Anonymous Olde English
Knyghthode and Bataile
A XVth Century Verse Paraphrase of Flavius Vegetius Renatus' Treatise 'DE RE MILITARI'
Salue, festa dies
Kalende. Qua Deus
ad celum subleuat
Hail, halyday deuout! Alhail Kalende
Of Marche, wheryn Dauid the Confessour
Commaunded is his kyngis court ascende;
Emanuel, Jhesus the Conquerour,
This same day as a Tryumphatour,
Sette in a Chaire & Throne of Maiestee,
To London is comyn. O Saviour,
Welcome a thousand fold to thi Citee!
And she, thi modir Blessed mot she be
That cometh eke, and angelys an ende,
Wel wynged and wel horsed, hidir fle,
Thousendys on this goode approche attende;
And ordir aftir ordir thei commende,
As Seraphin, as Cherubyn, as Throne,
As Domynaunce, and Princys hidir sende;
And, at o woord, right welcom euerychone!
But Kyng Herry the Sexte, as Goddes Sone
Or themperour or kyng Emanuel,
To London, welcomer be noo persone;
O souuerayn Lord, welcom! Now wel, Now wel!
Te Deum to be songen, wil do wel,
And Benedicta Sancta Trinitas!
Now prosperaunce and peax perpetuel
Shal growe,-and why? ffor here is Vnitas.
Therof to the Vnitee 'Deo gracias'
In Trinitee! The Clergys and Knyghthode
And Comynaltee better accorded nas
Neuer then now; Now nys ther noon abode,
But out on hem that fordoon Goddes forbode,
Periurous ar, Rebellovs and atteynte,
So forfaytinge her lyif and lyvelode,
Although Ypocrisie her faytys peynte.
Now, person of Caleys, pray euery Seynte
In hevenys & in erth of help Thavaile.
It is, That in this werk nothing ne feynte,
But that beforn good wynde it go ful sayle;
And that not oonly prayer But travaile
Heron be sette, Enserche & faste inquere.
Thi litil book of knyghthode & bataile,
What Chiualer is best, on it bewere.
Whil Te Deum Laudamus vp goth there
At Paulis, vp to Westmynster go thee;
The Kyng comyng, Honor, Virtus the Quene,
So glad goth vp that blisse it is to see.
Thi bille vnto the Kyng is red, and He
Content withal, and wil it not foryete.
What seith my lord Beaumont? 'Preste, vnto me
Welcom.' (here is tassay, entre to gete).
'Of knyghthode & Bataile, my lord, as trete
The bookys olde, a werk is made now late,
And if it please you, it may be gete.'
'What werk is it?' 'Vegetius translate
Into Balade.' 'O preste, I pray the, late
Me se that werk.' 'Therto wil I you wise.
Lo, here it is!' Anon he gan therate
To rede, thus: 'Sumtyme it was the gise'-
And red therof a part. 'For my seruyse
Heer wil I rede (he seith) as o psaultier.'
'It pleaseth you right wel; wil your aduyse
Suppose that the kyng heryn pleasier
May haue?' 'I wil considir the matier;
I fynde it is right good and pertynente
Vnto the kyng; his Celsitude is hier;
I halde it wel doon, hym therwith presente.
Almyghti Maker of the firmament,
O mervailous in euery creature,
So singuler in this most excellent
Persone, our Souuerayn Lord! Of what stature
Is he, what visagynge, how fair feture,
How myghti mad, and how strong in travaile!
In oonly God & hym it is tassure
As in a might, that noo wight dar assaile.
Lo, Souuerayn Lord, of Knyghthode & bataile
This litil werk your humble oratour,
Ye, therwithal your Chiualers, travaile,
Inwith your hert to Crist the Conquerour
Offreth for ye. Ther, yeueth him thonour;
His true thought, accepte it, he besecheth,
Accepte; it is to this Tryumphatour,
That myghti werre exemplifying techeth.
He redeth, and fro poynt to poynt he secheth,
How hath be doon, and what is now to done;
His prouidence on aftirward he strecheth,
By see & lond; he wil provide sone
To chace his aduersaryes euerychone;
Thei hem by lond, thei hem by see asseyle;-
The Kyng his Oratoure, God graunt his bone,
Ay to prevaile in knyghthode & bataile.
Sumtyme it was the gise among the wise
To rede and write goode and myghti thingis,
And have therof the dede in exercise;
Pleasaunce heryn hadde Emperour and Kingis.
O Jesse flour, whos swete odour our Kinge is,
Do me to write of knyghthode and bataile
To thin honour and Chiualers tavaile.
Mankyndys lyfe is mylitatioun,
And she, thi wife, is named Militaunce,
Ecclesia; Jhesu, Saluatioun,
My poore witte in thi richesse avaunce,
Cast out therof the cloude of ignoraunce,
Sette vp theryn thi self, the verrey light,
Therby to se thi Militaunce aright.
O Lady myn, Maria, Lode sterre,
Condite it out of myst & nyght, that dark is,
To write of al by see & lond the werre.
Help, Angelys, of knyghthode ye Ierarkys
In heven & here; o puissaunt Patriarkys,
Your valiaunce and werre in see & londe
Remembering, to this werk putte your honde.
Apostolys, ye, with thalmyghti swoorde
Of Goddis woord, that were Conquerourys
Of al the world, and with the same woorde
Ye Martirys that putte of sharpe shourys,
Ye Virgynys pleasaunt and Confessourys
That with the same sworde haue had victory,
Help heer to make of werre a good memory.
And euery werreour wil I beseche,
Impropurly where of myn ignoraunce
Of werre I write, as putte in propre speche
And mende me, prayinge herof pleasaunce
To God be first, by Harry Kyng of Fraunce
And Englond, and thenne ereither londe,
Peasibilly that God putte in his honde.
Thus seide an humble Inuocatioun
To Criste, his Modir, and his Sayntis alle,
With confidence of illustratioun,
Criste me to spede, and prayer me to walle,
Myn inwit on this werk wil I let falle,
And sey what is kynyghthode, and in bataile,
By lond & see, what feat may best prevaile.
Knyghthode an ordir is, the premynent;
Obeysaunt in God, and rather deye
Then disobeye; and as magnificent
As can be thought; exiled al envye;
As confident the right to magnifie
As wil the lawe of Goddis mandement,
And as perseueraunt and patient.
The premynent is first thalmyghti Lord,
Emanuel, that euery lord is vndir
And good lyver; but bataile and discord
With him hath Sathanas; thei are asondir
As day & nyght, and as fier wasteth tundir,
So Sathanas his flok; and Cristis oste
In gemmy gold goth ardent, euery cooste.
Themanuel, this Lord of Sabaoth,
Hath ostis angelik that multitude,
That noon of hem, nor persone erthly, woote
Their numbir or vertue or pulcritude;
Our chiualers of hem similitude
Take as thei may, but truely ? fer is,
As gemmys are ymagyned to sterrys.
Folk angelik, knyghthode archangelike,
And the terrible tourmys pryncipaunt,
The Potestates myght, ho may be like,-
The vigoroux vertue so valyaunt,
The Regalye of thordir domynaunt,
The Thronys celsitude of Cherubyn?
Who hath the light or flamme of Seraphyn?
Yit true it is, Man shal ben angelike;
Forthi their hosteyinye the Lord hath shewed
Ofte vnto man, the crafte therof to pike,
In knyghthode aftir hem man to be thewed:
By Lucyfer falling, rebate and fewed
Her numbir was, and it is Goddis wille,
That myghti men her numbir shal fulfille.
Of myghty men first is thelectioun
To make, & hem to lerne, & exercise
An ooste of hem for his perfectioun,
Be numbred thenne; and aftir se the gise
Of strong bataile, fighting in dyuers wise;
In craft to bilde, and art to make engyne
For see & lond, this tretys I wil fyne.
Thelectioun of werreours is good
In euery londe; and southward ay the more,
The more wit thei haue & lesse blood,
Forthi to blede thei drede it, and therfore
Reserue theim to labour & to lore,
And northeward hath more blood and lesse
Wit, and to fight & blede an hardinesse.
But werreours to worthe wise & bolde,
Is good to take in mene atwix hem twayne,
Where is not ouer hote nor ouer colde;
And to travaile & swete in snow & rayne,
In colde & hete, in wode & feeldys playne,
With rude fode & short, thei that beth vsed,
To chere it is the Citesens seclused.
And of necessitee, if thei be take
To that honour as to be werreourys,
In grete travaile her sleuth is of to shake,
And tolleraunce of sonne & dust & shourys,
To bere & drawe, & dayes delve and hourys
First vse thei, and reste hem in a cave,
And throute among, and fode a smal to haue.
In soden case emergent hem elonge
Fro their Cite, streyt out of that pleasaunce;
So shal thei worthe, ye, bothe bolde & stronge;
But feithfully the feld may most avaunce
A myghti ooste; of deth is his doubtaunce
Ful smal, that hath had smal felicite.
To lyve, and lande-men such lyuers be.
Of yonge folk is best electioun,
In puberte thing lightlier is lerned,
Of tendre age vp goth perfectioun
Of chiualers, as it is wel gouerned;
Alacrite to lepe & renne vnwerned,
Not oonly be, but therto sette hem stronge
And chere theim therwith, whil thei beth yonge.
For better is ?ge men compleyne
On yerys yet commyng and nat fulfilled,
Then olde men dolorouxly disdeyne,
That thei here yougthe in negligence haspilde.
The yonge may seen alle his daies filde
In disciplyne of were and exercise,
That age may not haue in eny wise.
Not litil is the discipline of werre,
O fote, on hors, with sword or shild or spere,
The place & poort to kepe and not to erre,
Ne truble make, and his shot wel bewere,
To dike and voyde a dike, and entir there,
As is to do; lerned this gouernaunce,
No fere is it to fight, but pleasaunce.
The semelyest, sixe foote or litil lesse,
The first arayes of the legyoun,
Or wyngys horsyd, it is in to dresse;
Yet is it founde in euery regioun,
That smale men have had myght & renoun:
Lo, Tideus, as telleth swete Homere,
That litil man in vigour had no pere.
And him, that is to chese, it is to se
The look, the visagynge, the lymys stronge,
That thei be sette to force & firmytee;
For bellatours, men, horsis, hondis yonge,
As thei be wel fetured, is to fonge,
As in his book seith of the bee Virgile,
Too kyndis are, a gentil and a vile.
The gentil is smal, rutilaunt, glad-chered,
That other horribil, elenge and sloggy,
Drawinge his wombe abrede, and vgly-hered,
To grete the bolk, and tremulent and droggy,
The lymes hery, scabious & ruggy;
That be wil litil do, but slepe & ete,
And al deuoure, as gentil bees gete.
So for bataile adolescentys yonge
Of grym visage and look pervigilaunt,
Vpright-necked, brod-brested, boned stronge.
Brawny, bigge armes, fyngeres elongaunt,
Kne deep, smal wombe, and leggys valiaunt,
To renne & lepe: of these and suche signys
Thelectioun to make ascribed digne is.
For better is, of myghti werryourys
To haue ynogh, then ouer mych of grete.-
What crafty men tabide on werrys shourys,
It is to se; fisshers, foulers, forlete
Hem alle, and pigmentaryes be foryete,
And alle they that are of idil craftys,
Their insolence & feet to be forlafte is.
The ferrour and the smyth, the carpenter,
The huntere of the hert & of the boor,
The bocher & his man, bed hem com nere,
For alle tho may do and kepe stoor.
An old prouerbe is it: Stoor is not soor,
And commyn wele it is, a werreour
To have aswel good crafte as grete vigour.
The reaumys myght, the famys fundament,
Stont in the first examynatioun
Or choys, wheryn is good be diligent.
Of the provynce that is defensioun;
A wysdom and a just intensioun
Is him to have, an ost that is to chese,
Wheryn is al to wynne or al to lese.
If chiualers, a land that shal defende,
Be noble born, and have lond & fee,
With thewys goode, as can noman amende,
Thei wil remembir ay their honeste,
And shame wil refreyne hem not to fle;
Laude & honour, hem sporynge on victory,
To make fame eternal in memory.
What helpeth it, if ignobilitee
Have exercise in werre and wagys large;
A traitour or a coward if he be,
Thenne his abode is a disceypt & charge;
If cowardise hym bere away by barge
Or ship or hors, alway he wil entende
To marre tho that wolde make or mende.
Ciuilians or officers to make
Of hem that have habilite to werre,
Is not the worship of a lond tawake,
Sumtyme also lest noughti shuld com nerre,
Thei sette hym to bataile, & theryn erre;
Therfore it is by good discretioun
And grete men to make electioun.
And not anoon to knyghthode is to lyft
A bacheler elect; let first appare
And preve it wel that he be stronge & swift
And wil the discipline of werrys lere,
With confidence in conflict as he were.
Ful oftyn he that is right personabil,
Is aftir pref reported right vnabil.
He putte apart, putte in his place an other;
Conflicte is not so sure in multitude,
As in the myght. Thus proved oon & other
Of werre an entre or similitude,
In hem to shewe. But this crafte dissuetude
Hath take away; here is noon exercise
Of disciplyne, as whilom was the gise.
How may I lerne of hym that is vnlerned,
How may a thing informal fourme me?
Thus I suppose is best to be gouerned:
Rede vp thistories of auctoritee,
And how thei faught, in theym it is to se,
Or better thus: Celsus Cornelius
Be red, or Caton, or Vegetius.
Vegetius it is, that I entende
Aftir to goon in lore of exercise,
Besechinge hem that fynde a faut, amende
It to the best, or me tamende it wise;
As redy wil I be with my seruyce
Tamende that, as ferther to procede.
Now wel to go, the good angel vs lede.
First is to lerne a chiualerys pace,
That is to serue in journey & bataile;
Gret peril is, if they theryn difface,
That seyn: our enemye wil our oste assaile
And jumpe light; to goon is gret availe,
And pace in howrys fyve
Wel may they goon, and not goon ouer blyve.
And wightly may thei go moo,
But faster and they passe, it is to renne;
In rennyng exercise is good also,
To smyte first in fight, and also whenne
To take a place our foomen wil, forrenne,
And take it erst; also to serche or sture,
Lightly to come & go, rennynge is sure.
Rennynge is also right good at the chace,
And forto lepe a dike, is also good,
To renne & lepe and ley vppon the face,
That it suppose a myghti man go wood
And lose his hert withoute sheding blood;
For myghtily what man may renne & lepe,
May wel devicte and saf his party kepe.
To swymme is eek to lerne in somer season;
Men fynde not a brigge as ofte as flood,
Swymmyng to voide and chace an oste wil eson;
Eeke aftir rayn the ryueres goth wood;
That euery man in thoost can swymme, is good.
Knyght, squyer, footman, cook & cosynere
And grome & page in swymmyng is to lere.
Of fight the disciplyne and exercise
Was this: to haue a pale or pile vpright
Of mannys hight, thus writeth olde wyse;
Therwith a bacheler or a yong knyght
Shal first be taught to stonde & lerne fight;
A fanne of doubil wight tak him his shelde,
Of doubil wight a mace of tre to welde.
This fanne & mace, which either doubil wight is
Of shelde & sword in conflicte or bataile,
Shal exercise as wel swordmen as knyghtys,
And noo man (as thei seyn) is seyn prevaile
In felde or in gravel though he assaile,
That with the pile nath first gret exercise;
Thus writeth werreourys olde & wise.
Have vche his pile or pale vpfixed faste,
And, as in werre vppon his mortal foo,
With wightynesse & wepon most he caste
To fighte stronge, that he ne shape him fro,-
On him with shild & sword avised so,
That thou be cloos, and prest thi foo to smyte,
Lest of thin owne deth thou be to wite.
