Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 456 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.

FABRICIO.  See, that if the prudence of the demaunder were not, there had remained behinde a speciall part, that deserveth consideracion.  I answere you againe, 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 nothing more undiscrete, or more perrillous to a Capitayne, then to make warre in the Winter, and muche more perrill beareth he, that maketh it, then he that abideth it:  the reason is this.  All the industrie that is used in the discipline 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 wonne 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, there is nothing more enemie to the orders, and then the rough situacions, or the colde watery time:  for that the rough situacions, suffereth thee not to deffende thy bandes, according to thee discipline:  the coulde and watery times, suffereth thee not to keepe thy men together, nor thou canst not bring them in good order to the enemy:  but it is convenient for thee to lodge them a sunder of necessitie, and without order, being constrayned to obeye to Castells, to Boroughes, and to the Villages, that maye receyve thee, in 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, how the Frenchmen in the yeare of oure Lorde God, a thousande five hundred and three, were broken at Gariliano of the Winter, and not of 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 incommoditie 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

Project Gutenberg
Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook