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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsThe Art Of War - Fifth Book
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The Art Of War - Fifth Book Post by :Glen_Graham Category :Nonfictions Author :Niccolo Machiavelli Date :March 2012 Read :2064

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The Art Of War - Fifth Book

Fifth Book

(Sidenote: How the Romaines marched with their armies; How the Romaines ordered their armie when it happened to be assaulted on the waie; How the main battailes ought to marche; The orderyng of an armie after soche sorte, that it maie marche safelie through the enemies countrie and be alwaies in a redines to faight; The place in the armie wher the bowmen and Harkabutters are appoincted; The place in the armie wher thextraordinarie Pikes are appoincted. The place in the armie wherthe generall capitain must be; Where the artillerie must be placed. The light horsmenne must be sente before to discover the countrie and the menne of armes to come behind tharmy; A generall rule concernyng horse; Wher the carriages and the unarmed are placed; The waie must be made plaine wher the armie shall marche in order; How many miles a day an armie maie marche in battaile raie, to bee able to incampe before sunne set; The orderyng of the armie, when it is assaulted on the vawarde; The orderyng of tharmie when thenemie commes to assaulte it behinde; How the armie is ordered when it is assaulted of any of the sides; doen when the army is assaulted on twoo sides.)

FABRICIO. I have shewed you, how an armi, is ordained to faight a fielde with an other armie, which is seen pitched against it, and have declared unto you, howe the same is overcome, and after many circumstaunces, I have likewise shewed you, what divers chaunces, maie happen about thesame, so that me thinkes tyme to shewe you now, how an armie is ordered, againste thesame enemie, whiche otherwise is not seen, but continually feared, that he assaulte thee: this happeneth when an armie marcheth through the enemies countrie, or through suspected places. Firste, you must understande, how a Romaine armie, sent alwaies ordinarely afore, certaine bandes of horsemen, as spies of the waie: after followed the right horne, after this, came all the carriages, whiche to thesame apperteined, after this, came a Legion, after it, the carriages therof, after that, an other legion, and next to it, their carriages, after whiche, came the left horne, with the carriages thereof at their backe, and in the laste part, folowed the remnaunte of the chivalrie: this was in effecte the maner, with whiche ordinarily thei marched: and if it happened that the armie were assaulted in the waie on the fronte, or on the backe, thei made straight waie all the carriages to bee drawen, either on the right, or on the lefte side, accordyng as chaunsed, or as thei could beste, havyng respecte to the situacion: and all the men together free from their impedimentes, made hedde on that parte, where the enemie came. If thei were assaulted on the flancke, thei drue the carriages towardes thesame parte that was safe, and of the other, thei made hedde. This waie beyng well and prudently governed, I have thought meete to imitate, sending afore the light horsemen, as exploratours of the Countrie: Then havyng fower maine battailes I would make them to marche in araie, and every one with their carriages folowyng theim. And for that there be twoo sortes of carriages, that is partainyng to particulare souldiours, and partainyng to the publike use of all the Campe, I would devide the publike Carriages into fower partes, and to every maine battaile, I would appoinct his parte, deviding also the artillerie into fower partes, and all the unarmed, so that every nomber of armed menne, should equally have their impedimentes. But bicause it happeneth some times, that thei marche through the countrie, not onely suspected, but so daungerous, that thou fearest every hower to be assaulted, thou art constrained for to go more sure, to chaunge the forme of marchyng, and to goe in soche wise prepared, that neither the countrie menne, nor any armie, maie hurte thee, findyng thee in any parte unprovided. In soche case, the aunciente capitaines were wont, to marche with the armie quadrante, whiche so thei called this forme, not for that it was altogether quadrante, but for that it was apte to faight of fower partes, and thei saied, that thei wente prepared, bothe for the waie, and for the faight: from whiche waie, I will not digresse, and I will ordaine my twoo maine battailes, whiche I have taken for to make an armie of, to this effect. Mindyng therefore, to marche safely through the enemies Countrie, and to bee able to aunswere hym on every side, when at unwares the armie might chaunce to be assaulted, and intendyng therefore, accordyng to the antiquitie, to bryng thesame into a square, I would devise to make a quadrant, that the rome therof should be of space on every part Clix. yardes, in this maner. First I would put the flanckes, distant the one flanck from the other, Clix. yardes, and I would place five battailes for a flancke, in a raie in length, and distant the one from the other, twoo yardes and a quarter: the whiche shall occupie with their spaces, every battaile occupiyng thirtie yardes, Clix. yardes. Then betwen the hedde and the taile of these two flanckes, I would place the other tenne battailes, in every parte five, orderyng them after soche sorte, that fower should joyne to the hedde of the right flanck, and fower to the taile of the lefte flancke, leaving betwene every one of them, a distance of thre yardes: one should after joyne to the hedde of the lefte flancke, and one to the taile of the right flancke: and for that the space that is betwene the one flancke and the other, is Clix. yardes, and these battailes whiche are set the one to the side of the other by breadth, and not by length, will come to occupie with the distaunces one hundred yardes and a halfe yarde, there shall come betwene theim fower battailes, placed in the fronte on the right flancke, and the one placed in thesame on the lefte, to remaine a space of fiftie and eighte yardes and a halfe, and the verie same space will come to remaine in the battailes, placed in the hinder parte: nor there shall bee no difference, saving that the one space shall come on the parte behind towardes the right horne, and thother shall come on the parte afore, towardes the lefte home. In the space of the