Empeche his hed, his face, have at his gorge,
Bere at the breste, or serue him on the side
With myghti knyghtly poort, eue as Seynt George,
Lepe o thi foo, loke if he dar abide;
Wil he nat fle, wounde him; mak woundis wide,
Hew of his honde, his legge, his thegh, his armys;
It is the Turk: though he be sleyn, noon harm is.
And forto foyne is better then to smyte;
The smyter is deluded mony oonys,
The sword may nat throgh steel & bonys bite,
Thentrailys ar couert in steel & bonys,
But with a foyn anoon thi foo fordoon is;
Tweyne vnchys entirfoyned hurteth more
Then kerf or ege, although it wounde sore.
Eek in the kerf, thi right arm is disclosed,
Also thi side; and in the foyn, couert
Is side & arm, and er thou be supposed
Redy to fight, the foyn is at his hert
Or ellys where, a foyn is euer smert;
Thus better is to foyne then to kerve;
In tyme & place ereither is tobserue.
This fanne & mace ar ay of doubil wight,
That when the Bacheler hath exercise
Of hevy gere, and aftir taketh light
Herneys, as sheeld & sword of just assise,
His hert avaunceth, hardynes tarise.
My borthon is delyuered, thinketh he,
And on he goth, as glad as he may be.
And ouer this al, exercise in armys
The doctour is to teche and discipline,
For double wage a wurthi man of armys
Was wont to take, if he wer proved digne
Aforn his prince, ye, tymes VIII or IX;
And whete he had, and barly had the knyght
That couthe nat as he in armys fight.
Res publica right commendabil is,
If chiualers and armys there abounde,
For, they present, may nothing fare amys,
And ther thei are absent, al goth to grounde;
In gemme, in gold, in silk be thei fecounde,
It fereth not; but myghti men in armys,
They fereth with the drede of deth & harmys.
Caton the Wise seith: where as men erre
In other thinge, it may be wel amended;
But emendatioun is noon in werre;
The cryme doon, forthwith the grace is spended,
Or slayn anoon is he that there offended,
Or putte to flight, and euer aftir he
Is lesse worth then they that made him fle.
But turne ageyn, Inwit, to thi preceptys!
With sword & sheld the lerned chiualer
At pale or pile, in artilaunce excepte is;
A dart of more wight then is mester,
Tak him in honde, and teche hym it to ster,
And caste it at that pile, as at his foo,
So that it route, and right vppon hym go.
Of armys is the doctour heer tattende,
That myghtily this dart be take & shake,
And shot as myghtily, forthright on ende,
And smyte sore, or nygh, this pile or stake;
Herof vigour in tharmys wil awake
And craft to caste & smyte shal encrece;
The werreours thus taught, shal make peax.
But bachilers, the thridde or firthe part,
Applied ar to shote in bowes longe
With arowys; heryn is doctryne & art,
The stringys vp to breke in bowes stronge,
And swift and craftily the taclis fonge,
Starkly the lifte arm holde with the bowe,
Drawe with the right, and smyte, and ouerthrowe.
Set hert & eye vppon that pile or pale,
Shoot nygh or on, and if so be thou ride
On hors, is eek the bowys bigge vp hale;
Smyte in the face or breste or bak or side,
Compelle fle, or falle, if that he bide.
Cotidian be mad this exercise,
On fote & hors, as writeth olde wise.
That archery is grete vtilitee,
It nedeth not to telle eny that here is;
Caton, therof in bookys writeth he,
Among the discipline of chiualerys,
And Claudius, that werred mony yeres,
Wel seide, and Affricanus Scipio
With archerys confounded ofte his foo.
Vse eek the cast of stoon with slynge or honde;
It falleth ofte, if other shot ther noon is,
Men herneysed in steel may not withstonde
The multitude & myghti caste of stonys;
It breketh ofte & breseth flesh & bonys,
And stonys in effecte are euerywhere,
And slyngys ar not noyous forto bere.
And otherwhile in stony stede is fight,
A mountayn otherwhile is to defende,
An hil, a toun, a tour, and euery knyght
And other wight may caste stoon on ende.
The stonys axe, if other shot be spende,
Or ellys thus: save other shot with stonys,
Or vse hem, as requireth, both atonys.
The barbulys that named ar plumbatys,
Set in the sheld is good to take fyve,
That vsed hem of old, wer grete estatys;
As archerys, they wolde shote and dryve
Her foo to flight, or leve him not alyve;
This shot commended Dioclisian
And his Coemperour Maxymyan.
The Chiualers and werreourys alle,
Quicly to lepe on hors, and so descende
Vppon the right or lyft side, if it falle,
That exercise is forto kepe an ende;
Vnarmed first, and armed thenne ascende,
And aftir with a spere or sword & shelde,
This feet is good, when troubled is the felde.
And LX pounde of weght it hade to bere
And go therwith a chiualerys pace,
Vitaile & herneysing and sword & spere,
Frely to bere; al this is but solace;
Thinge exercised ofte in tyme & space,
Hard if it be, with vse it wil ben eased,
The yonge men herwith beth best appesed.
And exercise him vche in his armure,
As is the gise adayes now to were,
And se that euery peece herneys be sure,
Go quycly in, and quyk out of the gere,
And kepe it cler, as gold or gemme it were;
Corraged is that hath his herneys bright,
And he that is wel armed, dar wel fight.
To warde & wacche an oste it is to lerne
Both holsom is that fvlly and necessary,
Withinne a pale an oste is to gouerne,
That day & nyght saftly theryn they tary
And take reste, and neuer oon myscary;
For faute of wacch, ha worthi not myscheved
Now late, and al to rathe? Is this nat preved?
To make a fortresse, if the foon be nygh,
Assure a grounde, and se that ther be fode
For man & beest, and watir deep mydthigh,
Not fer; and se there wode or grovys goode.
Now signe it, lyne it out by yerde or rode,
An hil if ther be nygh, wherby the foo
May hurte, anoon set of the ground therfro.
Ther flood is wont the felde to ouer flete,
Mak ther noo strength; and as is necessary
Vnto thyn oste, as mych is out to mete,
And cariage also theryn most tary;
Men dissipat, here enemy may myscary,
And combred is an oste that is compressed;
Tak eue ynough, and hoom have vch man dressed.
Trianguler, or square, or dymyrounde
The strength it is to make of hosteyinge;
Thavis therof is taken at the grounde;-
And estward, or vppon thi foo comynge,
The yatys principal have vssuynge,
To welcom him; and if an ost journey,
The yatis ar to sette vppon his wey.
The centenaryes thervppon shal picche
Her pavilons, and dragonys and signys
Shal vp be set, and Gorgona the wicche
Vpsette they; to juste batail condigne is
Vch helply thing; another yate & signe is,
Ther trespassers shal go to their juesse,
That oponeth north, or westward, as I gesse.
In maneer a strengthe is to be walled,
If ther oppresse noo necessitee:
Delve vp the torf, have it togedir malled,
Therof the wal be mad high footys
Above grounde; the dike withouten be
IX foote brode, and deep dounright;
Thus dike & wal is wel fote in hight.
This werk they calle a dike tumultuary;
To stynte a rore, and if the foo be kene,
Legytymat dykinge is necessary;
XII foote brod that dike is to demene,
And nyne deep; his sidys to sustene,
And hege it as is best on either side,
That diked erth vpheged stonde & bide.
Above grounde arise it foure foote;
Thus hath the dike in brede footys XII,
And XIII is it high fro crop to roote,
That stake of pith which euery man him selve
Hath born, on oneward is it forto delve.
And this to do, pikens, mattok and spade
And tole ynough ther most be redy made.
But and the foo lene on forwith to fight,
The hors men alle, and half the folk ofoote
Embataile hem, to showve away their myght,
That other half, to dike foot by foote,
Be sette, and an heraude expert by roote,
The Centrions other the Centenaryis
In ordre forth hem calle, as necessary is.
And ay among the centrions enserch,
The werk, if it be wrought, kept the mesure,
In brede & deep & high, perch aftir perch,
And chastise him, that hath nat doon his cure.
An hoste thus exercised may ensure
In prevalence, whos debellatioun
Shal not be straught by perturbatioun.
Wel knowen is, nothinge is more in fight
Then exercise and daily frequentaunce;
Vch werreour therfore do his myght
To knowe it wel and kepe his ordynaunce;
An ooste to thicke, I sette, is encombraunce,
And also perilous is ouer thynne,
Thei sone fle that be to fer atwynne.
We werreours, forthi go we to feelde;
And as our name in ordir in the rolle is,
Our ordynaunt, so sette vs, dart & sheelde
And bowe & axe, and calle vs first by pollys;
Triangulys, quadrangulys, and rollys,
We may be made; and thus vs embataile,
Gouerned, vndir grate to prevaile.
A sengil ege is first to strecch in longe,
Withoute bosomynge or curuature,
With dowbeling forwith let make it stronge,
That also fele assiste, in like mesure,
And with a woord turne hem to quadrature,
And efte trianguler, and then hem rounde,
And raunge hem efte, and keep euerych his grounde.
This ordynaunce of right is to prevaile;
Doctryne hem eek, whenne it is best to square,
And when a triangul may more availe,
And orbys, how they necessary are;
How may be to condense, and how to rare;
The werreours that ha this exercise,
Be preste with hardynesse, & stronge & wise.
And ouer this, an olde vsage it was
To make walk thryes in euery mone,
And tho they wente a chiualerys paas
X myle outward, the men of armys, none
Vnharneysed; the footmen euerychone
Bowed, tacled, darted, jacked, saladed;
Vitaile eke born withal, her hertis gladed.
In hom comynge, among thei wente faste
And ranne among. Eek tourmys of ryderys
Sumtyme journeyed on foote in haste,
Shelded & herneysed with myghti sperys;
Not oonly in the playn, but also where is
A mountayn or a clif or streyt passagys.
Thus hadde thei both exercise and wagys.
Ereithre ege in this wise exercised
Was by & by, so that no chaunce of newe
Nas to be thought, that thei nere of avised,
And hadde way the daungerys teschewe
Vndaungered; and this wisdom thei knewe
By discipline of their doctour of armys,
To wynne honour withouten hate or harmys.
Thelectioun and exercise anended,
An ooste is now to numbre & dyvide,
And seen vch officer his part commended,
And how to sette a feeld to fight & bide.
Goode Angelys and Sayntys, ye me gide
And lighte me, o Lady Saynte Mary!
To write wel this werk & not to tary.-
Electrix ita Milicie pars prima recedit,
Et pars partitrix ecce secunda subit.
The firste parte of IIII is here at ende;
Now to the part secounde! er we procede
To knowe this, His grace God vs sende!
Myn auctour ofte aduiseth vs to rede
And to the sense of it to taken hede;
To rede a thinge withoute intelligence,
As seith Cato the Wise, is negligence.
But this I leve vnto the sapience
Of chiualers, and to my werk retorne,
Theryn to do my feithful diligence
For their pleasaunce, out of this prosis storne
The resonaunce of metris wolde I borne.
As myghti herte in ryngynge herneysinge,
So gentil wit wil in good metris springe.
And for thonour of theuerlastyng kynge,
Our saviour Jhesus and his Ierarkys,
His Angelys, and for that swete thinge,
His Modre, patronesse of al my warkys,
For His prophetys love and patriarkys,
And for thapostolis that made our Crede,
As do me fauour, ye that wil me rede.
Virgile seith (an high poete is he)
That werre in armys stont and mannys myght,
The man on hors, o fote, or on the see;
Riders be wyngis clept, for swift & light,
On either half of thege eke ar thei dight;
But now that ege is called the banere
Or banerye, hauyng his banereer.
Also ther are riders legyonaryis;
Thei are annexed to the legioun.
In too maner of shippes men to cary is,
Their namys ar couth in this regioun;
Orthwart go they the flood, and vp & doun;
Riders in playn, footmen goth euery where,
By theyme the commyn wele is to conquere;
Riders a fewe, and haue o foote fele,
Thei spende smal, and horsmen spende fre.
Footmen o tweyne is to dyuide & dele:
Or legiaunt or aydaunt for to be.
Confederat men aydaunt is to se,
That is to say, by trewce or toleraunce,
As Frensh ar suffred here, and we in Fraunce.
Aydaunt be they, but in the legioun
Lith thordinaunce in werre to prevaile.
A legioun out of electioun
Hath take his name, as elect to bataile.
Her diligence and feith is not to faile;
Thi legyaunt forthi to multiplie
Is right, but aydauntys a fewe applie.
Thousant werreours was a phalange
In dayis olde, and of men
Was a caterve, but this diagalange
Is, as to this, not worth a pulled hen.
The legioun, departed into X,
Is vs to lerne, and legions how fele
It is to haue, and how asondir dele.
The consules legiounys ladden,
Al aldermeest; but thei hadde exercise,
Wherof the felde victoriously thei hadden;
To chose a legioun, this was the gise,
In bookys as they seyn, these olde wise:
Wyis, hardy, strong, doctryned, high statured,
In feet of werre ofte vsed & wel vred.
That was the man, he was mad mylitaunt,
When al the world to the Romayn Empire
Was made obey, by knyghthod valiaunt;-
A sacramental oth doth it requyre,
To write pleyn this matere I desire,
By God & Criste and Holy Goost swar he,
And by that Emperourys maiestee.
Next God is hym to drede and hym to honour is;
Right as to God ther bodily present,
To themperour, when he mad Emperour is,
Devotioun; vch loyal ympendent
Is to be vigilaunt, his seruyent;
God serueth he, both knyght & comynere,
That loueth him, to God that regneth here.
God, Criste Jhesus, and Holy Goste; was sworn
By theim, and themperourys maiestee,
That his commaundementys shuld be born
And strenuously be doon, be what thei be;
Fro mylitaunce that thei shal neuer fle
Ner voyde deth, but rather deth desire
For themperour, and wele of his Empire.
Thus sworn, vch knyght is of the legioun.
The legioun stont in cohortys;
Cohors the Latyn is, this regioun
Tenglish it fore, help vs, good Lord! Amen.
The dignite and number of the men
Hath in the firste cohors an excellence
Of noble blood, manhode and sapience.
This feleshepe, most worshipful, most digne,
Bar thegil and thymage of themperour;
As God present was holden either signe,
Thei hadde both attendaunce & honour;
Of chiualers heryn was doon the flour,
A an and footmen,
And of wight horsmen.
The military cohors, or the choors,
Thus named it the wise, and the secounde
Cohors, like as the bonet to his coors
Is set, thei sette it footmen stronge & sounde,
And an half, and abounde
In hit, with sixe & sixti hors, and it
The Quyngentary called men of wit.
As fele & myghty choys putte in the thridde is,
For in their honde espeyre is al to thryve;
Her place in ordynaunce is in the myddys,
And for the firth choors is to discrive
Footmen and an half,
With sixe & sixti hors, and eue as fele,
With better hors, vnto the fifthe dele.
For as the first cohors is the right horn,
So in the lift horn is the fifthe choors;
For V choors stonde in the frounte aforn,
Or the vawarde; of termys is noo foors,
So the conceyt be had. The sixt cohors
Hath, as the fifthe, yet lusty men & yonge;
To thegil next to stonde it is to fonge,
That is the right horn; in the myddil warde
The nexte choors hath eue as mony as she,
The nexte as fele, and therto is tawarde
The myghti men, amyddis forto be;
The nynth is of the same quantitie,
The tenth is eue as is the choors beforn,
But make it strong, for it is the lift horn.
The legioun in ten is thus cohorted,
And an see men on foote,
Hors, and therty therto soorted,
Of fewer hors is not to speke or moote
In eny legioun; yet, crop & roote
To seyn, of hors ther may be take moo,
Commaundement if ther be so to do.
