Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.

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

FABRICIO.  I will inforce my self to satisfie you, I will not answere now distinctly to your questions:  for that whileste I shall aunswere to one, many tymes it will come to passe, that I muste aunswere to an other.  I have tolde you, how I have shewed you a facion of an armie, to the intent, that accordyng to thesame, there maie bee given all those facions, that the enemie, and the situacion requireth:  For as moche as in this case, bothe accordyng to the power thereof, and accordyng to the enemie, it proceadeth:  but note this, that there is not a more perillous facion, then to deffende moche the front of tharmie, if then thou have not a most puisant, and moste great hoste:  otherwise, thou oughtest to make it rather grosse, and of small largenesse, then of moche largenes and thin:  for when thou hast fewe men in comparison to thenemie, thou oughtest to seke other remedies, as is to ordain thine army in soche a place, wher thou maiest be fortefied, either through rivers, or by meanes of fennes, after soch sort, that thou canst not bee compassed aboute, or to inclose thy self on the flanckes with diches, as Cesar did in Fraunce.  You have to take in this cace, this generall rule, to inlarge your self, or to draw in your self with the front, according to your nomber, and thesame of the enemie.  For thenemies being of lesse nomber, thou oughtest to seke large places, havyng in especially thy men well instructed:  to the intent thou maiest, not onely compasse aboute the enemie, but to deffende thy orders:  for that in places rough and difficulte, beyng not able to prevaile of thy orders, thou commeste not to have any advauntage, hereby grewe, that the Romaines almoste alwaies, sought the open fieldes, and advoided the straightes.  To the contrarie, as I have said, thou oughtest to doe, if thou hast fewe menne, or ill instructed:  for that then thou oughteste to seeke places, either where the little nomber maye be saved, and where the small experience dooe not hurte thee:  Thou oughtest also to chuse the higher grounde, to be able more easily to infest them:  notwithstandyng, this advertisment ought to be had, not to ordaine thy armie, where the enemie maie spie what thou doest and in place nere to the

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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