lviii. yardes and a halfe before, I would place all the ordinarie Veliti, in thesame behinde, the extraordinarie, which wil come to be a thousande for a space, and mindyng to have the space that ought to be within the armie, to be every waie Clix. yardes, it is mete that the five battailes, whiche are placed in the hedde, and those whiche are placed in the taile, occupie not any parte of the space, whiche the flanckes keepe: and therefore it shall be convenient, that the five battailes behinde, doe touche with the fronte, the taile of their flanckes, and those afore, with the taile to touche he hedde, after soche sorte, that upon every corner of the ame armie, there maie remaine a space, to receive an other battaile: and for that there bee fower spaces, I would take fower bandes of the extraordinarie Pikes, and in every corner I would place one, and the twoo Ansignes of the foresaied Pikes, whiche shall remain overplus, I would sette in the middest of the rome of this armie, in a square battaile, on the hedde whereof, should stande the generall capitaine, with his menne about him. And for that these battailes ordeined thus, marche all one waie, but faight not all one waie, in puttyng them together, those sides ought to be ordained to faight, whiche are not defended of thother battailes. And therfore it ought to be considered, that the five battailes that be in the front, have all their other partes defended, excepte the fronte: and therfore these ought to bee put together in good order, and with the Pikes afore. The five battailes whiche are behinde, have all their sides defended, except the parte behinde, and therefore those ought to bee put together in soche wise, that the Pikes come behind, as in the place therof we shall shewe. The five battailes that bee in the right flancke, have all their sides defended, except the right flancke. The five that be on the left flanck, have all their partes defended, excepte the lefte flancke: and therefore in orderyng the battailes, thei ought to bee made, that the Pikes maie tourne on the same flanck, that lieth open: and the Peticapitaines to stand on the hedde, and on the taile, so that nedyng to faight, all the armour and weapons maie be in their due places, the waie to doe this, is declared where we reasoned of the maner of orderyng the battailes. The artillerie I would devide, and one parte I would place without, on the lefte flancke, and the other on the right. The light horsemen, I would sende afore to discover the countrie. Of the menne of armes, I would place part behinde, on the right home, and parte on the lefte, distante about thirtie yardes from the battailes: and concerning horse, you have to take this for a general rule in every condicion, where you ordaine an armie, that alwaies thei ought to be put, either behinde, or on the flanckes of thesame: he that putteth them afore, over against the armie, it behoveth hym to doe one of these twoo thinges, either that he put them so moche afore, that beyng repulced, thei maie have so moche space, that maie give them tyme, to be able to go a side from thy footemen, and not to runne upon them, or to order them in soche wise, with so many spaces, that the horses by those maie enter betwene them, without disorderyng them. Nor let no man esteme little this remembraunce, for as moche as many capitaines, whom havyng taken no hede thereof, have been ruinated, and by themselves have been disordered, and broken. The carriages and the unarmed menne are placed, in the rome that remaineth within the armie, and in soche sorte equally devided, that thei maie give the waie easely, to whom so ever would go, either from the one corner to the other, or from the one hedde, to the other of the armie. These battailes without the artillerie and the horse, occupie every waie from the utter side, twoo hundred and eleven yardes and a halfe of space: and bicause this quadrante is made of twoo main battailes, it is convenient to distinguishe, what part thone maine battaile maketh, and what the other: and for that the main battailes are called by the nomber, and every of theim hath (as you knowe) tenne battailes, and a generall hed, I would cause that the first main battaile, should set the first v. battailes therof in the front, the other five, in the left flanck, and the capitain of the same should stande in the left corner of the front. The seconde maine battaile, should then put the firste five battailes therof, in the right flanck, and the other five in the taile, and the hedde capitain of thesame, should stande in the right corner, whom should come to dooe the office of the Tergiductor. The armie ordained in this maner, ought to be made to move, and in the marchyng, to observe all this order, and without doubte, it is sure from all the tumultes of the countrie men. Nor the capitain ought not to make other provision, to the tumultuarie assaultes, then to give sometyme Commission to some horse, or Ansigne of Veliti, that thei set themselves in order: nor it shall never happen that these tumultuous people, will come to finde thee at the drawyng of the swerd, or pikes poincte: for that men out of order, have feare of those that be in araie: and alwaies it shall bee seen, that with cries and rumours, thei will make a greate assaulte, without otherwise commyng nere unto thee, like unto barking curres aboute a Mastie. Aniball when he came to the hurte of the Romaines into Italie, he passed through all Fraunce, and alwaies of the Frenche tumultes, he took small regarde. Mindyng to marche, it is conveniente to have plainers and labourers afore, whom maie make thee the waie plaine, whiche shall bee garded of those horsemen, that are sent afore to viewe the countrie: an armie in this order maie marche tenne mile the daie, and shall have tyme inough to incampe, and suppe before Sunne goyng doune, for that ordinarely, an armie maie marche twentie mile: if it happen that thou be assaulted, of an armie set in order, this assaulte cannot growe sodainly: for that an armie in order, commeth with his pace, so that thou maiest have tyme inough, to set thy self in order to faight the field, and reduce thy menne quickly into thesame facion, or like to thesame facion of an armie, which afore is shewed thee. For that if thou be assaulted, on the parte afore, thou needeste not but to cause, that the artillerie that be on the flanckes, and the horse that be behinde, to come before, and place theimselves in those places, and with those distaunces, as afore is declared. The thousande Veliti that bee before, must