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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsThe Art Of War - Fourth Book
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The Art Of War - Fourth Book Post by :kwellman Category :Nonfictions Author :Niccolo Machiavelli Date :March 2012 Read :2699

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The Art Of War - Fourth Book

Fourth Book

LUIGI. 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 afraied, to have to enter into these travailes, where he maie bee as well overcome, as able to conquere.

ZANOBI. I am readie to do what soever shall please you to appoinete me, although that I desire more willingly to heare: for as moche as hetherto, your questions have satisfied me more, then those should have pleased me, whiche in harkenyng to your reasonyng, hath chaunced to come into my remembraunce. But sir, I beleve that it is good, that you lese no tyme, and that you have pacience, if with these our Ceremonies we trouble you.

FABRICIO. You doe me rather pleasure, for that this variacion of demaunders, maketh me to knowe the sundrie wittes and sunderie appetites of yours: But remaineth there any thyng, whiche seemeth unto you good, to bee joyned to the matter, that alreadie hath been reasoned of?

ZANOBI. Twoo thinges I desire, before you passe to an other parte: the one is, to have you to shewe, if in orderyng armies, there needeth to bee used any other facion: the other, what respectes a capitaine ought to have, before he conducte his men to the faight, and in thesame an accidente risyng or growyng, what reamedie maie be had.

(Sidenote: To deffende moche the fronte of an armie, is most perillous; What is beste for a capitaine to dooe, where his power is, moche lesse then thenemies power; A general rule; The higher grounde ought to be chosen; An advertisement not to place an armie wher the enemie maie se what the same doeth; Respectes for the Sonne and Winde; The variyng of order and place maie cause the conquered to become victorius; A policie in the ordering of men and pitchyng of a fielde; How to compasse about the enemies power; How a capitaine maie faight and bee as it were sure, not to be overcome; How to trouble the orders of the enemie; What a capitaine oughte to dooe when he hath not so many horsmen as the enemie; A greate aide for horsemen; The policies used betwene Aniball and Scipio.)

FABRICIO. I will inforce my self to satisfie you, I will not answere now distinctly to your questions: for that whileste I shall aunswere to one, many tymes it will come to passe, that I muste aunswere to an other. I have tolde you, how I have shewed you a facion of an armie, to the intent, that accordyng to thesame, there maie bee given all those facions, that the enemie, and the situacion requireth: For as moche as in this case, bothe accordyng to the power thereof, and accordyng to the enemie, it proceadeth: but note this, that there is not a more perillous facion, then to deffende moche the front of tharmie, if then thou have not a most puisant, and moste great hoste: otherwise, thou oughtest to make it rather grosse, and of small largenesse, then of moche largenes and thin: for when thou hast fewe men in comparison to thenemie, thou oughtest to seke other remedies, as is to ordain thine army in soche a place, wher thou maiest be fortefied, either through rivers, or by meanes of fennes, after soch sort, that thou canst not bee compassed aboute, or to inclose thy self on the flanckes with diches, as Cesar did in Fraunce. You have to take in this cace, this generall rule, to inlarge your self, or to draw in your self with the front, according to your nomber, and thesame of the enemie. For thenemies being of lesse nomber, thou oughtest to seke large places, havyng in especially thy men well instructed: to the intent thou maiest, not onely compasse aboute the enemie, but to deffende thy orders: for that in places rough and difficulte, beyng not able to prevaile of thy orders, thou commeste not to have any advauntage, hereby grewe, that the Romaines almoste alwaies, sought the open fieldes, and advoided the straightes. To the contrarie, as I have said, thou oughtest to doe, if thou hast fewe menne, or ill instructed: for that then thou oughteste to seeke places, either where the little nomber maye be saved, and where the small experience dooe not hurte thee: Thou oughtest also to chuse the higher grounde, to be able more easily to infest them: notwithstandyng, this advertisment ought to be had, not to ordaine thy armie, where the enemie maie spie what thou doest and in place nere to the rootes of the same, where the enemies armie maie come: For that in this case, havyng respecte unto the artillerie, the higher place shall gette thee disadvauntage: Bicause that alwaies and commodiously, thou mightest of the enemies artillerie bee hurte, without beyng able to make any remedy, and thou couldest not commodiously hurte thesame, beyng hindered by thine owne men. Also, he that prepareth an armie to faight a battaile, ought to have respecte, bothe to the Sunne, and to the Winde, that the one and the other, doe not hurte the fronte, for that the one and the other, will let thee the sight, the one with the beames, and the other with the duste: and moreover, the Winde hindereth the weapons, whiche are stroken at the enemie, and maketh their blowes more feable: and concerning the Sunne, it sufficeth not to have care, that at the firste it shine not in the face, but it is requisite to consider, that increasyng the daie, it hurte thee not: and for this, it should bee requsite in orderyng the men, to have it all on the backe, to the entente it should have to passe moche tyme, to come to lye on the fronte. This waie was observed of Aniball at Canne, and of Mario against the Cimbrians. If thou happen to be moche inferiour of horses, ordaine thine armie emongeste Vines, and trees, and like impedimentes, as in our time the Spaniardes did, when thei overthrewe the Frenchmenne at Cirignuola. And it hath been seen many times, with all one Souldiours, variyng onely the order, and the place, that thei have become of losers victorers: as it happened to the Carthageners, whom havyng been overcome of Marcus Regolus divers tymes, were after by the counsaill of Santippo a Lacedemonian, victorious: whom made them to go doune into the plaine, where by vertue of the horses, and of Eliphantes, thei were able to overcome the Romaines. It semes unto me, accordyng to the auncient insamples that almoste all the excellente Capitaines, when thei have knowen, that the enemie hath made strong one side of his battaile, thei have not set against it, the moste strongest parte, but the moste weakest, and thother moste strongest thei have set against the most weakest: after in the beginning the faighte, thei have commaunded to their strongest parte, that onely thei sustaine the enemie, and not to preace upon hym, and to the weaker, that thei suffer them selves to be overcome, and to retire into the hindermoste bandes of the armie. This breadeth twoo greate disorders to the enemie: the firste, that he findeth his strongest parte compassed about, the second is, that semyng unto him to have the victorie, seldome tymes it happeneth, that thei disorder not theim selves, whereof groweth his sodain losse. Cornelius Scipio beyng in Spain, againste Asdruball of Carthage, and understanding how to Asdruball it was knowen, that he in the orderyng the armie, placed his Legions in the middest, the whiche was the strongest parte of his armie, and for this how Asdruball with like order ought to procede: after when he came to faighte the battaile, he chaunged order, and put his Legions on the hornes of the armie, and in the middest, placed all his weakeste men: then commyng to the handes, in a sodain those men placed in the middeste, he made to marche softly, and the hornes of the armie, with celeritie to make forwarde, so that onely the hornes of bothe the armies fought, and the bandes in the middest, through beyng distaunt the one from the other, joyned not together, and thus the strongest parte of Scipio, came to faight with the weakest of Asdruball, and overcame hym. The whiche waie was then profitable, but now havyng respect to the artillerie, it cannot be used: bicause the same space, whiche should remain in the middest, betwene the one armie and the other, should give tyme to thesame to shoote: The whiche is moste pernicious, as above is saied: Therefore it is requisite to laie this waie aside, and to use, as a little afore we saied, makyng all the armie to incounter, and the weakest parte to give place. When a capitaine perceiveth, that he hath a greater armie then his enemie, mindyng to compasse hym aboute, before he be aware let hym ordaine his fronte equall, to thesame of his adversaries, after, so sone as the faight is begun, let hym make the fronte by a little and little to retire, and the flanckes to deffende, and alwaies it shall happen, that the enemie shal find hymself, before he be aware compassed about. When a capitain will faight, as it wer sure not to be broken, let hym ordaine his armie in place, where he hath refuge nere, and safe, either betwene Fennes, or betwene hilles, or by some strong citee: for that in this case, he cannot bee followed of the enemie, where the enemie maie be pursued of him: this poincte was used of Aniball, when fortune began to become his adversarie, and that he doubted of the valiauntnesse of Marcus Marcello. Some to trouble the orders of the enemie, have commaunded those that were light armed, to begin the faight, and that beyng begunne, to retire betwene the orders: and when the armies were after buckled together, and that the fronte of either of them were occupied in faightyng, thei have made theim to issue out by the flanckes of the battaile, and thesame have troubled and broken. If any perceive hymself to bee inferiour of horse, he maie besides the waies that are alredie shewed, place behinde his horsemen a battaile of Pikes, and in faightyng take order, that thei give waie to the Pikes, and he shall remain alwaies superiour. Many have accustomed to use certain fotemenne lighte armed, to faighte emong horsemen, the whiche hath been to the chivalrie moste greate helpe. Of all those, which have prepared armies to the field, be moste praised Aniball and Scipio, when thei fought in Africk: and for that Aniball had his armie made of Carthaginers, and of straungers of divers nacions, he placed in the first fronte thereof lxxx. Elephantes, after he placed the straungers, behinde whom he sette his Carthaginers, in the hindermoste place, he putte the Italians, in whom he trusted little: the whiche thing he ordained so, for that the straungers havyng before theim the enemie, and behinde beyng inclosed of his men, could not flie: so that being constrained to faight thei should overcome, or wearie the Romaines, supposyng after with his freshe and valiaunte men, to be then able easely to overcome the Romaines, beeyng wearied. Against this order, Scipio set the Astati, the Prencipi, and the Triarii, in the accustomed maner, to bee able to receive the one the other, and to rescue the one the other: he made the fronte of the armie, full of voide spaces, and bicause it should not be perceived but rather should seme united, he filled them ful of veliti, to whom he commaunded, that so sone as the Eliphantes came, thei should avoide, and by the ordinarie spaces, should enter betwene the Legins, and leave open the waie to the Eliphauntes, and so it came to passe, that it made vaine the violence of theim, so that commyng to handes, he was superiour.

