Machiavelli, Volume I eBook

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

COSIMO.  I will give this charge to signor Fabricio.

FABRICIO.  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 demaunder:  therefore I praie you, let us tourne to the matter, and let us lese no more tyme.

[Sidenote:  The greateste disorder that is used now a daies in pitching of a fielde; The order how a Romain Legion was appoincted to faight; The maner that the Grekes used in their Falangi, when thei fought against their enemies; The order that the Suizzers use in their main battailes when thei faight; Howe to appoincte a main battaile with armour and weapons, and to order thesame after the Greke and Romain maner.]

FABRICIO.  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 ordeined the bandes of their armies:  Notwithstandyng, you your selves, beeyng able to rede, and to consider these tnynges, by meanes of the auncient writers.  I will passe over many particulars:  and I will onely bryng in those thynges, whiche I thinke necessarie to imitate, mindyng at this tyme, to give to our exercise of warre, some parte of perfection:  The whiche shall make, that in one instant, I shall shewe you, how an armie is prepared to the field, and how it doeth incounter in the verie faight, and how it maie be exercised in the fained.  The greatest disorder, that thei make, whiche ordeine an armie to the fielde, is in giving them onely one fronte, and to binde them to one brunt, and to 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 moste excellently well observed.  Therefore, purposyng to shewe this waie, I saie, how that the Romaines devided into iii. partes every Legion, in Hastati, Prencipi, and Triarii, of which, the Hastati wer placed in the first front, or forward 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 bed of tharmie, betwene the horses and the other bandes of footemen:  therefore these light armed, began the faight, if thei overcame (whiche happened seldom

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Machiavelli, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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