The first Booke of Militarie Discipline.
How the King ought to make his warres with the force of his owne Subiects
The 1. Chapter.
THe authours, which heretofore haue busied themselues to giue rules ap∣pertayning vnto the warres, would by their sayings that those men of whome a Prince would pretend to haue seruice, should be leuied in tem∣perate countries, if so bee he would haue them to bée both valiant & wise. For they say that hot countries doo bring foorth wise men, but they are cowards, and that cold coun∣tries do bring foorth hardie men, but they are fooles. But I sup∣pose that they haue left vs this counsaile only to serue the turne of some monarke, or puissant king, whose dominions do stretch so wide, that both these qualities may be found seperably in the countries that are vnder his hands, and hath power to leuie and choose his men in what part he will, as the auncient Empe∣rours did at that time when almost all the whole world was in their obedience. But to giue a rule that princes of meane power may helpe themselues withall: although their countries be sci∣tuated in extreame hot or cold regions, I doo affirme that this consideration shall nothing hinder such a prince to serue himself with his subiects, but that he may make them hardie which na∣turally are cowards, and those wise which of themselues are Page 2 fooles, for that wee may plainly see by old examples, that in all places, whether they be cold or hot, there may bee very good sol∣diers, so that there be exercise vsed and diligence: for that which by nature wanteth may be supplied by industrie and exercise, in this arte specially which consisteth more in this poynt then in any other, by meanes whereof the Lacedemonians com∣maunded long time ouer all Greece, the Thebans deliuered them from the obedience of the Lacedemonians, restoring them vnto their former libertie: and the Romans (as saith Vegetius) surmounted through their exercise and discipline, the multitude of the Gaules, the pride of the Germaines; the force of the Spa∣nyards, the riches and warines of the Affricanes, and the wise∣dome and subtilties of the Greekes; although they were infe∣riours vnto the said nations in all things, only except exercise, and skill to make warres. Furthermore, I say that if a Prince pretend at any time to preuaile, that he ought to leuie his men of warre amongst his subiects, whether that his kingdome were scituated in the midst of the frozen sea, or in the midst of Libia, which in mine opinion, are the two extreamest hot and coldest climates that are: so that he would imploy a little diligence to fashion them as appertaineth. Chiefly hauing occasion to take vp men for to make warres, except he do take his own subiects, it will be doubtfull that he shall receiue a shrewd turne by them, for that straungers can neuer serue a Prince so loyally, but that his owne subiects will serue him more faithfully then they, and with a better heart: because the Princes quarrell that hath them in charge, is not a matter that toucheth one perticular bodie, nor a third, but it concerneth all those that shall feele the smart of it for their Lord: forasmuch as if he receiue any losse, of necessitie it must redound vnto the great losse of his subiects, because they are the pray of the vanquisher, if their Prince bée vanquished. And on the contrary part, let them make themselues all rich, and not straungers, if their Prince be victorious. Besides, the good name and reputation that they shall get, which is a poynt that sometime maketh the greatest coward hardie; & the shame which is to be looked for if they léese is theirs also. For it will not be sayd that the mercenaries haue lost; but the nation of the Page 3 Prince will bee named: as in the conflicts which the king hath had in his time, it hath not béen sayd, that the Lanceknights, or the Switzers, or the Italians haue béen ouerthrowne: although there haue béen fewe others in our camps; but it hath béen sayd that they were the Frenchmen, and notwithstanding it may bée that there haue not béen thrée thousand Frenchmen, whereas the straungers haue béen fifteene, or twentie thousand persons. And if at any time we haue had the vpper hand of our enemies, the glorie hath not béen attributed so wholly vnto vs, but that euery one of the other nations haue looked to haue had their parts in it. And if perchaunce any man hath sayd the French∣men haue had the victorie in such a battell, it hath béen by and by cast in his nose, thanke such and such, and there is rea∣son it should be so, séeing it is so that they haue done it. So much a do there is to kéepe our good name, as there were no better way then to let them alone, that from henceforth they should neither be the occasion of our winnings nor losings: but that e∣uery man should meddle with his owne quarrell, and that wee Frenchmen should bee let alone to debate the controuersies we haue with our neighbours, without intermingling other na∣tions, which haue but a little care to dye for vs. And who make so little accompt of the matter as we see that they do, because it toucheth them nothing, for all the thought that they haue, is to finde many occasions to lengthen the warres, to the intent that they may alwaies bee set a worke. And for to be without them there is no order taken, because of the little accompt that wee do make of our selues. I say then, that a Prince ought to serue him selfe with his owne subiects, for the reasons before alleadged. And if we will be warned by things past, wee haue many exam∣ples before our eyes for this matter. As by Empyres which are come to ruine through this fault, (to weete) both that of the Romans, and also of the Greeks. For the Romane Empyre after it was mounted vnto the highest in the time of Augustus Caesar, began to descend, when the Romane citizens were re∣iected out of the hoasts which the Emperous did make. And that they grounded themselues vpon the force of mercenaries, and those whom they before time had conquered. And although the Page 4 great vertues and iudgement that were in the said Caesar, main∣tained the maiestie of the Empyre while he liued: yet is it so, that his successors learning of him to wage other nations then Romans: as Frenchmen, Spanyards, Almaignes and others, haue béen the occasion of the ruine of the same: for all the Em∣perours that were after Augustus Caesar, would keepe an hoast of straungers hard vnder the walles of the citie of Rome, which was called the Pretorie, & was such as we would say the guard that kings haue for the assurance of their persons: but this guard was of ten or twelue thousand chosen men, much like vnto the Mammeluks of the Souldane, or the Ianissaries of the Turke: which manner although it seemed at the first sight to haue been for the profit of the Empyre; notwithstanding it tur∣ned it oftentimes vpsidowne: because that this number of Sol∣diers disposed of that dignitie at their pleasure, being vpon the place and in armes, against naked men and vnarmed. On the other side, the other armies which were in Fraunce, Barbarie, and elswere, would stand in their owne conceipts, the one na∣ming one to be Emperour, and the other another: insomuch that sometime there were two or three pretendants: who in thinking to consume one another, consumed the Empyre, which had cost so much the getting: a thing that they were ignorant of. But after that, most of the Emperours were of straunge nations, as the soldiers which had made them, were: it was an occasion that they had lesse care of the preseruation of the Empyre: then if they had béen borne within the citie. Whereof insued, that as well those that were declared Emperours, as those that had e∣lected them, marched against the sayd citie with one consent as against their enemies, with intent to triumph ouer it. And God knowes whether that these things might be handled, without the committing of many robberies, & insolencies in those chaun∣ges, and also of many murthers aswell of the Emperours them selues, as of the Senators, & other great personages in Rome. Certainly wee must say that it was impossible, seeing that wee may beleeue, that if the institutions which the Romanes had at that time that their vertue florished, had béen alwaies main∣tained, that was to make warre with their owne people, and not Page 5 to haue waged straungers, nor likewise to haue suffered their neighbours and alliance in their camps, in greater number then they themselues were, their Empyre had not been deuided, nor had not béen transported out of their hands, nor their citie so many times destroyed, and abandoned as it hath béen. For if they had maintained their first manner of warre, they had esca∣ped all their inconueniences, and had brought all their enterpri∣ses to as happie ende, as they did while they serued themselues with their owne citizens. Michaell Paleologus the Emperour of Constantinople, may likewise be an example: who calling a number of Turkes to his aide to make warres against certaine princes of Greece that rebelled against him, shewed them the way to passe out of Asia into Europe, and therevpon the said Turkes tooke occasion to come vpon Greece with great force, and to inuade it by little and little. Of which mischiefe the sayd Emperour was cause, for that he chose rather to cause straun∣gers to come to his assistance, then to take vp in his countrie those that were necessarie for him to make his warres withall, with whom, if he had would, he might with little labour haue vanquished a Lord of Bulgarie, his subiect, and haue chastened him without thrusting an armie of Turkes into his countrie, who if they had not come there, Greece had not suffered the mi∣series which it hath suffered in time past, and which it must yet euery day suffer. And therefore without hauing regard vnto the old opinion, that is to say: whether the countrie be cold or hot, and to withstand the manifold inconueniences that may happen vnto those that may make their warres with the helpe of straun∣gers, me thinke that euery Prince ought to strengthen himselfe with his subiects, without making any accompt to hyer others: or at the least if he would be serued with strangers, not to make them his principall force, for the daunger that might happen. As for to commit the person of a king, or of the greatest perso∣nage of a kingdome, vnto the trust of those that are not his sub∣iects, and who loue him not, and the seruice which they do him is but for a few crownes: is a counsaile grounded vpon no rea∣son, because it is to bee thought that straungers are much more easie to bee corrupted, then those that are borne and bred in the Page 6 same countrie that their king is. The preseruation of whom, ought to bee more deare vnto them, then vnto those that serue him but for his monie: which once failing, they abandon him as if they had neuer knowne him. Herevpon I may alleadge that which a great troope of Launceknights did vnto Monsiure Montpensier in Naples: who left him there at the mercie of the Spanyards, only because his monie failed, and that the ene∣mies promised them payment at their first arriuall and assoone as they were turned from that parte, which was cause of the losse of the same kingdome the first time. And not to accuse the Almaignes only, I say that the Switzers left Monsiure de latrec at that time that the terme of their payment was ex∣pired: because they doubted that they should haue borrowed vp∣pon the moneth following. And although that the sayd Swit∣zers did not go from vs vnto our enemies: yet euery man kno∣weth well that they forsooke the sayd Lord when as his enemies were equall vnto him in strength, which was cause of the losse of the Dutchie of Millain. Since that the Grisons departed frō our campe before Pauie, and abandoned the King his person, euen at that instant that the Spanyards were determined to hazard the battell, and to assault him, which happened within few daies after; so that the going away of those bands did great∣ly weaken our armie (for they were sixe or eight thousand) and was cause that the enemie did enterprise more boldly to assault vs, and that our men were more discouraged to receiue them, in so much that putting thereunto the euil behauiour of our Swit∣zers, who went away without striking stroke we lost the battel. Whereby appeareth plainly, the little trust that is to bée giuen vnto straungers: and how daungerous it is for vs to repose our state in their forces. Whosoeuer he were, I wil not be of opiniō that a King should make his force of straungers, nor that he should entertaine so many, that they should bee of equall force with his owne subiects, if it were so that he were constrained to take any. For if the straungers be as strong as his owne people, and that it were necessarie that the sayd straungers should doe any thing that were contrarie vnto their mindes, which they refused, they must bee fought withall, or there will bee no obe∣dience: Page 7 but if they finde themselues the weaker, they will neuer haue the heart to disobey nor to busie themselues with the au∣thoritie of a Captaine Generall, as they are when there is no meane to bridle them. For which cause a Prince that might find himselfe in extremitie, not to be obeyed of the straungers which he might retaine, ought to haue in his campe such a number of his owne subiects, that if he were driuen to vse force, they might be of power sufficient to constraine the rebels to accomplish his will. For otherwise there will be nothing done, because the ser∣uice of the sayd Prince will be slacked, and sometime a disobe∣dience may be cause of many great domages, as was that of the Almaignes which Monsiure de Humiers had with them in Italie, which made the King not only to loose all that season, but also was cause of the losse of diuers places that held for vs, and put all Piemount in great daunger to be lost without recouerie. And this is most certaine, insomuch that if the Lord Constable had any whit deferred to succour them, and had not vsed his ac∣customed diligence, that which was left had fallen in fewe daies after into the Spanyards hands, without striking stroke. Yet he arriued so luckely, that the townes that had but the newes of his comming were preserued, and part of those that were lost were recouered, and others also, but not without a merueilous charge: and all to repayre the fault of the foresayd Almaignes, who had conducted the warres, both according vnto their owne appetites, & against the will of the sayd Lord of Humiers, as euery man knoweth, who besides that he was disobeyed in his charge, being Lieutenant Generall for the King, was also in hazard of his life, which is a thing that I cannot so much mer∣uell at: nor likewise at the arrogancie of the sayd nation. But I must much more meruell at our negligence, seeing the iniuries that straungers commonly do vnto vs, and that we notwith∣standing cease not to dispraise the seruice of our countrimen, to become tributaries and subiects vnto straungers: as if we could not do without them now, aswell as wee haue done at other times, and alwaies vntill the time of King Lewes the 11. who was the first King of Fraunce that did giue pension vnto stran∣gers, especially vnto the Switzers, for he kept ordinarily in Page 8 wages sixe thousand. King Charles the 8. followed him, who carried a great band to Naples. King Lewes the 12. serued him self long time with them, and with Almaignes, and other stran∣gers. So likewise hath the King that raigneth at this present in all his warres: yet in the ende he perceiued that his subiects were as fit to serue him as straungers; so that they were practi∣sed, or if he hath not had yt opinion of the Frenchmē, yet he hath made a proofe of it. And to that ende (as I thinke) haue a very great number of Legionaries béen leuied in this realme, which number if it had béen leuied by a true election, had béen sufficient to haue withstood all our enemies. But the Frenchmens for∣tune would not that this leuie should haue had his perfection: for that if this leuie had been made as it ought to haue been, wée should haue been become their maisters, vnto whom wee now are subiects. Wherfore it hath left vs in the same state that wée haue béen learned to liue in many yeares ago: and for that wee make so little accompt of our owne forces, and do so much e∣steeme of straungers, it may one day happen to be the occasion of our ruine, if our neighbours should enterprise ioyntly to come vpon vs. For one part alone hath put Fraunce in great feare: to weet, the Switzers, when as they came downe into Bur∣gundie, so yt to make them to retier back againe it cost vs great sommes of monie. And so much fayled we of the courage to pre∣sent our selues in battell to resist them, that the greatest part made their accompt to make them place, and to runne out of the country. O almightie God! what was become of the ancient va∣lour of Fraunce? At the name whereof all the nations both on this side, and on the other side of the sea did tremble: and which was in possibilitie to assault other countries, and not to be trou∣bled at home, but by her owne: nor constrained to buy peace, sith those that sould it vnto vs, were in fewe yeares before not able to resist in their owne countrie, the armie of King Charles the 7. vnder the conduct of Lewis his sonne, being at that time Daulphine, & since king. We may beléeue that their comming down was for our profite, sith they serue vs for an example, for by the great troubles that Fraunce was in: for 20. or 30. thou∣sand Switzers, all a foote ill furnished with artillerie, and with Page 9 all other things to inuade such a countrie, may bee coniectured what it would do if the same Switzers should come againe. And furthermore, if the Almaignes, Flemings, Englishmen, Spanyards, and Italians, should come vpon vs with one com∣mon consent, who could want nothing but good agreement, I could not imagine how we should find meane to withstand such a coniuration. For to tarrie to make hed vnto them, were a much worse counsaile then that of Monsiure Tremouille was, to ap∣pease the Switzers with crownes; because that disordred peo∣ple, ill trained, and ill furnished, cannot serue for any other pur∣pose against people well ordred, well trained, and well furnished with armes, and withall that appertaineth vnto such a busines: but to harten and to encourage them the more. And as for vs to trust vnto, that the frontiers are well furnished with strong townes, is a hope euill assured: for whosoeuer is Lord of the plaine countrie, I meane of so great and large a countrie as Fraunce is, shall easily afterward haue the vpper hand of the places that they keepe: principally when so great a number, or a great part of those that I haue spoken of, shall enter in at diuers places, euery nation vpon his quarter, & that they had deuided the countrie before hand. For else we might haue some reason to hope yt in forbearing, they might seperate themselues through discord, or that a part taking might be practised: notwithstan∣ding these things must haue time, and in the meane while wee should suffer many euills to be committed before our eyes with∣out remedie. And suppose that to see such a desolation to come to passe vpon so noble a realme, were almost a thing impossible: yet is there none more apparant remedie to withstand it, and to take away from our sayd enemies all the occasions that might hinder them from the conceipt of this impossibilitie, then to make our selues strong with our owne people: I meane so strong, that those that now do take pension of vs, should be very glad to be simplie allied vnto vs: and others which priuilie haue shewed themselues to be our enemies, should be constrayned to dissemble: and those which dissemble, should openly shew them∣selues to be our friends by good proofe. Which to bring to passe, I would not counsaile that our force should be any whit mingled Page 10 with straunge souldiers, aswell for to haue the credite vnto our selues, when as our souldiers should do any good seruice, as also to auoyde the great daungers that might happen by an armie made of many nations: for that is the occasion oft times that our enemies do knowe our secrets almost assoone as they are spoken: except it should be to weaken our enemies, or to content our confederats, and to get the good will of the countrie where the warres should be made, as I thinke the King doth by the I∣talians: in waging of whom he thinketh to get the hearts of all Italie, & in waging the Switzers to keepe them: and moreouer to take away the forces of Germanie from those that might vse them against him, except they retayned a great number. And if so be that the King would bee serued with any number of these nations, he may do it (as I thinke) forseeing that his owne bée alwaies the stronger: and that he vse strangers as assistants, but not to giue them the preheminences and aduantages that they are accustomed to haue amongst vs: as to haue the charge of the Artillerie, and commonly to make the battell, not being subiect vnto labours and assaults, as the Frenchmen are, who are al∣waies appoynted vnto the Auantgard, or Areregard, so that those of least value and straungers, haue alwaies the credite of the battell, as those whom wee ought to trust aboue all others, without whom wee haue not the courage to enterprise the least thing that may bee. I do not enuie them for the honor that is done vnto them, knowing well that the places wherein the Frenchmen serue bee very honorable, and that in them they may shew themselues to be such as they are, aswell in the Arere∣gard, as in the battell, and in the battell as in the Auantgard; it is all one: for there may be enough to do in euery place. But I would that the King should haue so good an opinion of vs, as to thinke that he might bee aswell serued of vs as of any other na∣tion: and that he would not determine to make himselfe strong rather with Switzers and Almaignes, then with vs. For if they do now excell vs for order, wee may either bee equall vnto them, or better then they in a short time. And for other poynts, I see no reason to esteeme them more then our selues: and who so would narrowly looke into them, shall finde that they do ra∣ther Page 11 serue vs with their name then with their deedes, and rather to make number then otherwise: for that at this instant there is almost no battell giuen; for which they say they serue, and are waged only to that end. Moreouer, they go not to assaults nor skirmishes, nor such other seruices; but all these seruices are for vs, which manner of warre is now more vsed then other: so that they serue and take their wages, not putting their persons in daunger. They take it not as the Frenchmen do that serue the King: for they haue the payne and the daunger, and the straun∣gers the profite and the reputation. One thing there is that ma∣keth greatly for the Switzers & Almaignes, which is the good order that they haue amongst them, aswell for the raunging of their men in battell, as in obeying their Chiefs: wherof we haue a great want. Therefore we must prooue to take their course, or any other more sure, and therein employ such diligence, that if the king would be wholly & euery where serued by vs, he might find himselfe to bee well serued, and not repent the leauing of straungers for vs. So it is, that by the ordaining of the legions, euery one thought that the custome to wage other then French∣men, would haue bin laid aside. But the king perceiuing that the leuie had many imperfections in it, and that it should not haue béen wisely done immediatly to reiect the seruice of others; hath therefore kept them, and a great part of our legions, and also certaine bands of aduenturers, both to content the one and the other, and to assure himself on euery side. But if the kings mea∣ning had béen well executed in that which they should haue done after these legions were ordayned, we might haue hoped that it would haue bin a very good time for vs. But whereas the Cap∣taines and officers should haue taken paynes to trayne their souldiers well, they haue done nothing. It may be also that they had no expresse commaundement to do it: and those that haue no great good willes of themselues, do quickly finde an excuse. I doubt also that the legionaries being leuied in that order that they were leuied in, would not well haue agréed vnto it: so that the fault proceeded of more causes then of one, but principally hereof that euery one was a voluntarie, and that there was none inroulled but of their owne freewill. And the custome at Page 12 this day is, that those that offer themselues, are commonly the worst of the countrie; for very hardly will a good householder inroule himselfe, or a quiet man that feareth God, and iustice, and loueth his neighbour: for these conditions agree not with the voluntarie souldiers of the time present, who are so vicious, that it is to bée feared that their seruice may do vs more hurt then our own ill fortune; forasmuch as God is offended by them in all manner of sorts. Besides, they are but too valiant; but so euill conditioned, as it is not possible that they might bée more. I will not say that all the voluntaries are so; because I should do wrong vnto many honest men: but I speake of the greatest parte, and not of all: and as I say that they are ill conditio∣ned, so I dare say that there is no good order in them, and they are not so obedient, as it is requisite they should bée, to exercise the arte of the warres as it ought to bée. Wherefore it is im∣possible that a Captaine, how vertuous or diligent soeuer he bée, should make his Souldiers to imitate the manners of the souldiers of the old time, who were men of so great a valour. Nor likewise can one of our Lieutenants Generall for the king, bring into his hoast, the manner which the armies in time past obserued, aswell in ordring, and raunging their battailes, as in fight: without imitating of which manner, it will be impossible to do any thing ought worth. The reason is, for that the stuffe, whereof our hoasts are compounded and framed, is so euill of it selfe, that to think to applie it to any good vse would be in vaine, and to hope to bring the arte Militarie vnto her first state would be all one: for with lesse labour would newe souldiers be forged, then those which alreadie haue their shape, be reformed as they ought to be. But if it pleased the king to make a newe leuie ac∣cording vnto a true electiō, which might afterward be instructed diligently in Martiall discipline; I beléeue assuredly that those Souldiers would imitate the auncient Souldiers in all things, wherein they were thought to haue béen more excellent then those, that haue béen since the feates of armes are come to no∣thing. And furthermore, a Generall might easilie establish the ancient customes in his hoast, & by that meanes the king should find himself to be the best serued that euer was prince, and might Page 13 bragge that he had the best souldiers, and the best ordred men that were vpon the earth: and for to haue them to bee such, it were necessarie for the first Item, that those which should bée chosen should bee the most honest men, and men of best life that were possible to bée founde in the king his countrie, and for the rest to leaue that vnto the Chiefs which should haue the charge to traine them: for they might make them afterwards such as they would haue them to be. And for to leuie these honest men of whome I speake, the king should at the first make a small force, and constraine them to inroule themselues, or the election would not bee perfect. And to the intent that this force should giue no man discontentment, they must be wonne vnto it, with the hope of some profite, and honor in time to come, and of some priuiledges, which must bee promised vnto those that shall do their indeuour: and that during the time that they shall serue, they shall haue wherewithall to maintaine themselues honestly. Through this meanes, it should not bee needfull to drawe any man by the eares: especially if they knewe that the king would be discontented with those that should looke to bee prayed. In this doing the arte Militarie would returne to her first force, and the king should bee the first that should finde ease in it, and consequently his people. The thefts which many Captaines do commit in their musters should haue no more place: & the yerely pensions which straungers haue, would make their end, neither would they runne as they are accustomed: because he should haue enowe of his owne: besides, the ordring of them would be such, as he should not neede to doubt any thing but the displea∣sure of God: as for men they could not hurt him. And to bee short, the people should bee no more driuen away, eaten, nor pil∣laged by our owne souldiers as they are: also we should bee so much the more assured against our enemies, and furthermore in∣riched, or at the least, the monie that the sayd straungers do car∣rie away, would tarrie with vs. All which things do make me to conclude, that the King should do well to employ his owne people, as often as it shall bee necessarie to make warre for the profite and preseruation of his realme: and should repose all his defence in the vertue of the French armies, seeing that he hath Page 14 better meanes to do it then any prince liuing may haue, or any prince that hath béen euer had. And this my conclusion is so well prooued, that I need not to stay longer vpon this matter: but go forward to speake mine opinion of the course that must be taken to make a newe leuie in Fraunce, and to conduct it from degree to degree, vnto that poynt it must be brought vnto, to make the souldiers to be such as I haue promised, and the armie to be in∣uincible, and incomparable.
The number of Souldiers that might bee leuied in Fraunce.
The 2. Chapter.
THis kingdome is so inuironed on euery side with diuers nations, ye loue it but a little, that to assure it against them, it had need of a very great number of souldiers, and such a number as our legionaries were; but the charge that this multitude would cost would be insuppor∣table: and on the other part, the pay of foure franckes, and the exemption of another francke scot and lot yearely, would not bée sufficient to make them to be contented and bound vnto the due∣tie that this busines requireth, to do seruice with them neither for fayre nor foule: so that to make such a leuie would cost much, and yet our force should be nothing thereby augmented, for that they would serue against their willes, seeing the payments to be so little. Wherefore it were better to take a lesse number of peo∣ple, and to giue them reasonable warres, then to take a great number, and to haue them the better cheape. And that the sayd people might be of abilitie to apparell themselues honestly twise a yeare, and defray their owne charges in going and comming from the musters they should make, without eating the people, as the souldiers do at this present. And moreouer, if they were called out to go to the warres, that from the day that they put themselues in a readines to march, their pay should bee so aug∣mented, that it might maintaine them in apparell and victuall, according vnto their qualitie. And the Chiefs, Members, and Page 15 Officers, should be maintained both in time of peace and warre, with the same wages that the Legionaries had heretofore. As concerning that, I say wée should take vp so many the lesse: I meane, not that this number should bee so greatly diminished, but that being assembled, it might make the iust forme of an hoast: as some fiue and twentie thousand footmen, or there a∣bout. For otherwise it would bée a leuying of men for to spend monie, but not to do seruice: specially for that a small number in short time would come to nothing, because of the infinite mis∣happes that oftimes happen vnto men, so that there must bee euer and anon newe men inroulled, to fill the bands that should lacke. And for that the sayd number could not bee raunged and exercised as they ought to bee, if they were leuied in places farre distant one from another: because they could not be assem∣bled, when they should bée trayned and exercised, without great expences: and it is a thing necessarie to bring them oftentimes together: for not being practised, they could not bee made ser∣uiceable.
It were good that the first leuie that should be made, should be ordained vpon the frontiers, who are most subiect vnto the cour∣ses of their neighbours, in those countries which lie neerest adioyning together. As if wee doubted the Almaignes, this leuie might bee made in Campaigne, Burgundie, and Daulphine. And who so feared the Spanyards, might pro∣uide in Languedoc, and Guyne: for these are the countries bor∣derers: and so likewise in others. Vpon which countries borde∣rers the sayd 25. thousand men should bee leuied, and should be practised a yeare, two, or three, vntill that they might bee thought to be sufficient good souldiers. And that terme expired, a newe leuie might be made in other places: who also should bee practised as long. And afterward to followe in order through∣out all the other countries and frontiers of Fraunce, vntill that all had been gone through, and then to begin a newe to bring into order those that were first inroulled: and consequently the second, and afterwards the others. And that those that should rest while th'others were trained (for I meane that there should bee but the number abouesayd maintained at once) should bee Page 16 bound vpon paine of great punishment to exercise themselues perticularly in their houses, and together, if they might do it without expence, to the intent that they might alwaies remem∣ber and keepe that which had been shewed them touching the feate of the warre. The roules likewise of those that lye still should bee kept in their intiere, not suffering any man in the meane while to bee discharged, nor that any mans name should bee blotted out, but with the leaue of the Lord Constable, al∣though the king do giue him no wages for the time; because that they might tarrie while their turne did come about, or bée imployed, if we had neede to defend our selues: for that they would be readier to be sent for, and leuied, then if vpon euery oc∣casion there should be newe men, and newe roules made. This done, the king should find that there would be a great number of men of warre leuied, and practised within sixe yeares, which would bee so well ordred and fit for the warre, that the one halfe (to weet fiftie thousand, for so many would the one halfe mount vnto, or very nere) would suffice to make resistance vnto a whole world of enemies, and the King should not feele how: sith that he should not wage but 25. thousand at once, or thereabout.
But if this counsaile were misliked, it would bee sufficient to withstand the sodaine courses of our neighbours, if the sayd 25. thousand should be leuied vpon the foure frontiers, that are most in hazard of this daunger; which number might bee ordinarily maintained as is aforesayd. And put case that this were done, or that I spake of before: wee must not therefore feare that the sayd souldiers might do any disorder in the countries that they are leuied in: (although me thinke it were to be doubted) for that all the disorder that such sort of people can do is after two man∣ners: to wéet, among themselues, or against others. As for the disorder that may happen amongst themselues, while they are vnder their Ensignes, the lawes that are prouided for those men that are leuied by way of ordinaries, do forsee into it; who punish greeuously quarrellers, mutins, and all other sort of people that commmit any crime, as shall be shewed toward the ende of this booke. And there is nothing that can saue or defend them from gréeuous punishment what armies soeuer they were; because Page 17 the King shall alwaies be stronger then they, and they must ra∣ther be taken at the holding vp of a finger, then that one offence should escape vnpunished. And when all is sayd, the Almaigne souldiers do gouerne themselues well vnder a lawe, and do well maintaine iustice amongst them, who vse in their countrie (I meane out of their great townes) a more greater libertie to do euill, then the most corrupted of ours in Fraunce: and notwith∣standing, contrarie vnto their nature and custome, they submit themselues humbly vnto the iustice of a Prouost, when as they haue occasion to go into a straunge countrie, or when as they are leuied to tarrie at home vpon their owne dunghill. What would then in truth our souldiers do, who are bred in a countrie that is gouerned by lawes, & which doth punish offences more rigorously then any other that is knowne: truely me thinke that they would liue at the least as honestly as the Almaignes do, and also would not be lesse obedient vnto their Chiefs, and vnto those whom they ought to obey. Touching the faults that they may commit at home amongst their neighbours, the ordinarie Iustice of the place where they dwell will punish them: as the King his declarations made vpon this poynt do instruct vs: by which he pretēdeth, that the iustice of the Colonells should take place for the offences of their Legionarie souldiers, but only while they were in campe, or elsewhere vnder their Ensignes: of whom they are to execute good and short punishment: but when they are returned, or that they are not leuied to go into the feeld, the ordinarie iustice should punish them. But if so bée that the sayd souldiers would exempt themselues from the ordi∣narie iustice by force, and that through their great number they would bee the readier and boulder to do mischiefe, in ioyning themselues together, or make any shewe to leuie themselues without expresse commaundement of their Colonells, to the in∣tent to ouerrunne and spoyle the countrie, or to vse force vnto any man: in these cases it may bee lawfull for the people to rise, and to put themselues in armes to strengthen iustice if it were required; without whose authoritie, or the commaundement of some royall officer, and that also of the chiefest sort, I am not of opinion that the people should rise: for it is to be feared that they Page 18 would do more insolencies then the souldiers themselues, as did those that lately rose at Tours and thereabout: who in fewe daies did more hurt and domage vnto honest men, and vnto the places they passed through, then the malefactors whome they pursued, had done in all the time that they kept the feelds.
And after this manner I beleeue wee ought to vnderstand the king his institutions made in the yeare 1523. by which he permitteth the people to defend their goods against a companie of henne eaters, which do sometimes thrust themselues vpon the countrie without commission. But for that it is a most hard matter that souldiers should commit any offence but that the Chiefes should immediatly bee informed of it, who oftentimes make shewe not to vnderstand of their faults, being negligent in reforming them: yea and sometimes giue them example to do euill: so that the misdemeanour of the Souldiers doth pro∣ceede asmuch of the Captaine his fault, as of the euill disposi∣tion of the Souldiers. Therefore I say, it must bee narrowly looked into, that those wicked Chiefs may be punished with ri∣gour, to the intent that they may bee an example vnto others their like to amend themselues: and vnto the good to bée more carefull to punish their euill doers. And if this leuie should bée thought daungerous, for the aduauntage it might giue vnto Colonells, who might so winne their Souldiers hearts, as that they might vse them at their willes, through their long autho∣ritie ouer them, and continuall frequentation. The surest way would bee oftentimes to chaunge Colonells, and to giue such charges vnto those that before had made some proofe of their loyaltie vnto the king, and then it would not be to be feared that they should helpe themselues with their forces against the king, nor his subiects, as I thinke. For there is no man in Fraunce, but had rather continue poore in his obedience, being accompted for an honest man, then to serue his enemies to become rich, and to be accompted for a traytor and a wicked man. But if perhaps there were any Colonell that would make profe of any commo∣tion by meanes of his authoritie, the King should alwaies bee strong enough to ouerthrowe him, and to cut his followers in péeces with little difficultie. This inconuenience then need no Page 19 more to be doubted; because that those that heretofore encoura∣ged the people to rise, are extinct, and their Dutchies and coun∣tries ioyned vnto the Crowne: insomuch that there is no man in Fraunce that dare perswade any Souldier to put himselfe into the feeld, to diminish the King his authoritie, nor to enter∣prise against his Maiestie. And although he should thinke to do it, who is there to fauour him against the Kings power?
The maner how to leuie Souldiers and to inroule them, and the qualities that are requisite to be in a newe Souldier
The 3. Chapter.
TO leuie the aforesayd number of 25. thousand Souldiers, it should bée first necessarie to con∣sider in what countries the sayd leuie should bee made; and withall it behoueth to name the Captaines that should gouerne them: vnto which Captaines the sayd countries must bée assigned either by Bishoprickes, or Stewardships, where euery one of them ought to leuie his men by themselues. And this done, they may be sent vnto the places with their commissions, which should bee addressed vnto some notable personage of the countrie, or royall officer, who should bee inioyned to assist the sayd Captaine vntill his number were complet, causing him to be obeyed in euery poynt according vnto the tenour of his com∣mission, compelling all the inhabitants of the townes and villa∣ges vnder their charge, to shew themselus before him. And this ought to bee done, not touching them that are exempted from such publike seruices by the lawes, or by expresse priuiledges; as Church-men, Gentlemen, Royall officers, and Maiestrates; but to choose amongst all others, not exempting any of those that shall bee thought most fittest for the warres, taking the number that may be leuied according vnto the householders, be it of euery 20. one, or of 60. one, as it was handled at that time that the Kings of Fraunce serued themselues with free Ar∣chers. And that in these cases there bée no subtiltie vsed, nor that any one bée supported by fauour, or otherwise, but that Page 20 without exception the fittest men should bee chosen, and those that haue some patrimonie: and the reason why I would haue them to bee somewhat worth is, because that they are readier to be found, then those that haue nothing to lose. For when any of these should commit any crime, or should runne a∣way, his goods and lands might then pay the reckoning, which might be inroulled in the kings booke: the seruice of whom ought to be preferred before a perticular profite. For this leuie is not only profitable vnto the king; but also most necessarie for all his subiects: for that we haue not the worth of one haire well assu∣red, without armes: because that straungers are rather like to hurt, then helpe vs; without whose ayd (hauing no souldiers of our owne) we should at all times be eaten, and tormented by our neighbours. Sith then, that armes are so necessarie for vs, as that we cannot be without them, who is he that would haue all set at sixe and seauen? We may exercise armes, and yet not leaue our owne busines vndone, because the souldiers may bee bound to assemble only vpon idle daies to practise their armes toge∣ther: which would neither be hurtfull vnto the people nor coun∣trie: but rather recreate yong men, that otherwise spend their time vpon holidaies in running to the Tauernes, for want of o∣ther honest pastime, especially the exercise of armes, whereunto I am sure they would go more willingly. For as it is a great pleasure vnto the beholders to see the managing of armes: so likewise would it greatly delight yong men to handle and to ex∣ercise them. Moreouer, I say that it is not so newe a thing, but that the like hath been heretofore vsed in Fraunce: to weet, the exercising of armes, throughout the townes and villages of the kingdome, and prizes set vp for the best deseruers: and there∣fore my sayings ought not to be thought straunge nor hurtfull: for I speake not of any thing that hath not been before ordained by the kings of Fraunce, and in our time, by the king that raig∣neth at this present. But leauing that aside, let vs say that in the election of the people here spoken of, there ought to bee a re∣gard had of their age: we must choose them then from 17. yeares old, to 35. For it was forbidden by an auncient lawe made by Caius Gracchus when he was Consull in Rome, to choose any Page 21 yonger then 17. yeres of age: and in my iudgement, any yonger could not indure the labours appertayning vnto the warres. And who so should inroule them of 35. or at the vttermost 40. should take them too aged to instruct them well in the feates of armes, and to serue himselfe with them afterwards 15. or 20. yeares, or more, according vnto the Kings affayres, or his good pleasure. For in times past the souldiers followed the warres sometime twentie yeres, and sometime thirtie, or fourtie yeres, as is to be seene in the first booke of Cornelius Tacitus, where he speaketh of the chaunges of the Legions that were in Hun∣garie, who during all that time of their lying there, nor at any time else, could not withdrawe themselues from their bands, ex∣cept they would incurre ye paynes that fugitiues deserued, with∣out the leaue of the Senate, or of the Emperour: likewise they were in the ende well recompenced for their long seruice, when the legions were discharged, either in monie, or in lands, which the Senate distributed vnto euery one according vnto his qua∣litie, or the Emperour himselfe sometimes of his owne, not touching the common treasure. And as for the looking into the facultie, and to coniecture thereby the goodnes, or lazines of a souldier, it maketh no matter so that he be fit to exercise the la∣bours of the warres. Yet in truth I would somewhat forsee to serue my selfe with the greatest commoditie that I might: for there are occupations that are very necessarie for an armie, as Bakers, Armourers, Spur-makers, Carpenters, Wheele-wrights, men that are accustomed to worke in Mines, Shooe∣makers, Taylers, Sadlers, and such like, of all which it would be good to take a great number: for they may serue with their occupations when need requireth, and do the duetie of souldiers also.
As touching the knowing of them by their phisnomie, that are fit to beare armes, that shall be left vnto those that haue no experience of the warres, for it will suffice the others that haue experience, to looke that they haue sound limmes: and whether they bee reputed to bee honest men in the townes and villages where they are taken vp. The best tokens to knowe them by, that are fittest for this occupation, are liuely and quicke eyes, Page 22 straight headded, high breasted, large shoulders, long armes, strong fingers, little bellied, great thighes, slender legges, and drie feete; all which poynts are comely in any man who so might finde them ordinarily: because he that is so shaped, cannot fayle to be nimble and strong; which are two qualities to bee greatly required in all good souldiers: notwithstanding, we must not re∣fuse those that haue not all these qualities before spoken of, so that otherwise they be sound. Aboue all things we must haue a regard that these newe men bee honestly conditioned, according vnto their qualitie, and that they bee not such as make of vice a vertue: for else it would bée a chusing of instruments to make newe disorders euery day, and to corrupt others that of them∣selues are worth nothing: sith that in an ill minde, a dishonest bodie, and a cankered heart, there can neuer enter nor dwell any poynt of vertue. If then the souldiers may be found well condi∣tioned at the first, there must bee order taken that they may so continue while they are in their bands, and therefore it should be necessarie that they might alwaies be occupied to kéepe them from idlenes: and this occupation should be either in doing their owne busines, or in exercising their armes, which they might vse vpon holidaies, and vpon other daies attend vnto their own busines, and labour in their science: and they that haue no occu∣pation, ought to bee constrained to learne one within a certaine time. I speake of those that are no gentlemen, to the intent that they may haue maintenaunce, when as the warres are ended, that haue no lands. In this doing the king should finde himselfe without comparison to bee better serued of them, then he is of those who make the warres their occupation. At the vttermost, if the danger that might happen by this leuie should be thought to be asmuch as the profite, or more, and that the king his coun∣sell rested vpon this conclusion, that it were more sure for to let his commons to sleepe in time of peace, then to awake them by putting armes into their hands. At the least, me thinke that when warres did happen, and when there is question to leuie men in Fraunce, wee ought to helpe our selues in chusing soul∣diers after this manner: and that they should be compelled to in∣roule themselues in such sort as I haue sayd, for which there Page 23 must be good authoritie giuen vnto the Captaines, and likewise good time to choose and leuie them in. As for to leuie them, as we are accustomed, it hath no order in it; I meane if wee will haue men of seruice: for in this case the Captaines are constrained to receiue all that come vnto them, aswell the good as the bad: and sometimes the worst do make themselues to be intreated, and to bee bought dearer then if they were any thing worth, and not∣withstanding they must bee had if it were but to fill vp the num∣ber. I would therefore that the Captaines might haue more time to make their bands then they haue, in which time they should bee bound to vse great diligence in trayning their men: and in trayning them to march toward the place of meeting, making small iornies to exercise them vpon the way.
How Souldiers ought to be armed and weaponed, both ac∣cording vnto the manner that was vsed in the old time, and that which we do vse at this present
The 4. Chapter.
AFter that these men are chosen, and inroul∣led, they must bee armed the best and surest way that may bee deuised, and in such sorte, that they may haue an aduauntage of all o∣ther men. For which cause, me thinke it were good to examine what armes the aun∣cient souldiers did beare, and those that wee do vse at this day, to the intent to take those yt might be thought most surest. The Romanes deuided their footmen into heauie armed men, and into light armed men. They called their light armed men Velites, vnder which word were vnderstood all those that vsed Slings, Darts, and Bowes: the greatest part where∣of (as saith Polibius) were armed with a Sallet, and carried a Target vpon their armes to couer themselues, and fought with out order a good distance from their heauie armed men. Those that were heauie armed, had a head-peece yt came down to their shoulders, and were armed vpon their bodies with curets, Page 24 whose tasses did couer them vnto the knees. Moreouer, their armes and legges were armed, and they carried a Shield that was foure foote long, and two foote broade, which Shield was bound with yron aloft and belowe, to keepe it from cleauing and wearing, and in the middest of it was a bosse of yron faste∣ned, to abide blowes the better. Besides that, they had a sword girt to their left sides, on their right sides a short dagger, and in their hands a Darte called Pilum, which they threwe when they began the combate. Some wrighters do say, that besides the foresayd Shield, they carried a Pike, namely the souldiers of Greece; but that should seeme impossible, for as much as they would haue béen troubled enough to haue vsed one of those weapons alone: and as for to vse them both at once, would haue been but little for their ease, for the Pike a∣lone requireth both handes. On the other part, the Shield ser∣ued but only to couer them, because it was not very maniable, nor likewise would the Target bee handled very well: for it would bee too combersome, except that at the beginning of the combate they should vse the Pike, hanging their Targets vpon their backes, and entring the approach so neere that the Pike might stand them in no more steade, they then casting it from them, might helpe themselues with their Targets and their Swordes. And as for those that do carrie the Pike, as if they could carrie nothing else: I say that if they did but thrust with their Pikes, the Target might hinder them nothing at all, although they should beare it in that manner that it ought to bee borne. The Greekes laded not themselues with so heauie harnes as the Romanes did, but they gaue themselues more to the vse of the Pike, principally the Phalanges of Macedonia, who carried Pikes of ten cubites long, called Sarisses, with the which they enforced their enemies to beate their rankes, and yet kept themselues in order: but sith the Romanes did con∣quer the whole world, wee may beleeue that they were the best armed of all others.
The fashiō at this day is to arme a foot man with a corselet cō∣plet, or with a shyrt of male, and a head-piece, which me think is suffcient for the defence of a man, and I finde our manner of ar∣ming Page 25 to be better then the Romanes. And as for our offensiue weapons, we do carry the sword as they did, but somewhat longer: the other weapons are the Pike, the Halbard, the Per∣tisan, the Harquebusse, and many others lesse in vse amongst Souldyers, and the Target, but that there is but little accompt made of it, except it be for some assault, neither is there almost any man that will lade himselfe with it, except Captaines. The Harquebusse hath bin inuented within these fewe yeares, and is verie good, so that it be vsed by those that haue skill, but at this present euery man will be a Harquebusier: I knowe not whether it be to take the more wages, or to be the lighter laden, or to fight the further off, wherein there must be an order taken, to appoint fewer Harquebusiers, and those that are good, then many that are worth nothing: for this negligence is cause that in a skirmish wherein tenne thousand Harquebussados are shot, there dieth not so mutch as one man, for the Harquebusiers content themselues with making of a noyse, and so shoote at all aduentures. The Halbards are armes newly inuented as I thinke by the Switzers, which are very good, so that they be strong and sharpe, and not light, as those that the Italians do carry, more to make a faire shewe (as I thinke) then for any goodnesse that is in them, because they are too weake, and so likewise are the Pertisans, which being stronger and better stéeled, might do good seruice against naked men, but against men that are well armed, they can do no great deede. Amongst other weapons least accustomed, are the Bowe and the Crosse∣bowe, which are two weapons that may do very good seruice against vnarmed men, or those that are ill armed, specially in wet weather, when the Harquebusier loseth his season. And were it so that the archers and crossebow men could carry a∣bout them their prouision for their bowes and crossebowes, as easily as ye Harquebusiers may do theirs for their Harquebusse: I would commend them before the Harquebusse, as well for their readinesse in shooting, which is mutch more quicker, as also for the surenesse of their shot, which is almost neuer in vayne. And although the Harquebusier may shoote further, notwith∣standing the Archer and Crossebow man will kill a C. or CC. Page 26 pases off, aswell as the best Harquebusier: and sometime the harnesse, except it be the better, can not hold out: at the vtter∣most the remedy is that they should be brought as neere before they do shoote as possibly they may, and if it were so handled, there would be more slaine by their shot, then by twice as many Harquebusiers, and this I will prooue by one Crossebow man that was in Thurin, when as the Lord Marshall of Annibault was Gouernour there, who, as I haue vnderstood, in fiue or sixe skirmishes, did kill and hurt more of our enemyes, then fiue or sixe of the best Harquebusiers did, during the whole time of the siege. I haue heard say of one other only that was in the army that the King had vnder the charge of Mounsieur de Lautrec, who slewe in the battaile of Bycorque a Spanish Captaine called Iohn of Cardone, in the lifting vp of his helmet. I haue spoken of these two specially, because that being employed a∣mongst great store of Harquebusiers, they made themselues to be so knowne, that they deserued to be spoken of: what would a great number of sutch do? But let vs passe further to speake of the Pike, of which, although the Switzers haue not béen the inuenters, yet haue they at the least brought it againe into vse, for that they being poore, and desirous to liue at libertie, were constrained to fight against the Princes of Germany, who be∣ing ritch, and of great power, did maintaine many Horssemen, which the said Switzers could not do: and therfore making their warres afoote, they were constrained to runne vnto the auncient manner, and out of it to choose some armes wherewith they might defend themselues from the enemies Horssemen, which necessitie hath made them either to maintaine, or to finde out a∣gaine the orders of times past, without which Pikes, footemen are wholly vnprofitable. They tooke therefore Pikes as wea∣pons not only fit for to withstand Horssemen, but also to van∣quish them: by the help of which weapon, and through the trust they haue in their owne good order, they haue taken sutch a boldnesse, that fifteene, or twenty thousand of their men dare enterprise vpon a whole world of Horssemen, as they haue made proofe at Nouare, and at Marignan, although the one battaile fell out better on their side then ye other. The examples Page 27 of the vertue that these people haue shewed to be in them for their feates of armes afoote, haue caused since the voyage of king Charles the 8. other nations to imitate them, specially the Germains and Spanyards, who are mounted vnto the reputa∣tion that we do hould them of at this day, by imitating the or∣ders that the sayd Switzers do kéepe, and the manner of armes they do carry. The Italians afterward haue giuen themselues vnto it, and we lastly: but we are so farre off, that we shall neuer be like vnto them for order, except we do make the vse of these weapons to be of more estimation amongst vs then it hath bin hitherto, so mutch there is also, that they can learne vs no other point. We must therefore take paines to get this order, or if it be possible, to finde or frame a more sure, by the meanes where∣of we might defend our selues, and excell other nations. And to do this, we must arme our Souldiers well, to the intent that they may be lesse in daunger of blowes, and the harder to be o∣uerthrowne: principally those that should serue in ye first fronts of the battailes, and also all others if it were possible, euery man according vnto the weapon that he doth carry. The armes that we must carry must be these, first of all the Corslet complet, with the tasses downe to the knée, hose of male, a codpeece of yron, good vambraces, and gauntlets, or gloues of male, and a good headpeece with a sight almost couered. The other harnesse for the body must be a a shirt or Ierkin with sléeues, & gloues of male, and a headpeece with the face vncouered. The weapons must be these, a sword of meane length, which should be worne of a reasonable height, neither wholly after the manner of the Frenchmen, nor altogether like vnto ye Almaigns: for the wea∣ring of it too lowe doth greatly trouble a Souldier. The short dagger also is one of the most necessariest weapons, wherewith in a prease a man may better help himselfe then with a sword. The Pike, & halbard, and amongst many halbards some Perti∣zans are also called weapons. The Target may not be called a weapō, notwithstāding it is a very good péece. The Harquebusse likewise must be accompted amongst weapons, and the Bowe and Crossebowe also. True it is that I would that these two last should be caried by the people of the Countrey where they Page 28 haue their most course, and but a certaine number of them. Those that do carry Pikes, should be deuided into ordinaries, and extraordinaries. The ordinaries should be armed with a Corslet in manner as is abouesaid, and should moreouer carry a Target at their backs, wherwith they might help themselues after that they are come so néere vnto the enemy that the Pike could do them no more seruice, they might therewith also couer themselues from Bowmen and Crossebowes, & at assaults, for asmuch as ye Pike is there a thing almost vnprofitable. And my saying must not be thought to be strange, for that I lade these men with so many kinds of harnesse, for I séeke but to arme thē surely, as men that must tarry by it, ought to be armed, and not like vnto those that arme themselues lightly; who being ill ar∣med, do thinke rather to runne away then to vanquish. I take also mine example from the Romanes, who armed their soul∣diers which they appointed for their battailes, as heauy as they might possible to make them to stand the surer against their e∣nemies, & that féeling their bodies so laden with harnesse, they should not hope to saue themselues by flight, but to dye in the place, or to win the victory. Vegetius complaineth yt the Soul∣diers in his time were too light armed, and followed not the aun∣cient Romanes, who commonly did surpasse & vanquish their enemies, because they were alwaies well armed, and the others ill armed. If our souldiers will then be accompted for to be va∣lianter men then their neighbors, it is necessary that they should arme themselues as sure as they might possibly, chiefely those that should be the force of the battailes, and so likewise should ye others that are for skirmishes, to giue their enemies the more trouble to defend themselues, and to be of the more force to re∣sist them. And for this intent I say that the extraordinary Piks should be armed with curets, sléeues of male, and with a good headpéece. The halbards should be armed likewise after ye same manner: and the Harquebusiers, Archers, and crossebowmen should be armed with a shirt & sléeues of male, and with a good headpeece: or for want of a shirt of male, they should haue cotes of plate, and good Iacks, yet they are almost out of season, but that maketh no matter, so there be any aduantage to be found Page 29 by them. They ought to be furnished of all these armes by the King, but the armes should be better chosen then those were that were giuen vnto the other Legionares. The Captaines must haue a care to disperse these armes, and to distribute them as they ought to be, giuing the heauyest armes, to wéet, the Pikes and Halbards, vnto the greatest and strongest men, and those which were meet to be handled by nimble fellows, should be giuen vnto the lesser sort of men, not forgetting to inrowle the armes and weapons that euery man doth take vpon him to beare, to make them to be coumptable for them, and to punish those that should alter their armes without leaue: for that after a Souldyer hath taken vpon him to carry a Pike, he may not take vppon him to carry a Harquebusse, without leaue of the Colonel: nor the Harquebussier may not take a Pike or a Hal∣bard: for that if the Souldyers should be at libertie to change armes at their pleasure, the number of euery sort of armes would increase, or decrease at all houres: and I do intend that the number of euery sort of armes should be alwayes one, to raunge the Legions in battaile the readier. And if it should happen any of those that should make the bodie of the battaile to dye, or to be sicke, or to runne away, because the place should not be emptie, there must one of the Pikes of the flanks be put in his place. Of these Pikes of the flanks shall be more spoken of héereafter. When as the armes are distributed, euery Captaine ought to furnish himselfe with certaine honest men, amongst whome, he shall choose one of the most vertuous for his Lieute∣nant, and another for his Ensigne bearer, and the other for Of∣ficers: and for that these Offices ought commonly to be serued by Gentlemen, and I haue said before that Gentlemen should be exempted out of the leuy, at the first they must not be offered any wrong. But if so be that they do once inrowle themselues, they shalbe bound afterward to serue the King in the same sort, and as long as the simplest of the Legionaries, and not be dis∣charged after they haue once giuen their names, vntill the King do giue them leaue. It were good that a certaine tearme should be limited, as 15. yeares, or more, at the King his discretion.
The manner how to distribute a great number of Soul∣dyers into many bands, and how to bring many bands into one principall number
The 5. Chapter.
THe nations which héeretofore haue had ordina∣rie bands of footemen, did make one principall number of the people which they leuied, which number although it hath béen diuersly named, yet hath it béen almost one, because that they haue all instituted it to be betwixt sixe and eight thousand men, and this number by the Romaines was called Legion, by the Greekes Phalange, by the Frenchmen Caterue, and the Swit∣zers & Almaignes do tearme it in their language Hourt, which is as mutch to say, as Battailon in ours: & the Italians & Span∣yards, do vse this word Battailon: but for that men chosen by election do deserue to be called Legionares, the King himselfe hauing vsed this tearme as the most fittest, I will vse it like∣wise as he hath done. And for that the Romanes (as sayth Ve∣getius) made their Legions of sixe thousand and one hundred men, I will make these Legions which I do ordaine, to be of the same number, and will afterwards deuide the said number into twelue bands, and therein I shall differ from them: for they deuided their Legions into tenne bands, of which they made their Battailons, and I will do as they did, and yet haue two bands for the Forlorne hope, for so I will tearme them that shall begin the Battaile. Euery one of the tenne Bands shall be gouerned by a Captaine, and vnder euery Captaine there shall be a Lieutenant, and an Ensigne bearer, one Sergeant of the Band, a Clarke, two Drums, and one Phife: and besides these members, and officers, euery Captaine shall haue fiue C. & ten men vnder his charge, the which shall be deuided into sixe small companies, which six Corporals or Centeniers shall go∣uerne, of which Corporals, fiue shall be reserued for ye body of the Battailon, & the sixt shall serue for the flanks. Vnder euery Corporall there shall be four Chefs of Squadrons, vnder euery Page 31 Chefe there shall be two Deciniers, and vnder euery Decinier shall be nine men, so that euery Chefe of squadron shall go∣uerne twentie men, & he himselfe shall be the one and twentith. The Corporall shall be Chefe of 85. with his owne person. Foure of these Corporalls shall haue all their men to carry Pikes, and the fift shall haue all his to be Halbardiers, except that for to arme the flanks of the Halbardiers, euery one of the Deciniers vnder this Corporall shall haue thrée Pikemen, and all the rest shall be Halbardiers. Those of the sixt Corporall shalbe the one halfe Pikemen, & the other halfe Harquebussiers, except that we would mingle some Archers amongst them, and make that the one chiefe of squadron should haue all his men to be Harquebusiers, and that the other chiefe of squadron should haue one Decene of his men to be all Archers, and the other Decene to be all Crossebowes, to the intent to haue seruice of these people, in places where the Harquebusiers should be vn∣seruiceable, as in the rayne, as is aforesaid, or to make any se∣cret charge where the fire might discouer them, or in any other place where these two weapons might serue more sure then the Haquebusse. The two bands of the Forlorne hope shall be 868. men, so that either of them shall be 434. men, one of this number shall be Captaine, and he shall haue the like number of members and officers that one of the ten Captaines haue in charge, and the rest shall be deuided into fiue small companies, which shall be gouerned by fiue Corporals, euery one of which shall haue as many squadrons and men, as one of the abouesaid Corporals hath. Foure of these Corporals shall haue all their men Harquebusiers, which may be mingled with Archers and Crossebowes who so would. And the fift shall haue all his Pikemen, which shall be called extraordinaries, because they shall fight out of order, not kéeping ranke. The number of the Souldyers of all these twelue bands, is sixe M. and seauentie. Besides all which, there must be one chiefe Officer, aboue all the Captaines, who shall be called the Colonel, and he shall haue for his officers these that follow, to wéete, a maister of the Camp, a Sergeant Maior, a Prouost, and vnder the Prouost some wise man to assist him in his iudgements, and to counsaile Page 32 him touching the administration of iustice. The said Prouost shall also haue a Clarke, certaine Sergeants, and a Hangman. Furthermore it is necessary that the said Colonel should haue a minister or two to do the diuine seruice, & to administer the Sa∣craments vnto all ye Legion. There must also be a Phisition, a Pothecary, & a Chirurgeon, & some one that hath skill to make fireworks, & powder, & an Armorer, & the rest vntil the num∣ber of 30. places, with those that I haue now specified, may be reserued for the Colonel his gard. After yt the number aforesaid is so distributed, there must be names giuen vnto the Captains, the one must be named the first, another ye second, & another the third, fourth, fift, sixt, seuenth, eight, nine, & tenth: and the other two shall be called Captaines of the Forlorne hope. And all the 12. Ensignes ought to be of one colour, & to haue some dif∣ference in fashion, or some barres to be knowne the better, and the readier to find the places that they ought to kéep in battaile. It were not amisse that the Souldiers were apparrelled like the colour of their Ensignes, to be the better knowne, and had some token or cognisance wherby the souldiers of the one band might be knowne from those of the other. The Chefes & offi∣cers should haue their head-péeces couered with some colour, or should haue skarfes whereby they might be knowne a farre off. In the manner aforesaid would I distribute a Legion: for it is the best way that I knowe to raunge a Battailon in such sort, that it might be as it were inuincible. And if it should séeme too hard to raunge this Legion in battaile in that forme that I will speake of héere following, & that the forme which we do vse at this present, in raunging our Legions, were thought to be more easy & sure, & likewise that their manner & order were better li∣ked, then the Legions that I pretend to erect; yet I am of opi∣nion that the bands of the said Legions should be deuided in o∣ther sort then they yet haue bin, for they would be in better order to do any good seruice, then they now are, although their order be not euill such as it is. As for me I would order them after this manner, that is, that euery one of the 6. Captains which the King hath apointed vnto euery Legion, should haue 4. Corpo∣rals or Centeniers, all of ordinary Pikes, and 3. other Corpo∣rals, Page 33 whose mē should haue ye one halfe Pikes, & the other halfe Halbards, to wéet, 2. Squadrons of the one, & 2. squadrons of the other: euery one of which 6. Corporals should haue vnder him 4. Chiefs of squadrons, & euery Chief of squadron 2. Dece∣neirs, and euery Decenier should haue charge of 11. mē, by this meanes euery squadron should haue 25. men, and the sixe Cen∣teniers should haue euerie one 100. souldiers vnder him: which Centeniers should be for the bodie of the battel. And as for the flankes euerie Captaine shoulde finde a Centenier which Cen∣tenier hath fower Chiefs of squadrons vnder him, and vnder e∣uery Chiefe of squadron are two Deceniers, and vnder euerie Decenier 10. men. Two of which said squadrons shoulde be Pikes, and the other two Harquebusiers, the one of the three Centeniers, which rest to make vp the ten, which are vnder e∣uerie one of the abouesaid Captaines should haue all Pikemen, which should be 93. in number, the persone of the Centenier comprehended, and the two other Centeniers of equall number, should haue all Harquebusiers, & all those three Centeniers and their men shalbe called the forlorne hope, and shal serue for that purpose: so may euerie band of a thousand men bee distribu∣ted, and yet there would be left 28. places, the which should bee for the Captaine and his two Lieutenants, the two Ensigne bearers, fower Sergeants of the bande, two Harbingers, two Drommes, and two Fifes. And for that the sixe Cente∣niers that were reserued to make the body of the battaile are not comprehended within the number of their people, they shalbe accompted with this number to fill vp the the 28. places: and yet there will remaine fiue places, which may serue the Colonel, for the officers, and garde that hee ought to haue: and by that meanes there shoulde bee in euerie bande 504. ordinarie Pike∣men, 102. Halberdiers: and to arme the flankes 46. ordinarie Pikes, and as many Harquebusiers, besides the person of the Centenier. And for the forlorne hope there would be 93. extra∣ordinarie Pikes, and 186. Harquebusiers: which make in all 978. the 22. places yt remaine are for the Chiefs, Members, of∣ficers, and for the Colonell his gard as I haue said before. By that accompte there woulde bee in a Legion, 3024. ordinarie Page 34 Pikes: 612. Halbards. For the flanks there would be 282. Pikes, and 282. Harquebusiers, and for the forlorne hope there would be 358. Pikes, and 1116. Harquebusiers. The ouer plus is for the places of Chiefs, Members, Officers and o∣thers as is a foresaid. Touching the manner that I woulde ob∣serue to range one of these Legions in battaile, shalbe shewed after the speaking of certaine small perticular things, and after that I haue ranged one of these Legions in battell, which I will order after the auncient manner, which being deuided as I haue shewed before, shoulde consist of 3600. ordinarie Pikes, heerein comprehended the 240. Pikes which shoulde arme the flankes of the Halbards, and 600. Halbards, all which serue for the body of the Batailon. Now for the flanks there should be 420. Pikemen, and 420 Harquebusiers: and besides these ten Corporalls to gouerne them. As for the forlorne hope, there shoulde bee 680. Harquebusiers and 170. Pikemen, all which doe amount vnto 5900. men, the rest are Chiefs, Members, and Officers, of the whole Legion, who are not comprehēded in this nomber. And if so bee the saide number of Harquebusiers should bee thought to bee too little, they may be augmented and certaine bands made a parte, besides the Legion, which Har∣quebusiers may be named properly aduentures, or extraordina∣ries, forasmuch as they should be leuied and entertained, during the warres, and no longer. That which is here spoken may suffice, touching the diuision, but we must come lower to speake of the excercises that euery souldier, and bande ought to doe perticularly, without which exercise, there may bee no seruice done (by these people thus chosen, armed, weaponed, and di∣stributed into bands) in any good action; for they haue neede of more then all this.
How these new Souldiers ought to bee exercised in di∣uers exercises, and the bands perticulerly exercised, before that the Legion should be assembled
The 6. Chap.
FOrasmuch as the excercises wherein these new souldiers should be practised are of diuers sorts, & yt to speake of thē at length, would be too long a worke, I will speake briefly of the most necessa∣riest, which are these: as how to harden their bo∣dies vnto labours, to knowe how to vse their armes, to keepe their order in passage through the countrie, & at that time when they must fight, and how to lodg one of these Legions, or many togeather in a Campe, which in my iudgement are the chiefest poyntes that an armie ought to know. And therefore it is ne∣cessary that the Souldiers should be accustomed therein, as of∣ten as they might possible, especially vppon Sundays and holi∣days, wherein the Corporalls or Centeniers, Chiefes of squa∣drons, and Deceniers, must be diligent, & must assemble them∣selues with their people as often as they may. Also they should be leuied so neare togeather, and those that are companions, that the Corporals might assemble them togeather in short time without great trouble or charge, to make them to exer∣cise to runne, to become swift to assault, to make them to bee actiue, as to throw the stone, dart, or barre of yron, and to wra∣stle, to make them strong, without which qualities, a Souldier can be worth nothing; because that swiftnesse doth make them ready, and able to endure trauell, to win a passage before an ene∣mie, howe hard soeuer it bee to be gotten: it maketh them dili∣gent to surprise an enemie, when he doubteth it least: and if an enemie doe flie, they wilbe the better able to ouertake him, if they bee actiue and nymble, they will the better bestowe their blowes, and leape the lighter to passe a ditch, and mount the rea∣dier at a breatch, or vpon a ladder: their strength will make thē to beare the burthen of their armes the better, to strike and force an enemie the more violenter, and to withstand and resist his Page 36 assaultes the more firmer. They must also be accustomed to ca∣rie heauie burthens, to the intent that if any voyage should bee taken in hand, for the execution whereof, they should be forced to iourney many dayes without victuales, they might carrie a good quantitie at their backes, for that Victuallers may not al∣wayes be at their tayles: moreouer, if it should be at any time requisit for thē to cary wood, yearth, or other thing to rampaire with all, it would be doubted that they could not doe it when it shoulde bee needefull, for lack of vse. Furthermore, who so would not haue his people to bee hindred by any riuer, not ha∣uing with them anie bridge or matter whereof to make one, should cause them to practise to swime, for this exercise is com∣prised amongst the most necessariest. As for the other exercises, as to knowe how to handle the weapons which they doe carrie: euerie Decenier, Chiefe of Squadron, and Corporall, ought to be diligent to practise their men with sword play: and those that haue charge of Pikemen, shoulde practise them with the picke, and those that haue the Halbardieres, and Harque∣busieres in charge, must shew their Souldiers howe to helpe themselues with their armes, and to carrie them well in the ex∣ercising of them. These practises must bee exercised, the soul∣diers being armed, to the intent that through this custome, they might esteeme the waight of their harnes to be no heauier then the waight of their dublets: nor should feele it more troublesome vnto them, how long voyage soeuer they doe make, or how long soeuer they should be armed. They must obserue these things if they wilbe accompted good Souldiers, yet this is not ynough to make them to deserue to bee called good Souldiers, albeit that they were as fit to labour, swift, actiue, and as wel practi∣sed as you could imagine: for it is necessarie that they shoulde learne how to raunge themselues in single order, and to vnder∣stand the voyces of the Captayne and Sergeants of the bands, to obey readely: also to know the signification of the sounding of the Trumpet, and stroke of the Drumme, and to vse these exercises willinglie and often. For (except this discipline be di∣ligently obserued & vsed almost euery day) these new men could doe no seruice ought worth, how hardie and couragious soeuer Page 37 they were: because ye hardines without good order is much wea∣ker then cowardlines well ordred, for that order doth chace away feare from mens hearts, & disorder doth plant it there, which ve∣ry hardly will come vpon these men, when they are instructed & ordered as they ought to be, to wit, the souldiers of euery cor∣porall together at the end of euery month: and the squadrons by turnes euery Sunday one: & the Decens by turnes euery holi∣day one. And the bands shall assemble euery three months with their people & officers each band a part: and the Legion twice a yeare. The Corporals shall assemble their Squadrons euery three moneths as is aforesayd, & shal bring their people vnto the place of méeting which the captaine shall appoint, where he him∣selfe shall be attendant to receiue his souldiors: to instruct them in ye other points which they ought to know, to the intēt yt after∣wards they do not find yt to be strange to thē which they ought to do in generall. For in the exercise of the warres, the greatest studie of all is, for the Souldiours to know what they ought to do in their particular bands, and what a bande ought to do be∣ing assembled with others in a Campe, for they that knowe the first, will easilie obserue the second: but not knowing the first, it is impossible that they shoulde attaine vnto the second. Euery bande ought then to learne well by it selfe, how to keepe order in all kinds of moouings: as to martche slowly or hastilye, and moreouer to learne all the sounds, signes & cries, by which they are commaunded in a battell, and that euerye man should know their meaning, as those that are in the Galleys do vnder∣stand the blowing of the whistell: wherein these Souldiours ought to be ready and wiling to obeye incontinent, at the first stroke of the Drum, whether it be to marche forward, or to stay, or to turne backe againe, or to turne their faces and armes to∣wards any part. And for this cause, the Colonell ought to giue order, that all his Drums should strike one stroke, and vse one manner of sounding in the field, whether it be to sounde an al∣larme, or to make a Crye to put themselues in battell: for to marche forward or backward, for to turne toward any part, and for a retreate, and in some, to signifie all those other points with other Drums, which by the sound of one Drum alone, cannot Page 38 so well be made knowne, as by manye: who make themselues to be heard in the greatest tumult and preases that may be. The Souldiers likewise ought to be so attentife to listen vnto that which they are commaunded, that they should neuer faile. The Drums ought also to bee readye to sounde according vnto the sound of the Colonel his Trumpet, by whome they must go¦uerne themselues in all that they do. The Colonel his Trum∣peter ought to be expert in all his soundings, & to handle them so clearly, that one thing be not mistaken for an other: but to ex∣presse the Collonel his commaundement, as he ought to do, and to be alwayes attendant vpon him, and not to be from his hand. And to tell you the reasons that make me to ordaine a Trumpet amongst footmen, is, that it might bee better vnderstoode in a great noyse, then the Drums, or that when as the Drums should alter their stroke, they might gouerne themselues by the sound of the Trumpet: whose sounde is much lowder then the Drums, which the Switzers knowing, who are the inuenters of the Drums, do vse Trumpets before their Bataillons, wher∣by their Chefes do signifie what the Batailon ought to doe: and it is not long since that they vsed great Hornes. All these small things ought to be shewed vnto euery band a part, before that the Legion should be assembled together, to the intent that they might know to keepe their order and ranks, that no force what∣soeuer might disorder them: and that the sound of the Trumpet might be so familiar vnto them, that they should not erre, nor take one thing for another: but afterwards might easilie learne all that the Bataillon ought to doe, when they are assembled to∣together. And forasmuch as we put an armie into battell, eyther for that we see our enemies, or for that we doubt them, not see∣ing them: euery bande ought to be practised and instructed in such sort, that it might marche vpon the waye surely, and fyght if need require, and euery Souldier to be taught what he ought to do, if they should be assaulted vpon a sudden. And when you do instruct them in the manner that they ought to keepe, to resist their enemies vpon a day of Battell, it shalbe necessary to shew them how a battell dooth begim, and after what maner one Ba∣talilon dooth encounter another of the enemies: and vnto what Page 39 place they must retire being repulsed, and who they are that should put themselues in their places; vnto what signes, sounds and cryes they ought to obey: and what they should doe when they heare those soundes and cryes, and see those signes: and to accustome them so well with those fained battailes and assaults, that afterwards they should not onely dare to abyde an enemie, but desire the battaile: which bouldnesse will rather proceede of the good order, and raunging that they doe finde to be in themselues, then of their owne proper hardines: and speci∣ally because their battailes shalbe ranged that the one may suc∣cour the other easilie, which is a thing of no small importance to imboulden Souldiors. For that if I be of the first battell that fighteth, and know vnto what place to retire when I am repul∣sed, and who it is that should come in my place, I shall alwaies fight with a better courage, seeing my succour neare, then whē I see them not, or knowe not of them. Likewise, if I be of the second battell (although the first be repulsed, and that I see them to giue backe) that shall nothing dismaye me: because I know before what that geuing backe doth signifie, but shall be more desirous that it might be so, to the intent to be of that number that should winne the victorye, and that the first should not haue all the honour alone. These exercises heere spoken of, are necessarye both for our new men, and for those that are practised also: for we finde, that although the Romanes knew all that they ought to doe in a perticular bande, and also in an armie, and learned all those pointes in their youthe: notwith∣standing they were practised aswell in time of peace, as when their enemies were at hand. Iosephus saythe in his Historie, that the continuall exercise of the Romanes armie, was cause that the multitude of those that did follow the Campe, did serue vpon a day of battell aswell as the men of war: for that they did know aswell as the others to keepe their rankes, and to fight well. But for an hoast of new mē, whether it be you leauie them to haue present seruice of them, or to haue seruice of them heere∣after, it would be worth nothing without these exercises: wher∣fore sithe that order is so necessary a thing, it must be shewed vn∣to them with double industrie and diligence, that vnderstand it Page 40 not, and maintained in them that doe know it, as we finde that many excellent Captaines haue taken paines to teach & main∣taine this discipline. But this matter hath brought me somwhat out of the way, for yt I doe speake of the practising of the whole armie, before I haue declared how to exercise the bands parti∣cularly, but it is the affection that I beare vnto this matter that is the cause; wherefore I will returne vnto my first purpose.
