Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Machiavelli, Volume I.
their industry, their few foot gave them no reputation, and many they were not able to maintain; whereupon they reduc’d 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 killing, 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.

CHAP.  XIII

Of Auxiliary Soldiers, mixt, and native.

The Auxiliary forces, being the other kind of unprofitable armes, 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 enterprize of Ferrara, applied himself to the Auxiliaries, and agreed with Ferdinand King of Spain, that with his Forces he should aid him.  These armes 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 yet fresh:  whose course could not have been more inconsiderate, for the desire he had to get Ferrara, putting himself wholly into strangers hands:  but his good fortune caused another cause to arise, that hindred 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 beyond 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 it:  by which course they ran more hazzard, than in any time of their troubles.  The Emperor of Constantinople, to oppress his neighbors, brought into Greece ten thousand Turks, who when the war was ended, could not be got out thence, which was the beginning of Greeces servitude under the Infidels.  He then that will in no case be able to overcome, let him serve himself of these armes; for they are much more dangerous than the mercenaries; for by those thy ruine is more suddenly executed; for they are all united, and all bent to the obedience of another.  But for the mercenaries

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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