ZANOBI. You have made me to remember, in alledging me this battaile, how Scipio in faighting, made not the Astati to retire into thorders of the Prencipi, but he devided theim, and made theim to retire in the hornes of the armie, to thintent thei might give place to the Prencipi, when he would force forwarde: therfore I would you should tell me, what occasion moved hym, not to observe the accustomed order.

(Sidenote: Cartes full of hookes made to destroie the enemies; The remedy that was used against Cartes full of hookes; The straunge maner that Silla used in orderyng his army against Archelaus; How to trouble in the faighte the armie of the enemies; A policie of Caius Sulpitius, to make his enemies afraied; A policie of Marius againste the Duchmenne; A policie of greate importaunce, while a battaile is a faightyng; How horsemen maie bee disordered; How the turke gave the Sophie an overthrowe; How the Spaniardes overcame the armie of Amilcare; How to traine the enemie, to his destruccion; A policie of Tullo Hostilio and Lucius Silla in dessemlyng of a mischaunce; Sertorius slue a man for telling him of the death of one of his capitaines; Howe certaine captaines have staied their men that hath been running awaie; Attillius constrained his men that ran awaie to tourne again and to faight; How Philip king of Macedonia made his men afraied to run awaie; Victorie ought with all celeritie to bee folowed; What a capitaine ought to dooe, when he should chaunce to receive an overthrowe; How Martius overcame the armie of the Carthaginers; A policie of Titus Dimius to hide a losse, whiche he had received in a faight; A general rule; Aniball; Scipio; Asdruball; A Capitaine ought not to faight without advantage, excepte he be constrained; How advauntage maie bee taken of the enemies; Furie withstode, converteth into vilenesse; What maner of men a capitaine ought to have about him continually, to consult withall; The condicions of the capitain of the enemies, and of those that are about hym is moste requisite to bee knowen; A timerous army is not to be conducted to faight; How to avoide the faightyng of a fielde.)