How to raung one band in battaile, and the order that it ought to keepe in trauailing through the countrie: and the manner how to lodge it in a campe, in his quarter a part, and a Legion together
The 7. Chapter.
THe first thing of importance, in the exerci∣sing of these bands, is to teache them to keepe their rankes well: wherefore they must be first raunged in single order: that is three and three together, or fiue and fiue, or eyght and eyght: as it will best fall out, with-out respect of the number, wheather it bee euen or od: for that dooth nothing in this matter: but is an obseruation with-out any grounde, and Vegetius him selfe can giue no good reason for it, but custome. I haue sayd before that euery one of the ten bands that shalbe appointed for the bodie of the Battailion, of euery one of the newe Legions, which I doe ordaine (for I leaue a side the Legions heretofore leuied) shall haue 510. men, not coumpting the Captains: which 510. ought to be brought into 102. ranks, that is fiue men in euery ranke, and afterward their ranks aug∣mented either marching slowly or in hast: as of two rankes of fiue, to make one of ten, and of two of 10. to make one of 20. and soddainly to reduce them out of this ranke into their first single order, and to aduertise them that the second should al∣waies follow the first, not leesing them, and the third the second: and the others likewise following vntil the last. This done you Page 14 may order euerie one of these bands, in that order that they must be ranged in, when al the Legion is in one Battailion together. And for to doe this, the Pikes for the flankes shalbe taken out of their order & shalbe put one the one side: and two Corporalls of ordinary Pikes shall make the head, the one Corporall and his people first: and the other Corporall, and his people after∣ward: and the Corporall of the Halbardiers shall followe them, with the Ensigne in the midst of the Halberds. The other two Corporalls of ordinarie Pikes shall make the taile, eache one with his men: and they shalbe rancked fiue and fiue, and euerie Corporall must be shewed, what place he must keepe at al times: and the Corporalls must afterwards shew the Chiefes of squa∣drons, and the cheifes of squadrons, their Deceners. The Cap∣taine must be at the head of the band, and the Lieutenant at the taile. The Sergeant hath no place of abiding, except the Cap∣taine doe giue him one: but must trot vp and downe from place to place, to make the ranks to keepe good order, and to com∣maund that the Captaine willeth to be done. The Clarke of the band shalbe there also out of ranke to take view of those that wante, that they might be punished afterward, according vnto the lawes that the Colonell shall make for that purpose. The second ranke shall enter with in the first: the fourth within the third: the sixt within the fifte, and the other afterward follow∣ing, so that the 85. ranks, which the fiue Corporalls with their Chiefs of Squadrons comprised, doe come vnto 42. rankes, in euery one of which ranks are 10. men besides their Corporals, which are ranged before their people. These 42. rankes shalbe againe redoubled in making the on ranke to enter within the o∣ther as is a foresaid: & then wheras they were before but 10. mē, they shal now be 20. with euery one of which ranks, their Chief of squadrons shall range themselues in the midst, so that he shall haue ten men vpon his right side, and ten vpon his left, which is a iust squadron. Euerie Corporall shall place himselfe before his fower squadrons: so that the Souldiers of this one band, shall make 20. rankes: euerie one of which rankes shall haue 21. men. The first 8. rankes, and the last shalbe all Pikemen: and the fower in the midst shalbe all Halbardiers.
Or otherwise all the souldiers of one Squadron might followe one another: and to make so many Squadrons as you intend to make rankes: For my meaning is that euerie Squadron shoulde make but one ranke. So that if they be ranked, fiue and fiue, and that you would range the 20. Squadrons in bat∣taile, the Squadrons must be brought vp the one by the side of the other, vntill that they be all ranked the one nether before nor behinde the other. The first of euerie ranke shalbe the Chiefes of the Squadron, and the second one of the two Diceneres; and after him all his Dicenere. The other Dicenere shalbe in the last ranke, and he shall serue for the guide behinde. His Souldi∣ers shalbe ioyned vnto his companions in such order that the last of the one, and the last of the other, shall make the two mid∣dle rankes. And as I did before place Halbardes in the midst so I pretend heere also to haue as many, and these shalbe the last of euerie Dicenere that shall cary Halbards, and so there shalbe Page 43 no expresse Squadrons of Halbards. By this reckoning there shalbe in this little Batailon 21. rankes of 20. men in front: e∣uerie one of the Corporalls shall place himself before his Soul∣diers.
And whether the first maner be better then this or no, allwaies it is euident that the Souldiers should be practised in such sort that they might know how to range themselues in battaile: and must be made to martch hastely forward and backwarde, and to passe through troublesome passiages not loosing or breaking Page 44 their order: and if they can doe this they deserue to bee called practised Souldiers, although that they neuer sawe enemies and on the contrary parte, those that cannot keepe these orders, although they had bin in a thousand warres, ought to bee cal∣led but new souldiers. It is also a hard matter, for men to put themselues suddainly into their first order, after that they are once broken either through ill passages, or by their enemies: ex∣cept they haue had great exercise and long custome. But to helpe them it weare necessarie to haue two things done, the one is, that the Ensignes might bee easely knowne, and that the Chiefes, Members, and officers should haue some cognissance vpon their armes, or their garments, and the other is, that euery bande shoulde bee ranged in the Battaillion in one accustomed place, and not chaunge at any time: and that the Corporalls should know their places with their troups, not altering at any time: so that if a Corporall were accustomed to bee in the first ranke, hee shoulde allwaies continew there: in the place ap∣poynted them at the beginning. And if a band bee accustomed to be on the right side it shoulde there continew, and that on the left side likewise in his place. By this meanes if the Souldiers weare accostomed to knowe their places (put case that they should be out of order) they would quickly bring themselues in againe: for the Ensigns knowing their accustomed places in the Battaillion, & the Corporalls knowing euerie one their place, might soone see where they ought to range: for those of the frunt would retyre vnto the frunt, and those of the taile vnto their pla∣ces also. Moreouer the Chiefes of Squadrons doe knowe in∣to how many rankes they should range themselues, and aswell they as the Corporals doe knowe who shoulde goe before, and who should followe. Wherefore the Souldiers hauing nothing to doe but to follow their Chiefes, woulde range themselues readily euery one in his place, without Sergeant or any other to place them: for that the custome would make them perfect. Thse thinges heare spoken of doe teache themselues, so that there be diligence vsed and custome: and after that they are once well learned they will be hardly forgotten. It shalbe also ne∣cessarie to make them to turne all at once: for somtime the head Page 45 must be made the tayle, or one of the flanks, according vnto the enimie his force, and the place he will assault them on, and for to answer on that side that shall be necessarie, there needes no more but to turne their faces, and that part that they turne to∣ward, shall be called the front. But who so would that a whole Bataillon should turne all together, as if it were a massie body, must haue therein great practise and discretion: for as if they should turne toward the left hand, those of the left corner should stand still, and those next them must go but slowly, that those in the right corner should not be constrained to run, or els all would come to a confusion: but this may better be shewed by effect, then by writing. As for ye two bands yt should make the forlorne hope, their Pikemen may be ranged in battell, to learne them to keepe order: for I would vse them, and those of the flankes in particular factions, to wit in skirmishes, and other extraordi∣nary seruice, where it should not be needfull to send any great number of people, but principally I will haue those of the flanks to defend and couer the Bataillon: and as for the forlorne hope, I appoint them both Pikes and Harquebusiers to begin the Battell, and to fight amongst the Horssemen, without keeping any order. And to that intent I haue armed them lightlye, for their office shallbe to fight not standing firme, but running from one place to another, be it yt they haue the enimie in chase, or are chased themselues, wherein the Pikes may doe great seruice: for they may reskue the Harquebusiers, and may shew their fa∣ces vnto those that would force them, whether they were on Horsebacke or a foote, or to follow those that should flye, and to force those that shrinke. So that as well the one as the other, whether they be of the body of the Bataillon, or of the flanks, or of the forlorne hope, haue need to be well exercised, to the in∣tent that they might knowe how to keepe their ranks, and to put themselues readilye againe into their places if they were broken, by meanes of ill and straight passage, or that the enemy should put them into any disorder: and if they can doo this in their particular bands, euery band wil afterwards easily learne what place it ought to keepe in the Bataillon, and also what they ought to do in a Campe. As for the bands of these legions Page 46 that are already made in France, which are of a 1000 men, to bring them into order: fyrst make their single order of 6 and 6, and afterwards reduce the six Corporals men, which are for the bodie of the Batailon into 96 rankes, not comprehending the Corporals, nor the Chiefes of Squadrons; then double them, and make them of 12 in a ranke, causing the one ranke to enter within the other as is abouesaid, so that the 96 rankes shall come vnto 48. Moreouer, they must be doubled againe, and from 12 in a ranke they will amount vnto 24. and the Cheife of the Squadron shall ioyne with them, so that euery ranke will be 25 men. The Corporals shall put themselues before their Squadrons, euery man before his owne, two Corporals of Pikemen shall make the forepart of this small Battailon: and two Corporals of Halbardiers shall make the middest, and hee that is formost of them, shall make one ranke of Halbardiers, and then two ranks of Pikes, and after them one ranke of Hal∣bardiers. The other corporall that is behind him shall also make one ranke of Halbardiers: then 2. rankes of Pikes, & after them one ranke of Halbardiers: by which accoumpt there shall be 2. rankes of Halbardiers together in the middest, & the Ensigne in the midst of them. The other two Corporals shall make the taile of this Batailon, and each of their troopes shall make foure rankes. Touching the other foure Corporals, that re∣maine, one must be appointed for the flanke, and the other three for the forlorne hope. And this is the forme that I would keepe in ranging one of the bands of these Legions by it selfe, where∣in the Souldiers must be often practised.
And if the King would permit that these orders, should be dili∣gently executed, and put in practise, he should haue many good Souldiers in his kingdome in short time, but the disorder that is amongst our men of warre at this present, is cause that these things are dispraised; and therfore our armies can not be good: albeit that the Chiefes were naturally vertuous, for that they be∣ing ill followed and obeyed, can neither shewe their knowledge nor their vertue. It may bee also that the number of Chiefes which I doe ordaine in a Legion, shoulde seeme superfluous, or might make a confusion amongst themselues: because of the number which I doe institute, which thing would be to be doub∣ted, except they should referre themselues wholly vnto one Page 48 Chiefe: but hauing one principall Cheife aboue them all, the great nomber of officers wil cause good order: for if there should not be a great number of Cheifes, it would be impossible to go∣uerne so great a multitude of people: for as a wall that ouer hangeth, doth require rather to be vpholden with many shoores, although they bee not very strong, then with a fewe of greate strength: for that one alone, how strong soeuer it bee cannot assure the wall but onely where it standeth; so likewise must it be in a Legion, for it is necessarie that among euery ten men there should be one of more courage or at least of greater autho∣ritie then the rest, to keepe the other Souldiers firme and in or∣der to fight, through their good courage, examples, words, and authoritie: specially the Deceniers are necessarie, if they did but serue to keepe the rankes right and firme, and in so doeing, it were impossible that the Souldiers shoulde disorder them∣selues, and if so bee that they shoulde bee so far put out of order, that they coulde not immediatly finde their places, by meanes of these Chiefes, who shoulde haue regard therevnto being by them, the Chiefes of the Squadrons are to commaunde the Deceniers, and the Corporalls are aboue them: who looke into al things that doeth concerne the duety of the Souldiers and theirs. But at this day wee serue our selues with all these offi∣cers, to no other effect but to giue them more wages then vnto other men: for that they haue credit to bring certaine compag∣nions vnto the bands, which is cause of many Leagues a∣mongst Souldiers. We vse likewise Ensignes at this present, more to make a great shew, then for any militarie vse: our aun∣cetours did vse them for guides, and to knowe how to bring themselues into order by them: for euerie man after the En∣signe was placed, knew his place by it, and placed himselfe in∣continent, they knew also that if it mooued or stayed they ought to mooue or to stay. Wherefore it is necessarie, that in an hoast there should bee many bodies, that is to say bands, and that euerie body should haue an Ensigne to conduct those that are of the same body: and so the hoast shall haue many soules, and by consequent many liues. The Souldiers ought then to gouerne themselues by their Ensignes, and the Ensignes by the sound of the Drume, which being well ordered as it ought Page 49 to be, doth commaund a whole Legion, which Legion march∣ing in such sort, that the steppes of the Souldiers do agree with the stroke of the Drumme, shall easily keepe their order. And for this purpose had the auncient Souldiers Flutes & Phiphes perfectly agreeing with the sound of their Drummes: for as he that daunceth according vnto the steppes of his musicke, doth not erre; so likewise a Battell in marching according to the sound of the Drumme, can neuer put it selfe in disorder. And therefore when they would chaunge their gate, or would encou∣rage, and appease their Souldiers, they chaunged their sound; and as the sounds were variable, so likewise their names were differing: for they had the Orique stroke, and the Phrigian stroke; the one animated the Souldiers, and the other appeased them. They had besides many other; as the Aeolian, Iasian, Ly∣dian, and others: all which serued to appease and to inflame the hearts of men. We haue in our time Drummes for footmen, and Trumpets for horsemen: either of them hath strokes and sounds to reuiue Souldiers when neede requireth, and are in∣uented to the intent that they might commaund, and bee vnder∣stood a farre of. But I beleeue that Drummes were inuented for a measure for Souldiers to march by, for all the times of their strokes are true stoppes and measures, for to hasten and slake the goings of men of warre. Now, when as the Bands are instructed in the exercises which they ought to knowe perti∣cularly, and therein haue many times béen exercised, it is time to put them into the feeld, in some place where the Legion might meete most commodiously. In which place all the Captaines shall meet at the day appoynted, euery man bringing his band with him, and as little carriage as possiblie he may, & the Cap∣taines themselues must lessen their estate, if they were accusto∣med to carrie any tayle. Moreouer, they must haue a regard that the Corporalls, Chiefes of Squadrons, and Deceniers, do not mount on horsebacke, nor likewise the simple Souldiers. The Captaine & his members must forbeare riding as much as may bee, I do not meane that if he had any sicke men that they should not ride; but all others: for sith they haue taken the estate of footmen vpon them, it is necessarie that they should execute it Page 50 wholly. And as for the carrying of their baggage, one horse shall suffice for a squadron, which shal carrie two Mattresses of course canuas, two couerings, & one tent for the one Deciene, and as much for the other, with some linnen, pots, and vessell, & tooles to make Trenches and Bulwarkes, and also a ladder of good length made of peeces. Euery Deciene may haue a seruant; the Chiefe of Squadron one, and the Corporall two. The Corpo∣rall and his foure Chiefs of Squadron shall haue a Tent and a horse to carrie it. The Captaine shall bring with him as fewe horses and seruaunts as possiblie he may. The Lieutenant and Ensigne bearer may haue either of them two, euery officer one, & the Drummers shall haue none: but they must be lodged néere vnto the Captaine, and his members. The Colonell and the Officers of the Legion, shall keepe as fewe as they may: for of a great baggage procéedeth oftimes many disorders, and the ruine of an armie: and aswell the horses as the seruants should bee chosen to bee such, as might serue more then one turne at a neede: and aboue all things there must be none suffered to carrie Trunckes, Coffers, Waggons, nor Whores. And in this do∣ing, all the bands of the Legion will be the better giuen to do all honest exercises, then if they should bee troubled with all these lets. Moreouer, the whole Legion will passe foure daies for a need, with the victualls that the whores, pages, and horse, that one of the bands that are now ordayned do carrie with them, do consume in one day. Hauing so prouided for the baggage, the Captaines shall put themselues into the feeld euery one a part with his companie, and shall go towards the place where the ge∣nerall muster is appoynted to bee kept, making small iournies, and in the best order that they can, finding their Souldiers to bee good and honest men. And to bee so thought of, they shall march through the countrie in good order sounding their Drum, and not in troope as vanquished men, and shal lodge themselues without the townes.Page 51
This space betwixt the trench and the lodgings is 60. paces large to exercise the Souldiers, and to raunge them in battell.
For sixe bands of footmen.
These two places shall serue for the horsemen.
Streates of 300. paces long and 60. paces broad for merchants and artificers.
For the Colonell.
For sixe bands of footmen.
Page 52The ground that this one band will occupie to lodge in a Campe, is in length two hundred and fourtie paces, and thirtie and fiue in breadth: which length must be deuided into seauen parts, euery one of which parts shall be thirtie paces, & betwixt euery two, there shall be a way left of fiue paces broade: the mid∣delmost of these places shall be to lodge the Captaine, his mem∣bers, and officers: the other sixe shall serue to lodge the sixe Cor∣poralls, and their people: euery Corporall with his Chiefes of Squadrons and Souldiers: the Corporall and his Chiefes of Squadrons Tent shall be in the midst of the same place, and the Tents of his eight Deceniers shall be round about him. This length may be deuided without breaking any ground: for it will serue the turne to line it out with cordes, without making ditch or other thing, but only placing the bands euery one in his quar∣ter. But if the Campe might bee inuironed with a small trench, such as is vsed in the countrie where it doth lodge, to keepe the same forme that it should do if an enemie were neere, it would be better. There must also a night watch bee set, and aboue all things regard had of surprise, as carefully as if it were in time of warre; and in the morning there must be a discouerie made, before that the watch bee discharged, and afterward they must dislodge altogether: but before they depart, the Captaine must cause all those to bee satisfied that haue furnished his Souldiers with victuall, or other thing; that it be not sayd that they tooke any thing not paying for it, or without the good willes of the people of the countrie: but that they and their Souldiers should gouerne themselues euery where so orderly, that the countrie should not feele that there had any band passed. And in this ma∣ner they shall go towards the place where the muster shall bee kept, behauing themselues like honest men, and good Soul∣diers: and when they approach neere vnto the sayd place, the harbinger shall go before to seeke for the quarter where the band shall lodge in the Campe, the Legion being assembled and lod∣ged together, who must repayre vnto the maister of the Campe of the sayd Legion, whose office amongst other things, is to choose the most wholesomest place to lodge the sayd Legion in Campe that he can finde. And hauing found some commodious Page 53 place, he must lay out the quarters, and appoynt in what order the Campe should be fortified: and therefore it shall bee necessa∣rie that the maister of the Campe should go before for to deuide and lay out all the quarters before the bandes should ariue, where it is ment that they should lodge. The Colonell shall be attendant in the sayd place, to see the bands come in order, and the Prouost ought to bee abroade to vnderstand of the Soul∣diers misdemeanour, or of any other vnder their colour, to the intent to punish those that do commit any offence. Further∣more, certaine men must bee appoynted to followe after the bands foote by foote, who should looke into their behauiour to∣wards the countrie, and shall informe the Colonell of all that passeth. And if there be any complaint, the Colonell shall lay it vpon the Captaine his necke of the band that hath committed the offence, if so bée that the fault was committed through his negligence, or that he vsed no industrie to punish the offenders: then he should bee houlden to make satisfaction of his owne purse, if it were any thing that might bée recompenced with monie; and if it were any fault that deserued bodily punishment, the sayd Captaine should bee driuen to seeke out the offender, and to deliuer him into the Prouosts hands: and if he were fled, the pursuite after him should be made at the Captaines charge: for by the meanes of this rigour, the Captaines would looke very néere vnto their people, and would bée more diligent to make them to liue honestly, or to punish them more greeuously then they are.
