoun∣ted to a great deale: the same to serue for the straungers who cryed continuallie for money. This performed they went to take Sau∣mur, which standeth vpon the riuer of Loire and is verie weake. The same did they purpose to fortefie to the end stil to haue one pas∣sage assured, and the rest of Summer and Autume to transport the warre toward Paris which they supposed woulde neuer encline to peace vntill she felt the scourge euen at her gates. Being returned into their Countrie they thought that Lusignen which was but a castle would not so long withstand them as Saint Maixant, wher∣in was an old regiment vnder the conduct of Onoux: besides their desire to haue sixe Canons which the Lord of Lude had left in the sayd Castle, did the rather inuite them to assault it, as they did, and in few dayes caryed it awaie. The towne of Poictiers, hearing the ordinance walke so neere, furnished it self with men: yea, the Lords of Guize and Maine came in with fiue or six hundred horse, rather as it was sayde, to molest the Protestants armie, then thinking to be besieged.
The Protestants about the same time chaunced to surprise the * towne of Chastelleraut, which cheered their hearts and caused ma∣ny to encline to the siege of Poictiers, for that on the most daunge∣rous side, the same couered those that should besiege it. Two mee∣tings were there for resolution, & sundry misliked yt assailing ther∣of, namely the L. Admirall who wished them to prosecute his first platforme: alleadging that it was too well furnished with men of calling, that ordinarily such great cites are but sepulchres to theyr Page 440 armies: and that it were best to returne to Saint Maixant, which might be forced in eight daies. But the chiefe Lords and Gentle∣men of Poictou laboured them earnestlie as well in the counsayles as else where, not to loose so braue an occasion, affirming the towne to be verie weak: that the more people therin, the more bootie: that they should not want artillerie: that taking it, they should fully ob∣taine all that rich Prouince, and put the Catholike Gentrie, which by continuall roades troubled all that we possessed there, from their place of retreate. To this opinion did the chiefe of she counsaile condescend, who peraduenture had not sufficientlie considered that euerie man is not onelie affectionate, but also passioned to set his owne Countrie free: as also it was added yt the taking of the Lords of Guize and his brother, two great Princes, and rediest to molest vs, would be a braue prise. To be briefe, in this deliberation were at large set downe whatsoeuer the fruites redounding of such a con∣quest: but of the inconueniences which, insuing hereof, we should encur there was no mention, as in deed that string is s•arch touche when men will not be diuerted from their purposes. Afterwarde they sent with all speed to Rochell for pouder and shot, and so de∣parted to close vp Poictiers. This siege being at large described by other historiographers, I will not stand vppon to recite: onelie I will note a few particularities which peraduenture shall not be su∣perfluous.
The first touching the s•ituation wherein we see one thing that * greatlie anoyeth the towne, and another that benefiteth it as much. The annoiance are the mountaines which in many places do inui∣ron it, and are so nere that a man can scarce be in couert, but that he shall be descried and hurt, as well in head as courtine, not onelie by the artillerie, but euen by harquebuze shot: for in some places they lie not aboue foure hundred paces of. The benefite are other moun∣taines within it which serue for large platformes, also the riuers that inuiron the wals: so as stil they haue that great ditch to passe, which is a verie sore let, & were it not for that, I had rather be with∣out with 4000. men to assault it, than within with as many to de∣fend it. In summe, it is a very bad place and worthie to honour the defender. The Protestants destruction was their small draught of artillery, munition, & pioners, for when they assailed it in one place, they were not able therby to prosecute the battery or other affaires, but giuing the Catholikes two or three daies respite, they prepared fit remedies: and then they must begin new batteries in other pla∣ces, where they had the like successe. In my opinion it were the P. Page 441 of Parmaes part to assaile forts & the Protestants to defend them: for so doe they oftentimes performe their partes most valiantlie. I wot not whether I shal be beleeued if I report a kind of assault and defence propounded by the besiegers and besieged when they beate vpon the Abbesse medow side. The Protestāts had won the breach in the wall, and the Catholikes had a verie smal trench within 300 paces of it, and behind them a great voide space of one thousand pa∣ces long and fiue hundred paces broad, all vnder the command of a mountaine. Our