FABRICIO. I will tell you. Aniball had putte all the strengthe of his armie, in the seconde bande: wherefore Scipio for to set againste thesame like strengthe, gathered the Prencipi and the Triarii together: So that the distaunces of the Prencipi, beyng occupied of the Triarii, there was no place to bee able to receive the Astati: and therefore he made the Astati to devide, and to go in the hornes of the armie, and he drewe them not betwene the Prencipi. But note, that this waie of openyng the first bande, for to give place to the seconde, cannot bee used, but when a man is superiour to his enemie: for that then there is commoditie to bee able to dooe it, as Scipio was able: but beyng under, and repulced, it cannot be doen, but with thy manifest ruine: and therefore it is convenient to have behinde, orders that maie receive thee, but let us tourne to our reasonyng. The auncient Asiaticans, emongest other thynges devised of them to hurt the enemies, used carres. The whiche had on the sides certaine hookes, so that not onely thei served to open with their violence the bandes, but also to kill with the hookes the adversaries: against the violence of those, in thre maners thei provided, either thei sustained theim with the thickenesse of the raies, or thei received theim betwene the bandes, as the Eliphantes were received, or els thei made with arte some strong resistence: As Silla a Romaine made againste Archelaus, whom had many of these cartes, whiche thei called hooked, who for to sustaine theim, drave many stakes into the grounde, behinde his first bandes of men, whereby the cartes beyng stopped, lost their violence. And the newe maner that Silla used against hym in orderyng the armie, is to bee noted: for that he put the Veliti, and the horse, behinde, and all the heavie armed afore, leavyng many distaunces to be able to sende before those behinde, when necessite required: whereby the fight beyng begun, with the helpe of the horsemen, to the whiche he gave the waie, he got the victorie. To intende to trouble in the faight the enemies armie, it is conveniente to make some thyng to growe, that maie make theim afraied, either with showyng of newe helpe that commeth, or with showyng thynges, whiche maie represente a terrour unto theim: after soche sorte, that the enemies begiled of that sight, maie be afraied, and being made afraied, thei maie easely bee overcome: the whiche waies Minutio Rufo used, and Accilio Glabrione Consulls of Rome. Caius Sulpitius also set a greate many of sackes upon Mules, and other beastes unprofitable for the warre, but in soche wise ordained, that thei semed men of armes, and he commaunded, that thei should appere upon a hill, while he were a faightyng with the Frenchemen, whereby grewe his victorie. The verie same did Marius, when he foughte against the Duchemen. Then the fained assaultes availyng moche, whilest the faight continueth, it is conveniente, that the very assaultes in deede, dooe helpe moche: inespecially if at unwares in the middest of the faight, the enemie might bee assaulted behinde, or on the side: the whiche hardely maie be doen, if the countrie helpe thee not: for that when it is open, parte of thy men cannot bee hid, as is mete to bee doen in like enterprises: but in woddie or hille places, and for this apt for ambusshes parte of thy men maie be well hidden, to be able in a sodain, and contrary to thenemies opinion to assaut him, whiche thyng alwaies shall be occasion to give thee the victorie. It hath been sometyme of greate importaunce, whilest the faighte continueth, to sowe voices, whiche doe pronounce the capitaine of thenemies to be dedde, or to have overcome on the other side of the armie: the whiche many times to them that have used it, hath given the victorie. The chivalrie of the enemies maie bee easely troubled, either with sightes, or with rumours, not used: as Creso did, whom put Camelles againste the horses of the adversaries, and Pirrus sette againste the Romaine horsemen Eliphantes, the sighte of whiche troubled and disordered them. In our time, the Turke discomfited the Sophi in Persia, and the Soldane in Surria with no other, then with the noise of Harkabuses, the whiche in soche wise, with their straunge rumours, disturbed the horses of those, that the Turke mighte easely overcome them: The Spaniardes to overcome the armie of Amilcare, put in the firste fronte Cartes full of towe drawen of oxen, and comming to handes, thei kindeled fire to thesame, wherfore the oxen to flie from the fire, thrust into the armie of Amilcar, and opened it. Thei are wonte (as we have saied) to begile the enemie in the faight, drawyng him into their ambusshes, where the Countrie is commodious for the same purpose, but where it were open and large, many have used to make diches, and after have covered them lightly with bowes and yearth, and lefte certain spaces whole, to be able betnene those to retire: after, so sone as the faight hath been begunne, retiryng by those, and the enemie folowing them, hath fallen in the pittes. If in the faight there happen thee, any accident that maie feare thy souldiours, it is a moste prudente thyng, to knowe how to desemble it, and to pervert it to good, as Tullo Hostilio did, and Lucius Silla: whom seyng while thei fought, how a parte of his men wer gone to the enemies side, and how thesame thing had verie moche made afraied his men, he made straighte waie throughout all the armie to be understoode, how all thing proceded, accordyng to his order: the whiche not