Exployed heer thusage and ordynaunce
Of legyoun, vnto the principal
Of chiualers retourne our remembraunce;
The dignitie and name in special
Of euery prince enrolled, and who shal
Do what, and whenne, and where, it is to write;
Good angel, help vs al this werk tendite.
The grete Trybune is mad by Themperour,
And by patent, and send by jugement;
Thundir Trybune is hent of his labour.-
An Ordyner for fighters forth present
Is forto sette; eek Themperour content
Is ofte to sende and make secoundaryis;
What name is heer for hem? Coordinaryis.
An Egiller bar thegil, and thymage
Of themperour bar an Ymaginary;
And moo then oon ther were of those in wage;
A Banereer, tho clept a Draconary,
A Kyng Heralde, tho clept a Tesserary,-
The baner he, he bar commaundement,
Al thoost tobeye her princys hole entent.
Campigeners made exercise in feeldys,
Campymeters mesured out the grounde,
To picche pavilons, tentys and teeldys,
The forteresse triangeler or rounde
Or square to be made or dymyrounde,
His part hit was; and he that was Library,
Thaccomptys wrot, that rekenyng ne vary.
The Clarioner, Trompet, and Hornycler,
With horn, & trompe of bras, and clarioun,
In terribil batailis bloweth cleer,
That hors & man reioyceth at the soun;
The firmament therto making resoun
Or resonaunce; thus joyneth thei bataile;
God stonde with the right, that it prevaile!
A Mesurer, that is our Herbagere,
For paviloun & tent assigneth he
The grounde, and seith: 'Be ye ther, be ye here!'
Vch hostel eek, in castel and citee,
Assigneth he, vch aftir his degre.
A wreth o golde is signe of grete estate;
That wered it, was called a Torquate.
Sengil ther were of these, and duplicate
And triplicate, and so to for and fiv,
That hadde wage, vche aftir his estate.
Tho namys goon, such personys alyve,
It may be thought, therof wil I not scryve.
Ther were eek worthymen clept Candidate,
And last, the souldeours, vch othrys mate.
The principal prince of the legioun,
Sumtyme it was, and yet is a like gise,
To make a Primypile, a centurioun;
A Lieutenaunt men calle him in our wise;
And him beforn is Thegil forto arise;
Four hudred knyghtis eek of valiaunce
This prymypile hadde in his gouernaunce.
He in the frounte of al the legioun
Was as a vicaptayn, a gouernour,
And took availe at vch partitioun.
The First Spere was next, a lusty flour;
Two hundred to gouerne is his honour,
Wherof thei named him a Ducennary,
The name fro the numbir not to vary.
The Prince an hundred and an half gouerned,
Eek he gouerned al the legioun
In ordynaunce; oueral he went vnwerned.
The nexte spere, of name and of renoun,
As mony hadde in his directioun;
The First Triari hadde an hundred men;
A Chevetayn was eke of euery ten
Thus hath the first cohors fyve Ordinayris,
And euery ten an hed, a Cheveteyne,
To rewle theim; and so it necessayr is,
An hundred and fyve on this choors to reigne:
Four Ordinayris and the cheef Captayne,
That is their Ordinary General,
And seyde is ofte of him: He rewleth al.
So high honour, so gret vtilitee
Hath euerych estate of this renoun
Prouided hem by sage Antiquitee,
That euery persone in the legioun
With al labour, with al deuotioun
To that honour attended to ascende,
And that avail to wynne, her bodyis bende.
The nexte choors, named the Quyngentary,
Hath Centurions or Centenerys fyve;
Thridde choors as fele hath necessary;
The firthe fyve, and, forto spede vs blyve,
In euery choors the Centyners oo fyve
In numbir make, and so the legioun
Of hem hath fyvty-fyve vp & doun.
Not fyvty-fyve Whi? For fyve thordinayrys
In their Estate and stede of fyve stonde;
To graunte this, me semeth, noo contrary is;
Though in my book so wryton I ne fonde,
Of LV, wel I vndirstonde
And fynde cleer, so that it most appere,
That vndir Ordynayrys V were.
The consulys, for themperour Legatys
Sende vnto the oste; to thaim obtemperaunt
Was al the legioun, and al the statys;
They were of al the werres ordynaunt;
To theim obeyed euerych aydaunt;
In stede of whom illustres Lordes, Peerys,
Be substitute, Maistrys of Chiualerys;
By whom not oonly legiounys twayn,
But grete numbrys hadde gouernaunce.
The propre juge is the Provost, certayn,
With worthinesse of the first ordynaunce;
The vilegate is he by mynystraunce
Of his power, to hym the Centeners
Obey, and the Trybune and Chiualers.
Of him the rolle of wacch and of progresse
Thei crave and haue, and if a knyght offende,
At his precepte he was put to juesse
By the trybune, in payne or deth tanende.
Hors, herneys, wage & cloth, vitail to spende,
His cure it was tordeyn, and disciplyne
Vnto euery man, seuerous or benygne.
His justising, with sobre diligence,
And pite doon vppon his legioun,
Assured hem to longh obedience
And reuerence, and high deuotioun;
Good gouernaunce at his promotioun
Kept euery man; and his honour, him thoughte
It was, when euery man dede as him oughte.
The Maister or Provost of Ordynaunce,
Although he were of lower dignitie,
His estimatioun & gouernaunce,
The bastilys, dich, & pale is to se;
And wher the tabernaculys shal be
And tent & teelde & case & paviloun
And cariage of al the legioun.
For seeke men the leche and medycyne
Procureth he, for larderye and toolys;
Of euery werk cartyng he most assigne,
For bastile or engyne or myne. And fole is
He noon, that is expert in these scolys;
This was a wise, appreved chiualere,
That, as he dede himself, couth other lere.
And ouer this, the ferrour & the smyth,
The tymbre men, hewer & carpenter,
The peyntour, and vch other craft goth with,
To make a frame or engyne euerywhere,
Hem to defense and her foomen to fere;
Tormentys olde and carrys to repare
And make newe, as they to broken are.
Foregys and artelryis, armeryis,
To make tole, horshoon, shot & armurre;
And euery thing that nede myght aspie, is
In thooste; and eek mynours that can go sure
Vndir the dich, and al the wal demure
Or brynge in thoost; herof the Maister Smyth
Had al the rule, and euer went he with.
The legioun is seide haue choorsis X.
The military first, or miliary,
The best and gentilest and wisest men
And myghtiest, therto be necessary;
Eek letterure is good & light to cary.
Her gouernour was a Trybune of Armys,
Wise & honest, that body strong & arm is.
The choorsys aftir that, Trybunys cured
Or Maysterys, as it the prince pleased;
Vch chiualeer in exercise assured
So was, that God & man therwith was pleased;
And first to se the prince do, mych eased
The hertys alle. Fresh herneys, armur bright,
Wit, hardinesse & myght had euery knyght.
The firste signe of al the legioun
An Egil is, born by an Egeler,
And thenne in euery Choors is a Dragoun,
Born by a Draconair or Banereer;
A baner eek had euery Centener
Other a signe, inscrived so by rowe,
His Chevetayn that euery man may knowe.
The Centeners had also werreourys,
Hardy, wel harneysed, in their salet
That had a creste of fetherys or lik flourys,
That noon errour were in the batail set,
To his Cristate and to his Baneret
And to his Decanair euerych his sight
May caste, and in his place anoon be pight.
Right as the footmen haue a Centurion,
That hath in rewle an C men & X,
So haue the riders a Decurion,
That hath in rewle XXXII horsmen.
By his banere him knoweth alle his men,
And ouer that, right as it is to chese
A myghti man for thaym, so is for these.
For theim a stronge & wel fetured man,
That can a spere, a dart, a sword wel caste,
And also fight, and rounde a sheld wel can,
And spende his wepon wel withoute waste,
Redier to fight then flite, and ner agaste,
That can be sobre, sadde, & quyk & quyver,
And with his foo com of and him delyuer;
Obeyssaunt his premynentys wille,
And rather do the feat then of it crake,
Impatient that day or tyme spille
In armys exercise and art to wake,
And of himself a sampeler to make
Among his men, wel shod, honestly dight,
And make hem fourbe her armure euer bright.
Right so it is, for these men to chese
A Decurioun, thorugh lik to him in fourme,
Impatient that thei the tyme lese,
Wel herneysed, and euerych of hys tourme
In euery poynt of armys wil enfourme,
And armed wil his hors so sone ascende,
That mervaile is, and course hym stronge anende,
And vse wel a dart, a shaft, a spere,
And teche chiualers vndir his cure,
Right as himself to torne hem in her gere,
The brigandyn, helmet, and al procure,
It oftyn wipe clene,-and knowe sure,
With herneysing and myghti poort affrayed
Is ofte a foo, and forto fight dismayed.
Is it to sey: 'he is a werrely knyght,'
Whos herneys is horribil & beduste,
Not onys vsed in a fourte nyght,
And al that iron is or steel, beruste;
Vnkept his hors, how may he fight or juste?
The knyghtis and her horsys in his tourme
This Capitayn shal procure & refourme.
Tercia bellatrix pars est et pacificatrix,
In qua quosque bonos concomitatur honos.
Comprised is in smal this part secounde,
An ooste to numbir, and a legioun;
In foylis is it fewe, in fruyt fecounde;
The saluature of al religioun
Is founde heryn for euery regioun.
Wel to digeste this God graunte vs grace,
And by the werre his reste to purchace.
O gracious our Kyng! Thei fleth his face.
Where ar they now? Summe are in Irelonde,
In Walys other are, in myghti place,
And other han Caleys with hem to stonde,
Thei robbeth & they reveth see & londe;
The kyng, or his ligeaunce or amytee,
Thei robbe anende, and sle withoute pitee.
The golden Eagle and his briddys III,
Her bellys ha they broke, and jessys lorne;
The siluer Bere his lynkys al to fle,
And bare is he behinde & eke beforne;
The lily whit lyoun, alas! forsworne
Is his colour & myght; and yet detrude
Entende thei the lond, and it conclude.
Of bestialite, lo, ye so rude,
The Noblis alle attende on the Antilope;
Your self & youris, ye yourself exclude,
And lose soule & lyif. Aftir your coope
Axe humble grace, and sette yourself in hope,
For and ye wiste, hou hard lyif is in helle,
No lenger wolde ye with the murthre melle.
Ye se at eye, it nedeth not you telle,
Hou that the beestis and the foulys alle,
That gentil are, ar sworn your wrong to quelle;
Ypocrisie of oothis wil not walle
You fro the sword, but rather make it falle
On your auarous evel gouernaunce,
That may be called pride & arrogaunce.
This yeve I theim to kepe in remembraunce;
Goode Antilop, that eny blood shal spille,
Is not thi wille; exiled is vengeaunce
From al thi thought; hemself, alas, thei kille.
O noble pantere! of thi breth the smylle,
Swete and pleasaunt to beest & briddis alle,
It oonly fleth the dragon fild with galle.
What helpeth it, lo, thangelis wil falle
On him with al our werreours attonys;
Thei muste nede his membris al to malle.-
Of this matere I stynte vntil eftsonys,
And fast I hast to write as it to doone is,
That myght in right vppon the wrong prevaile
In londe & see, by knyghthode & bataile.
Lo, thus thelectioun with exercise
And ordynaunce, as for a legioun,
Exployed is, as writeth olde wise.
What ha we next? Belligeratioun.
O Jesse flour! Jhesu, Saluatioun
And Savyour, commaunde that my penne
To thin honour go right heryn & renne.
An oste of exercise 'exercitus'
Hath holde of olde his name; a legioun
As an electioun is named thus,
And a choors of cohortatioun.
The princys of her mynystratioun
Her namys have, and aftir her degre
The Chevetaynys vndir named be.
Exercitus, that is to seyn an Ooste,
Is legiounys, or a legioun;
Tweyne is ynough, and IIII is with the moste,
And oon suffiseth in sum regioun;
Therof, with ayde and horsmen of renoun,
As needful is, groweth good gouernaunce
In euery londe, and parfit prosperaunce.
What is an ayde? It is stipendiaryis
Or souldiours conduct of straunge londe,
To such a numbir as it necessary is,
Aftir the legioun thei for to stonde
In ordynaunce, to make a myghti honde;
Heryn who wil be parfit and not erre,
Tak Maysterys of armys and of werre.
This was the wit of Princys wel appreved,
And ofte it hath be seid and is conclude,
That oostis ouer grete be myscheved
More of her owne excessif multitude
Then of her foon, that thenne wil delude
Her ignoraunce, that can not modifie
The suffisaunce, an ooste to geder & gye.
To gret an oost is hurt in mony cace:
First, slough it is in journeyinge & longe;
Forthi mysaventure it may difface,
Passagis hard, and floodis hye amonge;
Expense eek of vitaile is ouer stronge,
And if thei turne bak and onys fle,
They that escape, aferd ay aftir be.
Therfore it was the gise amonge the wise,
That of ?es had experience,
Oonly to take an oost as wil suffice,
Of preved & acheved sapience,
In chiualerys that han done diligence
In exercise of werre; a lerned ooste
Is sure, an vnlerned is cost for loste.
In light bataile, oon legioun with ayde,
That is, X Ml. men o fote, and too
Thousand on hors, sufficed as thei saide;
They with a lord no grete estat to goo,
And with a gret Estate as mony mo;
And for an infinit rebellioun
Twey dukys and tweyn oostys went adoun.
Prouisioun be mad for sanytee
In watre, place & tyme & medycyne
And exercise. In place ?h be
The pestilence, his place anoon resigne,
To weet marice and feeld to hard declyne;
To high, to lough, to light, to derk, to colde,
To hoot, is ille; attemperaunce be holde.
In snow & hail & frost & wintir shouris,
An ooste beyng, most nedes kacche colde;
For wyntir colde affrayeth somer flourys,
And mareys watir is vnholsom holde;
Good drinke and holsom mete away wil folde
Infirmytee; and fer is he fro wele,
That with his foon & sekenesse shal dele.
Cotidian at honde ha medycyne,
First for the prince; as needful is his helth
To thooste, as to the world the sonne shyne;
His prosperaunce procureth euery welth;
But let not exercise goon o stelthe;
Holde euer it. Ful seelde be thei seek
That euer vppon exercise seeke.
In ouer colde & hoot, kepe the couert,
And exercise in tymes temperate;
Footmen in high & lough, feeld & desert;
An hors to lepe a dich, an hege, a yate.
Tranquillite with peax & no debate
Be sadly kept, exiled al envie;
Grace in this gouernaunce wil multiplie.
Ha purviaunce of forage & vitaile
For man & hors; for iron smyteth not
So sore as honger doth, if foode faile.
The colde fyer of indigence is hoote,
And wood theron goth euery man, God woot;
For other wepen is ther remedie,
But on the dart of hongir is to deye.
Or have ynough, or make a litil werre,
And do the stuf in placys stronge & sure;
In more then ynough, me may not erre;
The moneyles by chevishaunce procure,
As lauful is, I mene, nat vsure;
But tak aforn the day of payment;
It loseth not, that to the prince is lent.
What man is hool in his possessioun,
If he ha no defense of men of armys?
Beseged if me be, progressioun
That ther be noon, and noo vitail in arm is,
O woful wight, ful careful thin alarm is!
Honger within, and enmytee abowte,
A warse foo withinn is then withoute.
And though thi foo withoute an honger be,
He wil abide on honger thee to sle;
Forthi comynge a foo, vitaile the,
And leve hym noght, or lite, vnworth a stre;
Whete and forage and flesh, fissh of ?
