CHAP. XVII. Wherein certaine obseruations are set downe good to be practiced for the defence, and good gouernment of a towne or place besieged, battered, or assaulted.
SEeing as places are taken either by want through long siege, or by intelligence, and trechery, or els by force: those to whom Princes commit their garde, are diligently to encounter these things with pro∣uision of things necessary first, then with watchful∣nes & care, and lastly by strength of men, & walles. They that take on them to defend townes neither well prouided nor fenced, howsoeuer they shew therein courage, yet doe they shewe no iote of wisedome in it; for oft times they cast away themselues, and hurt their Prince, and countrey both in the losse of so many men, & in giuing courage to the enemy. And better it were for them to conuey them selues into some place of safety, or to yeelde; then to holde out without reason. In which case the Prince cannot blame them, if they prouide for them selues. The Romanes not being able to defend cer∣taine townes of Apulia, and Lucania against Annibal, gaue them li∣cence to prouide for them selues by composition. Which also the French kings in the victories of the English nation in France per∣mitted to their people.aDomitius was blamed by Pompey for that he rashly engaged himselfe and his company in Corfinium, with∣out his commandement. It was the losse of many braue men, and a great preiudice to ye cause. Dandelot hanged vp a certain cōpanion, that refused to deliuer vp a paltry castle without view of the canon, albeit he saw the army of the Protestants. And in deede lesse fauour doeth the practice of armes yeeld to those, that vnable to defend them selues wil notwithstanding holde out, vntill they be forced.bCaesar did not easily spare them that helde out vntill hee had shaken their walles: those that otherwise yeelded, he vsed with all clemency.
The first consideration therefore of him that hath a town commit∣ted to his gouernment ought to be, whether the same may possibly be defended against the force that cōmeth against it or no. Forcas we are not rashly to abandon a town that may be defended: so we are not ignorantly to take vpon vs the defence of towns not tenable. The Romans while Annibal ranged vp & down Italy, burnt those townes which they could not defend: the like did Philip of Macedonia. ThePage 243arest they kept with strong garrisons.bAntiochus did foolishly in abandoning Lysimachia which for the prouision, & strength that was in the place, might haue holden the army of the Romans at bay one whole yere. The like error didcPerseus king of Macedonia cō∣mit, who seeing the Romans approch forsooke those strayts which if he had kept he might haue shut them in both behinde & before. Likewise are the Gaules taxed bydVercingetorix, for that contrary to his opinion & commandement, they would needes defend Auaricū a∣gainst Caesar. Some do commend ye French that in the defence of pal∣try townes of late yeeres haue willingly hazarded them selues; as they did in the defence of Dorat in Limages, Lusignen in Poitou, Bray vpon Seyne, Nogent & such like, which haue bene taken diuers of them by assault only of shot: but they had deserued more commen∣dation, if they had not lost them selues in the end. Let those therefore that purpose to winne honor by their actions consider what townes may be garded, what not, what are difficult to garde, before they take on them to garde them.
Great cities are hardly defended against a great force, that is able to strayt them, & keep them from victuals, & other necessaries. That Paris hath holden out of late time, the weaknes of their aduersaries, & their great succours are cause. Gant likewise in the dayes of Edward the 3. held out against the Earles of Flanders a long time. But the reason was because he could not besiege so great a city: but if that such cities may be kept from victuals, they can not long endure it. When the Protestants in An. 1567. did but hinder the repayre of the coun∣trey people to Paris, the city was in extremity, & farre greater it was in being besieged by this King. For such infinite numbers of people no prouision can serue any long time. TheeGaules andfBelgians thought to oppresse Caesar with multitude. But when they were come together, they saw that such numbers could not be maintei∣ned with victuals, & therfore not being fought withal were forced to scatter of thēselues. But against a smal force, great cities are most strong. For neither can they be straited of victuals by reason of their multitude of men, nor can they be takē by assault, being so wel able to defend the breach and repaire it. So that to a great force great cities are easy to be taken, to a small army that can not without danger compasse the same about, they are impregnable.
Contrariwise small piles or castles hardly resist a great force. Page 244First for that there is no roome within to make retrenchments, or de∣fences against the enemies canons; secondly for that a small number of men cannot continue their resistance against a great army, where one cōpany succeedeth another: lastly for yt the men being kept with∣in a short compasse, the ayre must needes be corrupted, & their health empayred. Q. Cicero albeit his campe was of good compasse & well fenced, and had in it 4000. men & vpward, yet he had not bene able to resist the multitude of Gaules that assaulted the same, any long time, had not Caesar succoured him. The Spaniards, presuming of the strength of La goleta besieged by the Turks were notwithstanding by the force of the canon, and multitude of men oppressed, about six∣teene yeeres agone.
Furthermore towns that are commanded by hils, or whose Terri∣torie may be drowned with water, or which haue no water within thē, or which lye so situate, that the enemy may come betweene them and succours, are hardly defended against great forces.
Other townes that are neither too great, nor too litle, nor euil situ∣ate, may be defended, so that the walles be strong & wel flanked, & the prouision of victuals, munitions, armes, souldiers and whatsoeuer is necessary, be sufficient. Prouided alwayes, that ye Gouernor be a man of iudgement and courage, and proceede orderly. Without which all other prouision is nothing: and with which he may do much, although his other meanes be slender. But because no man can see all things himselfe, let him first adioyne vnto him a counsell of men experimen∣ted, of whose loyall dealing hee may assure himselfe. With them let him consult both of the fortifications of the towne, & of all things ne∣cessary, and see that all things be in good state before the comming of the enemy before the towne. And first that there be victuals prouided sufficient for the company, for a long siege. for whatsoeuer strong pla∣ces yeeld to hunger. TheaRomans vnderstanding of the cōming of Porsena to besiege their city, sent round about among their neigh∣bors to prouide corne, & victuals. In theirbCastles, & garrisons they had alwayes a yeeres prouision before hand. ThecAthenians vnder∣stāding the desseins of their enemies to besiege thē, stored their citie with prouision for many yeeres, & so furnished themselues at sea, that what they could not haue from the land, they might haue a∣bundantly from the sea. Besides prouision of victuals to be made, or∣der must be set, that they be wel kept in storehouses, & orderly dispen∣sed Page 245by measure.aVercingetorix practicing this at Alexia, did cause his victuals to serue him long. AtbMassilia vnderstanding, that the towne would be besieged, they prouided corne & layd it vp in gar∣ners. In free townes in Hie Dutchland the citizens haue alwayes a yeeres prouision of victuals beforehand layd vp in publike storehou∣ses, and a strict order for the dispensing of them. Withoutcwhich that which otherwise might haue serued for many moneths, wil be spent in fewe dayes.
The towne ought to be discharged before hand of aged persons, women, & children, such except as haue for their company sufficient: when the enemy commeth before the town, it wilbe too late to do it, as the Gaules tried in the siege of Alexia, & the Florentins also besieged by the Prince of Orenge at the request of Clement the 7.
All the victuals that are in the countrey neere about are to be brought into the citie. for thereby the townsmen may be relieued, and the enemy depriued of helpe of the countrey.
Further because corne without cornemils cannot conueniently be vsed: handmils are to be prouided where the enemy may take other milles from vs. Lignieres in the siege of Chartres without his hand∣mils, had bene driuen to eate corne euil ground.
Last of all prouision is to be made of water where the towne is dry, and of whatsoeuer either for nourishment, or health is necessary.
With prouision of victuals, ye Gouernor ought also to ioyne a care, that he haue armes, munitions, & all instruments requisit for warres ready in the towne: and stuffe also to make more. Workehouses are to be erected of armes, of powder, of weapons, & other engins: artil∣lery is to bee mounted ready; bullets, & all instruments about it are to bee prouided. Neither may hee forget store of mattocks, spades, axes, baskets, crowes of iron, ropes, timber, nor such like stuffe: nor saltpeter, brimstone, or coles to make powder withall, nor in summe, any thing necessary. want of smal things may hinder great matters.
But principally ought he to haue care, that he haue with him suf∣ficient numbers of valiant souldiers, without which all other prouisi∣on is vaine. Walles reared to the skyes are easily taken, where there are not valiant defendants within to garde them.