Captaines meant hauing with 400. Gentlemen and eight hundred harquebuziers, who might easily haue forced the ordinarie gard, driuen the Catholikes from that trench to haue sent after them two hundred horse vnder the Lord of Moüy to take the fielde, which they must needes passe before they came to the houses: then should also their main power led by the Lord of Briguemaud, Marshall of the campe haue followed. This counsayle was taken vpon a certaine aduice which they had that the Lorde of Guize had appointed 200. speares to that place there to fight: and alreadie in the former allarum, we had seene diuerse speares there: But this camisado was not performed by reason the daie came vpon vs, and so we were discouered. Howbeit howsoeuer the matter had fallen out, had it not bene wonderful in an assalt to see the horsemen fight among the footmen on either part? There also happened another matter contrarie to that which ordinarily chaunceth in townes not forced: that is, that they within lost more than they that were with∣out: neuerthelesse such as were lost it was with great commendati∣on, for we might plainlie see them come boldly, and assuredly pre∣sent themselues with the Canon and harquebuze shot.
In the ende Monsieurs armie did the Protestants greate ho∣nour, * in comming to assayle Chastellerault. For the same was to them a lawfull occasion to raise the siedge, with neuerthelesse they woulde haue raised, because they wist no longer of what wood to make their boultes, and I beleeue that the besieged were no lesse busied. Concerning the siege of this towne, thus much I will say, that the captaynes doe easily yeelde to any high attemptes, for ha∣uing great stomackes they aime at obiectes of the same nature: howbeit the surest way is to rely vpon the prouerbe, He that gri∣peth too much, straineth but little. The D. of Guize & his bro∣ther purchased great fame in kéeping so weake a hold, considering their youth. Some made no lesse accoūt of this act thē of yt of Mets Others said yt the Admiral he staied ther purposely to catch those▪ Page 442 Princes whome they presumed to be perticularlie his enimies: but himselfe hath often tolde mee that if the towne had beene taken, so farre woulde hee haue beene from suffering them to bee anie waie misused that contrarywise, he would haue caused them to haue bene honourablie intreated according to their dignities, as hee had done their vnkle the Marques of Elbeufe when he fell into his handes at the taking of the Castle of Cane, and my selfe do remember that at the capitulation he sent me, because I knew him, into the Castle to assure him from hauing anie harme, which was obserued. Mon∣sieur seeing our armie, fraught with spight, rise to come towarde him, hauing in vaine attempted one assault against Chatellerault where the Popes Italians, who were nothing slacke in their duties, were receiued according to that good affection that the Protestants doe beare to theyr maister, did retire. We folowed weening to haue constrayned him to buckle, but still hee kept a riuer in our faces to coole our heate. When an action tending to diuersion fayleth in the accessaries, and is executed in the principall, it is not to be com∣playned of: for the great fruit of the one dooth sufficiently recom∣pence the small losse of the other: as also we are to note that wee ought to study thrice or foure times before we vndertake to besiege any great towne once.
Of the battaile of Montcontour.
SOme will say that this battaile was a conse∣quence of the siege of Poictiers, because the *Protestāts power was much weakned before: which in troth happened rather through sick∣nesse and the retiring both of Gentlemen and souldiers then by any violent death. Indeed this was one of the causes of our mishap, but there were others, as our seiourning at the borough of Fay La Vi∣neuse,Page 443 while the armie of Monsieur grewe strong at Chinon. Whereto we were all forced, because then all our draught horse for our ordinance were sent awaie to carie to Lusignan part of that ar∣tillery which had ben emploied at the siege of Poictiers, & had euer since remained in a Castle, which returned so iust, that had they stai∣ed but one daie longer, we should haue bene driuen to haue forsaken ours by reson of the approch of Monsieurs army to London, which was within three leagues of vs. Also because we were in a deuou∣red soyle and but badly seated, the Lord Admiral thought it better to goe lodge at Montcontour, where the lodginges were commo∣dious and victualls more plentifull: and I beleeue that as well he as many other were deceiued, in that no man supposed that they whome we had forced to so long a retreate & that in the night, from before Chastelleraud, could so soone haue bene readie to seeke vs. Thus on the fridaie he departed, sending his carriage one waie while himselfe with the armie went another.