Wyn, salt & oyle, fewel and euery thinge
That helpeth man or beest to his lyvinge:
Tak al, thi foo comyng, and mak an oye
That euery man to strengthes ha ther goodis,
As thei of good & lyves wil ha joye,
And negligentys to compelle it good is.
The feriage be take away fro flodis,
The briggis on the ryverys to breke,
And passagis with falling tymbour steke.
The yatis and the wallys to repare,
The gunnys and engynys & tormente,
And forge newe, ynowe if that ther nare;
Ful late is it, if thi foo be presente,
And fere ingoth, if hardinesse absente.
Be war of this, and euery thing prouide,
That fere fle, and good corage abide.
Golde it is good to kepe, and make stoor
Of other thing, and spende in moderaunce;
More and ynough to haue, it is not soor,
And spare wel, whil ther is aboundaunce;
To spare of litil thing may lite avaunce.
By pollys dele, and not by dignitee,
So was the rewle in sage antiquytee.
And best be war, when that thin aduersary
Wil swere grete, ye by the Sacrament,
And vse that, ye and by seint Mary,
And al that is vndir the firmament:
Beleve nat his othe, his false entent
Is this: thi trewe entent for to begile.
The pref herof nys passed but a while.
Wel ofter hath fals simulatioun
Desceyved vs, then opon werre; and where
Me swereth ofte, it is deceptioun.
Judas, away from vs! cum thou no nere:
Thou gretest, Goddis child as thaugh thou were;
But into the is entred Sathanas,
And thou thi self wilt hange! an hevy cas.
Sumtyme amonge an ooste ariseth roore.
Of berth, of age, of contre, of corage
Dyuers thei are, and hoom thei longe sore,
And to bataile thei wil, or out of wage.
What salue may this bolnyng best aswage?
Wherof ariseth it? Of ydilnesse.
What may aswage it best? Good bisinesse.
With drede in oost to fight thei are anoyed,
And speke of fight, when theim wer leuer fle,
And with the fode and wacch thei are acloyed.
'Where is this felde? Shal we no batail see?
Wil we goon hoom? What say ye, sirs?' 'Ye, ye!'
And with her hed to fighting are thei ripe
Al esily, but he the swellinge wipe.
A remedie is, when thei are asonder,
The graunt Tribune, or els his lieutenaunt,
With discipline of armys holde hem vndir
Seuerously, tech hem be moderaunte,
To God deuout, and fait of werrys haunte,
The dart, baliste, and bowe, and cast of stoon,
And swymme & renne & leep, tech euerychoon.
Armure to bere, and barrys like a sworde,
To bere on with the foyn, and not to shere,
And smyte thorgh a plank other a boorde,
And myghtily to shake and caste a spere,
And loke grym, a Ml. men to fere,
And course a myghti hors with spere & shelde,
And daily se ho is flour of the feelde.
To falle a grove or wode, and make a gate
Thorgh it, and make a dike, and hewe a doun
A cragge, or thurl an hil, other rebate
A clyf, to make an even regioun,
Or dowbil efte the dike abowte a toun;
To bere stoon, a boolewerk forto make,
Other sum other gret werk vndirtake.
The chiualer, be he legionary,
As seide it is beforn, on hors or foote,
Or aydaunt, that is auxiliary,
On hors or foote,-if that thei talk or mote
Of werre, and reyse roore, vp by the roote
Hit shal be pulde with myghti exercise
Of werreourys, gouerned in this wise.
Commende, and exercise, and holde hem inne,
For when thei ha the verrey craft to fight,
Thei wil desire it, wel this for to wynne.
He dar go to, that hath both art & myght.
And if a tale is tolde that eny knyght
Is turbulent other sedicious,
Examyne it the duke, proceding thus:
The envious man, voide his suggestioun,
And knowe the trowth of worthi & prudent
Personys, that withouten questioun
Wil say the soth, of feith and trewe entent,
And if the duke so fynde him turbulent,
Disseuer him, and sende hym ellys where,
Sum myghti feet to doon as thaugh it were:
To kepe a castel, make a providence,
Or warde a place, and do this by thaduyce
Of counsel, and commende his sapience,
That he suppose hym self heryn so wise,
That therof hath he this honour & price;
So wittily do this, that he, reiecte,
Suppose that to honour he is electe.
For verreily, the hole multitude
Of oon assent entendeth not rebelle,
But egged ar of theim that be to rude,
And charge not of heven or of helle,
With mony folk myght thei her synnys melle;
Thei were at ease her synnys forto wynne,
Suppose thei, if mony be ther inne.
But vse not the medycyne extreme
Save in thin vtterest necessitee,
That is, the crymynous to deth to deme,
The principals; by hem that other be
Aferd to roore, yet better is to se
An oost of exercise in temperaunce
Obeysaunt, then for feere of vengeaunce.
The werriours ha myche thing to lerne;
And grace is noon, to graunte negligence,
Wher mannys helth is taken to gouerne;
To lose that, it is a gret offense;
And sikerly, the best diligence
Vnto thonour of victory tascende,
The seygnys is or tokenys tattende.
For in bataile, when al is on a roore,
The kynge or princys precept who may here
In such a multitude? And euermore
Is thinge of weght in hond, & gret matere,
And how to doon, right nedful is to lere;
Therfore in euery oste antiquitee
Hath ordeyned III signys forto be.
Vocal is oon, and that is mannys voys,
Semyvocal is trompe & clarioun
And pipe or horn; the thridde macth no noys,
And mute it hight or dombe, as is dragoun
Or thegil or thimage or the penoun,
Baner, pensel, pleasaunce or tufte or creste
Or lyuereys on shildir, arm or breste.
Signys vocal in wacch and in bataile
Be made, as wacch woordis: 'Feith, hope & grace,'
Or 'Help vs God,' or 'Shipman, mast & saile,'
Or other such, aftir the tyme and place;
Noo ryme or geeste in hem be, ner oon trace,
Ne go thei not amonge vs, lest espyes
With wepon of our owne out putte our eyis.
Semyvocals, as Trumpe and Clarioun
And pipe or horn, an hornepipe thoo
It myghte be; the trumpe, of gretter soun,
Toward batail blewe vp 'Go to, go to!';
The clarions techeth the knyghtys do,
And signys, hornys move; and when thei fight,
Attonys vp the soun goth al on hight.
To wacch or worch or go to felde, a trumpe
Hem meved out, and to retourne; and signys
Were moved, how to do, by hornys crompe,
First to remeve, and fixe ayeyn ther digne is.
Oonly the clarioun the knyghtis signe is;
Fight & retrayt and chace or feer or neer,
The clarion his voys declareth cleer.
What so the duke commaundeth to be doon
In werk or wacch or feeld, or frith or werre,
At voys of these it was fulfild anoon.-
The signys mute, in aventure a sterre,
A portcolys, a sonne, it wil not erre,
In hors, in armature, and in array
They signifie, and make fresh & gay.
Al this in exercise and longe vsage
Is to be knowe; and if a dust arise,
Theere is an oost, or sum maner outrage;
With fiyr a signe is mad in dyuers wise
Or with a beem, vche in his contre gise
His signys hath; and daily is to lerne,
That aftir hem men gide hem & gouerne.
Tho that of werre have had experience,
Afferme that ther is in journeyinge
Gretter peril, then is in resistence
Of fers batail; for in the counterynge
Men armed are oonly for yeynstondinge
And expugnatioun of hem present
In fight; theron oonly ther bowe hath bent.
Their sword & hert al preste ereither fight,
In journeyinge ereither lesse attente is;
Assault sodeyne a day other by nyght,
For vnavised men ful turbulent is.
Wherfore avised wel and diligent is
The duke to be purveyed for vnwist,
And redy is the forseyn to resiste.
A journal is in euery regioun
First to be had, wheryn he thinketh fight,
Wheryn haue he a pleyn descriptioun
Of euery place, and passage a forsight,
The maner, wey, both turnyng & forthright,
The dale & hil, the mountayn & the flood;
Purtreyed al to have is holdon good.
This journal is to shewe dukys wise
Of that province, or as nygh as may be,
The purtreyture & writing forto advise;
And of the contrey men a serch secre
Himself he make, and lerne in veritee
Of hem, that on her lyf wil vndirtake,
That thus it is, and vnder warde hem make.
Tak gidis out of hem, beheste hem grete,
As to be trewe, her lyif and grete rewarde,
And other if thei be, with deth hem threte,
And sette a wayt secret on hem, frowarde
Whethor thei thinke be other towarde;
Thei, this seynge, wil wel condite & lede,
Of grete rewarde & deth for hope & drede.
Tak wise and vsed men, and not to fewe;
Good is it not to sette on II or III
The doubte of al, though thei be parfit trewe;
The simpil man supposeth ofte he be
Weywiser then he is, and forthi he
Behesteth that he can not bringe aboute;
And such simpilnesse is forto doubte.
And good it is, that whidirward goth thooste,
Secret it be. The Mynotaurys mase
Doctryned hem to sey: 'Whidir thou gooste,
Kepe it secret; whil thi foomen go gase
Aboute her bekenys, to tende her blase,
Go thou the way that thei suppose leeste
Thou woldest go; for whi? it is sureste.'
Espyis are, of hem be war! also
The proditours that fle from oost to ooste,
Be war of hem; for swere thei neuer so,
They wil betray, and make of it their booste.
Escurynge is to haue of euery cooste;
Men wittiest on wightiest hors by nyght
May do it best, but se the hors be wight.
In a maner himself betrayeth he,
Whos taken is by negligence thespie;
Forthi be war, and quicly charge hem se
On euery side, and fast ayeyn hem hye;
Horsmen beforn eke euer haue an eye;
On vch an half footmen, and cariage
Amyddis is to kepe in the viage.
Footmen it is to haue & of the beste
Horsmen behinde; vppon the tail a foo
Wil sette among, and sumtyme on the breste,
And on the sidis wil he sette also.
With promptitude it is to putte him fro;
Light herneysed, and myghtiest that ride,
Doubte if ther is, putte hem vppon that side.
And archery withal is good to take;
And if the foo falle on on euery side,
Good wacch on euery side it is to make;
Charge euery man in herneys fast abide,
And wepynys in hondys to prouide.
Selde hurteth it, that is wel seyn beforn,
And whos is taken sleping, hath a scorn.
Antiquitee prouided eek, that roore
Arise not in thoost, for trowbelinge
The chiualers behinde other before,
As when the folk that cariage bringe,
Ar hurt, or are aferd of on comynge,
And make noyse; herfore helmettis wight
A fewe vppon the cariours were dight.
A baner hadde thei togedre to,
Alway CC vndir oon banere;
The forfighters a-sondred so ther-fro,
That no turbatioun amonge hem were,
If that ther felle a conflicte enywhere.
And as the journeyinge hadde variaunce,
So the defense had diuers ordynaunce.
In open felde horsmen wold rather falle
On then footmen; in hil, mareys & woodis,
Footmen rather. In feeld & frith to walle
An oost with myght, as wil the place, it good is,
And to be war that slough viage or floodis
Asondre not the chiualerys; for thynne
If that me be, ther wil the foo bygynne.
Therfore amonge it is to sette wyse
Doctours, as of the feelde, or other grete;
The forgoer to sette vnto his sise,
And hem that beth to slough, forthward to gete.
To fer aforn, and sole, a foo may bete;
He may be clipped of, that goth behinde;
And to goon hole as o man, that is kynde.
In placys as him semeth necessary,
And aduersaunt wil sette his busshement,
Not in apert, but in couert to tary,
And falle vppon; the duke heer diligent
It is to be, to haue his foomen shent;
But euery place it is the duke to knowe,
So that his witte her wylis ouerthrowe.
If thei dispose in mountayn oponly
Tassaulte, anoon ha prevely men sent
To an herre hil, that be therto neer by,
And so sette on, that of the busshement
Aboue her hed, and of thi self present
Thei be aferd, and sech away to fle,
When ouer hede and in the frount thei se.
And if the way be streyt and therwith sure,
Let hewe adoun aboute, and make it large;
In large way, peril is noo good vre;
Also this is tattende as thinge of charge,
Ye rather then gouerne ship or barge,
That wher the foo by nyght other by day
Is vsed oon to falle and make affray.
And, voyde that, it is to seen also,
What is his vse, on hors outher o foote,
With fele or fewe his feetys for to doo,
That sapience his werkys alle vnroote.
Of balys also grete is this the boote,
Dayly to gynne go in such an hour
As may be sure both oost & gouernour:
And yet bewar of simulatioun;
To festeyng call in sum fugitif
And here him wel with comendatioun,
And lerne first, hou fellen thei in strif,
And him beheste an honorabil lif;
Lerne of him al, and thenne aday or nyght,
When thei suppose leest, mak hem afright.
Agreved ofte are oostis negligent,
When it is hard passage ouer the floodys,
For if the cours be ouer violent
Or ouer deep, gret peril in that flood is.
A remedy to fynde heryn right good is,
For hevy men, pagis and cariage
Ar drowned oftyn tyme in such a rage.
The depth assay, and make of horsys hye
Tweyne eggys; oon be sette ayenst the streem,
The myght therof to breke; another plye
Benethe that, tawayte vppon the fleem
And charge theim, that thei attende on hem
That faile foote, and brynge theim alonde,
And thus til thooste be ouer, shal they stonde.
The flood is ouer deep in playn cuntre,
Departe it ofte, and make it transmeabil:
That most be doon with dykis gret plente,
And wil it not be so, sette ore a gabil,
On empti vesselling ley mony a tabil
Fro lond to lond a brigge is made anoon,
And sure ynough it is for hors & mon.
Horsmen haue had of reed or seggis shevys,
Theron carying their armure as thei swymme,
But better is, to voiden al myschevys,
Ha skafys smale, and hem togedir trymme
With coorde alonge, atteynynge either brymme,
And anchore it and tabil it at large,
And sure it is as arch or shippe or barge.
Yet war the foo; for vppon this passage
He leyt awayt; anoon thin ooste dyuide
And stakys picch, encounter their viage,
And in that stede, if good is thought tabide,
Mak vp a strong bastel on eyther side,
And there, as axeth chaunce, it is to stonde
And ha vitaile out of ereither londe.
Now castellinge in journey is to write.
Not euerywhere is founden a citee,
An ooste to loge, and vilagis to lite
For it ther ar, and siker thei ne be,
As, to be sure, it is necessitee
To take a grounde as good as may be fonde,
And thervppon to make our castel stonde.
Leve not the better grounde vnto thi foo,
Be war of that; se, watir, ayer & londe
Holsom be there, and foode ynough ther to
For man & hors, and woode ynough at honde.
No force if rounde or anguler it stonde,
But feyrest is the place and moost of strengthe,
When twey in brede is thryis in the lengthe.
Mesure a grounde, as wil thin ooste suffice;
To wide it is: thin ooste therin is rare;
To streyt: thei be to thicke; a myddil sise
Is beste.-Now make it vp, no labour spare;
It mot be doon, theryn is our welfare;
As for a nyght, mak vp of turf a wale
And stake it on our foo, the poyntis tavale.
A turf it is, when gras & herbe is grave
Vp with the grounde, with irons mad therfore;
A foote brode, a foote & half it haue
In lengthe, and half a foote thick, no more.
But if the lond solute be, not herfore
Turf like a brik to make of necessary,
Thenne is to make a dike tumultuary.
Make it III foote deep, and V obrede,
And stake it as beforn, vtward to stonde;
O nyght to dwelle heryn it is no drede.
And if thi foo be nygh, him to yeynstonde,
A gretter werk it is to take on honde.
Sette vp in ordir euery man his sheeld,
Whil princys and prudentys parte a feeld.
Vch centyner take vp the werk footmel,
With sword igord, anoon caste vp the dich,
And IX foote obrede wil do wel,
XI is as good; but poore and rich
Most on this werk, & even worch ilich,
XIII foote obrede or XVII
Is best of alle a werre to sustene.
The numbir odde is euer to obserue,
And hege it other stake it vp to stonde,
Therto ramayle and bowys ar to kerve,
Areyse it to his hegth aboue londe,
And make it castellike with myghti honde,
With loupis, archeturis, and with tourys.
O Chiualers! in this werk your honour is.
X footemel the centeneris take
This werk to doon, and ther vppon attende,
That euery company his cant vp make
And stynte not, vntil a parfit ende
Of al be mad; and who doth mys, is shende.
Forwhi? the prince himself goth al aboute
And by & by behaldeth euery rowte.
But lest assault felle on hem labouringe,
The hors, and thei on foote of dignitee,
That shal not worch, in circuyte a rynge
Shal make, and kepe of al hostilitie;
And first, as for the signys maiestie
Assigne place; for more venerabil
Then thei, ther is nothing, this is notabil.
And aftir that, the Duke & Erlys have
The pretory, a grounde out set therfore,
And for Trybunys out a grounde thei grave,
Her tabernaclis thei theryn tenstore
For legions & aydis, lesse & more,
On hors other o foote; a regioun
And place is had to picch her paviloun.
And IIII on hors and IIII o foote anyght
In euery centeyn hadde wacch to kepe,
And it departed was, to make it light,
That reasonabil tymys myght thei slepe;
For right as houris aftir houris crepe,
So went the wach, and kept his cours aboute,
Footmen withinne, & horsed men withoute.
Thei go to wacch by warnyng of the trumpe,
And there abide vntil their houris ende;
Away thei go by voys of hornys crumpe.
A wacch of serch also ther was tattende
That wel the tyme of wacchinge were spende;
Trybunys made of theim thelectioun,
That hadde of al the wacch directioun.
And twye a day the contrey was escured
By horsmen, in the morn and aftir noon;
Not by the same alway, for that endured
Shuld not ha been. This feleship hath doon:
They most reste, and other wynne her shoon;
Thus bothe man & hors may be releved,
Ye, ofte ynough, and not but litil greved.
And on the duk hangeth the gouernaunce,
That in this castellinge he ha vitaile
For euery wight withoutyn variaunce,
Clooth, wepon, herneysing, that nothing faile;
And in fortressis nygh it is availe
Footmen to haue & hors; ferde is thi foo,
If thou on euery side vppon him goo.
Mortal bataile in hourys II or III
Termyned is, and hope on that oon side
Is al agoon; but a good prince is he,
That can him & his ooste so wisely gide,
With litil slaught to putte his foo fro pride;
Pluck him vnwar and fray his folk to renne
Away, and myghtily sette aftir thenne.
On this behalve it is ful necessary,
That olde & exercised sapience
The duke to counsel have, and with hem tary,
As wil the tyme, and here their sentence
Of vinqueshinge couertly by prudence
Or by apert conflict, that is, bataile;
The surer way to take and moost availe.
Here hem heryn, and what folk hath thi foo,
And charge that thei glose not, for it
Doth oftyn harm; and here theim also
Speke of her exercise, her strength & wit,
And to their aduersayrys how thei quyt
Hemself aforn, and whether his horsmen
Be myghtier in fight, or his footmen.
Also the place of conflicte is to lerne,
And what thi foo himself is, what his frendis;
Wher he be wys a werre to gouerne,
And whar thei lyue as angelis or fendis;
Wher variaunt, or vchon others frend is,
And wher thei vse fight in ordynaunce
Or foliously, withoute gouernaunce.
And euery poynt forseyd, and other moo,
Considir in thin oost, and tak avis
Of hem, what is the beste to be do;
And peyse al in balaunce, and ay be wys;
And if thin ooste is ace, and his is syis,
What so thei sey, couertly by prudence
Dispose the to make resistence.
Dischere nat thi folk in eny wise;
The ferde anoon is redy for to fle;
Be vigilaunt and holde inne exercise,
And se thin hour; ful oftyn tyme hath he
The herre hand, that kepeth him secre;
Avaunte not for colde nor for hete,
For smale dooth that speketh ouer grete.
Certeyn it is, that knyghthode & bataile
So stronge is it, that therby libertee
Receyued is with encreste and availe;
Therby the Croune is hol in Maiestee
And vche persone in his dignitee,
Chastised is therby rebellioun,
Rewarded and defensed is renoun.
Forthi the duke, that hath the gouernaunce,
Therof may thinke he is a Potestate,
To whom betakyn is the prosperaunce
Of al a lond and euerych Estate.
The Chiualers, if I be fortunate,
The Citesens, and alle men shal be
If I gouerne wel, in libertee.
And if a faut is founden in my dede,
Not oonly me, but al the commyn wele
So hurteth it, that gretly is to drede
Dampnatioun, though noman with me dele;
And forthi, negligence I wil repele
And do my cure in feithful diligence
With fauoraunce of Goddis excellence.
If al is out of vse and exercise,
As forto fight in euery legioun
Chese out the myghtiest, the wight & wise
And aydis with, of like condicioun;
With their avice vnto correctioun
Reduce it al by his auctorite
The duke, & vse a grete seueritee.
Amended al as sone as semeth the,
Make out of hem a stronge electioun;
Disparpiled lerne if thi foomen bee,
And when thei lest suppose in their reasoun,
Fal on, and putte hem to confusioun.
Therof thi folk shal take an hardinesse
And daily be desirous on prowesse.
At brigge or hard passage, or hillis browe,
Is good to falle vppon; or if ther be
Mire or mareys or woode or grovis rowe
Or aggravaunt other difficultee,
To falle vppon is thenne vtilitee;
The hors to sech vnarmed or aslepe
To falle vppon is good to take kepe.
Thus hardy hem; for whos is vnexpert
Of werre, and woundis seeth, and summe slayn,
He weneth euery strok go to his hert,
And wiste he how, he wolde fle ful fayn.
But and he fle, retourne him fast agayn.
Thus with seueritee and good vsage
Ther wil revive in theim a fyne corage.
Dissensioun among foomen to meve,
Be thei rebellious or myscreaunt,
It is to do, theim selven thei myscheve.
The traditour Judas was desperaunt,
Him self he hynge: so wulle thei that haunt
Rebellioun or ellis heresie.
Alas! to fele thus wil lyve & deye.
Oon thinge heryn is wisely to be seyn,
Of this matier that ther noman dispayre;
As hath be doon, it may be doon ayeyn;
A desolat Castel man may repayre.
In wynter colde, in somer dayis fayre
Is good to se. So fareth exercise
Of knyghthode & of werre, as seyn the wise.
In Engelond til now was ther no werre
This LX yere, savynge at Seynt Albane,
And oon bataile aftir the blasing sterre,
And longe on hem that whirleth as the fane.
Is not their owne cryme her owne bane?
Ther leve I that, and sey that exercise
Of werre may in peax revyue & rise.
Seyde ofte it is: the wepon bodeth peax,
And in the londe is mony a chiualere,
That ha grete exercise doubtlesse
And think I wil that daily wil thei lere,
And of antiquitee the bokys here,
And that thei here, putte it in deuoyre,
That desperaunce shal fle comynge espoyre.
More esily a thing is al mad newe
In many cas, then is an olde repared;
The plauntys growe, as olde tren vp grewe,
And otherwhile a riche thing is spared.
It nedeth not to crave this declared,
But go we se, what helpeth to prevaile
Vppon the feelde in sette apert bataile.
Here is the day of conflict vncerteyn,
Here is to se deth, lif, honour & shame.
Glade vs, o Lord, this day & make vs fayn,
And make vs of this grete ernest a game!
Lord, make in vs magnificent thi name,
Thin angelis commaunde in vs tattende,
And she, thi modir, have vs recommende.
Now is the Duke the rather diligent,
That forth he goth bytwene espoyre & drede;
Now glorious the Prince is sapient,
Now thignoraunt shal deye or harde spede.
In this moment manhode & knyghtly dede
With Goddis honde is oonly to prevaile;
Now let se first, how wil our foon assaile.
The chiualers set forth first at the yate,
Whether ye dwelle in Castell or Citee,
And sette a frount or eny foo come ate,
Til thooste come out vndir securitee.
Go not to fer ne faste, for ye se,
A wery wyght hath spended half his myght,
And with the fresh is hard for him to fight.
And if thi foo the yatis ha forsette,
Delay it and attende what thei mene;
Let hem revile and gnaste & gomys whette,
And breke her ordynaunce, and when thei wene
Ye be aslepe, and they foryeton clene,
Breke on hem vnavised day or nyght;
This wisdom is to do, manhode & myght.
It is to frayne also with diligence,
Wher chiualerys think it be to fight,
Her countynaunce of fere or confidence
Wil be the juge, and truste not the knyght
That is aferd, ner hym ?his myght
Presumeth, inexpert what is bataile,
Conforte hem yet, telle hem thei shal prevaile.
And reasounynge reherce rebellioun
Or myscreaunce, and how thei be forsake
Of alle goode, a Prynce as a lyoun
May telle that aforn thei ha be shake;
And if he may with reasounynge awake
An hardinesse in hem he may procede
And ellys vttirly he stont in drede.
The first sight is ferdfullest for tho
That neuer were in fight; and remedie
Is in beholdinge ofte vppon her foo
Out of a siker place or placys heye;
Confort therof comyng, dispayr wil deye,
Eke issuynge on hem with a prevaile
Is hardyinge to falle to bataile.
Part of the victory is for to chese
The herre grounde, and ay the herre it be,
The more myght thou hast thi foo to ceese,
And more sharp dounward the taclys fle,
Thi foon her fight is with the grounde & the;
Yet footmen hors, and hors footmen tassaile,
Theire is the cleef, the playn is hem tavaile.
And if thou may ha with the sonne & wynde,
Ereither on the bak is grete availe,
Ereither also wil thi foomen blynde;
Ayeinst the wynde to fight, it is travaile,
A cloude of dust wil therwithal assaile
Thi foomen in the frount, and stony hem so
That they her wit shal seke what to do.
Forthi the Prince it is be prouident
And haue a sight to wynde & dust & sonne,
And on the turnyng take avisement,
Remembering hou certeyn hourys ronne.
It wil not stonde, as stood when thei begonne;
West wil the sonne and happely the wynde,
But seen he wil that thei come ay behinde,
And euer smyte his foomen in the face;
And there an ende of that. Now wil we se,
This ooste embateled vch in his place,
That noon errour in eny parti be;
Therof wel ordeyned vtilitee
Wil nede arise, and his inordynaunce
May brynge (as God defende) vs to myschaunce.
First is to sette a frounte, an Ege his name
Is. Whi? The foon it shal behalde & bite;
Ther chiualers, the worthiest of fame,
That wil with wisdom & with wepon smyte,
Noo knyght apostata, noon ypocrite,
Feers, feithful, ofte appreved, olde & wise
Knyghtys be thei, none other in no wise.
This ege in dayis olde a principaunt
Of wurthi men, as princys, had his name;
In thordre next personys valiaunt,
Such as ha sought honour and voyded shame
That vre haue had, to make her foomen tame,
Sette hem theryn, armure and shot & spere
That myghtily can vse and wel bewere.
Next to the firste frount this is secounde,
And as of old thei called hem hastate
By cause of vse of spere & shaftis rounde,
Of armure is noon of hem desolate.
III foote atwene had euery man his state,
So in a Ml. pace olength stood fixe
A Ml CC LX and VI
Footmen were alle these, and stode in kynde
In duble raunge, and euerych hadde III
Foote, as byforn is seide, and VI behinde
The raungis hadde a sondir, so that he
That stood beforn, vnlatted shulde be
To drawe & welde his wepon, and to take
His veer to lepe or renne, assaut to make.
In tho tweyn orderys wer ripe & olde
Appreved werryours of confidence,
That worthi men of armys had ben holde,
With wighti herneysing for to defense;
These as a wal to make resistence
Ay stille stode, hem may noo man constreyne
Tavaunce forth or reere o foote ayeyne.
Thei trouble not, lest other troubled were,
But fixe abide, and welcom thaduersary
With sword & axe, with shot & cast of spere,
Vntil thei yeve her coors to seyntewary,
Or fle; for whi? thei dar no lenger tary.
Thenne aftir hem that ar to go for al,
For these stille abide as doth a wal.
Tho tweyne eggys ar clept 'the grete armure,'
And aftir hem the thridde cours is sette
Of wighte & yonge and light herneysed sure,
With dartys and with taclis sharpply whette,
In dayis olde thei ferentayris hette;
The firthe cours was called the scutate,
Spedy to renne and glad to go therate.
Wight archery with hem to shote stronge,
The yongest and the best and lustyeste
Archers with crankelons & bowys longe;
The ferenters and thei to gedir keste
Named the light armure, as for the beste
Thorgh shulde passe and first with shot prouoke
The aduerse part, and on hem reyse a smoke.
If foomen fle, thei and horsmen the chase
Go swift vppon, and ellis thei retrete
And thorgh the frount indresse hem to their place.
The grete armure, if thei com on an hete,
Is hem to yeve of sword and axis grete,
On hem the feeld is now for to defende.
Thei gynne wel, God graunte hem a good ende!
The fifthe cours was the carrobaliste,
Manubalistys and fundibulary
And funditours; but now it is vnwiste,
Al this aray, and bumbardys thei cary,
And gunne & serpentyn that wil not vary,
Fouler, covey, crappaude and colueryne
And other soortis moo then VIII or IXne.
Heer faughte thei, that hadde as yet no sheelde,
As bachelers, with shot of dart or spere.
The sixte cours, and last of al the feelde
Wer sheeldys, of the myghtiest that were,
The bellatourys beste in euery gere;
Antiquytee denamed hem Triayrys,
In theym, as in the thridde, al to repayre is.
Thei to be sadde in strength and requyete,
More feruently to make inuasioun,
To take her ease in ordir alwey seete,
And if aforn wer desolatioun,
In theym therof was reparatioun;
In eny part if ther wer desperaunce,
Thei turned it anoon to prosperaunce.
Now the podisme, as whos wil sey, the space
Of grounde, vpon to fight; it to se,
Aforn is seide, hou in a Ml. pace
XVI C LX and VI may be,
So chiualers euerych ha footis III
To stonde vpon a foote and VI abacke
That for his veer and leep no rowme hym lacke.
VI eggys heer sette in a Ml. pace
Shal holde II and XLti. feet in brede,
And so X Ml. wil this grounde embrace;
Thus tembataile is sure, and fer fro drede;
And to II Ml. pas III cours for nede
In long goth out, so that the latitute
In XXI foote it self enclude.
As here is taught, X Ml. men may stonde
In oon or ellys in II Ml. pace,
And XXti. Ml. in the double londe,
And XXXti. Ml. in the threfolde space,
And XL Ml IIII folde is tembrace;
And this mesure is named the Pidisme,
Vntaught in doctrinal or in Grecisme.
A prince heryn expert, and hath to fight
His feelde and of his folk the multitude,
Shal seen anoon how thei shal stonde aright,
And if the feeld is short & brod, conclude
On rangis IX, and by this similitude,
Be short and huge in brede, or longe & rare,
But myghtier is brede, and mo may spare.
And rare, an ooste if thaduersary seeth,
He breketh on with hurt peraventure,
Wher thicke outholdeth him ayenst his teeth;
And ther an ende of that; but hoo shal cure
Ereither, horn and myddis, to be sure,
Ordeyne that, or aftir dignitee
Or aftir thaduersayris qualitee.
The feelde ofoote ordeyned in this gise,
To sette it is these hors at eyther horn,
As writeth in her werkys olde wise,
That herneysed sperys be sette aforn,
Vnharneysed abak, that of be born
The storm fro theym, whil myghti hors defende
Stronge archerye o foote to shote on ende.