But wée must lodge the bands as they ariue, and speake of the forme of the Campe that shall lodge the whole Legion. Then for to lodge the twelue bands, putting them in one Campe together, wée must choose a square place of sixe hundred and sixtie paces in length, and asmuch in breadth: in the middest of which great square shall bee a lesser square made, which shall bée euery way fourtie paces; within which square must the Co∣lonell bee placed, for he must keepe the Campe aswell as his Souldiers: and I would inuiron this sayd square with a small trench, within which trench I would lodge the maister of the Campe, the Prouost, the other officers of the Legion, and the Page 54 Colonell his guard. And those that followe the Colonell for their pleasures, hauing no charge, I would lodge them without round about the sayd trench. And for to order the rest well, I would appoynt that the front of the Campe should bee toward the East, and the backe towards the West, and the flanckes to∣wards the other two Regions. For to deuide the quarters, stretch a line from the Colonell his lodging East-ward, which must be three hundred and ten paces long, & afterwards stretch two other lines of either side of it one, which must be of the same length that the first was, each of them thirtie paces distant from it, to the intent that the breadth of this space may be fourtie pa∣ces. At the ende of these lines I would make a barre or gate, which I would name the East-gate: the distance betwixt these two outtermost lines will make a fayre streate, to go from the Colonell his quarter out of the Campe, which streate will bée threescore paces broad, as is aforesayd. On the other side of the Colonell his quarter West-ward, must three other lines bée stretched of like length and distance, as the three first aforesayd: so likewise vpon the South and North sides shall be two other streates made of like length and breadth. I make all these streates so broad, to the intent to lodge in thē all sorts of buyers and sellers, artificers, and victualers that do followe the Le∣gion. Furthermore, I do make foure square places, betwixt these foure streates, euery one of which places shall containe two hundred and fourtie paces in length, and asmuch in breadth. The Campe shalbe inclosed with a trench, betwixt which trench and the quarters for the lodgings shall be a space left of three∣score paces broad round about, which shall not be occupied with any lodging, but shall be emptie to serue to set the watch, and to raunge the Legion in battell, if neede were. As for the foure pla∣ces abouesayd, those two that are betwixt the East and North streates, and betwixt the South and West streates, shall serue to lodge the twelue Bands: to wéet, sixe in one quarter, and sixe in another. Each of these two quarters shall bée deuided into sixe parts, euery one of which parts shall bée two hundred and fourtie paces in length, and fiue and thirtie paces in breadth, and euery one of these parts shall bée furthermore deuided into Page 55 seauen parts, as I haue sayd before in the lodging of a Band a∣lone. Betwixt the quarters of euery two Bands there shall be a way left of sixe paces large, which shall serue for to come and go vnto the perticular quarters: the other two parts which re∣maine vndeuided, shall by and by bee set a worke: but for the twelue Bands this is sufficient. So that after this, or some bet∣ter manner, may euery Legion be lodged as often as it shall be assembled to make a generall muster.
How certaine number of horsemen should be ioyned vnto euery Legion
The 8. Chapter.
FOrasmuch as the Romanes in all their leuies of footmen, haue alwaies incorporated certaine number of horsemen with them, and that their perfect Legions consisted of these two manner of Souldiers; I thinke it also conuenient to ioyne some horsemen vnto the leuie of these newe Legionaries, which horsemen should bée incorporated with the Legions, and should bee with them at the generall musters, to exercise them∣selues together, and to learne the science of the warres one with another: for except that they should ioyntly practise themselues, it would not be possible that any one of these two sorts of peo∣ple should do good seruice: forasmuch as they both do make but one whole bodie, which ought to bee so compounded, that either of them should do seruice in their due time, and consequently e∣uery part of them. And if so be that this were done, you shal find that one intier Legion shall do more seruice then three other Le∣gions accompanied with a multitude of horsemen, whose foote∣men and horsemen do not vnderstand one another. Therefore it would not bee amisse that the King should ordaine, that cer∣taine of his ordinarie companies of horsemen should bee ioyned with these Legions, and be with them at the general muster: and that there should bee two Bands incorporated with euery Le∣gion, each of which Bands should haue 100. men of armes, one hundred light Horsemen, fiftie Hargoletiers or Scoutes, Page 56 and fiftie Harquebuziers. And if they were companies that the king did newly take vp, the most modest and most expert men should bée chosen for men of armes: and afterwards the other must bee preferred from degree to degree, accompting the light Horsemen before the Hargoletiers, and the Hargoletiers before the Harquebuziers; so that the Harquebuziers are the worst of these foure sortes of Horsemen. There must also a regard bée had vnto the errour that is committed at this day among our ordinarie bands: which is, that young men are made men of armes, which are but newly come from being pages, or from schoole. But for to haue these companies in better order thē they now are, it should bee necessarie to make an order, by which all young men aboue seauentéene yeare olde that would bee of the bandes of the Horsemen (not excepting one) vnlesse he were a Prince, should bee constrayned first to bee Harquebuziers two or three yeares, and afterwards they should be Hargoletiers as long, and after that light Horsemen: amongst which three sorts they might learne those things that were necessarie for euery good horsemen to knowe; and that before their departing from them they might passe the furie and fire of their youth, and be∣come colde and modest to gouerne themselues wisely amongst men of armes, with whome they should bee constrayned to serue the space of three or foure yeares without discharging, and that time being expired, if they were bound to finde a man of armes by the tenour of their lands, they should then bee exemp∣ted from the ordinarie bands, and goe home vnto their owne houses, to bee readie as often as they should be commaunded. This rule ought generally to be kept, with all those that should employ themselues among the ordinarie bands, although they were of greater age: for otherwise the seruice of the Rierban, which the gentlemen of Fraunce, do owe vnto the King, would in short space come to nothing: which at this instant, as may be seene, is brought into very lowe estate. And the reason is, that euery man will bee of the ordinarie bands of men of armes, to be excused from the Rierban; so that the gouernours that were wont to make fiue or sixe hundred men of armes of the Rier∣ban, can hardly now bring one hundred together: and those Page 57 also if they should come to the muster, would be so ill furnished, that it is a mockery to sée them in so poore estate. But may this seruice be had in more contempt? when as those which are sub∣iect to this dutie, and which do not excuse themselues by the ordinarie Bands, exempt their owne persons, and send some seruant in their places, whereas héeretofore all the principall of Fraunce thought it a great honor for them to be there in per∣son: notwithstanding at this instant, not only the greater sort, but the lesser would thinke to be dishonored, if they should ap∣peare at the Muster. And therefore those that are bound vnto this seruice, do put themselues into the ordinarie bands, to be frée of the Rierban: and as they cannot all be there, so it is also that the greatest part do finde some excuse to exempt them∣selues: and if so be that their excuse be not receiuable, they will then come so euill furnished, and with so ill a will, that it is impossible that they should do the King good seruice, which is an occasion that the Nobilitie is no more estéemed as it was wont to be: but if so be it were mainteined as it hath béen in times past, it is certaine that we should be mutch more feared of our enemyes then we now are: moreouer, the King should not be charged with the mainteining of so many Horssemen as he is, but might discharge more then the one halfe of his ordina∣rie Bands, to conuert that money, for the maintenance of cer∣tayne ordinarie Bands of footemen. Moreouer, the King should compell hys Nobilitie to furnish themselues better for the warres then they are: and forbid them rather their pompe, then to suffer a Gentleman of Fraunce to be an ill horsseman, ill armed, and ill practised: and to that end should ordaine, that the Rierban should muster in armes twice a yeare at the least: and there should be certaine seueare men appointed to take the view of those Musters, who ought to let none passe, but the persons themselues which are bound to this seruice, except they were Magistrates, or sicke men, for they are excusable, princi∣pally the Magistrates. But for the sicke men, although they be exempted for their persons, yet must they shew their furniture, and for default thereof, their lands should be seazed vpon imme∣diatly, as well as theirs that are in health, and do not appeare, Page 58 or as those that do appeare not mounted, or furnished in armes, according to their charge. Moreouer, it should be necessary to punish all those that are not practised, so that they might be an example vnto all those that are negligent to mount, arme, & to practice themselues as they ought to do: this doing, the King should restore his Nobilitie, & make an excellent Chiualrie. And to the intent ye Gentlemen should not excuse themselus through the great dearth that we haue of Horsse in Fraunce, the King should cause some good & faire broode of Horsses & Mares to be brought frō other Countreys, and afterwards distribute them vnto the Prelats, & Gouernours, & vnto men of great Benefi∣ces, to haue a great brood within the Realme, whereof the said Prelats & their successors should be bound to giue an accoumpt yearely, & to cause the said Mares to be ordered & cherished as they ought to be, and their Colts to be managed at their owne proper charges; by this means I would not doubt to sée France in short time better furnished with Horsse, then any neighbour she hath, besides, their maintenance should cost the King no∣thing: and it would be an occasion that the said Prelats should do the common wealth of Fraunce some seruice, whereas at this day they do stand it but in little stead (I meane those that are busie with the world, and not with the Church) and whē as the King would pursse vp again the money that the Mares and Stallions had cost him, he might do it, giuing the best Horsse ye might be taken out of the Raunges vnto his men of armes ill mounted, rebating it vpon their wages, causing the rest to be sould: and to find buiers, he might ordaine, that no man of what condition soeuer he were, should kéep Moyle, Sumpter-horsse, or Hackney, if he kéepe not likewise a good Horsse, or if he kept but one Horsse to ride vpon, the same might be fit for ye warres. Moreouer, it might be forbidden that no man should wear silke, except he kept a good Horsse. And in mine opinion, the number of those yt desire to be ritchly clad, is so great, that I knowe not if there would be horsses found inough in 6. realmes for to fur∣nish thē: wherefore there is no doubt to be made, but that there would be buiers inow, how great aboundance soeuer ther were of horsses: besides, the Rierban would néede a great many, so that if these things had place, and furthermore that it were per∣mitted Page 59 euery man to kéep a brood that would, we should sée hors∣ses sould so good cheape in Fraunce, that we might haue more reason to thinke thē rather to be giuen then sould; which would be an occasion that the men of armes (which dare not abandon nor hazard thēselues in places where their Horsses may either be slaine or lost, more then they néeds must, séeing them to be so ill to be recouered) would put on their ould vertue, & shew thē∣selues to be others then at this day they are estéemed to be, and it would make mē to be better cheape then the horses are at this instant. Moreouer, if the King would that his horssemen should make lesse accompt of their liues, and haue horsses better cheap then if they should buy them, he might furnish them at the first, & as often as they lack horsses, so yt their horsses were slaine in fight, or lost by any inconuenient, & not through their owne de∣fault; for in this case they should be bound to put so many o∣thers in their places, and to giue an accompt of them at theyr muster: and if so be that they would discharge themselues, or yt they should be discharged, they should then be bound to restore the horses which the King had giuen thē, if they were aliue, and hauing lost thē through their owne negligence, they should be bound to buy others in their places, as good as they were. The like also should be done whē as ye Harquebusiers should become Hargoletiers, or the Hargoletiers light horsemen, & light hors∣men men of armes, that euery man should leaue the horsse that had bin deliuered to him by the King, vnto him that should suc∣céede in his place: for I suppose that a man of armes hath neede of a stronger horsse then a light horseman, and a light horseman a stronger then a hargoletier, and a hargoletier stronger then a harquebusier. And therfore there ought to be broods of diuers sorts of horsses, as Coursers of Naples & of Flanders for men of armes, and Turks, Valacks, Polacks, Coruaks, and horsse of Spaine for light horssemen, Barbares, Moores, & small horsses of Spayne for Hargoletiers, and the least might be chosen out of all these for the harquebusiers, so that they were light and quick. But this tale hath laited long inough, let vs therefore re∣turne vnto the Rierbans, & let vs say, yt in their goings & com∣mings frō their musters, they would begger ye commō people, if they were suffered to liue at their own discretiōs, and to kéepe Page 60 the féeld without paiment, as they do at this present. In consi∣deration whereof, it should be necessary to ordaine that theyr charges should be borne by the Nobilitie, & not by the common people: and that the musters should sometimes be made in the midst of the Prouinces, sometime in one place, and sometime in another, so that ye Gentlemen who are far from the place where the muster is kept at one time, might be neerer at another, to the intent that no man should be more charged, nor eased then other. But this is not that yt I would speake of, yet I thought good to touch it in passing. But to returne vnto that I spake of yong men, that they should be harquebusiers a horssebacke be∣fore that they attaine to be Hargoletiers, and be Hargoletiers before that they become light horssemen, and should spend some time in these thrée estates, before they should attaine to be men of armes. And to speake somewhat of those that do finde this tearme to be too long, and to take away all hope from them that would thinke to come vnto this last estate by fauour or other∣wise, except it be that their turnes do come, or that they should be aduanced for some vertuous acte: I am of opinion that none should leape from the one of these estates vnto another, but that he should follow them one after another their full time, or else that he should neuer attaine to any charge, nor beare office a∣mong mē of armes, nor likewise haue any other estate, or royall office, so that the Gentlemen should kéepe themselus to serue in the Rierban, and of this order would many proffits proceede, for first of all yong men would giue themselues more vnto the exercise of armes then they do: moreouer, the bands would be filled with better men then they are at this day, and there would be no man in yt ordinary bands, who were mounted to the estate of a man of armes, but he should be able to gouerne a good charge; and therefore it would be a rich treasure to haue com∣panies of horssemen in Fraunce, whose men of armes were able to conduct themselues and others. Finally, the offices & estates appertaining vnto the warres, as Stewardships, Prouosts, Maiors, Castellins, & other offices of commaundement, which are in the Kings gift, should be mutch better imployed vppon these men, and be better executed by them, then they may be by Page 61 those that neuer saw any thing, or that had neuer done him ser∣uice. But let vs passe further, the hundred men of armes, and the other horssemen distributed as is aforesaid, should be put vnder the charge of a Captaine, who should haue vnder him a Lieutenant, an Ensigne bearer, and a Guydon (as we haue at this instant) the men of armes should follow the Ensigne, and the light horsse, hargoletiers, & harquebusiers, should follow the Guidon: these four Chiefes, or members, should be more then ye 100. men of armes. Moreouer, they must haue a Marshall to lodge them, & to deuide their quarters. They must haue also 2. harbingers, & certaine Trompets ouer and aboue this number. And as I haue appointed amongst the footemen certaine perti∣cular Chiefs, so also there must be some appointed amongst the horssemen, but not of so many sorts: for it will suffice that the horssemen should haue ouer euery nine a Chiefe, who shalbe the tenth man, & shall be called the Decurion. Furthermore, there shall be a Chiefe ouer the Hargoletiers, and another ouer the Harquebusiers, who shalbe called by the name of Benderal, al∣though the Italians do vnderstand by this word their Ensigne bearers, for I will help my self with this tearme, to signifie the Chiefes of these small bands, who likewise may be called Con∣ductors, and they shalbe ouer and aboue their number, & vnder the charge of the Captaine, and of his members, and officers as well as the others. Wherefore in a company of legionarie men of armes, there shalbe 309. horssemen, besides the Trompets; euery one of these horssemen shall be armed according vnto his charge: for the men of armes shall be better armed then the light horssemen: and the light horssemen better then the Hargoletiers or harquebusiers. First of all the men of armes shall be armed with soulleretz, whole grefues, cuisses, curets with tasses, gor∣get, pouldrons, vambraces, gauntlets, helmet with beuer, gos∣sets, & great pieces: all which I haue specified perticularly, be∣cause of the men of armes at this present, who will be called mē of armes, and notwithstanding are armed and furnished but like vnto light horssemen: and you knowe that a man that is armed light, shall neuer do the effect that a man may do that is well ar∣med, who can not be hurt by hand-strokes, where as the light horsseman is subiect vnto blowes vpon many parts of his body, Page 62 because that his harnesse is not so heauie, nor so sure as the men of armes ought for to be, and not without cause, for the paines that a light horsseman and other light armed ought to take, there is no man able to indure with a complet harnesse, nor horsse able to carry him: but as for the men of armes, who are appointed to abide firmely the assaults of their enemies, and not to runne from the one side to the other, may be laden with heauie harnesse; and to carry sutch a waight, they ought to haue strong and great horsses, for besides this, the horsses must be barbed. These men of armes ought to haue arming swords by their sides, a mase hanging at their saddle pomell: their launces must be strong and of a reasonable length, their coates must be of the collour of their Ensigne, the which as also the Guidon, ought to be of the same collour that the Ensignes of the foote∣men of the same Legion are. The light horssemen must be good souldiers, and armed with curets, & tasses that shall reach to the knée, with gauntlets, vambraces, and large pouldrons, and with a strong and close head-péece, the sight being cut; their cassaks shall be of the collour of their Ensigne: they must carry a broad sword by their sides, a mase at the pomels of their saddle, and a launce of good length in their fist. The Hargoletiers shall be armed like vnto the light horsemen, sauing vpon their armes; in stead of vambraces and gauntlets, they shall haue sléeues and gloues of male, a broade sword by their sides, their mases at the pomels of their sadles, & a Iaueline in their hands of 10. or 12. foote long, headed at both ends with a sharpe head, or may carry a launce as the others: their garmēts vpon their harnesse ought to be very short, without sléeues, and of the collour abouesaid. These hargoletiers may serue for skirmishes, & may do great murdre with their Iauelins among vnarmed men & horsses, & when as they would set foot on ground, they might do the same seruice that Pikemen do: and if they do carry launces, they may vse them as others do. The harquebusiers shall likewise be well mounted, & their armour shalbe like vnto the Hargoletiers, ex∣cept the head-péece: for they only shal haue Murrions, to the in∣tent to sée the better round about them, & to haue their heads at more liberty, a sword by their sides, a mase at the pomell of their saddles on the one side, and a harquebusse in a case of leather on Page 63 the other, which must be made fast that it stirre not: which har∣quebusse may be 2. foote and a halfe, or 3. foote long, or rather more so it be light: their coates shalbe of the same fashion and collour that the Hargoletiers are. The harquebusiers wages in time of peace, may be 3. crownes a month, the hargoletiers 4. the light horsemen 5. and the men of armes 7. The Decurions of men of armes ought to haue somewhat more wages then a simple man of armes, and ye Decurions of light horsemen more then an ordinary man, and so likewise the others: which wages may be augmēted or doubled in time of warres, if that I speake of be thought to be too little. Touching the estate of Chiefes & members, it might continue such as it is at this instant, but the Marshals must be raised, and the Harbingers ought to haue as much as the light horsemen, and the Trompets as mutch as ye hargoletiers: & as for ye 2. conductors, they should haue as much as the Decurions amongst mē of armes, and if so be that their wages were paid to thē at the end of euery 3. moneths, or at the Legion his passing muster, it should not be greatly néedfull to put them into garrison in time of peace, as we are accustomed to do in Fraunce: for that I do thinke this wages to be sufficiēt to maintaine them at home or else-where, without oppressing the people through great charge. For what garrison soeuer they haue, or how long so euer they do continue in it, you sée not that they do the King any whit yt better seruice whē the warres come, then if they neuer had bin there. I do not say, but if that they did vse it in yt sort that it ought to be vsed, that it were not well done to kéepe the bands in garrison alwayes, to vse & ex∣ercise their armes together: but at this day the greatest part of horssemen do make their proffites of their garrisons, as the Merchants do of their merchandise, and there is almost no dif∣ference, but that the Merchants do sell their commoditie vnto the first that do offer thē reason for it: & the horssemē do compell the people to buy the victuals which the King doth ordaine for their maintenance, at such prices as they will themselues, so yt their dealing is rather a manifest raunsome, then a merchan∣dise. And albeit that they should be exempted from garrison, it must be ordeined yt the bands should méete together at generall musters, mounted, & armed according to ye order, & that betwixt Page 64 the musters they should exercise themselues at home: or if they should be lodged in garrison, to make them to be longer resident then they are: and also that the Captaines themselues should kéepe in garrison, as they did in the time of King Lewes the 11. at which time the horssemen of Fraunce caryed the name aboue all other, as well for their readinesse, as for their furniture: not for their readinesse in dauncing after diuers fashions, (and yet a daunce that a man might profit by, were not to be disliked) nor likewise for trimming vp thēselues minion-like, nor for stuffing themselues with féeldbeds, or with diuers sorts of garments, for then there was no accompt made, but of him that handled and rid a horsse well, & that did run with a launce, fight best with the sword, wrastled, lept, threw the bar, & vaulted better then other; was most estéemed, & he also had the praise aboue his compa∣nions that was mounted & armed better then they, so that there were few horssemen but they were mounted with 3. or 4. great horsse at least, and one of them, or all were barbed. As for their persons, they were wiser then to destroy thēselues with appar∣rell, as Gentlemen do at this day, but they were armed lyke S. George, & as full of Crownes, as dogs are of fleas. Fur∣thermore, they should be forbidden to sell their aforesaid garri∣sons, or their victuals appointed, and to take vp other prouision then that which the King doth ordaine. I vnderstand that this was forbidden them not long since, but whether these horsemen be in garrison or not, they must exercise themselus to be nimble, to haue their bodies to be at ease in their harnesse, & accustome thēselues therevnto, for ye necessities that may happen: for som∣times it may so fall out, that the horsemen shalbe constrained to trauaile a long way a foote, wherevnto if they were not accusto∣med, they could not indure the waight of their harnesse, nor do their indeuour at a fight. Moreouer, they should exercise them∣selues to mount a horseback armed with all their peeces, & the launce in their fist, & to light without help, aduantage, or stirrup, and therefore it should be necessary for thē to haue some horse of wood, to exercise themselues vpon, at the least one houre in a day, that they might be ready to mount & light at the first signe the Captaine should make thē. Furthermore, they should exer∣cise to passe great riuers a horseback & armed, & also to climb the Page 65 hardest and raggedst mountaines that are, and to runne or to go downe them in great haste, principally the Harquebusiers, Hargoletiers, and likewise the light Horssemen. As for the men of armes, they must continue fyrme, and must not serue for the purposes that they doe at this daye: but should be as a Fort to resit all assaults, and to ouerthrow and breake all those whom they should assaile, but because of the runnings and skir∣mishes wherein they are ordinarily imployed, which are fyghts wherein oft times of force a man must slie in steed of tarying by it, they haue learned to shew their heeles: and therefore it is necessary that men of armes should be forbidden frō skirmishes and from all other places where it should be requisite to flie, and and where they should spoile their Horsses and doe no seruice. The Baron of Gramont, who died in ye voyage to Naples, wil∣led that men of armes should neuer be imploied in these lyght fights, except it were when as a battell should bee fought throughly: for that they had learned by the custome and order of skirmishes, to turne their backes vnto their enimies, without feare of reproche, and to speake truth, a Skirmish is a seruice that appertaineth better vnto light Horssemen then vnto them: and for the same purpose onely are the light Horssemen appoin∣ted. But I would haue them to be exempted from all other ser∣uices aswell as men of armes: and that the Hargoletiers and Harquebusiers should be skoutes, and serue for discoueries and skirmishes, and keepe company with the light Horssemen in all places: and that the light Horssemen should serue to back them, and the men of armes to be the cheefe force. For to speake that I thinke concerning the exercises the Horssemen ought to doo, I say fyrst that the Harquebusers should exercise their Har∣quebuses, and practise to shoote sure with both handes, and to discharge bothe forward and backward, their horsses running, and also to light to keepe a straight, as Harquebusiers a foote should do. The Hargoletiers ought to vse their Iauelings with both hands, sometime vsing it one way and sometime another, or as is abouesaid, but if they doe carrye launces, they must vse them as other men do. The lyght Horssemen should practise to ride well, to manadge a Horsse, and to run well with a launce, Page 66 to vse their swords and mases when they shall bee needfull, the men of armes must doo the like, all which Horssemen ought to haue iudgement in all the deseases that belong vnto a Horsse for to find remedy therefore: and it would be for their credit if they could bit and shooe them, to haue no lacke of any smal point belonging vnto their occupation. These Horssemen armed and practised as is abouesayd, must be at the muster with the Legi∣on to exercise themselues together, if it were but to knowe and to be acquainted one with another. As for the Horssemens lodg∣ing and baggage, must be aswel entrenched as the footmens, but they must bring as little with them as they may possible, and that they doo bring must neither trouble nor lade them in going vnto the muster. They must liue vpon their owne purses, with∣out taking any thing from other men, and must marche all day armed in good order, kéeping watch at night: and when it is day, before that they doo dislodge, the Captaine shall send out Skouts to discouer the passages vpon the way where the com∣panie shall passe. And this charge shall be giuen vnto certaine Decurions of Harquebusiers, and of Hargoletiers, who shall be followed with certaine Decurions of light Horsmen to succour them: after whom the baggage may marche, & then the Horsmē; & after them the men of armes, & if it were thought to be better to put the baggage behinde then before, it may be done, & behind it shall ye rest of the Hargoletiers & Harquebusiers follow. The rankes of euery one of them in marching through the countrie, shalbe of whole Decuries, except the way be too narrow. In the manner beforesayde may euery band of Horssemen marche in their going and comming from the muster: but before they come thither, the Marshall and the Harbingers shall goe before to prouide their quarter, which shalbe ioining vnto the footmens, and they both together shall lodge in Campe, in this manner following.
