Infomotions, Inc.Machiavelli / with an introduction by Henry Cust, M.P. / Machiavelli, NiccolŠo, 1469-1527

Author: Machiavelli, NiccolŠo, 1469-1527
Title: Machiavelli / with an introduction by Henry Cust, M.P.
Publisher: London : Nutt, 1905.
Tag(s): political ethics; political science early works to 1800; florence (italy) history; military art and science early works to 1800; theim; thesame; warre; nicholas machiavell; faight; moche; beyng; battaile; menne; bee; machiavell; battailes; nicholas; armie; prince; chap; maine battaile; machiavelli intro
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable; PDF
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 132,605 words (average) Grade range: 17-20 (graduate school) Readability score: 42 (average)
Identifier: machiavelli00machuoft
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Published by DAVID NUTT 

at the Sign of the Phoenix 



Edinburgh : T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty 


H. c. 


AM at my farm ; and, since my last mis- 
fortunes, have not been in Florence 
twenty days. I spent September in 
snaring thrushes ; but at the end of 
the month, even this rather tiresome 
sport failed me. I rise with the sun, 
4 and go into a wood of mine that is 

being cut, where I remain two hours inspecting the work The Life of 
of the previous day and conversing with the woodcutters, a y 
who have always some trouble on hand amongst them 
selves or with their neighbours. When I leave the wood, 
I go to a spring, and thence to the place which I use 
for snaring birds, with a book under my arm Dante or 
Petrarch, or one of the minor poets, like Tibullus or Ovid. 
I read the story of their passions, and let their loves remind 
me of my own, which is a pleasant pastime for a while. 
Next I take the road, enter the inn door, talk with the 
passers-by, inquire the news of the neighbourhood, listen 
to a variety of matters, and make note of the different 
tastes and humours of men. 

This brings me to dinner-time, when I join my family 
and eat the poor produce of my farm. After dinner I go 
back to the inn, where I generally find the host and a 
b ix 


INTRO- butcher, a miller, and a pair of bakers. With these com- 

CTION t p an j ons i pl a y the fool all day at cards or backgammon : 

4 a thousand squabbles, a thousand insults and abusive 

4 dialogues take place, while we haggle over a farthing, 

4 and shout loud enough to be heard from San Casciano. 

4 But when evening falls I go home and enter my writing- 
6 room. On the threshold I put off my country habits, 
4 filthy with mud and mire, and array myself in royal 
4 courtly garments. Thus worthily attired, I make my 
4 entrance into the ancient courts of the men of old, where 
4 they receive me with love, and where I feed upon that 
4 food which only is my own and for which I was born. I 
4 feel no shame in conversing with them and asking them 
4 the reason of their actions. 

4 They, moved by their humanity, make answer. For four 
4 hours 1 space I feel no annoyance, forget all care ; poverty 
4 cannot frighten, nor death appal me. I am carried away 
4 to their society. And since Dante says 44 that there is no 
~ 4 science unless we retain what we have learned" I have 
4 set down what I have gained from their discourse, and 
4 composed a treatise, De Prindpatibits, in which I enter 
as deeply as I can into the science of the subject, with 
4 reasonings on the nature of principality, its several species, 
4 and how they are acquired, how maintained, how lost. If 
k you ever liked any of my scribblings, this ought to suit 
4 your taste. To a prince, and especially to a new prince, 
4 it ought to prove acceptable. Therefore I am dedicating 
4 it to the Magnificence of Giuliano. 1 

Niccolo Such is the account that Niccolo Machiavelli renders 

Machiavel]i_ f himself when after imprisonment, torture, and disgrace, 


at the age of forty-four, he first turned to serious writing. INTRO- )- 

For the first twenty-six or indeed twenty-nine of those AUCTION >N 

years we have not one line from his pen or one word 

of vaguest information about him. Throughout all his 

works written for publication, there is little news about 

himself. Montaigne could properly write, Ainsi, lecteur, je 

4 suis moy-mesme la matiere de mon livre." But the matter 

of Machiavelli was far other : 4 lo ho espresso quanto io so, 

e quanto io ho imparato per una lunga pratica e continua 

4 lezione delle cose del mondo. 1 

Machiavelli was born on the 3rd of May 1469. The The Man 
period of his life almost exactly coincides with that of 
Cardinal Wolsey. He came of the old and noble Tuscan 
stock of Montespertoli, who were men of their hands in the 
eleventh century. He carried their coat, but the property 
had been wasted and divided. His forefathers had held 
office of high distinction, but had fallen away as the new 
wealth of the bankers and traders increased in Florence. 
He himself inherited a small property in San Casciano and 
its neighbourhood, which assured him a sufficient, if some- it 

what lean, independence. Of his education we know little 
enough. He was well acquainted with Latin, and knew, 
perhaps, Greek enough to serve his turn. 4 Rather not- 
without letters than lettered, 1 Varchi describes him. That 

he was not loaded down with learned reading proved 

probably a great advantage. The coming of the French, - 
and the expulsion of the Medici, the proclamation of the 
Republic (1494), and later the burning of Savonarola 
convulsed Florence and threw open many public offices. It Fall 

has been suggested, but without much foundation, that 
some clerical work was found for Machiavelli in 1494 or 



INTRO- even earlier. It is certain that on July 14, 1498, he was 
DUCTION a pp i nte( i Chancellor and Secretary to the Dieci di Liberta 
e Pace, an office which he held till the close of his political 
life at fall of the Republic in 1512. 

Official Life The functions of his Council were extremely varied, and 
in the hands of their Secretary became yet more diversified. 
They represented in some sense the Ministry for Home, 
Military, and especially for Foreign Affairs. It is impos 
sible to give any full account of Machiavelli s official duties. 
He wrote many thousands of despatches and official letters, 
which are still preserved. He was on constant errands 
- of State through the Florentine dominions. But his 
diplomatic missions and what he learned by them make 
the main interest of his office. His first adventure of 
importance was to the Court of Caterina Sforza, the Lady 
of Forli, in which matter that astute Countess entirely 
bested the teacher of all diplomatists to be. In 1500 he 
smelt powder at the siege at Pisa, and was sent to France 
to allay the irritations of Louis XIT. Many similar and 
lesser missions follow. The results are in no case of great 
importance, but the opportunities to the Secretary of learn- 
ing men and things, intrigue and policy, the Court and the 
gutter were invaluable. At the camp of Caesar Borgia, in 
1502, he found in his host that fantastic hero whom he 
incarnated in The Prince, and he was practically an eye 
witness of the amazing masterpiece, the Massacre of 
Sinigaglia. The next year he is sent to Rome with a 
watching brief at the election of Julius n., and in 1506 is 
again sent to negotiate with the Pope. An embassy to the 
Emperor Maximilian, a second mission to the French King 
at Blois, in which he persuades Louis xii. to postpone the 


threatened General Council of the Church (1511), and INTRO 
constant expeditions to report upon and set in order 
unrestful towns and provinces did not fulfil his activity. 
His pen was never idle. Reports, despatches, elaborate 
monographs on France, Germany, or wherever he might 
be, and personal letters innumerable, and even yet unpub 
lished, ceased not night nor day. Detail, wit, character- - 
drawing, satire, sorrow, bitterness, all take their turn. 
But this was only a fraction of his work. By duty and 
by expediency he was bound to follow closely the internal 
politics of Florence where his enemies and rivals abounded. 
And in all these years he was pushing forward and carrying 
through with unceasing and unspeakable vigour the great 
military dream of his life, the foundation of a National- 
Militia and the extinction of Mercenary Companies. But - 
the fabric he had fancied and thought to have built proved 
unsubstantial. The spoilt half-mutinous levies whom he 
had spent years in odious and unwilling training failed him"" 
at the crowning moment in strength and spirit : and the 
fall of the Republic implied the fall of Machiavelli and the His Defeat 
close of his official life. He struggled hard to save himself, 
but the wealthy classes were against him, perhaps afraid of 
him, and on them the Medici relied. For a year he was 
forbidden to leave Florentine territory, and for a while was 
excluded from the Palazzo. Later his name was found in 
a list of Anti-Medicean conspirators. He was arrested and 
decorously tortured with six turns of the rack, and then 
liberated for want of evidence. 

For perhaps a year after his release the Secretary engaged After his Fall 
in a series of tortuous intrigues to gain the favour of the 
Medici. Many of the stories may be exaggerated, but none 



INTRO- make pleasant reading, and nothing proved successful. His 

position was miserable. Temporarily crippled by torture, 
out of favour with the Government, shunned by his friends, 

_ in deep poverty, burdened with debt and with a wife and 

^-four children, his material circumstances were ill enough. 

^But, worse still, he was idle. He had deserved well of the 

Republic, and had never despaired of it, and this was his 

reward. He seemed to himself a broken man. He had no 

great natural dignity, no great moral strength. He pro- 

foundry loved and admired Dante, but he could not for one 
.moment imitate him. He sought satisfaction in sensuality 
^of life and writing, but found no comfort. Great things 

were stirring in the world and he had neither part nor lot 
in them. By great good fortune he began a correspondence 
with his friend Francesco Vettori, the Medicean Ambassador 
at Rome, to whom he appeals for his good offices ; c And if 
nothing can be done, I must live as I came into the world, 

- for I was born poor and learnt to want before learning to 

- enjoy." Before long these two diplomats had co-opted 
themselves into a kind of Secret Cabinet of Europe. It is 
a strange but profoundly interesting correspondence, both 
politically and personally. Nothing is too great or too 

small, too glorious or too mean for their pens. Amid 
-foolish anecdotes and rather sordid love affairs the politics 

~T)f Europe, and especially of Italy, are dissected and dis 
cussed. Leo x. had now plunged into political intrigue. 
Ferdinand of Spain was in difficulty. France had allied 
herself witli Venice. The Swiss are the Ancient Romans, 
and may conquer Italy. Then back again, or rather 

constant throughout, the love intrigues and the likely 
- wench hard-by who may help to pass our time/ But 



through it all there is an ache at Machiavellfs heart, and I NT RO 
OD a sudden he will break down, crying, 

Pero se alcuna volta io rido e canto 
Facciol, perche non ho se lion quest uua 
Via da sfo^are il mio augoscioso pianto. 

Vettori promised much, but nothing came of it. By 1515 
the correspondence died away, and the Ex-Secretary found 
for himself at last the true pathway through his vale of 

The remainder of Machiavelli s life is bounded by his The true Life 
books. He settled at his villa at San, where 
he spent his day as he describes in the letter quoted at 
the beginning of this essay. In 1518 he began to attend 
the meetings of the Literary Club in the Orti Oricellarii, 
and made new and remarkable friends. Era amato gran- 
1 damente da loro . . . e della sua conversazione si dilet- 
* tavano maravigliosamente, tenendo in prez/o grandissimo 
" tutte Topere sue, 1 which shows the personal authority - 
he exercised. Occasionally he was employed by Florentine 
-merchants to negotiate for them at Venice, Genoa, Lucca, 
and other places. In 1519 Cardinal Medici deigned to 
consult him as to the Government, and commissioned him 
to write the History of Florence. But in the main he 
wrote his books and lived the daily life we know. In 1525 
he went to Home to present his History to Clement vn., 
and was sent on to Guicciardini. In 152(j he was busy 
once more with military matters and the fortification 
of Florence. On the ggncl of June 1527 he died at 
Florence immediately after the establishment of the 
second Republic. He had lived as a practising Christian,- - 



INTRO- and so died, surrounded by his wife and family. Wild 
DUCTIor L legends grew about his death, but have no foundation. 
A peasant clod in San Casciano could not have made a 
simpler end. He was buried in the family Chapel in Santa 
Croce, and a monument was there at last erected with the 
epitaph by Doctor Ferroni Tanto nomini nullum par 
elogium. The first edition of his complete works was 
published in 1782, and was dedicated to Lord Cowper. 
His What manner of man was Machiavelli at home and in 

Character the mar k e t_pl ac e ? It is hard to say. There are doubtful 
busts, the best, perhaps, that engraved in the Testina 
edition of 1550, so-called on account of the portrait. Of 
4 middle height, slender figure, with sparkling eyes, dark 
6 hair, rather a small head, a slightly aquiline nose, a 
tightly closed mouth : all about him bore the impress of 
a very acute observer and thinker, but not that of one 
6 able to wield much influence over others. Such is a 
reconstruction of him by one best able to make one. In 
4 his conversation, says Varchi, Machiavelli was pleasant, 
, serviceable to his friends, a friend of virtuous men, and, 
in a word, worthy to have received from Nature either 
/ less genius or a better mind. If not much above the 

- moral standard of the day he was certainly riot below it. 

His habits were loose and his language lucid and licentious. 
But there is no bad or even unkind act charged against 

- him. To his honesty and good faith he very fairly claims 
-* that his poverty bears witness. He was a kind, if uncertain, 

husband and a devoted father. His letters to his children 

are charming. Here is one written soon before his death 
to his little son Guido. Guido, my darling son, I received 
a letter of thine and was delighted with it, particularly 



4 because you tell me of your full recovery, the best news INTRO 

4 I could have. If God grants life to us both I expect to AU 

* make a good man of you, only you must do your fair 

4 share yourself. 1 Guido is to stick to his books and 

music, and if the family mule is too fractious, 4 Unbridle 

him, take off the halter and turn him loose at Monte- 

4 pulciano. The farm is large, the mule is small, so no 

4 harm can come of it. Tell your mother, with my love, 

not to be nervous. I shall surely be home before any 

4 trouble comes. Give a kiss to Baccina, Piero, and Totto : 

4 I wish I knew his eyes were getting well. Be happy and 

4 spend as little as you may. Christ have you in his 

4 keeping/ There is nothing exquisite or divinely delicate 

in this letter, but there are many such, and they were not 

written by a bad man, any more than the answers they 

evoke were addressed to one. There is little more save of a 

like character that is known of Machiavelli the man. But 

to judge him and his work we must have some knowledge of 

the world in which he was to move and have his being. 

At the beginning of the sixteenth century Italy was State of 
rotten to the core. In the close competition of great - v 
wickedness the Vicar of Christ easily carried off the palm, 
and the Court of Alexander vi. was probably the wickedest 
meeting-place of men that has ever existed upon earth. 
No virtue, Christian or Pagan, was there to be found ; 
little art that was not sensuous or sensual. It seemed as 
if Bacchus and Venus and Priapus had come to their 
own again, and yet Rome had not ceased to call herself 

4 Owing to the evil ensample of the Papal Court," 1 writes 
c xvii 


INTRO- Machiavelli, Italy has lost all piety and all religion: 
DUCTION t w } ience follow infinite troubles and disorders; for as 
religion implies all good, so its absence implies the 
- contrary. To the Church and priests of Rome we owe 
another even greater disaster which is the cause of her 
6 ruin. I mean that the Church has maintained, and still 
maintains Italy divided. The Papacy is too weak to 
unite and rule, but strong enough to prevent others doing 
so, and is always ready to call in the foreigner to crush all 
Italians to the foreigner s profit, and Guicciardini, a high 
Papal officer, commenting on this, adds, It would be im- 
possible to speak so ill of the Roman Court, but that more 
4 abuse should not be merited, seeing it is an infamy, and 
example of all the shames and scandals of the world. 1 The 
lesser clergy, the monks, the nuns followed, with anxious 
fidelity, the footsteps of their shepherds. There was hardly 
a tonsure in Italy which covered more than thoughts and 
hopes of lust and avarice. Religion and morals which 
God had joined together, were set by man a thousand 
leagues asunder. Yet religion still sat upon the alabaster 
throne of Peter, and in the filthy straw of the meanest 
Calabrian confessional. And still deeper remained a blind 
SuperstitioiT~"devoted superstition. Vitellozxo Vitelli, as Machiavelli 
tells us, while being strangled by Caesar Borgia s assassin, 
implored his murderer to procure for him the absolution of 
that murderer s father. Gianpaolo Baglioni, who reigned 
by parricide and lived in incest, was severely blamed by the 
Florentines for not killing Pope Julius n. when the latter 
was his guest at Perugia. And when Gabrino Fondato, 
the tyrant of Cremona, was on the scaffold, his only regret 
was that when he had taken his guests, the Pope and 


Emperor, to the top of the Cremona tower, four hundred INTIIO- 
feet high, his nerve failed him and he did not push them DUCTION 
both over. Upon this anarchy of religion, morals, and 
conduct breathed suddenly the inspiring breath of Pagan The Pagan 
antiquity which seemed to the Italian mind to find its Influ nce 
finest climax in tyrannicide. There is no better instance 
than in the plot of the Pazzi at Florence. Francesco Pazzi 
and Bernardo Bandini decided to kill Lorenzo and Giuliano 
de" 1 Medici in the cathedral at the moment of the elevation 
of the Host. They naturally took the priest into their 
confidence. They escorted Giuliano to the Duomo, laugh 
ing, and talking, and playfully embraced him to discover 
if he wore armour under his clothes. Then they killed him 
at the moment appointed. 

Nor were there any hills from which salvation might 
be looked for. Philosophy, poetry, science, expressed^ 
themselves in terms of materialism. Faith and hope 
are ever the last survivors in the life of a man or of a 
nation. But in Italy these brave comforters were at their 
latest breath. It is perhaps unfair to accept in full 
the judgment of Northern travellers. The conditions, 
training, needs of England and Germany were different. 
In these countries courage was a necessity, and good faith 
a paying policy. Subtlety could do little against a 
two-handed sword in the hands of an angry or partially 
intoxicated giant. Climate played its part as well as 
culture, and the crude pleasures and vices of the North 
seemed fully as loathsome to the refined Italian as did 
the tortuous policy and the elaborate infamies of the 
South to their rough invaders. Alone, perhaps, among 
the nations of Europe the Italians had never understood 



INTRO- or practised chivalry, save in such select and exotic 
DUCTION scnoo ] s as tne Casa Gioiosa under Vittorino da Feltre 
at Mantua. The oath of Arthur s knights would have 
seemed to them mere superfluity of silliness. Onore con 
noted credit, reputation, and prowess. Virtu, which may 
be roughly translated as mental ability combined with per 
sonal daring, set the standard and ruled opinion. Honour 
in the North was subjective: Onore in Italy objective. 1 
Individual liberty, indeed, was granted in full to all, at 
the individual s risk. The love of beauty curbed grossness 
""" and added distinction. Fraud became an art and force a 
^ science. There is liberty for all, but for the great ones 
-*^there is licence. And when the day of trial comes, it is 
the Churchmen and the Princes who can save neither 
themselves nor man, nor thing that is theirs. To such 
a world was Machiavelli born. To whom should he turn ? 
To the People? To the Church? To the Princes and 
Despots ? But hear him : 

6 There shall never be found any good mason, which will 
4 beleeve to be able to make a faire image of a peece of 
marble ill hewed, but verye well of a rude peece. Our 
Italian Princes beleeved, before they tasted the blowes of 
the outlandish warre, that it should suffice a Prince to 
know by writinges, how to make a subtell aunswere, to 
write a goodly letter, to shewe in sayinges, and in woordes, 
4 witte and promptenesse, to know how to canvas a fraude, 
to decke themselves with precious stones and gold, to 
sleepe and to eate with greater glory then other : To 
kepe many lascivious persons about them, to governe 
themselves with their subjects, covetously and proudely : 
To roote in idlenes, to give the degrees of the exercise of 


* warre, for good will, to dispise if any should have shewed INTRO- 

them any laudable waie, minding that their wordes should AUCTION 

bee aunswers of oracles : nor the sely wretches were not 

1 aware that they prepared themselves to be a pray to 

whome so ever should assaulte them. Hereby grew then 

4 in the thousand fowre hundred and nintie and fowre yere, 

the great feares, the sodaine flightes and the marvellous 

losses : and so three most mighty states which were in 

* Italic, have bene dievers times sacked and destroyed. But 
that which is worse, is where those that remaine, continue 
in the very same errour, and liev in the verie same 
disorder and consider not, that those who in olde time 
4 would keepe their states, caused to be done these thinges, 
1 which of me hath beene reasoned, and that their studies 
4 were, to prepare the body to diseases, and the minde not to 
feare perills. Whereby grewe that Caesar, Alexander, and 
all those men and excellent Princes in olde time, were the 
formost amongst the fighters, going armed on foote : and 
if they lost their state, they would loose their life, so that 
they lievd and died vertuously. 1 

Such was the clay that waited the moulding of the 
potter s hand. Posterity, that high court of appeal, 
which is never tired of eulogising its own justice and 

* discernment, has recorded harsh sentence on the Floren 
tine. It is better to-day to let him speak for himself. 

The slender volume of The Prince has probably produced The Prince 
wider discussion, more bitter controversy, more varied in 
terpretations and a deeper influence than any book save 
Holy Writ. Kings and statesmen, philosophers and theo 
logians, monarchists and republicans have all and always 



INTRO- used or abused it for their purposes. Written in 1513, the 
first year of Machiavelli s disgrace, concurrently with part 
of the Discorsi, which contain the germs of it, the book 

represents the fulness of its author s thought and experi 
ence. It was not till after Machiavelli s death, that it 
was published in 1532, by order of Clement vn. Mean- 
Awhile, however, in manuscript it had been widely read and 
-.-favourably received. 

Its purpose The mere motive of its creation and dedication has been 
the theme of many volumes. Machiavelli was poor, was 
idle, was out of favour, and therefore, though a Republican, 

wrote a devilish hand-book of tyranny to strengthen the 
Medici and recover his position. Machiavelli, a loyal 

*- Republican, wrote a primer of such fiendish principles as 
might lure the Medici to their ruin. Machiavelli s one 
-^-idea was to ruin the rich: Machiavelli s one idea was to 
oppress the poor : he was a Protestant, a Jesuit, an 
~ % Atheist : a Royalist and a Republican. And the book pub 
lished by one Pope s express authority was utterly con 
demned and forbidden, with all its author s works, by the 
express command of another (1559). But before facing 
the whirlwind of savage controversy which raged and 
rages still about The Prince, it may be well to consider 
shortly the book itself consider it as a new book and 
without prejudice. The purpose of its composition is 
almost certainly to be found in the plain fact that 
Machiavelli, a politician and a man of letters, wished 
to write a book upon the subject which had been his 
" > special study and lay nearest to his business and bosom. 
To ensure prominence for such a book, to engage attention 
and incidentally perhaps to obtain political employment 


~ for himself, he dedicated it to Lorenzo de Medici, the INTRO- 
cxisting and accepted Chief of the State. But far and DUCTION 
above such lighter motives stood the fact that he saw in 
""Lorenzo the only man who might conceivably bring to 
-being the vast dream of patriotism which the writer had 
imagined. The subject he proposed to himself was largely, 
.though not wholly, conditioned by the time and place 

. -in which he lived. He wrote for his countrymen and 

he wrote for his own generation. He had heard with 

his ears and seen with his eyes the alternate rending 

anarchy and moaning paralysis of Italy. He had seen 

what Agricola had long before been spared the sight of. 

And what he saw, he saw not through a glass darkly 

-or distorted, but in the whitest, driest light, without 

flinching and face to face. We are much beholden, 1 

- writes Bacon, to Machiavelli and others that wrote what 

~ men do, and not what they ought to do. 1 He did not 

despair of Italy, he did not despair even of Italian unity. 

~ But he despaired of what he saw around him, and he 

was willing at almost any price to end it. He recognised, 

despite the nominal example of Venice, that a Republican 

system was impossible, and that the small Principalities and 

Free Cities were corrupt beyond hope of healing. strong 

central unifying government was imperative, and at that 

day such government could only be vested in a single 

man. For it must ever be closely remembered, as will 

be pointed out again, that throughout the book the 

^Prince is what would now be called the Government. 

And then he saw with faithful prophecy, in the splendid 

peroration of his hope, a hope deferred for near four 

hundred years, he saw beyond the painful paths of blood 



INTRO- "*~and tyranny, a vision of deliverance and union. For at 
DUCTION least it is plain that in all things Machiavelli was a 

passionate patriot, and A mo la patria mia piu dell" 1 anima 

is found in one of the last of many thousand letters that 
\ his untiring pen had written. 

The purpose, then, of The Prince is to lay down rules, 

| within the possibilities of the time, for the making of a 

-4- man who shall create, increase, and maintain a strong 

-"and stable government. This is done in the main by 

a plain presentation of facts, a presentation condensed 
and critical but based on men and things as they actually 

were. The ethical side is wholly omitted : the social 
~ and economical almost entirely. The aspect is purely 
^ political, with the underlying thought, it may be sup- 

posed, that under the postulated government, all else 
will prosper. 

The Book " Machiavelli opens by discussing the various forms 

-of governments, which he divides into Republics and 

Principalities. Of the latter some may be hereditary 

and some acquired. Of hereditary states he says little 

and quotes but one, the Duchy of Ferrara. He then 

turns to his true subject, the acquisition and preserva- 

New States tion of States wholly new or new in part, States such 

as he saw himself on every side around him. Having 

* gained possession of a new State, he says, you must first 

extirpate the family of your predecessor. You should 
then either reside or plant colonies, but not trust to 
garrisons. Colonies are not costly to the Prince, are 
4 more faithful and cause less offence to the subject 
States: those whom they may injure being poor and 
scattered, are prevented from doing mischief. For it 



should be observed that meji^ought either to be caressed INTRO- 
or trampled out, seeing that small injuries may be DLf CTION 
- avenged, whereas great ones destroy the possibility of 
- retaliation: and so the damage that has to be inflicted 
ought to be such that it need involve no fear of reprisals,;} 
There is perhaps in all Machiavelli no better example of His Method 
his lucid scientific method than this passage. There is 

- neither excuse nprjiypocrisj. It^ is merely a matter of 
^-business calculation. Mankind fs the raw material, the 
-^ State is the finished work. Further you are to conciliate 
-your neighbours who are weak and abase the strong, 
^and you must not let the stranger within your gates. 

Above all look before as well as after and think not to 
leave it to time, godere li benefid del tempo, but, as did 
the llomans, strike and strike at once. For illustration 
he criticises, in a final and damning analysis, the career 
of Louis xii. in Italy. There was no canon of statecraft 

- so absolute that the King did not ignore it, and in in- 
- evitable Nemesis, there was no ultimate disaster so crown- 
"~ ing as not to be achieved. 

After observing that a feudal monarchy is much less Conquests 

easy of conquest than a despotism, since in the one case 

you must vanquish many lesser lordships while in the 

other you merely replace slaves by slaves, Machiavelli 

considers the best method of subjugating Free Cities. 

-Here again is eminent the terrible composure and the 

exact truth of his politics. A conquered Free City you 

may of course rule in person, or you may construct an 

V oli arcn y to g v crn for you, but the only safe way is to 

^destroy it utterly, since that name of Liberty, those 

ancient usages of Freedom, 1 are things * which no length 




INTRO-~ of years and no benefits can extinguish in the nation s 
DUCT I ON < m i nc l 5 things which no pains or forethought can uproot 
unless the citizens be utterly destroyed. 

Hitherto the discussion has ranged round the material 

politics of the matter, the acquisition of material power. 

Machiavelli now turns to the heart of his matter, the 

-proper character and conduct of a new Prince in a new 

Principality and the ways by which he shall deal most 

^fortunately with friend and foe. For fortune it is, as well 

- as ability, which go to the making of the man and the 

"^maintenance of his power. 

Caesar Borgia In the manner of the day Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, and 

Theseus are led across the stage in illustration. The 

common attribute of all such fortunate masters of men was 

forcfi-o rraTmsr, r^rrrh? the mMoiTof an unarmed prophet 

such as Savonarola was foredoomed to failure. In such 

- politics -Machiavelli is positive and ruthless : force is and 

must be the remedy~ancT the last appeal, a principle which 
indeed no later generation has in practice set at naught. 
But in the hard dry eyes of the Florentine Secretary stood, 
above all others, one shining figure, a figure to all other 
eyes, from then till now, wrapped in mysterious and mias 
matic cloud. In the pages of common history he was a 

-tyrant, he was vicious beyond compare, he was cruel beyond 

the Inquisition, he was false beyond the Father of Lies, he 
was the Antichrist of Rome and he was a failure : but 
he was the hero of Niccolo Machiavelli, who, indeed, 
found in Caesar Borgia the fine flower of Italian politics 

- in the Age of the Despots. Son of the Pope, a Prince of 

the Church, a Duke of France, a master of events, a, 
born soldier, diplomatist, and more than half a states- 



man, Caesar seemed indeed the darling of gods and men 1NTRO- 

whom original fortune had crowned with inborn ability, ) 

Machiavelli knew him as well as it was possible to know 

a soul so tortuous and secret, and he had been present 

at the most critical and terrible moments of Caesar s life. - 

That in despite of a life which the world calls infamous, % 

in despite of the howling execrations of all Christendom, / 

in despite of ultimate and entire failures, Machiavelli could I 

still write years after, I know not what lessons I could \ 

4 teach a new Prince more useful than the example of his 

actions, 1 exhibits the ineffaceable impressions that Caesar 

Borgia had made upon the most subtle and observant mind 

of modern history. 

Caesar was the acknowledged son of Pope Alexander by Caesar s 
his acknowledged mistress Vannozza dei Cattani. Born 
in 1472, he was an Archbishop and a Cardinal at sixteen, 
and the murderer of his elder brother at an age when 
modern youths are at college. He played his part to the 
full in the unspeakable scandals of the Vatican, but already 
c he spoke little and people feared him. Ere long the 
splendours of the Papacy seemed too remote and uncertain 
for his fierce ambition, and, indeed, through his father, 
he already wielded both the temporal and the spiritual 
arms of Peter. To the subtlety of the Italian his Spanish 
blood had lent a certain stern rasolution, and as with " 
Julius and Sulla the lust for sloth and sensuality were 
quickened by the lust for sway. He unfrocked himself 
with pleasure. He commenced politician, soldier, and-^- 

despot. And for the five years preceding Alexander s 

death he may almost be looked upon as a power in 
Europe. Invested Duke of Homagna, that hot-bed of 



INTRO- petty tyranny and tumult, he repressed disorder through 

UCTION j-^g governor Messer Ramiro with a relentless hand. When 

order reigned, Machiavelli tells us he walked out one 

morning into the market-place at Cesena and saw the 

body of Ramiro, who had borne the odium of reform, 

lying in two pieces with his head on a lance, and a 

bloody axe by his side. Caesar reaped the harvest of 

~ Ramiro s severity, and the people recognising his bene- 

-^-volence and justice were astounded and satisfied. 1 

But the gaze of the Borgia was not bounded by the 

strait limits of a mere Italian Duchy. Whether indeed 

-there mingled with personal ambition an ideal of a united 

Italy, swept clean of the barbarians, it is hard to say, 
though Machiavelli would have us believe it. What is 
certain is that he desired the supreme dominion in Italy 
for himself, and to win it spared neither force nor fraud 
nor the help of the very barbarians themselves. With a 
decree of divorce and a Cardinal s hat he gained the 

support of France, the French Duchy of Valentinois, and 
-^the sister of the King of Navarre to wife. By largesse of 

-bribery and hollow promises he brought to his side the 

great families of Rome, his natural enemies, and the great 
Condottieri with their men-at-arms. When by their aid 
he had established and extended his government he mis- 

trusted their good faith. With an infinity of fascination 

and cunning, without haste and without rest, he lured 
-~these leaders, almost more cunning than himself, to visit 
^him as friends in his fortress of Sinigaglia. I doubt if 

they will be alive to-morrow morning," wrote Machiavelli, 
who was on the spot. He was right. Caesar caused them 
to be strangled the same night, while his father dealt 


equal measure to their colleagues and adherents in Rome. INTRO- 
Thenceforth, distrusting mercenaries, he found and dis* DUCTION 
ciplined, out of a mere rabble, a devoted army of his own, - 
and having unobtrusively but completely extirpated the 
whole families of those whose thrones he had usurped, not 
only the present but the future seemed assured to him. 

He had fulfilled the first of Machiavelli s four conditions. 
He rapidly achieved the remaining three. He bought the 
Roman nobles so as to be able to put a bridle in the new 
c Pope s mouth. 1 He bought or poisoned or packed or 
terrorised the existing College of Cardinals and selected 
new Princes of the Church who should accept a Pontiff 
of his choosing. He was effectively strong enough to resist 
the first onset upon him at his father s death. Five years 
had been enough for so great an undertaking. One thing 
alone he had not and indeed could not have foreseen. * He 
1 told me himself on the day on which (Pope) Julius was 
1 created, that he had foreseen and provided for everything 
1 else that could happen on his father s death, but had 
1 never anticipated that, when his father died, he too 
1 should have been at death s door. Even so the fame 
and splendour of his name for a while maintained his 
authority against his unnumbered enemies. But soon the 
great betrayer was betrayed. It is well to cheat those 
who have been masters of treachery, he had said himself 
in his hours of brief authority. His wheel had turned full 
cycle. Within three years his fate, like that of Charles xn., 
was destined to a foreign strand, a petty fortress, and a 
dubious hand. Given over to Spain he passed three years 
obscurely. * He was struck down in a fight at Vianii in 
Navarre (1507) after a furious resistance : he was stripped 



INTRO- < of his fine armour by men who did not know his name 
CTION 4 or q ua u t y anc j his | )oc iy was j e f t na k e d on the bare 

* ground, bloody and riddled with wounds. He was only 
- thirty-one. And so the star of Machiavelli s hopes and 
dreams was quenched for a season in the clouds from which 
it came. 

The Lesson It seems worth while to sketch the strange tem 
pestuous career of Caesar Borgia because in the remaining 
chapters of The Prince and elsewhere in his writings, it 
is the thought and memory of Valentinois, transmuted 
doubtless and idealised by the lapse of years, that largely 
inform and inspire the perfect Prince of Machiavelli. But 
_it must not be supposed that in life or in mind they were 

intimate or even sympathetic. Machiavelli criticises his 

hero liberally and even harshly. But for the work he 
wanted done he had found no better craftsman and no 

- better example to follow for those that might come after. 
Morals and religion did not touch the purpose of his 

- arguments except as affecting policy. In policy virtues 

- may be admitted as useful agents and in the chapter 
following that on Caesar, entitled, curiously enough, Of 
those who by their crimes come to be Princes, 1 he 

- lays down that to slaughter fellow citizens, to betray 
* friends, to be devoid of honour, pity and religion cannot 
* be counted as merits, for these are means which may lead 
- c to power but which confer no glory/ Cruelty he would 

employ without hesitation but with the greatest care 

both in degree and in kind. It should be immediate and 
- complete and leave no possibility of counter-revenge. For 

it is never forgotten by the living, and he deceives himself 
who believes that, with the great, recent benefits cause old 



4 wrongs to be forgotten. 1 On the other hand Benefits INTRO- 
should be conferred little by little so that they may be- DUCTION 
more fully relished. 1 The cruelty proper to a Prince 
(Government, for as ever they are identical) aims only at 
authority. Now authority must spring from love or fear. 
It were best to combine both motives to obedience but you*-" 
cannot. TheJPrince must remember that men are fickle,"*" 
and love at their own pleasure, and that men are fearful 
and fear at the pleasure of the Prince. Let him therefore 
depend on what is of himself, not on that which is of 
others. 4 Yet if he win not love he may escape hate, and 
4 so it will be if he does not meddle with the property or ~ 
4 women-folk of his subjects/ When he must punish let " 
him kill. For men will sooner forget the death of their 
4 father than the loss of their estate. 1 And moreover you 
cannot always go on killing, but a Prince who has once set 
himself to plundering will never stop. This is the more - 

needful because the only secure foundation of his rule lies - 

in his trust of the people and in their support. And - 
indeed again and again you shall find no more thorough 
democrat than this teacher of tyrants. The people own - 
4 better broader qualities, fidelities and passions than any __ 
4 Prince and have better cause to show for them. 1 4 As for 
prudence and stability, I say that a people is more stable, _- 
4 more prudent, and of better judgment than a Prince. 1 If 
the people go wrong it is almost certainly the crime or 
negligence of the Prince which drives or leads them astray. 
4 Better far than anv number of fortresses is not to be 
4 hated by your people. 1 The support of the people and 
a national militia make the essential strength of the Prince 
and of the State. 



INTRO- The chapters on military organisation may be more con- 
veniently considered in conjunction with The Art of War. 
National It is enough at present to point out two or three observa 
tions of Machiavelli which touch politics from the military 
side. To his generation they were entirely novel, though 

fere commonplace to-day. National strength means 
itional stability and national greatness ; and this can 
j achieved, and can only be achieved, by a national 
my. The Condottiere system, born of sloth and luxury, 
has proved its rottenness. Your hired general is either 
a tyrant or a traitor, a bully or a coward. 4 In a word 
the armour of others is too wide or too strait for us : 
6 it falls off us, or it weighs us down." 1 And in a fine 
illustration he compares auxiliary troops to the armour of 
- Saul which David refused, preferring to fight Goliath 
-with his sling and stone. 

Conduct of Having assured the external security of the State, 

the Prince Machiavelli turns once more to the qualities and conduct 

of the Prince. So closely packed are these concluding 

chapters that it is almost impossible to compress them 

further. The author at the outset states his purpose : 

4 Since it is my object to write what shall be useful to 

whosoever understands it, it seems to me better to follow 

the practical truth of things rather than an imaginary 

view of them. For many Republics and Princedoms have 

been imagined that were never seen or known to exist 

* in reality. And the manner in which we live and in 

- which we ought to live, are things so wide asunder that 

he who suits the one to betake himself to the other is 

* more likely to destroy than to save himself. Nothing 

that Machiavelli wrote is more sincere, analytic, positive 



and ruthless. He operates unflinchingly on an assured- I NTRO- 
diagnosis. The hand never an instant falters, the knife DUCTI ON 
is never blunt. He deals with what is, and not with what- - 
ought to be. Should the Prince be all-virtuous, all-liberal,- 
all-humane? Should his word be his bond for ever? 
^ Should true reHgion be the master-passion of his life? 
Machiavelli considers. The first duty of the Prince (or^. 
Government) is to maintain the existence, stability, and 
prosperity of the State. I^o^y\alUhc world were perfect 
so_should _the_Prince be perfect too. But such are not- 
thF conditions of human~TI?e.~~An~Tdealising Prince must - 
fall before a practising world. A Prince must learn in ? 
self-defence how to be bad, but like Caesar Borgia, he I 
must be a great judge of occasion. And what evil he- 
does must be deliberate, appropriate, and calculated, and - 
done, not selfishly, but for the good of the State of which - 
he is trustee. There is the power of Law and the power ^ 
of Force. The first is proper to men, the second to beasts. 
And that is why Achilles was brought up by Cheiron the 
Centaur that he might learn to use both natures. A 
r^erjinjust be half lion and half fox, a fox to discern the 
toils, a lion to drive off the wolves. Merciful, faithful, 
humane, religious, just, these he may be and above all- 
should seem to be, nor should any word escape his lips 
to give the lie to his professions: and in fact he should - 
not leave these qualities but when he must. He should, 
if possible, practise goodness, but under necessity should - 
know how to pursue evil. lie should keep faith until- 
occasion alter, or reason of state compel him to brcak- 
his pledge. Above all he should profess and observe 
religion, because men in general judge rather by the eye - 
e *r^ 



INTRO-- * than by the hand, and every one can see but few can 

DUCTION-^ t ouc h; But none the less, must he learn (as did William 

the Silent, Elizabeth of England, and Henry of Navarre) 

""how to subordinate creed to policy when urgent need is 

~~upon him. In a word, he must realise and face his own 

position, and the facts of mankind and of the world. If 

not veracious to his conscience, he must be veracious to 

facts. He must not be Jmdjfor^badness 1 sake, but seeing 

- things as they are, must deal as he can to protect and 
-preserve the trust committed to his care. Fortune is still 

a fickle jade, but at least the half our will is free, and if 
we are bold we may master her yet. For Fortune is a 

woman who, to be kept under, must be beaten and roughly 
handled, and we see that she is more ready to be mastered 
by those who treat her so, than by those who are shy in 
their wooing. And always, like a woman, she gives her 

favours to the young, because they are less scrupulous and 

~~ fiercer and more audaciously command her to their will. 

The Appeal And so at the last the sometime Secretary of the 

Florentine Republic turns to the new Master of the 

"" Florentines in splendid exhortation. He points to no 

easy path. He proposes no mean ambition. He has said 
already that double will that Prince s glory be, who has 

/ 4 founded a new realm and fortified it and adorned it with 
good laws, good arms, good friends, and good examples. 
But there is more and better to be done. The great 
misery of men has ever made the great leaders of men. 
But was Israel in Egypt, were the Persians, the Athenians 
ever more enslaved, down-trodden, disunited, beaten, de 
spoiled, mangled, overrun and desolate than is our Italy 
-to-day ? The barbarians must be hounded out, and Italy 


be free and one. Now is the accepted time. All Italy is INTRO- 
waiting and only seeks the man. To you the darling of^ 
Fortune and the Church this splendid task is given, to ~- 
you and to the army of Italy and of Italians only. Arm 
Italy and lead her. To you, the deliverer, what gates 
would be closed, what obedience refused ! What jealousies 
opposed, what homage denied. Love, courage, and fixed-* 
fidelity await you, and under your standards shall the voice 
of Petrarch be fulfilled : 

Virtu contro al furore 
1 rendera 1 arme e fia il combatter corto : 

Che 1 antico valore 
Negl Italici cor non e ancor morto. 

Such is The Prince of Machiavelli. The vision of its 
breathless exhortation seemed then as but a landscape to 
a blind man s eye. But the passing of three hundred and 
fifty years of the misery he wept for brought at the last, 
almost in perfect exactness, the fulfilment of that impossible 

There is no great book in the world of smaller compass^fhe Attack 
than The Prince of Machiavelli. There is no book more 
lucidly, directly, and plainly written. There is no book 
that has aroused more vehement, venomous, and even 
truculent controversy from the moment of its publication 
until to-day. And it is asserted with great probability 
that The Prince has had a more direct action upon real 
life than any other book in the world, and a larger share 
in breaking the chains and lighting the dark places of 
the Middle Ages. It is a truism to say that Machiavellism 
existed before Machiavelli. The politics of Gian Gale&zzo 



INTRO- Visconti, of Louis xi. of France, of Ferdinand of Spain, 

DUCTION of the p a p acVj O f Venice, might have been dictated by 

the author of The Prince. But Machiavelli was the first 

to observe, to compare, to diagnose, to analyse, and 

to formulate their principles of government. The first to 

establish, not a divorce, but rather a judicial separation 

between _h.jnoj:als__of La juan and the morals of a, govern - 

nient. It is around the purpose and possible results of 

4 such a separation in politics, ethics, and religion that the 

-- storm has raged most fiercely. To follow the path of that 

storm through near four centuries many volumes would 

be needed, and it will be more convenient to deal with 

the more general questions in summing up the influence 

of Machiavelli as a whole. But the main lines and varying 

fortunes of the long campaign may be indicated. During 

the period of its manuscript circulation and for a few years 

- after its publication The Prince was treated with favour or 

- at worst with indifference, and the first mutterings were 

- merely personal to the author. He was a scurvy knave and 
~ turncoat with neither bowels nor conscience, almost negli- 

- gible. But still men read him, and a change in conditions 
brought a change in front. He had in The Prince, above all 

The ChurcIT" in the Discorsi, accused the Church of having ruined Italy 
and debauched the world. In view of the writer s growing 
popularity, of the Reformation and the Pagan Renaissance, 
such charges could no longer be lightly set aside. The 
Churchmen opened the main attack. Amongst the leaders 
was Cardinal Pole, to whom the practical precepts of The 
Prince had been recommended in lieu of the dreams of 
Plato, by Thomas Cromwell, the malleus monachorum of 
Henry vm. The Catholic attack was purely theological, but 


before long the Jesuits joined in the cry. Machiavelli was INTRO- 
burnt in effigy at Ingoldstadt. He was subdoliis diaboll- 1)UCT ION 
carum cogitationumfabcr, and irrisor et atheos to boot. The 
Pope himself gave commissions to unite against him, and 
his books were placed on the Index, together, it must be 
admitted, with those of Boccaccio, Erasmus, and Savona 
rola, so the company was goodly. But meanwhile, and 
perhaps in consequence, editions and translations of The 
Prince multiplied apace. The great figures of the world 
were absorbed by it. Charles v., his son, and his courticr-*hc 
studied the book. Catherine de Medici brought it to Politicians 
France. A copy of The Prince was found on the murdered 
bodies of Henry in. and Henry iv. Richelieu praised it. 
Sextus v. analysed it in his own handwriting. It was read 
at the English Court ; Bacon was steeped in it, and quotes 
or alludes to it constantly. Hobbes and Harrington 
studied it. 

But now another change. So then, cried Innocent 
Gentillet, the Huguenot, the book is a primer of I 
despotism and Rome, and a grammar for bigots and I 
tyrants. It doubtless is answerable for the Massacre of / 
St. Bartholomew. The man is a chien \mpur. And in 
answer to this new huntsman the whole Protestant pack 
crashed in pursuit. Within fifty years of his death The 
Prince and Machiavelli himself had become a legend and 
a myth, a haunting, discomforting ghost that would not be 
laid. Machiavellism had grown to be a case of conscience 
both to Catholic and Protestant, to Theologian, Moralist, 
and Philosopher. In Spain the author, damned in France 
for his despotism and popery, was as freshly and freely 
damned for his civil and religious toleration. In England 



INTRO- to the Cavaliers he was an Atheist, to the Roundheads a 
Jesuit. Christina of Sweden annotated him with enthu 
siasm. Frederick the Great published his Anti-Machiavel 
brimming with indignation, though it is impossible not to 
wonder what would have become of Prussia had not the 
Prussian king so closely followed in practice the precepts of 
the Florentine, above all perhaps, as Voltaire observed, in the 
publication of the Anti-Machiavel itself. No doubt in the 
eighteenth century, when monarchy was so firmly established 
as not to need Machiavelli, kings and statesmen sought to 
clear kingship of the supposed stain he had besmirched 
them with. But their reading was as little as their mis 
understanding was great, and the Florentine Secretary 
remained the mysterious necromancer. It was left for 
Rousseau to describe the book of this 4 honnete homme 
et bon citoyen as le livre des Republicans, 1 and for 
Napoleon """"Napoleon, the greatest of the author s followers if not dis 
ciples, to draw inspiration and suggestion from his Floren 
tine forerunner and to justify the murder of the Due 
d Enghien by a quotation from The Prince. Mais apres 
tout," he said, un homme d Etat est-il fait pour etre 
4 sensible ? N est-ce pas un personnage completement ex- 
centrique, toujours seul d un cote, avec le monde de Tautre ? 
and again Jugez done s il doit s amuser a menager cer- 
taines convenances de sentiments si importantes pour le 
4 commim des hommes? Peut-il considerer les liens du 
sang, les affections, les puerils managements de la societe ? 
Et dans la situation ou il se trouve, que d actions separees 
de Tensemble et qu on blame, quoiqu elles doivent con- 
tribuer au grand rcuvre que tout le monde n aper^oit pas ? 
. . . Malheureux que vous etes ! vous retiendrez vos eloges 


4 parce que vous craindrez que le mouvement de cette INTRO- 
4 grande machine ne fasse sur vous Teffet de Gulliver, qui, AUCTION 
4 lorsqu il deplacait sa jambe, ecrasait les Lilliputiens. Ex- 
4 hortez-vous, devancez le temps, agrandissez votre imagina- 
4 tion, regardez de loin, et vous verrez que ces grands 
4 personnages que vous croyez violents, cruels, que sais-je ? 
4 nc sont que des politiques. Us se connaissent, se jtigent 
4 mieux que vous, et, quand ils sont reellement habiles, ils 
* savent se rendre maitres de leurs passions car ils vont 
jusqu a en calculer les effcts. Even in his carriage at 
Waterloo was found a French translation of The Prince 
profusely annotated. 

But from the first the defence was neither idle nor weak. The Defence 

The assault was on the morals of the man : the fortress 

held for the ideas of the thinker. He does not treat of - . 

morals, therefore he is immoral, cried the plaintiff. Has 

he spoken truth or falsehood ? Is his word the truth and 
will his truth prevail ? was the rejoinder. In Germany and 
Italy especially and in France and England in less degree, 
philosophers and critics have argued and written without 
stint and without cease. As history has grown wider and- 
more scientific so has the preponderance of opinion leaned - 
to the Florentine s favour. 

It would be impossible to recapitulate the arguments or 
even to indicate the varying points of view. And indeed 
the main hindrance in forming a just idea of The Prince is 
the constant treatment of a single side of the book and 
the preconceived intent of the critic. Bacon has already 
been mentioned. Among later names are Hobbes, Spinoza, 
Leibnitz. Herder gives qualified approval, while Fichte 
frankly throws down the glove as The Prince^ champion. 



INTRO- Da man weiss dass politische Machtfragen nie, am 

DUCTION < vvenigsten in einem verderbten Volke, mit den Mitteln 

6 der Moral zu losen sind, so 1st es unverstiindig das Buch 

von Fursten zu verschreien. Macchiavelli hatte einen 

4 Herrscher zu schildern, keinen Klosterbruder. The last 

sentence may at least be accepted as a last word by 

practical politicians. Ranke and Macaulay, and a host 

of competent Germans and Italians have lent their thought 

and pens to solve the riddle in the Florentine s favour. 

And lastly^ the course of political events in Europe have 

seemed to many the final justification of the teaching of 

The Prince. The leaders of the Risorgimento thought that 

they found in letters, writ with a stiletto, not only the 

inspirations of patriotism and the aspirations to unity, 

but a sure and trusted guide to the achievement. Germany 

recognised in the author a schoolmaster to lead them to 

unification, and a military instructor to teach them of an 

Armed People. Half Europe snatched at the principle of 

^ Nationality. For in The Prince, Machiavelli not only 

begat ideas but fertilised the ideas of others, and whatever 

the future estimation of the book may be, it stands, read 

or unread, as a most potent, if not as the dominant, factor 

in European politics for four hundred years. 

Th&Discorsi The Discorsi, printed in Rome by Blado, 1537, are not 
included in the present edition, as the first English transla 
tion did not appear until 1680, when almost the entire 
works of Machiavelli were published by an anonymous 
translator in London. But some account and considera 
tion of their contents is imperative to any review of the 
Florentine s political thoughts. Such Discorsi and Relazioni 


were not uncommon at the time. The stronger and INTRO- 
younger minds of the Renaissance wearied of discussing in Dl 
the lovely gardens of the Rucellai the ideas of Plato or the 
allegories of Plotinus. The politics of Aristotle had just 
been intelligibly translated by Leonardo Bruni (1492). And 
to-day the young ears and eyes of Florence were alert for 
an impulse to action. They saw glimpses, in reopened 
fields of history, of quarries long grown over where the ore 
of positive politics lay hid. The men who came to-day to 
the Orti Oricellarii were men versed in public affairs, men 
of letters, historians, poets, living greatly in a great age, 
with Raphael, Michael Angelo, Ariosto, Leonardo going up 
and down amongst them. Machiavelli was now in fail- 
favour with the Medici, and is described by Strozzi as 
una persona per sorgere (a rising man). He was welcomed 
into the group with enthusiasm, and there read and dis 
cussed the Discorsi. Nominally mere considerations upon 
the First Decade of Livy, they rapidly encircled all that 
was known and thought of policy and state-craft, old and 

Written concurrently with The Prince, though completed Their Plan 
later, the Disconti contain almost the whole of the 
thoughts arid intents of the more famous book, but with 
a slightly different application. The Prince traces the 
4 progress of an ambitious man, the Discorsi the progress 
of an ambitious people, 1 is an apt if inadequate criticism. 
Machiavelli was not the first Italian who thought and wrote 
upon the problems of his time. But he was the first who 
discussed grave questions in modern language. He was the 
first modern political writer who wrote of men and not of 
man, for the Prince himself is a collective individuality. 

f xli 


INTRO- p ~ t This must be regarded as a general rule, is ever in 
Machiavelirs mouth, while Guicciardini finds no value in a 
general rule, but only in long experience and worthy dis- 
4 cretion. The one treated of policy, the other of politics. 
Guicciardini considered specifically by what methods to 
control and arrange an existing Government./ Machiavelli 
- sought to create a science, which should show how to 

establish, maintain, and hinder the decline of states gene- 

rally conceived. Even Cavour counted the former as a 
more practical guide in affairs. But Machiavelli was the 

- theorist of humanity in politics, not the observer only. He 
distinguished the two orders of research. And, during 
the Italian Renaissance such distinction was supremely 
necessary. With a crumbled theology, a pagan Pope, amid 
the wreck of laws and the confusion of social order, il suo 
particolare and virtu, individuality and ability (energy, 
political genius, prowess, vital force : virtu is impossible 
to translate, and only does not mean virtue), were the 
dominating and unrelenting factors of life. Niccolo 
Machiavelli, unlike Montesquieu, agreed with Martin 

Luther that man was bad. It was for both the Witten- 
berger and the Florentine, in their very separate ways, to 
found the school and wield the scourge. In the naked and 
unashamed candour of the time Guicciardini could say that 
he loathed the Papacy and all its works. For all that, 1 he 
adds, the preferments I have enjoyed, have forced me for 
my private ends to set my heart upon papal greatness. 
Were it not for this consideration, I should love Martin 
Luther as my second self. In the Discorsi, Machiavelli 
bitterly arraigns the Church as having deprived Italians 
of religion and liberty. 1 He utterly condemns Savonarola ; 


yet he could love and learn from Dante, and might almost INTRO- 
have said with Pym, The greatest liberty of the Kingdom DUCTI N 
4 is Religion. Thereby we are freed from spiritual evils, 
and no impositions are so grievous as those that are laid 
4 upon the soul/ 

The Florentine postulates religion as an essential-Religion 
element in a strong and stable State. Perhaps, with 
Gibbon, he deemed it useful to the Magistrate. But his 
science is impersonal. He will not tolerate a Church that 
poaches on his political preserves. Good dogma makes bad 
politics. It must not tamper with liberty or security.-- 
And most certainly, with Dante, in the Paradiso, he would 
either have transformed or omitted the third Beatitude, 
that the Meek shall inherit the earth. With such a 
temperament, Machiavelli must ever keep touch with 
sanity. It was not for him as for Aristotle to imagine 
what an ideal State should be, but rather to inquire what 
States actually were and what they might actually become.- 
He seeks first and foremost the use that may be derived 
from history in politics"; not from its incidents but from 
its general principles. His darling model of a State is to 
be found where Dante found it, in the Roman Republic. 
The memory and even the substance of Dante occur again 
and again. But Dante s inspiration was spiritual : Machia- 
vellfs frankly pagan, and with the latter Fortune takes 
the place of God. Dante did not love the Papacy, but 
Machiavelli, pointing out how even in ancient Rome 
religion was politic or utilitarian, leads up to his famous 
attack upon the Roman Church, to which he attributes 
all the shame and losses, political, social, moral, national, 
that Italy has suffered at her hands. And now for the 



INTRO- first time the necessity for Italian Unity is laid plainly 
down, and the Church and its temporal power denounced 
as the central obstacles. In religion itself the Secretary 
saw much merit. But when it is an absolute question 

( of the welfare of our country, then justice or injustice, 

mercy or cruelty, praise or ignominy, must be set aside, 
and we must seek alone whatever course may preserve 

the existence and liberty of the state. Throughout the 

Discorsi, Machiavelli in a looser and more expansive form, 

suggests, discusses, or re-affirms the ideas of The Prince. 

-There is the same absence of judgment on the moral value 

-* of individual conduct ; the same keen decision of its 

Democracy practical effect as a political act. But here more than 

in The Prince, he deals with the action and conduct of 

the people. With his passion for personal and con 
temporary incarnation he finds in the Swiss of his day 
the Romans of Republican Rome, and reiterates the com 
parison in detail. Feudalism, mercenaries, political associa 
tions embodied in Arts^and Guilds, the Temporal power 
of the Church, all these are put away, and in their stead 
he announces the new and daring gospel that for organic 

~~unity subjects must be treated as equals and not as 
inferiors. Trust the people is a maxim he repeats and 
enforces again and again. And he does not shrink from, 

"-but rather urges the corollary, Arm the people. Indeed 
it were no audacious paradox to state the ideal of 
Machiavelli, though he nominally preferred a Republic, as 
a Limited Monarchy, ruling over a Nation in Arms. No 
doubt he sought, as was natural enough in his day, to 

--construct the State from without rather than to guide 

and encourage its evolution from within. It seemed to 


him that, in such an ocean of corruption, Force was a INTRO- 
remedy and Fraud no sluttish handmaid. 4 Vice n est-ce pas," 1 DU CT1ON 
writes Montaigne, of such violent acts of Government, car 

* il a quitte sa raison a une plus universelle et puissante 
4 raison. Even so the Prince and the people could only 
be justified by results. But the public life is of larger value 
than the private, and sometimes one man must be crucified 
for a thousand. Despite all prejudice and make-belief, 
such a rule and practice has obtained from the Assemblies 
of Athens to the Parliaments of the twentieth century. 
But Machiavclli first candidly imparted it to the unwilling 
consciences and brains of men, and it is he who has been 
the chosen scape-goat to carry the sins of the people. His 
earnestness makes him belie his own precept to keep the 
name and take away the thing. In this, as in a thousand 
instances, he was not too darkly hidden ; he was too plain. 

* Machiavelli, 1 says one who studied the Florentine as hardly 
another had done, 4 Machiavelli hat gesiindigt, aber noch 
4 mehr 1st gegen ihn gesiindigt worden. 1 Liberty is good, 
but Unity is its only sure foundation. It is the way to the 
Unity of Government and People that the thoughts both 
of The Prince and the Dlfscorsi lead, though the incidents 
be so nakedly presented as to shock the timorous and vex 
the prurient, the puritan, and the evil thinker. The people 
must obey the State and fight and die for its salvation, 
and for the Prince the hatred of the subjects is never good, 
but their love, and the best way to gain it is by not 

* interrupting the subject in the quiet enjoyment of his 
4 estate/ Even so bland and gentle a spirit as the poet 
Gray cannot but comment, 4 1 rejoice when I see Machia- 
4 velli defended or illustrated, who to me appears one 



INTRO- of the wisest men that any nation in any age hath 
DOCTION . produced ; 

The Art of Throughout both The Prince and the Discorsi are con- 

f""" stant allusions to, and often long discussions on, military 
affairs. The Army profoundly interested Machiavelli both 
as a primary condition of national existence and stability, 
and also, as he pondered upon the contrast between ancient 
Rome and the Florence that he lived in, as a subject fascin 
ating in itself. His Art of War was probably published in 
1520. Before that date the Florentine Secretary had had 
some personal touch both with the theory and practice of 
war. As a responsible official in the camp before Pisa he 
had seen both siege work and fighting. Having lost faith 
in mercenary forces he made immense attempts to form 
--a National Militia, and was appointed Chancellor of the 
Nove della Milizia. In Switzerland and the Tyrol he had 
studied army questions. He planned with Pietro Navarro 
the defence of Florence and Prato against Charles v. At 
Verona and Mantua in 1509, he closely studied the famous 
siege of Padua. From birth to death war and battles raged 
all about him, and he had personal knowledge of the great 
captains of the Age. Moreover, he saw in Italy troops of 
every country, of every quality, in every stage of discipline, 
in every manner of formation. His love of ancient Rome 
led him naturally to the study of Livy and Vegetius, and 
from them with regard to formations, to the relative values 
of infantry and cavalry and other points of tactics, he drew or 
deduced many conclusions which hold good to-day. Indeed 
a German staff officer has written that in reading the 
Florentine you think you are listening to a modern theorist 


of war. But for the theorist of those days a lion stood in INTRO- 
the path. The art of war was not excepted from the quick DUCTION 
and thorough transformation that all earthly and spiritual 
things were undergoing. Gunpowder, long invented, was 
being applied. Armour, that, since the beginning, had saved 
both man and horse, had now lost the half of its virtue. 
The walls of fortresses, impregnable for a thousand years, 
became as matchwood ramparts. The mounted man-at- 
arms was found with wonder to be no match for the 
lightly-armoured but nimble foot-man. The Swiss were 
seen to hold their own with ease against the knighthood 
of Austria and Burgundy. The Free Companies lost in 
value and prestige what they added to their corruption 
and treachery. All these things grew clear to Machiavelli. 
But his almost fatal misfortune was that he observed and 
wrote in the mid-moment of the transition. He had no 
faith in fire-arms, and as regards the portable fire-arms of 
those days he was right. After the artillery work at 
Kavenna, Novara, and Marignano it is argued that he 
should have known better. But he was present at no 
great battles, and pike, spear, and sword had been the 
stable weapons of four thousand years. These were in 
deed too simple to be largely modified, and the future 
of mechanisms and explosives no prophet uninspired 
could foresee. And indeed the armament and formation 
of men were not the main intent of MachiavellTs thought. 
His care in detail, especially in fortifications, of which.*- 
he made a special study, in encampments, in plans, in 
calculations, is immense. Nothing is so trivial as to be^ 
left inexact. 

But he centred his observation and imagination on 



INTRO- the origin, character, and discipline of an army in being. 
CTION^-E[ e pictures the horror, waste, and failure of a mer- 
The New _ cenar y S y S tem, and lays down the fatal error in Italy 
of separating civil from military life, converting the 
- latter into a trade. In such a way the soldier grows 
*~-to a beast, and the citizen to a coward. All this 
must be changed. The basic idea of this astounding 
Organisation Secretary is to form a National Army, furnished by con 
scription and informed by the spirit of the New Model of 
Cromwell. All able-bodied men between the ages of 
seventeen and forty should be drilled on stated days 
and be kept in constant readiness. Once or twice a 
year each battalion must be mobilised and manreuvred 
as in time of war. The discipline must be constant and 
severe. The men must be not only robust and well- 
trained, but, above all, virtuous, modest, and disposed to 
any sacrifice for the public good. So imbued should they 
"~~be with duty and lofty devotion to their country that 
though they may rightly deceive the enemy, reward the 
enemy s deserters and employ spies, yet an apple tree 
6 laden with fruit might stand untouched in the midst of 
4 their encampment. 1 The infantry should far exceed the 
cavalry, since it is by infantry that battles are won. 
Secrecy, mobility, and familiarity with the country are to 
be objects of special care, and positions should be chosen 
from which advance is safer than retreat. In war this 
-army must be led by one single leader, and, when peace 
^-shines again, they must go back contented to their grateful 
fellow-countrymen and their wonted ways of living. The 
conception and foundation of such a scheme, at such a 
time, by such a man is indeed astounding. He broke with 


the past and with all contemporary organisations. He INTRO- 

forecast the future of military Europe, though his own ] 

Italy was the last to win her redemption through his plans. 

4 Taken all in all, 1 says a German military writer, we may 

recognise Machiavelli in his inspired knowledge of the 

4 principles of universal military discipline as a true 

prophet, and as one of the weightiest thinkers in the 

4 field of military construction and constitution. He 

penetrated the essence of military technique with a pre- 

4 cision wholly aHen to his period, and it is, so to sav, a 

new psychological proof of the relationship between 
the art of war and the art of statecraft, that the foundec__ 
; of Modern Politics is also the first of modern Military 

4 Classics/ 

But woe to the Florentine Secretary with his thoughts 
born centuries before their time. As in The Prince, so 
in the Art of War, he closes with a passionate appeal of"" 
great sorrow and the smallest ray of hope. Where shall 
I hope to find the things that I have told of? What 
is Italy to-day ? What are the Italians ? Enervated, 
impotent, vile. Wherefore, I lament mee of nature, the 
4 which either ought not to have made mee a knower of 
this, or it ought to have given mee power, to have bene 
4 able to have executed it : For now beeing olde, I cannot 
1 hope to have any occasion, to be able so to doo : In con- 
sideration whereof, I have bene liberall with you who 
beeing grave young men, may (when the thinges said of 
me shall please you) at due times, in favoure of your 

* Princes, helpe them and counsider them. Wherin I would 
4 have you not to be afraied, or mistrustfull, because this 
4 Province seemes to bee altogether given to raise up ug;iine 

g xlix 


INTRO- the things deade, as is seene by the perfection that Poesie, 
painting, and writing, is now brought unto : Albeit, as 
much as is looked for of mee, beeing strooken in yeeres, 
I do mistrust. Where surely, if Fortune had heretofore 
4 graunted mee so much state, as suffiseth for a like enter- 
prise, I would not have doubted, but in most short time, 
to have shewed to the world, how much the auncient 
orders availe : and without peradventure, either I would 
have increased it with glory, or lost it without shame. 1 

The History In 1520 Machiavelli was an ageing and disappointed 
e man. He was not popular with any party, but the Medici 
were willing to use him in minor matters if only to secure 
his adherence. He was commissioned by Giulio de Medici 
to write a history of Florence with an annual allowance 
of 100 florins. In 1525 he completed his task and dedicated 
the book to its begetter, Pope Clement vn. 

In the History, as in much of his other work, Machiavelli 

enriches the science of humanity with a new department. 

He was the first to contemplate the life of a nation in 

" its continuity, to trace the operation of political forces 

*"* through successive generations, to contrast the action of 

4 individuals with the evolution of causes over which they 

had but little control, and to bring the salient features 

^ of the national biography into relief by the suppression 

^ of comparatively unimportant details. He found no 

examples to follow, for Villani with all his merits was 

of a different order. Diarists and chroniclers there were 

in plenty, and works of the learned men led by Aretino, 

written in Latin and mainly rhetorical. The great work 

of Guicciardini was not published till years after the 



Secretary s death. Machiavelli broke away from the INTRO- 
Chronicle or any other existing form. He deliberately DUCTION 
applied philosophy to the sequence of facts. He organised 
civil and political history. He originally intended to begin 
his work at the year 1234, the year of the return of Cosimo 
il Vecchio from exile and of the consolidation of Medicean 
power on the ground that the earlier periods had been 
covered by Aretino and Bracciolini. But he speedily 
recognised that they told of nothing but external wars and 
business while the heart of the history of Florence was 
left unbared. The work was to do again in very different 
manner, and in that manner he did it. Throughout he 
maintains and insistently insinuates his unfailing explana 
tion of the miseries of Italy ; the necessity of unity and the - 
evils of the Papacy which prevents it. In this book dedi 
cated to a Pope he scants nothing of his hatred of the Holy 
See. For ever he is still seeking the one strong man in a 
blatant land with almost absolute power to punish, pull 
down, and reconstruct on an abiding foundation, for to his 
clear eyes it is ever the events that are born of the man, 
and not the man of the events. He was the first to observe- 
that the Ghibellines were not only the Imperial party 
but the party of the aristocrats and influential men, whereas 
the Guelphs were the party not only of the Church but of 
the people, and he traces the slow but increasing struggle 
to the triumph of democracy in the Ordinamenti di Giusti/ia 
(1293). But the triumph was not final. The Florentines 
were unable to preserve liberty and could not tolerate 
4 slavery/ So the fighting, banishments, bloodshed, 
cruelty, injustice, began once more. The nobles were in 
origin Germanic, he points out, the people Latin ; so that 



INTRO- a racial bitterness gave accent to their hate. But yet, he 
^ adds impartially, when the crushed nobility were forced 
to change their names and no longer dared be heard, 
6 Florence was not only stripped of arms but likewise of 
4 all generosity. It would be impossible to follow the 
History in detail. The second, seventh and eighth books 
are perhaps the most powerful and dramatic. Outside 
affairs and lesser events are lightly touched. But no 
stories in the world have been told with more intensity 
than those of the conspiracies in the seventh and eighth 
books, and none have given a more intimate and accurate 
perception of the modes of thought and feeling at the time. 
The History ends with the death of Lorenzo de Medici in 
1492. Enough has been said of its breadth of scope 
and originality of method. The spirit of clear flaming 
patriotism, of undying hope that will not in the darkest 
day despair, the plangent appeal to Italy for its own great 
sake to rouse and live, all these are found pre-eminently 
in the History as they are found wherever Machiavelli 
speaks from the heart of his heart. Of the style a foreigner 
may not speak. But those who are proper judges maintain 
that in simplicity and lucidity, vigour, and power, soft 
ness, elevation, and eloquence, the style of Machiavelli is 
divine, 1 and remains, as that of Dante among the poets, 
unchallenged and insuperable among all writers of Italian 

Other Works \ Tnough Machiavelli must always stand as a political 

thinker, an historian, and a military theorist it would 

leave an insufficient idea of his mental activities were 

there no short notice of his other literary works. With 



his passion for incarnating his theories in a single person- INTRO- 
ality, he wrote the Life of Castruccio Castracani, a politico- 
military romance. His hero was a soldier of fortune born 
at Lucca in 1281, and, playing with a free hand, Machia- 
velli weaves a life of adventure and romance in which** 
his constant ideas of war and politics run through and 
across an almost imaginary tapestry. He seems to have 
intended to illustrate and to popularise his ideals and to 
attain by a story the many whom his discourses could not 
reach. In verse Machiavelli was fluent, pungent, and 
prosaic. The unfinished Golden Ass is merely made of 
paragraphs of the Discorsi twined into rhymes. And the 
others are little better. Countless pamphlets, essays, 
and descriptions may be searched without total waste 
by the very curious and the very leisurely. The many 
despatches and multitudinous private letters tell the story 
both of his life and his mind. But the short but famous 
Novella di Belfagor Arddiarolo is excellent in wit, satire, 
and invention. As a playwright he wrote, among many 
lesser efforts, one supreme comedy, Mandragola, which 
Macaulay declares to be better than the best of Goldoni s 
plays, and only less excellent than the very best of 
Moliere s. Italian critics call it the finest play in Italian. 
The plot is not for nursery reading, but there are tears and 
laughter and pity and anger to furnish forth a copious 
author, and it has been not ill observed that Mamlragola is 
the comedy of a society of which The Prince is the tragedy. 

It has been said of the Italians of the Renaissance that The Knd 
with so much of unfairness in their policy, there was an 
extraordinary degree of fairness in their intellects. They 



INTRO- were as direct in thought as they were tortuous in action, 

ON and could see no wickedness in deceiving a man whom 

they intended to destroy. To such a charge if charge 

it be Machiavelli would have willingly owned himself 

answerable. He observed, in order to know, and he wished 

"""""to use his knowledge for the advancement of good. To 

*^him the means were indifferent, provided only that they 

-were always apt and moderate in accordance with necessity. 

A surgeon has no room for sentiment : in such an operator 

pity were a crime. It is his to examine, to probe, to 

diagnose, flinching at no ulcer, sparing neither to himself 

or to his patient. And if he may not act, he is to lay 

down very clearly the reasons which led to his conclusions 

and to state the mode by which life itself may be saved, 

cost what amputation and agony it may. This was 

Machiavelli s business, and he applied his eye, his brains, 

~"and his knife with a relentless persistence, which, only 

because it was so faithful, was not called heroic. And we 

know that he suffered in the doing of it and that his heart 

was sore for his patient. But there was no other way. 

His record is clear and shining. He has been accused of 

no treachery, of no evil action. His patriotism for Italy 
as a fatherland, a dream undreamt by any other, never 

glowed more brightly than when Italy lay low in shame, 

and ruin, and despair. His faith never faltered, his spirit 
never shrank. And the Italy that he saw, through dark 
bursts of storm, broken and sinking, we see to-day riding 
in the sunny haven where he would have her to be. 

















MenJ s. lultj. 



ELIZABETH, by the Grace of God, Quene 

of Englande, Fraunce, and Irelande, 

defender of the faithe, and of the Churche 

of Englande, and Irelande, on yearth 

next under God, the supreme 


LTHOUGH commonlie every man, 
moste worthie and renourned 
Soveraine, seketh specially to 
commend and extolle the thing, 
whereunto he feleth hymself 
naturally bent and inclined, yet 
al soche parciallitie and private affection laid 
aside, it is to bee thought (that for the defence, 
maintenaunce, and advauncemente of a Kyng- 
dome, or Common weale, or for the good and 
due observacion of peace, and admin istracion of 
Justice in the same) no one thinge to be more 
profitable, necessarie, or more honourable, then 
the knowledge of service in warre, and dedes of 
armes; bicause consideryng the ambicion of the 


EPISTLE worlde, it is impossible for any realme or dominion, 
TORIE " l n to cont i nu e free in quietnesse and savegarde, 
where the defence of the sweard is not alwaies 
in a readinesse. For like as the Grekes, beyng 
occupied aboute triflyng matters, takyng pleasure 
in resityng of Comedies, and soche other vain 
thinges, altogether neclecting Marciall feates, 
gave occasion to Philip kyng of Macedonia, father 
to Alexander the Great, to oppresse and to bring 
theim in servitude, under his subjeccion, even so 
undoubtedly, libertie will not be kepte, but men 
shall be troden under foote, and brought to moste 
horrible miserie and calamitie, if thei givyng 
theim selves to pastymes and pleasure, forssake 
the juste regarde of their owne defence, and 
savegarde of their countrie, whiche in temporall 
regimente, chiefly consisteth in warlike skilful- 
nesse. And therefore the aunciente Capitaines 
and mightie Conquerours, so longe as thei florished, 
did devise with moste greate diligence, all maner 
of waies, to bryng their men to the perfect know 
ledge of what so ever thing appertained to the 
warre : as manifestly appereth by the warlike 
games, whiche in old time the Princes of Grecia 
ordained, upon the mount Olimpus, and also 
by thorders and exercises, that the aunciente 


Romaines used in sundrie places, and specially EPISTLE 


in Campo Martio, and in tlieir wonderful sump 

tuous Theaters, whiche chiefly thei builded to 
that purpose. Whereby thei not onely made 
their Souldiours so experte, that thei obtained 
with a fewe, in faightyng againste a greate liouge 
multitude of enemies, soche marvellous victories, 
as in many credible Histories are mencioned, but 
also by the same meanes, their unarmed and 
rascalle people that followed their Campes, gotte 
soche understandyng in the feates of warre, that 
thei in the daie of battaile, beeyng lefte destitute 
of succour, were able without any other help, to 
set themselves in good order, for their defence 
againste the enemie, that would seke to hurte 
theim, and in soche daungerous times, have doen 
their countrie so good service, that verie often 
by their helpe, the adversaries have been put to 
flight, and fieldes moste happely wone. So that 
thantiquitie estemed nothing more happie in a 
common weale, then to have in the same many 
men skilfull in warlike affaires : by meanes whereof, 
their Empire continually inlarged, and moste won 
derfully and triumphantly prospered. For so 
longe as men for their valiauntnesse, were then 
rewarded and had in estimacion, glad was he that 



EPISTLE could finde occasion to venter, yea, and spende 


TORIE " his life, to benefite his countrie : as by the manly 
actes that Marcus Curcius, Oracius Codes, and 
Gaius Mucius did for the savegarde of Rome, 
and also by other innumerable like examples, 
dooeth plainly appeare. But when through long 
and continuall peace, thei began to bee altogether 
given to pleasure and delicatenesse, little regard- 
yng Marciall feates, nor soche as were expert in 
the practise thereof: Their dominions and estates, 
did not so moche before increase and prospere, 
as then by soche meanes and oversight, thei 
sodainly fell into decaie and utter mine. For 
soche truly is the nature and condicion, bothe 
of peace and warre, that where in governemente, 
there is not had equalle consideracion of them 
bothe, the one in fine, doeth woorke and induce, 
the others oblivion and utter abholicion. Wher- 
fore, sith the necessitie of the science of warres is 
so greate, and also the necessarie use thereof so 
manifeste, that even Ladie Peace her self, doeth 
in maner from thens crave her chief defence and 
preservacion, and the worthinesse moreover, and 
honour of the same so greate, that as by prose we 
see, the perfecte glorie therof, cannot easely finde 
roote, but in the hartes of moste noble couragious 


and manlike personages, I thought most excellente EPISTLE 


Princes, I could not either to the specialle grate- 

fiyng of your highnesse, the universal! delight of 
all studious gentlemen, or the common utilitie 
of the publike wealth, imploie my labours more 
profitablie in accomplishyng of my duetie and 
good will, then in settyng foorthe some thing, 
that might induce to the augmentyng and increase 
of the knowledge thereof: inespecially thexample 
of your highnes most politike governemente over 
us, givyng plaine testimonie of the wonderful! 
prudente desire that is in you, to have your 
people instructed in this kinde of service, as 
well for the better defence of your highnesse, 
theim selves, and their countrie, as also to dis 
courage thereby, and to be able to resist the 
malingnitie of the enemie, who otherwise would 
seeke peradventure, to invade this noble realme 
or kyngdome. 

When therfore about x. yeres paste, in the 
Emperours warres against the Mores and certain 
Turkes beyng in Barberie, at the siege and 
winnyng of Calibbia, JMonesterio and Africa, I 
had as well for my further instruction in those 
affaires, as also the better to acquainte me with 
the Italian tongue, reduced into Englishe, the 



EPISTLE booke called The arte of Warre, of the famous 
OTT* " and excellente Nicholas Machiavell, whiche in 


times paste he beyng a counsailour, and Secretaire 
of the noble Citee of Florence, not without his 
greate laude and praise did write : and havyng 
lately againe, somwhat perused the same, the 
whiche in soche continuall broiles and unquiet- 
nesse, was by me translated, I determined with my 
self, by publishyng thereof, to bestowe as greate 
a gift (sins greater I was not able) emongeste 
my countrie men, not experte in the Italian 
tongue, as in like woorkes I had seen before me, the 
Frenchemen, Duchemen, Spaniardes, and other 
forreine nacions, moste lovyngly to have bestowed 
emongeste theirs : The rather undoubtedly, that 
as by private readyng of the same booke, I then 
felt my self in that knowledge marveilously 
holpen and increased, so by communicatyng the 
same to many, our Englishemen findyng out 
the orderyng and disposyng of exploictes of 
warre therein contained, the aide and direction 
of these plaine and briefe preceptes, might 
no lesse in knowledge of warres become in- 
comperable, then in prowes also and exercise 
of the same, altogether invincible : which my 
translacion moste gracious Soveraine, together 


with soche other thynges, as by me hath been EPISTLE 


gathered, and thought good to adde thereunto, 

I have presumed to dedicate unto youre highnes : 
not onely bicause the whole charge and furniture 
of warlike counsailes and preparacions, being 
determined by the arbitremente of Governours 
and Princes, the treatise also of like effecte should 
in like maner as of right, depende upon the pro 
tection of a moste worthie and noble Patronesse, 
but also that the discourse it self, and the woorke 
of a forrein aucthour, under the passeport and 
safeconduite of your highnes moste noble name, 
might by speciall aucthoritie of the same, winne 
emongest your Majesties subjectes, moche better 
credite and estimacion. And if mooste mightie 
Queen, in this kind of Philosophic (if I maie so 
terme it) grave and sage counsailes, learned and 
wittie preceptes, or politike and prudente admoni- 
cions, ought not to be accompted the least and 
basest tewels of weale publike. Then dare I 
boldely afh rme, that of many straungers, whiche 
from forrein countries, have here tofore in this 
your Majesties realme arrived, there is none in 
comparison to bee preferred, before this worthie 
Florentine and Italian, who havyng frely with 
out any gaine of exchaunge (as after some 
B 9 


EPISTLE acquaintaunce and familiaritie will better appeare) 
brought with hym moste riche, rare and plentifull 
Treasure, shall deserve I trust of all good Eng- 
lishe hartes, most lovingly and frendly to be 
intertained, embraced and cherished. Whose 
newe Englishe apparell, how so ever it shall 
seme by me, after a grosse fasion, more fitlie 
appoincted to the Campe, then in nice termes 
attired to the Carpet, and in course clothyng 
rather putte foorthe to battaile, then in any brave 
shewe prepared to the bankette, neverthelesse 
my good will I truste, shall of your grace be 
taken in good parte, havyng fashioned the phraise 
of my rude stile, even accordyng to the purpose 
of my travaile, whiche was rather to profite the 
desirous manne of warre, then to delight the 
eares of the fine Rethorician, or daintie curious 
scholemanne : Moste humblie besechyng your 
highnes, so to accept my labour herein, as the 
first fruictes of a poore souldiours studie, who 
to the uttermoste of his smalle power, in 
the service of your moste gracious majestic, 
and of his countrie, will at al tymes, accord 
yng to his bounden duetie and allegeaunce, 
promptlie yeld hym self to any labour, travaile, 
or daunger, what so ever shal happen. Praiyng 


in the mean season the almightie GOD, to EPISTLE 


give your highnes in longe prosperous raigne, 

perfect health, desired tranquilitie, and against 
all your enemies, luckie and joifull victorie. 