For to defende haue horsis myghtieste,
Tho hornys in attempting is to sende
Out hors the swiftest & the wightieste,
To trouble theym sette on a pace on ende.
The duke it is to knowe & comprehende,
What hors ayenst what throngys ar to goon,
And whar he have hors as goode as his foon.
Their hors ar ouer vs; theryn is boote:
Tak wight and yonge men with sheeldis light,
With twene on hors, sette one of theim o foote;
With hem resiste our aduersayrys myght.
But this to take effecte and spede aright,
These yonge men herof grete exercise
Moste have, as telleth werreourys wise.
And aftir al his ooste, a duke shal haue
A myghti choyce of men on hors & foote,
Ereither horn and breste for to save,
That if the boorys hed in wolde wrote,
A sharre shere his groyn of by the roote.
(The boorys hed is a triangulere
Of men, a boorys hed as thaugh it were).
If that come on, with tuskys forto breke
The breste or egge or wynge or outher horn,
A sharre clippe hem of, right by the cheke,
And with the same his wrot away be shorn;
And set it al in ordir as beforn,
And if a place feynte, anoon a yawe
Of myghti men aforn it is to drawe.
Tribunys, Erlis or their lieutenauntys,
Of these, myghtiest to renne & ride
Wer mad the Capitayns & gouernauntys,
And werriours hem named the subside;
For thei releved thoost on euery side,
So that noman remeued from his place,
For so to doon, myght al an oost difface.
Eek out herof thei make a Boorys hed
And Cuneus thei name it, or a wege;
As thondirynge with leyting flammys red
It russheth on our aduersayrys egge
And shaketh of, ye mony a myghti segge,
And if it falle on either of the hornys,
It cracketh hem, as fier tocracketh thornys.
This stood behinde al other ordynaunce.
Now is to se the place of vche estate:
On the right honde, withoute variaunce
The principal Captayn or potestate,
That al the gouernaunce is taken ate,
There as the footmen and the hors dyuide,
He hath his place, al to gouerne & gide.
Footmen and hors to rewle heer stondeth he,
The potestate and al this oost to gide,
By premynence of his auctorite,
To chere theim that myghtily shal ride,
And theim o foote, as myghtily tabide.
A wynge is him to bringe aboute the horn
Him counteringe and on comynge beforn,
That is the lift horn of our aduersary,
Aboute a wynge, and on the backe hem clappe,
And thei of their comyng the tyme wary;
And if (as God defende) amys it happe,
Anoon the subside is to stoppe a gappe;
For soueraynly on hym that is tattende,
And, as the cas requyreth, come on ende.
The Duke secounde, and next in gouernaunce,
Amydde the frounte or forfrount is to stonde
And sustene it tabide in ordinaunce;
The boorys hed his part is to withstonde,
A sharre out of the subside is at honde,
Clappe it theron, and if ther nede a yawe,
Out of the same anoon it is to drawe.
The thridde Duke, right wys & vigorous,
His part it is to stonde on the lift horn
And myghti men with hym, for dangerous
Is that to kepe, as writon is beforn.
His wynge he muste extende, and hadde thei sworn
It, let hem not her wynge aboute hym clappe,
Subside at him be sone, if ought mys happe.
A clamour, clept an harrow or a shout,
Vntil the fight begynne, noon is to rere;
No werreour that wise is, out of doubt,
Wil shoute afer, therwith his foo to fere;
But when the shoute & shaftys fille his ere,
Then voyce yfere is so fel & horribil,
That for to fere, it is not incredibil.
Be redy first, and first to sette vppon,
And first to shote & shoute & make affray,
With myghti countynaunce, that is the mon,
That mornynge is to haue a ful fayr day.
This promptitude & wit & stronge aray
Thi foo seynge, is trembeling to fle,
The palme of victory goynge with the.
And ay bewar, lest his right wynge clappe
Aboute thi lift horn; this is remedie:
To rech it out; and if that wil not happe,
The wynge aboute thyn horn bacward replie
And fende hem of; now fight for the maistrye,
And if a bosh come on on eny side,
A better bosh on hem from our subside.
Here angelike valiaunce, here is puissaunce
Archangelik in ooste and legioun,
And it gouerneth Dukys principaunce
With myght, power, and dominatioun.
Omnipotens, this is his champioun;
God loueth this, his throne & sapience
Is sette heron, justice to dispence.
What is this oost, aduerse, rebelliouns
Presumptuous, periurious, mischevous,
Heresious with circumcelliouns?
A legioun attaynte, vntaken thevous,
That, as thei ar myscheved, wold myscheve vs.
Her lord is Lucifer, the kyng of pride,
In euery feeld with him doun goth his side.
Thei ha no breste, here hornys & her wyngis
Ful febil are and out of ordynaunce;
Subside is goon, no socour in their kynge is,
And moost amonge hem self is variaunce.
They wil away, now fle they to myschaunce;
Goon is their herte, and if the body dwelle,
Their hope is aftir deth and aftir helle.
Here is .o. breste, here hornys are & wyngys
And myghtieste in raunge & ordynaunce;
Subside is here, and socour in our kynge is,
Amonge vs is ther noo contrariaunce.
We wil abide vndir our gouernaunce,
Here is noo drede of deth or peyne of helle;
Here or with angelys is vs to dwelle.
Therfore our eye is to the kyngis signe,
We here his voys, as trumpe & clarioun,
His eyes are obeyed, we enclyne
Attonys vnto hym, his legioun
We are, and aftir God, his regioun.
His capitayn and his vicapitaynys
Tobey euerych of vs right glad & fayn is.
This champioun, this ooste & Goddis knyght
With fele and also fewe may prevaile,
Miraclis here & there God sheweth myght;
But first (as seide is erste) is hem tassaile.
The gretter ooste is this; now moste availe
Is ordinat bataile, as is beforn
Seide, and with wyngys clappe in eyther horn.
With wyngis wight hem vmbego, ley on
Behinde and holde hem streyt on euery side,
And cleche hem vp; whi wolde they be foon?
Tech hem obeyssaunce; sey: 'Fy! o pride!
Com on your way, we wil our self you gide.'
This way is good, so that this bestes ride
Be not a gret horribil multitude.
With multitude we myght been vmbegoon,
War that perile; holde of on other side
With wyngis wight, and strengthe hem faste anoon;
With myghtiest elect of the subside
Prevaile on hem; yet more is to prouide,
That if the boorys hed com in, a sharre
Be made for him, his tuskys forto marre.
But wurthi men are in this ooste afewe,
Sette hem in wise and myghti gouernaunce;
For heer the Lord wil his myracle shewe,
Their multitude or myght be noo turbaunce;
Truste in thi Lord and mak good ordynaunce;
Ordeyned wel, in fewe is to prevaile,
So that theryn no poynt or poyntis faile.
Do thus when thegys are at the congresse;
Thi lift hond, hold it from thin aduersary,
That of his shot it have noo distresse
And thi ryght wynge vppon hem wightly cary.
Theer to begynne it is most necessary;
Sette on in circuyte, and bringe abowte,
And to prevaile it nedeth nat to doubte.
But do this with thin horsmen myghtyeste
And footmen of the beste, and ha noo drede,
Thi foomen vndir foote to be keste;
And if thi foo to the the same bede,
A myghtiest subside vppon hym lede
Of horsmen and footmen, and thus delude
Hir arte with arte, and thervppon conclude.
Or otherwise, if men be myghtieste
On the lift hond, the right is to retrete
And fal on her right horn with wightieste
Footmen & hors; and til thei yelde hem, bete
Hem on the bak and breeste, and ouergete
Hem myghtily; but the right honde elonge,
That of thi foo noo forfeture it fonge.
War heer the boorys hed and euerywhere,
Or otherwise al putte in ordynaunce
CCCC or D pace yfere
Aforn the counteringe it is tavaunce
Our wyngis wight vppon their ignoraunce.
Prudence it is on hem to make affray,
Whil thei beth out of reule and of aray.
If hors be myghtiest, this wey is best
And doon anoon, and ellis is grete drede;
A remedy therfore is to be keste,
That al the light armure wightly procede,
And archerye, as sparkil out of glede.
And embataile anoon the frounte aforn,
The breste to defende, and either horn.
If this be doon, the frounte alonge is sure,
Vnlabored with fight, or otherwise,
Like as beforn is seyde, it is to cure,
That thi right wynge vppon his lift horn rise;
But myghtiest and wittiest dyuise
Vnto that feat, and archers with hem fonge
Of wighte men, ofoote that be stronge.
And this doyng, retrete thi lifte horn
Fer, al abak, and raunge it like a spere,
Dyuers heryn vnto the way beforn,
So that the foo noo strook theron bewere.
This wil devicte anoon withoute fere.
In this manere a smal & myghti ooste
Shal ouerthrowe a multitude of booste;
Or finally, this ooste is but of fewe
And not so myghti men as hath the foo:
Heer hath the werreour his craft to shewe,
And embataile hym nygh a flood that goo
On outher half; a cragge is good also,
Lake or marice or castel or citee,
A side to defende is good to se.
There embataile and putte ereither wynge
On oon side, and herwith pul of his horn,
But fro behinde aboute is beste it brynge,
And with the boorys hede route in beforn.
The myghtiest to this be not forborn,
Ner they, theryn that haue had exercise,
Thus hath be seyde of werryourys wise.
The foo peraventure is ferde and fled
Into sum holde, and ferther wolde he fle
Fayn, wiste he how. What is the beste reed
That he go forth, or heer beseged be?
To lete hem goon is moste vtilitee
And no perile is it that foo to chace
That turneth vs the bak & nat the face.
Yet heer be wys and sende a fewe aforn,
Right aftir hem, and with a myghty honde
Another way on even or amorn
Caste to come in and in their light to stonde.
When thei that aftir go, wynne on hem londe,
Her part it is tattempte hem esily
And so departe, aferd to bide therby.
This seyn, thei wil, suppose a wayt be goon,
And disolute anoon be negligent,
Thenne is the wit, that myghti honde come on
And take hem vp aslepe or vynolent;
Thus easily we haue our owne entent,
Therof to God the commendatioun
Be madde, and doon sacrificatioun.
If part of thooste be fled, & part prevaile,
Heryn the Prince exploye his valiaunce,
Hem myghtily retournyng to bataile.
Forwhi? the foon be fled vnto myschaunce.
Arere anoon vnto your ordynaunce;
The feelde is youre, and trumpe & clarioun
And scryis make of victory resoun.
Of knyghthode and bataile in special
Thus seide thelectioun & ordynaunce,
Here is to sette vp rewlys general,
As this: The gracious good gouernaunce
Obserueth euerywhere; al suffisaunce
Hath he that is content; al may be born
Saue wele; and: scorned is that vseth scorn;
Thi disavaile availe is to thi foo,
His hurt availeth the; voide his advice,
Do thin availe; do not as he hath do;
In thin electioun se thou be wys,
War negligence, do euery man justice,
Be vigilaunt, attende thin honour,
Thi prouidence be to thin oost socour.
Ha not to fight a knyght vnexercised;
Ha confidence in preved thing; secre
Thi counsel have; lerne of thi self disgised;
The fugitif herd and vntrested be;
Be gided wel by folk of that contre,
That thou wilt ouer ride; haue in writynge
Euery passage, and eke in purtreyinge.
Better is brede in oost to fight then lengthe;
Good is in stoor to haue a grete subside;
With sapience socoure a feebil strength,
Sende of thi foo; Let not thin oost diuide;
Whette vp thin ege; bidde horsmen wightly ride;
Fight in a raunge aforn with multitude
Ayenst a fewe, and hem anoon detrude.
A fewer oost falle on with the right horn,
And crokyng of the lift horn is telonge,
So that the myghtiest be sette beforn;
And if the lift horn be both wyce and stronge,
Sette it beforn, and bak the right be wronge;
Or on thin vnaduised foo with wight
And myghti wyngis go beforn & fight.
The light armure and euery ferentary
Aforn thi frount in nede anoon procede
With subside on the wyngys for to tary;
And he that hath a litil ooste, hath nede
Of mych wit, and myghti men in dede,
And on his honde a flood or place of strengthe,
And either wynge on his oon horn tenlengthe.
Ye truste in hors: the playn is beste; ye truste
Vppon footmen: the cleef is good. Espie
Amongis vs to be ther is distruste:
That euery man go hoom, anoon do crye,
And which is he, forwith me shal espie.
But sodenly this most be doon be day,
The yatis shitte, lest he go stele away.
What is to doon, with mony take advice;
What shalbe doon, tak fewe or be alone;
Tak his advice that is secret & wyce,
Be juste, indifferent to euerychone;
For idelnesse haue ay sumwhat to doone;
To straunge not, not to familier,
Make of a lord; chere a good Chiualeer.
And here anende I thus the thridde part
In this Tretice of knyghthode & bataile.
What ha we next ? Forsothe, a subtil art
To bilde a stronge Citee, and for tassaile
It and defense; and aftir, fight Navayle,
That is bataile in ship, I here entende
For chiualers to write, and make an ende.
Vltima pars vrbes parat, obsidet atque tuetur,
Bello nauali finit & ornat opus.
This IIIde part, as long as othre tweyne,
Halt prouidence of myghtiest bataile,
The morthereer to bringe vndir the cheyne.
There al his olde craft shal nought availe,
But hate of ire and angush of travaile
To fynde; and aftir al that to descende
To theuerlasting deth, if he namende.
In Brutis Albion is not to spende
This myghti knyghthode & bataile alone;
To Normandie and Fraunce it is tassende,
Til Cristis & the kyngis foos vchone
Be dryven out or chastised, and noone
Alyve ylefte, that wil not wel beleve
And vttirly the myscreaunt myscheve.
Here ende I that, and to my werk releve
The laste part, anoon to bringe an ende,
And aftir in correctioun it preve;
Criste truste I, that the kyng it wil attende
And werreours to knowe it condescende;
That leve I there, and write as is thavaile
To bilde and sette assege, and see bataile.
Nature or art assureth a Citee,
A dongeoun, a castel, or a tour,
In lake or in mareys or in the see
Sette it, that element is thi socour;
And if the lond shalbe propugnatour,
A mountayne or a clyef, a cragge, a rok
Sette it vppon, and saf it is fro strok.
And in foreste, in feelde or in champayne,
With craft or art it is tomake a strengthe,
And if nature assiste, it is tattayne
Effect anoon, as when the brede or lenghe
A rok, ryuer, mareys or see wil strengthe;
But art alone if noon herof availe,
Shal make it stronge with wisdam & travaile.
Mak bosumy and angulous the wal,
And so sette out therof the fundament
With touris and turrettis oueral,
That scale, engyne or rammer therto sent
Be ouer sette, and faile of his entent,
When he is vnbegon and al to donge
With al that may be kest fro wallis stronge.
In this manere a wal it is to make,
To stonde an infallibil thing for euer:
An interualle of XXti feet be take,
A wal on either side herof dissevre,
Caste in the moolde, sadde it with mal & lever,
Out of the dich caste it bitwix the wallys,
And ramme it doun with punchonys & mallis.
Mak the inner wal wel lower then withoute,
That esily, as by the clif, ascende
Me may vnto the loupis al aboute,
Or by an esi grice hem to defende;
Thus mad a wal, the ram may nat offende;
For thaugh he fronte awey this vttir cruste,
The grounde is stronge ynough with him to juste.
For firing of the yatis make obstacle,
Couer hem with hidys and with iron plate,
And make aforn a myghti propugnacle,
A portcolys to plumpe adoun therate,
Aftir thi foon atwixte it and the yate
Thei checked ar. The machcoling may thenne
Chastise hem that thei shal nat sle ner brenne.
The dichis ar to make brode at al
And deep at al, so that me may not fille
Hem in no wise, and renne vppon the wal;
The myner is his labour heer to spille,
And rathest if the watir hem fulfille;
For now hath he twey grete Impedymentys;
Depnesse is oon, another thelement is.
The multitude of shot is to repelle
With sheeld, pavice an here and duble say;
Shot perceth not ther thorgh; eek wittis felle
Han cratys fild with stoon at euery bay,
And if thassault come vp, adoun go they
Out of the crate, at euery loup is oon
Of these. It quelleth ordynaunce & mon.
In mony wise assault is and defense;
And on manere is by enfameyinge.
Hoolde foode away, and watir, kepe it thens,
And hem to honde anoon shal honger bringe.
But if we wite a seege on vs comynge,
Anoon gete al the foode within our wonys
And faste haue in the multitude of stonys.
Corn euerydel, larder, fisch, foul, forage,
And that may not be brought in, is to brenne,
Wyn, aysel, herbe, & fruyt and cariage,
Logyng, let brenne it vp, or cary it thenne;
So bare it for our foon that whenne thei renne,
Thei fynde nought; and vse we vitaile
With such attemperaunce, that it ne faile.
Glew, tar & picch and oyle incendiary,
And sulphour herwithal to brenne engyne,
Charcole & cole, and al that necessary
Is forto make armure and arowys fyne
And shelde & spere, hundirdys VIII or IX,
And coggys, cogulys & pibblis rounde,
Fil vp the wal with hem by roof & grounde.
Stoon of the flood is saddest and so best,
For fourneysinge a wal & euery loupe,
And outher with engynys to be kest
On hegh, adoun to falle on hed or croupe,
Or fro the scalyng forto make hem stoupe
And have of grene tymbour grete rollys
And loggys leyd to route vppon her pollys.
And beemys is to haue of euery sise
And boord of euery soort, and also nayl.
Ayenst engyne, engyne is to devise,
And that the stuf be prest, is thin availe.
High if it be, pulle ouer their top sail,
And if thei come in touris ambulary,
Hem myghtily to mete is necessary.
Nerf is to haue or senewis aboundaunce,
The crosbowyng to stringe and bowe of brake;
Hors her of mane & tail, if suffisaunce
Therof ther is, therto good is to take;
Of wymmen here tho stryngis eke thei make:
With stryngys of their her Romaynys wyvis
Saved her owne & her husbondis lyvis.
Raw hidis ar to kepe, and euery horn
The portcolis to couere, eek sheeld & targe
And mony a thing, it may not be forborn;
And if so be your watir be not large,
To synke a welle anoon it is to charge,
For lak therof; theym that the water brynge,
With shot defende outward & hoom comynge.
And if the welle is out of our shotinge,
Make vp a tour and putte archerys there,
For to defende tho that watir brynge;
Cisternys who can make, it is tenquere;
Make vp of theym in placis euerywhere,
Rayn watir kepe in hem; when wellys faile,
Rayn watir in cisternys may availe.
A See Citee this is, and salt is geson:
Kest watre salt in vesselling that sprede,
Salt wil the sonne it make in litil season;
But thus we dar not fette it in for drede,
The see gravel, gete it vp in this nede,
Fresh watir it, and let it drie in sonne,
And salt withoute doubte herof is wonne.
They that the wal assaulteth, bith terribil
A multitude, and trumpis proudly rynge;
The Citee nys but simpil and paisibil,
And ferde thei are at this first counteringe,
And in goth they; but if the spritis springe
And putte hem of, in comth an hardinesse,
And egal is fro now forth the congresse.
The tortoys or the snayl, the rammys grete,
The sekel or the sithe, and vyneyerd,
The cagys pluteal it is to gete
And tourys ambulary nere aferd;
The musculys eke with the pety berde,
Lo alle these wil this Citee assaile
With crafte, and yet with craft shal it prevaile.
Of tymbir and of boord it is to make
A tortoys or a shelled snail, and so
They name it; whi? for when hem liste awake
It, out therof the hed & hornys go
And in and out ayein; oon horn or too,
Croked or streght, hath it, right as a snaile,
Right as it semeth hem their moost availe.
The bak of this tortoys, snail or testude,
Wherof it hath figure and also name,
With felt & heere & hidis rawe or crude,
Lest theron fier doun cast, brenne vp the frame.
Wel couered is, the sidis beth the same;
Pendaunt theryn, ther goth a beem alonge,
Therof the hed is iron steeled stronge.
Tweyne hornys if it have, it is a snaile;
Streght may thei stonde, or the lifte horn may croke
Outher the right, as may be moost availe,
The wal to breke & stonys out to Rooke;
And if it haue but oon horn, & it hooke
A croche, it is a sikel or a sithe,
It breketh and out bringeth stonys swithe.
And when the frount is mad to breke & brese,
It is a ram for that similitude,
To rush vppon the wal and al to crese
The stuf in it; yet wil thei this delude,
And with oo crafte thoo craftis III conclude:
Of quylt & felt a trusse thei depende,
Ther as the ram entendeth for toffende.
Or by the hed they kecch it with a gnare
And hale it vp, or by the wal endlonge,
Or turne it vpsodoun thei wil not spare;
Hem semeth it to hurte it is no wronge;
And other haue a wulf, this ram to fonge:
That wulf is as a payre of smythis tongys,
Toothed, that in a wayt alway to honge is.
That wulf gooth on the ram, and by the hed
Or necke anoon pulde is he vp so doun,
Or so suspended that his myght is deed,
And other fro the wallis of the town
Or out of tourys hye or of dongeoun
Wil caste an huge ston or a pilere
Of marbil, and so breke it al yfere.
And if the wal be thorled therwithal,
As happeth ofte, or doun it gooth anoon:
Awey with euery hous, and mak a wal
Withinne that of planke or lyme & ston;
And if thin aduersayris come vppon,
Conclude theym bitwixt the wallis tweyne,
And so be quyte of this perile & peyne.
The vyneyerde is lighter tymburynge,
VIII foote brode, VI footys high, XVI
Footys in length, and dubil couertinge
Hath it of boord & fleyk; of twyggis grene
The sidis are, and fier for to sustene,
With felt & hidis grene it couere they,
So that to brenne or breke it, is no wey.
And made ynowe of these, ar sette yfere
Vnto the wal, as summe sette a vyne,
And tre pilers vpsetting heer & there,
To make it falle, vndir the wal thei myne,
That, puld away the stulpis VIII or IXne,
Doun go the wal, this vyneyerd remeved,
Lest it and al ther vndir be myscheved.
The cage pluteal of twiggis plat,
Of heerys hath couert and hidis grene;
Not ouer high the roof ner ouer flatte,
That shot & fier suffice it to sustene.
On whelis III to go thei thise demene,
As goth a cart; and fele herof thei make
With mony a wit the wallis forto awake.
The muscle shelle is but a smal engyne,
Mightily mad on whelis for to go,
And bere away the wallis when thei myne;
Thei bringe stuf the dich to fille also;
And on the werk it may go to & fro
And sadde it vp, that tourys ambulary
May men ynowe vppon the wallis cary.
The muscul eke is good, the way to mende,
For eny thing, of tourys ambulary.
To se the crafte is now to condescende,
Thartificeer it nedeth not to vary;
Make hem like other housing necessary,
A XXXti foote or XL foote square,
And otherwhile of Lti feet thei are.
Of bemys and of boord be thei compacte,
And competent the brede hath altitude,
With hidis, grene or felt sadly coacte
The robinge & the sidis are enclude.
Their apparaile ashameth wallys rude,
At euery lyme herof ar huge whelys
And brood withal the sole of euery whel is.
Present perile is, if this tour ammoeve
Vnto the wal, the place is in a doubte;
And impossibil is it of to shove.
Of myghtieste theryn is mony a route,
And briggis in, to renne on from withoute,
And scalis of al maner farsioun,
From eny part to renne on vp & doun.
The rammys are alongh as first engyne,
And not a fewe, a wal to ouerthrowe,
And vndir as a vyneyerd they myne
And briggis in the myddis are a rowe,
And fro the toppe they shote & stonys throwe;
Thus vndir and above and euerywhere
The wall besette; who dar abide there?
Yet here ayenst is diuers medycyne:
First, if the Chiualers with confidence
Go myghti out, and fire this engyne,
First pulde away the firys resistence,
And if thei ha not this magnificence,
Shote at hem molliols, also fallayrys;
But what thei ar, to knowe it necessayir is.
A malliol, a bolt of wilde fier is,
A fallary, a shafte is of the same;
Thorgh felt & hide hem shoote: al on a fier is;
But shoote hem thorgh into the tymber frame;
With myghti alblastris go to this game,
Brymston, rosyn, glewe, oyle incendiary
With flax doon on this shafte is necessary.
Or preuely with fier out of the toun
Ouer the wal, whil this tour is asclepe,
A feleship of fewe is let adoun,
That fiere it, as noo watir may it kepe;
And triced vp at hoom thei skippe & lepe
To se this ambulary touris brenne;
This hath be doon, & yet ful seelde whenne.
And otherwise is doun, the wal tarise,
And ouer go the touris altitude;
Yet ther ayenst is vsed to deuise
A subtiltee, tho wallis to delude;
In the vtter tour, an inner tour tenclude,
And when thei sette vppon this wallis blynde
With gabils & polifs hem ouerwynde.
And beemys otherwhile, ye ouerlonge,
Ordeyne thei, and sette on iron hornys,
And as a rammys hed thei make hem honge;
This tour with hem forbeton and throgh born is,
And sette ofiere, and vtturly for lorn is;
Yet otherwise, out of the toun a myne,
Vndir the way therof, sleth this engyne.
When this engyne on that concavitee
Goth with his wight vppon his myghti whelis,
Doun goth it, into helle as it wold fle;
And this to se, the toun in joy & wele is.
But thooste withoute al in dolour & deel is,
Al desperate of help by their engyne,
And al by witty makyng of a myne.
But if this tour sauf sette vppon the wallis
With euery shot of dart, of shaft, of spere,
And dynt of axe, of swoord, billys & mallys,
And caste of stoon thei ley on euerywhere,
That fro the wal awey they fle for fere,
Now to the wal, the briggis forto avale is,
And mony oon goth doun anoon by scalys.
Thei trice in other with the Tollenon:
The tollenon a tymbir pece on ende
Is sette, another twye as long theron,
The lighter ende of it adoun thei bende;
A cageful of men therwith thei sende
Vppon the wal, when they with cordis drawe
Adoun that other ende, as is the lawe.
Sumtyme ayen this werk, the bowe of brake,
Carribalistys and Arcubalistis,
Onagris and fustibulis wer take,
And mony a dart that vncouth & vnwiste is
Amonge vs heer. The taberinge of the fistis
Vppon the bowe, and trumpyng of the gunne
Hath famed vs as fer as shyneth sonne.
Thei trumpe adoun the tourys ambulary,
Thei ouerthrowe as wel ram as tortoys,
The cage and vyneyerd therby myscary,
The muscul may not with his dynt & voys;
And countir as it goth, ther is noo choys,
But deed or quyt; for and it onys touche,
It goth for al that hangeth in the pouche.
A conynger, that now they calle a myne,
Goth vndir erth vnwist; by that cauerne
Come in tatoun, ye, tourmys VIII or IXne,
And prevely they rise in sum tauerne
Or desolat hous, so noo wight hem werne;
And sodenly by nyght vppon the yate
They hewe, and leet their frendis in therate.
And ther ayenst, if that the dwellers be
In touris, on the wal, or housys hye,
Vppon the strete,-is ther yit comfort? Ye,
So stonys out of numbir on hem flye,
As thaugh the buldir hailed from the skye;
They wil anoon retrete out at the yatis,
Now steke hem out; and stynted this debate is.
And if thei do not thus, anoon their foo
Of prouidence her yatis may lete stonde,
Vntil as fele as fle, wil been ago,
And thenne in ease have hous & toun & londe;
But God defende vs that we be not fonde
Aslepe so that foon lede vs away
Withoute strook, or seide hem onys nay!
Lo, man, womman and childe may keste stoon
Vppon his foo from euery place o lofte,
And ther to redy sone are euerychon
By day & nyght; this holpen hath full ofte.
Ha stonys out of flood or feeld or crofte,
Store hem on high, that in a sodeyn fere
Fynde hem ye may, and on your foo bewere.
This conynger hath eek another gise,
Vndir the wal to crepe pryvely,
And sette vp postis heer, & ther by sise
And pike away the fundament wightly,
Ramayle it wel. the postis by & by,
And when their ooste was redy, make it brenne;
Doun goth the wall; in and vppon hem thenne!
Peraventure ther is a countir myne,
So that thei faile, and feyneth a dispayre,
And hem remeveth mylys VIII or IXne;
Now best be war, at market or at fayre,
Or day or nyght, thei thinketh to repayre,
If there appere among hem negligence;
Therfore now do grettest diligence.
Now se the wacch abide vppon the wall,
And houndis wise & grete is good to kepe;
Eek gees is good to haue in special,
For thei wil wake folke that ar aslepe,
The foo comynge her welth away to repe;
The mavlard in the dich and in the wallis,
The martilet at scaling wont to calle is.
The toun eke on thassege sodenly
Is wont to falle, if it be negligent;
Therfore a dich thei make vp myghtily,
Without shot of euerych instrument,
And stake it, pale it, toure it to thentent,
Ther to be sure hem self and holde hem inne;
Thus wayteth vch an other for to wynne.
The craft tassaulte a citee and defende
By myght and wit of knyghthode & bataile,
Honour to God, therof is mad an ende.
Now go we forth vnto this fight navaile,
That is fight on the see, no light travaile,
And not o londe; as there is so grete drede,
Therfore of gouernaunce hath it gret nede.
To make an hous, good stuf it is to take
Good farsioun, and good stuf is the hous;
But rather he that shippis is to make,
Se that his stuffe ne be nat vicious;
A feebil hous nys not so perilous
As is a feebil ship, other a barge,
Forthy therof the more it is to charge.
Fir and cipresse and the pynappul tre
Therfore is good, as seyn the bookys olde,
And ook is holden good in this cuntre;
The nayles are of bras wel better holde
Then iron. Whi? For ruste thei wil & olde
And kanker and consume, there as bras,
Consumed al the ship, is as it was.
Fro Juyl Kalendis vnto the Kalende
Of Janyveer, that is by monthis sixe
The seson is, tymbur to falle an ende;
Thumour dryinge in treen, now sad & fixe
Is euery pith; but fallinge is bitwixe
XV and XXIIti, when the mone
Is wanyng, dayis VII is this to done.
In other tyme or seson if me falle,
Wormeton wil it ben, eek it wil rote;
The tymbourmen of craft this knoweth alle;
Of rynde or bark is rende away the cote
And dryed thorgh, er it be put to note,
For tymbir weet, so wroght, wil aftir shrynke
And ryve and with right grete disconfort drynke.
For if the shippe vnto the maryner
Drynke of the see, sone aftir of the same
Thei drinketh al, and are of hevy cher;
Forthi, the carpenter is wurthi blame
That into shippis wil weet tymbour frame,
And wurthi thonk is he, that frameth drye,
So that in his defaulte no men deye.
The namys of the shippis as for werre
Myn auctour writeth not, save a liburne
He writeth of as mightier & herre
Of boord, and wight of foote, and light to turne.
As to the wastom of this shippis storne,
Thei hadde V or IIII ordris of ooris,
Or fewer, as the vessel lesse or more is.
And euery grete liburne a balynger
Hath had, and that a scafe exploratory
Was named, for to aspie fer & neer;
Of oorys hadde thei not but oon story.