As other things are doing, & prouiding, he ought also to haue con∣sideration, that his walles be good, that his ditches be deepe, & broad, that his bulwarks, and defences be sufficient to flank the walles, and Page 146defend both ditches and conterscarpe. In which workes let him not spare his friends, nor himselfe. It is a shamefull matter when men refuse to labour to defend their countrey, them selues, and their liues. When Themistocles walledaAthens, so willing the people were, that men, women, & children laboured, & euery man was content that the stones of his owne house, yea of publike houses should go to the walling and fortifying of the towne. Among the Romanes euery souldier did as well set hand to his worke, as to his weapons. we forsooth are so deinty fingered, and our souldiers so peruers, that so soone as they are enrolled, yea long before they are good souldiers, they thinke they ought to worke no more, and therefore they must haue Pionniers to doe their worke: A kinde of men which the Ro∣manes knew not, nor can be expressed in the Latin tongue. Hereup∣on it commeth, that our proceedings are so slow, and so vnsufficient. Neither can it otherwise be, where so few men set hand to the worke. Likewise so sparing some are in their expenses, yt their Port townes for the most part lye open without defence to the spoyle of any ene∣my that shall come suddenly vpon them with any force. And no man will ruinate the corner of his garden wall to saue himselfe, and his company, and friends. But if we knewe how necessary such la∣bours were, and how as many braue actions are done with worke as with weapon, and that nothing doeth more apperteine to souldiers, then to worke fortheir owne defence, & safety; mē would neuer shew them selues so niggardly and illiberall in their expenses, nor so dain∣tie in labouring, and thereby fortifying them selues.
Further the Gouernor ought to haue a watchfull eye, that he be nei∣ther entrapped in ye practices of dissembling friends, nor surprises of the open enemy. his best course is to trust neither. If he doubt of the townsmen, he is not only to assure himselfe by pledges, but by strong garde, hauing the gates & walles in his possession. Popilius was no sooner placed in garrison atbStratus a towne of the Aetolians, but he seased the custody of the gates, and walles into his owne hands. He is like wise to see, yt he haue the victuals of the towne in his owne custody. The Garrison ofcMegara that kept in the castle hauing vi∣ctuals from day to day out of ye town, when the same reuolted were driuen also to yeelde to the enemy. I neede not exemplify this by antiquity. for it is the case of Vlissing, & some other places where our men lie in garrison. Where if the townsmen at any time quarrel Page 247with them, they shalbe constrained to yeeld for want of victuals, and other prouisions, which are in the power of others. There can be no good assurance, where the to wnsmen are able to master thee, specially if ye enemy be without, as trecherous friends are within. And there∣fore a wise Gouernor will prouide that suchacan not hurt him, though they would. So a certaine Romane perswaded his friend to deale with the Hetruscians. Against such, a prouident Gouernor must alwayes keepe one eye waking, and appoint strong gardes, and con∣tinuall rounds, both on horsebacke and foote, and no lesse without the towne, then within. Which are to see that euery sentinel doe his du∣tie. He that doubteth yt cownsmen must not suffer them to come nere the gates, not to talke with the enemy.bMarcellus would not suffer them of Nola to come neere the walles, or gates, the enemy being without. Neither would thecgarrison of Syracusae, that consisted of fugitiues suffer the men of the towne to come to the walles, or talke with the enemy that besieged them, or whisper together. All whis∣perings & secret meetings in such cases are suspicious. The Gouer∣nor must further take heede how he come in place, where the towns∣men may lay hands on him. ThedVaccians in Afrike inuiting ye Go∣uernor of the towne, and certaine of his chiefe commaunders, and Captains to banquets, did there first cut their throtes & afterward setting vpon the common souldiers destitute of heads did kil them also, & so yeelded them selues to the enemy. They of Rochel did not so euilentreat the English that were there in garrison in ye castle: but inuiting Captaine Mancell then Gouernor there to a banquet, first layd handes on him, then drawing out the souldiers vnder colour to moster them, did fayre turne them and their simple Captaine with scorne out of the towne. All parleys with the enemy, are dange∣rous, vnlesse they be managed by those that haue skill, and be loyall, and in such place where the enemy may not come neere the walles. While they of Syracusae did parley about the redemption of certaine prisouers, a certaine Romane marked the height and accesses of the walles, which gaue the Romanes meanes to enter the citie by sur∣prise. Eretria was taken by L.eQuintius while during the par∣ley of peace, his souldiers espying the negligent garde of the townsmen scaled the walles.fCasilinum was likewise taken by Marcellus his souldiers during the parley seasing a gate, and so giuing entrance to their companions.Page 248
The like happened to the towne of Charitè in France Ann. 1569. where the Protestants in the time of parley espying their opportu∣nity entred the towne through the breach, that was euil garded. In time of parleys therefore, & of feastes, & of times of greatest security, then the Gouernor is to haue greatest care.aSyracusae was taken on a night when the souldiers had kept Holiday before, and lay drunke without feare or care. Nismes was surprised in a stormy night, when a man would haue thought that none would haue looked abroad.
And if no wise Gouernor will commit any man of worth into the hands of his enemies, least if they should breake promise they might preiudice him; much lesse ought he to parley with the enemy where he may come in danger himselfe.bTiturius Sabinus going to parley with Ambrorix was by him perfidiously slaine. Paches thecAthe∣nian deteined Hippias the Gouernour of Notium that came vpon assurāce of his word to treat with him of peace, & forced him to de∣liuer vp ye town. This was also ye ruine ofdLiuerotto da Fermo & the Duke of Grauina & others, whom Caesar Borgia inducing by faire words to come to treat wt him of peace, put to death at Senogallia.
Those that haue diuers nations together in defence of one towne, must also take heede, that there arise no grudge or discontentment a∣mong them, to make them reuolt to the enemy.eMutines the Numi∣dian vpon some discontentment offered him by the Carthaginians whom he serued, by the helpe of his countrymen seased a gate of A∣grigentum, & gaue entrance to the Romanes. The like cause toge∣ther with some corruption in the souldiers caused some English to deliuer vp Alost to the enemy. Which practices he that meaneth to a∣uoyd, must neuer trust men yt are suspect, nor suffer strangers to watch vnited without some of such as he dare trust ioyned with them, nor let any man know his quarter before he goeth to the watch. During the siege he may not suffer bel to ring or clocke to strike, and further must keepe good watch, & make rounds diligently, & at times vncertaine.
To content all men the Gouernor is to administer iustice equally: that God may be pleased, hee is to see that God be serued religiously: and that lawes concerning religion, iustice, and military matters be strictly executed.
Sallyes are not to be made vpon the enemy rashly, nor without good cause, especialy, where ye townsmen are not to be trusted. They of Rochel serued our countrymen an odious touch vpō such an occa∣sion Page 249in ye dayes of Richard ye 2. Charles duke ofaBurgundy defeating 500. archers yt sallied vpō him out of Piquigni, made the towne to yeeld vnto him soone after for want of men. They of Liege sallying out vpon ye same Duke, lost their best men, which after ward they sore rued. And such was the wisedome and direction of some in the go∣uernement of Caleis besieged by the duke of Guise, that albeit they had very few men to defend such a towne, yet they would needs loose some of them going out to s•irmish with the enemie. Oftentimes sub∣till enemies drawing out the townesmen by deuises, doe make them come short home, as I declared by the practise of Romulus against the Fidenians, of Annibal against the Locrians. At Nolabdrawing out the townesmen, he circumuented a braue troupe of horsemen in an ambush laid for them. Sallies therefore are to be made onely when we haue men sufficient, and doe see the enemies negligence, or other aduantage.cDiaphanes sallying out of Pergamus vpon a corps de gard placed by Antiochus before the towne, at such time as the same was negligent, cut the same in pieces. By opportune sallies many sieges haue bene raised, as I declared by the example of Philip lying before Apollonia. Souldiers that sallie vpon aduantage, doe hinder the approches of the enemie, so that he is to win inch after inch. but whēthey sallie, let them take heed first that they go not too farre, least they be drawen into ambush; and secondly, that they haue some behind to fauour their retrait, as Aluarus Sandze obserued in his sal∣lies vpon the Mores, in defending a fort in Zerbe.