Your humble subject and dailie oratour, 






Citezein and Secretarie of Florence, 

upon his booke of the Arte of Warre, unto 

Laurence Philippe Strozze, one of the 

nobilitie of Florence. 

HERE have Laurence, many helde, and do 
holde this opinion, that there is no maner 
of thing, whiche lesse agreeth the one with 
the other, nor that is so much unlike, as 
the civil life to the Souldiours. Wherby 
it is often seen, that if any determin in 
thexercise of that kinde of service to 
prevaile, that incontinent he doeth not 
only chaunge in apparel, but also in custome and maner, in 
voice, and from the facion of all civil use, he doeth alter : 
For that he thinketh not meete to clothe with civell apparell 
him, who wil be redie, and promt to all kinde of violence, 
nor the civell customes, and usages rnaie that man have, 
the whiche judgeth bothe those customes to be effeminate, 
and those usages not to be agreable to his profession : Nor 
it semes not convenient for him to use the civill gesture and 
ordinarie wordes, who with fasingand blasphemies, will make 
afraied other menne : the whiche causeth in this time, suche 
opinion to be moste true. But if thei should consider 
thauncient orders, there should nothing be founde more 
united, more confirmable, and that of necessitie ought to 
love so much the one the other, as these : for as muche as 



THE all the artes that are ordeined in a common weale, in regarde 
PROHEME or respecte of common profite of menne, all the orders made 
in the same, to live with feare of the La we, and of God, 
should be vaine, if by force of armes their defence wer not 
prepared, which well ordeined, doe maintain those also 
whiche be not well ordeined. And likewise to the contrarie, 
the good orders, without the souldiours help, no lesse or 
otherwise doe disorder, then the habitacion of a sumptuous 
and roiall palais, although it wer decte with gold and 
precious stones, when without being covered, should not 
have wherewith to defende it from the raine. And if in 
what so ever other orders of Cities and Kyngdomes, there 
hath been used al diligence for to maintain men faithfull, 
peaceable, and full of the feare of God, in the service of 
warre, it was doubled : for in what man ought the countrie 
to seke greater faith, then in him, who must promise to die 
for the same ? In whom ought there to bee more love of 
peace, then in him, whiche onely by the warre maie be 
hurte ? In whome ought there to bee more feare of GOD, 
then in him, which every daie committyng himself to 
infinite perilles, hath moste neede of his helpe ? This 
necessitie considered wel, bothe of them that gave the 
lawes to Empires, and of those that to the exercise of 
service wer apoincted, made that the life of Souldiours, of 
other menne was praised, and with all studie folowed and 
imitated. But the orders of service of war, beyng altogether 
corrupted, and a greate waie from the auncient maners 
altered, there hath growen these sinisterous opinions, which 
maketh men to hate the warlike service, and to flie the con- 
versacion of those that dooe exercise it. Albeit I judgeing 
by the same, that I have seen and redde, that it is not a 
thyng impossible, to bryng it again to the auncient maners, 
and to give it some facion of the vertue passed, I have 
determined to the entente not to passe this my idell time, 
without doyng some thyng, to write that whiche I doe 
understande, to the satisfaction of those, who of aunciente 
actes, are lovers of the science of warre. And although 
it be a bold thing to intreate of the same matter, wher of 


otherwise I have made no profession, notwithstanding I THE 

beleve it is no errour, to occupic with wordes a degree, the PROHEME 

whiche many with greater presumpcion with their deedes 

have occupied : for as muche as the errours that I maie 

happen to make by writing, may be without harme to any 

man corrected : but those the whiche of them be made in 

doyng, cannot be knowen without the ruine of Empires. 

Therefore Laurence you ought to consider the qualitie of 

this my laboure, and with your judgement to give it 

that blame, or that praise, as shall seeme unto you it 

hath deserved. The whiche I sende unto you, as well 

to shewe my selfe gratefull, although my habilitie reche 

not to the benefites, which I have received of you, as 

also for that beyng the custome to honour with like 

workes them who for nobilitie, riches, wisedome, and 

liberalise doe shine : I knowe you for riches, and 

nobilitie, not to have many peeres, for wisedome 

fewe, and for liberalitie none. 









VVhy a good man ought not to exersise warfare as his 

arte,. 33 

Deedes of armes ought to be used privatly in time of 
peace for exersise, and in time of warre for neces- 
setie and renoume, . . . . -36 

The strength of an armie is the footemen, . . 38 

The Romaines renued their Legions and had men in the 

flower of their age, . . . . -38 

Whether men of armes ought to be kept, . . 40 

What is requisete for the preparyng of an armie, 42 

Out of what contrie souldiers ought to be chosen, . 43 

Souldiers ought to bee chosen, by thaucthoritie of the 

Prince, of suche men as be his oune subjectes, . 44 
The difference of ages, that is to be taken in the 
chosinge of souldiours for the restoring of an olde 
power and for the making of a newe, . 44 

f- 17 



THE The weapons or power that is prepared, of the naturall 
TABLE subjectes, of a common weale bringeth profit and 

not hurte, ... 47 

What cause letted the Venetians, that they made not a 

Monarchi of the worlde, . 48 

How an armie maye bee prepared in the countrie, where 

were no exersise of warre, . 49 

The custome that the Romaines used, in the chosyng of 

their souldiours, . 5 1 

The greater number of men is best, 53 

Whether the multitude of armed men ar occation of 

confusion and of dissorder, . 5 5 

How to prohibite, that the Capitaines make no discension, 5 7 


What armour the antiquetie used, 6 1 

The occation of the boldenes of the duchemen, . 64 

Whiche maner of armyng menne is better either the 

Duche or Romaine fasion, . 64 

Diverse examples of late dayes, . 66 

An example of Tigran, . 69 

Whether the footemen or the horsemen ought to bee 

estemed moste, 7 

The cause whie the Romaines were overcome of the 

parthians, 7 I 

What order, or what vertue maketh, that footemen 

overcum horsemen, . 7 r 



Howe the antiquitie exersised their men to learne them THE 

to handle their weapons, ... 7 ^ TABLE 

What the antiquitie estemed moste happie in a common 

weale, . . . . . ^ 

The maner, of maintainyng the order, . . -77 

What a legion is, of Grekes called a Falange, and of 

Frenchemen Catterva, . . . -77 

The devision of a legion, and the divers names of orders, 78 
The order of batellraye, and the manner of appoincting 

the battels, ...... 82 

How to order, CCCC.L. men to doo some severall feate, 88 
The fation of a battaile that the Suisers make like a 

crosse, ..... 90 

What carriages the Capitaines ought to have, and the 

number of carriages requisite to every band of men., 91 
Diverse effectes caused of diverse soundes, . . 93 

Whereof cometh the utilitie, and the dissorder of the 

armies that are now a daies, . . -93 

The manner of arminge men, . . . -97 

The number of carriages that men of armes and lighte 

horsemen ought to have, . . . .98 


The greatest dissorder that is used now a dayes in the 

orderinge of an armie, . . . 102 

How the Romanies devided their armie in Hastati, 

Principi and Triarii, . .102 



THE The manner that the Romaines used to order them 
T A "RT "R 1 

selves agayne in the overthrow, . . .103 

The custom of the Greekes, .... 103 
A maine battaile of Suissers, . . . .104 

How manie legions of Romaine Citesens was in an ordi- 

narie armie, . . . . . .105 

The manner how to pitche a fielde to faighte a battaile, 106 
Of what number of faighting men an armie oughte to be, no 
The description of a battaile that is a faighting, . in 

An exsample of Ventidio faighting against the Parthians, 114 
An example of Epaminondas, . . . .115 

How the Artillerie is unprofitable, . . .116 

How that a maine battaile of Suissers cannot ocupie 

more then fower pikes , . . . .120 

How the battailes when thei cum to be eight or ten, 
maye be receyved in the verie same space, that 
received the fyve, . . . . .123 

The armes that the Standarde of all tharmie ought to 

have, . 125 

Divers examples of the antiquetie, . 126 


Whether the fronte of the armie ought to bee made large, 132 
To how many thinges respecte ought to be had, in the 

ordringe of an armie, . . . 133 

An example of Scipio, . . . .134 




In what place a Capitain maie order his armie with THE 

rp A |> T U 

savegarde not to be clene overthrowen, . 135 

Aniball and Scipio praised for the orderynge of their 

armies, ...... 135 

Cartes used of the Asiaticans, . . . 137 

Diverse examples of the antiquitie, . . 137 

The prudence which the Capitaine ought to use, in the 

accidence that chaunse in faigh tinge, . .138 

What a Capitaine ought to doo, that is the conqueror, 

or that is conquered, . . .140 

A Capitaine ought not to faighte the battaile, but with 

advauntage, excepte he be constrained, . .142 

How to avoide the faightinge of the fielde, . . 144 

Advertismentes that the Capitaine ought to have, . 146 

Speakyng to souldiers helpeth muche to make them to 

be curagious and bolde, .... 146 

Whether all the armie ought to bee spoken unto, or 

onely to the heddes thereof, . . . 147 


The manner how to leade an armie gowinge thorough 

suspected places, or to incounter the enemie, . 152 

An example of Aniball, . . . . .156 

Wether any thing oughte to bee commaunded with the 

voise or with the trompet, . . I 59 

The occations why the warres made now a dayes, doo 

impoverish the conquerors as well as the conquered, 162 




THE Credite ought not to be given to thinges which stand 
TABLE nothinge with reason, . . . 1 64 

The armie ought not to knowe what the Capitaine pur- 

poseth to doo, . I ^5 

Diverse examples, 167 


The maner how to incampe an armie, . 1 7 5 

How brode the spaces and the wayes ought to be within 

the campe, . .182 

What waye ought to be used when it is requiset to 

incampe nere the enemie, . .184 

How the watche and warde ought to be apoincted in 

the campe, and what punishmente they ought to 

have that doo not their dutie, . .186 

How the Romaines prohibited women to be in their 

armies and idell games to be used, . . .188 

How to incampe accordinge to the nomber of men, and 

what nomber of menne maie suffise againste, what 

so ever enemie that wer, . 191 

How to doo to be assured, of the fideletie of those that 

are had in suspition, . J 93 

What a Capitaine ought to doo beinge beseged of his 

enemies, ... 194 

Example of Coriliano and others, . 195 

It is requiset chiefly for a Capitain to kepe his souldiers 

punished and payed, *97 



Ofaguries, I97 THE 

Moste excellent advertismentes and pollicies, . . 198 

The occation of the overthrowe of the Frenchmen at 

Garigliano, ...... 202 


Cities are strong, either by nature or by industrie, . 205 

The maner of fortificacion, .... 205 

Bulwarkes ought not to be made oute of a towne 

distante from the same, .... 207 
Example of Genoa, ... . 208 

Of the Countes Catherin, . . 208 

The fation of percullesies used in Almaine, . . 210 

Howe the battelmentes of walles were made at the first, 

and how thei are made now adaies, . . .210 

The provisions that is mete to bee made, for the defence 

of a towne, . . . . .212 

Divers pollicies, for the beseginge and defendinge of a 

toune or fortres, . . . .214 

Secrete conveing of letters, . . .219 

The defence againste a breachc, . . . .219 

Generall rules of warre, . 











ORASMUCH as I beleve that after death, 
al men male be praised without charge, 
al occasion and suspecte of flatterie 
beyng taken awaie, I shal not doubte to 
praise our Cosinio Huchellay, whose name 
was never remembred of me without 
teares, havyng knowen in him those 
condicions, the whiche in a good frende 
or in a cite/ien, might of his frecndes, or of his countrie, be 
desired : for that I doe not knowe what thyng was so muche 
his, not excepting any thing (saving his soule) which for his 
frendes willingly of "him should not have been spent: I 
knowe not what enterprise should have made him afraide, 
where the same should have ben knowen to have been for 
the benefite of his countrie. And I doe painly confesse, not 
to have mette emongest so many men, as I have knowen, 
and practised withal, a man, whose minde was more inflamed 
then his, unto great and magnificent thynges. Nor he 
lamented not with his frendes of any thyng at his death, 
but because he was borne to die a yong manne within his 
owne house, before he had gotten honour, and accordynge 
to his desire, holpen any manne : for that he knewe, that 
of him coulde not be spoken other, savyng that there should 
be dead a good freende. Yet it resteth not for this, that 
we, and what so ever other that as we did know him, are 
not able to testifie (sceyng his woorkes doe not appere) of 
his lawdable qualities. True it is, that fortune was not for 
al this, so muche his encmie, that it left not some brief 



THE record of the readinesse of his witte, as doeth declare 
FIRSTE certaine of his writinges, and settyng foorthe of amorous 
BOOKE verses, wherin (although he were not in love) yet for that 
he would not consume time in vain, til unto profounder 
studies fortune should have brought him, in his youthfull 
age he exercised himselfe. Whereby moste plainly maie be 
comprehended, with how moche felicitie he did describe his 
conceiptes, and how moche for Poetrie he should have ben 
estemed, if the same for the ende therof, had of him ben 
exercised. Fortune having therfore deprived us from the 
use of so great a frende, me thinketh there can bee founde 
no other remedie, then as muche as is possible, to seke to 
enjoye the memorie of the same, and to repeate suche 
thynges as hath been of him either wittely saied, or wisely 
disputed. And for as much as there is nothyng of him 
more freshe, then the reasonyng, the whiche in his last daies 
Signior Fabricio Collonna, in his orchard had with him, 
where largely of the same gentilman were disputed matters 
of warre, bothe wittely and prudently, for the moste parte 
of Cosimo demaunded, I thought good, for that I was pre 
sent there with certain other of our frendes, to bring it to 
memorie, so that reading the same, the frendes of Cosimo, 
whiche thether came, might renewe in their mindes, the 
remembraunce of his vertue : and the other part beyng sorie 
for their absence, might partly learne hereby many thynges 
profitable, not onely to the life of Souldiours, but also 
to civil mennes lives, which gravely of a moste wise man 
was disputed. Therfore I saie, that Fabricio Collonna 
retournyng out of Lombardie, where longe time greatly to 
his glorie, he had served in the warres the catholike kyng, 
he determined, passyng by Florence, to rest himself certain 
daies in the same citee, to visite the Dukes excellencie, and 
to see certaine gentilmen, whiche in times paste he had been 
acquainted withal. For whiche cause, unto Cosimo it was 
thought beste to bid him into his orchard, not so muche to 
use his liberalitee, as to have occasion to talke with him at 
leasure, and of him to understande and to learne divers 
thinges, accordyng as of suche a man maie bee hoped for, 


semyng to have accasion to spende a dale in reasoning THE 
of suche matters, which to his minde should best satisfie FIKSTE 
him. Then Fabricio came, accordyng to his desire, and was BOOKE 
received of Cosimo together, with certain of his trustie 
frendes, emongest whome wer Zanoby Buondelmonti, Bap- 
tiste Palla, and Luigi Allamanni, all young men loved 
of him, and of the very same studies moste ardente, whose 
good qualities, for as inuche as every daie, and at every 
houre thei dooe praise them selves, we will omit. Fabritio 
was then accordyng to the time and place honoured, of all 
those honours, that thei could possible devise : But the 
bankettyng pleasures beyng passed, and the tabel taken up, 
and al preparacion of feastinges consumed, the which are 
sone at an ende in sight of greate men, who to honorable 
studies have their mindes set, the daie beyng longe, and the 
heatemuche, Cosimo judged for to content better his desire, 
that it wer well doen, takyng occasion to avoide the heate, 
to bring him into the moste secret, and shadowest place 
of his garden. Where thei beyng come, and caused to sit, 
some upon herbes, some in trie coldest places, other upon 
litle seates which there was ordeined, under the shadow of 
moste high trees, Fabritio praiseth the place, to be delect- How Soniour 
able, and particularly consideryng the trees, and not * a ricio 
knowyng some of them, he did stande musinge in his ( ()1Ioim;i and 
minde, whereof Cosimo beeyng a ware saied, you have not me"l5ir 
peradventure ben acquainted with some of these sortes together in a 
of trees : But doe not marvell at it, for as muche as there iranlem, 
bee some, that were more estemed of the antiquitie, then OMU rt>(1 into 
thei are commonly now a daies : and he tolde him the names U 
of them, and how Barnanlo his graundfather did travaile in warre 
suche kinde of plantyng : Fabritio replied, I thought it shuld 
be thesame you saie, and this place, and this studie, made 
me to remember certaine Princes of the Kyngdome of Naples, 
whiche of these auncient tilings and shadow doe delight. 
And staiyng upon this talke, and somewhat standyng in 
a studdie, saied moreover, if I thought I should not ofFende, 
I woud tell my opinion, but I beleeve I shall not, common- 
yng with friendes, and to dispute of thynges, and not to 



THE condemne them. How much better thei should have doen 
FIRSTE (be it spoken without displeasure to any man) to have 
BOOKE sought to been like the antiquitie in thinges strong, and 
sharpe, not in the delicate and softe : and in those that thei 
did in the Sunne, not in the shadowe : and to take the true 
and perfecte maners of the antiquitie : not those that are 
false and corrupted : for that when these studies pleased my 
Romaines, my countrie fell into ruin. Unto which Cosimo 
answered. But to avoide the tediousnesse to repeate so 
many times he saied, and the other answered, there shall be 
onely noted the names of those that speakes, without 
rehersing other. 

Then COSIMO saied, you have opened the waie of a 
reasoning, which I have desired, and I praie you that you 
will speake withoute respecte, for that that I without 
respecte will aske you, and if I demaundyng, or repliyng 
shall excuse, or accuse any, it shal not be to excuse, or 
accuse, but to understande of you the truth. 

FABRITIO. And I shall be very well contented to tell you 
that, whiche I understand of al the same that you shall aske 
me, the whiche if it shall be true, or no, I wil report me to 
your judgemente : and I will be glad that you aske me, for 
that I am to learne, as well of you in askyng me, as you of 
me in aunswerynge you : for as muche as many times a wise 
demaunder, maketh one to consider" many thynges, and to 
knowe many other, whiche without havyng been demaunded, 
he should never have knowen. 

COSIMO. I will retourne to thesame, that you said first, that 
my graundfather and those your Princes, should have doen 
more wisely, to have resembled the antiquitie in hard thinges, 
then in the delicate, and I will excuse my parte, for that, the 
other I shall leave to excuse for you. I doe not beleve that 
in his tyme was any manne, that so moche detested the livyng 
in ease, as he did, and that so moche was a lover of the same 
hardenesse of life, whiche you praise : notwithstanding he 
knewe not how to bee able in persone, nor in those of his 
sonnes to use it, beeyng borne in so corrupte a worlde, 
where one that would digresse from the common use, should 



bee infamed and disdained of every man : consideryng that THE 

if one in the hottest day of Summer being naked, should FIUSTE 

wallowe hymself upon the Sande, or in Winter in the moste BOOKE 

coldest monethes upon the snowe, as Diogenes did, he 

should be taken as a foole. If one, (as the Spartans were 

wonte to doe) should nourishe his children in a village, 

inakyng them to slepe in the open aire, to go with hedde 

and feete naked, to washe them selves in the colde water for 

to harden them, to be able to abide mochc paine, and for to 

make theim to love lesse life, and to feare lesse death, he 

should be scorned, and soner taken as a wilde beast, then as 

a manne. If there wer seen also one, to nourishe himself 

with peason and beanes, and to despise gold, as Fabritio 

doeth, he should bee praised of fewe, and followed of none : 

so that he being afraied of this present maner of livyng, he 

left thauncient facions, and thesame, that he could with 

lest admiracion imitate in the antiquitie, he did. 

FAHKITIO. You have excused it in this parte mooste 
strongly : and surely you saie the truthe : but I did not 
speake so inoche of this harde maner of livyng, as of other 
maners more humaine, and whiche have with the life now 
a daies greater conformitie. The whiche I doe not beleve, 
that it hath been difficulte to bryng to passe unto one, who 
is nombred emongest Princes of a citee : for the provyng 
whereof, I will never seke other, then thexample of the 
Romaines. Whose lives, if thei wer well considred, and 
thorders of thesame common weale, there should therin be 
seen many thinges, not impossible to induce into a comin- 
altie, so that it had in her any good thing. 

COSIMO. What thynges are those, that you would induce 
like unto the antiquitie. 

FAHKICIO. To honour, and to reward vertue, not to 
despise povertie, to esteme the maners and orders of war 
fare, to constrain the citezeins to love one an other, to live 
without sectes, to esteme lesse the private, than the publike, 
and other like thinges, that easily might bee with this time 
accompanied : the which maners ar not difficult to bring to 
passe, when a man should wel consider them, and cntrc 



THE therin by due meanes: for asmoche as in thesame, the 

FIRSTE truth so moche appereth, that every common wit, maie 

BOOKE easely perceive it : which thing, who that ordeineth, doth 

plant trees, under the shadowe wherof, thei abide more 

happie, and more pleasantly, then under these shadowes of 

this goodly gardeine. 

COSIMO. I will not speake any thyng againste thesame that 
you have saied, but I will leave it to bee judged of these, 
whom easely can judge, and I will tourne my communicacion 
to you, that is an accusar of theim, the whiche in grave, and 
greate doynges, are not followers of the antiquitie, think- 
yng by this waie more easely to be in my entent satisfied. 
Therfore, I would knowe of you whereof it groweth, that 
of the one side you condempne those, that in their doynges 
resemble not the antiquitie ? Of the other, in the warre, 
whiche is your art, wherin you are judged excellent, it is 
not seen, that you have indevoured your self, to bryng the 
same to any soche ende, or any thyng at all resembled 
therein the auncient maners. 

FABRICIO. You are happened upon the poincte, where 
I loked : for that my talke deserved no other question : 
nor I desired other : and albeit that I could save my self 
with an easie excuse, not withstandyng for my more con- 
tentacion, and yours, seyng that the season beareth it, I 
will enter in moche longer reasoning. Those men, whiche 
will enterprise any thyng, ought firste with all diligence to 
prepare theim selves, to be ready and apte when occasion 
serveth, to accomplishe that, which thei have determined to 
worker and for that when the preparacions are made 
craftely, thei are not knowen, there cannot be accused any 
man of any negligence, if firste it be not disclosed by 
thoccasion : in the which working not, is after seen, either 
that there is not prepared so moche as suffiseth, or that 
there hath not been of any part therof thought upon. And 
for as moche as to me there is not come any occasion to be 
able, to shewe the preparacions made of me, to reduce the 
servise of warre into his auncient orders, if I have not 
reduced it, I cannot be of you, nor of other blamed: I 


belcvc this excuse shuld suffise for answere to your accuse- THE 
merit. FIRSTE 

COSIMO. It should suffice, when I wer certain, that thoccasion BOOKE 
wer not come. 

FABKICIO. But for that I know, that you maie doubt whether 
this occasion hath been cum, or no, I will largely (when you 
with pacience will hcare me) discourse what preparacions are 
necessary first to make, what occasion muste growe, what 
difficultie doeth let, that the preparacions help not, and why 
thoccasion cannot come, and how these things at ones, which 
seme contrary endes, is most difticill, and most easie to do. 

COSIMO. You cannot do bothe to me, and unto these other, 
a thing more thankfull then this. And if to you it shall not 
be tedious to speake, unto us it shal never be grevous to 
heare : but for asmoch as this reasoning ought to be long, 
I will with your license take helpe of these my frendes : and 
thei, and I praie you of one thyng, that is, that you will not 
bee greved, if some tyme with some question of importaunce, 
we interrupte you. 

FABKICIO. I am inoste well contented, that you Cosimo 
with these other younge men here, doe aske me : for that I 
beleve, that youthfulnes, will make you lovers of warlike 
thinges, and more easie to beleve thesame, that of me shalbe 
saied. These other, by reason of havyng nowe their hedde 
white, and for havyng upon their backes their bloude con- 
geled, parte of theim are wonte to bee enemies of warre, 
parte uncorrectable, as those, whom beleve, that tymes, and 
not the naughtie maners, constraine men to live thus : so 
that safely aske you all of me, and without respecte : the 
whiche I desire, as well, for that it maie be unto me a little 
ease, as also for that I shall have pleasure, not to leave in 
your mynde any doubt. I will begin at your woordes, where 
you saied unto me, that in the warre, that is my arte, I had 
not indevoured to bryng it to any aunciente ende : where 
upon I saie, as this beyng an arte, whereby men of no manor 
of age can live honestly, it cannot bee used for an arte, but 
of a common weale : or of a kyngdome : and the one and 
the other of these, when thei bee well ordeined, will never 

E 33 


Why a good 
man ought 
never to use 
the exercise 
of armes, as 
his art. 


consente to any their Citezeins, or Subjectes, to use it for 
any arte, nor never any good manne doeth exercise it for his 
particulare arte : for as moche as good he shall never bee 
judged, whom maketh an excersise thereof, where purposing 
alwaies to gaine thereby, it is requisite for hym to be raven- 
yng, deceiptfull, violente, and to have many qualities, the 
whiche of necessitie maketh hym not good : nor those menne 
cannot, whiche use it for an arte, as well the greate as the 
leaste, bee made otherwise : for that this arte doeth not 
nourishe them in peace. Wherfore thei ar constrained, 
either to thinke that there is no peace, or so moche to 
prevaile in the tyme of warre, that in peace thei maie bee 
able to kepe them selves : and neither of these two 
thoughtes happeneth in a good man : for that in mindyng 
to bee able to finde himself at all tymes, dooe growe 
robberies, violence, slaughters, whiche soche souldiours make 
as well to the frendes, as to the enemies : and in mindyng 
not to have peace, there groweth deceiptes, whiche the 
capitaines use to those, whiche hire them, to the entent the 
warre maie continue, and yet though the peace come often, 
it happeneth that the capitaines beyng deprived of their 
stipendes, and of their licencious livyng, thei erecte an 
ansigne of adventures, and without any pitie thei put to 
sacke a province. Have not you in memorie of your affaires, 
how that beyng many Souldiours in Italic without wages, 
bicause the warre was ended, thei assembled together many 
companies, and went taxyng the tounes, and sackyng the 
countrie, without beyng able to make any remedie ? Have 
you not red, that the Carthagenes souldiours, the first warre 
beyng ended which thei had with the Romaines, under 
Matho, and Spendio, twoo capitaines, rebelliously con 
stituted of theim, made more perillous warre to the 
Carthaginens, then thesame whiche thei had ended with the 
Romaines? In the time of our fathers, Frances Sforza, to 
the entente to bee able to live honourably in the time of 
peace, not only beguiled the Millenars, whose souldiour he 
was, but he toke from them their libertie and became their 
Prince. Like unto him hath been all the other souldiours 


of Italie, whiche have used warfare, for their particulare THE 

arte, and albeeit thei have not through their nmlignitie FIRSTE 

becomcn Dukes of Milein, so inochc the more thei deserve BOOKK 

to bee blamed : for that although thei have not gotten so 

moch as he, thei have all (if their lives wer seen) sought to 

bring the like thynges to passe. Sforza father of Frnunces, 

constrained Queue Jone, to caste her self into the armes 

of the king of Aragon, havyng in a sodain forsaken her, and 

in the middest of her enemies, lefte her disarmed, onely to 

satisfie his ambicion, either in taxyng her, or in takyng from 

her the Kyngdome. Braccio with the verie same Industrie, 

sought to possesse the kyngdome of Naples, and if he had 

not been overthrowen and slaine at Aquila, he had brought 

it to passe. Like disorders growe not of other, then of sot-he 

men as hath been, that use the exercise of warfare, for their 

proper arte. Have not you a Proverbe, whiche fortetieth A Proverhe 

my reasons, whiche saieth, that warre maketh Theves, and f warre an 

peace hangeth theim up ? For as moche as those, whiche P eace * 

knowe not how to live of other exercise, and in the same 

finding not enie man to sustaync theym, and havyng not so 

moche power, to knowe how to reduce theim selves together, 

to make an open rebellion, they are constrayned of necessetie 

to Robbe in the highe waies, and Justice is enforced to 

extinguishe theim. 

COSIMO. You have made me to esteme this arte of war 
fare almoste as nothyng, and I have supposed it the moste 
excellentes, and moste honourableste that hath been used : 
so that if you declare me it not better, I cannot remaine 
satisfied : For that when it is thesame, that you saie, I 
knowe not, whereof groweth the glorie of Cesar, of Pompei, 
of Scipio, of Marcello, arid of so many llomaine Capitaines, 
whiche bv fame are celebrated as Goddes. 

FAUKICIO. I have not yet made an ende of disputyng al 
thesame, that I purposed to propounde : whiche were twoo 
thynges, the one, that a good manne could not use this 
exercise for his arte : the other, that a common weale or 
a kingdome well governed, did never permitte, that their 
Subjectes or Citexeiiis should use it, for an arte. Aboute the 


THE firste, I have spoken as moche as hath comen into my 
FIRSTE mynde: there remaineth in me to speake of the seconde, 
BOOKE where I woll come to aunswere to this your laste question, 
and I saie that Pompey and Cesar, and almoste all those 
Capitaines, whiche were at Rome, after the laste Cartha- 
genens warre, gotte fame as valiaunt men, not as good, and 
those whiche lived before them, gotte glorie as valiaunte and 
good menne : the whiche grewe, for that these tooke not the 
exercise of warre for their arte : and those whiche I named 
firste, as their arte did use it. And so longe as the common 
weale lived unspotted, never any noble Citezein would pre 
sume, by the meane of soche exercise, to availe thereby in 
peace, breakyng the lawes, spoilyng the Provinces, usurp- 
yng, and plaiyng the Tyraunte in the countrie, and in every 
maner prevailyng : nor any of how lowe degree so ever thei 
were, would goe aboute to violate the Religion, confederat- 
yng theim selves with private men, not to feare the Senate, 
or to followe any tirannicall insolence, for to bee able to 
live with the arte of warre in all tymes. But those whiche 
were Capitaines, contented with triumphe, with desire did 
tourne to their private life, and those whiche were membres, 
would be more willyng to laie awaie their weapons, then to 
take them, and every manne tourned to his science, whereby 
thei gotte their livyng : Nor there was never any, that would 
hope with praie, and with this arte, to be able to finde 
theim selves. Of this there maie be made concernyng Cite- 
zeins, moste evidente conjecture, by the ensample of Regolo 
Attillio, who beyng Capitain of the Romaine armies in 
Affrica, and havyng as it wer overcome the Carthegenens, 
he required of the Senate, licence to retourne home, to kepe 
his possessions, and told them, that thei were marde of his 
housbandmen. Whereby it is more clere then the Sunne, 
that if thesame manne had used the warre as his arte, and 
by meanes thereof, had purposed to have made it profitable 
unto him, havyng in praie so many Provinces, he would not 
have asked license, to returne to kepe his feldes : for as 
moche as every daie he might otherwise, have gotten moche 
more, then the value of al those possessions : but bicause 


these good men, and soche as use not the warre for their THE 
arte, will not take of thesame any thing then labour, FIRSTE 
perilles, and glorie, when thei are sufficiently glorious, thei BOOKE 
desire to returne home, and to live of their owne science. 
Concernyng menne of lowe degree, and common souldiours, 
to prove that thei kepte the verie same order, it doeth 
appeare that every one willingly absented theim selves from 
soche exercise, and when thei served not in the warre, thei 
would have desired to serve, and when thei did serve, thei 
would have desired leave not to have served : whiche is wel 
knowen through many insamples, and inespecially seeyng 
how emonge the firste privileges, whiche the Romaine people 
gave to their Citc/eins was, that thei should not be con 
strained against their willes, to serve in the warres. There 
fore, Rome so long as it was well governed, whiche was 
nntill the commyng of Graccus, it had not any Souldiour 
that would take this exercise for an arte, and therefore it 
had fewe naughtie, and those few wer severely punished. 
Then a citee well governed, ought to desire, that this sttidie 
of warre, be used in tyme of peace for exercise, and in the 
time of warre, for necessitie and for glorie : and to suffer 
onely the common weale to use it for an arte, as Rome did, 
and what so ever Citezein, that hath in soche exercise other 
ende, is not good, and what so ever citee is governed other 
wise, is not well ordeined. 

COSIMO. I remain contented enough and satisfied of the 
same, whiche hetherto you have told, and this conclusion 
pleaseth me verie wel whiche you have made, and as muche 
as is loked for touching a common welth, I beleve that it is 
true, but concerning Kinges, I can not tell nowe, for that I 
woulde beleve that a Kinge would have about him, whome 
particularly should take suche exercise for his arte. 

FABRITIO. A kingdorne well ordred ought moste of all 
to avoide the like kinde of men, for only thei, are tin- 
destruction of their king, and all together ministers of 
tirannv, and alledge me not to the contrarie anie presente 
kingdome, for that I woll denie you all those to be king- 
domes well ordered, bicause the kingdomes whiche have 



THE good orders, give not their absolute Empire unto their 
FIRSTE king, saving in the armies, for as much as in this place only, 
BOOKE a quicke deliberation is necessarie, and for this cause a 
principall power ought to be made. In the other affaires, 
he ought not to doe any thing without councell, and those 
are to be feared, which councell him, leaste he have some 
aboute him which in time of peace desireth to have warre, 
bicause they are not able without the same to live, but in 
this, I wilbe a little more large : neither to seke a kingdome 
altogether good, but like unto those whiche be nowe a daies, 
where also of a king those ought to be feared, whiche take 
the warre for theire art, for that the strength of armies 
without any doubte are the foote menne : so that if a king 
take not order in suche wise, that his men in time of peace 
may be content to returne home, and to live of their owne 
trades, it will follow of necessitie, that he ruinate : for that 
there is not found more perilous men, then those, whiche 
make the warre as their arte : bicause in such case, a king 
is inforsed either alwaies to make warre, or to paie them 
alwaies, or else to bee in peril!, that they take not from him 
his kingdome. To make warre alwaies, it is not possible : 
to paie them alwaies it can not be : see that of necessitie, he 
runneth in peril to lese the state. The Romanies (as I have 
saide) so long as they were wise and good, would never 
permitte, that their Citizeins should take this exercise for 
their arte, although they were able to nurrishe them therin 
alwaies, for that that alwaies they made warre: but to 
avoide thesame hurte, whiche this continuall exercise might 
doe them, seyng the time did not varie, they changed the 
men, and from time to time toke such order with their 
legions, that in xv. yeres alwaies, they renewed them : and 
so thei had their men in the floure of their age, that is from 
xviij. to xxxiij. yeres, in which time the legges, the handes, 
and the yes answere the one the other, nor thei tarried not 
till there strengthe should decaie, and there naghtines 
increase, as it did after in the corrupted times. For as 
muche as Octavian first, and after Tiberius, minding more 
their own proper power, then the publicke profite, began to 


unarme the Romaine people, to be able easely to commaunde THE 
them, and to kepe continually those same armies on the FIKSTE 
frontries of the Empire : and bicause also they judged those, BOOKE 
not sufficient to kepe brideled the people and Romaine 
Senate, they ordeined an armie called Pretoriano, which hue 
harde by the walles of Rome, and was as a rocke on the 
backe of the same Citie. And for as much as then thei 
began frely to permitte, that suche men as were apoincted 
in suche exercises, should use the service of warre for their 
arte, streight waie the insolence of thcim grewe, that they 
became fearful unto the Senate, and hurtefull to the 
Emperour, whereby ensued suche harme, that ninnie were 
slaine thorough there insolensie : for that they gave, and 
toke awaie the Empire, to whome they thought good. And 
some while it hapned, that in one self time there were manic 
Emperours, created of divers armies, of whiche thinges pro- 
ceded first the devision of the Empire, and at laste the ruine 
of the same. Therefore kinges ought, if thei wil live safely, 
to have there souldiours made of men, who when it is time 
to make warre, willingly for his love will go to the same, 
and when the peace cometh after, more willingly will returne 
home. Whiche alwaies wilbe, when thei shalbe men that 
know how to live of other arte then this: and so they 
ought to desire, peace beyng come, that there Prince doo 
tourne to governe their people, the gentilmen to the tending 
of there possessions, and the common souldiours to their 
particular arte, and everie one of these, to make warre to 
have peace, and not to seke to trouble the peace, to have 

COSIMO. Truely this reasonyng of yours, I thinke to bee well 
considered, notwithstanding beyng almost contrarie to that, 
whiche till nowe I have thought, my minde as yet doeth not 
reste purged of all doubte, for as muche as I see manie 
Ix)rdes and gentelmen, to finde them selves in time of peace, 
thorough the studies of warre, as your matches bee, who 
have provision of there princes, and of the cominaltie. I 
see also, almost al the gentelmen of armes, remaine with 
their provision, I see manie souldiours lie in garison of Cities 



THE and fortresses, so that my thinkes, that there is place in time 

FIRSTE of peace, for everie one. 

BOOKE FABRITIO. I doe not beleve that you beleve this, that in 
time of peace everie man may have place, bicause, put 
case that there coulde not be brought other reason, the 
small number, that all they make, whiche remaine in the 
places alledged of you, would answer you. What pro- 
porcion have the souldiours, whiche are requiset to bee 
in the warre with those, whiche in the peace are occu 
pied ? For as much as the fortreses, and the cities that be 
warded in time of peace, in the warre are warded muche 
more, unto whome are joyned the souldiours, whiche kepe 
in the fielde, whiche are a great number, all whiche in the 
peace be putte awaie. And concerning the garde of states, 
whiche are a small number, Pope July, and you have shewed 
to everie man, how muche are to be feared those, who will 
not learne to exercise any other art, then the warre, and 
you have for there insolence, deprived them from your 
garde, and have placed therin Swisers, as men borne and 
brought up under lawes, and chosen of the cominaltie, 
according to the true election : so that saie no more, that in 
peace is place for everie man. Concerning men at armes, 
thei al remaining in peace with their wages, maketh this 
resolution to seme more difficulte : notwithstandyng who 
considereth well all, shall finde the answere easie, bicause 
this manner of keping men of armes, is a corrupted manner 
and not good, the occasion is, for that they be men, who 
make thereof an arte, and of them their should grow every 
daie a thousande inconveniencies in the states, where thei 
should be, if thei were accompanied of sufficient company : 
but beyng fewe, and not able by them selves to make an 
armie, they cannot often doe suche grevous hurtes, neverthe- 
lesse they have done oftentimes : as I have said of Frances, 
and of Sforza his father, and of Braccio of Perugia : so that 
this use of keping men of armes, I doe not alowe, for it is 
a corrupte maner, and it may make great inconveniencies. 

Cosmo. Woulde you live without them ? or keping them, 
how would you kepe them ? 


FABRITIO. By waie of ordinaunce, not like to those of the THE 
king of Fraunce : for as muche as they be perilous, and FIRSTS 
insolent like unto ours, but I would kepe them like unto BOOKS 
those of the auncient Romaines, whom created their chivalry 
of their own subjectes, and in peace time, thei sente them 
home unto their houses, to live of their owne trades, as more 
largely before this reasoning ende, I shal dispute. So that 
if now this part of an armie, can live in such exercise, as wel 
when it is peace, it groweth of the corrupt order. Concern 
ing the provisions, which are reserved to me, and to other 
capitaines, I saie unto you, that this likewise is an order 
moste corrupted : for as much as a wise common weale, 
ought not to give such stipendes to any, but rather thei 
ought to use for Capitaines in the warre, their Cite/eins, 
and in time of peace to will, that thei returne to their 
occupations. Likewise also, a wise king either ought not 
to give to suche, or giving any, the occasion ought to be 
either for rewarde of some worthy dede, or else for the desire 
to kepe suche a kinde of man, as well in peace as in warre. 
And bicause you alledged me, I will make ensample upon 
my self, and saie that I never used the warre as an arte, for 
as muche as my arte, is to governe my subjectes, and to 
defende them, and to be able to defende them, to love peace, 
and to know how to make warre, and my kinge not so 
muche to rewarde and esteeme me, for my knowledge in the 
warre, as for the knowledge that I have to councel him in 
peace. Then a king ought not to desire to have about him, A kin^c that 
any that is not of this condicion if he be wise, and prudently hath about 
minde to governe: for that, that if he shal have about him him a "y tl |j lt 
either to muche lovers of peace, or to much lovers of warre, j^,," "J"* 
they shall make him to erre. I cannot in this my first e warre, or to 
reasoning, and according to my purpose saie more, and when much lovers 
this suHiseth you not, it is mete, you seke of them that may nf p " ; s}ia 
satisfie you better. You maie now verie well understand, "* e him t( 
how difh culte it is to bringe in use the auncient maners in 
the presente warres, and what preparations are mete for 
a wise man to make, and what occasions ought to be loked 
for, to be able to execute it. But by and by, you shall 

F 41 


THE know these things better, if this reasoning make you not 
FIRSTE werie, conferring what so ever partes of the auncient orders 
BOOKE hath ben, to the maners nowe presente. 

COSIMO. If we desired at the first to here your reason of 
these thinges, truly thesame whiche hetherto you have 
spoken, hath doubled our desire : wherefore we thanke you 
for that we have hard, and the rest, we crave of you to here. 
FABRITIO. Seyng that it is so your pleasure, I will begin 
to intreate of this matter from the beginning, to the intent 
it maye be better understode, being able by thesame meane, 
more largely to declare it. The ende of him that wil make 
warre, is to be able to fight with every enemy in the fielde, 
and to be able to overcum an armie. To purpose to doe 
this, it is convenient to ordeine an hoost. To ordein an 
hoost, their must be found menne, armed, ordered, and as 
well in the small, as in the great orders exercised, to knowe 
ho we to kepe araie, and to incampe, so that after bringing 
them unto the enemie, either standing or marching, they 
maie know how to behave themselves valiantly. In this 
thing consisteth all the Industrie of the warre on the lande, 
whiche is the most necessarie, and the most honorablest, for 
he that can wel order a fielde against the enemie, the other 
faultes that he should make in the affaires of warre, wilbe 
borne with : but he that lacketh this knowledge, although 
that in other particulars he be verie good, he shal never bring 
a warre to honor : for as muche as a fielde that thou winnest, 
doeth cancell all other thy evill actes : so like wise lesing it, 
all thinges well done of thee before, remaine vaine. Ther- 
fore, beyng necessarie first to finde the menne, it is requiset 
to come to the choise of them. They whiche unto the warre 
have given rule, will that the menne be chosen out of 
temperate countries, to the intente they may have hardines, 
and prudence, for as muche as the hote countrey, bredes 
prudente men and not hardy, the colde, hardy, and not 
prudente. This rule is good to be geven, to one that were 
prince of all the world, bicause it is lawfull for him to choose 
men out of those places, whiche he shall thinke beste. But 
minding to give a rule, that every one may use, it is mete to 


declare, that everie common weale, and every kingdome, THE 
ought to choose their souldiours out of their owne countrie, FIRSTE 
whether it be hote, colde, or temperate : for that it is scene BOOKE 
by olde ensamples, how that in every countrie with exercise, Oute of what 
their is made good souldiours : bicause where nature lacketh, (<oll trie is 
the industry supplieth, the which in this case is worthe SouVliour" to 
more, then nature, and taking them in other places, you make a g 
shal not have of the choise, for choise is as much to saie, as election, 
the best of a province, and to have power to chuse those 
that will not, as well as those that wil serve. Wherfore. 
you muste take your choise in those places, that are subject? 
unto you, for that you cannot take whome you liste, iu the 
countries that are not yours, but you muste take suche as 
will goe with you. 

COKIMO. Yet there maie bee of those, that will come, taken 
and lefte, and therefore, thei maie be called chosen. 

FABRICIO. You saie the truthe in a certaine maner, but con 
sider the faultes, whiche soche a chosen marine hath in him- 
selfe, for that also many times it hapneth, that he is not a 
chosen manne. For those that are not thy subjectes, and 
whiche willyngly doe serve, are not of the beste, but rather 
of the worste of a Province, for as mot-he as if any be 
sclanderous, idell, unruly, without Religion, fugetive from 
the rule of their fathers, blasphemours, Disc plaiers, in 
every condicion evill brought up, bee those, whiche will 
serve, whose customes cannot be more contrarie, to a true 
and good servise : Albeit, when there bee offered unto you, 
so many of soche men, as come to above the nomber, that 
you have appoincted, you maie chuse them : but the matter 
beyng naught, the choise is not possible to be good : also, 
many times it chaunceth, that thei be not so many, as will 
make up the nomber, whereof you have nede, so that beyng 
constrained to take them al, it commcth to passe, that thei 
cannot then bee called chosen men, but hired Souldiours. 
With this disorder the armies of Italic, are made now a daies, 
and in other places, except in Almaine. bicause there thei 
doe not hire any by commaundemente of the Prince, but 
accordyng to the will of them, that are disposed to serve. 



Then consider now, what maners of those aunciente armies, 
maie bee brought into an armie of men, put together by 
BOOKE iik e waies. 

COSIMO. What waie ought to bee used then ? 
FABUITIO. Thesame waie that I saied, to chuse them of 
their owne subjectes, and with the aucthoritie of the Prince. 
COSIMO. In the chosen, shall there bee likewise brought in 
any auncient facion ? 

FABRICIO. You know well enough that ye : when he that 
should commaunde theim, were their Prince, or ordinarie 
lorde, whether he were made chief, or as a Citezein, and for 
thesame tyme Capitaine, beyng a common weale, otherwise 
it is harde to make any thyng good. 

FABRICIO. I will tell you a nane : For this time I will 
that this suffise you, that it cannot be wrought well by 
other waie. 

COSIMO. Having then to make this choyse of men in their 
owne countries, whether judge you that it be better to take 
them oute of the citie, or out of the countrie ? 

Whether it be FABRITIO. Those that have written of such matters, doe 

etter to take all agree, that it is best to chuse them out of the 

tovraetor out countrie > bein men accustomed to no ease, nurished in 

of the countrie labours, used to stonde in the sunne, to flie the shadow, 

to serve. knowing how to occupy the spade, to make a diche, 

to carrie a burden, and to bee without any deceite, 

and without malisiousnes. But in this parte my opinion 

should be, that beyng two sortes of souldiours, on foote, 

and on horsebacke, that those on foote, should be chosen 

out of the countrie, and those on horseback, oute of the 


COSIMO. Of what age would you choose them ? 

Of what age FABRICIO. I would take them, when I had to make a newe 
Souldiours armie, from xvii. to xl. yeres : when it were made alredy, 

chosen and l had to restore them > of xvii - alwaies. 

COSIMO. I doe not understonde well this distinction. 
FABRICIO. I shall tell you : when I should ordain e an 
hooste to make warre, where were no hooste alredy, it 


should be necessarie to chuse all those men, which were THE 
most fitte and apte for the warre, so that they were FIRSTE 
of servisable age, that I might bee able to instructe BOOKE 
theim, as by me shalbe declared : but when I would 
make my choise of menne in places, where a powre were 
alredy prepared, for suppliyng of thesame, I would take 
them of xvii. yeres : for as much as the other of more 
age, be aired v chosen and apoincted. 

COSIMO. Then woulde you prepare a power like to those 
whiche is in our countrie ? 

FARRICIO. Ye truly, it is so that I would arme them, 
Captaine them, exercise and order them in a manor, whiche 
I cannot tell, if you have ordred them so. 

COSIMO. Then do you praise the keping of order ? 

FABRITIO. Wherefore would you that I should dispraise it ? 

COSIMO. Bicause many wise menne have alwaies blamed it. 

FAHRICIO. You speake against all reason, to saie that a 
wise man blameth order, he maie bee well thought wise, 
and be nothyng so. 

COSIMO. The naughtie profe, which it hath alwaies, maketh 
us to have soche opinion thereof. 

FARRICIO. Take hede it be not your fault, and not the 
kepyng of order, the whiche you shall knowe, before this 
reasonvng be ended. 

COSIMO. You shall doe a thyng moste thankfull, yet I 
will saie concernyng thesame, that tliei accuse it, to the 
entente you maie the better justifie it. Thei saie thus, 
either it is unprofitable, and we trustyng on the same, shall 
make us to lese our state, or it shall be verteous, and by the 
same meane, he that governeth may easely deprive us thereof. 
Thei alledge the Homaines, who by meane of their owne 
powers, loste their libertie. Thei alledge the Venicians, 
and the Frenche king, whiche Venicians, bicause thei will 
not be constrained, to obeie one of their owne Cite/eins, use 
the power of straungers : and the Frenche kyng hath dis 
armed his people, to be able more easely to commaunde 
them, but thei whiche like not the ordinaunces, feare moche 
more the unprofit iblenesse, that thei suppose maie insuc 



By what 
meanes soul- 
diours bee 
made bolde 
and experte. 


thereby, then any thyng els : the one cause whiche thei 
allege is, bicause thei are unexperte : The other, for that 
thei have to serve par force: for asmoche as thei saie, that the 
aged bee not so dissiplinable, nor apte to learne the feate 
of armes, and that by force, is doen never any thyng good. 

FABRICIO. All these reasons that you have rehearsed, be of 
men, whiche knoweth the thyng full little, as I shall plainly 
declare. And firste, concernyng the unprofitablenesse, I tell 
you, that there is no service used in any countrie more 
profitable, then the service by the Subjectes of thesame, 
nor thesame service cannot bee prepared, but in this 
maner : and for that this nedeth not to be disputed of, I will 
not lese moche tyme : bicause al thensamples of auncient 
histores, make for my purpose, and for that thei alledge the 
lacke of experience, and to use constraint : I saie how it is 
true, that the lacke of experience, causeth lacke of courage, 
and constrainte, maketh evill contentacion : but courage, 
and experience thei are made to gette, with the maner of 
armyng theim, exercisyng, and orderyng theim, as in pro- 
ceadyng of this reasonyng, you shall heare. But concernyng 
constrainte, you ought to understande, that the menne, whiche 
are conducted to warfare, by commaundement of their Prince, 
thei ought to come, neither altogether forced, nor altogether 
willyngly, for as moche as to moche willyngnesse, would 
make thinconveniencies. where I told afore, that he should 
not be a chosen manne, and those would be fewe that would 
go : and so to moche constraint, will bring forth naughtie 
effectes. Therefore, a meane ought to be taken, where is 
not all constrainte, nor all willingnesse : but beyng drawen 
of a respecte, that thei have towardes their Prince, where 
thei feare more the displeasure of thesame, then the presente 
paine : and alwaies it shall happen to be a constrainte, in 
maner mingled with willingnesse, that there cannot growe 
soche evil contentacion, that it make evill effectes. Yet 
I saie not for all this, that it cannot bee overcome, for that 
full many tymes, were overcome the Romaine armies, and 
the armie of Aniball was overcome, so that it is seen, that 
an armie cannot be ordained so sure, that it cannot be over- 



throwen. Therefore, these your wise men, ought not to 
measure this unprofitablenesse, for havyng loste ones, but 
to beleve, that like as thei lese, so thei maie winne, and 
remeadie the occasion of the losse : and when thei shall 
seke this, thei shall finde, that it hath not been through 
faulte of the waie, but of the order, whiche had not his per- 
feccion, and as I have saied, thei ought to provide, not with 
blamyng the order, but with redressing it, the whiche how 
it ought to be doen, you shall understande, from poinct 
to poinct. Concernyng the doubte, leste soche ordinaunces, 
take not from thee thy state, by meane of one, whiche is 
made hedde therof, I answere, that the arm u re on the 
backes of citezeins, or subjcctcs, given by the disposicion of 
order and lawe, did never harme, but rather alwaies it doeth 
good, and mainteineth the citee, moche lenger in suretie, 
through helpe of this armure, then without. Home con 
tinued free CCCC. yeres, and was armed. Sparta viii.C. 
Many other citees have been disarmed, and have remained 
free, lesse then xl. For as moche as citees have nede of 
defence, and when thei have no defence of their owne, thei 
hire straungers, and the straunges defence, shall hurte 
moche soner the common weale, then their owne : bicause 
thei be moche easier to be corrupted, and a citezein that 
becommeth mightie, maie moche soner usurpe, and more 
easely bryng his purpose to passe, where the people bee 
disarmed, that he seketh to oppresse : besides this, a citee 
ought to feare a greate deale more, twoo enemies then one. 
Thesame citee that useth straungers power, feareth at one 
instant the straunger, whiche it hireth, and the Citezein : 
and whether this feare ought to be, remember thesame, 
whiche I rehearsed a little a fore of Frances Sfor/a. That, 
citee, whiche useth her own proper power, feareth no man, 
other then onely her owne Cite/ein. But for all the reasons 
that maie bee saied, this shall serve me, that never any 
ordeined any common weale, or Kyngdome, that would not. 
thinke, that thei theini selves, that inhabite thesame, should 
with their sweardes defende it. 

And if the Venicians had been so wise in this, as in all 



A Citee that 
useth the 
servise <>f 
feareth at one 
instaunte the 
which it 
hireth . ind the 
rite/ens of 


THE their other orders, thei should have made a new Monarchie in 
RSTE the world, whom so moche the more deserve blame, havyng 
BOOKE been armed of their first giver of lawes : for havyng no 
dominion on the lande, thei wer armed on the sea, where 
thei made their warre vertuously, and with weapons in their 
handes, increased their coimtrie. But when thei were driven, 
to make warre on the lande, to defende Vicenza, where thei 
ought to have sent one of their citezens, to have fought on 
the lande, thei hired for their capitain, the Marques of 
Mantua : this was thesame foolishe acte, whiche cut of 
their legges, from climyng into heaven, and from enlargyng 
their dominion : and if thei did it, bicause thei beleved, 
that as thei knewe, how to make warre on the Sea, so thei 
mistrusted theim selves, to make it on the lande, it was a 
mistruste not wise : for as moche as more easely, a capitain 
of the sea, whiche is used to fight with the windes, with the 
water, and with men, shall become a Capitaine of the lande, 
where he shall fight with men onely, then a capitaine of 
the lande, to become a capitain of the sea. The Romaines 
knowyng how to fight on the lande, and on the sea, commyng 
to warre, with the Carthaginens, whiche were mightie on the 
sea, hired not Grekes, or Spaniardes, accustomed to the sea, 
but thei committed thesame care, to their Citezeins, whiche 
thei sent on the land, and thei overcame. If thei did it, 
for that one of their citezeins should not become a tiraunt, 
it was a feare smally considered : for that besides thesame 
reasons, whiche to this purpose, a little afore I have re 
hearsed, if a Citezein with the powers on the sea, was never 
made a tiraunt in a citee standyng in the sea, so moche the 
lesse he should have been able to accomplishe this with the 
powers of the lande : whereby thei ought to se that the 
weapons in the handes of their Citezeins, could not make 
tirantes : but the naughtie orders of the governement, whiche 
maketh tirannie in a citee, and thei havyng good governe 
ment, thei nede not to feare their owne weapons : thei toke 
therefore an unwise waie, the whiche hath been occasion, to 
take from them moche glorie, and moche felicitie. Con- 
cernyng the erroure, whiche the kyng of Fraunce committeth 


not kepyng instructed his people in the warre, the whiche THE 
those your wise men alledge for ensample, there is no man, FIRSTE 
(his particulare passions laied a side) that doeth not judge BOOKE 
this fault, to be in thesame kyngdome, and this negligence 
onely to make hym weake. But I have made to greate a 
digression, and peradventure am come out of my purpose, 
albeit, I have doen it to aunswere you, and to shewe you, 
that in no cotmtrie, there can bee made sure foundacion, for 
defence in other powers but of their owne subjectes : and 
their own power, cannot be prepared otherwise, then by 
waie of an ordinaunce, nor by other waie, to induce the 
facion of an armie in any place, nor by other meane to 
ordein an instruction of warfare. If you have red the 
orders, whiche those first kynges made in Rome, and in- 
especially Servio Tullo, you shall finde that the orders of 
the Classi is no other, then an ordinaunce, to bee able at a 
sodaine, to bryng together an armie, for defence of thesame 
citee. But let us retourne to our choise, I saie again e, that 
havyng to renewe an olde order, I would take them of xvii. 
havyng to make a newe armie, I would take them of all 
ages, betwene xvii. and xl. to be able to warre straight waie. 

COSIMO. Would you make any difference, of what science 
you would chuse them ? 

FAHIUTIO. The aucthours, which have written of the arte 
of warre, make difference, for that thei will not, that there 
bee taken Fouler*, Fishers, Cookes, baudes, nor none that 
use any science of voluptuousnesse. But thei will, that there Of what 
bee taken Plowmen, Ferrars, Smithes, Carpenters, Buchars, science sol- 
IIunters,and soche like : but I would make little difference, di( urs oupht 
through conjecture of the science, concernyng the goodnesse c 
of the man, notwithstaiulyng, in as moche as to be able with 
more proh te to use theim, I would make difference, and for 
this cause, the countrie men, which are used to till the 
grounde, are more profitable then any other. Next to 
whom be Smithes, Carpentars, Ferrars, Masons, wherof it 
is profitable to have enough : for that their occupations, 
serve well in many thynges : bevng a thvng verie good to 
have a souldiour, of whom maie be had double servise. 

G 49 


THE COSIMO. Wherby doe thei knowe those, that be, or are 

FIRSTE not sufficient to serve. 

BOOKE FABUITIO. I will speake of the maner of chusing a new 
ordinaunce, to make an armie after, for that, parte of this 
matter, doeth come also to be reasoned of, in the election, 
which should be made for the replenishing, or restoring 
of an old ordinaunce. I saie therfore, that the good- 
nesse of one, whiche thou muste chuse for a Souldiour, is 
knowen either by experience, thorough meane of some of his 
worthy doynges, or by conjecture. The proofe of vertue, 
cannot be founde in men whiche are chosen of newe, and 
whiche never afore have ben chosen, and of these are 
founde either fewe or none, in the ordinaunce that of newe 
is ordeined. It is necessarie therefore, lackyng this ex 
perience, to runne to the conjecture, whiche is taken by 
the yeres, by the occupacion, and by the personage : of 
those two first, hath been reasoned, there remaineth to 
speake of the thirde. And therefore, I saie how some have 
willed, that the souldiour bee greate, emongest whom was 
Pirrus. Some other have chosen theim onely, by the lusti- 
nesse of the body, as Cesar did : whiche lustinesse of bodie 
and mynde, is conjectured by the composicion of the 
members, and of the grace of the countenaunce : and 
Ho we to chose therefore, these that write saie, that thei would have the 
a souldiour. jy es lively and cherefull, the necke full of sinowes, the 
breaste large, the armes full of musculles. the fingers long, 
little beallie, the flankes rounde, the legges and feete drie : 
whiche partes are wont alwayes to make a manne nimble 
and strong, whiche are twoo thynges, that in a souldiour 
are sought above al other. Regarde ought to bee had above 
all thynges, to his customes, and that in hym bee honestie, 
and shame : otherwise, there shall bee chosen an instrumente 
of mischief, and a beginnyng of corrupcion : for that lette 
no manne beleve that in the dishoneste educacion, and 
filthy minde, there maie take any vertue, whiche is in any 
parte laudable. And I thinke it not superfluous, but rather 
I beleve it to bee necessarie, to the entente you maie the 
better understande, the importaunce of this chosen, to tell 


you the maner, that the Romaine Consuls, in the beginning THE 
of their rule, observed in the chosing of their Roniain 
legions : in the whiche choise of men, bicause thesame 
legions were mingled with old souldiours and newe, con- 
sideryng the continuall warre thei kepte, thei might in 
their choise precede, with the experince of the old, and with 
the conjecture of the newe : and this ought to be noted, 
that these men be chosen, either to serve incontinently, or 
to exercise theim incontinently, and after to serve when 
nede should require. But my intencion is to shew you, 
how an annie maie be prepared in the countrie, where there 
is no warlike discipline : in which countrie, chosen men 
cannot be had, to use them straight waie, but there, where 
the custome is to levie armies, and by meane of the Prince, 
thei maie then well bee had, as the Romanies observed, and 
as is observed at this daie emong the Suisers : bicause in 
these chosen, though there be many newe menne, there be 
also so many of the other olde Souldiours, accustomed to 
serve in the warlike orders, where the newe mingled together 
with the olde, make a bodie united and good, notwith 
standing, that themperours after, beginning the staciones 
of ordinarie Souldiours, had appoincted over the newe 
souldiours, whiche were called tironi, a maister to exercise 
theim, as appeareth in the life of Massimo the Emperour. 
The whiche thyng, while Rome was free, not onely in the 
armies, but in the citee was ordeined : and the exercises of 
warre, beyng accustomed in thesame, where the yong men 
did exercise, there grewe, that beyng chosen after to goe 
into warre, thei were so used in the fained exercise of war 
fare, that thei could easely worke in the true : but those 
Emperours havyng after put doune these exercises, thei wer 
constrained to use the waies, that I have shewed you. 
Therefore, comyng to the maner of the chosen Romain, I 
saie that after the Romain Consulles (to whom was appoincted 
the charge of the warre) had taken the rule, myndyng to 
ordeine their armies, for that it was the custome, that either 
of them should have twoo Ix gions of Romaine menne, whiche 
was the strength of their armies, thei created xxiiii. 



THE Tribunes of warre, and thei appoincted sixe for every 
FIRSTE Legion, whom did thesame office, whiche those doe now a 
BOOKE daies, that we call Conestables : thei made after to come 
together, all the Romain men apte to beare weapons, and 
thei put the Tribunes of every Legion, seperate the one 
from the other. Afterwarde, by lot thei drewe the Tribes, 
of whiche thei had firste to make the chosen, and of the 
same Tribe thei chose fower of the best, of whiche was 
chosen one of the Tribunes, of the first Legion, and of the 
other three was chosen, one of the Tribunes of the second 
Legion, of the other two there was chosen one of the 
Tribunes of the third, and the same last fell to the fowerth 
Legion. After these iiij, thei chose other fower, of which, 
first one was chosen of the Tribunes of the seconde Legion, 
the seconde of those of the thirde, the thirde of those of the 
fowerth, the fowerth remained to the first. After, thei 
chose other fower, the first chose the thirde, the second 
the fowerth, the thirde the fiveth, the fowerth remained to 
the seconde: and thus thei varied successively, this maner 
of chosyng, so that the election came to be equall, and the 
Legions wer gathered together : and as afore we saied, this 
choise might bee made to use straighte waie, for that thei 
made them of men, of whom a good parte were experiensed 
in the verie warfare in deede, and all in the fained exercised, 
and thei might make this choise by conjecture, and by ex 
perience. But where a power must be ordeined of newe, 
and for this to chuse them out of hande, this chosen cannot 
be made, saving by conjecture, whiche is taken by consideryng 
their ages and their likelinesse. 

COSIMO. I beleve all to be true, as moche as of you hath 
been spoken : but before that you precede to other reasonyng, 
I woll aske of you one thing, which you have made me to 
remember : saiyng that the chosen, that is to be made where 
men were not used to warre, ought to be made by conjecture : 
for asmoche as I have heard some men, in many places dis 
praise our ordinaunce, and in especially concernyng the 
nomber, for that many saie, that there ought to bee taken 
lesse nomber, whereof is gotten this profite, that thei shall 


be better and better chosen, and men shal not be so moche THE 
diseased, so that there maie bee given them some rewarde, FIRSTE 
whereby thei maie bee more contented, and better bee com- BOOKE 
maunded, whereof 1 would understande in this parte your 
opinion, and whether you love better the greate nomber, 
then the little, and what waie you would take to chuse 
theim in the one, and in the other nomber. 

FABRICIO. Without doubte it is better, and more necessary, 
the great nomber, then the little : but to speake more 
plainly, where there cannot be ordeined a great nomber of 
men, there cannot be ordeined a perfect ordinaunce : and I 
will easely confute all the reasons of them propounded. 
I saie therefore firste, that the lesse nomber where is many 
people, as is for ensample Tuscane, maketh not that you 
have better, nor that the chosen be more excellent, for that 
myndyng in chosing the menne, to judge them by experience, 
there shall be founde in thesame countrie moste fewe, whom 
experience should make provable, bothe for that fewe hath 
been in warre, as also for that of those, mooste fewe have 
made triall, whereby thei might deserve to bee chosen before 
the other: so that he whiche ought in like places to chuse, 
it is mete he leave a parte the experience, and take them 
by conjecture. Then being brought likewise into soche 
necessitie, I would understande, if there come before me 
twentie young men of good stature, with what rule I ought 
to take, or to leave any: where without doubte, I beleve 
that every man will confesse, how it is lesse errour to take 
them al, to arme theim and exercise theim, beyng not able 
to knowe, whiche of theim is beste, and to reserve to make 
after more certaine chosen, when in practisyng theim with 
exercise, there shall be knowen those of moste spirite, and 
of moste life : which considered, the chusing in this case a 
fewe, to have them better, is altogether naught. 

Concernyng diseasing lesse the countrie, and men, I saie 
that the ordinaunce, either evill or little that it bee, causeth 
not any disease, for that this order doeth not take menue 
from any of their businesse, it bindeth them not, that thei 
cannot so to doe any of their affaires : for that it bindeth 



THE them onely in the idell dales, to assemble together, to 
FIRSTE exercise them, the whiche thyng doeth not hurt, neither to 
BOOKE the countrie, nor to the men, but rather to yong men, it 
shall bryng delite : For that where vilie on the holy daies, 
thei stande idell in tipplyng houses, thei will go for pleasure 
to those exercises, for that the handlyng of weapons, as it is 
a goodly spectacle, so unto yong men it is pleasaunt. Con- 
cernyng to bee able to paie the lesse nomber, and for this 
to kepe theim more obediente, and more contented, I 
answere, how there cannot be made an ordinaunce of so 
fewe, whiche maie be in maner continually paied, where 
thesame paiment of theirs maie satisfie them. As for en- 
sample, if there were ordeined a power of v. thousande men, 
for to paie them after soche sorte, that it might be thought 
sufficient, to content them, it shal bee convenient to give 
theim at least, ten thousaunde crounes the moneth : first, 
this nomber of men are not able to make an armie, this paie 
is intolerable to a state, and of the other side, it is not 
sufficiente to kepe men contented, and bounde to be able to 
serve at al times : so that in doyng this, there shall be spent 
moche, and a small power kept, whiche shall not be suffi 
cient to defend thee, or to doe any enterprise of thine. If 
thou shouldest give theim more, or shouldest take more, so 
moche more impossibilitie it should be, for thee to paie 
theim : if thou shouldest give them lesse, or should take 
lesse, so moche the lesse contentacion should be in them, or 
so moche the lesse profite thei shal bring thee. Therfore, 
those that reason of makyng an ordinaunce, and whilest 
thei tary at home to paie them, thei reason of a thing either 
impossible, or unprofitable, but it is necessarie to paie them, 
when thei are taken up to be led to the warre : albeit, 
though soche order should somewhat disease those, in time 
of peace, that are appoincted in thesame, which I se not 
how, there is for recompence all those benefites, whiche 
a power brynges, that is ordeined in a countrie : for that 
without thesame, there is nothyng sure. I conclude, that 
he that will have the little nomber, to be able to paie them, 
or for any of the other causes alledged of you, doeth not 


understande, for that also it maketh for my opinion, that THE 

every noraber shall deminishe in thy handes, through infinite FIRSTE 

impediments, whiche men have : so that the little nomber BOOKE 

shall tourne to nothing : again havyng thordinaunce greate, 

thou maiest at thy pleasure use fewe of many, besides this, 

it must serve thee in deede, and in reputacion, and alwaies 

the great Member shall give thee moste reputacion. More 

over, makyng the ordinaunce to kepe menne exercised, if 

thou appoincte a fewe nomber of men in many countries, 

the handes of men bee so farre a sonder, the one from the 

other, that thou canst not without their moste grevous 

losse, gather them together to exercise them, and without 

this exercise, the ordinaunce is unprofitable, as hereafter 

shall be declared. 

COSIMO. It suffiseth upon this my demaunde, that whiche 
you have saied : but I desire now, that you declare me an 
other doubt. Thei saie, that soche a multitude of armed 
men, will make confusion, discension and disorder in the 
countrie where thei are. 

FADRITIO. This is an other vaine opinion, the cause wherof, 
I shall tell you : soche as are ordeined to serve in the warres, 
maie cause disorder in twoo maners, either betwene them 
selves, or against other, whiche thinges moste easely maie be 
withstode, where the order of it self, should not w*ithstande 
it: for that concernyng the discorde eniong theiin selves, 
this order taketh it waie, and doeth not nourishe it, for that 
in orderyng them, you give them armour and capitaines. If 
the countrie where you ordein them, bee so unapte for the 
warre, that there are not armours emong the men of the- 
same, and that thei bee so united, that thei have no heddes, 
this order maketh theim moche fcarser against the straunger, 
but it maketh them not any thyng the more disunited, for 
that men well ordered, feare the lawe beyng armed, as well 
as unarmed, nor thei can never alter, if the capitaines, which 
you give them, cause not the alteracion, and the waie to 
make this, shall be tolde now : but if the countrie where you 
ordein them, be warlike and disunited, this order onely shal 
be occasion to unite them : bicause this order giveth them 



soche incon 
veniences as 
maie cause. 

The occasion 
of civill 
warre emong 
the Romaines. 


armours profitable for the warre, and heddes, extinguishers 
of discencion : where their owne armours bee unprofitable 
for the warres, and their heddes nourishers of discorde. 
For that so sone as any in thesame countrie is offended, he 
resorteth by and by to his capitain to make complaint, who 
for to maintain his reputacion, comforteth hym to revenge- 
ment not to peace. To the contrary doeth the publike hed, 
so that by this meanes, thoccasion of discorde is taken awaie, 
and the occasion of union is prepared, and the provinces 
united and effeminated, gette utilitie, and maintain union : 
the disunited and discencious, doe agree, and thesame their 
fearsnesse, which is wont disordinately to worke, is tourned 
into publike utilitie. To minde to have them, to doe no 
hurt against other, it ought to bee considered, that thei 
cannot dooe this, except by meane of the heddes, whiche 
governe them. To will that the heddes make no disorder, 
it is necessarie to have care, that thei get not over them to 
much auctori tie. And you must consider that this auctoritie, 
is gotten either by nature, or by accidente : and as to nature, 
it behoveth to provide, that he which is boren in one place, 
be not apoincted to the men billed in the same, but be made 
hedde of those places, where he hath not any naturall acquaint 
ance : and as to the accident, the thing ought to be ordeined in 
suche maner, that every yere the heddes maie be changed from 
governement to goverment : for as muche as the continuall 
auctoritie over one sorte of menne, breedeth among them so 
muche union, that it maie turne easely to the prejudice of the 
Prince : whiche permutations howe profitable they be to 
those who have used theim, and hurtefull to them that 
have not observed theim, it is well knowen by the kingdome 
of the Assirians, and by the Empire of the Romaines : where 
is scene, that the same kingdome indured aM.ycres without 
tumulte, and without any Civill warre : whiche preceded 
not of other, then of the permutations, whiche from place 
to place everie yere thesame Capitaines made, unto whome 
were apoincted the charge of the Armies. Nor for any 
other occasion in the Romaine Empire, after the bloud of 
Cesar was extinguished, there grewe so many civill warres, 


betwene the Capitaines of the hostes, and so many con- THE 
spiracles of the forsaied capitaines against the Emperours, 
hut onely for kepyng continually still those capitaines alwayes BOOKE 
in one governement. And if in some of those firste Em 
perours, and of those after, whom helde the Empire with 
reputacion, as Adriane, Marcus, Severus, and soche like, 
there had been so moche foresight, that thei had brought 
this custome of chaungyng the capitaines in thesame Empire, 
without doubte it should have made theim more quiete, and 
more durable: For that the Capitaines should have had 
lesse occasion to make tumultes, the Emperours lesse 
cause to feare, and the senate in the lackes of the suc 
cessions, should have had in the election of the Emperour, 
more aucthoritie, and by consequence should have been 
better : but the naughtie custome, either for ignoraunce, or 
through the little diligence of menne, neither for the wicked, 
nor good ensamples, can be taken awaie. 

COSIMO. I cannot tell, if with my questionyng, I have 
as it were led you out of your order, bicause from the 
chusyng of men, we be entred into an other matter, and 
if I had not been a little before excused, I should thinke to 
deserve some reprehension. 

FABRITIO. Let not this disquiete you, for that all this 
reasonyng was necessary, myndyng to reason of the or- 
dinaunce, the which beyng blamed of many, it was requsite 
to excuse it, willyng to have this first parte of chusyng men 
to be alowed. But now before I discend to the other partes, 
I will reason of the choise of men on horsebacke. Of the The number 
antiquitie, these were made of the moste richeste, havyng J^ ^ 6 " 
regard bothe to the yeres, and to the qualitie of the R on , a j ne8 
man, and thei chose CCC. for a Legion, so that the } u ,se for a 
Remain horse, in every Consulles armie, passed not the Legion, and 

nombcr of vi. C. s^ile^armie 

COSIMO. Would you make an ordinaunce of hors, to *" 

exercise them at home, and to use their service when nede 


FABRICIO. It is most necessary, and it cannot be doen 

otherwise, minding to have the power, that it be the owne 
H 57 


The choosing 
and ordering 
of horsemen, 
that is to be 
observed at 
this present. 


proper, and not to purpose to take of those, which make 
thereof an arte. 

COSIMO. Howe would you chuse them ? 

FABUITIO. I would imitate the Romanes, I woulde take of 
the richest, I would give them heades or chiefe Capitaynes, 
in the same maner, as nowe a dayes to other is given, and 
I would arme them and exercise them. 

COSIMO. To these should it be well to give some pro 
vision ? 

FABRITIO. Yea marie, but so much onely as is necessarye 
to keepe the horse, for as muche as bringing to thy sub- 
jectes expences, they might justly complayne of thee, there 
fore it shoulde be necessarye, to paye them their charges of 
their horse. 

COSJMO. What nomber woulde you make ? and how woulde 
you arme them ? 

FABRITIO. You passe into an other matter. I will tell 

you in convenient place, whiche shalbe when I have 

tolde you, howe foote men oughte to be armed, 

and howe a power of men is prepared, for 

a day of battaile. 










BELEEVE that it is necessary e, men being 
founde, to arme them, and minding to 
doo this, I suppose that it is a needefull 
thing to examine, what armoure the anti- 
quitie used, and of the same to chose the 
best. The Romanes devided their foote 
men in heavie and lighte armed : Those 
that were light armed, they called by the 
name of Vcliti : Under this name were understoode all those 
that threwe with Slinges, shot with Crossebowes, cast Dartes, 
and they used the most parte of them for their defence, to Howe the 
weare on their heade a Murion, with a Targaet on their Romaines 
arme : they fought out of the orders, and farre of from the Jj^jjj^ 
heavie armed, which did weare a head peece, that came w jj at wca n ous 
downe to their shoulders, a Corselet, which with the tases thei used, 
came downe to the knees, and they had the legges and 
armes, covered with greaves, and vambraces, with a targaet 
on the left arme, a yarde and a halfe long, and three quarters 
of a yarde brode, whiche had a hoope of Iron upon it, to bee 
able to sustaine a blowe, and an other under, to the intente, 
that it being driven to the earth, it should not breake : for 
to off ende, they had girte on their left flanke a swoorde, the 
length of a yearde and a naile, on their righte side, a Dagger : 
they had a darte in every one of their handes, the which 
they called Pilo, and in the beginning of the fight, they 
threwe those at the enemie. This was the ordering, and 
importaunce of the armours of the Romanes, bv the which 



How the 
Grekes did 
arme them 
selves, and 
what weapons 
they used 
againste their 


they possessed all the world. And although some of these 
auncient writers gave them, besides the foresayde weapons, 
a staffe in their hande like unto a Partasen, I cannot tell 
howe a heavy staffe, may of him that holdeth a Targaet 
bee occupied: for that to handle it with both hands, the 
Targaet should bee an impediment, and to occupye the 
same with one hande, there can be done no good therwith, 
by reason of the weightynesse therof : besides this, to faight 
in the strong, and in the orders with such long kinde of 
weapon, it is unprofitable, except in the first front, where 
they have space enough, to thrust out all the staffe, which 
in the orders within, cannot be done, for that the nature of 
the battaile (as in the order of the same, I shall tell you) is 
continually to throng together, which although it be an 
inconvenience, yet in so doing they feare lesse, then to 
stande wide, where the perill is most evident, so that all the 
weapons, which passe in length a yarde and a halfe, in the 
throng, be unprofitable : for that, if a man have the 
Partasen, and will occupye it with both handes, put case 
that the Targaet let him not, he can not hurte with the 
same an enemie, whom is upon him, if he take it with one 
hande, to the intent to occupie also the Targaet, being not 
able to take it, but in the middest, there remayneth so 
much of the staffe behinde, that those which are behinde 
him, shall let him to welde it. And whether it were true, 
either that the Romanes had not this Partasen, or that 
having it, did litle good withall, reade all the battailes, in 
the historye therof, celebrated of Titus Livius, and you 
shall see in the same, most seldome times made mencion of 
Partasens, but rather alwaies he saieth, that the Dartes 
being throwen, they layed their hands on their sweardes. 
Therfore I will leave this staffe, and observe, concerning the 
Romanes, the swoorde for to hurte, and for defence the 
Targaet, with the other armours aforesaide. 

The Greekes dyd not arrne them selves so heavyly, for 
their defence, as the Romanes dyd : but for to offend the 
enemies, they grounded more on their staves, then on their 
swoordes, and in especiallye the Fallangye of Macedonia, 


which used staves, that they called Sarisse, seven yardes and THE 
a halfe long, with the which they opened the rankes of their SECOND 
enemies, and they keept the orders in their Fallangy. And BOOKE 
although some writers saie, that they had also the Targaet, 
I can not tell (by the reasons aforesayde) ho we the Sarisse 
and they coulcle stande together. Besides this, in the 
battaile that Paulus Emilius made, with Persa king of Mace 
donia, I do not remember, that there is made any mention 
of Targaettes, but only of the Sarisse, and of the difficultie 
that the Homane armie had, to overcome them : so that 
I conjecture, that a Macedonicall Fallange, was no other 
wise, then is now a dayes a battaile of Suizzers, the whiche 
in their Pikes have all their force, and all their power. The A brave and a 
Romanes did garnish (besides the armours) the footemen terrible thing 
with feathers ; the whiche thinges makes the fight of an to the 
armie to the friendes goodly, to the enemies terrible. The 6 
armour of the horsemen, in the same first Jiomane antiquitie, Howe the 
was a rounde Targaet, and they had their head armed, and Romanes 
the rest unarmed : They had a swoorde and a staffe, with h^emei fin 
an Iron head onely before, long and small : whereby it O lde time. * 
happened, that they were not able to staye the Targaet, 
and the staffe in the incountring broke, and they through 
being unarmed, were subjecte to hurtes : after, in processe 
of time, they armed them as the footemen, albeit they used 
the Targaette muche shorter, square, and the staffe more 
stiffe, and with twoo heades, to the entente, that breaking 
one of the heades, they mightc prevaile with the other. 
With these armours as well on foote, as on horsebacke, the 
Romanes conquered all the worlde, and it is to be beleeved, 
by the fruict thereof, whiche is scene, that they were the 
beste appointed armies, that ever were : and Titus Livius 
in his history, doeth testifie verye often, where comming to 
comparison with the enemies armies, he saieth : But the 
Romanes, by vertue, by the kinde of their armours, and 
practise in the service of warre, were superiours : and ther- 
fore I have more particularly reasoned of the armours 
of conquerours, then of the conquered. But no we mee 
thinkes good, to reason onelye of the manner of arming 



THE men at this presente. Footemen have for their defence, 
SECOND a breast plate, and for to offende, a launce, sixe yardes and 
BOOKE three quarters long, which is called a pike, with a swoorde 

The maner of on their side, rather rounde at the poinct, then sharpe. 

arming men r phis is the ordinarie arming of footemen nowe a dayes, for 

nowe adaies. ^t fewe there be, which have their legges armed, and their 
armes, the heade none, and those fewe, beare insteede of 
a Pike, a Halberde, the staff e whereof as you know, is twoo 
yardes and a quarter long, and it hath the Iron made like 
an axe. Betweene them, they have Harkebutters, the which 
with the violence of the fire, do the same office, which in 

The invention olde time the slingers did, and the Crosseboweshoters. 

of Pikes. This maner of arming, was found out by the Dutchemen, 
inespeciallye of Suizzers, whom being poore, and desirous to 
live free, they were, and be constrayned to fight, with the 
ambition of the Princes of Almaine, who being riche, were 
able to keepe horse, the which the same people could not do 
for povertye. Wherby it grewe, that being on foote, mind 
ing to defende them selves from the enemies, that were on 
horsebacke, it behooveth them to seeke of the aunciente 
orders, and to finde weapons, whiche from the furie of 
horses, should defende them : This necessitie hath made 
either to be maintayned, or to bee founde of them the 
aunciente orders, without whiche, as everye prudente man 
affirmeth, the footemen is altogether unprofitable. There 
fore, they tooke for their weapon the Pike, a moste profit 
able weapon, not only to withstande horses, but to overcome 
them : and the Dutchemen have by vertue of these weapons, 
and of these orders, taken such boldnesse, that xv. or xx. 
thousande of them, will assault the greatest nomber of 
horse that maye be : and of this, there hath beene experi 
ence enough within this xxv. yeres. And the insamples 
of their vertue hath bene so mightie, grounded upon these 
weapons, and these orders, that sence King Charles passed 
into Italic, everye nation hath imitated them : so that the 
Spanish armies, are become into most great reputation. 

COSIMO. Which maner of arming, do you praise moste, 
either these Dutchemens, or the auncient Romanes ? 


FABRITIO. The Ronmne without doubte, and I will tell THE 
you the commoditie, and the discom modi tie of the one, SECOND 
and the other. The Dutche footenien, are able to with- BOOKE 
stande, and overcome the horses : they bee moste speedie to Whether the 
marchc, and to be set in araye, being not laden with Romanes 
armours: of the other part, they be subjecte to all blowes, f r e 
both far re of, and at hande : because they be unarmed, they better then 
bee unprofitable unto the battaile on the lande, and to the arming- of 
everye h ghte, where is strong resistaunce. But the m en, that is 
Romanes withstoode, and overcame the horses, as well as Jj^g g n0we a 
the Dutchemen, they were safe from blowes at hande, and 
far re of, being covered with armours : they were also better 
able to charge, and better able to sustaine charges, having 
Targaettes : they might more aptly in the preace fight with 
the swoorde, then these with the Pike, and though the 
Dutchemen have likewise swoordes, yet being without 
Targaets, they become in suche case unprofitable : The 
Romanes might safelye assault townes, having their bodies 
cleane covered with armour, and being better able to cover 
themselves with their Targaettes. So that they had no 
other incommoditie, then the waightynesse of their armours, 
and the pain to cary them : the whiche thinges thei over 
came, with accustomyng the body to diseases, and with 
hardenyng it, to bee able to indure labour. And you 
knowe, how that in thinges accustomed, men suffer no grief. 
And you have to understand this, that the footemen maie 
be constrained, to faight with footemen, and with horse, 
and alwaies those be unprofitable, whiche cannot either 
sustain the horses, or beyng able to sustain them, have not- 
withstandyng neede to feare the footemen, whiche be better 
armed, ancl better ordeined then thei. Now if you consider 
the Duchemen, and the Romanies, you shall h nde in the 
Duchemen activitie (as we have said) to overcome the 
horses, but greate dissavauntage, when thei faighte with 
menne, ordeined as thei them selves are, and armed as the 
Romaines were : so that there shall be this advauntage more 
of the one, then of thother, that the Romaines could over 
come the men, and the horses, the Duchemen onely the horses. 

I 65 


THE COSIMO. I would desire, that you would come to some 

SECOND more particulare insample, whereby wee male better under- 
BOOKE s tande. 

FABRICIO. I sale thus, that you shall finde in many places 
of our histories, the Remain footemen to have overcome 
innumerable horses, and you shall never finde, that thei 
have been overcome of men on foote, for default that thei 
have had in their armour, or thorowe the vantage that the 
enemie hath had in the armours : For that if the maner of 
their armyng, should have had defaulte, it had been neces- 
sarie, that there should folowe, the one of these twoo 
thynges, either that findyng soche, as should arme theim 
better then thei, thei should not have gone still forwardes, 
with their conquestes, or that thei should have taken the 
straungers maners, and should have left their owne, and for 
that it folowed not in the one thing, nor in the other, there 
groweth that ther male be easely conjectured, that the 
maner of their armyng, was better then thesame of any 
other. It is not yet thus happened to the Duchemen, for 
that naughtie profe, hath ben seen made them, when soever 
thei have chaunsed to faight with men on foote prepared, 
and as obstinate as thei, the whiche is growen of the 
vauntage, whiche thesame have incountred in thenemies 
armours. Philip Vicecounte of Milaine, being assaulted of 
xviii. thousande Suizzers, sent against theim the Counte 
Carminvola, whiche then was his capitaine. He with sixe 
thousande horse, and a fewe footemen, went to mete with 
them, and incounteryng theim, he was repulsed with his 
moste greate losse : wherby Carminvola as a prudente man, 
knewe straight waie the puisaunce of the enemies weapons, 
anc ^ ^ ow mocne against the horses thei prevailed, and the 
debilitie of the horses, againste those on foote so appoincted : 
and gatheryng his men together again, he went to finde the 
have, againste Suizzers, and so sone as he was nere them, he made his men 
e unai \ . o f armeSj |- o a Jjght f rO m their horse, and in thesame maner 
Car^inlok fai g ht y n g with them he slue theim all, excepte three thou- 
against the sande : the whiche seyng them selves to consume, without 
Duchemen. havyng reamedy,castyng their weapons to the grounde, yelded . 

An ensample 
proveth that 
with staves, 
cannot pre- 
vaile against 

what great 
the armed 


COSIMO. Whereof cometh so moche disavauntage ? THE 

FABRICIO. I have a little afore tolde you, but seyng that SECOND 
you have not understoode it, I will rehearse it againe. BOOKE 
The Duchemcn (as a little before I saied unto you) as it 
were unarmed, to defende themselves, have to otfende, the 
Pike and the swearde : thei come with these weapons, and 
with their orders to finde the enemies, whom if thei bee well 
armed, to defende theim selves, as were the menne of armes 
of Carminvola, whiche made theim a lighte on foote, thei 
come with the sweard, and in their orders to find them, and 
have no other difficultie, then to come nere to the Suix/ers, 
so that thei maie reche them with the sweard, for that so 
sone as thei have gotten unto them, thei faight safely : for 
asmoche as the Duch man, cannot strike thenemie with the 
Pike, whom is upon him, for the length of the staffe, where 
fore it is conveniente for hym, to put the hande to the 
sweard, the whiche to hym is unprofitable, he beyng 
unarmed, and havyng against hym an enemie, that is all 
armed. Whereby he that considereth the vantage, and the 
disavantage of the one, and of the other, shall see, how the 
unarmed, shall have no maner of remeady, and the over- 
commyng of the firste faight, and to passe the firste poinctes 
of the Pikes, is not moche difficulte, he that faighteth beyng 
well armed : for that the battailes go (as you shall better The l.attailes 
understande, when I have shewed you, how thei are set when thei are 
together) and incounteryng the one the other, of necessitie J faightyng, 
thei thrust together, after soche sorte, that thei take the 
one thother by the bosome, and though by the Pikes some 
bee slaine, or overthrowen, those that remain on their feete, 
be so many, that thei suffice to obtaine the victorie. Hereof 
it grewe, that Carminvola overcame them, with so greate 
slaughter of the Sui//ers, and with little losse of his. 

COSIMO. Consider that those of Carminvola, were men of 
armes, whom although thei wer on foote, thei were covered 
all with stele, and therefore thei wer able to make the 
profe thei did : so that me thinkes, that a power ought 
to be armed as thei, mindyng to make the verie same 



How to arme 
men, and 
what weapons 
to appoincte 
theim, after 
the Romaine 
maner, and 
Duche facion. 


FABRICIO. If you should remember, how I tolde you the 
Romanies were armed, you would not thynke so: for as 
moche as a manne, that hath the hedde covered with Iron, 
the breaste defended of a Corselet, and of a Targaet, the 
armes and the legges armed, is moche more apt to defende 
hymself from the Pike, and to enter emong them, then 
a man of armes on foote. I wil give you a little of a late 
ensample. There wer come out of Cicelie, into the kyng- 
dome of Naples, a power of Spaniardes, for to go to finde 
Consalvo, who was besieged in Barlet, of the Frenchemen : 
there made against theim Mounsier de Vhigni, with his 
menne of armes, and with aboute fower thousande Duche- 
men on foote : The Duchemen incountered with their Pikes 
lowe, and thei opened the power of the Spaniardes : but 
those beyng holp, by meane of their bucklers and of the 
agiletie of their bodies, mingled togethers with the Duche 
men, so that thei might reche them with the swearde, 
whereby happened the death, almoste of all theim, and the 
victorie to the Spaniardes. Every man knoweth, how many 
Duchemen were slaine in the battaile of Ravenna, the 
whiche happened by the verie same occasion : for that the 
Spanishe souldiours, got them within a swerdes length of 
the Duche souldiours, and thei had destroied them all, if 
of the Frenche horsemen, the Duchemen on foote, had not 
been succored : notwithstandyng, the Spaniardes close 
together, brought themselves into a safe place. I conclude 
therefore, that a good power ought not onely to be able, to 
withstande the horses, but also not to have fear of menne 
on foote, the which (as I have many tymes saied) procedeth 
of the armours, and of the order. 

COSIMO. Tell therefore, how you would arme them ? 

FABRICIO. I would take of the Romaine armours, and of 
the Duchemennes weapons, and I would that the one 
haulfe, should bee appoincted like the Romaines, and the 
other haulfe like the Duchemen : for that if in sixe 
thousande footemen (as I shall tell you a little hereafter) 
I should have thre thousande men with Targaettes, after 
the Remain maner, and two thousande Pikes, and a thou- 



sand Harkebutters, after the Duche facion, thei should 
suffice me : for that I would place the Pikes, either in the 
fronte of the battaile, or where I should feare moste the 
horses, and those with the Targaetes and sweardes, shall 
serve me to make a backe to the Pikes, and to winne the 
battaile, as I shall shewe you : so that I beleeve, that 
a power thus ordayned, should overcome at this daye, any 
other power. 

COSIMO. This which hath beene saide, sufficeth concerning 
footemen, but concerning horsemen, wee desire to under 
stand, which you thinke more stronger armed, either ours, 
or the antiquitie. 

FA Bit mo. I beleeve that in these daies, having respect to 
the Saddelles bolstered, and to the stiroppes not used of the 
antiquitie, they stande more stronglye on horsebacke, then 
in the olde time : I thinke also they arme them more sure : 
so that at this daye, a bande of men of armes, parsing very 
niuche, commeth to be with more difficultie withstoode, then 
were the horsemen of old time : notwithstanding for all this, 
I judge, that there ought not to be made more accompt of 
horses, then in olde time was made, for that (as afore is 
sayde) manye times in our dayes, they have with the foote 
men receyved shame and shall receyve alwayes, where they 
incounter, with a power of footemen armed, and ordered, 
as above hath bene declared. Tigrane king of Armenia, had 
ugainste the armie of the Romanes, wherof was Capitayne 

Lucullo, CL. thousande horsemen, aiiion<rest the whiche, 

i 1.1 f * i , tl 

were many armed, like unto our men of armes, winch they 

called Catafratti, and of the other parte, the Romanes were 
about sixe thousande, with xxv. thousand footemen : so that 
Tigrane seeing the armie of the enemies, saide : these be 
horses enough for an imbassage: notwithstanding, incoun- 
tering together, he was overthrowen : and he that write th 
of the same fighte, disprayseth those Catafratti, declaring 
them to be unprofitable ; for that hee sayeth, because they 
had their faces covered, they had muche a doe to see, and 
to offende the enemie, and they falling, being laden with 
armour, coulde not rise up again, nor welde themselves in 



The victorie 
* Lucullo, 


f Armenia. 


THE any maner to prevaile. I say therefore, that those people 

SECOND or kino-domes, whiche shall esteeme more the power of horses, 

BOOKE then the power of footemen be alwaies weake, and subjecte 

to all ruine, as by Italic hath been seene in our time, the 

whiche hath beene taken, ruinated, and over run with 

straungers, through not other fault, then for having taken 

litle care, of the service on foote, and being brought the 

souldiours therof, all on horsebacke. Yet there ought to 

For what bee had horses, but for seconde, and not for firste founda- 

purpose hors- j.j on o f an arm j e . f or that to make a discovery, to over run, 

men be most ^ , j ,1 , i 

requisite. an " to " estro y the enemies countne, and to keepe troubled 

and disquieted, the armie of the same, and in their armours 

alwayes, to let them of their victuals, they are necessary, 

and most profitable : but concerning for the daye of battaile, 

and for the fighte in the fielde, whiche is the importaunce 

of the warre, and the ende, for which the armies are 

ordeined, they are more meeter to follow the enemie being 

discomfited then to do any other thing which in the same 

is to be done, and they bee in comparison, to the footemen 

much inferiour. 

Cosmo. There is happened unto mee twoo doubtes, the 
one, where I knowe, that the Parthians dyd not use in the 
warre, other then horses, and yet they devided the worlde 
with the Romanes : the other is, that I woulde that you 
should shewe, howe the horsemen can be withstoode of 
footemen, and wherof groweth the strength of these, and 
the debilitie of those ? 

FABRITIO. Either I have tolde you, or I minded to tell 
you, howe that my reasoning of the affaires of warre, ought 
not to passe the boundes of Europe : when thus it is, I am 
not bounde unto you, to make accompte of the same, which 
is used in Asia, yet I muste save unto you thus, that the 
warring of the Parthians, was altogether contrarye, to the 
same of the Romanes : for as muche as the Parthians, 
warred all on horsebacke, and in the fight, they proceeded 
confusedlye, and scattered, and it was a maner of fighte 
unstable, and full of uncertaintie. The Romanes were (it 
maye be sayde) almoste al on foote, and thei fought close 


together and sure, and thei overcame diversly, the one the THE 
other, according to the largenesse, or straightnesse of the SECOND 
situacion: for that in this the Romanies were superiours, in BOOKE 
thesame the Parthians, whom might make greate proofe, 
with thesame maner of warryng, consideryng the region, 
whiche tliei had to defende, the which was rnoste large : 
for as moche as it hath the sea coaste, distant a thousande 
miles, the rivers thone from thother, twoo or three daies 
journey, the tounes in like maner and the inhabitauntes 
fewe : so that a Romaine armie heavie and slowe, by meanes 
of their armoures, and their orders, could not over run it, 
without their grevous hurt (those that defended it, being 
on horsebacke mooste expedite) so that thei were to daie 
in one place, and to morowe distaunt fiftie miles. Hereof 
it grewe, that the Parthians might prevaile with their 
chivalrie onely, bothe to the mine of the armie of Crassus, 
and to the perill of thesame, of Marcus Antonius : but I 
(as I have told you) doe not intende in this my reasonyng, 
to speake of the warfare out of Europe, therfore I will stand 
upon thesame, whiche in times past, the Romanies ordained, 
and the Grekes, and as the Duchemen doe now adaies. But 
let us se to the other question of yours, where vou desire 
to understande, what order, or what naturall vertue makes, 
that the footemen overcome the horsmen. And I saie unto 
you first that the horses cannot go, as the footmen in every 
place: Thei are slower then the footemen to obeie, when The reason 
it is requisite to alter the order : for as moche, as if it wji y footmen 
be nedefull, either goyng forward, to turne backwarde, or are able to 
tournyng backwarde, to go forwarde, or to move themselves horsemen, 
standing stil, or goyng to stand still, without doubt, the 
horsemen cannot dooe it so redilie as the footemen : the 
horsemen cannot, being of some violence, disordained, re- 
turne in their orders, but with difficultie, although thesame 
violence cease, the whiche the footemen dooe moste easel v 
and quickly. Besides this, it hnppeneth many tymes, that a 
bardie manne shall be upon a vile horse, and a coward upon 
a good, whereby it foloweth, that this evill matchyng of 
stomackes, makes disorder. Nor no man doeth marvel 1, that 



THE a bande of footemenne, susteineth all violence of horses: 
SECOND for that a horse is a beaste, that hath sence, and knoweth 
BOOKE the perilles, and with an ill will, will enter in them : and 
if you consider, what force maketh theim go forwarde, and 
what holdeth them backwarde, you shall se without doubt, 
thesame to be greater, whiche kepeth them backe, then that 
whiche maketh them go forwardes : For that the spurre 
maketh theim go forwarde, and of the other side, either the 
swearde, or the Pike, kepeth theim backe : so that it hath 
been seen by the olde, and by the late experience, a bande 
of footemen to bee moste safe, ye, invinsible for horses. 
And if you should argue to this, that the heate, with 
whiche thei come, maketh theim more furious to incounter, 
who that would withstande them, and lesse to regard the 
Pike, then the spurre : I saie, that if the horse so disposed, 
begin to see, that he must run upon the poincte of the 
Pike, either of himself, he wil refrain the course so that 
so sone as he shall feele himself pricked, he will stande still 
atones, or beeyng come to theim, he will tourne on the 
right, or on the lefte hande. Whereof if you wil make 
experience, prove to run a horse against a walle : you shall 
finde fewe, with what so ever furie he come withall, will 
strike against it. Cesar havyng in Fraunce, to faighte with 
the Suizzers, a lighted, and made every manne a light on 
foote, and to avoide from the araies, the horses, as a thyng 
more meete to flie, then to faight. But notwithstandyng 
these naturall impedimentes, whiche horses have, thesame 
How footmen Capitaine, whiche leadeth the footemen, ought to chuse 
male save waies, whiche have for horse, the moste impedimentes that 
from horse- ma ^ c Dec ? an( ^ seldome tymes it happeneth, but that a manne 
men> maie save hymself, by the qualitie of the countrie : for that 

if thou marche on the hilles, the situacion doeth save thee 
from thesame furie, whereof you doubt, that thei go withall 
in the plain, fewe plaines be, whiche through the tillage, 
or by meanes of the woddes, doe not assure thee: for that 
every hillocke, every bancke, although it be but small, 
taketh awaie thesame heate, and every culture where bee 
Vines, and other trees, lettes the horses : and if thou come 


to battaile, the very same lettes happeneth, that chaunceth in THE 
marchyug: for as moche as every little impedemente, that the SECOND 
horse hath, abateth his furie. One tliyng notwithstandyng, BOOKE 
I will not forgette to tell you, how the Romaines estemed 
so moche their orders, and trusted so moche to their weapons, 
that if thei shuld have had, to chuse either so rough a 
place to save theim selves from horses, where thei should 
not have been able, to raunge their orders, or a place where 
thei should have nede, to feare more of horses, but ben 
able to detf ende their battaile, alwaies thei toke this, and 
left that: but bicause it is tyme, to passe to the armie, 
having armed these souldiours, accordyng to the aunciente 
and newe use, let us see what exercises the Romaines caused 
theim make, before the menne were brought to the battaile. 
Although thei be well chosen, and better armed, thei ought 
with moste greate studie be exercised, for that without 
this exercise, there was never any souldiour good : these 
exercises ought to be devided into three partes, the one, for The exercise 
to harden the bodie, and to make it apte to take paines, ^^ 1 t d o i b u e r8 
and to bee more swifter and more readier, the other, to de ided into 
teach them, how to handell their weapons, the third, for thre purtes. 
to learne them to kepe the orders in the armie, as well in 
marchyng, as in faightyng, and in the incampyng : The 
whiche be three principall actes, that an armie doeth : for 
asmoche, as if an armie marche, incampe, and faight with 
order, and expertly, the Capitaine leseth not his^honoure, 
although the battaile should have no good ende. Therfore, 
all thauncient common weales, provided these exercises in 
maner, by custome, and by lawe, that there should not be 
left behinde any part thereof. Thei exercised then their What exer- 
youth, for to make them swift, in runnyng, to make theim ^J^ 1 
readie, in leapyng, for to make them strong, in throwyng JJ mmoll 
the barre, or in wrestlyng : and these three qualities, be as wea lesused to 
it were necessarie in souldiours. For that swiftnesse, maketh exercise their 
theim apte to possesse places, before the enemie, and to come y u * h " 
to them unloked for, and at unwares to pursue them, when * oditie in ~_ 
thei are discomfaicted : the readinesse, maketh theim apte sued thereby. 
to avoide a bio we, to leape over a diche, to winne a 
K 73 


How the 

learned their 
yong sol- 
diours, to 
handell their 


banke : strength, maketh them the better able to beare their 
armours, to incounter the enemie, to withstande a violence. 
And above all, to make the bodie the more apte to take 
paines, thei used to beare greate burthens, the whiche 
custome is necessarie : for that in difficulte expedicions, it 
is requisite many tymes, that the souldiour beside his 
armours, beare vitualles for many daies, and if he were 
not accustomed to this labour, he could not dooe it : and 
without this, there can neither bee avoided a perill, nor a 
victorie gotten with fame. Concernyng to learne how to 
handell the weapons, thei exercised theim, in this maner : 
thei would have the yong menne, to put on armour, whiche 
should waie twise as moche, as their field armour, and 
in stede of a swearde, thei gave them a cudgell leaded, 
whiche in comparison of a verie swearde in deede, was moste 
heavie; thei made for every one of them, a poste to be set 
up in the ground, which should be in height twoo yardes 
and a quarter, and in soche maner, and so strong, that 
the blowes should not slur nor hurle it doune, against the 
whiche poste, the yong man with a targaet, and with the 
cudgell, as against an enemie did exercise, and some whiles 
he stroke, as though he would hurte the hedde, or the face, 
somewhile he retired backe, an other while he made fore- 
warde : and thei had in this exercise, this advertisment, 
to make theim apt to cover theim selves, and to hurte 
the enemie : and havyng the counterfaight armours moste 
heavy, their ordinarie armours semed after unto them more 
lighter. The Romaines, would that their souldiours should 
hurte with the pricke, and not with the cutte, as well 
bicause the pricke is more mortalle, and hath lesse defence, 
as also to thentent, that he that should hurt, might lye 
the lesse open, and be more apt to redouble it, then with 
cuttes. Dooe not marvaile that these auncient men, should 
thinke on these small thynges, for that where the incounter- 
yng of men is reasoned of, you shall perceive, that every 
little vauntage, is of greate importaunce : and I remember 
you thesame, whiche the writers of this declare, rather then 
I to teache you. The antiquitie estemed nothing more 


happie, in a common wcale, then to be in thesanic, many THE 
men exercised in armes : bicause not the shining of precious SECOND 
stones and of golde, maketh that the enemies submit them- HOOKE 
selves unto thee, but onely the fear of the weapons : after- What 
warde, the errours whiche are made in other thynges, maie thantiquitie 
sometymes be corrected, but those whiche are dooen in the f* temedinos 
warre, the paine straight waie commyng on, cannot be con/mon" * 
amended. Besides that, the knowlege to faight, maketh weale. 
men more bold, bicause no man feareth to doe that thing, 
which he thinketh to have learned to dooe. The antiquitie 
would therefore, that their Citezeins should exercise them 
selves, in all marcial feates, and thei made them to throwe 
against thesame poste, dartes moche hevier then the ordi- 
narie : the whiche exercise, besides the makyng men expert 
in throwyng, maketh also the arme more nimble, and moche 
stronger. Thei taught them also to shote in the long bowe, 
to wliorle with the sling: and to all these thynges, thei Monster 
appoincted maisters, in soche maner, that after when thei Maisters, for 
were chosen for to go to the warre, thei were now with mynde 
and disposicion, souldiours. Nor there remained them to 
learn other, then to go in the orders, and to maintain them 
selves in those, either marchyng, or faightyng : The whiche 
moste easely thei learned, mingeling themselves with those, 
whiche had long tyme served, whereby thei knewe how to 
stande in the orders. 

COSIMO. What exercises would you cause theim to make 
at this present ? 

FABRICIO. A good many of those, whiche have been de- The exercises 
clared, as runnyng, and wrestlyng, makyng theim to leape, that souldiers 
makyng theim to labour in armours, moche heavier then ought tomake 
the ordinarie, making them shoote with Crosse bowes, and " 
longe bowes, whereunto I would joyne the harkabus, a 
newe instrument (as you kno\v)verie necessarie, and to these 
exercises I would use, al the youth of my state, but with 
greater Industrie, and more sollicitatenesse thesame parte, 
whiche I should have alreadie appoincted to serve, and 
alwaies in the idell daies, thei should bee exercised. I 
would also that thei should learne to swimme, the whiche 



THE is a thyng verie profitable : for that there be not alwaies, 

SECOND bridges over rivers, boates be not alwaies readie : so that 

BOOKE thy army not knowyng howe to swime, remaineth de- 

The exercise prived of many commodities : and many occasions to woorke 

of swimmyng. well, is taken awaie. The Romaines for none other cause 

had ordained, that the yong men should exercise them 

selves in Campus Martius, then onely, for that havyng 

Tiber, is a Tiber at hande, thei might, beyng weried with the exercise 

river runnyng on lande, refreshe theim selves in the water, and partly in 

throughRome sw j mm y n cp to exercise them selves. I would make also, as 

the water , , .1 1-1 i ij i 

wher of will the antiquitie, those whiche should serve on horsebacke to 

never cor- exercise, the whiche is moste necessarie, for that besides to 
rupte. know how to ride, thei muste knowe how on horsebacke, 

Thexercise thei maie prevaile of them selves. And for this thei had 
of vautyng, ordeined horses of wood, upon the which thei practised, to 
moditie " " l ea P e by arme d, and unarmed, without any helpe, and on 
thereof. every hande : the whiche made, that atones, and at a beck 

of a capital n, the horsmen were on foote, and likewise at 
a token, thei mounted on horsebacke. And soche exercises, 
bothe on foote and on horsebacke, as thei were then easie 
to bee doen, so now thei should not be difficult to thesame 
common weale, or to thesame prince, whiche would cause 
them to be put in practise of their yong men. As by ex 
perience is seen, in certairie citees of the Weste countrie, 
An order that where is kepte a live like maners with this order. Thei 
is taken in devide all their inhabiters into divers partes : and every 
certain coun- p ar te thei name of the kinde of those weapons, that thei 

^" USe in the WaTTe And f F that thei USe PikeS > Halbardes 
Bowes, and Harkebuses, thei call them Pike menne, Hal 
berd ers, Harkebutters, and Archars: Therefore, it is mete 
for all the inhabiters to declare, in what orders thei will be 
appoincted in. And for that all men, either for age, or 
for other impedimentes, be not fitte for the warre, every 
order maketh a choise of men, and thei call them the sworen, 
whom in idell daies, be bounde to exercise themselves in 
those weapons, wherof thei be named : and every manne 
hath his place appoincted hym of the cominaltie. where soche 
exercise ought to be made : and those whiche be of the- 


same order, but not of the sworen, are contributaries with THE 
their money, to thesame expenses, whiche in soche exercises SECOND 
be necessarie : thertbre thesame that thei doe, we maie doe. BOOKE 
But our smal prudence dooeth not suffre us, to take any 
good waie. Of these exercises there grewe, that the anti- 
quitie had good souldiours, and that now those of the Weste, 
bee better men then ours : for as moche as the antiquitie 
exercised them, either at home (as those common weales doe) 
or in the armies, as those Emperours did, for thoccasions 
aforesaied : but we, at home will not exercise theim, in 
Campe we cannot, bicause thei are not our subjectes, and 
for that we are not able to binde them to other exercises 
then thei them selves liste to doe: the whiche occacion 
hath made, that firste the armies bee neclected, and after, 
the orders, and that the kyngdomes, and the common \veales, 
in especially Italians, live in soche debilitie. But let us 
tourne to our order, and folowyng this matter of exercises, 
I saie, how it suffiseth not to make good armies, for liavyng 
hardened the men, made them strong, swift, and handsome, What know- 
where it is nedefull also, that thei learne to stande in the Jt > re a kS()ul ~ 
orders, to obeie to signes, to soundes, and to the voice of tohave 1 
the capitain : to knowe, standyng, to retire them selves, 
goyng forwardes, botlie faightyng, and marchyng to main 
tain those : bicause without this knowlege, withal serious 
diligence observed, and practised, there was never armie 
good : and without doubt, the fierce and disordered menne, 
bee moche more weaker, then the fearfull that are ordered, 
for that thorder driveth awaie from men feare, the disorder 
abateth fiercenesse. And to the entente you maie the better 
perceive that, whiche here folowyng shalbe declared, you 
have to understande, how every nation, in the orderyng of 
their men to the warre, have made in their hoste, or in 
their armie, a principall member, the whiche though thei 
have varied with the name, thei have little varied with 
the nomber of the menne : for that thei all have made it, 
betwene sixe and viii. M. men. This nomber of men was 
called of the Romanies, a Legion, of Grekes a Fallange, of 
Frerichemen Caterva : this verie same in our tyme of the 



THE Suizzers, whom onely of the auncient warfare, kepe some 
SECOND shadowe, is called in their tongue that, whiche in ours 
BOOKE signifieth the maine battaile. True it is, that every one 
of them, hath after devided it, accordyng to their purposes. 
Therefore me thinkes beste, that wee grounde our talke, 
upon this name moste knowen, and after, according to the 
aunciente, and to the orders now adaies, the beste that is 
possible to ordaine it: and bicause the Romaines devided 
A Cohorte is a their Legion, whiche was made betwene five and sixe 
bandeofmeu. thousande men, in ten Cohortes, I will that wee devide 
Of what our maine battaile, into ten battailes, and that we make 

nomberandof j^ o f s j xe thousande menne on foote, and we will give to 
what kind of e battaile, CCCC1. men, of whiche shall be, CCCC. 

weapons T armed with heavie armour, and L. with light armour: the 
mainebattaile heavie armed, shall be, CCC. Targettes with sweardes, and 
ought to bee, s halbe called Target men : and C. with Pikes, whiche shalbe 
and the distri- c& n e & O rdinarie Pikes : the light armed shalbe, L. men 
appomctynff armed with Harkabuses, Crosse bowes, and Partisans, and 
of thesame smal Targaettes, and these by an aunciente name, were called 
Veliti are ordinarie Veliti : all the ten battailes therefore, comes to 
light armed have three thousande Targaet men, a thousande ordinarie 
men. Pikes, CCCC. ordinarie Veliti, all whiche make the nomber 

of fower thousande and five hundred men. And we saied, 
that we would make the maine battaile of sixe thousande : 
therefore there must be added an other thousande, five 
hundred men, of the whiche I will appoinct a thousande 
with Pikes, whom I will call extraordinarie Pikes, and five 
hundred light armed, whom I will call extraordinarie Veliti : 
and thus my menne should come (as a little before I have 
saied) to bee made halfe of Targaetes, and halfe of Pikes 
and other weapons. I would appoincte to everie battaile, or 
Thecapitaines bande of men, a Conestable, fower Centurions, and fouretie 
that ar ap- peticapitaines, and moreover a hedde to the ordinarie Veliti, 
poincted to wifch five p e ticapitaines : I would give to the thousande 
extraordinarie Pikes, three Conestabelles, ten Centurions, 
and a hundred peticapitaines: to thextraordinarie Veliti, 
two Conestabelles, v. Centurions, and 1. peticapitaines: I 
would then apoinct a generall lied, over all the main 


battaile: I would that every Conestable should have an THE 
Ansigne, and a Drum. Thus there should be made a SECOND 
maine battaile of ten battailes, of three thousande Targaet BOOKE 
men, of a thousande ordinarie Pikes, of a thousande extra- 
ordinarie, of live hundred ordinarie Veliti, of five hundred 
extraordinarie, so there should come to bee sixe thousande 
men, emongeste the whiche there should bee M.D. peticapi- 
taines, and moreover, xv. Conestables, with xv. Drummes, 
and xv. Ansignes, Iv. Centurions, x. heddes of the ordinarie 
Veliti, and a Capitaine over all the maine battaile, with his 
Ansigne and Drume : and I have of purpose repeated this 
order the oftener, to the intent, that after when I shall shewe 
you, the maners of orderyng the battailes, and tharmies, you 
should not be confounded : I saie therefore, how that, that 
king, or that common weale, whiche intendeth to ordeine 
their subjectes to armes, ought to appoincte theim with 
these armoures and weapons, and with these partes, and 
to make in their countrie so many maine battailes, as it 
were able : and when thei should have ordained them, 
according to the forsaid distribucion, minding to exercise 
them in the orders, it should suffice to exercise every battaile 
by it self: and although the nomber of the men", of every 
one of them, cannot by it self, make the facion of a juste 
armie, notwithstanding, every man maie learne to dooe thc- 
same, whiche particularly appertained unto hym : for that Twoo orders 
in the armies, twoo orders is observed, the one, thesame ol > s * rved in 
that the men ought to doe in every battaile, and the other 
that, whiche the battaile ought to doe after, when it is 
with the other in an armie. And those men, whiche doe 
wel the first, mooste easely maie observe the seconde : But 
without knowyng thesame, thei can never come to the 
knowlege of the seconde. Then (as I have saied) every 
one of these battailes, maie by them selves, learne to kepe 
the orders of the araies, in every qualitie of movyng, and 
of place, and after learne to put them selves together*, to 
understande the soundes, by meanes wherof in the faight 
thei are commaunded, to learne to know by that, as the 
Gallies by the whissell. what ought to be doen, either to 


an arniu . 


THE stande still, or to tourne forward, or to tourne backwarde, 

SECOND or whiche waie to tourne the weapons, and the face : so 

BOOKE that knowyng how to kepe well the araie, after soche sorte, 

that neither place nor movyng maie disorder them, under- 

standyng well the commaundementes of their heddes, by 

meanes of the sounde, and knowyng quickly, how to re- 

tourne into their place, these battailes maie after easly 

(as I have said) beyng brought many together, learne to 

do that, whiche all the body together, with the other 

battailes in a juste armie, is bounde to dooe. And bicause 

soche universail practise, is also not to bee estemed a little, 

ones or twise a yere, when there is peace, all the main 

battaile maie be brought together, to give it the facion 

of an whole armie, some daies exercisyng theim, as though 

thei should faight a fielde, settyng the fronte, and the 

sides with their succours in their places. And bicause a 

capitaine ordeineth his hoste to the fielde, either for coumpte 

of the enemie he seeth, or for that, of whiche without seyng 

he doubteth, he ought to exercise his armie in the one 

maner, and in the other, and to instructe theim in soche 

How a captain sorte, that thei maie knowe how to marche, and to faight, 

muste in- when nede should require, the wyng to his souldiours, how 

structe his ^^ s h ou ld g OV erne theim selves, when thei should happen 

how theY 8 to be assaulted of this, or of that side : and where he ought 

ought to to instructe theim how to faight againste the enemie, whom 

governethem- thei should see: he must shewe them also, how the faight 

selves in the ig b e g un ^ an d where thei ought to retire: being overthrowen, 

who hath to succeade in their places, to what signes, to 

what soundes, to what voices, thei ought to obeie, and to 

practise them in soche wise in the battaile, and with fained 

assaultes, that thei may desire the verie thyng in deede. 

For that an armie is not made coragious, bicause in thesame 

be hardie menne, but by reason the orders thereof bee well 

appoincted : For as moche as if I be one of the first 

faighters, and do knowe, beyng overcome, where I maie 

retire, and who hath to succeade in my place, I shall alwaies 

faight with boldnes, seing my succour at hand. If I shall 

be*one of the seconde faighters, the first being driven backe, 



and overthrowen, I shall not bee afraied, for that I shall THE 
have presuposed that I male bee, and I shall have desire to SECOND 
be thesame, whiche male give the victory to my maister, BOOKE 
and not to bee any of the other. These exercises bee moste 
necessarie, where an armie is made of newe, and where the 
old armie is, thei bee also necessarie: for that it is also seen, 
how the Romaines knew from their infancie, thorder of 
their armies, notwithstandyng, those capitaines before thei 
should come to thenemie, continually did exercise them in 
those. And Josephus in his historic saieth, that the con- 
tinuall exercises of the Romaine armies, made that all 
thesame multitude, whiche folowe the campe for gain, was 
in the daie of battaile profitable : bicause thei all knewe, 
how to stande in the orders, and to faight kepyng the same : 
but in the armies of newe men, whether thou have putte 
theim together, to faight straight waie, or that thou make 
a power to faight, when neede requires, without these exer 
cises, as well of the battailes severally by themselves, as 
of all the armie, is made nothing : wherefore the orders 
beyng necessarie, it is conveniente with double industrie 
and laboure, to shewe them unto soche as knoweth them 
not, and for to teache it, many excellent capitaines have 
travailed, without any respecte. 

COSIMO. My thinkes that this reasoning, hath sumwhat 
transported you : for asmoche. as havyng not yet declared 
the waies, with the whiche the battailes bee exercised, 
you have reasoned of the whole armie, and of the daie 
of battaile. 

FABRICIO. You saie truth, but surely thoccasion hath 
been the affection, whiche I beare to these orders, and the 
grief that I feele, sevng thei be not put in use : notwithstand 
ing, doubt not but that I will tourne to the purpose : as I 
have saied, the chief importaunce that is in thexercise of The chief im- 
the battailes, is to knowe how to kepe well the arraies : and portance in 
bicause I tolde you that one of these battailes, ought to bee ^ e ^ X f e 
made of fowcr hundred men heavie armed, I wil staie my of men. 
self upon this nomber. Thei ought then to be brought 
into Ixxx. rankes, and five to a ranke : afterward govng 

L 81 


Three priuci- 
pall facions for 

how t^bryng 

a bande of 
men into 
hattaile raie 



fast, or softly, to knit them together, and to lose them : 
the whiche how it is dooen, maie bee shewed better with 
deedes, then with wordes. Which nedeth not gretly to be 
taught, for that every marine, whom is practised in servise 
of warre, knoweth how this order procedeth, whiche is good 
for no other, then to use the souldiours to keepe the raie : 
but let us come to putte together one of these battailes, I 
saie, that there is given them three facions principally, the 
firste, and the moste profitablest is, to make al massive, and 
^ o gj ve j^ t ne facion of two squares, the second is, to make 

ii: sc i uare with the front horned the thirde is to make ii: 

with a voide space in the middest : the maner to put men 
together in the first facion, maie be of twoo sortes, thone 
is to double the rankes, that is, to make the seconde ranke 
enter into the first, the iiii. into the third, the sixt into 
tne fi f^ an( j so f OO rth, so that where there was Ixxx. rankes, 
five to a ranke ? tnei maie become xl - rankes, x. to a ranke. 
Afterward cause theim to double ones more in thesame 
maner, settyng the one ranke into an other, and so there 
shall remain twentie rankes, twentie men to a ranke : this 
maketh twoo squares aboute, for as moche as albeit that 
there bee as many men the one waie, as in the other, not- 
withstandyng to wardes the hedde, thei joine together, that 
the one side toucheth the other: but by the other waie, 
thei be distant the one from the other, at least a yarde 
and a haulfe, after soche sorte, that the square is moche 
longer, from the backe to the fronte, then from the one 
side to thother : and bicause we have at this presente, to 
speake often of the partes afore, of behinde, and of the 
sides of these battailes, and of all the armie together, knowe 
you, that when I saie either hedde or fronte, I meane the 
parte afore, when I shall saie backe, the part behind, when 
I shall saie flankes, the partes on the sides. The fiftie 
ordinarie veliti of the battaile, muste not mingle with the 
other rankes, but so sone as the battaile is facioned, thei 
shalbe set a long by the flankes therof. The other waie 
to set together the battaile is this, and bicause it is better 
then the firste, I will set it before your ives juste, how it 


ought to bee ordeined. I beleve that you remember of THE 
what nomber of menne, of what hedcles it is made, and of SECOND 
what armours thei are armed: then the facion, that this BOOKE 
battaile ought to have, is (as I have saied) of twentie rankes, The better 
twentie men to a ranke, five rankes of Pikes in the front, and wai e for the 
fiftene rankes of Targaettes on the backe, twoo Centurions rdrill ofa 
standing in the fronte, twoo behinde on the backe, who shall fn^attau? 11 
execute the office of those, whiche the antiquitie called raiej after the 
Tergiductori. The Conestable with the Ansigne, and with first facion. 
the Drumme, shall stande in thesame space, that is be- 
twene the five rankes of the Pikes, and the fiftene of the 
Targaettes. Of the Peticapitaines, there shall stande one 
upon every side of the ranckes, so that every one, maie have 
on his side his men, those peticapitaines, whiche shalbe on 
the left hande, to have their men on the right hand, those 
Peticapitaines, whiche shall be on the right hand, to have 
their menne on the left hande : The fiftie Veliti, muste 
stande a long the flankes, and on the backe of the battaile. 
To mvnde now, that this battaile maie be set together in 
this facion, the men goyng ordinarily, it is convenient to 
order them thus. Make the men to be brought into Ixxx. 
rankes, five to a ranke, as a little afore we have said, leavyng 
the Veliti either at the hedde, or at the taile, so that thei 
stande out of this order: and it ought to be ordeined, that 
every Centurion have behinde his back twentie rankes, and 
to bee nexte behinde every Centurion, five rankes of Pikes, 
and the reste Targaettes. The Conestable shall stande 
with the Drum, and the Ansigne, in thesame space, whiche 
is betwene the Pikes, and the Targaettes of the seconde 
Centurion, and to occupie the places of three Targaette 
men. Of the Peticapitaines, twentie shall stand on the 
sides of the rankes, of the first Centurion, on the lefte 
hande, and twentie shall stande on the sides of the rankes, 
of the last Centurion on the right hande. And you muste 
understande, that the Peticapitaine, whiche hath to leade 
the Pikes, ought to have a Pike, and those that leade the 
Targaettes, ought to have like weapons. Then the rankes 
bcyng brought into this order, and mindvng in march vug, 



THE to bryng them into battaile, for to make the hedde, the 
SECOND first Centurion must be caused to stande still, with the 
BOOKE firste twentie rankes, and the seconde to proceade marchyng, 
and tournyng on the right hand, he must go a long the 
sides of the twentie rankes that stande still, till he come 
to bee even with the other Centurion, where he must 
also stande still, and the thirde Centurion to precede 
marchyng, likewise tournyng on the right hand, and a 
long the sides of the rankes that stande still, must go so 
farre, that he be even with the other twoo Centurions, and 
he also standyng still, the other Centurion must folowe 
with his rankes, likewise tournyng on the right hande, a 
longe the sides of the rankes that stande still, so farre 
that he come to the bed of the other, and then to stand 
still, and straight waie twoo Centurions onely, shall depart 
from the front, and go to the backe of the battaile, the 
whiche cometh to bee made in thesame maner, and with 
thesame order juste, as a little afore I have shewed you. 
The Veliti muste stande a long, by the flankes of thesame, 
accordyng as is disposed in the first waie, whiche waie is 
called redoublyng by right line, this is called redoublyng 
by flanke : the first waie is more easie, this is with better 
order, and commeth better to passe, and you maie better 
correcte it, after your owne maner, for that in redoublyng 
by righte line, you muste bee ruled by the nomber, bicause 
five maketh ten, ten twentie, twentie fourtie, so that with 
redoublyng by right line, you cannot make a hedde of fiftene, 
nor of five and twentie, nor of thirtie, nor of five and thirtie, 
but you must go where thesame nomber will leade you. 
And yet it happeneth every daie in particulare affaires, that 
it is convenient to make the forwarde with sixe hundred, or 
eight hundred men, so that to redouble by right line, should 
disorder you: therefore this liketh me better : that difficultie 
that is, ought moste with practise, and with exercise to bee 
made easie. Therefore I saie unto you, how it importeth 
more then any thyng, to have the souldiours to know how- 
to set themselves in araie quickly, and it is necessarie to 
keepe theim in this battaile, to exercise theim therin, and 


to make them to go apace, either forward or backward, to THE 
passe through difficulte places, without troublyng thorder : SECOND 
for asmoche as the souldiours, whiche can doe this well, be BOOKE 
expert souldiours, and although tliei have never seen enemies 
in the face, thei maie be called old souldiours, and contrari 
wise, those whiche cannot keepe these orders, though thei 
have been in a thousande warres, thei ought alwaies to be 
reputed new souldiours. This is, concerning setting them 
together, when thei are marching in small rankes : but 
beyng set, and after beyng broken by some accident or 
chaunce, whiche groweth either of the situacion, or of the 
enemie, to make that in a sodaine, thei maie come into 
order againe, this is the importaunce and the ditficultie, 
and where is nedefull moche exercise, and moche practise, 
and wherin the antiquitie bestowed moche studio. There 
fore, it is necessarie to doe twoo thynges, firste to have this 
battaile full of countersignes, the other, to keepe alwaies 
this order, that those same men maie stand alwaies in the 
ranke, which thei were firste placed in : as for insample, if How to exer- 
one have begon to stande in the seconde, that he stande cise men > and 
after alwaie in that, and not onely in that self same rancke, ord^Vhe rt 
but in that self same place : for the observyng whereof ^hancUf men 
(as I have saied) bee necessarie many countersignes. In that were 
especially it is requisite, that the Ansigne bee after soche by whatsoever 
sorte countersigned, that companyng with the other battailes, ch ? nc f 
it maie be knowen from theim, accordyng as the Conestable, gtraighte wai 
and the Centurions have plumes of fethers in their heddes be brought 
differente, and easie to be knowen, and that whiche im- illto order 
porteth moste, is to ordaine that the peticapitaines bee a aine - 
knowen. Whereunto the antiquitie had so moche care, 
that thei would have nothing els written in tlu-ir lied do 
peces, but the nomber that thei were named bv, callyng 
them firste, seconde, thirde, and fourthe xc. And vet thei 
were not contented with this, but made every souldiour to 
have written in his Targaet, the nomber of the ranke, and 
the nomber of the place, in whiche ranke he was appoincted. 
Then the menne being countersigned thus, and used to 
stande betwene these li mites, it is an easie thyng, tht-i 



What adver 
ought to bee 
used in tourn- 
ing ahout a 
whole bande 
of menne, 
after soche 
sorte, as 
though it were 
but one bodie. 


beyng disordered, to sett theim all againe quickly into 
order : considering, that the Ansigne standyng still, the 
Centurions, and the Peticapitaines maie gesse their places 
by the iye, and beyng brought the left of the left, the right 
of the right, with their accustomed distance, the souldiours 
led by their rule, and by the differences of the cognisances, 
maie be quickly in their proper places, no otherwise, then as 
if the boordes of a tunne should bee taken a sunder, whiche 
beyng first marked, moste easely maie bee set together 
again, where thesame beyng not countersigned, were im 
possible to bryng into order any more. These thynges, 
with diligence and with exercise, are quickely taught, and 
quickly learned, and beyng learned, with difficultie are for 
gotten : for that the newe menne, be led of the olde, and 
with tyme, a Province with these exercises, may become 
throughly practised in the war. It is also necessarie to 
teache theim, to tourne theim selves all at ones, and when 
neede requires, to make of the flankes, and of the backe, 
the fronte, and of the front, flankes, or backe, whiche is 
moste easie : bicause it suffiseth that every manne doe tourne 
his bodie, towardes thesame parte that he is commaunded, 
and where thei tourne their faces, there the fronte commeth 
to bee. True it is, that when thei tourne to any of the 
flanckes, the orders tourne out of their proporcion : for 
that from the breast to the backe, there is little difference, 
and from the one flancke to the other, there is verie moche 
distance, the whiche is al contrarie to the ordinarie order 
of the battaile: therefore it is convenient, that practise, 
and discrecion, doe place them as thei ought to be : but 
this is small disorder, for that moste easely by themselves, 
thei maie remedie it. But that whiche importeth more, and 
where is requisite more practise, is when a battaile would 
tourne all at ones, as though it were a whole bodie, here is 
meete to have greate practise, and greate discrecion: bicause 
mindyng to tourne, as for insample on the left hande, the 
left corner must stande still, and those that be next to 
hym that standeth still, muste marche so softly, that thei 
that bee in the right corner, nede not to runne : otherwise 


all thing should be confounded. But bicause it happeneth THE 
alwaies, when an armie marcheth from place to place, that SEC OND 
the battailes, whiche are not placed in the front, shall be BOOKE 
driven to faight not by hedde, but either by flancke, or by 
backe, so that a battaile muste in a sodaine make of flancke, 
or of backe, hedde : and mindyng that like battailes in 
soche cace, maie have their proporcion, as above is de 
clared, it is necessarie, that thei have the Pikes on thesame 
flancke, that ought to be hedde, and the Peticapitaines, 
Centurions, and Conestables, to resorte accordyngly to their 
places. Therefore to mynde to dooe this, in plasyng them 
together, you must ordeine the fower skorerankes, of five in 
a ranke, thus: Set all the Pikes in the first twentie rankes, How to order 
and place the Peticapitaines thereof, five in the first places, a l)aml f 
and five in the last : the other three score rankes, whiche "^Tsort^ 
come after, bee all of Targaettes, whiche come to bee three that thei maie 
Centuries. Therefore, the first and the laste ranke of every make their 
Centurion, would be Peticapitaines, the Conestable with the front apainste 
Ansigne, and with theDrumme, muste stande in themiddest tlien ^ Ini( " f 
of the first Centurie of Targaettes, and the Centurions in the t j ie j jj st 
lied of every Centurie. The bande thus ordained, when you 
would have the Pikes to come on the left flancke, you must 
redouble Centurie by Centurie, on the right flancke : if you 
would have them to come on the right flancke, you must 
redouble theim on the lefte. And so this battaile tourneth 
with the Pikes upon a flancke, and the Conestable in the 
middeste : the whiche facion it hath marchyng : but the 
enemie commyng, and the tyme that it would make of 
flancke hedde, it nedeth not but to make every man to 
tourne his face, towardes thesame flancke, where the Pikes How a hand 
be, and then the battaile tourneth with the rankes, and f">i noiifrhte 
with the heddes in thesame maner, as is aforesaied : f or to be ordered, 
,1 i i 1 1 ft i when in 

that every man is in his place, excepte the ( entunons, and niarrhynjr 

the Centurions straight waie, and without difficultie, place tlu-i should 
themselves: lint when thei in marchyng, should bee driven !>< ron- 

to faight on the backe, it is convenient to ordein the rankes -; tr:i m (1 t<( 

, i , .1 ii i_ ji -i ,1 i^-i raiifntoii their 

after soch sorte, that settyng theim in battaile, the Pikes | IJU .i 4es 

maie come behinde, and to doe this, there is to bee kepte 




no other order, then where in orderyng the battaile, by 
the ordinarie, every Centurie hath five rankes of Pikes 
before, to cause that thei maie have them behind, and 
in all the other partes to observe thorder, whiche I de 
clared firste. 

COSIMO. You have tolde (if I dooe well remember 
me) that this maner of exercise, is to bee able to bryng 
these battailes together into an armie, and that this 
practise, serveth to be able to order theim selves in the 
same : But if it should happen, that these CCCCL. men, 
should have to doe an acte seperate, how would you order 
them ? 

FABKICIO. He that leadeth them, ought then to judge, 
where he will place the Pikes, and there to put them, the 
whiche doeth not repugne in any part to the order above 
written : for that also, though thesame bee the maner, that is 
observed to faighte a fielde, together with thother battailes, 
notwithstandyng it is a rule, whiche serveth to all those 
waies, wherein a band of menne should happen to have 
to doe : but in shewyng you the other twoo waies of me 
propounded, of ordering the battailes, I shal also satisfie 
you more to your question : for that either thei are never 
used, or thei are used when a battaile is a lone, and not in 
companie of other, and to come to the waie of ordering 
Howa battaile them, with twoo homes, I saie, that thou oughteste to order 
is made with the Ixxx. rankes, five to a ranke, in this maner. Place in 
fae m iddest, one Centurion, and after hym xxv. rankes, 
whiche muste bee with twoo Pikes on the lefte hande, and 
with three Targaettes on the right, and after the first 
five, there must be put in the twentie folowyng, twentie 
Peticapitaines, all betwene the pikes, and the Targaettes, 
excepte those whiche beare the Pike, whom maie stand with 
the Pikes: after these xxv. rankes thus ordered, there is 
to be placed an other Centurion, and behinde hym fiftene 
rankes of Targaettes : after these, the Conestable betwene 
the Drum and the Ansigne, who also must have after him, 
other fiftene rankes of Targaettes : after this, the thirde 
Centurion must be placed, and behinde hym, xxv. rankes, 


twoo homes. 


in every one of whiche, ought to bee three Targaettes on THE 
the lefte flancke, and twoo Pikes on the right, and after SECOND 
the five first rankes, there must be xx. Peticapitaines placed BOOKE 
betwene the Pikes, and the Targaettes : after these rankes, 
the fowerth Centurion must folowc. Intendyng therefore, 
of these rankes thus ordered, to make a battaile with twoo 
homes, the first Centurion must stand still, with the xxv. 
rankes whiche be behinde him, after the second Centurion 
muste move, with the fiftene rankes of Targaettes, that bee 
behinde hyrn, and to tourne on the right hande, and up by 
the right Hancke of the xxv. rankes, to go so farre, that he 
arrive to the xv. ranke, and there to stande still : after, the 
Conestable muste move, with the fiftene rankes of Tar 
gaettes, whiche be behinde hym, and tournyng likewise on 
the right hande, up by the right flancke of the fiftene 
rankes, that wer Hrste moved, muste marche so farre, that 
he come to their heddes, and there to stand stil : after, 
the thirde Centurion muste move with the xxv. rankes, 
and with the fowerth Centurion, whiche was behinde, and 
turnyng up straight, must go a long by the right Hanck of 
the fiftene last rankes of the Targaettes, and not to stande 
still when he is at the heddes of them, but to followe 
marchyng so farre, that the laste ranke of the xxv. maie 
come to be even with the rankes behinde. And this dooen, 
the Centurion, whiche was hedde of the firste fiftene rankes 
of Targaettes, must go awaie from thens where he stoode, 
and go to the backe in the lefte corner : and thus a battaile 
shall be made of xxv. rankes, after twentie men to a rank, 
with two homes, upon every side of the front, one horn, 
and every one, shall have ten rankes, five to a ranke, and 
there shall remain a space betwene the twoo homes, as 
moche as containeth ten men, whiche tourne their sides, the 
one to thother. Betwene the two homes, the capitain shall 
stande, and on every poinct of a home, a Centurion : There 
shall bee also behinde, on every corner, a Centurion: there 
shal be twoo rankes of Pikes, and xx. Peticapitaines on 
every flancke. These twoo homes, serve to kepe betwene 
theim the artillerie, when this battaile should have any 
M 89 


THE withit, and the cariages : The Veliti muste stande a long 

SECOND the flankes, under the Tikes. But mindyng to bring this 

BOOKE horned battaile, with a voide space in the middeste, there 

The orderyng ought no other to bee doen, then of fiftene rankes, of 

of a battaile twentie to a ranke, to take eight rankes, and to place them 

with a voide ^ poinctes of the twoo homes, whiche then of homes, 

space in the , ,, M . i T ,, , ., 

middeste. become backe or the voide space. In this place, the cariages 

are kept, the capitain standeth, and the Ansigne, but never 
the Artillerie, the whiche is placed either in the front, or 
a long the flankes. These be the waies, that a battaile 
maie use when it is constrained to passe alone through sus 
pected places : notwithstandyng, the massive battaile with 
out homes, and without any soche voide place is better, 
yet purposyng to assure the disarmed, the same horned 
battaile is necessarie. The Suizzers make also many facions 
of battailes, emong which, thei make one like unto a crosse : 
bicause in the spaces that is betwen the armes therof, 
thei kepe safe their Harkebuters from the daunger of the 
enemies : but bicause soche battailes be good to faight by 
theim selves, and my intente is to shew, how many battailes 
united, do faight with thenemie, I wil not labour further 
in describing them. 

COSIMO. My thinkes I have verie well comprehended the 
waie, that ought to be kept to exercise the men in these 
battailes : But (if I remember me well) you have saied, 
how that besides the tenne battailes, you joyne to the maine 
battaile, a thousande extraordinarie Pikes, and five hundred 
extraordinarie Veliti : will you not appoincte these to be 
exercised ? 

FABIUTIO. I would have theim to bee exercised, and that 
with moste great diligence : and the Pikes I would exercise, 
at leaste Ansigne after Ansigne, in the orders of the bat 
tailes, as the other : For as moche as these should doe me 
To what pur- more servise, then the ordinarie battailes, in all particulare 
pose the Pikes affaires : as to make guides, to get booties, and to doe like 
and Velite ex- thynges : but the Veliti, I would exercise at home, without 
traordinarie bring i ng them together, for that their office being to faight 
a sonder, it is not mete, that thei should companie with 


other, in the common exercises : for that it shall suffice, to THE 

exercise them well in the particular exercises. Thei ought SECOND 

then (as I firste tolde you, nor now me thynkes no labour BOOKE 

to rehearse it againe) to cause their men to exercise them 

selves in these battailes, whereby thei maie knowe how to 

keepe the raie, to knowe their places, to tourne quickly, 

when either enemie, or situacion troubleth them : for that, 

when thei knowe how to do this, the place is after easely 

learned, which a battaile hath to kepe, and what is the office 

thereof in the armie : and when a Prince, or a common 

weale, will take the paine, and will use their diligence in 

these orders, and in these exercisyng, it shall alwaies happen, 

that in their countrie, there shall bee good souldiours, and 

thei to be superiours to their neighbours, and shalbe those, 

whiche shall give, and not receive the lawes of other men : 

but (as I have saied) the disorder wherein thei live, maketh 

that thei neclecte, and doe not esteme these thynges, and 

therefore our armies be not good : and yet though there 

were either hed, or member naturally vertuous, thei cannot 

shewe it. 

COSIMO. What carriages would you, that every one of 
these battailes should have ? 

FABUITIO. Firste, I would that neither Centurion, nor Peti- Neither Cen- 
capitain, should be suffered to ride: and if the Conestable turioii nor 
would nedes ride, I would that he should have a Mule, and JJTlrt ^otto* 
not a horse: I would allowe hym twoo carriages, and one to J^, 1 
every Centurion, and twoo to every three Peticapitaines, what car- 
for that so many wee lodge in a lodgyng, as in the place riapes the 
therof we shall tell you: So that every battaile will come ^Pj^" 68 
to have xxxvi. carriages, the whiche I would should carrie jj"^, 1 an "j the 
of necessitie the tentcs, the vesselles to seeth meate, axes, nomber of 
barres of Iron, sufficient to make the lodgvnges, and then carra^es re- 
if thei can carry any other thvniT, thei maie dooe it at quisite to 

their pleasure. 

COSIMO. I beleve that the heddes of you, ordeined in every 
one of these battailes, be necessarie : albeit, I would doubt, 
lest that so many com maunders, should confounde all. 

FAHKITIO. That should bee, when it were not referred to 



THE one man, but referryng it, thei cause order, ye and with- 
SECOND out theim, it is impossible to governe an armie : for that a 
BOOKE wall, whiche on every parte enclineth, requireth rather to 
Without have many proppes, and thicke, although not so strong, 
many capi- then fewe, though thei were strong : bicause the vertue of 
tames, an one a \ one ^oeth not remedie the ruine a farre of. And 
armie cannot , i / . i j 

be governed, therefore in tharmies, and emong every ten men, it is con 
venient that there bee one, of more life, of more harte, or 
at leaste wise of more aucthoritie, who with stomacke, with 
wordes, and with example, male kepe them constante, and 
disposed to faight, and these thynges of me declared, bee 
necessarie in an armie, as the Heddes, the Ansignes, and 
the Drummes, is seen that wee have theim all in our armies, 
but none doeth his office. First to mynde that the Peti- 
capitaines doe thesame, for whiche thei are ordeined, it is 
necessarie (as I have said) that there bee a difference, be- 
twene every one of them and their men, and that thei lodge 
together, doyng their duties, standyng in thorder with them : 
for that thei placed in their places, bee a rule and a temper- 
aunce, to maintaine the raies straight and steddie, and it is 
impossible that thei disorder, or disorderyng, dooe not reduce 
themselves quickly into their places. But we now adaies, 
doe not use them to other purpose, then to give theim 
more wages, then to other menne, and to cause that thei 
dooe some particulare feate : The very same happeneth of 
the Ansigne bearers, for that thei are kept rather to make 
a faire muster, then for any other warlike use : but the 
To what pur- antiquitie used theim for guides, and to bryng theim selves 
pose Ansignes againe into order: for that every man, so sone as the 
Ansigne stoode still, knewe the place, that he kept nere 
to his Ansigne, wherunto he retourned alwaies: thei knewe 
also, how that the same movyng, or standyng, thei should 
staie, or move : therfore it is necessarie in an armie, that 
there be many bodies, and every bande of menne to have 
his Ansigne, and his guide : wherfore havyng this, it is 
mete that thei have stomackes inough, and by consequence 
life enough. Then the menne ought to marche, accordyng 
to the Ansigne : and the Ansigne to move, accordyng to the 


Drumme, the whiche Drumme well ordered, commaundeth THE 
to the armie, the whiche goyng with paces, that answereth SECOND 
the tyme of thesame, will come to kepe easihe thorders : BOOKE 
for whiche cause the antiquitie had Shalmes, Flutes, and For what 
soundes perfectly tymed : For as moche as like as he that purpose 
daunseth, proceadeth with the tyme of the Musick, and ^ 1 1 I " C * h 
goyng with thesame doeth not erre, even so an armie 1 
obeiyng, in movyng it self to thesame sounde, doeth not 
disorder: and therefore, thei varied the sounde, accordyng 
as thei would varie the mocion,and accordyng as thei would 
inHame, or quiete, or staie the mindes of men : and like as 
the soundes were divers, so diversly thei named them : the 
sounde Dorico, ingendered constancie, the sounde Frigio, The propertie 
furie : whereby thei saie, that Alexander beyng at the th 1 t s o 
Table, and one soundyng the sounde Frigio, it kendled mVnte 
so moche his minde, that he laied hande on his weapons. ; n men 
All these maners should be necessarie to finde again : and myndes. 
when this should bee difliculte, at least there would not 
be left behind those that teache the Souldiour to obeie, 
the whiche every man maie varie, and ordeine after his owne 
facion, so that with practise, he accustome the eares of his 
souldiours to knowe it: But now ndaics of this sounde, 
there is no other fruicte taken for the moste part, then 
to make a rumour. 

COSIMO. I would desire to understande of you, if ever with 
your self you have discourced, whereof groweth so moche 
vilenesse, and so moche disorder, and so moche necligence 

in these daies of this exercise ? 

, -imr-.i i -ii T -11 j. 11 ii .1 . A notable dis- 

FABRICIO. With a good will I will tell you thesame, that course of the 

I thinke. You knowe how that of the excellente men of nurthour, 
warre, there hath been named many in Europe, fewe in declaryng 
Aff Vic, and lesse in Asia : this grewe, for that these twoo " ht 
laste partes of the worlde, have had not paste one kyng- ^""hi. vii S ( ? ncs 
dome, or twoo, and fewe common weales, but Europe onelv, disorder ami 
hath had many kvngdomes, and infinite common weales, necligence in 
where menne became excellent, and did shewe their vertue, tlu st (I:i f 

accordyng as thei were sette a woorke, and brought before the^xTrcise 
their Prince, or common weale, or king that he be: it f warre 



THE followeth therefore, that where be many dominions, there 
SECOND rise many valiaunt menne, and where be fewe, fewe. In 
BOOKE Asia is founde Ninus, Cirus, Artasercses, Mithridates : and 
verie fewe other, that to these maie be compared. In 
Africk, is named (lettyng stande thesame auncient Egipt) 
Massinissa, Jugurta, and those Capitaines, whiche of the 
Carthaginens common weale were nourished, whom also in 
respecte to those of Europe, are moste fewe : bicause in 
Europe, be excellente men without nomber, and so many 
more should be, if together with those should bee named 
the other, that be through the malignitie of time extincte : 
for that the worlde hath been moste vertuous, where hath 
been moste states, whiche have favoured vertue of necessitie, 
or for other humaine passion. There rose therfore in Asia, 
fewe excellente menne : bicause thesame Province, was all 
under one kyngdome, in the whiche for the greatnesse 
thereof, thesame standing for the moste parte of tyme 
idell, there could not growe men in doynges excellent. To 
Africke there happened the verie same, yet there were 
nourished more then in Asia, by reason of the Cartha 
ginens common weale : for that in common weales, there 
growe more excellent men, then in kingdomes, bicause in 
common weales for the mest part, vertue is honoured, in 
Kyngdomes it is helde backe: wherby groweth, that in thone, 
vertuous men are nourished, in the other thei are extincte. 
Therefore he that shall consider the partes of Europe, shall 
finde it to have been full of common weales, and of prince- 
domes, the whiche for feare, that the one had of the other, 
thei wer constrained to kepe lively the warlike orders, and 
to honor them, whiche in those moste prevailed : for that 
in Grece, besides the kyngdome of the Macedonians, there 
were many common weales, and in every one of theim, were 
bred moste excellente men. In Italic, were the Romaines, 
the Sannites, the Toscanes, the Gallic Cisalpini. Fraunce, 
and Almainie, wer ful of common weales and prince- 
domes. Spaine likewise : and although in comparison of 
the Romaines, there are named fewe other, it groweth 
through the malignitie of the writers, whom folowe fortune, 


and to theim for the moste parte it suffised, to honour TIIK 
the conquerours : but it standeth not with reason, that be- SECOND 
twene the Sannites, and the Toscanes, whom fought CL. BOOKK 
yeres with the Komaine people, before thei wer overcome, 
there should ntft growe exceadyng many excellente menne. 
And so likewise in Fraunce, and in Spaine : but that vertue, 
whiche the writers did not celebrate in particuler menne, 
thei celebrated generally in the people, where thei exalte 
to the starres, the obstinatenesse that was in them, to de- 
fende their libertie. Beyng then true, that where bee moste 
dominions, there riseth moste valiaunt menne, it foloweth 
of necessitie, that extinguishyng those, vertue is extincte 
straighte waie, the occasion decaiyng, whiche maketh menne 
vertuous. Therefore, the Komaine Empire beyng after in 
creased, and havyng extinguished all the common weales, 
and Princedomes of Europe, and of Afrike, and for the 
moste part those of Asia, it lefte not any waie to vertue, 
excepte Rome : whereby grewe, that vertuous menne began 
to be as fewe in Europe, as in Asia : the whiche vertue, 
came after to the laste caste : For as moche, as all the 
vertue beyng reduced to Koome, so sone as thesame was 
corrupted, almoste all the worlde came to bee corrupted : 
and the Scithian people, were able to come to spoile the- 
sarne Empire, the whiche had extinguished the vertue of 
other, and knewe not howe to maintaine their owne : and 
after, although through the inundacion of those barberous 
nacions, thesame Empire was devided into many partes, this 
vertue is not renued : The one cause is, for that it greveth The causes 
theim moche, to take againe the orders when thei are manic, wji y the 
the other, bicause the manor of livyng now adaies, having a ""s"re 
respect to the Christian religion, commaundeth not thesame neclected 
necessitie to menne, to defende themselves, whiche in olde 
tyme was : for that then, the menne overcome in warn-, 
either were killed, or remained perpetuall slaves, where 
thei led their lives moste miserablv : The tonnes overcome, 
either were rased, or the inhabiters thereof driven out, their 
goodes taken a waie, sent dispersed through the worlde : so 
that the vanquished in warre, suffered all extreme miserie : 



THE of this feare, men beyng made afraied, thei wer driven to 
SECOND kepe lively the warlike exercises, and thei honoured soche 
BOOKE as were excellente in theim : But nowe adaies, this feare for 
the moste part is not regarded : of those that are overcom, 
fewe bee killed, none is kepte longe in prison : for that with 
facelitie, thei are sette at libertie : the citees also, whiche 
a thousande tymes have rebelled, are not destroied, the 
men wherof, are let a lone with their goodes, so that the 
greateste hurte that is feared, is but a taske : in so moche, 
that men will not submit them selves to the orders of warre, 
and to abide alwaies under those, to avoide the perilles 
whereof thei are little afraied: again these Provinces of 
Europe, be under a verie fewe heddes, in respecte as it hath 
been in times past : for that al Fraunce, obeieth one kyng, 
al Spain, an other : Italic is in fewe partes, so that the weake 
citees, are defended with leanyng to hym that overcometh, 
and the strong states, for the causes aforesaied, feare no 
soche extreme ruine. 

COSIMO. Yet ther hath ben seen many tounes that have 
ben sacked within this xxv. yeres, and lost their dominions, 
whose insample, ought to teache other how to live, and to 
take again some of those old orders. 

FABRICIO. You saie true: but if you note what tounes 
have gone to sacke, you shall not finde that thei have been 
the heddes of states, but of the members; as was seen 
sacked Tortona, and not Milaine : Capua, and not Napelles, 
Brescia, and not Venice, Ravenna, and not Roome : the 
whiche insamples maketh those that governe,not to chaunge 
their purposes, but rather maketh them to stande more in 
their opinion, to be able to redeme again all thynges with 
taskes, and for this, thei will not submit theim selves to the 
troubles of thexercises of warre, semyng unto them partly 
not necessarie, partly, an intrinsicate matter, whiche thei 
understande not : Those other, whiche bee subjectes to 
them, whom soche insamples ought to make afraied, have 
no power to remedie it : and those Princes, that have ones 
loste their estates, are no more able, and those which as 
yet kept them, know not, nor wil not. Bicause thei will 



without any disease rain by fortune, and not by their vertue: THE 
for that in the worlde beyng but little vertue, thei see for- SECOND 
tune governeth all thynges. And thei will have it to rule BOOKE 
theim, not thei to rule it. And to prove this that I have 
discoursed to bee true, consider Almaine, in the whiche, 
bicause there is many Princedomes, and common weales, 
there is moche vertue, and all thesame, whiche in the present 
service of warre is good, dependeth of the insamples of those 
people : who beyng all gellious of their states, fearing servi 
tude, the which in other places is not feared, thei all main- 
taine theim selves Lordes, and honourable : this that I have 
saied, shall suffice to shewe the occacions of the presente 
utilitie, accordyng to my opinion : I cannot tell, whether 
it seeme thesame unto you, or whether there be growen in 
you any doubtyng. 

COSIMO. None, but rather I understande all verie well : 
onely I desire, tournyng to our principall matter, to under 
stande of you, how you would ordein the horses with these 
battailes, and how many, and how thei should be governed, 
and how armed. 

FABIUTIO. You thinke peraventure, that I have left it 
behinde : whereat doe not marvell, for that I purpose for 
twoo causes, to speake therof little, the one is, for that the 
strengthe, and the importaunce of an armie, is the foote- 
men, the other is, bicause this part of service of warre, is 
lesse corrupted, then thesame of footemen. For that though 
it be not stronger then the old, yet it maie compare with 
thesame, nevertheles ther hath been spoken a little afore, of 
the maner of exercisyng them. And concernyng tharmyng The armyn^ 
them, I would arme them as thei doe at this present, as wel of horsemen, 
the light horsemen, as the menne of armes : but the light The weapons 
horsemen, I would that thei should be all Crossebowe tliat J ^ rllt 

shuters, with some Harkebutters emong them : the whiche horsln ; ! 
,1 i . /r . . ,ii 1-1 should have. 

though in the other affaires of warre, thei bee little pro 
fitable, thei be for this most profitable, to make afraied the 
countrie menne, and to drive them from a passage, that were 
kept of them : bicause a Harkebutter, shall feare them 
more, then twentie other armed. But commvng to the 
N 97 


THE nomber, I saie, that having taken in hand, to imitate the 

SECOND service of warre of the Romaines, I would not ordein more 

BOOKE then three hundred horse, profitable for every maine battaile, 

The nombre of whiche I would that there were CL. men of armes, and 

of horsmen QL light horsmen, and I would give to every one of these 

requisite for arteS5 a ne olde, making after emong them fiftene peticapi- 

battaUe of taines for a bande, givyng to every one of them a Trompet, 
sixe thousand and a standarde : I would that every ten menne of armes, 
men. should have five carriages, and every ten light horsemen 

Thenombreof twoo, the whiche as those of the footemen, should carrie 
carrages that t j ie Rentes, the vesselles, and the axes, and the stakes, and 

aTdVtohTrs- the rest of their ther harneis - Nor beleve not but that . ii: 

men ought to is disorder, where the menne of armes have to their service 

have. fower horse, bicause soche a thyng is a corrupt use : for 

that the men of armes in Almaine, are seen to bee with 

their horse alone, every twentie of theim, havyng onely a 

carte, that carrieth after them their necessary thynges. 

The Romaine horsemen, were likewise a lone : true it is, 

that the Triary lodged nere them, whiche wer bound to 

minister helpe unto theim, in the kepyng of their horses : 

the whiche maie easely be imitated of us, as in the dis- 

tributyng of the lodgynges, I shall shewe you. Thesame 

then that the Romaines did, and that whiche the Duchmen 

doe now a daies, we maie doe also, ye, not doyng it, we 

erre. These horses ordained and appoincted together with 

a main battaile, maie sometymes be put together, when the 

battailes bee assembled, and to cause that betwene theim 

bee made some sight of assault, the whiche should be more 

to make them acquainted together, then for any other 

necessitie. But now of this part, there hath been spoken 

sufficiently, wherefore let us facion the armie, to be able 

to come into the field against the enemie, and hope to 

winne it : whiche thyng is the ende, for whiche the 

exercise of warre is ordeined, and so moche 

studie therein bestowed. 










EING that we chaunge reasonyng, I will 
that the deinaunder be chaunged : bicause 
I would not be thought presumptuous, 
the which I have alwaies blamed in other : 
therfore, I resigne the Dictatorship, and 
give this aucthoritie to hym that will 
have it, of these my other frendes. 

XANOJU. We would be moste glad, that 
you should procede, but seyng that you will not, yet tell at 
leaste, whiche of us shall succede in your place. 
COSIMO. I will give this charge to signer Fabricio. 
FABIUTJO. I am content to take it, and I will that we 
folowe the Venecian custome, that is, that the youngeste 
speake firste : bicause this beyng an exercise for yong men, 
I perswade my self, that yong menne, bee moste apt to 
reason thereof, as thei be moste readie to execute it. 

COSIMO. Then it falleth to you Luigi : and as I have 
pleasure of soche a successour, so you shal satisfie your self 
of soche a deinaunder : therefore I praie you, let us tourne 
to the matter, and let us lese no more tyme. 