Now neere to a village called Saint Clere, the one hearing in * manner no noise of the other, the head of the Catholikes armie led by the Lord of Biron met with ours as we marched, almost vppon our flanke: he seeing opportunitie with one thousand speares gaue a charge vpon the Lord of Mouie, who was vpon the retreate with 300. horse and two hundred harquebuziers on foote. These hee ouerthrew and put to flight, and there were lost the most part of the sayd shot, and about fortie or fiftie horse: This happening sodainlie and at once with the sound of foure Canons that were discharged, bredde such a terror among our men, that without telling who had wonne or who had lost, euerie man at the onelie noise they heard be∣hinde them fled as halfe afraide. One thing I will aduow (not that I will speake it to our reproch, but rather to shew preuention to be a cause of great disorder, also that the hazards of warre are dange∣rous) that is, that had it not bene for a passage which was founde in time, where there could but twentie horse passe in front, and so stai∣ed the Catholikes, our whole armie had bene ouerthrowen at this first encounter. The Lord Admiral séeing this, shewed himselfe to his men & gathered togither his troopes, so as at this passage, there were giuen two or thrée great assaults & repulses of 1500. or 2000 horse at a time: and whosoeuer passed ouer, was soone driuen back: there did Countie Lodouicke & Countie Wolrad of Mansfield behaue thēselues very wel. The two armies planted themselues in battell araye, the one on the one side, and the other on the other, Page 444 within a good musket shot together, where ours was somewhat in couert, neyther did I euer see any so neere together, and not to fight a maine battell. No man durst aduenture any more ouer the passage, in respect of the daunger thereof, for sundry squadrous would haue oppressed that which should haue aduentured. But the Catholikes hauing their ordinance there, and ours beeing already at Mon•contour, they vsed it and therwith slue about 100 men in the squadrons, who neuerthelesse set a good countenaunce, and had not the night come on vnder the fauour wherof euerie man retired, we had had more hurt. That at S. Denis, & this came wel for vs. In the morning Monsieur caused to discouer ye lodgings at Mont∣contour, and to tast the Protestants, but he found them verie well fortested in the suburbes, hauing no other comming thereto, where was a skirmish both of horsemen and footmen.
The same time it happened that two Catholike Gentlemen stragling came and spake to some Protestants in place where there * was a ditch betweene: My masters, sayde they, we weare the bad∣ges of enemies, albeit we hate neither you nor your party. Warne my L Admirall to beware that hee fight not: for our armie through newe supplies is wonderfull mightie and verie resolute, wherfore let him for∣beare but one moneth onely, for all the nobilitie hath sworne and tolde Monsieur that they will tarie no longer, howbeit if he employ them in that time they will do their indeuors. Let him remember how dange∣rous it is to iustle agaynst the French furie which neuerthelesse wil so∣dainly be ouer: Thus if they haue not speedie victory now, they shall vpon diuerse considerations be driuen to peace, & the same to your ad∣uantage. Tel him that this we haue leanred in place of credit, & were desirous to aduertise him thereof. Thus they departed, & the others immedlatly came & made report hereof to the L. Admirall who li∣ked it. They also told it to others of the principall of whom some thought it not to bee reiected but wished it to bee followed: but the most parte tooke it to be a pollicie to astonish vs, saying moreouer that albeit it had some apparance of goodnes, yet in that procee∣ded from suspected persons, accustomed to vse guile & deceit, it was not to be esteemed of. This was another cause of our mischiefe, in yt we to much neglected ye thing which ought to haue ben noted.
Then did they meet to learne what were best to be done: some pro∣pounded to goe & winne Eruaux, & so to put the riuer betweene vs & ye enemy, also to depart about 9. of ye clock al night, & so to march al night to get safe thether, because we were so neere thē: but others Page 445 replyed, that these night retreates do print a certaine feare in those that marke them, deminishe their credite, and embolden the eni∣my, * so as it were better to depart at breake of day, whose opinion was followed. Now was the Lord Admirall sore troubled, as fea∣ring least the Reisters should raise any mutiny for want of pay, also ye 2. or 4. regiments of his own dwelling farre off, who already had asked leaue, should forsake him: he knew also that sundry gentlemē of the countries in our possession were already gone home: where∣fore to the end to containe the army in duty, as also to refresh it, he had requested the Lords Princes, who lay at Partenay, to come to thē, which they did & brought with them about 100 & 50 good hor∣ses. In the morning we were on horsback by break of day, to march straight to Exuaux, euery man with a white shirt, the better to bee known if we should be forced to fight: But our Launceknights said they would not march without mony: a quarter of an howre after fiue cornets of Reisters sayd as much, so as it was aboue an howre and a halfe before this tumult was appeased, wherof followed that we could not reach into a place of aduantage which had bene disco∣uered nere vnto Exuaux where we might haue sould our skinnes dearer, neither was this any of the least causes of our losse. Hauing gone about a quarter of a league we perceiued the enimy comming towarde vs, so as wee had no more leasure but to order our selues and get into a little close vnder couert from the Canon. An other inconuenience also chanced vs in yt when the L. Admiral perceiued * ye Catholikes auantgard make straight toward him, which was so strong (for it conteyned nineteene cornets of Reisters in two squa∣drons) he sent to County Lodouicke, who led our battell to suc∣cour him with three Cornets, he did so: but himselfe brought them and at the same instant began the fight where hee remained fast ti∣ed: for hereof it came to passe yt the said body wanting a leader, wist not howe to behaue it selfe, and it is thought that if hee had beene there, he woulde haue done more, considering that beeing without both captein & order it had neuertheles almost shaken Mounsiers. The fight lasted somewhat more then halfe an houre, and all the Protestants army was put to flight, the Princes being yet young, were retired a little before. Almoste all our footemen were cut in peeces, the artillery and ensignes taken and County Lodouike chased almost a league, who made a braue retreat with 3000 horse in one body, neither was the L. Admiral ther, for he was wounded in ye beginning. The slaughter was great, for the Catholicks were Page 446 fore fleshed through the cruelties vsed, sayd they, at Roch-labelle, but especiallie for the death of Saint Columbe, & others slaine in Bearn. Many also of our prisoners did they dispatch for satisfactiō. My selfe likewise in the heate had like to haue gone the same waie, had it not bene for the humanitie of Monsieur, who was an instru∣ment of Gods blessing for the preseruation of my life, which in my opinion I ought not to conceale. By this exploit wee may see that the same roiall armie which we caused so swiftlie to retire from be∣fore Chatelleraud, and that in the night, was able neuerthelesse within three weekes after to ouercome vs, because wee made some difficultie to retire by daie: also through staying vppon the maitai∣nance of our reputation in shew, wee lost it in deede, which is one point sometime to be thought vpon by all souldiours as well young as olde.
That the siege of Saint Iohn d'Angelie was the springing a∣gaine of the Protestants.
AS the siege of Poictiers was the beginning of the Protestants mishappes, so was that of S. *Iohn d'Angelie the staie of the Catholikes good fortune. And had they not staied therevp∣pon, but pursued the relikes of the broken ar∣mie, they had brought it to naught, considering the astonishment therof and difficulties falling out. The Princes and Admirall retired with all that they could ga∣ther together ouer the riuer of Charent, & in the meane time tooke order in hast for the keeping of the townes in Poicton, which laie next to the batterie: But fiue of them were at the first abandoned, viz. Parthenay, Nyort, Fontenay, Saint Maixant, and Chatelle∣raud, and the sixt which was Lusignan at the sight of the Canon yeelded. This so puffed vp the hope of the conquerours, that they imagined in short space to get all those Prouinces, except the capi∣tall towne which they tooke to be Rochel. Wherevppon they still marched forward, imagining that all other townes after the exam∣ple of these would haue yeelded. They directed their course toward Saint Page 445Iohn d'Angelie which was not much stronger than Nyort, but being summoned would not yeeld: for the Lorde of Pilles bee∣ing entered thereinto with parte of his regiment was desired to fight.
I haue heard that at that time the chiefe Captaines that accom∣panied Monsieur wer called to know what was to be done. Some * sayd: Sith that all the Princes footmen were cut in peeces, and so they had none but horse & most of them Reisters, who also were discontent and halfe marred for losse of their carriages, their aduice was to pur∣sue them hotlie, so shoulde they come to one of these two points: either quite to ouerthrowe them or else to force them to parley for their re∣turne into Germanie, which might easilie be compassed by giuing them two moneths paie. We also (sayd they) knowe the Admirall to be one of the most politike Captaines in the world, & most skilfull in winding himselfe out of aduersitie if he may haue anie leasure: He will repaire his power, and thereto adioyne more out of Gascogne & Languedock, so as in the spring we shall see him appeare with a newe armie where∣with he will harrie our Princes, molest vs, and burne euen to the gates of Paris. Moreouer the Princes of Nauarre and Condie comming among these conquered people will by their presence by little and little cheere them vp againe, and waken many other flomackes as yet daun∣ted in diuerse places, vnlesse with diligence we take frō them almeanes to preuaile of the time. They concluded that Monsieur with the two thirds of his armie should follow them, for so he might vndoubtedly in short space force the Captaines for their refuge to enter some weake holde, which might finish the warre.
Others being of another opinion, sayd that they now reaped one of the principall fruites of their atchieued victorie, in the conquest of these townes, wherof they had alreadie wonne sixe in ten daies: that now they should set vpon & get the rest considering in what feare they now were, that the Protestants woulde neuer bee quiet so long as they had any places of retreate, which being taken from them they woulde haue no great desire to stirre: that there rested no more but a few townes in Xantoigne & Angonlucis in that quarter which could not aboue two moneths holde out agaynst the force of their victorious ar∣mie and Monsieurs good hap: that afterward Rochel seeing it selfe naked of all couerture would quake. As for the remainder of the con∣quered armie wherwith the Princes and Admirall had saued them selues, the same did flie & would scatter of it selfe howbeit to hasten it thereto they might send after it a thousande horse and two thousande〈1 page missing〉
Page 448 Two leagues within the sea there lie certaine Iles which fauour her: the inhabitants giuen as much to warre as traficke: the ma∣gistrates discreete and all wel affected to the reformed religion: as for the fortifications experience hath taught what they are, & there∣fore I shall not neede to saie anie more of them. Well, I will con∣fesse that Orleance to him that is strong in the field is a place more proper to assayle: but if it be for defence Rochel is farre more pro∣fitable: some there are that note the inhabitaunts of rudenesse, but how euer it be, they be loyall: the same may be spoken of the people of Namure, who are with their rudenesse loyall. And when the im∣perfections of a man or citie are much lesse than the good qualities, they may be borne well enough.
The succour which the Princes had thence in this third warre, doe sufficientlie testifie it to be a good shop and well furnished: nei∣ther * doe I alleadge this to the end great townes should bee puffed vp with pride, but rather to prouoke them to praise God for those plentifull commodities that he hath bestowed vpon them. (For hee that exalteth himselfe shal be brought lowe either earlie or late.) A∣mong all others that they had thence this is to be noted, that she fur∣nished and armed a certaine number of vessels which fetcht them in sundrie rich prizes yeelding great treasure to the generall cause: for albeit they then tooke but the tenth for the admiralty, yet did the profit thereof amount vnto aboue 500000. frankes. Afterward in the next warres which began in the yeere 1574. necessitie con∣strayned them take the fifth, & it was thought that this would haue restrayned sea faring men from seeking their aduentures in such hazard: howbeit this exercise was so pleasant vnto them, that not∣withstanding this excessiue tribute, they could not desist therefro: albeit oftentimes it hapned that in those booties which their talents had griped, the nailes of the land Picoree or prouling gaue terri∣ble pinches whereby we may see what wealth the sea warre dooth minister to anie Countrie.
Now if the land warre be iust, so ought this also to be: howbeit when we come to examine diuerse the perticular actions thereof, * we shall therein finde wonderfull abuses at the least among vs: for most of these aduenturers doe make small difference betweene friends and foes: and many times the poore enemie hath had fa∣uour when the rich friend hath bene robbed and committed to the streames by them that presumed through crueltie to conceale their coueteousnesse. But heauen hauing both eies and mouth seeing Page 449 these secret inhumanities, reuealeth them openly, and with al more iustlie casteth some of the cōmitters therof headlong into the gulfes wherein they had vniustly buried the innocent marchant. But bee this spokē without iniury to those that do behaue themselues law∣fullie in their vocation: for my speech I direct onelie to such as are disordinatlie affected to robbe the whole world. I haue heard of the Spaniards who were at the ouerthrow of the Lord of Strossie that halfe his armie consisted of pirats and rouers, who forsooke him at his most neede, suffering him euen in their view to perish, together with such braue persons as accompanied him to the battaile: also that they meruayled that of fortie saile that went with him there fought not aboue sixe or seauen, but as they commended the valour of these, so did they blame the cowardlinesse of the rest, notwithstan∣ding it redounded to their profit. This teacheth vs that the affecti∣ons to spoile, and the affections to fight do worke contrarie effects. For my part I shall still bewaile this valiant Captaine, my verie good friend, who both in his life and death was an honour to our Fraunce.
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 abo•de 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.
The causes of the third peace. The comparison thereof with the former: also whether the same were necessarie.
NOne of the three ciuill warres lasted so long as this, which cōtinued two whole * yeres, where the first was ended in one yere & the second in sixe moneths, and many doyet thinke that had not ye Pro∣testants drawē toward Paris it would not haue bene done so soone: of which experience they haue gathered this rule, that to purchase peace war must be brought beere this mightie Citie: which I also take to haue ben one of the chiefe causes to help it forward, for ye stripes which threa∣ten the head do greatly terrefie: the Catholike strangers hauing al∣so wasted innumerable coin, had left such want that they knew not how to furnish paie. Ruine and robberie was rife euerie where. Moreouer, good hap seemed to begin to raise vp those that had ben wearied. For the Princes armie had made a braue head against the Kings at Rene le Duc. Gascogne, Lāguedock & Daulphine held sorer than war before: Bearne was recouered: & in Poictou & Xan∣toigne the Protestants had spead well in ouerthrowing the two old regiments and taking sundrie townes. Al these things gathered together, which other secret & perticular oceasions disposed ye King and Queene to grant to the peace which was published in August. The Protestants also desired & stood in great need of it: for hauing neuer a crowne wherewith to satiffie their Reisters, their necessitie would haue driuen them to abandon the Princes, as by the Coun∣tie of Mansfield they gaue them to vnderstande. Likewise seeing them neere their owne Countrie, it was to bee feared least they would haue resolued so to doe, which falling out would haue beene the ouerthrow of their affaires. Many other discommodities which I omit vrged heereunto: among the rest the misrule of our souldi∣ours was such as it could not be remedied: Insomuch that the Ad∣mirall Page 455 who loued good order and hated vi•e, did many times since saie that he had rather die than fall into the like confusions againe, and to see so many mischiefes committed before his face. To bee briefe, the peace was accepted vpon tollerable conditions, also for ye assurance thereof was added, that which in the former they neither durst demand, nor coulde obtaine: namelie foure townes.