Before that the enemie approcheth, the Gouernour is to cause all houses and villages neere the towne to be ruinated and fired, and all the wood and timber as neere as may be, either to be brought into the towne, or spoyled. Lamentable (I confesse) it will be to the country, but who would not rather spoyle such things, then suffer the enemie to vse them against himselfe?
In stopping of the enemies approches, let him vse this course: first if there be any narow wayes which the enemie must passe, before hee can come before the towne, let them bee well trenched and garded: when the same cannot longer be garded for feare least the enemie cut betwixt the corps de gard and the towne, let them then retire & make head in thedcouert way behind the counterscarpe, not onely for the defence thereof, but also for defence of the playne before the towne, especiallie of that place, where the enemie meaneth to range his Page 250pieces for the batterie. For defence whereof likewise, both the great ordonance from the bulwarkes, and other shot from the walles are to be imploied. In case the enemie by his negligence giue occasion, ei∣ther in the euening, or in the night, hee may make a sallie vpon those that labour about the plāting of the ordonance, & the gabions. If the enemie be so strong that hee is able to take away thea counterscarpe, then by traines andb casemates in the ditch, by sallies and shot from the bulwarkes and wals, he is to defend his ditch so long as hee can. And last of all being beaten out of the ditch, his last hope is in the de∣fence of his wals and bulwarkes, sustaining them with good terras∣ses of earth, and when they are beaten downe, repairing them, and when no longer they can be defended by making retrenchments be∣hind them.
For defence of a breach, this course is good, and commonly vsed. First all along where the enemie maketh his batterie, let there bee presently vpon the first shot a retrenchment made; the deeper the ditch is, and the higher the banke is raysed, the better the worke proo∣ueth: vpon the banke, or els behind the banke, let some pieces be pla∣ced in counterbatterie. In houses neere adioyning, and vpon the banke, let the small shot be disposed chicke. Against the enemies ar∣tillerie that beateth in flanke, let there be an high terrasse of earth rai∣sed. On both sides of the breach in places conuenient, the armed men are to be placed to repell such as escape the shot. If the place haue bulwarkes or towers that looke along the ditch, from thence the e∣nemie is to be galled vpon the flankes as they enter the ditch: if there be none, then mounts or terrasses are to be raysed in such places, as most commodiouslie wee may looke into the ditch, and toward the breach. Walles or bankes are to be cast vp beneath the breach in the ditch. Lastly, if store of men will permit it, a sallie of targetters and other armed men is to bee made out of the towne vpon the sides of those that are vpon the counterscarpe, or within the ditch: which no doubt will make the enemie make more speed to returne.
This or the like proceeding, both ancient and later practise of warre hath taught vs in the defence of townes besieged, and assaul∣ted. The Plataeans besieged, hauing set order for their prouision and the gouernement of their people, to repell the enemies force, raysed their walles higher in that part where the enemie made shew to assaile them. All along the mount which the enemie built without, Page 251they made a new wall within their olde. When theaenemie went about to smother them, and to burne their engines vpon the wall, they defended themselues with their archerie and slingers, and quenched the fire with water and earth, and when they could no longer defend the towne, in a tempestuous night they passed ouer the banke which the enemie raysed against them.
The Massilians when they perceiued Caesars intention to be∣siege them:bprouided souldiers, brought corne out of the coun∣trey into the citie, erected workehouses for armes, brought their prouision into the publike store, repaired their walles, trimmed vp their ships. When the enemie began to force them, they defen∣ded themselues by diuers sallies, and engines fitted on the wals.
The like diligence did the Gaules vse agaynst Caesar besieging Auaricum: they frustrated his engines with hookescand other en∣gines, they caused his mount to sinke by vndermining. Vpon the wals they made diuers towers; by diuers sallies they hindered his workes, his mines they opened with crosse mines, and filled with great stones. The like did the Prenestinsdagainst Annibal.
Against escalades theeAduaticans besieged by Caesar, placed great stones and pieces of timber vpon the walles, and likewise they offZama to resist the enemies assault, Vpon those that set the ladders to the walles tumbled downe stones, and pieces of tim∣ber, and cast vpon them pitch & brimstone, and shot and cast dartes at them.
In the defence of new Carthage in Spaine assailed by Scipio, all things being prouided, Mago assigned to euery man his quarter & his charge, and both with engines from the wall beat the scalers, and with archerie and armed men defended the breach. The Romanes hearing of the approch of Porsena to besiege their citie, sent into o∣ther countreys to buy victuals, fortified their citie, assigned to euerie man his seuerall charge, delt well with the common sort. The same reasons alwayes continuing, the same course for the most part hath bene vsed also of late time.
Lignieres deputed gouernour of Chartres, an. 1568. which then was threatened by the Protestants to be besieged, first encouraged the people with good words, then together with ye principal mē of the towne going about to marke the weakest places of the walles, cau∣sed rampiers and trenches to be made presently. In that worke hee Page 252caused all the inhabitants to labour. Afterward being bet in flanke, he raised vp a terrasse neere the breach, spreading sheetes and clothes before it for to couer the workemen: for grinding of corne he caused handmils to be made, and finally set good order for the administring of matters of warre, and iustice. But if he had burnt the suburbes, and beaten downe the houses neere the wals, and defended the Rauelin by the gate Drouaize more carefully and strongly, hee had done farre better. These things being neglected, the enemie placed his ord∣nance neere to the wall in houses, from whence he discouerd ye breach, and diuers places of the towne, and hurt diuers. He lodged his men ve∣ry commodiously in the suburbes, and taking that Rauelin, had entred the citie, if he had folowed his good hap, or kept the place.
The duke of Guise Gouernour of Poitiers, entring a litle before the siege which the Protestants laid before the town, anno 1569. spent first one day in viewing the walles, and appointing fortifications and defences to be made, which was also executed with great expedition. He tooke the next day the moster of all the souldiers, and inhabitants able to beare armes, to see what strength hee had. Afterward hee ap∣pointed officers, & orders for the storehouses of victuals. Further he set some on worke to make pouder, others to burne ye houses nere the gates. The light horsemen he sent out to take some prisoners, & of thē to vnderstand the disseins of the enemie, & for auoiding of surprises, would not suffer bell to ring, nor clocke to strike during the siege. For defence of the breach he caused a retrenchment to be made behind the wall: against the pieces that bet his men in flanke, he opposed a tra∣uerse of earth: and directly against the breach placed certaine pie∣ces in countrebatterie. For sustaining ye assault, he assigned to euerie man his quarter, disposed his shot vpon the wals, & in certain houses neere to beat the enemie approching both in front, & in flanke. Neere the wals he had his armed men readie, his horsemen he sent about the streetes to keepe men in order, and to send those that were there to the breach; onely this was omitted, hee burnt not the suburbes, nor spoiled the countrey round about, nor prouided cornemils, nor dischar∣ged the towne of such as were vnfit for seruice, nor of asses and iades that spent the haie so fast, that in the ende there wanted for the main∣tenance of his horse of seruice.
They of Rochel against the siege that folowed an. 1573. first forti∣fied their towne, and then set order for their gouernement: withall Page 253they made the best prouision of victuals and munitions, they could: they sent to their friendes for succour: they hindered the approches of the enemy by diuers sallies: for defence of the breach, they made a re∣trenchment behinde, and filled the breach vp with sackes of earth, and other things. For couering those that wrought, they made a thicke smoke before the breach. Against the breach they ranged diuers pee∣ces in contrebatterie. To susteine the assalt, they placed the shot on the flankes, and walles, placed squadrons of armed men both by the breach, and in other places: with traines of powder in the ditche, they scorched the enemie that came to the breache. Vpon the formost they cast stones, fire, scalding water, hot tarre, and pitch: yet might they haue done better, if they had made better prouision of thinges necessarie: next, if they had not made so many vaine and weake sallies. If in one sallie those that went out first, had bene well seconded, they had surely raysed the siege: while they spa∣red the houses, and villages, and woods neere the Towne, they ministred many commodities to the enemie, without which hee coulde not as hee did, haue continued his siege the whole winter long.
In the siege of S. Iean d'Angeli, anno 1569, capteine Piles wan to himselfe great commendation. The towne was not strong, yet did he holde it long. The enemy wanne no ground vpon him, but it cost him deare. Vpon his first approch he made so couragious a sally, that he made the enemy to giue ground. In the place of the breach, he made a wall in the ditch before it, and a retrenchment within be∣hinde it, and casting the earth inward, raised a banke vpon it, where∣vpon he placed diuers pipes of earth, for defence of his souldiers. Vp∣on the side of the breach, he raised vp a platforme of earth, with a parapet, for sauing his men. By this meanes he susteined diuers as∣saults, and at diuers sallies cut diuers of the enemies in peeces, and cloyed and dismounted diuers Canons. If his prouision of victu∣als and munitions, and the strength of men had bene greater, he had no doubt kept the Towne still: but wanting all thinges, and his platforme being newe, and but fifteene foote thicke, and pierced by euery Canon shotte, and not able long to stand; force it was for him to accept of an honourable composition offered him by the king.
And although the Towne of Sancerre was yeelded in the ende to Page 254the enemy, yet doe the defendants deserue to be remembred for their resolute defense, and reasonable good gouerment. When they heard that the enemy determined to besiege them, they chose a Go∣uernour, and ioyned with him a Counsell of Capteines, and the most apparent Citizens. Next, they mostred their people, enrolled them in bands, and assigned to euery man his charge and quarter, & appointed orders such as the time required. For defence of the breach, they made a retrenchment, and defended the same with gabions on the front, and sides, where they placed their shotte, to serue at the time of the assault. To susteine the assault, they ranged their shot there, and on the wals, and in a certein gallery, and other houses neere the breach. Vpon the sides of the breach, and in other places conuenient, they placed their halberds, pikes, and armed men: but wanting victuals, mu∣nitions, and men requisite for defence of such a place, they were dri∣uen to accept of a harde composition. Whereunto, if they had not spared their money in the beginning, or had sent out such as for age, and impotencie were not fit for seruice, they could not haue bene so easily forced.
The assault of Chateleraud, anno 1569, as it was forcible, so was it valiantly susteined by diuers braue men directed by Scipio the En∣giner. The breach being 80 paces wide, was so great, and the ene∣mies comming so speedy, that they could not make any retrenchment behinde it. Therefore leauing that course, vpon each side of the breach they made gabions and barriquadaes, behinde which they placed di∣uers valiant men, armed with cuyraces, and targets. The front be∣fore the breach, was sufficiently fenced with houses. In the win∣dowes of the houses, and in certeine holes made for the purpose, they placed their best shot, other shot they placed vpon the walles behinde the parapet, and in a certeine gallery that ouerlooked the breach. When the Italians that had the point, came to the assault, and had en∣tred the breach; they that were couered vnder the gabions, sallied vp∣on the first, the shot from the houses, gallery, and walles, dispatched a number of the rest.
In defence of townes besieged by the enemy, no time is to be lost, no cost, nor labour to be spared. By negligence, delaies, sparing, and want of skill of the Gouernors, many townes are lost. It grieueth me to thinke howe Caleis, Bullein, Rochel, and other Townes, which sometime this nation possessed in France, were lost by negli∣gence, Page 255and misgouernment. But that it is the lot of all townes that that are committed to such weake persons, as beside the name haue nothing of nobility. Alcidaathat was sent to succour Miletum, by forslowing the time, suffered the Athenians to take the Towne. Montegue a strong castle in Poitou, was lost by the negligence, igno∣rance, and couetousnes of thebCapteine, that for two hundred soul∣diers which he should haue mainteined there, kept but twenty, and sought nothing, but spoile without regarde, or knowledge of the keeping of the place. The Protestants lost Bronage, a towne of great importance, for want of garrison, munitions, and victuals sent in time. What we haue lost, and are like to loose by this meanes, I had rather we should learne by others examples, and reforme it, then to blush to heare it reported, and confirmed by the examples of those that were actors.
Thus we see what is to be done in the defence b gouernment of a place assaulted or besieged, and also what is to be auoyded. But be∣cause al this serueth to small purpose, vnlesse the siege in time be rai∣sed, let vs nowe shewe howe that may be effected.
The siege is raised sometime through want, or missgouernment in the campe, when for want of victuals, or other disorder the ene∣my of his owne accord departeth. Sometime through sickenes, some∣time through the distemper of the weather, sometime through dis∣sention of souldiers; sometime he remooueth to succour his owne people, straited in some other place: sometime by sallies of the towns∣men, or succour of their friendes, he is driuen away. All those wants therfore that may mooue him to depart, are to be increased, and all those meanes that may hasten his departure, to be vsed. He is to be streited for victuals by our friendes without. Some Towne which he fauoreth is to be besieged, his waters are to be corrupted, the place where he lyeth, if it may be, is to be drowned. If he may be taken in disorder, with all our force he is to be charged, and all meanes v∣sed to call him home, or to tyre him lying before vs. The Prince of Orenge succoured Leyden, and anoyed the Spaniards, by cutting of the bankes of the riuers.
Fabiuscbeing besieged in his campe by the Hetruscians, in∣uading them vpon a sudden a little before day, killed many, & put the rest to flight. The French kings brother anno 1569, besieging Page 256Chateleraud, caused the Protestants to raise their siege from before Poytiers, to succour their friendes there. The Aetolians entring in∣to the Citie of theaThaumacians besieged by Philip king of Ma∣cedonia, by their often sallies caused him to raise his siege.bCrispus Naeuius sallying out of Apollonia in the night, put all the Macedo∣nian armie that lay before the towne in disarray, and caused the same to dislodge. Scipiocgoing to succour his friendes besieged, passed through the enemies campe in the night, and presently sally∣ing out vpon them, forced them to relinquish their holde. The ru∣mor ofdCatoes approches with succours, caused the Celtiberians to depart from a towne which they besieged. Likewise in the yeere of our Lorde, 1569, the towne of Charitè in France was disenga∣ged, the enemie departing for feare of a bruite of great succours com∣ming to the towne, both of horse and foote, which God wot was no∣thing so.
At such time as the army riseth, the defendants haue commonly good opportunitie to cut those that lagge behinde in peeces. When Appiusedeparted from the siege of Phanotis, the Capteine of the towne following after him, and charging him in streite & trouble∣some waies, at the foote of certeine hils, cut a thousand of his men in peeces. Therefore as at other times, so then also the Generall ought to haue care, that the sicke, and hurt be sent before with a good garde, and with them the baggage of the army. then may he followe safely with the rest. By this course Caesar departed safely from before Dyr∣rachium, and in our times the Admirall from the siege of Poytiers. The French kings brother rising from Chateleraud, when his men were at the assault, as soone as he sawe they could not preuaile, he be∣gan to send away his great ordonance before, and at midnight follow∣ed with all his army.
Resteth nowe for the finishing of this discourse, concerning the defence of places, that I shewe howe any place may with labour be fortified, and what rules are to be obserued in the making of bulworkes, walles, ditches, bankes, and all sortes of fortificati∣on, not in such curious sorte, as doe the Italians, which can nei∣ther be well vnderstoode of souldiers vnacquainted with Geome∣tricall termes, nor practised in time of warres, by reason of the time required in the raysing of them: which notwithstanding may serue them in tyme of necessitie, as well as the artificiall worke∣manship Page 257of Italians that costeth millions, and alwayes helpeth not. Yet would I not haue thinges made either rudely without propor∣tion, nor hastily without perfection, nor niggardly without thinges conuenient.