go out of their place, and be devided into CCCCC. for a parte, and go into their place, betwene the horse and the hornes of tharmy: then in the voide place that thei shal leave, the twoo Ansignes of the extraordinarie Pikes muste entre, whiche I did set in the middest of the quadrante of the armie. The thousande Veliti, whiche I placed behinde, must departe from thesame place, and devide them selves in the flanckes of the battailes, to the fortificacion of those: and by the open place that thei shal leave, all the carriages and unarmed menne must go out, and place themselves on the backe of the battaile. Then the rome in the middeste beyng voided, and every man gone to his place: the five battailes, whiche I placed behinde on the armie, must make forward in the voide place, that is betwene the one and the other flanck, and marche towardes the battailes, that stand in the hedde, and three of theim, muste stande within thirtie yardes of those, with equall distances, betwene the one and the other, and the other twoo shal remain behinde, distaunte other thirtie yardes: the whiche facion maie bee ordained in a sodaine, and commeth almoste to bee like, unto the firste disposicion, whiche of tharmy afore we shewed. And though it come straighter in the fronte, it commeth grosser in the flanckes, whiche giveth it no lesse strength: but bicause the five battailes, that be in the taile, have the Pikes on the hinder parte, for the occasion that before we have declared, it is necessarie to make theim to come on the parte afore, mindyng to have theim to make a backe to the front of tharmie: and therfore it behoveth either to make them to tourne battaile after battaile, as a whole body, or to make them quickly to enter betwen thorders of targettes, and conduct them afore, the whiche waie is more spedy, and of lesse disorder, then to make them to turn al together: and so thou oughtest to doe of all those, whiche remain behind in every condicion of assault, as I shal shewe you. If it appere that thenemie come on the part behinde, the first thyng that ought to bee dooen, is to cause that every man tourne his face where his backe stode, and straight waie tharmie cometh to have made of taile, hed, and of hed taile: then al those waies ought to be kept, in orderyng thesame fronte, as I tolde afore. If the enemie come to incounter the right flancke, the face of thy armie ought to bee made to tourne towardes thesame side: after, make all those thynges in fortificacion of thesame hedde, whiche above is saied, so that the horsemen, the Veliti, and the artillerie, maie be in places conformable to the hed thereof: onely you have this difference, that in variyng the hed of those, which are transposed, some have to go more, and some lesse. In deede makyng hedde of the right flancke, the Veliti ought to enter in the spaces, that bee betwene the horne of the armie, and those horse, whiche were nerest to the lefte flancke, in whose place ought to enter, the twoo Ansignes of the extraordinarie Pikes, placed in the middest: But firste the carriages and the unarmed, shall goe out by the open place, avoidyng the rome in the middest, and retiryng themselves behinde the lefte flancke, whiche shall come to bee then the taile of the armie: the other Veliti that were placed in the taile, accordyng to the principall orderyng of the armie, in this case, shall not move: Bicause the same place should not remaine open, whiche of taile shall come to be flancke: all other thyng ought to bee dooen, as in orderyng of the firste hedde is saied: this that is told about the makyng hed of the right flanck, must be understode to be told, havyng nede to make it of the left flanck: for that the very same order ought to bee observed. If the enemie should come grose, and in order to assaulte thee on twoo sides, those twoo sides, whiche he commeth to assaulte thee on, ought to bee made stronge with the other twoo sides, that are not assaulted, doublyng the orders in eche of theim, and devidyng for bothe partes the artillerie, the Veliti, and the horse. If he come on three or on fower sides, it is necessarie that either thou or he lacke prudence: for that if thou shalt bee wise, thou wilte never putte thy self in place, that the enemie on three or fower sides, with a greate nomber of men, and in order, maie assault thee: for that mindyng, safely to hurte thee, it is requisit, that he be so great, that on every side, he maie assault thee, with as many men, as thou haste almoste in al thy army: and if thou be so unwise, that thou put thy self in the daunger and force of an enemie, whom hath three tymes more menne ordained then thou, if thou catche hurte, thou canste blame no man but thy self: if it happen not through thy faulte, but throughe some mischaunce, the hurt shall be without the shame, and it shal chaunce unto thee, as unto the Scipions in Spaine, and to Asdruball in Italie but if the enemie have not many more men then thou, and intende for to disorder thee, to assaulte thee on divers sides, it shal be his foolishnesse, and thy good fortune: for as moche as to doe so, it is convenient, that he become so thinne in soche wise, that then easely thou maiste overthrow one bande, and withstande an other, and in short time ruinate him: this maner of ordering an armie against an enemie, whiche is not seen, but whiche is feared, is a necessarie and a profitable thing, to accustome thy souldiours, to put themselves together, and to march with soche order, and in marchyng, to order theimselves to faight, accordyng to the first hedde, and after to retourne in the forme, that thei marched in, then to make hedde of the taile, after, of the flanckes, from these, to retourne into the first facion: the whiche exercises and uses bee necessarie, mindyng to have an armie, throughly instructed and practised: in whiche thyng the Princes and the capitaines, ought to take paine. Nor the discipline of warre is no other, then to knowe how to commaunde, and to execute these thynges. Nor an instructed armie is no other, then an armie that is wel practised in these orders: nor it cannot be possible, that who so ever in this time, should use like disciplin shall ever bee broken. And if this quadrante forme whiche I have shewed you, is somewhat difficulte, soche difficultnesse is necessarie, takyng it for an exercise: for as moche as knowyng well, how to set theim selves in order, and to maintaine theim selves in the same, thei shall knowe after more easely, how to stand in those, whiche should not have so moche difficultie.