This space betwixt the trenches and the lodgings must be 60. paces broad, to practise the Souldiers, and to range them in Battaile.
For sixe bands of footmen.
One Deccurie Of mē of arms. The Ensigne.
Two Decuries Of light horse. The Guydon.
A streat 40. paces broad.
Two Decuries Of Hargoleters.
2. Decuries of Harquebusiers.
One Ducurie Of mē of armes. The Lieutenāt.
Horsemen as aboue.
For sixe bands of footmen.
Streates of 310. paces long and 60. paces broad for merchāts & artificers.
For the 40 Colonell.
Page 68The horsemens quarter, must bee square euerie way 240. pases. For the iust deuiding, whereof you must first seeke out the verie midst of the place, and there make a square, to lodge the Captaine which shall be euerie way 20. pases. From this square, draw a line eastward, which shalbe 110. pases long, and afterwarde draw two other lines frō the said lodging one ether side of the first line one, which shall bee equall vnto it in length and equedistant vnto it 20. pases, and from eache other 40. pa∣ses: which breadth shall conteine the Captaine his lodging in the midst of it, and shall serue for a streate. On the other side of the Captaine, his lodging west ward: shall three other lines be drawne of like length and breadth that the abouesaid are, for to make another streete like vnto the first. The like shall be done towards the South and North Regions: so that there shall bee fower streets, and at the end of euerie streete, there must be a gate or bare of a reasonable breadth. All this quarter should be inclosed with a smale trench which may bee made by the ser∣uants of the cōpany, & thus I would fortifie ye Horsemens quar∣ter, that they might rest the safer, and be the surer from theeues that might steale away their horses, as we see often done, when that footemen may come amongst horsemen. The space com∣prised within this smale trenche, and betwixt the fower streets, deuided into fower smale quarters, euerie one of which contey∣neth 100. pases square, shall bee to lodge the horsemen in: to wit the men of armes in those two places that are betwixt the Easte and South streete, and betwixt the Northe and West streetes. The space which is betwixt the East and North streete shall be to lodge the light horsemen; and betwixt the Southe and West streetes shall the Hargoletiers & Harquebusiers lodge. In the Captaine his quarter, shall the Marshall, Harbengers, and Trumpes bee lodged: and the two conductors shall lodge in the quarters of the Hargoletiers, & Harquebusiers. The Guidō shal lie amongst the light horsemen and the Ensignes shall lodge in one of the quarters of the men of armes, and the Lieutenant in the other, concerning the deuision of the fower quarters, it shall be after this manner: that is euery one shalbe deuided into fiue partes, eache of which partes, shall contayne 100. pases in Page 69 length, and 16. in breadth: and betwixt euerie two of this pla¦ces there shall be a streate left of 5. paces in breadth, eache one of these places shall haue roomth inough to lodge 100. horse and more. Moreouer there may be raysed ten great tents, along the same, if the men of armes will euerie man haue his tente, as for the other they shall lodge two and two together. The places which are in the men of armes quarter, wil euerie one easely re∣ceiue a whole Decury of men of armes: and in the places in the other two quarters may lodge two Decuries of light horsmen, Halgolbetiers, and Harquebusiers at ease.
How it is necessary to deuide euery Batailon into three Battiles, the one seperated from the other
The .9 Chapter.
SIth the Legion is assembled and lodged, we must proceed vnto the practising of the bands together, aswell the footmen as the horsemen, to the intent to haue seruice of them against our enemies: which is the in∣tent, for which this discipline is ordained, & for whose well ordering we take all these paines. To speake that I thinke, we must vnderstand that the greatest disorder that those that frame a Batailon can make, is that they haue no other regard but to make a good head, wherein they place the Captaines, and all the most valiantest men, and the best armed of their bands, ma∣king no reckoning of the backs, flankes, nor ranks in the midst, as if the first rankes were all the hope of the victorie, and that the other serued but to make number. For by this meanes they make all the hazard of the Battaile subiect vnto two or three rankes, as if they were immortall, or sufficient of themselues to resist an enemie, without the helpe of those that are behinde them: which is directly contrarie vnto the order that the ancient men of war did vse; for they ordered their men so that one ranke might be receaued within another, and one Batailon within an∣other, Page 70 and so to fight resolutely vntill the verie last man. For without this maner it is not possible to succour the first rankes or to defend them, nor likewise to retire them within the other rankes to come to the fight in their places. With which maner of combat, the Romanes helped themselues oftentimes, and for this purpose they deuided their Legions into three sorts of people, which were called Hastaries, Princes, and Triaries. The Hastaries made the front or first battaile, and their rankes were furnished thicke with men. The Princes made the second battaile, and their rankes were opener then the first. And the Triaries who made the third and last battaile, had their men ranged so wide, that at a neede they could receiue the two first battailes. Moreouer their Velites, who were light armed, did the same seruice that our Harquebusiers do at this present, and were placed vpon the wings betwixt the Batailon and the Horssemen; and they began the battell. And if it were so that they ouercame their enemies, they followed the victorie, and if they were driuen backe, they retired vnto the flankes of the Battailon. After whose retreat the Hastaries came to fight with their enemies, & if they felt themselues to weake to resist their enemies, they retired by little and little betwixt the open rankes of the Princes, and renued the battaile with them: and if they were then too weake, they both retyred vnto the Triaries, with whome they began the combat againe. And if these three sorts were ouerthrowne, there was then no remedye to helpe them. Me thinkes that this manner of releeuing three times is inuincible, because that fortune must thrise abandon you: and moreouer your enemie must of necessitie fight, and van∣quish you thrice. The Greeks vsed not this maner of relieueng with their Phalanges, for although they had manye rankes and many Chiefes in their rankes; notwithstanding there was made but one onely head, and one onely body of them all. And the maner which they vsed to succour one another, was not to retyre one ranke within another as the Romanes did: but that one Souldier should enter into anothers place, which they did after this maner. The Phalange was ranged by rankes, as our Batailons are, but it was not so confusedly as ours are: for Page 71 euery band did know his place. The Decuries (that is the Deceins or Squadrons) were so ranged that the Souldiers followed one another in rowes, and not in fronte as we place ours. The first man of euery row was called the Doien or De∣curion, (but I will terme him the Dicenier) and the last man was called the Guide behind. The second man of euery rowe was called Substes & he that followed him was called Prestes, and so throughout they were Substes & Prestes, vntill the sayde Guide which was ye last mā. Of these rowes they had so many, that one Phalange had 256. men in fronte, or more, and 64. rankes in length. True it is that they were distributed vnto foure Colonels, but they marched all in front with a little di∣stance betwixt them. Let vs suppose that euerye ranke hath 256 men, and let vs say that they come to ioyne battaile with their enemies. If it happened that either in going or fighting that anye one of them was slaine or ouerthrowne, he that be∣fore I haue termed Substes, put himselfe presently into the first mans place: so that by that meanes the Souldiers of the first ranke were alwayes their full number. And to fill the second ranke, they of the third ranke which were called Prestes, put forward themselues into their emptied places; and those of the fourth ranke did furnish the third, and so following: so that the last rankes did furnish the first, in such sort that the first rankes were alwaies entier. And there was no place left emptie but in the last ranke, which wasted because theee was no man to sup∣plie it, so that the losse that the first rankes suffered, was cause of the consuming of the last. By this meanes the Phalanges might sooner be consumed then disordred, for to ouerthrowe them was impossible, because of their great number. The Ro∣manes at ye first vsed Phalanges, & instructed their people after the Greekes manner, but it is long sithence that they misliked of their order: and therfore they deuided their people into many bodies: to wit, into Cohortes, & Manipules: for they thought, as I haue said before, that that bodie which had many soules, & was compounded of many partes, ought also to haue manie liues. The Batailons of the Switzers, Almaignes, ours, and others do somewhat imitate the Phalanges, aswell for that wée Page 72 doe range a great number of people together: as also that wee doe place them in such sort that they may enter one into another his place. But why this manner should not be so good as the Romanes, many examples of the Romane Legions do shew: for that as often as the Romanes fought against the Greekes their Phalanges were ouerthrowne and consumed by the Legi∣ons: for the difference of their armes, and the manner of relee∣uing thrée times, had a more force in it then the great number, or the diligence of the Phalanges. Being therefore to frame a Batailon after all these examples, I haue thought it good to imitate partly the fashions of the Greekes Phalanges, and partly the Romane Legions, and partly these that we doe vse at this instant: and therefore I would that in euery one of our Legions there should be 3600, ordinarie Pikes for the body of the Batailon, 420. for the flankes, and 170. extraordinarie Pikes for the forlorne hope, which are armes that the Phalan∣ges did vse. Besides I would haue 600. Halbards, 420. Har∣quebusiers for the flankes, and 680. for the forlorne hope, all which are armes inuented in our time.
I haue deuided the body of the Batailon into 10. bandes, as the Romanes did theirs into 10. Cohortes, and haue appoin∣ted the Harquebusiers, and the forlorne hope to begin the Bat∣tell, and for skirmishes, as the Romanes did their Velites, and haue giuen them two Captaines, and two Ensignes, to the in∣tent to haue better seruice of them then if they had none: and also for to imploye them in the labours of the warres, as the o∣ther bands. And for that the armes are borrowed of diuers nations, the bandes must also bee perticipants of the orders of diuers nations: and therefore I haue ordained, that euery one of the ten bandes should haue 8 rankes of Pikes before the En∣signe, and 8 behinde, and 4 rankes of Halbardes in the mid∣dest: so that by that meanes euery band dooth make 20 rankes, and euery ranke hath 21. men. The Pikes doe serue for to re∣sist Horssemen, to breake into the footmen, and to withstand the first assaults of their enemies: which Pikes I will vse onelye to defend my selfe, and afterwards vse the Targets (which the Pikemen doo carry at their backes) and Halbards to vanquish Page 73 myne enemies. And who so would consider of the force of this order, shall finde that euerye sort of armes shall doo his office thoughlye; for the Pikes are profitable against the Horsse∣men: and when the footmen doe meete Batailon against Ba∣tailon, they serue to a good vse before that the rankes are throng together, but after that they are once at the close, the Pikes can doe no more seruice. Wherefore the Switzers, to auoide this inconuenience, after euerye three rankes of Pikes do place one ranke of Halbardes, which they doo to the intent to giue their Pikemen space and place to fight in a prease; but yet this is not ynough, but as for vs, we will haue our Pikemen both before the Ensigne and behinde to carrye Targets: and there shall be Halbardes in the middest, by meanes of this order, to resist bothe Horssemen and footmen, and to breake into an eni∣mie: for you know that Pikes may serue no turne after that the rankes are preassed together, because that the Souldiers are then as it were one in anothers necke: and therefore if the Pikemen had nothing but their Pikes and Swordes the Pike being abandoned they should be naked: for which cause I haue giuen them Targets to couer themselues from blowes, and to fight in all places, what prease soeuer there were. Moreouer the Halbardiers maye also fight better in a prease then the Pikemen, which Halbardiers are expressely appointted for this purpose, and likewise they may followe the sayde Targets at the heeles, who are heauily laden, to reskue them with their Halbards. And as for the Target men, I would haue them but onely to thrust at the face and legges, or at any other parte that were vnarmed. But leauing these small things. I will goe range the ten bands in one whole Batailon.
How to range a Legion in battaile, and after what maner it must be practised,
The 10. Chapter.
WHo so would range ten bands in a Batai∣lon, must first put a side by themselues the Pikemen, and Harquebusiers that are appoynted for the flanks: those of the one 5 bāds on the one side, & those of the other on the other. And likewise one bād of the forlorne hope on the one side, & the other on the other side, in such sorte that the said bandes of these two flankes shall leaue a great voide space be∣twixt them, for to range the batailon in, which shalbe done after this manner. The first band shall goe before the second, and the second before the third, and the third before the fourth, and so likewise the others. They shal marche in their single order that is fiue and fiue in a ranke as I haue said before. Afterwards the Colonell shall commaund his trumpet to sound, that the King commaundeth them to double their rankes. And then the ranks of fiue shall be doubled and made 10. This done the Colonell, or Sergeant Maior shall commaunde the trumpet to sounde a∣gaine, that the King commaundeth them expresly to redouble their rankes, which at this second cry shalbe 20. in the middest of euerie ranke shall the Chiefe of Squadron place him-selfe to make it to be 21. The Trumpet shall sounde the third time by commaundement as before, and at this sound the first bande shal goe forward vnto the place where the front of the Batailon shall be placed, and shal stay there in that order that I haue ran∣ged the perticular bands. The space which euerie Souldier must occupie marching in single order must bee three paces, in bataile 2, and when he fighteth 1. The distance from one ranke vnto another being in single order must be 4. paces, and being placed in battaile 2. and in fight one. So that the said 21. men being in battaile will occupie 42. paces in fronte, and the 20. rankes will occupie 60. in length, heere in comprysed the space Page 75 that euery Souldier dooth occupie which is one pace. The first band being so ranged, the second shall march as far forwarde as the first, and place it selfe vpon the right hand of it, and shall oc∣cupie as great a space in breadth and length as it doeth. Their rankes shall bee straight in the flankes one by another, and the two bands thus ranged together, shall make 42. in fronte, and their order shall bee all one, they must haue a space left betwixt them of 5. paces broade. The thirde band shall bee brought for∣ward vpon the left side of the first bande, and shall bee ranged like vnto the other two, and not otherwise, and betwixt it and the first shall also a space be left of 5. paces broade. The fourth band shall bee brought forward vppon the right side of the se∣cond, and shall bee ranged in rankes and spaces like vnto the o∣thers, and shall alwaies make the right corner. The fyft shall bee brought forwarde vppon the left side of the third bande, and shall bee ranged as the others, and shall alwaies make the left corner. These fiue bands thus ordered doe make 105. men in front, and doe occupie in breadth 230 paces, and 60. in length. at the taile of these bands, we must range the sixt, seauenth, and eight band, right behinde the other fiue, and distant from them 25. pases, and in such sorte that these three bands must occupie as greate a breadth in front as the other fiue: and therefore the men must be ranged much opener thē those in the first fiue. The sixt band shall bee in the midst, the seauenth vppon the right side of it, and the eyght vppon the left: which three bands doe make 63. in fronte, and the space which they occupie in length is 90. paces. At the backs of these three bands shall the ninth and tenth band be placed right behinde them, and distant from them 25. paces. The ninth shalbe on the right side, and the tenth on the left, and they shall occupie as much breadth as the first fiue. True it is that the rankes of these two bands shall bee opener then those of the second battaile are: but it is necessarie that they shoulde bee so, for the reason that I will shewe you by and by.
Their order shal be like vnto the other bands, but that the di∣staunce of the rankes of these two bands, shall be more then the distance of the rankes of the others: for whereas the rankes of Page 76 the second battaile doth occupie but 90. paces frō the first ranke vnto the last, these shall occupie 120. paces: wherefore al the 10. bands together will occupie 230. paces in breadth, and 320. from the fyrst ranke of the Batailon vntill the last. Moreouer I would that these three battailes should haue certaine expresse names: for the Romanes did so distinguish theirs, naming (as I haue said before) the Souldiers of the fyrst battaile Hastari∣es, those of the second Princes, and those of the thirde Triaries. For to arme the flankes, fyrst for the right flanke I would take the Pikemen of the fyrst, second, fourth, seuenth, and ninth band, and would range them alongst the Batailon two and two, so that the flanke should represent as great a number of men as the front doeth. The Harquebusiers of the fiue bands aforesaide, shall also bee ranged two and two together alongst the flanke of these pikes, fyue or six paces distant from them. The Pike∣men of the third, fyft, sixt, eyght, and tenth bande shall be on the left side and shalbe ranged like vnto those vpon the right side, and the Harquebusiers like vnto the other. The Corporals of both flankes shal be by themselues before their men. The two bands of the forelorne hope, shal be the one vpon the one flanke, and the other vpon the other. The Harquebusiers shalbe ranged in 16 rankes, and their Pikes in 4, euerie one of which ranke shall haue 21 men, their Ensigne shalbe in the midst of their Pikes. The one companie of 100. men of armes shall bee vppon the one flanke, and the other vppon the other flanke, and shall bee like vnto two wings. As for the light Horsemen they shall be ranged before the men of armes, or at their sides, who so would, in such sorte that they both to gether might make one fronte: or if you would range them both by two Decuries, and two Decu∣ries, you may doe it. The Hargoletiers shall be before them and the Harquebusiers a horsebacke formost, the Captaines shall bee before the men of armes, the Lieutenants before the light horse∣men, & the Conductors before the Hargoleteires, and the Har∣quebusiers; either of them before his charge. The Colonel shall place himselfe in the voide place betwixt the Hastaries, and the Princes, or at the head of the Batailon, at one of the corners be∣twixt the fourth bande and the Pikes vpon the right flanke, or Page 77 betwixt the fyft bande and the Pikes, vpon the left flanke, as it shall seeme best. I would that he should haue with him in his Squadron, the Sergant Maior, and some chosen men, that knewe wiselye to execute a commission of importance. His Trumpet and Drum Maior, shall be alwayes by him to sound and to signifie his commaundement speedilye. When the Bat∣tailon shall be thus ordered, the Colonell shall commaund his Trumpet to sound, that his men should marche easilye, and in a while after shall sounde to make them to goe faster, and after∣ward shall sound the combate. The Hastaries must not be for∣gotten to be taught how they should retire themselues within the Princes: nor how both these Battailes of Hastaries and Princes, should retyre vnto the Triaries, which must be doone without disordering or breaking themselues. The Pikes vp∣on the flankes ought to retire, as the Battailes doe retire: to wit, the firste ranke into the seconde, the thirde ranke into the fourth, and the fift into the sixt, and the others consequentlye. The forlorne hope, and the Horssemen shall doe so likewise. This doone a retreat shall be sounded, and euerye bande shall fall of a part, and put their men into single order, to reenter the Campe as they came out. And if it should séeme better to range the Princes and Triaries in one front, they might be so aswell as the Hastaries: for then there néede no more to be doone, but to make the ninth and the tenth bande, to put them∣selues betwixt the second and third band, in whole bands: and that the sayd Princes and Triaries should keepe the same order that the fiue bands of Hastaries doe keepe, and occupie as much ground in breadth and length as the sayd Hastaries doe occu∣pie: or otherwise foure bands of the Hastaries might make the front, and the fyft might be placed in the middle Battailon, with one bande of Princes, and both these bandes might range themselues in ten rankes, 42. men in euery ranke: and the se∣uenth and eyght band of the sayde Princes might bee ranged with the Triaries: and so there should be aswell foure bandes behinde, as foure before, and two in the middest all ranged lyke vnto the Hastaries: or these two bandes may bee behinde occu∣pyeng Page 78 the place of the Triaries according vnto Polibius his order, who would that the Triaries should bee alwayes the one halfe lesser then the Princes or Hastaries: so that in eache of the other Battailes there should bee foure bandes, and in this but two, prouided that whereas these two bands before made 20. rankes, they should then make but 10: to the intent that their frontes should stretch as wide as the frontes of the other Battailes.
Wee might also range one of these Legions in forme of a Phalange, but to make it iust square as the order of the sayde Phalange requireth, wee must alter a great part of the order of these Legions, for to doe it so that there should be no difference. But as concerning one of those Legions that I haue framed heere before, I haue shewed the order that I would obserue in ranging one of them in Battaile or manie: notwithstanding if I should range one of those Legions which the King hath or∣deined in Fraunce, I would proceed after another maner, if so bee that the manner of Hastaries, Princes, and Triaries before spoken of, were disliked: for in this case I would make but two Battailes, in the first I would place three bands and their En∣signes; and in the last three bandes and their Ensignes: and this I would doe according vnto the manner that I haue spo∣ken of in the seauenth Chapter, where I haue shewed howe to range one of these bandes alone: so that the three bandes should make 75. men in front, which bandes with the two spa∣ces of 5 paces broade left betwixt euery one of them, will occu∣pie 160. paces in breadth: and the 24. rankes will occupie 70. paces in length. I would place the other three bandes behinde them in the selfe-same order, that they are in, but as they should make the force behinde, and stand euen in ranke with the first: so I would haue a distance of 20. paces broad betwixt them and the first: by this meanes the length of the Battailon might be 160. paces. The extraordinarie Pikes of three bands, should serue for the one flanke, and these of the other three for the other, ranged two and two together: and the Harquebusiers for the flankes a little distant from them. The Page 79 forelorne hope shall march before vppon the winges, and the horsemen shall keepe the same place that they kepe in the Legi∣ons aboue saide; and the Colonell shall be at one of the corners, betwixt the bands and the Pikemen in the flanke, or else where it might bee thought most expedent. And although that this forme might seeme to be very good, yet is it so that the manner before spoken of is much more sure: because of the meanes that it hath to relieue it selfe three times, and to fight thrice; which this Legion here last ranged cannot doe: for if it fought well once, it woulde bee all; notwithstanding it might bee taught through long exercise, how the one ranke might fight after the other, which to do it should be necessarie to teache the first ranke to retire within the second, and so the others vnto the verie last man, not putting any men out of his place, which may be easilie done; so that those which should make place for them to passe do put themselues a little aside, & immediatly come into their pla∣ces againe. The like must bee done when the second shoulde retire, and the other also: so that this manner might bee obser∣ued I woulde much esteeme of this last manner. And at the vttermost which soeuer of these manners you range them in, it may serue: so that the Souldiers be often practised there∣in.