onely did not trouble the armie, but it increased in them so moche stomack, that he remained victorious. It happened also to Silla, that havyng sente certaine souldiours to doe some businesse, and thei beyng slain he saied, to the intent his armie should not be made afraied thereby, that he had with crafte sent theim into the handes of the enemies, for that he had found them nothyng faithfull. Sertorius faightyng a battaile in Spaine, slue one, whom signified unto hym the death of one of his capitaines, for feare that tellyng the very same to other, he should make theim afraied. It is a moste difficult thyng, an armie beyng now moved to flie, to staie it, and make it to faight. And you have to make this distinccion: either that it is all moved, and then to be impossible to tourne it, or there is moved a parte thereof, and then there is some remedie. Many Romain capitaines, with making afore those whiche fled, have caused them to staie, making them ashamed of running awaie, as Lucius Silla did, where alredy parte of his Legions beyng tourned to flight, driven awaie by the men of Mithridates, he made afore them with a swearde in his hande criyng: if any aske you, where you left your capitaine, saie, we have left hym in Boecia, where he faighteth. Attillius a consull set againste that ran awaie, them that ranne not awaie, and made them to understande, that if thei would not tourne, thei should be slaine of their frendes, and of their enemies. Philip of Macedonia understanding how his men feared the Scithian Souldiours, placed behinde his armie, certaine of his moste trustie horsemen, and gave commission to theim, that thei should kill whom so ever fledde: wherfore, his men mindyng rather to die faightyng, then fliyng, overcame. Many Romaines, not so moche to staie a flight, as for to give occasion to their men, to make greater force, have whileste thei have foughte, taken an Ansigne out of their owne mennes handes, and throwen it emongeste the enemies, and appoincted rewardes to hym that could get it again. I doe not beleve that it is out of purpose, to joyne to this reasonyng those thynges, whiche chaunce after the faight, in especially beyng brief thinges, and not to be left behinde, and to this reasonyng conformable inough. Therefore I saie, how the fielde is loste, or els wonne: when it is wonne, the victorie ought with all celeritie to be folowed, and in this case to imitate Cesar, and not Aniball, whom staiyng after that he had discomfited the Romaines at Canne, loste the Empire of Rome: The other never rested after the victorie, but folowed the enemie beyng broken, with greater violence and furie, then when he assalted hym whole: but when a capitaine dooeth loese, he ought to see, if of the losse there maie growe any utilite unto hym, inespecially if there remain any residue of tharmie. The commoditie maie growe of the small advertisment of the enemie, whom moste often times after the victorie, becometh negligent, and giveth thee occasion to oppresse hym, as Marcius a Romaine oppressed the armie of the Carthaginers, whom having slain the twoo Scipions, and broken their armie, not estemyng thesame remnaunt of menne, whiche with Marcius remained a live, were of hym assaulted and overthrowen: for that it is seen, that there is no thing so moche to bee brought to passe, as thesame, whiche the enemie thinketh, that thou canst not attempte: bicause for the moste parte, men bee hurte moste, where thei doubt leaste: therefore a capitain ought when he cannot doe this, to devise at least with diligence, that the losse bee lesse hurtfull, to dooe this, it is necessarie for thee to use meanes, that the enemie maie not easely folowe thee, or to give him occasion to make delaie: in the first case, some after thei have been sure to lese, have taken order with their heddes, that in divers partes, and by divers waies thei should flie, havyng appoincted wher thei should after assemble together: the which made, that thenemie (fearing to devide the armie) was faine to let go safe either all, or the greatest part of them. In the seconde case, many have cast before the enemie, their dearest thinges, to the entent that he tariyng about the spoile, might give them more laisure to flie. Titus Dimius used no small policie to hide the losse, whiche he had received in the faight, for asmoche as havyng fought untill night, with great losse of his menne, he made in the night to be buried, the greatest part of them, wherefore in the mornyng, the enemies seyng so many slaine of theirs, and so fewe of the Romaines, belevyng that thei had the disavauntage, ran awaie. I trust I have thus confusedly, as I saied, satisfied in good part your demaunde: in dede about the facions of the armies, there resteth me to tell you, how some tyme, by some Capitaines, it hath been used to make theim with the fronte, like unto a wedge, judgyng to bee able by soche meane, more easely to open the enemies armie. Against this facion, thei have used to make a facion like unto a paire of sheres, to be able betwene thesame voide place, to receive that wedge, and to compasse it about, and to faight with it on every side: whereupon I will that you take this generall rule, that the greatest remedie that is used againste a devise of the enemie, is to dooe willingly thesame, whiche he hath devised that thou shalt dooe perforce: bicause that doyng it willingly, thou doest it with order, and with thy advauntage, and his disadvauntage, if thou shouldest doe it beyng inforced, it should be thy undoyng: For the provyng whereof, I care not to reherse unto you, certain thynges alredy tolde. The adversary maketh the wedge to open thy bandes: if thou gowest with them open, thou disorderest hym, and he disordereth not thee. Aniball set the Elephantes in the fronte of his armie, to open with theim the armie of Scipio. Scipio went with it open, and it was the occasion of his victorie, and of the ruine of hym. Asdruball placed his strongest men in the middest of the fronte of his armie, to overthrowe Scipios menne: Scipio commaunded, that by them selves thei should retire and he broke theim: So that like devises when thei are foreseen, bee the causes of the victorie of him, against whom thei be prepared. There remaineth me also, if I remember my self well, to tell you what respectes a Capitaine ought to have, before he leade his men to faight: upon whiche I have to tell you firste, how a capitaine ought never to faight a battaile, except he have advauntage, or be constrained. The vantage groweth of the situacion, of the order, of havyng more, or better menne: the necessitie groweth when thou seest how that not faightyng, thou muste in any wise lose, as should bee for lackyng of money, and for this, thy armie to bee ready all maner of waies to resolve, where famishemente is ready to assaulte thee, where the enemie looketh to bee ingrosed with newe men: in these cases, thou oughtest alwaies to faight, although with thy disadvauntage: for that it is moche better to attempte fortune, where she maie favour thee, then not attemptyng, to see thy certaine ruine: and it is as grevous a faulte in this case, in a capitain not to faight, as to have had occasion to overcome, and not to have either knowen it through ignoraunce, or lefte it through vilenesse. The advauntages some tymes the enemie giveth thee, and some tymes thy prudence: Many in passyng Rivers have been broken of their enemie, that hath been aware thereof, whom hath taried, till the one halfe hath been of the one side, and the other halfe on the other, and then hath assaulted them: as Cesar did to the Suizzers, where he destroied the fowerth parte of theim, through beyng halfe over a river. Some tyme thy enemie is founde wearie, for havyng folowed thee to undescritely, so that findyng thy self freshe and lustie, thou oughtest not to let passe soche an occasion: besides this, if the enemie offer unto thee in the mornyng betymes to faight, thou maiest a good while deferre to issue out of thy lodgyng, and when he hath stoode long in armour, and that he hath loste that same firste heate, with the whiche he came, thou maiest then faight with him. This waie Scipio and Metellus used in Spaine: the one against Asdruball, the other against Sertorius. If the enemie be deminished of power, either for havyng devided the armie, as the Scipions in Spain, or for some other occasion, thou oughteste to prove chaunce. The greateste parte of prudent capitaines, rather receive the violence of the enemies, then go with violence to assalte them: for that the furie is easely withstoode of sure and steddie menne, and the furie beyng sustained, converteth lightly into vilenesse: Thus Fabius did againste the Sannites, and against the Galles, and was victorious and his felowe Decius remained slain. Some fearing the power of their enemies, have begun the faight a little before night, to the intent that their men chaunsyng to bee overcome, might then by the helpe of the darkenesse thereof, save theim selves. Some havyng knowen, how the enemies armie beyng taken of certaine supersticion, not to faight in soche a tyme, have chosen thesame tyme to faighte, and overcome: The whiche Cesar observed in Fraunce, againste Arionistus, and Vespasian in Surrie, againste the Jewes. The greatest and moste importaunte advertismente, that a capitaine ought to have, is to have aboute hym faithfull menne, that are wise and moste expert in the warre, with whom he must continually consulte and reason of his men, and of those of the enemies, whiche is the greater nomber, whiche is beste armed, or beste on horsebacke, or best exercised, whiche be moste apte to suffer necessitie, in whom he trusteth moste, either in the footemen, or in the horsemen: after thei ought to consider the place where thei be, and whether it be more to the purpose for thenemie, then for him: which of theim hath victualles moste commodious: whether it be good to deferre the battaile, or to faight it: what good might bee given hym, or taken awaie by tyme: for that many tymes, souldiours seyng the warre to be delaied, are greved, and beyng wearie, in the pain and in the tediousnesse therof, wil forsake thee. It importeth above all thyng, to knowe the capitain of the enemies, and whom he hath aboute hym, whether he be rashe, or politike, whether he be fearfull, or hardie: to see how thou maiest truste upon the aidyng souldiours. And above all thyng thou oughtest to take hede, not to conducte the armie to faight when it feareth, or when in any wise it mistrusteth of the victorie: for that the greatest signe to lose, is thei beleve not to be able to winne: and therfore in this case, thou oughtest to avoide the faightyng of the fielde, either with doyng as Fabius Maximus, whom incampyng in strong places, gave no courage to Aniball, to goe to finde hym, or when thou shouldest thinke, that the enemie also in strong places, would come to finde thee, to departe out of the fielde, and to devide the menne into thy tounes to thentent that tediousnesse of winnyng them, maie wearie hym.