ZANOBI. I beleve as you saie, that these orders bee verie necessarie, and I for my parte, knowe not what to adde or take from it: true it is, that I desire to know of you twoo thynges, the one, if when you will make of the taile, or of the flancke hedde, and would make them to tourne, whether this be commaunded by the voice, or with the sounde: thother, whether those that you sende afore, to make plain the waie, for the armie to marche, ought to be of the verie same souldiours of your battailes, or other vile menne appoincted, to like exercise.

(Sidenote: Commaundementes of Capitaines being not wel understoode, maie be the destruction of an armie; Respect that is to be had in commaundementes made with the sounde of the Trompet; In commaundmentes made with the voice, what respect is to be had; Of Pianars.)

FABRICIO. Your firste question importeth moche: for that many tymes the commaundementes of Capitaines, beyng not well understoode, or evill interpreted, have disordered their armie: therfore the voices, with the whiche thei commaunde in perilles, ought to bee cleare, and nete. And if thou commaunde with the sounde, it is convenient to make, that betwene the one waie and the other, there be so moche difference, that the one cannot be chaunged for the other: and if thou commaundest with the voice, thou oughteste to take heede, that thou flie the general voices, and to use the particulares, and of the particulars, to flie those, whiche maie be interpreted sinisterly. Many tymes the saiyng backe, backe, hath made to ruinate an armie; therfore this voice ought not to be used, but in steede therof to use, retire you. If you will make theim to tourne, for to chaunge the hedde, either to flanck, or to backe, use never to saie tourne you, but saie to the lefte, to the right, to the backe, to the front: thus all the other voices ought to be simple, and nete, as thrust on, march, stande stronge, forwarde, retourne you: and all those thynges, whiche maie bee dooen with the voice, thei doe, the other is dooen with the sounde. Concernyng those menne, that must make the waies plaine for the armie to marche, whiche is your seconde question, I would cause my owne souldiours to dooe this office, as well bicause in the aunciente warfare thei did so, as also for that there should be in the armie, lesser nomber of unarmed men, and lesse impedimentes: and I would choose out of every battaile, thesame nomber that should nede, and I would make theim to take the instrumentes, meete to plaine the grounde withall, and their weapons to leave with those rankes, that should bee nereste them, who should carrie them, and the enemie commyng, thei shall have no other to doe, then to take them again, and to retourne into their araie.

ZANOBI. Who shall carrie thinstrumentes to make the waie plaine withall?

FABRICIO. The Cartes that are appoincted to carrie the like instrumentes.

ZANOBI. I doubte whether you should ever brynge these our souldiours, to labour with Shovell or Mattocke, after soche sorte.

(Sidenote: The victualles that thantiquitie made provision of, for their armies.)