But to repeat my sayings from the fyrst vnto the last, the Legion which I haue framed after the auncient manner should be exercised in diuerse exercises euerie day, as long as it conti∣neweth together, and by this meanes the Colonell should finde the diligence, and negligence of the Captaines, in the practi∣sing of their Souldiers: to the intent to praise or blame them in the presence of al men according vnto their desarts: & the souldi∣ers shall learne also to range themselues together, vnto whome shall be shewed all the exercises that they ought to do in general being before accustomed, vnto their perticular exercises. And for their better instruction it should be necessarie that the Legi∣on should assemble twice a yeare at the least, and that the bands should excercise thēselues perticularly euerie moneth or oftener if it were possible: and the Souldiers by themselues euerie Page 80 holie day with their Deceniers, Chiefes of squadrons, and Cor∣porals. The Colonell ought to exhort them vnto this, and vnto all other vertuous exercises both publikly and priuately: and afterward to giue them leaue to tourne vnto their owne houses: which retourning shall bee in euerie poynte like vnto their go∣ing to the muster, keeping the same manner of matching, lodg∣ing, and well lyieng that is spoken of. Which ought to be ob∣serued as often as the Kings doeth leuie a Legion for his warres. I haue caused in this place the forme to bee shewed that one of these Legions abouesaide shall haue being ranged in bat∣taile.
This figure must be placed after the page 80.
A The flankes: to wit, Harquebusiers, ranged two and two together, and Pikes likewise ranged two and two together.
B The Forlorne hope ranged in 16 ranks of Harquebusiers 21 mē in euerie ranke and 4. rankes of Pikes.
C Men of armes vn∣der their Ensigne, and light Horsmen vnder their Guidon.
E Harquebusiers on Horsebacke.
How from poynt to poynt to raunge foure Legions in battayle, wherein, the Author doth giue the best order that may be obserued
The 11. Chapter.
SIth we haue instructed the Legions seuerally, it followeth that we should now speake of the man∣ner of raunging of one whole Battaile together. And for to do this, it were necessary in this passage to declare amply after what manner the Greekes and the Romanes ordered their Battailes, but sith that their manner may be found and considered of by euery man in the auncient Authors that do write thereof: I will leaue many per∣ticulars of their fashions, and will speake only of the most ne∣cessaryest, and of that which we ought to borrow of them, to giue some little perfection vnto the Militarie Discipline of our time. This doing, I will shew all vnder one, how an Army must be ordered vpon a day of Battaile, and in what order one Hoast doth approach and assayle another, being their enemyes, and the manner how to exercise them in fayned Battailes. We must vnderstand, that in an ordinary Hoast of the Ro∣manes which they called Consularis, there were but two Le∣gions of the Citizens of Rome, which were in number 600. horssemen, and 10000. footemen: besides, they had as many of their assistants, as of their owne, who were deuided into two parts, the one was called the right corner, the other the left. They would neuer suffer that theyr assistants should be more in number then theyr Legionaries, but as for the horssemen, they made no great accompt, although they were more in number then theirs. With such an army of 20000 footemen, and about 1500. horsse of seruice at the vttermost, a Consull of Rome did enterprise all factions, and did execute them. True it is, that when as they were to deale with a verye great force of theyr enemyes, they assembled two Consuls, and caused the two Hoastes Consulares, to ioyne together. Page 82 We must note moreouer that in all the thrée principall actions that an army doth, as in marching, lodging, and fighting, the aforesaid Romanes did put theyr Legions in the middest, be∣cause they would that the force which they trusted most, should be most vnited: yet their confederates were not inferiours vn∣to them, because of the great practise that they had together: for in truth they were practised and raunged after one manner. As they had two Legions of their owne Citizens, and two of their assistants in euery one of their hoasts, so likewise I will take foure Legions of Frenchmen, or two at the least, and they shall be of 6100. footemen, for this number liketh me best, for that Vegetius hath vsed it in the framing of his Le∣gions, and of the two abouesaid Legions I will make my principall force. If so be that we would haue strange souldyers amongst them, I would place the sayd strangers at the two corners of the army as the Romanes did their assistants. But I suppose that there shall be no strangers in the hoast that I will make at this present, or if there should be, I would not haue the number of the Legions which I require to be dimini∣shed: but that there should alwayes be foure: by the ordering of which foure, may easily be vnderstoode how a greater ar∣mye should be raunged: for if there should be a greater number of people then the sayd foure Legions, there were no more to do but to make many small Batailons, and to place them be∣hinde and at the sides of the Bataile, in forme of Subsides, to succour any part of the Batailon that might be oppressed: of which Subsides it shall be necessary to vse for the diuers formes of Batailons that enemyes oftentimes do make, to the intent that without changing or taking any thing out of place, we might at all times haue wherewithall to resist them: as if any of the enemyes Batailons should be raunged in Point, that is, with a narrow strong battaile, we might immediatly bring forward those that are behinde, and those vpon the flanks, and range them in the forme of two vnited forces, to receiue and inclose betwixt them the enemyes Point when it shall approch: or if the said enemyes should march with their front of great breadth, they then might march in Point, and force to breake Page 83 into them. These people would be also good to repulse those that should sodainely charge vpon the flanks of the Batailon or behind, they may also serue to relieue those that are in danger, or to strike downe those yt runne away: and for many other good actions (which I leaue to speake of) wherein we might employ those that might be in our Camps ouer and aboue the said four Legions: notwithstanding for these purposes there néede none to be leuied, sith the Forlorne hope, & those of the flanks might serue the turne. Furthermore, I thinke that it shall not be néed∣full to recite againe the number of people that I haue appointed for euery Legion, nor that there are tenne ordenary bands, and two extraordinary: nor what armes and weapons they should carry, nor the diuersitie of Pikemen, nor what officers & Chiefs there should be in euery Legion: because that I haue before re∣cited them perticularly, wherefore without any more repeti∣tion, I say that the first Legion (for they must all be distingui∣shed by degrées) ought at all times to be raunged in the Ba∣tailon in one place, and the others likewise. Therefore I would that the first Legion should keepe the right side, and the second the left, and that the first rankes of the Hastaries of these two Legions should be raunged as farre forward the one as the o∣ther, and all the other rankes following. And for a more ma∣nifest demonstration, suppose that the enemyes be towards the East, and that we do raunge the fronts of our battailes towards them, the first Legion being vpon the right hand on the South side, the second Legion vpon the left hand on the North side, and their backs towards the West: and the Hastaries one right against another, & one as far forward as an other, and ye Princes & Triaries of both these two Legions, must likewise kéepe one and the selfe-same order, ranks, spaces, & distances: there must a space be left betwixt the two Legions from the front vnto the tayle, which must be thirty paces broade: these two Legions shall occupy the place that the two Legions of the Citizens of Rome did occupy. I would haue the third Legion to be placed on the right corner, & the fourth on the left, and raunged in the selfe-same order that ye two Legions betwixt thē are, with spa∣ces betwixt thē of 30. paces broade: so that the foure Legions Page 84 should occupy in breadth a thousand pases or more. The Forlorne hope shall be at the head, and the horssemen of the first and third Legion shall be on the right wing: and the horse∣men of the second and fourth Legion vppon the left wing. And for to gouerne this army well, it would be necessary to haue certayne principall Chiefes; and Officers, who should be subiect and obedient vnto one Lieutenant Generall. There shall be therefore two Chiefes, to wéet, one Captaine generall of the horssemen, vnto whome, all the Captaynes that haue charge of horssemen, must be obedient. The other shall be Captayne generall ouer the footemen, vnto whome, all the Colonels and Captaines that haue charge of footemen shall be obedient. The dignitie of these two Chiefes is equall, be∣cause that the one commaundeth ouer the one kinde of Soul∣dyers, and the other ouer the other: and they are the highest degrées that are in an army (excepting the Generall chiefe) and vnto which estates all other degrées may aspire, each one in his facultie, as he that is a horsseman, may attaine to be Cap∣tayne generall ouer horssemen: and he that is a footeman, may attayne to be Captayne generall ouer the footemen: to arise vnto which dignities, there must be as many degrées passed in the one facultie, as in the other: for I make twelue degrées in either of them. First amongst the footemen there is ye Forlorne hope, amongst whom, I would place all those which I would inrowle to fill a Legion. The second place is to be of ye flanks, & in these two places they should passe through all offices ex∣cept the Corporals, before that they should be of the Bat∣tailon, & being of ye Battailon, they should first be Pikemen or Halbardiers amongst the Hastaries which is the third place, the fourth, are the Princes, the fift, Triaries, the sixt to be Dece∣nier, the seauenth to be chiefe of Squadron, the eight to be Cor∣porall, the ninth to be Ensigne-bearer, whether it were of the Batailon, or of the Forlorne hope, the tenth Lieutenant, the eleuenth Captaine, the twelfth Colonell. And for the Horsse∣men, the first point is to be Harquebusiers, the second Har∣goletiers, the third light horssemen, the fourth a man of Armes, the fift a Decurion of Harquebusiers, the sixt Page 85 a Decurion of Hargoletiers: the 7. a Decurion of light horse∣men, the eight, a Decurion of men of armes, or conductors of hargoletiers or Harquebusiers, the ninth Guydon, ye tenth En∣signe, the eleuenth Lieutenant, and the twelfth Captaine. Concerning the other places as Harbingers, Sergeants of Bands, Sergeants, Maiors, Marshals of Legions, Maisters of Campe, or Prouost (for it is all one) and others, theirs are offices, but not degrées, whereby a man ought to attaine vnto the estates of the two Soueraignes, except the King did ap∣point it to be so, who may alter and change all orders. As con∣cerning the officers that ought to be in an Hoast, besides these that I haue héere spoken of, there must be first of all some wise man who should execute the office of Chauncellor or Coun∣cellor, as you will tearme him: and a maister of the Ordinance, a Threasorer, and a Marshall of the Campe, we might appoint also a Prouost generall. Now to appoint vnto euery one of these principall Chiefe their places, the army being ready for the Combate, and likewise vnto the other officers heere aboue named, we must say that the Lieutenant Generall ought to be vpon the right side, betwixt the footemen and the horssemen, for that is the fittest place to gouerne an army. The Kings Lieu∣tenant Generall may haue in his company a 100. or 200. cho∣sen men, some a horssebacke, and some a foote, of which number there shall be some sufficient to execute a charge of importance, he himselfe must be a horssebacke, and so armed, that he might helpe himselfe both a horssebacke and a foote, according vnto the occasion that might be giuen. His Cornet must be by him, which is the Ensigne of those that are Chiefes of Armyes, and ye Kings Trompet, generally after whose sound, all the Trom∣pets of the army must gouerne themselues, and the souldyers likewise. The Lieutenant generall of the army ought then to be vpon the right side, for it is the fittest place to giue order vnto all parts of the battaile, and to ouer-looke them with least trouble, except the scituation of the place were fitter vpon the other side: but I suppose that this Hoast is raunged in some faire plaine. The Captaine generall of the footemen shall be at the head of that space, that is left betwixt the two middle Le∣gions, Page 70 to gouerne all the foure Legions, and to remedy the ac∣cidents that may happen: and therefore he shall haue about him certaine extraordinary footemen, or may vse certaine Pike∣men and harquebusiers of the flanks if he will: specially those of the flanks betwixt the two middle Legions, for it will be long before that they should be assayled there. The Captaine Generall of the horssemen shall be vpon the left side to gouerne there as the Lieutenant Generall doth gouerne the right side: and may haue about him certaine footemen, Pikes, and Har∣quebusiers, which he shall take from the Forlorne hope, and shall cause them to fight amongst the horssemen without kée∣ping order. The Ordnance ought to be placed at the front of the Army, except the ground were such that it might be placed vpon the flanks, or else-where in some sure place where the ene∣myes might not easily come to it. The maister of the Ord∣nance ought to be with his charge, and his Officers and Gun∣ners with him: a good number of the chiefe Officers ought to be about the King his Lieutenant Generall, and the rest behinde the Battailes, to haue a regard vnto that might happen there. As for the Baggage, it should be placed in some place either strong by nature or by arte, and the seruaunts of the Hoast may kéepe it, and for this purpose I required that they should be chosen to be such as might serue for souldyers at a néede. And an Hoast ranged after this manner héere spo∣ken of, might in fight do asmutch as the Greekes Phalanges, or as the Romane Legions might do, because that there are Pikemen in the front, and vpon the sides: and moreouer, the Souldyers are ranged in sutch sort, that if the first ranke should be slaine or beaten downe in fight, then those that are in the second, might presently supply theyr places, and fill theyr ranks, according vnto the vse of the Phalanges. On the other part, if the first ranks of Hastaries were so violently charged, that they should be enforced to breake, they might then retire vnto the Princes which are at their backs, and range them∣selues anew betwixt their ranks, who are not so thicke placed as the Hastaries, for they are two bands lesse then they. More∣ouer, there is a greater distance from the first ranke of the Page 71 Princes vnto the last, then the said Hastaries do occupie in their order, and therefore they may fight anew, and shew their faces being ranged with the Princes. And when as this would not serue the turne, they might retyre the second time, as they did the first, and enter betwixt the Triaries, and fight the third time, so that this manner of relieuing, & furnishing of the pla∣ces of those that are striken downe, is both according vnto the Greekes and Romanes manner. Furthermore, it were not possible to frame a more stronger forme of Battaile then this, because that all the sides of the Battailes are most excelently well furnished with Chiefes and good armes, so that they can not be assayled at any part that is not strong and well gouer∣ned, héerewith considered that the enemyes are verie seldome so great a number as they might assayle those with whome they should haue to do alike vpon all partes. And if it were so that they were strong ynough to do it, I would neuer coun∣saile the weaker to offer the Battaile, nor to accept it, nor to goe out of his Fort into an open Countrey. But if the enemy were so strong, that he had three times as mutch people as you, and as good Souldyers as yours, and should assayle you in diuers places, if you could repulse but the one part, the o∣thers would do no great deede: for who so should assayle hys enemyes vpon diuers sides, must of necessitie weaken and di∣minish his Battayles, and be constrained to range them so farre asunder, that if one part should be repulsed, hauing no body to succour it, the other parts would be dismayed, or at least would but weakely resist. And as for the enemy his horse∣men, if they were stronger then you, yet are you assured from them, by meanes of the Pikes which enuiron your Bat∣tayles vppon euery side: for what side so euer should be as∣sayled, you haue Pikemen to defend the same: moreouer, the officers, numbers, & Chiefes, are distributed into sutch places, yt they may easily commaund their people, & obey their Captain generall. The distances betwixt ye ranks, bands, & battailes, do not only serue for to receiue one another, but also to make place for those that come and goe, to carry & re-carry the commaunds Page 88 of the Chiefes. Furthermore I haue said that the Romanes had in foure of their Legions the number of 21000. footemen, which were all the people that they commonly had in one of their armyes. This Hoast which I frame heere, hath 25000. not accompting the principall Chiefes, and Officers, who also haue some followers. Finally, they had horssemen, so likewise mine haue a good number, who are better armed and furnished then theirs were: wherefore sith the battailes are raunged in all points readie to fight, there resteth nothing but to set these people aworke. I do require therefore that I may be héere permitted to giue battaile with these foure Legions, against another great Hoast of Enemyes, to the intent to shewe af∣ter what manner I would haue them to fight: afterward, I will giue a reason for that I cause them to do during the bat∣taile, which battaile I do fayne by imagination.
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.
The Authour yeeldeth a reason for euery thing that was done, both before the beginning of the battaile, & after
The 13. Chapter.
TO giue a reason why I made our Ordnance to discharge but once, and why I caused it im∣mediatly to bee retired betwixt the Battailes, and what hath béen the occasion that I haue made no mention of it since, and likewise why I sayd that the enemies had shot too high: for it should séeme that I had layd the Ordnance at mine own plea∣sure, to make it to shoote high or lowe as I would my selfe. As concerning the first poynt, I say that all men ought to haue a more regard to defend themselues from the enemie his shot (and that it is a thing of more importance) then to offend them with theirs. For if so be you would that your Ordnance should shoote more then once, of force your enemies must haue as great lei∣sure to discharge against your battailes, as you haue to dis∣charge against theirs: which cannot be without the hassarding of your people, vnto the daunger of the sayd Ordnance, which may do you many great domages before you come to handie strokes. Wherfore it is better that your Ordnance should cease his effect, then that in vsing of it your enemies Ordnance should weaken you, in killing your good Souldiers: for you must take Page 95 heed of the blowes that do come farre of, being assured yt through the good order that your men are in, so that your rankes may a∣borde the enemie, you shall easilie obtaine the victorie, for that your people are better practised, raunged, and armed then your enemies are. So that you ought to haue care of nothing so much as to bring your Souldiers to encounter with your enemies their rankes being whole. And for to keepe you from being in∣domaged with your enemies Ordnance, it would bee necessarie that you should bee in such a place whereas it might not offend you, or behind a wall or a rampar: for there is nothing else that might saue you. Yet to bee well assured, it were necessarie that they should bee very strong: but forasmuch as Captaines that wil giue battailes may not be couered with walls and rampars, nor likewise put themselues into places where Ordnance may hurt them: it must be therefore of necessitie, that sith they cannot finde a meane to wholly assure themselues, that at the least they do finde some one meane which may saue them from being too much indomaged. And the best remedie that I do see herein, is that that I am about to tell you, which is presently to seeke to hinder the vse of the sayd Ordnance, by assayling it speedilie without keeping order, & not slowlie or in troope: for by meanes of the diligence that you vse herein, you shall giue them no lei∣sure to double their shot. And for that your men are scattered, it shall hit the fewer when it doth shoot: and you knowe that a band being in order may not do this, because that if it should march in so great hast as it were necessarie it should do, it is cer∣taine that the rankes would put themselues into disorder. And if so be that the said band should be spred wide, the enemie might breake it easilie, because the rankes are broken of themselues without vsing any other force vnto them. To withstand which perill, I haue ordred this armie after that manner that it may do both without danger: to wéete, the Forlorne hope & the Har∣quebuziers of the flancks, who with the Hargoletiers and Har∣quebuziers on horseback, are appoynted expressely for to charge vpon the enemies Ordnance, and to hinder the vse of it: which cannot be done if that the Ordnance should shoot alwaies, for the reasons that I haue aboue alleadged: which is, that you cannot Page 96 haue that leisure your selfe, and take it away from others. It followeth then, that to make the Ordnance to bee of no value, there is no other remedie but to assault it speedilie. And if you can enforce the enemies to abandon it, then you may vse it your selfe, and although they would hinder you from the vsing of it, yet they must leaue it behind them: so that being inioyed by you or troubled by them, it shall remaine vnseruiceable. I conclude then, that if you will defend your battailes from the Ordnance, you haue no other remedie but to surprise it with the greatest speede that may bee possible. As concerning that poynt that it might seeme that I had guided the enemies Ordnance at my pleasure, making the shot to flye ouer our footmen, I aunswere, that great Ordnance doth oftner misse footmen, then touch them; for that the sayd footmen are so lowe, and the Ordnance is so troublesome to bee vsed, that how little soeuer it bee raysed, the shot doth flye ouer their heads: and if it be layd a little too lowe, the shot liteth vpon the ground, so that it commeth not amongst them. If the ground wherein they are raunged bee any thing bowing, it saueth them also, but if the place were plain, I would put the horsemen behind the battailes, chiefly the men of armes and the light horsemen, vntill such time as the Ordnance were vnseruiceable: for by meanes of their height and close raung∣ing, for that they are raunged closer then the Hargoletiers, or Harquebuziers on horsebacke, they may be sooner hit then foot∣men. One thing there is, the enemies small shot may greatly annoy vs, but we haue it aswel as they. But to auoyd the worst, there is no better remedie then to come to the combate, although that at the first assault there are alwaies some slaine, as some alwaies must dye at the first encounter, yet the perticular daun∣ger is not so much to be feared as the generall: for that the losse of fiue hundred or a thousand men cannot bee so domageable, but that the losse of a greater troope would be more, except the losse should fall vpon some of the Chiefes, and yet in such a case wee must not bee too much amased, nor accompt the bat∣taile to be lost: for that for the default of one principall Chiefe there are so many other Chiefes distributed and raunged in so good order, that the losse of one perticular Chiefe could Page 97 not be mist so much as a man woulde thinke it shoulde be. But this busines cannot bee done with out perill, and all being well waied our maner is the least venterous that may, be so that you doe beginne betimes to foresee that your enemies do not hurt you afarre of, for therin doeth the greatest daunger lie: for as for hand blowes they may be auoided with lesse danger, by means of armes, and good order, then those that come from farre, as shot which nothing can resist, against the which we must vse the Switzers custome, who bowing downe their heads doe runne and assayle the Ordnaunce wheresoeuer it bee placed, as I haue heard say they haue done manie times, but specially at the battaile of Marignan, and they doe not refuse battaile at anie time against any man whosoeuer he be, for any doubt that they haue of the ordnaunce: but haue a law amongst themselues to put them to death, that shoulde goe out of their ranks, or should make any shew to be afrayd of it. I haue caused our Ordnance to be retyred vnto the taile of our battailes after that it had once discharged, which I haue done to the intent that our Battai∣lons might haue the way free before them. And the cause why I made no mention of it since, was because I thought it to bee inseruiceable when the troupes were at it, hande to hande. I must heere replie in this place vnto certaine people, who iudge the Harnis that we do vse, and the auncient order in ranging of a battaile to be vnprofitable, hauing respect vnto the violence of this instrument: for it shoulde seeme by their woords, that the men of warre of the time present haue found some better order, & that they wold haue men to be slain or hurt at their pleasures. Of those, you shall fynd but few in mine opinion, but they had rather to shew their heeles vnto their enemies then to receyue hurt. For wherefore is it that they doe blame harnes, sith that being naked they are subiect to blowes, but to the intent rather to flie then to be hurte; and to abandon their Prince at his most need? I would but vnderstand why the Switzers & the Almaig∣nes do make Battails of 1000. & 15000. men all in one peece, after the auntient manner: and for what occasion all the other nations haue imitated them, sith that this forme of battaile is subiect vnto the same perill of the Ordnaunce, that the others Page 98 that are raunged after the auncient manner, are subiect vnto. I beleeue they knowe not how to answere this point, but who so should aske any Souldiour of meane iudgement, hee would answere, that those that would not carrie Harnes, are ill coun∣sailed: for although that Harnes be too weake to resist ordnance or Harquebushes; notwithstanding, it dooth defend a man from the stroke, of Pike, Halbard, and Sword, Crosse-bowe, Long-bowe, and from Stones, and from all other hurt, that may pro∣ceede from the enemies hande, and sometimes a Harquebuze may bee so ill charged, or so hotte, or may bee shotte so farre of, that a Harnes if it be good, may saue a mans life. The said soul∣diour would also answere vnto this other demaund, that men of warre doe goe so close togeather, as wee see they doe: and as the said Switzers and Almaignes doe, the better to resist horse∣men, and to giue their enemies the more trouble to break them: so that we see that souldiers haue many things to feare besides ordnance, from all which, they may be defended, by the meanes of armes, and good order: wherof insueth, that the better that an armie is armed, and the better that the ranks are closed, so much the better it is assured: so that whosoeuer is of the opinion aboue said, is skant wise, or his conceit is not great in this matter.
