Home > Uncategorized > Erasmus: How an astute general conducts warfare

Erasmus: How an astute general conducts warfare


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Erasmus: Selections on war


Desiderius Erasmus
From Colloquy: The Funeral
Translated by N. Bailey

The Man understood Oeconomy, I perceive, that had the Skill to compose so many Differences, even upon his Death-Bed.

Phoo; he had been an Officer in the Army for many Years, where such Sort of Mutinies are common among the Soldiers.

Had he a great Estate?

A very great one.

But ill-gotten perhaps, as is common, by Rapine, Sacrilege, and Extortion.

Indeed Officers commonly do so, and I will not swear for him that he was a Jot better than his Neighbours: But if I don’t mistake the Man, he made his Fortune by his Wit, rather than by down-right Violence.

After what Manner?

He understood Arithmetic very well.

And what of that?

What of that? why, he would reckon 30000 Soldiers when there were but 7000, and a great many of those he never paid neither.

A very compendious Way of accounting!

Then he would lengthen out the War, and raise Contributions monthly, both from Friends and Foes; from his Enemies, that they might not be plunder’d; and from his Friends, that they might have Commerce with the Enemy.

I know the common Way of Soldiers…


Now the Pope’s Bull is to be read, wherein he is promised a full Pardon of all his Sins, and an Exemption from the Fear of Purgatory; and with a Justification over and above of his whole Estate.

What, of an Estate gotten by Rapine?

Gotten by the Law of Arms, and Fortune of War…

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: