Friday, May 27, 2011

W 20

20.  Charny asks:   Two captains are at war with one another and the one has many friends and the other does, too, and more of their lineages and others as well.   And it happens that one has as many of his friends as he can get and goes against the other and damages the other greatly.   And in the company of the captain who has been harmed by the other there is a powerful man who has more to lose than the other captain who has been attacked; and the powerful man has many of his friends and members of his lineage in the service of the other captain who has been doing harm to the one who has been damaged, for they are more linked by lineage to the captain who has attacked him than they are to the other; but they are closer by lineage to the powerful man who has been harmed by the other.  And the powerful man fears to lose his property; so he goes to his friends of his lineage who are with the other captain whom he has been opposed to; so he composes letters of defiance and sends them to that captain and defies him as a principal party along with him who has been harmed. And then he requires the members of his lineage who are with the other party to aid him against the captain against whom he wants to make war as a principal.  And they respond that he is an ally, not a principal; for he came to war before as an ally, and now cannot make himself a principal party to the war.   The powerful man says he can do this.  What ought to be done by the law of arms, among all the good arguments that they know how to offer on either side, for by the custom of the country the chief can be chosen from among the helpers as much as from among the captains.  

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