Wherfore, sith we see that the least peece of armes which they vsed in times past, (which we now vse, is the Pike) and the least part of their orders, (which are the Battailions of the Switzers) doe vs so much good, and giue so great a force vnto our armies, why should we not beleeue that the other armes, & orders which they vsed should not be profitable? so that if we haue a care to de∣fend our selues from ordnance, placing our men close & ioint to∣geather, as the Switzers & Almaignes doe, we need not doubt any other thing: as in trueth we ought to feare no order of Bat∣taile so much as that wherein the souldiours are kept close and ioynt togeather. Furthermore, if the ordnaunce do not dismay vs in placing of a siege before an enemies towne, which may an∣noy vs with a more certaintye, & which we cannot attaine vnto, because of the walles which doe defend it, neither is it possible in short time to take away the defence of it with our ordnaunce, but that they may redouble their shot with ease: why then should we be afraid of it in the field where it may be won incontinent?
Page 99To be breefe I rest vpon this, that the Ordnance may not a∣nye waye hinder the Souldiers of the time present, to vse the auncient maners almost aswell as if there were none at all. And am also of opinion, that wee ought not to leaue our bodies vn∣armed, although that Harnesse cannot defend vs from Ord∣nance: for (as I haue shewed) wee are subiect vnto many other more daungers then to bee hit with a shot of great Ordnance. To proceede, I am well assured that it will seeme that I haue ranged this Battaile, and wonne the victory at mine owne plea∣sure: notwithstanding I replye heare vnto, that it is impossi∣ble, but that an armie ordered as I haue spoken of, should ouer∣come at the first encounter all other Hoastes, that should be or∣dered as the armies are at this present: for the Battailons that are framed at these dayes, haue neuer but two or three rankes armed in the fronte, wherein the Chiefes and all the valiantest men are imployed, not making any great accoumpt of the rest. So that if these two or thrée rankes were ouerthrowne, the o∣ther would make but small defense.
Likewise the Battailons of our time haue no Targets, and very few Halbards or none, or if they haue any, they keepe them onely for the defence of their Ensignes, and not for to breake in∣to their enemies. Moreouer they are vnarmed, and therefore being at hande strokes with those that are surelye armed, and haue also a Target, they will easilye kill them, and so likewise will the Halbardiers do. In sum, our said Souldiers doe range themselues at this day to their disaduantage, after one of these two maners: that is, eyther they range their Battailes of two great a breadth, and place them one at the flanke of another, to make the front to be so much the larger: & in so doing the Bat∣tailes are too thin, and therefore are in danger to be entered with little difficulcie, or they place them one behinde another, wherin if they haue not the cunning to ritire one band within another, & to be receiued without disorder, you may bee sure that the hoast wilbe easile ouercome, & it helpeth not that they do giue it thrée names, & deuide it into thrée battailes, yt is, into Auantgard bat∣taile, & Kiergard: for this diuisiō serueth for no other purpose but to march on the way, & to deuide the quarters for their lodgings. Page 100 but for the giuing of Battaile this diuision may giue none ad∣uantage, no more then if they were not deuided: for all the ha∣zard of the combate dependeth vpon one of these thrée battailes, whosoeuer it is that shall fight first, and according vnto the for∣tune that that one hath, the other two doe gouerne themselues: for if it bee ouerthrowne, the other two are dismaide, and léese their hope of well dooing, and perhaps they shalbe brought into disorder by those that flie, retyring vnto them to be saued. And if so be that the Battaile which is first assaulted do repulse their enemies that did charge them: yet is it but one part of the ene∣mie that is ouerthrowne, for that the rest continue in their in∣tire: so that it is to begin againe, as also it is to be doubted, that if those that haue ouercome their enemies, should follow them anye thing, that they should bee inclosed by their other Bat∣tailes in the sight of their freends. But to proceed in our busi∣nes, you haue seene before, how our Hargoletiers and Harque∣busiers a Horsebacke on the left side of our Battailons were re∣pulsed by the enemies Horssemen, and how that they retyred vnto the Pikes of the same flanke. I say vnto you that I haue caused it to be so handled, to shewe wherein the Pikes of the flankes may be imployed, who are not onely appointed alwaies to keepe the sides of the Battailons, but may serue for more turnes then one.
Likewise I haue made the men of armes to fight after that manner that I would that they should fight, without breaking their order, and that they should not bestowe their labour vp∣on men heauie laden with harnes, for that would be time lost: but the surest way is to bend at the Horsses, who so will haue the men at their commaundement. And as concerning that I made them to staye at the méeting, is, for that I doe thinke it to be much better then to charge running, aswell for to continue them in good order, as to keepe their Horsses in breath, & for to haue them to be fresh at the combate. True it is I haue made them to runne all at one time, and that was because that they should resist their enemies the better: yet it is verye harde for Horsemen to keepe their rankes how little soeuer theyr Horsses doe runne, for that Horsses are some swifter then other some: Page 101 therefore there is lesse daunger for them to keepe themselues firme, not seperating themselues, then there is in being too for∣warde. Our men of armes at Rauenna did vse the same order: and did easely ouerthrow the men of armes of Spayne. More∣ouer I haue caused the Forlorne hope, to put forth themselues to succour the men of armes, to the intent you should know the seruice that this order of forlorne hope might doe, who after that they haue begune the battaile, doe range themselues in good or∣der either behinde or vppon the flankes; to serue for Subsides, vntill such time as they may finde some occasion to anoye their enemies. In the meane while the Harquebusiers a horsebacke, are alwaies séeking to endamage their enemies. But to tel you the reason what moued me to make the Kinges Lieutenant ge∣nerall to light a foote; you must vnderstand that in times paste the Captaines Generalls of Hoasts did giue order themselues through out all the armie, whether it were to range the Bat∣tailes, to giue the signes: to beginne the combat; or to sende the Subsides one into anothers place, and in some all that was done from the first vnto the last, was gouerned by their com∣maundement, and hereof I can aleadge a number of examples. And yet this was not all, but if their people were at any parte distressed they succoured them speedelie, and lighted a foote when it was needefull, or foughte a horsebacke when as they might doe it: which was cause that their battailes were better fought then ours are now, forasmuch as the Chiefes left no little peece of their office vndon, were it in playing the Chiefe or the Souldier. But these that are at this present doe thinke to doe no more after that the Battaile is once begunne then a simple valiant Souldier ought to doe: where as it is the parte of a good Chiefe to ouerlooke on euerie side what the enemies do against his people, to the intent to remedie all inconuences & to be carefull that his people receiue no damage through his de∣faulte, where in it were necessarie that hee should employe anie of his Souldiers, and sometimes his owne persone: yet this ought to be done as seldome as maybe possible: or if that he did fight it shoulde bee at an extremetie as our Captaine Generall did, who lighted to relieue a Batailon that his enemies oppres∣sed: Page 102 and to resist the enemies force the more surer, you haue seene that one bande of men of armes did goe to charge the ene∣mies vpon the flanke, and the other bandes in the meane while haue turned their faces vnto the enemies horsemen, making shew to assayle hem to trouble them from going to succour their footemen, and when hee had relieued the sayde Batai∣lon hee lept a horsebacke immediatlie. And so likewise woulde I haue our Chiefe to doe, who ought to determine neuer to fight except hee were forced there vnto, but shoulde leaue that charge vnto them that haue no bodie to gouerne, but their owne persones, or perticular bands, or that are not of that qual∣litie that a Lieutenant generall is. And in so doing he can no waies be reproched that he hath not vertuously acquited himself of his charge although that he lay not to his hands: for it is to be thought that he aspired not vnto that estate but through his ver∣tues, and that he hath before suficiently prooued himselfe to bée a valiant, and hardie man: and therefore a Lieutenant gene∣rall ought not to be reputed for a coward although he fight not. And when all is saide there may more mischiefe happen in play∣ing the hardie man then in playing the cowarde: as many aun∣cient histories doe make mention, as of Fabius the cowarde and Mutius the hardie, and of manie others, specially of Monsieur de Foix, who was slaine through his too much hardienes, whose death was more hurtefull vnto the French-men then the victo∣rie that he got was profitable.
But let vs proceed and not stay at that which is too manifest: and let vs speake somewhat of the forme of our Hoaste: as for to speake of the rest that happened at the ende of the combat would be superfluous, sith I haue spoken alreadie both in the begin∣ning of the battaile and before, of the causes that doe giue our men the aduantage, and the victorie, after that they doe come vnto the fight of the Sworde. I haue likewise taken the one halfe of our horsemen from our Batailons, to succour those that haue the enemies in chase, if paraduenture any ambushe shoulde charge them, or that the flyars would put themselues againe to defence, & should repulse them. And as concerning that I haue kept the rest of our men of armes, and caused them and the bat∣tailons Page 103 to bee brought againe into their order, it was to this in∣tent to haue alwaies the greatest strength of mine hoaste ready to fight if so bee that the enemies shoulde ioyne together againe, or that freshe people should come vpon them: for the not doing of it, hath oftentimes happened vnluckely vnto diuers Chiefes: as vnto Coradin in Naples in ye yeare 1268. who thought that he had won the victorie against Charles the King of ye countrie, because he sawe that no man made any longer resistance: but the said Charles comming out of an ambush with freshe men, char∣ged the others that were busie in kiling and striping of his men and ouerthrew them, and the said Coradin also. It might seeme that I had not ranged our Battailons well, forasmuch as I haue placed fiue bands in the front there in the midst, and two at the tayle: for we might thinke that it were better to order them otherwise: because that a Batailon is woorst to breake when he that doth assaulte it doth finde it the stronger the further that he doeth enter into it, and it should seeme that the manner that I haue framed should be alwaies the weaker the deeper it is en∣tred into, although that I doe knowe that the Romanes did appointe but 600. men in their third battaile which are the Tri∣aries, yet I haue put two bands into the saide battaile, eache of which bands hath 425. men, which are 850. in all, besides the Captaines and other members, and those of the flanks. Wher∣fore in following the Romanes, I doe rather fayle in taking too many men then to few: & although that in imitating so good a forme as theirs is I do nether thinke to fayle nor to be reproo∣ued, yet wil I giue a reason for it. You do vnderstand yt the front of euerie square Battailon ought to be made sure and thick, be∣cause it must withstande the first assaulte of the enemies, and so ought likewise the midst, & the taile, except that they be ranged after the maner that I haue ranged these here spoken of. But to order the midst, and the taile in such sorte; yt the one may receiue the other within their ranks, it is necessary yt the second which are ye Princes, should be a great many fewer in number then ye first which are the Hastaries. And for this cause I haue put in e∣uerie ranke of Hastaries 105. men, and in euery ranke of Prin∣ces there is but 63. men, which are 42. lesse in euerie ranke.
Page 104Furthermore, I haue appoynted the grounde that the saide Princes should occupye in length, to bee the one halfe longer then that which the Hastaries doe occupie: to the intent that the rankes and spaces that the Princes doe occupie, might receiue the Hastaries, when as they should retyre vnto them. The rankes of the Triaries are thinner, for they are but 42. men in a ranke, and the place that they doe occupie in length is twise as long as yt the Hastaries doe occupie: because that this last Battaile should receiue into it the Battailes aforesayde. Now for that it might be sayd that how much further the ene∣mie dooth enter in, that so much the weaker hee shall finde the Battailons, because that the Battailes (as I haue sayd) are de∣minished of people, and their rankes thinner and thinner. It must be vnderstood, that in keeping of this order, an enemie can neuer fight with the Princes, vntill hee hath first ouerthrowne the Hastaries, who by our discipline ought not to staye vntill they were quite ouerthrowne. So that when as they should find the enemies so strong, that it were not in their power to make resistance: I say that then the Colonell of the said Bat∣tailon ought to commaund his Trumpet to sound to this effect; that the King dooth commaund the Hastaries, to retyre within the Princes: which sound being heard, the Hastaries shal retire (but not before) easilye, not turning their faces from their ene∣mies: and to the intent that this retreat may be made without disorder, the last ranke of the Hastaries shall first retyre, then those next them, and the others following. All which rankes shall range themselues betwixt the rankes of the Princes, the last ranke of the Hastaries, with the last ranke of the Princes, and so consequentlye the other rankes shall range themselues with the other rankes their like. And for that the rankes of the Princes should not bee too thicke, I meane that those that might place themselues in their rankes should do so, and that the others shall range themselues betwixt their ranks and make new ranks: for they shall haue place ynough to doe it in the length that the Princes doe occupie.
If then the first doe range themselues with the second, and that of these two Battailes there is made but one: is this, to Page 105 finde the Battailes, the further that they are entred into the weaker: for you see that the enemies cannot fight with the se∣cond Battaile, but the first must bee ioyned with it, so that an enemie shall alwayes finde the middest of the Battailon stron∣ger then the front, and not weaker, forasmuch as they shall now haue to deale with eight bandes, whereas before they had to doe but with fiue. And so likewise if this second Battaile be forced to retire vnto the third, for an enemie shall not onely deale with fresh men, but with all the Legion together, for that this last Battaile of the Triaries must receiue the Hastaries and the Princes. And for this cause they must be ranged thin∣ner and of greater length then the second Battaile was: and therefore I haue made the rankes but of 42. men, and their place in length twice as long as the Hastaries, to receiue the first and the second the more easier betwixt them. And if this space seeme to be too little to receiue the eight bands, vnder∣stand that the rankes being in their first order, do occupie much more place then when they are retired: because that the rankes do shrinke together or open when they are too much preased. I meane that they will open themselues when as they will runne awaye, and when they will tary by it, they will close themselues together, to the intent not to bee opened or entered hastilye. Moreouer if it be so that the enemies doe come vnto the Tria∣ries, it must be thought that there are a great many slaine and ouerthrowne: and therefore there néedeth not so great place for the two first Battailes as if they had remained in their in∣tier. Furthermore I suppose that our said Triaries will haue a good will to defend themselues, and the others that are retyred vnto them also, and therefore they will occupie lesse place: and at the vttermost the place is great inough to receiue the ten bands altogether; besides that they haue the backe and wings at their commaundement. I must heare declare one other thing, that is, for what intent I caused the Forlorne hope, the Harquebusiers a Horsebacke, and the Hargeletiers to depart with so great a crye when they went to assault their enemies: and also whye I made so great silence to bee kept when our Battailons approched the sayd enemies; for it is to the matter Page 106 to know the causes of these two varieties, whereof many anci∣ent Captaines haue had diuers opinions: to wit, whether they should hasten them in making great noyse, or marche easilye without speaking worde: although that this last maner serueth better to keepe order more firme, and to vnderstand the com∣maundements of the Chiefes, and the fyrst serueth to kindle and heate the hearts of Souldiers. Notwithstanding I doe thinke that we must haue a regard vnto both these things, and that it is the necessary that ye one should make as great a noyse as they might, and that the other shoulde bee as silent as might be possible: for I doe not thinke that to crie continually should be done to good purpose, my meaning is that Chiefes shoulde be vnderstoode. And for to begin a battaile without crie is a to∣ken of feare, for commonlie the voice serueth for an index of the effect of the battaile, whereby they may hope the victorie, or mistrust the obtayning of it. So that I thinke that it is good that a battail shoulde beginne with great cries, I meane onelie at the first assault, and not after the Battailon are neare appro∣ched: for wee may see in ye Romane Cronicles that Souldiers which were flying haue many times tarried through the words and comfortes of the Cheifes, and haue immediately changed their order, which could not haue bin doone, if the noyse had bin lowder then the voices of the said Chiefes: or if that the crie had alwaies continued.
Touching the hastie proceeding in the begining of the Bat∣taile I haue shewed in what manner wee ought to beginne it. Concerning the Battailons it is necessary that they should as∣sault with great haste, specially if the Ordnaunce doe much indomage them, and sometimes it will be good that they should attend the comming of an enemie: to wit when as the place is vnfit, or that they might breake off themselues not being verie skilfull souldiers. Now I doe thinke that I may passe further forward hauing aquitted my selfe reasonably well here before of my promise in shewing the reasons why I ranged the battai∣lons, and gaue battaile after that manner that you haue seene, & take in hand to speake of the other poynts which are no lesse necessary then those aboue spoken of, which I will doe after that Page 107 I haue recyted that our Legions must oftentimes bee exercised and brought together, and ranged after the manner aboue said, that aswell the Souldiers, as the officers, Members and Chiefes might know what they ought to doe. For the Soul∣diers in euerie bande ought to keepe their rankes well, and the officers, Members, and Chiefes to keepe their rankes in their order, and the bands well ordred; and they should knowe to exe∣cute the Captaine Generall his commaundement, and there∣fore they ought to bee experte to ioyne one bande with another, and to teache the Souldiers to knowe their places readily. And to doe this with little difficultie; the Ensignes must bee marked to knowe who they are, aswell for to bee there by com∣maunded, as for to bee easelie knowne, for if so bee that the En∣signes doe knowe their places and the Souldiers their places, you shal see that a Battailon wil quickly range it self after that maner that it ought to be ranged, assoone as the Trumpet doth sound: & consequently ye whole armie assoone as the Lieutenant Generall, shal make signe. And this is the first exercise of foure, that an armie ought to knowe, wherein it ought to be exercised euerie day that it dooeth lie still and many times in one day. Secondly an armie ought to be exercised to marche in battaile, and to keepe their rankes well, going an ordinarie pace, trot, and course. The thirde excercise is that the Battailons should learne what they ought to doe vppon a day of battaile, as to dis∣charge the Ordnance, and to cause it to be retyred, and to put forth the Harquebusiers in the flankes, and to cause them to go forward with the Forlorne hope. And after that the Harquebu∣siers haue discharged three or fower shot euerie man, running here and there without order: and although that they doe ioyne with the Pikes, and horsemen whome this charge doeth touche, yet they shall retire, vnto the flankes, through the spaces betwixt the Battailons, eache to his place: to weet the Harque∣busiers of the flankes vnto the flanks, and the Forlorne hope be∣hinde for to range themselues there as I haue said: for if they should tarrie before the Battailes, they would hinder the battai∣lons to fight. The Horsemen likewise shall retyre vppon the winges, and the Hastaries must retyre within the Princes as if Page 108 they were forced: and afterwards the Princes and Hastaries, must retyre together with in the Triaries: and this done the Hastaries should retourne vnto their first place and the Princes likewise vnto theirs.
The fourth excercise is that euerie man shoulde giue him∣selfe to vnderstande the commaundement of the Chiefes, and the meaning of the sounds of the trumpet, and the strokes of the Drums: by whom shalbe signified al yt should be don in general, that is, when it shall be time for them to put themselues toge∣ther in battaile, and when they ought to marche, or to staye, to goe forward, or to turne their faces towards the one side or the other, to kisse the ground and to fight. Likewise there shall be signified by the sayde Trumpet when it shall be necessarie to discharge the Ordnance, when it shal retire, when the Harque∣busiers, Forlorne hope, and others, should goe forward, and at what time they should doe it: & also at what time the Hastaries ought to retire towards the Princes, and afterwards when the two Battailes ought to retyre towards the Triaries, and final∣lye when it shall be time that euery man should retyre from the Battaile: all which things must be doone by the commaunde∣ment of the Lieutenant Generall, and immediatly signified by his Trumpet: his sounding will easilye bee heard by the other Trumpeters that are neerest him, and so the sounde will goe from one to another, vnto the furthest Trumpet in the Hoaste. Most part of these things may bee signified by signes, without vsing of Trumpets or Drums, and likewise by voice, yet me thinkes that the sounde of the Trumpet is the most surest, be∣cause that euerye man cannot sée a signe, but they may easilye heare a sound, a voice sometimes may be misunderstood, where∣in there must bee good heede taken: for many times the com∣maundements of the Captaines being ill vnderstood, or ill in∣terpreted, haue brought the hoasts that were vnder their charge to an ill ende. Wherefore the voices or soundes which are so vsed in commaunding, in places of great daunger, ought to bee cleare and sharpe: and bothe the soundes of the Trumpet and strokes of the Drum, ought in themselues to be so differing the one sounde from the other, and the one stroke from the other, Page 109 that the Souldiers should not be deceiued in taking one thing for an other. And if so be that the Generall would commaund with voice, he must auoide those voices that may be doubly vn∣derstood, and must vse perticular voices: and yet he ought not to vse perticular voices, except they bee expresselye inuented for one onely thing, least yt they might be misunderstood: for that a voice cannot alwayes be well vnderstood because of the noyse of the armes, for the neighing of Horses, for the noise that the Ordnance dooth make, and for the sound of the Drum. One the other side a Chiefe may not alwaies helpe himselfe with signes in this case, because that darke weather, mist, or raine, or the sunne in mens faces doe trouble and hinder their fight, and likewise the changing of places if the ground be any thing bowing or couered with trées: besides it is almost impossible to finde an expresse signe for euery thing, specially for that there may oftentimes happen new matters, wherewith the Souldi∣ers had neuer before béene acquainted: therefore wee must haue recourse vnto Trumpets as I haue sayde, and notwith∣standing both signes and voices may be vsed in time and place. It would not be amisse if wee did vse at this present a Cornet, or Hunters Horne for a retreate, and a Trumpet to begin the Combate or otherwise: for it is a hard matter that Trumpet∣ters should make so many things to be vnderstood by one onely Instrument, considering also that the sounding of a retreate, is somewhat like vnto the sounding to the standard, so that when a man is troubled, and as it were besides him∣selfe, it is much for him to discerne which of the two it is that the Trumpet soundeth.