Instructions for the warres. Amply, learnedly, and politiquely, discoursing the method of militarie discipline. Originally written in French by that rare and worthy generall, Monsieur William de Bellay, Lord of Langey, Knight of the order of Fraunce, and the Kings lieutenant in Thurin. Translated by Paule Iue, Gent.
Fourquevaux, Raimond de Beccarie de Pavie, baron de, 1509-1574., Ive, Paul., Du Bellay, Guillaume, 1491-1543,

The Author sheweth by a fayned Battaile how an army of foure Legions raunged after the manner that he tea∣cheth, should vse their fight against their enemyes vpon a day of battaile

The 12. Chapter.

WE do suppose that euery one doth sufficiently vnderstand the ordering of this Hoast, and do imagine to sée it readie to begin battaile, when so euer it shall be néedfull. Or else let vs put case that our enemyes are come out of their Fort, and our men also, and that both the one and the other meane nothing else but to méere, and are approched within Cannon shot. Let vs also sup∣pose that the said enemyes are raunged in very good forme of battaile, and that they haue a great force of all sorts of people, aswell footemē as horsemen, & besides, good store of Ordnance. And furthermore, yt the place wherein these 2. armies do attēd, Page  89 to enter into battaile is large and plaine: so that the scituation cannot helpe the one to annoy the other. The matter being in these termes, and the two armies in sight, there resteth no more but to giue fire vnto the péeces, and to discharge them. You may now see that the gunners do not sleepe on neither side, and also heare how the cannon doth rore. Let vs marke what mur∣der it doth. Haue you seene how little hurt our Ordnance hath done vnto the enemies at the first vollie? Herevpon the King his Lieutenant Generall, doth cause his Trumpet to sound to be∣gin the battaile. This done, you see our Forlorne hope, and our Harquebuziers of the flanckes do go forwards out of their pla∣ces, and our Harquebuziers on horsebacke, and Hargoletiers likewise: and they altogether assault their enemies without kée∣ping any ranke, approaching them most furiously, and with the greatest crye that they can make. The enemies Ordnance hath passed ouer our footmens heads, not hurting them, and to hin∣der it for shooting the second time, our Forlorne hope, Harque∣buziers on horsebacke, and Hargoletiers do runne vpon it, and do all their endeuour to winne it, and the enemies to defend it: so that neither their Ordnance, nor ours may do any more ser∣uice. You see how our horsemen and footmen mingled one with another, do fight valiantly and to good purpose, succouring one another (the practise which they haue had, and the trust that they repose in the Battailons that are at their backes, are causes of it:) which Battailons haue alreadie kist the ground, and march orderly as you see, a good pace, with ye horsemen at their wings, euery ranke of men of armes being one hundred horse. And the light horsemen, who do make as many rankes as they, are vpon the out-side of the men of armes, and are one ranke after an o∣ther, and do march all very close: marke how our Ordnance is retired into the spaces that are left betwixt the Legions, for to make place for our Battailes, and to leaue them the way free. Do you see how the King his Lieutenant Generall, and the Captaine Generalls of the horsemen and footmen, do go before the Battailons, encouraging the Souldiers to do well, and the Captaines also calling euery man by his name, or by his office, declaring vnto them the victorie to be in their hands, so that they Page  74 abide and resist the enemies charge without feare? Do you marke how our Harquebuziers on horsebacke, and our Hargo∣letiers do open themselues to make place for our battailes, and how the Harquebuziers of the flanckes do returne into their places? The Forlorne hope of the right side do returne vnto the right side, and those of the left vnto the left, and do retire with∣out feare or flight, although they haue the enimie at their héeles, and a farre greater number then they are, and how they do re∣turne all at once: to weet, the Forlorne hope of two Legions together toward the one side, and the Forlorne hope of the other two Legions together toward the other side, to put themselues into a newe order, the Pikemen by themselues, and Harque∣buziers by themselues: which Pikemen of each two Legions do ranke themselues in eight rankes, and euery ranke is a Squa∣dron of 21. men: for they are all of this number, which is a suf∣ficient number to represent a small Battailon. But these two small Battailons are raunged as you may see behind the Tria∣ries, each of them right behind the space that is betwixt the two Legions, & the Harquebuziers do raunge themselues in troopes by them to defend them behind, while the fronts do fight.

They do also remaine there for to bée imployed when as the Lieutenant Generall should haue occasion to vse them. But whilest I appoynt our Forlorne hope their place at the tayle of our Legions, I do see that the two armies are come together vnto the push of the Pike. Marke how resolutely our Battai∣lons do withstand the violence of the enemie, and with what vertue and silence they do it. The King his Lieutenant Gene∣rall commaundeth the men of armes stoutly to resist, but not to assaile, and that they should not seperate themselues from the footmen: and therevpon commaundeth the light horsemen to as∣saile, and after they haue executed their charge, they should re∣turne againe into their places. On the other part, I see that our Harquebuziers on horsebacke, and the Hargoletiers and Har∣quebuziers of the right flancke, are gone to charge certaine troopes of the enemies Harquebuziers, who would charge our men vpon the flanck: and I see that the enemies light horsemen haue succoured their men immediatly, and that at this instant Page  75 the horsemen on both sides are so intermingled, that the Har∣quebuziers can do no seruice with their Harquebuzzes, but are constrained to retire vnto their people. Whilest this is in hand, two of our Guydons go to succour our horsemen, and charge the enemie so couragiously that they force them to retire: and hauing repulsed them, our light horsemen do afterward returne to their places. Marke how our Harquebuziers on horsebacke and Hargoletiers do trouble the enemies without cease? Do you not see that our Pikemen do fight brauely? Our men and the enemies are so néere togither that they can no more vse their Pikes: so that our first rankes of the Hastaries (according vnto our Militarie discipline) do leaue their Pikes and take their Swords and Targets, which they do vse only in thrusting. Herewithall you may see how a great troope of the enemies horsemen haue repulsed our Hargoletiers vpon the left side, who do retire towards the Pikes of the same flancke, with whom and the Harquebuziers they turne their faces and do re∣sist their enemies. Do you see how our light horsemen do go to succour them? See how they charge the sayd enemies one band after another. Harke how they breake their Launces: see how they are mingled: behold the murther which the Pikes of the sayd flancke do make of the enemies horses, running be∣twixt our horsemen, who do backe them against the enemies assaults: and our sayd Pikes do also helpe to defend the light horsemen. He hath good lucke that is ouerthrowne, if he escape the footmens hands without death. Do you not see how the e∣nemies men of armes come to assaile our men of armes of the sayd flancke, whilest the light horsemen and others are busied o∣ther where? Do you see how the Forlorne hope of the two Le∣gions of the same left side of the battaile, do go in great hast to succour our men of armes? But they are somewhat too farre of to come time enough, notwithstanding they make as much hast as possibly they may do, in the same order that they are raunged in. In the meane while the enemie his men of armes do charge ours as much as the horses can runne, but marke well the man∣ner of our men who stand still to receiue them. But assoone as the Captaine generall his Trompet doth sound, they do runne Page  92 all at once: although the rase be not aboue twentie or thirtie pa∣ces. And this they haue done (as I think) to resist their enemies the more forciblie. Haue you seene how our men of armes haue with their Launces galled the enemies horses in their breastes and sides? being sure that the enemies could neither hurt their persons nor their horses, because that they are very well armed themselues, and their horses are barbed and garnished with Chamfrings and Criniers, which the enemies do want: which is the cause that you do see so many of the enemies slaine, and so fewe of ours. Marke how our men with the force of their hor∣ses, and with the thrustes of their swords do repulce their ene∣mies, killing their horses as long as they may, & laying on vpon the men at all places where they may finde them vnarmed. The mase doth his office there also, and the Captaine Generall of the horsemen doth commaund the men of armes to keepe them selues firme together, and not to breake their rankes, or to suffer their enemies to enter within them by any meanes. Herevpon the pikemen of the Forlorne hope do ariue, & the men of armes seeing them ariued, do make way for them to passe through the midst of their rankes, and the pikes al at once do fall in amongst the enemies, and the men of armes likewise vpon their flankes, and do charge altogither, and the Harquebuziers do go towards the flanckes to charge. But marke how the Lieutenant Gene∣rall doth send a companie of men of armes to charge the flancke of that Battailon, that maketh the enemie his left corner, and he himselfe is sodainly lighted a foote, and with those that do fol∣lowe his Cornet, doth giue a fight vnto one of the corners of the said Battailon, who cōducteth our footmen ill in that poynt. Do you see how he maketh them to giue way, and how our men do begin to take heart, and do charge them so rigorously that they do repulce them? This done, the Lieutenant Generall doth mount on horsebacke againe, and his men also: and seeing cer∣taine companies of the enemies horsemen, which went to charge vpon the backes of our Battailes to put them in disorder, hath commaunded the Hargoletiers, and Harquebuziers on horse∣backe, and part of the Harquebuziers of his side, to go speedilie toward them to resist them, and doth send the light horsemen af∣ter Page  93 them. Do you not see how our Harquebuziers on horseback and Hargoletiers haue stayed them, and how they fight toge∣ther in skirmish? But the enemies seeing our light horsemen comming, and Harquebuziers at their tailes, do runne away as fast as they can gallop. But let vs looke no more vpon that which is done on the sides, but let vs behold the Battailons, who do fight so néere together, that their rankes are almost one vpon anothers necke: so that their Souldiers can very hardly vse their swords, but are constrayned for the most part to fight with their daggers. Marke how the enemies are murdered, and fall by heapes, who haue nothing but pikes and swords, which at this instant do them no seruice, specially the pikes, because of the prease and their great length, and although that the sword be not altogether vnseruiceable in a prease, yet is it of little va∣lue: for that the sayd enemies are ill armed vpon their bodies, and haue no Target or other thing to couet them from the thrustes that our men do giue them in the faces, thighs, legges, feete, and other places vnarmed, they do therefore fall dead and maymed on euery side as you do see. Now may you see the e∣nemies vpon the right poynt to shrinke, also I do see manifestly that they do fall one vpon another, and that the tayle doth flye. Behold how those vpon the left poynt do the like, and those in the midst also. Do you see how the Lieutenant doth send after them all the horsemen that are vpon his side, except two hundred men of armes, who do raunge themselues againe in their first order, like vnto the Forlorne hope: the Pikes and Harquebu∣ziers of the flanckes do also put foorth themselues to followe the victorie, to giue them no leisure to ioyne together againe, and the foure Legions do raunge themselues in all poynts as they were before the combate: and after that the pikemen who threw downe their Pikes to vse their Targets, haue taken them vp a∣gaine and amended their rankes, they march a good pace after those that pursue the victorie, vntill that they do see that the ene∣mies haue no meane left to defend themselues, but that they do all flée, who best can best may, scattered like partridges. I do thinke that the retreate will sound immediatly, if it do please the Lieutenant Generall to thinke it time. We haue gotten the vic∣torie, Page  94 and happely ouercome the Battaile, not hauing béen occa∣sioned to make the Halberdiers of the Hastaries to fight, but on∣ly the first eight rankes of pikes: neither haue we béen inforced to retire the Hastaries within the Princes, nor to make the Tri∣aries to feele of the warres: for the Hastaries haue béen strong enough of themselues to abide the enemie his forces, and to o∣uercome them. Wherefore there resteth no more to be spoken in this matter, but to shewe the reasons that made me to raunge these Battailes in the manner aforesayd, and what moued me to order the things that are happened in this Battaile, as I haue ordred them: which I will do aswell and as briefly as possiblie I may.