Jacopo di Porcia: The Preceptes of Warre

A military manual by Jacopo di Porcia. Some of the advise is obvious, some silly. This is a text transcription from EEBO and I’m not confident at all that it’s accurately transcribed. Translated 1544 by Peter Betham.

32. ¶ Of gonners on horsebacke.
It shal not be vnprofitable to acquaynten and wount your horses, as the duchmen do, to suffer the sytter whyche is a gunner and not to be affrayed therof. For no sorte of souldyers, is more profytable than they nor yet doth more myschife and hurte. For no man is so well harnaysed, that can be saulfe from them: such a vyolence is in that warlye instrumente.
33. ¶ Of gunnes called serpentines wyth other.
It shall be very profitable to haue many wagons & charettes laden with gons For there is none armye so strong, whom they wyll not destroye, so that horses & men far of be slayne, wyth them. Also the great sounde shal so feare men, that their strength and courage shal fal and decay.

42. ¶ Of bowes.
Fotemen with bowes, whych englysh men vse: do greate seruyce in an host. For there is no breste plate, whyche is able to wythstand, and holde owte the stroke of the arrowes, suche force and vyolence is in bowes.

87. ¶ What is to be done when we mistrust our souldyours to be afrayed of the sowne of gunnes and noyse of them yt wayle.
Yf any lykenesse be, or mistrust that thy souldyours bene afrayed of the gunshote and otherwyse, whereby theyr hertes be lyke to fayle, it is a good pollicye, to stop their eares with some thing, and so with out feare they shall fyght, neyther hea∣ryng the wofull waylynges of them that be wounded, ne yet the noyse of gunnes. Whych pollicye wyl serue at these dayes agaynst the Almaynes that vse a greate nombre of gunnes in theyr armyes.

88. ¶ What is to be done when thyne enemyes be moost parte archers.
When our enemyes be for the mooste part archers, then set aganyst them, men fenced with tergates, whych sort of souldyours be sometyme in the hostes of the East partie. And by this pollicie thyne army shal be out of theyr daunger.

92 ¶ A pollicie to diffeate and dispoynt the gunners, that they stande in no stede and vse.
The Frenchemen and Almaynes, at these dayes haue in thēyr armies a great nombre of gunners, which sore trouble & hyndre theyr enemies. Wherfore my counsayle is, that armye (which hath no suche souldyours) to sette vpon them in mooste raynye wether. For at those tymes they be vnseruyable, and can do no good.

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