ZANOBI. Cannot the faightyng of the battaile be otherwise avoided, then in devidyng the armie in sunderie partes and placyng the men in tounes?

(Sidenote: Fabius Maximus.)

FABRICIO. I beleve that ones alreadie, with some of you I have reasoned, how that he, that is in the field, cannot avoide to faight the battaile, when he hath an enemie, which will faight with hym in any wise, and he hath not, but one remedie, and that is, to place him self with his armie distant fiftie miles at leaste, from his adversarie, to be able betymes to avoide him, when he should go to finde hym. For Fabius Maximus never avoided to faight the battaile with Aniball, but he would have it with his advauntage: and Aniball did not presume to bee able to overcome hym, goyng to finde hym in the places where he incamped: where if he had presupposed, to have been able to have overcome, it had been conveniente for Fabius, to have fought the battaile with hym, or to have avoided.

(Sidenote: Philip king of Macedonia, overcome by the Romaines; How Cingentorige avoided the faightyng of the fielde with Cesar; The ignorance of the Venecians; What is to be doen wher soldiours desire to faight, contrary to their capitaines minde; How to incourage souldiers; An advertisment to make the soldiour most obstinately to faight.)

Philip Kyng of Macedonia, thesame that was father to Perse, commyng to warre with the Romaines, pitched his campe upon a verie high hill, to the entent not to faight with theim: but the Romaines wente to find hym on thesame hill, and discomfaited hym. Cingentorige capitain of the Frenche menne, for that he would not faight the field with Cesar, whom contrarie to his opinion, had passed a river, got awaie many miles with his men. The Venecians in our tyme, if thei would not have come to have fought with the Frenche kyng, thei ought not to have taried till the Frenche armie, had passed the River Addus, but to have gotten from them as Cingentorige, where thei havyng taried knewe not how to take in the passyng of the men, the occasion to faight the battaile, nor to avoide it: For that the Frenche men beyng nere unto them, as the Venecians went out of their Campe, assaulted theim, and discomfited theim: so it is, that the battaile cannot bee avoided, when the enemie in any wise will faight, nor let no man alledge Fabius, for that so moche in thesame case, he did flie the daie of battaile, as Aniball. It happeneth many tymes, that thy souldiours be willyng to faight, and thou knoweste by the nomber, and by the situacion, or for some other occasion to have disadvauntage, and desirest to make them chaunge from this desire: it happeneth also, that necessitie, or occasion, constraineth thee to faight, and that thy souldiours are evill to be trusted, and smally disposed to faight: where it is necessarie in thone case, to make theim afraied, and in the other to incourage theim: In the firste case, when perswacions suffiseth not, there is no better waie, then to give in praie, a part of them unto thenemie, to thintent those that have, and those that have not fought, maie beleve thee: and it may very wel be doen with art, thesame which to Fabius Maximus hapned by chaunce. Tharmie of Fabius (as you knowe) desired to faight with Aniballs armie: the very same desire had the master of his horses: to Fabius it semed not good, to attempte the faight: so that through soche contrary opinions, he was fain to devide the armie: Fabius kept his men in the campe, the other fought, and commyng into great perill, had been overthrowen, if Fabius had not rescued him: by the whiche insample the maister of the horse, together with all the armie, knewe how it was a wise waie to obeie Fabius. Concernyng to incourage theim to faight, it should be well doen, to make them to disdain the enemies, shewyng how thei speake slaunderous woordes of them, to declare to have intelligence with them, and to have corrupted part of them, to incampe in place, where thei maie see the enemies, and make some light skirmishe with them, for that the thyng that is dailie seen, with more facilitie is despised: to shewe theim to bee unworthie, and with an oracion for the purpose, to reprehende them of their cowardnesse, and for to make them ashamed, to tell theim that you will faight alone, when thei will not beare you companie. And you ought above all thyng to have this advertismente, mindyng to make the Souldiour obstinate to faight, not to permitte, that thei maie send home any of their substaunce, or to leave it in any place, till the warre bee ended, that thei maie understande, that although fliyng save their life, yet it saveth not theim their goodes, the love whereof, is wonte no lesse then thesame, to make men obstinate in defence.