The beginning of this communication was after the siege of S.*Iohn d'Angelie, wherin were emploied the Lords of Thelignie & Beaunois la Nocle, gentlemē endued wt diuerse vertues, who faith∣fully discharged their duties: and if before when the Protestants af∣faires were at a latter hand, the Catholiks had offered smaller con∣ditions, I thinke they would haue bene taken. But when they saw that they would not graunt them anie exercise of religion, but onely a simple libertie of conscience, it brought them into such despaire, that they made of necessitie vertue. And as time breedeth alterati∣ons, so those that ensued turned so far to their fauour that their cou∣rages were raised and their hope corroborated. The best time then to treate of peace is when we haue the aduantage in war. But that doth ordinarilie so puffe vp men that they will not heare thereof, howbeit either earlie or late the king did wiser to graunt it: for the continuation of warre depriued him of his pleasure, supplanted the loue and obedience due vnto him, for•aied the Countries, sacked the treasurie, & consumed his power. But may some man say, the king of Spaine hath not done so in Flanders. Truely may another aun∣swere, he hath not wonne much, and per aduenture in the end, for the ceasing of these troublesome tragedies hee will followe the same counsaile that his neighbours haue done.
Now albeit peace was necessarie for the Protestants, yet haue * this •shap almost euer ensued, that the same haue not continued, neither so much as beene established according to the couenant. I will speak first of that which was framed before Orleance, & lasted foure yeeres and a halfe, & was nothing neere so profitable for them as the edict of Ianuarie: howbeit it followeth not but that it was at that time acceptable: for theyr affayres were not in state to re∣fuse it, and time discouered the fruit that it yeelded. Concord, good manners, and obedience to the lawes were al•eadie in so good for∣wardnesse throughout Fraunce, that it seemed to bee wholie re∣stored, but discorde with her secrete driftes troubled all. Concer∣ning the seconde it was a peace, but no peace: neyther had it a∣nie more than the name, for in effect it was secrete warre: It Page 456 may be tearmed The reward of the Protestants follie, because that not withstanding all aduertisements that it wold be very bad, they would neuerthelesse receiue it.
The third was much desired in respect of the ruines past, the ne∣cessitie present, and that euery man was wearie of labour and trou∣ble: for as the Frenchman is vnpatient, so doth he fit the warre to his owne humors. And in as much as the conditions were equall, or rather better than the former, it ought in my minde to be tollera∣ble to the Protestants, considering withall yt there was no meanes to haue anie better. Like wise for the two yeeres that it lasted fewe can complayne, except at the very breach thereof, which was in such horrible sort as it deserueth to be quite buried vp. Nowe who so e∣uer shall consider all these peaces in their iust obseruation, hee will as I suppose, iudge them to haue beene a profitable and necessarie remedie vnto all: but if hee haue respect but onelie to their endes, he cannot choose but name them dissembling peaces. And this hath made some so time rous that they beleeue that stil there is some poi∣son hidden vnder the faire glosse of this golde. In Fraunce wee haue alreadie had sixe generall, like as wee had in the ciuill warres of Burgundie and Orleance, and as well the one as the other were infringed: but the seauenth which was concluded at Arras was durable and holpe to restore Fraunce: by which example it may bee inferred that our seauenth shoulde bee good: albeit it were to be wished wee neuer came to those tearmes: for to wish to bee sicke that wee might recouer health may seeme impertinent. I be∣seech God to prouide therefore according to his good pleasure: Trulie euerie man seeing the Realme flaming in warres ought to set before his eies Gods wrath and displeasure, and the same against himselfe rather than agaynst his enemies: where nowe some doe saie These bee the Protestants who through their heresies doo strrre vp Gods wrath against them: Others doe replie: They bee the Catholikes who with their Idolatries do prouoke the same. And thus in these discourses no man accuseth himselfe. In the meane time the first thing that wee ought to doe is in these v∣niuersal calamities to examine and accuse our owne imperfections to the end to amend them, & then to loke vpon others mens faults. Likewise when we see a short & counterfait peace, we should saie yt we deserue no better, because yt, according to the prouerb, when we are ouer the bridge wee mocke the saint, & most of vs returne to our vanities and accustomed ingratitude.