FABRICIO. All these thynges shall bee reasoned in the place thereof, but now I will let alone this parte, and reason of the maner of the victualing of the armie: for that me thinketh, havyng so moche traivailed theim, it is tyme to refreshe them, and to comfort them with meate. You have to understande, that a Prince ought to ordaine his armie, as expedite as is possible, and take from thesame all those thynges, whiche maie cause any trouble or burthen unto it, and make unto hym any enterprise difficulte. Emongest those thynges that causeth moste difficultie, is to be constrained to keepe the armie provided of wine, and baked bread. The antiquitie cared not for Wine, for that lackyng it, thei dranke water, mingeled with a little vinegre, to give it a taste: For whiche cause, emong the municions of victualles for the hoste, vineger was one, and not wine. Thei baked not the breade in Ovens, as thei use for Citees, but thei provided the Meale, and of thesame, every Souldiour after his owne maner, satisfied hym self, havyng for condimente Larde and Baken, the whiche made the breade saverie, that thei made, and maintained theim strong, so that the provision of victualles for the armie, was Meale, Vineger, Larde, and Bacon, and for the horses Barley. Thei had ordinarely heardes of greate beastes and small, whiche folowed the armie, the whiche havyng no nede to bee carried, caused not moche impedimente. Of this order there grewe, that an armie in old time, marched somtymes many daies through solitarie places, and difficulte, without sufferyng disease of victualles: for that thei lived of thyngs, whiche easely thei might convey after them. To the contrarie it happeneth in the armies, that are now a daies, whiche mindyng not to lacke wine, and to eate baked breade in thesame maner, as when thei are at home, whereof beyng not able to make provision long, thei remaine often tymes famished, or though thei be provided, it is dooen with disease, and with moste greate coste: therfore I would reduce my armie to this maner of living: and I would not that thei should eate other bread, then that, which by themselves thei should bake. Concernyng wine, I would not prohibite the drinkyng thereof, nor yet the commyng of it into the armie, but I would not use indevour, nor any labour for to have it, and in the other provisions, I would governe my self altogether, like unto the antiquitie: the whiche thing, if you consider well, you shall see how moche difficultie is taken awaie, and how moche trouble and disease, an armie and a capitaine is avoided of, and how moche commoditie shall bee given, to what so ever enterprise is to bee dooen.

ZANOBI. We have overcome thenemie in the field, marched afterward upon his countrie, reason would, that spoiles be made, tounes sacked, prisoners taken, therefore I would knowe how the antiquitie in these thynges, governed them selves.

(Sidenote: The occasions why the warres made nowe adaies, doe impoverishe the conquerors as well as the conquered; The order that the Romaines toke, concerning the spoile and the booties that their souldiours gotte; An order that the antiquitie tooke, concernyng their soldiours wages.)

FABRICIO. Beholde, I will satisfie you. I beleve you have considered, for that once alredie with some of you I have reasoned, howe these present warres, impoverishe as well those lordes that overcome, as those that leese: for that if the one leese his estate, the other leeseth his money, and his movables: the whiche in olde time was not, for that the conquerour of the warre, waxed ritche. This groweth of keepyng no compte in these daies of the spoiles, as in olde tyme thei did, but thei leave it to the discreacion of the souldiours. This manner maketh twoo moste great disorders: the one, that whiche I have tolde: the other that the souldiour becometh more covetous to spoyle, and lesse observeth the orders: and manie times it hath been seen, howe the covetousnesse of the praye, hath made those to leese, whome were victorious. Therefore the Romaines whiche were princes of armies, provided to the one and to the other of these inconvenienses, ordainyng that all the spoyle should apertaine to the publicke, and that the publicke after should bestowe it, as shoulde be thought good: and therfore thei had in tharmie the questours, whom were as we would say, the chamberlaines, to whose charge all the spoyle and booties were committed: whereof the consull was served to geve the ordinarie pay to the souldiours, to succour the wounded, and the sicke, and for the other businesse of the armie. The consull might well, and he used it often, to graunte a spoyle to soldiours: but this grauntyng, made no disorder: for that the armie beyng broken all the pray was put in the middest, and distributed by hedde, accordyng to the qualitee of everie man: the which maner thei constituted, to thintente, that the soldiours should attend to overcome, and not to robbe: and the Romaine Legions overcame the enemies, and folowed them not, for that thei never departed from their orders: onely there folowed them, the horsemenne with those that were light armed, and if there were any other souldiours then those of the legions, they likewyse pursued the chase. Where if the spoyle shoulde have ben his that gotte it, it had not ben possible nor reasonable, to have kepte the legions steddie, and to withstonde manie perils; hereby grewe therefore, that the common weale inritched, and every Consull carried with his triumphe into the treasurie, muche treasure, whiche all was of booties and spoiles. An other thing the antiquetie did upon good consideration, that of the wages, whiche they gave to every souldiour, the thirde parte they woulde shoulde be laied up nexte to him, whome carried the ansigne of their bande, whiche never gave it them againe, before the warre was ended: this thei did, beyng moved of twoo reasons, the first was to thintente, that the souldiour should thrive by his wages, because the greatest parte of them beyng yonge men, and carelesse, the more thei have, so muche the more without neede thei spende, the other cause was, for that knowyng, that their movabelles were nexte to the ansigne, thei should be constrained to have more care thereof, and with more obstinatenesse to defende it: and this made them stronge and to holde together: all which thynges is necessarie to observe, purposinge to reduce the exercise of armes unto the intier perfection therof.