ZANOBI. YOU have tolde, how the souldiours maie be tourned to faight, with speakyng to theim: doe you meane by this, that all the armie must bee spoken unto, or to the heddes thereof?

(Sidenote: It is requisite for excellent Capitaines to bee good orators; Alexander Magnus used openly to perswade his armie; The effecteousnes of speking; Souldiours ought to be accustomed to heare their Capitaine speake; How in olde time souldiers were threatened for their faltes; Enterprises maie the easelier be brought to passe by meanes of religion; Sertorius; A policie of Silla; A policie of Charles the seventh king of Fraunce against the Englishmen; How souldiers maiebee made to esteme little their enemies; The surest wai to make souldiours moste obstinat to faight; By what meanes obstinatenesse to faighte is increased.)

FABRICIO. TO perswade, or to diswade a thyng unto fewe, is verie easie, for that if woordes suffise not, you maie then use aucthoritie and force: but the difficultie is, to remove from a multitude an evill opinion, and that whiche is contrary either to the common profite, or to thy opinion, where cannot be used but woordes, the whiche is meete that thei be heard of every man, mindyng to perswade them all. Wherfore, it was requisite that the excellente Capitaines were oratours: for that without knowyng how to speake to al the army, with difficultie maie be wrought any good thing: the whiche altogether in this our tyme is laied aside. Rede the life of Alexander Magnus, and you shall see how many tymes it was necessarie for hym to perswade, and to speake publikly to his armie: otherwise he should never have brought theim, beyng become riche, and full of spoile, through the desertes of Arabia, and into India with so moche his disease, and trouble: for that infinite tymes there growe thynges, wherby an armie ruinateth, when the capitain either knoweth not, or useth not to speake unto thesame, for that this speakyng taketh awaie feare, in courageth the mindes, increaseth the obstinatenes to faight, discovereth the deceiptes, promiseth rewardes, sheweth the perilles, and the waie to avoide theim, reprehendeth, praieth, threatened, filleth full of hope, praise, shame, and doeth a11 those thynges, by the whiche the humaine passions are extincte or kendled: wherefore, that prince, or common weale, whiche should appoincte to make a newe power, and cause reputacion to their armie, ought to accustome the Souldiours thereof, to heare the capitain to speake, and the capitain to know how to speake unto them. In kepyng desposed the souldiours in old tyme, to faight for their countrie, the religion availed moche, and the othes whiche thei gave them, when thei led theim to warfare: for as moche as in al their faultes, thei threatned them not onely with those punishementes, whiche might be feared of men but with those whiche of God might be looked for: the whiche thyng mingled with the other Religious maners, made many tymes easie to the auncient capitaines all enterprises, and will doe alwaies, where religion shall be feared, and observed. Sertorius prevailed, by declaryng that he spake with a Stagge, the whiche in Goddes parte, promised hym the victorie. Silla saied, he spoke with an Image, whiche he had taken out of the Temple of Apollo. Many have tolde how God hath appered unto them in their slepe, whom hath admonished them to faight. In our fathers time, Charles the seventh kyng of Fraunce, in the warre whiche he made againste the Englishemen, saied, he counsailed with a maide, sent from God, who was called every where the Damosell of Fraunce, the which was occacion of his victorie. There maie be also used meanes, that maie make thy men to esteme little the enemie, as Agesilao a Spartaine used, whom shewed to his souldiours, certain Persians naked, to the intent that seyng their delicate members, thei should not have cause to feare them. Some have constrained their men to faight through necessitie, takyng awaie from them all hope of savyng theim selves, savyng in overcommyng. The whiche is the strongest, and the beste provision that is made, to purpose to make the souldiour obstinate to faight: whiche obstinatenesse is increased by the confidence, and love of the Capitaine, or of the countrie. Confidence is caused through the armour, the order the late victorie, and the opinion of the Capitaine. The love of the countrie, is caused of nature: that of the Capitain, through vertue, more then by any other benefite: the necessities maie be many, but that is strongest, whiche constraineth thee; either to overcome, or to dye.

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