FAIWITIO. I am certain, that to mynde to shewe wel, 
how an armie is prepared, to faight a fielde, it should be 
necessarie to declare, how the Grekes, and the Romaines 
ordeiried the bandes of their armies : Notwithstandvng, you 
your selves, beeyng able to rede, and to consider these 
thynges, by meanes of the auncient writers. I will passe 



THE over many particulars : and I will onely bryng in those 
THIRDE thynges, whiche I thinke necessarie to imitate, mindyng 
BOOKE a t this tyme, to give to our exercise of warre, some parte 
of perfection : The whiche shall make, that in one instante, 
I shall shewe you, how an armie is prepared to the field, 
and how it doeth incounter in the verie faight, and how it 
The greateste maie be exercised in the fained. The greatest disorder, 
disorder that that thei make, whiche ordeine an armie to the fielde, is 
is used now a j n giving them onely one fronte, and to binde them to one 
fielde! brunt > and * o one fortune : the whiche groweth, of havyng 
loste the waie, that the antiquitie used to receive one bande 
within an other : bicause without this waie, thei can neither 
succour the formoste, nor defende them, nor succede in the 
faight in their steede : the whiche of the Romaines, was 
Theorderhov/ moste excellently well observed. Therefore, purposyng to 
a Romain shewe this waie, I saie, how that the Komaines devided into 
Legion was jjj partes every Legion, in Hastati, Prencipi, and Triarii, 

nCt of which the Hastati wer P laced in the first front > or for - 
ward of the armie, with thorders thicke and sure, behinde 

whom wer the Prencipi, but placed with their orders more 
thinne : after these, thei set the Triarii, and with so moche 
thinnes of orders, that thei might, if nede wer, receive 
betwene them the Prencipi, and the Hastati. Thei had 
besides these, the Slingers, and Crosbowshoters, and the 
other lighte armed, the whiche stoode not in these orders, 
but thei placed them in the hed of tharmie, betwene the 
horses and the other bandes of footemen : therefore these 
light armed, began the faight, if thei overcame (whiche 
happened seldom times) thei folowed the victorie: if thei 
were repulced, thei retired by the flanckes of the armie, or 
by the spaces ordained for soche purposes, and thei brought 
them selves emong the unarmed : after the departure of 
whom, the Hastati incountered with the enemie, the whiche 
if thei saw themselves to be overcome, thei retired by a 
little and little, by the rarenesse of thorders betwene the 
Prencipi, and together with those, thei renued the faight : 
if these also wer repulced, thei retired al in the rarenesse 
of the orders of the Triarii, and al together on a heape, 


began againe the faight : and then, if thei were overcome, THE 
there was no more remeady, bicause there remained no THIKDE 
more waies to renue them again. The horses stoode on BOOKE 
the corners of the armie, to the likenes of twoo winges 
to a bodie, and somewhiles thei fought with the enemies 
horses, an other while, thei rescued the fotmen, according 
as nede required. This waie of renuyng theim selves three 
tymes, is almoste impossible to overcome : for that, fortune 
muste three tymes forsake thee, and the enemie to have so 
moche strengthe, that three tymes he maie overcome thee. 
The Grekes, had not in their Falangi, this maner of renuyng 
them selves, and although in those wer many heddes, and 
many orders, notwithstanding, thei made one bodie, or els 
one hedde: the maner that thei kepte in rescuyng the one The maner 
the other was, not to retire the one order within the other, that the 
as the Romaines, but to enter the one manne into the place prekes us ed 
of the other : the which thei did in this maner. Their pjj 1 * 1 wh 
Falange brought into rankes, and admit, that thei put in a thei fought 
ranke fiftie menne, commyng after with their hedde againste .-igainst their 
the enemie, of all the rankes the foremoste sixe, mighte faight : 
Bicause their Launces, the whiche thei called Sarisse, were 
so long, that the sixt ranke, passed with the hedde of their 
Launces, out of the first ranke : then in faightyng, if any 
of the first, either through death, or through woundes fell, 
straight waie there entered into his place, thesame man, 
that was behinde in the second ranke, and in the place 
that remained voide of the seconde, thesame man entred, 
whiche was behind hym in the thirde, and thus successively, 
in a sodaine the rankes behinde, restored the faultes of those 
afore, so that the rankes alwaies remained whole, and no 
place of the faighters was voide, except the laste rankes, 
the whiche came to consume, havyng not menne behinde 
their backes, whom might restore theim : So that the hurte 
that the first rankes suffered, consumed the laste, and the 
firste remained alwaies whole : and thus these Falangi by 
their order, might soner be consumed, then broken, for 
that the grosse bodie, made it more immovable. The 
Romaines used at the beginnyng the Falangi, and did set 



THE in order their Legions like unto them: after, this order 
THIRDE pleased them not, and thei devided the Legions into many 
BOOKE bodies, that is, in bandes and companies : Bicause thei 
judged (as a little afore I saied) that thesame bodie, should 
have neede of many capitaines, and that it should be made 
of sunderie partes, so that every one by it self, might be 
The order-that governed. The maine battailes of the Suizzers, use at this 
the Suizzers p re sent, all the maners of the Falangi, as well in ordryng 
mainbatteiles ii: g rosse > and wn l e > as in rescuyng the one the other : and 
when thei in pitchyng the field, thei set the main battailes, thone to 
faight. the sides of the other : and though thei set them the one 

behinde the other, thei have no waie, that the firste retiryng 
it self, maie bee received of the seconde, but thei use this 
order, to the entent to bee able to succour the one thother, 
where thei put a maine battaile before, and an other behinde 
thesame on the right hande : so that if the first have nede 
of helpe, that then the other maie make forewarde, and 
succour it : the third main battaile, thei put behind these, 
but distant from them, a Harkebus shot : this thei doe, for 
that thesaid two main battailes being repulced, this maie 
make forwarde, and have space for theim selves, and for the 
repulced, and thesame that march eth forward, to avoide 
the justling of the one the other : for asmoche as a grosse 
multitude, cannot bee received as a little bodie : and there 
fore, the little bodies beyng destincte, whiche were in a 
Romaine Legion, might be placed in soche wise, that thei 
might receive betwene theim, and rescue the one the other. 
And to prove this order of the Suizzers not to be so good, 
as the auncient Romaines, many insamples of the Romain 
Legions doe declare, when thei fought with the Grekes 
Falangi, where alwaies thei were consumed of theim : for 
that the kinde of their weapons (as I have said afore) and 
this waie of renuyng themselves, could do more, then the 
massivenesse of the Falangi. Havyng therefore, with these 
insamples to ordaine an armie, I have thought good, partly 
to retaine the maner of armyngand the orders of the Grekes 
Falangi, and partely of the Romain Legions : and therfore 
I have saied, that I would have in a main battaile, twoo 


thousande pikes, whiche be the weapons of the Macedonicall THE 
Falangi, and three thousande Targaettes with sweardes, THIKDE 
whiche be the Romain weapons : I have devided the main BUOKE 
battaile, into x. battailes, as the Romanies their Legion into Howe to ap- 
ten Cohortes: I have ordeined the Veliti, that is the light poincteamain 
armed, to begin the faight, as the Romanies used : and like lmtlaile with 
as the weapons beyng mingled, doe participate of thone and ^ 

of the other nacion, so the orders also doe participate : I Border the- 
have ordained, that every battaile shall have v. rankes of same after the 
Pikes in the fronte, and the rest of Targaettes, to bee able (irekt and 
with the front, to withstande the horses, and to enter easely Romain 
into the battaile of the enemies on foot, having in the h rste 
fronte, or vawarde, Pikes, as well as the enemie, the whiche 
shall suffice me to withstande them, the Targaettes after to 
overcome theim. And if you note the vertue of this order, 
you shal se al these weapons, to doe fully their office, for 
that the Pikes, bee profi table against the horses, and when 
thei come against the footemenne, thei dooe their office well, 
before the faight throng together, bicause so sone as thei 
presse together, thei become unprofitable : wherefore, the 
Suix/ers to avoide this inconvenience, put after everye three 
rankes of Pikes, a ranke of Halberdes, the whiche they do 
to make roome to the Pikes, which is not yet so much as 
sufliseth. Then putting our Pikes afore, and the Targaettes 
behinde, they come to withstande the horses, and in the 
beginning of the fight, they open the rayes, and molest the 
footemen : But when the light is thrust together, and that 
they become unprofitable, the Targaettes and swoords suc- 
ceede, which may in every narowe place be handled. 

LUIGI. Wee looke nowe with desire to understande, howe 
you would ordeyne the armie to fighte the fielde, with these 
weapons, and with these order. 

FAHKITIO. And I will not nowe shewe you other, then 
this : you have to understande, how that in an ordinarve 
Romane armie, which they call a Consull armie, there we re lu nomher 
no more, then twoo Legions of Romane Citezens which were ol Im> " tliat 
sixe hundred horse, and about aleven thousande footemen : | 
they had besides us many more footemen and horsemen, n 

O 105 


THE whiche were sente them from their friendes and confiderates, 
THIRDE whome they divided into twoo partes, and called the one, 
BOOKE the right home and the other the left home : nor they never 
permitted, that these aiding footemen, should passe the 
nomber of the footemen of their Legions, they were well 
contented, that the nomber of those horse shouldebe more 
then theirs : with this armie, which was of xxii. thousand 
footemen, and about twoo thousande good horse, a Consul 
executed all affaires, and went to all enterprises: yet 
when it was needefull to set against a greater force, twoo 
Consulles joyned together with twoo armies. You ought 
also to note in especially, that in all the three principall 
How the actes, which an armie doth that is, to march, to incampe, 
Romanies and to fight, the Romanes used to put their Legions in 
placed their the rniddeste, for that they woulde, that the same power, 
Legions in w l iere in they most trusted, shoulde bee moste united, as in 
the field. ^ e rea soning of these three actes, shall be shewed you : 
those aiding footemen, througli the practise they had with 
the Legion Souldiours, were as profitable as they, because 
they were instructed, according as the souldiours of the 
Legions were, and therefore, in like maner in pitching 
the^ field, they pitched. Then he that knoweth how the 
Romanies disposed a Legion in their armie, to fight a field, 
knoweth how they disposed all : therefor, having tolde you 
how they devided a Legion into three bandes, and how the 
one bande received the other, I have then told you, how al 
tharmie in a fielde, was ordained. Wherefore, I minding 
to ordain a field like unto the Romaines, as they had twoo 
Legions, I will take ii. main batailes, and these being dis 
posed, the disposicion of all an armie shalbe understode 
therby : by cause in joynhig more men, there is no other to 
be doen, then to ingrosse the orders : I thinke I neede not 
to rehearse how many men a maine battaile hath, and howe 
it hath ten battailes, and what heades bee in a battaile, 
and what weapons they have, and which be the ordinarie 
Pikes and Veliti, and which the extraordinarie for that a 
litle a fore I told you it destinctly, and I willed you to kepe 
it in memorie as a necessarie thing to purpose, to under- 


stande all the other orders: and therfore I will come to THE 
the demonstracion of the order without repeating it any THIKDE 
more: Me thinkes good, that the ten battailes of one BOOKE 
main battaile be set on the left flanke, and the tenne How to order 
other, of the other main battaile, on the right: these anarmieinthe 

that are placed on the left flanke, be ordeined in this folde to fighto 

. , r , L , , , ., , 1 ,, . , r a battaile. ae- 

maner, there is put five battailes the one to the side of cording to the 

the other in the fronte, after suche sorte, that betweene the mimle of the 
one and the other, there remaine a space of three yardes, authour. 
whiche come to occupie for largenesse Cvi. yardes, of 
ground, and for length thirtie : behinde these five battailes, 
I would put three other distante by right line from the 
firste, thirtie yardes : twoo of the whiche, should come 
behinde by right line, to the uttermoste of the h ve, and the 
other should kepe the space in the middeste, and so these 
three, shall come to occupie for bredth and length, as 
moche space, as the five doeth. But where the five have 
betwene the one, and the other, a distaunce of three yardes, 
these shall have a distance of xxv. yardes. After these, I 
would place the twoo last battailes, in like maner behinde 
the three by right line, and distaunte from those three, 
thirtie yardes, and I would place eche of theim, behinde the 
uttermoste part of the three, so that the space, whiche 
should remain betwcn the one and the other, should be 
Ixviii. yardes: then al these battailes thus ordered, will take 
in bredth Cvi. yardes, and in length CL. Thextraordinarie How the 
Pikes, I would dcff ende a long the flanckes of these e ^ b l ^ nary 
battailes, on the left side, distante from them fiftene yardes, pj ace( j j n t j ie 
makyng Cxliij. rankes, seven to a ranke, after soche ge t battaile. 
sorte, that thei maie impale with their length, all the 
left sixe of the tenne battailes in thesame wise, declared of 
me to be ordained : and there shall remain fourtic rankes to 
keepe the carriages, and the unarmed, whiche ought to 
remaine in the taile of the armic, distributyng the Peti- 
capitaines, and the Centurions, in their places: and of the 
three Conestables, I would place one in the hedde, the other 
in the middeste, the third in the laste ranke, tlu- whiche 
should execute the office of a Tergiductore, whom the 



THE antiquitie so called hym, that was appoincted to the backe 

THIRDE of the armie. But retournyng to the hedde of the armie, 

BOOKE I sale how that I would place nere to the extraordinarie 

The place pikes, the Veliti extraordinarie, whiche you knowe to be five 

where thex- hundred, and I would give them a space of xxx. yardes : on 

Irchat^and the side of these likewise on the left hande, I would place 

harkebutters the menne of armes, and I would thei sliould have a space 

and the men of a Cxii. yardes : after these, the light horsemen, to whom 

of armes and I would appoinct as moche ground to stande in, as the 

lig-hte hors- menne of armes have : the ordinarie veliti, I would leave 

to^stande about their owne battailes, who should stand in those 

when the field spaces, whiche I appoincte betwene thone battaile and 

is pitched, thother : whom should be as their ministers, if sometyme I 

and goeth to thought not good to place them under the extraordinarie 

battaile Pikes : in dooyng or not doyng whereof, I would proceade, 

, accordynff as should tourne best to my purpose. The 
The ordinarie 11 L jj r 11 .1 i . -i T 

archars and generall hedde 01 all the mame battaile, I would place in 

harkebutters thesame space, that were betwene the first and the seconde 
are placed order of the battailes, or els in the hedde, and in thesame 
ot n U e te bat ieir space, that is betwene the laste battaile of the firste five, 
taTles. a and tne extraordinarie Pikes, accordyng as beste should serve 

The lace m ^ P ur P ose with thirtie or fourtie chosen men about hym, 
where the that knewe by prudence, how to execute a commission, and 
g-enerall by force, to withstande a violence, and thei to be also 

hedde of a betwen the Drumme and the Ansigne : this is thorder, with 
mutte stand !? the whiche l would dis P ose a maine battaile, whiche should 
when thesame ^ ee the disposyng of halfe the armie, and it should take in 
power of men breadth three hundred fourscore and twoo yardes, and in 
is appoincted length as moche as above is saied, not accomptyng the 
to faight. space, that thesame parte of the extraordinarie Pikes will 
What menne take, whiche muste make a defence for the unarmed, whiche 
ca^italnofa w ^ * )ee a ^ oute ^ xxv - y ar ^es : the other maine battaile, I 
maine battaile wou ^ dispose on the righte side, after the same maner 
oughte to juste, as I have disposed that on the lefte, leavyng 
have aboute betwene the one main battaile, and thother, a space of xxii. 
ym< yardes : in the hedde of whiche space, I would set some little 

carriages of artillerie, behynde the whiche, should stande 
the generall capitaine of all the armie, and should have 


about hym with the Trumpet, and with the Capitaine THE 
standerde, twoo hundred menne at least, chosen to be on THIRDE 
foote the moste parte, emongest whiche there should be tenne BOOKE 
or more, mete to execute all commaundementes, and should The place 
bee in soche wise a horsebacke, and armed, that thei mighte *her a general 

bee on horsebacke, and on foote, accordyng as neede should pfP lta * of all 
,,-,1 , -I, /. ,1 a* ii i /-i tnearmiemust 

require. Ihe artillerie of the armie, sumseth ten Cannons, stan(i wlien 

for the winning of Townes, whose shotte shoulde not passe the battaile 
h ftie puunde : the whiche in the fielde should serve mee is ready to be 
more for defence of the canipe, then for to fight the fo "K ht a <J 
battaile : The other urtillerie, should bee rather of ten, ofch^Tmen 
then of h fteene pounde the shotte : this I would place afore oughte to be 
on the front of all the annie, if sometime the countrie aboute liym. 
should not stande in such wise, that I mighte place it by How many 
the flancke in a sure place, where it mighte not of the canons is re- 
enemie be in daunger : this fashion of an armie thus ordered, ( l uis . ite f( 
may in fighting, use the order of the Falangi, and the order what sise they 
of the Uoniane Legions : for that in the fronte, bee Pikes, ouht to bee. 
all the men bee set in the rankes, after such sorte, that in- where the 
countering with the enemie, and withstanding him, maye artillerie 
after the use of the Falangi, restore the firste ranckes, with ou ^ lfc to be 
those behinde : on the other parte, if they be charged so ^armie^i 
sore, that they be constrayned to breake the orders, and to reedietofight. 
retire themselves, they maye enter into the voide places of Auarmiethat 
the seconde battailes, which they have behinde them, and were ordered 
unite their selves with them, and making n new force, with- as above is 
stande the enemie, and overcome him: and when this dec \ Iare< . 1 niaie 
sufficeth not, they may in the verie same manor, retire them ^theGre 
selves the seconde time, and the third fight: so that in mauer and 
this order, concerning to fight, there is to renue them the lldmane 
selves, both according to the Greeke maner, and according fas 
to the Romane : concerning the strength of the armie, 
there cannot be ordayned a more stronger: for as much, as 
the one and the other home therof, is exceedingly well 
replenished, both with heades, and weapons, nor there re- 
mayneth weake, other then the part behinde of the unarmed, 
and the same also, hath the flanckes impaled with the 
extraordinarie Pikes: nor the enemie can not of anye parte 



To what 
purpose the 
spaces that 
be betwene 
every bande 
of men do 


assaulte it, where he shall not finde it well appointed, and 
the hinder parte can not be assaulted : Because there can 
not bee an enemie, that hath so much puissaunce, whome 
equallye maye assault thee on everye side : for that hee 
having so great a power, thou oughtest not then to matche 
thy selfe in the fielde with him : but when he were three 
times more then thou, and as well appointed as thou, hee 
doth weaken him selfe in assaulting thee in divers places, 
one part that thou breakest, will cause all the reste go to 
naughte : concerning horses, although he chaunce to have 
more then thine, thou needest not feare : for that the orders 
of the Pikes, which impale thee, defende thee from all 
violence of them, although thy horses were repulced. The 
heades besides this, be disposed in such place, that they 
may easyly commaunde, and obeye : the spaces that bee 
between the one battaile, and the other, and betweene the 
one order, and the other, not onely serve to be able to re- 
ceyve the one the other, but also to give place to the 
messengers, whiche should go and come by order of the 
Capitayne. And as I tolde you firste, howe the Romanes 
had for an armie, aboute foure and twentie thousande men, 
even so this oughte to bee : and as the other souldiours tooke 
ensample of the Legions, for the maner of fighting, and the 
fashion of the armie, so those souldiours, whiche you 
shoulde joyne to oure twoo mayne battailes, oughte to take 
the forme and order of them : whereof having put you an 
ensample, it is an easye matter to imitate it, for that in 
creasing, either twoo other mayne battailes unto the armie, 
or as many other souldiours, as they bee, there is no other 
to bee done, then to double the orders, and where was put 
tenne battailes on the lefte parte, to put twentie, either 
ingrossing, or distending the orders, according as the place, 
or the enemie shoulde compell thee. 

LUIGI. Surelye sir I imagine in suche wise of this armie, 
that mee thinkes I nowe see it, and I burne with a desire to 
see it incounter, and I woulde for nothing in the worlde, 
that you shoulde become Fabius Maxim us intendyng to 
kepe the enemie at a baie, and to deferre the daie of battaile ; 



bicause I would sale worse of you, then the Remain people THE 
saiedofhym. THIRDK 

FABKITIO. Doubt not : Doe you not h cure the artillerie ? BOOKE 
Ours have alredie shotte, but little hurte the eneinie : The descrip- 
and thextraordinarie Veliti, issuyng out of their places cion f a l)a t 
together with the light horsemen, moste speadely, and with ta 
moste merveilous furie, and greateste crie that maie be, thei a 
assaulte the eneinie : whose artillerie hath discharged ones, 
and hath passed over the heddes of our footemen, without 
doyng them any hurt, and bicause it cannot shoote the 
seconde tyme, the Veliti, and our horsemen, have nowe 
gotten it, and the enemies for to defende it, are come fore 
warde, so that neither our ordinaunce, nor thenemies, can 
any more doe their office. Se with how moche vertue, 
strengthe and agilitie our men faighteth, and with how 
moche knowledge through the exercise, whiclie hath made 
them to abide, and by the confidence, that thei have in the 
armie, the whiche, see, how with the pace therof, arid with 
the men of armes on the sides, it marcheth in good order, 
to give the charge on the adversarie: See our artillerie, 
whiche to give theim place, and to leave them the space 
free, is retired by thesame space, from whens the Veliti 
issued : See how the capitaine incourageth them, sheweth 
them the victorie certain : See how the Veliti and light 
horsemen bee inlarged, and retourned on the flanckes of 
tharmie, to seke and view, if thei maie by the flanck, doe 
any injurie to the adversaries: behold how the armies be 
affronted. Se with how moche valiauntnesse thei have 
withstode the violence of thenemies, and with how moche 
silence, and how the capitain commaundeth the menne of 
armes, that thei sustain, and not charge, and that thei 
breake not from the order of the footemen : see how our 
light horsemen be gone, to give the charge on a band of 
the enemies Harkebutters, whiche would have hurt our men 
by flancke, and how the enemies horse have succoured them, 
so that tourned betwene the one and the other horse, thei 
cannot shoote, but are faine to retire behinde their owne 
battaile : see with what furie our Pikes doe also affront, and 



THE how the footemen be now so nere together the one to 
THIRDE the other, that the Pikes can no more be occupied : so that 
BOOKE according to the knowlege learned of us, our pikes do 
retire a little and a little bet wen the targaettes. Se how 
in this while a great bande of men of armes of the enemies, 
have charged our men of armes on the lefte side, and how 
ours, accordyng to knowlege, bee retired under the extra- 
ordinarie Pikes, and with the help of those, giving again a 
freshe charge, have repulced the adversaries, and slain a 
good part of them : in so moche, that thordinarie pikes of 
the first battailes, be hidden betwene the raies of the 
Targaettes, thei havyng lefte the faight to the Targaet men: 
whom you maie see, with how moche vertue, securitie, and 
leasure, thei kill the enemie : see you not how moche by 
faightyng, the orders be thrust together ? That thei can 
scarse welde their sweardes ? Behold with how moche furie 
the enemies move : bicause beyng armed with the pike, and 
with the swerd unprofitable (the one for beyng to long, the 
other for findyng thenemie to well armed) in part thei fall 
hurt or dedde, in parte thei Hie. See, thei flie on the 
righte corner, thei flie also on the lefte : behold, the victorie 
is ours. Have not we wonne a field moste happely ? But 
with more happinesse it should bee wonne, if it Avere 
graunted me to put it in acte. And see, how there neded 
not the helpe of the seconde, nor of the third order, for our 
first fronte hath sufficed to overcome theim : in this part, I 
have no other to saie unto you, then to resolve if any doubt 
be growen you. 

LUIGI. You have with so moche furie wonne this fielde, 

that I so moche mervaile and am so astonied, that I beleve 

that I am not able to expresse, if any doubt remain in my 

mynde : yet trustyng in your prudence, I will be so bolde 

to tell thesame that I understande. Tell me firste, why 

made you not your ordinaunce to shoote more then ones ? 

And why straighte waie you made them to retire into 

Questions tharmie, nor after made no mension of them ? Me thought 

theshotyngof a l so > that y ou leveled the artillerie of the enemie high, and 

ordinaunce. appoincted it after your own devise : the whiche might very 


well bee, yet when it should happen, as I beleve it chaunseth THE 
often, that thei strike the rankes, what reamedie have you ? THIRDE 
And seyng that I have begun of the artillerie, I will finishe BOOKE 
all this question, to the intente I nede not to reason therof 
any more. I have heard many dispraise the armours, and 
the orders of the aunciente armies, arguyng, how now a 
daies, thei can doe little, but rather should bee altogether 
unprofitable, havyng respecte to the furie of the artillerie : 
bicause, this breaketh the orders, and passeth the armours 
in soche wise, that it semeth unto them a foolishenesse to 
make an order, whiche cannot bee kepte, and to take pain to 
beare a liarneis, that cannot defende a man. 

FABUICIO. This question of yours (bicause it hath many 
heddes) hath neede of a long aunswere. It is true, that I An aunswere 
made not thartillery to shoote more than ones, and also of *p tlie 4 ues - 
thesame ones, I stoode in doubte : the occasion was, for ^mau^ded* 6 
asmoche as it importeth more, for one to take hede not to concernyng 
be striken, then it importeth to strike the enemie. You the shoting of 
have to understande, that to purpose that a pece of ordinaunce. 
ordinaunce hurte you not, it is necessarie either to stande 
where it cannot reche you, or to get behinde a wall, or 
behinde a banke : other thing there is not that can witholde 
it : and it is nedefull also, that the one and the other be 
moste strong. Those capitaines whiche come to faight a 
field, cannot stand behind a wal, or behind bankes, nor 
where thei maie not be reached : therfore it is mete for them, 
seyng thei cannot finde a waie to defende them, to finde 
some mean, by the whiche thei maie be least hurte : nor 
thei cannot finde any other waie, then to prevente it 
quickly: the waie to prevent it, is to go to finde it out of 
hande, and hastely, not at leasure and in a heape : for that 
through spede, the blowe is not suffered to bee redoubled, 
and by the thinnesse, lesse nomber of menne maie be hurt. 
This, a bande of menne ordered, cannot dooe ; bicause if the- 
same marche hastely, it goweth out of order: if it go 
scattered, the enemie shall have no paine to breake it, for 
that it breaketh by it self: and therfore, I ordered the 
armic after soche sorte, that it might dooe the one thvng 

P 113 


The best 
remedie to 
avoide the 
hurte that the 
enemie in the 
fielde maie 
doe with his 

A policie 
against bowes 
and dartes. 

greater con 
fusion in an 
armie, than 
to hinder 


and the other : for as moche as havyng set in the corners 
thereof, a thousande Veliti, I appoincted that after that our 
ordinaunce had shotte, thei should issue out together with 
the light horsemen, to get the enemies artillerie : and 
therfore, I made not my ordinance to shoote again, to the 
intente, to give no tyme to the enemie to shoote : Bicause 
space could not be given to me, and taken from other men, 
and for thesame occasion, where I made my ordinaunce not 
to shoote the seconde tyme, was for that I would not have 
suffered the enemie to have shot at al, if I had could : seyng 
that to mynde that the enemies artillerie be unprofitable, 
there is no other remedie, but to assaulte it spedely : for as 
moche as if the enemies forsake it, thou takeste it, if thei 
will defende it, it is requisite that thei leave it behind, so 
that being possessed of enemies, and of frendes, it cannot 
shoote. I would beleve, that with out insamples these 
reasons should suffice you, yet beyng able to shewe olde en- 
samples, to prove my saiynges true, I will. Ventidio 
commyng to faight a field with the Parthians, whose 
strength for the moste part, consisted in bowes and arrowes, 
he suffered theim almoste to come harde to his campe, before 
he drewe out his armie, the whiche onely he did, to be able 
quickly to prevent them : and not to give them space to 
shoote. Cesar when he was in Fraunce, maketh mencion, 
that in faighting a battaile with the enemies, he was with so 
moche furie assaulted of them, that his menne had no time 
to whorle their Dartes, accordyng to the custome of the 
Romaines : wherfore it is seen, that to intende, that a 
thyng that shooteth farre of, beyng in the field, doe not 
hurte thee, there is no other remedy, then with as moche 
celeritie as maie bee, to prevente it. An other cause moved 
me to precede, without shotyng the ordinaunce, whereat 
perad venture you will laugh : yet I judge not that it is to be 
dispraised. Ther is nothyng that causeth greater confusion 
in an armie, then to hinder mennes fightes : whereby many 
moste puisaunte armies have been broken, by meanes their 
fighte hath been letted, either with duste, or with the 
Sunne : yet there is nothyng, that more letteth the sight 


then the smoke that the artillerie maketh in shotyng: THE 
therfore, I would thinke that it wer more wisedome, to THIKDE 
suffer the enemie to blinde hymself, then to purpose (thou BOOKE 
beyng blind) to go to h nde hym: for this cause, either I Nothingmore 
would not shote, or (for that this should not be proved, bl deth the 
considering the reputacion that the artillerie hath) I would si K } tof men 
place it on the corners of the armie, so that shootyng, it the^the" 16 
should not with the smoke thereof, blinde the front of smoke of 
thesame, uhiche is the importaunce of my men. And to ordinaunce. 
prove that it is a profitable thyng, to let the sight of A policie to 
the enemie, there maie be brought for insample Epami- trouble the 
nondas, whom to blind the enemies armie, whiche came enemie881 R ht - 
to faight with hym, he caused his light horsemen, to 
run before the fronte of the enemies, to raise up the duste, 
and to lette their sight, whereby he gotte the victorie. 
And where it semeth unto you, that I have guided the 
shot of the artillerie, after my owne devise, making it to The shotte of 
passe over the heddes of my men, I answer you, that most Create ordi- 
often tymes, and without comparison, the greate ordinaunce aunce . in the 
misse the footemen, moche soner than hitte theim : for ^whe to Tel 
that the footemen are so lowe, and those so difficult to fe.-ired of 
shoote; that every little that thou raisest theim, thei passe fotemenne. 
over the heddes of men : and if thei be leveled never so 
little to lowe, thei strike in the yearth, and the blowe 
cometh not to theim : also the unevenesse of the grounde 
saveth them, for that every little hillocke, or high place 
that is, betwene the men and thordinance, letteth the shot 
therof. And concernyng horsmen, and in especially men of ** lcau8C 
armes, bicause thei ought to stand more close together, then arm es stand 
the light horsemen, and for that thei are moche higher, maie closer to- 
the better be stroken, thei maie, untill the artillerie have gather then 
shotte, be kepte in the taile of the armie. True it is, that Jjf^ 1 } ^ 
the Harkebutters doe moche more hurt, and the field peccs, "u^h t to re- 
then the greate ordinance, for the whiche, the greatest mainebehinde 
remedy is, to come to hande strokes quickly : and if in the tllc armie till 
firste ussaulte, there be slaine some, alwnies there shall bee the enemies 
slaine : but a good capitaine, and a good armie, ought not hav^doeT 
to make a coumpte of a hurte, that is particulare, but of a ihootyng. 



THE generall, and to imitate the Suizzers, whom never eschue to 
THIRDE faight, beyng made afraied of the artillerie : but rather 
BOOKE punishe with death those, whiche for feare thereof, either 
should go out of the ranke, or should make with his body 
any signe of feare. I made them (so sone as thei had 
shotte) to bee retired into the armie, that thei might leave 
the waie free for the battaile : I made no more mencion of 
theim, as of a thyng unprofitable, the faight beyng begun. 
You have also saied, that consideryng the violence of this 
instrument, many judge the armours, and the auncient 
orders to be to no purpose, and it semeth by this your 
talke, that men now a daies, have founde orders and armours, 
whiche are able to defend them against the artillerie : if 
you knowe this, I would bee glad that you would teache it 
me : for that hetherto, I never sawe any, nor I beleve that 
there can any be founde : so that I would understande of 
soche men, for what cause the souldiours on foote in these 
daies, weare the breastplate, or the corselet of steele, and 
thei on horsebacke go all armed : bicause seyng that thei 
blame the aunciente armyng of men as unprofitable, con- 
sidryng the artillery, thei ought to despise also this ? I 
would understande moreover, for what occasion the Suizzers, 
like unto the auncient orders, make a battaile close together 
of sixe, or eight thousande menne, and for what occasion all 
other have imitated theim, this order bearyng the verie 
same perill, concernyng the artillerie, that those other 
should beare, whiche should imitate the antiquitie. I beleve 
thei should not knowe what to answere : but if you should 
aske soche Souldiours, as had some judgement, thei would 
aunswere first, that thei go armed, for that though thesame 
armoure defende theim not from the artillerie : it defendeth 
them from crossebowes, from Pikes, from sweardes, from 
stones, and from all other hurt, that commeth from the 
enemies, thei would answere also, that thei went close 
together, like the Suizzers, to be able more easely to over 
throw the footemen, to be able to withstand better the 
horse and to give more difficultie to the enemie to breake 
them : so that it is seen, that the souldiours have to feare 


many other thynges besides the ordinance : from which THE 

thynges, with the armours, and with the orders, thei Til HIDE 

are defended : whereof foloweth, that the better that an BOOKE 

armie is armed, and the closer that it hath the orders, and 

stronger, so moche the surer it is : so that he that is of 

thesame opinion, that you saie, it behoveth either that he 

bee of smalle wisedome, or that in this thyng, he hath 

studied verie little : for as moche as if we see, that so little 

a parte of the aunciente maner of armyng, whiche is used 

now a daies, that is the pike, and so little a parte of those 

orders, as are the maine battailes of the Suizzers, dooe us so 

moche good, and cause our armies to bee so strong, why 

ought not we to beleve, that the other armours, and thother 

orders whiche are lefte, be profitable? Seyng that if we 

have no regard to the artillerie, in puttyng our selves close 

together, as the Suizzers, what other orders maie make us 

more to feare thesame ? For as moche as no order can cause 

us so moche to feare thesame, as those, whiche bryng men 

together. Besides this, if the artillerie of the enemies 

should not make me afraied, in besiegyng a Tonne, where it 

hurteth me with more safegarde, beyng defended of a wall, 

I beyng not able to prevente it, but onely with tyme, with 

my artillerie to lette it, after soche sorte that it maie double 

the blowe as it liste, why should I feare thesame in the 

field, where I maie quickly prevent it? So that I conclude The artillerie 

thus, that the artillerie, according to my opinion, doeth not is let, why 

let, that the aunciente maners cannot be used, and to shewe . aun< j! ent 

the auncient vertue : and if I had not talked alreadie with Jr ou^hVnot" 

you of this instrument, I would of thesame, declare unto to be used in 

you more at length : but I will remit my self to that, these daies. 

whiche then I saied. 

LUIGI. Wee maie now understande verie well, how moche 
you have aboute the artillerie discoursed : and in conclu 
sion, my thinkes you have shewed, that the preventyng it 
quickly, is the greatest reined ie, that maie be had for the 
same, beyng in the fielde, and havyng an armie againste 
you. Upon the whiche there groweth in me a double : 
bicause me thinkes, that the enemie might place his 



THE ordinaunce in soche wise, in his armie, that it should hurt 
THIRDE you, and should be after soche sort garded of the footemen, 
BOOKE that it could not be prevented. You have (if you remember 
your self well) in the orderyng of your armie to faight, made 
distaunces of three yardes, betwene the one battaile and the 
other, makyng those distaunces fiftene, whiche is from the 
battailes, to thextraordinarie pikes : if thenemie, shuld order 
his armie like unto yours, and should putte the artillerie a 
good waie within those spaces, I beleve that from thens, it 
should hurte you with their moste greate safegard : bicause 
menne can not enter into the force of their enemies to 
prevent it. 

FABRICIO. You doubt moste prudently, and I will devise 
with my self, either to resolve you the doubte, or shewe you 
the remedie : I have tolde you, that continually these 
battailes, either through goyng, or thorowe faightyng, are 
movyng, and alwaies naturally, thei come to drawe harde 
together, so that if you make the distaunces of a small 
breadth, where you set the artillerie, in a little tyme thei 
be shootte up, after soche sort, that the artillerie cannot 
any more shoote : if you make theim large, to avoide this 
perill, you incurre into a greater, where you through those 
distances, not onely give commoditie to the enemie, to 
take from you the artillerie, but to break e you : but you 
have to understande, that it is impossible to keepe the 
artillerie betwene the bandes, and in especially those whiche 
go on carriages : For that the artillerie goeth one waie, 
and shoote th an other waie : So that havyng to go and to 
shoote, it is necessary, before thei shote, that thei tourne, 
and for to tourne theim, thei will have so moche space, that 
fiftie cartes of artillerie, would disorder any armie : therfore, 
it is mete to kepe them out of the bandes, where thei may 
be overcome in the maner, as a little afore we have shewed : 
but admit thei might be kept, and that there might be 
found a waie betwen bothe, and of soche condicion, that the 
presyng together, of men should not hinder the artillerie, 
and were not so open that it should give waie to the enemie, 
I saie, that it is remedied moste easely, with makyng dis- 



tances in thy armie against it, whiche maie give free passage THE 

to the shot of those, and so the violence thereof shall come THIRDE 

to be vain, the which maie be doen moste easely : for BOOKE 

asmoche, as the enemie mindyng to have his artillerie stand 

safe, it behoveth that he put them behinde, in the furthest 

part of the distances, so that the shot of the same, he pur- 

posyng that thei hurt not his owne men, ought to passe by 

right line, and by that very same alwaies : and therefore with 

givyng theim place, easely thei maie bee avoided : for that A penerall 

this is a generall rule, that to those thynges, whiche cannot rule a^ ai " s 

be withstoode, there must bee given waie, as the antiquitie 
made to the Eliphantes, and to the carres full of hookes. I 
beleve, ye, I am more then certaine, that it semeth unto 
you, that I have ordered and wonne a battaile after my own 
maner: notwithstanding, I answeer unto you this, when so 
moche as I have saied hetherto, should not suffice, that it 
should be impossible, that an armie thus ordered, and 
armed, should not overcome at the first incounter, any other 
armie that should bee ordained, as thei order the armies 
now adaies, whom most often tymes, make not but one 
front, havyng no targaettes, and are in soche wise unarmed, 
that thei cannot defende themselves from the enemie at 
hand, and thei order theim after soche sorte, that if thei set 
their battailes by flanck, the one to the other, thei make 
the armie thinne : if thei put the one behind the other, 
havyng no waie to receive the one the other, thei doe it 
confusedly, and apt to be easly troubled : and although 
thei give three names to their armies, and devide them 
into thre companies, vaward, battaile, and rereward, not- 
withstandyng it serveth to no other purpose, then to 
marche, and to distinguis the lodgynges : but in the daie 
of battaile, thei binde them all to the first brunte, and to 
the first fortune. 

LUIGI. I have noted also in the faightyng of your fielde, 
how your horsemen were repulced of the enemies horsemen : 
for whiche cause thei retired to the extraordinarie Pikes : 
whereby grewe, that with the aide of theim, thei withstode, 
and drave the enemies backe ? I beleve that the Pikes maie 



A battaile how 
greate so ever 
it bee, cannot 
atones occupy 
above v. 
rankes of 


withstande the horses, as you sale, but in a grosse and 
thicke maine battaile, as the Suizzers make : but you in 
your army, have for the hedde five rankes of Pikes, and for 
the flancke seven, so that I cannot tell how thei maie bee 
able to withstande them. 

FABRITIO. Yet I have told you, how sixe rankes of pikes wer 
occupied at ones, in the Macedonicall Falangi, albeit you 
ought to understande, that a maine battaile of Suizzers, if 
it were made of a thousande rankes, it cannot occupie more 
then fower, or at the most five : bicause the Pikes be sixe 
yardes and three quarters longe, one yarde and halfe a 
quarter, is occupied of the handes, wherefore to the firste 
ranke, there remaineth free five yardes and a half, and a 
halfe quarter of Pike : the seconde ranke besides that, 
whiche is occupied with the hande, consumeth a yarde and 
half a quarter in the space, whiche remaineth betwene the 
one ranke and thother : so that there is not left of pike 
profitable, more then fower yardes and a halfe: to the 
thirde ranke, by this verie same reason, there remaineth 
three yardes and a quarter and a halfe : to the fowerth, 
twoo yardes and a quarter : to the fift one yard and halfe a 
quarter : the other rankes, for to hurte, be unprofitable, 
but thei serve to restore these firste rankes, as we have 
declared, and to bee a fortificacion to those v. Then if 
five of their rankes can withstande the horse, why cannot five 
of ours withstande theim ? to the whiche also there lacketh 
not rankes behinde, that doeth sustain and make them the 
very same staie, although thei have no pikes as the other. 
And when the rankes of thextraordinarie pikes, which are 
placed on the flanckes, should seme unto you thinne, thei 
maie bee brought into a quadrante, and put on the flancke 
nere the twoo battailes, whiche I set in the laste companie of 
the armie : From the whiche place, thei maie easely alto 
gether succour the fronte, and the backe of the armie, and 
minister helpe to the horses, accordyng as nede shall 

LUIGI. Would you alwaies use this forme of order, when 
you would pitche a fielde. 



FABRITIO. No in no wise : for that you ought to varie the THE 
facion of the armie, according to the qualitie of the situa- Til HIDE 
cion, and the condicion and quantitie of the enemie, as BOOKE 
before this reasonyng dooe ende, shall bee shewed certaine 
insamples : but this forme is given unto you, not so moche 
as moste strongeste of all, where in deede it is verie strong, 
as to the intente that thereby you maie take a rule, and an 
order to learne to knowe the waies to ordeine the other : 
for as moche, as every science hath his generalitie, upon the 
whiche a good part of it is grounded. One thing onely I An advertis- 
advise you, that you never order an armie, after soche sorte, n\ent i-on- 
that those that faight afore, cannot bee sucoured of theim, ? yng 
whiche be set behind : bicause he that committeth this 
errour, maketh the greateste parte of his armie to bee un 
profitable, and if it incounter any strength, it cannot 

LUIGI. There is growen in me, upon this parte a doubte. 
I have seen that in the placyng of the battailes, you make 
the fronte of five on a side, the middeste of three, and the 
last partes of twoo, and I beleve, that it were better to 
ordain them contrariwise : for that I thinke, that an armie 
should with more difficultie bee broken, when he that should 
charge upon it, the more that he should entre into the- 
same, so moche the stronger he should finde it : and the 
order devised of you, me thinkes maketh, that the more it is 
entered into, so moche the weaker it is founde. 

FABRICIO. If you should remember how to the Triarii, 
whom were the thirde order of the llomain Legions, there 
were not assigned more then sixe hundred men, you would 
doubt lesse, havyng understode how thei were placed in the 
laste companie : For that you should see, how I moved of 
this insample, have placed in the last companie twoo bat- 
tailefi, whiche are nine hundred men, so that I come rather 
(folowyng the insample of the Homainc people) to erre, for 
havyng taken to many, then to fewe : and although this 
insample should suffice, I will tell you the reason, the which 
is this. The first fronte of the armie, is made perfectly 
whole and thicke, bicause it must withstande the brunt of 

Q 121 


How the front 
of the armie 
ought to bee 

How the 
middell part 
of the armie 
outfht to be 

The orderyng 
of the hinder 
part of 


the enemies, and it hath not to receive in it any of their 
felowes : and for this, it is fitte that it bee full of menne : 
bicause a fewe menne, should make it weake, either for 
thinnesse, or for lacke of sufficiente nomber : but the seconde 
companie, for as moche as it must first receive their frendes, 
to sustain the enemie, it is mete that it have greate spaces, 
and for this it behoveth, that it be of lesse nomber then the 
first : for that if it wer of greater nomber, or equall, it should 
bee conveniente, either not to leave the distaunces, the 
whiche should be disorder, or leavyng theim, to passe the 
boundes of those afore, the whiche should make the facion of 
the armie unperfecte : and it is not true that you saie, that 
the enemie, the more that he entereth into the maine bat- 
taile, so moche the weaker he findeth it : for that the 
enemie, can never faight with the seconde order, except the 
first be joined with thesame : so that he cometh to finde the 
middest of the maine battaile more stronger, and not more 
weaker, havyng to faight with the first, and with the seconde 
order altogether : the verie same happeneth, when the 
enemie should come to the thirde companie : for that there, 
not with twoo battailes, whiche is founde freshe, but with 
all the maine battaile he must faight : and for that this last 
part hath to receive moste men, the spaces therof is requi 
site to be greatest, and that whiche receiveth them, to be 
the leste nomber. 

LUIGI. It pleaseth me thesame that you have told : but 
answere me also this : if the five first battailes doe retire 
betwene the three seconde battailes, and after the eight 
betwene the twoo thirde, it semeth not possible, that the 
eight beyng brought together, and then the tenne to 
gether, maie bee received when thei bee eight, or when 
thei be tenne in the verie same space, whiche received 
the five. 

FABRICIO. The first thyng that I aunswere is, that it is 
not the verie same space : For that the five have fower 
spaces in the middeste, whiche retiryng betwene the thre, 
or betwene the twoo, thei occupie : then there remaineth 
thesame space, that is betwene the one maine battaile and 


the other, and thesame that is, betwene the battailes, and THE 

the extraordinarie Pikes, al the whiche spaces makes large- THIRDE 

nesse: besides this, it is to bee considered, that the battailes BOOKE 

kepe other maner of spaces, when thei bee in the orders 

without beyng altered, then when thei be altered : for that 

in the alteracion : either thei throng together, or thei 

inlarge the orders : thei inlarge theini, when thei feare so 

moche, that thei fall to Hiyng, thei thrust them together, 

when thei feare in soche wise, that thei seke to save them 

selves, not with runnyng a waie, but with defence : So that 

in this case, thei should come to be destingueshed, and not 

to be inlarged. Moreover, the h ve rankes of the Pikes, that The retire of 

are before, so sone as thei have begun the faighte, thei the Pikes, to 

ought betwene their battailes to retire, into the taile of pjae the I ar- 

the armie, for to give place to the Targaet men, that thei ^ 

maic faighte : and thei goyng into the taile of the armie, 

male dooe soche service as the capitain should judge, were 

good to occupie theim aboute, where in the forward, the 

faiglit beyng mingled, thei should otherwise bee altogether 

unprofitable. And for this the spaces ordained, come to 

bee for the remnaunte of the menne, wide inough to receive 

them : yet when these spaces should not suffice, the ttankes 

on the sides be men, and not walles, whom givyng 

place, and inlargyng them selves, maie make the space to 

containe so moclie, that it maie bee sufficient to receive 


LUIGI. The rankes of the extraordinarie Pikes, whiche 
you place on the rlanckes of the armie, when the first bat 
tailes retire into the second, will you have them to stande 
still, and remain with twoo homes to the armie? Or will How the 
you that thei also retire together, with the battailes? The pikes that are 
whiche when thei should do, I see not how thei can, havyng jj^g/J} 
no battailes behinde with distaunces that maie receive t y, e arm j e 
them. ought to 

FAHRITIO. If the enemie overcome theim not, when he governe them 

inforceth the battailes to retire, thei maie stande still in "? lves 

, . i p, ,1 , the rest of the 

tneir order, and hurte the enemie on the nanck, after that , irrn i e isdriven 
the firste battailes were retired : but if he should also over- to retire. 



Thexercise of 
the army in 

The nomber 
that is mete 
to be written 
in the Ansigne 
of every band 
of men. 


come theim, as semeth reason, beyng so puisaunte, thai: he 
is able to repulce the other, thei also ought to retire : 
whiche thei maie dooe excellently well, although thei have 
not behinde, any to receive them : bicause from the middest, 
thei maie redouble by right line, entring the one rarike into 
the other, in the maner whereof wee reasoned, when it was 
spoken of the order of redoublyng : True it is, that to 
mynde redoublyng to retire backe, it behoveth to take an 
other waie, then thesame that I shewed you : for that I 
told you, that the second ranke, ought to enter into the 
first, the fowerth into the thirde, and so foorth : in this 
case, thei ought not to begin before, but behinde, so that 
redoublyng the rankes, thei maie come to retire backewarde, 
not to tourne forward : but to aunswere to all thesame, that 
upon this foughten field by me shewed, might of you bee 
replied. I saie unto you again, that I have ordained you 
this armie, and shewed this foughten field for two causes, 
thone, for to declare unto you how it is ordered, the other 
to shewe you how it is exercised : thorder, I beleve you 
understande moste well : and concernyng the exersice, I 
saie unto you, that thei ought to be put together in this 
forme, as often times as maie be : for as moche as the heddes 
learne therby, to kepe their battailes in these orders : for 
that to particulare souldiours, it appertaineth to keepe well 
the orders of every battaile, to the heddes of the battailes, 
it appertaineth to keepe theim well in every order of the 
armie, and that thei knowe how to obeie, at the commaunde- 
ment of the generall capitain : therefore, it is conveniente 
that thei knowe, how to joyne the one battaile with thother, 
that thei maie knowe how to take their place atones : and 
for this cause it is mete that thansigne of every battaile, 
have written in some evident part, the nomber therof: as 
well for to be able to commaunde them, as also for that the 
capitain, and the souldiours by thesame nomber, maie more 
easely knowe theim againe : also the maine battailes, ought 
to be nombred, and to have the nomber in their principall 
Ansigne : Therefore it is requisite, to knowe of what nomber 
the maine battaile shall be, that is placed on the left, or on 


the right home, of what nombers the battailes bee, that are THE 

set in the fronte, and in the middeste, and so foorthe of the TH1KDK 

other. The antiquitie would also, that these nombers HOOKK 

should bee steppes to degrees, of honors of the armies : as 

for insample, the first degree, is the Peticapitain, the The degrees 

seconde, the hedde of fiftie ordinarie Veliti, the thirde, the ot honours in 

Centurion, the fowerth, the hedde of the first battaile, the 

fifte, of the second, the sixt, of the thirde, and so forthe, . 

even to the tenth battaile, the whiche must be honoured in to rise by, as 

the seconde place, nexte the generall capitaine of a maine should bee 

battaile : nor any ought to come to thesame hedde, if first, * de :i F eru> - 

he have not risen up by all these degrees. And bicause r 

besides these heddes, there be the three Conestables of the 

extraordinarie Pikes, and twoo of the extraordinarie Veliti, 

I would that thei should be in the same degree of the 

Conestable of the first battaile : nor I would not care, that 

there were sixe men of like degree, to thintent, that every 

one of them might strive, who should doe beste, for to be 

promised to be hedde of the seconde battaile. Then every 

one of these heddes, knowyng in what place his battaile 

ought to be sette in, of necessitie it must folowe, that at 

a sounde of the Trompette, so sone as the hedde stan- 

darde shall bee erected, all the armie shall be in their 

places : and this is the first exercise, whereunto an armie 

ought to bee accustomed, that is to set theim quickly 

together : and to doe this, it is requisite every daie, and 

divers times in one daie, to set them in order, and to 

disorder them. 

LUIGI. What armes would you that thansignes of all the 
armie, should have beside the nomber ? 

FAURITIO. The standarde of the generall Capitaine oughte The armes 
to have the armes of the Prince of the armie, all the other, thatoughteto 
maie have the verie same armes, and to varie with the fieldes, | ce " tlu 
or to varie with the armes, as should seme beste to the a^ in^fe 
Lorde of the armie: Bicause this importeth little, so that ansi^nes of 
the effect growe, that thei be knowen the one from the an armie. 
other. But let us passe to the other exercise : the which 
is to make them to move, and with a convenient pace to 



THE marche, and to se, that marchyng thei kepe the orders. 
THIRDE The third exercise is, that thei learne to handle themselves 
BOOKE in thesame maner, whiche thei ought after to handle theim- 
The second selves in the daie of battaile, to cause the artillerie to 
and thirde shoote, and to bee drawen out of the waie, to make the 
exercise of an extraordinarie Veliti to issue out, after a likenes of an 
assault, to retire theim : To make that the firste battailes, 
as though thei wer sore charged, retire into the spaces of 
the second : and after, all into the thirde, and from thens 
every one to retourne to his place : and in soche wise to use 
theim in this exercise, that to every manne, all thyng maie 
be knowen, and familiar : the which with practise, and with 
familiaritie, is brought to passe moste quickly. The 
The fowerth fowerth exercise is, that thei learne to knowe by meane 
exercise of an o f the sounde, and of the Ansigne, the commaundemente 
armie. Q f ^heir capitaine : for as moche as that, whiche shall be to 

them pronounced by voice, thei without other commaunde 
mente, maie understande : and bicause the importaunce of 
this commaundement, ought to growe of the sounde, I shall 
tell you what soundes the antiquitie used. Of the Lacede- 
The soundes monians, accordyng as Tucidido affirmeth, in their armies 
of the instru- were used Flutes: for that thei judged, that this armonie, 
ernes of wag mos t e me te to make their armie to precede with gravetie, 
the antiquitie an ^ with furie : the Carthaginens beyng moved by thisverie 
used in their same reason, in the first assaulte, used the violone. Aliatte 
armies. kyng of the Lidians, used in the warre the violone, and the 

Flutes : but Alexander Magnus, and the Romaines, used 
homes, and Trumpettes, as thei, that thought by vertue of 
soche instrumentes, to bee able to incourage more the 
myndes of Souldiours, and make theim to faight the more 
lustely : but as we have in armyng the armie, taken of the 
Greke maner, and of the Romaine, so in distributyng 
the soundes, we will keepe the customes of the one, and 
of the other nacion : therefore, nere the generall capitain, I 
would make the Trompettes to stand, as a sounde not 
onely apt to inflame the armie, but apte to bee heard in all 
the whole tumoult more, then any other sounde : all the 
other soundes, whiche should bee aboute the Conestables, and 


the heddes of maine battailes I would, that thei should bee THE 
smalle Drummes, and Flutes, sounded not as thei sounde TH1KDE 
theim now, but as thei use to sounde theim at feastes. The 1JOOKE 
capitaine then with the Trompet, should shewe when thei Whatissigni- 
must stand e still, and go forward, or tourne backward, when fied by the 
the artillerie must shoote, when the extraordinarie Veliti fV unde * tlie 
must move, and with the varietie or distinccion of soche 
soundes, to shewe unto the armie all those mocions, whit-he 
generally maie bee shewed, the whiche Trompettes, should 
bee after followed of the Drummes, and in this exercise, 
bicause it importeth moche, it behoveth moche to exercise 
the armie. Concernyng the horsemen, there would be used 
likewise Trompettes, but of a lesse sounde, and of a divers 
voice from those of the Capitaine. This is as moche as is 
come into my remembraunce, aboute the order of the armie, 
and of the exercise of thesame. 

LUK;I. I praie you let it not be grevous unto you to 
declare unto me an other thyng, that is, for what cause you 
made the light horsmen, and the extraordinarie Veliti, to 
goe with cries, rumours, and furie, when thei gave the 
charge ? And after in the incountering of the rest of tharmie, 
you shewed, that the thing folowed with a moste greate 
scilence? And for that I understande not the occasion 
of this varietie, I would desire that you would declare 
it unto me. 

FABRITIO. The opinion of auncient capitaines, hath been 
divers about the commyng to handes, whether thei ought 
with rumour to go a pace, or with scilence to go faire and 
softely : this laste waie, serveth to kepe the order more The cries, 
sure, and to understande better the comnmundementes of the - "id rumours, 
Capitaine : the firste, serveth to incourage more the mindes \ vht>r wit1 the 
of men : and for that I beleve, that respecte ought to bee f/^ten u^o 
had to the one, and to the other of these twoo thvnges, the <>n<>inios, 
I made the one goe with rumour, and thother with scilence : nndthesili iire 
nor me thinkes not in any wise, that the continual! rumours tliat ou ^ rllt to 
bee to purpose : bicause thei lette the commaundementes, the ^j^tJM. 1 ^ 
whiche is a thyng moste pernicious : nor it standeth not with f a jjr},t is ones 
reason, that the Romanies used, except at the firste assaulte h 


THE to make rumour : for that in their histories, is seen many 
THIRDE tymes to have happened, that through the wordes, and com- 
BOOKE fortinges of the capitain the souldiours that ranne awaie, were 
made to stande to it, and in sundrie wise by his com- 
maundemente, to have varied the orders, the whiche 
should not have followed, if the rumoures had 
been louder then his voyce. 












ENG 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 
/anobi do execute now this office of 
demaundyng, mindyng to followe the 
order, whiclie 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 
appoincte 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 harken- 
yng 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. 

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




To deffende 
moche the 
fronte of an 
armie, is most 

What is beste 
for a capi- 
taiue to dooe, 
where his 
power is, 
moche lesse 


A general 


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 any 
accidente risyng or growyng, what reamedie maie be had. 

FABKICIO. 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 
general 1 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 corn- 
passe 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 al moste 
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 THE 
male be saved, and where the small experience dooe not FOWERTH 
hurte thee : Thou oughtest also to chuse the higher BOOKE 
grounde, to be able more easely to infest them : not- The higher 
withstandyng, this advertisment ought to be had, not to grounde 
ordaine thy armie, where the enemie maie spie what thou ^ 
doest, and in place nere to the rootes of the same, where the 
enemies ;irmie maie come : For that in this case, havyng An advertis- 
respecte unto the artillerie, the higher place shall gette thee ment not to 
disadvauntage : Bicause that alwaies and commodiously, ^ ( a jj* rlnie 
thou mightest of the enemies artillerie bee hurte, without enemie maie 
beyng able to make any remedy, and thou couldest not S e what the 
commodiously hurte thesame, beyng hindered by thine same doeth. 
owne men. Also, he that prepareth an armie to faight a HespeoteR for 
battaile, ought to have respecte, bothe to the Sunne, and to theSonneand 
the Winde, that the one and the other, doe not hurte the Wimie - 
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 order- 
yng the men, to have it all on the backc, to the entente it 
should have to passe moche tynie, 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 The variyng 
one Souldiours, variyng onely the order, and the place, that of order and 

thei have become of losers victorers : as it happened to the P lare niaic 
/- ii 11 i f -\t cau>e the 

Carthageners, whom havyng been overcome of Marcus ron , juere( j 

Regolus divers tymes, were after by the counsaill of San- to become 
tippo, a Lacedemonian, victorious : whom made them to go victorius. 
doune into the plaine, where by vertue of the horses, and of 




A policie in 
the ordering 
of men and 
pitchyng of 
a fielde. 


Eliphantes, thei were able to overcome the Romanies. 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 begin 
ning 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 
homes 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 homes of the armie, with celeritie to make forwarde, 
so that onely the homes 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 Asdru 
ball, and overcame hym. The whiche waie was then pro 
fitable, 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. THE 
When a capitaine perceiveth, that he hath a greater armie FOWKKTH 
then his enemie, mindyng to compasse hym aboute, before BOOKE 
he be aware, let hym ordaine his fronte equal), to thesame How to com- 
of his adversaries, after, so sone as the faight is begun, let J )aS8e about 
hym make the fronte by a little and little to retire, and the thc en "iei 
flanckes to deffende, and ulwaies it shall happen, that the ^ 
enemie shal find hym self, before he be aware compassed 
about. When a capitain will faight, as it wer sure not to How a capi- 
be broken, let hym ordaine his armie in place, where he ta j ne lllaie 

hath refuse nere, and safe, either betwene Fennes, or betwene f ai ^ llt 5 . m( * 
1-11 I L -L e L\ i ii i ee as it were 

hilles, or by some strong citee : for that in this case, he sure, not to be 

cannot bee followed of the enemie, where the enemie maie overcome, 
be pursued of him : this poincte was used of Aniball, when 
fortune began to become his adversarie,and that lie doubted 
of the valiauntnesse of Marcus Marcello. Some to trouble How to 
the orders of the enemie, have commaunded those that were troul)le the 
light armed, to begin the faight, and that beyng begunne, n em7e ^ 
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 What a capi- 
inferiour of horse, he maie besides the waies that are alredie taine ou 
shewed, place behinde his horsemen a battaile of Pikes, and {j^ 
in faightyng take order, that thei give waie to the Pikes, m e a * 
and he shall remain alwaies superiour. Many have accus- men as the 
tomed to use certain fotemenne lighte armed, to faighte enemie. 
emong horsemen, the whiche hath been to the chivalrie A Create aide 
moste greate helpe. Of all those, which have prepared for horsemen, 
armies to the field, be moste praised Aniball and Scipio, 
when thei fought in Africk : and for that Aniball had his The policies 
armie made of Carthaginers, and of straungers of divers USP(1 betwene 
nacions, he placed in the first fronte thereof Ixxx. Ele- s" il * 
phantes, 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 



THE theim the enemie, and behinde beyng inclosed of his men, 
FOWERTH could not flic : so that being constrained to faight thei 
BOOKE 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 
fill 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 homes 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. 

FABRITIO. 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 dis- 
taunces 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 
homes 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 male receive thee, but let THE 
us tourne to our reasonyng. The auncient Asiaticans, FOWERTH 
emongest other thynges devised of them to hurt the enemies, BOOKE 
used carres. The whiche had on the sides certaine hookes, Cartes full of 
so that not onely thei served to open with their violence hooke* made 
the bandes, but also to kill with the hookes the adversaries : todestroiethe 
against the violence of those, in thre manors thei provided, C1 
either thei sustained theim with the thickenesse of the raies, The remedy 
or thei received theim betwene the bandes, as the Eliphantes that was used 
were received, or els thei made with arte some strong J g JV n ^ Ca f tea 
insistence: As Silla a Romainc 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 The straunge 
that Silla used against hym in orderyng the armie, is to maner that 
bee noted : for that he put the Veliti, and the horse, Silla usc<1 ." 

behinde, and all the heavie armed afore, leavynr many Ordei 7 n . his ; 
i- , iii i i < i ii., annv against 

distaunces to be able to sende before those behinde, when Archclaus 

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 How to 

the enemies armie, it is conveniente to make some thyng to trouble in the 

growe, that maie make theim afraied, either with showyng fa ffhtethe 

of newe helpe that commeth, or with showyng thynges, a | 

whiche maie represente a terrour unto theim : after soche 

sorte, that the enemies begiled of that sight, maie be nfraied, 

and being made afraied, thei maie easely bee overcome : the 

whiche waies Minutio Rufo used, and Accilio Glabrione 

Consults of Home. Cains Sulpitius also set a greate manv A policie <>f 

of sackes upon Mules, and other beastes unprofitable for the ( Jiil|S s lpi- 

warre, but in soche wise ordained, that thei semed men of I 1 . 11 " toni;ikl> 

11 i i 1 1 1 1 i 11 lls enemies 

arnies, and he commaunded, that, tlu-i should appere upon a f rjl j,, ( i 

a hill, while he were n. faightyng with the Freiichcnu ii, 
whereby grewe his victorie. The verie same did Marius, A policie of 
when he foughte against the Duchemen. Then the fained Ma ri s 
assaultes availyng moche, whilest the faight continueth, it J^ljj^l! 
is conveniente, that the very assaultes in deede, dooe helpe 
S 137 


THE moche : inespecially if at unvvares in the middest of the 

FOWERTH faight, the enemie might bee assaulted behinde, or on the 

BOOKE 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 

A policie of victorie. It hath been sometyme of greate importaunce, 

greate im- whilest the faighte continueth, to sowe voices, whiche doe 

portauiice, pronounce the capitaine of thenemies to be dedde, or to 

while a bat- (1 . ^ ? n ii i i 

taile is a have overcome on the other side ot the armie : the whiche 

faightyng. many times to them that have used it, hath given the 

How horse- victorie. The chivalrie of the enemies maie bee easely 

men maie bee troubled, either with sightes, or with rumours, not used : as 

disordered. Creso did, whom put Camelles again ste the horses of the 

adversaries, and Pirrus sette againste the Romaine horsemen 

How the Eliphantes, the sighte of whiche troubled and disordered 

turkegave them. In our time, the Turke discomfited the Sophi in 

overth?ow e an Persia > aml 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 

How the the Turke mighte easely overcome them : The Spaniardes 

Spaniardes to overcome the armie of Amilcare, put in the firste fronte 

overcame the c ar tes full of towe drawen of oxen, and comming to handes, 

AmUcare thei kindeled fire to thesame, wherfore the oxen to flie 

from the fire, thrust into the armie of Amilcar, and opened 

How to traine it. Thei are wonte (as we have saicd) to begile the enemie 

the enmie, to J n the faight, drawyng him into their ambusshes, where the 

his destruc- 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 betwene 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 per- THE 
vert it to good, as Tullo Hostilio did, and Lucius Silla : FOVVKRTH 
whom seyng while thei fought, how a parte of his men BOOKE 
wer gone to the enemies side, and how thesame thing had A polirie of 
verie moche made afraied his men, he made straighte waie Tullo Hostilio 
throughout all the armie to be understoode, how all thing g^Jj^"* 
preceded, accordyng to his order : the whiche not onely semblyng of 
did not trouble the armie, but it increased in them so moche a mischaunre. 
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 Sertoriusslue 
a battaile in Spaine, slue one, whom signified unto hvm the a man for 
death of one of his capitaines, for feare that tellyng the very telling- him of 
same to other, he should make theim afraied. It is a moste on g ^fMs 
difficult thyng, an armie beyng now moved to flie, to staie capitaines. 
it, and make it to faight. And you have to make this 
distinction : 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 Ilomain capitaines, 
with making afore those whiche fled, have caused them to Howecertainc 
staie, making them ashamed of running awaie, as Lucius captaineshave 

Silla did, where alredy parte of his Legions beyng tourned staie( . 1 , tl ! e , ir j , 

/i- 1^1- i . i f n*-.i j / e i_ i men that hath 

to night, driven awaie bv the men of Mitnndates, he made j )een rimn i n , r 

afore them with a swearde in his hande criyng : if any aske await*. 
you, where you left your capitaine, saie, we have left hym in 
Boecia, where he faighteth. Attillius a consull set against? Attillius 


those that ran awaie, them that ranne not awaie, and made ^en* that ran 
them to understande, that if thei would not tourne, thei awa j e to 
should be slaine of their frendes, and of their enemies, tourne again 
Philip of Macedonia understanding how his men feared the and to faight. 
Scithian Souldiours, placed behinde his armie, certaine of his Mow Philip 

moste trustie horsemen, and gave commission to theim, that , "f (>t 4 . arc " 
,1-1 111-1 11 nij i. f !_ donia made 

thei should kill whom so ever nedde : wherfore, his men j lis niell 

mindyng rather to die faightyng, then fliyng, overcame, afraied to 
Manv Romaines, not so moche to staie a flight, as for to run a 



THE give occasion to their men, to make greater force, have 

FOWERTH whileste thei have foughte, taken an Ansigne out of their 

BOOKE 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 

Victorie saie, how the fielde is loste, or els wonne : when it is wonne, 

ought with all the victorie ought with all celeritie to be folowed, and in 

celeritie to ^his 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 

What a capi- violence and furie, then when he assalted hym whole : but 

taine ought when a capitainc dooeth leese, he ought to see, if of the 

to dooe, when j osse there maiegrowe any utilite unto hym, inespecially if 

he should . j / .1 i t-, 

chaunce to there remain any residue of tharmie. Ihe commoditie 

receive an maie growe of the small advertisment of the enemie, whom 

overthrowe. moste often times after the victorie, bccometh negligent, 

and giveth thee occasion to oppresse hym, as Marcius a 

How Martins Romainc oppressed the armie of the Carthaginers, whom 

overcame the having slain the twoo Scipions, and broken their armie, not 

Carthaffinera es t em Y n g 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 THE 
them. In the seconde case, many have cast before the FOWERTH 
enemie, their dearest thinges, to the cntent that he tariyng BOOKE 
ahout the spoile, might give them more laisure to flie. 
Titus Dimius used no small policie to hide the losse, whiche A polic-ie of 
he had received in the faight, for asmoche as havyng fought lltl ! s I)iniius 
untill night, with great losse of his meime, he made in the whichehehad 
night to be buried, the greatest part of them, wherefore in received in ;i 
the mornyng, the enemies seyng so many slaine of theirs, faight. 
and so fewe of the Komaines, 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 the- 
same voide place, to receive that wedge, and to compasse it 
about, and to faight with it on every side : whereupon I A general 
will that you take this generall rule, that the greatest rull> - 
remedie that is used againste a devise of the enemie, is to 
dooe willingly thesame, whiche he hath devised that thou 
slialt dooe perforce : bicause that doyng it willingly, thou 
doest it with order, and with thy advauntage, and his dis- 
advauntage, if thou shouldest doe it beyng inforced, it 
should be thy undoyng : For the provyng whereof, I care 
not to reherse unto you, certain thvnges aired v tolde. The 
adversary maketh the wedge to open thy bandes : if thou 
gowest with them open, thou disorderest hym, and he dis- 
ordereth not thec. Aniball set the Klephantes in the fronte Anilt.-ill. 
of his armie, to open with theim the armie of Scipio. Scipio. 
Scipio went with it open, and it was the occasion of his 
victorie, and of the mine of hym. Asdruball placed his Asdml.all. 
strongest men in the middest of the fronte of his armie, to 
overthrowe Scipios menne : Scipio commaunded, that hv 
them selves thei should retire and he broke theim : So that 
like devises when thei are foreseen, bee the causes of the 



THE victorie of him, against whom thei be prepared. There 

FOWERTH remaineth me also, if I remember my self well, to tell you 

BOOKE what respectes a Capitaine ought to have, before he leade 

A Capitaine his men to faight : upon whiche I have to tell you firste, 

ought not to now a capitaine ought never to faight a battaile, except he 

faight without ^ advauntage, or be constrained. The vantage groweth 

advantage. , , . , . fo . , f , 

excepte he be f tne situacion, of the order, of havyng more, or better 

constrained, menne : the necessitie groweth when thou seest how that 
not faightyng, thou muste in any wise lese, 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 attempting, to see thy certaine mine : 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. 

How advaun- The advauntages some tymes the enemie giveth thee, and 
e male bee some tymes thy prudence : Many in passyng Rivers have 

enemies 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 
f reshe 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 
The greateste parte of prudent capitaines, rather receive FOWEKTH 
the violence of the enemies, then go with violence to assalte BOOKE 
them : for that the furie is easely withstoode of sure and Furie with- 
steddie mcnnc, and the furie beyng sustained, converteth stode, con- 
lightly into vilenesse : Thus Fabius did againste the San- v erteth into 
nites, and against the Galles, and was victorious and his V1 
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 thesarne tyme to faighte, and over 
come : The whiche Cesar observed in Fraunce, againste 
Ariouistus, and Vespasian in Surrie, againste the Jewes. 
The greatest and moste importaunte advertismente, that a What maner 
capitaine ought to have, is to have aboute hym faith full of men a 
menne, that are wise and moste expert in the warre, with < %a l ))taine 
whom he must continually consulte and reason of his men, about him 
and of those of the enemies, whiche is the greater nomber, Continually, 
whiche is beste armed, or beste on horsebacke, or best exer- to consult 
cised, whiche be moste apte to suffer necessitie, in whom lie witlia11 - 
trusteth rnoste, 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 deferrc 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 tedionsncsse therof, wil forsake thee. It importeih c j n g C J" the 
above all thyng, to knowe the capitain of the enemies, and capitain of 
whom he hath aboute hym, whether he be rashe, or politike, the enemies, 
whether he be fcarfull, or bardie : to see how thou maiest an(1 ot tnosc 
truste upon the aidyng souldiours. And above all thyng hym^morte 
thou oughtest to take hede, not to conducte the armie to requisite to 
faight when it feareth, or when in any wise it mistrusteth We knowen. 


THE of the victorie : for that the greatest signe to lose, is when 

FOWERTH thei beleve not to be able to vvinne : and th erf ore in this 

BOOKE case, thou oughtest to avoide the faightyng of the fielde, 

A timerous either with doyng as Fabius Maximus, whom incampyng in 

army is not to strong places, gave no courage to Aniball, to goe to finde 

to faTht Cted ty 111 or when thou shouldest thinke, that the enemie also 

in strong places, would come to finde thee, to departe out 

the^ightyng 6 of the fielde and t devide the menne into thy tounes, to 

of a fielde. thentent that tediousnesse of winnyng them, maie wearie 


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

FABRITIO. 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 

Fabius finde hym. For Fabius Maximus never avoided to faight 

Maximus. 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. 

Philip king of Philip Kyng of Macedonia, thesame that was father to 

Macedonia, Perse, commyng to warre with the Romaines, pitched his 

theRomaines. cam P e u .P on a verie hi h hill to the ent ? nt not to fai S ht 
tr with theim : but the llomaines wente to find hym on the- 

torige avoided same hill, and discomforted hym. Cingentorige capitain of 
the faightyng the Frenche menne, for that he would not faight the field 
of the fielde with Cesar, whom contrarie to his opinion, had passed a 
with Cesar river, got awaie many miles with his men. The Venecians 
The ignor- j n our tyme, if thei would not have come to have fought 

with th ^ Frenche k .T n S thei ou S ht not to have taried till 
the Frenche armie, had passed the River Addus, but to have 


gotten from them as Cingentorige, where thei havyng THE 
taried, knewe not how to take in the passing of the men, FOWEKTH 
the occasion to faight the battaile, nor to avoide it : For BOOKE 
that the Frenche men beyng nere unto them, as the Vene- 
cians went out of their Campe, assaulted theim, and dis 
comfited 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 
Hie 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 What is to be 
theim afraied, and in the other to incourage theim : In the dpenwhersol- 
firste case, when perswacions suffiseth not, there is no better diours desire 
waie, then to give in praie, a part of them unto thenemie, tranMti/thelr 
to thintent those that have, and those that have not fought, capitaiues 
maie beleve thee : and it may very wel be doen with art, mimic. 
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, toattempte 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 over- 
throwen, if Fabius had not rescued him: by the whichc 
insample the maister of the horse, together with all the 
armie, knewe how it was a wise waie to obeie Fabius. Con- H<>\\ to in 
cernyng to incourage theim to faight, it should be well <1<> " r;l ^ t> 
doen, to make them to disdain the enemies, shewyng how Sl 
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 
T 145 



An advertis- 
meiit to make 
the soldiour 
most obstin 
ately to faight. 

It is requisite 
for excellent 
Capitaines to 
bee good 

Magnus used 
openly to 
perswade his 

The effect- 
eousnes of 


theim to bee unworthie, and with an oracion for the pur 
pose, 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? 

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 con 
trary 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 hyrn 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, 



threateneth, filleth full of hope, praise, shame, and doeth THE 
all those thynges, by the whiche the humaine passions are FOWERTH 
extincte, or kendled : wherefore, that prince, or common BOOKE 
weale, whiche should appoincte to make a newe power, Souldiours 
and cause reputacion to their armie, ought to accustome ought to be 

the Souldiours thereof, to heare the capitain to speake, f c custorn c d . 

j , , ... I i i r -T T to heare their 

and the capitain to know how to speake unto them. In Capitaine 

kepyng desposed the souldiours in old tyme, to faight for speake. 
their countrie, the religion availed rnoche, and the othes How in olde 
whiche thei gave them, when thei led theim to warfare: timesouldiers 
for as moche as in al their faultes, thei threatned them not wen j r ( l ] t "- 
onely with those punishementes, whiche might be feared of f H it cs 
men, but with those whiche of God might be looked for : Enterprises 
the whiche thyng mingled with the other Religious maners, male the 
made many tymes easie to the auncient capitaines all enter- t asi lu r he 
prises, and will doe alwaies, where religion shall be feared, 
and observed. Sertorius prevailed, by declaryng that he meanes of 
spake with a Stugge, the whiche in Goddes parte, promised religion. 
hym the victorie. Silla saied, he spoke with an Image, Sertorius. 
whiche he had taken out of the Temple of Apollo. Many A policie of 
have tolde how God hath appered unto them in their slepe, S 
whom hath admonished them to faight. In our fathers 
time, Charles the seventh kyng of Fraunce, in the warre sev enthkinff 
whiche he made againste the Englishemen, saied, he coun- O f Fraunce 
sailed with a maide, sent from God, who was called every against the 
where the Damosell of Fraunce, the which was occacion of Englishmen. 
his victorie. There maie be also used meanes, that maie Howsouldiers 
i i.u j. 1-1.1.1 ii A -i maiebeemade 

make thy men to esteme little the eiieinie, as Agesilao a toestonio 

Spartaine used, whom shewed to his souldiours, certain uttle tlieir 
Persians naked, to the intent that seyng their delicate enemies. 
members, thei should not have cause to feare them. Some The surest wai 
have constrained their men to faight through necessitie, J^ ^ste 
takyng awaie from them all hope of savyng theim selves, O hstinat to 
savyng in overcommvng. The whiche is the strongest, and faight. 
the beste provision that is made, to purpose to make the By what 
souldiour obstinate to faight: whiche ohstinatenesse is in- meanes ob- 
creased by the confidence, and love of the Capitaine, or of ^f.^}"^^ 
the countrie. Confidence is caused through the armour, i m . rt ..i Sl . ( ] 



THE the order, the late victorie, and the opinion of the Capi- 
FOWERTH taine. The love of the countrie, is caused of nature : that 
BOOKE 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. 











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 cir- 
cumstaunces, 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 sus 
pected places. Firste, you must understande, how a llomaine 
armie, sent alwaies ordinarely afore, certainc bandes of 
horsemen, as spies of the waie : after followed the right 
home, after this, came all the carriages, whiche to thesame 
apperteined, after this, came a Legion, after it, the carnages 
therof, after that, an other legion, and next to it, their 
carriages, after whiche, came the left home, with the 
carriages thereof at their backe, and in the laste part, 
folowed the remnaunte of the chivalrie : this was in enecte 
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 


How the 
marched with 
their armies. 

How the 
ordered their 
armie when it 
happened to 
be assaulted 
on the waie. 


THE respecte to the situacion : and all the men together free 

FIVETH from their impedimentes, made hedde on that parte, where 

BOOKE 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 

How the main of the Count rie : Then havyng fower maine battailes, I 

battailes would make them to marche in araie, and every one with 

oug tto their carriages folowyng theim. And for that there be 
marche. & . 7& ... ,. , i 

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 orderyng the faight : from whiche waie, I will not digresse, and I 

f an armie will ordaine my twoo maine battailes, whiche I have taken 

sorte^that it ^ or ^ ma ^ e an armie of, to this effect. Mindyng therefore, 

maie marche to marche safely through the enemies Countrie, and to bee 

safelie able to aunswere hym on every side, when at unwares the 

through the armie might chaunce to be assaulted, and intendyng there- 

countrie and f re > accordyng to the antiquitie, to bryng thesame into a 

be alwaies in square, I would devise to make a quadrant, that the rome 

a redines to therof should be of space on every part Clix. yardes, in this 

faight. maner. First I would put the flanckes, distant the one 



flanck from the other, Clix. yardes, and I would place five THE 

battailes for a Hancke, in a raie in length, and distant the FIVETH 

one from the other, twoo yardes and a quarter : the whiche BOOKE 

shall occupie with their spaces, every battaile occupivng 

thirtie yardes, Clix. yardes. Then betwen the hedde and 

the taile of these two Hanckes, 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 f route on the right Hancke, 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 home, and thother shall come on the parte afore, The place in 

towardes the lefte home. In the space of the Iviii. yardes the nrmie 

and a halfe before, I would place all the ordinarie Veliti, in wlier tlic 

thesame behinde, the extraordinarie, which wil come to be J I ow " ie " ftnd 

.. i / j i Harkabutters 

a thousande for a space, and mindyng to have the space are ap _ 

that ought to be within the armie, to be every waie Clix. poincted. 
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 
the hedde, after soche sorte, that upon every corner of the 
same armie, there maie remaine a space, to receive an other 
battaile : and for that there bee fower spaces, I would take 
U 153 


The place in 
the armie 

Pikes are 

The place in 
the armie 

Where the 
be placed. 

The light 
must be 


countrie and 
the menne 

A rail 
yng horse. 


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 
fj ve battailes that be in the front, have all their other 
P artes 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 there 
fore 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 thesame flanck, that lieth open : and the Peti- 
capitaines 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 with- 
ou t, on the lefte flancke, and the other on the right. The 
H^ht horsemen, I would sende afore to discover the countrie. 

9 f the menne of armes > l would P lace P art behinde, on the 
right home, and parte on the lefte, distante about tliirtie 
yardes from the battailes : and concerning horse, you have 
j. Q ta ^ e j. n j s for a general rule in every condicion, where 
y u 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 THE 
so moche space, that maie give them tyme, to be able to go FIVETH 
a side from thy footemen, and not to runne upon them, or BOOKE 
to order them in soche wise, with so many spaces, that the 
horses by those maie enter betwene them, without disorder- 
yng 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 un- Wher the 
armed menne are placed, in the rome that remaineth within carriages and 
the armie, and in soche sorte equally devided, that thei maie ^ e u an " ed 
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 con 
venient 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 bed, 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 inaner, ought to be made to move, and in the marchvng, 
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 druwyng of the 
swerd, or pikes poincte : for that men out of order, have 



THE feare of those that be in araie : and alwaies it shall bee seen, 
FIVETH that with cries and rumours, thei will make a greate assaulte, 
BOOKE without otherwise commyng nere unto thee, like unto bark 
ing 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 tooke 
The waie small regarde. Mindyng to marche, it is conveniente to 
must be made j lftve p} a i ners an( J labourers afore, whom maie make thee 
the armte the waie P laine > whiche shall bee garded of those horsemen, 
shall marche that are sent afore to viewe the countrie : an armie in this 
in order. order maie marche tenne mile the daie, and shall have tyme 
How many inough to incampe, and suppe before Sunne goyng doune, 
miles a day an f or that ordinarely, an armie maie marche twentie mile : if 

. it happen that thou be assaulted, of an armie set in order, 
marcne in bat- , . . i i j j_i . 

taile raie to this assaulte cannot growe sodainly : tor that an armie in 

bee able to in- order, commeth with his pace, so that thou maiest have 

campe before tyme inough, to set thy self in order to faight the field, and 

sunne set. reduce thy menne quickly into thesame facion, or like to 

thesame facion of an armie, which afore is shewed thee. 