Page 457 Howbeit it is a commendable affection which desireth peace, I meane a good peace (for ye bad are verie cut throats) because therby * pietie and vertue doth seeme to reuiue: whereas contrariwise ciuill warres are the shops of all wickednesse, which good men doe ab∣horre. The time hath bene that of both parts their haue ben diuerse that toke no great delight in hearing peace spokē of; of whom some sayd, That it was an vnworthie and vniust deede to make peace with rebols and heretikes who deserued grieuous punishment: yea, they per∣sisted in their speeches vntill their disease were cured on this sorte. If they were warriors they were inioyned to march formost at an assault or in a skirmish, so to kill vp these wretched Protestants: of which punishment by that time they had twice tasted, they soone changed opinion. As for the rest which were either cleargie men or of the long robe, by telling them that they must part with halfe their rents to paie the soldiour they consented to the peace. To be briefe, whatsoeuer their pretence were, whether pietie or iustice, sure their passions were cruell. Other there were euen among the Prote∣stants which did no lesse reiect the peace as tearming it to bee no∣thing but treason, but had it bene neuer so good they woulde haue said as much, because the warre was their nursemother and rising. One good waie to reduce them to reason were to propound (in re∣spect of necessitie thereof) the cutting off of their paies, or the leaui∣ing of some lones of them, so would they long after some good end: For take from many of these people their profites and honour, then will they iudge more sincerely of matters. Also for counsayle in waightie matters we ought to choose those that serue God and are endued with greatest discretion, for they still preferre the common wealth before their owne commodities and affections.
I will likewise speake of another sort of people who indifferent∣lie * do like of all kinds of peace, and mislike of euerie kind of warre: who if they might be assured in quiet to eate their wortes and laie vp their crops, could well enough let euerie time slide, yea albeit at euerie of the foure quarters of the yere, they should haue halfe a do∣zen good bastonadoes. These haue in my opinion, locked vp & hid∣den their honours and consciences in the bottome of some coffer. The good Citizen ought alwayes to beare a zeale to the common wealth, also to looke farther than to liue in shamefull bondage. To conclude, in these affayres reason ought to be our guide, which doth admonish vs neuer to enter wars vnlesse a iust cause and great ne∣cessitie constraineth vs, for warre is a most violent and extraordina∣rie Page 458 remedie, which in healing one wound maketh more, and there∣fore is not to bee vsed but extraordinarily: whereas contrariwise we are alwaies to wish for peace: I meane not such peace as may be presumed to be stedfast & not vniust: for the false ons do not deserue ye title but rather to be tearmed traps & snares, as was the same of the second troubles. The rest, may some men say, were not much better, because they lasted not long, but I am not of that minde, for A doe thinke that vntill they were broken they were moste pros•ta∣ble; & so doth experience giue vs to vnderstand, neither is that any better argument then to say: This man was naught, because he li∣nen but fifteene yeéres: but I will argue and pleade to the contra∣ry: saying, they were good, because men woulde not suffer them to last any longer: for had they bene noisome to the Protestants, they would haue •et them haue had their course. God graunt so good a one to France, nowe torue with ruines, and destitute of good manners. that she may renue in beauty, and be no lon∣ger the fable of all nations, but an exam∣plary of vertue.