ZANOBI. I beleeve that it is not possible, that to an armie that marcheth from place to place, there fal not perrilous accidentes, where the industerie of the capitaine is needefull, and the worthinesse of the souldiours, mindyng to avoyde them. Therefore I woulde be glad, that you remembring any, would shew them.

(Sidenote: Captaines mai incurre the daunger of ambusshes twoo maner of wayes; How to avoide the perill of ambusshes; Howe ambusshes have ben perceived; Howe the Capitaine of the enemies ought to be esteemed; Where men be in greatest perill; The description of the countrey where an army muste marche, is most requiset for a Capitaine to have; A most profitable thyng it is for a capitayne to be secrete in all his affaires; An advertisment concernyng the marchyng of an armie; The marching of an armie ought to be ruled by the stroke of the Drumme; The condicion of the enemie ought to be considered.)

FABRICIO. I shall contente you with a good will, beyng inespetially necessarie, intendyng to make of this exercise a perfecte science. The Capitaines ought above all other thynges, whileste thei marche with an armie, to take heede of ambusshes, wherein they incurre daunger twoo waies, either marchynge thou entrest into them, or thoroughe crafte of the enemie thou arte trained in before thou arte aware. In the first case, mindyng to avoide suche perill, it is necessarie to sende afore double warde, whome may discover the countrey, and so muche the more dilligence ought to be used, the more that the countrey is apte for ambusshes, as be the woddie or hilly countries, for that alwaies thei be layd either in a wodde, or behind a hille: and as the ambusshe not forseene, doeth ruin thee, so forseyng the same, it cannot hurte thee. Manie tymes birdes or muche duste have discovered the enemie: for that alwayes where the enemie cometh to finde thee, he shall make great duste, whiche shall signifie unto thee his comyng: so often tymes a Capitaine seyng in the places where he ought to passe, Doves to rise, or other of those birdes that flie in flockes, and to tourne aboute and not to light, hath knowen by the same the ambusshe of the enemies to be there, and sendynge before his men, and sertainely understandyng it, hath saved him selfe and hurte his enemie. Concernyng the seconde case, to be trained in, (which these our men cal to be drawen to the shot) thou ought to take heede, not straight way to beleve those thinges, which are nothyng reasonable, that thei be as they seeme: as shoulde be, if the enemie should set afore thee a praie, thou oughtest to beleeve that in the same is the hooke, and that therin is hid the deceipte. If many enemies be driven away by a fewe of thine, if a fewe enemies assaulte manie of thine, if the enemies make a sodeine flight, and not standynge with reason, alwaies thou oughtest in suche cases to feare deceipte, and oughtest never to beleeve that the enemie knoweth not how to doe his businesse, but rather intendyng that he may begile thee the lesse, and mindyng to stand in lesse peril, the weaker that he is, and the lesse craftier that the enemie is, so muche the more thou oughtest to esteeme him: and thou muste in this case use twoo sundrie poinctes, for that thou oughtest to feare him in thy minde and with the order, but with wordes, and with other outewarde demonstracion, to seeme to dispyse him: because this laste way, maketh that the souldiours hope the more to have the victorie: the other maketh thee more warie, and lesse apte to be begyled. And thou hast to understand, that when men marche thoroughe the enemies countrey, they ar in muche more, and greater perils, then in fayghtyng the fielde: and therefore the Capitaine in marchyng, ought to use double diligence: and the first thyng that he ought to doo, is to get described, and payncted oute all the countrie, thorough the which he must marche, so that he maye know the places, the number, the distances, the waies, the hilles, the rivers, the fennes, and all the quallites of them: and to cause this to bee knowen, it is convenient to have with him diversly, and in sundrie maners such men, as know the places, and to aske them with diligence, and to se whether their talke agree, and accordyng to the agreyng therof, to note: he oughte also to sende afore the horsemen, and with them prudente heddes, not so muche to discover the enemie, as to viewe the countrey, to se whether it agree with the description, and with the knowledge that they have of the same. Also the guydes that are sente, ought to be kepte with hope of rewarde, and feare of paine. And above all thynges it ought to be provided, that the armie knowe not to what businesse he leadeth them: for that there is nothyng in the warre more profitable, then to keepe secret the thynges that is to be dooen: and to thintente a suddeine assaulte dooe not trouble thy soldiours, thou oughteste to see them to stande reddie with their weapons, because the thynges that ar provided for, offend lesse. Manie for to avoyde the confusion of marchyng, have placed under the standerde, the carriages, and the unarmed, and have commaunded them to folow the same, to the intente that in marchyng needyng to staye, or to retire, they might dooe it more easely, which thyng as profitable, I alowe very muche. Also in marchyng, advertismente ought to be had, that the one parte of the armie goe not a sunder from the other, or that thoroughe some goyng fast, and some softe, the armie become not slender: the whiche thynges, be occation of dissorder: therfore the heddes muste be placed in suche wise, that they may maintaine the pace even, causing to goe softe those that goe to fast, and to haste forward the other that goe to sloe, the whiche pace can not bee better ruled, then by the stroke of the drumme. The waies ought to be caused to be inlarged, so that alwaies at least a bande of iiii. hundred men may marche in order of battaile. The custome and the qualitie of the enemie ought to be considered, and whether that he wil assaulte thee either in the mornyng, or at none or in the evenynge, and whether he be more puisante with fotemen or horsemen, and accordyng as thou understandest, to ordeine and to provide for thy self. But let us come to some particular accidente. It hapneth sometime, that thou gettyng from the enemie, because thou judgest thy selfe inferiour, and therfore mindynge not to faight with him, and he comyng at thy backe, thou arivest at the banke of a river, passyng over the which, asketh time, so that the enemie is redie to overtake thee and to fayght with thee. Some, which chaunsing to bee in suche perill, have inclosed their armie on the hinder parte with a diche, and fillyng the same full of towe, and firyng it, have then passed with the armie without beyng able to be letted of the enemie, he beyng by the same fire that was betwene them held backe.