In ancient time, before the vse of gunnes was found out, the dan∣ger of walled townes was, lest they might be taken with scaling, or their walles ruinated with shaking or zapping, their defence against scaling, was the height of the walles; against shaking, the mixture of wood, and stone, and thicknesse. Caesar sheweth that the Gaules in his time fashioned their walles checker wise, filling a frame of timber with square stones. so that for euery piece of timbers head there was a square stone of that bignesse layed in the wall. To en∣crease the height of their walles, they made high towers vpon them, in distance fourescore, or an hundred paces one from another. Their defence was stones, pieces of timber, iauelines, dartes, arrowes, and whatsoeuer coulde hurt the enemy throwen from the wall. These thinges for that their force was increased by the height of the walles, therefore did they builde them high, as also to hinder the escaladaes of the enemy. Now for that great ordonance doth hurt more in flanke then forward, and shaketh any wall though ne∣uer so thicke, and those most easily that are highest; therefore the vse is to builde walles lowe, that they may the better be susteined by the terrasse behinde, and more hardly discouered by reason of the counterscarpe. for defence whereof, there are bulwarkes builded out from the wall into the ditch, that the great ordonance being there placed, may not onely shoote forward into the field, but in flanke along the ditch, and the wall.
Those townes therefore, and castles, I account to be well forti∣field, that first are strongly walled, or banked round, with bulwarkes in conuenient distances to flanke the walles, or banke; secondly, that behinde the walles haue a good rampare or terrasse, and be∣fore them a deepe and broad ditch: and last of all a sufficient coun∣terscarpe, with his couert way, with all the partes, and measures of the wall, terrasse, bulwarkes, ditch, and counterscarpe proportion∣able. Where there is either part or proportion wanting, there wan∣teth so much of the perfection, and strength, that is in such workes required. Whosoeuer therefore purposeth to fortifie a place, must haue respect first to the wall, and rampare, or to the banke, next Page 258to the bulwarkes, thirdly, to the ditch, and lastly, to the counter∣scarpe.
The partes of the wall are these, first the foundation, then the wall to the cordon, and lastly, that aboue the cordon. Cordon I call that rowe of stones that diuideth that part of the wall that is lowest, and couered with the counter scarpe from the enemies shot, and leaneth much inward to the towne, from that which is for the most part open, and higher then the counterscarpe, and leaneth lesse inward then the lower part of the wall.
The whole height of the wall from the ditch to the top, is more or lesse according to the iudgement of the Enginer, and meanes, and time hee hath to builde it in. Prouided that it be not easily reached with ladders. it is sufficient if it be betwixt fiue and fortie or fortie foot high. of which albeit the parapet be beaten downe, yet few sca∣ling ladders will reach so high.
The foundation of the wall would be made firme, and euen, lea∣ning a little inward. if the soile be soft and moist, it must be holpen with piles of wood driuen downe thicke into the ground, and stones rammed fast betweene them. if the soile be rocky, then must the same be made plain, or at least with degrees be aten out with the picke, and made leuell, that the stones may lie orderly, saue that toward the towne as the rest of the foundation it ought to be a little lower.
The foundation of thea cortine of the wall being laid, the first stone of the wall would be layd one foot from the boord of the foundation, if no more. That part of the foundation that is without the wall the Italians call relasciato, which is nothing els in English, then that which is left of the foundation.
The wall the Italians would haue made so thicke at the foot, that in the middest there may be left a space for a man to goe along in round about the walles. this they call contramina. But it is cost to no purpose: for to vent a mine, the countermine is to be made as lowe as the foundation of the wall and lower, and rather in the ditch, if it be drie, then in the wall. The wall would be made so thicke at the foundation, that albeit in euery fiue foot of height it leane inward, and loose one foot of breadth or thickenesse, yet at the cordon it may be twelue or fifteene foot thicke. From the cordon vpward the wall is to leane inward, and to loose of his thickenesse in euery fiue one halfe foot.Page 259
The rampar or terrasse behinde the walles would be raised vntill you come within foure or fiue foot of the toppe of the wall. This vp∣permost part for that it gardeth the souldiers that are behinde it, when they turne their breasts to shoot, or strike the enemy is called parapet. If the same be not raised so high, but that the wall is seuen or eight foot higher, as it is at Luca in Italy, & in the bourg at Rome, and di∣ners places, which I haue seene: then must there be made a bancke or way vpon the inside of the wall foure foot within the toppe of it, and degrees to mount from the rampar vnto it, in diuers places.
The rampar cannot be too broad, but nine or ten pases it would be, if it be made sufficient. if it be lesse, hardly can you fit the cannon or coluerin vpon it. The height is proportionable to the wall, as be∣fore I haue shewed. Toward the towne the rampar would be made somewhat stope and pendant, that the souldiers may go vp and downe the same in all places, when need requires; in the same like wise are staires to be made in diuers places, that those that haue occasion may go vp vnto it with carriages. The side of it would be set with trees, for thereby the earth will be holden vp more firme, and the same may in time serue to many good vses.
Within euery two hundred pases or thereabout, there would be a bulwarke erected, the outward walles made in the same sort, that the walles of the cortine are made, but more thicke and high by two or three foot. These are made for gard both of the great ordonance that beat along the ditch and cortine, and that which is pointed into the fieldes. These are sometime made with two stages, or places for the ordonance, the one aboue, the other beneath; sometime with one one∣ly place, sometimes all solide without any places at all, as in Hol∣land and Zeland, for the most part. the which are rather to be called terrasses then bulwarkes, for that they onely serue to place great or∣donance vpon them to flanke the walles or bankes somewhat, but e∣specially to scoure the plaines without.
The forme of them commeth nerest to fiue square, the base where∣of is the rampar behinde that part of the walles that goeth to the ma∣king of the bulwarke, and is behinde it. If thou wouldest make a bul∣warke at any corner of a wall, measure out from the point thereof fortie pases, and draw a line of that length equally distant from the cortine of the wall on either hand. From the cortine take of ech hand 25 pases, and from that point that is 25 pases from the corner, Page 260draw a lineadirect from the wall long two & twenty pases. From this line of two and twentie pases take tenne to serue for the ditch be∣tweene the towne wall and theb shoulder of the bulwarke. the rest serueth to make the shoulder it selfe. From this point draw a line to to that point that is fortie pases from the corner of the wall. and so thou hast the delineation of the one part or face of the bulwarke. doe the like on the other hand, and so thou hast thy bulwarke delineated in good proportion. which not being obserued in the bulwarkes of Berwike, maketh them shew crooked and deformed: but that is one of their least faults.
From the line that is fiue and twentie pases long take twelue pa∣ses on either side toward the point of the corner of the wall, and thence drawing a direct line directly to the shoulder of the bulwarke, vpon that line worke a wall all of massiue stone, and when thou art come tenne or twelue foot high, make there foure loope holes for the can∣non, and within the wall a sole for the ordonance to runne on, well planed, but somewhat inclining to the ditch. The loope holes would be a yard broad, and foure foot high. The first loope hole that is nee∣rest to the cortine, would be made foure foot distant from the said cor∣tine, that the connon placed there may serue to scoure the front of the next bulwarke that is vnto it, and the ditch and counterscarpe there∣of, being more then two hundred pases off. The other three loope holes would be made in equall distance one from another, and so farre asunder, that both the cannon may recoile without touching any thing, and that in the middest there may be made a pillar to beare the floure of the place aboue. The vse of the three pieces placed in these three loope holes, is to defend the cortine of the wall, and the ditch. and therefore the sole where they runne, is to be made so high, that with their noses they may looke somewhat downward into the ditch. In the middest of the lower place thou art to make a pillar all of massiue stone, neither so bigge that it hinder the recoiling of the can∣non, nor so little, but that it may beare the vault, and the cannon there placed aboue. In this vpper place thou art likewise to make foure loope holes, as in the place beneath: but if the same be vnco∣uered, a good parapet well crenelled will serue for the loope holes. Within the bulwarke also there would be a place made for the kee∣ping drie of the munition, and instruments occupied about the ordo∣nance, and also for keeping of armes for the souldiers. The entrance Page 261into this place and vnto the places of the canon would be from with∣in. And that the souldiers or Canoniers may sally or goe out into the ditch there would be made a doore in the cortine of the wall neere to the first loope hoole. The like places, loope holes, and doore is to be made on the other hand of the bulwarke.
All the bulwarke saue the places for the artillery, and munition, and except, if you wil, the countermine going to the point of the bul∣warke, would be filled with earth beaten small, and wel rammed to∣gether. The wall of the bulwarke would bee made like the wall of the towne vnlesse it please them that bestowe the charge to haue it thicker: and either may it be made with cordon, or without. The pa∣rapet of the bulwarke would be more firme, then that of the wall. And in diuers places would there bee made soles for the canon to runne vpon aboue the bulwarke. The shoulder of the bulwarke being made for defence of the canon placed in the loope holes woulde bee made strong. And likewise would the point of the bulwarke be for that the enemy vseth there to make entrance with his mattocke, or zappe.
