Reflections on the object of war and the use of victory—Niccolo reinforces his army—The duke of Milan endeavors to recover the services of Count Francesco Sforza—Suspicions of the Venetians—They acquire Ravenna—The Florentines purchase the Borgo San Sepolcro of the pope—Piccinino makes an excursion during the winter—The count besieged in his camp before Martinengo—The insolence of Niccolo Piccinino—The duke in revenge makes peace with the league—Sforza assisted by the Florentines.
Those who make war have always and very naturally designed to enrich themselves and impoverish the enemy; neither is victory sought or conquest desirable, except to strengthen themselves and weaken the enemy. Hence it follows, that those who are impoverished by victory or debilitated by conquest, must either have gone beyond, or fallen short of, the end for which wars are made. A republic or a prince is enriched by the victories he obtains, when the enemy is crushed and possession is retained of the plunder and ransom. Victory is injurious when the foe escapes, or when the soldiers appropriate the booty and ransom. In such a case, losses are unfortunate, and conquests still more so; for the vanquished suffers the injuries inflicted by the enemy, and the victor those occasioned by his friends, which being less justifiable, must cause the greater pain, particularly from a consideration of his being thus compelled to oppress his people