The orderyng jr or that if thou be assaulted, on the parte afore, thou 

w^e^it 6 needeste not but to cause, that the artillerie that be on 

Tsscaulted on the flanckes, and the horse that be behinde, to come before, 

the vawarde. and place theimselves in those places, and with those dis- 

taunces, 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 homes 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 
the battailes, that stand in the hedde, and three of theim, FIVETH 
muste stande within thirtie yardes of those, with equall dis- BOOKE 
tances, 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 conimeth 
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 bicausc 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 
bet wen 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 The orderyn^ 
assault, as I shal shewe you. If it appere that thenemie of tharmie 
come on the part behinde, the first thyng that ought to V l j 
bee dooen, is to cause that every man tourne his face where cor ,mies to 
his backe stode, and straight waie tharmie cometh to have assaulte it 
made of taile, hed, and of hed taile : then al those waies behinde. 
ought to be kept, in orderyng thesame fronte, as I tolde 
afore. If the enemie come to incounter the right flancke, How the 
the face of thy armie ought to bee made to tourne towardes ai * 
thesame side: after, make all those thynges in fortificacion j^j/^aulted 
of thesame hedde, whiche above is sak-d, so that the horse- of any of the 
men, the Veliti, and the artillerie, maie be in places con- sides. 
formable 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 home of the armie, and 
those horse, whiche were nerest to the lefte flancke, in 
whose place ought to enter, the twoo Ansignes of the 



THE extraordinarie Pikes, placed in the middest : But firste the 
FIVETH carriages and the unarmed, shall goe out by the open 
BOOKE 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 rnakyng hed of the right flanck, must be under- 
stode to be told, havyng nede to make it of the left flanck : 
for that the very same order ought to bee observed. If 
What is to be the enemie should come grose, and in order to assaulte 
doen when t\\ee on twoo sides, those twoo sides, whiche he commeth to 
assaulted on assau ^ e tnee on ou g nt to bee made stronge with the other 
twoo sides. 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 hav.e 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 over- 


throw one bande, and withstande an other, and in short THE 

time ruinate him: this maner of ordering an armie against FIVETH 

an enemie, wliiche is not seen, but whiche is feared, is a BOOKE 

necessarie and a profitable thing, to accustome thy souldiours, 

to put themselves together, and to march with sochc order, 

and in marchyng, to order theimselves to faight, according 

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 Hancke 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 ap- men^of * C 
poincted, to like exercise. Capitaines 

FABRITIO. Your firste question importeth moche: for that being- not wel 
many tymes the commaundemcntes of Capitaines, beyng not 
well understoode, or evill interpreted, have disordered their 
armie : therfore the voices, with the whiche thei commaunde O f an arme 



Respect that 
is to be had in 
mentes made 
with the 
sounde of the 

In com- 
made with the 
voice, what 
respect is to 
be had. 

Of Pianars. 


in perilles, ought to bee cleare, and nete. And if thou com- 
maunde 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 tiie 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. 

FABRITIO. All these thynges shall bee reasoned in the 



place thereof, but now I will let alone this parte, and reason THE 
of the maner of the victualing of the armie : for that me FIVETH 
thinketh, havyng so moche traivailed theim, it is tyme to BOOKE 
refreshe them, and to comfort them with meate. You have 
to understande, that a Frince 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 dim culte. Emongest 
those thynges that causeth moste difficultie, is to be con 
strained 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 con- 
dimente Larde and Baken, the whiche made the breade 
saverie, that thei made, and maintained theim strong, so The victualles 
that the provision of victualles for the armie, was Meale, that thanti- 
Vineger, Larde, and Bacon, and for the horses Barley, quitiemade 
Thei had ordinarely heardes of greate beastes and small, f^their" f> 
whiche folowed the armie, the whiche havyng no nede to armies. 
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 con- 
trarie 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 tynies 
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 them 
selves thei should bake. Concernyng wine, I would not 
prohibite the drinkyng thereof, nor yet the commyng of it 
X 161 


THE into the armie, but I would not use indevour, nor any 
FIVETH labour for to have it, and in the other provisions, I would 
BOOKE 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 enter 
prise 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. 

FABRITIO. 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 

The occasions conquerour of the warre, waxed ritche. This groweth of 

why the keepyng no compte in these daies of the spoiles, as in olde 

warres made j-y me thd did, but thei leave it to the discreacion of the 

doeTmpole r- souldiours. This manner maketh twoo moste great dis- 

ishe the con- orders : the one, that whiche I have tolde : the other that 

querors as the souldiour becometh more covetous to spoyle, and lesse 

well as the observeth the orders : and manie times it hath been seen, 

conquered. nowe the covetousnesse of the praye, hath made those to 

Theorderthat leese, whome were victorious. Therefore the Romaines 

the Romaines ^^che were princes of armies, provided to the one and to 

in^t heTo^e tne other of tliese inconvenienses > ordainyng that all the 

andth e e SP & spoyle should apertaine to the publicke, and that the 

booties that publicke after should bestowe it, as shoulde be thought 

their soul- good : and therfore thei had in tharmie the questours, 

diours gotte. w h om we re 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 THE 

broken, all the pray was put in the middest, and distributed FJVETH 

by hedde, accordyng to the qualitee of everie man : the which HOOK E 

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, An order that 

that of the wages, whiche they gave to every souldiour, the tjie antiquitie 

thirde parte they woulde shoulde be laied up nexte to him, tooke > con " . 

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 ycmge me n, 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. 

ZANORI. 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 neede- 
full, and the worthinesse of the souldiours, mindvng to 
avoyde them. Therefore I woulde be glad, that you 
remem bring any, would shew them. 



FABRITIO. I shall contente you with a good will, beyng 
FIVETH inespetially necessarie, intendyng to make of this exercise 
BOOKE a perfecte science. The Capitaines ought above all other 

Captaines thynges, whileste thei marche with an armie, to take heede 

mai mcurre o f ambusshes, wherein they incurre daunffer twoo waies, 

thedaungerof ,! , , , 

ambusshes either marchynge thou entrest into them, or thoroughe 

twoo maner crafte of the enemie thou arte trained in before thou arte 
of wayes. aware. In the first case, mindyng to avoide suche perill, 
Howtoavoide it is necessarie to sende afore double warde, whome may 
the perill of discover the countrey, and so muche the more dilligence 

ambusshes. - - 


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 for- 
seyng the same, it cannot hurte thee. Manie tymes birdes 
Howe am- or muche duste have discovered the enemie: for that alwayes 
busshes have 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 therm 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 
Capitaine of ^eceipte, an( ^ oughtest never to beleeve that the enemie 
the enemies knoweth not how to doe his businesse, but rather intendyng 
ought to be that he may begile thee the lesse, and mindyng to stand in 
lesse peril, the weaker that he is, and the lesse craftier that 

Howe the 



the enemie is, so muclie the more thou oughtest to esteenie THE 
him : and thou muste in this case use twoo sundrie poinctes, F1VETH 
for that thou oughtest to feare him in thy minde and with BOOKE 
the order, but with wordes, and with other outewarde de- 
monstracion, to seeme to dispyse him : because this laste 
way, maketh that thi 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 Where men 
when men marche thoroughe the enemies countrey, they ar be in greatest 
in muche more, and greater perils, then in fayghtyng the l )Criil - 
fielde : and therefore the Capitaine in marchyng, ought to 
use double diligence : and the first thyng that he ought to The descrip- 
doo, is to get described, and payncted oute all the countrie, tion of the 
thorough the which he must marche, so that he maye know c UIlt y 
the places, the number, the distances, the waies, the hilles. " rm y muste 
the rivers, the fennes, and all the quallites of them : and marche, is 
to cause this to bee knowen, it is convenient to have with most re- 
him diversly, and in sundrie maners such men, as know the Ji ulsot /y " 
places, and to aske them with diligence, and to se whether ^^ al 
their talke agree, and according 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 A most profit- 
not to what businesse he leadeth them: for that there is ahle thynp it 
nothyng in the warre more profitable, then to keepe secret {J/* "^j^" 
the thynges that is to be dooen : and to thintente a suddeine ^.ret/ii/all 
assaulte dooe not trouble thy soldiours, thou oughteste to his affaires, 
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 com- 
maunded them to folow the same, to the intente that in 
marchyng needyng to stave, or to retire, they might dooe 
it more easel y, which thyng as profitable, I alowe very 



An advertis- 
ment con- 
cernyng the 
marchyng of 
an armie. 

The marching 
of an armie 
ought to be 
ruled by the 
stroke of the 

The condicion 
of the enemie 
ought to be 

Annone of 


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 horse 
men, 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. 

ZANOBI. I am harde of beliefe, that this fyre coulde stay 
theim, in especially because I remember that I have harde, 
ho we Annone of Carthage, beyng besieged of enemies, in 
closed him selfe on the same parte, with wodde, which he 
did set on fire where he purposed to make eruption. Wher- 
fore 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. 

FABRICIO. You saye well : but consider you howe I have 



saied, and howe Annone did : for as muche as I saied that THE 

they made a diche, and filled it with towe, so that he, that F1VETH 

woulde passe over the same, should be constrained to con- BOOKE 

tende with the diche and with tire : 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 Nabide a 

a Spartan beyng besieged in Sparta of the Romanies, set spartayne. 

tire on parte of his towne to let the way to the Komaines, 

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 Quintus Lut- 

a Komaine, havyng at his backe the Cimbri, and commyng tatius pollecie 

to a river, to thentente the enemie should give him time to * r {^f* e ver 

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 How to passe 

to passe a river havynge no bridge, have devided it, and one :i ryver 

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 

higlier 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 redi- A polecie of 

nesse in an armie wherewith to be able to make all these Cesar to pa*se 

thynges. It fortuneth sometime that in passyng a river, the a river, where 

enemie standyntje ajjaynst thee on the other banke, doeth let ! 11S cncnu 

m j fo fe J beyng on the 

thee : to minde to overcome tins dlmcultle, I know not a other-side 
better insample to folow, then the same of Cesar, whome therof sought 
havynge his armie on the banke of a river in Fraunce, and to lette hym. 



How to know 
the Foordes 
of a river. 

Howe to 
escape oute 
of a straight 
where the 
with enemies. 


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 

ZANOBI. Have ye any rule to know the foordes ? 

FABRITIO. 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 ? 

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 THE 
Trent-he, for boche an effect prepared, bothe on thesame FIVETH 
parte, with out any impedimente hath passed, and also BOOKE 
delivered hymself out of the handes of the enemie. Lucius Howe Lutius 
Minutus a Consul of Rome, was in Liguria with an armie, Minutius 
and was of the enemies inclosed, betwene certaine hilles, e ^ af ^ "j t . 
whereby he could not go out : therefore he sente certaine wherinliefwaa 
souldiours of Numidia on horsebacke, whiche he had in his inclosed of 
armie (whom were evill armed, and upon little leane horses) Ins enemies, 
towardes the places that were kepte of the enemies, whom at 
the first sight made the enemies, to order theim selves to 
gether, 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 annie of Lucius. Some capitaine, whiche hath Howe some 
perceived hymself to be assaulted of a greate multitude of C apitaynes 
enemies, hath drawen together his men, and hath given to | ^ m ^^g 6 ^ 
the enemie commoditie, to compasse hym all about, and b e compassed 
then on thesame part, whiche he hath perceived to be moste aboute of 
weake, hath made force, and by thesame waie, hath caused their enemies, 
to make waie, and saved hymself. 

Marcus Antonius retiryng before the armie of the A polecie of 
Parthians, perceived how the enemies every daie before Marcus 
Sunne risyng, when he removed, assaulted him, and all the Anto1 
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, rnarche without any disquietnesse. 
This self same man for to avoide the arrowes of the A defenre for 
Parthians, commaunded his men, that when the Parthians tl i 1tte 
came towardes them, thei should knele, and that the second 
ranke of the battailes, should cover with their Targaettes, 

Y 169 


THE the heddes of the firste, the thirde, the seconde, the fowerth, 
FIVETH the third, and so successively, that all the armie came, to be 
BOOKE 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 re 
member not any thyng els, I will passe to 
an other parte. 











BELEVE that it is good, seyng the reason- 
yng 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 be- 
ninde the armie, semyng unto theim neces- 
sarie to have before, soche as maie lustely heginne the faiglit, 
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, and as every one of us hath taken his part 
willingly, so I beleve not, that Baptiste wil refuse it. 

BAITISTE. I have let my self been governed hetherto, so 
I minde to doe still. Therfore be contente sir, to folowe 
your reasonyng, and if we interrupte you with this practise 
of ours, have us excused. 

FABRITIO. You dooe me, as all readie I have saied, a 
inoste greate pleasure ; for this your interrupting me, 
taketh not awaie my fantasie, but rather refresheth me. 
But mindyng to foil owe our matter I saie, how that it is 
now tyme, that we lodge this our armie, for that you knowe 
every thyng desireth reste and saftie, bicause to reste, and 
not to reste safely, is no perfecte reste : I doubte moche, 
whether it hath not been desired of \ f ou, that I should firste 



How the 



Howe the 


have lodged them, after made theim to marche, and laste 
of all to faight, and we have doen the contrary : whereunto 
necessitie hath brought us, for that intendyng to shewe, 
how an armie in going, is reduced from the forme of march 
ing, to thesame maner of faightyng, it was necessarie to 
have firste shewed, how thei ordered it to faight. But 
tournyng to our matter, I saie, that minding to have the 
Campe sure, it is requisite that it be strong, and in good 
order : the industrie of the Capitaine, maketh it in order, 
the situacion, or the arte, maketh it stronge. The Grekes 
sought strong situacions, nor thei would never place theim 
selves, where had not been either cave, or bancke of a river, 
or multitude of trees, or other naturall fortificacion, that 
might defende theim : but the Romaines not so moche in- 
camped safe through the situacion, as through arte, nor 
thei would never incampe in place, where thei should not 
have been able to have raunged all their bandes of menne, 
accordyng to their discipline. Hereby grewe, that the 
Romaines might kepe alwaies one forme of incamping, for 
that thei would, that the situacion should bee ruled by 
them, not thei by the situacion : the which the Grekes 
could not observe, for that beyng ruled by the situacion, 
and variyng the situacion and forme, it was conveniente, 
that also thei should varie the maner of incampyng, and 
the facion of their lodgynges. Therefore the Romaines, 
where the situacion lacked strength thei supplied thesame 
with arte, and with industrie. And for that I in this my 
declaracion, have willed to imitate the Romaines, I will not 
departe from the maner of their incamping, yet not observ- 
yng altogether their order, but takyng thesame parte, whiche 
semeth unto me, to be mete for this present tyme. I have 
told you many tymes, how the Romaines had in their con- 
sull armies, twoo Legions of Romaine men, whiche were 
aboute a leven thousande footemen, and sixe hundred horse 
men, and moreover thei had an other leven thousande foote 
men, sente from their frendes in their aide : nor in their 
armie thei had never more souldiers that were straungers, 
then Romaines, excepte horsemenne, whom thei cared not, 


though thei were more in nomber then theirs : and in all THE 
their doynges, thei did place their Legions in the middeste, S1XTHE 
and the aiders, on the sides: the whiche maner, thei observed BOOKE 
also in incampyng, as by your self you maie rede, in those 
aucthoures, that write of their actes : and therefore I pur 
pose not to shewe you distinctly how thei incamped, but to 
tell you onely with what order, I at this presente would 
incampe my armie, whereby you shall then knowe, what 
parte I have taken out of the Komaine maners. You 
knowe, that in stede of twoo Romaine Legions, I have taken 
twoo maine battailes of footemen, of sixe thousande foote- 
men, and three hundred horsemen, profitable for a maine 
battaile, and into what battailes, into what weapons, into 
what names I have devided theim : you knowe howe in orcler- 
yng tharmie to marche, and to faight, I have not made 
mencion of other men, but onely have shewed, how that 
doublyng the men, thei neded not but to double the orders : 
but mindyng at this presente, to shew you the maner of 
incampyng, me thinketh good not to stande onely with twoo 
maine battailes, but to bryng together a juste armie, made like 
unto the Romaines, of twoo maine battailes, and of as many 
mo aidyng men : the whiche I make, to the intent that the 
forme of the incampyng, maie be the more perfect, by lodgyng 
a perfecte armie : whiche thyng in the other demonstracions, 
hath not seined unto me so necessarie. Purposing then, to The maner of 
incampe a juste armie, of xxiiii. thousande footemen, and of theincamping 
twoo thousande good horsemenne, beeyng devided into fower of an arnue - 
maine battailes, twoo of our owne menne, and twoo of 
straungers, I would take this waie. The situacion beyng 
founde, where I would incampe, I would erecte the hed 
standarde, and aboute it, I would markc out a quadrant, 
whiche should have every side distante from it xxxvii. 
yardes and a half, of whiche every one of them should lye, 
towardes one of the fower regions of heaven, as Easte, 
Weste, Southe, and Northe : betwene the whiche space, I 
would that the capitaines lodgyng should be appoincted. The lodging 
And bicause I beleve that it is wisedom, to devide the armed for the tf ee- 
frorn the unarmed, seyng that so, for the nioste parte the ral1 CJl P ltame - 



THE Romaines did, I would therefore seperate the menne, that 
SIXTHE were cumbered with any thing, from the uncombered. I 
BOOKE would lodge all, or the greatest parte of the armed, on the 
side towardes the Easte, and the unarmed, and the cum- 
bred, on the Weste side, makyng Easte the hedde, and 
Weste the backe of the Campe, and Southe, and Northe, 
should be the flanckes : and for to distinguishe the lodgynges 
of the armed, I would take this waie. I would drawe a 
line from the hedde standarde, and lead it towardes the 
Easte, the space of CCCCC.x. yardes and a half : I would 
after, make two other lines, that should place in the mid- 
deste the same, and should bee as longe as that, but 
distante eche of theim from it a leven yardes and a quarter : 
in the ende whereof, I would have the Easte gate, and the 
space that is betwene the twoo uttermoste lines, should make 
a waie, that should go from the gate, to the capitaines 
lodging, whiche shall come to be xxii. yardes and a halfe 
broad, and CCCClxxii. yardes and a halfe longe, for the 
xxxvii. yardes and a halfe, the lodgyng of the Capitaine will 
take up : and this shall bee called the Capitaine waie. Then 
there shall be made an other waie, from the Southe gate, to 
the Northe gate, and shall passe by the hedde of the capitaine 
waie, and leave the Capitaines lodgyng towardes theaste, 
whiche waie shalbe ix.C.xxxvii. yardes and a halfe long (for 
the length therof wilbe as moche as the breadth of all the 
lodgynges) and shall likewise be xxii. yardes and a half 
broad, and shalbe called the crosse waie. Then so sone as 
the Capitaines lodgyng, were appoincted out, and these twoo 
waies, there shall bee begun to be appoincted out, the lodg- 
inges of our own two main battailes, one of the whiche, I 
would lodge on the right hand of the capitaines waie, and 
the other, on the lefte : and therefore passing over the 
space, that the breadth of the crosse waie taketh, I would 
place xxxii. lodgynges, on the lefte side of the capitain waie, 
and xxxii. on the right side, leavyng betwene the xvi. and 
the xvii. lodgyng, a space of xxii. yardes and a halfe, the 
whiche should serve for a waie overthwart, whiche should 
runne overthwarte, throughout all the lodgynges of the 


maine battailes, as in the distributing of them shall bee THE 
seen. SIXTH E 

Of these twoo orders of lodgynges in the beginning of BOOKE 
the head, whiche shall come to joygne to the crosse waye, I The lodgings 
would lodge the Capitaine of the men of armes, in the xv. f r tlie m e" 
lodgynges, which on everie side foloweth next, their men of ^ .,2]*^ 
armes, where eche main battaile, havyng a Cl. men of armes, c auitaine. 
it will come to ten men of armes for a lodgyng. The spaces 
of the Capitaines lodgynges, should be in bredth xxx. and 
in length vii. yardes and a halfe. And note that when so Note, which 
ever I sai bredeth, it signifieth the space of the middest is breadth and 
from Southe to Northe, and saiyng length, that whiche is ^ichelenffth 
f T , , r-iu f ii] in the square 

from weste to Laste. Ihose ot the men of armes, shoulde caltl p e . 

be xi. yardes and a quarter in length, and xxii. yardes and 
a halfe in bredeth. In the other xv. lodgynges, that on everie 
syde should folowe, the whiche should have their beginnyng The lodgings 
on the other side of the overthwarte way, and whiche shall f r tlu> l K llte 
have the very same space, that those of the men of armes IJy^thelr 
had, I woulde lodge the light horsemen: wherof beynge a ca pitjiin. 
hundred and fiftie, it will come to x. horsemen for a lodg 
yng, and in the xvi. that remaineth, I woulde lodge their 
Capitaine, gevynge him the verie same space, that is geven 
to the Capitain of the men of armes : and thus the lodginges 
of the horsemen of two maine battailes, will come to place 
in the middest the Capitaine way, and geve rule to the 
lodginges of the footemen, as I shall declare. You have 
noted how I have lodged the CCC. horsemen of everie main 
battaile with their Capitaines, in xxxii. lodgynges placed 
on the Captaine waie, havynge begun from the crosse waie, 
and how from the xvi. to the xvii. there remaineth a space 
of xxii. yardes and a halfe, to make awaie overthwarte. 
Mindvng therefore to lodge the xx. battailes, which the 
twoo ordinarie maine battailes have, I woulde place the The lodgings 
lodgyng of everie twoo battailes, behinde the lodgynges of for the foote- 

the horsemen, everie one of whiche, should have in length nu V 1 * two 

, , i i j .1 j i ordinary mam 

xi. yardes and a quarter, and in bredeth xxii. yardes and a i, a ttailes 

half, as those of the horsemens, and shoulde bee joigned on 

the hinder parte, that thei shoulde touche the one the other. 

Z 177 


The lodgings 
for the cone- 

The nomber 
of footemen 



And in every first lodgyng on everie side which cometh to 
lie on the crosse waie, I woulde lodge the Counstable of a 
battaile, whiclie should come to stand even with the lodgyng 
of the Capitayne of the men of armes, and this lodgyng 
shall have onely of space for bredeth xv. yardes, and for 
length vii. yardes and a halfe. In the other xv. lodgynges, 
that on everie side followeth after these, even unto the over- 
thwarte way, I would lodge on everie part a battaile of 
foote men, whiche beyng iiii. hundred and fif tie, there will 
come to a lodgyng xxx. the other xv. lodgynges, I woulde 
place continually on every side on those of the light horse 
men w ^ ^ e ver i e same spaces, where I woulde lodge on 
everie part, an other battaile of fote men, and in the laste 
lodgyng, I would place on every parte the Conestable of the 
battaile, whiche will come to joigne with the same of the 
Capitaine of the lighte horsemen, with the space of vii. 
yardes and a halfe for length, and xv. for bredeth : and so 
these two firste orders of lodgynges, shal be halfe of horse 
men, and halfe of footemen. And for that I woulde (as in 
the place therof I have tolde you) these horse menne shoulde 
be all profitable, and for this havynge no servauntes whiche 
in kepyng the horses, or in other necessarie thynges might 
helpe them, I woulde that these footemen, who lodge behynde 
the horse, should bee bounde to helpe to provide, and to 
keepe theim for their maisters : and for this to bee exempted 
from the other doynges of the Campe. The whiche maner, 
was observed of the Romanies. Then leavyng after these 
lodgynges on everie parte, a space of xxii. yardes and a 
halfe, whiche shoulde make awaye, that shoulde* be called the 
one, the firste wave on the righte hande, and the other the 
firste waie on the lefte hand, I woulde pitche on everie side an 
other order of xxxii. double lodgynges, whiche should tourne 
their hinder partes the one againste the other with the verie 
same spaces, as those that I have tolde you of, and devided 
after the sixtenth in the verie same maner for to make the 
overthwarte waie, where I would lodge on every side iiii. 
battailes of footemen, with their constables in bothe endes. 
Then leavyng on every side an other space of xxii. yardes 


and a halfe, that shoulde make a waie, whiche shoulde be 
called of the one side, the seconde waie on the right hande, 
and on the other syde, the seconde way on the lef te hande, 
I would place an other order on everie side of xxxii. double 
lodgynges, with the verie same distance and devisions, where 
I would lodge on everie side, other iiii. battailes with their 
Constables : and thus the horesemenne and the bandes of 
the twoo ordinarie maine battailes, should come to be 
lodged in three orders of lodgynges, on the one side of the 
capitaine waie, and in three other orders of lodgynges on the 
other side of the Capitaine waie. The twoo aidyng maine 
battels (for that I cause them to be made of the verie same 
nation) I woulde lodge them on everie parte of these twoo 
ordinarie maine battailes, with the very same orders of 
double lodgynges, pitchyng first one order of lodgynges, 
where should lodge halfe the horsemen, and half the foote 
men, distance xxii. yardes and a halfe from the other, for 
to make a wav whiche should be called the one, the thirde 
waie on the right hande, and the other the thirde waie on 
the lefte hande. And after, I woulde make on everie side, 
twoo other orders of lodgynges, in the verie same maner 
destinguesshed and ordeined, as those were of the ordinarie 
maine battelles, which shall make twoo other wayes, and 
they all should be called of the nunibre, and of the hande, 
where thei should be placed : in suche wyse, that all this 
side of the armie, shoulde come to be lodged in xii. orders of 
double lodgynges, and in xiii. waies, reckenynge captaine 
waie, and crosse waie : I would there should remayne a space 
from the lodgynges to the Trent-lie of Ixxv. yaraes rounde 
aboute : and if you recken al these spaces, you shall see that 
from the middest of the Capitaines lodgyng to the caste 
gate, there is Dx. yardes. Now there remaineth twoo spaces, 
whereof one is from the Capitaines lodgyng to the Southe 
gate, the other is from thense to the Nortne gate : whiche 
come to be (either of them measurynge them from the poincte 
in the middest) CCCC.lxxvi. yardes. Then takyng out of 
everie one of these spaces xxxvii. yardes and a halfe, whiche 
the Capitayneslodgynge occupieth, and xxxiiii. yardes everie 




The lodg 
ynges for the 
chiefe Capi 
taines of the 
maine bat- 
tayles and for 
marshals and 


waie for a market place, and xxii. yardes and a halfe for a 
way that devides everie one of the saied spaces in the mid- 
dest, and Ixxv. yardes, that is lefte on everie part betweene 
the lodgynges and the Trenche, there remaineth on every 
side a space for lodginges of CCC. yardes broade, and Ixxv. 
yardes longe, measurynge the length with the space that the 
Captaines lodgynge taketh up. Devidynge then in the mid- 
dest the saied lengthe, there woulde be made on every hande 
of the Capitaine xl. lodgynges xxxvii. yardes and a halfe 
longe, and xv. broade, whiche will come to be in all Ixxx. 
lodgynges, wherin shall be lodged the heddes of the maine 
battailes, the Treasurers, the Marshalles of the fielde, and 
all those that shoulde have office in the armie, leavyng some 
voide for straungers that shoulde happen to come, and for 
those that shall serve for good will of the Capitaine. On 
the parte behinde the Capitaines lodgynge, I would have a 
way from Southe to Northe xxiii. yardes large, and shoulde 
be called the hed way, whiche shall come to be placed a 
longe by the Ixxx. lodgynges aforesayd : for that this waie, 
and the crosseway, shall come to place in the middest be 
tweene them bothe the Capitaines lodgynge, and the Ixxx. 
lodgynges that be on the sides therof. From this hed 
waie, and from over agaynst the captaines lodgyng, I 
would make an other waie, which shoulde goe from tliens 
to the weste gate, lykewyse broade xxii. yardes and a halfe, 
and should aunswer in situation and in length to the Cap- 
taine way, and should be called the market waie. These 
twoo waies beynge made, I woulde ordeine the market place, 
where the market shall bee kepte, whiche I woulde place on 
the head of the market way over against the capitaines 
lodgynge, and joigned to the head way, and I woulde have 
it to be quadrante, and woulde assigne Ixxxx. yardes and 
three quarters to a square : and on the right hande and 
lefte hande, of the saied market place, I would make two 
orders of lodginges, where everie order shal have eight 
double lodginges, which shall take up in length, ix. yardes, 
and in bredeth xxii. yardes and a halfe, so that there shall 
come to be on every hande of the market place, xvi. lodg- 


ynges that shall place the same in the middest which shall THE 
be in al xxxii. wherin I woulde lodge those horsemen, SIXTH E 
which shoulde remaine to the aidyng mayne battailes : and BOOKE 
when these should not suffise, I woulde assigne theim some Lodginpes for 
of those lodginges that })laceth between them the Capitaines the horsemen, 

lodiryn^e, and in especially those, that lie towardes the ftheextra- 

oj o j ordinarie 

Trenche. I here resteth now to lodge the Pikes, and extra- 

IT i* i i i i i nia\ ne oai- 

ordinari Veliti, that everie main battaile hath, which you tailes. 

know accordynge to our order, how everie one hath besides n, e J dp- 
the x. battailes M. extraordinarie Pikes, and five hundreth ynges for 
Veliti : so that the twoo cheefe maine battailes, have two the cxtra- 
thousande extraordinarie Pikes, and a thousande extra- p*!j|"g nd 
ordinarie Veliti, and the ayders as many as those, so that Veliti. 
yet there remaineth to be lodged, vi. M. menne, whome I 
woulde lodge all on the weste side, and a longe the Trenche. 
Then from the ende of the hed waye, towardes Northe, leav- 
yng the space of Ixxv. yardes from them to the trenche, I 
woulde place an order of v. double lodgynges, whiche in all 
shoulde take up Ivi. yardes in lengthe, and xxx. in bredeth : 
so that the bredeth devided, there will come to everie 
lodgyng xi. yardes and a quarter for lengthe, and for 
bredeth twoo and twentie yardes and a half. And because 
there shall be x. lodgynges, I will lodge three hundred men, 
apoinctyng to every lodging xxx. men : leavyng then a space 
of three and twentie yardes and a quarter, I woulde place in 
like wise, and with like spaces an other order of five double 
lodgvnges, and againe an other, till there were five orders of 
five double lodgvnges : which wil come to be fiftie lodg 
ynges placed bv right line on the Northe side, every one of 
them distante from the Trenche Ixxv. yardes, which will 
lodge fifteene hundred men. Tournyng after on the lefte 
hande towardes the weste gate. I woulde pitche in all the 
same tracte, whiche were from them to the saied gate, five 
other orders of double lodgvnges, with the verie same 
spaces, and with the verie same nianer : true it is, that 
from the one order to the other, there shall not be more 
then a xi. yardes and a quarter of space : wherin shall be 
lodged also fifteene hundred men : and thus from the 



How the 
in the Campe. 

for the un- 

an thJplaces 

that are 
for the im- 



Northe gate to the weste, as the Trenche turneth, in a 
hundred lodginges devided in x. rewes of five double lodg- 
ynges in a rowe, there will be lodged all the Pikes and ex- 
traordinarie Veliti of the cheefe maine battayles. And so 
from the west gate to the Southe, as the Trenche tourneth 
even in the verie same maner, in other ten rewes of ten 
lodgynges in a rewe, there shall be lodged the pikes, and 
extraordinarie Veliti of the aidyng mayne battailes. Their 
headdes or their counstables may take those lodgynges, 
that shal seeme unto them moste commodious, on the parte 
towardes the trenche. The Artillerie, I woulde dispose 

throughoute all the Campe, a longe the banke of the 

y j n j.u Ti_ i 11 

J- rencne : an( i m a ll the other space that shoulde remame 

towardes weste, I woulde lodge all the unarmed, and place 
all the impedimentes of the Campe. And it is to be under- 
stoode, that under this name of impedimentes (as you know) 
the anti q uitee mente all the same trayne, and all those 
thynges, which are necessarie for an armie, besides the 
souldiours : as are Carpenters, Smithes, Masons, Ingeners, 
Bombardiers, althoughe that those might be counted in the 
numbre of the armed, herdemen with their herdes of motons 
and beeves whiche for victuallyng of the armie, are requiset : 
and moreover maisters of all sciences, together with publicke 
carriages of the publicke munition, whiche pertaine as well 
to victuallyng, as to armynge. Nor I would not distin- 
guishe these lodginges perticularly, only I would marke out 
the waies which should not be occupied of them : then the 
other spaces, that betweene the waies shall remaine, whiche 
shall be fower, I woulde appoincte theim generally for all the 
saied impedimentes, that is one for the herdemen, the other 
for artificers and craftes men, the thirde for publicke car 
riages of victuals, the fowerth for the municion of armur 
and weapons. The waies whiche I woulde shoulde be lefte 
without ocupiyng them, shal be the market waie, the head 
waye, and more over a waie that shoulde be called the midde 
waye, whiche should goe from Northe to Southe, and should 
passe thoroughe the middest of the market waie, whiche 
from the weste parte, shoulde serve for the same purpose 


that the overthwarte way doeth on the ast parte. And THE 
besides this, a waye whiche shall goe aboute on the hinder SIXTHE 
parte, alonge the lodgynges of the Pikes and extraordinarie BOOKE 
Veliti, and all these wayes shall be twoo and tweentie 
yardes and a halfe broad e. And the Artilerie, I woulde 
place a longe the Trenche of the Campe, rounde aboute 
the same. 

BAITISTK. I confesse that I understand not, nor I beleeve 
that also to save so, is any shame unto me, this beyng not 
my exercise : notwithstandyng, this order pleaseth me 
muche : onely I woulde that you shoulde declare me these 
doubles : The one, whie you make the waie, and the spaces 
aboute so large. The other, that troubleth me more, is 
these spaces, whiche you apoincte oute for the lodgynges, 
howe they ought to be used. 

FABRITIO. You must note, that I make all the waies, xxii. 
yardes and a halfe broade, to the intente that thorowe 
them, maie go a battaile of men in araie, where if you 
remember wel, I tolde you how every bande of menne, 
taketh in breadth betwene xviii. and xxii. yardes of space 
to mart-he or stande in. Nowe where the space that is be 
twene the trenche, and the lodgynges, is Ixxv. yardes broade, 
thesarne is moste necessarie, to the intent thei maie there 
order the battailes, and the artillerie, bothe to conducte by 
thesame the praies, and to have space to retire theim selves 
with newe trenches, and newe fortificacion if neede were : 
The lodginges also, stande better so farre from the diches, 
beyng the more out of daunger of h res, and other thynges, 
whiche the enemie, might throwe to hurte them. Concern- 
yng the seconde demaunde, my intent is not that every 
space, of me marked out, bee covered with a pavilion onely, 
but to be used, as tourneth commodious to soch as lodge 
there, either with more or with lesse Tentes, so that thei go 
not out of the boundes of thesame. And for to marke out 
these lodginges, there ought to bee moste cunnyng menne, 
and moste excellente Architectours, whom, so sone as the 
Capitaine hath chosen the place, maie knowe how to give it 
the facion, and to distribute it, distinguishyng the waies, 



The Campe 
ought to be 
all waies of 
one facion. 


devidyng the lodgynges with Coardes and staves, in soche 
practised wise, that straight waie, thei maie bee ordained, 
and devided : and to minde that there growe no confusion, 
it is conveniente to tourne the Campe, alwaies one waie, to the 
intente that every manne maie knowe in what waie, in what 
space he hath to finde his lodgyng : and this ought to be 
observed in every tyme, in every place, and after soche maner, 
that it seme a movyng Citee, the whiche where so ever it 
goweth, carrieth with it the verie same waies, the verie same 
habitacions, and the verie same aspectes, that it had at the 
firste : The whiche thing thei cannot observe, whom sekyng 
strong situacions, must chaunge forme, accordyng to the 
variacion of the grounde : but the Romaines in the plaine, 
made stronge the place where thei incamped with trenches, 
and with Rampires, bicause thei made a space about the 
campe, and before thesame a ditche, ordinary broad fower 
yardes and a halfe, and depe aboute twoo yardes and a 
quarter, the which spaces, thei increased, according us thei 
intended to tarie in a place, and accordyng as thei feared 
the enemie. I for my parte at this presente, would not 
make the listes, if I intende not to Winter in a place : yet 
I would make the Trenche and the bancke no lesse, then 
the foresaied, but greater, accordyng to necessitie. Also, 
consideryng the artellerie, I would intrench upon every 
corner of the Campe, a halfe circle of ground, from whens 
the artillerie might flancke, whom so ever should seke to 
come over the Trenche. In this practise in knowyng how 
to ordain a campe, the souldiours ought also to be exercised, 
and to make with them the officers expert, that are ap- 
poincted to marke it out, and the Souldiours readie to 
knowe their places : nor nothyng therein is difficulte, as in 
the place thereof shall bee declared : wherefore, I will goe 
forewarde at this tyme to the warde of the campe, bicause 
without distribucion of the watche, all the other pain that 
hath been taken, should be vain. 

BAPTISTE. Before you passe to the watche, I desire that 
you would declare unto me, when one would pitche his 
campe nere the enemie, what waie is used : for that I knowe 



not, how a man male have tyme, to be able to ordaine it THE 
without perill. SIXTIIE 

FABUICIO. You shall understande this, that no Capitaine BOOKE 
will lye nere the enemie, except he, that is desposed to 
faight the fielde, when so ever his adversarie will : and 
when a capitaine is so disposed, there is no perill, but 
ordinarie : for that the twoo partes of the annie, stande 
alwaies in a redinesse, to faight the battaile, and thother 
maketh the lodginges. The Romanies in this case, gave 
this order of fortiKyng the Campe, unto the Triarii : and 
the Prencipi, and the Astati, stoode in armes. This thei 
did, for as moche as the Triarii, beyng the last to faight, 
might have time inough, if the enemie came, to leave 
the woorke, and to take their weapons, and to get them 
into their places. Therfore, accordyng unto the Komaines 
maner, you ought to cause the Campe to be made of those 
battailes, whiche you will set in the hinder parte of the 
armie, in the place of the Triarii. But let us tourne to 
reason of the watche. 

I thinke I have not founde, emongest the antiquitie, that Theantiquitie 
for to warde the campe in the night, thei have kepte watche ^ sed no 
without the Trenche, distaunte as thei use now a daies, Scoutes - 
whom thei call Scoutes : the whiche I beleve thei did, 
thinkyng that the armie might easely bee deceived, through 
the diflicultie, that is in seevng them agnine, for that thei 
might bee either corrupted, or oppressed of the enemie : So 
that to truste either in parte, or altogether on them, thei 
judged it perillous. And therefore, all the strength of the 
watche, was with in the trenche, whiche thei did withall 
diligence kepe, and with moste greate order, punished with 
death, whom so ever observed not thesame order : the 
whiche how it was of them ordained, I will tell you no other 
wise, leaste I should bee tedious unto you, beyng able by 
your self to see it, if as yet you have not seen it : I shall 
onelv briefly tell that, whiche shall make for niv purpose, I Thr wntche 
wold cause to stand ordinarely every night, the thirde parte aml " ai (1 of 
of the armie armed, and of thesame, the fowerth parte tjie ( 
alwaies on foote, whom I would make to bee destributed, 

A A 185 


THE throughout all the banckes, and throughout all the places 
SIXTHE of the armie, with double warde, placed in every quadrante 
BOOKE of thesame : Of whiche, parte should stande still, parte con 
tinually should go from the one corner of the Campe, to the 
other: and this order, I would observe also in the daie, 
when I should have the enemie nere. 

Concernyng the givyng of the watche worde, and renu- 

yng thesame every evening, and to doe the other thynges, 

whiche in like watches is used, bicause thei are thynges well 

inough knowen, I will speake no further of them : onely I 

shall remember one thyng, for that it is of greate impor- 

taunce, and whiche causeth great saulfgarde observyng it, 

Dilligence and not observyng it, moche harme : The whiche is, that 

ought to be there be observed greate diligence, to knowe at night, who 

used,toknowe i 0( joreth not in the Campe, and who commeth a newe : and 

who lieth oute . . . ., . i i i -,i ,1 

of the Campe, tnis ls an easle thing to see who lodgeth, with thesame 

and who they order that wee have appoincted : for as moche as every 

be that lodgyng havyng the determined nomber of menne, it is an 

cometh of easie matter to see, if thei lacke, or if there be more menne : 

and when thei come to be absente without lisence, to 

punishe them as Fugetives, and if there bee more, to under- 

stande what thei be, what they make there, and of their 

other condicions. This diligence maketh that the enemie 

cannot but with difficultie, practise with thy capitaines, 

and have knowlege of thy counsailes : which thing if of 

Claudius the Romaines, had not been diligently observed, Claudius 

Nero. Nero could not, havyng Aniball nere hym, depart from his 

Campe, whiche he had in Lucania, and to go and to retourne 

from Marca, without Aniball should have firste heard thereof 

some thyng. But it suffiseth not to make these orders 

good, excepte thei bee caused to bee observed, with a greate 

The justice severtie : for that there is nothyng that would have more 

that ought to observacion, then is requisite in an armie : therefore the 

be in a campe. } awes f or ^ ne maintenaunce of thesame, ought to be sharpe 

Vat tl\ UtS anc * ^ ar ^ e anc * the executour therof mostc harde. The 

antiquitie Romaines punished with death him that lacked in the 

punisshed watch, he that forsoke the place that was given hym to 

with Death, faight in, he that caried any thynge, hidde out of the 



Campe, if any manne should sale, that he had docn some THE 
worthy thing in the faight, and had not doen it, if any had SIXTH E 
fought without the commaundemente of the Capitaine, if BOOKE 
any had for feare, caste awaie his weapons: and when it 
happened, that a Cohorte, or a whole Legion, had com 
mitted like fault, bicause thei would not put to death all, 
thei yet tooke al their names, and did put them in a bagge, 
and then by lotte, thei drue oute the tenthe parte, and so 
those were put to death : the whiche punishemente, was in 
soche wise made, that though every man did not feele 
it, every man notwithstandyng feared it : and bicause 
where be greate punishementes, there ought to be also 
rewardes, mindyng to have menne at one instant, to feare Where greate 
and to hope, thei had appoincted rewardes to every worth ie I 1 
acte: as he that flighting, saved the life of one of his JJere^ughte 
Citezeins, to hym that h rste leapte upon the walle of the likewise to 
enemies Toune, to hym that entered h rste into the Campe bee jrrc.-it 
of the enemies, to hym that had in faightyng hurte, or rewardes. 
slaine the enemie, he that had stroken him from his horse : 
and so every vertuous act, was of the Consulles knowen and 
rewarded, and openly of every manne praised : and soche as 
obtained giftes, for any of these thynges, besides the glorie 
and fame, whicho thei got emongest the souldiours, after 
when thei returned into their countrie, with solemne pompe, 
and with greate demonstracion emong their frendes and 
kinsfolkes, thei shewed them. Therefore it was no marveile, It was no 
though thesame people gotte so moche dominion, having n ? ar T 1 tliat 
so moche observacion in punishemente, and rewarde towardes | )( ^ ani e n 
theim, whom either for their well doyng, or for their ill m jghtie 
doyng, should deserve either praise or blame : Of whiche Princes, 
thynges it were convenient, to observe the greater parte. 
Nor I thinke not good to kepe secrete, one manerof punish- 
mente of theim observed, whiche was, that so sone as the 
offendour, was before the Tribune, or Consulle convicted, 
he was of the same lightely stroken with a rodde : after the 
whiche strikyng, it was lawful 1 for the offendour to flie, and 
to all the Souldiours to kill hym : so that straight waie, 
every man threwe at hym either stones, or dartes, or with 



A meane to 
punishe and 
without rais 
ing 1 tumultes. 


the discipline 
of warre. 

Women and 
idell games, 
were not 
suffered by 
the antiquitie, 
to bee in their 


other weapons, stroke hyni in soche wise, that he went but 
little waie a live, and moste fewe escaped, and to those that 
so escaped, it was not lawfull for them to retourne home, 
but with so many incornmodities, and soche greate shame 
and ignomie, that it should have ben moche better for him 
to have died. This maner is seen to be almoste observed 
of the Suizzers, who make the condempned to be put 
to death openly, of thother souldiours, the whiche is well 
considered, and excellently dooen : for that intendyng, that 
one be not a defendour of an evill doer, the greateste 
reamedie that is founde, is to make hym punisher of the- 
same : bicause otherwise, with other respecte he favoureth 
hym : where when he hymself is made execucioner, with 
other desire, he desireth his punishemente, then when the 
execucion commeth to an other. Therefore mindyng, not 
to have one favored in his faulte of the people, a greate 
remedie it is, to make that the people, maie have hym to 
judge. For the greater proofe of this, thinsample of Maulius 
Capitolinus might be brought, who being accused of the 
Scenate, was defended of the people, so longe as thei were 
not Judge, but becommyng arbitratours in his cause, thei 
condempned hym to death. This is then a waie to punishe, 
without raisyng tumultes, and to make justise to be kepte : 
and for as moche as to bridell armed menne, neither the 
feare of the Lawes, nor of menne suffise not, the antiquitie 
joined thereunto the aucthoritie of God : and therefore with 
moste greate Ceremonies, thei made their souldiours to 
sweare, to kepe the discipline of warre, so that doyng con- 
trariewise, thei should not onely have to feare the Lawes, 
and menne, but God : and thei used all diligence, to fill 
them with Religion. 

BAPTISTE. Did the Romaines permitte, that women might 
bee in their armies, or that there might be used these idell 
plaies, whiche thei use now a daies. 

FABRITIO. Thei prohibited the one and thother, and this 
prohibicion was not moche difficulte : For that there were 
so many exercises, in the whiche thei kept every daie the 
souldiours, some whiles particularly, somewhiles generally 



occupied, that thei had no time to thinke, either on Venus, THE 
or on plaies, nor on any other thyng, whiche sedicious and SIXTHE 
unprofitable souldiours doe. BOOKE 

BAPTISTK. I am lierein satisfied, but tell me, when the 
armie had to remove, what order kepte thei ? 

FABRICIO. The chief Trumpet sounded three tymes, at the Ordre iu the 
firste sound, thei toke up the Tentes, and made the packes, removing the 
at the seconde, thei laded the carriage, at the thirde, thei g^de^o^a 
removed in thesame maner aforsaied, with the impedi- Trumpet" 
inentes after every parte of armed men, placyng the Legions 
in the middeste : and therefore you ought to cause after 
thesame sorte, an extraordinarie maine battaile to remove : 
and after that, the particular impedimentes therof, and 
with those, the fowerth part of the publike impedimentes, 
which should bee all those, that were lodged in one of those 
partes, whiche a little afore we declared : and therfore it 
is conveniente, to have every one of them, appointed to a 
maine battaile, to the entente that the armie removyng, 
every one might knowe his place in marchyng : and thus 
every maine battaile ought to goe awaie, with their owne 
impedimentes, and with the fowerth parte of the publike 
impedimentes, followyng after in soche maner, as wee shewed 
that the Komaines marched. 

BAFHSTE. In pitchyng the Campe, had thei other re- 
spectes, then those you have tolde ? 

FABKICIO. I tell you again, that the Romanies when thei 
encamped, would be able to kepe the accustomed fashion of 
their maner, the whiche to observe, thei had no other 
respecte : but concernyng for other considcracions, thei had 
twoo principall, the one, to incampe theim selves in a whole- Kespectes to 
some place, the other, to place themselves, where thenemie he had for in- 
could not besiege theim, nor take from them the waie to the cani P> n K- 
water, or victualles. Then for to avoide infirmitie, thei did 
Hie from places Fennie, or subjecte to hurtfull windes : 
whiche thei knewe not so well, by the qualitie of the situa- 
cion, as by the face of the inhabi tours : for when thei sawe How to choose 
theim evill coloured, or swollen, or full of other infeccion, P I;ice to 
thei would not lodge there : concernyng thother respecte iucam P e - 



Howto avoide 
diseases from 
the armie. 

The wonder- 
full com- 
moditie of 

The provision 
of victualles 
that ought 
alwaies to bee 
in an armie. 


to provide not to be besieged, it is requisite to consider the 
nature of the place, where the friendes lye, and where 
thenemies, and of this to make a conjecture, if thou maiest 
be besieged or no : and therefore it is meete, that the 
Capitaine be moste experte, in the knowlege of situacions 
of countries, and have aboute him divers men, that have 
the verie same expertenes. Thei avoide also diseases, and 
famishment, with causyng the armie to kepe no misrule, for 
that to purpose to maintain it in health, it is nedefull to 
provide, that the souldiours maie slepe under tentes, that 
thei maie lodge where bee Trees, that make shadowe, where 
woodde is for to dresse their meate, that thei go not in the 
heate, and therefore thei muste bee drawen out of the 
campe, before daie in Summer, and in Winter, to take hede, 
that thei marche not in the Snowe, and in the Froste, 
without havyng comoditie to make fire, and not to lack 
necessarie aparel, nor to drink naughtie water : those that 
fall sicke by chaunce, make them to bee cured of Phisicions : 
bicause a capitain hath no reamedie, when he hath to faight 
with sicknesse, and with an enemie : but nothing is so 
profitable, to maintaine the armie in health, as is the exer 
cise : and therfore the antiquitie every daie, made them to 
exercise : wherby is seen how muche exercise availeth : for 
that in the Campe, it kepeth thee in health, and in the 
faight victorious. Concernyng famishemente, it is neces- 
sane to see, that the enemie hinder thee not of thy victualles, 
but to provide where thou maieste have it, and to see that 
thesame whiche thou haste, bee not loste: and therefore it is 
requisite, that thou have alwaiesin provision with the armie, 
sutficiente victuall for a monethe, and then removyng into 
some strong place, thou muste take order with thy nexte 
frendes, that daily thei maie provide for thee, and above al 
thinges bestowe the victual with diligence, givyng every 
daie to every manne, a reasonable measure, and observe 
after soche sorte this poincte, that it disorder thee not : 
bicause all other thyng in the warre, maie with tyme be 
overcome, this onely with tyme overcometh thee : nor there 
shall never any enemie of thyne, who maie overcome thee 


with famishemente, that will seeke to overcome thee with THE 

iron. For that though the victory be not so honourable, SIXTHE 

yet it is more sure and more certaine : Then, thesame armie BOOKE 

cannot avoide famishemente, that is not an observer of 

justice, whiche licenciously consumeth what it liste : bicause 

the one disorder, maketh that the victualls commeth not 

unto you, the other, that soche victuall as commeth, is un- 

profitably consumed : therefore thantiquitie ordained, that 

thei should spende thesame, whiche thei gave, and in thesame 

tyme when thei appoincted : for that no souldiour did eate, 

but when the Capitaine did eate : The whiche how moche it 

is observed of the armies nowe adaies, every manne knoweth, 

and worthely thei can not bee called menne of good order 

and sober, as the antiquitie, but lasivious and drunkardes. 

BAPTISTE. You saied in the beginnyng of orderynge the 
Campe, that you woulde not stande onely uppon twoo maine 
battailes, but woulde take fower, for to shewe how a juste 
armie incamped : therfore I would you shoulde tell me 
twoo thynges, the one, when I shoulde have more or lesse 
men, howe I ought to incampe them, the other, what 
numbre of souldiours should suffice you to faight against 
whnt so ever enemie that were. 

FABRITIO. To the first question I answer you, that if the Howetolod^e 
armie be more or lesse, then fower or sixe thousande soul- i the Campe 
diours, the orders of lodgynges, may bee taken awaie or niore or lesse 


joined, so many as suffiseth : and with this wav a man mav : 

i i / T * . * , * Liiu onii ii*i ntr 

goe in more, and in lesse, into infinite : Notwithstandynge 
the Romaines, when thei joigncd together twoo consull 
armies, thei made twoo campes, and thei tourned the partes 
of the unarmed, thone against thother. Concernyng the 
second <|uestion, I say unto you, that the Romaines ordinary 
armie, was about xxiiii. M. souldiours: but when thei were 
driven to faight against the greatest power that might be, 
the moste that thei put together, WIT 1. M. With this 
number, thei did set against two hundred thousand Frenche- 
men, whome assaulted them after the first warre, that Ihei 
had with the Carthageners. With this verie same numbre, 
thei fought againste Anniball. And you muste note, that 



The nombre 
of men that 
an army 
ought to be 
made of, to 
bee able to 
faighte with 
the puisantest 


Howe to cause 
men to do 
soche a thing 
as shold bee 
profitable for 
thee, and 
hurtfull to 
them selves. 


the Romanies, and the Grekes, have made warre with fewe, 
fortefiyng themselves thorough order, and thorough arte : 
the west, and the easte, have made it with multitude : But 
the one of these nacions, doeth serve with natural! furie : as 
doe the men of the west partes, the other through the great 
obedience whiche those men have to their kyng. But in 
Grece, and in Italy, heyng no naturall furie, nor the naturall 
reverence towardes their king, it hath been necessary for 
them to learne the discipline of warre, the whiche is of so 
muche force, that it hath made that a fewe, hath been able 
to overcome the furie, and the naturall obstinatenesse of 
manie. Therefore I saie, that mindyng to imitate the 
Romaines, and the Grekes, the number of 1. M. souldiers, 
ought not to bee passed, but rather to take lesse : because 
manie make confucion, nor suffer not the discipline to be 
observed, and the orders learned, and Pirrus used to saie, 
that with xv. thousande men he woulde assaile the worlde : 
but let us pas to an other parte. We have made this our 
armie to winne a field and shewed the travailes, that in the 
same fight may happen : we have made it to marche, and 
declared of what impedimentes in marchyng it may be dis 
turbed : and finally we have lodged it : where not only it 
ought to take a littell reste of the labours passed, but also 
to thinke howe the warre ought to be ended : for that in 
the lodgynges, is handeled many thynges, inespecially thy 
enemies as yet remainyng in the fielde, and in suspected 
townes, of whome it is good to be assured, and those that 
be enemies to overcome them : therfore it is necessarie to 
come to this demonstracion, and to passe this difficultie with 
the same glorie, as hitherto we have warred. Therfore 
comynge to particular matters, I saie that if it shoulde 
happen, that thou wouldest have manie men, or many 
people to dooe a thyng, whiche were to thee profittable, and 
to theim greate hurte, as should be to breake downe the 
wall of their citie, or to sende into exile many of them, it is 
necessarie for thee, either to beguile them in such wise that 
everie one beleeve not that it toucheth him : so that succour- 
yng not the one the other, thei may finde them selves al to 


be oppressed without remedie, or els unto all to commaunde THE 
the same, whiche they ought to dooe in one selfe daie, to the SIXTH E 
intente that every man belevyng to be alone, to wliome the BOOKE 
commaundement is made, maie thinke to obey and not to re 
medie it : and so withoute tumulte thy commaundement to be 
of everie man executed. If thou shouldest suspecte thefidelitie 
of anie people, and woulde assure thee, and overcome them at Howe toover- 
unawares, for to colour thy intente more easelie, thou canst rome menne 
not doe better, then to counsel with them of some purpose at Ullwares - 
of thine, desiryng their aide, and to seeme to intendc to 
make an other enterprise, and to have thy minde farre from 
thinkyng on them : the whiche will make, that thei shall 
not think on their owne defence, beleevyng not that thou 
purposes! to hurte them, and thei shal geve thee commoditie, 
to be able easely to satisHe thy desire. When thou shouldest How to 
perceive, that there were in thine armie some, that used to tournetocom- 
advertise thy euemie of thy devises, thou canst not doe J""^ 1 ^ 
better, myndynge to take commoditie by their traiterous soche^use 
mindes, then to com men with them of those thynges, that to advertise 
thou wilte not doe, and those that thou wilt doe, to kepe thy enemie of 
secret, and to say to doubte of thynges, that thou doubtest th X P rocead - 
not, and those of whiche thou doubtest, to hide: the which > n ^ es - 
shall make thenemie to take some enterprise in hand, 
beleving to know thy devises, where by easly thou maiest 
beguile and opresse hym. If thou shouldest intende (as How to order 
Claudius Nero did) to deminishe thy armie, sendvnge helpe the campe. 
to some freende, and that the enemie shoulde not bee aware tliat l . lie 
therof, it is necessarie not to deminishe the lodgynges, but f/dt^crcVive 
to maintayne the signes, and the orders whole, makyng the whether the 
verie same fires, and the verye same wardes throughout all same bee 
the campe, as wer wont to be afore. Lykewise if with thy deminished, 
armie there should joigne new men, and wouldest that the 
enemie shoulde not know that thou werte ingrosed, it is 
necessarie not to increase the lodgvnges : Because keepyng 
secrete doynges and devises, hath alwaies been moste pro 
fitable. Wherfore Metellus beyng with an armie in 
Hispayne, to one, who asked him what he would doe the 
nexte daie, answered, that if his sherte knew therof, he 


THE would bourne it. Marcus Craussus, unto one, whome asked 

SIXTHE him, when the armie shoulde remove, saied beleevest thou 

BOOKE to be alone not to bere the trumpet? If thou shouldest 

A saiyng of desire to understande the secretes of thy enemie, and to 

Metellus. know his orders, some have used to sende embassadours, and 

Marcus with theim in servauntes aparel, moste expertest men in 

warre : whom havynge taken occasion to se the enemies 

How to under- armie, and to consider his strengthe and weakenesse, it hath 

secretes of thy g even them oportunitie to overcome him. Some have sente 

enemie. ^ nto ex ^ e one * tneir familiars, and by meanes of the same, 

hath knowen the devises of his adversarie. Also like 

secrettes are understoode of the enemies when for this effecte 

A policie of there were taken any prisoners. Marius whiche in the warre 

fnd riUS ta t0 d that he made Wlth t<>he CimbHe > for to know the faieth of 

howeheinig-ht those Frencnmen ? wno then inhabited Lombardie, and were 

truste the " ^ n leage with the Rornaine people, sent them letters open, 

Frenchmen, and sealed : and in the open he wrote, that they shoulde 

not open the sealed, but at a certaine time, and before the 

same time demaundyng them againe, and finding them 

opened, knew thereby that their faithe was not to be trusted. 

What some Some Capitaines, being invaded, have not desired to goe to 

Capitames meete the enemie, but have gone to assaulte his countrey, 

when their and constrained nim to retorne to defende his owne home : 

countrie have Tlie wn iche manie times hath come wel to passe, for that 

been invaded those soldiours beginnyng to fil them selves with booties, 

of enemies. and confidence to overcome, shall sone make the enemies 

souldiours to wexe afraide, when they supposynge theim 

selves conquerours, shal understand to become losers : So that 

to him that hath made this diversion, manie times it hath 

proved well. But onely it may be doen by him, whiche 

hath his countrey stronger then that of the enemies, because 

To make the when it were otherwise, he should goe to leese. It hath 

enemie necli- been often a profitable thyng to a capitaine, that hath been 

gente in his besieged in his lodgynges by the enemie, to move an intreatie 

of agreemente, and to make truse with him for certaine 

daies : the which is wonte to make the enemies more necli- 

gente in all doynges : so that avaylynge thee of their necli- 

gence, thou maiest easely have occacion to get thee oute of 



their handes. By this way Silla delivered him selfe twise THE 

from the enemies: and with this verie same deceipte, SIXTHS 

Asdruball in Hispayne got oute of the force of Claudious BOOKE 

Nero, whome had besieged him. It helpeth also to deliver isilla. 

a man out of the daunger of the enemie, to do some thyng Asdruball. 

beside the forsaied, that may keepe him at a baye : this is 

dooen in two maners, either to assaulte him with parte of 

thy power, so that he beyng attentive to the same faight, 

may geve commoditie to the reste of thy men to bee able to 

save theim selves, or to cause to rise some newe accidente, 

which for the stray ngenesse of the thynge, maie make him 

to marvell, and for this occasion to stande doubtefull, and The polioie 

still : as you knowe howe Anniball dyd, who beynge inclosed of Aniball, 

of Fabius Maximus, tied in the nighte small Bavens kindeled " 

/~\ i l_ 1^1* 

beetwecne the homes of manic (Jxen, so that raoius O f t j ie ,i an ^ e 
astonied at the strangenesse of the same sight, thought not of Fabius 
to lette him at all the passage. A Capitayne oughte Maximus. 
amonge all other of his affaires, with al subtiltie to devise A Capitayne 
to devide the force of the enemie, either with makyng him jj 11 ^^^ 
to suspecte his owne menne, in whome he trusteth, or to t^e force o\ 
give him occasion, that he maye seperate his menne, and j^ elie niie. 
therby to be come more weake. The fyrste way is dooen 
with keepyng saulfe the thynges of some of those whiche he How to caus 
hath aboute him, as to save in the warre their menne and the enemie 
their possessions, renderynge theim their children, or other ^j^ [," g 
their necessaries withoute raunsome. You know that Anni- most trusty 
ball havynge burned all the h eldes aboute Home, he made men. 
onely to bee reserved saulfe those of Fabius Maximus. You Aniball. 
know how Coriolanus comyng with an armie to Rome, Coriolanus. 
preserved the possessions of the nobilitie, and those of the 
comminaltie he bourned, and sacked. Metellus havinge an Metellus 
armie againste Jugurte, all the oratours, whiche of Jugurte 
were sente him, were required of him, that they wouldegeve 
him Jugurte prisoner, and after to the verie same men 
writyng letters of the verie same matter, wrought in suche 
wise, that in shorte tyme Jugurte havyng in suspecte all his 
counsellours, in diverse maners put them to death. Anni 
ball bevnge fled to Antiochus, the Homaine oratours prac- 



A practis of 
the llomayne 
oratours, to 
bryng Aniball 
out of Credit 
with Antio 

Howe to 

cause the 
enemie to 
devide his 

Howe Titus 
Uidius staied 
his enemies 
that wer going 
to incounter a 
legion of men 
that were 
commyng in 
his ayde. 

Howe some 
have caused 
the enemie 
to devide his 

A policie to 
winne the 
before he be 


tised with him so familiarly, that Antiochus beyng in 
suspecte of him, trusted not anie more after to his counselles. 
Concernyng to devide the enemies men, there is no more 
certainer waie, then to cause their countrie to be assaulted, 
to the intente that being constrained to goe to defende the 
same, they maie forsake the warre. This way Fabius used 
havynge agaynst his armie the power of the Frenchemen, of 
the Tuscans, Umbries and Sannites. Titus Didius havyng 
a few men in respecte to those of the enemies, and lookynge 
for a legion from Rome, and the enemies purposinge to goe 
to incounter it, to the intente that they should not goe, 
caused to bee noised through all his armie, that he intended 
the nexte daie to faighte the field with the enemies : after 
he used means, that certaine of the prisoners, that he had 
taken afore, had occasion to runne awaie. Who declaryng 
the order that the Consull had taken to faighte the nexte 
daie, by reason wherof the enemies beyng afraide to demin- 
ishe their owne strength, went not to incounter the same 
legion, and by this way thei wer conducted safe. The 
which means serveth not to devide the force of the enemies, 
but to augmente a mans owne. Some have used to devide 
the enemies force, by lettyng him to enter into their 
countrie, and in profe have let him take manie townes, to 
the intente that puttynge in the same garrisons, he might 
thereby deminishe his power, and by this waie havynge 
made him weake, have assaulted and overcomen him. Some 
other mindyng to goe into one province, have made as 
though they woulde have invaded an other, and used so 
much diligence, that sodenly entryng into the same, where 
it was not doubted that they woulde enter, they have h rst 
wonne it, before the ennemie coulde have time to succour it : 
for that thy enemie beynge not sure, whether thou pur- 
posest to tourne backe, to the place fyrsteof thee threatned, 
is constrained not to forsake the one place, to succour the 
other, and so many times he defendeth neither the one nor 
the other. It importeth besides the sayde thynges to a 
Capitaine, if there growe sedicion or discorde amonge the 
souldiours, to knowe with arte howe to extynguishe it : The 


beste waie is to chastise the headdes of the faultes, but it THE 
muste be doen in such wise, that thou maiest first have SIXTHE 
oppressed them, before they be able to be aware: The way BOOKE 
is, if they be distante from thee, not onely to call the Howe to re- 
offenders, but together with theim all the other, to the tonne sedicion 
entente that not beleevynge, that it is for any cause to and discor(ie - 
punishe them, they become not contumelius, but geve com- 
moditie to the execution of the punishemente : when thei 
be present, thou oughtest to make thy selfe stronge with 
those that be not in faulte, and by meane of their helpe to 
punishe the other. When there hapneth discorde amonge 
them, the beste waye is, to b r yng them to the perill, the 
feare whereof is wonte alwaies to make them agree. But The benefitte 
that, which above all other thynge kepeth the armie in that the repu- 
unitee, is the reputacion of the Capitaine, the whiche onely [ aci ) on oftlie 
groweth of his vertue : because neither bloud, nor authoritie caused* 
gave it ever without vertue. And the chiefe thyng, whiche which is only 
of a Capitain is looked for to be doen, is, to keepe his gotten by 
souldiours punisshed, and paied : for that when so ever the vertue - 
paie Jacket h, it is conveniente that the punisshement lacke : The chiefe 
because thou canst not correcte a souldiour, that robbeth, if thyn# that a 
thou doest not paie him, nor the same mindynge to live, ^ht^doe 
cannot abstaine from robbynge : but if thou paiest him and 
punisshest him not, he beecometh in everie condicion When paie 
insolente: For that thou becomest of small estimation, wanteth, 
where thou chaunsest not to bee able to maintaine the P 

dignitie of thy degree, and not mainetainyng it, there executed * 
foloweth of necessitee tumulte, and discorde, whiche is the The incon 
ruine of an armie. Olde Capitaines had a troubell, of the veifience o f 
which the presente be almoste free, whiche was to interprete not puuissh- 
to their purpose the sinister auguries : because if there fell VI1 e - 
a thunderbolte in an armie, if the sunne were darkened or 
the Moone, if there came an erthequake, if the Capitaine 
either in gettyng up, or in lightynge of his horse fell, it was 
of the souldiours interpreted sinisterously : And it ingendn-d 
in them so moche feare, that comynge to faight the fielde, 
eascly they should have lost it : and therefore the aunciciite 
Cupitaines so sone as a lyke accidente grewe, either they 



Cesar chauns- 
ynge to fall, 
made the 
same to be 
supposed to 
signifi good 

taketh away 

In what cases 
a Capitaine 
ought not to 
faight with 
his enemie if 
he may other- 
wyse choose. 

A policie of 
wherby he got 
and spoyled 
his enemies 
A policie to 
disorder the 

A policie to 
overcome the 


shewed the cause of the same, and redused it to a naturall 
cause, or they interpreted it to their purpose. Cesar fallyng 
in Africa, in comyng of the sea saied, Africa I have taken 
thee. Moreover manie have declared the cause of the ob- 
scuryng of the Moone, and of earthquakes : which thing in 
our time cannot happen, as well because our men be not so 
supersticious, as also for that our religion taketh away 
altogether such opinions : al be it when they should chaunse, 
the orders of the antiquitie ought to be imitated. When 
either famishement, or other naturall necessities, or humaine 
passion, hath broughte thy enemie to an utter desperation, 
and he driven of the same, cometh to faight with thee, thou 
oughtest to stande within thy campe, and as muche as lieth 
in thy power, to flie the faight. So the Lacedemonians did 
against the Masonians, so Cesar did against Afranio, and 
Petreio. Fulvius beyng Consul, against the Cimbrians, 
made his horsemen manie daies continually to assaulte the 
enemies, and considered how thei issued out of their campe 
for to folow them : wherfore he sette an ambusshe behinde 
the Campe of the Cimbrians, and made them to be assaulted 
of his horsmen, and the Cimbrians issuyng oute of their 
campe for to follow them. Fulvio gotte it, and sacked it. 
It hath ben of great utilitie to a Capitaine, havyng his 
armie nere to the enemies armie, to sende his menne with 
the enemies ansignes to robbe,and to burne his owne countrey, 
whereby the enemies beleevynge those to bee menne, whiche 
are come in their aide, have also runne to helpe to make 
them the pray : and for this disorderyng them selves, hathe 
therby given oportunitie to the adversary to overcome 
them. This waie Alexander of Epirus used againste the 
Illirans and Leptenus of Siracusa against the Carthaginers 
and bothe to the one and to the other, the devise came to 
passe most happely. Manie have overcome the enemie, 
gevyng him occasion to eate and to drinke oute of measure, 
fayning to have feared, and leaving their Campes full of 
wyne and herdes of cattell, wherof the enemie beyng filled 
above all naturall use, have then assaulted him, and with 
his destruction overthrowen him. So Tamirus did against 


Cirus, and Tiberius Graccus agaynst the Spaniardes. Some THE 
have povsoned the wine, and other thynges to feede on, for SIXTHE 
to be able more easely to overcome them. I saied a littel BOOKE 
afore how I founde not, that the antiquetie kepte in the A policie. 
night Scoutes abroade, and supposed that they did it for to 
avoide the hurte, whiche might growe therby : because it is 
founde, that through no other meane then throughe the 
watche man, whiche was set in the daie to watche the 
enemie, hath been cause of the ruin of him, that set him 
there : for that manie times it hath hapned, that he beyng 
taken, hath been made perforce to tell theim the token, 
whereby they might call his felowes, who commyng to the 
token, have been slaine or taken. It helpeth to beguile the How to 
enemie sometime to varie a custome of thine, whereupon he beguile tin- 
having grounded him self, remaineth ruinated : as a Capi- ( 
taine did once, whome usinge to cause to be made signes 
to his men for comynge of the enemies in the night with 
fire, and in the daie with smoke, commaunded that withoute 
anie intermission, they shoulde make smoke and fire, and 
after commynge upon them the enemie, they should reste, 
whome beleevyng to come without beynge seen, perceivyng 
no signe to be made of beyng discovered, caused (through 
goeyng disordered) more easie the victorie to his adversarie. HoweMenno- 
Mennonus a Rodian mindynge to drawc from stronge places I1US * rain j 
the enemies armie, sente one under colour of a fugitive, the J^^f 
whiche affirmed, howe his armie was in discorde, and that stron^e places 
the greater parte of them wente awaie : and for to make the to lee the 
thynge to be credited, he caused to make in sporte, certaine better aide 
tumultes amonge the lodgynges : whereby the enemie ^ t ")j en 
thynkyng thereby to be able to discomfaighte them, as- 
saultynge tlieim, were overthrowen. 

Besides thesaied thynges, regarde ought to be had not The enemie 
to brynge the enemie into extreme desperacion : whereunto <>irht not to 
Cesar had regarde, faightyng with the Duchemen, who ^Jj"?^ 
opened them the waie, seyng, howe thei beyng not able to ( i es j )erac j on . 
flic, necessitie made them strong, and would rather take paint* 
to followe theim, when thei fled, then the perill to overcome 
them, when thei defended them selves. 



THE Lucullus seyng, how certaine Macedonian horsemenne, 

SIXTHE whiche were with hym, went to the enemies parte, straight 

BOOKE waie made to soumle to battaile, and commaunded, that the 

How Lucullus other men should folowe hym : whereby the enemies beleving, 

constrained that Lucullus would begin the faight, went to incounter the 

certaine men same Macedonians, with soche violence, that thei were con- 

from him to strained to defende themselves : and so thei became against 

his enemies, their willes, of fugetives, faighters. It importeth also to 

to fayght knowe, how to be assured of a toune, when thou doubteste 

whether they o f t ne fjd e liti e thereof, so sone as thou haste wonne the 

fielde, or before, the whiche certain old insamples maie 

teache thee. 

A policie Pompei doubtyng of the Catinensians, praied them that 

wher by thei would bee contente, to receive certaine sicke menne, 

Pompey got that } ie ha,cl in his armie, and sendyng under the habite of 
a towue. Tj.ii T- i v 

sicke persones, most lustie menne, gotte the tonne, rublms 

How Publius Valerius, fearyng the fidelitie of the Epidannians, caused to 
Valerius come, as who saieth, a Pardon to a churche without the 

self of d a him toune, and when al the people wer gone for Pardon, he 
towne. shutte the gates, receivyng after none in, but those whom 

A policie that he trusted. Alexander Magnus, mindyng to goe into Asia, 
Alexander an( J to assure himself of Thracia, toke with him all the 

Magnus used p r j lic jp a n o f thesame Province, givynff theim provision, and 

to be assured , fe ,, . f \ 

ofallTracia ne se ^ over the common people or Inracia, men ot lowe 

which Philip degree, and so he made the Princes contented with paiyng 

kynge of theim, and the people quiete, havyng no heddes that should 

Spaine did disquiete them : But emong all the thynges, with the whiche 

asuredofEno-- tne Capitaines, winne the hartes of the people, be the 

land when he insamples of chastitie and justice, as was thesame of Scipio 

wentetosainct in Spaine, when he rendered that yong woman, moste faire of 

Quintens. personage to her father, and to her housebande : the whiche 

Examples for made him more, then with force of armes to winne Spain. 

Capitaines to Cesar having caused that woodde to bee paied for, whiche 

winne the ne na( j OCCU pi e( ] f or to make the Listes, about his armie in 

people Fraunce, got so moche a name of justice, that he made 

easier the conquest of thesame province. I cannot tell 

what remaineth me, to speake more upon these accidentes, 

for that concerning this matter, there is not lefte anv parte, 



that hath not been of us disputed. Onely there lacketh to THE 
tell, of the nianer of winnyng, and defendyng a toune : the SIXTH E 
whiche I am readie to doe willingly, if you be not now wearie. BOOKE 

BAPTISTE. Your humanitie is so moche, that it niuketh us 
to followe our desires, without beyng afraied to be reputed 
presumptuous, seyng that you liberally ofi er thesame, 
whiche we should have been ashamed, to have asked you : 
Therefore, we saie unto you onely this, that to us you can 
not dooe a greater, nor a more gratefuller benefitc, then to 
finishe this reasonyng. But before that you passe to that 
other matter, declare us a doubte, whether it bee better to 
continewe the warre, as well in the Winter, as thei use now 
adaies, or to make it onely in the Sommer, and to goe home 
in the Winter, as the antiquitie did. 

FABRITIO. See, that if the prudence of the demaunder 
were not, there had remained behinde a speciall part, that 
deserveth consideracion. I answere you ngaine, that the 
antiquitie did all thynges better, and with more prudence 
then wee : and if wee in other things commit some erroure, 
in the affaires of warre, wee commit all errour. There is Warre ou^h 
nothing more undiscrete, or more pernllous to a Capitayne, not to be 
then to make warre in the Winter, and muche more perrill Jjjjj^ n 
beareth he, that maketh it, then he that abideth it: the 
reason is this. All the industrie that is used in the disci 
pline of warre, is used for to bee prepared to fighte a fielde 
with thy enemie, because this is the ende, whereunto a 
Capitayne oughte to goo or endevour him selfe : For that 
the foughten field, geveth thee the warre \\onne or loste : 
then he that knoweth best how to order it, and he that hath 
his army beste instructed, hath moste advauntage in this, 
and maye beste hope to overcome. On the other side, Kmiph situa 
there is nothing more enemie to the orders, and then the cioiw, colde 
rough situacions, or the colde watery time : for that the J J, ,;," ^^ 
rough situacions, suffereth thee not to deffende thy bandes. enemies to 
according to thee discipline : the coulde and watery times, the order of 
suffereth thee not to keepe thy men together, nor thou canst wai r{> - 
not bring them in good order to the enemy : but it is con 
venient for thee to lodge them a sunder of necessitie, and 

CC 201 


THE without order, being constrayned to obeye to Castells, to 

SIXTHE Boroughes, and to the Villages, that maye receyve thee, in 

BOOKE maner that all thy laboure of thee, used to instructe the 

army is vaine. Nor marvayle you not though now a daies, 

they warre in the Winter, because the armies being without 

discipline, know not the hurt that it dooth them, in lodging 

not together, for that it is no griefe to them not to be able 

to keepe those orders, and to observe that discipline, which 

they have not : yet they oughte to see howe much harme, 

the Camping in the Winter hath caused, and to remember, 

An over- how the Frenchmen in the yeare of cure Lorde God, a 

throwe caused thousande five hundred and three, were broken at Gariliano 

by winter. o ^ ^ ^Vinter, anc [ no t o f the Spaniardes : For as much as 

I have saide, he that assaulteth, hath more disadvauntage 

then he that defendeth : because the fowle weather hurteth 

him not a littell, being in the dominion of others and 

minding to make warre. For that he is constrayned, either 

to stande together with his men, and to sustaine the in- 

commoditie of water and colde, or to avoide it to devide his 

power : But he that defendeth, may chuse the place as he 

listeth, and tary him with his freshe men : and he in a 

sodayne may set his men in araye, and goo to find a band 

of the enemies men, who cannot resiste the violence of them. 

So the Frenchemen were discomfited, and so they shall 

alwayes be discomfited, which will assaulte in the Winter 

an enemye, whoo hath in him prudence. Then he that will 

that force, that orders, that discipline and vertue, in anye 

condition availe him not, let him make warre in the fielde in 

the winter : and because that the Romaines woulde that all 

these thinges, in which they bestowed so much diligence, 

should availe them, fleedde no otherwise the Winter, then 

the highe Alpes, and difficulte places, and whatsoever other 

thing shoulde let them, for being able to shewe their arte 

and their vertue. So this suffiseth to your demaund, 

wherefore we wil come to intreate of the defending 

and besieging of tounes, and of their situa- 

cions and edifications. 









OU oughte to knowe, how that tounes 
and fortresses, maie bee strong either by 
nature, or by Industrie; by nature, those 
bee strong, whiche bee compassed aboute 
with rivers, or with Fennes, as Mantua is 
and Ferrara, or whiche bee builded upon 
a Rocke, or upon a stepe hille, as Monaco, 
and Sanleo: For that those that stande 
upon hilles, that be not moche difh culct to goe up, be now a 
daies, consideryng the artillerie and the Caves, moste weake. 
And therfore moste often times in building, thei scke now a 
daies a plain, for to make it stronge with industrie. The 
firste industrie is, to make the walles crooked, and full of 
tournynges, and of receiptes : the whiche thyng maketh, 
that thenemie cannot come nere to it, bicause he maie be 
hurte, not onelv on the front, but by flancke. If the walles 
be made high, thei bee to moche subjecte to the blowes of 
the artillerie : if thei be made lowe, thei bee moste easie to 
scale. If thou makeste the diches on the out side thereof, 
for to give difficultie to the Ladders, if it happen that the 
enemie rill them up (whiche a great armie maie easely dooe) 
the wall remaineth taken of thenemie. Therefore pur- 
posyng to provide to the one and thother foresaid incon 
veniences, I beleve (savyng alwaies better judgement) that 
the walle ought to be made highe, and the Diche within, 
and not without. This is the moste strongeste waie of 


Tounes and 
maie be strong 

twoo waies. 