I know fewe bulwarkes are so large, or halfe so large as this that I haue described, but ye lesser they are the more they want of strength and of perfection; and deserue in deede to be called rather terrasses, then otherwise. Those therefore that doe meane to make them strong, let them make them also large, and if they make not their terrasses with such places as I haue described, yet let them leaue some places, where to bestow the canon for defence of the ditch and cortine.
Where the wall is round, or crooked, or so long that one bulwarke cannot succour another, or that the same is so vneauen, that the cortine cannot be made proportionable for distance: there the remedy is in the midst of the cortine to make platformes, and caualiers, or mounts. The platforme is made of the same matter, and almost in the same forme that the bulwarke hath; likewise it commeth out from the wall as doeth the bulwarke. But the difference is, that it is pla∣ced in the midst of the plaine cortine, and is nothing so large as the bulwarke, nor hath those places, and loope hooles that the bulwarke hath, and serueth onely to place the ordonance vpon it aboue.
Sometimes that which platformes doe being ioyned to the wall, that doe rauelins, or terrasses deuided from the wall, which forme la Nouè commendeth, and I do not mistike: For both the charge and la∣bour is lesse, and well they may serue to strengthen some weake Page 262place, that otherwise is not fortified. And the same being beaten, yet the wall remaineth safe.
aCaualiers or mountes are made within the walles some two or three paces, & are employed to the same purpose that platformes are. From them they differ, that the platformes are raysed in the ditche, and ioyne to the wall, where as mounts are made within. They are to be made higher then the walles to looke into the ditch to scoure the plaine or vppermost superficies of the bulwarkes on either hand, and to discouer the plaine. The forme is foure square, yet oft times broa∣der, then long. The stuffe is earth, and fagots for the most part, hol∣den vp with bordes and pieces of timber. The length is more or lesse according to the necessitie of the place, and time that is giuen vs to make it in. Some make them 180 foote broade, and long 150 the pa∣rapet would be 20 foote thicke on front and on the sides. The staires that are made to ascend the caualier, are made behinde.
The place being thus walled round with walles direct, and well flanked with bulwarkes at euery corner, either in conuenient distan∣ces, or els succorde with platformes or mounts in the midst of the cor∣tine, cannot easily beforced, if it be wel defended.
Whether it be better to haue fiue, or sixe, or more bulwarkes, a∣bout one towne, or forteresse it is hard to determine: for if the cortine be made right, and of a reasonable length, and the bulwarkes bee so placed that one may entresuccour another, how many corners soeuer the forteresse is, the same is good. Onely forteresses of foure corners and bulwarks, and much more those of three, because the bulwarkes cannot one defend another vnlesse they be made very sharpe & weake, of men of experience haue bene found defectiue. The forteresse of Porto Hercole in the territorie of Siena is of three corners, but it was so built either by reason of the ground that would admit no other forme, or for that the insufficiencie of those smal bulwarkes with three corners was not knowne when that was made.
Those that either haue not time or meanes to make walles, and bulwarkes of stone, if they will obserue the same measures and pro∣portions, may make the same very wel and strongly of earth, clay and small rubble mingled together, and either made in morter stiffened with straw, or els borne vp with small and straight sticks layd thinne in the workes. In Holland, Zeland, and other places of the low Countrie, there are diuers good fortifications made onely of turffes Page 263of earth well layde and fastened together on the out sides, and within stuffed with earth and rubble. Onely the places for the canon which are made in bulwarkes of stone, in these kindes of fortifications are wanting, and the pointes of the bulwarkes made very weake and subiect to zapping. Yet with timber I would not doubt to make one sufficient place on either side of the bulwarke to range the canon in to beate low along the ditch and cortine; and with fagots also to make both the shoulder and point of the bulwarke as stiffe, as if were made with stone.
Those that fortifie their places only with turffes, or earth of which both the walles and bulwarkes are to consist, are thus to proceede in their worke. First the ground is to bee plained so broade as they meane to make their banke, or rampar, or bulwarke, and that would I not haue lesse then 14 pases at the bottome. Some what lower in the midst then in the outsides. The ground being plained, a ranke of turffes is to be layde outwarde, euery one a yarde or three quarters long if the earth be tough, and likewise a ranke of turffes of a worser sort inwarde to the towne. They are to be made thinne to the inside and thicke to the outside: vpon the endes of these turffes, are other wor∣ser turffes to bee layde, and the space within to be filled with small earth well rammed together. Vpon these rankes of turffes other rankes of turffes are to be layde and to be fastened together, and to be filled in the midst vntill the same come to a sufficient height. The banke is to be made leaning inwarde, the better to holde vp the earth. The earth must be digged out of the ditch al along the banke, leaning a yarde or more from the foundation of the banke, which the worke be∣ing finished, may be plained and fashioned to the banke, and may serue to make the banke seeme hie.
To make a banke of earth and hasell rods, or other brush mingled together, this is the course. First the earth is to be plained, where the foundation is to be made, then small earth well sifted and ram∣med to bee layde halfe a foote thicke, and aboue that small rods with their heads layde as eauen as may be: and to the endes of those, other rods are to be layde, and earth ouer them, this is to be done both on the outside, and inside, and so to be mingled and rammed together vntill the banke come to the full height. The banke is to be made slope for the better lying of the earth, and to bee filled with earth digged out of the ditch for ease of the labourers.Page 264
If neither turffes of earth, nor sticks may be had sufficient, then the outward crust on both sides of the ramper, would be made of morter well mingled with hay and straw, or els if the ground be stony, of stones layde in morter. The inmost part, if it be filled with earth and rubble, and well rammed; wil stand when the stones ruse downe, and beare many canon shot, if it be of sufficient thickenesse. This maner of fortification requiring no great cost, and being perfited onely with labour: greatly were it to be wished, that Plimmouth, Falmouth, and other Port townes in England were so banked, and fortified. For al∣beit in continuance of time such bankes are beaten flat, yet would they beare off any suddeine force.
When the worke is come to the height, then is the parapet to bee made 4 pases broade, if thy banke will beare it. And to mount vp the rampar, staires would be cast out in diuers places. The broader the banke is, the better the earth will lye, and the better resistance it will make. But if the same be weake in any place, then is the same to be defended with mounts from within, and rauelins without.
The measures of the bulwarkes of earth with al their parts would be either equal to those that are made of stone, or larger, because other∣wise the ditch would soone be filled with ye rusing downe of the earth.
In making the walles and bulwarkes, the breadth also and fashion of the ditch is to be cast: for if they be done both together, the earth that is digged out of the ditch may serue to make the rampar. The ditch where it is narrowest would be 15 pases broade. If it be made narrower, it may the more easily bee filled vp by the enemy, and by the ruines of the bankes and walles. In France the ditches made in olde time are either a dos de l'asue, that is, deepe and narrow in the midst, and rising on both sides, as the ditches about Amiens, and Pa∣ris; or els a fond de cuue, that is, equally deepe in the bottome, and steepe vpon the sides. In both which the foote of the wall is open to the view, and easily battred. Neither doe the defenses made vpon the rampar on which the wal is built, which they cal fausses brayes helpe the matter. Now the wall being raysed out of the ditch, the bottome of the same would be leuell, but broade and deepe; And in the midst of it a deepe trench, which in dry ditches serueth to discouer the enemies Mines, in watry places to conuey away the water. Some for defence of their ditch haue built a wall in the midst of it, as in the ditches of Caleis: but it is to no purpose, seeing for the lownesse of it, either Page 265with the ruines of the wall, or with earth and faggots cast into the ditches, it is soone couered.
