Historical Tales - The Romance of Reality - Volume VII
Excerpt: ...in the New World overthrew empires with a handful of adventurers, and within a fraction of a century conquered a continent for Spain. In Europe they were kept actively employed. Charles VIII. of France, moved by ambition and thirst for glory, led an army of invasion into Italy. He was followed in this career of foreign conquest by his successor, Louis XII. The armies of France were opposed by those of Spain, led by the greatest soldier of the age, Gonsalvo de Cordova, a man who had learned the art of war in Granada, but in Italy showed such brilliant and remarkable powers that he gained the distinguishing title of the Great Captain. These wars were stretched out over years, and the most we can do is to give some of their interesting incidents. In 1502 the Great Captain lay in the far south of Italy, faced by a more powerful French pg 173 army under the Duke of Nemours, a young nobleman not wanting in courage, but quite unfit to cope with the experienced veteran before him. Gonsalvo, however, was in no condition to try conclusions with his well-appointed enemy. His little corps was destitute of proper supplies, the men had been so long unpaid that they were mutinous, he had pleaded for reinforcements in vain, and the most he could do was to concentrate his small force in the seaport of Barleta and the neighboring strongholds, and make the best show he could in the face of his powerful foe. The war now declined into foraging inroads on the part of the French, in which they swept the flocks and herds from the fertile pastures, and into guerilla operations on the part of the Spanish, who ambushed and sought to cut off the detached troops of the enemy. But more romantic encounters occasionally took place. The knights on both sides, full of the spirit of chivalry, and eager to prove their prowess, defied one another to jousts and tourneys, and for the time being brought back a state of warfare then fast passing away. The most striking of these meetings...
- Paperback | 82 pages
- 189 x 246 x 4mm | 163g
- 13 Sep 2013
- Illustrations, black and white