The place that 
now a daies is 
moste sought 
to fortifie in. 

How a Tonne 
walle ou<fht 
to bee made. 

The walle of a 
tonne oupht 
to bee hijfh, 
and the diche 
within, and 
not without. 


THE edificacion, that is made, for that it defendeth thee from 
SEVENTH the artillerie, and from Ladders, and it giveth not facilitie 
BOOKE to the enemie, to fill up the diche : Then the walle ought to 
Thethickenes be high, of that heighth as shall bee thought beste, and no 
that a Toune lesse thick, then two yardes and a quarter, for to make it 
be a eo e f a U rfd h the more difficult to ruinate. Moreover it ought to have the 
distaunces be- toures placed, with distances of Cl. yardes betwen thone 
twene everie and thother : the diche within, ought to be at leaste twoo 
flaucker, and and twentie yardes and a halfe broad, and nine depe, and 
of what a j fa e vear th that is digged out, for to make the diche, 

breadth and 1,1 j j.i_ /. j i * 

deapth the muste be thro wen towardes the Citee, and kepte up ot a 

dich ought walle, that muste be raised from the bottome of the diche, 
to bee. and goe so high over the toune, that a man maie bee covered 

behinde thesame, the whiche thing shal make the depth of 
the diche the greater. In the bottome of the diche, within 
every hundred and 1. yardes, there would be a slaughter 
house, which with the ordinaunce, maie hurte whom so 
How the ever should goe doune into thesame : the greate artillerie 

ordinaunce is that defende the citee, are planted behinde the walle, that 
planted, for sn utteth the diche, bicause for to defende the utter walle, 
being high, there cannot bee occupied commodiously, other 

then smalle or meane peeses. If the enemie come to scale, 
the heigth of the firste walle moste easely defendeth thee: 
if he come with ordinaunce, it is convenient for hym to 
batter the utter walle: but it beyng battered, for that the 
The nature of nature of the batterie is, to make the walle to fall, towardes 
the batterie. the parte battered, the ruine of the walle commeth, finding 
no diche that receiveth and hideth it, to redouble the pro- 
funditie of thesame diche : after soche sorte, that to passe 
any further, it is not possible, findyng a ruine that with 
holdeth thee, a diche that letteth thee, and the enemies 
ordinaunce, that from the walle of the diche, moste safely 
killeth thee. Onely there is this remedie, to fill the diche : the 
whiche is moste difficulte to dooe, as well bicause the capacitie 
thereof is greate, as also for the diflficultie, that is in com- 
myng nere it, the walle beeyng strong and concaved, betwene 
the whiche, by the reasons aforesaied, with difficultie maie 
be entered, havyng after to goe up a breache through a 


ruin, whiche giveth thee moste Create difficultie, so that I THE 
suppose a citee thus builded, to be altogether invinsible. SEVENTH 

BAPTISTK. When there should bee made besides the diche BOOKE 
within, a diche also without, should it not bee stronger ? 

FABRICIO. It should be without doubt, but mindyng to 
make one diche onely, myne opinion is, that it standeth 
better within then without. 

BAITISTE. Would you, that water should bee in the diches, 
or would you have them drie ? 

FABKICIO. The opinion of men herein bee divers, bicause 
the diches full of water, saveth thee from mines under 
grounde, the Diches without water, maketh more difficulte 
the fillyng of them : but I havyng considered all, would A drie diche 
make them without water, for that thei bee more sure : For is moste 
diches with water, have been seen in the Winter to bee surestc - 
frosen, and to make easie the winnyng of a citee, as it hap 
pened to Mirandola, when Pope Julie besieged it : and for 
to save me from mines, I would make it so deepe, that he 
that would digge lower, should finde water. 

The Fortresses also, I would builde concernyng the diches 
and the walles in like manor, to the intent thei should 
have the like difficultie to be wonne. One thyng I will An advertise- 
earnestly advise hvm, that defendeth a Citee: and that is, mente for the 
that he* make no Bulwarkes without distaunte from the huildyntfand 
walle of thesame: and an other to hym that buildeth the aTouneSr 
Fortresse, and this is, that he make not any refuge place in l- ortresse. 
them, in whiche he that is within, the firste walle beyng 
loste, male retire : That whiche maketh me to give the firste 
counsaile is, that no manne ought to make any thyng, by 
meane wherof, he maie be driven without reined ie to lese 
his firste reputacion, the whiche losyng, causeth to be 
estemed lesse his other doinges, and maketh afraied them, 
whom have taken upon theim his defence, and alwaies it 
shall chaunce him this, whiche I saie, when there are made 
Bulwarkes out of the Tonne, that is to bee defended, Small for- 
bicause alwaies he shall leese theim, little thynges now a tresses cannot 
daies, beyng not able to bee defended, when thei be subject bee defended - 
to the furie of ordinance, in soche wise that lesyng them, 




A toune of 
war or For- 

tresse, ought 

tiring places, 

Cesar Borgia, 

The causes of 
the losse of 


was thought 


thei be beginning and cause of his ruine. When Genua 
rebelled againste king Leus of Fraunce, it made certaine 
Bulwarkes alofte on those hilles, whiche bee about it, the 
whiche so sone as thei were loste. whiche was sodainly, 
made also the citee to be loste. Concernyng the second 
counsaile, I affirme nothyng to be to a Fortresse more 
p er ji OUS) then to be in thesame refuge places, to be able to 
retire : Bicause the hope that menne have thereby, maketh 

i i 111 

that thei leese the utter warde, when it is assaulted : and 
that loste, maketh to bee loste after, all the Fortresse. For 
insample there is freshe in remembraunce, the losse of the 
Fortresse of Furly, when Catherin the Countesse defended 
it againste Cesar Borgia, sonne to Pope Alexander the vi. 
who had conducted thether the armie of the king of 
Fraunce : thesame Fortresse, was al full of places, to retire 
out of one into an other : for that there was firste the kepe, 
from the same to the Fortresse, was a diche after soche 
sorte, that thei passed over it by a draw bridge : the for- 
tresse was devided into three partes, and every parte was 
devided from the other with diches, and with water, and by 
Bridges, thei passed from the one place to the other : where 
fore the Duke battered with his artillerie, one of the partes 
of the fortresse, and opened part of the walle : For whiche 
cause Maister Jhon Casale, whiche was appoincted to that 
Warde, thought not good to defende that breache, but 
abandoned it for to retire hymself into the other places : so 
that the Dukes men having entered into that parte with 
out incounter, in a sodaine thei gotte it all : For that the 
Dukes menne became lordes of the bridges, whiche went 
from one place to an other. Thei loste then this Fortresse, 
whiche was thought invinsible, through two defaultes, the 

one for havyng so many retiryng places, the other, bicause 

.. J & , . T i r \ i_ -j \-i r 

every retiryng place, was not Lorde of the bridge thereof. 

Therefore, the naughtie builded Fortresse, and the little 
wisedome of them that defended it, caused shame to the 
noble enterprise of the countesse, whoe had thought to have 
abidden an armie, whiche neither the kyng of Naples, nor 
the Duke of Milaine would have abidden : and although 


his inforcementes had no good ende, yet notwithstandyng ,,, 

he gotte that honoure, whiche his valiauntnesse had de- SEVENTH 

served : The whiche was testified of many Epigrammes, BOOKE 

made in those daies in his praise. Therefore, if I should 

have to builde a, I would make the walles strong, 

and the diches in the maner as we have reasoned, nor I 

would not make therein other, then houses to inhabite, and Howe the 

those I would make weake and lowe, after soche sorte that houses that 

thei should not let him that should standein the middest of JJV a * ul 

the Market place, the sight of all the walle, to the intente Fortresse 

that the Capitain might see with the iye, where he maie ou^ht to he 

succour : and that every manne should understande, that builded. 

the walle and the diche beyng lost, the fortresse were 

lost. And yet when I should make any retiryng places, I 

would make the bridges devided in soche wise, that every 

parte should be Lorde of the bridges of his side, ordainyng, 

that thei should fall upon postes, in the middest of the 


BAFHSTE. You have saied that littel thynges now a daies 
can not bee defended, and it seemed unto me to have under- 
stoode the contrarie, that the lesser that a thyng wer, the 
better it might be defended. 

FABIUTIO. You have not understoode well, because that 
place cannot be now a daies called stronge, wher he that 
defendeth it, hath not space to retire with new diches, and 
with new fortificacions, for that the force of the ordinance 
is so much, that he that trusteth uppon the warde of one 
wall and of one fortification only, is deceived : and because 
the Bulwarkes (mindyng that they passe not their ordinarie 
measure, for that then they shoulde be townes and Cast els) 
be not made, in suche wise that men maie have space within 
them to retire, thei are loste straight waie. Therefore it is 
wisdom to let alone those Bulwarkes without, and to Thefortifiyng 
fortifie thenterance of the toune, and to kever the gates of ^ancVof a 
the same with turnyngs after suche sort, that men cannot p oune< 
goe in nor oute of the gate by right line: and from the 
tournynges to the gate, to make a diche with a bridge. 
Also they fortifie the gate, with a Percullis, for to bee aboil 

DD 209 



ought to be 
large and 
thicke and 
the flanckers 
large within. 


to put therin their menne, when they be issued out to 
faight, and hapnyng that the enemies pursue them, to 
avoide, that in the mingelynge together, they enter not in 
with them : and therfore these be used, the which the 
antiquitie called Cattarratte, the whiche beyng let fall, 
exclude thenemies, and save the freendes, for that in suche 
a case, men can do no good neither by bridges nor by a 
gate, the one and the other beynge ocupied with prease of 

BAPTISTE. I have seene these Perculleses that you speake 
of, made in Almayne of littell quarters of woodde after the 
facion of a grate of Iron, and these percullises of ouers, be 
made of plankes all massive : I woulde desire to understande 
whereof groweth this difference, and which be the strongest. 

FABRTCIO. I tell you agayne, that the manners and orders 
of the warre, throughe oute all the worlde, in respecte to 
those of the antiquitie, be extinguesshed, and in Italye 
they bee altogether loste, for if there bee a thing somewhat 
stronger then the ordinarye, it groweth of the insample of 
other countries. You mighte have understoode and these 
other may remember, with howe muche debilitie before, 
that king Charles of Fraunce in the yere of our salvation a 
thousande CCCC. xciiii. had passed into Italic, they made 
the batelmentes not halfe a yarde thicke, the loopes, and 
the flanckers were made with a litle opening without, and 
muche within, and with manye other faultes whiche not to 
be tedious I will let passe : for that easely from thinne 
battelments the defence is taken awaye, the flanckers 
builded in the same maner, moste easylye are opened : 
Nowe of the Frenchemen is learned to make the battel- 
ment large and thicke, and the flanckers to bee large on 
the parte within, and to drawe together in the middeste 
of the wall, and then agayn to waxe wider unto the utter 
most parte without : this maketh that the ordinaunce 
hardlye can take away the defence. Therfore the Frenche 
men have, manye other devises like these, the whiche be 
cause they have not beene seene of our men, they have 
not beene considered. Among whiche, is this kinde of 



pcrculles made like unto a grate, the which is a greate deale THE 
better then cures : for that if you have for defence of a SEVENTH 
gate a massive parculles as oures, letting it fall, you shutte BOOKE 
in your menne, and you can not though the same hurte the 
enemie, so that hee with axes, and with fire, maye breake it 
downe safely : but if it bee made like a grate, you maye, it 
being let downe, through those holes and through those 
open places, defende it with Pikes, with crosbowes, and with 
all other kinde of weapons. 

BAITISTK. I have seene in Italye an other use after the 
outelandishe fashion, and this is, to make the carriage of 
the artillery with the spokes of the wheele crooked towardes 
the Axeltree. I woulde knowe why they make them so : 
seeming unto mee that they bee stronger when they are 
made straighte as those of oure wheeles. 

FABRITIO. Never beleeve that the thinges that differ from 
the ordinarie wayes, be made by chaunce : and if you shoulde 
beleeve that they make them so, to shewe fayrer, you are 
deceaved : because where strength is necessarie, there is 
made no counte of fayrenesse : but all groweth, for that 
they be muche surer and muche stronger then ours. The 
reason is this : the carte when it is laden, either goeth even, 
or leaning upon the righte, or upon the lefte side : when it 
goeth even, the wheeles equally sustayne the wayght, the 
which being equallye devided betweene them, doth not 
burden much, but leaning, it commeth to have all the 
paise of the cariage on the backe of that wheele upon the 
which it leaneth. If the spokes of the same be straight 
they wil soone breake : for that the wheele leaning, the 
spokes come also to leane, and not to sustaine the paise by 
trie straightnesse of them, and so when the carte goeth even, 
and when they are least burdened, they come to bee 
strongest : when the Carte goeth awrye, and that they 
come to have moste paise, they bee weakest. Even the 
contrarie happeneth to the crooked spokes of the Frenche 
Cartes, for that when the carte leaning upon one side 
poincteth uppon them, because they bee ordinary crooked, 
they come then to bee straight, and to be able to sustayne 




Neither the 
ditche, wall 
tillage, nor 
any kinde of 
ou^ht to be 
within a mile 
of a toune of 



strongly al the payse, where when the carte goeth even, 
and that they bee crooked, they sustayne it halfe : but let 
us tourne to our citie and Fortresse. The Frenchemen use 
also for more safegarde of the gates of their townes, and 
for to bee able in sieges more easylye to convey and set oute 
men of them, besides the sayde thinges, an other devise, of 
which I have not scene yet in Italye anye insample : and 
this is, where they rayse on the oute side from the ende of 
the drawe bridge twoo postes, and upon either of them they 
joigne a beame, in suche wise that the one halfe of them 
comes over the bridge, the other halfe with oute : then all 
the same parte that commeth withoute, they joy gne together 
with small quarters of woodde, the whiche they set thicke 
from one beame to an other like unto a grate, and on the 
parte within, they fasten to the ende of either of the beames 
a chaine : then when they will shutte the bridge on the 
oute side, they slacke the chaines, and let downe all the 
same parte like unto a grate, the whiche comming downe, 
shuttethe the bridge, and when they will open it, they 
drawe the chaines, and the same commeth to rise up, 
and they maye raise it up so much that a man may passe 
under it, and not a horse, and so much that there maye 
passe horse and man, and shutte it againe at ones, for that 
it falleth and riseth as a window of a battelment. This 
devise is more sure than the Parculles, because hardely it 
maye be of the enemye lette in such wise, that it fall not 
downe, falling not by a righte line as the Parculles, which 
easely may be underpropped. Therfore they which will 
make a citie oughte to cause to be ordained all the saide 
things : and moreover aboute the walle, there woulde not 
bee suffered any grounde to be -tilled, within a myle thereof, 
nor any wall made, but shoulde be all champaine, where 
should be neither ditch nor banck, neither tree nor house, 
which might let the fighte, and make defence for the enemie 
that incampeth. 

And noote, that a Towne, whiche hathe the ditches with 
oute, with the banckes higher then the grounde, is moste 
weake : for as muche as they make defence to the enemye, 



which assaulteth thee, and letteth him not hurte thee, THE 
because easely they may be opened, and geve place to his SEVENTH 
artillerye : but let us passe into the Towne. I will not BOOKE 
loose so muche time in shewing you howe that besides the 
foresayde thinges, it is requisite to have provision of 
victuallers, and wherewith to tight, for that they be thinges 
that everye man underdeth, and without them, all other 
provision is vaine : and generally twoo thinges oughte to 
be done, to provide and to take the commoditie from the The provision 
enemie that he availe not by the things of thy countrey : t}iat is meeto 
therfore the straw, the beastes, the graine, whiche thou to be made for 
.ij-i 11 the defence of 

canste not receive into house, ought to be destroied. Also a t()une 

he that defendeth a Towne, oughte to provide that nothing 
bee done tumultuouslye and disordinatelye, and to take 
suche order, that in all accidentes everye man maye knowe 
what he hath to doo. 

The order that oughte to be taken is thus, that the 
women, the olde folkes, the children, and the impotent, be 
made to keepe within doores, that the Towne maye be left 
free, to yong and lustie men, whom being armed, must be 
destributed for the defence of the same, appointing part of 
them to the wall, parte to the gates, parte to the principal 1 
places of the Citie, for to remedie those inconveniences, 
that might growe within : an other parte must not be 
bound to any place, but be ready to succour all, neede 
requiring: and the thing beeing ordained thus, with ditfi- 
cultie tumulte can growe, whiche maye disorder thee. Also 
I will that you note this, in the besieging and defending of 
a Citie, that nothing geveth so muche hoope to the adversarye 
to be able to winne a towne, as when he knoweth that the ,, . 
same is not accustomed to see the enemie : for that many coragethe the 
times for feare onely without other experience of force, enemy most 
cities have bene loste : Therefore a man oughte, when he thatbesiegeth 
assaulteth a like Citie, to make all his ostentacions terrible. a toune - 
On the other parte he that is assaulted, oughte to appoincte ^ lmt lie tlint 
to the same parte, whiche the enemie fighteth againste, R |Jdl!?e that 
strong men and suche as opinion makethe not afrnide, but defeudeth 
weapons onely: for that if the first proofe turne vaine, it oughte to doo. 

21 3 



mentes for a 

Howe the 
vitaled Casa 
lino besieged 
of Aniball. 

A policie for 
the besieged. 

A policie of 
Fabius in 
besieging of 
a toune. 

A policie of 
Dionisius in 
besiegynge of 
a toune. 


increaseth boldenesse to the besieged, and then the enemie is 
constrained to overcome them within, with vertue and repu- 
tacion. The instrumentes wherwith the antiquitie defended 
townes, where manie : as balistes, onagris, scorpions, Arcu- 
balistes, Fustibals, Slinges : and also those were manie with 
which thei gave assaultes. As Arrieti, Towers, Musculi, 
Plutei, Viney, Falci, testudeni, in steede of which thynges 
be now a daies the ordinance, the whiche serve him that bes- 
segeth, and him that defendeth : and therfore I will speake 
no forther of theim : But let us retourne to our reasonyng, 
and let us come to particular offences. They ought to 
have care not to be taken by famine, and not to be over 
come through assaultes : concernyng famin, it hath ben 
tolde, that it is requiset before the siege come, to be well 
provided of vitualles. But when a towne throughe longe 
sige, lacketh victuals, some times hath ben seen used cer- 
taine extraordinarie waies to be provided of their friendes, 
whome woulde save them : inespeciall if through the mid- 
dest of the besieged Citie there runne a river, as the 
Romaines vittelled their castell called Casalino besieged 
of Anibal, whom being not able by the river to sende them 
other victual then Nuttes, wherof castyng in the same 
great quantitie, the which carried of the river, without 
beyng abel to be letted, fedde longe time the Casalinians. 
Some besieged, for to shew unto the enemie, that they have 
graine more then inough and for to make him to dispaire, 
that he cannot, by famin overcome theim, have caste 
breade oute of the gates, or geven a Bullocke graine to 
eate, and after have suffered the same to be taken, to the 
intent that kilde and founde full of graine, might shewe 
that aboimdance, whiche they had not. On the other parte 
excellent Capitaines have used sundrie waies to werie the 

Fabius suffered them whome he besieged, to sowe their 
fieldes, to the entente that thei should lacke the same corne, 
whiche they sowed. 

Dionisius beynge in Campe at Regio, fained to minde to 
make an agreement with them, and duryng the practise 



therof, he caused him selfe to be provided of their victuales, THE 
and then when he had by this mean got from them their SEVENTH 
graine, he kepte them straight and famished them. BOOKE 

Alexander Magnus mindyng to winne Leucadia overcame Howe Alex- 
all the Castels aboute it, and by that means drivyng into a der wanne 
the same citie a great multitude of their owne countrie men, Leucadia - 
famished them. 

Concernynge the assaultes, there hath been tolde that The besieged 
chiefely thei ought to beware of the firste bronte, with ought to take 
whiche the Romaines gotte often times manic townes, J? eed of the 
assaultyng them sodainly, and on every side: and thei called 
it, Aggredi urbcm corona. As Scipio did, when lie wanne 
newe Carthage in Hispayne : the which brunte if of a towne 
it be withstoode, with difficultie after will bee overcome: 
and yet thoughe it should happen that the enemie were 
entred into the citie, by overcomynge the wall, yet the 
townes men have some remedie, so thei forsake it not : for 
as much as manie armies through entring into a toune, 
have ben repulccd or slaine : the remedie is, that the The remedie 
townes men doe keepe them selves in highe places, and that townes 
from the houses, and from the towers to faight with them : "V " lir { ve > 
the whiche thynge, they that have entered into the citie, enemies ar 
have devised to overcome in twoo manners : the one with entrcd into 
openyng the gates of the citie, and to make the waie for the the towne. 
townes men, that thei might safely flic: the other with How to make 
sendvnge foorthc a proclamacion, that signifieth, tlmt none the townes 
shall be hurte but the armed, and to them that caste their meil yeelde< 
weapons on the grounde, pardon shall be graunted : the 
whiche thynge hath made easie the victorie of manie cities. 

Besides this, the Citees are easie to bee wonne, if thou How townes 
come upon them unawares : whiche is dooen beyng with or ( itit>s arfi 
thy armie farre of, after soche sort, that it be not beloved, ea8el ewon e - 
either that thou wilte assaulte theim, or that thou canst 
dooe it, without commyng openlv, bicause of the distance 
of the place : wherefore, if thou secrotely and spedely assaulte 
theim, almoste alwaies it shall follow?, that thou shalte 
gette the victorie. I reason unwillingly of the thynges 
succeded in our tyme, for that to me and to mine, it 



THE should be a burthen, and to reason of other, I cannot tel 

SEVENTH what to saie : notwithstandyng, I cannot to this purpose 

BOOKE but declare, the insample of Cesar Borgia, called duke 

How duke Valentine, who beyng at Nocera with his menne, under 

Valentine got co l our o f goyng to besiege Camerino, tourned towardes 

the state of Urbin > and g tte a state in a daie > and with 
out any paine, the whiche an other with moche time and 

The besieged cost, should scante have gotten. It is conveniente also to 

ought to take those, that be besieged, to take heede of the deceiptes, and 

heedeofthe Q f ^ Q p O li c j es o f the enemie, and therefore the besieged, 

policie^crf the ou g nt not to truste to any thyng, whiche thei see the 

enemie. enemie dooe continually, but let theim beleve alwaies, that 

it is under deceipte, and that he can to their hurte varie it. 

How Domitio Domitio Calvino besiegyng a toune, used for a custome to 

Calvino wan a com p asse aboute every daie, with a good parte of his 

menne, the wall of the same : whereby the Tounes menne, 

belevyng that he did it for exercise, slacked the Ward : 

whereof Domicius beyng aware, assaulted and overcame 


A policie to Certaine Capitaines understandyng, that there should 
get a towne. come aide to the besieged, have apareled their Souldiours, 
under the Ansigne of those, that should come, and beyng 
let in, have gotte the Toune. 

How Simon of Simon of Athens set fire in a night on a Temple, whiche 
Athens wan a was out of the toune, wherefore, the tounes menne goyng 
towne. to succour it, lefte the toune in praie to the enemie. Some 

A policie to have slaine those, whiche from the besieged Castle, have 
get a towne. gone a foragyng, and have appareled their souldiours, with 
the apparell of the forragers, whom after have gotte the 
toune. The aunciente Capitaines, have also used divers 
waies, to destroie the Garison of the Toune, whiche thei 
How Scipio have sought to take. Scipio beyng in Africa, and desiring 
gotte certaine to gette certaine Castles, in whiche were putte the Garrisons 
^ Carthage, he made many tymes, as though he would 
assaulte theim, albeit, he fained after, not onely to abstaine, 
but to goe awaie from them for feare : the whiche Aniball 
belevyng to bee true, for to pursue hym with greater force, 
and for to bee able more easely to oppresse him, drewe out 


all the garrisons of theim : The whiche Scipio knowing, THE 
sente Massinissa his Capitaine to overcome them. SEVENTH 

Firms makyng warre in Sclavonic, to the chiefe citee of HOOKE 
the same countrie, where were brought many menne in Howe Pirrus 
Garrison, fained to dispaire to bee able to winne it, and ^anthechiefe 
tourning to other places, made that the same for to sue- J 
cour them, emptied it self of the warde, and became easie to 
bee wonne. Many have corrupted the water, and have A pnlicie to 
tourned the rivers an other waie to take Tounes. Also the et atowm-. 
besieged, are easely made to yelde them selves, makyng How the be- 
theim afraied, with signifiyng unto them a victorie gotten, S1 ^f<l are 
or with new aides, whiche come in their disfavour. The old n 
Capitaines have sought to gette Tounes by treason, corrupt- 
yng some within, but thei have used divers meanes. Sum 
have sente a manne of theirs, whiche under the name of Howe to pet 
a t ugetive, might take aucthoritie and truste with the a towne by 
enemies, who after have used it to their profite. Some by treason - 
this meanes, have understode the nianer of the watche, and 
by meanes of thesame knowledge, have taken the Toune. 
Some with a Carte, or with Beames under some colour, have 
letted the gate, that it could not bee shutte, and with this 
waie, made the entrie easie to the enemie. Aniball per- A policie of 
swaded one, to give him a castle of the Romanies, and that Ani >all for 

i i f . i ii_ i j. i the betraiyng 

he should fain to go a huntyng in the night, makyng as f a Ca8tell. 

though he could not goe by daie, for feare of the enemies, 

and tournyng after with the Venison, should put in with 

hym certaine of his menne, and so killyng the watchmen, 

should give hvm the gate. Also the besieged are beguiled, How the 

with drawyng them out of the Tonne, and goyng awaie besieged maie 

from them, faining to flie when thei assault thee. And b 

many (emong whom was Anibal) have for no other intente, 

let their Campe to be taken, but to have occasion to get be- 

twcne theim and home, and to take their Toune. Also, "w Formion 

. ., , . , . i / ,i overcame the 

thei are beguiled with fainyng to departe from them, us r . l i ( .j l | t . lls j aI18> 

Formion of Athens did, who havyng spoiled the countrie of 
the Caleidensians, received after their ambassadours, fillyng 
their Citee with faire promises, and hope of safetie, under 
the which as simple menne, thei were a little after of For- 
EE 217 



What the be 
sieged muste 
take heede of. 


The diligence 
that the 
ought to use 
in their 
watche and 

An order of 
for the dew 
keping of 
watch and 


mione oppressed. The besieged ought to beware of the 
men, whiche thei have in suspecte emong them : but some 
times thei are wont, as well to assure them selves with 
deserte, as with punishemente. Marcellus knoweyng how 
Lucius Bancius a Nolane, was tourned to favour Aniball, so 
moche humanitie and liberalitie, he used towardes him, that 
of an enemie, he made him moste frendely. The besieged 
ought to use more diligence in the warde, when the enemie 
is gone from theim, then when he is at hande. And thei 
ought to warde those places, whiche thei thinke, that maie 
bee hurt least : for that many tounes have been loste, when 
thenemie assaulteth it on thesame part, where thei beleve 
not possible to be assaulted. And this deceipt groweth of 
twoo causes, either for the place being strong, and to 
beleve, that it is invinsible, or through craft beyng used of 
the enemie, in assaltyng theim on one side with fained 
laroms, and on the other without noise, and with verie 
assaltes in deede : and therefore the besieged, ought to have 
greate advertisment, and above all thynges at all times, 
and in especially in the night to make good watche to bee 
kepte on the walles, and not onely to appoincte menne, but 
Dogges, and soche fiearse Mastives, and lively, the whiche 
by their sente maie descrie the enemie, and with barkyng 
discover him : and not Dogges onely, but Geese have ben 
seen to have saved a citee, as it happened to Roome, when 
the Frenchemen besieged the Capitoll. 

Alcibiades for to see, whether the warde watched, Athense 
beeyng besieged of the Spartaines, ordained that when in 
the night, he should lifte up a light, all the ward should 
lift up likewise, constitutyng punishmente to hym that 
observed it not. 

Isicrates of Athens killed a watchman, which slept, saiyng, 
that he lefte him as he found him. Those that have been 
besieged, have used divers meanes, to sende advise to their 
frendes : and mindyng not to send their message by mouth, 
thei have written letters in Cifers, and hidden them in 
sundrie wise : the Cifers be according, as plcaseth him that 
ordaineth them, the maner of hidyng them is divers. Some 



have written within the scaberde of a sweard : Other have THE 
put the Letters in an unbaked lofe, and alter have baked SEVENTH 
the same, and given it for meate to hym that caried theini. BOOKE 
Certaine have hidden them, in the secreteste place of their The secrete 
bodies: other have hidden them in the collor of a Dogge, conveighyng 
that is familiare with hym, wliiche carrieth theini: Some ofLetters - 
have written in a letter ordinarie thinges. and after betwene 
thone line and thother, have also written with water, that 
wetyng it or warning it after, the letters should appere. 
This waie hath been moste politikely observed in our time : 
where some myndyng to signifie to their freendes inhabityng 
within a towne, thinges to be kept secret, and mindynge not 
to truste any person, have sente common matters written, 
accord vng to the common use and enterlined it, as I have 
saied above, and the same have made to be hanged on the 
gates of the Temples, the wliiche by countersignes beyng 
knowen of those, unto whome they have been sente, were 
taken of and redde : the whiche way is moste politique, 
bicause he that carrieth them maie bee beguiled, and there 
shall happen hym no perill. There be moste infinite other 
waies, whiche every manne maie by himself rede and h nde : 
but with more facilitie, the besieged maie bee written unto, 
then the besieged to their frendes without, for that soche 
letters cannot be sent, but by one, under colour of a fuge- 
tive, that commeth out of a toune : the whiche is a daun- 
gerous and perilous thing, when thenemie is any whit 
craftie : But those that sende in, he that is sente, maie under 
many colours, goe into the Campe that besiegeth, and from 
thens takyng conveniente occasion, maie leape into the 
toune : but lette us come to speake of the present winnyng 
of tounes. I saie that if it happen, that thou bee besieged 
in thy citee, whiche is not ordained with diches within, as a 
little before we shewed, to my rule that thenemie shall not 
enter through the breach of the walle, whiche the artillerie 
maketh : bicause there is no remedie to lette thesame from 
makyng of a breache, it is therefore necessarie for thee, The defence 
whileste the ordinance battereth, to caste a diche within gainst a 
the wall which is battered, and that it be in bredth at It-astc l 



THE twoo and twcntie yardes and a halfe, and to throwe all the- 
SEVENTH same that is digged towardes the toun, whiche maie make a 
BOOKE banke, and the diche more deper : and it is convenient for 
thee, to sollicitate this worke in soche wise, that when the 
walle falleth, the Diche maie be digged at least, fower or 
five yardes in depth : the whiche diche is necessarie, while it 
is a digging, to shutte it on every side with a slaughter 
house : and when the wall is so strong, that it giveth thee 
time to make the diche, and the slaughter houses, that bat 
tered parte, commeth to be moche stronger, then the rest 
of the citee : for that soche fortificacion, cometh to have 
the forme, of the diches which we devised within : but 
when the walle is weake, and that it giveth thee not tyme, 
to make like fortificacions, then strengthe and valiauntnesse 
muste bee shewed, settyng againste the enemies armed 
menne, with all thy force. This maner of fortificacion was 
observed of the Pisans, when you besieged theim, and thei 
might doe it, bicause thei had strong walles, whiche gave 
them time, the yearth beyng softe and moste meete to raise 
up banckes, and to make fortificacions: where if thei had 
lacked this commoditie, thei should have loste the toune. 
Therefore it shall bee alwaies prudently doen, to provide 
afore hand, makyng diches within the citee, and through 
out all the circuite thereof, as a little before wee devised : 
for that in this case, the enemie maie safely be taried for 
at laisure, the fortificacions beyng redy made. The an- 
How the tiquitie many tymes gotte tounes, with muinyng under 

antiquitie got ground in twoo maners, either thei made a waie under 
muirfing grounde secretely, whiche risse in the toune, and by thesame 

under entered, in whiche maner the Romaines toke the citee of 

grounde. Veienti, or with the muinyng, thei overthrewe a walle, and 

made it ruinate : this laste waie is now a daies moste stronge, 
and maketh, that the citees placed high, be most weake, 
bicause thei maie better bee under muined : and puttyng 
after in a Cave of this Gunne pouder, whiche in a momente 
kindelyng, not onely ruinateth a wall, but it openeth the 
hilles, and utterly dissolveth the strength of them. 

The remedie for this, is to builde in the plain, and to 


make the cliche that compasseth thy citee, so deepe, that THE 
the enemie maie not digge lower then thesame, where he SEVENTH 
shall not Hnde water, whiche onely is enemie to the caves: ROOKE 
for if thou be in a toune, which thou dcfendcst on a high The reamedic 
ground, thou canst not remedie it otherwise, then to make "gainst Caves 
within thy walles many deepe Welles, the whiche be as or umler - 
drouners to thesame Caves, that the enemie is able to " 
ordain against thee. An other remedie there is, to make a 
cave againste it, when thou shouldeste bee aware where he 
muineth, the whiche waie easely hindereth hym, but diffi- 
cultly it is foreseen, beyng besieged of a craftie enemie. 
He that is besieged, ought above al thinges to have care, what rare 
not to bee oppressed in the tyme of reste : as is after a the besieged 
battaile fought, after the watche made, whiche is in the ought to have. 
Mornyng at breake of daie, and in the Evenyng betwen 
daie and night, and above al, at meale times : in whiche 
tyme many tounes have been wonne, and armies have been 
of them within ruinated : therefore it is requisite with 
diligence on all partes, to stande alwaies garded, and in a 
good part armed. I will not lacke to tell you, how that, What maketh 
whiche maketh a citee or a campe difficult to be defended, ;i (-itce or 
is to be driven to kepe sundred all the force, that thou haste cai "I )C (1 j ffi 
in theim, for that the enemie beyng able to assaulte thee at defended. 
his pleasure altogether, it is conveniente for thee on every 
side, to garde every place, and so he assaulteth thee with all 
his force, and thou with parte of thine defendest thee. 
Also, the besieged maie bee overcome altogether, he with 
out cannot bee, but repulced : wherefore many, whom have 
been besieged, either in a Campe, or in a Toune, although 
thei have been inferiour of power, have issued out with 
their men at a sodaine, and have overcome the enemie. 
This Marcellus of Nola did : this did Cesar in Fraunce, 
where his Campe beeyng assaulted of a mostc great nomber 
of Frenchmen, and seeyng hymself not able to defende it, 
beyng constrained to devide his force into many partes, 
and not to bee able standyng within the Listes, with 
violence to renulce thenemie : he opened the campe on 
thone side, and turning towardes thesame parte with all his 



THE power, made so moche violence against them, and with so 

SEVENTH moche valiantnes, that he vanquisshed and overcame them. 

BOOKE The constancie also of the besieged, causeth many tymes 

By what displeasure, and maketh afraied them that doe besiege. 

meanes thei Pompei beyng against Cesar, and Cesars armie beeyng in 

that besiege fy re ate distresse through famine, there was brought of his 

ar made L i c 

afraied bredde to Jrompei, whom seyng it made 01 grasse, com- 

maunded, that it should not bee shewed unto his armie, least 
it shoulde make them afraide, seyng what enemies they had 
Honour got against theim. Nothyng caused so muche honour to the 
by constancie. Romaines in the warre of Aniball, as their constancie : for 
as muche as in what so ever envious, and adverse fortune 
thei were troubled, they never demaunded peace, thei never 
made anie signe of feare, but rather when Aniball was 
aboute Rome, thei solde those fieldes, where he had pitched 
his campe, dearer then ordinarie in other times shoulde have 
been solde : and they stoode in so much obstinacie in their 
enterprises, that for to defende Rome, thei would not raise 
their campe from Capua, the whiche in the verie same time 
that Roome was besieged, the Romaines did besiege. 

I knowe that I have tolde you of manie thynges, the 
whiche by your selfe you might have understoode, and con 
sidered, notwithstanding I have doen it (as to daie also I 
have tolde you) for to be abell to shewe you better by 
meane therof, the qualitie of this armie, and also for to 
satisfie those, if there be anie, whome have not had the 
same commoditie to understand them as you. Nor me 
thinkes that there resteth other to tell you, then certaine 
generall rules, the whiche you shal have moste familiar, 
which be these. 

Generall rules The same that helpeth the enemie, hurteth thee : and the 
of warre. same that helpeth thee, hurteth the enemie. 

He that shall be in the warre moste vigilant to observe 
the devises of the enemie, and shall take moste payne to 
exercise his armie, shall incurre least perilles and maie hope 
moste of the victorie. 

Never conducte thy men to faight the field, if first thou 
hast not confirmed their mindes and knowest them to be 


without feare, and to be in good order: for thou oughteste THE 
never to enterprise any dangerous tliyng with thy soul- SEVENTH 
diours, but when thou secst, that they hope to overcome. BOOKE 

It is better to conquere the enemie with faminne, then 
with yron : in the victorie of which, fortune maie doe much 
more then valiantnesse. 

No purpose is better then that, whiche is hidde from the 
enemie untill thou have executed it. 

To know in the warre how to understande occasion, and 
to take it, helpeth more then anie other thynge. 

Nature breedeth few stronge menne, the industrie and the 
exercise maketh manic. 

Discipline maie doe more in warre, then furie. 

When anie departe from the enemies side for to come to 
serve thee, when thei be faithfull, thei shalbe unto thee 
alwaies great gaines : for that the power of thadvcrsarics 
are more demmisshed with the losse of them, that runne 
awaie, then of those that be slaine, although that the name 
of a fugetive be to new frendes suspected, to olde odius. 

Better it is in pitchyng the fielde, to reserve behynde the 
first front aide inoughe, then to make the fronte bigger to 
disperse the souldiours. 

He is difficultely overcome, whiche can know his owne 
power and the same of the enemie. 

The valiantenesse of the souldiours availeth more then 
the multitude. 

Some times the situacion helpeth more then the valiante 

New and sudden thynges, make armies afrayde. 

Slowe and accustomed thinges, be littell regarded of them. 
Therfore make thy armie to practise and to know with 
small faightes a new enemie, before thou come to faight the 
fielde with him. 

He that with disorder foloweth the enemie after that he 
is broken, will doe no other, then to become of a comjtierour 
a loser. 

He that prepareth not necessarie victualles to live upon, 
is overcome without vron. 



How to 


What thynges 
are the 
strength of 
the warre. 


He that trusteth more in horsemen then in footemen, or 
more in footemen then in horsemen, must accommodate him 
selfe with the situacion. 

When thou wilte see if in the daie there be comen anie 
spie into the Campe, cause everie man to goe to his 

Chaunge purpose, when thou perceivest that the enemie 
hath forseene it. 

Consulte with many of those thinges, which thou oughtest 
to dooe : the same that thou wilt after dooe, conferre with 

Souldiours when thei abide at home, are mainteined with 
feare and punishemente, after when thei ar led to the warre, 
with hope and with rewarde. 

Good Capitaines come never to faight the fielde, excepte 
necessitie constraine theim, and occasion call them. 

Cause that thenemies know not, how thou wilte order thy 
armie to faight, and in what so ever maner that thou 
ordainest it, make that the firste bande may be received of 
the seconde and of the thirde. 

In the faight never occupie a battell to any other thyng, 
then to the same, for whiche thou haste apoincted it, if 
thou wilt make no disorder. 

The sodene accidentes, with difficultie are reamedied : 
those that are thought upon, with facilitie. 

Men, yron, money, and bread, be the strengthe of the 
warre, but of these fower, the first twoo be moste necessarie : 
because men and yron, finde money and breade : but breade 
and money fynde not men and yron. 

The unarmed riche man, is a bootie to the poore souldiour. 

Accustome thy souldiours to dispise delicate livyng and 
lacivius aparell. 

This is as muche as hapneth me generally to remember 
you, and I know that there might have ben saied manie 
other thynges in all this my reasonynge : as should be, how 
and in howe manie kinde of waies the antiquitie ordered 
their bandes, how thei appareled them, and how in manie 
other thynges they exercised them, and to have joygned 


hereunto manie other particulars, the whiche I have not THK 

judged necessarie to shew, as wel for that you your self SEVENTH 

may se them, as also for that my intente hath not been to BOOKE 

shew juste how the olcle servis of warre was apoinctcd, but 

ho we in these daies a servis of warre might be ordained, 

whiche should have more vertue then the same that is 

used. Wherfore I have not thought good of the auncient 

thynges to reason other, then that, which I have judged to 

suche introduction necessarie. I know also that I might 

have delated more upon the service on horsebacke, and after 

have reasoned of the warre on the Sea : for as muche as he 

that destinguissheth the servis of warre, saieth, how there 

is an armie on the sea, and of the lande, on foote, and on 

horsebacke. Of that on the sea, I will not presume to speake, 

for that I have no knowledge therof: but I will let the 

Genoues, and the Venecians speake therof, whome with 

like studies have heretofore doen great thinges. 

Also of horses, I wil speake no other, then as afore I have 
saied, this parte beynge (as I have declared) least corrupted. 
Besides this, the footemen being wel ordained, which is the 
puissance of the armie, good horses of necessitie will come 
to be made. 

Onely I counsel him that would ordayne the exercise of Provisions 
armes in his owne countrev, and desireth to fill the same that maie bee 

.. , i , .1,11 it made to till ; 

with good horses, that he make two provisions: the one H^imef,,!! 
is, that he destribute Mares of a good race throughe his g 00t i horse, 
dominion, and accustome his menne to make choise of 
coltes, as you in this countrie make of Calves and Mules : 
the other is, that to thentente the excepted might finde a 
byer, I woulde prohibet that no man should kepe a Mule 
excepte he woulde keepe a horse : so that he that woulde 
kepe but one beaste to ride on, shoulde be constrained to 
keepe a horse : and moreover that no man should weare 
fine cloathe except he which doeth kcepe a horse : this order 
I under stande hath beene devised of certaine princes in 
our time, whome in short space have therby, brought into 
their countrey an excellente numbre of good horses. Aboute 
the other thynges, as much as might be looked for con- 
FF 225 



The know 
ledge that a 
oughte to 


cernynge horse, I remit to as much as I have saied to dale, 
and to that whiche they use. Peradventure also you woulde 
desire to understand what condicions a Capitaine ought to 
have : wherof I shal satisfie you moste breeflie : for that I 
cannot tell how to chose anie other man then the same, 
who shoulde know howe to doe all those thynges whiche 
this daie hath ben reasoned of by us : the which also should 
not suffise, when he should not knowe howe to devise of him 
selfe : for that no man without invencion, was ever ex 
cellent in anie science : and if invencion causeth honour in 
other thynges, in this above all, it maketh a man honorable : 
for everie invention is seen, although it were but simple, 
to be of writers celebrated : as it is seen, where Alexander 
Magnus is praised, who for to remove his Campe moste 
secretely, gave not warnyng with the Trumpette, but with 
a hatte upon a Launce. And was praised also for havyng 
taken order that his souldiours in buckelynge with the 
enemies, shoulde kneele with the lefte legge, to bee able 
more strongly to withstande their violence : the whiche 
havyng geven him the victorie, it got him also so muche 
praise, that all the Images, whiche were erected in his 
honour, stoode after the same facion. But because it is 
tyme to finishe this reasonyng, I wil turne againe to my 
first purpose, and partly I shall avoide the same reproche, 
wherin they use to condempne in this towne, such as 
knoweth not when to make an ende. 

Theauctorre- If you remembre Cosimus you tolde me, that I beyng of 
torneth to his one side an exalter of the antiquitie, and a dispraiser of 
first purpose those, which in waightie matters imitated them not, and 
of the other side, I havynge not in the affaires of war, 
wherin I have taken paine, imitated them, you coulde not 
perceive the occasion : wherunto I answered, how that men 
which wil doo any thing, muste firste prepare to knowe how 
to doe it, for to be able, after to use it, when occasion 
permitteth : whether I doe know how to bryng the servis 
of warre to the auncient manners or no, I will be judged by 
you, whiche have hearde me upon this matter longe dispute : 
wherby you may know, how much time I have consumed 

and maketh a 
littel discorse 
to make an 
ende of his 


in these studies: and also I beleeve that you male imagen, THE 
how much desire is in me to brynge it to etfecte : the whiche SEVENTH 
whether I have been able to have doen, or that ever occa- BOOKE 
sion hath been geven me, most easely you maie conjecture : 
yet for to make you more certaine and for my better justi- 
ticacion, I will also aledge the occasions : and as much as 
I have promised, I will partely performe, to shew you the 
difHeultie and the facelitie, whiche bee at this presente in 
suche imitacions. 

Therfore I saie, how that no deede that is doen now a A prince may 
daies emong men, is more easie to be reduced unto the east> l e l)r > tfe 
aunciente maners, then the service of Warre : but by them fectimf the* 
onely that be Princes of so nioche state, who can at least servis of 
gather together of their owne subjectes, xv. or twentie warre. 
thousande yong menne: otherwise, no thyng is more diffi- 
culte, then this, to them whiche have not soche commoditie: 
and for that you maie the better understande this parte, 
you have to knowe, howe that there bee of twoo condicions, 
( apitaines to bee praised : The one are those, that with an Two sortes of 
armie ordained through the naturalle discipline thereof, Capitaines 
have dooen greate thynges : as were the greater parte of w >rthieto bee 
the llomaine Citezeins, and suche as have ledde armies, 1>ra 
the which have had no other paine, then to maintaine 
them good, and to se them guided safely : the other are 
they, whiche not onely have had to overcome the enemie, 
but before thev come to the same, have been constrained 
to make good and well ordered their armie : who without 
doubte deserve muche more praise, then those have de 
served, which with olde armies, and good, have valiantely 
wrought. Of these, such wer Pelopida, and Epaminonda, 
Tullua Hostillius. Phillip of Macedony father of Alexander, 
Cirus kvng of the Percians, Graccus a Romaine : they all 
were driven first to make their armies good, and after to 
fuightc with them : they all coulde doe it, as well through? 
their prudence, as also for havvnge subjectes whonie thei 
might in like exercises instruct : nor itshuld never have ben 
otherwise possible, that anie of theim, though thev had 
ben never so good and ful of al excellencie, should have 



THE been able in a straunge countrey, full of men corrupted, 
SEVENTH not used to anie honest obedience, to have brought to passe 
BOOKE anie laudable worke. It suffiseth not then in Italic, to know 
how to governe an army made, but first it is necessarie to 
know how to make it and after to know how to commaunde 
it : and to do these things it is requisit they bee those princes, 
whome havyng much dominion, and subjectes inoughe, maie 
have commoditie to doe it : of whiche I can not bee, who 
never commaunded, nor cannot commaunde, but to armies 
of straungers, and to men bounde to other, and not to me : 
in whiche if it be possible, or no, to introduce anie of those 
thynges that this daie of me hath ben reasoned, I will leave 
it to your judgement. 

Albeit when coulde I make one of these souldiours which 
now a daies practise, to weare more armur then the ordi- 
narie, and besides the armur, to beare their owne meate for 
two or three daies, with a mattocke : When coulde I make 
theim to digge, or keepe theim every daie manie howers 
armed, in fained exercises, for to bee able after in the verie 
thyng in deede to prevaile? When woulde thei abstaine 
from plaie, from laciviousnesse, from swearynge, from the 
insolence, whiche everie daie they committe? when would 
they be reduced into so muche dissepline, into so much 
obedience and reverence, that a tree full of appels in the 
middest of their Campe, shoulde be founde there and lefte 
untouched ? As is redde, that in the auncient armies manie 
times hapned. What thynge maye I promis them, by 
meane wherof thei may have me in reverence to love, or 
to feare, when the warre beyng ended, they have not anie 
more to doe with me? wher of maie I make them ashamed, 
whiche be borne and brought up without shame ? whie 
shoulde thei be ruled by me who knowe me not ? By what 
God or by what sainctes may I make them to sweare ? By 
those that thei worship, or by those that they blaspheme ? 
Who they worship I knowe not anie : but I knowe well they 
blaspheme all. How shoulde I beleeve that thei will keepe 
their promise to them, whome everie hower they dispise ? 
How can they, that dispise God, reverence men? Then 


what good fashion shoulde that be, whiche might be im- THE 
pressed in this matter? And if you should aledge unto SEVENTH 
me that Suyz/ers and Spaniardes bee good souldiours, I BOOKE 
woulde conlesse unto you, how they be farre better then 
the Italians : but if you note my reasonynge, and the maner 
of procedyng of bothe, you shall see, howe they lacke many 
thynges to joygne to the perfection of the antiquetie. And 
how the Suyzzers be made good of one of their naturall 
uses caused of that, whiche to daie I tolde you : those other 
are made good by mean of a necessitie : for that servyng 
in a straunge countrie, and secmyng unto them to be con 
strained either to die, or to overcome, thei perceivynge to 
have no place to Hie, doe become good: but it is a good - 
nesse in manie partes fawtie : for that in the same there is 
no other good, but that they bee accustomed to tarie the 
enemie at the Pike and sweardes poincte : nor that, which 
thei lacke, no man should be meete to teache them, and so 
much the lesse, he that coulde not speake their language. 

Hut let us turne to the Italians, who for havynge not 
had wise Princes, have not taken anie good order : and for 
havvng not had the same necessitie, whiche the Spaniardes 
have hadde, they have not taken it of theim selves, so that 
they remaine the shame of the worlde : and the people 
be not to blame, but onely their princes, who have The Aurtnr 
ben chastised, and for their ignorance have ben justely "cuseth^the 
punisshed, leesinge moste shamefully their states, without j ^j j /t,, tin- 
shewing anie vertuous ensample. And if you will see jfreatrepror 
whether this that I say be trew : consider how manie of their 
warres have ben in Italic since the departure of kyng prynres for 
Charles to this day, where the war beyng wonte to make anceVrrthe 
men warlvke and of reputacion, these the greater and fierser ;i ff a j r es of 
that they have been, so muche the more they have made warre. 
the reputacion of the members and of the headdes therof 
to bee loste. This proveth that it groweth, that the ac 
customed orders were not nor bee not good, and of the 
newe orders, there is not anie whiche have knowen how 
to bike them. Nor never beleeve that reputacion will be 
gotten, bv the Italians weapons, but bv the same waie that 




A discription 
of the folishe- 
nesse of the 

Cesar and 
were the for 
moste in 


I have shewed, and by means of theim, that have great 
states in Italic : for that this forme maie be impressed, in 
simple rude men, of their owne, and not in malicious, ill 
brought up, and straungers. Nor there shall never bee 
founde anie good mason, whiche will beleeve to be able to 
make a faire image of a peece of Marbell ill hewed, but 
verye well of a rude peece. 

Our Italian Princes beleved, before thei tasted the blowes 
of the outlandishe warre, that it should suffice a Prince to 
knowe by writynges, how to make a subtell answere, to 
write a goodly letter, to shewe in saiynges, and in woordes, 
witte and promptenesse, to knowe how to canvas a fraude, 
to decke theim selves with precious stones and gold, to slepe 
and to eate with greater glorie then other : To keepe many 
lascivious persones aboute them, to governe theim selves 
with their subjectes, covetuously and proudely : To rotte 
in idlenesse, to give the degrees of the exercise of warre, 
for good will, to despise if any should have shewed them 
any laudable waie, minding that their wordes should bee 
aunswers of oracles : nor the sely wretches were not aware, 
that thei prepared theim selves to bee a praie, to whom so 
ever should assaulte theim. Hereby grewe then in the 
thousande fower hundred nintie and fower yere, the greate 
feares, the sodain flightes, and the marveilous losses : and so 
three most mightie states which were in Italic, have been 
divers times sacked and destroied. But that which is worse, is 
where those that remaine, continue in the verie same erroure, 
and live in the verie same disorder, and consider not, that 
those, who in old time would kepe their states, caused to be 
dooen these thynges, which of me hath been reasoned, and 
that their studies wer, to prepare the body to diseases, and 
the minde not to feare perilles. Whereby gre\ve that Cesar, 
Alexander, and all those menne and excellente Princes in 
old tyme, were the formoste emongest the faighters, goyng 
armed on foote : and if thei loste their state, thei would 
loose their life, so that thei lived and died vertuously. And 
if in theim, or in parte of theim, there might bee con- 
dernpned to muche ambicion to reason of: yet there shall 



never bee founde, that in theim is condempned any tender- THE 
nesse, or any thynge that maketh menne delicate and feahle : SEVENTH 
the whit-he thyng, if of these Princes were redde and beleved, BOOKE 
it should be impossible, that thci should not change their 
forme of living, and their provinces not to chaunge fortune. 
And for that you in the beginnyiig of this our reasonyng, 
lamented your ordinaunces, I sale unto you, that if you had 
ordained it, as I afore have reasoned, and it had given of it 
self no good experience, you might with reason have been 
greved therewith: but it it bee not so ordained, and exercised, 
as I have saied, it male be greeved with you, who have 
made a counterfaite thereof, and no perfecte figure. The 
Venecians also, and the Duke of Ferare, beganne it, and The Vene- 
followed it not, the whiche hath been through their faulte, clans and the 

not through their menne. And therfore I assure you, that an toh^ve 
who so ever of those, whiche at this daie have states in re d uce d t he 
Italie, shall enter firste into this waie, shall be firste, before warfare to the 
any other, Lorde of this Province, and it shall happen to his Aunciente 
state, as to the kyngdome of the Macedonians, the which aners - 
comrnyng under Philip, who had learned the maner of 
settyng armies in order of Epaminondas a Thebane, became 
with this order, and with these exercises (whilcste the reste 
of Grece stoode in idlenesse, and attended to risite comedes) 
so puisant, that he was able in few yeres to possesse it all, 
and to leave soche foundacion to his sonne, that he was 
able to make hymself, prince of all the world. He then He that de- 
that despiseth these studies, if he be a Prince, despiseth his JjJ^f 
Princedome: if he bee a Citezein, his Citee. Wherefore, J> e , de- 
I lamente me of nature, the whiche either ought not to s ,,i st .th his 
have made me a knower of this, or it ought to have given own welthe. 
me power, to have been able to have executed it : For now 
beyng olde, I cannot hope to have any occasion, to bee 
able so to dooe : In consideracion whereof, I have been 
liberall with you, who beeyng grave yong menne, nuiie 
(when the thynges saied of me shall please you) at due 
tymes in favour of your Princes, helpe theim and counsaile 
them, wherein I would have you not to bee afraied, or mis- 
trustfull, bicause this Province seemes to bee altogether given, 

..!. i 1 


to raise up againe the thynges dedde, as is seen by the per- 

SEVENTH feccion that poesie, paintyng, and writing, is now brought 

BOOKE Un t . Albeit, as moche as is looked for of me, beyng 

strooken in yeres, I do mistruste. Where surely, if Fortune 

had heretofore graunted me so moche state, as suffiseth for 

a like enterprise, I would not have doubted, but in moste 

shorte tyme, to have shewed to the worlde, how moche the 

aunciente orders availe : and without peradventure, 

either I would have increased it with glory, or 

loste it without shame. 

The ende of the seventh and laste booke of the arte of 

warre, of Nicholas Machiavell, Citezein and Secretarie of 

Florence, translated out of Italian into Englishe : 

By Peter Whitehorne, felow of Graise Inne. 











thentente that such as rede this booke 
male without ditficultie understande the 
order of the battailes, or bandes of men, 
and of the armies, and lodgynges in the 
Campe, accordynge as they in the dis- 
cription of theim are apoincted, I thinke 
it necessarie to shewe you the figure of 
everie one of them : wherefore it is 

requiset firste, to declare unto you, by what poinctes and 
letters, the footemen, the horsemen, and everie other par- 
ticuler membre are set foorthe. 


* "1 [Target men. 

| Pikemen. 

<> J [a Capitaine of ten men. 

V Veliti ordinarie. ) which ar those men 

TC } ( Veliti extraordinari f th , at shoote with hai - 

C [ ja Centurion or cap- cabuses or bowes - 

[ taine of a hundred men. 

Constable or a captaine of a band of 
fower hundred and fiftie men. 
The hed captain of a maine battel. 

e general Captaine of the whole armie. 
[The Trompet. 
The Drum. 
[The Ansigne. 

The Standerde. 
[Men of Armes. 
j Light horsemen. 

1 Artillerie or ordinance. 



In the first figure nexte folowyng, is discribed the forme 
of an ordinarie battaile or bande of fower hundred and 
fiftie men, and in what maner it is redoubled by Hankc. 
And also how with the verie same order of Ixxx. rankes, 
by chaungyng onely to the hinder parte the five rankes of 
Pikes which were the formost of everie Centurie, thei mayc 
likewise in bringyng them in battaile raie, come to bee 
placed behinde : whiche may be doen, when in marchyng, 
the enemies should come to assaulte them at their backes : 
accordynge as the orderyng therof is before declared. 
Fol. 87. 

In the seconde figure, is shewed how a battaile or bande 
of men is ordered, whiche in marchyng should be driven to 
faight en the flanke : accordyng as in the booke is declared. 
Fol. 87. 

In the thirde figure, is shewed how a battaile or bande 
of men, is ordered with two homes, fol. 88, and after is 
shewed how the same maie be made with a voide place in 
the middest : accordynge as the orderyng therof, in the 
booke moste plainely is declared, fol. 89. 

In the fowerth figure, is shewed the forme or facion of 
an armie apoincted to faight the battaile with the enemies : 
and for the better understandynge thereof, the verie same 
is plainlier set foorthe in the figure next unto it, wherby the 
other two figures next folowyng maie the easier be under- 
stoode : accordynge as in the booke is expressed. Fol. 105. 

In the fifte figure, is shewed the forme of a fower square 
armie: as in the booke is discribed. Fol. 15.. 

In the sixte figure, is shewed howe an Armie is brought 
from a fower square facion, to the ordinarie forme, to faight 
a fielde: accordyng as afore is declared. Fol. 15(5. 

In the seventh figure, is discribod the maner of in- 
camping : according as the same in the booke is declared. 
Fol. 174. 


This is the 
maner of 
ordering of 
CCCC. men, 
into Ixxx. 
rankes, five 
to a ranke, to 
bring them 
into a iiii 
battaile with 
the Pikes on 
the front, 
as after 




VU . 
V U. 

U V 


Q 3 This is the 

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CCCC. men, E ~ ~ E 

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battaile with C 

the Pikes on : 4 4 4 . 

the side, 

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This is the 
Ixxx. makes 
of iiii. C. 
men brought 
into a fower 
with the 
Pikes 011 the 



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E. D. 







JAMES Duke of Lenox, Earle of March, 

Baron of Setrington, Darnly, Terbanten, and 

Methuen, Lord Great Chamberlain and Admiral 

of Scotland, Knight of the most Noble Order 

of the Garter, and one of his Majesties 

most honourable Privy Counsel 

in both kingdomes. 

OYSONS are not all of that malig 
nant and noxious quality, that as 
destructives of Nature, they arc 
utterly to be abhord ; but we find 
many, nay most of them have 
their medicinal uses. This book 
carries its poyson and malice in it ; yet mee thinks 
the judicious peruser may honestly make use of i 
in the actions of his life, with advantage. The 
Lamprey, they say, hath a vcnemous string runs 
all along the back of it ; take that out, and it is 
serv d in for a choyce dish to dainty palates ; 
Epictetus the Philosopher, sayes, Every thing hath 


two handles, as the fire brand, it may be taken up 
at one end in the bare hand without hurt : the 
other being laid hold on, will cleave to the very 
flesh, and the smart of it will pierce even to the 
heart. Sin hath the condition of the fiery end ; 
the touch of it is wounding with griefe unto the 
soule : nay it is worse ; one sin goes not alone but 
hath many consequences. Your Grace may find 
the truth of this in your perusal of this Author : 
your judgement shall easily direct you in finding 
out the good uses of him : I have pointed at his 
chiefest errors with my best endeavors, and have 
devoted them to your Graces service : which if 
you shall accept and protect, I shall remain 

Your Graces humble and devoted servant, 





UESTIONLESS some men will blame me 
for making this Author speak in our 
vulgar tongue. For his Muximes and 
Tenents are condemnd of all, as pernicious 
to all Christian States, and hurtfull to all 
humane Societies. Herein I shall answer 
for my self with the Comcedian, Placcrc 
fftudco bo nix (juam plur nins^ct vrinimc midtos 
lucdcrc : I endeavor to give content to the most I can of 
those that are well disposed, and no scandal to any. I 
grant, I find him blamed and condemned : I do no less my 
self. Reader, either do thou read him without a prejudicate 
opinion, and out of thy own judgement taxe his errors; or 
at least, if thou canst stoop so low, make use of my pains 
to help thee ; I will promise thee this reward for thy labor : 
if thou consider well the actions of the world, thou shall 
find him much praclised by those lhal condemn him ; who 
willingly would walk as Iheeves do with close lanlernes in 
Ihe night, thai they being undescried, and yet seeing all, 
might surprise the unwary in the dark. Surely this book 
will infect no man : oul of the wicked treasure of a mans- 
own wicked heart, he drawes his malice and mischief. From 
Ihe same flower Ihe liee sucks honey, from whence the 
Spider halh his poyson. And he lhal means well, shall 
be here warnd, where Ihe deceitful 1 man Jennies to set his 
snares. A judge who hath often used to examine Iheeves, 
becomes Ihe more experl lo sifl oul Iheir tricks. If mis 
chief come hereupon, blame not me, nor blame my 
Author : lay the saddle on the right horse : but 
Hony -wit qui mill y petutc : let shame light on 
him thai halchl the mischief. 




to the Magnificent LAURENCE sonne 
to PETER OF MEDICIS health. 

\HEY that desire to ingratiate themselves 
with a Prince, commonly use to offer them 
selves to his view, with tilings of that nature 
as such persons take most pleasure and 
delight in: whereupon we see they are 
many times presented with Horses and 
Armes, cloth of gold, pretious stones, and 
such like ornaments, worthy of their great 
ness. Having then a mind to offer up my self to your 
Magnificence, with some testimony of my service to you, I 
found nothing in my whole inventory, that I think better of, 
or more esteeme, than the knowlege of great mens actions, 
which I have learned by a long experience of modern affairs, 
and a continual reading of those of the ancients. Which, 
now that I have with great diligence long workt it out, and 
throughly sifted, I commend to your Magnificence. And 
however I may well think this work unworthy of your view ; 
yet such is your humanity, that I doubt not but it shall find 
acceptance, considering, that for my part I am not able to 
tender a greater gift, than to present you with the means, 
whereby in a very short time you may be able to understand 
all that, which I, in the space of many years, and with many 
sufferances and dangers, have made proof and gaind the 
knowledge of. And this work I have not set forth either with 
elegancy of discourse or stile, nor with any other ornament 
whereby to captivate the reader, as others use, because I would 
not have it gain its esteem from elsewhere than from the truth 
of the matter, and the gravity of the subject. Nor can this 


be thought presumption, if a man of humble and low condition 
venture to dilate and discourse upon ttie governments of 
Princes ; for even as tJiey that with their pencils designe out 
countreys, get themselves into the plains below to consider the 
nature of the mountains, and other high places above ; and 
again to consider the plains below, they get up to the tops of 
the mountains ; in like manner to understand the nature of Un 
people, it is fit to be a Prince ; and to know well the dispositions 
of Princes, sides best with the understanding of a subject. 
Your Magnificence then may be pleased, to receive this small 
present, with the same mind tJiat I send it; which if you sliall 
throughly peruse and consider, you shall perceive therein that 
I exceedingly wish, that you may attain to that greatness, 
which your own fortune, and your excellent endowments 
promise you : and if your Magnificence from the very 
point of your Highness shall sometime cast your eyes 
upon these inferior places, you shall see how un 
deservedly I undergoe an extream and continual 
despight of Fortune. 

KK 257 



CHAP. 1. 

How many sorts of Principalities there are, and how 

many wayes they are attained to, . . . 263 

CHAP. 2. 

Of hereditary Principalities, . . . 264 

CHAP. 3. 
Of mixt Principalities, ... . 265 

CHAP. 4. 

Wherefore Darius his Kingdome, taken by Alexander, 
rebelled not against his successors after Alexanders 
death, . 273 

CHAP. 5. 

In what manner Cities and Principalities are to be 
governed, which before they were conquered, lived 
under their own laws, .... 276 

CHAP. (>. 
Of new Principalities that are conquered by ones own 

armes and valor, . . . .277 




1 ABLfc 


Of new Principalities gotten by fortune and other mens 

forces, . . . . . .281 

CHAP. 8. 
Concerning those who by wicked means have attaind to 

a Principality, . . . . .289 

CHAP. 9. 
Of the Civil Principality , . . . . .293 

CHAP. 10. 

In what manner the forces of all Principalities ought to 

be measured, ..... 297 

CHAP. 11. 

Concerning Ecclesiastical Principalities, . . . 299 

CHAP. 12. 
How many sorts of Military discipline there be; and 

touching mercenary soldiers, . . .302 

CHAP. 13. 
Of Auxiliary Soldiers, mixt and natives, . . 307 

CHAP. 14. 
What belongs to the Prince touching military discipline, 310 

CHAP. 15. 
Of those things in respect whereof men, and especially 

Princes are prais d or disprais d, . 313 




Of Liberality and Miserableness, . . 315 

CHAP. 17. 
Of Cruelty and Clemency, and whether it is better to be 

belov d or feared, . . . . .318 

CHAP. 18. 
In what manner Princes ought to keep their word, . 321 

CHAP. 19. 
That Princes should take a care not to incur contempt 

or hatred, . . . . . .325 

CHAP. 20. 

Whether the Citadels and many other things, which 
Princes make use of, are profitable or dammage- 
able, 335 

CHAP. 21. 
How a Prince ought to behave himself to gain reputation, 339 

CHAP. 22. 
Touching Princes Secretaries, . . . 343 

CHAP. 23. 
That Flatterers are to be avoyded, . . 344 

CHAP. 21. 

Wherefore the Princes of Italy have lost their States, 347 



THE CHAP. 25. 


How great power Fortune hath in humane affairs, and 

what means there is to resist it, . . 349 

CHAP. 26. 
An exhortation to free Italy from the Barbarions, . 353 



Written by 


Secretary and Citizen of Florence. 


How many sorts of Principalities there are, and 
how many wayes they are attained to. 

LL States, all Dominions that have had, 
or now have rule over men, have been 
and are, either Republiques or Princi 
palities. Principalities are either heredi 
tary, whereof they of the blood of the Lord 
thereof have long time been Princes; or 
else they are new ; and those that are new, 
are either all new, as was the Dutchy of 
Millan to Francis Sforce; or are as members adjoyned to the 
hereditary State of the Prince that gains it; as the King 
dom of Naples is to the King of Spain. These Dominions 
so gotten, are accustomed either to live under a Prince, 
or to enjoy their liberty; and are made conquest 
of, either with others forces, or ones own, either 
by fortune, or by valor. 




Of Hereditary Principalities. 

WILL not here discourse of Republiques, 
because I have other where treated of 
them at large : I will apply my self only 
to a Principality, and proceed, while I 
weave this web, by arguing thereupon, 
how these Principallities can be governed 
and maintained. I say then that in 
States of inheritance, and accustomed to 
the blood of their Princes, there are far fewer difficulties to 
keep them, than in the new : suffices only not to 
ilSBSgJ .ggg tkej^oursg ijiis. Ancestors_took. and so afterward 
to temporise w i th those accidents t hatcan happen ; that if 
such a Prince be but of ordinary industry, he shall allwaics 
be able to maintain himself in his State, unless by some 
extraordinary or excessive power he be deprived thereof; 
and when he had lost it, upon the least sinister chance that 
befalls the usurper, he recovers it again. We have in Italy 
the Duke of Ferrara for example hereof, who was of ability 
to resist the Venetians, in the year 84. and to withstand 
Pope Julius in the tenth for no other reason, than because 
he had of old continued in that rule ; for the natural Prince 
hath fewer occasions, and less heed to give offence, where 
upon of necessity he must be more beloved ; and unless it be 
that some extravagant vices of his bring him into hatred, it is 
agreeable to reason, that naturally he should be well beloved 
by his own subjects : and in the antiquity and continuation 
of the Dominion, the remembrances and occasions of 
innovations are quite extinguished : for evermore 
one change leaves a kind of breach or dent, to 
fasten the building of another. 



CHAP. Ill 

Of mixt Principalities. 

UT the difficulties consist in the new Prin 
cipality ; and first, if it be not all new, 
but as a member, so that it may be 
termed altogether as mixt ; and the 
variations thereof proceed in the first 
place from a natural difficulty, which vre 
commonly finde in all new Principalities; 
for men do willingly change their Lord,* 
beleeving to better their condition ; and this beliefe causes v 
them to take armes against him that rules over them, 
whereby they deceive themselves, because they find after byV 
experience, they have made it worse : which depends upon 
another natural and ordinary necessity, &ldrjg.hiiii alwak S to_ 
Prince Ji_newl become^ *~w* 11 by 

soldiers he is put to_entertain jipon iliem as by many other.. 
injuries, which a new conquest .draws along with it ; in 
such manner as thou findest all those thine enemies, whom 
thou hast endammaged in the seizing of that Principality, 
and afterwards canst not keep them thy friends that have 
seated thee in it, for not being able to satisfie them accord-! 
ing to their expectations, nor put in practice strong remedies (i 
against them, being obliged to them. For however one be 
very well provided with strong armies, yet hath he alwaies / 
need of the favor of the inhabitants in the Countrey, to enterV 
thereinto. For these reasons, Lewis the twelfth, King of 
France, suddenly took Milan, and as soon lost it ; and the 
first time Lodwick his own forces served well enough to 
wrest it out of his hands; for those people that had opened 
him the gates, finding themselves deceived of their opinion, 
and of that future good which they had promised themselves, 
could not endure the distastes the new Prince gave them. 
True it is, that Countreys that have rebelled again the 
second time, being recovered, are harder lost ; for their Lord, 
taking occasion from their rebellion, is less respective of 




CHAP. Ill [persons, but cares only to secure himself, by punishing 
Of mixt Prin- jthe delinquents, to clear all suspicions, and to provide 
cipalities. Ifor himself where he thinks he is weakest : so that if to 
make France lose Milan the first time, it was enough for 
Duke Lodwick to make some small stir only upon the 
confines ; yet afterwards, before they could make him lose 
it the second time, they had need of the whole world 
together against him, and that all his armies should be 
wasted and driven out of Italy ; which proceeded from the 
forenamed causes : however though both the first and 
second time it was taken from him. The generall causes of 
the first we have treated of; it remains now that we see 
those of the second ; and set down the remedies that he had, 
or any one else can have that should chance to be in those 
termes he was, whereby he might be able to maintain himself 
better in his conquest than the King of France did. I say . 
therefore, that these States which by Conquest are annexed 
/to the ancient states of their conqueror, are either of the 
V same province and the same language, or otherwise ; and 
/when they are, it is very easy to hold them, especially when 
/they are not used to live free; and to enjoy them securely, 
V it is enough to have extinguished the Princes line who ruled 
x)ver them : For in other matters, allowing them their ancient 
/conditions, and there being not much difference of manners 
/betwixt them, men ordinarily live quiet enough ; as we havej 
seen that Burgundy did, Britany, Gascony, and Normandy,! 
which so long time continued with France : for however! 
there be some difference of language between them, yet can! 
they easily comport one with another ; and whosoever makesl 
the conquest of them, meaning to hold them, must have two! 

(regards; the first, that the race of their former Prince be I 
quite extinguished ; the other, that he change nothing, I 
neither in their lawes nor taxes, so that in a very short I 
time they become one entire body with their ancient I 
Principality. But when any States nre gaind in a Province \ 
^disagreeing in language, manners, and orders, here are the 
difficulties, and here is there need of good fortune, and great 
industry to maintain them ;" arid it would be one of the best 


and livelyest remedies, for the Conqueror to goe in person/ CHAP. Ill 
and dwell there; this would make the possession hereof/Of mixt Prin- 
more secure and durable; as the Turk hath done in Greece, cipalitiea. 
who among all the other courses taken by him for to hold 
that State, had he not gone thither himself in person to 
dwell, it had never been possible for him to have kept it : 
for abiding there, he sees the disorders growing in their/ 
beginnings, and forthwith can remedy them ; whereas being 
not there present, they are heard of when they are grown to J 
some height, and then is there no help for them. Moreover,* 
the Province is not pillaged by the officers thou sendest ^ 
thither: the subjects are much satisfied of having recourse 
to the Prince near at hand, whereupon have they more i 
reason to love him, if they mean to be good ; and intending/ 
to do otherwise, to fear him: and forrein Princes will be 
well aware how they invade that State; insomuch, that 
making his abode there, he can very hardly lose it. Another ~~ 
remedy, which is also a better, is to send Colonies into one y 
or two places, which may be as it were the keys of that 
State; for it is necessary either to do this, or to maintain 
there many horse and foot. In these colonies the Prince""" 
makes no great expence, and either without his charge, or ^ 
at a very small rate, he may both send and maintain them ; 
and gives offence only to them from whom he takes theiri 
fields and houses, to bestow them on those new inhabitants] 
who are but a very small part of that State ; and those that! 
he offends, remaining dispersed and poore, can never hurt) 
him : and all the rest on one part, have no offence given 
them, and therefore a small matter keeps them in quiet : on 
the other side, they are wary not to erre, for fear it befalls * 
not them, as it did those that were dispoild. I conclude 
then, that those colonies that are not chargeable, are the 
more trusty, give the less offence ; and they that are 
offended, being but poor and scattered, can do but little 
harme, as I have said ; for it is to be noted, that men must 
either be dallyed and flattered withall, or else be quite 
nisbt. ; for they rc,y"p" th.-rmclv^ f 

>f great ones they are not able \ so that when 



CHAP. Ill (to any man, it ought so to be done, that it need fear no 
Of mixt Pr\-\return of revenge again. But in lieu of Colonies, by main- 
cipalities. vtaining soldiers there, the expence is great ; for the whole 
revenues of that State are to be spent in the keeping of it ; 
so the conquest proves but a loss to him that hath got it, 
and endammages him rather ; for it hurts that whole State 
to remove the army from place to place, of which annoyance 
every one hath a feeling, and so becomes enemie to thee ; as 
they are enemies, I wis, who are outraged by thee in their own 
houses, whensoever they are able to do thee mischief. Every 
way then is this guard unprofitable. Besides, he that is in 
a different Province, (as it is said) should make himself Head 
Vand defender of his less powerfull neighbors, and devise 
valwaies to weaken those that are more mighty therein, and 
/take care that upon no chance there enter not any foreiner 
yas mighty as himself; for it will alwaies come to pass, that 
they shall be brought in by those that are discontented, 
either upon ambition, or fear ; as the Etolians brought the 
Romans into Greece ; and they were brought into every 
countrey they came, by the Natives ; and the course of the 
matter is, that so soon as a powerfull Stranger enters a 
/countrey, all those that are the less powerfull there, cleave 
to him, provoked by an envy they beare him that is more 
^mighty than they; so that for these of the weaker sort, he 
may easily gain them without any pains : for presently all 
of them together very willingly make one lump with that he 
hath gotten : He hath only to beware that these increase 
not their strengths, nor their authorities, and so he shall 
easily be able by his own forces, and their assistances, to 
take down those that are mighty, and remain himself 
absolute arbitre of that Countrey. And he that playes not 
well this part, shall quickly lose what he hath gotten ; and 
while he holds it, shall find therein a great many troubles 
and vexations. The Romans in the Provinces they seiz d 
on, observed well these points, sent colonies thither, enter- 
Stained the weaker sort, without augmenting any thing their 
.power, abated the forces of those that were mighty, and 
permitted not any powerfull forreiner to gain too much 


reputation there. And I will content my self only with the CHAP. Ill 
countrey of Greece for example hereof. The Achayans and Of mixt Prin- 
Etolians were entertained by them, the Macedons kingdome cipalities. 
was brought low, Antiochus was driven thence, nor ever did 
the Achayans or Etolians deserts prevail so far for them, 
that they would ever promise to enlarge their State, nor the 
perswasions of Philip induce them ever to be his friends, 
without bringing him lower; nor yet could Antiochus his 
power make them ever consent that he should hold any 
State in that countrey : for the Romans did in these cases 
that which all judicious Princes ought to do, who are not 
only to have regard unto all present mischiefs, but also to 
the future, and to provide for those with all industry ; for 
/by taking order for those when they are afarre off , it is easie 
/to prevent them ; but by delaying till they come near hand 
4.0 thee, the remedy comes too late; for this malignity is 
/grown incurable : and it befalls this, as the physicians say 
of the hectick feaver, that in the beginning it is easily cur d, 
but hardly known ; but in the course of time, not having 
been known in the beginning, nor cured, it becomes easie to 
know, but hard to cure. Even so falls it out in matters of 
State ; for by knowing it aloof off (which is given only to a 
wise man to do) the mischiefs that then spring up, are 
quickly helped ; but when, for not having been perceived, 
they are suffered to increase, so that every one sees them, 
there is then no cure for them : therefore the Komans, seeing 
these inconvenients afar off , alwaies prevented them, and 
never sufferd them to follow ; for to escape a war, be 
cause they knew that a war is not undertaken, but deferred 
for anothers advantage; therefore would they rather make 
a war with Philip and Antiochus in Greece, to the end it 
should not afterwards be made with them in Italy, though 
for that time they were able to avoid both the one and the 
other, which they thought not good to do : nor did they 
approve of that saying that is ordinarily in the mouthcs of 
the Sages of our dayes, to enjoy the benefits of the present 
time; but that rather, to take the benefit of their valor and 
wisdome ; for time drives forward everything, and may bring 



CHAP. Ill with it as well good as evil, and evil as good. But let us 
Of mixt Prin- return to France, and examine if any of the things prescribed 
cipalities. have been done by them : and we will speak of Lewis, and 
not of Charles, as of whom by reason of the long possession 
he held in Italy we better knew the wayes he went : and you 
shall see he did the clean contrary to what should have been 
done by him that would maintain a State of different 
Language and conditions. King Lewis was brought into 
Italy by the Venetians ambition, who would have gotten for 
their shares half the State of Lombardy : I will not blame 
his comming, or the course he took, because he had a mind 
to begin to set a foot in Italy ; but having not any friends 
in the country, all gates being barred against him, by reason 
of King Charles his carriage there, he was constrained to 
joyn friendship with those he could; and this consideration 
well taken, would have proved lucky to him, when in the 
rest of his courses he had not committed any error. The 
King then having conquered Lombardy, recovered presently 
all that reputation that Charles had lost him ; Genua 
yeelded to him, the Florentines became friends with him ; 
the Marquess of Mantua, the Duke of Ferrara, the Bentivolti, 
the Lady of Furli, the Lord of Faenza, Pesaro Rimino, 
Camerino, and Piombino, the Luc heses, Pisans and Sieneses, 
every one came and offered him friendship : then might the 
Venetians consider the rashness of the course they had taken, 
who, only to get into their hands two Townes in Lombardy, 
made the King Lord of two thirds in Italy. Let any man 
now consider with how small difficulty could the King have 
maintained his reputation in Italy, if he had followed these 
\Jaforenamed rules, and secured and defended those his friends, 
who because their number was great, and they weak and 
fearful, some of the Church, and others of the Venetians 
were alwaies forced to hold with him, and by their means 
he might easily have been able to secure himself against 
those that were mightiest : but he was no sooner got into 
Milan, than he took a quite wrong course, by giving ayd to 
Pope Alexander, to seize upon Romania, and perceived not 
that by this resolution he weakned himself, ruining his own 


friends, and those had cast themselves into his bosom, making CHAP. Ill 
the Church puissant, by adding to their Spiritual power, |Of mizt Prin- 
whereby they gaind their authority, and so much temporal jcipalitiea. 
estate/ And having once got out of the way, he was con 
strained to go on forward ; insomuch as to stop Alexanders 
ambition, and that he should not become Lord of nil Tuscany, 
of force he was to come into Italy : and this sufficed him not, 
to have made the Church mighty, and taken away his own 
friends ; but for the desire he had to get the Kingdome of 
Naples, he divided it with the King of Spain : and where 
before he was the sole arbitre of Italy, he brought in a 
competitor, to the end that all the ambitious persons of 
that country, and all that were ill affected to him, might 
have otherwhere to make their recourse : and whereas he 
might have left in that Kingdome some Vice-King of his 
own, he took him from thence, to place another there, that 
might afterward chace him thence. It is a thing indeed 
very natural and ordinary, to desire to be of the getting V 
hand : and alwaies when men undertake it, if they can effect 
it, they shall be prais\l for it, or at least not blamed : but v 
when they are not able, and yet will undertake it, here lies i 
the blame, here is the error committed. If France then was 
able with her own power to assail the Kingdome of Naples, 
she might well have done it ; but not being able, she should 
not have divided it: and if the division she made of 
Lombardy with the Venetians, deservM some excuse, thereby 
to set one foot in Italy ; yet this merits blame, for not being 
excusM by that necessity. Lewis then committed these five 
faults; extinguish! the feebler ones, augmented the State of I 
another that was already powerful in Italy, brought there- 1 
into a very puissant forreiner, came not thither himself toj 
dwell there, nor planted any colonies there : which fault^ 
while he liv d, he could not but be the worse for; yet all 
could not have gone so ill, had he not committed the sixt, 
to take from the Venetians their State; for if he had not J 
enlarcfd the Churches territories nor brought the Spaniard [ 
into Italy, it had bin necessary to take them lower; but 
having first taken those other courses, he should never have 


CHAP. Ill given way to their destruction ; for while they had been 
OfmixtPrin- strong, they would alwaies have kept the others off from 
cipalities. venturing on the conquest of Lombardy. For the Venetians 
would never have given their consents thereto, unless they 
should have been made Lords of it themselves; and the 
others would never have taken it from France, to give it 
them : and then they would never have dar d to go and set 
upon them both together. And if any one should say, that 
King Lewis yeelded Romania to Alexander, and the King- 
dome of Naples to Spain, to avoid a war ; I answer with the : 
weasons above alledged, that one should never suffer any / 
vdisorder to follow, for avoiding of a war; for that war is \ 
not sav d, but put off to thy disadvantage. And if any / 
others argue, that the King had given his word to the Pope, 
to do that exploit for him, for dissolving of his marriage, 
and for giving the Cardinals Cap to him of Roan ; I answer 
with that which hereafter I shall say touching Princes words, 
how they ought to be kept. King Lewis then lost Lombardy, 
for not having observed some of those termes which others 
us d, who have possessed themselves of countries, and desir d 
to keep them. Nor is this any strange thing, but very 
ordinary and reasonable : and to this purpose I spake at 
Nantes with that French Cardinal, when Valentine (for so 
ordinarily was Caesar Borgia Pope Alexanders son calPd) 
made himself master of Romania; for when the Cardinal 
said to me, that the Italians understood not the feats of 
war ; I answered, the Frenchmen understood not matters 
of State : for had they been well vers d therein, they would 
never have suffered the Church to have grown to that 
greatness. And by experience we have seen it, that the 
power hereof in Italy, and that of Spain also, was caused by 
France, and their own ruine proceeded from themselves. 
From whence a general rule may be taken, which never, or 

I very seldom fails, That he that gives the means to another to 
become powerful, mines himself; for that power is caused by 
V^iim either with his industry, or with his force ; and as 
well the one as the other of these two is suspected 

by him that is grown puissant. 