(Sidenote: Annone of Carthage.)

ZANOBI. I am harde of beliefe, that this fyre coulde stay theim, in especially because I remember that I have harde, howe Annone of Carthage, beyng besieged of enemies, inclosed him selfe on the same parte, with wodde, which he did set on fire where he purposed to make eruption. Wherfore the enemies beyng not intentive on the same parte to looke to him, he made his armie to passe over the same flame, causing every man to holde his Target before his face for to defend them from the fire, and smoke.

(Sidenote: Nabide a spartayne; Quintus Luttatius pollecie to passe over a river; How to passe a ryver without a bridge; A polecie of Cesar to passe a river, where his enemie beyng on the other side therof sought to lette hym.)

FABRICIO. You saye well: but consider you howe I have saied, and howe Annone did: for as muche as I saied that they made a diche, and filled it with towe, so that he, that woulde passe over the same, should be constrained to contende with the diche and with fire: Annone made the fire, without the diche, and because he intended to passe over it, he made it not great, for that otherwise without the diche, it shoulde have letted him. Dooe you not knowe, that Nabide a Spartan beyng besieged in Sparta of the Romaines, set fire on parte of his towne to let the way to the Romaines, who alredie wer entred in? And by meane of the same flame not onely hindered their way, but drave them oute: but let us turne to our matter. Quintus Luttatius a Romaine, havyng at his backe the Cimbri, and commyng to a river, to thentente the enemie should give him time to passe over, semed to geve time to them to faight with him: and therfore he fained that he would lodge there, and caused trenches to be made, and certaine pavilions to be erected, and sent certayne horsemen into the countrie for forredge: so that the Cimbrise beleevyng, that he incamped, they also incamped, and devided them selves into sundrie partes, to provide for victuals, wherof Luttatius being aware, passed the river they beyng not able to let him. Some for to passe a river havynge no bridge, have devided it, and one parte they have turned behynde their backes, and the other then becomynge shalower, with ease they have passed it: when the rivers be swift, purposyng to have their footemen to passe safely, they place their strongest horses on the higher side, that thei may sustain the water, and an other parte be lowe that may succour the men, if any of the river in passyng should be overcome with the water: They passe also rivers, that be verie deepe, with bridges, with botes, and with barrelles: and therfore it is good to have in a redinesse in an armie wherewith to be able to make all these thynges. It fortuneth sometime that in passyng a river, the enemie standynge agaynst thee on the other banke, doeth let thee: to minde to overcome this difficultie, I know not a better insample to folow, then the same of Cesar, whome havynge his armie on the banke of a river in Fraunce, and his passage beynge letted of Vergintorige a Frenche man, the whiche on the other side of the river had his men, marched many daies a longe the river, and the like did the enemie: wherfore Cesar incamping in a woddie place, apte to hide men, he tooke out of every legion three cohortes, and made them to tarie in the same place, commaundynge theim that so soone as he was departed, they shoulde caste over a bridge, and should fortefie it, and he with his other menne folowed on the waye: wherfore Vergintorige seyng the number of the legions, thinkyng that there was not left anie parte of theim behinde, folowed also his way: but Cesar when he supposed that the bridge was made, tourned backewarde, and findynge all thinges in order, passed the river without difficultee.

ZANOBI. Have ye any rule to know the foordes?

(Sidenote: How to know the Foordes of a river.)