Whether the ditch be drie or full of water, it skilleth not greatly. For as both haue their discommodities; so they haue also their com∣modities. A fortresse enuironed with a deepe water, is lesse subiect to sudden enterprises, except it be in time of hard frost. The same is more incommodious to passe, or to fill to the enemie: but the same is hurtfull to the retraite of the souldiers that sally, and keepeth them vp as it were in mue, and seldome is any ground so leuell, but that in some place or other, the water may be let out of the ditches: contrary∣wise dry ditches make fortresses more subiect to surprises, but yet they are more commodious for souldiers to sally out, and to fauour the retraite of those that come backe. If there be heapes of stones in them, the canon doeth more hurt to the enemy beating among them. Finally, the dry ditch giueth the souldiers meanes to defend their contrescarpe, which those that are enuironed with water, doe as it were yeeld vp to the enemy. There fore where the fortresse is strong, and well flanked, and manned, it is better to haue a dry ditch: where it is weake, and euill furnished with souldiers, it is better to haue dit∣ches deepe, and full of water.
The last defence which is thought of, but first lost, or wonne, is the coutrescarpe, or banke without the ditch. The same is to be fashioned according to the ditch. In the making of it, we are to respect three pointes, according to the three parts of it. First, that the same be made so plaine on the toppe, that the enemy doe not hide himselfe behinde it, and vse it for a parapet. Secondly, that toward the ditch there be made a couert or close way, foure foote broad, and foure foote and a halfe high. Wherein the souldiers lying, may hinder the appro∣ches of those, that come to viewe the walles, or full the ditch, or place their artillery; and sallying, may retire thither safely, being pur∣sued by the enemy. Thirdly, that the pendant or banke of the con∣trescarpe be made so slope, that the souldiers may goe downe in all places without breaking their armes or their legges, although they cannot come vp vpon it, but at the staires.
These are the common defences of Townes or Castles, accor∣ding to which, by the same rules others may be deuised. Of late there is an Italian, that hath deuised by certeine terrasses of earth be∣fore the walles, to keepe the enemy from battering the cortine of Page 266the wall: and therefore he calleth them contraguardie. the same are thus to be fashioned.
The cortine of the wall is to bee made bending inwarde some eight or tenne pases from the right line in the middest. eight pases from this is a rampar of earth to bee raised all along the cortine betweene bulwarke, and bulwarke, higher then the contrescarpe, but lower then the parapet of the wall. this rampar is to haue a co∣uert way like to the contrescarpe inward, & being made low towards the ditch is there likewise to haue a parapet. the same at the endes is to be made small, so that it doe not hinder the artillery of the bulwarke to scoure the ditch. the artillery of the towne that is placed at the in∣ward angle of the cortine is to beate all along the ditch, and flanke of this contregard.
This manner of fortification hauing so many parapets and flankers, and such a thickenesse of earth, hee supposeth that no batte∣rie shall be able to force: but on the otherside hee considereth not, that the forces of the castle or towne being not great are not sufficient to furnish so many places, nor conuenient that they shoulde into so many partes bee deuided: neither doth hee thinke, that it is more easie to fortifie two townes or castles, then to builde these double de∣fenses: nor that the charge would be infinite.
It is reported, that the Castle of And warp cost a hundreth thou∣sand duckats building. what then woulde a citadel cost, that hath double the defenses, and workes, and requireth twise so many men, and twise so much ordonance? if fewe goe to the cost of fortification with stone, and content themselues with bankes of earth, it is not likely that any beside the worke of stone will make so many ter∣rasses of earth, as by the rules of this kinde of Italian fortification is required.
The Prince of Orenge in his time traced diuers bankes about such places as hee thought necessarie to bee defended; as about William stat, and others, where there is scarce any bulwarke, ca∣ualier, or good platforme. but the walles being made in and out, the inward angle of one part is made with great ordonance and mos∣quets to flanke the other. besides this, the Rampar is so large, that the artillerie placed thereon, may bee made to serue to many purposes.Page 267
He that vnderstandeth these rules, and withall the vse of the ca∣non, and all lesser pieces together with their effects: in what ground soeuer he is, may vnderstand how to defend himselfe and his compa∣nie so long as his victuals and munitions last. For example, if he be taken in plaine ground, and would there lie safelie; let him trace his bankes and trenches either fiue square, or sixe square with bulwarkes or terrasses at euerie corner like vnto a castle or towne fortified: hee may make it big, or lesse according to his number. If he be appointed to gard the passage of a riuer, hee may vnderstand how to couer his companie, that hee bee neither forced in front, nor on the banke. Such places as are aduantageous by nature as hils and straites, he knoweth how to make stronger by labour. TheaBicocke in Lom∣bardie resolutelie defended by Prospero Colonna agaynst the French, teacheth vs how hard it is to passe a banke, that is well de∣fended.
The Spaniards in their warres in the kingdom of Naples against the French hauing made betwixt themselues and the enemie a banke and ditch of no great strength, yet by that small aduantage obtained a great victorie.
These rules may also teach vs how to strengthen such townes as are alreadie walled and ditched, though weakelie, and for the vse of the canon vnprofitablie. The defences of walles made inartificial∣lie, are diuers. First, rampiers cast vp behinde the walles. Second∣lie, retrenchments with bankes made toward the towne with a strong parapet, such as before I haue described. Thirdly, plat∣formes made at the corners or on the cortine of the walles, made in such places, as our artillerie may best serue to flanke our walles and ditches.
The like effect haue mountes, raysed behinde the wall vp∣on the rampar. Fourthlie, rauelins placed from the wall forward, where the same is most straight, and the ground most euen. The same are to be made fiue square, or at least three square, and raised of earth and roddes mingled and rammed close together, about the which a broad and deepe ditch is to bee wrought. The last defence is in the depth of the ditches, and strength of the counterscarpe, which is to be wrought artificiallie all along where wee thinke the enemie will assayle vs.
When the gouernour of the towne hath vsed all possible means for Page 268defence of himselfe and his companie, and yet through either long siege, or want of supplie, or succour can hold the place no longer, let him before hee attempt extremities, declare his estate to those that gaue him the place to gard. After that, if he neither receiue succour, nor answere, let him call the colonels, captains and chiefe citizens to counsell, and resolue in time what to doe. The first point to be resol∣ued, is, whether by any possibilitie the place may bee defended any longer, consideration had of the number of seruiceable men, of the want of victuals and munitions, and weakenesse of the place that li∣eth almost open to the enemie; likewise of the resolution of the ene∣mie, and despaire of succour. And if it appeare that the same cannot longer be defended, the next point to bee considered is, whether the same be to be yeelded vpon honourable composition, or to be destroy∣ed and forsaken. In this case the qualities of the enemie are to bee respected. For better it is, to runne into any hazard, yea and to die fighting, then to yeeld to him that perfourmeth no promise, and kil∣leth and massacreth men after yeelding. If it bee resolued, that it is best to attempt to escape by breaking through the campe, the next point to bee considered is, by what meanes, and at what time and place the same is to bee perfourmed. TheaNumidians that were left in garrison at Salapia, when the towne was betrayed, and en∣tred by the enemie, attempted to breake through the enemie. A course commendable although it succeeded not. They of Plataea dri∣uen to great extremitie by thebLacedemonians that besieged thē, when they could doe no more for want of victuals, in a darke and tempestuous night went ouer the enemies trenches and banks, and so escaped. They ofcAcerrae despairing the defence of their citie, when they sawe the enemie to begin to compasse them round a∣bout, before that his workes were continued and perfited, in the silent night passing through where least resistance was made, esca∣ped. The same was likewise attempted by thedGaules besieged by Caesar in Auaricum. The people neere the sea coast of France, de∣fended themselues so long as they were able against Caesar, & when they sawe the case desperate, conueied themselues and their goods into their ships, and so fled away. Attilius when he could no longer de∣fend the towne of Locri agaynst Annibal, counselling the townes∣men to compound with the enemie, conueied himself and the garrison away by water. Such as had meanes to escape, & chose rather to com∣pound Page 269with the enemy, the Romanes in time past did so vtterly mis∣like, that they refused to redeeme those that had yeelded themselues after the ouerthrow of Cannae, albeit they might haue ransomed them with very little money. Yet those that purpose to breake through the enemies campe, are to resolue vpon many things before they put it in execution: first of the time, secondly of the place where they purpose to passe, that they may fill the ditch of his campe if any be, and prouide things necessary for that purpose, thirdly of the place where to re∣traite. Lastly in what order, that both they may force those that resist, and escape them that folow after.
When there appeareth no hope either to holde out, or to escape by flight, then are we to try what composition we can haue, and that ina time. So did the Romanes besieged by the Samnites in the strait at Caudium. Neither did the Romanes dislike with the garrison at Ca∣silinum that compounded with Annibal. Nay theybrewarded them for holding out so long hauing no other victuals but nuts and rootes. Nicolas Serin refusing necessary conditions of peace of∣fered him by Soliman that besieged him in Sigeth, lost himselfe and many other braue men that were with him. The fact ofcAeneside∣mus gouernour of Argos, who when he might haue escaped, the citie being surrendred, chose rather to die armed himselfe alone in the place, then to depart, is rather to be lamented, then commen∣ded, or followed.
Necessarie composition therefore, so it be in extremitie, is not to be refused. But yet while we talke of composition, we are to vse great circumspection and care; first that the garrison be not discouraged; secondly that the same growe not more secure, and carelesse; thirdly that vnder colour of parley the enemy doe not view the walles, or ditches or breach, or attempt to sease the breach or the gate, or els en∣terteine some intelligence with some within: which things how dan∣gerous they are, I haue heretofore declared. To auoyd these dangers this course is best; the necessitie of the towne, and other secrets are to be kept from the knowledge of the souldiers, who by good wordes are to be encouraged, and made acquainted with so much onely, as is necessary: secondly such men onely are to be deputed to parley, as are well knowne for their sufficiencie, and loyaltie: thirdly the place of parley is to be appointed farre from the towne, that the souldiers within heare nothing. Which was practised in diuers parleyes du∣ring Page 270the last siege of Rochel.
In capitulations two things are especially to be respected, first that the conditions be honourable, and fauourable: secondly that the same be performed. The most reasonable composition that may be, is when they within keepe the place still, paying onely certaine money, or loosing onely some other commoditie. So Rome was redeemed from Porsena that besieged it; and so they that were besieged by the Gaules in the Capitol redeemed themselues. And Rochel escaped the more easily ye hands of them that beesiegd the towne, by compoun∣ding for money. Contrarywise of all pointes it is most extreeme, to yeeld vp the place to the enemie. If the Saguntins would haue yeelded vp their towne to Annibal, and consented to haue dwelt some other where: they might haue saued themselues, and their goods; but they would not. There is yet a meane betwixt these two, when those that yeeld to the enemy do promise him to become his subiects, and to pay him certaine tribute, and so keepe the place vnder his dominion.
If then by any summe of money we may redeeme our selues, and our citie driuen to such extremitie, let vs not prise golde aboue safetie: on the other side if we be not in extremitie, let vs not sell our aduan∣tages for money. When I reade former histories, I cannot but won∣der at the basenesse of many of our nation, that in times past haue bene bought out of their places for money: and lament, that some accomp∣ted of, wel otherwise, should therein deale more dishonourably, & foo∣lishly then other nations. For what could be more dishonorable, then the surrender of Terwin, Torney, Bollein, & other places, or the losse of Caleis? and what more ridiculous, then that our army going to fight, should with a few French crownes be bought out, and perswa∣ded to returne?
But if the enemy will heare of no composition without surrender of the place, the next consideration is, that we may be assured of our liues, and depart with our horses, and armes without disgrace. By the capitulation of S.aIean d'Angeli the captaines and souldiers departed with their armes, horses, and baggage. Onely they were driuen to rolle vp their ensignes, and to make promise that they would not beare armes in the cause of Religion for the space of foure moneths. The garrison of Somieres surrendring the towne to the enemy were suffered to depart with their armes and goods, and had seuen dayes respit giuen them to conuey away their goods in.Page 271Like honourable composition had our men in the late surrender of Scluce. The more resolute the garrison sheweth it selfe in standing vpon points, the more honourable their composition doth commonly prooue. And contrarywise those that will needes compound, loose both life and honor. The Romanes for the most part would not com∣pound without surrender made of the defendants armes: but the an∣cient faith and loyalty of the Romanes being now lost and gone, let it be iudged, what wisedome it is for men to put themselues into dissoy∣all mens handes all naked.
The greatest difficulty is in procuring of good assurance of the ca∣pitulation of surrender made. which is most of all to be stood vpon. For what auaileth it to haue good words without performance? In these late brabbles of France the garrisons of Mucidam, and Mailè, and diuers other places haue bene cut in pieces contrary to compo∣sition. And howsoeuer the prince of Parma dealt with our men, yet the poore townesmen of Scluce, and some of the Dutch complaine, that all points were not performed. The Protestants of France, con∣trary to the articles of peace, were shamefully massacred during the mirth and solemnities of the kinges sisters marriage. And now it beginneth to be a rule, that no faith, nor lawes of warre are to be ob∣serued to heretikes. In which rolle, seeing the Romanists doe mo∣ster all that are not of the Papall faction, it behooueth vs to looke a∣bout, how wee doe trust them. especially giuing vs such warning by the feined treaty of Dunkirke. Beside all this, a certeine Spaniard, a great man of law in the Lowe countries, affirmeth, that allacapi∣tulations wherein any thing that belongeth to the state is aliena∣ted, are voide and of no force. Which if it were true, then coulde hardly any composition of surrender be good, further then they that haue the same surrendred, keepe the same by force.
Wherefore, that wee be not heerein abused by treacherous ene∣mies, let vs see by what meanes we may assure our selues. In times past wee might trust mens wordes. if they performed not wordes, yet had they regard to writinges and seales.bCaptaine Piles for the assurance of the composition of S. Iean d' Angeli, required only the kinges hand and seale. But now such disloyalty is entred into the world, that neither with words, nor writings, nor seales, nor yet othes men can stand assured. And therefore beside wordes and writing, wise men now require sureties, pledges, and hostages. The house of Page 272aBentiuogli in Bologna would not capitulate with Caesar Borgia, vnlesse the French king, and Florentines would giue their words, and binde themselues for performance. Thebconstable of France would not trust Lewis the eleuenth his othe without pledge. Both of Lysander in olde time, and of Lewis the eleuenth in latter times, stories affirme, that they had small regard of promise, or othe, further then their profit required. Therefore both in time past the Romanes, and of late time others haue required, and had other assurance. The garrison of Brouagec capitulating with the enemy about the surren∣der of Brouage, doubting of the performance of couenants; demanded, and obteined hostages, which were conueyed to Rochell before they gaue vp the place. they of Somieres had likewise hostages deliuered vnto them, such as they did nominate, before they did deliuer vp the towne. Without this assurance, it is not safe for any to commit their heads into their enemies handes. and farre more honorable it is to die like braue men in the field with our armes in our handes, then like sheepe to haue our throates cut in the handes of perfidious butchers. Tit.dSempronius seeing himselfe betrayed, and that he must needs die, exhorted his men to die rather fighting and doing somewhat, in which case men haue lesse apprehension of death, then vnder the kniues of executioners.
To auoid all cauilles about wordes, the sentence is to be concei∣ued plainely, and all circumstances to be expressed, as nere as may be. and the redresse of all contrauentions, if it may be, either by some meanes to be kept in our owne handes, or in the determination of ho∣norable persons. TheeLantgraue that yeelded himselfe, and came to the presence of Charles the fift, Maurice of Saxony being media∣tor betwixt them, vpon cauill about one word, was contrary to his meaning, deteined prisoner, and had bene longer, if that Maurice had not conceiued indignation, that vpon his word the good prince should be abused. All we can do in this case, is too litle. For whē princes wil quarrell, they can picke occasion, and ground themselues vpon euery small point, and make many faire pretenses: as in the dealings that passed betwixtfLewis Sforza, and the house of Medici; bewixt pope Iulio the second, and Lewis the twelft of France, and betwixt them and Ferdinand king of Spaine is euident. Of more then we haue in our owne power, we can neuer assure our selues, when we deale with perfidious enemies. And therefore let all braue souldiers consider Page 273before hand and prouide, that they come not into these straytes, and if necessitie enforce them to compound, let them deale wisely.