But wight it was to go for a victory;
The seyl, the maste, and euery marynere
With see colour wer clad for to vnnapere.
A navey and an oost that wil gouerne
Vppon the see, him nedeth forto knowe
The wyndis, and the wedir to discerne;
He moste ha wit, leste he be ouerthrowe;
And first the foure cardinals arowe
Be knowe, as Est & West & North & South,
How thei amonge hem self discorde, is couth.
Theest cardinal is called subsolan,
And on his lifte hond hath he Sir Vulturne,
And Colchyas is on his right hond tan,
Septentrion, that cardinal so storne
Out of the North the see wil ouer torne,
Thocastias his right, and his lift side
Halt Aquylo, what se may theim abide.
Auster is cardinal meridian,
Nothus ful grymly goth on his right side,
And Chorus on the lift hond forth thei han,
And Zephirus that cardinal, abide
Wil in the west, and when him list to ride,
Grete Affricus shal ride on his right honde,
And Duk Fauonius on his lift honde.
If III or oon or tweyne of these vp blowe,
Tethis, of hir nater that is tranquylle,
Thei lene vppon, oppresse and ouerthrowe,
And causeth al crye out that wold be stille;
Thei ror ayeyn, of her thei haue her wille;
The shippe that this conflict seeth & hereth
(Heryn beleve me) his hert it fereth.
Sum varyaunce of tyme will refreyne
Her cruelous & feers rebellioun,
A nothir helpith hem to shake her cheyne
As all the firmament shuld falle adoun
And Occian lepe ouer Caleys Toun;
And after in a while it is tranquylle
And playne & calme, as whos seith 'husht, be stille!'
Therfore a storme is whisedom to preuyde,
And good it is forse serenyte,
And fro the storme abide or stopp atide,
And with meanabil wynd sette on the see;
Ful hard it is in peril hym to se,
That of the wyndes had inspeccioun,
Is raysonabil in direccioun.
Thenne is to se the monthis & the dayes
Of Nauygaunce, forwhy? not al the yere
The wyndis on the shippis make affrayes,
Sum monthis euer are of mery cheer,
And summe loure a while, & after cleer
Ynough they loke, & summe ar intractabil
And ragy wood, ancour to breke & gabil.
The VIth kalende of Juyn, when Pliades
Appereth: what is that? the sterrys VII;-
The wyndes alle ar bounden to the pees,
So that ther nys no truble vndir heuen,
Vntil the berth of Arcture al is even,
That is of Octobir the XVIIIth kalende,
Seecraft plesaunt hath at this day an ende.
Tho dayis euer are of mery cheer,
And thenne vnto the IIIde Ide of Nouembre
The dayis wil now loure and now be cleer;
For vnto now, as bookys me remembre,
Arcture, as from the first Ide of Septembre,
His reigne he hath, and in this meane while
The firmament wil loure amonge & smyle.
Nouembir in tempest is al to shake,
And aftir vnto Marchis Idus VI,
Viage thenne on see nys noon to take,
But in the woose it is tabide fixe;
Also by londe vnvsed is betwixe
Alhaleweday & March to goon or ride,
But if a grete necessitee betide.
Short is the day, the nyght is ouerlonge,
Thicke is the myst, and thestir is the mone,
And aftir in ther comth of wynde a thronge,
That forto stonde he hath ynough to done,
That is o londe; a strom is aftir sone
Of leyt, of wynd, of rayn, of hail, of thondir,
That woful is the wight that goth thervndir.
And, ovir this, in Marche, Aprile & May,
Antiquytee of Navigatioun
Dyuers sollemnytee and grete aray
Was vsed have in high deuotioun,
And eke of arte exercitatioun
To kepe in honde, and as for feat of werre,
Thei bood vntil the sonne ascended herre.
And tokenys of tranquille and tempeste,
Of wynde and rayn, thei hadden in the moone;
Of tokenys this was surest & best:
Reed is the mone, it wil be wynde right sone,
To take see theryn is good to shone;
The pale mone is lyke to haue a rayn,
The pale rede is wynde & storm, thei sayn
And when the mone ariseth glad & bright,
And namely the day that is the pryme,
Withoute humour, in hornys sharpe & light,
To take a grete viage is right good tyme.
But if the sonne telle of eny cryme,
As is if he arise vndir a cloude,
That day in rayn & wynd is wont to croude.
His bright aristh is like a mery day,
His rede aristh is like a breef to blowe,
And maculous, is shour or cloudis ay,
And pale aristh wil reyn or ellis snowe;
A tokyn eke of rayn is the raynbowe.
In wynde and ayer, in fish & foule, Virgile
The signys seyth that may noman begile.
The maryners, thei sayn, haue al this art
Of wydiringe, and thei be wedir wise,
By discipline of it ha thei no part,
But of a longe vsage or exercise.
Wel knowe thei, the Reume if it arise,
An aker is it clept, I vndirstonde,
Whos myght ther may no ship or wynd withstonde.
This Reume in Thoccian of propur kynde
Withoute wynde hath his commotioun,
The maryner therof may not be blinde,
But whenne & where in euery regioun
It regneth, he moste haue inspectioun;
For in viage it may both hast & tary
And vnaduised therof al mys cary.
The marinere, er he come at congresse
Or counturinge, vppon the see bataile,
Wil his Navey so for the Reume adresse,
As may been his aduerser dissavaile
And hindiraunce, and also his availe.
This may be doon anoon, for a liburne
With wynde or oorys, as me wil, may turne.
The Maister Marynere, the gouernour,
He knoweth euery cooste in his viage
And port saluz; and forthi grete honour
He hath, as worthi is, and therto wage.
The depper see, the gladder he; for rage
Of wynde or of bataile if ther abounde,
The surer he, the ferre he be fro grounde.
He knoweth euery rok and euery race,
The swolewys & the starrys, sonde & sholde,
And where is deep ynough his foo to chace;
And chese a feeld he can, bataile to holde,
And myghtily sette on liburnys bolde,
First with the frounte al vndir see to route,
And as a thought, anoon be brought aboute.
The maister of the shippe, he muste be wyis;
The mariners most be ful diligent,
And myghti rowing vp at point device
Is to been had at his commaundement,
That storne and ooris go by oon assent
Forth right to sette vppon, and light to turne,
Ful gret avauntage haldeth this liburne.
And as o londe an oost may be prevent
And leyde awayt vppon, right so by see
At ilis or in streytys pertynent
A bushement to falle vppon may be
Rathest; out of aray is good to se
When that thei be; the reume & strem & wynde
With you & countour hem is good to fynde.
Or wayte on hem, for wery or aslepe,
Or when thei leest of thi comynge suppose,
Or in a rode as is no wey to crepe
Away, but that ye must been in their nose.
Al that is you to wynne, is hem to lose,
And if thei can avoyde alle your cautelis,
Thenne vch his right, the feeld & fight to dele is.
Thenne in a feelde a frounte of this liburnys
It is to sette, and not as on the londe
An oost; and whi? for inward it to turne is,
The hornys as a sharp cressaunt to stonde,
A bosomynge amyddis to be founde,
That vmbego ye may your aduersary
And close hem enviroun, and with you cary.
But on the hornys be liburnys sturne
With myghtiest & booldest men of werre,
Aboute our foon of myscreaunce to turne,
With confidence hem for to seyn: 'Ye erre;
Com vndir vs, and knowe your ouer herre
Moost gracioux, knowe him your souuerayne;
And wil ye not? At youre perile & peyne!'
The beemys, vp thei goth out of the trumpe
And euery brayn astonyeth their reson;
The firmament, lo! clariounys crumpe
To crye vppon, and lo! it comth adoun
With angelis, ye, mony a legioun,
To countour periurie & myscreaunce
And surquydrye and disobeyssaunce.
In euery man thei setteth fortitude
And high magnificence and confidence,
Perseueraunt for trouth to conclude
With adiuuaunce of myghti patience,
And on the part aduerse, an impotence
With couwardise & diffident dispayre
Wil ferdfully with trembelyng repayre.
The canonys, the bumbard & the gunne,
Thei bloweth out the voys & stonys grete,
Thorgh maste & side & other be thei runne,
In goth the serpentyne aftir his mete;
The colueryne is besy for to gete
An hole into the top, and the crappaude
Wil in; the fouler eek wil haue his laude.
The covey fleeth as foulis thorgh the sayle,
The pavice are accombred with coventys,
Yet on thei come, and vs thei wil assaile;
The bowe vnnumerabil redy bent is,
The shaft fro there an ende it goth. Apprentys
Thonagir is and the carribaliste,
The fundubal and the manubaliste.
The catafract, plumbate & scorpioun,
The dart and arpagoun in dayis olde
Were had, and are amonge vs leyde adoun;
Crosbowys yet and crankelons ar bolde
With wilde fier to brenne al in the folde,
The malliol goth out with the fallary,
The wildefier to bere our aduersary.
Yet on they come: awaite vppon the toppe
Good archery; the storm of shot as hail
So rayketh on, thei dar not shewe her croppe
Ner in the mastys topp, ner vndir sail,
Yet haile hem in a myghti voys: 'hail, hail!
Come vndir your Kyng Harry! fy! o pride!'
Thei wil not throf attonys on hem ride.
Bende vp, breke euerych oore in the mytside
That hath a rash; help hem, lo, thei goth vndir;
To this mysaventure hemself thei gide;
Lo, how thei cracke on euery side a sondir,
What tempest is on hem, what leyt & thondir!
On grapesinge anoon let se their fleete,
What hertys are in hem with vs to mete!
Armure & axe & spere of ouer wight
Is ouer light; as sparkelys in rede,
So sparkel they on helm & herneys bright
The rammys and twibil the side out shrede
Of ship & mast; doun goth the sail in dede,
Vp goth our hook, now it is on their gabil;
Lo, ther it lyeth; this batail is notabil.
Summe into se go, fisshes forto fede,
Summe vndir hacch ar falde adoun for fere,
And summe above, her hert blood to bleede,
And summe seke, hem self they wote ner where;
And summe crye 'alas, that we come there!
Myschefe vpon mysgouernaunce betide!
Lo, pride hath vs betrapped! Fy, o pride!'
'Com on! with vs ye shal go se the kyng,
The gracious,-have of anoon this gere!
Ye muste have on another herneysing:
A gyngeling of jessis shal ye were.
Ye shal no lenger stondyn in this fere.
O siluer bere, o lilial lioun,
O goldon Eagle! where is your renoun!'
Thus may be doon, if that it be forseyn
Of our meryte in souuerayn providence;
Forthi forwith do euery wight his peyne,
Sleuth out to holde, and haue in diligence,
Sette vp the werk, and spare noon expense;
Of Goddis honde although ye have victory,
Yet in the knotte is al thonour & glory.
Knytte vp the werk, and say: 'Hail haliday!'
The werre intraneous of al this londe
Is at an ende, here nys no more affray;
Justice is heer peasibilly to stonde,
And al the world shal telle of Engelonde
And of the kyngis high magnificence,
And been adred tattempte it with offense.
But forto knytte a knotte vppon this book,
That is to sey, therof to make an ende,
What is the ram, this twibil & this hook,
That helpeth vs this shippis thus to shende?
The ram, a beem is, by the mast suspende,
That as a saylis yerde is smal & longe,
On either ende an iron hed to fonge.
A rammys or a snailis hed theron
Ther may be sette, with streght or caumber horn,
On either side it may sette on our foon,
With myghti hand adoun that thei be born.
Ther nys nothing may stonde ther beforn;
For of the shippe it breketh out the side,
Vnnethe may the mast his myght abide.
The hook of iron kene is & of strengthe,
And like a sithe vppon a myghti sperre,
And not to gret, but of an huge lengthe,
And polissed to bace & make it herre;
The gabelis that in a ship of werre
Bere vp the sail, herwith may be fordone,
So may the stay & shroudis euerychone.
The twibil is an axe with double bite,
And therwithal in myddis of the maste;
What maryneris dede, is hard to wite,
But fele it hurte, and fele it made agaste.-
Now faste vntil and ende I wil me haste,
Yet first thonagir and carribaliste,
What thing it was, it were good we wiste.
Thonagir was an huge & myghti bowe,
Strynged with nerf, therwith the stonys grete,
In maner of a thonderynge were throwe,
And for defaute of nerf, hors heer was gete
To strynge hem with, and rather then forlete
The help therof, their heer Romaynys wyvis
Kitte of, to strynge hem with, and saue her lyvys.
Theim leuer was to haue her goode husbandis
With honestee, & with their hedis bare,
Then dishonest be led to straunge londys,
Dispareged, her mariage forfare.
O, mony oon of yon goode wyvys are,
That charge more vertue and honestee
Then worldly good or bodily beautee.
In carris had for hem, carribalistis
Wer sette; thei were, as bowis are, of brake;
Oon more of hem then X manubalistis;
Of nerf or heer stringes for hem wer take.
Their myghti shot made herte & herneys quake;
They and thonagre bowys myghtieste,
Tymbir that oon, stonys that other keste.
Of tholde world the brightest herneysinge,
Best ordinaunce and myghtieste mad were;
O Chiualers, to you this is to bringe;
The beste ye chese, and yet a point go nerre.
O Lady myn, Maria, lode sterre,
Licence me toward the lond; beholde,
See seke am I, fulfayn o lande I wolde!
Hail, porte saluz! with thi pleasaunt accesse,
Alhail Caleis! ther wolde I faynest londe;
That may not I - oo, whi so? for thei distresse
Alle, or to deye or with her wrong to stonde.
That wil I not, to wynne al Engelonde!
What myght availe, a litil heer to dwelle,
And world withouten ende abide in helle.
O litil case, o pouere hous, my poort
Saluz thou be, vntil that ayer amende,
That is to sey, vntil an other soort
Gouerne there, that by the kyng be sende.
Yit let me se, what way my wit is wende:
In this tretys, first is thelectioun
Of werreours, as for the legioun,
Yonge, and statured wel, of vp o londe
And laborers be taught to pace & renne
And lepe and shote and with a dart in honde
Shakyng vppon the Sarrasins that grenne,
To shote quyk, and to swymme ouer, whenne
The ryuer is to deep, there euery gise
Of hosteyinge & fight hath exercise.
The part secounde hath the diuisioun
Of al an oost, wheryn is tolde of thaide,
That subsequent is to the legioun,
Wherin teuerych office his part is leyde;
Theer of a feeld al ordinaunce is seyde,
With evitatioun of al perile;
Who redeth it, therate among wil smyle.
The IIIde part prouideth and vitaileth
And paeseth thooste, and voydeth al myschaunce,
And al that in the journeyinge availeth,
Is here to rede, and what feeld may avaunce
An ooste to fighte, and euery ordinaunce
How is to sette, and in conflicte how VII
Weyis ther ar the quyckest vndir heven.
The firthe part in crafte & in nature
Strengtheth a place and techeth it tassaile,
Engynys eek to make & putte in vre,
And to resiste hemself to disavaile;
And on the see to make a stronge bataile,
Where euery feat of werre it is to spende,
And of this werk theryn is mad an ende.
Go, litil book, and humbilly beseche
The werriourys, and hem that wil the rede,
That where a fault is or impropir speche,
Thei vouchesafe amende my mysdede.
Thi writer eek, pray him to taken hede
Of thi cadence and kepe Ortographie,
That neither he take of ner multiplye.
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Comments about this poem (Knyghthode and Bataile by Anonymous Olde English )
- Frienship, bryan wallace
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- Your Kept Best, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- ROUND AND ROUND, Peter LeBuhn
- God's Gift To You!, Denis Martindale
- Voices, stephen awuni
- Cost Less, stephen awuni
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