FABRICIO. Yea, we have: alwaies the river, in that parte, whiche is betwene the water, that is stilleste, and the water that runneth fastest, there is least depth and it is a place more meete to be looked on, then any other where. For that alwaies in thesame place, the river is moste shallowest. The whiche thyng, bicause it hath been proved many tymes, is moste true.

ZANOBI. If it chaunce that the River hath marde the Foorde, so that the horses sincke, what reamedy have you?

(Sidenote: Howe to escape oute of a straight where the same is besette with enemies; Howe Lutius Minutius escaped out of a strayght wherin he was inclosed of his enemies; Howe some Capitaynes have suffered them selves to be compassed aboute of their enemies; A polecie of Marcus Antonius; A defence for the shotte of arrowes.)

FABRICIO. The remedie is to make hardels of roddes whiche must be placed in the bottome of the river, and so to passe upon those: but let us folowe our reasonyng. If it happen that a capitain be led with his armie, betwen two hilles, and that he have not but twoo waies to save hymself, either that before, or that behinde, and those beyng beset of thenemies, he hath for remidie to doe the same, which some have doen heretofore: that which have made on their hinder parte a greate trenche, difficult to passe over, and semed to the enemie, to mynde to kepe him of, for to be able with al his power, without neding to feare behinde, to make force that waie, whiche before remaineth open. The whiche the enemies belevyng, have made theim selves stronge, towardes the open parte, and have forsaken the inclosed and he then castyng a bridge of woode over the Trenche, for soche an effect prepared, bothe on thesame parte, with out any impedimente hath passed, and also delivered hymself out of the handes of the enemie. Lucius Minutus a Consul of Rome, was in Liguria with an armie, and was of the enemies inclosed, betwene certaine hilles, whereby he could not go out: therefore he sente certaine souldiours of Numidia on horsebacke, whiche he had in his armie (whom were evill armed, and upon little leane horses) towardes the places that were kepte of the enemies, whom at the first sight made the enemies, to order theim selves together, to defende the passage: but after that thei sawe those men ill apoincted, and accordyng to their facion evill horsed, regardyng theim little, enlarged the orders of their warde, wherof so sone as the Numidians wer a ware, givyng the spurres to their horses, and runnyng violently upon theim, passed before thei could provide any remedy, whom beyng passed, destroied and spoiled the countrie after soche sorte, that thei constrained the enemies, to leave the passage free to the armie of Lucius. Some capitaine, whiche hath perceived hymself to be assaulted of a greate multitude of enemies, hath drawen together his men, and hath given to the enemie commoditie, to compasse hym all about, and then on thesame part, whiche he hath perceived to be moste weake, hath made force, and by thesame waie, hath caused to make waie, and saved hymself.

Marcus Antonius retiryng before the armie of the Parthians, perceived how the enemies every daie before Sunne risyng, when he removed, assaulted him, and all the waie troubled hym: in so moch, that he determined not to departe the nexte daie, before None: so that the Parthians beleving, that he would not remove that daie, retourned to their tentes. Whereby Marcus Antonius might then all the reste of the daie, marche without any disquietnesse. This self same man for to avoide the arrowes of the Parthians, commaunded his men, that when the Parthians came towardes them, thei should knele, and that the second ranke of the battailes, should cover with their Targaettes, the heddes of the firste, the thirde, the seconde, the fowerth the third, and so successively, that all the armie came, to be as it were under a pentehouse, and defended from the shotte of the enemies. This is as moche as is come into my remembraunce, to tell you, which maie happen unto an armie marchyng: therefore, if you remember not any thyng els, I will passe to an other parte.

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The Art Of War - Sixth Book The Art Of War - Sixth Book

The Art Of War - Sixth Book
Sixth BookZANOBI. I beleve that it is good, seyng the reasonyng must be chaunged, that Baptiste take his office, and I to resigne myne, and wee shall come in this case, to imitate the good Capitaines (accordyng as I have nowe here understoode of the gentilman) who place the beste souldiours, before and behinde the armie, semyng unto theim necessarie to have before, soche as maie lustely beginne the faight, and soche as behinde maie lustely sustaine it. Now seyng Cosimus began this reasonyng prudently, Baptiste prudently shall ende it. As for Luigi and I, have in this middeste intertained it,

The Art Of War - Fourth Book The Art Of War - Fourth Book

The Art Of War - Fourth Book
Fourth BookLUIGI. Seng that under my governement, a field hath been wonne so honourably, I suppose that it is good, that I tempt not fortune any more, knowyng how variable, and unstable she is: and therefore, I desire to give up my governement, and that Zanobi do execute now this office of demaundyng, mindyng to followe the order, whiche concerneth the youngeste: and I knowe he will not refuse this honoure, or as we would saie, this labour, as well for to doe me pleasure, as also for beyng naturally of more stomach than I: nor it shall not make hym