Wherefore Darius his Kingdome taken by Alex 
ander, rebelled not against Alexanders Successors 
after his death. 

j]HE difficulties being consider d, which a 
man hath in the maintaining of a State new 
gotten, some might marvaile how it came 
to pass, that Alexander the great sub 
dued all Asia in a few years ; and having 
hardly possessed himself of it, died ; where 
upon it seemed probable that all that 
State should have rebelled; nevertheless 
his Successors kept the possession of it, nor found they other 
difficulty in holding it, than what arose among themselves 
through their own ambition. I answer, that all the Prin 
cipalities whereof we have memory left us, have been 
governed in two several manners ; either by a Prince, and 
all the rest Vassals, who as ministers by his favor and allow 
ance, do help to govern that Kingdom ; or by a Prince and 
by Barons, who not by their Princes favor, but by the 
antiquity of blood hold that degree. And these kinds of 
Barons have both states of their own, and Vassals who 
acknowledge them for their Lords ; and bare them a true 
natural affection. Those States that are govenfd by a 
Prince and by Vassals, have their Prince ruling over them 
with more authority ; for in all his countrey, there is none 
acknowledged for superior, but himself: and if they yeeld 
obedience to any one else, it is but as to his minister and 
officer, nor beare they him any particular good will. The 
examples of these two different Governments now in our 
dayes, are, the Turk, and the King of France. The Turks 
whole Monarchy is governed by one Lord, and the rest are ( \ 
all his Vassals; and dividing his whole Kingdom into divers J\ 
Sangiacques or Governments, he sends several thither, and 
those he chops and changes, as he pleases. But the King 
MM * 73 


rebelled not 
against Alex 
anders Suc 
cessors after 
his death. 


of France is seated in the midst of a multitude of Lords, 
who of old have been acknowledged for such by their subjects, 
and being beloved by them, enjoy their preheminencies ; nor 
can the King take their States from them without danger. 
He then that considers the one and the other of these two 
States, shall find difficulty in the conquest of the Turks 
State ; but when once it is subdu d, great facility to hold it. 
The reasons of these difficulties in taking of the Turks 
Kingdom from him, are, because the Invader cannot be 
called in by the Princes of that Kingdom, nor hope by the 
rebellion of those which he hath about him, to be able to 
facilitate his enterprize: which proceeds from the reasons 
aforesaid ; for they being all his slaves, and obliged to him, 
can more hardly be corrupted ; and put case they were 
corrupted, little profit could he get by it, they not being able 
to draw after them any people, for the reasons we have 
shewed : whereupon he that assails the Turk, must think to 
find him united ; and must rather relie upon his own forces, 
than in the others disorders : but when once he is overcome 
and broken in the field, so that he cannot repair his armies, 
there is nothing else to be doubted than the Royal blood, 
which being once quite out, there is none else left to be 
feard, none of the others having any credit with the people. 
And as the conqueror before the victory could not hope in 
them ; so after it, ought he not to fear them. The contrary 
falls out in Kingdoms governed as is that of France : for it 
is easie to be entered by the gaining of any Baron in the 
Kingdom ; for there are alwaies some malecontents to be 
found, and those that are glad of innovation. Those for 
the reasons alledg d are able to open thee a way into that 
State, and to further thy victory, which afterwards to make 
good to thee, draws with it exceeding many difficulties, as 
well with those that have ayded thee, as those thou hast 
supprest. Nor is it enough for thee to root out the Princes 
race : for there remaine still those Lords who quickly will 
be the ring-leaders of new changes ; and in case thou art 
not able to content these, nor extinguish them, thou losest 
that State, whensoever the occasion is offerd. Now if thou 


shalt consider what sort of government that of Darius was, CHAP. IV 
thou shalt find it like to the Turks dominion, and therefore Wherefore 
Alexander was necessitated first to defeat him utterly, I>ariu 
and drive him out of the field ; after which victory Darius reb ^ 1 g ed A l j ot 
being dead, that State was left secure to Alexander, for the ander^Sur" 
reasons we treated of before : and his successors, had they cessors after 
continued in amity, might have enjoy d it at ease: nor ever his death, 
arose there in that Kingdome other tumults, than those 
they themselves stirM up. But of the States that are 
ordered and grounded as that of France, it is impossible to 
become master at such ease : and from hence grew the 
frequent rebellions of Spain, France, and Greece against the 
Romans, by reason of the many Principalities those States 
had : whereof while the memory lasted, the Romans were 
alwayes doubtfull of the possession of them ; but the 
memory of them being quite wip t out, by the power and 
continuance of the Empire, at length they enjoy d it 
securely ; and they also were able afterwards fighting one 
with another, each of one them to draw after them the 
greater part of those provinces, according as their authority 
had gain d them credit therein : and that because the blood 
of their ancient Lords was quite spent, they acknowledged no 
other but the Romans. By the consideration then of these 
things, no man will marvaile that Alexander had so little 
trouble to keep together the State of Asia ; and that others 
have had such great difficulties to maintain their conquest, 
as Pyrrhus, and many others; which proceeds not from 
the small or great valour of the eonrjiierour, but 
from the difference of the subject. 



In what manner Cities and Principalities are to be 

govern d, which, before they were conquer d, liv d 

under their own Laws. 

HEN those States that are conquered, as it 
is said, have been accustomed to live 
under their own Laws, and in liberty 
there are three wayes for a man to hold 
them. The first is to demolish all their\ 
strong places; the other, personally to goe/ 
and dwell there; the third, to suffer themy-i, \ 
to live under their own Laws, drawings- 
from them some tribute, and creating therein an Oligarchy,}- 
that may continue it in thy service : for that State being 
created by that Prince, knowes it cannot consist without 
his aid and force, who is like to doe all he can to maintain 
it ; and wif^ morp fafilif y is a City kept by meanes of her 
own Citizens, which hath been usd before to live freeTtnan 
by any other way of keeping. We have for example the 
Spartans and the Romans ; the Spartans held Athens and 
Thebes, creating there an Oligarchy : yet they lost it. The 
Romans to be sure of Capua, Carthage, and Numantia, dis- 
mantelPd them quite, and so lost them not : they would 
have kept Greece as the Spartans had held them, leaving 
them free, and letting them enjoy their own Laws; and it 
prospered not with them : so that they were forcYl to 
deface many Cities of that province to hold it. For in truth 
there is not a surer way to keep them under, than by;-* 
demolishments ; and whoever becomes master of a City us d 
to live free, and dismantells it not, let him look himselfe to 
\ bee ruin d by it; for it alwayes in time of rebellion takes 
the name of liberty for refuge, and the ancient orders it 
had ; which neither by length of time, nor for any favours 
afforded them, are ever forgotten ; and for any thing that 
can be done, or ordered, unlesse the inhabitants be disunited 


and dispersed, that name is never forgotten, nor those CHAP. V 
customes : but presently in every chance recourse is thither In what 
made: as Pisa did after so many yeeres that she had been manner Cities 
subdu d by the Florentines. But when the Cities or the "M ? rinci " 
Provinces are accustomed to live under a Prince, and that 
whole race is quite extirpated : on one part being us\l to 
obey ; on the other, not having their old Prince ; they agree 
not to make one from among themselves : they know not 
how to live in liberty, in such manner that they are much 
slower to take armes ; and with more facility may a Prince 
gaine them, and secure himselfe of them. But in Repub- 
liques there is more life in them, more violent hatred, more 
earnest desire of revenge; nor does the remembrance of 
the ancient liberty ever leave them, or suffer them 
to rest ; so that the safest way, is, either to ruine 
them, or dwell among them. 


Of new Principalities, that are conquer d by ones 
own armes and valour. 

KT no man marvaile, if in the discourse I 
shall make of new Principalities, both 
touching a Prince, and touching a State, 
I shall alledge very famous examples: for 
seeing men almost alwayes walk in the 
pathes beaten by others, and proceed in 
their actions by imitation ; and being 
that others waves cannot bee exactly fol- 
low d, nor their vertues, whose patterne thou set s t before 
thee, attained unto ; a w_be-mAn~ ought alwayesjo tread the 
footsteps of the worthiest persons, and imitate those that^ 
have been the most excellent: to the end that if his vertue-^ 
arrive not thereto, at least it may yeeld some favour thereof, 
and doe as good Archers use, who thinking the place they 
intend to hit, too farre distant, and knowing how farr the 
strength of their bow will carrv, they lav their avme a great 


CHAP. VI deale higher than the mark ; not for to hit so high with their 
Of new Prin- arrow, but to bee able with the help of so high an aime to 
cipalities, that reach the place they shoot at. I say, that in Principalities 
are conquer d wno }ly new, where there is a new Prince, there is more and 
armeTaiuT 11 ^ esse difficulty in maintaining them, as the vertue of their 
valour. Conquerour is greater or lesser. And because this successe, 

to become a Prince of a private man, presupposes either 
vertue, or fortune ; mee thinks the one and other of these 
two things in part should mitigate many difficulties ; how 
ever he that hath lesse stood upon fortune, hath maintained 
himselfe the better. Moreover it somewhat facilitates the 
matter in that the Prince is constrained, because he hath not 
other dominions, in person to come and dwell there. But 
to come to these who by their own vertues, and not by 
fortune, attained to be Princes; the excellentest of these are 
Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and such like; and though 
of Moses we are not to reason, he onely executing the things 
that were commanded him by God ; yet merits he well to be 
admired, were it only for that grace that made him worthy 
to converse with God. But considering Cyrus, and the 
others, who either got or founded Kingdomes, we shall find 
them all admirable ; and if there particular actions and 
Lawes be throughly weighed, they will not appeare much 
differing from those of MoVses, which he received from so 
Sovraigne an instructer. And examining their lives and 
actions, it will not appeare, that they had other help of 
fortune, than the occasion, which presented them with the 
matter wherein they might introduce what forme they then 
pleas d ; and without that occasion, the vertue of their mind 
had been extinguished ; and without that vertue, the 
occasion had been offered in vaine. It was then necessary 
for Moses to find the people of Israel slaves in ^gypt, and 
oppressed by the ^Egyptians, to the end that they to get 
out of their thraldome, should bee willing to follow him. 
It was fit that Romulus should not be kept in Albia, but 
exposed presently after his birth, that he might become 
King of Rome, and founder of that City. There was need 
that Cyms should find the Persians discontented with the 


Medcs government, and the Medes delicate and effeminate CHAT. VI 
through their long peace. Theseus could not "makV proof Of new Prin- 
of his vertue, had not he found the Athenians dispersed. cipalitieH.that 
These occasions therefore made these men happy, andtheir nre c<m< l lH r>(1 
excellent vertue made the occasion be taken notice of, ^^Uml* 
whereby their countrey became enobled, and exceeding valour, 
fortunate. They, who by vertuous waies, like unto these, 
become Princes, attain the Principality with difficulty, but 
hold it with much ease; and the difficulties they find in 
gaining the Principality, arise partly from the new orders 
and courses they are force! to bring in, to lay the founda 
tion of their State, and work their own security. And it is 
to be considered, how there is not any thing harder to take 
in hand, nor doubtfuller to succeed, nor more dangerous to 
mannage, than to be the chief in bringing in new orders; 
for this Chief finds all those his enemies, that thrive upon 
the old orders; and hath but luke warme defenders of all 
those that would do well upon the new orders, which luke- 
warme temper proceeds partly from fear of the opposcrs 
who have the laws to their advantage; partly from the in 
credulity of the men who truly beleeve not a new thing, 
unless there be some certain proof given them thereof* 
Whereupon it arises, that whensoever they that are adver 
saries, take the occasion to assay le, they do it factiously ; 
and these others defend but cooly, so that their whole- 
party altogether runs a hazzard. Therefore it is necessary, 
being we intend throughly to discourse this part, to examine 
if these innovators stand of themselves, or if they depend 
upon others; that is, if to bring their work to effect, it be 
necessary they should intreat, or be able to constrain; in 
the first case they allwayes succeed ill, and bring nothing to 
pass ; but when they depend of themselves, and are able to 
force, then seldom it is that they hazzard. Hence came it 
that all the prophets that were annM, prevajl d ; but those 
that were unarm Yl, were too weak : for tasides what we 
have alledg d, the nature of the people is changeable, and 
easie to be perswaded to a matter ; out it is hard also to 
settle them in that pcrswasion. And therefore it behoves 



CHAP. VI a man to be so provided, that when they beleeve no longer, 
Of new Prin- he may be able to compel them thereto by force. Moses, 
cipalities,that Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus would never have been able 
are conquer d to cause their Laws long to be obey d, had they been dis- 
by ones own . -. . .. I_IPIT< T o i 

armes and arm d ; as in our times it befel 1 ryer Jerome bavanarola, 

valour. who perished in his new constitutions, when the multitude 

began not to beleeve him ; neither had he the means to keep 
them firme, that had beleevM; not to force beleefe in them 
that had not beleev d him. Wherefore such men as these, 
in their proceedings find great difficulty, and all their 
dangers are in the way, and these they must surmount by 
their vertue ; but having once mastered them, and beginning 
to be honored by all, when they have rooted those out that 
envi d their dignities, they remain powerful, secure, honor 
able, and happy. To these choice examples, I will add 
one of less remark ; but it shall hold some proportion with 
them, and this shall suffice me for all others of this kind, 
which is Hiero the Siracusan. He of a private man, became 
Prince of Siracusa, nor knew he any other ayd of fortune 
than the occasion : for the Siracusans being oppressed, made 
choyce of him for their Captain, whereupon he deserved to 
be made their Prince : and he was of such vertue even in 
his private fortune, that he who writes of him, sayes, 
he wanted nothing of reigning, but a Kingdom ; this 
man extinguished all the old soldiery, ordaind the new; 
left the old allyances, entertained new ; and as he had 
friendship, and soldiers that were his own, upon that 
ground he was able to build any edifice; so that 
he indured much trouble in gaining, and suffered 
but little in maintaining. 




Of new Principalities, gotten by fortune, and 
other mens forces. 

HEY who by fortune only, become Princes 
of private men, with small pains attain 
to it, but have much ado to maintain 
themselves in it; and find no difficulty at 
all in the way, because they are carried 
thither with wings : but all the difficulties 
arise there, after they are plac d in them. 
And of such sort are those who have an 
estate given them for money, by the favor of some one 
that grants it them : as it befell many in Greece, in the 
cities of Jonia, and Hellespont; where divers Princes were 
made by Darius, as well for his own safety as his glory ; as 
also them that were made Emperors ; who from private 
men by corrupting the soldiers, attaind to the Empire. 
These subsist meerly upon the will, and fortune of tnose 
that have advanced them; which are two voluble and un 
steady things ; and they neither know how, nor are able to 
continue in that dignity: they know not how, because 
unless it be a man of great understanding and vertue, it is 
not probable that he who hath always liv d a private life, 
can know how to command : neither are they able, because 
they have not any forces that can be friendly or faithful to 
them. Moreover those States that suddenly fall into a 
mans hands, as all other things in nature that spring and 
grow quickly, cannot well have taken root, nor have made 
their correspondencies so firm, but that the first storm that 
takes them, ruines them ; in case these, who (as it is said) 
are thus on a sudden clambred up to be Princes, are not of 
that worth and vertue as to know how to prepare them 
selves to maintain that which chance hath cast into their 
bosoms, and am afterwards lay those foundations, which 
others have cast before they were Princes. For the one and 
NN #" 

gotten by 
fortune, and 
other mens 


Y CHAP. VII the other of these wayes about the attaining to be a Prince, 
Of new Prin- by Vertue, or by Fortune, I will alledge you two examples 
which have been in the dayes of our memory. These were 
Francis Sforza, and Ca?sar Borgia; Francis by just means 
and with a great deal of vertue, of a private man got to be 
Duke of Millan ; and that which with much pains he had 
gaind, he kept with small ado. On the other side Caesar 
Borgia (commonly termed Duke Valentine) got his state by 
his Fathers fortune, and with the same lost it ; however that 
for his own part no pains was spar d, nor any thing omitted, 
which by a discreet and valorus man ought to have been 
done, to fasten his roots in those Estates, which others 
armes or fortune had bestowed on him ; for (as it was for 
merly said) he that lays not the foundations first, yet might be 
able by means of his extraordinary vertues to lay them after 
wards, however it be with the great trouble of the architect, 
and danger of the edifice. If therefore we consider all the 
Dukes progresses, we may perceive how great foundations 
he had cast for his future power, which I judge a matter not 
superfluous to run over; because I should not well know, 
what better rules I might give to a new Prince, than the 
pattern of his actions; and however the courses he took, 
availd him not, yet was it not his fault, but it proceeded 
from an extraordinary and extream malignity of fortune. 
Pope Alexander the sixt, desiring to make the Duke his son 
a great man, had a great many difficulties, present and 
future : first he saw no way there was whereby he might be 
able to make him Lord of any State, that was not the 
Churches ; and if he turnd to take that from the Church, 
he knew that the Duke of Milan, and the Venetians would 
never agree to it ; for Faenza and Riminum were under the 
Venetians protection. Moreover, he saw that the armes of 
Italy, and those whereof in particular he might have been 
able to make some use, were in their hands, who ought to 
fear the Popes greatness ; and therefore could not any wayes 
rely upon them : being all in the Orsins and Colonies hands, 
and those of their faction. It was necessary then, that those 
matters thus appointed by them should be disturbed, and 


the States of Italy disordered, to be able safely to master CHAP. VII 
part of them, which he then found easie to do, seeing the Of new I rin- 
Venetians upon three considerations had us d the means to cipalitie*, 
bring the French men back again into Italy : which he not J^*"^^ 
only did not withstand, but furthered, with a resolution of other n , eng 
King Lewis his ancient marriage. The King then past into forces. 
Italy with the Venetians ayd, and Alexanders consent ; nor 
was he sooner arrived in Milan, than the Pope had soldiers 
from him for the service of Romania, which was quickly 
yeelded up to him upon the reputation of the Kings forces. 
The Duke then having made himself master of Romania, 
and beaten the Colonies, desiring to hold it, and proceed 
forward, two things hindered him : the one, his own 
soldiers, which he thought were not true to him ; the other, 
the French mens good wills; that is to say, he feared that 
the Princes soldiers, whereof he had served himself, would 
fail him, and not only hinder his conquest, but take from 
him what he had gotten ; and that the King also would 
serve him the same turn. He had experience of the Orsini 
upon an occasion, when after the taking of Faenza he 
assaulted Bolonia, to which assault he saw them go very 
cold. And touching the King, he discovered his mind, 
when having taken the Dutchy of Urbin, he invaded 
Tuscany; from which action the King made him retire; 
whereupon the Duke resolved to depend no more upon 
fortune, and other mens armes. And the first thing he 
did, was, to weaken the Orsini, and Colonnics factions 
in Rome: for he gain d all their adherents that were 
gentlemen, giving them large allowances, and honoring 
them according to their qualities with charges and govern 
ments ; so that in a few months the good will 
bare to the parties was quite extinguisht, and wholly 
bent to the Duke. After this, he waited an occasion to 
root out the Orsini, having before dispersed those of the 
family of Colonnia, which fell out well to his hand ; and he 
us\l it better. For the Orsini being too late aware, that 
the Dukes and the Churches greatness was their destruction, 
held a Council together in a dwelling house of theirs in the 


Of new Prin 
gotten by 
fortune, and 
other mens 


country adjoyning to Perusia. From thence grew the 
rebellion of Urbin, and the troubles of Romania, and many 
other dangers befell the Duke, which he overcame all with 
the help of the French : and having regained his reputation, 
trusting neither France, nor any forrein forces, to the end 
he might not be put to make trial of them again, he betook 
himself to his sleghts ; and he knew so well to disguise his 
intention, that the Orsins, by the mediation of Paul Orsine, 
were reconciled to him, to whom the Duke was no way 
wanting in all manner of courtesies whereby to bring them 
into security, giving them rich garments, money, and horses, 
til their own simplicities led them all to Sinigallia, into his 
hands. These heads being then pluck d off, and their 
partisans made his friends ; the Duke had laid very good 
foundations, to build his own greatness on, having in his 
power all Romania with the Dutchy of Urbin, and gained 
the hearts of those people, by beginning to give them some 
relish of their well being. And because this part is worthy 
to be taken notice of, and to be imitated by others, I will 
not let it escape. The Duke, when he had taken Romania, 
finding it had been under the hands of poor Lords who had 
rather pillag d their subjects, than chastis d or amended 
them, giving them more cause of discord, than of peace and 
union, so that the whole countrey was fraught with robberies, 
quarrels, and other sorts of insolencies ; thought the best 
way to reduce them to termes of pacification, and obedience 
to a Princely power, was, to give them some good govern 
ment : and therefore he set over them one Remiro D Orco, 
a cruel hasty man, to whom he gave an absolute power. 
This man in a very short time setled peace and union 
amongst them with very great reputation. Afterwards the 
Duke thought such excessive authority servM not so well to 
his purpose, and doubting it would grow odious, he erected 
a civil Judicature in the midst of the countrey, where one 
excellent Judge did Preside, and thither every City sent 
their Advocate : and because he knew the rigors past had 
bred some hatred against him, to purge the minds of those 
people, and to gain them wholly to himself, he purposed to 


shew, that if there was any cruelty used, it proceeded not CHAP. VII 
from any order of his, but from the harsh disposition of his Of new Prin- 
Officers. Whereupon laying hold on him, at this occasion, cipalitict, 

he causM his head to be struck off one morning early in the otten > 

iii /-I i i i ft. -i i j fortune, :iiul 

market place at Cesena, where he was left upon a gibbet, otlu>r mji|lM 

with a bloody sword by his side ; the cruelty of which furre*. 
spectacle for a while satisfied and amazYl those people. Hut 
to return from whence we have digressd : I say, that the 
Duke finding himself very strong, and in part out of doubt 
of the present dangers, because he was arm\l after his own 
manner, and had in some good measure suppressed those forces, 
which, because of their vicinity, were able to annoy him, he 
wanted nothing else to go on with his Conquest, but the 
consideration of France: for he knew, that the King, who 
now, though late, was advis d of his error, would never suffer 
him : and hereupon he began to seek after new allyances, 
and to waver with France, when the French came towards 
Naples against the Spaniards, who then besieged Gagetta ; 
and his design was only to be out of their clanger, which had 
been effected for him, had Pope Alexander lived. And thus 
were his businesses carried touching his present estate. As 
for the future, he had reason to doubt lest the new successor 
to the Papacy would not be his friend, and would endeavor 
to take that from him that Alexander had bestowed on him ; 
and he thought to provide for this foure waies : First by 
rooting out the races of all those Lords he had dispoyled, 
whereby to take those occasions from the Pope. Secondly, 
by gaining all the gentlemen of Home, whereby he might 
be able with those to keep the Pope in some awe. Thirdly, 
to make the Colledge of Cardinals as much at his devotion 
as possibly might be. Fourthly, by making of so large Con 
quests, before the Popes death, as that he might bo able of 
himself to withstand the first fury of his enemies. Three of 
these fowre at Pope Alexanders death he had effected, and 
the fourth he had neare brought to a point. For of those 
Lords he had stript, he put to death as many as lie could 
come at, and very few escaped him : he gaind him the 
Roman Gentlemen: and in the Colledge he had made a 



Of new Prin 
gotten by 
fortune, and 
other mens 


great faction. And touching his new Conquest, he had a 
designe to become Lord of Tuscany. And he had possessed 
himself already of Perusia, and Pom bin, and taken protection 
of Pisa : and so soon as he should have cast off his respect 
to France (which now he meant to hold no longer) being 
the French were now driven out of the Kingdome of Naples 
by the Spaniards, so that each of them was forc d to buy his 
friendship at any termes; he was then to leap into Pisa. 
After this Lucca and Siena were presently to fall to him, 
partly for envy to the Florentines, and partly for fear. The 
Florentines had no way to escape him : all which, had it 
succeeded with him, as without question it had, the very 
same year that Alexander dy d, he had made himself master 
of so great forces, and such "reputation, that he would have 
been able to have stood upon his own bottom, without any 
dependance of fortune, or resting upon others helps, but 
only upon his own strength and valor. But Alexander dy d 
five years after that he had begun to draw forth his sword : 
and left him setled only in the State of Romania, with all 
his other designes in the ayre, sick unto death, between two 
very strong armies of his enemies ; and yet was there in 
this Duke such a spirit and courage ; and he understood so 
well, how men are to be gaind, and how to be lost, and so 
firm were the grounds he had laid in a short time, that, had 
he not had those armies upon his back, or had been in 
health, he would have carried through his purpose in spight 
of all opposition ; and that the foundations he grounded 
upon were good, it appeard in that Romania held for him 
above a moneth, and he remained secure in Rome, though 
even at deaths doore : and however the Baglioni, Vitelli, and 
Orsini came into Rome ; yet found they none would take 
their parts against him. And this he was able to have 
effected, that if he could not have made him Pope whom he 
would, he could have hindred him that he would not should 
be Pope. But had he been in health when Alexander dy d, 
every thing had gone easily with him ; and he told me on 
that day that Julius the second was created Pope, that he 
had fore-thought on all that which could happen, in case his 


father chancM to dye, and for every thing provided its CHAP. VII 
remedy, this onely excepted, that he foresaw not that he Ofnewl rin- 
himself should at the same time be brought unto deaths cipalitie*, 
dore also. Having then collected all the Dukes actions, tte" b ) 
me thinks I could not well blame him, but rather (as I have *$ 
here done) set him as a pattern to be followed by all those f orce 8. 
who by fortune and others armes have been exalted to an 
Empire. For he being of great courage, and having lofty 
designes, could not carry himself otherwise ; and the only 
obstacle of his purposes was the brevity of Alexanders life, 
and his own sickness. Whoever therefore deemes it necessary -^ 
in his entrance into a new Principality, to secure himself of 
his enemies, and gain him friends, to overcome either by 
force, or by cunning, to make himself beloved, or feared 
of his people, be followed and reverenced by his soldiers, 
to root out those that can, or owe thee any hurt, to change 
the ancient orders with new wayes, to be severe, and yet 
acceptable, magnanimous, and liberall ; to extinguish the 
unfaithfull soldiery, and create new ; to maintain to himself 
the armities of Kings and Princes, so that they shall either 
with favor benefit thee, or be wary how to offend thee ; cannot 
find more fresh and lively examples than the actions of this 
man. He deserves to be found fault withall for the creation 
of Julius the second, wherein an evil choice was made for 
him : for, as it is said, not being able to make a Pope to his 
mind, he could have withheld any one from being Pope; and 
should never have consented that any one of those Cardinals 
should have got the Papacy, whom he had ever done harine 
to; or who having attaind the Pontificate were likely to be 
afraid of him : because men ordinarily do hurt either for 
fear, or hatred. Those whom he had offended, were among 
others, he who had the title of St. Peter ad Vincula, Colonna, 
St. George, and Ascanius; all the others that were in 
possibility of the Popedome, were such as might have feard 
him rather, except the Cardinal of Koan,and the Spaniards ; 
these by reason of their allyance and obligation with him, 
the other because of the power they had, having the King- 
dome of France on their party ; wherefore the Duke above 


gotten by 



CHAP. VII all things should have created a Spanyard Pope, and in case 
OfnewPrin- he could not have done that, he should have agreed that 
Roan should have been, and not St. Peter ad Vincula. And 
whoever beleeves, that with great personages new benefits 
^ ot on ^ e remembrance of old injuries, is much deceived. 
The Duke therefore in this election, was the cause of his 
own ruine at last. 

Till wee come to this seaventh Chapter, I find not any thing 
much blame-worthy, unlesse it be on ground he layes in the 
second Chapter ; whereupon hee builds most of this Fabrick, viz. 
That Subjects must either be dallyed or flatterd withall, or quite 
crusht. AVhereby our Author advises his Prince to support 
his authority with two Cardinall Vertues, Dissimulation, arid 
Cruelty. He considers not herein that the head is but a member 
of the body, though the principall ; and the end of the parts is 
the good of the whole. And here he goes against himselfe in 
the twenty sixt Chapter of his Rep. 1. 1. where hee blames 
Philip of Macedon for such courses, terming them very cruell, 
and against all Christian manner of living ; and that every man 
should refuse to be a King, and desire rather to live a private 
life, than to reigne so much to the ruine of mankind. The life 
of Csesar Borgia, which is here given as a paterne to new Princes, 
we shall find to have been nothing else but a cunning carriage 
of things so, that he might thereby first deceive and inveigle, 
and then suppresse all those that could oppose or hinder his 
ambition. For if you runne over his life, you shall seethe Father 
Pope Alexander the sixt and him, both imbarqued for his ad 
vancement, wherein they engag d the Papall authority, and 
reputation of Religion ; for faith and conscience these men never 
knew, though they exacted it of others : there was never promise 
made, but it was only so farre kept as servd for advantage ; 
Liberality was made use of: Clemency and Cruelty, all alike, 
as they might serve to worke with their purposes. All was 
sacrific d to ambition ; no friendship could tye these men, nor any 
religion: and no marvell: for ambition made them forget both 
God and man. But see the end of all this cunning : though 
this Caesar Borgia contrived all his businesse so warily, that our 
Author much commends him, and hee had attaind neerethe pitch 
of his hopes, and had provided for each misadventure could 
befall him its remedy ; Policy shewd it selefe short-sighted ; for 
hee foresaw not at the time of his Fathers death, he himself 
should bee brought unto deaths doore also. And me thinks this 
Example might have given occasion to our Author to confesse, 
that surely there is a God that ruleth the earth. And many 


times God cutts off those cunning and mighty men in the hight CHAP VII 

of their purposes, when they think they have neare surmounted nf ., . 

all dangers and difficulties. To the intent that the living may 

know, that the most high ruleth in the Kingdome of men, and 

ffiveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest ?"* n bv 

of men. Daniel. 4. 17- 

other ii 



Concerning those who by wicked meanes have 
attaind to a Principality. 

UT because a man becomes a Prince of a 
private man two wayes, which cannot 
wholly be attributed either to Fortune or 
Vertue, I think not fit to let them passe 
me : howbeit the one of them may be 
more largely discoursed upon, where the 
Republicks are treated of. These are, 
when by some wicked and unlawful! 
meanes a man rises to the Principality ; or when a private 
person by the favour of his fellow Citizens becomes Prince 
of his countrey. And speaking of the first manner, it 
shall be made evident by two Examples, the one ancient, 
the other moderne, without entring otherwise into the 
justice or merit of this part; for I take it that these 
are sufficient for any body that is forced to follow them. 
Agathocles the Sicilian, not of a private man onely, but 
from a base and abject fortune, got to be King of Siracusa. 
This man borne but of a Potter, continued alwayes a 
wicked life throughout all the degrees of this fortune : 
neverthelesse he accompanied his lewdnesse with such a 
courage and resolution, that applying himselfe to military 
affaires, by the degrees thereof he attained to bee Pnrtour 
of Siracusa, and being setled in that degree, and having 
determined that he would become Prince, and hold that by-" 
violence and without obligation to any other, which by 
consent had been granted him : and to this purpose haveing 
had some private intelligence touching his designe with 

those who 
by wicked 
meanes have 
attaind to a 


CHAP. VIII Amilcar the Carithaginian, who was imployd with his 
army in Sicily, one morining gatherd the people together 
and the Senate of Syracusa, as if he had some what to 
advise with them of matters belonging to the Common 
wealth, and upon a signe given, causM his souldiers to kill- 
his Senatours, and the richest of the people; who being - 
slaine, he usurped the Principality of that City without any 
civill strife : and however he was twice broken by the 
Carthaginians, and at last besieged, was able not onely to 
defend his own City, but leaving part of his own army at 
the defence thereof, with the other invaded Affrique, and in 
a short time freed Siracusa from the siege, and brought the 
Carthaginians into extreme necessity, who were constraind 
to accord with him, be contented with the possession of 
Affrique, and quitt Sicily to Agathocles, He then that 
should consider the actions and valour of this man, would 
not see any, or very few things to be attributed unto 
Fortune; seeing that as is formerly sayd, not by any ones 
favour, but by the degrees of service in warre with many 
sufferings and dangers, to which he had risen, he came to 
the Principality ; and that hee maintaned afterwards with 
-so many resolute and hazardous undertakings. Yet cannot 
this be ternfd vertue or valour to slay his own Citizens, 
betray his friends, to be without faith, without pitty, 
without religion, which wayes are of force to gaine dominion, 
but not glory : for if Agathocles his valour bee well weighd, 
in his entunng upon, and comming off from dangers, and 
the greatnesse of his courage, in supporting and mastering 
of adversities, no man can see why he should be thought 
any way inferiour even to the ablest Captaines. Notwith 
standing his beastly cruelty and inhumanity with innumer 
able wickednesses, allow not that he should be celebrated 
among the most excellent men. That cannot then be 
attributed to Fortune or Vertue, which without the one or 
^the other was attaind to by him. In our dayes, while 
Alexander the sixth held the sea, Oliverotte of Fermo, who 
some few yeeres before had been left young by his parents, 
was brought up under the care of an uncle of his on the 


mothers side, called John Foliani, and in the beginning of CHAR VIII 
Ills youth given, by him to serve in the warres under Paulo Concerning 
Vitelli : to the end that being well instructed in that dis- those who 

cinline, he might rise to some worthy degree in the warrs. l> > wlck P d 

i T-k i i j i j j \"i 11 nioaries have 

Afterwards when Paulo was dead, he served under \ itellozzo attailld to a 

his brother, and in very short time, being ingenious, of a Principality, 
good personage, and brave courage, he became one of the 
prime men among the troops he served in : but thinking 
it but servile to depend upon another, he plotted by the 
ayd of some Citi/ens of Fermo (who lik d rather the 
thraldome of their City than the liberty of it) and by the 
favour of the Vitelli, to make himselfe master of Fermo ; 
and writ to John Foliani, that having been many yeeres 
from home, he had a mind to come and see him and the 
City, and in some part take notice of his own patrimony; 
and because he had not imployd himselfe but to purchase 
honour, to the end his Citi/ens might perceive, that he had 
not vainely spent his time, he had a desire to come in good 
equipage and accompanied with a hundred horse of his friends 
and servants; and he intreated him that he would be pleasd 
so to take order, that he might be honourably received by 
the inhabitants of Fermo, which turnd as well to his 
honor that was his uncle, as his that was the nephew. In 
this, John faild not in any office of courtesie due to his 
nephew: and caused him to be well receivd by them of 
Fermo, and lodged him in his own house: where having 
passed some dayes, and stayd to put in order somewhat that 
was necessary for his intended villany, he made a very 
solemne feast, whether he invited John* Foliani, and all the 
prime men of Fermo : and when all their chear was ended, 
and all their other entertainments, as in such feast 
is customary, Oliverotto of purpose mov d some grave 
discourses; speaking of the greatnesse of Pope Alexander, 
and Ciesar his son, and their undertakings; where unto John 
and the others milking answer, he of a sudden stood up, 
saving, that those were things to be spoken of in a more 
secret place, and so retirM into a chamber, whether John and 
all the other Citi/ens followd him : nor were they sooner 



those who 
by wicked 
meanes have 
attaind to a 


set downe there, than from some secret place therein came 
forth diverse souldiers, who slew John and all the others : 
after which homicide Oliverotto got a horsebacke and 
ravaged the whole towne, and besieged the supreme Magis- 
trate in the palace, so that for feare they were all constraind 
to obey him, and to settle a government, whereof hee made 
himselfe Prince ; and they being all dead who, had they 
been discontented with him, could have hurt him; he 
strengthned himselfe with new civill and military orders, 
so that in the space of a yeer that he held the Principality, 
he was not only secure in the City of Fermo, but became 
fearefull to all his neighbours ; and the conquest of him ~ 
would have prov d difficult, as that of Agathocles, had he 
not let himselfe been deceivd by Caesar Borgia, when at 
Sinigallia, as before was said, he took the Orsini and 
Vitelli : where he also being taken a yeere after he 
had committed the parricide, was strangled together 
with Vitellozzo (whome he had had for master both 
of his vertues and vices.) Some man might doubt from 
whence it should proceed, that Agathocles, and such 
like, after many treacheries and crueltyes, could possibly 
live long secure in his own countrey, and defend him 
selfe from his forrein enemies, and that never any of his 
own Citizens conspired against him, seeing that by means of 
cruelty, many others have never been able even in peaceable 
times to maintaine their States, much lesse in the doubtfull 
times of warre. I beleeve that this proceeds from the well, 
or ill using of those cruelties : they may bee termd well 
us d (if it bee lawfull to say well of evill) that are put in 
practice only once of necessity for securities sake, not insist 
ing therein afterwards; but there is use made of them for 
the subjects profit, as much as may be. But those that are 
ill us\l, are such as though they bee but few in the begin 
ning, yet they multiply rather in time, than diminish. 
They that take that first way, may with the help of God, 
and mens care, find some remedy for their State, as 
Agathocles did : for the others, it is impossible they should 
continue. Whereupon it is to be noted, that in the laying 


hold of a State, the usurper thereof ought to runne over CHAP. VIII 
and execute all his cruelties at once, that he be not forced-* oncerning 
often to returne to them, and that he may be able, by noM^ ** who 
renewing of them, to give men some security, and gaine their-l > wu kl tl 
affections by doing them some courtesies. Hee that carrics-^^,^ to a 
it otherwise, either for fearefullnesse, or upon evill advice, is Principality, 
alwayes constraind to hold his sword drawne in his hand \ 
nor ever can hee rely upon his subjects, there being no 
possibility for them, because of his daily and contimiall 
injuries, to live in any safety : for his injuries should bee 
done altogether, that being seldomer tasted, they might 
lesse offend ; his favours should bee bestowd by little, and 
little to the end they might keep their taste the better^ 
and above all things a Prince must live with his subjects in 
such sort, that no accident either of good or evill can 
make him varv : for necessity comming upon him by reason 
of adversities, thou hast not time given thee to make advan 
tage of thy cruelties ; and the favours which then thou 
bestowest, will little help thee, being taken as if 
they came from thee perforce, and so yeeld no 
returne of thanks. 


Of the Civill Principality. 

UT comming to the other part, when a 
principall Citizen, not by villany, or 
any other insufferable violence, but by 
the favour of his fellow-citizens becomes 
Prince of his native countrev : which we 
may terme a Civill Principality ; nor to 
attaine hereunto is Vertue wholly or 
Fortune wholly necessary, but rather a 
fortunate cunning : I say, this Principality is climb d up to, 
either by the peoples help, or the great mens. For, in 
every City we finde these two humours differ; and tin -y 


CHAP. IX spring from this, that the people desire not to be com- 
Of the Civill manded nor oppressed by the great ones, and the great ones 
Principality, are desirous to command and oppresse the people : and from 
these two several appetites, arise in the City one of these 
three effects, either a Principality, or Liberty, or Tumult 
uary licentiousnesse. The Principality is caused either by 
the people, or the great ones, according as the one or other 
of these factions have the occasion offerd ; for the great 
ones seeing themselves not able to resist the people, begin 
to turne the whole reputation to one among them, and 
make him Prince, whereby they may under his shadow vent 
their spleenes. The people also, not being able to support 
the great mens insolencies, converting the whole reputation 
to one man, create him their Prince, to be protected by his 
authority. He that comes to the Principality by the assist 
ance of the great ones, subsists with more difficulty, than he 
that attaines to it by the peoples favour ; for he being made 
Prince, hath many about him, who account themselves his 
equalls, and therefore cannot dispose nor command them at 
his pleasure. But he that gaines the Principality by the 
peoples favor, finds himselfe alone in his throne, and hath 
none or very few neare him that are not very supple to 
bend : besides this, the great ones cannot upon easie termes 
be satisfied, or without doing of wrong to others, where as a 
small matter contents the people : for the end which the 
people propound to themselves, is more honest than that of 
the great men, these desiring to oppresse, they only not to 
be oppressed. To this may be added also, that the Prince 
which is the peoples enemy, can never well secure himselfe 
of them, because of their multitude ; well may hee bee sure 
of the Nobles, they being but a few. The worst that a 
Prince can look for of the people become his enemy, is to be 
abandoned by them : but when the great ones once grow his 
enemies, he is not only to feare their abandoning of him, but 
their making of a party against him also : for there being in 
them more forecast and craft, they alwayes take time by the 
forelocks whereby to save themselves, and seeke credit with 
him who they hope shall get the mastery. The Prince 


likewise is necessitated al waves to live with the same people, CHAP IX 
but can doe well enough without the same great men; he Of the ( ivill 
being able to create new ones, and destroy them again every Principality, 
day, and to take from them, and give them credit as he 
pleases : and to cleare this part, I say, that great men ought 
to be considerd two wayes principally, that is, if thev take 
thy proceedings so much to heart, as to engage their for 
tunes wholly in thine, in case they lye not alwaves catching 
at spoyle, they ought to be well honourd and esteem d : 
those that bind themselves not to thy fortune, are to be 
considerd also two wayes; either they doe it for lack of 
courage, and naturall want of spirit, and then shouldst thou 
serve thy selfe of them, and of them especially that are men 
of good advice ; for if thy affaires prosper, thou dost thy selfe 
honour thereby ; if crost, thou needst not feare them : but 
when they oblige not themselves to thee of purpose, and 
upon occasion of ambition, it is a signe thev think more of 
themselves than of thee: and of these the Prince ought to 
beware, and account of them as his discoverd enemves : for 
alwayes in thy adversity they will give a hand too to mine 
thee. Therefore ought hee that comes to be Prince by the 
peoples favour, keepe them his friends : which he may easily 
doe, they desiring only to live free from oppression : but he 
that becomes Prince by the great mens favour, against the 
will of the people, ought above all things to gaine the 
people to him, which he may easily effect, when he takes 
upon him their protection: And because men when thev 
find good, where they look for evill, are thereby more 
endered to their benefactour, therefore growes the people so 
pliant in their subjection to him, as if by their favours he 
had attaind his dignity. And the Prince is able to gaine 
them to his side by many waves, which because they vary 
according to the subject, no certaine rule can be given 
thereupon; wherefore we shall let them passe I will onlv 
conclude, that it is necessary for a Prince to have the 
people his friend ; otherwise in his adversities he hath no 
helpe. Nabis Prince of the Spartans supported the siege of 
all Greece, and an exceeding victorious army of the Komnns, 



CHAP. IX and against those defended his native countrey and State, 
OftheCivill and this sufficed him alone, that as the danger came upon 
Principality, him, he secured himself of a fewer; whereas if the people 
had been his enemy, this had nothing availd him. And let 
no man think to overthrow this my opinion with that 
common proverb, that He who relyes upon the people, layes 
his foundation in the dirt ; for that is true where a private 
Citizen grounds upon them, making his account that the 
people shall free him, when either his enemyes or the 
Magistrates oppresse him : In this case he should find him 
self often deceived, as it befell the Gracchyes in Rome, and in 
Florence George Scali : but he being a Prince that grounds 
thereupon, who can command, and is a man of courage, who 
hath his wits about him in his adversityes, and wants not 
other preparations, and holds together the whole multitude 
animated with his valour and orders, shall not prove deceived 
by them, and shall find he hath layd good foundations. 
These Principalityes are wont to be upon the point of 
falling when they goe about to skip from the civil order to 
the absolute : for these Princes either command of them 
selves, or by the Magistrate ; in this last case their State is 
more weak and dangerous, because they stand wholly at the 
will and pleasure of these Citizens, who then are set over 
the Magistrates, who especially in adverse times are able 
with facility to take their State from them either by rising 
up against them, or by not obeying them; and then the 
Prince is not at hand in those dangers to take the absolute 
authority upon him : for the Citizens and subjects that are 
accustomed to receive the commands from the Magistrates, 
are not like in those fractions to obey his : and in doubtfull 
times he shall alwayes have greatest penury of whom he 
may trust; for such a Prince cannot ground upon that 
which he sees in peaceable times, when the Citizens have 
need of the State ; for then every one runs, and every one 
promises, and every one will venture his life for him, when 
there is no danger neare ; but in times of hazzard, when the 
State hath need of Citizens, there are but few of them then, 
and so much the more is this experience dangerous, in that 


it can be but once made. Therefore a prudent Prince CHAP. IX 
ought to devise a way whereby his Citizens alwayes and [OftheCmll 
in any case and quality of time may have need Principality. 
of his government, and they shall alwaies after 
prove faithfull to him. 


In what manner the Forces of all Principalities 
ought to be measured. 

T is requisite in examining the quality of 
those Principalities, to have another con 
sideration of them, that is, if a Prince 
have such dominions, that he is able in 
case of necessity to subsist of himself, or 
else whether he hath alwaies need of 
another to defend him. And to deer 
this point the better, I judge them able 
to stand of themselves, who are of power either for their 
multitudes of men, or quantity of money, to bring into the 
field a compleat armie, and joyn battel with whoever comes 
to assail them : and so I think those alwaies to stand in 
need of others help, who are not able to appear in the field 
against the enemy, but are forc d to retire within their 
walls and guard them. Touching the first case, we have 
treated already, and shall adde somwhat thereto as occasion 
shall require. In the second case, we cannot say other, 
save only to encourage such Princes to fortifie and guard 
their own Capital city, and of the countrey about, not to 
hold much account; and whoever shall have well fortified 
that town, and touching other matters of governments shall 
have behaved himself towards his subjects, as hath been 
formerly said, and hereafter shall be, shall never be assaild 
but with great regard ; for men willingly undertake not 
enterprises, where they see difficulty to work them through ; 
nor can much facility be there found, where one assails him, 
who hath his town strong and wel guarded, and is not 
PP 297 


In what 
manner the 
Forces of all 
ought to be 


hated of his people. The cities of Germany are very free ; 
they have but very little of the countrey about them 
belonging to them ; and they obey the Emperor, when they 
please, and they stand not in fear, neither of him nor any 
other Potentate about them : for they are in such a manner 
fortified, that every one thinks the siege of any of them 
would prove hard and tedious : for all of them have ditches 
and rampires, and good store of Artillery, and alwaies have 
their publick cellars well provided with meat and drink and 
firing for a yeer : besides this, whereby to feed the common 
people, and without any loss to the publick, they have 
alwaies in common whereby they are able for a year to 
imploy them in the labor of those trades that are the sinews 
and the life of that city, and of that industry whereby the 
commons ordinarily supported themselves : they hold up 
also the military exercises in repute, and hereupon have 
they many orders to maintain them. A Prince then that 
is master of a good strong city, and causeth not himself to 
be hated, cannot be assaulted ; and in case he were, he that 
should assail him, would be fain to quit him with shame : 
for the affairs of the world are so various, that it is almost 
impossible that an army can lie incampt before a town for 
the space of a whole yeer: and if any should reply, that 
the people having their possessions abroad, in case they 
should see them a fire, would not have patience, and the 
tedious siege and their love to themselves would make them 
forget their Prince: I answer that a Prince puissant and 
couragious, will easily master those difficulties, now giving 
his subjects hope, that the mischief will not be of durance ; 
sometimes affright them with the cruelty of their enemies, 
and other whiles cunningly securing himself of those whom 
he thinks too forward to run to the enemy. Besides this by 
ordinary reason the enemy should burne and waste their 
countrey, upon his arrival, and at those times while mens 
minds are yet warme, and resolute in their defence : and 
therefore so much the less ought a Prince doubt : for after 
some few dayes, that their courages grow coole, the dammages 
are all done, and mischiefs received, and there is no help for 


it, and then have they more occasion to cleave faster to CHAP. X 
their Prince, thinking he is now more bound to them, their ] n what 
houses having for his defence been fired, and their posses- manner the 
sions wasted; and mens nature is as well to hold them- ForceiofaU 
iselves obliged for the kindnesses they do, as for those they oi 
Weive; whereupon if all be well weighed, a wise Prince ^ 
shall not find much difficulty to keep sure and true to 
him his Citi/ens hearts at the beginning and latter 
end of the siege, when he hath no want of pro 
vision for food and ammunition. 


Concerning Ecclesiastical Principalities. 

HERE remains now only that we treat of 
the Ecclesiastical Principalities, about 
which all the difficulties are before they 
are gotten : for they are attained to either 
by vertue, or Fortune ; and without the 
one or the other they are held : for they 
are maintaind by orders inveterated in 
the religion, all which are so powerful! 
and of such nature, that they maintain their Princes in 
their dominions in what manner soever they proceed and 
live. These only have an Estate and defend it not ; have 
subjects and govern them not ; and yet their States because 
undefended, are not taken from them ; nor their subjects, 
though not governed, care not, think not, neither are able 
to aliene themselves from them. These Principalities then 
are only happy and secure : but they being sustained by 
superior causes, whereunto humane understanding reaches 
not, I will not meddle with them : for being set up and 
maintained by God, it would be the part of a presumptuous 
and rash man to enter into discourse of them. Vet if any 
man should ask me whence it proceeds, that the Church in 
temporal power hath attaind to such greatness, seeing that 
till the time of Alexander the sixt, the Italian Potentates. 



CHAP. XI and not only they who are entituled the potentates, but 
Concerning every Baron and Lord though of the meanest condition, 
Ecclesiastical in regard of the temporality, made but small account of it ; 
Principalities. anc j now a King of France trembles at the power thereof ; 
and it hath been able to drive him out of Italy, and ruine 
the Venetians ; and however this be well known, me thinks 
it is not superstitious in some part to recall it to memory. 
Before that Charles King of France past into Italy, this 
countrey was under the rule of the Pope, Venetians, the 
King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and the Florentines. 
These Potentates took two things principally to their care ; 
the one, that no forreiner should invade Italy ; the other, 
that no one of them should inlarge their State. They, 
against whom this care was most taken, were the Pope and 
the Venetians ; and to restrain the Venetians, there needed 
the union of all the rest, as it was in the defence of Ferrara ; 
and to keep the Pope low, they served themselves of the 
Barons of Rome, who being divided into two factions, the 
Orsini and Colonnesi, there was alwaies occasion of offence 
between them, who standing ready with their armes in 
hand in the view of the Pope, held the Popedome weak and 
feeble : and however sometimes there arose a couragious 
Pope, as was Sextus ; yet either his fortune, or his wisdome 
was not able to free him of these incommodities, and the 
brevity of their lives was the cause thereof; for in ten years, 
which time, one with another, Popes ordinarily livM, with 
much ado could they bring low one of the factions. And 
if, as we may say, one had near put out the Colonnesi, there 
arose another enemy to the Orsini, who made them grow 
again, so that there was never time quite to root them out. 
This then was the cause, why the Popes temporal power 
was of small esteem in Italy; there arose afterwards Pope 
Alexander the sixt, who of all the Popes that ever were, 
shewed what a Pope was able to do with money and forces : 
and he effected, by means of his instrument, Duke Valentine, 
and by the ocasion of the French mens passage, all those 
things which I have formerly discoursed upon in the Dukes 
actions: and however his purpose was nothing at all to 


inlarge the Church dominions, but to make the Duke great ; CHAP. XI 
yet what he did, turnd to the Churches advantage, which Concerning 
after his death when the Duke was taken away, was the E 
heir of all his pains. Afterwards succeeded Pope Julius, r 
and found the Church great, having all Romania, and ull 
the Barons of Rome being quite rooted out, and by 
Alexanders persecutions, all their factions worne down; he 
found also the way open for the heaping up of moneys, 
never practised before Alexanders time; which things Julius 
not only followed, but augmented ; and thought to make 
himself master of Bolonia, and extinguish the Venetians, 
and chase the French men out of Italy : and these designes 
of his prov d all lucky to him, and so much the more to his 
praise in that he did all for the good of the Church, and in 
no private regard : he kept also the factions of the Orsins 
and Colonnesi, in the same State he found them : and 
though there were among them some head whereby to cause 
an alteration; yet two things have held them quiet; the 
one the power of the Church, which somewhat aflrights 
them ; the other because they have no Cardinals of their 
factions, who are the primary causes of all the troubles 
amongst them : nor shall these parties ever be at rest, while 
they have Cardinals; because they nourish the factions 
both in Rome, and abroad; and the Barons then are forced 
to undertake the defence of them: and thus from the 
Prelates ambitions arise the discords and tumults among 
the Barons. And now hath Pope Leo his Holiness found 
the Popedome exceeding puissant, of whom it is hoped, 
that if they amplified it by armes, he by his good 
ness, and infinite other virtues, will much more 
advantage and dignifie it. 



How many sorts of Military discipline there are 
and touching Mercinary soldiers. 

AVING treated particularly of the qualities 
of those Principalities, which in the be 
ginning I propounded to discourse upon, 
and considered in some part the reasons 
of their well and ill being, and shewd the 
waies whereby many have sought to gain, 
and hold them, it remains now that I speak 
in general of the offences and defences, 
that may chance in each of the forenamed. We have formerly 
said that it is necessary for a Prince to have good founda 
tions laid; otherwise it must needs be that he go to wrack. 
The Principal foundations that all States have, as well new, 
as old, or mixt, are good laws, and good armes ; and because 
there cannot be good laws, where there are not good armes ; 
and where there are good armes, there must needs be good 
laws, I will omit to discourse of the laws, and speak of armes. 
I say then that the armes, wherewithall a Prince defends 
his State, either are his own, or mercenary, or auxiliary, or 
mixt. Those that are mercenary and auxiliar, are unprofit 
able, and dangerous, and if any one holds his State founded 
upon mercenary armes, he shall never be quiet, nor secure, 
because they are never well united, ambitious, and without 
discipline, treacherous, among their friends stour, among 
their enemies cowardly; they have no fear of God, nor keep 
any faith with men ; and so long only defer they the doing 
of mischief, till the enemy comes to assul thee; and in time 
of peace thou art despoyled by them, in war by thy enemies : 
the reason hereof is, because they have no other love, nor 
other cause to keep them in the field, but only a small 
stipend, which is not of force to make them willing to 
hazard their lives for thee : they are willing indeed to be 
thy soldiers, till thou goest to fight ; but then they fly, or 


runaway; which thing would cost me but small pains to CHAP. XII 
- perswade ; for the ruine of Italy hath not had any other H OW ma nv 
cause now a dayes, than for that it hath these manv years sort* of M ili- 
relvM upon mercenary armes; which a good while since try discipline 
perhaps may have done some man some service, and among 
themselves they may have been thought valiant: but so 
soon as any forrein enemy appeared, they quickly shewed 
what they were. Whereupon Charles the King of France, 
without opposition, made himself master of all Italy : and 
he that said, that the causes thereof were our faults, said 
true; but these were not those they beleeved, but what I 
have told ; and because they were the Princes faults, they 
also have suffered the punishment. I will fuller shew the 
infelicity of these armes. The mercenary Captains are either 
ji very able men, or not : if they be, thou canst not repose any 
trust in them : for they will alwaies aspire unto their own 
, proper advancements, either by suppressing of thee that art 
their Lord, or by suppressing of some one else quite out of 
thy purpose : but if the Captain be not valorous, he ordinarily 
mines thee: and in case it be answered, that whoever shall 
have his armes in his hands, whether mercenary or not, will 
do so: I would reply, that armes are to be imployed either 
by a Prince, or Common-wealth. The Prince ought to go 
in person, and purforme the office of a commander: the 
Republickjs to.send forth herCiti/ens: and when she sends 
forth one that proves not of abilities, she ought to change 
him then; and when he does prove valorous, to bridle him"" 
so by the laws, that he exceed not his commission. And by 
experience we see, that Princes and Kepubliques of them 
selves alone, make very great conquests ; out that mercenary 
armes never do other than harme ; and more hardly falls a 
Republick armed with her own armes under the obedience 
of one of her own Citizens, than one that is armed by forrein 
armes. Rome and Sparta subsisted many ages armed and 
free. The Swissers are exceedingly well armed, and yet very 
free. Touching mercenary armes that were of old, we have 
an example of the Carthagians, who near upon were op- 
press d by their own mercenary soldiers, when the first war 


CHAP. XII with the Romans was finished ; however the Carthagians 
How many nac ^ their own Citizens for their Captains. Philip of Macedon 
sorts of Mill- was made by the Thebans after Epaminondas his death, 
tary discipline General of their Armies; and after the victory, he took 
there are. from them their ifo eri y t The Milaneses when Duke Philip 
was dead, entertaind Francis Sforza into their pay against 
the Venetians, who having vanquisht their enemie at Cara- 
vaggio, afterwards joyned with them, where by to usurp 
upon the Milaneses his Masters. Sforza his father, being 
in Joan the Queen of Naples pay, left her on a sudden dis 
armed ; whereupon she, to save her Kingdom, was constraind 
to cast her self into the King of Arragon s bosome. And 
in case the Venetians and the Florentines have formerly 
augmented their State with these kind of armes, and their 
own Captains, and yet none of them have ever made them 
selves their Princes, but rather defended them : I answer, 
that the Florentines in this case have had fortune much 
their friend : for of valorous Captains, which they might 
any way fear, some have not been victors, some have had 
opposition, and others have laid the aim of their ambitions 
another way. He who overcame not, was John Aouto, of 
whose faith there could no proof be made, being he vanquisht 
not ; but every one will acknowledge, that, had he vanquisht, 
the Florentines were at his discretion. Sforza had alwaies 
the Bracceschi for his adversaries, so that they were as a 
guard one upon another. Francis converted all his ambition 
against Lombardy. Braccio against the Church, and the 
Kingdome of Naples. But let us come to that which followed 
a while agoe. The Florentines made Paul Vitelli their 
General, a throughly advis d man, and who from a private 
fortune had rose to very great reputation : had he taken 
Pisa, no man will deny but that the Florentines must have 
held fast with him ; for had he been entertained in their 
enemies pay, they had no remedy ; and they themselves 
holding of him, of force were to obey him. The Venetians, 
if we consider their proceedings, we shall see wrought both 
warily and gloriously, while themselves made war, which 
was before their undertakings by land, where the gentlemen 


with their own Commons in armcs behavM themselves ( HAP. XII 
bravely: but when they began to fight by land, they lost How many 
their valor, and followed the custumes of Italy ; and in the sortj * ot - Nl1 ! 
beginning of their enlargement by land, because they had ^Seili 
not much territory, and yet were of great reputation, they 
had not much cause to fear their Captains ; but as they 
began to extend their bounds, which was under their Com 
mander Carminiola, they had a taste of this error: for 
perceiving he was exceeding valorous, having under his 
conduct beaten the Duke of Milan ; and knowing on the 
other side, how he was cold in the war, they judged that 
they could not make any great conquest with him ; and be 
cause they neither would, nor could cashier him, that they 
might not lose what they had gotten, they were forced for 
their own safeties to put him to death. Since they have 
had for their General Bartholomew of Berganio, Robert of 
St. Severin, the Count of Petilian, and such like: whereby 
they were to fear their losses, as well as to hope for gain : 
as it fell out afterwards at Vayla, where in one day they lost 
that, which with so much pains they had gotten in eight 
hundred years : for from these kind of armes grow slack ami 
slow and weak gains; but sudden and wonderfull losses: 
And because I am now come with these examples into Italy, 
which now these many years, have been governd by mercenary 
armes, I will search deeper into them, to the end that their 
course and progress being better discoverd, they may be the 
better amended. You have to understand, that so soon as 
in these later times the yoak of the Italian Empire began 
to be shaken off, and the Pope had gotten reputation in the 
temporality, Italy was divided into several States : for many 
of the great cities took armes against their Nobility ; who 
under the Emperors protection had held them in oppression ; 
and the Pope favored these, whereby he might get himself 
reputation, in the temporality ; of many others, their Citizens 
became Princes, so that hereupon Italy being come into the 
Churches hands as it were, and some few Republicks, those 
Priests and Citizens not accustomed to the use of armes, 
began to take strangers to their pay. The first that 



CHAP. XII reputation to these soldiers was Alberick of Como in 
How many Romania. From his discipline among others descended 
sorts of Mill- Brachio and Sforza, who in their time were the arbitres 
tary discipline o f Italy ; after these followed all others, who even till our 
there are. dayes have commanded the armes of Italy ; and the success 
of their valor hath been, that it was overrun by Charles, 
pillaged by Lewis, forc d by Ferdinand, and disgraced by 
the Swissers. The order which they have held, hath been, 
first whereby to give reputation to their own armes to take 
away the credit of the Infantry. This they did, because 
they having no State of their own, but living upon their 
industry, their few foot gave them no reputation, and many 
they were not able to maintain; whereupon they reduced 
themselves to cavalery, and so with a supportable number 
they were entertained and honored : and matters were 
brought to such termes, that in an army of twenty thousand 
soldiers you should not find two thousand foot. They had 
moreover us d all industry to free themselves and their 
soldiers of all pains and fear, in their skirmishes, not kill 
ing, but taking one another prisoners, and without ransome 
for their freedom ; they repaired not all to their tents by 
night, nor made palizado or trench thereabout, nor lay 
in the field in the summer : and all these things were 
thus contrived and agreed of among them in their 
military orders, whereby (as is said) to avoid pains 
and dangers, insomuch as they have brought 
Italy into slavery and disgrace. 




Of Auxiliary Soldiers, mixt, and native. 

HE Auxiliary forces, being the other kind 
of unprofitable arnies, are, when any 
puissant one is called in, who with his 
forces comes to assist and defend thee ; 
such as in these later times did Pope 
Julius use, who having seen the evil proof 
of his mercenary soldiers in the enter- 
prize of Ferrara, applied himself to the 
Auxiliaries, and agreed with Ferdinand King of Spain, that 
with his Forces he should aid him. These arnies may be 
profitable and advantagious for themselves; but for him 
that calls them in, hurtfull ; because in losing, thou art left 
defeated ; and conquering, thou becomest their prisoner. 
And however that of these examples the ancient stories are 
full fraught; yet will I not part from this of Pope Julius 
the second, which is as vet fresh : whose course could not 
have been more inconsiJerate, for the desire he had to get 
Ferrara, putting himself wholly into strangers hands : but 
his good fortune caused another cause to arise, that hind rid 
him from receiving the fruit of his evil choice; for his 
Auxiliaries being broken at Ravenna, and the Swissers 
thereupon arriving, who put the Conquerors to flight be 
yond all opinion, even their own and others, he chanced 
not to remain his enemies prisoner, they being put to flight, 
nor prisoner to his Auxiliaries, having vanquished by other 
forces than theirs. The Florentines being wholly disarmed, 
brought ten thousand French to Pisa for to take i by 
which course they ran more hazzard, than in any time of 
their troubles. The Kmpi-ror of Constantinople, to opprj 
his neighbors, brought into Greece ten thousand 
who when the war was ended, could not be got out thence, 
which was the beginning of Greeces servitude under t 
Infidels. He then that will in no case be able to overcoi 
let him serve himself of these armes; for they an- mud 

>o / 


CHAP. XIII more dangerous than the mercenaries ; for by those thy 
Of Auxiliary mine is more suddenly executed; for they are all united, 
and all bent to the obedience of another. But for the 
mercenaries to hurt thee, when they have vanquished, there 
is no more need of time, and greater occasion, they not 
being all united in a body, and being found out and paid 
by thee, wherein a third that thou mak st their head, cannot 
suddenly gaine so great authority, that he can endammage 
thee. nsumme in_bhej^rcenajjgs their sloth 

mixt, and 

to fight is more dangerous: in the auxiliaries their yplnnr 
Wherefore a wise Prince hath alwayes avoyded these kind 
of armes, and betaken himselfe to his owne, and desired 
rather to loss with his owne, than conquer with anothers, 
accounting that not a true victorie which was gotten with 
others armes. I will not doubt to alleadge Caesar Bargia, 
and his actions. This Duke entred into Romania with 
auxiliarie armes, bringing with him all French souldiers : but 
afterwards not accounting those armes secure, bent himselfe 
to mercenaries, judging lesse danger to be in those, and 
tooke in pay the Orsini and the Vitelli, which afterwards 
in the proof of them, finding wavering, unfaithful, and 
dangerous, he extinguishd, and betook himselfe to his 
owne ; and it may easily be perceived what difference there 
is between the one and the other of these armes, considering 
the difference that was between the Dukes reputation, when 
he had the French men alone, and when he had the Orsini 
and Vitelli ; but when he remaind with his own, and stood 
of himselfe, we shall find it was much augmented : nor ever 
was it of grate esteeme, but when every one saw, that he 
wholly possessed his owne armes. I thought not to have 
parted from the Italian examples of late memory; but that 
I must not let passe that of Hiero the Siracusan, being one 
of those I formerly nanfd. This man (as I said before) 
being made general of the Siracusans forces, knew presently 
that mercenary souldiery was nothing for their profit in that 
they were hirelings, as our Italians are ; and finding no way 
either to hold, or cashier them made them all bee cut to 
peeces, and afterwards waged warre with his owne men, and 


none others. I will also call to memory a figure of the old CHAP. XIII 
Testament serving just to this purpose. When David Of Auxiliary 
presented himselfe before Saul to goe to fight with Goliah Soldier*, 
the Philistims Champion, Saul to encourage him, clad him | x *> 
with his owne armes, which David when he had them upon 
his hack, refused, saying, he was not able to make any 
proofe of himself therein, and therefore would goe meet the 
enemy with his own sling and sword. 7 In summe, others., 
armes either fall from thy shoulders, or cumber or streighten I 
thee. Charls the seventh, Father of Lewis the eleventh, 
having by his good fortune and valour set France at liberty 
from the English, knew well this necessity of being arm d 
with his owne armes, and settled in his Kingdome the 
ordinances of men at armes, and infantry. Afterwards 
King- Lewis his sonn<* abolisht fhnst <if the infa.nt.rv. ftlld 
to take the tn pny , whirh rrrnnr 

by the others, is (as now indeed it appeares^ Uie cause of_ 
that Kingdomes dangers. For having given reputation to 
the Swissers, TheyTTave renderd all their own armes con 
temptible ; for this hath wholly ruind their foot, and obligM 
their men at armes to forrein armes : for being accustomed 
to serve with the Swissers, they think they are not able to 
overcome without them. From whence it comes that the 
French are not of force against the Swissers, and without 
them also against others they use not to adventure. There 
fore are the French armies inixt, part mercenaries, and part 
natives, which armes are farre better than the simple mer 
cenaries or simple auxiliaries, and much inferiour to the 
natives; and let the said example suffice for that: for the 
Kingdome of France would have been unconquerable, if 
Charles his order had been augmented and maintaind : but 
men in their small wisdome begin a thing, which then be 
cause it hath some favour of good, discovers not the noyson 
that lurkes thereunder, as I before said of the hcctiek feavrrs. 
Wherefore that Prince which perceives not mischiefes, but 
as they grow up, is not truely wise ; and this is given but 
to few": and if we consider the first mine of the Romane 
Empire, we shall find it was from taking the Goths first 



CHAP. XIII into their pay ; for from that beginning the forces of the 
Of Auxiliary Romane Empire began to grow weak, and all the valour 

mixt, and 

that was taken hence was given to them. I conclude then 

that without having armes of their owne, no Principality 

can be secure, or rather is wholly obliged to fortune, not 

having valour to shelter it in adversity. And it was alwayes 

the opinion and saying of wise men, that nothing is so weak 

and unsetled, as is the reputation of power not founded 

upon ones owne proper forces : which are those that are 

composed of thy subjects, or Citizens, or servants; all the 

rest are mercenary or auxiliary; and the manner how to order 

those well, is easie to find out, if those orders above nanTd 

by me, shall be but run over, and if it shall be but considered, 

how Philip Alexander the Great his Father, and in what 

manner many Republicks and Princes have armd and 

appointed themselves, to which appointments I 

referre my selfe wholly. 


What belongs to the Prince touching military 

PRINCE then ought to have no other 
ayme, nor other thought, nor take any 
thing else for his proper art, but warr, and 
the orders and discipline thereof: for that 
is the sole arte which belongs to him that 
commands, and is of so great excellency, 
that not only those that are borne Princes, 
it maintains so; but many times raises 
men from a private fortune to that dignity. And it is 
scene by the contrary, that when Princes have given them 
selves more to their delights, than to the warres, they have 
lost their States ; and the first cause that makes thee lose 
it, is the neglect of that arte ; and the cause that makes 
thee gaine it, is that thou art experienced and appro vd in 
that arte. Francis Sforza by being a man at armes, of a 


private man became Duke of Milan ; and his sons by excusing CHAP. XI V 
themselves of the troubles and paines belonging to those What belong 
imployments of Princes, became private men. For among to the Prince 
other mischiefes thy neglect of armes brings upon thee, it tourl| K 
causes thee to be contemnd, which is one of those disgraces, I 1 " ilitar .- v 
from which a Prince ought to keepe himselfe, as hereafter 
shall be sayd : for from one that is disarmd to one that is 
armd there is no proportion ; and reason will not, that he 
who is in armes, should willingly yeeld obedience to him 
that is unfurnishd of them, and that he that is disarmd 
should be in security among his armed vassalls ; for there 
being disdaine in the one, and suspicion in the other, it is 
impossible these should ever well cooperate. And therefore 
a Prince who is quite unexperienced in matter of warre, 
besides the other infelicities belonging to him, as is said, 
cannot be had in any esteeme among his souldiers, nor yet 
trust in them. Wherefore he ought never to neglect the 
practice of the arte of warre, and in time of peace should "* 
he exercise it more than in the warre; which he may be 
able to doe two wayes ; the one practically, and iii his 
labours and recreations of his body, the other theoretically."" 
And touching the practick part, he ought besides the 
keeping of his own subjects well traind up in the discipline- 
and exercise of armes, give himselfe much to the cnase, . 
whereby to accustome his body to paines, and partly to 
understand the manner of situations, and to know how the 
mountaines arise, which way the vallyes open themselves, 
and how the plaines are distended Hat abroad, and to con 
ceive well the nature of the rivers, and marrish ground, 
and herein to bestow very much care, which knowledge is 
profitable in two kinds : first he learnes thereby to know 
his own countrey, and is the better enabled to understand 
the defence thereof, and afterwards by meanes of this 
knowledge and experience in these situations, easily com 
prehends any other situation, which a new he hath need to 
view, for the little hillocks, rallies, plaines, rivers, and 
marrish places. For example, they in Tuscany are like unto 
those of other countries : so that from the knowledge of 



CHAP. XlV- the site of one country, it is easie to attain to know that 
What belongs-of others. And that Prince that wants this skill, failes of 
to the Prince the principall part a Commander should be furnisht with ; 
touching f or this snows the way how to discover the enemy, to pitch 
Discipline ^ ne cam P to lead their armies, to order their battells, and 
also to besiege a town at thy best advantage. Philopomenes 
Prince of the Achayans, among other praises Writers give 
him, they say, that in time of peace, he thought not upon 
any thing so much as the practise of warre ; and whensoever 
he was abroad in the field to disport himselfe with his 
friends, would often stand still, and discourse with them, 
in case the enemies were upon the top of that hill, and we 
here with our army, whether of us two should have the 
advantage, and how might we safely goe to find them, 
keeping still our orders ; and if we would retire our selves, 
what course should we take if they retired, how should we 
follow them ? and thus on the way, propounded them all 
such accidents could befall in any army ; would heare their 
opinions, and tell his owne, and confirme it by argument ; 
so that by his continuall thought hereupon, when ever he 
led any army no chance could happen, for which he had not 
la remedy. But touching the exercise of the mind, a Prince 
--fought to read Histories, and in them consider the actions 
of the worthiest men, marke how they have behav d them 
selves in the warrs, examine the occasions of their victories, 
and their losses ; wherby they may be able to avoyd these, 
and obtaine those ; and above all, doe as formerly some 
excellent man hath done, who hath taken upon him to 
imitate, if any one that hath gone before him hath left his 
memory glorious ; the course he took, and kept alwaies near 
unto him the remembrances of his actions and worthy 
deeds : as it is said, that Alexander the great imitated 
Achilles ; Caesar Alexander, and Scipio Cyrus. And whoever 
reads the life of Cyrus, written by Xenophon, may easily 
perceive afterwards in Scipio s life how much glory his 
imitation gaind him, and how much Scipio did conforme 
himselfe in his chastity, affability, humanity, and liberality 
with those things, that are written by Xenophon of Cyrus. 


Such like wayes ought a wise Prince to take, nor ever be CHAP. XIV 
idle in quiet times, but by his paines then, as it were \\ hat belong* 
provide himself of store, whereof he may make some to the Prince 
use in his adversity, the end that "when the 

times change, he may he able to resist the 
stormes of his hard fortune. 


Of those things, in respect whereof, men, and 
especially Princes, are praised, or dispraised. 

T now remaines that we consider what the 
conditions of a Prince ought to be, and 
his tennes of government over his subjects, 
and towards his friends. And because 
I know that many have written here 
upon; I doubt, lest I venturing also to 
treat thereof, may be branded with pre 
sumption, especially seeing I am like 



enough to deliver an opinion different from others. Hut 
my intent being to write for the advantage of him that 
understands me, I thought it fitter to follow the effectual! 
truth of the matter, than the imagination thereof ; And 
many Principalities and Uepubliques, have been in imagina 
tion, which neither have been seen nor knowne to be indeed : 
for there is such a distance between how men doe live, and 
how men ought to live ; that he who leaves that which is 
done, for that which ought to be done, learnes sooner hit 
ruine than his preservation ; for that man who will profess 
honesty in all his actions, must needs goe to ruine among si 
many that are dishonest. Whereupon it is necessary for a 
Prince, desiring to preserve himselfe, to be able to make use 
of that honestie, and to lav it aside againe, as need shall 
require. Passing by then things that are only in imagination 
belonging to a Prince, to discourse upon those that are 
really true; I say that all men, whensoever mention i* made 
of them, and especially Princes, because they are placed 

ii ia 

his 1 
esse r~ 

B so C 


Of those 
things, in re 
spect whereof, 
men, and 
Princes, are 
praised, or 


aloft in the view of all, are taken notice of for some of these 
qualities, which procure them either commendations or 
blame : and this is that some one is held liberal, some 
miserable, (miserable I say, nor covetous ; for the covetous 
desire to have, though it were by rapine; but a miserable 
man is he, that too much for bears to make use of his owne) 
some free givers, others extortioners ; some cruell, others 
pitious ; the one a Leaguebreaker, another faithfull ; the 
one effeminate and of small courage, the other fierce and 
couragious ; the one courteous, the other proud ; the one 
lascivious, the other chaste; the one of faire dealing, the 
other wily and crafty; the one hard, the other easie; the 
one grave, the other light ; the one religious, the other 
incredulous, and such like. I know that every one will 
confesse, it were exceedingly praise worthy for a Prince to 
be adorned with all these above nanrfd qualities that are 
good : but because this is not possible, nor doe humanej 
conditions admit such perfection in vertues, it is necessary] 
for him to be so discret, that he know how to avoid thel 
infamie of those vices which would thrust him out of his 
State ; and if it be possible, beware of those also which are 
not able to remove him thence ; but where it cannot be, let 
them passe with lesse regard. And yet, let him not stand 
much upon it, though he incurre the infamie of those vices, 
without which he can very hardly save his State : for if all 
be throughly considerd, some thing we shall find which 
will have the colour and very face of Vertue, and following 
them, they will lead the to thy destruction ; whereas some 
others that shall as much seeme vice, if we take the course 
they lead us, shall discover unto us the way to our safety 
and well-being. 

The second blemish in this our Authours hook, I find in his 
fifteenth Chapter : where he instructs his Prince to use such an 
ambidexterity as that he may serve himselfe either of vertue, 
or vice, according- to his advantage, which in true pollicy is 
neither good in attaining the Principality nor in securing it when 
it is attaind. For Politicks, presuppose Ethiques, which will 
never allow this rule : as that a man might make this small 


difference between vertue, and vice, that he may indifferently 
lay aside, or take up the one or the other, and put it in practise 
as best conduceth to the end he propounds himselfe. 1 doubt 
our Authour would have blamd Davids regard to Saul, when 
1 Sam. 24. in the cave he cut off the lap of Sauls garment, and 
spared his head ; and afterwards in the 20. when he forbad 
Abishai to strike him as lie lay sleeping. Worthy of a Princes 
consideration is that saying of Abigal to David 1 Sam. 26. 30. 
It shall come to passe when the Lord shall have done to my Lord 
according to all that he hath spoken concerning thee, anil shall 
have appointed thee Kuler over Israel, that this shall be no grief 
to thee, nor offence of heart unto my Lord, that thou hast forborne 
to shed blood, etc. For surely the conscience of this evill ground 
whereupon they have eitber built, or underpropped their tyranny, 
causes men, as well JW/M* as sjten in lonyum jirojicere, which sets 
them a work on further mischiefe. 


Of those 
things, in re 
spect whereof, 
men, and 
Princes, are 
praised, or 


Of Liberality, and Miserablenesse. 

EGINNIXG then at the lirat of the above- 
mentioned qualities, I say that it would 
he very well to he accounted liberal 1 : 
nevertnelesse, liberality used in such a 
manner, as to make thee he accounted 
so, wrongs thee : for in case it he used 
vertuously, and as it ought to he, it shall 
never come to he taken notice of, so as 
to free thee from the infamieof its contrary. And therefore* 
for one to hold the name of liberal among men, it were 
needfull not to omit any sumptuous quality, insomuch that 
a Prince alwayes so disposed, shall waste all his revenues, 
and at the end shall he forc d, if he will still maintaine that 
reputation of liberality, heavily to burthen his subjects, 
and become a great exactour; and put in practise all those 
things that can be done to get mony : Which begins to 
make him hatefull to his subjects, and fall into every ones 
contempt, growing necessitous: so that having with this 
liberality wrong d many, and imparted of his bounty but 
to a few ; he feels every first mischance, and runs a rm/ard 


CHAP. XVI of every first danger : Which he knowing, and desiring to 
Of Liberality, withdraw himself from, incurs presently the disgrace of 
and Miser- being termed miserable. A Prince therefore not being able 
ablenesse. to use this vertue of liberality, without his own damage, in 
such a sort, that it may be taken notice of, ought, if he be 
wise, not to regard the name of Miserable ; for in time he 
shall alwaies be esteemed the more liberal, seeing that by 
his parsimony his own revenues are sufficient for him ; as 
also he can defend himself against whoever makes war 
against him, and can do some exploits without grieving his 
subjects : so that he comes to use his liberality to all those, 
from whom he takes nothing, who are infinite in number ; 
and his miserableness towards those to whom he gives 
nothing, who are but a few. In our dayes we have not seen 
any, but those who have been held miserable, do any great 
matters ; but the others all quite ruin d. Pope Julius the 
second, however he served himself of the name of Liberal, 
to get the Papacy, yet never intended he to continue it, to 
the end he might be able to make war against the King of 
France : and he made so many wars without imposing any 
extraordinary tax, because his long thrift supplyed his large 
expences. This present King of Spain could never have 
undertaken, nor gone through with so many exploits, had 
he been accounted liberal. Wherefore a Prince ought little 
to regard (that he may not be driven to pillage his subjects, 
that he may be able to defend himself, that he may not 
fall into poverty and contempt, that he be not forced to 
become an extortioner) though he incurre the name of 
miserable; for this is one of those vices, which does not 
pluck him from his throne. And if any one should say, 
Caesar by his liberality obtained the Empire, and many 
others (because they both were, and were esteemd liberal) 
attaind to exceeding great dignities. I answer, either thou 
art already come to be a Prince, or thou art in the way to 
it ; in the first case, this liberality is hurtful ; in the second, 
it is necessary to be accounted so ; and Caesar was one of 
those that aspired to the Principality of Rome. But if 
after he had gotten it, he had survived, and not forborne 


those expences, he would quite have ruined that Empire. CHAP XVI 
And if any one should reply ; many have been Princes, and () f j ih er alitv 
with their armies have done great exploits, who have been and Mber- 
held very liberal. I answer, either the Prince spends of his 
own and his subjects, or that which belongs to others : in 
the first, he ought to be sparing ; in the second, he should 
not omit any part of liberality. And that Prince that goes 
abroad with his army, and feeds upon prey, and spoyle, and 
tributes, and hath the disposing of that* which belongs to 
others, necessarily should use this liberality; otherwise 
would his soldiers never follow him ; and of "that which is 
neither thine, nor thy subjects, thou mayest well be a free 
giver, as were Cyrus, Ca?sar and Alexander ; for the spending 
of that which is anothers, takes not away thy reputation, 
but rather adds to it, only the wasting of that which is 
thine own hurts thee; nor is there any thing consumes 
it self so much as liberality, which whiles! thou usest, thou 
losest the means to make use of it, and becomest poore and 
abject ; or to avoid this poverty, an extortioner and hatefull 
person. And among all those things which a Prince ought 
to beware of is, to be dispised, and odious ; to one and 
the other of which, liberality brings thee. Wherefore 
there is more discretion to hold the stile of Miserable, 
which begets an infamy without hatred, than to desire 
that of Liberal, whereby to incurre the necessity 
of being thought an extortioner, which pro 
cures an infamy with hatred. 



Of Cruelty, and Clemency, and whether it is better 
to be belov d, or feard. 

ESCENDING afterwards unto the other 
fore-alledged qualities, I say, that every 
Prince should desire to be held pitiful, 
and not cruel. Nevertheless ought he 
beware that he ill uses not this pitty. 
Caesar Borgia was accounted cruel, yet 
had his cruelty redrest the disorders in 
Romania, setled it in union, and restored 
it to peace, and fidelity : which, if it be well weighed, we 
shall see was an act of more pitty, than that of the people 
of Florence, who to avoyd the terme of cruelty, suffered 
Pistoya to fall to destruction. Wherefore A Prince ought 
not to regard the infamy of cruelty^ for toehold 

unite(Land_fa,ithfull : for by giving a very few proofes of 
r , he shall be held more pittiful than 
they, who through their too much pitty, suffer disorders to 
[follow, from whence arise murthers and rapines : for these 
are wont to hurt an intire universality, whereas the execu 
tions practised by a Prince, hurt only some particular. 
And among all sorts of Princes, it is impossible for a new/ 
Prince to avoyd the name of cruel, because all new States 
are full of dangers : whereupon Virgil by the mouth of Dido 
excuses the inhumanity of her Kingdom, saying, 

Res dura et Regni novitas me talia cogunt 
Moliri et late fines custode tenere. 

My hard plight and new State force me to guard 
My confines all about with watch and ward. 

Nevertheless ought he to be judicious in his giving beleif 
to any thing, or moving himself thereat, nor make his people 
extreamly afraid of him ; but proceed in a moderate way 


-with wisdome, and humanity, that his too much confidence-CHAP. XVII 
^make him not unwary, and his too much distrust intoler-<)f Cruelty, 
-able ; from hence arises a dispute, whether it is better to"T"d<- leineiicjr l 
be belov d or feard : I answer, a man would wish he mi^ht a "d whether it 
be the one and the other: but because hardly can they t 
_ subsist both together, it is much safer to be feard, than fe 

be loved; being that one of the two must needs fail ; for 
touching men, we may say this in general, they are 

-unthankful, unconstant, dissemblers, they avoyd dangers, 
and are covetous of gain ; and whilest thou *doest them 

good, they are wholly thine; their blood, their fortunes, 
lives and children are at thy service, as is said before, when 

the danger is remote; but when it approaches, they revolt. 
And that iVince who wholly relies upon their words, 
unfurnished of all other preparations, goes to wrack : for 
the friendships that are gotten with rewards, and not bv 
the magnificence and worth of the mind, are dearly bought 
indeed; but they will neither keep long, nor serve well in 

time of need: and men do less regard to offend one that 

is supported by love, than by fear. For love is held by a v 
certainty of obligation, which because men are mischievous, (, 

is broken upon any occasion of their own profit. But fear 

restrains with a dread of punishment which never forsakes 

a man. Vet ought a Prince cause himself to be beloved in 
such a manner, that if he gains not love, he may avoid 
hatred: for it may well stand together, that ajimn may be 

feard and not hated ; which shall never fail, if he abstain 

from his subjects goods, and their wives; and whensoever 
he should l>e forc d to proceed against any of their lives, do 
it when it is to be done upon a just cause, and apparent 
conviction ; but above all things forbeare to lay his hands 
on other mens goods; for men forget sooner the death of 
their father, than the loss of their patrimony. Moreover 
the occasions of taking from men their goods, do never 
fail : and alwaies he that begins to live by rapine, finds 
occasion to lay hold upon other mens goods: but against 
mens lives, they are seldome found, and sooner fail. Jlut 
where a Prince is abroad in the field with his annv, and 



CHAP. XVII hath a multitude of soldiers under his government, then is 
Of Cruelty, it necessary that he stands not much upon it, though he be 
andClemeucy, termed cruel : for unless he be so, he shall never have his 
and whether it so ldi ers live in accord one with another, nor ever well dis- 
belov d^r ~P ose d to any brave peice of service. Among Hannibals 
feard. actions of mervail, this is reckoned for one, that having a 

very huge army, gathered out of several nations, and all led 
to serve in a strange countrey, there was never any dissen- 
tion neither amongst themselves, nor against their General, 
as well in their bad fortune as their good. Which could 
not proceed from any thing else than from that barbarous 
__cruelty of his, which together with his exceeding many 
vertues, rendred him to his soldiers both venerable and 
terrible ; without which, to that effect his other vertues had 
served him to little purpose : and some writers though not 
of the best advised, on one side admire these his worthy 
actions, and on the otherside, condemn the principal causes 
thereof. And that it is true, that his other vertues would not 
have suffice! him, we may consider in Scipio, the rarest man 
not only in the dayes he livM, but even in the memory of 
^man ; from whom his army rebelM in Spain : which grew 
only upon his too much clemency, which had given way to 
his soldiers to become more licentious, than was well toller- 
able by military discipline : for which he was reprov d by 
Fabius Maximus in the Senate, who termed him the corrupter 
of the Roman soldiery. The Locrensians having been 
destroyed by a Lieutenant of Scipio s, were never revengM 
by him, nor the insolence of that Lieutenant punisht; all 
this arising from his easie nature : so that one desiring to 
excuse him in the Senate, said, that there were many men 
knew better how to keep themselves from faults, than to 
correct the faults of other men : which disposition of his in 
time would have wronged Scipio s reputation and gloory, 
had he therewith continued in his commands: but living 
under the government of the Senate, this quality of his 
that would have disgraced him not only was conceaFd, 
but proved to the advancement of his glory. I con 
clude then, returning to the purpose of being feard, and 


belov\l ; insomuch as men love at their own pleasure, and CHAP. XVII 
to serve their own tunic, and their fear depends upon the of Cruelty. 
-Princes pleasure, every wise Prince ought to ground upon andClemency, 
that which is of himself, and not upon that which is and whether it 

^ of another: only this, he ought to use his hest 

J T i i e -i belov d, or 

wits to avoid hatred, as was saul. feard. 


In what manner Princes ought to keep their \vords. 

OW commendable in a Prince it is to keep 
his word, and live with integrity, not 
making use of cunning and subtlety, 
every one knows well : yet we see by 
experience in these our dayes, that those 
Princes have effected great matters, who 
have made small reckoning of keeping 
their words, and have known by their 
craft to tunic and wind men about, and in the end, have 
overcome those who have grounded upon the truth. You 
must then know, there are two kinds of combating or fight 
ing ; the one by right of the laws, the other meerly by force.- 
That first way is proper to men, the other is also common 
to beasts: but because the first many times suffices not, 
there is a necessity to make recourse to the second ; where 
fore it behooves a Prince to know how to make good use of 
that part which belongs to a beast, as well as that which is 
proper to a man. This part hath been covertly shew d to 
Princes by ancient writers; who say that Achilles and many 
others of those ancient Princes were intrusted to Chiron the 
Saaator, to be brought up under his discipline: the moral 
of this, having for their teacher one that was half a bca*t 
and half a man, was nothing else, but that it was needful 
for a Prince to understand how to make his advantage of 
the one and the other nature, because neither could subsist 
without the other. A Prince then being necessitated to 
know how to make use of that part belonging to a 
SS 321 


CHAP. XVIII ought to serve himself of the conditions of the Fox and the 
In what man- Lion ; for the Lion cannot keep himself from snares, nor 
ner Princes the Fox defend himself against the Wolves. He had need 
ought to keep then be a Fox, that he may beware of the snares, and a Lion 
>ds that he may scare the wolves. Those that stand wholly 
upon the Lion, understand not well themselves. And there- 
- fore a wise Prince cannot, nor ought not keep his faith given, 
when the observance thereof turnes to disadvantage, and 
the occasions that made him promise, are past. For if men 
were all good, this rule would not be allowable ; but being 
they are full of mischief, and would not make it good to 
thee, neither art thou tyed to keep it with them : nor shall 
a Prince ever want lawfull occasions to give colour to this 
breach. Very many modern examples hereof might be 
alledg d, wherein might be shewed how many peaces con 
cluded, and how many promises made, have been violated 
and broken by the infidelity of Princes ; and ordinarily 
things have best succeeded with him that hath been nearest 
the Fox in condition. But it is necessary to understand 
how to set a good colour upon this disposition, and to 
be able to fain and dissemble throughly ; and men are so 
simple, and yeeld so much to the present necessities, that 
he who hath a mind to deceive, shall alwaies find another 
that will be deceivd. I will not conceal any one of the 
examples that have been of late. Alexander the sixth, 
never did any thing else than deceive men, and never meant 
otherwise, and alwaies found whom to work upon ; yet neveif 
was there man would protest more effectually, nor aver any 
thing with more solemn oaths, and observe them less than 
he ; nevertheless, his cousenages all thrived well with him ; 
for he knew how to play this part cunningly. Therefore is 
there no necessity for a Prince to be endued with all above 
written qualities, but it behooveth well that he seem to 
/be so ; or rather I will boldly say this, that having these 
\ qualities, and alwaies regulating himself by them, they are 
\ hurtfull ; but seeming to have them, they are advantageous ; 
/ as to seem pittiful, faithful, mild, religious, and of integrity, 
I and indeed to be so ; provided withall thou beest of such a 


. composition, that if need require to use the contrary, thou CHAP.XV1II 

canst, and knowest how to apply thy self thereto. And it In what man- 
suffices to conceive his, that a Prince, and especially a new "er Prince* 
Prince, cannot observe all those things, for which men are "^ lt to k<*p 
held good ; he being often forc d, for the maintenance of 

his State, to do contrary to his faith, charity, humanity, 
and religion : and therefore it behooves him to have a mind , 

so disposd, as to turne and take the advantage of all winds 
-~and fortunes; and as formerly I said, not forsake the good, 
while he can ; but to know how to make use of the evil upon 
necessity. A Prince then ought to have a special care, that 

he never let fall any words, but what are all season d with 
the five above written qualities, and let him seem to him 
that sees and hears him, all pitty, all faith, all integrity, all 
humanity, all religion ; nor is there any thing more necessary 
for him to seem to have, than this last quality : for all men 
in general judge thereof, rather by the sight, than by the 
touch ; for every man may come to the sight of him, few 

^ome to the touch and feeling of him ; y very man may come to 

see what thou seemest, few come to perceive and understand 

^-what thou art; and those few dare not oppose the opinion 
of many, who have the majesty of State to protect them : 
And in all mens actions, especially those of Princes wherein 
there is no judgement to appeale unto men, forbeare to give 
their censures, till the events and ends of things. Let a 
Prince therefore take the surest courses he can to maintain 
his life and State: the means shall alwaies be thought 
honorable, and commended by every one; for the vulgar 
is over-taken with the appearance and event of a thing: and 
for the most part of people, they are but the vulgar: the 
others that are but few, take place where the vulgar have 
no subsisteance. A Prince there is in these daye*, whom 
I shall not do well to name, that preaches nothing else 
but peace and faith; but had he kept the one and the 
other, several times had they taken from him his state and 

In the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth ( hup. onr Author 
descends to particulars, perswadintf his Prince in hi* 


In what man 
ner Princes 
ought to keep 
their words. 

Xcnocarus in 
vit. Car. 


such a suppleness of disposition, as that upon occasion he can 
make use either of liberality or miserableness, as need shall 
require. But that of liberality is to last n longer than while he 
is in the way to some desigrie : which if he well weigh, is not 
really a reward of vertue, how ere it seems ; but a bait and lure 
to bring birds to the net. In the seventeenth Chap, he treats of 
clemency and cruelty, neither of which are to be exercised by him 
as acts of mercy or justice ; but as they may serve to advantage 
his further purposes. Arid lest the Prince should incline too 
much to clemency, our Author allows rather the restraint by 
fear, than by love. The contrary to which all stories shew us. 
I will say this only, cruelty may cut of the power of some, but 
causes the hatred of all, and gives a will to most to take the 
first occasion offerd for revenge. In the eighteenth Chap, our 
Author discourses how Princes ought to govern themselves in 
keeping their promises made : whereof he sayes they ought to 
make such small reckoning, as that rather they should know by 
-"-their craft how to turne and wind men about, whereby to take 
"""advantage of all winds and fortunes. To this I would oppose that 
in the fifteenth Psal. v. 5. He that sweareth to his neighbor, and 
disappointeth him not, though it were to his own hindrance. It 
was a King that writ it, and me thinks the rule he gave, should 
well befit both King and Subject : and surely this perswades 
against all taking of advantages. A man may reduce all the 
causes of faith-breaking to three heads. One may be, because he 
that promised, had no intention to keep his word ; and this is a 
wicked and malitious way of dealing. A second may bee, because 
hee that promisd, repents of his promise made ; and that is 
grounded on unconstancy, and lightness in that he would not be 
well resolved before he entred into covenant. The third may be, 
when it so falls out, that it lyes not in his power that made the 
promise to performe it. In which case a man ought to imitate 
the good debter, who having not wherewithall to pay, hides not 
himself, but presents his person to his creditor, willingly suffering 
imprisonment. The first and second are very vitious and unworthy 
of a Prince : in the third, men might well be directed by the 
examples of those two famous Romans, Regulus and Posthumius. 
I shall close this with the answer of Charles the fifth, when he 
was pressed to break his word with Luther for his safe return 
from \Vormes ; Fides rerum promissarum etsi toto mundo exnlct, 
tamen npu.d imperatorem earn consinterc oportet. Though truth be 
banisht out of the whole world, yet should it alwaies find harbour 
in an Emperors breast. 



That Princes should take a care, not to incurre 
contempt or hatred. 

UT because among the qualities, whereof 
formerly mention is made, I have spoken 
of those of most importance, I will treat 
of the others more briefly under these 
qualityes that a Prince is to beware, as 
in part is above-said, and that he fly 
those things which cause him to be odious 
or vile : and when ever he shall avoid 
this, he shall fully have plaid his part, and in the other 
disgraces he shall find no danger at all. There is nothing 
makes him so odious, as I said, as his extortion of his subjects 
ir.wwU, a.ii(| nbtise of their womeii^ from which he ought to 
"forTu iir; and so long as he wrongs not his whole people, 
neither in their goods, nor honors, they live content, ami he 
hath only to strive with the Ambition of some few : which 
many wa ies and easily too, is restrained. To be held various, 
light, effeminate, faint-hearted, unresolved, these make him 
be contemnd and thought base, which a Prince should shun 
Hkejrocks, and take a care that in all his actions there 
appear magnanimity, courage, gravity, and valor: and that 
in all the private affairs of his subjects, he orders it so, that 
his word stand irrevocable: and maintain himself in such 
repute, that no man may think either to deceive or wind 
and turn him about: that Prince that gives such an opinion 
of himself, is much esteemed, and against him who is so well 
esteemed, hardly are any conspiracies made by his subjects 
or by forreinere" any invasion, when once notice i 
his worth, and how much he is reverenced by his 
For a Prince ought to have two fears, the one from 
in regard of his subjects; the other from abroad, in n 
of his mighty neighbors; from these he defends himself by 
good armes and good friends; and alwaycs he shal 


That Princes 
should take a 
care, not to 
incurre con 
tempt or 


good friends, if he have good armes ; and all things shall 
alwaies stand sure at home, when those abroad are firme, 
in case some conspiracy have not disturbed them ; and how 
ever the forrein matters stand but ticklishly ; yet if he have 
taken such courses at home, and liv d as we have prescribed, 
he shall never be able (in case he forsake not himself) to 
resist all possibility, force and violence, as I said Nabis the 
Spartan did : but touching his subjects, even when his affairs 
abroad are setled, it is to be fear d they may conspire privily ; 
from which a Prince sufficiently secure himself by shunning 
to be hated or contemned, and keeping himself in his peoples 
good opinion, which it is necessary for him to compass, as 
formerly we treated at large. And one of the powerfullest 
remedies a Prince can have against conspiracies, is, not to 
be hated nor dispised by the universality ; for alwaies he 
that conspires, beleeves the Princes death is acceptable to 
the subject : but when he thinks it displeases them, he hath 
not the heart to venture on such a matter ; for the difficulties 
that are on the conspirators side, are infinite. By experience 
it is plain, that many times plots have been laid, but few 
of them have succeeded luckily ; for he that conspires, can 
not be alone, nor can he take the company of any, but of 
those, who he beleeves are malecontents ; and so soon as 
thou hast discovered thy self to a malecontent, thou givest 
him means to work his own content : for by revealing thy 
treason, he may well hope for all manner of favour : so that 
seeing his gain certain of one side ; and on the other, finding 
only doubt and danger, either he had need be a rare friend, 
or that he be an exceeding obstinate enemy to the Prince, 
if he keeps his word with thee. And to reduce this matter 
into short termes : I say, there is nothing but jealousie, 
fear, and suspect of punishment on the conspirators part to 
affright him ; but on the Princes part, there is the majesty 
of the principality, the laws, the defences of his friends and 
the State, which do so guard him, that to all these things 
the peoples good wills being added, it is impossible any one 
should be so head-strong as to conspire; for ordinarily 
where a trator is to feare before the execution of his mis- 


chiefe, in this case he is also to feare afterwards, having the CHAP. XIX 
people for his enemy when the fact is commited, and there- That Prince* 
fore for this cause, not being able to hope for any refuge, should take a 
Touching this matter, many examples might be brought ; r 
but I will content my selfe to name one which fell out in u . mpt or 
the memory of our Fathers. Annibal Bentivolii, grand hatred. 
Father of this Annibal who now lives, that was Prince in 
Bolonia, being slaine by the Canneschi that conspired against 
him, none of his race being left, but this John, who was 
then in swadling clouts ; presently the people rose upon this 
murder, and slew all the Canneschi which proceeded from 
the popular atiection, which the family of the Bentivolii 
held then in Bolonia : which was so great, that being there 
remahrd not any, now Anniball was dead, that was able to 
manage the State ; and having notice that in Florence there 
was one borne of the Bentivolii, who till then was taken for 
a Smiths sonne : the citi/ens of Bolonia went to Florence 
for him, and gave the government of their City to him, 
which was rul d by him, untill John was of fit yeares to 
(roverne. I conclude then, that a Prince ought to make 
small account of treasons, whiles he hath the people to 
friend : but if they be his enemies and hate him, he may 
well feare every thing, and every one. And well ordered 
States, and discreet Princes have taken care withall diligence, 
- not to cause their great men to fall into desperation, and to 
content the people, and so to maintaine them: for this i> 
one of the most important businesses belonging to a Prince. 
\mono- the Kingdomes that are well orderd and governd in 
our da"-es, is that of France, and therein are found exceeding 
manv good orders, whereupon the Kings liberty and security 
depends of which the chiefe is the Parliament, and the 
l^iuthority thereof: for he that founded that Kingdom*- 
knowing the great mens ambition and insolence; 
UuWing it necessary there should be a bridle to cm 
them and on the other side knowing the hatred of t 
1 Commonalty against the great ones, grounded upon f< 
intending to secure them, would not lay this care wh 
upon the King, but take this trouble from him, "hirh he 


CHAP. XIX might have with the great men, in case he favourd the Corn- 
That Princes monalty ; or with the Commonalty, in case he favourd the 
should take a great men; and thereupon set up a third judge, which was 
care, not to -<-that, to the end it should keep under the great ones, and 
tempit or n ~ "^ avour tne meaner sort, without any imputation to the King, 
hatred. It was not possible to take a better, nor wiser course then 

this ; nor a surer way to secure the King, and the Kingdome. 
From whence we may draw another conclusion worthie of 
note, that Princes ought to cause others to take upon them 
--the matters of blame and imputation ; and upon themselves 
-Jto take only those of grace and favour. Here againe I con 
clude, that a Prince ought to make good esteeme of his 
Nobility ; but not thereby to incur the Commons hatred : 
It would seeme perhaps to many, considering the life and 
death of many Komane Emperours, that they were examples 
contrary to my opinion, finding that some have liv d worthily, 
and shewd many rare vertues of the minde, and yet have 
lost the Empire, and been put to death by their owne sub 
jects, conspiring against them. Intending then to answer 
these objections, I shall discourse upon the qualities of some 
Emperours, declaring the occasions of their ruine, not dis 
agreeing from that which I have alledgd ; and part thereof 
I will bestow on the consideration of these things, which 
are worthy to be noted by him that reads the actions of 
those times: and it shall suffice me to take all those 
Emperours that succeeded in the Empire from Marcus the 
Philosopher to Maximinus, who were Mercus and Commodus 
his sonne, Pertinax, Julian, Severus, Antonius, Caracalla 
his sonne, Macrinus, Heliogabalus, Alexander, and Maxirnin. 
And first it is to be noted, that where in the other Princi 
palities, they are to contend only with the ambition of the 
Nobles, and the insolence of the people ; the llomane 
Emperours had a third difficulty, having to support the 
cruelty and co vetousnesse of the souldiers, which was so hard 
a thing, that it caused the ruine of many, being hard to 
satisfy the souldiers, and the people; for the people love 
their quiet, and therefore affect modest Princes; and the 
^souldiers love a Prince of a warlike courage, that is insolent, 


cruell, and plucking from every one: which things they CHAP. XIX 
would have them exercise upon the people, whereby they That 1 riucts 
might be able to double their sti{>ends, and satisfie their *lould ukt a 
avarice and cruelty: whence it proceeds, that those Emperoura Cl 
who either by Nature or by Art, had not such u reputation, "Ji,"."*^ 11 
as therewith they could curbe the one and the other, were hatred, 
alwayes ruind : and the most of them, specially those who 
as new men came to the principality, finding the difficulty 
of those two different humours, applyed themselves to con 
tent the souldiers, making small account of wronging thei 
people, which was a course then necessary; for the Princes! 
not being able to escape the hatred of every one, ought first! 
.endeavour that they incurre not the hatred of any whole) 
-universality ; and when they cannot attaine thereunto, they 
are to provide with all industry, to avovd the hatred of 
-those universalities that are the most mighty. And there 
fore those Emperors, who because they were but newly 
caird to the Empire, had need of extraordinary favours, 
more willingly stuck to the soldiers, than to the people; 
which neverthelesse turnd to their advantage, or otherwise, 
according as that Prince knew how to maintaine his repute 
with them. From these causes aforesayd proceeded it, that 
Marcus Pertinax, and Alexander, though all living modestly, 
being lovers of justice, and enemies of cruelty, courteous 
and bountiful!, had all from Marcus on ward, miserable 
ends; Marcus only liv d and dy\l exceedingly honoured: 
for he came to the Empire by inheritance, and was not to 
acknowledge it either from the soldiers, nor from the people : 
afterwards being accompanyed with many vertues, which 
made him venerable, he held alwayes whilst he liv d the 
one and the other order within their limits, and was never 
either hated, or contemnd. But Pertinax was created 
Emperour against the soldiers wills, who being accustomed 
to live licentiously under ( ommodus, could not endure that 
honest course that Pertinax sought to reduce them to : 
Whereupon having gotten himself hatred, and to this hatred 
added contempt, in that he was old, was ruind in the very 
ben-inning of his government. Whence it ought to be 



CHAP. XIX observed, that hatred is gaind as well by good deeds as bad ; 

That Princes and therefore as I formerly said, when a Prince would 

should take a maintaine the State, he is often forced not to be good : for 

care, not to w hen that generality, whether it be the people, or soldiersil 

iiicurre con- Nobility, whereof thou thinkst thou standst in need toll 
tempt or / . , ., , , ., /, ,, ,, . I 

hatred. maintain thee, is corrupted, it behoves thee to follow theirl 

humour, and content them, and then all good deeds are thy Si 
adversaries. But let us come to Alexander who was of that* 
goodnesse, that among the prayses given him, had this for 
one, that in fourteen yeers wherein he held the Empire, he 
never put any man to death, but by course of justice ; 
neverthelesse being held effeminate, and a man that suffered 
himselfe to be ruled by his mother, and thereupon fallen 
into contempt, the army conspird against him. Now on 
the contrary discoursing upon the qualities of Commodus, 
Severus, Antonius, Caracalla, and Maximinus, you shall find 
them exceeding cruell, and ravinous, who to satisfie their 
soldiers, forbeare no kinde of injury that could be done upon 
the people ; and all of them, except Severus, came to evill 
ends : for in Severus, there was such extraordinary valour, 
that while he held the soldiers his freinds, however the 
people were much burthend by him, he might alwayes 
reigne happily: for his valour rendred him so admirable in 
the souldiers and peoples sights; that these in a manner 
stood amazd and astonishd, and those others reverencing 
and honoring him. And because the actions of this man 
were exceeding great, being in a new Prince, I will briefly 
shew how well he knew to act the Foxes and the Lions 
parts; the conditions of which two, I say, as before, are 
very necessary for a Prince to imitate. Severus having had 
experience of Julian the Emperours sloth, perswaded his 
army (whereof he was commander in Sclavonia) that they 
should doe well to goe to Rome to revenge Pertinax his 
death, who was put to death by the Imperiall guard ; and 
under this pretence, not making any shew that he aspird 
unto the Empire, set his army in march directly towards 
Rome, and was sooner come into Italy, than it was known e 
he had mov d from his station. Being ariv d at Rome, he 


was by the Senate chosen Emperour for feare, and Julian CHAP. XIX 
slaine. After this beginning, two difficulties yet renmind That Prince* 
to Severus, before he could make himselfe Lord of the whole should tke 
State ; the one in Asia, where Niger the Gencrall of those f are not to 
armies had gotten the title of Emperour, the other in the 1 ,! , 
West with Albinus, who also aspird to the Empire : and hatred. 
because he thought there might be some danger to discover 
himselfe enemy to them both, he purposed to set upon 
Niger, and cozen Albimis, to whom he writ, that being 
elected Emperour by the Senate, he would willingly com 
municate it with him ; and thereupon sent him the title of 
Caesar, and by resolution of the Senate, tooke him to him 
for his Colleague; which things were taken by Albimis in 
true meaning. But afterwards when Severus had overcome 
and slaine Niger, and pacified the affaires and in the East, 
being returned to Rome, he complaind in the Senate of 
Albinus, how little weighing the benefits received from him, 
he had sought to slay him by treason, and therefore was he 
forc d to goe punish his ingratitude: afterwards he went 
into France, where he bereft him both of Ins State and life, 
whoever then shall in particular examine his actions, shall 
finde he was a very cruell Lion, and as crafty a Fox : and 
shall see that he was alwayes feard and reverene d by every 
one, and by the armies not hated ; and shall nothing marvel! 
that he being a new man, was able to hold together such a 
great Empire: for his extraordinary reputation defended 
him alwayes from that hatred, which the people for his 
extortions might have conceived against him. Hut Antonius 
his sonne, was also an exceeding brave man, and endued 
with most excellent qualities, which cause! him to be adminl 
by the people, and acceptable to the souldiers, because he 
was a warlike man, enduring all kind of travell and paines, 
despising all delicate food, and all kindc of effeminacy, 
which gaind him the love of all the armies : nevertheless* 
his fiercenesse and cruelty were such, and so hideous, having 
upon many particular occasions put to death a great part 
of the people of Home, and all those of Alexandria, that 
he grew odious to the world, and began to be feard by those 


CHAP. XIX also that were neare about him ; so that he was slaine by a 
That Princes Centurion in the very midst of his army. Where it is to 
should take a be noted, that these kinde of deaths, which follow upon the 
care, riot to deliberation of a resolv d and obstinate minde, cannot by a 
tempt or D P rince be avoyded : for every one that feares not to dye, is 
hatred. able to doe it ; but a Prince ought to be lesse afraid of it, 

because it very seldome falls out. Only should he beware 
not to doe any extreame injury to any of those of whom he 
serves himself, or that he hath near about him in any 
imployment of his Principality, as Antonius did : who had 
reproachfully slaine a brother of that Centurion; also 
threatned him every day, and neverthelesse entertaind him 
still as one of the guards of his body, which was a rash 
course taken, and the way to destruction, as befell him. 
But let us come to Commodus for whom it was very easie 
to hold the Empire, by reason it descended upon him by 
inheritance, being Marcus his sonne, and it had been enough 
for him to follow his fathers footsteps, and then had he 
contented both the people and the soldiers : but being of a 
cruell and savage disposition, whereby to exercise his actions 
upon the people, he gave himselfe to entertaine armies, and 
those in all licentiousnesse. On the other part not main 
taining his dignity, but often descending upon the stages 
to combate with fencers, and doing such other like base 
things, little worthy of the Imperiall majesty, he became 
contemptible in the soldiers sight ; and being hated of one 
part, and despisd of the other, he was conspird against, and 
slaine. It remaines now, that we declare Maximinus his 
conditions, who was a very warlike man ; and the armies 
loathing Alexanders effeminacy, whereof I spake before, 
when they had slain him, chose this man Emperour, who 
not long continued so, because two things there were that 
brought him into hatred and contempt ; the one because 
he was very base, having kept cattell in Thrace, which was 
well knowne to every one, and made them to scorne him ; 
the other, because in the beginning of his Principality having 
delayd to goe to Rome, and enter into possession of the 
Imperiall throne, he had gaind the infamy of being thought 


exceed ing cruel 1, having by his Prefects in Home, and in every CHAP XIX 
-place of the Empire, exercisd many cruelties, insomuch that That IVino 
-the whole world being provoked against him to contempt should ukea 
-for the basenesse of his blood ; on the other side upon the care > ot to 
hatred conceiv d against him for feare of his crulty; first incurre con 
Affrica, afterwards the Senate, with all the people of Rome 
and all Italy, conspired against him, with whom his own 
army took part ; which incamping before Aquileya, and 
finding some difficulty to take the town, being weary of his 
cruelties, and because they saw he had so many enemies, 
fearing him the lesse, slew him. I purpose not to say any 
thing either of Heliogabalus, Macrinus, or Julian,* who 
because they were throughly base, weresudenly extinguished ; 
but I will come to the conclusion of this discourse; and I 
say, that the Princes of our times have lesse of this difficulty 
to satisfie the Soldiers extraordinarily in their government ; 
for notwithstanding that there be some considerations to 
be had of them, yet presently are those armies dissolved, 
because none of these Princes do use to maintaine any 
armies together, which are annexed and imeterated with the 
governments of the provinces, as were the armies of the 
Komahe Empire. And therefore if then it was necessarv 
rather to content the soldiers than the people, it was because 
the soldiers were more powerfull than the people: now is it 
more necessary for all Princes, (except the Turk and the 
Souldan) to satisfie their people than their soldiers, because 
the people are more mighty than they; wherein I except 
the Turk, he alwayes maintaining about his person 152000 
foot, and 15000 horse, upon which depends the safety and 
strength of his Kingdome ; and it is necessary that laving 
aside all other regard of his people, he maintaine these his 
friends. The Souldans Kingdome is like hereunto, which 
being wholy in the souldiers power, he must also without 
respect of his people keep them his friends. And you are 
to consider, that this State of the Souldans differs much 
from all the other Principalities : For it is very like the 
Papacy, which cannot be termd an hereditary Principality : 
nor a new Principality : for the sons of the decease! Prince nre 



CHAP. XIX not heires and Lords thereof, but he that is chosen receives 
That Princes that dignity from those who have the authority in them. 
should take a And this order being of antiquity, cannot be termd a new 
care, not to Principality, because therein are none of those difficulties 

tem 1 " or " that are in the new ones : for tnou gh tne P"nce be new, yet 
hatred. are the orders of that state ancient, and ordaind to receive 

him, as if he were their hereditary Prince. But let us returne 
to our matter; whosoever shall consider our discourse before, 
- -shall perceive that either hatred, or contempt have caus d the 
ruine of the afore-named Emperors ; and shall know also, 
from it came that part of them proceeding one way, and 
part a contrary ; yet in any of them the one had a happy 
success, and the others unhappy : for it was of no availe, but 
rather hurtful for Pertinax and Alexander, because they 
were new Princes, to desire to imitate Marcus, who by 
inheritance came to the Principality : and in like manner 
it was a wrong to Caracalla, Commodus, and Maxim us, to 
imitate Severus, because none of them were endued with so 
great valor as to follow his steps therein. Wherefore a new 
Prince in his Principality cannot well imitate Marcus his 
actions ; nor yet is it necessary to follow those of Severus : 
~~~ but he ought make choyce of those parts in Severus which 
are necessary for the founding of a State; and to 
take from Marcus those that are fit and glorious 
to preserve a State which is already estab 
lished and setled. 



Whether the Citadels and many other things 

which Princes often make use of, are profitable 

or dammageable. 

OME Princes, whereby they might safely 
keep their State, have disarmed their sub 
jects ; some others have held the towns 
under their dominion, divided into fac 
tions ; others have maintained enmities 
against themselves; others have appli d 
themselves to gain them, where they have 
suspected at their entrance into the 
government; others have built Fortresses; and others again 
have ruined and demolished them : and however that upon 
all these things, a man cannot well pass a determinate 
sentence, unless one comes to the particulars of these States, 
where some such like determinations were to be taken ; yet 
I shall speak of them in so large a manner, as the matter 
of it self will bear. It was never then that a new Prince 
would disarme his own subjects; but rather when he hath 
-found them disarmed, he hath alwaies arnVd them. For 
_bein belovM, those arines become thine; tliose become 
- faitMuT," WKich thou hadst in suspicion ; and those which 
were faithful, are maintaind so; and thy subjects are made 
thy partisans; and because all thy subjects cannot be put 
-in armes, when thou bestowest favors on those thou arniest, 
with the others thou canst deal more for thy safety ; and 
that difference of proceeding which they know among them, 
obliges them to thee ; those others excuse thee, judgcing i 
-necessary that they have deservd more, who have undergone 
- more danger, and so have greater obligation : but when thou 
-disarmst them, thou beginst to offend them that thou dii- 
-trustest them, either for cowardise, or small faith ; am 
one or the other of those two opinions provokes their h 
against thee; and because thou canst not 


CHAP. XX thou must then turn thy self to mercenary Soldiery, whereof 
Whether the we have formerly spoken what it is, and when it is good ; 
Citadels, etc., it can never be so much as to defend thee from powerful 
are profitable enemies, and suspected subjects; therefore as I have said, a 
new P f i nce i n a new Principality hath alwaies ordaind them 
armes. Of examples to this purpose, Histories are full. 
But when a Prince gains a new State, which as a member he 
adds to his ancient dominions, then it is necessary to disarme 
j~- that State, unless it be those whom thou hast discoverd to 
have assisted thee in the conquest thereof; and these also 
in time and upon occasions, it is necessary to render delicate 

and effeminate, and so order them, that all the arms of thy 
-State be in the hands of thy own Soldiers, who live in thy 

ancient State near unto thee. Our ancestors and they that 
were accounted Sages, were wont to say that it was neces 
sary to hold Pistoya in factions, and Pisa with Fortresses ; 
and for this cause maintaind some towns subject to them in 
differences, whereby to hold it more easily. This, at what 
time Italy was ballanc d in a certain manner, might be well 
done ; but mee thinks it cannot now a dayes be well given 

for a precept ; for I do not beleeve, that divisions made can 
do any good ; rather it must needs be, that when the enemy 

approaches them, Cities divided are presently lost ; for 
alwaies the weaker part will cleave to the forrein power, and 
the other not be able to subsist. The Venetians (as I think) 
mov\I by the aforesaid reasons, maintaind the factions of 
the Guelfes and Gibellins, in their townes ; and however they 
never suffered them to spill one anothers blood, yet they 
nourish d these differences among them, to the end that the 
citizens imployd in these quarrels, should not plot any thing 
against them : which as it prov d, never serv d them to any 
great purpose : for being defeated at Vayla, presently one 
of those two factions took courage and seizd upon their whole 
State. Therefore such like waies argue the Princes weakness ; 
for in a strong principality they never will suffer such divi 
sions ; for they shew them some kind of profit in time of peace, 
being they are able by means thereof more easily to mannage 
their subjects: but war comming, such like orders discover 


their fallacy. Without doubt, Princes become great, when CHAP. XX 
they overcome the difficulties and oppositions that are made Whether the 
against them; and therefore Fortune especially when she Citadel*, etc. 
hath to make any new Prince great, who hath more need to are P"fit*Me 
gain reputation than an hereditary Prince, causes enemies to j 
rise against him, and him to undertake against them : to the 
end he may have occasion to master them, and know that 
ladder, which his enemies have set him upon, whereby to 
rise yet higher. And therefore many think, that a "wise 
Prince when he hath the occasion, ought cunningly to 
"""nourish some enmity, that by the suppressing thereof, his 
-"greatness may grow thereupon. Princes, especially those 
that are new, have found more faith and profit in those men 
Avho iii the beginning of their State, hjiye been held suspected, 
than in those who. at their entrance TTave been their con- 
Tulenls. Tandulphus Petrucci, Prince of Siena, governd his 
State, more with them that had been suspected by him, than 
with the others. Hut of this matter we cannot speak at 
large, because it varies according to the subject ; I will only 
say this, that those men, who in the beginning O f a Princi 
pality were once enemies, if they be of quality so that to 
maintain themselves they have need of support, the Prince 
might alwaies with the greatest facility gain for his; and 
they are the rather forced to serve him faithfully, insomuch 
^,as they know it is more necessary for them by their (let ds 
to cancel that sinister opinion, which was once held of them ; 
and so the Prince ever draws from these more advantage, 
than from those, who serving him too supinely, neglect his 
affairs. And seing the matter requires it, I will not omit 
to put a Prince in mind, who hath anew made himsi-lf 
master of a State, by means of the inward helps he had 
from thence that he consider well the cause that mov\] them 
that favor" d him to favor him, if it be not a natural affection 
towards him ; for if it be only because they were not content 
with their former government, with much pains and diffi 
culties shall he be able to keep them long his friends, because 
it will lx? impossible for him to content them. By these 
examples then which are drawn out of ancient and modern 


CHAP. XX affaires, searching into the cause hereof, we shall find it much 

Whether the-^more easie to gain those men for friends, who formerly were 

Citadels, etc.f-contented with the State, and therefore were his enemies : 

are profitable than those, who because they were not contented therewith, 

or dammage- ^ ecame n i s friends, and favorM him in getting the mastery 

of it. It hath been the custome of Princes, whereby to hold 

their States more securely, to build Citadels, which might 

be bridles and curbs to those that should purpose any thing 

against them, and so to have a secure retreat from the first 

violences. I commend this course, because it hath been used 

of old ; notwithstanding Nicholas Vitelli in our dayes hath 

been known to demolish two Citadels in the town of Castello, 

the better to keep the State ; Guidubaldo Duke of Urbin 

being to return into his State, out of which he was driven 

by Caesar Borgia, raz d all the Fortresses of that Countrey, 

and thought he should hardlyer lose that State again without 

them. The Bentivolii returning into Bolonia, used the like 

courses. Citadels then are profitable, or not, according to 

the times; and if they advantage thee in one part, they do 

thee harme in another; and this part may be argued thus. 

(That Prince who stands more in fear of his own people than 

. of strangers, ought to build Fortresses : but he that is more 

.\afraid of strangers than of his people, should let them alone. 
Against the house of Sforza, the Castle of Milan, which 
Francis Sforza built, hath and will make more war, than 
any other disorder in that State : and therefore the best 
Citadel that may be, is not to incurre the peoples hatred ; 
for however thou boldest a Fortress, and the people hate 
thee, thou canst hardly scape them ; for people, when once 
they have taken armes, never want the help of strangers at 
their need to take ther parts. In our dayes we never saw 
that they ever profited any Prince, unless it were the 
Countess of Furli, when Count Hieronymo of Furli her 
husband was slain ; for by means thereof she escaped the 
peoples rage, and attended aid from Milan, and so recovered 
her State : and then such were the times that the stranger 
could not assist the people : but afterwards they served her 
to little purpose, when Caesar Borgia assaild her, and that 


the people which was her enemy, sided with the stranger. CHAP. XX 
Therefore both then, and at first, it would have been more Whether the 
-for her safety, not to have been odious to the people, than Citadel*, etc., 
-to have held the Fortresses. These things being well weigh d arp profitable 
then, I will commend those that shall build up Fortresses, Jj 
and him also that shall not ; and I will blame him, how 
soever he be, that reiving upon those, shall make 
small account of being hated by his people. 


How a Prince ought to behave himself to gain 

HERE is nothing gains a Prince such repute 
as great exploits, and rare trvals of him-- 
selfin Heroick actions. We nave now in 
our dayes Ferdinand King of Arragon the 
present King of Spain : he in a manner 
may be termed a new Prince; for from a 
very weak King, he is now become for 
fame and glory, the first King of Cliristen- 
doine. and if you shall wel consider his actions, you shall 
find them all illustrious, and every one of them extraordi 
nary. He in the beginning of his reign assaild Granada, 
and that exploit was the ground of his State. At first he 
made that war in security, and without suspicion he should 
be any waies hindred, and therein held the Barons of 
Castiglias minds busied, who thinking upon that war, never 
minded any innovation; in this while he gaind credit and 
authority with them, they not being aware of it; was able 
to maintain with the Church and the peoples money all his 
soldiers, and to lay a foundation for his military ordinances 
with that long war, which afterwards gaind him exceeding 
much honor. Besides this, to the end he might be able 
hereamong to undertake greater matters, serving himself 
al waies of the colour of religion, he gave himself to a kind of 


CHAP. XXr-religious cruelty, chasing and dispoyling those Jewes out of 
How a PrinceHhe Kingdome ; nor can this example be more admirable and 
ought to be rare : under the same cloke he invaded A.ffrick and went 
have himself through with his exploit in Italy : and last of all hath he 
U assa ild France, and so alwaies proceeded on forwards con 
triving of great matters, which alwaies have held his 
subjects minds in peace and admiration, and busied in 
attending the event, what it should be : and these his actions 
""have thus grown, one upon another, that they have never 
--given leisure to men so to rest, as they might ever plot any 
thing against them. Moreover it much avails a Prince to 
give extraordinary proofes of himself touching the govern 
ment within, such as those we have heard of Bernard of 
iMilan, whensoever occasion is given by any one, that may 
^ffectuate some great thing either of good or evil, in the 
ivil government ; and to find out some way either to reward 
>r punish it, whereof in the world much notice may be taken. 
Vnd above all things a Prince ought to endeavor in all his 
.ctions to spread abroad a fame of his magnificence and 
worthiness. A Prince also is well esteemed, when he is a 
true friend, or a true enemy ; wjien without any regard he 
discovers himself in favor of one against another; which 
course shall be alwaies more profit, than to stand neuter : 
for if two mighty ones that are thy neighbors, come to fall 
out, or are of such quality, that one of them vanquishing, thou 
art like to be in fear of the vanquisher, or not ; in either of 
these two cases, ijt will ever prove more for thy profit, to 
discover thy self, and make a good war of it : for in the first 
case, if thou discoverest not thy selfe, thou shalt alwaies be 
a prey to him that overcomes, to the contentment and 
satisfaction of the vanquisht ; neither shalt thou have reason 
on thy side, nor any thing else to defend or receive thee. 
^^JFor he that overcomes, will not have any suspected friends 

that give him no assistance in his necessity : and he that 

loses, receives thee not, because thou wouldest not with thy 
armes in hand run the hazzard of his fortune. Antiochus 
passed into Greece, thereunto induced by the Etolians, to 
chace the Romans thence : and sent his Ambassadors to the 


Achayans, who were the Romans friends, to pcrswadc them CHAP. XXI 
to stand neuters ; on the other side the Romans moved them How Prince 
to ioyne armes with theirs: this matter came to he de 
liberated on in the council of the Achayans, where Antiochus ^ 1 
his Ambassador encouraged them to stand neuters, wh - Ultjon 
unto the Romans Ambassador answerd ; Touching the 
course that is commended to you, as best and profitablest 
for your State, to wit, not to intermeddle in the war between 
^ us, nothing can be more against you : because, not 
-^either part, you shall remain without thanks, and without 
Deputation a prey to the conqueror. AiuUt^iiL 4*ic 
CI i 1 e_tg_pflSi_UiatjLe whttiaJlQU^^d^ requite thy _ 
SSi^noTie thatTti^fencT, w,ll urge thee to 
di^^ Pthy^TfTftaFing arms forliim: and evTTadvis, 
PnTicFs To avojxT We-present dan^ers^fotow often times 
that" way of neutrality, and most commonly go to i 
-bit when a Frihce g^acOSiaOtrSgxil? fa ; or of 

imrtv if l^^ZwhomJhoiLjdeaxeat, overcomes ; however 
IgStTTBrpm^; and thoureniainest at his disposing h 
,- ir7)TOg-(n^e, -STJtHSe is a contract of friendship mad, : 
a^T men are never so openly dishonest, as w lt h sue -i a 
-notorious example of dishonesty to oppress thee. csidei 
victories are never so prosperous that the cone uKTor , iU 
nTg^cTairrespects^ai^ especially of justice Bu if h 
^vlfom thou sticlcst, loses, thou art received by him ; 
Awhile he is able, he aydes thee, and so thou becomest pai tm- 
of a fortune that may arise again ; thesecond ** > 
that enter into the lists together, are of such | u , t hat 
thou needest not fear him that vanquisheth, so muc 
nte "H discretion in thee to stick to him ; ftj thou goes 
ruine one with his assistance, who ought to ** m 
could to save him, if he were well advised; and he c 
co ming is left at thy discretion ; and it is impossible hut 
with tlw avd he must overcome. And here it to be noted 


CHAP. XXI much as they are able, to stand at anothers discretion. The 
How a Prince Venetians took part with France against the Duke of Milan, 
ought to be- and yet could have avoided that partaking, from which pro- 

to fltam^ ceeded their ruine< But when !t cannot be av y~ ded > as ifc 
tation. kefel the Florentines when the Pope and the King of Spain 

went both with their armies to Lombardy, there the Prince 

ought to side with them for the reasons aforesaid. Nor let 

any State think they are able to make such sure parties, but 

rather that they are all doubtfull ; for in the order of things 

we find it alwaies, that whensoever a man seeks to avoid one 

inconvenient, he incurs another. But the principal point of 

judgement, is in discerning between the qualities of incon- 

venients, and not taking the bad for the good. Moreover a 

-^jprince ought to shew himself a lover of vertue, and that he 

jjhonors those that excel in every Art. Afterwards ought 

Tie encourage his Citizens, whereby they may be enabled 

quickly to exercise their faculties as well in merchandise, 

- and husbandry, as in any other kind of traffick, to the end 

that no man forbear to adorne and cultivate his possessions 

for fear that he be despoyled of them ; or any other to open 

the commerce upon the danger of heavy impositions : but 

-rather to provide rewards for those that shall set these 

matters afoot, or for any one else that shall any way amplifie 

his City or State. Besides he ought in the fit times of the 

year entertain the people with Feasts and Maskes ; and 

because every City is devided into Companies, and arts, and 

Tribes, he ought to take special notice of those bodies, and 

some times afford them a meeting, and give them some 

proof of his humanity, and magnificence ; yet withall 

holding firme the majestie of his State ; for this 

must never fail in any case. 



Touching Princes Secretaries. 

T is no small importance to a Prince, the 
choyce he makes, of servants being ordi 
narily good or bad, as his wisdome is. 
And the first conjecture one gives of a- 
great man, and of his understanding, is, 
upon the sight of his followers and ser- - 
vants he hath about him, when they 
prove able and faithful, and then may he 
alwaies be reputed wise because he hath known how to 
discern those that are able, and to keep them true to him. - 
But when they are otherwise, there can be no good conjec 
ture made of him ; for the first error he commits, is in this 
choyce. There was no man that had any knowledge of 
Antony of Vanafro, the servant of Pandulfus Petrucci Prince 
of Siena, who did not esteem Pandulfus for a very discreet 
man, having him for his servant. And because there are 
three kinds of understandings ; the one that is advised by 
itself; the other that understands when it is informed by~ 
another; the third that neither is advised by it self nor by- 
the demonstration of another ; the first is best, the second 
is good, and the last quite unprofitable. Therefore it was 
of necessity, that if Pandulfus attaind not the first degree, 
yet he got to the second; for whenever any one hath the 
judgement to discerne between the good and the evil, that 
any one does and saves, however that he hath not his 
invention from himself, yet still comes lie to take notice of 
the good or evil actions of that servant ; and those lie 
cherishes, and these he suppresses; insomuch that the 
servant finding no means to deceive his master, keeps him 
self upright and honest. But how a Prince may throughly 
understand his servant, here is the way that never fails. When 
thon seest the servant study more for his own advantage 
than thine, and that in all" his actions, he searches most 



CHAP. XXH-after his own profit ; this man thus qualified, shall never 

Touching prove good servant, nor canst thou ever relie upon him : for 

Princes he that holds the Sterne of the State in hand, ought never 

Secretaries. ca ll home his cares to his own particular, but give himself 

wholly over to his Princes service, nor ever put him in 

minde of any thing not appertaining to him. And on the 

other side the Prince to keep him good to him, ought to 

take a care for his servant, honoring him, enriching, and 

obliging him to him, giving him part both of dignities and 

offices, to the end that the many honors and much wealth 

bestowed on him, may restrain his desires from other 

honors, and other wealth, and that those many charges 

cause him to fear changes that may fall, knowing he is 

not able to stand without his master. And when both 

the Princes and the servants are thus disposed, they 

may rely the one upon the other: when otherwise, 

the end will ever prove hurtfull for the one 

as well as for the other. 


That Flatterers are to be avoyded. 

WILL not omit one principle of great in- 
portance, being an errour from which 
Princes with much difficulty defend them 
selves, unlesse they be very discreet, and 
make a very good choice ; and this is 
-"concerning flatterers ; whereof all writings 
are full : and that because men please 
themselves so much in their own things, 
and therein cozen themselves, that very hardly can they 
escape this pestilence ; and desiring to escape it, there is 
danger of falling into contempt ; for there is no other way 
to be secure from flattery, but to let men know, that they 
.displease thee not in telling thee truth : but when every one 
-hath this leave, thou losest thy reverence. Therefore ought 


a wise Prince take a third course, making choycc of some CHAP. 

..understanding men in his State, and give only to them a XXHI 

free liberty of speaking to him the truth ; and touching That 

those things only which he inquires of, and nothing else; 

___but he ought to be inquisitive of every thing, and hear their 
opinions, and then afterwards advise himself after his own 
manner; and in these deliberations, and with every one of 
them so carrie himself, that they all know, that the more 
freely they shall speak, the better they shall be liked of: 

and besides those, not give eare to any one ; and thus pursue 
the thing resolved on, and thence continue obstinate in the 
resolution taken. He who does otherwise, either falls upon 
flatterers, or often changes upon the varying of opinions, 
from whence proceeds it that men conceive but slightly of 
him. To this purpose I will alledge you a moderne example. 
Peter Lucas a servant of Maximilians the present Emperor, 
speaking of his Majesty, said that he never advised with any 
body, nor never did any thing after his own way : which was 
because he took a contrary course to what we have now 
said : for the Emperor is a close man, who communicates 
his secrets to none, nor takes counsel of any one ; but as 
they come to be put in practise, they begin to be discovered 
and known, and so contradicted by those that are near 
about him ; and he as being an easy man, is quickly wrought 
from them. Whence it comes that what he does to dav, he 
undoes on the morrow; and that he never understands him 
self what he would, nor what he purposes, and that there is 
no grounding upon any of his resolutions. A Prince there- 

fore ought alwayes to take counsel], but at his owne pleasure, 
and not at other mens ; or rather should take away any mans 
courage to advise him of any thing, but what he askes : but 
he ought well to aske at large, and then touching the 

^things inquird of, be a patient hearer of the truth ; and 
perceiving that for some respect the truth were conceald 
from him, be displeased thereat. And because some men 
have thought that a Prince that gaines the opinion to bee 
wise, may bee held so, not by his owne naturall indowment*, 
but by the good counsells hc hath about him: without 

are to be 


CHAP. question they are deceivd ; for this is a generall rule and 
XXIII ^ never failes, that a Prince who of himselfe is not wise, can 
That never be well advised, unlesse he should light upon one alone, 
Flatterers wholly to direct and govern him, who himself were a very 
wise man. In this case it is possible he may be well 
governd : but this would last but little : for that governor 
in a short time would deprive him of his State ; but a Prince 
not having any parts of nature, being advised of more then 
one, shall never be able to unite these counsels : of himself 
shall he never know how to unite them ; and each one of 
the Counsellers, probably will follow that which is most 
properly his owne ; and he shall never find the meanes to 
amend or discerne these things; nor can they fall out 
/ otherwise, because men alwayes prove mischievous, unlesse i 
upon some necessity they be forc d to become good: we 
conclude therefore, that counsells from whencesoever they 
proceed, must needs take their beginning from the Princes 
wisdome, and not the wisdome of the Prince from good 

Plutarch, de 
adulatore et 
amico discer- 

In this Chapter our Authour prescribes some rules how to avoyd 
flattery, and not to fall into contempt. The extent of these two 
extreames is so large on both sides, that there is left but a very 
narrow path for the right temper to walke between them both : 
and happy were that Prince, who could light on so good a Pilote 
as to bring him to Port between those rocks and those quicksands. 
Where Majesty becomes familiar, unlesse endued with a super- 
eminent vertue, it loses all awfull regards : as the light of the 
Sunne, because so ordinary, because so common, we should little 
value, were it not that all Creatures feele themselves quickned 
by the rayes thereof. On the other side, Omnis iiifsipiens arro- 
gantid etplausibus capitur, Every foole is taken with his owne pride 
and others flatteryes : and this foole keeps company so much with 
all great wise men, that hardly with a candle and lantern can 
they be discernd betwixt. The greatest men are more subject 
to grosse and palpable flatteries ; and especially the greatest of 
men, who are Kings and Princes : for many seek the Rulers 
favour. Prov. 28. 26. For there are divers meanes whereby 
private men are instructed ; Princes have not that good hap : but 
they whose instruction is of most importance, so soone as they 
have taken the government upon them, no longer suffer any 





are to he 

reproovers: for hut few have accesse unto them, and they who 
farniliary converse with them, doe and say all for favour. Isocrat, 
to Nicocles, All are afraid to give him occasion of displeasure, 
though hy telling him truth. To this purpose therefore saves 
one ; a Prince excells in learning to ride the great horse, rather 
than in any other exercise, hecause his horse heing no flatterer,- <l 
will shew him he makes no difference between him and another 
man, and unlesse he keepe his seate well, will lay him on the"" 
ground. This is plaine dealing. Men are more suhtile, more 
douhle-hearted, they have a heart and a heart neither is their 
tongue their hearts true interpreter. Counsell in the heart of mail 
is like deepe waters ; hut a man of understanding will draw it out* 
Prov. 20. 5. This understanding is most requisite in a Prince, 
inasmuch as the whole Glohe is in his hand, and the inferiour 
Orhes are swayed hy the motion of the highest. And therefore 
surely it is the honour of a King to search out such a secret : 
Prov. 25. 2. His counsellours are Ins eyes and eares ; as they 
ought to he dear to him, so they ought to he true to him, and 
make him the true report of things without disguise. If they 
prove false eyes, let him pluck them out ; he may as they use 
glasse eyes, take them forth without paine, and see never a whit 
the worse for it. The wisdome of a Princes Counsellours is a 
great argument of the Princes wisdome. And heing the choyce 
of them imports the Princes credit and safety, our Authour will 
make him amends for his other errours by his good advice in his 
22 Chap, whether I reierre him. 


Wherefore the Princes of Italy have lost their 

HEN these things above said are well 
observed, they make a new Prince scenic 
as if he had been of old, and presently 
render him more secure and firme in the 
State, than if he had already grown 
ancient therein : fora new Prince is much 
more observe! in his action, than a Prince 
by inheritance; and when they are known 
to bee vertuous, men are much more gaind and obliged to 
them thereby, than by the antiquity of their blood : for men 


CHAP.XXIV-are much more taken by things present, than by things past, 
Wherefore and when in the present they find good, they content them- 
the Princes of selves therein, and seeke no further ; or rather they undertake 
Italy h ave l st the defence of him to their utmost, when the Prince is not 
tes wanting in other matters to himself; and so shall he gaine 
double glory to have given a beginning to a new Principality, 
adornd, and strengthnd it with good lawes, good arms, 
good friends, and good examples ; as he shall have double 
shame, that is born a Prince, and by reason of his small 
discretion hath lost it. And if we shall consider those Lords, 
that in Italy have lost their States in our dayes, as the King 
of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and others; first we shall 
find in them a common defect, touching their armes, for the 
reasons which have been above discoursd at length. After 
wards we shall see some of them, that either shall have had 
the people for their enemies ; or be it they had the people 
to friend, could never know how to assure themselves of the 
great ones : for without such defects as these, States are not 
lost, which have so many nerves, that they are able to 
maintaine an army in the feld. Philip of Macedon, not the 
father of Alexander the Great, but he that was vanquished 
by Titus Quintius, had not much State in regard of the 
greatnesse of the Romanes and of Greece that assaiFd him ; 
neverthelesse in that he was a warlike man and knew how 
to entertaine the people, and assure himself of the Nobles, 
for many yeares he made the warre good against them : and 
though at last some town perhaps were taken from him, yet 
the Kingdome remaind in his hands still. Wherefore these 
our Princes who for many yeares had continued in their 
Principalities, for having aifterwards lost them, let them not 
blame Fortune, but their own sloth; because they never 
having thought during the time of quiet, that they could 
suffer a change (which is the common fault of men, while 
faire weather lasts, not to provide for the tempest) when 
afterwards mischiefes came upon them, thought rather 
upon flying from them, than upon their defence, and hop d 
that the people, weary of the vanquishers insolence, would 
recall them : which course when the others faile, is good : 


but very ill is it to leave the other remedies for that: for CHAP. XXIV 
a man wou d never go to fall, beleeving another would Wherefore 
come to take him up: which may either not come to the Prince* of 
passe, or if it does, it is not for thy security, because Italy have lot 
that defence of his is vile, and depends not up on thee ; their SLat **- 
but those defences only are good, certaine, and 
durable, which depend upon thy owne selfe, and 
thy owne vertues. 


How great power Fortune hath in humane 
affaires, and what meanes there is to resist it. 

T is not unknown unto me, how that many 
have held opinion, and still hold it, that 
the affaires of the world are so govenul 
by fortune, and by God, that men by 
their wisdome cannot amend or alter 
them ; or rather that there is no remedy 
for them : and hereupon they would 
think that it were of no availe to 
take much paines in any tiling, but leave all to be governd 
by chance. This opinion hath gain d the more credit in 
our dayes, by reason of the great alteration of thing*, 
which we have of late seen, and do every day see, beyond 
all humane conjecture: upon which, I sometimes think 
ing, am in some parte inclind to their opinion : nevcr- 
thelcsse not to extinguish quite our owne free will, I 
think it may be true, that Fortune is the mistrisse of one 
halfe of our actions; but yet that she lets us have rule 
of the other half, or little lesse. And I liken ln-r to a 
precipitous torrent, which when it rages, over-flows the 
plaines, overthrowes the trees, and buildings, removes the 
earth from one side, and laies it on another, every one fly< * 
before it, evcrv one veelds to the fury thereof, as unable to 


CHAP. XXV withstand it ; and yet however it be thus, when the times 
How great --are calmer, men are able to make provision against these 
power For- excesses, with banks and fences so, that afterwards when it 
tune hath SW els again, it shall all passe smoothly along, within its 
affaires 1116 channell, or else the violence thereof shall not prove so 
licentious and hurtfull. In like manner befals it us with 
^-fortune, which there shewes her power where vertue is not 
ordeind to resist her, and thither turnes she all her forces, 
where she perceives that no provisions nor resistances are 
made to uphold her. And if you shall consider Italy, 
which is the seat of these changes, and that which hath 
given them their motions, you shall see it to be a plaine 
field, without any trench or bank ; which had it been fenc d 
with convenient vertue as was Germany, Spain or France ; 
this inundation would never have causd these great altera 
tions it hath, or else would it not have reached to us : and 
this shall suffice to have said, touching the opposing of 
fortune in generall. But restraining my selfe more to 
^ particulars, I say that to day we see a Prince prosper and 
flourish and to morrow utterly go to ruine ; not seeing that 
he hath alterd any condition or quality ; which I beleeve 
arises first from the causes which we have long since run over, 
*- that is because that Prince that relies wholly upon fortune, 
r-runnes as her wheele turnes. I beleeve also, that he proves the 
fortunate man, whose manner of proceeding meets with the 
quality of the time ; and so likewise he unfortunate from whose 
course of proceeding the times differ : for we see that men, 
in the things that induce them to the end, (which every one 
propounds to himselfe, as glory and riches) proceed therein 
diversly ; some with respects, others more bold, and rashly ; 
one with violence, and the other with cunning ; the one with 
patience, th other with its contrary ; and every one by 
severall wayes may attaine thereto ; we see also two very 
respective and wary men, the one come to his purpose, 
and th other not ; and in like maner two equally prosper, 
taking divers course ; the one being wary the other head 
strong ; which proceeds from nothing else, but from the 
quality of the times, which agree, or not. with their pro- 


- ceedings. From hence arises that which I said, that two CHAP. XXV 

- working diversly, produce the same effect : and two equaly How jrreat 
working, the one attains his end, the other not. Hereupon p<*er Kor- 
also depends the alteration of the good ; for if to one that tune iat 
behaves himself with warinesse and patience, times and 
affaires turne so favourably, that the carriage of his businesse 
prove well, he prospers ; but if the times and affaires chance, 
he is ruind, because he changes not his manner of proceeding : 
nor is there any man so wise, that can frame himselfe here- 
" unto ; as well because lie cannot go out of the wav, from 
that whereunto Nature inclines him : as also, for that one 

having ahvayes prosperd, walking such a way, cannot be 
perswaded to leave it; and therefore the respective and wary 

man, when it is fit time for him to use violence and force, 
knows not how to put it in practice, whereupon he is ruind : 

but if he could change his disposition with the times and the 
affaires, he should not change his fortune. Pope Julius the 
second proceeded in all his actions with very great violence, 
and found the times and things so conformable to that his 
manner of proceeding that in all of them he had happy 
successe. Consider the first exploit he did at Bolonia, even 
while John Bentivolio lived : the Venetians were not well 
contented therewith; the King of Spainc likewise with the 
French, had treated of that enterprise; and notwith 
standing al this, he stirrd up by his own rage and fiercenesse, 
personally undertook that expedition : which action of his 
put in suspence and stopt Spaine and the Venetians ; those 
for feare, and the others for desire to recover the Kingdome 
of Naples; and on the other part drew after him the King 
of France; for that King seeing him already in motion, 
and desiring to hold him his friend, whereby to humble tin- 
Venetians, thought he could no way deny him his souldicrs, 
without doing him an open injury. .Julius then effected 
that with his violent and heady motion, which no other 
Pope with all humane wisdome could ever have done; for 
if he had expected to part from Home with his conclusions 
settled, and all his affaires ordered beforehand, as any other 
Pope would have done, he had never brought it to passe : 



CHAP. XXV For the King of France would have devised a thousand 

How great excuses, and others would have put him in as many feares. 

power For- j w jU l e t passe his other actions, for all of them were alike, 

tune hath ftnc j ft jj Q f ^ em p rov d lucky to him ; and the brevity of his 

inhumane ,.,, m i \ / i 1 i i i 

affaires. ^ e never sufferd him to feele the contrary : for had he litt 

upon such times afterwards, that it had been necessary for 
him to proceed with respects, there had been his utter ruine ; 
for he would never have left those waves, to which he had been 
naturally inclind. I conclude then, fortune varying, and men 
continuing still obstinate to their own wayes, prove happy, 
while these accord together : and as they disagree, prove un- 
- happy : and I think it true, that it is better to be heady than 
wary ; because Fortune is a mistresse ; and it is necessary, to 
keep her in obedience to ruffle and force her : and we see, 
that she suffers her self rather to be masterd by those, 
than by others that proceed coldly. And therefore, as a 
mistresse, shee is a friend to young men, because they are 
lesse respective, more rough, and command her with more 

I have considered the 25 Chapter, as representing me a full 
view of humane policy and cunning- : yet me thinks it cannot 
satisfie a Christian in the causes of the good an( j b a( i succe sse of 
things. The life of man is like a game at Tables ; skill availes 
much I grant, but that s not all : play thy game well, but that 
will not winne : the chance thou throwest must accord with thy 
play. Examine this ; play never so surely, play never so probably, 
unlesse the chance thou castest, lead thee forward to advantage, 
all hazards are losses, and thy sure play leaves thee in the lurch. 
The sum of this is set down in Ecclesiastes chap. 9. v. 11. The 
race is not to the swift, nor the battell to the strong : neither yet 
bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor 
yet favour to -men of skill ; but time and chance hapeneth to them 
all. Our cunning Author for all his exact rules he delivere in 
his books, could not fence against the despight of Fortune, as he 
complaines in his Epistle to this booke. Nor that great example 
of policy, Duke Valentine, whome our Author commends to 
Princes for his crafts-master, could so ruffle or force his mistresse 
Fortune, that he could keep her in obedience. Man can 
- contribute no more to his actions than vertue and wisdome : but 
the successe depends upon a power above. Surely there is the 



finger of *od ; or as Prov. 10. v. 33. The lot is owt into the ( HAP XXV 

1 lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Ixml. it wa 

not Josephs wisdome made all things thrive under his hand **** 

but because the Lord was with him ; and that which he did the )ower * or " 

Lord made it to prosper, Gen. 3S>. Surely this is a blewing tune hath 

proceeding from the divine providence, which beyond humane m )umail 

capacity so cooperateth with the causes, as that their effect* 

prove answerable, and sometimes (that we may know there ig 

something above the ordinary causes) the success returns with 

such a supereminency of worth, that it far exceeds the vprtue of 

the ordinary causes. 


An Exhortation to free Italy from the 

AVING then weiglfd all things above dis- 
cours d, and devising with my self, whether 
at this present in Italy the time might 
serve to honor a new Prince, and whether 
there were matter that might minister 
occasion to a wise and valorous Prince, to 
introduce such a forme, that might do 
honor to him, and good to the whole 
generality of the people in the countrey : me thinks so 
many things concurrc in favor of a new Prince, that I 
know not whether there were ever any time more proper for 
this purpose. And if as I said, it was necessary, desiring to 
see Moses his vertue, that the children of Israel should l>e 
inthrald in ./Egypt; and to have experience of the magna 
nimity of Cyrus his mind, that the Persians should l>e 
oppressed by the Medes; and to set forth the excellency of 
Theseus, that the Athenians should he dispersed ; so at this 
present now we are desirous to know the valor of an Italian- 
spirit, it were necessary Italy should lie reduc d to the same 
termes it is now in, and were in more slavery than the 
Hebrews were; more subject than the Persians, more 


CHAP. XXVI scatterd than the Athenians ; without head, without order, 
An Exhorta- battered, pillaged, rent asunder, overrun, and had under- 
tion to free gone all kind of destruction. And however even in these 
Italy from the } a {. er d a y e s 5 we have had some kind of shew of hope in some 
>ns one, whereby we might have conjectured, that he had been 
ordained for the deliverance hereof, yet it prov d afterwards, 
that in the very height of all his actions he was curbM by 
fortune, insomuch that this poore countrey remaining as it 
were without life, attends still for him that shall heal her 
wounds, give an end to all those pillagings and sackings of 
Lombardy, to those robberies and taxations of the King- 
dome, and of Tuscany, and heal them of their soars, now 
this long time gangrened. We see how she makes her 
prayers to God, that he send some one to redeem her from 
these Barbarous cruelties and insolencies. We see her also 
wholly ready and disposed to follow any colours, provided 
there be any one take them up. Nor do we see at this 
present, that she can look for other, than your Illustrious 
Family, to become Cheiftain of this deliverance, which hath 
now by its own vertue and Fortune been so much exalted, 
and favored by God and the Church, whereof it now holds 
the Principality : and this shall not be very hard for you to 
do, if you shall call to mind the former actions, and lives of 
those that are above named. And though those men were 
very rare and admirable, yet were they men, and every one 
of them began upon less occasion than this ; for neither was 
their enterprize more just than this, nor more easie; nor 
was God more their friend, than yours. Here is very great 
justice: for that war is just, that is necessary; and those 
armes are religious, when there is no hope left otherwhere, 
but in them. Here is an exceeding good disposition thereto: 
nor can there be, where there is a good disposition, a great 
difficulty, provided that use be made of those orders, which 
I propounded for aim and direction to you. Besides this, 
here we see extraordinary things without example effected 
by God ; the sea was opened, a cloud guided the way, 
devotion poured forth the waters, and it rain d down 
Manna ; all these things have concurred in your greatness, 


the rest is left for you to do. God will not do every thing CHAP. XXVI 
-himself, that he may not take from us our free will, and AM KxhorU- 
-part of that glory that belongs to us. Neither is it a tion to free 
marvel, if any of the aforenamed Italians have not been Itnl y 
able to compass that, which we may hope your illustrious 
family shall : though in so many revolutions of Italy, and 
so many feats of war, it may seem that the whole military 
vertue therein be quite extinguish! ; for this arises from that 
the ancient orders thereof were not good ; and there hath 
since been none that hath known how to invent new ones. 
Nothing can so much honor a man rising anew, as new laws 
and new ordinances devised by him : these things when they 
have a good foundation given them, and contain in them 
their due greatness, gain him reverence and admiration ; and 
in Italy their wants not the matter wherein to introduce 
any forme. Here is great vertue in the members, were it 
not wanting in the heads. Consider in the single fights 
that have been, and duels, how much the Italians have 
exceFd in their strength, activity and address; but when 
they come to armies, they appear not, and all proceeds from 
the weakness of the Chieftaines ; for they that understand 
the managing of these matters, are not obeyed ; and every 
one presumes to understand ; hitherto there having not been 
any one so highly raised either by fortune or vertue, as that 
others would submit unto him. From hence proceeds it, 
that in so long time, and in so many battels fought for these 
last past 20 years, when there hath been an army wholly 
Italian, it alwaies hath had evil success; whereof the^ river 
Tarus first was witness, afterwards Alexandria, Capua, Gcmm, 
Vayla, Bolonia, Mestri. Your Illustrious family then beiu 
desirous to tread the footsteps of these Worthyes who 
redeemed their countreys, must above all things as the very 
foundation of the who le fabrick, be furnished with soldiers 
of vour own natives : because you cannot have more faithful, 
true, nor better soldiers; and though every one of them be 
good, all together they will become better when they shall 
find themselves entertained, commanded, and honored 
their own Prince. Wherefore it i* necessary to provide for 


CHAP. XXVI those armes, whereby to be able with the Italian valor to 
An Exhorta- make a defence against forreiners. And however the Swisse 
tion to free infantry and Spanish be accounted terrible ; yet is there 

Italy from the defect in both of them, by which a third order might not 
Barbarians. J i ,, , 

only oppose them, but may be confident to vanquish them : 

for the Spaniards are not able to indure the Horse, and the 
Swisse are to feare the foot, when they incounter with them, 
as resolute in the fight as they ; whereupon it hath been 
seen, and upon experience shall be certain, that the 
Spaniards are not able to beare up against the French 
Cavalery, and the Swisses have been routed by the Spanish 
Foot. And though touching this last, there hath not been 
any entire experience had, yet was there some proof thereof 
given in the battel of Ravenna, when the Spanish Foot 
affronted the Dutch battalions, which keep the same rank 
the Swisses do, where the Spaniards with their nimbleness 
of body, and the help of their targets entred in under their 
Pikes, and there stood safe to offend them, the Dutch men 
having no remedy : and had it not been for the Cavalery 
that rusht in upon them, they had quite defeated them. 
There may then (the defect of the one and other of these 
two infantries being discoverd) another kind of them be 
anew ordained, which may be able to make resistance against 
the Horse, and not fear the Foot, which shall not be a new 
sort of armes, but change of orders. And these are some of 
those things which ordained a new, gain reputation and 
greatness to a new Prince. Therefore this occasion should 
not be let pass, to the end that Italy after so long a time 
may see some one redeemer of hers appear. Nor can I 
express with what dearness of affection he would be received 
in all those countreys which have suffered by those forrein 
scums, with what thirst of revenge, with what resolution of 
fidelity, with what piety, with what tears. Would any 
gates be shut again him ? Any people deny him obedience ? 
Any envy oppose him ? Would not every Italian fully 
consent with him? This government of the Barbarians 
stinks in every ones nostrils. Let your Illustrious Family 
then undertake this worthy explovt with that courage and 


those hopes wherewith such just actions are to be attempted ; CHAP. 
to the end that under your colours, this countrey may be Au Exl 
enabled, and under the protection of your fortune that tum to 
saving of Petrarch be verifyed. 

Virtu contr al fuore 

Prendera Cannc, cfia il combatter corto : 

Che I antico valore 

Ne gli Italici cor non k morto. 

Vertue against fury shall advance the fight, 
And it i th combate soon shall put to flight 
For th old Roman valor is not dead, 
Nor in th Italians brests extinguished. 




Printers to His Majesty 



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